Monday, December 30, 2013

Soon Enough

Only 16 more days until.....we are officially licensed and home study ready!

Oh how I have waited so long to write that! When we started this process, we expected to be licensed by Thanksgiving... Now, it's hard to believe that it's been over four months since we first started our adoption journey and now, just one day shy of 5 months, we will officially be licensed and ready to really begin the waiting game. And although that length of time used to irritate me I trust that God knows exactly when we need to be licensed by and that He has a plan for the waiting to begin exactly when it does.

Yep....the waiting really begins in 16 days. Oh, yes, more waiting.

On the bright side, work will be keeping me incredibly busy over the next few months and, in the down time that I do have, I'll be busy frantically completing agency and grant applications to what seems like hundreds of places. And these applications really take some time...But just being able to do something will make me feel like we are making progress again.

Preparing our home for our home study has been a little surreal for me... You see, when Jarrod and I first moved into our cute little home, we 'set aside' a room right away to be our eventual nursery. For what seemed like too many months, the room was just a storage room - where all the 'extras' in our house got stashed until we could figure out what to do with them. It became the ironing room, the winter coat storage closet, and the occasional room to set up an air mattress in when we would have friends visit. However, neither Jarrod or I quite expected for the room to sit as empty as it did for as long as it did. But, regardless of what we had planned, God had a different idea altogether. So...the room sat empty and unused.

Until this weekend...

This weekend, we cleared it out, organized the closet, rid of the floor of the 'extras' and began to prepare it to be 'inspected.' Now, we don't have to have a nursery ready to our home visit but Jarrod and I had decided long ago that we would start slowly getting the nursery together when our home study was finished so that we would be ready no matter when our baby decides to officially join our family. So we bought an area rug, put up a shelving unit that already holds a few children's books, many stuffed animals and a few baby blankets that have already been gifted to us in anticipation for our child. All of these already makes my heart bubble over with joy to see these little elements that will be a part of our life with baby. But then....we were given a crib for Christmas and a rocking chair. Although neither of these pieces have arrived at our home yet, nor are there any decorations on the wall or toys in the toy box, knowing that these items will adorn that cozy room soon enough fills me with such joy and excitement.

Currently I can't stop just walking into that room and laying down on the carpet while my sweet little doxies cuddle up next to me. And then I just spend a little time laying on the floor praying for my sweet baby - whoever he or she may be. And then I pray for whoever the birthparents are of this sweet child. I pray for whatever situation they might be in or the difficulty in coming to the decision that they are making. I pray for peace over them. I pray for both mine and Jarrod's hearts in this waiting - that we can confidently trust that God has all the details worked out already and trust that He will bring our baby to us at the right time.

Although there's no colorful quilt, no scent of wipes, no soft lullaby music playing, or no sound of a little child breathing right now, I can relax and rejoice in that room knowing that, in God's time, that room will be a nursery.... in God's time, it will be filled with wipes and diapers and sweet music.... in God's time, I'll sit in that very room while rocking my baby to sleep remembering what it was like to simply dream about that moment.... in God's time, a child will be in that room and call us mom and dad. Praise the Lord for his timing right?

Sometimes, I think God just looks down at me in my anxious waiting and says, "Trust me child. Soon enough..."

And I know that His promise of 'soon enough' will be more than enough.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Trust the Engineer

Last night after my post, I came across the image below.

And today, I couldn't help but share it. 

I woke up today trusting that God's in control.

I committed what I was feeling to the Lord last night and laid it at His feet.

I ask him now to continue to redirect my pain into passionate faith that He is working. And today that's what I'm doing...

Thank you Corrie Ten Boom for your bold and beautiful words to remind me who the engineer is.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

May You Find A Light

Tonight, I sit and stair and the Christmas tree in front of me. Usually at this time of year, I'm the giddy one that wants to shake every single present under the tree and who anxiously counts down the days until Christmas morning. I may be 25, but my heart is 6 at Christmas.

But this year feels different...


My heart has been heavy this holiday season. 


I told Jarrod last night through tears that I officially feel like I'm feeling Christmas like an adult would feel it. Gone is the giddiness. 


Christmas is a beautiful, joyous season, but this season I'm struggling to look beyond and see that there is more.


This year I'm reflecting on my hopes and dreams for what I wanted this Christmas. I remember last year at this time very well. I remember looking around at my family and getting excited that there'd be one more of us next year. I remember watching my nephew open up his presents last Christmas and getting excited for helping our little one rip paper off a box next year. 


I'm not trying to dwell on the past. But the reality is that this is hard this Christmas. It's hard to notice that it's still just the two of us and our dogs that will wake up on Christmas morning. Just the two of us will be going over to celebrate with family. It's still just the two of us...


For some reason this pain has just resonated in my heart more than usual the past few days. It aches more than I expected it to.


