Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just another day... CRAWLING!!!

Every "first" is so sweet, we just love this little guy!   He has been crawling backward for about a month, rocking for longer but now we have forward motion:)  Here is Benjamin crawling-I know...  my life just changed forever (sigh)!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We have a date!

We got a letter in the mail the other day, and among other things it said...

"...Your petition has been filed and a final adoption hearing has been scheduled on Thursday, Novemeber 10, 2011 at 9:00a.m..."

This is the day we have been waiting for since we took offical custody of Benjamin on January 19th!  We absolutely can't wait to MAKE IT OFFICIAL!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

So Lucky...

Often we are at the park or at the grocery store and people around us figure out that our kids are adopted.  Usually this is when Bill is with me, as when he's not they assume my husband is black.  Recently I had someone tell me, "honey, you were just the oven for those buns".  OK...  The most likely comment is, "Oh, they are so lucky".  This comment is always directed at Andrew and Annabelle, as most people don't notice the baby in the bucket,  or they think Benjamin has a great tan (as did one lady at the assisted living establishment Bill's grandma lives at).   Meaning, my children are so lucky to be scooped out of their birth country, out of poverty, out of an orphanage and placed here in America.  Although well meaning, there is a flip side to this.  My children were placed by their birth moms somewhere they knew they would be safe.  Somewhere they knew these children would be cared for and loved and better off.  This means they will never know where they truly came from, who carried them and felt them kick from inside.  They will grieve a loss we can never know.  They will never know any biological siblings or know where they get their beautiful brown eyes.  They will never know medical history, or family history for the ones they are biologically tied.  We pray for Andrew, Annabelle and Benjamin's birth families every night.  We will tell these sweet babies about the heroics that brought them into our family.  Acts of God really, truly.  The plan God had from the beginning of time for their lives and the journey that started with the act of their birth moms choosing to let go of the MOST precious gift.  However that happened, they chose a better life for these sweet babies.  Then, through more amazing acts of God's mercy, He chose us to be their family.  Us, Bill and I.  Many of you are also part of our family, blood related or otherwise and He chose you too.  What a miracle!!  If you know us, we were so sad without children.  We have always known it was God's will for us to be parents, but after 5 years of trying, that seemed impossible.  And then God moved and it just happened.  By God's grace we have a filled all the bedrooms in our house.  What a miracle right?  Aren't we the lucky ones?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 19, 2011

We received notice today that we can begin finalization proceedings for Benjamin's adoption.  Court house here we come!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And the story continues...

After about 2 total hours of sleep, we got up at about 6am and started getting ready to meet our babies!  How does one get ready to meet one's children?  Well, lots of praying and crying, packing and repacking diaper bags, writing in a journal to chronicle my last few hours before I became a mom, shower, make up (why bother with all the crying right?), try to eat breakfast (dry toast and tea with honey).    Every minute I seemed to notice something else I was doing for the "last time" before I became a mom. It had rained the night before, so everything was damp and it was muggy and cool. We finally got into the van and started to drive to the care center.  We got to see Ethiopia in the daylight for the first time.  The dirt streets were lined with little businesses and people.  We moved slowly (soooo slowly) towards our babies, and finally got to the famous "blue doors", the gate to the orphanage.  Once inside we waited in front of the "family room".  After what seemed like an eternity, 2 nannies emerged from the nursery and walked down the long sidewalk lined with laundry hanging to dry.  There they were.  Our first glimpse of our babies was as 2 tiny bundles.  They looked much bigger than they were because were wrapped in layers and layers and layers of blankets and clothes.   The nannies handed Annabelle to Bill and Andrew to me.  And we were parents.  Lots of tears, as we had waited almost 4 years for this moment.  I still cry every time I think about it.  After that there was much more crying, lots of unwrapping and kissing and hugging and did I mention crying?  Everything in the whole world looked different after that moment.  If you have children, you know what I mean.  If you don't yet, you will, trust me.  It's like your life is already amazing and full and wonderful and then BAM!  More blessing than you could ever imagine right there in your hands in one moment.  God had orchestrated so much to get us to this point, we never could have imagined how this miraculous journey would end, or rather begin.  Thank you Lord, for the amazing gift of these children! 

Happy "Gotcha Day" Babies!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting on a Plane

Five years ago today Bill and I got on a plane bound for Ethiopia. 

