Sunday, July 26, 2015

While We Waited - Months 3 & 4

This update is a two-for-one. You'll understand why as the post develops!

First, I have to say how grateful I am that our lives have kept us busy with things to do and distractions. Waiting has certainly become more difficult as the months begin to add up. Four months is not very long in the big scheme of things, and we know this. One can be aware that it is very reasonable for us to still be waiting. The heart, however, is irrational, and it seems like every day, more and more room is made for a child, and that hole is more obvious the bigger it gets. All we can do is pray for patience and keep it all in perspective. We especially remember that for us to become parents through adoption, a mother must decide not to parent her child, for whatever reason. That fact is a very sobering thought and something we do not take lightly. We remind ourselves often that this isn't on our time. It doesn't feel right to wish the time to hurry along, so we don't.

So, what has kept us busy and distracted the last two months, you ask?

The blanket. It's done! It was such a great project. I have searched Pinterest for other baby-related items to make but haven't started a new project yet. It was great to work on this while we watched TV and relaxed. I'm very proud of it!
This lovely pink bedspread is leftover from my grad school days and graces our guest bedroom.

A giant business trip and THE test. I had a long business trip in early June that took me to Madison, Wisconsin; Denver, Colorado, and Gering, Nebraska. I was in Madison to take the certification exam and attend a conference. I passed the exam! I definitely over prepared, but that made me more confident the days of the test (that's right, dayS, as in two). It also made it more than just passing a test. I really dug into a great professional development experience that I'm grateful I'm completed. I'm also grateful that I don't have to retake it. Only one in three test takers actually pass.

I celebrated with my professional friends with a great conference and wonderful meals with Wisconsin beer and Madison's signature cocktail, the old-fashioned. I also got to see an old, dear friend and her great husband. We biked through Madison and also enjoyed great food and beer together. Then, I flew from Wisconsin to Colorado for one night because it was easier to drive from Denver to Gering than to fly back to Omaha and then drive out/back to Gering. The pit stop in Denver was short but sweet. A peer and I made the trip together, stopping at Odell Brewing Company for a bite and a pint on our way to Gering (our husbands were very jealous, sorry Andrew). We had another great conference in Gering, and I finally made it home after being gone 9 nights. To say I was ready to come home was an understatement.

A little trip as a couple. To celebrate my success with the certification exam, we planned a little getaway weekend to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is just a few hours from Omaha. We rented an apartment and enjoyed their incredible trails system. We also happened to be there the same weekend as a wonderful music festival - just a 5 minute walk from our place and only $15 for the whole weekend (including a beer tasting)! Andrew was instrumental in my success with the exam, so it was to celebrate us working together as a team and having some fun after weeks and months of that exam directing our lives!
Breaking for a picnic lunch on our 20-mile bike ride around Sioux Falls.
As we sat in a pub, enjoying a pint on Saturday afternoon, my phone rang with our old Kansas area code. We thought that could mean one of two things: a call about our house on the market, or a call from our adoption agency. It was our real estate agent telling us there was an offer on the house - what fantastic news! After three attempts to sell this sucker over two years, we finally had an offer, and it was an offer that we could work with. So there was even more to celebrate that weekend. We ended up breaking out a special bottle of beer we had been saving, Cantillon Gueuze, a Belgian lambic, with more to celebrate than we originally thought. It was great to toast to success with the exam and success with the house.
Our special celebration beer. Photo courtesy of www.bienmanger.com
We discovered a new game. We brought King of Tokyo with us to Sioux Falls and figured out what a fun game it is! It moves pretty fast, so you can play several rounds in an hour. We have figured out that it's really fun to bring to a pub or the beach, and the ways to strategize are endless.
First time playing... I think Andrew won.
Passing the studying torch. Apparently, studying for a certification is contagious in our house. Andrew has decided to undertake the process of becoming a certified Cicerone, basically a beer expert. Think Sommelier, but for beer. He has already made it through the first level of certification, Certified Beer Server, and now he's working on level two. So far, it hasn't taken over his life the way my process did eventually, but when it does, the plan is for me to be there for him the way he was there for me.

We had visitors. My parents came to visit us last weekend, and it was great. We don't get a lot of visitors in Nebraska, and combined with the difficulties of waiting to hear adoption news, we've been feeling pretty lonely. Mom and Dad cheered us up, and we had a great time showing them our place, taking them to the beach (yup, we have beach 10 minutes from our house in Nebraska, awesome), and celebrating Father's Day and my dad's birthday by going to Late Night Catechism in town. We Catholics got a real kick out of it, especially my parents. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a very wonderful, special weekend. It means a lot that you made the drive to see us.
Thanks for coming to see us, Mom and Dad!
We taught. Just this weekend, we had our first experience as facilitators for the marriage preparation weekend for the Archdiocese of Omaha. Over 40 couples gave us their (mostly) undivided attention for three hours on Friday and eight hours on Saturday as we went over a lot of concepts that will help them have a fruitful and faithful marriage in the Catholic faith. What we love about these weekends is that they make us revisit a lot of the topics: communication, prayer life, finances, etc. By helping these couples think about these things, we get to enhance and enrich our marriage. Double win.

So, as you can see, we've kept ourselves occupied. One question for me lately has been how will I keep occupied now that the test is done. The test was such a great distraction, something important for me to focus on. Since the test, I've relaxed, gotten back into reading, and focused a little more on fitness and nutrition again. But I'm definitely feeling the itch to dig into some sort of project. One of the hard parts is the factor of not knowing when The Call (from the adoption agency) could come. It could be today, it could be a year from now, it could be something in between. It's hard to commit to things in the future when your future could change at any moment in a really big way. But, we're finding that it's healthy to look forward and commit to some things. It keeps us sane and gives us things to look forward too. Just like with infertility, it's not good for us to live in an in-between stage where we don't commit to anything "just in case." We've got to live and be grateful for what is in our lives in the present.

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