"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful







Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Gotcha Day Cooper!

It's been one year since we finalized Cooper's adoption...it seems like longer than that! This is the sign I finally made. I have made posters each Gotcha Day and realized that with all of these we will celebrate over the years, I should actually make something better than poster board and permanent marker! I love how it turned out!
The boys opening a gift from Noonie and Papa Max. They loved the stuff guys!
Papa Joe and Gigi came over and took us to dinner, then we came home for cupcakes and some small gifts!
I love this one. He's acting like he knows how exciting Gotcha Day is! He and Owen informed everyone of what today was. I loved it!

Here's a little video of Owen singing Happy Gotcha Day to Cooper this morning. It was adorable. Sorry that I started singing at the end. The moment got the best of me. I am tone deaf if you've never stood next to me while I sing...watch out!




video

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank you!

This is what we do when we get the call that Blake is on his way home! Wouldn't you love to come home to this!?!?

Cooper is showing off the hat he made at school yesterday! He was so proud of himself.
My precious mom was here with us yesterday and stayed the night. She took me shopping today for some retail therapy!
Owen showing off his art from school yesterday! They loved having their Noonie here this afternoon and Owen was begging to go to Noonie's house. I was like, "Come on O, you know you love it here!"

Really though, I am so blessed that these boys love their grandparents and love being with them! Thanks Noonie and Papa Max, Gigi and Papa Joe for your support these last couple of days. We wouldn't have made it through without you all!

To all of you that have called, emailed, messaged, and commented...I wish I could talk to you all! Thank you for your prayers. We feel them without a doubt we feel God's presence. Not that we don't have moments of sadness. But how can we not be thankful for all that God has given us!

We love you all!

Baby Dedication

I know the boys don't look thrilled to be in this picture. It was after church, they were hungry and tired, but this momma needed a picture of this very important day.

It was Cooper's baby dedication a year ago.

I can't help but think of when we "dedicated" both of the boys. It was a symbolic representation of a commitment we had already made to our Lord. As their parents, and as Christians, we vowed to raise them in a Christ centered home. More than anything, we are reminded on this day, that God has given us these children.

So really, "baby dedication" happens before they are ever in our arms. If we truly believe what we are standing up there for (yes, at our church you take your children in front of the sanctuary), then you have already placed your children in the trust of God.

That sweet baby girl that we lost, is right where God needs her. He still has great plans for us and for her and B.

Thank you all for your sweet words of encouragement and prayers.

For any of you that were contemplating adoption before this, I know this has probably scared you off. I hope it does not. I hope that each of us has something in our lives that draws us closer to God...something that we realize we have absolutely no control over and that we know we must get on our knees for.

Last night my sweet family, all 5 of them, came to see Blake and I. We decided to let Blake's parents keep the boys so that if we needed to cry we didn't feel the need to protect them. My parents took us for some fabulous Mexican food and we counted our blessings. Not that we haven't had our tears, but it is so good to remember this could have been so much worse.

God is good and we can feel him holding us!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Children of God

Well, I am heart broken to be reminded that these are not our children.

Regardless of how our children come to us, they are not ours, but God's. We are all children of God.

So right now I am hearing that song, "Held" by Natalie Grant.

Can you tell that songs so speak to me?

B just called the agency and said they did the c-section early and that she decided to parent.

This is what that song is about, feeling HELD by God even in the midst of great sadness and loss.

Please pray for Sadie and B as they prepare for life together. B was not prepared for this, so please pray for safety and support for them.

Please pray for Owen and Cooper that they will know God has a sibling out there for them.

Please pray that as Blake and I greive this loss we also see the good things that God has blessed us with. This could have happened on Sunday after we had bonded with Sadie over the week.
While we believe it is okay to be sad, it's not okay to get stuck there. God has great plans for us and great plans for Sadie (I guess that's not really her name, huh?)

Just wanted you to know, this is where we are.

