Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Moving and Number 4

It's about time to make the official blog announcement about our move...and coincidentally the next step in the unofficial part of our adoption story.

Matt got a new job for the company that I currently work for.  (I teach for an online school and work from home everyday.)  Matt was hired as a Software Developer in the IT department and it is an onsite job for him.  The offices are located in Columbus, Ohio.  So the Kroger family is making our first big move ever and we're doing it pretty quickly.  In fact Matt has already started the new job (Did I mention the HUGE pay increase?).  So for now he is staying with friends in Columbus during the week until we get our home there figured out and then the girls and I will move up to join him.  In the meantime we are starting the process of trying to figure out how to rent or sell our current home.  There is just so much to do but we are feeling extremely blessed.  Through this whole process things just seem to be falling into place for us. 

I'm a huge planner.  I typically over plan things....way in advance.  As of this moment we plan to move in 16 days and have not yet secured a place to live.  We haven't been able to set up utilities or register girls for school or find new doctors.  Christmas is 12 days from now and we haven't purchased any gifts.  I've been going back and forth between several conflicting emotions...happiness, frustration, worry, fear, joy....feeling overwhelmed and exceedingly blessed.  It's kind of a roller coaster.  I'm working on it and I realize that the fear, worry, frustration etc...are not part of God's plan for me and that he has this whole thing under control.  I'm working on just opening up my hands and letting go of the reins...the safety net...the plan B.  (There is no plan B.)

All of that being said this move feels like a huge step forward in our adoption process.  This is a step toward a bigger home, better pay, the life style we choose and I really do believe it is going to be the best things for Numbers 1, 2 and 3 as well as for our future Number 4. 

Hear that, Number 4, we're getting closer to you every day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Numbers 1...2...and...3...on finding number 4.

We've been talking to the girls alot lately about loving our neighbors.  They seem to have that lessons down.  Recently we started conversations about orphans and children who live in orphanages and foster homes.  We've asked them questions like "How do you think a child might feel if they didn't have a family?"  Their answers and those conversations are priceless. 

In a recent conversation where we were talking about the idea of actually bringing number 4 home I asked, "What if we brought a child into our family and made them a Kroger?" Rowan excitedly said, "YES"  Charis, "I'm not sure.  Does that mean I'll have to share my books?"  My response, "Yes Charis it means you'll have to share everything...not just your books.  You'll even have to share Mommy and Daddy a little.  Do you think you could do that so that your brother or sister could come home?"  She thought on it, "We'll see." 

It's a start.  I really want this to be a family journey and not just something that I want or that Matt and I want.  (Thanks Justin for your insights on this one.) And so the conversations, the book reading, the sharing, and the exploring our roles in this will continue with numbers 1,2, and 3.  While we are working on finding number 4.

Oh...another cute note...at the end of a recent conversation about orphans Rowan said,"SO Wait a minute....there are little children out there without a Mommy to tell them not to cross the street?" "Yes, Rowan."  Rowan again,"And they don't have a Daddy who tells them not to jump on the bed?" "Yes, Rowan." Rowan..."AND when they cry they are alone with not a family to pat them?" "Yes, Sweet girl"  Rowan again, "Oh boy...We need to find them."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Daddy's First thoughts on Finding Number 4

This is my first blog post for this, and I just thought I'd give my perspective on these very early steps.

I was really encouraged recently by seeing a video in which Todd Henry talked about adopting a daughter. He talked about not really being the same level of excited as his wife obviously was, but that he was willing to move forward with it, partially because of knowing what the Bible has to say about taking care of the widow and the orphan. I feel pretty much the same way. That is not at all to say I'm NOT excited about adopting, and I feel like some people would view me "just going with what the Bible says" as either cold or robotic.

Let me clarify a bit. First of all, I feel like I could, and will, love any child that God gives to us to care for, whenever He gives him or her to us. I felt that way about our three children that we have already. I was excited to feel kicks, or know that there was a child in my wife's belly, but it wasn't REAL, as it must be real, to my wife who had the child inside her. I think many men feel this way, but are afraid to articulate it because it will be seem heartless or uncaring to their loved one who feels so CLOSE to the child, and who has so much love for the baby NOW.

But the flip side of that is that I know now that I can just "turn the love on." When my daughters showed up, an instant after she was born, I loved that kid more than life itself. That's true for each one of them. And I'm sure it will be that way when Number 4 shows up, too. In the meantime, you might not see me as openly excited as Mariah, and I probably actually _won't_ be. But I still look forward to the day that I can hold Number 4 in my arms, rock her to sleep, kiss his boo-boos, teach her how to cook or throw a football.

Regardless, I do love our next child, sometimes with emotion, sometimes with what I'm doing to try to get us ready. We love you now, Number 4.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Finding Number 4....

It's been a long time coming and we're finally ready to make the official announcement to the world.  We're at the very beginning of the journey of a lifetime. 

We're starting the adoption process. 

We've been "adoption curious" for a long time (Thanks Megan for the term.).  We actually talked about adoption before we were even married and we've talked about it constantly since then.  In the meantime we've been blessed with 3 beautiful daughters that I got to carry in my belly and give birth to. 

Meet the 3 

Charis is 5 now.  She's in Kindergarten this year.  She's our quiet one.  She soaks everything in and processes and thinks about things before she talks about them.  She's so analytical and logical it makes me crazy. (Just like her Daddy.) She can often be found in a quiet corner with a favorite book or writing pad.  She likes to be in charge...when she chooses to be but she doesn't like to be told what to do.  She's a thoughtful girl and such a sweetheart.


Rowan is our little ball of fire.  She is 4 years old and she started preschool this year.  Rowan is outgoing and social.  A born entertainer.  She loves to play dress ups and pretend.  Rowan is a caregiver and a cuddler.  She loves to snuggle with anyone who needs a good cuddle.  When she is working out a problem or building with leggos we love to watch her facial expressions.  She's on the of most expressive kids I've ever met.


Theia is 2 years old now.  She's so talkative and her little personality is really starting to shine.  She already has a sense of humor and tries to (and usually succeeds) steal the attention from her older 2 sisters.  This one has always been "into everything" and she continues the trend in her 2's.  For now Theia is our youngest...but pretty soon she'll be a big sister....as soon as we find number 4. 

What we don't know: We don't know anything at all about where this adoption journey will take us.  We don't know who our future child is, where he/she is from, what gender he/she will be, how old he/she will be when we finally get to hold him/her.  We don't know what else will happen along the journey but we have faith and we are praying for patience.  We don't know how our friends and families are going to react to our announcement.  We don't know much. 

What we know for sure: We do know that it is a long process and that we want your support and encouragement along the way.  We are still pre-paper but that doesn't matter.  This is cemented in our hearts just like if we had a child in our arms or another baby in my belly.  We know that God has a plan for all of us in this journey and we know that he will be with us along the way.  We know that there is so much to be done.  We know that along this journey there will be ups and downs.  We know we have a LOT of waiting to do.

We'd love it if you'd journey with us....finding number 4.