Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Take a Back Road"

So I just finished reading the most disturbing blog I've EVER read...and it was all based around a t-shirt.  The t-shirt reads "Adoption is the New Pregnant".  The blogger claims that it's offensive...that adoption is not like being pregnant at all and should not even be compared.  She also stated that domestic infant adoptions only happen when the baby is stolen from the "rightful parent".  She said that adoptive parents are nothing more than guardians and should be called such.  She said that only blood makes a family, even if the child is unwanted or unloved.  She said that what the bible says about adoption does not mean anything to her because she is not a Christian.  That's when I stopped reading.

Every one of my friends with children had them biologically (except for my blog friends I've "met" along this journey).  To them I ask....what are your thoughts on adoption?  Do you think it's baby stealing?  Do you think parents who adopt are nothing more than legal guardians to the child? Do you believe that if you are not related through blood to a child, they will never be yours? I have also met several families who had children biologically and decided to also adopt. 

My personal thoughts are that this particular blogger is bitter. She has had something really awful happen to her and through her blog, she attracted others who were bitter and that only fueled the fire.  Even before our journey began, I believed in adoption as an option.  That's because I'm a Christian.  I believe that a family is created through love.  I believe that God wants the best for His children and when a biological parent is not able to provide what is best, there are those ready for the opportunity. 

I do NOT agree in finding children for a family.  A family should be found for a child.  I do NOT agree with mothers being manipulated into adoption.  It should be completely voluntary and they should be given honest and upfront information and answers. 

Chase and I did not CHOOSE anything that we have experienced.  God chose it for us. Foster to adopt was not something we had ever considered until we joined Homes4Good.  Now, I can't imagine our journey going in any other direction.  THIS is what we are supposed to do.  THIS is what God wants for us.  We are going to show a child God's unconditional love even if it's only for a short time.  We won't be perfect and it won't be easy, but we are ready.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Give Us Clean Hands"

UPDATED 12/22/2011

It's only been a month and our entire life has been changed!  No, no baby YET (I'll get back to that later)!  The week before Thanksgiving, Z asked if she could come live with us.  She arrived on Tuesday, November 15 and started school the very next day!  It's definitely been a change but one that we welcomed with open arms!  We love having her here and we love how she has enriched our lives. She is a ball of energy and we are quickly learning boundaries and rules.  I think we have finally figured out a routine that seems to work out great for all of us! She's a great kid, though, and she is doing AWESOME in school!  She's already made a few friends and her teacher said she is doing great! Softball registration should be coming up in the spring and there is a fall soccer group so we are excited about getting her (and us) involved in some extra curricular activities! 

The other night I told Chase I never realized how boring my days had been until now! I am busy from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep and I truly love it! I never knew how much I was missing! Not only are Z and I having a great time bonding and growing together, Chase and I have experienced a new side to our relationship! I love watching him interact with her and I'm so proud of him for being such a great daddy!

In OTHER news....we are done! We have completely finished everything we needed to do to update our home study and transfer to Buckner.  Now it's in their hands.  They entered all of our info today and sent it to the state for approval.  They are telling us we should be approved (again) in the next week...or 2!  EEK!  It has been a YEAR since we began this process and we are sooooo ready to be done!!! I know the placement may not be fast and I definitely know the placement might not be permanent, but I'M SO EXCITED!!!!  With all of the hoopla going on with Z we lost sight of how quickly we may get ANOTHER child in the house! With that being said, I want to ask all of you to continue praying for us and our journey in growing our family and overall patience as we wait for the call.

One more note...STEFANIE COMES HOME TONIGHT!!!  I'm so excited to see her and hear all of her wonderful stories of how she shared the love of Jesus with those who may not have known Him!
Before I go, here are some quick pics of our beautiful tree and stockings!  I love decorating for Christmas and proud to announce that my shopping was done weeks ago! Zoren is with her mom for Christmas, but we will definitely be thinking of her and can't wait to see what Santa brings her!


A stocking for each family member - Chloe, Chase, Zoren, Baby To Be, Lisa, Preston

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"I'm Gonna Love You Through It"

Almost done...AGAIN! LOL! The next week consists of the following...adoption prep class, SAMA class, fingerprints, home visit, health inspection, home study interviews, fire inspection, and orientation (which should have been our first class...oops) and my very premature baby shower! WHEW! Feels like we've done this before! LOL!

