One more child …

July 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Posted in adoption | Leave a comment

My sweet friend Laura from college is getting on a plane and heading to Ethiopia to bring home their little boy! I am so excited for them! That is one more child who has a family! Check out her blog and her incredible creations here.

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Adoption- we can’t forget

January 28, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Posted in adopting august, adoption | 10 Comments

This morning Steven left for work, August is still asleep and I find that my mind is racing. In the midst of talking so much about domestic adoption I feel like God has led me to this place.

Adoption is circling heavily in my life right now. I feel as if our generation is rising up and really making a difference. There are many couples who are starting the process, waiting or at least inspired enough to really think and pray about the possibility.

Steven and I did not struggle with infertility. We did not go through disappointment after disappointment of longing to be pregnant and it not happening for us. We longed for a child in our family. I waited for about a year and half- each day longing for a child. God made it very clear that our firstborn was not to be biological. I have very close friends that I have walked through infertility with. It is painful and seems very unfair. On many occasions I have cried out to God for them begging him for a child for them. I have seen God cultivate a heart for adoption through infertility for many couples.

Adoption is sooooo veryyyy hard. It is not a “fun” journey of “getting a baby.” I hate that phrase by the way. There are new struggles and waiting that seem to consume your thoughts and take FOREVER. It is painful. It is a journey. In the midst of all of these struggles it is easy to lean towards the mindset of “I just want a baby.” I can imagine that it would be harder/worse if you have struggled through infertility. If you are a believer in God and live your life in such a way that you honor him before yourself I think there is a great opportunity to apply this to adoption. I realize that your heart can already feel exhausted and the last thing you want to do is put someone else before your self in this emotional time

In the midst of your heartache and pain it could be easy to lose the face and name of this mom who is making an incredibly hard decision. As you are waiting or when you are chosen I truly believe that you have a unique opportunity to pray for the BEST situation to happen. I do believe that the best scenario is for her to parent her child. It is her baby. This part of domestic adoption is not the favorite subject to talk about. However it is an integral part. It is her choice. It is her baby. It is a choice that she needs to make and not be talked into. I think its so important to know this ahead of time. It is VERY possible that she could change her mind. She has every right to. It hurts, it is feared but it is part of it.

With every adoption there is a different story. In domestic adoption there is a tendency to always call the girls birthmoms but I am not comfortable doing that because they are not birthmoms until that baby is born, papers are signed and their rights are given over by their own doing. I call them moms- because that is who they are. There are moms who are young, there are moms who are older. There are moms that have taken care of themselves/baby and there are moms who have not. There are moms who this is their first baby to place. There are moms who this is their 5th baby to place. There are moms who have genuine intentions and there are moms who are working the system. Every scenario is different. None of them are better than any other. They are each unique and loved by God. It is what it is. As a believer I think that you can deeply pray for her and love her during your brief interaction. No matter if you think she “deserves” it or not. It is not for you to judge her circumstances or place of life.

For us, we developed a great love for our mom before we were ever chosen. We had decided that if her changing her mind was part of our journey than so be it. We know that God is big and sees the bigger picture. It was not about us. It was not about us “getting a baby”. After months of praying for her and waiting patiently to meet her we were finally chosen. I can not begin to describe my heart towards her the day we were finally able to meet. It was a unique opportunity for us to love on her and be Jesus to her. To want the best for her and support her no matter what that may be- even if that meant pain for us. We never considered August “our” baby. He was her baby. She shocked us by asking us to consider him our baby. I would have NEVER done this before. She wanted us to love him and be his parents. I was honored that she chose us for this. She loved him. We had him for 3 weeks before we knew that he was “our” baby. We loved him and treated him as our own but knew that he was still hers. He will always be hers. Now we just share him. 🙂

I guess the point of this whole post is to remember the moms. Don’t forget their stories. Love on them, honor them with your words and your heart. Try and get to a place where you love them and serve them even if it brings you pain. This is the gospel lived out. It may be part of your journey that your mom changes her mind. God has the child for you and your family. As we look at Job’s life we know that that journey could lead us through a great amount of pain before we get to a place where we understand (if we ever do). God loves us and loves these moms.

