Friday, August 24, 2012

Singing Lamaze

Today I am impatient.
Today the quiet seems to taunt me.
Today the doubts and questions seem too loud inside my head.
Today I am tired of jumping out of my skin at the sound of my phone- only to be dissapointed.

It's exhausting to be on "high alert" and we've been there for the last 2 weeks.  L was originally planning to deliver her baby last week... and her doctor was initially worried that she wouldn't make it that far.  Here we are almost 2 weeks later and everything is quiet.  No doctor's appointments this week (they were postponed), no ultrasounds, in fact really no contact with the birthmother other than a text saying she was having car trouble... just quiet.

I know everyone says "the longer the baby cooks, the better..." Yes, this is indeed true.  And yes, the Lord will bring this baby at just the right moment... but the more time passes the more I wonder... and unfortunately the more I doubt.  I know it's not rational- more time in womb does not equal a birth mother that decides to parent. And yet with each day come doubts and fears in waves... waves like those we experience with the contractions of labor.

When I was in labor with Turner I had a focal point.  I would visualize ocean waves cresting and falling against the sand.  I would endure the pain visualizing the fall of the wave that was soon to follow the peak of discomfort.  With each wave we were closer and closer to his birth...

Unfortunately, visualizing isn't helping me cope with these unique labor pains.  I can't tell myself that with each wave of doubts, fears, emotions I'm getting closer to my son...

So what CAN I do?  How can I labor well?  How can I battle the fears, the really scary ones that creep up in the quiet?

This morning my emailed bible reading was 1 Samuel 16.  In this passage King Saul is being tormented by an evil spirit and his servants suggest that the King should find someone to play music for him so that "he will be well" again.  Well Saul hears of a young man named David that was a good man and gifted musically and sends for him.

After David's arrival before the King the scriptures say:

And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

Whether or not these waves of anxiety/fear I am experiencing are "harmful spirits" or simply moments of crisis of faith is unclear.  But what is clear to me now is that in the quiet I am more vulnerable.  SO like David I WILL SING!

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95)


Music that leads my heart to worship the Lord serves me as a SWORD against the doubts and fears.  Music enables me to feel closer to the Lord and takes my focus off myself and puts it where it BELONGS. 

Today I will endure the wait and BATTLE the doubts in the quiet.
Today I will SING praise to my God!




My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 72:36
 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

J's Nursery!

Hello!
Today the Father has graciously filled me with both confidence in Him as well as JOY in what I know He is doing in my family.  I am so grateful for this reprieve and claim, in the name of Christ, that the enemy will not steal my joy in these days leading up to our baby's homecoming!

I will continue to battle my anxious feeling with the TRUTH of God's Word which is mighty in POWER :). I know my Father delights in me and in this sweet baby we are so excited to meet! 

I thank you for your encouragement and prayers.  Honestly, it means the world to me.

With all that said- time for some pictures of J's new room!

The inspiration for J's room come from Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man[a]
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

  

In a prior post I showed you these letters which began the room transformation.


Now we have have painted the pink wall a beautiful sky blue and have added the tree wall decals and orange birdies!

 
(Note- these wall decals aer not for the faint of heart! It took Daddy 3 evenings to install all 4 trees and birdies- but he did such a beautiful job!)

 We absolutely LOVE this wall! 


 
Another one of my favorite parts of the nursery are the tree drawings over the futon.

I asked some of the artists in my family to draw us some trees for J's room and they all said yes!

From left top to bottom right:
Great Grandmother Marian- Fig Tree
Big Brother Turner- Apple Tree
Tio William- Oak Tree, with Beanie Boy
Daddy- Firmly Rooted Tree with tire swing
Titi Diana- Willow Tree
Abu Maria (my mom)- Palm Tree 
Aren't they beautiful??
I'd LOVE to have MORE!!!! 

If you would like to draw a tree for J's room- please do!  The trees should be black and white on a 4x6 piece of paper.  We'd LOVE to add your picture to our collection.

I mentioned this picture below in yesterday's post but wanted to show you again.
This beautiful print was given to me by my amazing Mami :)

The birds surrounding it are bonus wall decals that came with our trees.

And finally, I wanted to show you that both Grandmother's have already bought their newest grandson a little outfit.  SO CUTE!


Incidentally, have you ever thought about the fact that Superman was adopted?
He was!
To close I leave you with a passage that spoke to my heart this morning.  It was a beautiful reminder of God's desire for ME to be rooted an grounded in His love for me- no matter the circumstance. 

I pray that we may all be deeply rooted in His love so that we, like the tree in Psalm 1, may not wither but instead prosper!!

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

(from the 3rd chapter of the book of Ephesians)

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Casting My Fears Because He Cares for Me


The print above hangs on the wall in our little man's room just as you walk in the door.  It is one of my most favorite pieces in his nursery.

