Friday, August 22, 2008

Wherein I think I may be a hoot owl...

Oh my word, I am absolutely turned around. My sleeping schedule, that is.

My mom took the kids last night for one last Nanny Bonanza before the official launch of our at-home education. I had plans to get plenty of rest and spend today putting together bookshelves for our school space. Instead, late last night (already way past my bedtime), I ran across a website that laid out all the information and documents we'd need to complete an adoption home study here in Texas. I spent the better part of three hours printing the list, culling through our file cabinets for all the necessary documents, assembling a binder in which to organize everything, and making a list of the things that needs to be done/copied/completed. When all was said and done, it was after 5:00 A.M. before I crawled into bed.

Today, instead of organizing the school space, I spent the morning mid-afternoon calling state offices for information on background checks, central registry checks, and FBI fingerprinting, since that's the slowest part of a home study, and it's something that can be initiated without committing to an independent social worker or agency.

We again briefly discussed looking into a foster-adopt option through the state, but for a variety of reasons, we've decided that's just not how we feel led to proceed. I also talked to people at three or four different adoption agencies (some for the second time), and I think we've narrowed things down considerably. In fact, after talking with an adoption specialist at one agency today, I really felt compelled to move forward with them. I didn't say anything to James about it only because he was at work, and then we did the kid switch at soccer practice before I went to a Women's Ministry planning event at church. Tonight, after the kids were in bed, we had some time to talk and he brought the same agency up, stating that after doing some more research (while I was at church), he thought we should pursue something with them.

One thing that made me hesitant to consider adoption before now was the breastfeeding issue. I know to some people that has to be so silly, but I had a beautiful, extended breastfeeding relationship with Gracie. Zachary in his extreme prematurity and dire physical condition obviously couldn't nurse, and I mourned the loss of that relationship along with the baby. Giving up the option to breastfeed future children was an adoption deterrent for me, until I read a post by another blogger -- a blogger who has induced lactation to nurse her baby. Something like that might not work for us, but reading about it -- just knowing it's an option -- made adoption seem complete.

For the last couple of weeks as we've mulled over the adoption idea, I've contemplated induced lactation. I've not put much thought into it, as we're still so new to the entire process, but I have spent periods of time in serious consideration. I've always thought I'd go about it by using formula in a supplementer, but today, I felt compelled to talk to a friend still nursing her baby. I'd not before talked to her about my heart towards induced lactation, but I wanted to get her opinion on it. I also wanted to ask her to prayerfully consider pumping and storing some breastmilk as we potentially prepare for an adopted child, particularly since her baby could begin to self-wean sometime over the next year or so.

It turns out, about a month ago, she heard a story about milk banks and donated breast milk, and her heart was deeply stirred. She discussed with her husband the option of pumping and storing milk for donation, but felt she'd much rather give it directly to someone who needed it. While I mulled over induced lactation and how to get my hands on some milk, here was my friend mulling over just how to give some away! Without hesitation, she jumped at the chance to share with me.

We laughed and laughed about the timing, and then I cried (several times) about the precious gift she was so graciously willing to give. I cried even more about how God in His faithfulness went before me along this path and made way for a specific something so dear to my heart. Sometimes I'm just so blown away by his goodness!

"... You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!"
-- Psalm 139:4-6 NLT


  • Randi

    Wow, I have goosebumps just reading all the ways that God is ahead of you in this. Oh, and now tears. It's so exciting! Elizabeth did the lactation thing with Sam ... you should talk to her about that.

  • Tricia

    Your post made me smile. Our god really does care about the desires of hour hearts.

    btw, good luck on the homeschooling thing this week!

    We start Monday...sort of. :o)

  • Amy

    Wow! Amazing stuff!!!

  • Happy Mommy

    I have met and know several woman who have adopted and nursed their adopted children! If you have nursed once you can again! I love that is an issue for you, Amanda, I love nursing and it is a wonderfully close intimate time between mother and baby! I will pray that God blesses you in every way!

  • Cate

    I found your blog while searching about breastmilk donation. I blogged about it, too, on the donating end.

    I m a natural parent, and I feel that if we, as women, push or encourage breastfeeding, donated milk is sometimes the only option.
    Congrats on your adoption, and having such a great friend!
    I trust your child is thriving on this "liquid gold."
    Good for you for searching out the best nutrition for your babe.

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