We got word yesterday morning that we’ve been approved and are now officially licensed for foster care. Eeep!

I cannot tell you just how excited I was to get that news. Squealing, racing to the bedroom, and leaping on the bed where my sweet sleeping husband was laying might have happened. Calling my mom a bunch of times only to have it go straight to voice mail (since she was at work) might have happened.

What definitely happened was spending all day wondering what the phrase “It could be anytime now, maybe even today…” really meant when our licensing worker uttered it. I spent all day with my phone. I never put it down and left the room. Oh no. That call could come anytime now, day or night.

This morning, the excitement is still there like waves on a beach, rising up and making me grin but then receding enough to let the nerves in. Have I prepared enough? What have I forgotten? Do I know enough about child development to care for a child anywhere in the dramatic development of a newborn to a two year old?

Suddenly I feel like I should have done more. I should have spent more time pouring over parenting books. I should know more about how much, when, and what to feed a young child. I should have prepared more freezer meals and stocked the pantry to the gills. I should have bought swaddling blankets and teething toys and a baby monitor and more of this… and more of that. I should have found a way to get my hands on some more boy/gender neutral clothes… (why do little girl clothes have to be so very adorable and distracting?)

I’m terrified. And excited. And terrified.

I wonder what challenges we’ll face together as our little family starts to feel growing pains of adjustment. How profoundly will my heart break the first time we reunify a baby with his or her family and that sweet child leaves our arms? How will I survive the lack of sleep? Oh Sleep, I will miss thee. What medical/emotional/attachment issues will we work to overcome? Will I be enough?

And when? Anytime now. Really? Anytime? Whoa.

Licensed to...Love, Protect, Heal, Strengthen, Comfort, Teach, Uplift, Encourage, Nourish, Guild, Inspire, Cherish ...Foster.

New Foster Parents 11/25/2013 9:35am. Waiting for First Placement.

Birds on a Wire
So, we went on radio silent there for a good while. Since we last caught up with you, there’s been a bunch of changes to our family; some great, some hard to swallow, and some wonderfully unexpected.

First things first. We’ve moved! YAY!

Daniel was offered a fantastic new job as a librarian at a beautiful city library in the central valley. We’ve been praying for this kind of opportunity to come along since Daniel completed his Masters in Library Science in 2009.

The process to the job was long. He applied in January, completed a mega supplemental questionnaire in March, did interviews #1 and #2 in April, and waited for the background check to clear in May. Finally in June, he had an offer and we had only two weeks to find a place to live, pack up our stuff, and move to California’s Central Valley! Luckily it all came together without too many bumps in the road!

We’re still adjusting to our new home. We moved in the middle of a heat wave, so we’re getting a dose of what the hotter end of the climate looks like here. Thank goodness for air conditioning and dry heat! =)

Daniel LOVES his job. He comes home everyday with a smile on his face and a bunch of wonderful stories and anecdotes to report. These guys were at his library the first weekend we moved there for a special event. I like to think it’s God’s way of telling Daniel, a hardcore Star Wars fan, that he truly belongs. Daniel was too shy to have his picture taken with them, but not too shy to insist I get one. *wink*

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Now on to our other news…

In our excitement for the new opportunity, we made the mistake of making an assumption. We had never considered that our adoption process would be hugely impacted. We were wrong.

We thought, since our agency was a nationwide organization, that all we would need to do was update our file and home study with the local office where we were moving and we would continue to wait for a match. We did not anticipate the news that there would be no adoption services offered to our area and our file was now effectively closed. The eight months we spent doing paperwork, fees, screenings, interviews, training, and home visits and the 15 months we spent waiting for a match were all out the window. We were told we could start from scratch at another agency.

This was a horrible blow for us. At the very least we expected to be able to take our hard work elsewhere, but that wasn’t the case. To add salt to the wound, we received a wonderful email from a couple that had seen our profile on the agency website not long after we moved. They were interested in placing with us. The agency had neglected to take down our profile. When we asked the agency about it, they immediately called to inform the expectant parents that we were “no longer an approved couple”. I was physically sick.

In the days and weeks that followed, I only found peace after turning it all over to God. He had led us to this new place, and He must have a plan.

Although we weren’t praying for “a sign”, they started showing up anyway. “Become a Foster Parent!” fliers and billboards were popping up everywhere. There was an information booth at the farmer’s market and pamphlets at restaurants and stores. Apparently, there was a HUGE need for foster parents in the area we now call home. We had briefly considered Foster to Adopt before, but thought maybe we should wait until our second or third child to try. Maybe we were wrong to rule it out so soon?