We had 4 suitcases, 3 boxes of dryer sheets, 14 girl outfits, 14 boy outfits, 56 socks, 14 pairs of jammies, 72 diapers, 12 burp cloths, 8 bottles, 104 bottles liners, 6 cans of formula, a gallon of  hand sani, our dossier, about 10 pounds of dried fruit and $3000 dollars in new crisp bills.  Of course we had tons of other stuff (problem pack anyone), but these were the items I had packed and unpacked at least a dozen times in the last 6 weeks.  I stared at each outfit and marveled at how tiny it was and the thought that soon a tiny body would inhabit those clothes. Not just any body, but a son and a daughter.  OUR son and OUR daughter!!  Everything was soooo tiny!  Little did I know how much tinier our little ones would be!  I of course cried as we said goodbye to our parents.  The crying continued as we checked in-I know you're shocked!  I calmed down just in time for the ticketing agent to ask, "what is the nature of your trip to Ethiopia?"  Bill said, "we are going to bring home our babies".  And of course I cried all over again.  We were excited and nervous all at once.  We knew that in a few short days our lives would be changed forever, but we had no idea what that really meant.  We talked and talked for the first few legs of our journey and then as we got closer to crossing international waters, we just started praying.  I was so excited to go back to Africa, as the summer before, my life was changed forever by the trip I had taken to Kenya.  Bill was getting more and more anxious as he had never been and didn't know what to expect.  He had that "papa bear" thing going on and that's really hard to do when you cannot control one single variable.  So we prayed.  We prayed for our babies and their caregivers, and their birth parents and the people who worked at the embassy and our driver and our guide and any other families we might come across at the guest house.  We prayed for our lawyer and all of the people working at the guest house.  We prayed against stomach issues and water borne illness.  And we were still over the Atlantic Ocean:)  We spent the next 2 days in airports and on planes making our way to becoming a family of 4.  Stay tuned for more of this amazing journey...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adoptive Fathers

Today we celebrate Father's Day.
I was struck today by the number of adopted fathers we have at our church.  Fathers whose children do not resemble them in any physical way (and not because said children look like their mom).  These fathers don't get to announce at work that their wives are pregnant and get the reassuring back slaps and comments about their manhood (it's weird, I know, but you have seen and heard it too).  They may announce they are adopting, and get dissapproving glances and the stories that begin with, "ooo-thats rough, I know this guy who" and the story ends with something tragic like "and it didn't work out".  Fathers who see their biological bloodlines come to an end and their heritage as an adoptive dad begin.  We have three children who will never know their biological fathers.  What they get instead is an adoptive dad.  A dad God chose for them from the beginning of time.  Not to share genes with, or to share a physical likeness.  God chose to have another man lend the genetic material, and for the adoptive dad to do everything else.  We are constantly reminded that adoptive parenting is so different than biological parenting.  As an adoptive parent, you cannot control where and who your children come from.  You have no idea what happened to them before they came into your care, or how those experiences will effect them as they grow.  So we are extra careful.  We research and then ask advise and then research some more.  We cannot simply put our kids on a schedule to eat and sleep, we have to attend to their every need just to get them to trust us.  We are forever mistaken as the baby sitters, or the step parent or second marriage.  We cannot discipline the same way as biological parents because we don't often have a blank slate of a kid, we have a kid with baggage.  We have social workers checking in on us making sure we are doing the right things and saying the right things.  We are even called adoptive families, not just families, but adoptive families.  We wear the badge proudly as we know this is how God has made our family to be.  But sometimes, we just want to be families.  We want to forget the underlying tension of having children with an unknown past.  We want to not have people look twice at the grocery store.  We want to go to a "Home Depot Build It Day" with other adoptive dads and not have everyone assume we are a gay couple because our kids don't look like us.  So today, on Father's Day we recognize those dads.  Dads who recognize more quickly than most that our children are not really ours.  They belong to God and are a gift from Him.  Adoptive dads, who for just one day get to be just plain dads.  Happy Father's Day Dads!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Adoption Day Andrew and Annabelle!

