Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What's A Family To Do?

So, it's 8am and you're dressed for the day.
You're house is relatively clean.
You're awaiting your Social Worker's arrival at 9am.
What's a family to do?
To keep from turning into a ball of nerves
you bust out your best plan.
Biscuits and the family edition of Connect Four.
The biscuits are yum.
The kids are contained.
And you laugh.
Oh yes, exactly what your soul needed.
Loving laughter. :)


The boys have both been interviewed.
They were interviewed together.
Jennifer said they were very polite.
I haven't probed Joseph for the full scoop yet,
but apparently James mentioned that he tore his pants yesterday.
Jennifer said he was very upset about it.
Poor kid, he fell of his bike and tore the knee of his new pants.
But really, they were only play pants.


I've completed my interview.
Our interviews took place at the kitchen table.
The boys patiently waited in my bedroom with Andy.
Joseph and Andy on laptops and James playing his DS.
They said I took too long.
Hello, this is big! :)

Now Andy is mid-interview.
I'm on the bed blogging.
The boys are playing in the backyard.

Once Andy has completed his part then we'll meet back together.
Jennifer said we'll discuss the next steps.

W-h-e-w.
Almost finished with yet another step.
PRAISE YOU LORD,
all GLORY is YOURS!

I'll update again after we're all through.
God's blessings, Sarah :D

Monday, December 28, 2009

CHRISTmas & Home Studies

Hi all, I hope you had a very Merry CHRISTmas!
Little Miss Emily Margaret may not be here yet,
but she had a pretty good CHRISTmas as well.

She got her first Santa gift...

A ladybug pop up toy.
No worries Emily Margaret,
James is breaking it in for you! :)

Franny & Frandaddy got her an Auburn football bear.


Franny also bought her first granddaughter a tea set.
And she insists that it's to play with.


Boompa & Gigi got her a beautiful cross Waterford crystal ornament.


Last but certainly not least, Nana & PaBill, Nanny & Op, Boompa & Gigi and Uncle John & Aunt Rach all donated money to our adoption account! We're a lot closer to bringing her home than we were before Christmas. Thanks everyone!!! :)

Tomorrow morning we have our 2nd home study visit.
We had to reschedule because our social worker Jennifer had the flu.
So the house is clean,
and the autobiographies are written and emailed in.
We also finished off what seemed like a ton of other paper work.
Here's Andy writing his adoption statement.

For those of you who love a good cry,
call me sometime and I'll share our adoption paperwork with you.
Nothing is more beautiful than your husband pouring out his heart.
God is bringing us through this and when He delivers us on the other side,
we'll stand closer together and have a beautiful daughter too. :)
I'll let you know how tomorrow's visit goes.
God's blessings friends, Sarah :D

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Gifts

Good morning all!
Yesterday while Andy was finishing up at work, Santa visited.
The precious girls in his office showered him with gifts for Emily Margaret.

First I had to share this gift tag.
It reads,
From Our Home To Yours.
Oh Emily Margaret,
I can't wait until you're in our home! :)

Here are all the gifts.
Check out her first sippy cup,
it's Auburn.
I can't wait to see her sassy self sipping some soda at a game!
She also has her first Halloween costume,
it's Mickey Mouse. :)
The jeans are hand me downs, we love girly hand me downs!

The stuffed bear plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Twinkle, twinkle little star, oh how I wonder where you are?
I'd say someone put a lot thought into that gift. :)

Last but not least, the part that made me cry.
All Andy's co-workers donated money towards our adoption account.
W-O-W.
Talk about a beautiful gift!

Thank you all so much.
God is using you to nudge us a little closer to our Emily Margaret.
You're her Christmas angels!

God's blessings on your CHRISTmas friends! Sarah :D

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Assignment of a Lifetime

Good morning all!
I just finished my morning devotional and had to share.
It's from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Today's message spoke about accepting the assignment of a lifetime,
just as Mary did with Jesus.

