our mistry baby.

while i was recently going through some papers and school projects that came home at the end of the school year, i came across a family book that marlie had made.  on each page she had drawn a picture of a family member and wrote how she loved each of us.  it started with your standard issued "i love my daddy, i love my mama, i love my sister, i love my brother, i love my baby sister."

i was surprised that there was an extra page at the end.  on it, she drew a picture of herself, with wild, yellow curls, blue eyes and "peach" skin.  beside her was a little swaddled baby, carefully colored dark brown.  below, the caption read, 
"i love my mistry baby."  

it is strange sometimes how a baby that doesn't even exist yet can already feel like a part of our family.  sometimes, when people ask how many kids i have, i accidentally say "five."  when we look at houses, we make sure there is room for five kids.  when we consider feeding the bottomless pit that is teenage children, we envision feeding five insatiable pits.  when i pray for my kids, i write in five different-colored prayer journals.  and when we panic about how we can't afford to put any of them through college, we make sure we panic about not being able to afford five tuitions.

this baby feels as much a part of our family as any of us.  and i can't wait to meet, and then know, and then love, our mistry baby.

now that london's health issues have resolved, and she is at a reasonable age to begin considering a sibling as a real, live thing in our home... we are starting up the adoption process again.  many people wonder (and ask) what this will look like... so, here is sort of list of must-do's as we move forward in the adoption journey.

  • finish all of our on-line application information.  (we have done the formal application and the interview portion, but the online portion requires a lot of specific family and financial information that we need to update and adjust.  it is actually pretty time consuming.)
  • apply for adoption loans.  (we are really praying that we will be selected for the abba fund, which is an interest-free adoption loan... this would really change our lives.  paying off our first adoption loan was a huge deal this past tax season, and we would love to avoid paying any interest this time around, if it is at all possible!)  
  • continue fundraising.  (this adoption will probably cost us somewhere around $16,000.  hopefully, this explains why we need to take a loan, and do fundraising. check out our store to see how you can help out!)
  • take care of tedious details, that are annoying, but necessary. this includes: getting physicals to clear for everyone in the home, getting fingerprints done, as well as child abuse clearances/background checks so they know we aren't criminals,   (hope they don't find out about this.)
  • make a family profile. (this is a scrapbook that gives birthparents a look at what life with us might be like.  this is where a birthmother can "get to know" a family through pictures and letters that explain who a family is and what they enjoy, believe and do together as a family.  it can play a huge role in being chosen by a birthmother, so it is an important, and time-consuming project... but one that i love to do!)
  • complete the home study.  (this is what kicks off my adoptive-version of nesting.  and trust me, it is no less intense than nesting while pregnant.  i have done both! comparatively, nesting during an adoption is intensified because it happens for an indefinite period of time! having no due date to use as a gauge for when my personal mania will end is tricky, but i usually  use the home study date as a nice "kick-off" to my indefinite state of perpetual nesting-mania.
  • maybe move into a different house.  (this one is not a "must" but is highly recommended by the last shred of common sense that i possess.  in order to make room for mistry babe, we will have to really overhaul the bedrooms.  depending on if we have a boy or a girl... we will have to move harper and london around, tear up carpets, loft beds, and bunk the baby up with someone... it just might be a costly project, and we aren't 100% convinced it makes sense to invest more money in this house, when we know that eventually we are going to need more space.  and if there is one person out there who would like to challenge me on this, i would ask you to try potty-training and living with five kids with one bathroom. on the second floor.  that leaves one sink, one toilet, one shower, and three bathroom drawers for 7 people.  i am not complaining... we have been making it work.  but, let's just say... we are outgrowing our home with four kids.  #5 might seal the deal.)
so, those are the major things off the top of my head.  i will certainly keep everyone apprised as we move along.  we are very excited about growing our family, once again, through adoption.  i am, admittedly, a little nervous.  it seems pushy to ask God for another healthy, beautiful child.  it is tempting to leave well-enough alone, and just be happy with the four treasures that i have already been given.  but, God is God.  and i am a fool. so, i am gonna go with obeying what i believe He has asked us to do.  and i believe we are called to open our hearts, our lives, our home, and even our bathroom to another baby.  so, we will.  we will wait, and nest, and open ourselves to this little miracle-mistry that will someday be so much our own, that he will only seem a mistry to everyone but us.