Four years ago today we made our family official!  We stood in front of a judge (while Andrew ate crayons), and our family to finalize Andrew and Annabelle's adoption.  Lots of pictures and lots of tears that day.  It seemed like our long road to family was finally over.  Andrew and Annabelle had been in our hearts for such a long time, and in our home for almost a year by the time the hearing came.  Nonetheless, it was a momentous occasion and we still celebrate it every year.  This year, Bill had to work late and the kids and I had Little Ceaser's.  I know, I am spoiling them, but what am I supposed to do- it's a big day:)  Here are some pics of the day we celebrate:
This is me pretending not to sweat as the judge is asking us questions and we swore on the bible  that we would do our best to take care of these babies- YIKES!!
After the hearing the judge indulged us for a few HUNDRED pictures!!!
This is the ONLY pic from that day where we were all looking the same direction (sort of).

Annabelle and I outside the courthouse!  Dear Babies, this will be the only time we will ever be outside of this building in a case concerning you...
Could he be any cuter??!!!  If anyone needs to borrow a J Crew size 4 lavender, white and green tie, let me know!
Of course there were presents!!!
And yes, after promising a judge I would take excellent care of them, I let them have whip cream for breakfast.

And a chocolate chip pie/cookie.  Oh well!!!

And of course this famous picture of Andrew and his Pappy.  We wish we could celebrate more "Adoption Days" with this sweet man!

As we celebrate today, we can't help but wonder when we will be celebrating Benjamin's adoption day! I think he may be too little for whip cream for breakfast...  We'll see:)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This makes it all worthwhile...

The waiting, the worry, the cost, the worry, the paperwork, the worry, ALL OF IT!  You know that feeling you get when you know you did the right thing?  You know you acted in God's will and a feeling of peace washes over you?  Something happens that takes away all doubt or anxiety?  I have felt like that several times since we brought Benjamin home.  This is the first time I was able to catch one of these instances on video.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


If you have been following our adoption, or any adoption for that matter, you know that there are SEVERAL hoops to jump through before finalization.  Andrew and Annabelle were home for almost a year when we had their finalization hearing.  With Benjamin, we have to have 2 post placement visits done (we have finished one), have paternity published, and have our Utah agency (A Guardian Angel Adoptions LLC) recommend us as the forever family for Benjamin.  Then we can move forward with finalizing Benjamin's adoption.  Just to be clear, all of these steps are considered a "formality" and yet- they are all super important.  Our latest victory (thank you Lord), comes in the form if a finalized "paternity search".  In the state where Benjamin was conceived, we had to have his birth mom's name and likely date of conception published in a legal journal and wait.  We waited for someone to step forward and claim paternity.  In the state of UT (where Benjamin was born, different from where he was conceived), a father cannot claim paternity unless they have supported birth mom throughout the pregnancy, financially and emotionally.  So even if someone came forward claiming to be Benjamin's father, we would probably be okay.  Our agency explained that the likely hood of this happening was slim to none.  We still waited on pins and needles for the time period to come and go, and the lawyer to let us know the results.  The e-mail came in Tuesday.  There were no claims of paternity.
Of course we were overjoyed!  One more step towards finalization and really, one more smooth step in a big line of smooth steps to bringing Benjamin into our forever family.  But when I took a breath and quit crying with relief, I started crying all over again.  I was crying for Benjamin.  I was crying because he will  never know who his biological father is.  I was crying because no one claimed him.  I was listening to his sweet voice "talking" to me from his Bumbo and I was crying that someone out there, who should, will never hear the sound of his voice.  I NEVER in a million years expected to feel this way towards Benjamin's birth father.  I wanted to say, "your loss idiot" and be done with it.  But God has softened my heart towards him.  It the past countless days I was praying that this nameless man would continue to be nameless and we could move on with our adoption. Along the way, God gave me a heart of tenderness.  A heart of tenderness towards this man who will never know his biological son and a REAL heart of tenderness to my tiny boy.  God is preparing me even now, for when the hard questions start to be asked.

Thank you Lord for the favorable outcome you have given us in Benjamin's paternity search.  But thank you even more, for softening my heart so that one day, if our son asks, we can tell him honestly how we feel about his birth father.

Benjamin- We are SO thankful that we are one step closer to making you ours!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I will continue blogging about adoption...