I pray that a love for adoption will keep growing in our generation. There are sooooooooooo many kids that need families. There is a need for international and domestic. I pray that every family would consider adoption as part of their own journey. It is a clear picture of God adopting us into his family and loving us as his own. Everyone can play a role in adoption. Whether that be financially, adding a child to your family, supporting single moms, praying for waiting families and praying for families struggling with infertility. I can honestly say that every moment of heartache was worth it. I love August more than I ever thought was possible.

Heavy heart

January 8, 2009 at 6:46 am | Posted in adoption, Family, God, love | 1 Comment

Tonight my heart is so heavy for those who are walking through the international adoption process. I have read 5 different blogs tonight of families who are waiting. Waiting to get on a plane to go and get their kids. Waiting on just a few more departments in order to get on a plane and get their kids. Waiting to see what the next step is. Waiting to see if Haiti will still accept them even though their laws just changed today. There seems to be immense joy and immense heartache with international adoption. Tonight I am led to cover these 5 families in prayer. Through joy and the pain. I read an incredible quote from Kim’s blog that her husband said, “Faith is Hearing the voice of God and Trusting the Heart of God enough to Act on what you have heard.”

I am so thankful that we have couples in our lives that are acting on their faith and truly pushing Steven and I. Each of these 5 families has been an encouragement. I can’t help but think it will be us one day. I can’t help but long for that day to come sooner than later. It is growing to be a deeper longing in my heart.

Tonight I walked into August’s room and watched him sleep. I kissed his sweet face. He was so peaceful. I can’t imagine my life without him. What would our lives be like if we had not adopted him? It was hard and long but I would do it 3 times over for him. I am so thankful that his mom kept him and decided to place him up for adoption. I am so thankful she chose us out of all the families she had to choose from. I am so thankful for her and her life that it brings me to tears. I am so thankful that God led us to him. Words don’t do justice for the love we have for him.

So tonight: I am praying for these sweet children and the families that long for them. I am praying that their families are united quickly and that God would hold those precious children tonight and let them feel the love that he has for them and that their families have for them. Tonight I am so thankful for our sweet little boy. Tonight I am dreaming about our future family.

Amazed

October 1, 2008 at 3:35 am | Posted in adoption, Updates | 15 Comments

One of the reasons I love adoption is that every adoption experience is different. Each situation is unique with different circumstances and different people.

I have felt very blessed in this experience. Today was no exception. I am going to refer to her as “A” from now on. I don’t want to share her name or a ton about her just out of respect for her. Again, if there weren’t so many people interested in adoption- I would probably not share any info about today. I love her so much and just want to honor her throughout this process.

Today was nothing short of amazing. We were so nervous and excited. It feels like we have waited for this day since August of 07. I have imagined what it would be like and I can say that it exceeded my expectations!

We got there this morning and met with our social worker for about 30 mins and then A and her social worker came into the room. We were so excited to finally see her!! We gave her flowers and hugged. She was so nervous and excited. We sat down and the conversation just started flowing. I don’t think the social workers said anything until about 30 mins into it! She asked so many questions about us and who we are. We did the same about her. We asked what her interests were and what she liked to do. We asked what her fears were and if there were any deeper questions that she wanted to ask us. There were several questions that she asked that were so convincing to us that she has an enormous love for this baby. We never doubted that but it was so fun to see it in her face. She is so beautiful and has an incredible personality!! We never stopped talking the entire time. She said over and over that she was so excited for us. That was very hard for me to hear. I wanted to encourage her and love on her and in turn she was glowing and so very excited for us. I wanted to be able to tell her that back but I can imagine that there will be sadness ahead for her. The reality was very difficult. I don’t even have words to describe that feeling.