This has been such a long journey and this is just the preparation period! I cannot wait to be updated. We aren't sure how long it will take from our last class (on the 15th), but I'm hoping that because we are already in the system, it will go fairly fast. Our hope is to be recertified by the end of November! That means that we have a pretty good chance of having a child in our house by Christmas! That's best case scenario...and that's what we are praying for!

I know this is not going to be easy, especially if that first child in our house isn't with us forever, but I'm hopeful. I'm 100% sure that our baby is out there somewhere, God is just preparing the perfect time for us to meet eachother.

I'm always amazed with our God. I'm amazed at how He uses the people in our lives to lead us to the exact spot He wants us to be. I would be no where near where I am today without God placing Chase in my life. When I trace back where I was to where I am, I have grown so much. My lifestyle has changed and my relationship with the Lord has changed. Everyday I'm learning a little more about who I am and who I want to be. This entire journey has been eye opening, to say the least. I know that we have been CHOSEN to grow our family this way. That is such a great feeling! Thank you Lord for every tear I've cried and every hug I've recieved. I have no doubt there are many more in my future!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Strong Enough"

We had a meeting today at Buckner. We turned in our formal application and officially begin updating our file. The problem? Buckner has several classes they require that we have not completed and they aren't scheduled until mid NOVEMBER! We were hoping to be finished with our transfer by the end of October but it looks like the end of November (since they still have to have a home visit too)! So frustrating. I feel like all we've been doing is paperwork and waiting! No update on the "maybe baby" and we know better than to get our hopes up! God has a plan...we just have to find patience until it all unfolds!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where the Sidewalk Ends

As some of you know, my wonderful sister, Stefanie, recently decided to answer the call to ministry. She left on Tuesday for Mozambique, South Africa to attend the Harvest School of Missions. I'm so proud of her and I'm so excited that she has been given this opportunity to serve the Lord and the people of Africa! She will be back in December, right before Christmas and I can't wait to hear all of her stories!!!

Now a not so interesting adoption update, but an update nonetheless! We are STILL waiting for our other agency to get our paperwork to Buckner. I have FINALLY completed our formal application and will be turning that in on Friday and meeting with the foster/adopt supervisor. I'm so ready to be done with paperwork...I feel like that's all we've done.

In other baby news, we have another "maybe baby". Those of you who've been reading know that we've had 2 "maybe" babies that ended with the mother deciding to parent. This current "maybe" baby is a huge shot in the dark. I have someone helping me to get her our information so that at the very least, we can meet. She's very young and already has a little boy that's a year old. Rumor has it that she's considering having someone become the forever family for both of them. All we can ask for right now are prayers...lots and lots of prayers. If all goes well, we'll also need a family attorney (if anyone knows one locally, let me know)!!!! Please add us to your prayer lists and thank you to our prayer warriors!!!!

We also need prayers for Chase's pawpaw! He's having a few health issues that have the doctors stumped so please pray that they will find something to help him and bring him back to good health. Other than that, no new Dodson family news. We are both really loving our new jobs and being so close to family. We've even made a few new friends! Yay!!! Hopefully I'll have more to update soon!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


We officially changed our status. We turned in our application to Buckner to begin our foster to adopt journey!

For those of you just now reading this, we were previously only in the category for straight adoption through CPS. This means rights have already been terminated while in foster care and the child's social worker would have to CHOOSE us based on a variety of factors. We wanted a baby/toddler so this made it a bit more difficult for us (since there are very few babies in foster care with no parental rights).

Chase and I have only been waiting since April (when our home study was approved) so it really hasn't been too long, but we have come to realize how much we want a child in the house. We understand there may be some heartache involved along the way, but we truly feel like we are doing the right thing. We believe that whatever child is placed with us was chosen by the grace of God and we will have a chance to show that child what true love means, even if it's just for a short time! We are still trying to adopt, so we are praying that we will have a chance to create a forever family sooner rather than later.

Now that our application is submitted we just wait for Buckner to recieve our paperwork from H4G. We will have to update some things in our home study and as far as I know, we'll be ready to rock and roll. YAY! I'm so excited to use our nursery!!! Of course, we have NO baby stuff other than the bed so we should probably get started!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"The Only Exception"

Hello blog world! I just realized I haven't been all too great at updating lately! First of all, let me express how happy we are living close to family! Chase loves his new job and I am really starting to enjoy my job! Our house is adorable and everything is just falling into place!

