Monday, December 5, 2011

Avery's Birthmom...

We met with Avery's birthmom this weekend. It was our first time seeing her since the day we brought Avery home. It felt a little shy at first, but we all warmed up quickly. It was so great to see her and to see her with Avery. We got to spend almost 2 hours with her just hanging out and catching up. I've been emailing with her and sending pictures when I have new ones, but it was really great to see her in person and watch her with Avery. I'm looking forward to watching this relationship grow :@)

I had 2 parenting firsts last night...first off I officiated my very first dolphin/whale wedding. Yep, Winter the dolphin and Shamu the whale tied the knot in a quiet ceremony in our living room...complete with stuffed wedding cake and paper sprinkles. I've been told that I performed weddings when I was Mackenzie's age also so it's easy to see where she gets it from :@)

The other first was that I had to google Mackenzie's homework to make sure it was correct...It was a truly humbling experience.


"Mommy, what's a rhombus??"
"Ummm.....a shape?"
"What kind of shape??"
"Ummm....where's my phone???"


Hopefully she got it right....not looking forward to first grade...


Post again soon!
~Jeny

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Picture Post!!

Here are some recent pics...enjoy!!!






Forever Family!

As of 9am this morning, Avery is officially ours forever!! It was way quicker that I imagined. Our lawyer asked us a few questions, the judge signed some papers and we were done. Knowing my personality, I figured that I would cry at some point, but there just wasn’t any time! We were in and out in less than 10 minutes. I’m still trying to put into words exactly how I feel, but words are eluding me today.

In other news, Christmas has arrived at our house. We decorated and put up the tree Thanksgiving weekend…in addition to rearranging most of our house. The tree is amazing this year, way to go DJ!! Avery’s room is finally done also and she has actually slept in it a couple times. One of those times she even slept through the night!!! Woohoo!!!

Sorry this is so short, Pictures to follow!

Post again soon!!
~Jeny

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two Months!!

Well, we made it to two months old already!!! Hard to believe, but the time has just flown by! It's overwhelming just how much she has changed in that short amount of time. She had her first set of shots and was a very cranky baby that night :@( Aside from that night, she is a very happy baby. She has a smile that lights up her whole face and melts your heart :@) She's starting to coo and make silly little noises. She likes hearing her name and loves her sissy. If she hears Mackenzie in the room, she will literally bend over backwards to see her. It's amazing to see the two of them together - just so sweet!!


I'm happy to announce that she is sleeping through the night!!! Woohoo!!! The first time she did that I woke up feeling like a brand new person. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! She started just in time for mommy to go back to work :@( I went back this past Wednesday and leaving her that first day was rough. The next day was better though. It was much easier to adjust to having her in school than it was with Mackenzie. It helped that the ladies at her school were so excited to finally get their hands on her. She's at the same school Mackenzie was at for VPK and is at for after-school care so she is able to pop in and "check-up" on her. Avery's first day wore her out!!! She didn't nap too much that day, and came home and slept 4 1/2 hours straight! She's adjusting a little better, but still just cat-naps through the day, she's entirely too nosy to let activity go on around her!! (She gets that from her sissy!)


The week before I went back to work we got some time with my mom. I'd like to post some pictures of Nana with her granddaughters, but I realized that over the whole week we didn't get a single picture (except for those couple silly ones on my cell phone that I would be dis-owned for posting :@) Oh well, we are heading up that way next week so I will make sure to take plenty of pictures then.


This past weekend Mackenzie had her very first ice skating competition. She did great and I am so proud of her!! She had two events, stroking (literally just skating around the rink) and compulsory. For the compulsory event they had a little routine that they practiced that was adorable. I am most proud of the fact that even though she admitted later that she was a little scared that she still held her head up high and brought home the gold! It was also a great teaching moment afterward to remind her that when we are scared, God is there to give us strength. I am amazed at how quickly she is growing up and what a wonderful little girl she is growing up to be. Today she asked me "Mommy, so how is work going?" It was the grown up way that she asked it that just floored me and brought a little tear to my eye.


Here are some updated pictures of my little princesses :@)



At Seaworld with Shamu!



Love my girls!


Happy the class pet got to go ice skating with us!


Seriously, it doesn't get any cuter than that!!

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Sunday, October 2, 2011

So we have been down and out with a nasty cold for the last week. Avery got it first, poor girl, and then was kind enough to share it with mommy. So far only the two of us have had it and I have my fingers crossed that it will stay that way. We are both on the mend just in time for some fabulous "fall" weather here in central Florida. It's been the kind of days that remind me just why I endure the nasty muggy summers.

Avery is growing well. It's hard to believe that she is 6 weeks old today. She is spending lots of time awake now and smiles at us a couple times a day now. We're getting better with our nights now. The last week was rough because of her cold. We had a few days where we got very little sleep because every time we would lay her down she would start coughing and wake herself up. You could tell the first day she truly felt better because she slept pretty much the entire day waking up only to eat. So glad she is finally better though :@)

Her room is starting to come together. We have taped it off and have bought the paint. Hopefully we will get to paint it this week and then we can finish putting the room together. We are doing purple on the top, brown on the bottom and a lime-green chair rail. Her nursery set is elephants. Here is the link for it:
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11632544&fromRegistryNumber=47064006&product_skn=773823

In other news, we have our "Match Meeting" on Friday for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program for our mentoring through the Beta Center. So excited to be starting it finally! We hung out with the girls there yesterday. It's amazing to think that the last time we were there Avery had JUST been born and we didn't even know she existed yet. The girls loved her!! They were really excited for us and that means the world to me. It's been great getting to know all of them and spending time with them.

Well, that's about all I've got for now.

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A day of firsts

So today was a day of big firsts around here starting with Miss A's very first "awake" smile! She's given us lots of asleep (gas) smiles, but this was her very first awake "hey-I-recognize-you" smiles! It instantly made me forget about the 5 times she had woken me up last night. Her smile is just as beautiful and perfect as I imagined it would be :@)

Our second first occurred in the carline waiting to pick up big sis. Avery had her very first diaper blowout. WooHoo!! It was followed by our first emergency change in the car on the floorboard in the backseat. Did I mention that it was raining?? Seriously, what a MESS!! Out both sides and up the back! Gross!

Our last first came tonight with Mackenzie's first skate night at school. She did so well for her first time roller skating. We had to go straight there from her ice skating practice, and I think she thought she was going to do much better than she did. I had to remind her that these things take practice and that she did well for her first time. I tried to take pictures, but none of them came out well :@(

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yep, we're still here!

That has probably been the longest lapse in Jeny-blog history! And this time I have an excellent reason. Miss Avery is growing like a weed. She is up to 7lbs 6oz as of her last doctor's visit and is starting to outgrow her newborn clothes.

She's also starting to sleep for longer stretches of time. YAY!!!
She doesn't always do this at night though. BOO!!!

Despite the lack of sleep we are absolutely smitten with her :@) There is some jealousy and sibling rivalry starting to sneak in though. Mackenzie is having a bit of a hard time adjusting to not being the center of the universe any more and the crying does not sit well either. Yesterday she told Avery that her crying was "Unacceptable!" and today she told her "Avery, please stop crying, you are giving me a headache!" She then proceeded to start crying herself. Considering we were stuck in the car in traffic, I was close to tears myself.

I'll try to update here as often as I can at least to get some pictures up.

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Meeting Avery (Part 2)

Sorry it took so long, but here it is…

While I waited for DJ to get home I started getting everything ready to head to the hospital. Luckily since the last false alarm we had everything washed, put away in nice little bins and ready to go. Getting the diaper bag ready to go was the easy part, getting me ready to go was crazy!! It took me forever to figure out what to wear! Seems silly now, but I just had no clue. I wanted to look nice, but not too nice. Luckily my friend Adrienne was there to keep me sane (while she cleaned my house – Thank you Ade!!!!)

Once DJ was home and Mackenzie was picked up from school we were ready to head to the hospital. It was a very surreal drive. We headed up to Winnie Palmer and met with Michelle, the director of our Adoption Agency. We got a quick background on the birthparents and a rundown on how the rest of the evening would go. Then we got our hospital stickers and headed on up. Walking into the hospital room was such an amazing and overwhelming experience. We were lucky to meet both Avery’s birthmother (ABM) and birthfather (ABF) and spend some time talking to them and getting to know one another.