When we began this process and throughout I have said that I will love that baby for as long as we have him. I did not feel as if I could call him my own until the 10 days were up and everything was done. Today I left with a very different feeling. I felt as if she was pleading for us to love this baby as our own from the time he comes out of her. She stated that she has thought about this decision for 9 months and she feels like she is carrying this baby for us. Did you get that? For us. This statement knocked me off my feet. I NEVER thought she would feel that way. I guess I thought she would be wavering in her decision. She sounds so sure of what she really really wants to do. I left with a sense of ownership after I saw her sweet face and listened to her ask us to be ready to parent this child because thats what she wanted. I have such a deep love and respect for her. She chose life for this baby. She LOVES this baby but this is what she wants. I just feel so humbled and honored. So I am ready. I am ready to treat this child as our own because that is what A wants. She really really wants that. If she changes her mind- we will be fine. This is just a huge way for us to honor her right now. She told us that she wants us to be excited and to not fear about her changing her mind because she isn’t going to.

So yes, we are elated. I have 2 more solid nights of sleep and then its all over!!!! I am taking time tomorrow just to get everything ready, pray and read. I am very excited. We will go Thursday and at noon will have a baby!! I really feel that God was honored today. I hope He was. We wanted her to see him and be able to share as much as we could of his love for us. We prayed with her and hugged and had a wonderful time. I will never forget today. It is just as special as the day we will see August.

We had one big thing that we learned today. The “10” days won’t be up until the 23rd. There are a couple reasons as to why but I won’t go into all that. We laughed out loud when we heard that. God is just so wanting us to be stretched and to trust Him. We just had to laugh. We will be fine.

Oh one more thing- we got a call today and there is a guy who is trying to get financing to put an offer on our house!! Does anybody see how hilarious this all is????? We are praying that he gets it and that this will be the end of our house selling strains!!

Thank you all so much for walking with us and praying. Please please pray for A as she goes in Thursday. I know she is very nervous and ready for all of this to be over. I am just praying for peace and for her to be able to sleep easy these next 2 nights. Please pray that we can share more of God with her. We love you guys and thank you for your prayers today!!!

38 hours and counting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is a huge day!

September 30, 2008 at 1:42 pm | Posted in adoption, Updates | 9 Comments

This is a huge day for us. It is one that we have looked forward to since we started this process. Today is the day that we meet our sweet mom. I really could not explain my heart this morning if I tried. I think the only way to,  would be to say that my heart is flooding for her this morning. I can’t wait to hug her, give her huge beautiful flowers and tell her how humbled we are that she chose us to parent this baby. I long to tell her that we never want her to factor in hurting us in her decision. We love her and want her to make a decision that she can live with for the rest of her life. I could go on and on. I could seriously talk her head off but I don’t want to do that. Please just pray that we only say what God would have us say today. That my mouth would stay closed when it  needs to and only open with words that bring peace and love. It is NOT about us. It is about serving her and making her feel loved. I don’t know what to expect. I am praying against it being awkward and me talking to much because I am nervous!!

We are more than excited. We are ready. We are ready to go forward no matter what that might bring. So many of you have emailed or sent texts and it brings tears to my eyes to think about each of your hearts towards us. We love you all so much and could never repay the amazing love and support you have shown us! Thank you for walking with us through this journey. This is one big week!!

T-r-u-s-t

September 24, 2008 at 5:54 pm | Posted in adoption, God, Life, love, My Husband, Thoughts on God | 5 Comments

Friday I had a major meltdown. I felt it coming. It consisted of me being furious with God. I did not want to talk to anyone. I told God that I had felt abandoned by him. I was so angry that “it seemed” nothing was working out for us. It had been (what we thought) was a major set back. I didn’t know how God was going to provide our own place for us to live in order to go to nashville for our adoption. I didn’t know how we were going to get the rest of our money. I questioned God as to why he told us (in the middle of this adoption) to pick up and move our whole lives, wait for our house to sell and wait for all of the details to work out. I was so angry with God. There was a lot more to it than just those things but you get the gist of it.

