Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolved 2011: The Potty, the Paces and the Plan for Family Growth

Just like everyone else, I have a number of resolutions for the new year. Some things, like diet and weight loss, aren't even worth discussing. They just roll from year to year, as they do for most adults over the age of 24. Some things, though, are specific to 2011 and bear mentioning here.

Resolution #1: Finish up the Franken-bachelor's. This process is already in progress. I'll graduate from Texas Woman's University this summer with a B.G.S. in English and Sociology. I'll commence in May and finish my final credits in August. After that, who knows? Very likely, a break from school during which I will nap and craft. Then again, maybe not -- I can't stay too still for very long.

Resolution #2: In 2011, I resolve to potty train my youngest child. She's already shown some interest in the potty, but my hope is to have her totally out of diapers by her second birthday in July.


Resolution #3: I resolve to read the Bible in its entirely in 2011. Actually, I resolve to read it within the first 90 days of 2011. I'm taking part in the challenge on the Mom's Toolbox blog. I'm in an accountability group and everything! The study began today with the first 16 chapters of Genesis. It works out to be about 45 minutes to an hour of reading everyday, but that's doable. This is actually something I'm very excited about, and I'm especially excited that James is reading along with me (though he's not in an official group). Maybe we'll read through two times in 2011 -- who knows?

Resolution #4: This is the resolution I hate to share because it will take lots of work, commitment and determination to accomplish, but I resolve to run (not walk) my first 5K in 2011. I'm planning to do the Cool Runnings Couch to 5K program which takes just a few weeks to get even the laziest couch potato race-ready, and while I'd like to be ready for a race before the killer heat of the Texas summer, as long as I run one by December, I'm good. (There's actually a race being held in June that I'd love to run, so I'm really hoping to be ready by then -- fingers crossed and laces tied!)

As if going from the couch to a 5K weren't intimidating enough, I have this whole issue with not feeling my feet that makes me feel very afraid -- afraid of wounding myself again, afraid of another season on crutches -- but I have great footwear and I'm especially good now about looking for potential pressure points. I'm determined not to let this fear be something that keeps me from pressing on towards the goal. The fear is something else to lay down and let go of, I suppose.

Resolution #5: We're planning, once again, to grow our family through adoption. We've been researching this new venture for a while, deciding which path to take this time. We've been in contact with state agencies both in Texas and Oklahoma, we've researched international adoption from the Philippines and other countries, and we've spoken to adoption brokers, advocates, and private attorneys. For now, we've hired a social worker and have begun gathering documents and completing state and federal background checks as part of our official adoption homestudy. We have a some friends lined up as references and have only to complete our official interview.

After all the research and as we began working with the social worker, an opportunity came to us to adopt newborn twins -- a boy and a girl. They were due at the end of January, so we expected to have some time to prepare, but in the case of a premature delivery, the attorney we've been working with told us they could expedite our homestudy process since the adoption arrangement would be private and not agency-based. We got the call on December 30th (while we were in Oklahoma for the new year) that the birthmother was going in for an emergency c-section. She had advancing pre-eclampsia and was very sick. We didn't know what to do! We passed along the message that we were ready to come, but would need driving time. The c-section happened hours later than originally planned, and thankfully, the twins were born healthy and at remarkably good weights. Sadly, we got word the next morning that the birthmother decided to parent because she thought the sometimes-present boyfriend would make a great dad. Days later, we've heard that she's made despondent comments about her life being over. She's very unhappy and the boyfriend is no where to be found. We've again sent word that we're available to meet to discuss adoption options, but really, this is all entirely out of our hands. In our minds and hearts, the door is closed.

On the one hand, I deeply respect her decision to parent. I personally could not make the decision to relinquish my children for even one minute. On the other hand, I'm not super young and unhappy about the prospect of parenthood. I wish she could see all that we could be and do for them. Those babies would be a dream come true for our family, and it makes me so sad to know that they're a burden to her. It breaks my heart, really. All along, though, as we've discussed and prayed about this specific opportunity for adoption, we've prayed for God's perfect will to be done. That is still our prayer. We're trusting her decision to parent is His plan, and in that, He has a better plan to satisfy the longing that remains in our hearts. We were sure hopeful, though, that a little set of sweet baby twins was part of His plan to redeem the years of heartache and loss.

At this point, we have no specific direction for adoption. Neither of us feel comfortable connecting with an agency -- at least, not yet. We're still working on the normally-paced homestudy and hope to have it completed by the end of January. I'm hopeful we'll know how to move forward at that time, and I'm hopeful 2011 will prove to be a year of growth and blessing in the family way.

photo, allwomenstalk


  • Holly, Ben, and Reid

    Wow, Amanda - thanks for sharing. I had no clue what you all had gone through these last several weeks with the twins. I will be praying for the growth of your family to happen sooner rather than later and also for those sweet babies and their birthmom.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh Amanda, I ache for you. Adoption can present such a roller coaster ride at times. Believing God to provide your family with more to love.

  • Randi

    Your goals make me feel tired and very under-motivated. I'm with you on the potty training though.

    The adoption situation has continued to be in my prayers and I'm still trusting that God has something amazing that will blow your socks off and bring redemption for all the loss your family has endured. I'm SO saddened to hear that the birthmother is burdened by her situation, although as you and I discussed, this is exactly what I imagined. Praying that God will work all things out for the good of that mother and those sweet babies.

  • Jenny

    Wow! 2011 sounds like a big year! So excited for all of it! I'll have to look into your 5K idea. I've never been a runner, but it interests me. Yeah for graduating! And praying the perfect baby(ies) join your family soon!!!

  • Nancy

    Hi--I stumbled upon your blog a few years ago when I googled zoo discounts. I just wanted to say congratulations on deciding to adopt! 2 of my 3 kiddos are adopted (from Russia) and the whole experience has been wonderful.

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