When you don’t know what is going on.

Hello friends and family,

Long time no write! Honestly, there is not one new thing to report with the adoption.  I wish we had something for you. We do have a special request though. No matter what, we want to and WILL adopt a child. But we haven’t given up hope that God will provide us with a biological child to raise as well. On Monday we have an appointment with the fertility doctor we have been seeing for a while now. This appointment is the one where we get ALL our test results back. Over the past month, I have had examinations and procedures and BOTH of us have given enough blood to fully supply our town’s Red Cross Blood Bank (ok, I MAY be exaggerating a bit). This appointment will either be a “here is what is wrong and here’s what we will do to fix it” OR “nothing is wrong and here’s what we will do next”. I am sorta nervous because everything so far that we have gotten back has said that everything is fine. Which is great right? I mean, I don’t WANT anything to be wrong with me but something is clearly not right. It’s in God hands and all we can do is pray for the doctor to have the knowledge to help us. Thank you for all the love, support and prayers during this time.

Love,

Tara & Whitney

Third Draft

So I have noticed recently that our blog posts have been about money. I hate that. I hate that adoption is centered around money when it should be centered around excitement and faith! But, it is what it is I guess. I have written two other posts in the last month but they sit here in the wordpress drafts folder. I keep re-reading them and keep getting a negative vibe from them. I don’t want to blog about the negative all the time. We can’t avoid the negative but lately that’s how I have been feeling. I hate that too because we truly feel called to share our story to help other people. Not everyone puts there infertility struggles out there for the world to read. We want to be a blessing to others!

When I got to thinking about those two negative posts I realized that a lot of the anger built up in them is from the fact that a year ago this month we lost Sarah. So I really sat down and got to thinking about turning that negativity around. I prayed that God would bring us some good news. We are still waiting on that good news but I realized that I have been missing out on the little things that should be reminding me that people do care, that we ARE getting closer to growing our family and most of all that God has not forgotten about us. Things like emails from friends checking in on us. Random donations that come right when we needed a boost. Little kids asking us when we will get our child (we are so lucky that our child already has friends waiting for them!). Friends wanting to have fundraisers for us. People telling us that our story is helping them. All these things are positives.

Another positive that keeps me going is WHITNEY! I don’t tell him nearly enough that he is my rock. Poor guy married the most emotional woman on the planet! He’s a keeper. God didn’t forget about me when I asked Him for an amazing husband!

So I guess my point here is let’s all remember the positive today. Whatever your situation is right now at this very moment, try and think back about a time you didn’t have what you have right now, at this very moment. Life is pretty good.

Love,

Whitney & Tara

On a side note: To update everyone on which direction we are going with the adoption….we can not afford two anymore. So right now, we are going with only one. We have a deadline of 6-8 weeks from now to sign up with our international agency. During this time, we could POSSIBLY do a domestic adoption if a birthmother comes through our social worker or we happen to meet someone. If that does not happen, our domestic homestudy will be switched to an international one, and that is the avenue we will take. I wish we could do more than one but it is just not possible right now.

We Carry Your Heart

Well this post isn’t strictly just about our adoption. It’s part of our story sure, but right now, this is on our hearts.

We are sitting at this moment in a hotel in Albuquerque. We even got a discounted rate at this hotel because we are a part of a group that is here for a memorial service tomorrow put on by UNM Hospital. The memorial is for all the families who had children that have died during the past year.

Man, it’s been a whole year!!! I wish I could say we were only up here to go to an awesome restaurant, see some old friends, do a little shopping in the big city and get our Starbucks fix…which we did. But that was today….tomorrow is about our daughter Sarah Grace.

We found a church to visit in the morning, then we’ll head over to the memorial service. We also bought some pink flowers today to take over to her gravesite. We have not yet seen the pink stone marker we picked out for her. We don’t do that because we believe that is where she is, we know she is in heaven as she never got the chance to reach the age of accountability, but we are going to take this one opportunity to just thank God for letting us have her for a long as we did and for what He did in our lives because of her.

Thinking about this time last year when we were up here in the hospital not knowing what was going to happen is a little weird. It almost doesn’t seem real even though we think about Sarah everyday and she has forever changed our lives.