The words read...
"Have you ever said "yes" to God for what you believed was the assignment of a lifetime? When you said "yes" did you know you would never be the same again? I love the story of Mary - young, sweet, innocent Mary - who accepted the assignment of her lifetime.
I can only imagine what she was thinking when the angel Gabriel announced she would give birth to the Son of the Most High. Mary was also given details of how this son would be conceived. Without hesitation her response to this assignment of a lifetime was, "May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38, NIV).
Has something like this ever happened to you? Has the Lord spoke to you through His Word and prayer and in your spirit you sensed Him telling you something that seemed outrageous? Has He asked you to say "yes" to an assignment that would change your life forever? You shook your head to loosen the cobwebs and push out anything possibly obstructing your hearing. You walked around bewildered for a couple days, wondering if you really heard right. You replayed the scenario in your mind to get a clearer picture of the experience, but still could not get a handle on it. Then out of the blue you received confirmation. God used a pastor, scripture, song, friend, family member, or a situation to confirm the word He spoke to your heart. If so, like Mary, have you responded with a song of praise to the Lord?"

As I read this message, I knew God was reminding me of the calling we have with Emily Margaret.
The calling that on most days, I feel so unqualified for.

Then I read on to the power verses for today...
Psalm 139:13, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." (NIV)
Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)

Over the past few months,
Ephesians 2:10 has become our adoption verse.
That's when I knew that God was giving me yet another confirmation.
He's using my willing heart to do His good work.

Thank you Lord for leading me to do your good work.
Work that is so over my head that it has JESUS written all over it.
Thank you also for sending me needed encouragement.
Just so I know I'm hearing you right.


Note: Our 2nd home study visit has been rescheduled.
Our social worker emailed me Sunday, she has the flu!
I'll keep everyone posted on our next meeting.

God's blessings on the assignment God has given each of you,
AND a very Merry CHRISTmas! Sarah :D

Friday, December 18, 2009

Waiting For You

Every year as part of our Christmas tradition,
we buy both boys a special ornament.
This year our Emily Margaret joined in.

A sweet friend emailed me a this link to S. Wise Designs and said I should check it out.
I invited James (our hopeful big brother) to chose the ornament design.
As soon as I saw the little Panda Bear holding a wishing star I knew it was perfect.
Today it arrived on our doorstep.

So Merry Christmas Emily Margaret!
Your family is patiently waiting for you to join us.
God's blessings friends, Sarah :D

Saturday, December 5, 2009

1st Home Study Visit

Hi all,
I'm sorry serving up the details has been a bit delayed.
Yesterday proved to be a big day.
We started out with our home study,
grabbed a quick lunch to hash out the details,
then I had a lactation consult with a friend and her beautiful 2 day old baby girl,
and finally we celebrated my Mom's birthday last night.
I was beyond functioning by the time we made it home.
But after sleeping late this morning I feel much better! :)
I think God used a busy afternoon to keep me from over analyzing our visit. Thank you Lord for your infinite wisdom!

Our visit was scheduled for 9am.
We got the kids up early and ready for school.
Andy picked up biscuits for us and Duchess donuts for our social worker.
Joseph made his bed and straightened his room,
without being asked I might add. :)
James' was a bit grouchy, so we just let him play after breakfast.
While Andy took the boys to school I showered.
Andy wore jeans and a dress shirt.
I went with jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt and my fluffy vest.
Cute and comfy.

Jennifer arrived a few minutes early and was super nice.
She had on jeans so that made me feel better about my wardrobe choice.
She didn't eat or drink anything, although we offered.
But she did take her fresh donuts with her.
When you offer stranger food do you always feel obligated to say things like,
I promise, we don't have cooties?! :)


We spent about 2 hours sitting in our living room talking.
At first it felt weird to be telling such personal details to a stranger.
And then I kept thinking how surreal it was to finally be having our visit!
Thanks Andy for asking me to turn off the ceiling fan.
But how were you know I hadn't cleaned it in 2 weeks?!


