Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Owen's 2nd bday party!

We had a great time with all of our friends and family at Owen's bday party! Just counted and there were 53 people including all babies, toddlers, children, and adults. Definitely missed a few families but had lots of fun. The Bounce house/slide was a hit! We have loads of hotdogs left if anyone would like some! We asked for donations for the teen MOPS program at our church, instead of gifts for last years bday and this years bday and we got tons! Everyone was so generous and we are so thankful to have such amazing friends! Nate and I love having our friends and family over to our house if you don't already know that, parties are our favorite. It was definitely worth the clean up (or will be once I finish cleaning up, Ha!), that's how we know if a party was a good one.  I asked Nate what his favorite part of the party was and he said it was when Owen found him and gave him a hug.  Owen is a sweetie like that, he is always keeping tabs on where we are and if he needs some love he is more than willing to come and get it.  After the party we had some of the family stick around to open a few presents that they had brought for him.  He played the rest of the night with his toys, but was ready and willing for bedtime.  Thanks again everyone who got to come to Owen's bday and make it so special for him. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Volunteering...Kid's Crew

I was just blogging about how I love to volunteer and felt I should share an opportunity with some of you who really would like to volunteer but are overwhelmed with finding a place to volunteer at. Currently I volunteer for an amazing organization, Alliance for Children. They have a "Kid's Crew" that goes to Cook Children's and sits with children who have been in an abusive situation (to the point of hospitalization) and their guardians are not allowed at the hospital due to pending investigations. These babies and children are stuck in a hospital either bored or wanting/needing to be held. We all get an email when there is a child at the hospital and then sign up in 2 hour shifts when we can make it. So even those of you who work full time can volunteer on weekends and/or evenings. Sometimes I go months without any emails. I recently told a friend about this and she suggested that I tell more people. So let me know if you want any additional info. There is a 1/2 day Saturday training in order to volunteer, but it's very informative and interesting. There is no better feeling than the feeling after helping someone. Promise you won't regret it!

Love Languages

I have talked about the love languages in a previous post but I had this crazy thing happen this evening. As I was checking my email, trying to avoid writing a paper that is due tomorrow, I came across an email from Habitat for Humanity. I have been wanting to volunteer for this organization for many years and signed up for their email list about 1 year ago. (Background) Nate is two days younger than I am and he loves bdays. (Sorry dear, it's true.) So we always try to get something together that's really fun and shows each of our personalities. Last year we had a whole weekend thing because we turned 30. I love, love murder mystery dinners and wanted to dance (also a favorite of mine) so we went to the grapevine theater for a murder mystery dinner and glass cactus to cut a rug. Now Nate loves all things sports so the following day we went to a Rangers game. (Back to Present day) I told Nate several months ago that this year I wanted to do a service project with any friends that wanted to join in for my bday. Low and behold the email comes tonight and the service project is April 6th the day before my bday! Back to the love languages; my love language is "quality time", but I somehow got it in my brain that the way to show love is "acts of service". Unfortunately, Nate's love language is not "acts of service", his love language (he said I could tell) is "words of affirmation". Anyway due to my need to show love I may go a bit overboard with volunteering. I have been working on scaling back but it's very difficult for me. Regardless I am so excited to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity on April 6th. If anyone is interested in joining us, please let me know!!! I am truly encouraged by God's perfect plan on a daily basis, which brings me to the saying, "it's funny how things work out." Is it funny, or just more info that God is in control"?

Choosing Adoption

In the short time we have been going through the adoption process I have noticed that a lot of people have asked why. Which is a question that I don't mind answering at all. In fact, I really like answering this question. I want to make it clear that Nate and I are adopting because we truly want to adopt. We want to love and raise another child. We feel that there are A LOT of kids coming into this world that need a loving family. We are that, a loving family that wants to grow. We are choosing to have the experience of adoption because we think it is a wonderful and amazing thing. I cannot say enough how brave any woman is, that becomes pregnant unexpectedly, and chooses to make an adoption plan for her child. I will be forever greatful to our future birth mother for her hard decision and sacrifice. Ever since we were turned down from Gladney for being fertile I have been thinking about this concept. Gladney's reasoning made sense, the birth mother's (often times) would rather their child go to a family that is longing for a child and is unable to have one, specifically a first child. Nate and I are choosing adoption, because we want to adopt just as badly as we wanted to have Owen. I would also like to say that I truly feel for any couple struggling with infertility. I am not saying that people who are infertile and choose to adopt only do it because it is there second choice. I don't believe that is the case, I just believe that adoption is a wonderful and amazing experience that anyone wanting and able, should experience. I do not know what it might feel like to be in that situation and would never wish that kind of pain on anyone. I just want to reiterate that anyone who chooses adoption no matter which way they do it should be encouraged and supported. I believe that God wants us to support the orphans whether it's through fostering, adopting, volunteering, financially, or another way.  I hope I did a good job of explaining our feelings, kind of a hard blog to write.
James 1:27

Monday, February 25, 2013

Owen is gonna be two tomorrow

Owen turns two years old tomorrow. I can't even believe that it's been two years since I held him for the first time. I can still remember crying in the hospital when they took him to the nursery right before we checked out of the hospital. I did not want to be separated from him for one second. He has such a fun, loving, and laid back personality. He loves to laugh and "shoot baskets". We decided to invite some of his friends over for a sports themed bday tomorrow, since sports are his favorite thing right now. (Apple doesn't fall far from daddy's side of the tree!) We also made a trip to the Sesame Street musical with our friends Ambur and Brayden this morning. Owen loved the show! He kept yelling "Abby!"when she came on the stage, apparently we have moved on from Elmo. So I am going to sit and reminisce, maybe shed a tear or two. All those ridiculous moms were right when I was a kid. They grow up too fast! Man, I hate when my mother is right!:) Just FYI, Owen was totally freaked out by the costumed characters running around before the show, he was clinging to me like a monkey and physically shaking.  Halloween may not be as fun this year.