ABM asked me if I wanted to hold her so I did. She then asked Mackenzie if she was excited to be a big sister. In true Mackenzie fashion she said “I’m already a big sister.” It was comforting to know that since they had read our profile book there was no need to explain :@) We sat with them for awhile and I’m proud to say that I did not breakdown crying like I was afraid I would. We took some pictures together and then left to give them some time to say their goodbyes. I will confess that I did breakdown crying right before we left the room. I just couldn’t contain the overwhelming sense of greatfulness that I felt. I tried to express it and hopefully it came across.

After we left we then had to wait for the hospital social worker to handle the discharge paperwork. We learned that she had been called to Arnold Palmer to handle an emergency and we would have to wait. We decided to head down to the cafeteria where amazingly, part of our church family was waiting having just visited another member of our church who had their son the previous day. We ate some dinner, hung out and answered Mackenzie’s endless requests to “Please go get my baby sister.” We were finally able to go back up and start the discharge process.

They brought Avery to the nursery and we changed her into her going-home outfit (the same outfit Mackenzie and I both wore) and wrapped her in her blanket. We headed down the elevator to the lobby. Amazingly, Jack’s nurse, Brie, was working and was able to meet us in the lobby. It was at that moment that it really struck us that we were leaving Winnie Palmer with a baby. We got Avery loaded up and headed for home.

I’m sure that I missed many details as much of the night was a blur. We are settling into life as a family of four. It’s still amazing to think that we have a new daughter. She currently has her days and nights mixed up but is getting better. I'll get some new pictures posted soon.

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meeting Avery (Part 1)

So we've been busy over the last couple days. On Tuesday we got "The Call". The one that we've been waiting for...the one that I have been glued to my phone waiting for. So naturally I was nowhere near my cell phone when it rang....and rang....and rang. Nor was I at my desk while my desk phone rang....and rang...and rang. I was in my boss' office up to my elbows in a project. A co-worker finally came and got me saying that someone was trying to get ahold of me. By the time I got back to my desk my cell phone was ringing again. It was the Director of our adoption agency. Since our adoption specialist is out on maternity leave she got to deliver those words we have been waiting for. "You've been selected by a birthmom." Followed shortly by "She had the baby Sunday and the birthparents are waiting at the hospital to meet you guys before you take the baby home tonight." I'd like to say I had something fabulous, eloquant and wonderful to say, but I just burst into tears. Not delicate sniffles, but sobbing, ugly sounding tears....followed by an f-bomb. Oops!

After pulling myself together I quickly informed my boss that I had to leave to go pick up my new daughter. I grabbed the things from my desk I had to have and then headed for home. My first order of business was to get ahold of DJ. He was in the midddle of a service call about an hour away. I'm pretty sure he was still in shock when he hung up the phone (pretty sure he's still in shock actually). I made a ton of phone calls and made it home safely to begin packing our stuff for the hospital.


There is much more, but I am tired and I will post more tomorrow...


I'll leave you with the real reason that you came here...


Introducing Avery Joelle...




I will post the rest soon,

~Jeny

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Picture Post!!

Yes, I have been bad about posting lately. "We" started back to school this week so I thought I'd share some pictures from our last day of freedom at Seaworld and our first day of school.



Waiting for the new Shamu show to start. Man was it HOT!!



Daddy and M made the big screen after the show. She was so excited that Shamu "sent" her a text message thanking her for watching the show....what will they think of next!?!



Princess hands!!



Dressed and ready for the big day!!



Waiting patiently to cross the street



Daddy carrying our second round of supplies!


Have you ever seen a kid so ready for school!?!


She has had a great first few days. My favorite story (and the one that sums up her personality) is from her first day. When she came home she told me that she was the teacher's helper that day. When I asked what she did she replied "Reminded the other kids to raise their hand first." Since that didn't sound like a typical helper job I asked if her teacher told her to do that. Her response: "Nope, I just thought it would be nice of me."


That's my girl - you keep those other kids in line!!!


Post again soon!
~Jeny

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Year...

A year ago yesterday we attended an informational meeting at our adoption agency. We had intended only to gather information - we did not really think that domestic adoption would be our path. Seems like we were wrong! I remember very vividly sitting in the car outside of the church downtown where the meeting was being held. I prayed quickly before we got out of the car, "Lord, if this is where we're meant to be, just let us know."

A year later here we sit, an "actively waiting" family. I'd like to add "patiently waiting" to that description, but one must not tell lies Delores... It's been difficult for me to rein in the impatience but I swear I'm trying. I wish I had a hobby that was all consuming and distracting, but I just haven't been able to find one. Maybe I will work on that one. I keep coming back to the chickens, but we haven't been able to get a fence up yet. I also wanted to take up gardening, but a) it's too hot and b) we have sand...not soil.

Quilting is another one that I have really wanted to try but I have no sewing machine (and I am not about to go at that one Amish-style). Reading got expensive - shortly after I learned that the library lets you borrow books for free, I learned that they do charge you if you don't bring them back. (Have they learned nothing from Netflix??? I've had Four Christmases since well...Christmas...and I haven't even heard a peep out of them!)

So I'm putting out the all-call, what do/did you do to pass the time?? And by the way, make it cheap :@)

Post again soon,
~Jeny


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two Months...

Yup! Hard to believe that we've been "actively waiting" for two months now. Crazy how much has happened just even in the last month. It feels a little surreal sometimes, like did that REALLY happen? I seem to be having a hard time with the waiting right now. (Yes, I apoligize to those of you who have been waiting much longer than 2 months, but my impatience is getting the best of me today - You people must be SAINTS by the way!!)

When we first became an active family, it was new and exciting and so full of possibility. Becoming active the second time is not quite as fun and exciting. It's more like "Really? I've been here before..."

I thought I'd be so much better at this waiting thing, but apparently I was wrong. On Sunday our sermon was on the story of Abraham and Sarah, pretty appropriate. Jamie, our pastor, talked about how God promised Abraham a son and that Sarah was impatient and took matters into her hands (so to speak) and Ishmael was born into slavery. (Works of man = slavery) He then spoke about how God blessed Abraham and Sarah with Issac even though she was unable to bear children. (God's promise = freedom) I'm sure that he explained it much better than I did (especially given that he had much more time to explain it...oh and years of biblical training...) but the main point was resting in God's promise. At the time it made so much sense, it was like he was talking directly to us.

Unfortunately I haven't done very well this week with living this out. In fact, I've been really, really bad. I have been impatient and cranky and just overall not a nice person. I know it's just a funk and everyone gets them, but this really caught me off guard. Last week I did SO well! I thought that the worst was over and we had moved on, but the fall out this week is not very pretty.

So, I apologize to all of you that have had to deal with me this week, and especially to my husband who I just snapped at for interrupting my train of thought...to discuss baby names??? I also apologize if you wandered over here looking for a nice uplifting blog post about how awesomely "ok" we are doing. I am hoping that by getting this all out here that I will be able to move on and find that "ok" spot again.

Ok, now that you have listened to me whine and complain, I will share a funny story of my brilliant child's grasp of biblical knowledge. On Sunday in class they learned about the 6th commandment, Thou shall not commit murder and heard the story of Cain and Abel. At the end of the story the teacher asked what they had learned. Mackenzie answered with this little tidbit of wisdom:



"If your brother asks you to into a field and you think he's going to kill you, don't go. Seriously, he shouldn't have gone."



Post again soon!
~Jeny

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cleaning up and Moving on...

So last night I finally put away all of the baby stuff that I had furiously washed and sorted over the last week (Thank you Naomi!). On the up side it is now all clean and organized and ready to be unpacked once we get The Call…again. On the down side, I had to put it away…and I was sad :@(

Not necessarily sad for this particular situation because I know in my heart that this wasn’t our baby and she is with her family where God wants her. More like sad for OUR baby. There is this ache now that I haven’t really felt yet in through this adoption process. It’s almost like it took realizing that this wasn’t our baby to make me miss OUR baby. The heart connection wasn’t really there until the baby part of it was real.