I could go on and on about how God has provided and “fixed” every issue that I was upset about on Friday. That is not the issue that I am broken about. I am so broken that I just don’t trust him. When in your life do you stop questioning his love for you? Is there a day when you look in the mirror and say, “ok, no more. I will trust God for the rest of my life that he is good, he loves me and that I need to trust him.” At what point do we stop this pattern of getting impatient with God and turning to our own ways to try and “fix” what he is not working out for us?? Do I worry about whether Steven loves me or not? NO and he has only been in my life for the last 5 years. So why do I worry about God’s love and provision for my life? God made me! Steven didn’t make me and look how much he loves me! How much greater is our Father’s love for us?! Is it enough that we just say we are just like the Israelites and excuse it all away? My anger has turned from God to myself.

The one thing that is so evident throughout my life is that God has led me throughout all of it. He has walked beside me and led me the entire way. When things look like they are going wrong or they look chaotic it has been because God is putting a new spin on a situation to make it work better than what it was before. I can name like 5 things off the top of my head that he has done this for and I know there are so many more.

So when do we stop turning to our own understanding and start trusting? Even when “bad” things happen. He is still there. His hand is still holding us.

I think the greatest thing that I have learned is that I don’t have to fear what lies ahead. Today- I don’t have to fear what our sweet mom chooses. God is in control of all of our hearts and I am praying that his hand is soverign. If I lost Steven today- would I trust that God would provide for me and get me through that? I am really trying to get there. I know this is true because I have seen God provide for a very precious friend of mine through the loss of her husband. If I die today- I don’t have to fear death. I get to be with the God of my heart. God has taken my fear away when I trust Him.

Can we push ourselves and let him teach us how to pattern our life to trust and not doubt as a first reaction?  I just get so frustrated that the very things I struggled with in highschool are the very things I still struggle with today. I want to get past this in my life!!!!!!

So today I am trusting which brings rest to my soul.

trust: to have confidence, be pursuaded, assurance, believe

confidence: standing under, set, a foundation, endure, undertake anything, boldness, affirm constantly

I am becoming more and more familiar with these words.

“Trust (believe, have confidence in) the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord I repent of my lack of faith. Teach me to have bigger faith and to trust you with my life!

OK now I am really excited!!

September 12, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Posted in adoption, Family, Life, My Husband, Updates | 23 Comments

These last couple of weeks or so I have been so focused on going to Haiti and what is going on in Haiti that I have kinda put the whole baby thing on hold in my mind until I get back. I guess I didn’t even realized I was doing it!! Our sweet friends Guy and Tracy just had their baby yesterday and to see pictures of her just makes me want to jump off of the chair I am sitting in and do a toe touch!! Oh my gosh I can’t wait to hold that baby and then to hold baby August. We now call August, baby August because the Ivey kids talk about baby August all the time! I have so many pictures for him when he gets here! I am trying to focus on Haiti and be mentally prepared for it and then trying to finish up Baby Wise and be ready to be a parent too. These are 2 huge things in my life right now that take so much preparation. Its so much!!! I went to the doctor the other day and got all my shots, malaria and typhoid pills. Let me tell you that this malaria pill is crazy!! My dreams have been crazy!! This is my first time to take it.

I am also excited because we got an apartment today!!!!!! We are so excited and love it and the area so much. I feel like it took a while to decide on an area to live in and I just know this is it and we love this apt!!  We still have to be approved and we are not moving in until late october. This gives us time to go to Tennessee and decide on something about our freaking house that won’t sell!! I know its all in God’s timing. I am just ready to be out from underneath it so we can move on with our lives. We walked through the new apt again today and were planning out where everything would go. I can’t wait to get our stuff out of storage and get that crib in the baby room!! Sorry there are lots of exclamation points in this blog but I am just super excited about life right now. 🙂

If you will please pray for Jamie, Chrystal and I on our trip to Haiti. Pray for safety and that we can get to the Rescue Center.

