Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Perfectly Timed Package.

(Two posts in one day? What?!)

May 7th is not one of my favorite days of the year. On May 7th of 2013, we had an ultrasound confirming that we had lost a baby for the fourth time. On May 12th, Mother's Day, our loss became physically real. It was a very painful reminder that we still were not "parents" even after the two years since our D&C from our third loss. (May 13th, 2011. May was obviously shaping up to be my favorite month.)

This year I've dreaded having so many "milestones" in the span of 7 days, plus Mother's Day. (I wasn't expecting to have two little ones in the house to keep me busy!) These days are difficult. They aren't just reminders of was lost but also that I'm still not a "mother" by most people's definition. My short pregnancies are far too often overlooked. The (unintentionally) hurtful comments are endless.


I was pretty surprised when I came home on May 7th to find a box, wrapped in green paper, addressed to me. It was from one of my sweet friends I've been blessed to find after our losses. She's been so excited and supportive about our foster journey. I opened it to find a box STUFFED full of clothes and socks. She must have been stocking up for this box every time she went shopping! It had an outfit for every age between the age of 12 months to 5T. Plus socks.

I pulled out every outfit. I oohed, aaahed. Then I cried. A good cry. I didn't expect to cry a good cry on May 7th. Aside from being incredibly kind (seriously, unbelievably amazing), this package was a reminder of how close we are to being parents. Yes, our parenthood is going to look different. Our kids may come and go. They'll be ours for that time though. We'll be there to love and hug. The first ones to get them up in the morning and the ones to cuddle them before the get into bed. We're going to have the blocks and shapes to step on in the living room after the lights go out. (Ouch. This happened this week. It's not pleasant. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.) We're right on the verge of it all.


So, sweet friend, you know who you are. I could never thank you enough. I know you probably didn't plan the timing, it was all His. You are so wonderful. I'm so thankful for everything that you put into this. You have no idea how much it means to us. You ARE a beautiful person, through and through. We are blessed that you are in our life! <3 

Our First Foster Experience.

I've been trying to blog for a week and a half now. I WILL get my last post done, I WILL get my last post done.

Saturday, one of my long time and closest friends (she's family!) graduated with her Master's! I was able to celebrate her wonderful accomplishment at a BBQ her boyfriend and family threw her. It was hot and wonderful. So much fun!

Congratulations Lara!! <3 <3

While I was at the BBQ, I got a call from our agency asking us to take in four children for emergency respite. Four little ones, five years old and under. My heart would take every single one of them. Realistically, I knew couldn't fit four kids into either vehicle. We don't have a house for four children. So, it broke my heart to say no. 

An hour or so later, I got another call. "Are you sure?" They still couldn't find someone and needed these babies moved now.

No, we really can't take four.

Shortly after. "We have to split them, can you take the younger two?"

Let me tell you, going to zero kids to two kids is exhausting. Our house isn't quite ready but it's close so that made the transition made even more interesting. This year, we spent our first Mother's Day with kids in our house. It was completely unexpected. I knew that we were throwing control out the window by deciding to foster. This week has cemented that fact in my head. I'm very quickly understanding that with fostering, everything, absolutely everything is unexpected. 

These little ones are still with us. Today they are spending the day, reunited with their older siblings, with a potential adoptive family. The older siblings weren't the only ones excited. Our two little guys were squealing with joy to see their brother and sister! Please pray for everyone involved. This is a big decision to make, especially because they have four children already. <3 

I think for our first experience, we've had a great one. The kids adjusted fairly quickly. They sleep pretty well and eat extremely well. Our "Oh!-We-need-this!" is growing quickly.

We leave for Omaha VERY early Saturday morning, so the longest we can have them is Thursday. They can't go out of state with us. (We're just emergency respite for now and if we were already licensed, it takes longer usually to get an okay for out of state visits.) It's been a blessing that this family has expressed interest in adopting the entire sibling set. They've had them for six hours and a half hours. I can't wait to hear how things are going. Please, please pray!

Friday, April 25, 2014

We're Getting There!


About three weeks ago I really confused a bunch of people when I posted in search of a second crib. Thanks to a super sweet friend, we ended up with a second one. In fact, it's a PERFECT MATCH to the first one we had. In addition to the two cribs and changing table, we also added a dresser. Hey! (This picture is actually a few weeks old but we have to little ones sleeping over tonight so I can't take new photos right now!)

For those of you here for the first time, no we're not pregnant. We're going through the process to get licensed to foster. There's more about this decision in the previous post. :) Once we're licensed we hoping to give a home to two children, under the age of two. At this point, we're going through our list of to-dos and checking them off. Today I checked off a few and started working on a few more. This weekend will bring more work!