We visited Chase's cousin last week who recently adopted a little boy through foster care and is currently fostering a 3 month old little boy! I learned so much from her and finally was able to ask questions to someone who is living it! It really helped us! It helped us so much that we have decided to change adoption agencies in October and switch to foster to adopt. Currently, we are only doing straight adoption - which could take forever with the age group we are requesting. We will keep our age under 2, but we will be open to fostering with the opportunity to adopt!

Chase has always been OK with that option. I was the one who needed convincing. I want to be a mom and God is just presenting me with an opportunity that is a little unconventional so I'm going to put my trust in Him as I've done this whole time. I'm so ready to have kids in the house. Nobody said our path was going to be easy. In fact, they promised it would not. They told us there would be ups and downs, emotional roller coasters, happiness and tears. Boy, they were not kidding. Chase is excited about our new adventure that definitely gets me excited too! We have 2 orientations we will be attending with Buckner and Grace Manor. I'm hopeful that we will feel at home with one of them! :)

In other family news, my sister will continue her journey with God in Mozambique! She is attending a missions school in Africa and will be gone for 3 months from October to December! I'm so proud of her and I am asking for you guys to add her to your prayer lists as she spreads the good news of the Lord far from home!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Under the Table and Dreaming"

I try really hard to think positively. Honestly, I do! Today, though, was really hard. Cynthia emailed me to tell us that one of the children we were waiting for had been placed with her forever family. This was our 2nd rejection. Nobody likes rejection. It makes you feel less than worthy. It makes you feel like there is something wrong with you. What was it about our home study that made them look passed us? Did we do something wrong? Is the fact that I had cancer give them 2nd thoughts? Should we have answered a question differently? We have no idea.

Regardless of all of this, I still believe in God and I still believe in His plan for us.

On to other news in the Dodson household...we've moved!!! We are now living in Port Neches! Chase is working for HEB and he loves it. I'm working for a local dentist and so far so good, 3 days into it! :) We had Zoren with us the last 2 weeks and we definitely stayed busy with swimming, the beach, Nana and Pawpaw's house, the movies and just hanging out! The house is so quiet now. Even the dogs are having to adjust to the change!!! We also had our first visitors - Chase's mom, sister and my beautiful nephew!

I'm also happy to report that my dad's bypass surgery on July 13th went beautifully! Now the healing begins! He's still in some pain and had his staples taken out yesterday! EEK! It hurts me to even think about it! I just pray that he continues to take care of himself and doesn't take his heart for granted. I should start thinking about that too!

I'll update again soon with any new broadcasts or news! Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"I Hope You Dance"

I'm prefacing this entry by apologizing. I apologize for the whiney, cry baby, feel sorry for myself, really pathetic words that are about to pour out of my fingers.

AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! That's me crying and screaming all at once. I can't stand it. Today I found myself sitting in the empty baby room trying to take the crib apart when suddenly tears started running down my cheek. I know I've said this before many, many times and I have no doubt that I will say this again many, many's not fair! It's not fair that I don't get to have a conventional baby shower; it's not fair that I don't get to see an ultrasound; it's not fair that I don't get to put a real due date on a baby registry; it's not fair that I feel like my "expectancy" is less important than someone with a big belly; it's not fair that I'm not excited to go to baby showers. AAAGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Instead I have to sit here and wait. I have to sit here and wait for some STRANGER to decide whether or not I'm even suitable to BE a parent! Like right now. We are sitting around, twiddling our thumbs waiting to hear back about the 2 babies we were submitted for. We just wait. No, it's not like waiting the 9 months before having a baby. It's not even close to the same. Pregnant women KNOW they are having a baby. We have NO idea IF we are having a baby! Why did this have to happen to me? Why couldn't I just get pregnant like everyone else?

On a side note, Chase hates when I have "bad blog days"! :) LOL!!! I think it helps me to get through this whole crazy thing called life. It keeps me from laying around the house, crying all day. Believe me, I've felt like that before. I refuse to be depressed about this. I refuse to give up faith. I'm only human, though. I have emotions and right now they are sad.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Last Friday Night"

The title of this entry really makes no sense to what I'm writing, but I love me some Katy Perry and this is the song playing right now.

