Friday, February 27, 2015

He's Here!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Baby Name Pickin'

It didn't take us very long to pick a name for Baby #2. We went with an "S" name after his first mother. That wittled it down really quickly to only a handful of names we actually liked. It came down to Shamar (my pick) vs Shakir (Zay's pick). I doodled my favorites until I got to Shamar Jivan.

But Zay won. Ha ha. I said "Shakir" out loud and the more I said it, the more I loved it. S loves it. She's Muslim and the names we usually like tend to be common Muslim or Arabic names. I think Islam is a beautiful religion, so fine by me! Kal picked up on it fast and started calling his baby brother by name, so that was that. It was settled. S asked me was it bad that she didn't even look for a name, but just waited to see what we'd pick. She's "all name pickinged out." Ha ha. I don't think so. I think that means she's invested in the adoption and wants us to have those sort of parenting privileges. And I think that's awesome. :)

Shakir means "thankful." Is there not a better word for this time in our lives?? THANKFUL. That's an understatement. It's perfect.

As for a middle name, I was stuck on the name Jabar for a little bit. It means "consoler," which to me meant "a bringer of peace." I doodled that name for awhile in my journal. Zay didn't like the way it sounded and we have a friend with a son named Jabar, so we felt out other names. I hung onto Jabar until a friend said it reminded her of Jar Jar Binks... completely ruined it for me. Ha ha ha. We came full circle and settled on a middle name we were going to use for the baby boy in our first failed adoption back in the summer of 2013. Malik. It means "king" and goes with the "royal" meaning of my first name (Alice means "of a noble kin"). I still really like "bringer of peace," but "king" will do just fine. :)

Shakir Malik.

We speak that name with reverence around here. Our second son. Coming home soon.

This has been like a dream so far. How did we get so lucky??

Kal, helping me open the million packages I've been ordering to prep for baby! (pay no attention to the mess!)

Meanwhile... our baby mama feels like this. Lol. Sorry, girl!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

God Knows What He's Doing

Just some thoughts running through my head today...

Sometimes life is hard. And confusing. And things happen and we don't know why. We can't see that bigger picture like He can. God knows us personally and knows what's best for us. He guides us in ways that sometimes we can't understand. He lets us make mistakes so that we can learn. He gives us opportunities for growth that we may not be able to wrap our heads around at first. Every situation we find ourselves in can be turned into a positive. Even mistakes can be turned into miracles. God always gives us second chances and can turn any struggle into an opportunity. He is a God of Redemption.

We are human. We make bad choices. We pray to get answers, we feel His Spirit, and then as time goes on we forget what God has done for us. We get prideful. We underestimate our worth. We believe Satan's lies. We rely on our own strength to get us by, even though He has never left our side and is willing to carry our burden for us. Sometimes it takes years of struggling before we realize we were not alone and had we relied on Him the whole time, life wouldn't have been so dang hard.

Even though we are imperfect, He blesses us. He protects us. He continues to reach out to us even when we've shut our eyes to Him. He patiently waits on us to get it together. Even when we've strayed so far. We're never too far to stop and turn around and face Him again.

I am constantly reminded - in both the small things and in big life events - and in the people that come into my life - that He is mindful of me. And that my sacrifices in trying to do the right thing don't go unnoticed. And that my hardships - no matter whether I did something to bring them on myself or not - are His to share with me. I am never alone.

P.S. - As soon as I wrote this, I read THIS POST by Al Fox. She is such a bundle of optimism that you can't help but smile. Love her. And some of her thoughts were mine as well. Great minds think alike. ;)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Choosing Faith Over Fear

There are a million reasons why we should be guarding our hearts right about now. But instead, we're allowing ourselves to be fully invested in this opportunity to add to our family. It feels good to look forward with faith and know that everything is going to work out just fine. That hope and peace is written all over this adoption.

I don't know how we got here, but I'm loving "here" right now. I've had some really miserable low points during this whole journey. We took some detours. But really the path was right in front of us this whole time. If I had kept the faith and waited with patience, I probably would've saved myself a lot of confusion and heartache. My only excuse is, "Well... if I knew the end from the beginning!!!"

Our family is coming to us through adoption. Just like we've always known. My relationship with adoption got scarred there for a bit. It was painful thinking maybe we just weren't good enough to be chosen again to be another child's parents. The insecurities and doubts and FEAR that overwhelmed us (especially me) the last couple of years made me think maybe we should be done with trying to adopt.

But here we are. Adopting again. Right when I thought we were supposed to try something different. I'm kind of embarrassed. Like, I need to ask adoption's forgiveness. :) I'm sorry, please take me back!!! You were right all along! I almost cheated on adoption with IVF, but thankfully I was shown the error of my ways. Let's make up. :)

I'm choosing faith. I can't go into this thinking we're going to come home empty-handed. I can't go into this worried over every little thing. I can't let fear overwhelm me when there's so much to be excited about. I don't want to rob myself of that excitement by focusing on the what-ifs. I've spent too much time living in that kind of fear and I'm ready to let it go. I'm ready to be excited and talk baby stuff and get to be called "mom" by another precious little boy. I'm ready to see Zay rock it as a father to a newborn again. I can't say, "I'll be excited if it happens." I can't be guarded like that anymore.

I'm allowing myself to love baby Shakir even before I know he's really mine. And I think that's okay. Setting up his nursery, putting the car seat in the car, packing for this trip, picking out his name, telling Kal about him. I think all of that is okay. Sitting in fear and not allowing ourselves to love him and be excited for him just doesn't seem right. This child deserves to be planned for and celebrated. He's already loved by two mamas, a father, and a whole host of friends and family who are ready to welcome him. What a VERY loved little guy he is going to be (and already is)!

I thought I would want an underwater/sea theme for a nursery, but giraffes and elephants make me happy. :)

I added some giraffe print to the changing table. I like it. :)

Eating ice cream for breakfast. I'm an awesome mom sometimes, ha ha. Kal keeps asking when we're leaving for Kansas. Only 5 more days, buddy! And we're off!

My normal happy face.

My *real* happy face.

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