Let me take a second to brag on two of my out of town friends!! Recently I received two packages. One containing all of the toiletries on the left (kid and baby shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, toothbrush sets, etc.) and a package of diapers! The other package was a box full of different sippy cups!! Seriously. We are so blessed by the support system we have around us. <3 <3 <3

This week I'll be putting a lot more work into our "baby" room. I can't wait to post more photos!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We Have A Crib In Our House.


I had been putting this post off for a while. I wasn't sure exactly what to say or how to say it. I was worried I might upset someone who had been supportive of our adoption journey. Then I realized I was being silly. Really silly. Everyone who has been supportive of us has done so because they love us. We love each and every one of you. All of the support has been so incredible. We hope that you will continue to emotionally and prayerfully support us in the months and years to come.

Why?


Because we have a crib in our house. In fact, we're going to need a second one. We also have a changing table and some toys. There's a high chair in our kitchen and two car seats in our garage. 

Over the last two months, I'd been having this feeling and I wasn't quite sure if we were in the right "place" anymore. After a lot of prayers, plenty of discussion and hours upon hours upon hours of research, Dustin and I decided that we want to open our home and hearts to foster children. We decided we wouldn't tell anyone other than our parents until after our first training class. 

Training day 1 was March 1st. (Literal DAY,  it was 12 hours long.) Training day 2 was this past Saturday. We were joined by quite a few active families and all of their children. Another long day, but wonderful day. We met so many great people. It was fantastic. Even though both days, we inevitably heard some heartbreaking stories and had to cover to several extremely difficult topics, I left with a completely overflowing heart. Dustin enjoyed day 2 more. He had some wonderful conversations with some experienced foster dads and he felt extremely encouraged at the end of the day.

We still have quite the list of things to get done. We're hammering it down though! We're ready to love on some little ones who really need it during especially difficult times in their little lives. We know it's not going to be easy. We're expecting it to be extremely difficult. We're pretty sure we'll get hurt.

One thing I know for sure: it will be so worth it.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chaaaaaanges!

There's changes coming. If you visit our blog for updates, you probably noticed it immediately. There's a bunch of them! Links are hidden, pages are gone. In fact, even the name changed. If you read our posts through your reading list, well then, I'm telling you now.

Changes are coming. And the name just didn't feel right anymore. The puzzle piece thing still worked but the rest was just wrong. So, bare with us. I promise, I won't leave you in the dark for too long. We're busy with all these exciting changes. <3


Friday, January 31, 2014

Mary Kay and Scentsy Love!

One of the brightest things to come out of our losses is the friendships I've gained with the women I've met. I wish we all could have found each other some other way but I'm glad that I have them in my life.

One of those sweet ladies is my friend Ashton. Recently she's dived into the world of Mary Kay! She has been so extremely supportive but it took me by complete surprise when she offered to have a fundraiser for us! Starting tomorrow (February 1st) through the end of the month, a portion of her profits will be donated to our adoption fund! If you are a Mary Kay fan (or know someone who is, Valentine's Day is coming!!!), please head on over to her page.


I was completely blown away by Ash's offer. We talked about it for a few months until just a few days ago, she posted about it on her Facebook page. She shared a little about both of our journeys as well as the plan for February. Shortly after sharing, a friend of hers, a complete stranger to me, got in contact with her. Meredith is a Scentsy consultant. She has also offered to donate a portion of her profits from the entire month of February to our adoption fund!! Please like her on Facebook. You can visit and purchase from the "Maddie Sanford" party. (If your concerned that you're not in the correct party, at the top of your screen, you should see an arrow. Click on the arrow. Next to my name you can click on "Shop!")


Thank you again so much ladies for your donations! Thank you also to each one of you that are keeping up with our story and shopping. It's appreciated so much more than you know!! :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hi, I'm Maddie and I Have an Addiction.

Before our fourth loss, I was on a healthier living kick. I lost about 35 pounds. During the pregnancy, I wasn't allowed to work out. Most foods I had been eating, made me completely sick to my stomach. After the loss, quick and easy foods were usually not the foods I should have been eating either. So, I gained some of that weight back. As we got back closer to the holidays and moving, I was determined NOT to continue to gain more weight back. While I was trying to find the best way to stay accountable over the holidays, a friend shared a dietbet with me. It began Thanksgiving and ended Christmas. 


So, I signed up, I paid my $20, and I weighed in. I had never done one so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I tracked my weight over the four weeks and did my very best. The best part, I WON! I won $51.38!! Woo! When I woke up to the e-mail saying I won, that was it. I was addicted. I immediately needed another one. 



Jess and Ash are now hosting a New Year Bet. This bet is $25 and currently the pot is up to $1200. You're betting that you can lose 4% of YOUR body weight. ALL of the winners split the pot. The final weigh in is January 30th-31st. It started this morning but you can still join. Please feel free to come join us!