Instead of the heartache, I’m trying to think of the wonderful things we had with her for a while. The best story I think of is that I was CERTAIN she was a boy. Everyone else thought girl girl girl. And Whitney, well knowing the love this man has for his nieces, well he knew it was a girl. I think maybe deep down I knew Baby O was a girl but someone had to be right in case she was a he:) I would have LOVED to tell my son that I was the only one who knew the truth.

I remember too when I was working in Virginia, sick as a dog and feeling horrible, I had never felt so gross and ugly. Someone told me that we must be having a girl because girls suck the pretty out of you. Sarah was one crazy beautiful girl then!

Please pray for us tomorrow as we take a small break in our adoption pursuit to remember our crazy beautiful girl that we had for such a short and powerful time.

Love,
Whitney & Tara

Adopted Sisters

We have A-MAZ-ING friends. Since we began this journey, people have donated towards our adoption fund, bought items from the store and prayed for us. We’ve even had a church in Georgia that doesn’t even know us, take up a love offering! We are truly blessed. We have also had a few fundraisers and a lot more in the works. So many people have offered to help by holding fundraisers with the items they sell. My sister had a Silpada jewelry party, my friend Misty just wrapped up a Scentsy party and now we have a Thirty-One party going on starting today through the whole month of September.

Flashback to 1999. I entered Marietta College with the hopes of just experiencing college without getting too involved with extra-curricular activities. I needed a break from the busy schedule I held in high school. Then I met a bunch of girls at a yellow brick house on Fourth Street. Little did I know that I would be spending the next three years at that house and making lifelong friendships with those girls. I never thought I would EVER join a sorority but there I was, a member of Sigma Kappa.

This month’s fundraiser is being held by one my my sisters, Lindsey Meili (aka Swank for all you Kappas). She sells Thirty-One bags and we hope you check them out. For those of you who haven’t heard of Thirty-One, they are awesome. They sell totes, purse and tons of other organizational items. You can even personalize them. Thank you Lindsey for helping us on our journey through adoption!

Here’s the link and just so you know, Thirty-One is holding a special in September so check it out: http://www.mythirtyone.com/shop/catalog.aspx?eventId=E2164613&from=DIRECTLINK&verify=true

Love,

Tara & Whitney

PS….When I went to write this post, you know I HAD to dig through some old photos….enjoy!!

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Congratulations to the Parker Family!

I cry. A lot. Ask Whitney. I’m an emotional person. The first step is admitting you have a problem right? 🙂

That said…I cried today. But wasn’t because I was sad. I was happy. This post isn’t about our adoption story. I hope you read it anyway because this story changed my day today.

Circa 1999 in Marietta, Ohio. 9 years before Whitney and I became a couple we attended Marietta College together. Whitney’s roommate was a guy named Matt Parker. Freshman year, Matt meets Marina, a beautiful redhead, also a member of the class of 2003. Thirteen years after Matt & Marina met, they are meeting their son Shambu in Ethiopia for the first time. Below is a link to their latest blog post. I hope your heart just BURSTS with happiness for this family. I cannot even imagine the overwhelming joy that the Parker’s are feeling at this very moment but we hope to one day. Their story gives us hope. I hope that you keep our dear friends in your prayers as they prepare to bring Shambu Parker HOME! We love you Matt, Marina and Shambu!

Click here to read their amazing story!

Here’s a blast from the past…Whitney and Matt: 1999 roommates in Mary Beech Hall, Marietta College

Seriously, did that just happen?

Last night we experienced something I never thought would happen. We were on our way to dinner when our social worker called us out of the blue. My heart lept out of my chest and I answered. A baby boy was just born in OUR town. And she asked if we were interested. We said “YES!” What happened next was a heartbreak I have never felt. The birthmother had already figured out something else. We aren’t sure of the details but all this literally happened in 10 minutes while we were in the car. It was the craziest roller coaster we had ever been on. After the shock of this quick craziness wore off, we realized that there is a couple out there, just like us, who’s dreams came true last night.

It’s amazing how much day dreaming you can do in 10 minutes. That 10 minutes of thinking we might have a son was such a thrilling experience. I’m not sure I was breathing during those moments. When I finally broke down last night about it, I went straight to my bible and this verse was STARING me in the face:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

God knew EXACTLY what I needed to hear at that exact moment I was so low. I had never been so grateful to go to sleep last night so we could wake up to a new day and start over. And that’s exactly what we are doing.