I don’t know if that makes any sense at all to any of you, but that’s the best way to describe it. It’s a little disappointing to be “back at the beginning” of the waiting game, and I know it brings us another step closer to the baby God is getting ready for us, but still…

In the meantime, we are working out a new budget strategy that I’m hoping will help us stock away some additional money each month. After MANY years of marriage and joint checking accounts DJ and I have FINALLY figured out that we manage money totally differently! Umm, duh! DJ is a big picture, long term planner – he works well with a large amount of cash in the account and being able to mentally calculate what has to come out of that amount. I however see it as extra money and proceed to spend it! I am however a micro-manager. I can budget out a week really well – and I work best with a small amount of money and the promise of putting any leftovers into the adoption account.

So we are parting ways….at least in the checking department. DJ will maintain the “big account” that will pay all of the “bills” and I will manage a smaller account that will get a set amount weekly and handle the weekly needs of the household. Fingers crossed that this will work!! I’m hoping that the challenge of staying on budget and doing something I really want with the fruits of my labor will motivate me to get my spending under control. Sadly, I feel I will be missing my beloved Target :@(

I’ll keep you guys post on that end. (If you hear nothing further, assume that it crashed and burned!)

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Monday, July 18, 2011

Not our baby...

When I got into the car this afternoon the song "God of This City" was on. It's a song that I have played on worship team several times before and it is one of my favorites. There is a part of it that goes like this:


You're the light in this darkness,
You're the hope to the hopeless,
You're the peace to the restless,
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come,
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come,
And greater things are still to be done in this City.

Those of you who know me on facebook already know that the birthparents changed their minds this morning and have decided to parent baby girl. For those of you worrying, take heart, I am not sobbing hysterically in a corner while rocking myself back and forth. Really, truly, honestly, I am ok. It must be all the prayers because I have really felt an overwhelming sense of peace over this situation. We knew going into adoption that nothing is settled until those papers are signed. Honestly, we never felt like this was our baby. I don't know exactly what caused that -- whether it was the awkward first meeting, the whirlwind of early labor or just that gut mommy feeling, but I just never felt like this was "IT".

Not to say that it isn't disappointing to be sitting at home empty-handed, but I know that baby girl is with her mama and that is where God wants her to be now. I have never (and will never) understand God's plan for my life, but I am comforted to know that He has written it and it is perfect. Our baby is out there and it just isn't ready for our family yet....or our family isn't ready for it yet. (We discovered through this "dry run" that we have a TON of stuff to get done before we are ready for baby!!!)

There is a tiny part of me that is a little relieved that things fell apart. It just didn't feel right. The match meeting didn't go well and I just didn't feel connected to them. I was hoping that we would have a great connection with the birthmom, and I just didn't feel that with her. Plus the way the labor went down just was not at all as we expected. So on that end, I'm glad that we get another chance to have those things work out for us.

Thank you so much to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragements. I apologize if I don't get around to responding to all of your emails/posts/texts, but know that I have read them all and they are greatly appreciated.

So, we are back in the pool and waiting on baby again. Praying that our baby will be ready soon.

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Long 48...

Well, this has been a crazy last 24 hours!!! Shortly after midnight we got a call from our adoption specialist letting us know that our birthmom (BM) was in active labor. The birthparents (BP) said that it was ok for us to come up to the hospital. We were ready and up to the hospital around 1:45am. We were ushered into a waiting room and told to wait. Which we did....for a very long time!!! It was every bit as miserable as you imagine a hospital waiting room to be. Some time after 4am we got a few blankets from a passing nurse and managed to get a few minutes of sleep. Around 5:30am we got a phone call from our adoption specialist. Baby girl was born at 5lbs. 8oz. She was taken to the nursery for monitoring because her initial bloodsugar was low. Our AS said the BPs were tired and wanted to catch some sleep. She let us know to head home, get some sleep and she would call us later that morning. We left the hospital without seeing anyone.

We made it home around 6:30 and managed to get a few hours sleep. We spoke to our AS a little before 11am. She said the pregnancy counselor was up speaking with the BPs and that they would call us when they were ready for us to head up to the hospital. We got ready and headed out to lunch close to my work which happens to be about mid-way between us and the hospital. We ate a classy lunch at Denny's and eventually spoke with our AS again. She said that the BM was talking about what she wanted placement to look like and how open she wanted the adoption to be. We took this as a good sign, but were disappointed when she said that they were not ready for us to head up there yet.

So we ran a couple errands and wandered the Target baby aisles for a bit before heading to an Irish Pub in the area to wait and watch the World Cup Soccer game. (Awesome game even if the USA ladies ended up not bringing home a victory) Luckily we ran into a couple friends and the atmosphere in the pub took our mind off of our wait. Around 3pm we spoke with our AS again. The BM was still on the fence about following through with her adoption plan. The pregnancy counselor had just left the hospital and is planning on going back at 9am tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will know more around lunchtime.

The emotions that I am going through are absolutely indescribable! We still haven't seen baby girl, which at this point I am considering a good thing. I can't imagine go through all of this and also having held and bonded with her. In my mind she is still not ours. We are encouraged though that the birthfather is still 100% on board with the adoption plan.

Our AS said that the BM is going back and forth between knowing that adoption is in the best interest of baby girl and not being able to say goodbye to her daughter. I can't imagine what she is going through right now. Praying that God gives her peace and comfort to make the decision that is right for them both.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support, they are appreciated more than you know! Hopefully we will know more tomorrow and will finally know if this is our baby girl.

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Maybe-Baby Update

We spoke with our adoption specialist this morning. The birthparents want to meet with us again soon. Birthmom feels like she did not have a chance to ask all of the questions that she wanted to ask, which is understandable given everything that was going on that day. The good news is that the birthfather is 100% on board not just with making an adoption plan but also with us, and the birthmom was very comforted that DJ and the birthfather got along so well. I'm taking it as a good sign that she wants to continue meeting up with us. I would be concerned if she had no interest in meeting up with us again.

We will find out on Monday where/when we will be meeting. Hopefully it will be soon because I am really afraid labor is imminent! For this meeting there will be no children luckily. I feel like having the kids there was a good ice breaker but also very distracting as well. Definately looking forward to some grown-up only conversation.

In the meantime I am a house-cleaning-diaper-buying-laundry-doing-fool! There is so much to get done in preparation for our Maybe-Baby! I pulled out a couple bins of Mackenzie's old clothes and a bin of stuff that we had bought for Jack. It was great looking through Mackenzie's stuff with her and showing her just how tiny she was. Jack's stuff was a little harder to go through obviously. I didn't pull out any of the stuff that he had actually worn, that would be way too difficult. I had to stain treat A LOT of Mackenzie's stuff because she spit up a lot as a baby. I ended up getting 2 laundry loads of stuff done. Still have to fold it all and find a place to put it....hmmm...hadn't thought about that problem until just now. Just exactly where am I going to put all of this stuff? We hadn't planned on putting the baby's room together until after the baby is born and home with us. Baby will sleep in our room for the first couple months so we have time to worry about getting the crib together, but I guess I will be getting the dresser ready tomorrow!

As a side note, thank you SO MUCH to everyone that has reached out and offered your prayers and support. We are so blessed to have such an amazing network of friends and family to support us. We would not be able to stand so strong without you guys.

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Complicated

Well, time to get you guys up to speed…I apologize for the long delay in getting this post up, but as I have said often as of late, It’s Complicated.

On July 5th we got a phone call from our Adoption Specialist…well, not a call…The Call. The feelings that I had were indescribable. (I wrote but not published some posts that I will get up here in the next couple days to share those first couple days) Excitement, nervousness and so much more. A meeting was scheduled for July 15th. Seriously, longest 10 days ever! We knew some about the birthparents but were looking forward to getting more information and getting to know them.

So that brings us up to today. You may have realized that today is July 15th. Yes, we met them today…and things did not go exactly as ideally imagined. When we got to the restaurant we were met by our adoption worker, Elizabeth and the pregnancy counselor who has been working with this mom for a couple months now. One of the first things that she shared with us was that the mom was/is not 100% committed to adoption. She is having a hard time coming to terms with adoption and the pregnancy counselor advised us it was ok to get excited, but not to get too excited. Not exactly what we were expecting/hoping for. While the birthmom is having a hard time with the idea of adoption, the birthfather is 100% on board.

The other thing that they shared with us is that she was in the hospital on Monday with contractions. They were able to stop the contractions and sent her home in the morning. Apparently is it highly unlikely that we will be making it to August 10th as originally thought. Yikes!