We love you all and thank you for covering us in prayer.

Sweetest Day

I can't believe it's been 20 months since this was taken.

I can't believe Sadie's day is here!

I am leaving in just a bit to drop off the boys stuff to Gigi for the rest of the week.

B is still planned for a c-section later on this afternoon. They are thinking after 4ish.

They said Blake and I are more than welcome to come and wait in the waiting room around 5.

They said if there's an open room then we can stay with Sadie at the hospital and start bonding.

Please pray there's a room for us.

Please pray over B today. My heart aches for her.

It will be a while until we can post again. Maybe I could get Blake to write. He's such a good writer!

Love you all!

SADIE'S COMING!!!!

video

Owen singing for Sadie! It's quite funny because he's interrupted by his brother!

So there's been a change in plans.

Brittanie went into the hospital this morning.

We don't know much but that it looks like they are going to take the baby this afternoon or later today sometime.

Please pray for her. I can't imagine her fears or emotions right now.

Please pray for Sadie Kate and a safe delivery.

There are a million things I want to pray for, but I have to get the boys packed to stay at their grandparents house!

Love you all and thanks for your prayers!

video

Here's what followed the video above. Just makes me smile and wish you all were here!

Monday, July 28, 2008

How Great is Our God





You know that song, "How Great is our God"?





I think it's sung by Chris Tomlin. Owen sings it and it's the most precious thing to this mommy. I think it's possible that it makes God teary to hear one of His children praise His name.





That song is very emotional for me. When Mandy was pregnant with Cooper, about 7 months along, we sang that song together during worship in church. We both stood there crying, holding hands and praising our God for how great he is. I love music, it's soo powerful for me.





I wish I could figure out how to play that song on my blog right now so that you could hear it as well. So, let it play in your mind as you keep reading.





We got a call from Sandy at Deaconess. Catherine and Brittanie were together today, she had an OB visit. She still wants to meet us. We are hoping we can meet her tomorrow around 5:30. They still seem unsure about the c-section (which boggles my mind) but they are thinking Friday now. She will go back to the doctor on Thursday it seems.



Thank you Lord for this news.



Thank you all for your prayers and for walking through this with us.



We'll keep you updated. Sorry for the 2 posts in one day. If you haven't read the post below, please do when you get a chance!




Let me be silent so that I may hear the whispers of God


After my post yesterday I really began to think of all of the ways God has made this silence just cover me in every way. My cell phone minutes ran out almost completely about 5 days ago. Coincidence? I think not. My ipod won't hold ANY charge. I have to run for an hour in the morning in SILENCE. Again, I try to see God working in everything in my life. He is begging for me to "shut it" and just wait.


Even my little emails that come in the mornings from Proverbs 31 ministries have been speaking directly to our situation.


Here were the last 3 days titles:

Running By Faith

Only God sees the Big Picture

This is Only a Test


Today's was so moving that I have to share it with you. Please take the time to read this. It will apply to all of us and our daily struggles. It so much applies to what God is wanting from us....That we may spend our time chasing after Him, and not after the things He's blessed us with.


Love you all. No news. There will be a post if I hear ANYTHING.

Proverbs 31 ministries email:
Say the word “test” and most people cringe. That’s because tests bring undue stress and pressure that we’d rather live without. Nonetheless, tests have many purposes. They analyze our intelligence or skill; determine what we have learned, and reveal who we are. Then there are spiritual tests. They often try our faith and commitment to God.

Remember the story of Abraham and his beloved son, Isaac, found in Genesis chapter 22? Pause to read it if you haven’t. Through Isaac God was going to build a nation! Can you imagine the pride Abraham must have had for his son? Nothing makes me prouder than to see one of my children succeed, and Abraham knew God had great plans for his son. What on earth could go wrong—especially with a promised child?