God is funny! I love how He has set up our lives like a giant obstacle course. No really, I love it! It keeps us on our tests our faith in makes us better people. I also love how He places people in our lives at the exact moment we need them. For example: Chase. I love who I've become since I met Chase. My life took a very sudden and unexpected turn when I met him. We are coming up on our 3rd anniversary in September and it feels like we've been together for an eternity! We've been through so much in the past few years that would have usually created a fragile relationship and yet our love for eachother and for God has only gotten stronger. Those obstacle courses are all over our lives! We approach each one carefully, work our way through it and come out at the end ready to conquer the next. If we didn't have a wonderful and beautiful God watching over us, I don't think we could have made it this far! "Savior please, keep saving me"!!

So onto adoption news! We are still waiting on 2 of the 3 broadcasts we were submitted to. We found out last week that one of the little girls found a forever family! That was our first "no" and we handled it beautifully! Of course, nobody likes rejection, but it is what it is! It only means our precious angel is still out there waiting for us! KEEP ON PRAYIN'!!!! We also found out that our agency in Conroe will continue to work with us once we move! I'm so relieved! Now we start moving our lives and ALL of our STUFF once again! At least this time,we'll have LOTS of family around us for support!!

I want to put a prayer request out there for those of you who read this! My dad is soon going to schedule his bypass surgery so we need some prayers to be sent up for my dad's health, safety and quick recovery AND also for the surgeon - that God will watch over him and guide his hand as he heals my daddy's heart!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Wherever You Will Go"

Since my last post, we've recieved 2 more broadcasts. We said yes to both of them. We are suckers. I had a bit of hesitation to one but we said yes anyway. We found out today that we were not chosen for her. God shows himself more and more everyday. I am now 100% confident that He has our baby picked out for us. We just have to remember that and to practice our patience. I have a wonderful sense of peace about this whole experience. It's actually quite enjoyable. I don't have any stress. I think I've finally learned how to give it all to God...well...most of it! :)

Other big news in the Dodson family...WE'RE MOVING! Chase was offered a great opportunity with HEB and it just so happens to be in Beaumont! The day he got his offer, I started to send our my resume to a couple of positions I saw advertised. The next day, I got a phone call to set up an interview. Two days later, I drove to Beaumont for an interview and by 7:00pm that same night, I HAD A JOB! God answers prayers and clears paths that we would have never thought possible. Add to that - my parents have a townhouse on the market for about a year now, so we'll be able to live there until it sells! YAY!!!!

I'm off to pack now...we have a lot of work ahead of us! I'll update soon...hopefully with some really great news!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet"

I don't know if any of you have known anyone or been involved in adoptions through the state. If you have, you will understand what the past 2 days have been like for us. If not, you have NO idea how our lives have been turned upside the best possible way! :) Let me tell you how that past few days have been...

I finally got around to bringing our scrapbook to the agency. This is what CPS will look at along with our home study to make decisions. We hadn't had any "broadcasts" (profiles of children looking for a family) and didn't think it would happen for a while so I thought I had plenty of time. As I was driving back to work from dropping the book off, Cynthia, our family specialist, gave me a call to verify my email address. No biggie. I get to work and check my email to find our very first BROADCAST!!!! A BEAUTIFUL little boy - one year old - perfectly healthy and happy - rights already terminated which means straight adoption. I called Chase and very quickly told her YES, we are interested! Now we wait! Our home study has been submitted and CPS will take the next several weeks to look everything over. They will then choose 3 families. The case workers for these 3 families will appear before CPS on behalf of the families and a decision will be made. GEEZ!!!

I'm not getting my hopes up. I know that if this little boy is meant to be ours, He will make it happen. If not, it just means that our baby is still out there!!!

THEN we got another phone call this evening from Cynthia. This one was much different. A newborn baby needs a foster home. The only information she had was that the baby is the 12th child of this mother, no drugs in the system and is being released from the hospital tomorrow. I called Chase frantically and after a super quick discussion, we decided no. We aren't ready for the emergency calls. We knew they were possible, just not ready for the real thing. We are creating our game plan tomorrow in case we get another phone call like that! I'm confident that when the right situation presents itself, we'll know...without hesitation!

Please pray for us. I faithfully and whole heartedly believe in the power of prayer. It works.