Love, Tara & Whitney

Baby Steps

Hello friends, family and followers!

Sorry it has been so long since our last post. It’s that Red Light, Green Light affect. We are in a standstill right now. What’s holding us up, well unfortunately, it’s money. We are still in fundraising mode but we have some solutions! We are so grateful for all those who have donated, bought items from our store and supported us in many other ways. We are so humbled by the generosity of family, friends and even complete strangers who want to help us grow our family. As of right now, we are 55% to our first monetary goal with our international agency. There are so many financial resources out there for us to utilize but many of them require you to be at a certain point in the adoption process that we have not reached yet.

So, what are we doing you ask? Well first of all, I got a job!! Finally, in this small little town, there is something I can do! I’m really liking it so far and it is literally 1 block from Whitney’s work. I will still be making all the items in our store, continuing with Two Designs and selling Mary Kay, but now we can dedicate a whole new separate financial income directly into our adoption account.

The thing we try to realize is that every penny into our adoption account is a penny closer to bringing our child home. With that thought, we are still fundraising on a small level. So our second exciting fundraising effort is a garage sale that we are holding this Saturday. Call me crazy, but I LOVE garage sales!

Finally, our latest and greatest effort comes from the help of a dear friend of mine. I met my friend Misty in 6th grade and we’ve been friends ever since (no matter how far apart we live). Misty, can you believe this picture? We are babies in this picture.  This is what cool  people from Marietta High School looked like in 1998! 🙂

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She is an awesome Scentsy Director and she offered to hold a fundraising party for us. I looooove Scentsy so I am very excited about it. And to make it even more exciting, Scentsy has recently come out with two new product lines (fondue and handbags). She has created parties for all three products. As of right now, we are going to keep the parties open for the whole month of August!

Here are the links to all three and once you start shopping it will ask you if you want to join a party. Just click Tara’s Fundraiser and you are on your way!

I always hate talking about money. Sadly, adoption is so expensive and there is no way around it. Luckily, we have met so many people who have succesfully adopted and lived to tell the story:) We really appreciate all the people who have shared with us and hope to one day pay it forward and be able to help others who want to give a child a home and life they would never had otherwise.

Thanks for reading and for sticking with us!
Love,
Tara & Whitney

Red Light, Green Light

Remember the game Red Light, Green Light? I remember playing it in gym class in elementary school. The teacher would stand at one end of the gym while everyone else was at the other end. He/she would yell “GREEN LIGHT!” and everyone would walk (never running for some reason…you were “out” if you were caught running) towards the teacher. Out of nowhere you’d hear “RED LIGHT!” and you had to freeze. If you didn’t freeze where you were, you were out.  This continued “red light; green light; red light; green light”, until the first person reached the teacher and was declared the winner!

Why am I reminiscing about this childhood game, when clearly Red Rover was MUCH more fun? Well, it randomly popped into my head as I sat here thinking about the adoption process. So far it’s been a red light, green light experience. On Monday we got word that our homestudy draft has been written and ready for us to look over for the go ahead. We have been waiting since May, when our social worker came to our house, for the report to be written. We’ve been in “RED LIGHT” mode since then and now she just yelled “GREEN LIGHT.” The homestudy is approved for a domestic adoption (since we can’t change it over to international until we can pay our international agency fees). At any time, if a birthmother is found, we could follow through with a domestic adoption!

It’s a lot of stop and go and we never know how long we will be waiting at each stop, but we do know that our final destination ends with us being parents !!

Thanks everyone for riding along with us on this journey!

Love, Tara & Whitney

The sun will come out tomorrow.

Hello everyone!

First of all, I want to say sorry to our email subscribers….I began this post last night from my phone and apparently you can’t save a draft from your phone, it just goes live. So a half written post went out……here’s the whole thing.

