David and Lara's Adventures

Our journey through life, infertility, and adoption

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

November 29, 2010

The 29th at 1:23am, I said goodbye to my dad. At only 28, I feel like I should have had many more years with my dad. Watching him be the grandfather to my children, which he was so excited to be. And more time to develop the friendship we grew to have as I grew into an adult. Six weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with his cancer…6 weeks was all it took to claim his life. We didn’t get the chance to try any treatment before his organs started to fail. In hindsight, he wouldn’t have wanted to try chemo only to get the same result. The cancer was just too advanced. And he would be living day after day in pain. I was able to hold his hand until his final breath, making sure he knew he was loved before he departed from our world.

My dad’s memorial service took place last Saturday. It was a beautiful service, and I know my dad would have smiled seeing all of the people there. He was well loved! Donna (my step-mom) wanted the service to show his life stages. His brothers and sisters talked about him as a brother. His co-worker and best friend talked about him in his work life, and then the 7 kids talked about him as a father. The following is a copy of what I said.

I have been trying for days trying to find a way to properly represent my dad today. He was courageous in the face of sick ness and he was our light during our time of darkness. What keeps standing out about him was his sense of humor. And maybe even more than that, his laugh. For those that may not have had the pleasure of witnessessing such an event, it started with his shoulders. Then it moved to arm shaking, and eventually became a full belly laugh. Sometimes even with his legs shaking. And it would continue for minutes sometimes. I miss that laugh, but it is one I inherited. David knows I'm laughing because he sees my shoulders shaking. I suppose someday I can carry on that belly laugh.

The other trait that keeps on making me smile is the way he always talked in accents. When he talked about work, he used an Indian accent. And when he brought up people from another country, he used an accent appropriate to that country. And everytime, it would make us giggle. Even the day before he passed away, he brought out a Jewish lady impression...making us laugh even in his final hours.

I miss my dad, more and more every day. I can still see him smile when I close my eyes and still feel his bear hugs in the moments I need them most. He left us a most precious gift in Donna, who has been an angel to his children. Not only for the past 6 weeks, but for the many years before that. He has linked together all of his daughters, who I am honored to know. Although a shining light has gone out in our family tree, we will carry on his memory forever.


I’m still in shock, but I am doing okay. We have experienced a lot of “life” in the last month and are definitely ready for better days.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This changes everything...again.

Our house is now quiet, everyone is napping (we have had lots of house guests), and I am taking a few quiet moments to update our blog. I am reminded tonight of the iPhone commercial that says “this changes everything, again.” In fact, we find ourselves saying this phrase a lot lately. With every change, we keep repeating the same phrase. A month ago, we were told my dad has stage 4 cancer. I definitely thought I would never whisper those words in relation to my family. I know I am going to say goodbye to my parents one day, but I thought it would be much, much farther away. Right now, he is in a lot of pain. It is being managed, but it is taking a lot of heavy medication. This weekend was spent in the hospital. He is home and resting now, but hospice was called in to help with pain management. We are still praying for many, many more days, especially ones full of quality of life.

And now everything is changed…again. This week has left us broken, as we have said goodbye to a close friend of ours. He was only 31 and left behind a wonderful, pregnant, wife and 2 beautiful kids. David sang with Jeremy in a singing group called DeeperStill for years. Over the past years the members of DeeperStill have become our family as we have traveled and performed (well, David performed) together. We have had some healing times with our friends in the last few days, but our hearts are missing a piece. Jeremy is a great friend, great husband, great father, and he will be dearly, dearly missed.

I would love to be able to say that our faith has been unshakeable, but that has not necessarily been the case. This weekend, however, has changed my perspective. During Jeremy’s funeral, we were reminded by our preacher that God does not cause these things to happen. In fact, He is hurting right there with us. And to think that the God of the universe cares enough to cry with me; it starts to heal to darker parts of my heart.

With our past year being full of sad news, we are left wondering how many times our hearts can be broken. Each time they are being put back together they are leaving behind someone that resembled the first, but is drastically changed.

We are looking forward to better days ahead. And we are reminded to appreciate every moment and every breath. During the more difficult times in life, we seem to make our motto, “just one day at a time.” I wonder how we might live differently if we made that our motto every day. Instead of working for the weekend, or for the next vacation. But, instead, REALLY living in each moment. We are still waiting for good news regarding a baby, and we are praying it will happen soon. We are very ready for some good news. For now, though, we will take it one day at a time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now We Wait

“So, what’s next?” is what people have been asking. Well, I’ll tell you. At the beginning of September we were officially approved to adopt a child domestically. With our home study complete, we spent time printing off pictures and pasting them into a folded piece of cardstock that the adoption agency printed for us (This with help from Kara and Stephanie – thanks gals!!) In our last post, we shared that profile with you.

Now we just have to wait to be chosen as adoptive parents by a birth mom. The old system used to be that they would have a list of families waiting to adopt, and they would just go down the list in matching moms with adoptive families. This in a sense stripped birth mothers of their right to have a choice in their child’s future. Instead, the current method gives the power back to the birth mom by allowing them to choose from a group of potential adopters. This pool of couples that is shown is based on certain criteria that moms emphasize. Maybe she wants a certain level of openness, or wants religion to play an important role. Whatever it is, the agency then goes and checks her desires against ours, and depending if it’s a match or not, our profile is then shown to them.

