Sunday, September 7, 2008

Showered with Love

Mark and I have been "showered with love" by so many friends and family over the past 2 months as we prepared to bring Anna Kathryn home.  My parents, grandparents, sister, and aunts and uncles have expressed love in so many ways and have helped us with all kinds of things we needed to travel!  

Mark's mom went shopping for Anna Kathryn before we came to Ohio for our visit and gave us a little shower of her own.  I was so surprised and delighted!

About a month ago, my college friends and I gathered to host a baby shower for Emily, who is due very soon!  Leslie, Reagan, and Allison helped paint the nursery pink -- a major transformation from the turquoise blue (my stepdaughter's color scheme when the room was hers).  

Mark posted some Scriptures and wishes for Anna Kathryn before painting-- writing it on the walls so she will always be surrounded by blessings.  

The painting crew:  hard at work...

The nursery is still a work in progress, but here is the best shot so far (Reagan, this is for you!)

We still have pictures to hang, and there is a bit more furniture in it now (dresser and changing table).  I am trying to get much of this done before we leave, since we will be preoccupied with Baby when we get home.

The staff at my school gave me a lovely, spur-of the moment baby shower last Thursday. The staff went in together and bought the car seat that I hoped for. It's so very cute and very, very safe! They also brought donations of baby clothing that we will give to the Poyang SWI, to help with the clothing shortage and as a way to give back to the place and people who have cared for Anna Kathryn for the first 10 months of her life. It was a wonderful afternoon and I felt so loved and encouraged!

Visiting with friends at the shower:  

As usual at times of high emotion, I cried when they led me over to the gifts and I saw all of the clothes, the diaper cake, and the adorable car seat.  

Jamie and Ashley made the diaper cake-- almost too cute to use!!
Some other friends are hosting "Meet Anna Kathryn" showers after we return from China.  I just can't wait!  It will be so much fun to introduce her to the people who have been anxiously awaiting her arrival along with us.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New travel blog!

Here is the link for the new blog that I've set up that is dedicated to journaling our trip to China.  I'll be posting on this one exclusively when we are in China.  I invite you all to follow our journey to bring Anna Kathryn home!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


This morning I listened to the Bob and Sheri AM radio show on my way to work, as I do every day.  Since I usually leave for work around 7:35 (or 7:43, as was the case today), I pretty much always hear the topic for the "chatroom" segment, where people call in and talk about the topic of the day.

Today the topic was "someday"-- what are the things you were told would happen someday? Or what is something you told yourself would happen someday?  Maybe it did, maybe it didn't.  

I really wished I could stop the car and take the time to call in to tell my story, because my someday is finally around the corner.  Mark and I have been longing for children and (one way or another) trying to have children for about 4 1/2 years now.  It has been the greatest struggle, test, and grief of my life.  

Infertility has challenged everything I thought I knew about the world around me, my faith, my marriage, my relationships, and my personality.  There have been many tears and frankly, much anguish as we worked through the loss of some dreams and finally embraced new dreams.  I have struggled with doubt, anxiety, worry, and fear on a nearly daily basis.  

I also learned that I have the strength to endure when I just thought I might not be able to get up and face each day.  My marriage has been strengthened by the toughest times, and Mark and I have grown closer than ever through this experience.  My faith has been tested, yet it has also been refined by the fire of grief.  I am a person who wants control over every area of my life, but I have learned to lean on the Lord's provision and strength instead.  

For years, I have longed for someday rather than today.

  • Someday, we'd get to call our families with the news that we were expecting a baby.
  • Someday, I'd get to watch Mark play hide and seek and tag  and make goofy faces with our babies.
  • Someday, I'd get to shop in the baby section of Target without feeling like I was trespassing and all the real moms would know I didn't really belong there.
  • Someday I'd get to attend a baby shower for my baby.
  • Someday it wouldn't hurt so much when another friend or family member announced their pregnancy-- I could be happy for them without feeling so very sad for myself at the same time. 
  • Someday, my arms would no longer be empty.
  • Someday, I'd get to tuck my baby into bed after reading a bedtime story and hearing prayers.
  • Someday, we'd get to experience a joyful Christmas with our little one.
  • Someday, we'd get to see the 5 "big kids" play with their little sister or brother. 
  • Someday, we'd get the Call from our agency that we had been matched with our baby!
  • Someday, we'd be packing a suitcase and planning the trip of a lifetime.
  • Someday, we'd board a plane to take us 7,000 miles from home.
  • Someday, we'd arrive in a government office in China and a baby would be placed in our arms.
  • Someday, I would be a mom at last.

My someday is finally just days away.  I  actually know the date of my most special someday ever.

Honestly, I can hardly believe it.

I think it's gonna sink in at 9:58 next Thursday morning as we get on that plane to take us to Anna Kathryn.