What’s new with the adoption?

At least weekly, someone asks us where we are at in the adoption process. I am so thankful for family and friends who are praying us through and who are invested and interested in the journey. While lately we usually feel there really isn’t much news to share, we have been busy preparing. In October we found out we were #10 on the waiting list and have not received any news since then. Our agency says we will probably receive a referral by late summer but there are no guarantees.

I have been working a Norwex business since February and all income has gone toward the adoption. I am thankful for this inspiring work and for a way to earn some extra money!

We have completed all necessary paperwork thus far and have received our I-600A approval. We also are officially ready to travel!

IMG_8081

Per our home study, we needed to make our basement bedroom legal with an egress window so we would officially have 4 bedrooms. So thankful I have a handy hubby who isn’t afraid to cut a hole in our foundation! It turned out beautifully!!

IMG_2321

I did some baking to raise money toward our adoption over the holidays. Lots of cheesecake, pie and caramel corn was cranked out in my kitchen!!

IMG_7513

Last week we received a letter from Show Hope stating that we had received a grant toward our adoption! We are so thankful!

IMG_8088

This week the baby of our family officially moved out of the crib making room for somebody new. The girls have been anxiously awaiting the day they would get bunk beds but Allie got a little nervous that the ladder will be too wobbly. In the end, there were smiles all around. 🙂

IMG_8098

FullSizeRender 4

So, to sum up, while it seems “nothing” is really happening, things ARE happening and we get closer and closer every day to bringing our child home! Stay tuned for information regarding our 2016 Read-A-Thon fundraiser coming up in March!

On Family Pictures & Waves of Grief

Family Picture_Fotor

Hodgson Family ~ Fall 2015

Family pictures are a tricky thing for me. I treasure photos greatly. I enjoy the art of taking pictures, looking and re-looking at pictures and capturing precious moments. However, whenever it comes to family photos, though there is a smile on my face, my heart is divided. I can’t help but think of our precious sons who should be beside us in our family pictures. It almost seems wrong to capture a “family” photo without them! However, this is our family, at present, and I desperately want it captured nonetheless. I even go so far as to think, “What if this is our last family photo together?!?!” Because sometimes it is, and we just never know. On the flip side, I thank God for the family I have here and that gives me reason to smile and capture this moment. I suspect I will always feel the void, the struggle and the pangs of sadness.

DSCN0187

Christmas 2011 ~ Our Last “Family” Picture with Andrew

I didn’t anticipate grief flooding in this Christmas season. The waves definitely come fewer and farther between, and this one came unexpectedly, seemingly out of nowhere. Dear friends were sharing their burdens of loss and pain during Sunday School one morning. Their hearts echoed what was all too familiar to me. I bit my lip and wrestled through class, thinking I could hold it together because I’m typically not much of a crier. I ducked my head and made a beeline for my spot on the pew for service,  I just couldn’t shake this deep sorrow that filled my heart. Images of the day we lost Andrew flashed through my mind. The throbbing ache in my arms, desperate to hold my children close, was there. I wondered and worried about how my surviving children would deal with the deaths of their brothers into their adult years. The memories, thoughts and tears wouldn’t stop. This Christmas a dear friend gifted our kids with Christmas outfits, and I kept thinking, Andrew and Isaiah should have matching outfits too! It just didn’t seem fair. I simply could not hold back the tears that came in torrents down my face. I had to walk out of that service and go home. I felt unable to stand up under the weight of the grief. It felt so bizarre to be feeling these gut wrenching emotions, seemingly out of the blue. I suspect these moments will always come. It’s all part of the journey. I’m still not used to it and am surprised by grief.

Sleigh Family

December 2015

FullSizeRender 2

Four Beautiful Children in Christmas Outfits

FullSizeRender 3

Christmas 2015

IMG_7864

Here’s to 2016! Happy New Year!

In 2015, family pictures, Christmastime and ringing in the New Year held another new set of emotions for me. Throughout the festivities, I kept wondering if, perhaps, this was our last Christmas as a family as we now know it. Would we be sharing our celebrations with a new son or daughter next Christmas season? If God would allow us to add to our family in 2016, we would be so grateful. I treasured this season with my family a little bit differently, not knowing what 2016 would hold.

By the grace of God, and with hope, I do know Who holds 2016. I’m thankful for His faithfulness. I’m trusting in His provision and timing, glad that He can see the big picture that I can’t. He gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.