Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jack Cruz Update

Well... actually not too much to update on little bit himself, as we haven't gotten a pic or well baby checkup for quite some time.  We were told that the "older than 12 months kids" would start going every other month since there are so many babies in rotation right now.  This momma heart thinks that new routine stinks.  It is no fun to go a couple of months without any info on your baby all the way around the globe.  The only thing we've heard recently is that he went in for yet another procedure last month, though we don't really have any results or pertinent information on it.  He goes almost every month for this same type procedure, and truthfully, I know that he is receiving amazing care, but I really wish he could just hold off on any more poking and prodding until he is snuggled in my arms and I can be the one to take him.  I know he's in amazing care, but still... he's my little baby and its hard not to be able to mother him right now...

Onto our process:

We are patiently {truthfully- so far we are doing ok with this particular part of the wait, though of course with adoption, soon is never soon enough} waiting for our court*date.  We were told yesterday that there is a little snag with our paperwork and our agency is trying to work through that and really there's nothing Justin and I can do about it, other than wait and hope its all ironed out lickity split.  We are praying its really nothing and will continue to be processed quickly.

**UPDATED:  Unfortunately, the snag is a little more concerning than we originally thought.  We humbly covet your prayers that all paperwork issues can be aligned into place and that we will be well on our way to our little boy.**

Even though we have been assigned to a judge who has in the past been a bit behind the others, we have a peace about it.  And for that matter, for whatever reason, I just felt very certain he was our judge anyway, so I wasn't the least bit surprised by this news.  I also feel like I need to knock on some wood just in case, but I realllly do think we will travel for C sooner rather than later.  I sure do HOPE so, at least.  And we've also been told that the families who have appeared in front of him have been very pleased with him and that his demeanor is very polite and encouraging.  That's certainly great news!

Our fingerprints expire again August 17th and his birthday is September 3rd.  I would LOVE to have him home by Aug 17 so Justin doesn't have to take off work and us pay again for reprints (if you're keeping count this will be the fifth re-fingerprinting....but I'd REALLLLLY LOVE to have him home by his birthday.

Alrighty.  Keep praying sweet friends!  We are getting sooooo close to our little one!

{thankful for}
foster Omma and Appa who love on our boy while we can't
A God who holds my baby in his arms, always 
an adoption program that takes extraordinary care of my baby's health, even when its hard to read
the photos and info that we do have, as we know 
we are very lucky with the amount of info we have been given

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy {Seventh} to My Love

Today we celebrate {later}.

{pic of a pic}

Seven years ago today, we are:

one home
one kid
almost an adoption
a preschooler
four dogs
one cat
one frog
one emergency room trip
two scars
two vehicles
three hair colors
three passports
two 'flight' trips
a few thrill rides
a college degree
two new careers
one hotel that has now become 'ours'
a fancy shmancy dinner experience
a Disney cruise
a questionable two hour long van/taxi ride
hundreds of star fishing flinging
polar plunge splashes
one baby dedication
millions of kisses
countless Disney channel episodes
numerous Bible stories
thousands of baby belly giggles
psychological testing
some serious stomach bugs
lots of new friends
a few dreams
tens of thousands of photos capturing so many beautiful memories


I promise to love you for all the laters of my life!  

Thank you for being my best friend, Hunny Bunny, Jelly to our PB, and the best Daddy I've ever seen.

Happy {Seventh} Anniversary!  

One day more...

{thankful for}
my husband
our beautiful honeymoon
wedding dress shopping with my Mommy
sparklers for our 'farewell'
a back-up car that carried us to our home
the little family that we've made

