I am just totally blown away by our friends and family. Blown away by the body of Christ - active! I've said from the beginning with adoption, I don't feel like everyone is called to adopt but I do feel like everyone is called to help take care of orphans & to be a part of the story.
James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I have seen our friends truly do that. I truly believe that God gives everyone their own gifts, talents and abilities and even just preparing for our home study I saw everyone use their gift! Whether it was helping me organize/decorate my new office space, make something for us to eat for breakfast, help me move furniture, fixing my shutter outside, call/text/facebook/email me to tell me you were thinking of us and praying for us - it all meant SO SO much to us! If you know me well, you know that it's really really hard for me to let people help me. I would like to think it's not a pride thing, but I don't know what else it is? I think I just don't want people to spend their time and energy and money on helping me - but the truth is, I love doing all of things for people and I know I'm not the only one. My good friend, Ben, gave me great perspective on this one time - he said to me, Wynne - how do you feel when you help someone? I told him I feel blessed, I feel good, I like it. He said ok, well then when people help you what do you think they feel? Oh..... I agree. I think that when you are helping someone, it's often YOU that ends up more blessed. So I'm trying to hold onto that and know that my friends and family get deep joy to help and bless us because I know it blesses them too! So thank you thank you!
I happen to snap a few fun photos of my little worker bees the day before the home study! Moving furniture around :) Thank you Allison, Alison, Lauren (my new neighbor!) & Graybo!!
Grayson is obviously so excited to help. I think he'll have more fun at my house when Camp is there! They are going to be best buds - I know already!
That brings us to the day of our HOME STUDY!!! Thanks to my dear friend & life coach & studio manager, Alison, we had yummy coffee cake and so I had a little breakfast spread. You know I love to host and so I think the hard thing was trying to get our case worker to know this was pretty normal!
After talking to some other Gladney moms, I really wasn't too nervous about this day. God gave me peace and I did get a little butterflies right when she pulled up - but it really wasn't anything to scary! Our case worker, Andrea, was really nice! She's a young Oklahoma blond and when we weren't talking home study - we were talking family trips, dogs and college football. It was pretty natural and I am so so blessed and thankful we had her do our home study. She happen to be in Midland (her area is normally Oklahoma & Arkansas & way west Texas) and so she scheduled our home study. We could have been waiting longer, so thank you Lord. Everyone keeps asking how it went & each time I would talk about it I would remember various questions or things about the day.
We sat in our family/tv room on the couches from 9-3 with the exception of our chick fil a lunch in the kitchen :) We got to tell her our whole adoption story (which really made me want to video it soon so we don't forget all the little details!) and how we met/got married. It was actually really fun to get to think about to all the major events in our lives and to see how God has worked. When you say it/write it you really get to think about it & it just made me even more appreciative of what He's done. The questions she asked us would be good for any potential parents to answer (I've even joked with Alison that I'm going to write them down & interview her and Brandon soon-ha). It was really neat to hear Stephen answer and for us to vocalize what our goals were as parents, what we want most for our child, what our expectations are for the process, and generally how we want to raise him. All good things that I think every potential parent should talk through with their spouse. I was really thankful for her guidance on how to handle various issues that could come up with raising an adopted child and overall felt encouraged and supported. We did both have individual interviews and again, just another opportunity to think about your past, your family, yourself and talk through some things you wouldn't ever really vocalize. I felt like it was a therapy session, ha, which I loved! We did take a tour of our home but I tell you I really shouldn't have cleaned the baseboards. It was a successful day but at the end of it, let me tell you I was just exhausted. I never thought I'd say that I was tired of talking (much less about myself!) but I was.
As soon as she left, we watched her leave and saw our new awesome neighbors outside in their driveway - so before we went out to say hi I decided to blow out the candles (Stephen gets mad, but if I'm home I open every blind/turn on every lamp/light every candle- I can't help it, I'm turning into my mom). Anyway, I was blowing out these big pillar candles and my hair was down & got into the flame and I caught my hair on fire! Can you imagine if I would have done that while she was there? Lauren & Michael got a kick out of it. Again, just so thankful to have such amazing neighbors. Thank you both for helping us SO MUCH this week!!!
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. We love you!