Update

First off, I'm not sure if we ever shared this, but back in September, we switched from Peru to the Colombia program. Peru elected a new president in July 2016 and lot of changes happened within their government and they ended up temporarily suspending international adoptions. With an indefinite suspension, we were encouraged by our agency to switch countries and luckily could easily still do so at that point in time. The Peru and Colombia programs have a lot of similarities so it wasn't a huge change for us and we are excited to be moving forward with the program! 

We are pretty much done with the "paper" portion of our home study! It just had to be amended to reflect my pregnancy in order to be 100% accurate. So we are basically just waiting for our social worker here in Alaska to update it and then we can check that off the list! It will later be updated after the baby arrives/ after we move. Being a military family who will make two more moves within the next two years makes our situation a little more complicated, but definitely not impossible! I'm confident that the timing will work itself out perfectly. 

Meanwhile, we still have a good bit of home study education / training to complete. While we have already finished our 12 hours of NCFA Hague online training (required for international adoptions), we still have to finish education requirements from Lifeline which include reading a book called "The Connected Child, " reading through US state department country-specific information and other educational reading for specific special needs our child may have. We have a goal to plan to get it all done well before the baby arrives in early May! 

I keep thinking about how crazy it is that I have a baby growing inside of me right this moment AND a child that will that's been born/will be born on a whole different continent and they will both be my children. It's hard to fathom. We are in such a unique spot walking through these two things at the same time and I'm happy and content with the timing of it all. When we pick up our Colombian child (whenever that will be) I know there will still be plenty of challenges we have never faced, but we will have the foundation of already experiencing parenthood, which provides me some relief! Our world is about to be rocked. Rocked in the best way possible. I'm pumped to watch our family expand and to experience a joy in my heart that has never been felt before. 

Change of plans...

Y'all. I can't believe it has been so long since I have blogged! Chris has been encouraging me to post an update since so much has happened in the past 4 months. I have gotten a bit sidetracked since Chris and I found out I am PREGNANT!! Naturally, we wanted to wait to see what this meant for the adoption and whether we'd be able to stay right where we are in the process or go on hold and resume after biological baby beck is born. More on that later....

Many people don't know this, but we started trying to get pregnant as soon as we officially began the adoption process in March. After deciding on adoption, we had the mindset of being eager to start the next chapter in our lives and expand our family. We knew the process could end up being very long so we wanted to go ahead and begin trying for a biological child. 

Fast forward to September. I was home in Atlanta for my sister's wedding. I went ahead of Chris to be able to hang out with my family for longer than a weekend and to help with last minute wedding preparation. The weekend before my sister Alexis' wedding, I had zero symptoms, but decided to take a pregnancy test out of the blue. For the last 5 months, each test had been negative, so taking the test had become a "glass half empty" routine for me and I just stopped expecting a positive result. Needless to say, I was wonderfully shocked when I saw TWO pink lines. Two solid pink lines. I couldn't believe my eyes. I am not a crier, but the happy tears were uncontrollably flowing. Chris was still in Alaska and had gone camping by himself with our dog, Buddy for the weekend. It was 9am my time and 5am his time, but I couldn't help but call him instantly. After he fully woke up and was able to understand what I was saying through my uncontrolled breathing, he was thrilled. After that news, he was definitely up for the day and managed to capture this sunrise at Lake Louise in Alaska. It's a beautiful memory of the day we found out our lives would be amazingly changed forever.  

 

At that moment, the previous 5 months of waiting and wondering why didn't bother me anymore and I felt silly for so quickly losing faith in becoming pregnant. Some people wait years to get pregnant! I knew in my heart that God timed this whole thing out perfectly and was trying to teach me a big lesson in trust. Noted. I just wish I had realized it sooner. 

So starting in May (maybe sooner) life is going to look a bit different for us, but we could not be more thrilled. After the baby is born, we will resume the adoption process and prepare to add yet another member to our family! Meanwhile, we are still trying to figure out what we can do to maintain our adoption progress and not lose that fire. We finished our home study in November, but eventually, we will have to get it amended to add our new family member! I'm definitely glad we will get some parenting practice in before then. Don't get me wrong... most days, I'm terrified about becoming a mom and know that I will definitely be making mistakes and learning as I go. However, I am confident that God will equip me along the way and won't ever leave us hanging. 

Here We Go

Writing a blog is intimidating.

 I've never done this before. I am just a 25 year old woman navigating through life while trying to grow and learn along the way.

So why even blog? With our adoption plans, I feel called to share our journey along the way with as much transparency and vulnerability as possible. Maybe you'll never adopt in your life. Maybe you will. In any case, we want to maintain this blog in order to keep our families and friends updated on our adoption process and to encourage strangers who come across our blog that are considering adoption or may already be in the process. 

I am going to force myself to be myself, which is a tricky thing to do sometimes in a world where it's easy to be a chameleon. But, I want to be the same "Elizabeth" everywhere and write with integrity and sincerity. These days social media is regarded as a highlight reel, but that's not real life. Not even close. I am definitely not a perfect person who has it all figured out. In fact, I am the exact opposite of that. I am guilty of wanting to live a comfortable and easy life... but I think that's a main part of what attracted Chris and me to adoption. It's scary and there's a ton of unknowns, but it's a clear, sure fire way to live out the Gospel and we are overjoyed that God has placed it on our hearts. 

So stick around if I've managed to catch your curiosity. This blog won't be some serious, formal thing...that's just not my personality. It also probably won't be only about adoption...there's only so much to say about paperwork. It may end up being all over the place, but it will be as real as possible!

**Disclaimer: My writing is not perfect. I am more concerned with keepin' it real and less concerned with grammatical errors and proper punctuation**