Please pray for Steven’s family who is sitting in the direct line of Hurricane Ike. They are all out but I am just praying that they don’t loose anything due to the storm surge. So crazy. We love them so much and are so excited that we are here to help them in any way that we can!

Please pray for our house to sell and for the upcoming adoption!

We love you guys so much!!

Honesty

September 4, 2008 at 5:33 am | Posted in adoption, Thoughts on God | 6 Comments

I have had a hard time with what blog needs to come after our wonderful announcement. I have been trying to think of something to say along the lines of how we are doing and what is going on right now. I don’t like to leave anyone hanging! The more I tried to think of what to say the more I came to grips with the fact that I really didn’t want to share what is going on inside of me and my heart right now. My heart is very messy right now. But for the simple facts that there are many people who are following this blog and if we can be an example to others FOR adoption then I guess being honest can be worth it!?

First of all this is a domestic adoption and the baby will be born on October 2nd (if anyone feels lost here!)

I would think you would all be able to guess how excited we are?? That should be a given.

I don’t really even know how to start all of this but I just wanted to share this part of the journey. Its kind of scattered.

I am very guarded right now. I want you to know before hand that I am already in love with the child that God has for us and will not have a problem becoming attached quickly. There is a small part of me that is scared of getting hurt. I think that could be a given also. This is not a done deal. Its hard for me to let my heart emotionally attach to this specific child. Not because I couldn’t but because I am trying not to.

More than anything the reason that I am guarded is because of the sweet mom of this child. At this point she is very firm in her decision. She has made it very clear what she wants to happen and how much she wants us to parent this child. I have SOOOOOOO much respect for her. She has chosen life.

My heart and my spirit cannot get to a place of 100% embracing the fact that this child is our child yet. I struggle with what she would want of me right now. Would she be disappointed if she knew that I am trying to wait to spill out my love? Does she want me to embrace this child whole heartedly right now as my child? I feel like I am trying to honor her by holding back for right now. I am doing it because I care for her.

I just cannot go there until papers are signed and everything is cleared. I don’t want to go there yet. I want her to have her own time to make this decision and follow through with what she believes in. I want this to be her time. I want her to feel the freedom to change her mind if she wants to. I want to meet her and love on her as her. I want to minister to her. I want to help her. I NEVER want to look at her as just the carrier of our baby. That statement makes my skin crawl. If she follows through with everything- we will have our time. I just want this to be hers. If this is what she really wants I will 1,000% step in and love this child as if he came out of my body. I am ready for that. I have been ready. I am just waiting to see how all of this plays out.

We haven’t met her yet. We will the week of her delivery. I am greatly looking forward to that day.

For however long we have him, whether it be a lifetime or for 2 days- the moment I see him I know I will love him. I will take care of him, I will kiss all over his sweet face. I will hold him, I will love him.  I can’t consider him Steven and Maris Bush’s baby until everything is all over but I will love him.

I am speaking for myself here (Maris). I am not saying that Steven feels this way also. I just wanted to let you in on some of my thoughts as we approach October 2nd.

We are getting ready. We are excited. This is a journey that we are just daily walking through and figuring it out as we walk. I am so so thankful for all of your sweet comments. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your prayers for us and our sweet mom. We will keep you updated!

guess what???

August 26, 2008 at 4:57 am | Posted in adoption, Family, Life | 19 Comments

You guessed it!! October 2nd there will be a precious little boy born and his mother has chosen us to parent him!!!!! It is coming very soon and we could not be more excited!!!! Our social worker called and said, “Maris this is THE call. She chose you and Steven!!” Those were the words that we have longed to hear for a year now. Today we realized that in just a few days it will mark an exact year since we began this journey to our sweet August.