You and I both know a lot can go wrong. We’ve probably stood in Abraham’s sandals once or twice in our life times too. And like Abraham, we’ve clung to the promises of God. Yet, sickness lingers, financial troubles invade, friends betray us, and eventually death calls. How do we respond?

Abraham responded with great love, trust, and commitment when God asked for his only son to be sacrificed. Don’t think it was easy for him. Just because you and I know the outcome of the story doesn’t mean Abraham did. He had to trust God every step of the way. Abraham’s mind must have been plagued with thoughts such as, “This doesn’t make sense, Lord.” “You promised, Lord.” “Help me, Lord.”

Determined to obey God no matter the cost, Abraham prepared to take his son’s life. In that dramatic moment, and just in the nick of time, God called from heaven and released both the child and Abraham from the test.

It was only a test. God never wanted the death of Isaac. He wanted the surrendered heart of Abraham. Just as God planned, the test revealed Abraham’s undying love and commitment to God. I believe that Abraham’s faith was expanded too that day in the sufficiency and care of his loving Father.

Unfortunately, this is an area God will always test you and me. More than anything God wants our whole and committed hearts. As painful as some tests are, God is using them to grow us into all He has designed us to be. When our trials don’t make sense, we can trust God. He has promised to set limits on our trials—to walk with us in the midst of them, and to bring forth good.

The question for you and me today is this. When God doesn’t behave like we think He should, when it seems like He has turned the other way and broken every promise, will we still love and trust Him?

When the pregnancy test is negative, will you still love Him? When your loved one dies, will you still love Him? When the job interview falls flat, will you still love Him? When no treatment can be found, will you still love Him?

Dear Lord, I’m guilty of chasing your blessings more than chasing after You. You are all I need. I recommit my heart to you and I will trust you in my present situation. May your will—not mine—be done, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Silence

Silent, really?




Well, you know there's not really a lot of silence at our house. But what I mean is silence about the adoption. We've heard nothing for days now. We know that God is working and He's given us great peace and patience, but the silence is deafening.




But this is what I wanted. Adoption for me, for us, is very spiritual in so many ways. I was wanting this. To have to trust the Lord completely and be constantly in prayer. I yearned for it. So, here I am and now I want to just hear something. I want for someone to tell me something. I want to talk to Blake and try and figure out what's going on. But, he doesn't have the answer, I know that. No one does.




God is asking us to be still and wait. He wants me to quit looking to someone else or something else for the answer here. I want so badly to call Deaconess and seek answers. I know that's not what God wants me to do. They don't have the answers either.




Silence is golden?




Really? Is it?




As the days are growing closer to the c-section I know we will know something soon enough. I find myself on the verge of almost every emotion possible. But, I will never imagine what Brittanie's going through at this moment. How can I be so selfish to be focusing on my needs right now? I know it's sick but I am!




Lord help me to think of her needs more than mine. Help me to keep coming to you. Help me to LOVE this time right now where there's NOTHING I can do but talk to you and trust in you.




I love you all, all 6 readers out there!




I know you are sick to your stomach too wanting to hear something and hurting with us. Please help us to continue to rely on Christ and keep praying.




We do still feel such peace even with all of these other emotions. That's just as we have asked, that we would feel and experience a peace that passes all understanding. It doesn't make sense to have peace right now, but we are so grateful to have it.




Okay, so here are the curtains I made for Sadie's room. Don't get too excited, there nothing to oooh and aaaah about. Just needed something to darken the room and add a little jazz to the wall.
If you can't tell, they are black with white polka dots. I also worked a little more to finish her car seat cover. I changed it a little more because I couldn't find more of that fabulous fabric. I still love it though!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yahoo!

To most of you this isn't really exciting. But, we found out yesterday that our fingerprints came back! This means that when Sadie is born, if placement takes place, she can come home with us and not have to go into foster care! Praise God!

We knew that our prints would be clean, but sometimes they are rejected because they weren't good scans and could not be read. This process can take up to 8-12 weeks, ours took 5 weeks!