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day! {to me}

Mother's Day is such a special day to me.  I've wanted to be a Mommy since, probably, the age of four.  As soon as I grasped the concept of Mommy, I knew I wanted to be one.  I'm so thankful that five years ago {has it seriously already been FIVE years?!} God blessed us with our beautiful Perry.  Last year, just four days prior to Mother's Day, we saw Jack Cruz's face.  We started simultaneously falling face first in love and praying for guidance as to whether or not this was our son.  And by Mother's Day {also our sixth wedding anniversary} I was a blubbering mess in church, knowing that this child was to be our second son.  Justin and I could absolutely not wait to tell our agency that we wanted to be this little one's Mommy and Daddy.
To commemorate this special day, I asked for only one thing:  a longer-than-normal photo session with both my boys, full of smiles and zero complaining.  'Cause let's be real.  Boys don't love photo sessions. I was so excited to try out a new location and couldn't wait to shoot till my heart's content with nothing but positive attitudes!!  ... All I can say is at least one of my guys held up his part of the bargain!  The other one had to be bribed with an ice cream cone, a pack of rainbow sour straws, a bag of cheesy bugles, and a Dr. Pepper.  And in this Mom's world, good shots are worth all the above, and more if I'm being honest.  Plus, his lack of enthusiasm for the camera today kept us giggling the whole time.  Especially when he declared, "Happy Mother's Day Mommy!  I minded so good!"  {bahahaha... not so much, little buddy, but I love you to the moon and back anyway!}
{I have a ton more to edit and go through, but after our session I am exhausted!  We're calling it an early night here at the Murphree residence!  Tomorrow, Justin and I get to celebrate seven incredible years of marriage!}

{thankful for}
two one very willing participant in Mommy's photo shoot
ice cream that makes it worth it
two silly photo assistants
beautiful eyes
my handsome hubby who loves me so well
the gift of Mommyhood
Ingram's Baby Dedication
a newfound Korean church

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Formal Easter Photos {Who am I Kidding?!}

So... I do my very best to make {formal} holiday pictures quick {we're talking ten minutes or less} and as painless as possible for all involved.  Pun intended Lisser.

And if P's in a good mood, it is pretty easy to get what I want in five minutes or less.  If he is not in a photo mood, its an ENTIRELY different story.  Thankfully, the cards were in my favor today.  

I don't even mind these, "Mom, I reallllllly wanna go ride my four-wheeler, can we puh-LEEZ, hurry this up already?!"shots.

Or these 'Auntie Lisser is a bad influence' shots.

But this right here.
This smile is A MILLION BUCKS to my heart.

And seriously I could squish him... and please stop growing.

And this, Ladies and Gents, is mid-family-shot when my photographer had to go and stomp all over a poor pitiful yellow jacket and then pardon herself out of commission.  
Good thing she wasn't expecting a tip.
{ahem... maybe if she was taking her job seriously instead of stuffing Maple leaves up her nose and distracting my kiddo, she might have been paying a little more attention and actually watching where she was stepping.  Of course, she could have always just worn shoes... I digress.  I'm not bitter over only having one family photo, at all. ;)}

Let's hear it for the boys.  I should throw in that that is a legit bow tie {thank you Becky!  He LOVES it!}, no clip-ons here, perfectly tied by Daddy, who rocks in his many amazing talents.  
{There is NO WAY I could have EVER tied that thing!}

And Mommy loves you to forever and back.  From the East to the West and all in between.

I have a thing against hunting 'fake' plastic eggs, but our Easter egg dying was a little bit unconventional this year {coincidentally, complicated by the same blonde haired being that can't seem to wear shoes....} and there just weren't that many boiled eggs to find.  
I'm trying to learn to let some things in life go.

And he is off to dominate the egg hunt.  I hope Jack Cruz is competitive.  

{thankful for}
a photographer who's willing to go into anaphylactic shock to get me a family photo
baby boy bow ties
Daddy's hands
the perfect Easter basket
glorious weather
a smile that lights up the world
one year knowing Jack Cruz

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Heirloom Easter Baskets

This year, Easter was magnificent.  Not that it isn't always magnificent, but I think after 27 years, I got the Easter story a little bit more.  Though we've been in the adoption process for two other Easters, this was the first year that we have had a child that we are waiting on during the Easter season.  This process is long, tiring, hard, painful, and expensive.  And there are many times when I feel like I just can't make it another day.  And yet, to adopt me, Jesus was bruised, beaten, crushed, and hung on a cross for six hours.  He literally paid his life for me.  To welcome me into his family, he gave it all.  How great is the love our Father has for his children?!

I wanted to give a little back story to Perry and Jack's Easter baskets this year, because the 'gifts' in them were extra meaningful.  (If I start to feel ambitious, I'll try to hunt down and link the other posts, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one....)

