Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Finishing up our home-study #2


We are finishing up home-study #2. 

The process was very similar to the first time around. LOTS of paperwork and LOTS of gathering documents. 

The good news is that a sweet little boy calls us "mama" and "dada" and fills our days with joy. Every form was worth it for the blessing of our sweet Lucas!!!

So after physicals for all three of us, CPR training, getting the cat's shots updated, and reference letters from friends, pastors, and employers (you know who you are...many thanks!!!) our home-study is almost done!!! Woot woot!

We now need to create a new profile book and pay our Program #1 fee (eeeek...definitely a leap of faith) and we will be an official "waiting family" with our agency. 

To everyone who has walked with us on this journey, we love you and are so grateful. Thank you so much for your prayers!

If you know anyone considering adoption for their baby, please share our information with them.

Monday, August 15, 2016

New Beginnings

Hello everyone!

Life is full of new beginnings for our family right now.  Lucas is almost sixteen months old; he's not just running around everywhere - he's climbing everywhere!  We also got a new cat, Gracie, and Lucas loves chasing her around.

Even more, we moved recently!  Mike got a position as assistant professor of systematic studies at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corners, WI, where he'll be teaching sacramental theology and some other classes to seminarians.  Mary Beth was fortunate to stay with her company part-time in financial planning; she gets to work from home and has switched into the role of stay-at-home mom.

That means we also moved.

We bought our first house in the Milwaukee suburbs and we're settling in.

The community and our neighborhood are wonderful. Lucas loves all the room to run around, including our own backyard. The previous owners had a little one, so the house came with a "pre-decorated" room for Lucas!

Lastly, we're starting the adoption process again!  We've connected with Bethany Christian Services here in the Milwaukee area.  We're in the most initial phases of the adoption process now.  There's lots of paperwork, meetings, and waiting ahead.  But this time we feel like veterans to the process!

We can't wait to bring home a little baby brother or sister for Lucas.

We were blessed beyond belief to adopt Lucas because of word-of-mouth: friends of friends connected us.

Please remember us if you hear of anyone considering making an adoption plan for their baby.

Thank you for your help in spreading spread the word!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Little Hello

Our sweet little Lucas is nine months! Where did the time go?

A week ago he started pulling himself up on the coffee table, ottoman, and pretty much everything he can.

He is adorable, precious, and wonderful. We are loving every minute as parents!!!

I went back to work three weeks ago and it was super tough to leave Lucas, but after the first few days we got into a routine. Thing are going much better than I thought they would.

Mike is amazing with Lucas at home and he and Lucas are having so much fun spending their days going to the zoo, children's museum, library story time, and playing with mom when she visits on her lunch hour (ie. mom's favorite part of the day!!!).

That face ...and tongue!

Our first family photo together

What an amazing feeling to send a photo Christmas card with our son after six years of praying for a family!

He is seriously, so so so cute!!!

Our families had a baby shower for us!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Jeweler's Shop

My book club just read The Jeweler's Shop, a short play written by Karol Wojtyla, Bishop of Krakow (later to become Pope St. John Paul II). I just finished it, albeit a month late. It's only 75 pages but I think I had a pretty good reason for my delay! :)

It. was. so. good.

JPII has a special place in my heart. So many of his writings have formed me, especially his Theology of the Body and reflections on the meaning of love and what it means to be human. I told Mike it felt like I was reading something written by an old friend. JPII pray for us, I miss you!!!

The play is a reflection on the meaning and existence of love in three different marriages. JPII writes "with insight, and at times with great power, about human love; love that has survived the grave, as in the case of Andrew and Teresa; love that has withered and died, as in the case of Stefan and Anna; love budding out of complexes, doubts, and uncertainties as in the case of Christopher and Monica. There are no easy solutions, there is no happy ending. But there is hope, if only we can reach out of ourselves, see the true face of the other person, and hear the signals of a Love that transcends us" (from the introduction).

A few lines were nuggets that I want to preserve for my own record. Hope you enjoy them too!

"Love is not an adventure. It has the taste of the whole man. It has his weight. And the weight of his whole fate. It cannot be a single moment. Man's eternity passes through it. That is why it is to be found in the dimensions of God, because only He is eternity." - Adam, page 43

"In the Bridegroom's face each of us finds a similarity to the faces of those with whom love has entangled us on this side of life, of existence. They are all in him." - Adam, page 49

"Love is a constant challenge, thrown to us by God, thrown, I think, so that we should challenge fate." - Christopher, page 61

"Sometimes human existence seems too short for love. At other times it is however, the other way around: human love seems too short in relation to existence - or rather, too trivial. At any rate, every person has at his disposal an existence and a Love. The problem is: How to build a sensible structure from it? But this structure must never be inward-looking. It must be open in such a way that on the one hand it embraces other people, while on the other, it always reflects the absolute Existence and Love; it must always, in some way, reflect them." - Adam, page 73

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How You Can Help

Thank you for being so excited for us and for caring so much about our sweet Lucas and new family of three! 

Many people have been asking us how they can help.

Adoption brings with it certain unique expenses. Our adoption costs are just over $30,000 and you can read more about our costs here. Anyone wishing to help can contribute through the links on the right-hand sidebar of our page (Paypal or tax-deductible through AdoptTogether).

Thanks a million for all of your love and support during these exciting times. Please continue to keep Lucas, his birthfamily, and us in your prayers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

We have a son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to our family Lucas Adrian!

On October 9th we received an email from a wonderful family that was considering making an adoption plan for their precious Lucas.  The birth-family is from the same area that we grew up in, so they heard about us through several different mutual acquaintances.  God was really at work in bringing our two families together!

We instantly fell in love with Lucas.  He's so adorable and has the best personality.  He's almost always happy, he wakes up smiling, and has no problem around new people.  He just melted our hearts.  We visited Lucas and his family nearly every weekend leading to the adoption to get to know them, and to let him get to know us.

Lucas has been so blessed to come from a wonderful and very loving birth-mother.  We're in constant awe of the decision she made to give her little boy a mom and a dad.  The rest of the birth-mother's family is also amazing.  Lucas has had so much love before he came to our family, and you can just tell it by looking at him.  One of the best things about an open adoption like ours is that Lucas will grow up knowing not only our family, but also his birth-mother and her family.  The more people to love him, the better!

There were some ups and downs along the way.  Truth be told, it was a real roller coaster for everyone as some legal issues needed to get sorted out and sometimes looked like they might not.  We enlisted the prayers of family, friends, many priest friends we know, a whole monastery of monks, and the whole heaven of saints and angels.  God heard our prayers!  On Friday, November 20th, the court hearing occurred, and Lucas became our son.  Our first full day with him, November 21st was National Adoption Day.  Today, November 23rd, he is seven months old.

We're getting used to being new parents.  Spit-ups, less sleep, diapers, and all that.  We're nervous and thrilled, terrified and ecstatic all at one.  We would't trade it for the world!  We're in Wisconsin living with Mike's sister's family until inter-state issues allow us to return home to Illinois.  We're using this time to let Lucas get to know us, and to visit family and friends.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.  Now we ask that you please focus your prayers on Lucas' birth-mother and her family.   As we rejoice, this is also a time of mourning for them.  They love Lucas so much, and it's because of this love that they wanted him to have a mom and a dad. He'll remain a part of their lives, but in at a different way now that is not the same.  It must be that a part of their heart has been broken.  Please keep these loving, generous people in your prayers.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

St. Philomena

Yesterday we asked friends and family to pray for a special intention through the intercession of St. Philomena.  Today Mary Beth found this on her car.  Thanks to whoever did this!!!