Just so that you don't have to ask, we have not heard anything new about Brittanie or a meeting.

I have still been working on getting our home ready for Sadie.

This is my latest task....making her carseat look girly.

I saw these on etsy, but couldn't get myself to pay someone else to do it.

I could never sell these, but it will work for our sweet girl.

It cost me $10 for fabric and supplies!

Love you all and have a great day!




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just chillin'



How cool is this guy?


I thought this picture could describe what we'll need to do for the next several days...


Just wait.


Be patient, and wait.


We got an email from our social worker that Brittanie will not be back in town until the weekend.


She is trying to arrange another time to meet with her.


So, looks like at least for now, she's still planning on adoption.


Please continue to pray for Brittanie, that someone close to her will support her in her decision.


Pray for her as she is SOOO pregnant and cannot be sleeping well, or breathing well, and probably has terrible reflux at this point.


Then to add to that, she is considering placing her sweet baby with a family; giving her a life she cannot.


Bless her for even considering it, considering us, and for being so selfless.


Love you all, thanks for all of the phonecalls and emails and prayers.


Both Blake and I feel incredible peace even though we have no idea what is going to happen next week.


Best Dad Eber


In our house, our "V's" still come out as "B's". So, this is what comes out when the boys tell Blake he's the best dad eber!


So, last night could have been really hard because we didn't get to meet Brittanie. Blake and I didn't want to sit around and think about what this meant for us and our sweet Sadie.


So, when Owen suggested we go to Incredible Pizza, we jumped on it!


Blake and I were Incredible Pizza virgins.


When Owen was persuading us to go, he told Blake, "Dad, they have golf for you!"


It was just too sweet to resist!


Owen then told us he would show us what to do since we hadn't been there before.


He said, "You give your money to that guy and then you can play."


So here are some pictures from our night.


Thanks Blake for making this night fun to take our mind off of our disappointment.



Can you tell he's in heaven?

It's quite funny to see a 20 month old playing putt-putt. He only swings with one hand.

Owen does not like loud noise, but he was dying to drive in this nascar race.

We'll let you know if anything develops, but for now we are guarding ourselves a little to thinking this placement is going to happen. We have not rescheduled the meeting with Brittanie, they didn't ask us to.


Please keep her in your prayers.


We are blessed that Owen did not ask anything of why we didn't get to see her. Yesterday morning we spent an hour baking cookies for Brittanie. Owen even made one for Sadie. He was working so hard on one and he said, "This one's for Sadie, it's a rock."


Please pray that God protects his little heart during all of this. He is so excited about what he calls, "his baby". On the way to church on Sunday he said, "My baby is still in Brittanie's tummy!" He is understanding so much of this and that scares me for him. But at the same time, I know that God has got control of this. If Owen sees Blake and I fully relying on Christ in this, he will follow.


Love you all!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh Beans!



If you've hung out with us lately, you've heard us say, "Oh Beans" when something doesn't go how we wanted it to!


So this is for today!


We got a call from Deaconess around noon that Brittanie was worried she wasn't going to make it today to our meeting.


Oh, Beans!


Just got another call that she's still not in town and it isn't looking like she's going to be able to meet us at 5:30.


We told them we were flexible and to let us know if she could meet anytime this evening.
Of course, the boys have had a great day and are still sleeping...that's a 4 hour nap!


Blake has meetings Tuesday and Wednesday night, so we'd be putting this off until Thursday or after.


So, just another moment for us to call on the presence of Christ today that we may be patient and obedient.


Just thought you'd like to know. For sure I will let you know if we hear anything different!


Now on a better, lighter note!

Our Gigi and Papa Joe bought the boys this train table. This was due to their Aunt Becki locating it on craiglist and hunting it down, even loaning me cash because I don't carry any nor do I have a atm card. Hee, hee! Thanks Aunt Becki and for sure Gigi and Papa Joe...the boys love the table. We might have to work on not getting ON it, but that's okay!