During one of our visits with our social worker, she told me something that felt very freeing for me. She said that it's normal to have different periods of grief where suddenly the pain swells and you hurt for a while while you work through whatever circumstance brought about the pain. This made me feel normal...


Because lately I've felt like it's not okay for me to show that I'm hurting through this. 


But how can I deny that reality?


I heard a song today that I resonated with (see the song below).... The song: May You Find a Light by the Brilliance.... It's beautiful and is the prayer that I feel so strongly right now: Lord, would you help me find the light? Would you reach down and know my pain and carry me through it? Would you guide us home to our baby? Would you direct our decisions, our conversations, and our hopes/dreams/emotions over the next few weeks? Would you lead us?


I know that God is working....I have no doubt. And, even though I'm hurting, I can still cling to that without a doubt in my heart because my God is ALWAYS good. My God knows that baby and birth mom by name already. 


So now I pray for a little light amidst what feels like a dark season to me....I know my God is good and He sent his only Son this season as a light...So in the darkness I'm still choosing to cling to that truth.


http://youtu.be/oXEcplj8DMM

Monday, December 9, 2013

Finding the Words to Say....Thank You

If you've spent any time at all following this blog, you are aware that this last weekend was a big weekend in the Stichter household. We hosted our first adoption fundraiser this weekend.... This post is intended to update everyone on how the fundraiser went.

The problem is....I can't seem to find the words to express the gratitude, joy, humility and blessings that both Jarrod and I felt after Saturday night. We went home with many, many tears in our eyes grateful for what God is doing.


Family and friends - over 150 of them - came out to enjoy the beautiful Christmas music, eat at the delicious Christmas cookie buffet, and check out our 40 silent auction items! 





We kicked off the whole evening by singing some fun and traditional songs about the Christmas season. 






Then Jarrod and I got up and shared a little bit about our journey to adopt - how we got here, where we're at now, and what God has been doing in hearts to prep us for these very moments. 





After a quick intermission to end the silent auction bidding, we dove right into hashing out why this Christmas season is even important in the first place - because Jesus came to earth as a baby to save a world that so desperately needed saving. But instead of just focusing on that birth, we decided to go beyond that. We sang songs and celebrated that fact that Jesus came as a baby to grow up and die to redeem each and every person on this earth... 



BUT he didn't just come to redeem...He came to build a relationship and to, ultimately, adopt each of us as sons and daughters into the kingdom of God has heirs to that beautiful glorious throne of grace, mercy and love. 

Now there's a reason to celebrate the Christmas season!


Although the evening was centered around one individual adoption, we ultimately wanted to bring all of our friends and family together to celebrate the adoption that each of us has been given. More than any sum of money that we could have raised, that was the focus and the prayer of the evening. The God would be glorified. That hearts would be touched and moved toward a closer relationship with Him.



When we ended the evening, tears were inevitable. God had moved. It was evident. I think that you could feel it in the room. We were at a loss for words... Praise the Lord!

...And then we got home and added up our total amount raised from the evening... If we have an average priced adoption, we raised just under 20% of the amount needed to finance our adoption....

Mmmm our God is good. Need I say more?  

We are trusting him to provide and the ways in which he is providing is astounding us.



Thank you to all who came. Thank you to all who generously gave up their Saturday evenings and let the Lord move them toward understanding the task before us. Thank you for those who selflessly gave of their own resources. Thank you to those who stood in the back and counted tickets, sold t-shirts, baked or served cookies and coffee, gave of their musical or technical talents, donated what they could to the silent auction, setup, tore down, cleaned up, and so many more. Thank you to those who could not attend, but faithfully lifted our evening up in prayer and trusted with us that God would provide. 

Thank you is not enough of a word to tell you what this means. Thank you does not accurately express the emotions we feel as a result your selflessness. But thank you are the words that we can offer. We are humbled and we could not have done this without you.




I'd like to end this post the same way that we ended our fundraiser. We shared this wonderful video. I'd invite you to view it through the lens of the Christmas season. It's a beautiful reminder of what God, our father did for us: "Sends for his son, crushes his son, in order to redeem sinners like you... But not just redeem you - ADOPT YOU."


Friday, December 6, 2013

A Dedication of What's To Come

For what seems like forever now... Okay, really more like a few months, I've been looking forward to what tomorrow night will bring. For those of you just jumping in, tomorrow night is our first fundraiser for our adoption. For me, it's the first big step toward getting even closer to bringing our baby home.

Tonight, as I sit at work imagining the evening and reigning in my expectations, I have to take a moment and recognize that although my heart has focused on this event for so long... Although I've sat down with numerous people how have dedicated their time and efforts so selflessly to help bring all of this together... Although I've mulled over detail after detail to make sure that everything is coming together well... Although I've held this event in my hands and my heart for quite some time now, I have to recognize this one simple fact:


This event was never even mine to begin with.