So many of you already know, adoption can be a long drawn out process.  Benjamin came home so quickly, but we still have some waiting until finalization.  There is no risk of is losing Benjamin as long as we take good care of him:) But we have to adhere to the adoption laws in Utah and that law state we cannot legally adopt him for 6 months.  So for now, we schedule post placements and send updates and are at the mercy of others when it comes to our son.  I am not complaining...  Adoption is a miracle- a true miracle!  Trust me, we have done it three times.  And part of me is really glad we get to readopt here.  It was so fun with Andrew and Annabelle and we intend to have the same big party on Benjamin's big day.  What??!!  A party?  Aren't you shocked?!  HA!  And part of me is glad he isn't truly our (on paper) yet because it makes me so much more grateful for the process and so thankful for Benjamin's birth mom.  But just part of me, a tiny little part sometimes, just sometimes, just wants it to all be over.  That little part that doesn't want to pay for birth father rights to be severed.  I don't want to have more post placements so someone else can prove we are doing a good job keeping him healthy.  I just want to raise my son and have it be nobody else's business.  I just want to focus on our new family of five.  Then I am reminded that we are all adopted by our heavenly father.  And I am so glad there isn't a tiny bit of his heart that didn't want to sacrifice for me.  Glad that He never grumbled about all that He did to make me His child.
So I will continue to write here in this adoption blog until we have finalized our adoption process with Benjamin (and probably longer).  Thank you for continuing to travel on this journey with us.

PS- Here is a pic of Benjamin at 2 months old.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dear Birth Mom-

Five years ago today you gave birth to the most incredible little girl.  You chose the perfect spot to lay her on the side of the road.  Close to foot traffic but not too close to the road.  You carved out a little hole for her to lay.  I feel like you must have waited to see if someone would find her.  Someone did.  A policeman, he named her Hamelmal, which means beautiful reed because she was so beautiful and so slight.  Her next few months were a little precarious as she was allergic to the formula she was eating and didn't gain any weight.  I am sure those same months were precarious for you too.  Grieving a loss you had to pretend never happened.  Choosing this for your daughter to keep the rest of your family safe.  I cannot imagine what was racing through your mind as you took one last look at your precious girl.  Did you think about her future, or just her immeidate safety?  Did you have the horrible thoughts of what would happen to you if you were caught?  I wounder what you think about today on the anniversary of her birth.  We pray for you each night.  We pray that you would see your decision as good and your heart would be peaceful.  We pray tat somehow you would know that tiny baby girl is not in an orphanage, halfway to "aging out of the system".  She is living with a family.  With parents who love her more deeply than they thought possible. She has the sweetest Ethiopian brother her same age and a younger adopted brother too.  She is so smart and funny and knock yourr socks off beautiful. She knows they story of how she came to be a part of our family and even though we dont know your name or anything about you you are part of the story.  Thank you for choosing to give this amazing little girl a story.  Thank you for putting her life above your wants and grief.  Words cannot express how thankful we are for the blessing you gave us 5 years ago today.
Annabelle's family

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear Birth Mom-

Five years ago today, you gave birth to the most amazing little boy.  He must have looked so tiny at only 7 or 8 pounds. We don't know what name you gave him, we don't even know if you saw him or not.  You made the ultimate sacrifice for him.  You laid a piece of your heart in a safe place where someone would find him and take him to the orphanage.  We do not know your name, or where you live or if you are still living or not.  We do know you did a very brave thing- unmentionable to most here in the US.  Here, we have choices, adoption, government assistance programs.  The list never ends.  Our government is trying to ensure a mom never has to make the choice you made 5 years ago today.  We know, after learning about Ethiopia and seeing it first hand that you were out of options.  You were probably starving yourself and leaving your child to be cared for at the orphange was the best decision you could have made.  We cannot imagine how you were able to muster the strength just a few minutes after you delivered him.  The strength and courage to say goodbye forever.  You probably thought, "At least he will be able to eat and go to school, so much more than I could give him".  Your choice was amazing, and so is your son.  He did not end up in an orphanage, he is being raised by a family who loves him so completely, so totally.  He loves to run and his favorite foods are chicken and blueberries.  He is so smart and totally healthy and a miracle and a blessing. We cannot imagine our lives without him.  We pray for you every night.  We pray that you would have a peace about the decision you made 5 years ago today.  That somehow you know that the Lord has some outragous things planned for your son.  Thank you for making the most unbelieveable sacrifice so that we could become a family. 
Andrew's Family