This is the day that the Lord has made!

Well, what a big day for our family! We are so excited to meet Brittanie today. Of course, we are nervous at the same time. There are so many emotions when I slow down and think about it all.


How is Brittanie going to survive this?


Will she think we are kooks today when she meets us?


Or will she have peace when she sees these two boys that will be her daughter's big brothers?


Is she already in intense pain for the loss that's about to come?


Is she a Christian?


I love her already, so much so it makes me cry just to think about this day for her.


Please pray for us that our hearts are vulnerable and honest with her. That she can sense who we are and how much we love her and her daughter. Pray that she can feel our excitement for this dream to come true. It is so hard not to be nervous. You feel such sadness for what the birthmom is experiencing and you want to be open about that, but you also want them to know how thrilled you are to bring their child home and into our family.


So bittersweet, can you tell?


My sisters and mother at Sutton's 2nd birthday party this weekend. We love being together!

Two of my loves! There's Cooper's camera smile again! I love it!


My guys! They both look thrilled to be cuddling with me and taking this picture!


I think they are ready for cake!

So this is what's been keeping me busy!

I have been working on Sadie's room!

My sweet friend Terra Schultheis gave us this rocker for Sadie!

She had used it in her classroom when she was teaching!

It looks just perfect in her room!

Thanks Terra!

Close up of her bedding! We got it at Wal-Mart for only $80.

You know I am a sucker for a good deal!

I need to work on this wall, need something fun and girly since the walls are blue!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Couldn't Be Happier

Just wanted to let you all know that we heard from Brittanie today!
While I was at the store with Robin this afternoon I got a phone call from a social worker at Deaconess. She asked if I had a moment to talk.
My heart was about to pound right out of my body!
She said that Brittanie was with her and she asked if I wanted to talk with her!
YES! I would love to.
Ahh, what do I say to the woman who is going to let me parent her child???
She was so quiet and so kind. She's tired from a long day.
She did have an OB appointment yesterday. Everything looks good.
We are still not clear about the C-section date, but she said they were going to take the baby in 2 weeks.
We set a time and date to meet her!
Please pray for us and her on Monday at 5:30!
She wants to meet the boys, so pray that they are calm and well....that they don't act like toddlers!
This could be funny!
Love you all and thanks for being so happy with us!




Summer Dayz

You know how we are early birds...we got to the pool before it was open!
Owen's sweet friend (and our neighbor) Baylor.
They were so cute, but Owen wouldn't cooperate for the picture!
Baylor did a great job posing, look at those lips!
Yesterday was a great day. The boys slept in a little and then we went to the park with our neighbors, Baylor, her brother Hudson and their momma. The weather has really been so nice in the mornings! We packed up lunches and jumped into our swim suits for an early swim before naps!
Blake's schedule has been wonderful! He got home yesterday before lunch and didn't have to go back to work!
Even though we haven't heard anything about our adoption situation and little Miss Sadie Kate, we continue to have peace.
We have no idea if this is going to actually happen.
It's hard to plan on having a baby in the next two weeks when you really know very little.
I know several of you are thinking, "Shouldn't you know more?"
Not really.
That's how adoption rolls.
Each adoption is so different and it really depends on what the birth family wants and how
involved they want you to be.
So, no. We don't know more.
We don't really know what that means besides that we are just trying to be obedient to God and yeild to His plan.
God knows I have serious control issues and this is why He brought me to adoption!
There's nothing that will break those tendencies like, "Hey you might be having a little baby next week, but just wait and see what I do! Don't ask questions, just watch me move!"
We think Brittanie had an OB visit yesterday.
We think they might have set a date for the C-section.
We know our God is great and has a perfect plan.
Please continue to pray for Brittanie today and in the weeks and months to come.
Regardless of what happens, she is going to need much prayer and support.
Until then, we are just trying to enjoy these beautiful HOT summer days.
We are headed to Tulsa tomorrow, so you might not hear anything until next week!

