Tuesday, July 15, 2014

an update on our adoption process

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Hi poor neglected blog. Summer is taking over. Its so busy but not busy at the same time. I guess the lack of a defined schedule I just cant keep up with. There are SO many things to update and share that I haven't. People who came to visit (last winter!) pictures, stories and just life.

Summer has been great so far. Its going by too fast. Freeland has officially started his 3rd year of residency, Wylder has been potty trained, river has been playing Tball and taking swim lessons, as of last night the boys are sharing a room (still to-be-determined if this will be permanent) we've grilled out, had lots of friends over, celebrated the 4th, broken up way too many fights between siblings, cleaned out the house, done smores, summer haircuts, went on vacation and done more swimming than I can believe. So more on all that soon.

(*I threw in some pictures for those of you who have texted me letting me know you havent seen the kids! ;)

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Today I thought Id share an update on our adoption process. I'm just now sharing it because I myself, just received it! Ive known this entire time we would have to be flexible and that the timeline would probably change 100 times. That has been true. Ive also known we're working within a system so we would have to do just that - work WITH the system. I know that the ways we're having to be flexible and readjust our expectations and be patient now are probably nothing in comparison to what it will be once a child is actually in our home. So its felt easy to do at this point ... knowing what could be ahead.

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When we originally started our training & home study in January, I thought we could be placed by May. (Awwww, sweet innocent Brooke.) Then that quickly become June or July. Which by the end of our home study changed again to August and as of yesterday I was actually thinking we wouldn't be "officially waiting" or "placed with a child" until September ... possibly October... and if you asked me I wouldve actually told you "in reality lets be honest.. it will probably be Christmas". 

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I was talking to my friend, Sarah, once and she said "I understand, its like you really want to rush it all just so you can wait" That was exactly how it felt. It was so true and wise! I wanted to rush this entire process so then I could just more than likely sit and wait still.

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So Freeland & I felt like we were supposed to just be patient. It was a great reminder that there is a time to fight for a child and a time to wait and allow the Lord to do the work. Im not sure if that makes sense, but my point is, instead of calling and asking and trying to push our home study along and ask for updates every week ... we both just felt a peace about waiting. Knowing that the Lord was orchestrating it and doing the work and aligning everything even though we felt like we were just sitting here. Another friend, Ashley, had encouraged us when we started that in the times it felt like we weren't "doing" anything to know that the Lord still was. Ive definitely found that to be true too.

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Then yesterday I got an email from our case worker letting us know about one last class we have to take. (we've known this was coming) its something only our county requires and its just plain silly. Its an 8 hour class that basically will cover all the things we have already covered and we will have to find something to do with our kiddos for 8 hours! But alas .. its the way the system works .. so we will happily work within the system.

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I emailed her back to say thank you and ask that since our home study was just now being submitted (long story but thats was my impression) should I expect to be cleared and officially waiting late September or October? She emailed me back right away and said "no!!!! your home study is almost done being processed and should be done before the training so you will officially be waiting as soon as yall do the training"

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UMMMM WHAT?

I had no idea. In all our "being patient" and "not pushing" I didnt even realize it was finally submitted. And all this time Ive been gearing myself up to be waiting even longer. Ive mentally planned on later in the fall. We've even already scheduled things thinking we wouldn't be placed yet. (LIKE A TRIP TO TEXAS. GULP) 

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and it just makes me laugh. We adjusted to thinking it would take a long time. And now Im adjusting to feeling like all the sudden this could happen WAY sooner than I thought. Im positive that this is just one tiny little adjustment we will be making along the way and there will be plenty more unexpected things a long the way.

And to be clear .. this is a really exciting unexpected bump so I love it.

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We're ready. Our kids are SO ready. (well maybe not Chapel. Yikes)

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Yesterday I walked outside and heard River saying something about a baby. I assumed he was calling his sister a baby (to tell her she couldn't play with the 'big kids') so I asked him what he said. He responded "I was telling Wylder we're getting another baby and we need him here NOW." (yes, him, they are convinced its a boy)

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So thats the latest update for all of you. Our home study, despite thinking otherwise, was actually submitted and is almost done being approved. We'll take our final training mid August and once it shows up in the system as being complete.. we will officially be waiting. We're told that in our area we could be placed very quickly and to expect that. But we also know that the Lord is the one orchestrating it all so we will see what happens.

For all I know .. we could go back to waiting even longer! Stay tuned.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Plum Paper Planner Review + discount code for you!

Plum Paper Review

I was just talking to some friends this morning about being unorganized so far this summer and having a hard time getting motivated. Then planners came up and it reminded me that I have been meaning to share all of this with you! I need help being motivated. Im an incredibly lazy person and having things written out and planned helps me. (also getting up early + getting something done right away helps too)

Anyway, I am so excited because its that time of year where I get to order a new planner! I love having all the big things written out in front of me and knowing whats coming. I also just got the boys school calendar in the mail and the crazy person inside me was so excited to already be able to write down the first day of school, spring break and even the end of the year parties! Back in the day I used to color code it all and make it super pretty.. I dont have time for that now so I just enjoy having a planner thats pretty instead!

This isnt the first time Ive written about planners. So you all know this already. I also know so many of you are the same too! Ive gone through a handful of planners and love them all for different reasons. If you want a huge crazy organized and pretty one, Erin Condren is great. If you want a tiny compact one the the May Planner is great - it goes straight in your purse easily. But if you want one that is a mix of all of them without the price of an Erin Condren planner .. I think I found the one for you!

This is the regular life planner from Plum Paper.  Their store is on Etsy. They have a handful of designs: family planners, teacher planners, meal planners, wedding & fitness planners. They also have a ton of different options for the way you can do your weekly view.

The covers are a great quality. It will definitely hold up without bending! There are so many options to customize them.

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The options are endless. For example on mine, I took the monogram off and changed the font of how my name was written. You can also add a family picture to the cover. It would've taken me years to pick which picture I wanted so I went without one.

Here are some pictures of my cover: 

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Here you can see how they have a protective cover

here is the back:

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For the weekly view there are a lot of options too. You could do it broken down by "morning, afternoon & evening" or broken down in 30 minute increments or broken up with just lines (what I did) or even just lined pages behind the month instead of a weekly view too.

Here are some pictures of the planner inside:

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Plum Paper Review

Plum Paper Review

Plum Paper Review


They add lots of little extras in the planner too:

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Plum Paper Review

Plum Paper Review

Plum Paper Review

Plum Paper Review

There are also a ton of extra pages to just write down notes are whatever you need.

Plum paper also has lots of great add ons: extra pages, stickers, checklist pages or you could even add extra months.

I like the metal binding and that the month tabs are thick and sturdy and wont bend. I like that the monthly view is on two pages so I have plenty of room to write everything out. And on the weekly view there are so many options and a checklist at the bottom where I can write out our meals. I really like the colors on all their planners too. Its definitely much more my style.

I especially really like that you can start the planner at any month. So I ordered mine in May and had it start in June. Want a new planner but dont need one until August? You can do that! Or want one in January? Again, do it now and take advantage of the discount they offered!

So FOR ALL OF YOU Plum Paper has offered you a discount for the next month! Just use the Plum Paper Coupon Code: BROOKE10 for a 10% off your order. This code is good for one month so hurry up and grab it before its gone!  And as always feel free to let me know if you have questions! I'll happily answer whatever I can from my experience! 

Happy Monday!