Life Inspired…

Life is most inspired these days.  Our journey the last several years have given me a new perspective.  Living with our little blessing, Brooks, has opened my eyes to seeing the world in a whole new way.  His smile, giggle, and inquisitive mind make the most mundane things fun.  Watching him figure out how to put his pacifier in his mouth the right way on his own just cracks me up.  Seeing him have the time of his life just jumping from the door frame is a riot.  The little things.  I realize I now can slow down and appreciate the little things.  It’s a beautiful space to be in and live in daily.

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Brooks LOVES playing!

This is not a space I ever imagined I would love so much.  I don’t think anyone can comprehend love like this until you experience it for yourself.  It’s just not something that can be explained.  Having so much fun with this little guy is the best gift day in and day out.  God made him so perfectly and wonderfully that I find myself quietly thanking Him quite often.

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Brooks inspires me to be happy…I mean really how can you not be happy around that smile…to approach life differently…to consider different perspectives…to enjoy the small moments…to think bigger…and on and on and on.

I’m sure one day something he does will annoy me, but for now I’m going to soak up all the cute little things he does every second and enjoy all he is teaching me!

April

Beautiful Whirlwind…

I haven’t posted in a while, because I’ve been in the middle of the most beautiful whirlwind of new motherhood!  And I really don’t have much to say except to share this journey with Brooks.

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I know I’m biased toward my little man, but I swear God created him to bring happiness to this world.  Brooks’ little smile can light up an entire room.  I dare you to try not to smile when he does!  Chris and I have been told so many times that he has the best smile, and we think so too!  So I can’t help but share that cutie here and with the world.  Even when we are up all night with a sick baby or feeding or rocking, this little guy will look at us and smile and then the exhaustion doesn’t matter.

The struggle as a working mom, though, is so real.  Only getting an hour or so at night during the week is difficult.  It’s a glorious hour, but never long enough.  We literally live for the weekend to spend quality time with our little man.  So I now understand the feelings working moms have battled.  As a teacher, I used to work hours upon hours at home.  Now I leave it all at work because I’m committed to spending quality time with Brooks.  Then a little guilt creeps in and I wonder if I’m doing enough for my kids at work.  Or pressure for my students to perform well on STAAR (ugh…that’s a whole other post) starts to take hold and stress begins to seep into every part of life.  Then there is bottle washing, laundry, floors to clean, dishes to wash, dinner to plan and cook, papers to grade, lessons to plan, and on and on….

I don’t think a working mom ever feels like there is a perfect balance.  I know I don’t.  You never quite feel like you are doing enough in either realm.  So I just pray!  And thank God I’m blessed to have such problems.  lol.  So I feel you working moms!

As a result… please excuse us for living in a bubble the last six months.  YES… I said SIX MONTHS!  Out little and will be six months SOON!  WHAT??!!  We’ve just be soaking up every minute we can with our little blessing.  He is so much more than we could ever have imagined and has brought so much more joy to us and others that it is just beautiful to watch.

As always, continued prayers for his life journey and our ability to parent in God’s way are always appreciated…

Blessings from the Maas family….

Motherhood, Unexplainable Love

     Being a mommy is the most wonderful feeling in the world, and one that cannot be explained with any word I’ve ever encountered.  People don’t tell you that your heart will be filled with so much love the moment you see your baby that you feel like your heart by explode and there is no way to process it all.  But even if they did try to tell you, you could never understand it anyways.  There would be no easy way to comprehend until the little bundle arrives, and you experience it for yourself.
     I’m not sure if it is because Chris and I have waited so long for this moment or if everyone feels this way.  Either way, it’s the BEST, and I cannot thank God enough every day that He has given us this beautiful gift and allowed Chris and I to be parents to this adorable boy.
     That being said, I’m not saying this isn’t hard. This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  But as with all the other difficult things I have faced in my life, the tough side to mommy-hood makes this journey so much more rewarding.  The up all nights, the crying for no reason, the exhaustion, the sleeping in mommy’s arms, the first smile, the first giggle… they are all worth every moment.
     I find myself thinking about what Brooks willbe like when he is old enough to talk and express his likes and dislikes more.  What will he be like when he goes too school?  What will he be like around other people?  Will he be a social butterfly or will he have to work at making friends?  Will he like school or hate it?  Will he let me hug and kiss him even when he’s a teenager?  It’s so easy to get wrapped up in who I want him to become even at such an early age.  So I have to remind myself even now that he is his own person, and I send a prayer up to God that He help Brooks become all God wants him to be and for the guidance for Chris and I to nurture God’s plans for him.
Now that our dreams have come true and all of your prayers that you prayed for us have been answered, I ask for more prayers.  I ask to you pray for our little Brooks journey in life.  I ask that you pray he is filled with a strong desire to know and love the Lord.  I ask you to pray for his path to follow God’s plan for him, and I ask you to pray that God give Chris and I the ability and strength to guide Brooks on that path.  pray-hands
All our love,
April(& Chris)