Before we really started looking into adoption, I perceived it as something easy and I wondered why everyone didn’t do it. I’ve seen Annie. Aren’t all the orphans somewhere out there singing and dreaming of their future mothers and fathers? And isn’t there an evil house mother making them clean all the time? And lucky us, we can come in and swoop up one lucky kid all Daddy Warbucks style! Except he was rich… Maybe that’s why the process went so fast for him (minus that little kidnapping incident…but I don’t want to ruin the movie for you….and if you haven’t seen it….um, where have YOU been the past 30 years?) And I’ve seen the TV shows where basically over a three week period of three episodes, a couple sees a child in the hospital and with a little work, they bring her home to live with them forever. Then of course you hear of all these Hollywood stars adopting all the time.

Aileen Quinn

Then you come back from LaLaLand and realize it’s not that easy. Life is not a movie where everything works out in 2 hours or less. But then I hear about all the orphans of the world, I feel like it SHOULD be made easier. They need our help! I don’t want to list facts on here that we have discovered during our research, there are just so many and I don’t want to give out false information. But I do know that, at least internationally, there are millions of children being abandoned for having even minor disabilities. A child is considered “special needs” if they have a weird birthmark or just need a minor surgery that can be done in the US in 5 minutes! It’s very sad what little things will make a parent(s) give up their child or abandon them on the streets.

The story of Annie seemed pretty perfect to me, though her hair may have been a little hard to handle at times….but it was a happy go lucky story of a family growing through adoption in less than 2 hours. While I wish it was that easy, I’m pretty happy with the REAL life we have and hopefully someday we’ll be skipping down marble stairs in formal wear with our kids:)

PS. Sorry if you will now have tunes from Annie stuck in your head all day.

Love,

Tara

Positively Positive

Well it is JUNE! Can you believe it?!?! Not sure where the first half of the year went.

I’ve been looking at our recent blog posts and realized that they have been pretty “heavy” lately. So here is a little, light, airy, happy update.

There really isn’t anything groundbreaking to report on the adoption front. We did just submit a “Birthmother Scrapbook” to our social worker, which will aid in our domestic adoption. When our social worker works with a birthmother, she shows her profiles of parents for her to choose from. Hopefully the book we made reflects us as a couple and future parents. Frank even tried to help!

We are still waiting for our homestudy report to be finished, but once that is written up and we have a copy in hand, we can move forward with some more funding options.

A BIG HUGE thank you to my sister and all those who participated in her Silpada jewelry party. It was a HUGE success and it really humbled us that people who have never even met us, people we haven’t seen forever and of course close friends and family are willing to help us. We are so thankful and blessed to be surrounded by such loving and caring people.

On another positive note, I have been feeling more like myself. After we lost Sarah, I feel like I completely closed myself off from friends who were having children at the same time. I hated being absent from this happy time in their lives. It was just way too hard, especially because everyone was having girls! It has been a real struggle for me to get back to the “I am not actually related to you but your mommy is one of my best friends so I will spoil you like an aunt” stage. I AM getting back there now and it feels good. I love being Auntie Tara! And just in time because one of my best friends is going to be welcoming her baby girl into the world TOMORROW! 🙂 So I guess this is now turning into a thank you to all my girls and their little girls (and a few boys) out there who still love me. You guys know who you are….and I love you and your adorable precious babies….always.

LASTLY, I do not want to minimize this event, it deserves it’s own post, but I also don’t want to over load everyone with multiple posts a week. We had such an amazing and blessed thing happen to us that we just have to share it. This past week we got a letter in the mail…nothing special about the letter by looks. When we opened the letter the note started with a warm greeting in Jesus’s name and then followed up with a comment that although we have never met you face to face, etc. Without sharing the whole note, we received a wonderful greeting and kind words from a very small church in South Carolina…. With that note came a check made out to us to go towards the adoption fund. What an AMAZING blessing it was to see God helping and ministering to us through his people. What an amazing testimony of the heart of that small church that they would even be willing to take up a love offering for two people they never met who live on the other side of the country. God used those people to minister to us and we are more greatful than we could ever relay.

We receive love and support from sooooo many people that we simply can not mention everyone, but sometimes someone ( or a group of someone’s) does something so above and beyond that we must publicly thank God for them. Our friend Rejina Doran who told this church about our struggles went above and beyond !! Lighthouse Baptist Church in North Augusta, SC went above and beyond and we look forward to meeting those people someday and thanking them for their Christian love !!!

Love, Tara