Thursday, January 2, 2014

Big News in the McClish House!

18 long months ago I dreamt of writing this blog post. I thought about how to make it cute and cleaver, planning to include an adorable picture of Julianne or sweet ultrasound photo. The possibilities were endless, but as months past, and then a year, I wondered if I would ever get to write it. How I've longed to have news our family is growing and that Julianne would be a big sister!

Little did I know then, how different this post would look. How so many of my "plans" would not be. My plan to have children 2 years apart. My plan to be pregnant again, and carry to full term. My plans to nurse more babies. God has been showing us these are not His plans, at least not for now. However, in His mercy and loving kindness, The Lord is revealing His plan to us. His plans for us to grow our family through adoption! 

This summer, Andrew and I began praying about adoption. I suppose we were really praying for God to show us how He'd have us grow our family. For the first time in our journey, we were ready to lay down our family plan and submit to God's. I remember begging The Lord to help me open my hand to the idol I had made of having children. As we prayed, we also began to pursue the adoption process, and doors began opening. We were accepted into an amazing domestic infant adoption program through Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth.  We endured and passed the arduous home study process, and are now "waiting" for a birthmother to choose us. God has provided! 

So, it is with much hope, excitement, and anticipation, that I can finally share our family is growing! Julianne will be a big sister, and in the adoption world, we are expecting #2! We don't know how long it will be before there's another baby in our house, or what other hills and valleys are ahead. However, we know God knows. We have hope and assurance God is sovereign over our family, and He is calling us to something beautiful, wonderful, and amazing. 

Please join us in praying during this time. We know the woman who carries our baby will also be going through a season of sorrow. We have the unique opportunity to pray for her and show her the love of Christ. Please also pray that we could continue to trust God's provision for us as we wait. Patience is not a strength of mine!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Thoughts on Thankfulness

This year I wanted to make a Tree of Thanks from Ann Voskamp's blog She even provided the leaf cut outs with verses on them. My kind of craft! On the back we wrote things we are thankful for, and each night at dinner Julianne, Andrew, and I discussed what made us thankful. It was pretty light hearted, as much of J's leafs said things like: oatmeal, chips, and "the babies at church".  We laughed a lot and slowly began filling our "tree"(sticks from the yard).  I was pleased we had some good family time doing the tree and I'm sure it will become a November tradition.

I was not prepared though for how humbled and moved I feel today as I gaze on our tree. Humbled that though we have endured much this year, we are blessed beyond measure. In a year we have moved to a new state, started a business, and said goodbye to 3 sweet babies. Yes 3, I haven't found words to blog  about it, but we lost another precious little one in July. Three babies we won't be holding, rocking, or knowing this side of heaven. Amidst the many changes, my heart has been deeply broken, the sorrow at times feeling unbearable. Our marriage tested and challenged. Yet, in God's mercy, he has given us much to be thankful for.

Praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit has filled us with hope despite our circumstance, provided comfort and strength to walk in what He has called us to.  A difficult path this year. Yet, I look at our tree and am reminded of the good gifts God has given us. Namely right standing with him through Christ.

"Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Beautifully written post at Desiring God today on thanks:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Panty Trip...

The time comes in every young girl's life for a very important right of passage. The day she purchases her first pair, or pack in this case, of "panties".

We invited Dad along who is a sucker for Target popcorn and Diet Coke. Julianne is learning this vice as well.

Now that we had our snack, we're ready to head to the panty isle!

Since Mom forgot to snap a pic in the panty isle, Julianne was asked to pose with her panty pack in the plastic dish ware isle. We also needed to pick up some plastic plates after loosing several glass ones. I suppose my child will not be the one child in America who can use a real plate. I had way to high of expectations for that and I am willing to give it up. Plus Target has a lot of really cute plastic, dishwasher safe options.

Anyway, this event was right after her birthday, so maybe the first week in February. I wasn't sure what to expect once we owned the panties, but I figured we'd give potty training a try. We tried the "3 Day Method" to train her. I didn't read that much about it, but basically you commit to keeping your toddler in panties for 3 days. Naps and nights are the exception.