I'll update with any new news or information I receive! G'night! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Head Over Feet"

When I think really really hard, I can remember when things weren't so stressful. I remember when my primary concern was what to wear to school in the morning or what I was going to do for the weekend. I remember when everything was easy. I know at the time, I thought it was so difficult and so unfair. Why is it that we can't recognize the ease of life until it's too late? I'm ready for my life to get easy. I'm ready for things to calm down and really enjoy the blessings that I have been given. I'm ready to have our family complete, I'm ready to spend more time with my husband, I'm ready to settle down, I'm ready! I feel like I'm waiting for something to come along and make it all smooth. I know that in reality, there will always be something and I just need to get out there and make the most of my life because it will all soon pass me by.

I received another phone call today. This time it was from our Family Specialist, Cynthia. I remembered her from one of our training classes and she remembered us (probably because I ask so many questions). She is an adoption specialist. They had some questions regarding whether we should be with an adoption specialist or a foster to adopt specialist. The fact that we ultimately want to adopt is what made the final decision. She explained how the process would go and clarified a lot of my concerns. I asked if we would know the date for TPR if we foster to adopt legal risk, I asked what the liklihood of having a newborn would be and I asked how we get chosen if we say yes to a "broadcast"! WHEW! It was a lot to take in and I admit that it got me a bit emotional. I was trying not to let her know, but I think she heard it in my voice - it was just so overwhelming. She said "this is going to be an emotional time for the both of you and you need to be sure you are praying and talking"!

I know that I'm much more emotional than Chase, especially when it comes to things like this. I always feel a bit insecure whenever I open up to him about my feelings because I'm not sure if he would understand. Now don't get me wrong, he has never made me FEEL insecure, I think that's just me being afraid of opening up too much. I remember writing a blog years ago about my guard that I would put up. I didn't want anyone to know what I was feeling because I believed that would keep me from being hurt. It was easier not to involve anyone in my personal life and I was coming to terms with being single for the rest of my life. Then I met Chase. I can't be like that with Chase. He's my husband and I fell in love with him because he made me feel comfortable and because I know he loves with without any reservation.

Each person I've spoken to at our agency has ended the phone calls pretty much the same. PRAY! I pray every day. It's my own time with God and I can talk to Him about anything and everything. I thank him for my blessings and offer up any worry and concern and every now and then I cry. I'm just not so great at letting ALL of the worry and concern go. I've asked Chase to start praying with me. It's something we've always wanted to do and then we let life get in the way. Too tired, too late, too early, too lazy. We've had every excuse you can think of. We have too much going on in our lives to take prayer for granted. He listens...He guides...He answers prayers....He provides miracles and blessings...He takes away our pain and worry.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Can't Fight This Feeling"

I got a phone call today. It was from a very sweet lady named Linda from Homes 4 Good! I wasn't sure what I expected her to say, but I'm sure I had some sort of excitement in my voice when I said "HI"! She introduced herself and simply said "I wanted to welcome you to Homes 4 Good"! She then went on to answer pretty much every single question I've had to this point!

As of Wednesday, when we get our state number, we will be official! BUT since everything is approved and entered, they will begin looking for a placement asap! I have to admit, I got a little teary when I heard her say that! Of course, I must also be realistic about the whole thing! We are being pretty specific and ultimately want to adopt so that puts us in a very long list of parents. She explained how the next few steps will look.
1. We will be assigned a Family Specialist by Tuesday!
2. We will have our official number by Wednesday!
3. We wait for the perfect situation for both us and the child!

She said her rule of thumb is to think 9 months from now, like a pregnancy. If something happens before that time, then great! If not, then at least we have mentally prepared ourselves. She described it as a giant gray area in our lives, but that we need to keep moving on and praying!

Since we want to adopt and not just foster, there are 2 ways this could go for us. The first situation would be a straight adoption. That means that the parental rights have already been terminated and the baby is ready to be adopted. If we say YES, then our home study will be sent to the state and they will decide on three parents. Then the family specialists would go in and essentially "fight" for her couple. UGH! This usually takes about a week, from what I understand! The child in these situations are rarely under 18 months old.

The other situation woudl be legal risk foster to adopt. This means that the baby is in foster care, but the parents are making no effort to regain custody. Although it's not official, the state would place this child in the legal risk category with the anticipation of adoption. This could also take about a year or so, but we have a better chance of this placement being a younger infant. We ALSO have the chance of the child going back to his/her bio family. If we get this type of phone call, we must decide immediately, otherwise other parents will say yes and we will go back into the pool of waiting parents!