So tonight, as I prepare for tomorrow night, I have to take a moment to dedicate my heart... this event... the details... and all the plans that make up tomorrow's fundraiser and place them in the hands where they have belonged this whole time. 



Father God, 


Sometimes I am at a loss for words when I think of the ways in which you've already orchestrated so many details to bring this adoption in our lives. You've known all along that our lives would be led down this road and you've prepared our hearts with each little step.

I thank you for each of the individuals that play a part in tomorrow's concert - the musicians, the singers, the donors, the attendees, the prayer warriors, and so many more. I thank you for their selfless attitude and the ways in which they ministered to us along this process. God I thank you for putting people in our lives that understand what this is like and that can be your love to us. 

As we prepare for tomorrow night, Lord, I ask that you would refocus my heart. I ask that you would take the stress, take the details, take all that this involves and make it yours. 

God I pray, more than anything - more than any amount that raise tomorrow - that tomorrow night would be for your glory and not our own. God I pray that you would use the words, songs and people involved in tomorrow night to reach hearts with your truth of adoption.

Thank you for the ways in which you sacrificed to adopt each of us into your family. Thank you for loving us enough to pay that lofty price. Thank you for giving us such a high value.

Lord, I value you above all the details. I trust that when my plans change, that you have a plan. I trust that when I ask why, that you already have the answer.

Your plans are so much better and so much better. God, tonight, I dedicate all of this - tomorrow night, next week, next month and the many days to come - to you. It's yours God, for your glory. 

Amen.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Updated Silent Auction Item Listing

I continue to be blown away by the support that we are seeing flood in for our fundraiser this weekend! Just today MORE items have been added to our silent auction list.

NEW items include...

Previously advertised items include...
  • Thirty-One 'Weekend Away' Travel Bag Set from Laurie Norton
  • Pedicure
  • Back Spa Treatment
  • Landscaping Package by Precision Landscape
  • 'Joy to the Word' Painting, Wine bottle wall decor set, and Decorative Soda Bottle Crate by Grace-filled Designs
  • Decorative Home Interior Christmas Baskets by Kim Roderick
  • Famous Chocolate Cookies by my mother-in-law, Sue Stichter
  • Orange Handbeaded Belt from Leah Scicluna of Noonday Collection
  • Jewelry by the Bling Divas
  • Package from Family Health Quest
  • Box of biscotti's by JoAnn Burgener
Please invite your friends, co-workers and family members to come on out to this fun event! It's going to be a great time!

 Tickets will be available at the door ($10/adults | $5/Child). If money is an issue, please pay what you can and feel free to come and join us for the evening! The more the merrier! 

Doors open for bidding for the silent auction at 6:00 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just 5 More Days...

I cannot believe our big fundraiser is only a few days away! I'm so excited to share our journey and celebrate the Christmas season with each of you!

As a part of the event, we will be featuring a silent auction. Listed below are just some of the items that we will be featuring and auctioning off for the evening!



  • Thirty-One 'Weekend Away' Travel Bag Set
  • Pedicure
  • Back Spa Treatment
  • Landscaping Package by Precision Landscape
  • 'Joy to the Word' Painting, Wine bottle wall decor set, and Decorative Soda Bottle Crate by Grace-filled Designs
  • Decorative Home Interior Christmas Baskets by Kim Roderick
  • Famous Chocolate Cookies by my mother-in-law, Sue Stichter
  • Orange Handbeaded Belt from Leah Scicluna of Noonday Collection
  • Jewelry by the Bling Divas
  • Package from Family Health Quest
  • Box of biscotti's by JoAnn Burgener

...AND SO MUCH MORE... Don't miss it!


If you haven't gotten a ticket to the event yet, they will be on sale at the door ($10 Adult / $5 Child). 


We will also be featuring these awesome t-shirts in a cardinal red on sale for $10 each. We will only have a limited number of sizes available and then we will need to order more. Get them while they last!



Please remember that 100% of ALL proceeds from the evening will go directly towards funding our adoption process. 


Sadly, adoption is an incredibly expensive endeavor. I've had many people lately ask me how much the adoption will cost us or how much money we are hoping to raise. Unfortunately, we will not know the exact amount until we are matched. However, we are looking in the range of $30,000-$45,000. So while an event like this may seem small, we cannot tell you the difference that it makes to us. Just the faces that walk in the door that evening to show their support will mean more to me than any dollar amount ever could!


That being said, I hope that you'll consider joining us as we celebrate the reason for this wonderful season - Jesus, our Lord's, birth - and ultimately his desire to adopt you and I into His eternal family. Come on out this Saturday and rejoice in that truth with us!


For information on tickets, visit http://cominghomechristmas.eventbrite.com/ or email stichteradoption@gmail.com.