So, that’s it! Now we wait. We receive monthly updates from our caseworker at Adoption Associates about how many times our profile has been shown. And because we’re impatient, we e-mailed her a little early and found out ours has been shown once. How exciting is that! So, we weren’t chosen, but we’re thrilled that we were shown because some people go months upon months without being shown.

There's much more to come! We're excited to share pictures of the nursery, shots of our african safari in Ohio, and so much more.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Adoption Profile

David & Lara
Our Promise:
We are honored you are taking time to get to know us.  We are proud of the choice you are making and beyond thankful that you are considering us to parent your child.  The last couple of years have been marked with pain as we have struggled with infertility. Our journey from infertility to adoption is not one we expected, but one we are embracing with open arms.  If you do choose us as adoptive parents, you will be fulfilling our biggest dream. Our promise to you is that we will love your child with every fiber of our being.  We will be there to watch their first steps, cheer them on in their sports games, and help pay for their college degrees.  We will be nurturing, supportive, disciplined, and present every day of your child’s life. 


Lara Loves:
David…long walks with our dog, Mya…good conversation with great friends…a good book on a rainy day…striving to win the favorite aunt award…watching thunderstorms on the back porch…the feel of a clean house…playing card games…tent camping…hiking…bonfires...Christmas time…grocery shopping…homemade pizza…Cracker Barrel…hugs…traveling…cooking…time with family…laughing…ice cream…sleeping in…s’mores…playing board games…the Smokey Mountains…enjoying a great sunset…summer church camp…swimming…singing along to David playing the guitar…macaroni and cheese…cuddling up on the couch with a good movie…giggling with the girls…pajamas…coffee in the morning…daisies…the color green…being home
Our Story:
We met in college after having a couple of classes together.  After a year of getting to know each other, we started dating and, thus, began our love story.  We dated for two and a half years before getting married in May of 2005.  Being married right out of college was truly a gift for us.  We were able to experience “growing up” together.  From our first jobs to buying a house, we have experienced the blessing of building a stable future.  We believe good marriages are foundational to building a better society.  So the effort we put into our relationship will make a difference in the world around us.  We believe that we are programmed for marriage by the couples we see, and so we strive to surround ourselves with people that give 100% to their spouses.  The next step in our love story is our desire to become parents.  David has a stable job teaching high school math with a local public school system, and Lara’s dream is to be a stay-at-home mom. We live in a diverse community and are excited to take advantage of the multiple resources around us that are geared toward children. Trick or treating, Easter egg hunts, craft days, ice cream socials, and swimming at the local high school are events in which we look forward to participating.  We live on a dead-end street, surrounded by families with young children who greet us most days as we go on our daily walks.  We can see our future child being welcomed with open arms into this community.
David Loves:
Lara…building things…music…laughing…singing with family and friends…playing the guitar…a good problem to solve…long walks with our dog, Mya…learning how to do new things…waking up to the sun…making breakfast…yard games…productive Saturday mornings…playing soccer…falling asleep to music…teaching…reading books that make you think…eating Lara’s cooking…singing around the campfire…the color blue…homemade pizza…traveling…musicals…peanut butter on pancakes…helping friends and family with house projects…playing board games (Monopoly/Risk/Life)…leading worship…summer church camp...wading in a lake on a hot summer day…cooking over the campfire…playing tennis…learning new songs
Our Faith:
We have simply fallen in love with Jesus and every part of our being flows out of that love.  We love the community we have found in our church and have been blessed by the friendships we have found there.  We are passionate about showing Jesus in our daily lives, in our work places, with our families, and in our marriage. Our faith also encourages us to embrace and learn about the diverse community in which we live.  David spent the first 12 years of his life in Belgium as a son of missionaries, and we have both had the privilege of traveling to different countries. As a result of these experiences, we have developed a love for learning about different cultures and are ready to embrace a child of a different heritage into our home. 
Our Family and Friends:
We are surrounded by amazing people in our circles of family and friends.  We have quite a few nieces and nephews and wear our aunt and uncle titles proudly.  It is difficult to put on paper just how much our family and friends mean to us.  They have walked with us through so many ups and downs, failures, and achievements.  They have held us as we struggled through our infertility and will be there every step of the way as we take the journey to becoming parents. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this opportunity.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Well...We Finally Started a Blog

Despite every fabric of our being screaming “no”…

Despite the extreme disparity of David’s communication skills…

Despite our best efforts not to…

We’ve started a blog.

Why?

We wanted a way to keep friends and family informed of what’s going on in our lives.  As our journey through infertility and our adventure into adoption has ensued, we’ve realized that our mass e-mails unintentionally leave people out.  We don’t wish to leave people out of the loop and hopefully through this site, fewer people will be. We hope this blog will be a central location to post a record of some of the major events (and/or our “baby” steps) in our lives.  (Note: Lara would not approve of the above play on words and will probably be shaking her head when she reads this).

Secondly, this blog may connect us to a potential birth mother wanting to create an adoption plan for her child.

We know God has plan for us to become parents.  This plan is different from what we thought it would be, but not all that different from what we’ve dreamed it to be.

More thoughts to come.

- David -