We are in a situation that has not been easy from the very beginning! I'm taking all of this and giving all of my worry and concern to God. It's not my choice. It's never been my choice. God has given us a path and free will. We have taken what He's given us and made the best of it. I'm so blessed to have a husband and family that is supportive and excited about this journey we are on. I can't believe we are finally to this point.

I got an email from ANLC the other day. It made me a bit sad because I know that if we had gone with them, we would probably already have a baby. I just can't justify going into such debt just to become parents. I wish we had the money to move forward with them, but those just were the cards we were dealt. And that's ok.

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Don't Hide Your Shine"

There is a wonderful blog that I follow and her most recent post was a request for blogging women to brag about themselves...more specifically their bodies! EEK! We, as women, have been judged and tormented for not being perfect since we were little girls. It's quite ridiculous! I feel so sorry for our little girls KNOWING what they will be facing once that innocence has worn off. All we can do is prepare them to be confident and to understand that God made each one of us in His likeness...and that is why we are all different! As Chase can attest, I am always griping about how awful my body is so I'm a little nervous to start discussing the good things...but here I go!

1. My smile - I seem to get the most compliments on my smile! I always knew it was big, but I never really thought about it being pretty. Now that I work in the dental field, I'm must more conscious of it and much more appreciative!

2. My scars - I used to be very aware of the scar on my chest, but when I talked about removing it, Chase said "but it's part of you". That's true! It's been there for as long as I can remember and it's a great conversation piece! I told one patient that a vampire bit me! She laughed so hard! :) My other scars were granted to me through bike riding (or falling), slicing a chicken breast and getting cookies out of an oven. My most recent scars were the ones I thought I'd never overcome. I have five 1 inch scars all over my abdomen. These are my battle wounds. It shows that I wasn't afraid to overcome my cancer and I'm proud to wear them!

3. My legs - I love that they LOOK athletic when, in fact, I'm not an overall very athletic person! :) They need some fat reduction and toning in some areas, but otherwise, I'm very happy with my legs. I had a friend in high school who would tell me how she wished she had my legs. I never understood why...I thought I was fat! See...there's that girl thing again!

4. My ears - they don't stick out, they are not too big or too small. They are just perfect. YAY!

5. My feet - as much as other people's feet disgust me (except for Z's...they are so cute), mine aren't too bad. I don't have weird shaped toes or too many or few! I love getting pedicures because I'm not ashamed of my feet!

WHEW!!! There we go! That was a lot easier than I thought it would be!

On a different note - our home study is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27 at 1:30! I'm not very nervous. I've decided that this is all God's call! We just need to be open and honest and God will take care of the rest. I think it should take about a month to find out if we are approved! Lots of prayers, please!!!! :)

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Easter weekend!

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Beautiful Disaster"

So I really don't have anything to write about today other than this is my first entry with my BRAND NEW iPad!!!!!! I totally love it. I've already played angry birds, set up Skype and email and just added some pictures! Oh yea...this is going to be addicting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"We are the Champions"

My pictures are a little out of order, but I just don't feel like deleting or moving them or whatever! :) So March 20 was Warrior Dash! We finished in 54 minutes but at least we finished...or better yet, I FINISHED! It was a lot harder than I thought and I'll never take 3 miles for granted again!! I'm already training for the Warrior Dash in Cedar Creek in November! YAY! Chase is planning to run the Tough Mudder in October which is about 10+ miles...YUCK!! :)

We also had our 2nd annual BBQ at our place on March 26! We had a great turn out and it was so good to see everyone!! THEN April 3rd we had Chase's family reunion (no pictures up yet)! WHEW! What a busy month!!! Now we have begun packing the house to move on May 1! I'm excited about the house, but NOT excited about packing. So far Zoren's room is the only room packed!!!

OH...and still waiting on our case worker to schedule our home study! UGH!!!!!!!!

Ryan, Lacey, Aunt Zita and mom at the BBQ The old BBB crew at the BBQ!

Chase fixin' some burger and hot dogs!!!

My Medal!!! YAY!!!