Stuff forgotten...

Nate and I were trying to get some adoption paperwork together the other day and somehow we have completely overlooked the part that we need a will and we need life insurance for both of us. I have no idea how we completely missed these two important things but we did. I also know what you are all thinking, "you don't have life insurance?" I know please don't judge, we like to be ignorant when it comes to potential future disasters. At least this adoption is forcing us to be grownups;). On another note, we went to Oklahoma for our future baby nephew's baby shower this weekend and had some fun family time. Owen had a blast with his cousins and watching cousin Brody "shoot baskets"! I have not figured out how to upload videos ( I have a cute one of Owen and all his cousins) so I am just posting a random picture of O. 


So I am NOT a crafty person by any means, which is why I love Pinterest like everyone else I know. My Pinterest attempts actually fail more often than succeed. I will continue to try in an effort to be more cutesy though, because well my sweet husband deserves a cutesy wife. We don't normally do things for each other on Valentines except Nate usually brings home some flowers and we may go to dinner. ( I guess that is something)  On this particular Valentines Nate decided to be nice and surprise me with a night out to go see "Memphis" at the Bass Hall. Which was amazing by the way. So I had to think of (copy) something good. I looked back at some old Pinterest ideas and found a pin for 31 days of prayers for your husband. So for the next 31 days I will have specific prayers for Nate. I typed it up for him (actually I just copied and pasted) and he loved it. The scratch offs and love coupons helped too! My MOPS group made the love coupons after our speaker talked about the five love languages. If you haven't read this book it is a must read for anyone even considering the possibility of marriage.  I have never been shy about telling anyone how hard marriage is, I was the first of my friends (at the time) to get married and used to tell them all the time that it is no picnic! Nate and I have been married for 6 1/2 years and he is the best husband ever and it's still hard. I feel like if we are more honest about the struggles people face in marriage then
1. People will know what they are getting into
2. There won't be as much divorce because people won't be under the misconception that they are the only couple struggling . 
And 3. When you get it right ( like Nate and I this Valentines) then you can be very proud and blog about it:) because sometimes it feels like it always goes wrong.
On a side note, Owen had a great Valentines at preschool, he got lots of fun goodies from friends and family. He also got his first sleeping bag from Grandma PJ, it was so cute I had to take a picture!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Just the Beginning of Our Fritzel Journey

Nate and I thought it might be a good idea to start documenting our adoption journey for ourselves and for all our loved ones to know what is going on.  As some of you know, we have wanted to adopt for a while now, and after many prayers and conversations, now is the time. We are so excited to have a new Fritzel in our family and of course for Owen and the future little Fritzel to experience the joys and frustrations;) of having a sibling.  After being turned down at one adoption agency for already having a child and being fertile, we are so excited to say that we have been pre-approved for a domestic infant adoption at another agency.  We will be adopting through Buckner International Adoption Agency in Dallas.  After our pre-approval we met with the adoption social worker on staff for an orientation.  We learned all about the history of adoption, Buckner's history of adoption, the adoption process, and received the application.  We are now in the midst of filling out massive amounts of paperwork in order to move forward.  Please check out our new blog from time to time in order to share in our ups and downs.

Our Adoption Timeline

Spoke with an adoption agency in Arizona that do Mexican adoptions and spoke with Gladney Adoption Agency, who informed us of our unlikeliness to be accepted.

Pre-application completed and turned in to Gladney Agency.

Rejected from Gladney Agency for domestic infant adoption for being fertile and already having one child.  Gladney asked us to look into international adoption.

Emailed Gladney and thanked them for their help.  Also explained that we have decided not to pursue international adoption at this time.

After our research of all agencies in the area, we decided on Buckner, a Christian adoption agency.  We filled out the pre-application and sent it the same day.

Decision to switch adoption to foster to adopt if Buckner did not work out.

Emailed Buckner to make sure they received our application.  SW emailed back to say she was on vacation.

Received a call from Buckner saying we were pre-approved for the domestic infant adoption!!!  Orientation scheduled.

Orientation rescheduled due to SW personal reasons.

Three hour orientation where we learned about the process with Buckner.  Decided Buckner was definitely the place for us.

Started filling out our application for adoption!

Discovered I am cancerfree and continued application process!

Mailed in Application! Wawho!

Made FBI fingerprint appointment.

FBI fingerprint appt. completed!

Hiccup in the Road

Due to my family history of breast cancer my doctor has asked me to start getting mammograms at the age of 30.  I should mention that my amazingly strong mother beat stage 4 breast cancer at the ripe old age of 28-29. (Sorry mom, felt i should mention that) Well, here I am, about to turn 31 (in April) and so I have put it off long enough right? So I went to get my first mammogram on January 29th, five days after our adoption orientation.  Two days later they called to ask me to come back for another mammogram and possible sonogram.  Well the waiting began.  I went back in a week later on Feb. 5th.  While I was there, they decided that I would need to do a biopsy to make sure what they had found was not cancerous.  Of course this was scheduled a week after that, Monday, Feb. 11th.  They told me that from there I would not have the results for about 48 hours.  I got the phone call yesterday to let us know that the biopsy turned out benign and I don't have cancer.  I can't tell you the relief that overwhelmed Nate and I.  You see, I have not questioned God's plan, we know that whatever that plan is, it will be for the best.  This little hiccup has just reiterated a few things for us...
#1 God is in control
#2 We are one blessed family for many reasons
#3 We have some pretty amazing family and friends who were there for us and prayed with us a long the way
Can't say enough thanks to God and all of you.
Thank you.