Day 1 was terrible. I was ready to give up and felt like all I taught her was to be terrified of peeing! My poor baby girl would hold it for hours and then when her tiny bladder had to give in, she screamed and froze and got pee everywhere! At one point that day, I just gave her chocolates for a hour or so for continually sitting on the potty. We sang songs, read books, mommy danced in the bathroom to no avail. She would not go in potty. I was just about to give in but remembered my commitment to 3 days.

Day 2 we made some progress. This was the day I told her she would only get chocolate (mini m&ms) when she made a pee or poo in the potty. This must of motivated her somehow because she sat on the pot and would make tiny drips and ask for a chocolate each time. Drip drip, chocolate. Drip drip chocolate. I was thrilled. Some progress was encouraging after my previous day of constant steam mopping. Dipping her hands in warm water also seemed to help her relax.

Day 3 was like Eureka for her! Somehow it all connected and we got through the day with very few accidents. We still have some difficulty pooping in the potty and overnight she still wears a diaper. Sometimes when she is really having fun or distracted she will have an accident. Other than that though we have a potty trained 2 year old!

It's a little bittersweet. I am so proud of Julianne. She loves wearing "big girl" panties and doing all things "big girl". I am amazed at how quickly she grasped this new concept and how she is able to learn. It's just, she's my baby. I am sad to see her baby-ness go away and grieved to pack away the diapers. I suppose it's panty shopping from here on out with Julianne. As much as I miss the baby version of her, I am loving the little girl she is becoming.

In the Quiet Times...

Last night I couldn't get to sleep. It's not uncommon these days as the night comes and everything goes quiet. The stillness of the night draws my mind to the stillness in my womb. I can't distract myself with housework, or parenting, or conversations with Andrew about the business. No, in this quiet time I think about my babies. I ache for them and cry big tears. My mind jumps from one thought to another from how many weeks I would have been, to how I shouldn't be able to sleep on my stomach anymore,  to what will we do with our crib when Julianne needs a big girl bed. The thoughts can linger for hours until my body finally succumbs to exhaustion.

I've been told by several people how well I seem to be doing. How it must be getting easier for me. I seem more "myself". They aren't wrong, time has eased some of the intensity of my heart ache. I am not debilitated by it as I one was. However, the pain is always there. It's chronic and I've just learned how to live with it better. The reality I am not pregnant and we aren't bringing a baby home this summer is normal now rather than unbelievable. It's almost more lonely in this stage. In the beginning I knew other people were crying too, grieving with me. As time has passes though, I often feel like the only one shedding tears still. I suppose that's my privilege as their mother. I am the one who should continue to miss them, mourn them.

I imagine the difficult quiet times will get fewer and further between. God meets me there and knows my pain. I think of Jesus during his quiet time in the garden. When all his friends went to sleep and he was left to carry the burden alone. How he sweat blood and grieved over what he was about to endure. He knows my suffering. I am thankful he doesn't sleep while I mourn. He is there in the quiet times.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Water Tots

It has become apparent that our daughter loves to be in any body of water. Her newest joy in life are showers with Mommy, which has ended any private personal time I still laid claim to. The point is she loves to be wet. A few times my mom has taken Julianne to our local rec center pool and we never heard the end of "pool" "pool" "pool". So when I saw they offered a swim class twice a week, I signed us up. Daddy was able to attend the first session so I sat out and took pictures.

 I've always thought this age group couldn't really benefit from "swimming lessons" and that anything of the sort was a huge waste of money. However, I do think she is learning a few skills like blowing bubbles, and holding her breath when she goes under.
 Plus it gets us to the "pool" where she gets wet and tired and has the best time. I've also met a few other moms in the community so that's a win. We haven't been doing such a great job of investing in relationships with the people we live near.

I also get a bit of a workout throwing our 30lb. fish around the water as we participate in the songs and such.  Daddy was sore after this session. His new home inspector physique thanked him though. Turns out crawling through attics and climbing onto roofs helps you stay in shape. He is looking good!

Getting out is the only hard part. In this case it looks like for Daddy too.


We love Colorado and thought this would be nice to look at...enjoy the view:)