Chase, me, Melanie and Jared! SO proud of us!
Me and Melanie with our side pony tails - in front of all the donated shoes!
Our future warrior!!!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Act of God

"Childbirth is an act of nature, but Adoption is an act of God"

"Welcome to the Jungle"

I have no idea where I left off with my last entry, so I apologize if I repeat anything. An update on our status...we are now waiting for a case worker to be assigned to us and set up our home study! FINALLY!!! Z had her TB test results read today so we are officially DONE with all of that stuff! UNTIL we move! We found a house (for lease) in Houston...way north Houston off of 1960. It's a great neighborhood and a fabulous house perfectly in our price range (not to mention it's 2800 sq ft and 4 bedrooms...YAY)!! Chase still does not want to look at buying a house just yet. We aren't really sure where we will be in the next year with his job! Of course, my hope is that we'd be in Dallas, but more than likely, we'll still be here!!!

So when we move, then we have a few things we need to redo. I already have a floor plan and property outline ready to go, I've already been in touch with the Houston Health Dept for our inspection letter and I've already printed up the fire inspection app. I'm so ready to go when as soon as we move.

We are running the Warrior Dash this weekend! EEK! I'm not really nervous...just anxious! I know I can get through it, it's all mental! Maybe not ALL mental, but mostly...the rest is stamina! :) I think I'm gonna hurt after this!!! I'm sure I'll have some great pictures to post next week!

We've had Z now for almost a week and so far so good! We've had a few discussions on our parenting/discipline techniques which is great. These times with her are definitely helping us to figure out how we tackle different child scenarios! We've also had some fun too! I took Zoren to have her first pedicure! She LOVED it! We've also Skyped with my mom quite a bit so she gets to chat with her and catch up. Tonight is game night which may end up turning into bowling, but it will be fun regardless! And the biggest event of the week is that Z learned how to ride a 2 wheeler! She caught on really fast and I'm so happy Chase was able to share that experience with her! Here are some pics and videos of our week so far!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Breakfast at Tiffanys"

I was very proud of me this week!! I FINALLY had my TB test done so we are one step closer to closing that door (Chase is having his done today)! I also wrote my first disgruntled email and GOT A RESPONSE!!! We have been waiting since November to receive Chase's divorce decree. After several phone calls with nothing being done, I finally tracked down the email for the district clerk in Dallas County. And what do ya know, Chase got a phone call Monday morning saying they were sending out that day! Pretty darn proud!

SO...once we get the testing completed and the decree is received, then we get on the list to have our home study completed! I'm sooo ready!!! I even ordered my crib bedding the other day! LOL!!! I thought, why not? I have the crib I may as well put some bedding in it! I'll have to take some pictures of the'd think we have a baby about to come home to live in it. Chase and I joke that baby Greyson will have an awesome room when he comes to visit!!! :)

I have been noticing that I'm not so sad anymore. I'm not sure why, but it's nice. I get tired of being upset or sad when it comes to babies. I don't know if it's just because I've been so busy that I haven't had time to think about it or my grieving is finally under control (not gone, though).

I have a friend who was just told that all of their efforts to conceive have failed. I know what the feeling of loss is, but I don't know what it feels like to not know why you are experiencing that loss. I am a great listener, but all I can really do is listen and be there. I guess I'm blessed, in a way, to KNOW why I can't conceive. It all sucks, regardless, but I'm sure she is so confused right now. I feel for her...she has a long journey ahead but I know they are a strong couple and will be just fine!

Well...back to work (I'm at lunch)! I'll update in the next week - hopefully saying that all of our stuff is turned in and home study scheduled! We may be getting Zoren next week for spring break too, so I guarantee I'll have some fun pictures to post!

Til next time...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Bring the Rain"

What a fabulous weekend! My sister in law, Kasey, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last night! I love him so much and I did NOT want to put him down! She had a pretty rough night and ended up having a C section at 10pm - but mommy and baby are doing great!!!!

I'm proud to say that I didn't have any "woe is me" moments this weekend. I was so excited about this baby and becoming an aunt, my issues were the last thing on my mind! I'll be honest, though, I can't wait for it to be our turn! I also can't wait to see Greyson again soon and to finally have him meet his Uncle Chase!!!!

So I heard this song on the way home tonight! It's called "Bring the Rain" by Mercy Me! It was one of those songs that really spoke to me. It was almost like I had written the that were taken straight from my heart! Through all of the hardships Chase and I have come face to face with, I have never blamed God or turned my back on him. Instead, I've trusted that He has something wonderful for us. He is always testing our faith and He is always by our side!