Lunch went pretty well. It was easy to tell that she was hesitant. We talked around the adoption a lot and you could tell when it came up that she was not comfortable discussing it. Twice the pregnancy counselor tried to bring up the hospital plan and both times the subject was changed without anything of substance being said. Overall though the conversation felt pretty comfortable other than the whole bit about avoiding the very reason that we were all there :@)

As we were leaving I shared a bit with the birthmom and feel like she appreciated that. I didn’t want her to leave with the impression that we were expecting her to give us her baby. It was very important to me that she knew we would respect her decision even if it didn’t involve us. I then proceeded to cry the entire way home.

So, where does that leave us???

We are in a weird spot…torn between being excited that someone has picked us and scared that they will change their minds. No matter what God is in control of this situation. God knows if this is the baby that we are meant to parent and when the time comes, we will know as well. God has us here for a reason. She picked us for a reason and while I hope and pray that it is because this is the baby that we are meant to parent, I also have to acknowledge that it may be that we are just meant for emotional support.

The good news about her going early is that we hopefully won’t have long to wait for the answer to that question…

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Monday, June 27, 2011

One Month...

…and counting.


We have officially been “actively waiting” for a month today. On Saturday we went back to Babies R’ Us and bought a new car seat….just in case… :@) We realized at the store that apparently a lot has changed since the last car seat/stroller combination. Seriously? Two grown adults who have successfully done the baby thing before should be able to figure out how to fit a car seat into a stroller, right?? I’m blaming that new-fangled stroller for our technical difficulties.


Here is our ultimate decision:


Yes, it’s blue. No, it’s not because we’re hoping for a boy. Mackenzie’s car seat was also blue and we just really like blue. Also, all of the neutral ones (as usually) were ugly. So the decision was that it’s easier to have a girl in a blue stroller than a boy in a pink one. I think it’s pretty :@)

We are also in the process of filling out many, many pages of grant applications. We mailed in all of the information for the Show Hope grant today. I was glad to get that one checked off because the due date on it was June 30th. (Yes I sent it overnight and Yes I got delivery confirmation!) Praying that they will have funds available for us. The good thing is that most of the applications ask the same information so hopefully we’ve pulled all of it together and the rest of the applications will go quickly.


Kindergarten camp is going well despite the fact that kindergarten campers do not nap in preparation for no naps in kindergarten and this has made her Uber-cranky!! I think we are starting to get over the hump though and making a turn for the better. We’ve started putting her to bed earlier…like a LOT earlier! The plus side is that there will be more grown up time at night, but the bad side is that I’m starting to feel a little rushed once we get home. Hopefully we can adjust to the new schedule soon. Preferably BEFORE she starts kindergarten!!


Other than all of that we are keeping busy. Normally we plan a vacation in the summer, but that is on hold. Not just because I’m terrified to be out of range in case we get The Call, but also because I am saving my vacation time for a very special occasion in November. My “baby” brother, Steven, is getting married. Yeah, it took a little while to get used to typing that. I am very, very, very excited for this. It helps that we are very fond of his fiancĂ©. Can’t wait!


Post again soon, (yes Sandra, I promise!!)
~Jeny

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sweetness

Thought I would share a sweet moment that I had with Mackenzie on the way to church on Sunday. We've been talking recently about her musical education and she had this wisdom to share:

"Mommy, I think I'll start out playing the piano with Miss Aly. Then I'll learn the guitar. And then when I'm older I'll learn the violin so that I can play on worship team like you."

You got it kid!! Mommy's headed out to pick out a piano....once I get these silly tears to stop...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer has begun!

And so has the craziness!!! We have had a very eventful couple of weeks. (Nope, no baby yet) My mom was in town and we had tons of stuff that we did including a trip to St Augustine for a much anticipated wedding!! (Congrats K & D!!!!) The beach was awesome and we all had a blast. We stayed right on St Augustine Beach within steps of the ocean...ahhhhhh.....

Monday we went to the local Babies R' Us and got registered. We figure once we get matched we'll have tons of other stuff to get done and might not be able to get to it. (And plus, who doesn't like the idea of wandering up and down the aisles ohhing and ahhing over tiny, adorable little baby things!?!) I have made the discovery that there are not a lot of cute neutral items out there :@( We decided to register for the normal stuff (bottles, diapers, etc.), some big stuff that is neutral and then register both girl and boy bedding that we like. So much fun!!!!!!

Mackenzie has also started Kindergarten camp at her preschool. It's essentially the same thing that she's been doing there just with more fieldtrips, but boy is she excited!! She keeps reminding me that she starts her "New School" on August 15th. I know sweetie, mommy is counting the days. Amazing to think that soon I will have a kid in kindergarten!!! I am very excited to shop for school supplies though (yes, I was THAT KID growing up!!). Fresh pencils, notebooks, new backpacks....it's all so exciting!!

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waitin' on a baby...

We are officially active!!!! Woohoo!!! Can’t believe that we finally made it this far :@) Thank you to everyone who helped us get here, we appreciate it more than you guys know!!

So now the waiting begins…

and the grant applications process begins…

In the meantime, my mom is in town visiting us from Kansas. Mackenzie is having a blast playing hooky from school and hanging at home with Nana. She’s also enjoying getting away with all the little things that mommy and daddy won’t let her do but Nana doesn’t know any better.

So far since Nana has been in town we’ve been very busy! Friday night Nana got off a plane was driven straight to Mackenzie’s graduation from VPK (Pre-K for those not from the Sunshine State). Amazingly M was less excited about graduation and more excited about getting to go to Kindergarten on August 15th (yes the countdown has begun!). The graduation was wonderful and such a tearjerker. I can’t believe she is getting so big! Saturday brought a little bit of calm in the morning but a birthday party in the evening for my friend’s little boy who turned 2 (another one who is growing up way too fast!!)

Sunday brought Worship team in the morning at church and a drive to Clearwater for my cousin’s wedding. (Yay for Nana watching Mackenzie so mommy and daddy could have a date night!). Memorial Day we went to the beach super early so that we could be done and ready to leave before it got busy. Tuesday night was ice skating and tonight we took dinner to a couple at our church that just had a baby (after wandering around their neighborhood knocking on random doors!)

Tomorrow we have nothing planned….hopefully it stays that way…

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Books Are Delivered!

The profile books arrived safely at the agency this afternoon. Yippee!! So happy they are safely delivered and in good hands. Really happy with the way they turned out too :@)

So that just leaves one more hurdle to overcome and that is money :@( We’ve done very well with our fundraising so far and are so close to raising all of our pre-placement agency fees. All that remains is $1,500!!! We need to have all of our pre-placement fees in before we can start being shown and we had hoped to have that by the end of May which is fast approaching.

So if you are a praying person please pray that we will be able to raise the funds needed to move forward with the adoption process. Also, if you are a giving person (or know someone who is) there is a donation button on the side bar that you can use to make a donation to our adoption fund. (Feel free to share)
Thank you to everyone that has been following our story and to all of the amazing people that we have met through this process. We are so grateful for you all!

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Friday, May 13, 2011

Books Have Arrived!!

Our profile books were delivered this afternoon!! Yippee!!! It's actually kind of weird seeing them in person. It's like this culmination of weeks worth of work all bound in this tidy little book that felt much lighter that I thought it would. They are basically ready to go. All they need is a couple signatures and an envelope for the picture that Mackenzie did (or rather will do...) for the birthmom. Hopefully we can get that done in the morning. I'm hoping to get them to the agency the first part of next week. How exciting!!!

To celebrate we took a little family trip to the local Babies R Us for a little window shopping :@) I love wandering around that place. We found a couple things that we liked, but realized pretty quickly that it's hard to shop when you have no clue what you are "having". We did decide that we'll probably go neutral on the stroller/car seat since we'll need that first, but we'll either go pink or blue for the nursery stuff. I found a really cute crib set for if it's a girl! I guess time will tell.

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adoption Update

Sorry I didn't post this sooner, I was just excited to get our profile done and books ordered! :@)

Final home study visit went well. Mackenzie was a hit as we knew she would be and everything else went smoothly. They loved the book and only had a couple little changes. (These were in addition to the awesome edits suggested by one of our fellow adoption mommies) They had us order all 5 copies and said they will start showing our profile once they get it. Our books are set to come in some time between next Tuesday and Saturday. Then we just have to sign them, add Mackenzie's drawings for the birthmom and DJ will hand deliver them. You should know that I'm actually having a hard time sitting still to finish this post; I am so excited!