Friday, February 18, 2011

One Month Ago Today

One month ago today Bill and I were in a hospital room in West Jordan, Utah.  One month ago today, we did not for sure if you would be ours.  We prayed and hoped and planned, but we did not know.  Any adoptive mom can tell you the agony of caring for a baby who is not quite yours.  You change and feed and hug and kiss and worry and pray like he is your own.  Never letting on he is not- just in case he can somehow sense it.  And you don't want to look back and say, "wow- the day you were born was the worst day of my life".  No- you bond like crazy, you call him by name, you call and text and spread the news, you are fiercely protective during the "heel prick".  And then, in the quiet, when he is sleeping and so is your husband, you silently cry.  You cannot keep the tears from flowing down your face as you look at this perfect tiny creation.  Partly because you cannot believe he is yours and partly because you know there is a real possibility he will not be.  You cry because no matter how long you have prayed for this day, nothing can prepare you for this.  No amount of reading and counseling and adoption education can prepare you for this reality.  How do you love so completely and be sure to not get too attached?  In that moment, that tear soaked, desperate moment you decide.  You decide to love that baby for now.  Just right now.  Maybe it won't be for much longer and maybe it will be a lifetime.  But all you have is now.  So you decide to love now.   God has turned that "right now" into a month filled with "right nows".  Now I sit with you on my shoulder. So tiny, that if I lean back a little in my chair, I don't even need hands to hold you!!  Crazy right?!  One short month ago, we had no idea how you would change how we saw our family.  But you have.  It has only been a month and we cannot remember our lives without you.  Lord- thank you for taking our "right now" and giving us more.  May we never forget to live as thought right now is all that matters.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So here are the details

I won't be posting a ton of pics just yet, as we haven't done this before and want to figure out how much of Benjamin's story we want kept private and how much we want to be public (as for public, I mean all 7 of you who read this blog).    But here is the story of how Benjamin Jer William came into this world!
10:00am-Agency calls, birthmom is being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.  She is bleeding heavily.  They will call us when they know more.
10:01am- Andrew, Annabelle and I got on our knees and prayed for our baby and his birth mom.
10:05am-Called Bill and EVERYONE we could get a hold of to ask them to pray.
10:30am-Agency called and said birth mom is fine, baby is fine but birth mom is dialated to 6 cm and we need to get on a plane
10:31am-Gather Andrew and Annabelle and praise God for keeping our baby and his birth mom safe.
10:32am- Bill leaves work (1 hour from our house).  Incidentally, he carpooled to work, so him leaving required his carpool buddy to bring him home-Thanks Angie!
10:33am-Called my mom and promptly bawled my eyes out with relief, worry, excitement, terror...
10:35am- Call Emily, whose parents had offered to give us vouchers for air fair (13 hours earlier).  I polietly told them we didn't think we would need them, unless birthmom went early.  So we now needed them.
11:00am- Mr. and Mrs. Ellis (Emma's parents) booked us on the 2:00 flight to Salt Lake City.  Aunt Frankie comes over to get the kids calmed down and to school.
11:30am- Toyota guy shows up to work on the rental we have while the van is getting fixed (perfect timing right)
11:45am- Toyota guy finishes and Aunt Frankie takes the kids to school (talk about a teary goodbye).  I kept thinking of the "last time of a family of four"...
12:30pm- Suit cases are packed and all tied with matching baby blue ribbon
12:31pm- We realize we have thought of everything except how we were going to get to the airport...
12:32pm- Carmen (our neighbor) to the rescue
1:00pm- Arrive at the airport for our 2:00 flight
1:36pm- Benjamin Jer William Sanborn makes his debut (unbeknownst to us)
4:40pm- Land in Utah and make the LONGEST 15 minute drive in history to the hospital
5:15pm- Meet our sweet baby Benjamin for the first time

First time we saw him

AHHH!!!!  That's our baby!!!!

I know, no one is surprised by the hysterics!!

Much more composed Daddy!
So that is how it all went down.  We will post more later about how the details all worked out and God orchestrated a miracle!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Welcome Sweet Baby!

Benjamin Jer William Sanborn
Born on: January 18, 2011 at 1:36pm
Weight: 5 pounds 11 ounces
Length: 17 inches
More details to come...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nursery Finished...Almost!