Love you all, we'll keep you posted when we hear something.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bows are for girls

Blake is going to kill me for posting these
But, this is just too darn cute to not share!
So we got a call from Deaconess today that Brittanie is still wanting to move forward with her adoption plan! Yippee, God is good. We are not going to be able to meet with her until next week, but we are so thankful she is still planning on placing this sweet baby in our family. Please continue to pray for Brittanie as she has a big week this week. We know that she is going to the doctor on Wednesday and they are saying the due date is July 31st. They are hoping to plan a C-section at this next visit.
Thank you for your prayers for Brittanie and for our family. Please continue to pray over Brittanie and Sadie in the next days. We will keep you updated, but we don't plan to hear more until early next week!
Love you all!

Restless




It doesn't look like he's restless.


But he has been. We all have been restless. Our hearts are waiting eagerly to anticipate the arrival of a new little Shockley. But we are waiting to see what God is doing here. Even if this adoption doesn't go through with Brittanie and Sadie, we know God is working.


So, we've been restless. Do we tell everyone like we were the first day that we found out? Do we continue to talk to the boys about this new baby? We feel like we've just been hanging in limbo since Wednesday of last week. I know, that's not really very long. I would have been horrible if I lived in the Old Testament times! Back then 40 years was nothing to wait to hear God speak!


As much as we've been a little confused about how to plan, we've had peace. My heart is not anxious. I can feel everyone praying for us and I am so enjoying everyone's notes and emails and phone calls. The verses that you are sending are amazing and always have perfect timing! Thank you for praying for us and for asking your friends to pray for us. It's incredible what adoption does to your spiritual life. What a blessing!


We'll keep you updated when we hear anything. Here's a picture of what kept me busy Saturday night.

My sister gave me her bow head, so I painted it to look more like Sadie!

Isn't it cute?



We caught the boys playing in the crib together. This may be a problem!

Cooper after he ate a frozen biscuit! You can just read

his face that he doesn't really care that I thought it was

a bad idea! He's a riot! And yes, he went to church with biscuit in his

eyebrow because he wouldn't let me get it out!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Flying high and laying low

We love to fly!
The best part is the landing where they "crash" onto the couch!
So this week has been an emotional roller coaster! We have gone from finding out we are having a new little girl, to the possibility that her birthmom might be changing her mind. How do we wrap our heads around all of this???
We would like to say, we just have faith that God will do what's best for us and we can keep planning on Sadie's arrival in a couple of weeks. But we don't know what God is going to do. We do believe in miracles. We do believe He wants what's best for us. But we also believe that we can never understand His incredible plans for our lives, or Sadie's. We know what we want, but we don't know what He is doing.
I can't help but think about Brittanie. How is she handling all of this? Her friends and family are pressuring her to parent. Then there's this family that she just picked. She doesn't want to let us down. She doesn't want to let anyone down, especially the baby. My heart aches for her. What I wouldn't give to hold her right now! To let her know that we wouldn't blame her if she changed her mind.
So, right now we are just laying low. We have a slow and relaxing weekend ahead of us. I still feel the need to prepare our home for this child because if placement does happen, it will be soon. We sold our glider on craigslist yesterday! And now I am on the hunt for an old wooden rocking chair that I can paint and distress. I think I found one in Tulsa, but if you know of one, please let me know! Our bedding for the crib should be in this week. The bottles are out and just need to be sterilized. It's all coming together quickly!
Thank you all for all of your prayers. Please pray for Owen (and Cooper), but Owen is especially excited about his new little sister. Of course, pray for Brittanie that she feels God in her presence like she never has before. Pray for the social worker, Catherine, that will be calling Brittanie on Monday to see if she still wants to move forward.
We'll keep you posted when we hear anything!