Just a few months into our adoption process, for what we thought was our little girl, Ruby Grace, Justin took me to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert where we listened to amazing music and also were able to listen to Steven and Mary Beth's testimony of adoption and faith.  It was so moving and an amazing night of hope.  While we were there, I fell in love with the Cinderella doll (made by the AMAZING Baby be Blessed company) and knew that I wanted one for our sweet Ruby Grace.  Though we didn't have the extra money at the time, Justin was sweet enough to surprise me with one for our daughter as my Christmas present that year.  I loved the doll so much that I looked up their company and saw where you could personalize the doll with your child's name and a special Bible verse.  And the next Christmas my mother gave me a BbB gift certificate so that I could get Miss Ruby her very own doll with her Life Verse on it.   So little Miss (wherever she maybe, whenever she may come home-because yes, Justin and I both still feel 110% sure that we have a daughter to be found one day) already has two dolls that mean the world to me.

Which got me to thinking that I wanted something that meaningful for both my boys too.  Obviously not dolls, per se, but I hopped back on the BbB site to see what I could come up with.  I knew I had seen scripture crowns on there before, but I saw BbB Buddies!!  The cutest little animals that would do perfectly.  So, I decided that would be my boy's main Christmas presents for this last year.  I ordered P a monkey, because he is my little monkey, and J a little lamb, because I've unintentionally sent him several little lambs in care packages.  I had both their life verses and names added and it was just perfect!!  Only, some things came up and instead of them being delivered in December, they didn't make it until March!!  (Warning- though this company is FABULOUS, you must order MONTHS in advance.  Like, I ordered in September and it should have been in by December, but b/c of some computer issues, a few miscommunications, and a death in the BbB family, they were a little late.  Which was perfectly fine b/c they ended up coming on a day that I needed the reminder of hope the very most.  Another example of when things don't seem to be going our way, God's timing is always spot on!)

I also happened to stumble across another lady that made these beautiful pillows (though she's no longer in business I begged sweet talked her into doing them for me.  They were also something that took about four months to get-yet SO worth the wait.)   I had wanted an heirloom pillow for Perry when he was first born, but again, money was pretty tight and at the time it just didn't happen.  So although my boys don't have many sentimental treasures, they both now have two that mean the world to me and will hopefully to them one day too.  (The boys' names are hand appliqued and their life verse is hand stitched around their names.)

I have shared before their Life Verses, Perry's: He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Ecclesiastes 3:11 and Jack Cruz's: Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask for or imagine.  Ephesians 3:20.  Perry has taught me so much as a mother.  Every time that I think it couldn't get better than this time or this particular age, it does.  Not that the early stages are less amazing than now, but that each stage truly is beautiful and amazing.  I am so thankful for the gift of motherhood and the beauty that is in all stages of watching a child grow into the person God has them to be.  And sweet Jack Cruz.  We had no clue the blessings and happiness God had in store for us with him.  {And he's not even here yet!  It's going to be so amazing when he finally is!}  He took us completely by surprise.  We were waiting for a girl.  His special need was one we had never even considered.  In fact, one of us who will remain nameless looked at that particular SN and said nope.  No how, no way.  In an effort to protect J's privacy, I will just say that of the two SNs he has, one involved the potential need for a wheel chair.  Would you believe that our house is already wheel chair accessible?  And ya'll should have heard is sweet Daddy 'fighting' for him on our phone committee interview!  The love for this child we've never even held, who has needs that initially were super scary to us.  And then to see the battle that Daddy would face head on just to bring him home!!  When we saw Jack, we saw our son and all that fear just melted away.  God had SO MUCH MORE planned for us with this little angel than we could ever have asked for or imagined.  And we are thankful.  

In this season of Easter, I'm so thankful for God's mercy and grace.  His forgiveness and love.  His abounding goodness when we don't deserve it.  That He listens to and hears us when we call.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a Mommy to my boys and a child of the King, all in the same.  I'm thankful for my Abba Father overcoming the grave and making a way for me to live eternally with Him.  

{thankful for}
my living redeemer
the good news
matching Easter baskets
heirloom gifts
blonde bed head
a beautiful morning
Easter service

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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