While our visit with friends in Colorado Springs was a highlight of our vacation, our purpose for going to Colorado was because we had been offered a free family retreat by a phenomenal organization called Project Sanctuary. On the morning of the 6th, Aimee and I went to breakfast at a place I’ve never been before: Kneaders. YUM!
Over breakfast I had the opportunity to share my heart with her about the possible upcoming adoption. I typically need to talk things over to make sense of them while Matt typically lets things stew quietly in his brain. Thankfully Aimee was willing to listen to me ramble while we ate breakfast. I left that time with Aimee more encouraged that God was in this situation and that He knew the plan. Aimee encouraged me that God knows this child already, and He knows me. If it is His will for us to be united, He would make it happen. If not, God would clearly let us know before we got too far in the process.
That this point in time we still knew very little other than that it is a little girl and we were definitely open to hearing more information. The past two days had been amazing. We loved spending our time with the Joneses, and it had passed without any new information coming in.
We had heard that there were possible delays on the roads we had to take so we left fairly early. Our farewells weren’t too hard since we knew that in a few short days we’d be back to see them again.
Half-way to our destination at a gas station I sent my friend Kari a text. I let her know that I hadn’t heard anything further and a brief conversation let me know that my text to Virginia hadn’t been received.
I worried that this would make it seem as if we weren’t interested but there was nothing I could do about this. It was Thursday and we were about to arrive at our retreat location and I didn’t want to talk about this in front of all of the boys in the car.
We arrived at Snow Mountain Ranch to a gorgeous scene of snow everywhere. Before we knew it Carson was dressed and playing outside in the snow! This is a view from one of the bedrooms. From the same bedroom window you can see the snow slowly sliding off the roof. On the day we arrived, we unpacked, had dinner, and got to know our retreat volunteers and organizers.
Friday: The first full day was a day of action. We took a hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Breathtaking:
Instead of being a fluffy place to land, this plant collapsed and swallowed Parker whole!After our hike through this park we had lunch at a ranch before going fishing. Parker was one of only two people to catch a fish… his was too small to keep.
While we were out for the day we had no cell service and we really focused on spending time with our boys. We had a blast and made memories that we treasure. I do admit that while I was fishing I was thinking about the baby and what our life could look like in a few short months. Hope was building and I was already getting attached to her.
That night we were so tired that we only stayed for a very short time of the planned game night.
We needed to do laundry. Desperately. A family of six traveling across the country needs to do laundry at least every other day and it had been three. I dropped the family off for breakfast and headed to the on-site coin laundry hauling my computer with me. I wrote a letter to the birth mother introducing our family to her. I didn’t have an email address to send this to, but I got the letter formulated just the way I wanted it and headed back to the family retreat with a car-full of clean clothes.
While sitting in our very first session of the morning I got the text of my dreams: The mother contacted me directly and gave me permission to call her later that day to talk about adoption. Oh my GOSH! I was sitting in the front of the room during a session and I had to try to keep a straight face!
It was so difficult to mask my emotions and to pretend that my life hadn’t just taken a very exciting turn.
I knew we were at this retreat for a reason and the session we were in at that moment was a marriage enrichment session… we have a fantastic marriage but we are always looking for ways to make it better and stronger so I put as much focus as I could into our session.
Later that day I got to speak to the mama in person. Our conversation went really well and when we hung up I was beyond excited. I have so many details of that conversation that I treasure but that are private, but let me just tell you that when I relayed the conversation to Matt, he was immediately in!
One thing I told the mama is that we would give her a definite answer in one week as she was already 30 weeks along and deserved a quick answer. That was the 8th. On the 11th we knew and gave her our 100% ALL IN answer.
The next few days of the retreat we had more incredibly helpful session: PTS, financial health. We did a family art project, karaoke night, they offered free massages, and the kids did a PJ movie night while the adults were taken to town for a fancy dinner.
This retreat was fantastic and I highly recommend any veteran family fill out an application for it.
Obviously, our time there was made even more special by the excitement of hearing about our little girl, but even without all of that going on, the retreat is a phenomenal experience!
Tomorrow I’ll post a little more about our Project Sanctuary Retreat!
TODAY’S ADOPTION UPDATE:
This morning Matt and I signed in front of a notary the documents necessary for our SC background checks! Those are in the mail and we are praying that the results are ready in just about two weeks!
We have raised about one-third of what we think we’re going to need to cover our adoption expenses. If you’re interested in keeping track of where we are, click HERE for our YouCaring account (which is similar to a GoFundMe type of account).