Here are the lyrics:
"I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can cirumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, Oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray"

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Bittersweet Symphony"

I am proud to announce that we have everything except for 2 things completed before we schedule our home study!!! We are STILL waiting on Chase's divorce decree (which was requested and paid for in NOVEMBER) and we need to get our TB tests done! Once we finish that, we schedule our home study! EEK! The approval process is about a month after that, then we meet with our case worker and get the ball rolling. I told Chase that I would feel more comfortable TRYING straight adoption first and if we get no response after a few months, then we can switch to foster to adopt (which has a much faster placement).

I'm not as nervous or anxious about the process as I was in the beginning. I'm ready to have a baby, but it will all happen when it's supposed to! I have to admit, though, I still have problems hearing about people who are pregnant. I'm not angry or resentful (as I have been in the past), I'm just a little sad. But I get over it and move on. This is MY journey. Everyone has something different planned for their life. Ours is just a little different. There is one thing that DOES make me angry...all of these reports about parents killing their babies or squeezing their heads or dumping them in the trash! WHAT????? GIVE THEM TO ME! I know, I isn't fair, but that is pure evil!

Our 2nd Annual BBQ is coming up - Saturday, March 26 is the date! Last year we had it at the end of April and it was sooo hot, so we are trying a little earlier this year! Hopefully we'll have a great turn out, but still waiting on a TON of people to reply (you know who you are)!! :)

I still have a lot of "support adoption" bracelets! With every $5 donation, you get a bracelet! Pass it along - I really want to get rid of all of them!

Have a great weekend!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Better Than A Hallelujah"

Our 2nd fundraiser was a HUGE success! On January 22 we held a garage sale fundraiser at my parent's home in Port Neches! In the super cold weather, we raised a little over $2000!!! This could NOT have been done without the generous donations from so many people (and even the ones we didn't have room for)! More than that, though, we could not have done this without the generous donation of time from our wonderful family and friends. They devoted their entire weekend to helping us set up and sell our items. I hope each one of you know how much your time and kindness mean to us! We are so lucky to have you all in our lives and we will eternally thank you for your selflessness! We will make this up to you and truly show our gratitude, but until then, know that you are FABULOUS and we love each one of you more than you can imagine!!! We definitely had a great time - from setting it up all night and FREEZING to getting in trouble by the cops for hanging signs!!!! :)
Our next fundraiser (most likely) will be a link sale! I'll keep you guys updated on all of our upcoming fundraiser events!
Kylee - she may be small, but she was a hard worker!

The cars lining the streets and around the block!

Stuff...lots and lots of stuff (and Mima)

Our shirts!! Everyone who participated got an "Operation Baby Dodson" shirt!

Our wonderful volunteers with our beautiful sign created by Lacey!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Only You Can Save"

Well...I had one of THOSE moments again today! I felt sorry for myself...and sadly, resentful toward others. I can't seem to really understand why today, of all days, this hit me because I came home to a beautiful crib assembled in our nursery-to-be (hopefully)! I just keep seeing these "i'm pregnant" or "look at my belly" posts! UGH!!! I know it's not anyone's fault that I feel this way, it's just me - I am honestly very very happy for every one of my friends expecting a baby - it's jealousy...just jealousy. I wish someone could understand without thinking that I'm just being mean or selfish! I know I'll get over it and I usually don't even think about it but every now and then I remember that I will never be able to experience finding out I'm pregnant or listening to the heart beat or feeling a kick or knowing what our baby would look like. Then I remind myself that God has chosen us to be parents to a child that needs a home and that we have been blessed with the ability to share our love and support with them. When I see it like that, I can't help but thank God for choosing me!

So I made my New Years resolution and losing weight is NOT on the list - I think it should just be a given. I want to create a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to start doing to regular devotionals with Chase, I want us to be licensed to adopt by the end of January and I want to start running 5Ks. A recent addition to that is to participate in the Tough Mudder( in November! We'll have to see how that one goes...but Chase is very convinced that he's going to do it!!

Speaking of New mom had a fabulous NYE party! It was a 70's theme party and everyone looked fantastic and had a great time! Christmas was also pretty great...although it was the first year I can remember that my family was not all in one place! We'll be celebrating Christmas this weekend with Chase's family so we're looking forward to that!

We ALSO have our Adoption Fundraiser garage sale coming up on January 22! It will be in Port Neches at my mom's house so if anyone is in the area, please come by! We will have SO much stuff to sale and it's going toward a wonderful cause!

I'll be back soon, I'm sure, with updates about the garage sale as well as how we are doing in our adoption process!!!!