So as we sat under my dusty fan here's what we discussed...
1. We talked about our marriage. How did we meet? What was our first date like? Did we have a big wedding? You know I busted out the wedding photo album! Once we laid the foundation of "us" we progressed into the nitty gritty. What are your strengths as a married couple? What are your weaknesses?? Who handles the finances?? What does a normal disagreement look like in your home?? Let me tell you, we were honest. We told her we send the kids outside, get real with each other, probably yell, then talk it through, come to an agreement, I might cry, then we move on. We told her we both pray about our marriage, that is was very important for us to be on the same page.
2. She asked about our kids. What were they like? What did they think about us adopting? We talked about our parenting style. And because Andy and I are the chattiest married couple, we told lots of stories about our kids! The good, the bad and the discipline. :)
3. Then we moved onto what our family and friends think about the adoption. And let me tell, I told her all the people who weren't fans of our choice. The cool thing is that she and her husband are in the process of adopting their first child. A little boy from Korea. She totally understood how your closest loved ones could be your harshest critics. But we focused on the good. We talked about the extraordinary amount of love and support we've received. The friends and family who've given encouragement, helped with fundraisers, and the donations that we've been surprised with!
4. Of course she touched on our finances. Had anything changed from our application information? I did clarify that throughout the adoption process if anything changes in your household you report it to the agency. New job, someone staying with you for awhile, marriage problems, medical changes. They keep up to date on everything. Which I guess is good. The more they know you the better they can represent you.

Next we toured the house.
She looked at every room.
The focus was on Emily Margaret's room.
My plan is to combine my office with Andy's and then convert my office to her room.
My vision is that once she's older she can play in her room while mommy works. :)
The room that will be hers is actually the formal dining room.
The main stipulations was that it was large enough, check, that it had a window, check, and proper ventilation, check.
In the state of Alabama each child does not have to have their own room.
BUT, to adopt from China they do!
So, our social worker will submit the report but we might have to make changes.
That would mean the boys sharing a room and Emily Margaret having one of theirs.
Joseph's comment last night when I told him?
But mom, we could always change it back, right??
Yes son, absolutely!

The checklist requires that we have smoke detectors by the bedrooms, check.
We also needed a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen, uhm no check.
Who knew?
We weren't total losers, we did have one in the garage.
No worries Emily Margaret,
Big Daddy's already committed to taking care of that before the next visit!

We scheduled our next visit for December 22nd.
During the next visit she'll do individual interviews with each of the Hinson four.
Please Lord, let little James be on his best behavior!
Our homework assignment?
Complete and turn in our autobiographies before we meet.
We also have Child Abuse and Neglect forms to complete and send in.
All adults and children over fourteen living in the home must submit them.
Since Joseph will be fourteen in May, yes, fourteen he'll complete one too!
We also have to mail in our finger print paperwork.
Oh, I'm also thinking I'll finish decorating for Christmas and get all these boxes out of the house!

Because I'm result driven I had to ask...
did we pass our 1st home study visit??
Her answer,
Yes!
HOORAY!!!
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.
We couldn't make it down this long path without you!
God's blessings on your afternoon, Sarah :D

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ready?!

Hi all, happy Thursday!
I just wanted to let you know we're still on for the home study visit tomorrow.
And-I'm-s-o- ready-for-this-process-to-finally-begin!
Hooray, hooray! :)

I'm glad that today I'm finishing up the house.
It's not perfect.
But with the help of the Hinson boys it's right on schedule.
As I've dusted and mopped my mind has wondered things like...
1. Will our social worker look in our closets?
2. What should I wear?
3. Could I offer her breakfast?

I'm not sure if our social worker will be like Nanny 911
OR
more like a Mary Poppins.
Hmh??

By this time tomorrow I'll be able to tell you for sure. :)

Thank you God for the peace and joy over this process that you are providing. Please continue to rain down your blessings on the Hinson four, who long to be five.

God's blessings on your day, Sarah :D
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