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The Seidel Family Blog

8 minutes reading time (1659 words)

A Month of Love


Mabuhay (welcome/hello)!

Can you believe it's February already? For us, January just flew by! And, for so many reasons, February always seems to fly by as well. During February each year, along with it already being a short month, we celebrate my birthday, attend our church's annual marriage retreat, and, who can forget, celebrate Valentine's day. This year, we kicked the month off celebrating the victory of our hometown team – KC Chiefs! What a month February always is!

On the adoption front, we continue to wait to be matched with our kiddos. A common, and often accurate, view of adoption is a long journey…and much waiting. I can honestly say we've experienced quite a bit of waiting already and recognize we likely have much more to go. Next month will be one year since we started the process (talk about time flying!) and we're told to expect 2 – 3 more years.

In the waiting, it's easy to lose sight of the good. It's easy to be discouraged even when there is so much to be encouraged about in the process. As such, for my February blog – in honor of Valentine's Day and love – I thought I would share 14 things we have loved about our adoption journey already.

For anyone who may be considering adoption in their own journeys, take this list as a nod of encouragement for what an amazing journey you could find yourself on. For those of you just sharing along in our journey, take this list as a nod of encouragement we're finding in the process. I give you permission to remind us of this list when we ourselves lose sight of the good.😊

  1. Growing in relationship with our Heavenly Father – Above all else, this journey continues to grow our individual relationships and our marriage with our Lord. As you'll see below, we continue to grow our trust in Him and deepen our understanding of His love for us. May all the glory be to our Father!
  2. Sharing our Father's love with others – While our adoption is certainly personal to us in that we'll be growing our family through it, we also want this adoption to point others to their own Heavenly Father. Oh, how He loves us and you. How generous He's been to all of us. You are His child – you've been adopted into His family. Never forget that. And, if you ever need a reminder, call me up…seriously.
  3. Growing in relationship with each other – While it is said, and we certainly know, that children should not be meant to meet our needs…I can honestly say this process continues to bring Ben and myself closer. Not out of need, but out of learning more about each other, our desires, and our dreams. Part of parenthood is learning how much you don't know, right? 😊 Through this process, we continue to learn more about each other as a spouse and as future parents. I personally can't wait to see Ben as a dad – our kids are so lucky to have him!
  4. Deepening understanding of love – Our gracious Father continues to deepen our understanding of what it means to love. While we don't know the names of our kids, their age, their gender, or even how many of them there are…love has already begun forming. I'm not quite sure how to explain loving someone you have yet to meet, but God is showing us it's possible.
  5. Eager anticipation of a great future – Each day we get to eagerly anticipate all that God has in store for us through our family. Some days, I am so excited I just dance around the living room to my own tune – yes, that's true. Oh, how happy the Lord makes me in the anticipation the Holy Spirit has filled me with. Literally, the song on the radio just sang to me: "all His promises are just up ahead." How cool is that? The Lord is reminding me even now that we can eagerly await the promises He's given us.
  6. Expanding our viewpoints – Through this process, we've both noticed our focuses starting to shift beyond just our daily surroundings. We've become more aware of the Philippines. We've met people from the Philippines, we've been reading news coming out of the news, we've begun looking at Filipino food recipes…the list could go on. It's so easy in our daily lives to live in a little bubble of work, Lee's Summit, Missouri, USA...that we can forget there is more in this world. I am so thankful to shift my focus further outward.
  7. Growing our patience and trust – Oh man, does this one come as a bittersweet one. Patience, as many of you know, is NOT my strong suit. But I can honestly share that the Holy Spirit has filled me with a sense of peace about the timing of this entire adoption process. He fills me with patience – even in one of the most impatient people you might find! 😊 I now find comfort in knowing His timing is perfect.
  8. Meeting new people and hearing new stories – Being future adoptive parents, it's like we now have a whole new group of people to relate to – a whole new way to be "in". We've loved meeting adoptive parents, adoptive families, and those impacted by adoption. It's amazing how saying we're in the adoption process has opened so many new conversations and new relationships.
  9. Opportunities for preparation – If I had to guess, I'd say that Ben and I have had more discussions about our future parenting styles than most parents-to-be. As annoying as it might be, a huge part of the home study process is trying to prepare us for parenthood and, of course, parenting adopted children. We've had to "prove" our finances, our parenting styles, our histories, etc. We have also watched dozens of trainings to equip us. While I know there is no true substitute for just doing, we're thankful to have been pushed to start preparing ourselves for parenthood in advance. Let's be honest – Ben and I are both extreme planners…what could be better than years of preparing and planning, right? 😊
  10. Making space in our lives – Along with the above preparations comes the reality that part of parenting requires making space in your life for the kiddos that are to come. For us, it's maybe doubled or tripled, given we'll be adopting a set of siblings. We've already begun adapting our lives to ensure we can provide the best family possible for our kiddos. For instance, we have begun plans of backing my hours down at work so I can be an almost full-time stay-at-home momma.
  11. Learning a new language – Another way we're making space…I am learning an entirely new language! Tagalog aka Filipino.Because our children will be older than infants, it's highly possible that they may not know much English. God has placed on my heart that, although I many never be fluent in Tagalog, I should at least know some core word and phrases. What a challenge and joy it's been to begin the journey of learning a second language! More to come on this in a future blog post – which will be written entirely in Filipino…just kidding!!!
  12. Saying no to good – You might read that and say, "What the heck, Caitlin?" Hang with me. This a principle we learned early on in our marriage at a marriage retreat. Part of good living is saying no to the good, so you can say yes to the better. Ben and I on occasion challenge each other to see if we're saying no to the good, so we can say yes to the better. That, too, has been a part of this adoption journey already. There are some things we can't do or some opportunities we've had to decline in order to be available for "the better" God has in store for us.
  13. Growing our family! – If you didn't get this from all of the above - or you got tired of reading - we love that we get to grow our family! Even if it might be a slow process, with many frustrations, delays, and challenges, we love it! Enough said. 😊
  14. Appreciating the road less traveled – I end on this one because I think it's a great summary of so much above. We understand that the journey we're on is not for everyone. We understand that some in our lives may not fully understand why we've chosen this journey. But we are encouraged each day in our journey. We are being led on this journey by our Heavenly Father.In this journey, we've found great joy and appreciation in the road less traveled.

As the song that just now came on says: "I am not alone. You will go before me. You will never leave me." Oh Father, that you love me so much that already twice in the time it's taken me to write this blog you've spoken directly to me through the words of songs. You continue to show me you are with me and you are guiding this journey Ben and I are on. Thank you, Lord.

Phew – who knew 14 things could require so many words?! I don't know if you're tired of reading yet, but I think my hands are tired of writing. 😊

Our prayer requests this month: Lord, continue to guide us. Give us your discernment. Holy Spirit, fill us up with encouragement and joy each day of this journey. And, in the month of "love", Lord, just go love on our kiddos for us. Wrap your arms around them. Speak words of comfort into their precious ears. Fill them with eager anticipation for their future family. Tell them their mom and dad love them more than they can imagine.

Until next time – all our love!