It's taking on another level of realness now. Hard to believe, but we could be very close (or still very far away) from having a new baby. Wow...I mean seriously...wow...

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Monday, May 9, 2011

Profile Book!!

Our profile book has officially been ordered and is on the way to the house. Can't wait to see it!!!

Click here to view this photo book larger



Post again soon,
~Jeny

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Home Study and Profile

Yesterday was scheduled to be our last home study but sadly it was not to be. They had a “stork drop” at the agency so our social worker had to reschedule for next week. It’s hard to be too upset though when I think about how happy another family is going to be :@) On the plus side it gives us a little more time to get the house cleaned up as cleaning was NOT on the agenda this past weekend.

We ended up going to a concert on Friday night to celebrate Mother’s Day early. We drove out to Melbourne to see The Shelter Tour – Jars of Clay, Matt Maher, Audrey Assad and Derek Webb. Essentially my iPod live in person. It was Mackenzie’s first concert and she did pretty well. It was a little overwhelming so a couple times DJ had to take her out of the auditorium. The great thing was that she recognized a lot of the songs. There is nothing more amazing than listening to Jars of Clay live while watching your 5-year-old sing along with arms raised in praise. Wow…definitely one of the best gifts ever!! Even more entertaining was watching her play "Pop Star" the rest of the weekend with her toy guitar and a drum set made up of a box of barbies, an upside down toy baby bathtub and an upside down wicker basket. It was awesome!

I’m happy to announce that our family profile book is officially in the editing stage. After days of obsessing over it I have passed it along for editing. Once it’s officially done I’ll get it posted up here for you guys to see. I am looking forward to having it officially done so that I can stop worrying about it :@) I really did not think that it would be this overwhelming, nor did I think it would take this long. It seemed like every time I looked at it I found something else I wanted to change. Working on the profile book also made it seem more real. Someone is actually going to look at through this book and (hopefully) choose us to raise their child….wow…very overwhelming…but very exciting!

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4 Days Left!!

Hey guys! Just 4 days left to get that fabulous Ava Anderson deal and also help grow the adoption fund! Our Ava Anderson consultant Elizabeth has announced that anyone who places an Ava Anderson order from now until the end of April and mentions our adoption will receive 10% AND she will donate 10% to the adoption fund!! OR You can choose the option to donate 20% to the adoption fund instead!!! You must email her at NonToxicBeth@gmail.com or call her at 678.773.1406 to get this special deal. Also exciting is that Ava Anderson has recently come out with a non-toxic, alcohol-free hand sanitizer!!

On the adoption front, DJ had his one-on-one session yesterday and that went well. Our next (and final!) home study visit is on Monday! I am feverishly working on our profile so that I can get it to our social worker to review before our last visit. We're hoping to be "actively waiting" by the end of May, but with that also comes another big check to write. Not entirely sure where this is going to come from, but we are praying on this and are confident that God will provide.

Post again soon!!
~Jeny

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Silence...

Yes, the blog has been quiet lately. "Why?" You ask. Um, because my husband gave me pink eye. Yes, after a week of dealing with allergic conjunctivis and swearing up and down to everyone that gave me "the look" that I had the NON-CONTAGIOUS-ONE, my husband gives me the contagious one! Blah! Sadly, I woke up with this Sunday morning and it was my Sunday on Worship Team so I was really bummed out that I had to stay home.

The worst thing about pink eye is that not only do you feel horrible, but you look like you got dragged behind a bus. I've had over a week of people asking me "Are you ok??" while backing away slowly. I am finally starting to feel better though. Luckily so far only DJ and I have had it and we've been super careful about handwashing and not face-touching. Fingers crossed that Mackenzie will not catch it because Mama is running short on "sick days".

So since our last home study visit I have been working diligently on our family profile and realized that there are tons of pictures to choose from....IF we were putting together an album of Mackenzie. There are a few of DJ, even fewer of us as a family and relatively none of me :@( Hopefully we will be able to fix that tomorrow with a photo shoot by my bestie Liz who does Photography (yes with a capital "P"!) Fingers crossed that we get this shoot in and that we all manage to cooperate and look good :@)

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2nd Home Study Visit

Our 2nd home study visit was yesterday. This was the intense one where she got to know the “real” Jeny. Our social worker showed up around 12:45 and left around 3:45. That’s a lot of talking! It was great to be able to sit down with her after having just gone through the adoption class. I feel like we have a good picture of the rest of the process. DJ has his one-on-one on the 25th then our final home visit is scheduled for May 2nd. Woohoo!! She said after that it would take a couple weeks to finalize the report.

I have started on our family profile…a truly daunting task! I hope to have a draft of it ready for our final home study visit so the social worker can take a look at it and offer constructive criticism. If we can do that then we have a good chance of having it done by the time the home study is finalized. Next step would be to write them a final check and we will officially be an active waiting family! For those of you following the math that puts us mid to end of May.

What happens next you ask??? We wait…. How long you ask??? Yeah, I’d like to know that too. Basically we could get “The Call” any time after that. Also, we could be matched with a birth mom that has a month or two left in her pregnancy…or…she could have already delivered. I know, crazy, right??? Ideally we’d love some time to get to know her before she delivers, but ultimately we are resting in God’s will here. He has already chosen the baby for our family and I can’t wait to meet them!

BTW – We also got Mackenzie registered for kindergarten yesterday. Yes kindergarten!!! Eeeekkk! I can’t believe she’s growing up so fast!!!

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Adoption Class Part 2

Whew! Where do I even begin to describe the emotions that I’ve felt over the last couple days??? In a word??? Crazy!!

Without a doubt the hardest part from the second day of class was listening to the nurse that they had come in to talk about potential concerns with your newborn. The bulk of this conversation was about drug and alcohol exposure but a portion was about prematurity. (So we’re going there huh?? Um, where did I put that box of Kleenex???) This of course left me sniffling if not outright sobbing at points. It was also a bit healing as well though. DJ made the point that listening to the nurse really brought to light how early Jack really was and what a miracle it was that he was with us as long as he was. Ok, enough of the heavy…

The rest of the day was much more uplifting. We got to hear from an adult adoptee. It was really amazing listening to her and her mother talk about things from both perspectives. It was also very eye-opening to hear that she was born drug-addicted but suffered from no long term effects.

We also heard from an adoptive family, Chris and Kierstin, who we had met a few months ago at a family picnic held by our agency. We met them when their daughter was just 10 days old and it was incredible to hear them talk about their journey and how things had progressed since placement. What really draws me to their story is that their reasons for pursuing adoption are similar to our own. Their second child was also born prematurely (although with a MUCH better outcome). I also love that they chose to adopt transracially which is something that we are open to.

A quick word about our tablemates – Amazing! Now that the class is over, I will confess that I was absolutely terrified that no one would like me. I was afraid that everyone in our class would be the Perfect Family and that it would be abundantly clear that we had NO CHANCE of being chosen while these people were in the mix. Yeah, I know, looking back that seems utterly ridiculous. Luckily God took care of that. He always seems to put the people into our lives that we need when we need them and this was definitely one of those moments.

Overall, the class was wonderful. There were so many things that I hadn’t even thought about yet that were talked about and explained. I’m also really excited. Hearing about them talk about what happens once we get “THE CALL”, what placement might look like and post-placement visits just really made it hit home that THIS.IS.HAPPENING. One day, (hopefully soon) they will call us and tell us that someone chose us. That this incredible woman has made the most selfless decision imaginable and has chosen US to raise her child. The trust that has to come with that decision is amazing….and utterly overwhelming. I pray every day that we will be able to live up to that. That God will give us the strength and the wisdom to raise this child to know that they are loved and accepted not only by us but by their heavenly Father.

Yeah, but no pressure or anything ;-)

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Friday, April 8, 2011

Adoption Class Part 1

First day of our Adoption Class went very well. In some ways it was exactly like I expected (there was lots of crying) and in others it was NOTHING like I expected (the emotions I felt hearing a set of birthparents talk about placing their daughter).

It was great to meet other parents also in the adoption process, and our “tablemates” were especially nice. Not only are they from the Orlando area, but they are even from the same area of town as us :@)

I think one thing I really got from today was that it all feels a little more real now. Can’t wait for tomorrow!! :@)

Post again soon
~Jeny

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Adoption Class!!