After prayers, discussion, and more prayers, we decided to attend an information night for the county. It was a relief to find out that after just a handful of forms, a set of classes, and a just a few easy tasks (CPR/First Aid re-certification, Fingerprinting, and Medical Reports), they could take care of the rest and we would be on our way to welcoming a baby into our home for the first time in our lives. Having watched a friend travel this route, I know it isn’t easy to love a baby and work toward reunification with the family at the same time. But something in my heart knows that this is the right path. I’m willing to give all the love in my heart, “if only for a short time” as we are fostering.

One day, there will be a baby that will stay will us forever."if only for a short time" graphic

A Soon to be Foster Momma,

Christy

We’re low key people. Rarely do we do big parties to celebrate, and if we do, they are never fussy. Most of the time we prefer a day of fun, spent with immediate family or a friend or two. Today we had a blast as we celebrated Daniel’s Birthday!

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First stop of the day, a beach gathering with friends! Daniel lazed on the beach, carving out the perfect seat in the sand and dozing with his hat over his face. Doozer and I headed down to the shore and splashed around in the COLD water with his new super long leash.

My sweet friend Nicki took these of us (minus the first selfie) and I love them. After lunch and some sunshine, we headed to an ice cream shop for some sweets for the drive home.

daniel_cakeAfter a nice nap, Daniel played his latest video game while I ran out for pizza and cake. I lit a candle, sang him a song, and the birthday boy blew out the candle. With our tummies full of goodness, we were ready for our last adventure of the day…

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…Pinball! About a year ago we were introduced to a guy who owns a garage and once a week in the evenings, he opens up the backroom where he keeps about a dozen pinball machines on free play. It’s like a Daniel dreamland. We spent a while hanging out and enjoying vintage game play.

I love our little family. We have such a wonderful time just being together and doing the things we love. I’m glad that we have the chance to celebrate each other and the joy we find in the little moments of just being who we are.

Written by the wife of the most awesome birthday boy in the world,

Christy

We’re daydreaming of summer over here. Things we’re looking forward to? Here are some fun days from summers past!

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We love to go to local baseball games. The minor leagues may not knock as many balls out of the park as a major leagues, but they have a great small town hero vibe about them. The crowd is full of families having a good time and there are no shortage of smiles. Daniel and I like to practice our photography and snack on concession food. It’s always a good time!
Camping with FriendsWe love camping. It’s the unplugging from everyday life that really makes it a vacation for us. No TV, no computers, no phones, no stress. Instead we read, draw, tell stories, and go for hikes. Sometimes take a trip to the nearest body of water to fish or to cool off. We roast marshmallows and make breakfast burritos. We enjoy the world around us a little more with the simplicity of a few days outdoors.

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We’re both California babies and the ocean has been our playground for years and years. We spent this day with family boogie boarding. The water was freezing, but it is just SO much fun riding waves back to shore. With a packed lunch and some magazines or a good paperback to read in the sunshine. On a warm, sunny summer day in California there’s no where else you’d rather be.

Looking forward to new summer adventures!

Christy

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P1000529  My mother fits just right!

You are a beautiful example of undiminished returns. The more grandchildren and extended family that comes into your life, only makes your heart grow larger. It’s funny sometimes watching the way you interact with my nieces and nephews and seeing that they’re getting the ‘mother’ treatment that I remember getting.

I’m grateful for your example of how to cope with the challenges life gives us. There have been things that have happened in our lives that we don’t have any control over. But you taught me that we can weather the hard times, and enjoy the peaceful times no matter what the circumstances.

With Deep Appreciation,

  Daniel

I really lucked out. I have an amazing family. We aren’t perfect. We’ve been through a lot together. But we are amazing.

Most amazing of all? My Momma. She’s beautiful and strong and wonderful. She bring smiles and kindness everywhere she goes and she blesses my life more than I can describe.

Momma, Christy, and Sarah Sushi Date Scrapbook Page

Growing up, I remember summer days when we would go to a local burger place. There was a play structure and my siblings loved to play for as long as possible. Bring the oldest, I had outgrown the ball pit and the winding tubes. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t love to join them, I was just too tall to fit anymore.