We are still very aware that she can change her mind and decide to parent this precious boy and we are begging God that she would make the right decision for her and this baby. We still feel that she is the BEST and number 1 option, but if she decides to place we are there to parent this child. For today she is confident in her decision and we are going to move forward with it and be ecstatic!!!!!!!

I know that you all know the first name but for (I believe) the first time we are announcing his full name:

August Henry Bush 🙂 🙂 🙂

We love this little guy with all of our hearts already and have experienced a new joy that neither of us have ever felt before.

Please pray for her and this baby. Our mom is deeply on my heart today. Please pray that our house will sell very soon so we won’t be homeless and have a baby at the same time! Please pray that God would provide the rest of our money needed to complete this adoption.

We love all of you so much and thank you for walking this journey with us!

Changes

July 27, 2008 at 4:50 pm | Posted in adoption, Church, Family, Life, My Husband, Thoughts on God, Updates | 2 Comments

Warning: Very nostalgic about my life right now if you don’t want to hear about it don’t read!!

As most of you know by now we are moving to Austin, Texas. I am more than excited about this move! I can’t wait to get there and to be at an incredible church and be in an awesome town. We have always said that IF we ever decided to live in Texas it would have to be Austin. I am so so excited for my husband and what the winds of change are bringing to his life. I am so excited to see life in his face and excitement in his eyes. His joy is worth it all right now. I am excited for what Austin will bring to both of our lives. I know God has great great plans for us there and my heart is racing on how we can get there faster!!

I would be lying if I said I am not a little torn right now though. I love Tennessee! I love the weather, I love the beautiful fall colors, I LOVE downtown Nashville, I love the community of friends that I have here and I adore my parents. The closer that this move gets the harder it is getting. I know that I am about to uproot my whole life and move it 14 hours away to a state that I have never lived in. I am moving to a state where everybody very annoyingly seems to think it is perfect. Texas will be great but I don’t think I will ever think its the greatest! I am more than ready to get there. I am 50% ecstatic and 50% bummed. Those are some pretty conflicting emotions!!

I have been out of my house for 10 days now and to come home has been wonderful. This is one of my last Sundays in this house. I have all the blinds open, laundry running constantly, my house is spotless and I am taking in every last few moments that I have here. This is our first house that we have owned together. We have put many hours of work into this house and we have never stopped loving it. If we were staying here I really think we would make it work for a very long time. This house is so small but I think it has taught us so much about simplifying our lives and making the best of what you have. We will always love this house.

I am really having to trust God’s timing in our lives right now. It is harder than anything I have ever had to do. My mind is CONSTANTLY racing through life and what it will look like. My mind is full and my heart is heavy. We have had 1 person look at our house in over 30 days and we are having to drop the price. I am more than worried but having to make myself trust that God is in control. We have to move regardless of whether it sells or not in August. I HATE having to live with people and feeling like we are putting people out. I really pride myself on not being a burden to others. I am just really trying to trust that God knows what is going on. I am also so torn on our baby. I think about this baby every moment I am awake. There is so much going on. I have no idea how this will all work out. I want to get chosen so badly and have a baby soon. My moments with God have been so sweet. I have had Hillsong United playing all morning over and over and over and over and over. I need this repetition playing in my head right now. It helps me so much to sort through anxiety and see the big picture and what my life is meant for. Adoption is sooo unbelievably hard. I would take labor for 12 hours over a year of anticipating this child and it is not getting any easier! I know all of this will be worth it in the end. Sorry for all the venting- it just all really needed to come out before I explode in a mess of tears all over my husband.

Please pray for our house to sell.

Please pray that we get chosen and for our mom who is making even harder decisions than what I am dealing with right now. Her pains are so much greater than mine and that is breaking my heart right now. I pray for her so much and my heart is so heavy for her.

Thank you for listening to me vent.

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