And yet... I've been afraid to show it to you.

I'm not afraid though for the reason you might think.  I'm not afraid that it shows you for the first time that our son is African American.  No- most of you know that already. You know how the Lord has given us a heart from the beginning to welcome the child that he would chose for us- no matter what his or her race.  You know that as a Puertorican and Caucasian family we are already "multi-cultural" and eager to become even more diverse.  No, it wasn't race that I was afraid to show you.

I'm afraid to show you a picture that is already drawn in my heart- because I'm afraid it might not come true. 

All our prayers, photoshoots, Mudlove bands, yard sales and paperwork have brought us to this moment...to THIS specific baby boy... and we are madly in love with him.

I DESPERATELY want "L"s son to be my son- and I am daily fighting the FEAR of  possible dissapointment.

A dear friend has told me more than once that there are 365 verses (one for each day) in the scripture that remind us not to fear. For the next 2-3 weeks I will cling to these verses as I excitedly prepare to welcome home my son.

Please pray that God gives our family the confidence to trust in what He has called us to do and the faith to believe in what HE is doing.

With the deepest gratitude,
Maria



Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Very Merry Unbirthday



Before I begin this Unbirthday post I want to take a quick moment to thank you all for your love and patience during the our unintentional blog hiatus!  Thank you for your calls and messages asking for updates on our family over the last month.  We are excited to share the details of the last month with you and look forward to sharing the fun that lies ahead! 

Now onto today's Very Merry Unbirthday update!



49 days ago, on that crazy day in June when we fond out that birthmom "L" chose us to parent her baby, our social worker told us that "L" had a scheduled c-section for August 13th.

As I'm sure you know, that's today.  Yet, baby soon-to-be Ferguson is still snug as can be inside his Mama.



So, what happened? 

Well the short version of the story is that her prenatal care has not been optimal.  She has been seen by several doctors/residents, none of which seem to agree when would be the best date for this baby to enter the world!

One doctor said she would like "L" to deliver in her 36th week (this week).  She is the one that told "L" to plan on a c-section the week of August 13th.  That doctor, however, just went on maternity leave herself and will not be returning any time soon!

Another doctor insists that they wait until the end of her 39th week to deliver (which is the week of Labor Day)- even though it is unlikely she will make it that long without going into labor on her own!   
 

And there are varying opinions all over the place between those two dates.

So "now what?" you ask?

Well, now AGAIN, we wait.

"L" has a sheduled c-section date of September 3rd.  It seems that my friend "L" may labor on labor day.  She will go to the doctor twice a week this week and the next two weeks to monitor the baby's growth and signs of labor.  Assuming that everything looks good to the doctors at each of those visits the c-section will go as planned on 9/3 at a hospital in Columbia (SC), just 2 days before her due date.

If "L" were to go into labor on her own prior to her scheduled c-section she will likely have an emergency c-section at CMC-Pineville (NC) as it would be unlikely that it would be safe for her to be driven an hour while in labor to the hospital in Columbia where the c-section was planned.

(Side note:  If "L" delivers in NC our paperwork/legal work is a tad more difficult/lengthy.   Because our social worker is only licensed in SC all our paperwork must be completed in SC.  This means that instead of signing over her parental rights in the hospital, she would have to be discharged and then drive to our social workers office in SC to sign her paperwork.)
How can you pray?
  • Please pray for "L" as she is uncomfortable already.  At Friday's ultra sound the technician estimated that the baby already weighed 7lbs. 4 ounces!  Her appointments (which she is supposed to go to twice/week) are in Columbia- an hour from where she lives.  Pray for endurance, strength and patience. 
  • Please pray for our social worker, that she will know how best to love and serve "L" in the coming days.
  • Please pray that "L"s support system will know how to love and care for her- especially her Mother, Sister and church family. 
  • Please pray for ease in delivery and a quick recovery for her body and healing for her heart.
  • Please pray for "L" to have the supernatural strengh she will need to follow through with the adoption plan she has made.  An adoption plan needs to be affirmed many times in this process and I can only imagine it would be more difficult each time- especially after meeting the baby you will place in someone else's arms.
And for us, please pray for a continued focus on and trust in our Heavenly Father.  He has shown himself to us, without question, every step of the way.  He has given us the courage and faith we have needed to walk and our steps have led us to this baby.  We have fallen in love with this precious little man and his Mama and we want the Lord's will to be done in their lives as it is in heaven. 

We look forward with eager and expectant hope to the day when sweet baby "J" will officially become a part of our family- we know with certainty that he is already a part of our hearts.

"May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans!" -Psalm 20:4

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Psalm 91:4

If I could add one more baby bird to this image it would make a perfect post adoption tattoo!