Our adoption class is tomorrow!! I can’t decide quite how I feel though. Part of me is super excited about all the stuff we will be learning and the chance to meet other adoptive parents in our area. On the other hand, I’m kind of nervous. I can’t explain exactly why. I think it’s that dark place in the back of my mind again…I HATE that place. Overall, the excitement is winning out. I can’t wait to have a bigger picture of how the rest of the process is going to go. Also really excited to get another thing checked off the list!! The class will be Friday and Saturday. Then on Monday we have our second homestudy visit. This next one should be interesting. The first one was the “first date” visit. You know, “where do you work”, “tell me about yourself”, those kind of questions. The next visit will be about 30 minutes with all three of us and then a couple hours of her grilling….I mean talking to me :@)

Originally our class was supposed to be on the other side of town and we had planned on getting a hotel and making a weekend of it. However, plans change and the class was moved to a location approximately 15 minutes from our house. In the interest of saving money we decided not to get a hotel, but to keep the plans that involve M staying the night at “Bird’s” house. (Thank you Ade!!) Ironically, the class is being held directly across the street from the mall where I spent most of my high school free time and almost all of the money that I earned there. It also happens to be the mall I was working at when I started dating my Amazing husband. Ahhh…memories…

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Sunday, April 3, 2011

1st Annual Pighetti Dinner and Silent Auction

The 1st Annual Pighetti Dinner and Silent Auction was a fabulous success!! A HUGE Thank you to everyone that was there and everyone that helped support us with donations of food, items and time (And thoughts and prayers!). The dinner was great and we managed to get a lot of the items sold. We have a few items left and I am working on putting together an email auction on some of the items we have left if there is enough interest. (Send me a message if you would be interested)

The only sad part was the Mackenzie was not able to attend :@( I spent Friday at home with a sick little girl. Luckily I took her to the pediatrician and they confirmed no strep and no flu. Diagnosis was just a common cold and to wait it out, BUT no outside contact through the weekend :@( She was very sad to miss the dinner but did enjoy spending some time with Aunt Liz (THANK YOU!!) so that mommy and daddy could attend.

On the adoption front, we have lots coming up! Our 2nd home study is coming up a week from tomorrow and our adoption class is coming up this Friday!!! We are really looking forward to that. I’m excited to get a chance to meet other couples in the area that are going through the process.

Oh, and did I mention my kid has a loose tooth!?! Seriously!! She JUST turned 5 and already she has her first loose tooth. She’s so darn proud of it too. I can’t believe how quickly she is growing up now. This morning I left her home in quarantine with DJ while I went to church. While I was gone she packed her “purse” in anticipation of an afternoon running errands with mommy. She also had her newest “sister” (as she calls her baby dolls) strapped into a “car seat” and ready to go when I walked in the door. She is such a little mother. I am so excited to see how she interacts with “Baby Pighetti” (Yep, that’s the best nickname we were able to come up with).

One of the most interesting things lately has been her increased ability to tell stories. Man can she talk!! The other day she took about 5 minutes to tell us exactly what she wanted (and DIDN’T want) on her tacos. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Question: What do you get when you take one healthy kid and add a fever and a potential exposure to influenza b??

Answer: One Worried Mama!

We got an email from our social worker today. Apparently she was diagnosed with influenza b the day after our home study visit. After being reassured by our pediatrician’s office that there was very, very little chance that Mackenzie had been exposed and even if she had been she should be protected by the flu shot she had this year, I proceeded with the rest of my day undisturbed. Well, as I was walking into school to pick up Mackenzie she was having her temp taken by the front office lady. BOO! :@( The result??? High enough to be worrisome, but not high enough to warrant a trip to After Hours. Ever have one of those moments where your stomach just drops to your feet??? Yup, I had one of those.

Sad to say but I am kind of freaking out right now. Some kids seem to have fevers every other weekend so their mom’s are well equipped to handle it (Bee, Bear, Bird – I’m talking to you!). However, I can count on one hand the number of times Mackenzie has run one and when she does I tend to fall apart :@(

We’ll know more in the morning….or potentially overnight…but with any luck she will be better in the morning. In the meantime I’m trying to give it over to God and not stress about it…um, yeah, WAY easier said than done! (I seem to vaguely remember something in our last sermon about biblical femininity and trusting God…hmmmm….if only I could remember what that smart guy up front was saying….or I could just click here :@)

In addition to obsessing over….I mean observing….a sick child I am also trying to pull the details together for the Pighetti Dinner and Silent Auction that is only 2 days away!!! Eeekkk!!!! The food has been delivered (HUGE thank you to Kriss and her community group!!!) and most of the details seem to be covered. Just a reminder, dinner is served at 5:30 and bidding starts at 6:00. In addition to the auction items we are also planning a 50/50 raffle.

Stay tuned for some great last minute auction items!!

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home Study - Round 1!

1st Home study visit is done! Other than the weather not cooperating, it went very well. We met with our social worker and spent some time talking. (Funny, all of that cleaning and she really only glanced around the house!) It wasn’t what I expected, but then again I wasn’t sure what to expect. Almost all of our time was spent talking and we felt really comfortable with her. Our next visit is next Monday and that should be the interesting one as the majority of it will be the one on one interview with me. It’s pretty exciting to be moving forward so quickly. In addition to the home study we will have our mandatory adoption class on the 8th & 9th. Hopefully we will get a good overall of the rest of the process and hopefully meet some other couples that are going through the process as well.

On the fundraising front, the Pighetti Dinner and Silent Auction is just a short 5 days away!!! Can’t believe it is almost here. We have had another awesome donation for the auction. It is a handmade purse with a matching coin purse and key chain. It is a custom piece donated by Lillian Grace Boutique. You can contact Paige at thelgboutique@gmail.com with any questions. Here is a picture:


Hope to see lots of you there!!

Post again soon!

~Jeny

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Freaking Out!?!

In case you are wondering, Yes, Yes I am.... Our first home study visit is tomorrow and I feel that we are no where near ready. I understand that the home study is more about our social worker getting to know us that analyzing my domestic shortcomings, but it still nerve wracking! Can't wait to have the first one past us. Post again soon! ~Jeny

Friday, March 25, 2011

We are officially 25% of the way to our ultimate goal!! Thank you to everyone that has helped us get this far – you guys are awesome!!

Quick note on the Pighetti Dinner – if you will be attending and would be willing to help set up, cook, run the auction tables or run kid’s events please let me know.

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ava Anderson Deal!!!

Awesome deal for all of you Ava Anderson fans!! Our favorite consultant Elizabeth has announced that anyone who places an Ava Anderson order from now until the end of April and mentions our adoption will receive 10% AND she will donate 10% to the adoption fund!! You must email her at NonToxicBeth@gmail.com or call her at 678.773.1406 to get this special deal. Thank you Elizabeth!!!!

Post again soon!
~Jeny

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home Study!!

Homestudy is scheduled!!!!! Well, at least the first two visits are scheduled – for next Monday (28th) and the Monday after that (4th). Yes, Next MONDAY!!! As in just 5 days from now! I was so excited when we scheduled it, then almost immediately realized how much we still have to do to get ready and now I’m kind of freaking out! I’m really excited to get started on it though. We also have the Adoption Class that second week (8th-9th) and the Pighetti Dinner stuck in there as well. (April 2nd 5:30 – Winter Park Christian Church just in case you have forgotten :@)

Things are suddenly flying again. They sent us a reminder email about the Adoption Class and it also had a breakdown of some of the things we’ll be going over. Things like putting our profile together, handling the money side of it and details on matching/placement. I’m really looking forward to getting to know some other families and also getting a good handle on the rest of the process.

On a sad note, we went to a good-bye dinner for a couple of our good friends from church tonight. I have mentioned her on my blog before. Elizabeth and her husband Todd will be moving to California later this week. I will never forget the first time I met Elizabeth. We actually met for the first time in my kitchen. Right after we had Jack our church family set up a “Take them a meal” thing and Elizabeth signed up despite the fact that they were new to the church and they had never actually met us. It really impressed me that she reached out to serve a couple that she had never even met. We are definitely going to miss you guys!!!