BIG NEWS!!!!!!  The nursery is almost done!  A big shout out to Aunt Brenda and Mimi who spent their whole day with me yesterday putting everything together.  On Tuesday, I had an actual panic attack describing my list of "to do's" to a sweet friend.  This friend innocently asked how I was.  When I lied and said, "doing great", she called me out on it and said, "you sound really stressed".  And the flood gates opened!  I started crying, and my heart stared racing and I was rambling on the phone with her.  As soon as I hung up the phone, I started praying and had very little peace.  I didn't sleep well the next few days and was just sad and overwhelmed.  On Saturday my in-laws offered to take the kids for a sleepover and I almost said no because I didn't even know where to start.  Mimi and Aunt Brenda swooped in and took over.  They took me shopping and arranged the furniture (I swear I put all the furniture in the same place and it didn't look as good).  We even found a pillow that matches our bedding that says "Sweet Pea".  Can you believe it??!!  They helped me hang some cute stuff on the walls around my house (not just in the nursery), and ran some much needed errands with me and help make really mundane decisions I could not have made.  I will post pics when it is totally done!  I feel so much better now, I even did my quiet time in the nursery this morning.  I wish I could move in there!  Thank you for continuing to pray for us as we get closer to bringing our Sweet Pea home.  21 days closer to be exact!!  AHHH!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dear Baby Sanborn,

January 10, 2011
            Sweet Pea-
            You are captivating my every thought.  It is beyond excited, and different too.  I am excited of course, I cannot wait to meet you.  I am willing myself to wait patiently.  I have to say we still have a lot to get ready, but I just want to fast forward to the day we meet you.  I can’t wait to hold you and sing “you are my sunshine”.  That is the song  your Mimi and Pappy sang to me, and I sing to your brother and sister.  We have tried to keep a little distance from you as adoption is never a sure thing until the papers are signed and that wont be until the day after you are born.  It is so difficult to try and bond with you now, knowing in a few weeks we could have our hearts broken.  Sweet Pea, I really cannot entertain the thought that you will not be part of our family.  This is either because the Lord is protecting my heart, or because He is giving me a glimpse into our future.  Whatever the reason, I simply cannot concentrate on anything these days.  I am PANICKED because we don’t have a name for you yet.  Although, I am growing very fond of Sweet Pea J.  I want to start calling you by name, but we haven’t settled on anything yet.  Nothing jumps out at me as YOUR name.  We are praying for you-fiercely!  We pray for your development, and safety.  We pray for your birth mom and her feelings as all of this is happening.  We pray for your siblings that will be returning home without you.  We pray for the doctors that will be involved in your care.  We pray for wisdom for the nurses that will take care of you as well.  We pray for the social workers involved and the lawyers too.  We are covering you and this whole adoption process with prayer.  We wait with anticipation until we hold you in our arms in just a few short weeks (27 days to be exact).  We love you!


Okay, may not be post worthy to most of you!  Here in the Sanborn home, I was quite excited when Mimi bought us this fabulous accessory.  She bought us the stroller for the babies five years ago, but there wasn't much choice.  We didn't know how old they would be, and it had to be a double (obviously) and there just wasn't much out there.  This time around we are welcoming a tiny baby and need an "infant seat" instead of a convertible car seat (that will come later).  So of course we need a travel system!!  I WAS SO EXCITED!!!!!!  My mom did a bunch of research on line and picked one that got awesome reviews (on-line and by friends and total strangers we asked).  My cousin Bryn even humored me by letting me push it around the house the weekend I got it while we were supposed to be watching chick flicks.  So here is the stroller...  Drum roll please...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Really Lord??!!

It's funny...  My life has been a series of events that only God could have orchestrated (I know hindsight, right).  And at every hard place, I have made the choice to give it all to God.  Not by my choice often- but because I felt there was no where else to turn.  And never by my own strength, always with the perfect strength given to me, and by so many of you who have prayed for and encouraged me.  And yet, I continue to want, no,  need to control whatever little piece I can.  Building our family is the perfect example.  Even this adoption, which we thought would be another Ethiopian adoption.  God just wants me to trust Him regardless of where He takes me.  So when He told us, to trust Him and move in a different direction we did.  Now he has blessed us with the wait for a specific baby- baby boy Sanborn (yes, we are working on a name).  I was so excited because it is so close, but plenty long enough to plan out every little detail. Or so I thought!  About 10 minutes after the last post, our social worker called us and told us our birth mom was in labor- at 33 weeks.  Not the full term we expected with an induction on Feb 7. A little earlier than is best case scenario and much too early for my plan book!!!  Birth mom is fine now and was sent home to "bake" our baby boy for a little bit longer.  I feel like God was sending us a message.  We are not in control of this journey, He is.  He will decide when it is best for our baby to come to us, my planner will not decide.  Thank you Lord for reminding me that you have all of this in your hands.  You have a plan for all of this and are in perfect control.