Lucky for me, I had a wonderful mom. She and I would sit at the table and talk about everything. I told her about school and my preteen crushes. She listened to my silliness and made me feel so grown up. I knew that I could trust her. I knew that she could help me. I knew that she loved me.

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As I’ve grown up, I’ve been able to rely on her again and again. She had her own challenges and pains, but she was always there to help heal my hurts and sadness and rejoice with me in my success and happiness.

I love you, Momma! You are such a wonderful example of a mother and I hope that I will someday be the mom you taught me to be!

With eternal love and appreciation,

Christy

Alright… I’m pretty sure that infant photography is my favorite out of portraiture. It takes a lot of patience and a calm presence, but man, it’s amazing when you get to capture beauty like this.

Meet Sweet Miss E. She was born just a couple weeks ago and I was honored to visit the hospital and later her home to take these precious images. She still had that newborn whimper cry that just makes your heart melt. She was VERY alert for someone so brand new. You can’t help but wonder what she’ll learn and who she’ll become.
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I’m considering this all great practice for a day not too far in the future. <3

Your blissfully happy photographer and waiting adoptive Mommy,

Christy

Let me first start by saying, I love, love, love my family. I love spending time with them. I love following all their adventures and sharing ours with them. Whenever I get a chance to celebrate with them, it’s always an amazing time of joy and laughter. We dance, we sing, we joke and tease. We don’t quite smiling. I love my family so much!

My second cousin, Rebecca, invited my mom and I to share in witnessing her beautiful wedding day. How could I resist spending a perfect evening surrounded by a room full of people I adore!

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My Momma and Me

My Momma and I went shopping for a dress for her to wear to the wedding. She has been working hard at getting in shape and we were so excited to see her new beautiful figure in the mirror in the dressing room. Doesn’t she look amazing??? =)

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Here’s the gorgeous bride, Rebecca, and her groom, Paul, laughing and giggling their way through the sand ceremony. This is when I really got a true feeling for their relationship and I pray that their marriage remains overflowing with this joy and love.

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The wedding and reception venue was held at this AMAZING outdoor lakeside resort. The view and atmosphere was spectacular.  We bathed in the beautiful setting sun as we sat down to dinner.

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Grandpa and Me

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Grandma and Me

It was so wonderful to have the chance to visit with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family at such a beautiful place! We danced the night away, busting out moves to “Baby Got Back” (It’s the only song that mentions Becky by name. lol), singing into imaginary microphones for “Respect”, and jumping up and down to “Call Me Maybe”.

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All my family has been an amazing support to Daniel and I as we have walked the road to adoption. They have said so many prayers and shared the news with so many, in hopes that someday we’ll find our match. I really can not express how blessed and overcome it makes me feel to hear all the things that they do to help us realize our dream.

I can imagine how special it will be to celebrate the arrival of our baby with our family. We just can’t wait to share our joy and spend the years growing and dancing through life together!

Enjoying every moment of being together again,

Chrsity

I knew that I was game for the Survivor Mud Run again this year the moment I crossed the finish line in 2012. The theme our group chose for this year? 80s Prom! It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a formal dance. I often lament that their aren’t a lot of opportunities to dress up in a pretty dress as a grown up, so I decided to go all out with a used dress, fishnet fingerless gloves, jewelery, and a big hair accessory. My friend, Brittany, made corsages for the girls and boutonnieres for the guys. Aren’t we amazing?

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As we all started to arrive to the farmland designated for the run and we saw each of our outfits for the first time, we squealed with joy. Each of us looked ready for a great time. Other runners gave a rush of compliments, others stared at us like we were crazy. It was weird to feel so noticed!
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The run itself felt much more manageable than last year, after a year of getting back into shape. For being a “Mud Run” though, it was disappointingly lacking in mud. This was the first time they had used this location and there was a lot of gravel, sand, and rocks… but not a lot of mud. There were a few obstacles that looked promising, but since we were the first wave of the day, the dirt and the water hadn’t properly melded.

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See, I’m more wet than muddy.

That didn’t stop us from having a blast though. We did each of the obstacles with enthusiasm and crossed the finish line drenched and mildly scrapped up from crawling over rocks. The DJ rocked and we started dancing at our very own prom night!

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Here I am, less muddy than I would have liked, but glad to have done much better than last year. Race Time: 46:58

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I love all the silliness that these kind of runs allow for!

Survivor Mud Run 2013 Finisher and waiting adoptive momma,

Christy