Post again soon!
~Jeny

~*~*~*~*~EDIT~*~*~*~*~

Totally forgot to mention the latest donation for the Pighetti Dinner and Silent Auction!! We now have a $75 gift card for Gators Dockside up for bidding!! Thanks guys!!!

Well, remarkable we have made it through the weekend. Woohoo! Definitely deserving of a medal over here!

Saturday was Mackenzie’s birthday party, wow, talk about craziness! We actually had a pony….yup real life pony… DJ has a client that owns a farm so we got the pony on trade luckily. We also planted wildflower seeds in pots AND I managed to bake and frost 48 cupcakes and turn 24 of them into bumblebees. Somehow we managed to get everything pulled together in time (Thank you Naomi for helping out!!) Mackenzie had a great time and everything went off without a hitch. Next year is definitely going to be more low key.


Sunday was the one year anniversary of losing Jack. Wow, really hard to believe that it’s been a year already. Amazingly enough I was mostly zen-like through the day. I think I got most of it out on Saturday night, it was NOT pretty. I lost my cool a couple times with DJ – not proud of that. We hung low most of the day, church in the morning then lunch with friends and missional training with church that night. I really prayed for peace and for God to take my anxiety and I really did feel it. I also know that we had a lot of people praying for us and we truly appreciate you guys!! Glad to have that milestone behind us. Apparently the weekend took its toll on me because we ended up going to bed at 8:30 last night.


On the adoption side, things are coming together for the dinner and silent auction. It is seriously right around the corner!!! I finally got the flyer made up, not sure how to post it here, but if you would like a copy just email me at info@calledtoadopt.org and I will send it to you. The details are starting to come together and we have had another donation for the silent auction. Elizabeth Hood has donated an awesome Ava Anderson body care basket!! If you haven’t heard of Ava Anderson just scan back through the blog, I have bragged on their products frequently as they are AMAZING!! Check out her website here.


Just a reminder that the Pighetti Dinner and Silent Auction is scheduled for April 2nd at the Winter Park Christian Church in Winter Park. Dinner starts at 5:30 and the bidding starts at 6. Hope to see you all there!!!


Post again soon!
~Jeny

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Apparently I am having one of those days. You know the kind, where you wake up and everything seems to be going well, but as more things start to add up you realize that maybe you should have stayed in bed.

I finally decided to call the agency to see what was up with the homestudy. (Last time I spoke with them the Admin Asst said that the lady that would be doing my homestudy would be out of town until yesterday but would call me when she got back to schedule our appointments.) Today when I called she told me she wasn’t sure who would be doing our homestudy but that they were really busy and would call me at some point, but if they didn’t get it scheduled before the class (IN APRIL!!!) that it would be ok. I don’t know exactly why, but as I hung up the phone I started crying. I was just so frustrated. I keep trying to remind myself that it is God’s timing and His timing is perfect, but apparently patience is just not in my skill set. Grrr…..

The icing on the cake actually came later that night at Mackenzie’s ice skating practice. I struck up a conversation with one of the other moms that was new to the class. As she pointed out her kids I noticed that it was pretty obvious that they were adopted. This naturally led to a conversation about adoption and I shared with her about our upcoming adoption. I was expecting an uplifting conversation with a like-minded individual…I was wrong….very, very
wrong….

Evidently her trigger word is Domestic (her children were both adopted from Guatemala). Up until that moment I had yet to meet someone so adamantly opposed to domestic adoption, nor had I met someone so intent on making their own opinions known. She shared with me her horror story about their failed domestic adoption with a shady agency and despite my reassurance to her that we are dealing with a very reputable agency with great references from others who have used said agency, she continued to overwhelm me with her negative comments.


What was entertaining about the conversation was her husband standing right behind her trying his best to not only change the subject but provide positive stories about domestic adoption. It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut and not say anything mean back at her. Shortly after this lovely conversation she and her husband went off to another area and we didn’t speak any further.

Sad to say, but I’m still struggling with her remarks. I’m trying very hard not to take them personally and trying to understand that she has obviously been hurt and probably doesn’t get that her comments were hurtful as well. Part of me is wondering why I even let this lady rain on my parade but that dark place in the back of my mind is wondering if she’s right. I hate that dark place. It’s evil and spiteful and always has to throw in its two cents. In this dark place resides all of my insecurities, my guilt, my shame and my brokenness. It festers there feeding on all of the bad things that have happened to me and all of the wrongs that I perceive people have done to me. Needless to say this is NOT a happy place. Ultimately I need to remember that my identity is not wrapped up in this adoption, my kids, this lady's negativity or anything else of this world. My identity is found in Christ alone. He is my rock and only He knows the plans that He has laid for me.

"For I know the plans I have for you, " declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

Ok, enough whining; now enjoy a cute pic of my cute kid ice skating :-)



Post again soon (perhaps when I am in a better mood??)
~Jeny

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I am happy to announce that we officially have a location for the Pighetti Dinner! Woohoo!! We will be using the facilities at the Winter Park Christian Center on Lakemont Ave in Winter Park. I’m working on getting some flyers made up so hopefully I will have those done in the next couple days. How exciting to see everything starting to come together. We have also had another donation to the silent auction by Laurie Dullmeyer who is donating some Mark makeup products. Check out Laurie's website Here. To see a list of all items up for bid visit our fundraising website Here.

We’ve had a pretty busy weekend. Saturday morning we got some home study cleaning done. We were blessed by the help of a good friend and were able to get so much accomplished in a short amount of time. In the afternoon we spent some time at my niece’s birthday party and then traveled out to Winter Garden to hang out with some of my cousins. One of my cousins from North Carolina was down with his wife and his daughter who is 3 months younger than Mackenzie. It was so great to see the 2 of them playing and bossing each other around. (Hmmm….wonder which side of the family the bossiness comes from???)

Tonight was our night with the Beta Center girls. We made stir fry with rice and egg rolls and played a rousing game of Just Dance 2 on Wii. (Nothing more entertaining that watching your husband get roped into dancing to “It’s Raining Men.” – Thank you honey for being such a good sport! :-) I feel so blessed that they have allowed us to be part of their lives. God continues to grow our relationships with the girls and I continue to pray that we will be a positive influence in pointing them to Jesus.

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random Ramblings

Wow, so I guess it’s been a bit since I have last blogged. Sorry guys, sounds like such a cop-out but we’ve been super busy. Biggest talk around the house has been about a certain little person’s upcoming birthday. Wow, so not ready for her to be 5 already! The party is shaping up well. The biggest thing I am struggling with is reining myself in. I feel this overwhelming need to make up for last year and I am really struggling to keep it in under control. I’m also trying to focus on keeping it as stress-free as possible…best of luck to myself on that one! LOL!

Things are creeping along with the adoption stuff. We have all of our paperwork in (including the last minute questionnaire they sent us when we finally got everything in!) and are waiting on our assigned social worker to get back from vacation so that we can schedule our homestudy dates. They have recently changed the way they do the homestudy so now we will be meeting with the social worker 4 times in our home. As far as building a working relationship it will be great, but it does mean that my house has to be homestudy ready on 4 different occasions!! Eeekkkk! We are VERY excited about moving on to the next step though.

On the lifestyle changes side we have received and are happily using our new Ava Anderson products. Mackenzie really likes them and it is really neat to see her take an interest in her hygiene (for lack of a better word). It has also been a good teaching opportunity as well about the kinds of things we want to put into/onto our bodies and things that we should avoid to stay healthy. It’s so amazing to watch her grow and see her blossom into a little woman.

That being said I have a confession to make….I have stopped using deodorant. :::GASP::: I know! What self-respecting woman living in Florida would do such a crazy thing!?! Well when the alternative is coating my armpits with some really disgusting and possibly cancer causing chemicals I’ve decide I’m making the jump. Instead I have been using toner from the Ava Anderson line. I know! I really didn’t think it would work either!!! I have been doing it now for 3 days and it has really worked! It doesn’t stop you from sweating, but it stops you from stinking. The first day was a little nerve wracking but I made it through. (Thank you to my awesome co-worker Melissa for voluntarily sniffing me in the afternoon to reassure me that I was not offensive!)

Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox now :-)

Post again soon….I PROMISE!
~Jeny

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So not ready....

Yeah, so today is March 1st. Besides the fact that this year is absolutely flying by, today I realized that I am just not ready for it to be March already. I'm not ready for it to have been a year already...

It just sounds like so long. I can't believe that Jack has been gone almost a year. I feel like it's been so long but at the same time it still feels so fresh. I was looking over pictures of Jack tonight, something that I rarely do as it is still so difficult. I pray that someday soon God will heal my heart enough that I can look at them and not be so overwhelmed by loss and longing for my little man.

At the same time I am absolutely amazed at where God has brought us in the last year. He has done incredible things in our life and has surrounded us by wonderful people who have supported and loved on us through all of the ups and downs.

Sorry to bring the heavy, but in reading this you get the good and the bad...

In an effort to leave you with a smile I'll share this pic of Mackenzie cheesing it up from our recent New Orleans trip :-)



(Yes, she dressed herself, "scarf" and all!)


Post again soon,
~Jeny

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Garage Sale, Chickens and some other stuff...

You’ll notice that the happy little thermometer to the right has inched upwards just a tad. :-) We had our 2nd (and hopefully final) garage sale yesterday. It wasn’t nearly as grand as the first one, but we still did pretty well. Luckily we also had an early morning visitor that turned into a helper…Thank you Gemma!! We had steady traffic all morning and made about $250. Plus, most of the stuff is gone and the guest…I mean BABY…room is cleared out. We still have a few boxes that will need to find homes at local shelters but once those are gone we will finally have our house back!! Woohoo!!


On the adoption side, we are still waiting for one final piece to schedule our home study, but we have the rest of the paperwork for our file complete. I’m attempting to wait patiently, but that is very difficult. I have never been a patient person when it comes to doing things that I want so this process is definitely trying my patience. I keep trying to remind myself that it’s not our timing but God’s timing that we are working with and that God’s timing is perfect. He has already chosen the baby for our family and me tapping my foot and sighing like a spoiled teenager is NOT going to rush this along any.


In the meantime I am considering a couple lifestyle changes. The first (and probably the most sane out of the two) is switching over to a new line of body-care products. A good friend of mine from church, Elizabeth, has recently started selling Ava Anderson products which are amazing. I always kind of knew that there were scary things in the products that I was using but chose the ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach to it, what I didn’t know couldn’t possibly hurt me…right??? Anyway, this Ava Anderson stuff is non-toxic and a LOT healthier than the stuff we’ve been using. Lots of the products that I’ve been using contain chemicals that have been linked to infertility (hmmm…..sensing a connection perhaps?). In addition to this I am also considering switching from deodorant (which is chock-full of icky stuff) to the spray-on toner they have. Fingers crossed on this one as it is a little scary for me.


The second lifestyle change I’m considering is chickens. Yep, you read that correctly…chickens. (See, I told you the first one was saner!) I should probably fill in the back story on this one so here ya go….


In addition to attending Elizabeth’s Ava Anderson launch party we also went to a birthday party for our friend Jenn. (Don’t worry I’ll get to the chickens in a minute) We celebrated Jenn’s birthday and the fact that she and her sisters Erin and Tiffany completed the Disney half-marathon in under 3 hours. Way to go guys!!! It was nice and relaxing to hang out with our extended “family” and Mackenzie had a blast despite a couple attitude issues. While we were hanging out their neighbors were working on putting up a kick-butt fence. So, we all trooped over to take a look. Turns out the people catty-corner to them have chickens…yup, honest-to-goodness chickens. Complete with a chicken coop (and a really awesome garden that I must admit to coveting...Lord forgive me). I have in the past mentioned to DJ that I would like to have chickens but being the steady, level-headed husband that he is, he ignored it. Well, turns out DJ has also caught the I-want-to-raise-chickens bug as well. (Don’t worry, we are NOT running out to get chickens!) We have put it on the list of things we would eventually like to do, following building a fence, building a covered porch and adopting a child (not necessarily in that order).


I feel like there is more that I was wanting to blog, but it is late and I am tired so I will bring this to a close.


Post again soon!
~Jeny

Monday, February 14, 2011

Garage Sale...revisited...

Sad but true. We have an entire guest (technically baby) room of stuff left over from the last garage sale so after much internal debate (and some mild verbal disagreements) we have decided to have another....and hopefully final...garage sale. We're shooting for a week from this coming Saturday (Feb. 26th) in order to get everything out of our house in preparation for the home study. (I'd like the social worker to actually be able to see where this kid is going to sleep) Most of what we have left is kid/baby stuff and clothes so if you know of anyone in need of those, please pass this along. Also, if you know of a good charity in need of these items let me know as we plan on donating whatever is left.

I'll post more details in a few days.

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Random Ramblings

The silence over the last week (or so) is due to the fact that we were partying hard in the big easy last weekend. We had such a fabulous time with our extended family celebrating the kick off of the Mardi Gras season. I tried to get some nice formal pictures of DJ and me from the ball, but the best (and only) contestant is below. I like it other than the fact that DJ is wearing a paper chef’s hat and I have a plastic crab peeking out of my dress.




The rest of the weekend was more low-key. We spent some time just hanging out and taking in the sights. New Orleans is a city we lived in for a little over a year right after we got married and still love to visit and wander around in. We were also super lucky to meet brand new baby “M” (Congratulations K & G!). Mackenzie was totally enamored and loved holding her and “helping” change her diaper. I am also very proud to report that I held a brand-new baby (twice) without crying…and I didn’t even cry when I realized I had done it. Ok, doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but tiny babies still get me weepy. A few months ago it would have upset me to be holding such a reminder of Jack, but I am happy to note that the healing process continues.

In addition to holding a tiny baby, I also got a hands-on lesson in cloth diapering. It’s something that we (ok I’ll admit mostly “I”) have been toying with lately. I’ve done a lot of research online but it was so great to get an in person break down. Plus I think it went very far in helping convince DJ. The only drawback may be daycare. I need to talk to them and make sure that they are onboard with it. Fingers crossed that conversation goes well.

On the adoption front things continue to plug along. We are waiting on the last of our personal references to trickle in and then we’ll be ready to schedule our home study…hopefully our home will be ready for it. I am seriously considering “cheating” by bringing in a professional. Most people get around to “Spring Cleaning” but we never seem to have the time…or maybe it just isn’t that big of a priority for us. Yeah, sad to admit that I may be missing that domestic gene…

Post again soon,
~Jeny

Monday, February 7, 2011

Self-study...

Is done and ready to be emailed!!!!! Woohoo!!

(Just thought I'd let y'all know :-)

Post again soon,
Jeny

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Home Study Bound!

We we had an appointment on Friday at the adoption agency to turn in our homework packet...well most of it. There was a bit of a computer issue with my self study and I lost a good four hours of work somewhere around midnight on Thursday night :-( So we turned in the rest of the paperwork without it and I will have to recreate it and email it in. I'm trying to look at it as a chance to better have my answers reflect my true self...or something like that....

On a good note, we now have a better idea of how the money end of this is going to work and it looks a lot better than we originally thought. We found out that we will be able to move our way through the initial steps while still working on our fund raising.

So the next step is our home study, which is kind of overwhelming for me because I am seriously not Suzie Homemaker (pretty sure I am missing the domestic goddess gene). At one point I started a list of things that I wanted to get done before we had our home study. I got about 3/4 of the way down the page before I got depressed and threw the paper away. The good thing is that I'm very motivated to get this step done so hopefully that will light a fire under my butt to get me going.

Plans for the Pighetti Dinner are moving forward slowly. We are still trying to find a location to actually have it at, so pray for us that it will work its self out soon. We have had lots of volunteers which is awesome because there is much to be done. I am so excited about laying the groundwork to have this become something bigger than just our little family. I hope to one day continue this to help other familes that also feel called to adopt.

On another note, I thought I'd take a quick moment and share a rather amazing story with you guys. I have mentioned before on my blog Mackenzie's friend "Bird". Her mother called me yesterday evening to share with me that Bird (4) and her baby brother "Guy" (just over a year) were in an accident while the family was bike riding that evening. Both kids are fine, but they were actually run over by a car while in a bike trailer (one of the that you pull the kids in behind the bike). Bird has a goose egg on her head along with a couple of scratches and Guy was perfectly untouched. They were crossing at a crosswalk and a women turning right didn't even pause as she turned before running them over. The bike trailer was entirely under the car but the kids are perfectly ok. I see no explanation other than God was truly watching over them. Praise God for this wonderful miracle!

Post again soon,
~Jeny