Almost Time! 37 Weeks! Let the countdown begin! #blessed

I can’t believe that I haven’t posted since May!  I’ve updated on Facebook, but no lengthy posts.  Maybe that’s a good thing!  Ha!

Today marks 37 weeks for baby Maas!  I remember through early pregnancy just praying to make it to the 24 week mark because miracles can happen for preemies.  Then praying to make it to 30 weeks.  I really relaxed after that.  It is hard to believe we are here.  37 weeks.  Safe zone.  Brooks is moving around and constantly letting me know he’s doing well.  Sonograms always confirm he’s growing and healthy.

I cannot thank God enough for the frequent reminders that He’s got this!  I feel like my faith is strong.  I love my God.  I believe wholeheartedly in my God.  Yet He knows exactly what I have needed during this pregnancy and delivered with such love and grace.  At every sign of worry or anxiety, he gave me something to remind me that He is in control and this pregnancy is His.  It’s been a continued beautiful journey in my relationship with Him.

And so, let the countdown begin!  I feel like this is the most exciting and fun part of my pregnancy so far!  Making sure everything is ready for Brooks to come home.  Bags packed.  Nursery done.  Car seat in.  Clothes washed and put away.  Now I can enjoy the moments I wonder if my body is preparing and guessing with family when he might decide to make his debut.

Chris and I thought he might come into this world this past Saturday, but he was just teasing us.  Chris has been a trooper just going with the flow and letting me question everything and nest by giving him lots of to-dos!  He’s way more calm about it all than I am.  Shocker!  lol

We have a standing Tuesday appointment with Dr. Seeker, so I will continue with my short Facebook updates.  We anticipate Brooks to be near 7lbs tomorrow when we go and of course still have his chubby cheeks.  Hopefully the little bit of early labor I had Saturday morning means I’ve progressed a little as well, and we keep trucking along to an on-time or early baby debut!

As always, we cannot thank each and every one of you for your love, prayers, support, gifts, thoughts, and encouragement!  Brooks is one blessed and loved baby already!  God is Good!

Love,
April (& Chris)

Baby Maas Groovin’ Along

Baby Maas will be 26 weeks tomorrow!  We had an amazing 24 week appointment where our Sonographer checked out all his little organs and blood flow and brain and who knows what else.  He’s perfect!

We continue to rock along in this pregnancy without any issues or concerns other than the normal pregnancy stuff.  It is definitely getting more difficult to bend over.  I breath a little harder when walking up the stairs.  I know… I should be walking more.  But in the grand scheme of things, we are doing well.  No real swelling or terrible pains to speak too much about.  Just a little sciatic pain down the left leg, but it hasn’t lingered too long or been too terrible.

This 3D picture below is just a little sneak peak at our little guy!

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It’s unbelievable what you can see in an ultrasound these days!  So the argument has already begun as to who this little one looks like.

I have my glucose testing and next doctor appointment May 25th.  Can’t say I’m really looking forward to that one too much, but I guess it’s a must.  I will get to meet with Dr. Seeker again after my test and get another peak at our little guy.

We took a birthing class yesterday at St. David’s and got a quick tour of the hospital.  Everyone there has been amazing and wonderful so far.  Lots of great information to help put a momma’s mind at ease for all the ‘what ifs.’  Which is great for a dooms day girl like me.

Not much else to report except all is well!  How wonderfully boring!  Sorry if this didn’t flow well… baby has sucked the life out of my brain, and it feels pretty scattered most of the time.

Y’all just send up a little prayer for Chris as he continues to put up with me.  : )

God is Good!

Love,
April

 

Finally Another Update…Thankful

I haven’t written an update since late November, and each month I feel a little guilty about it.  We have had so many amazing hearts praying for our journey, and as the title of my blog suggests, I am trying to live with an open heart.  

My last blog post left off with all the options that Chris and I had in our journey to create a family.  They were amazing options.  That was on November 27th.   Fast forward to today, and most of you know that I am now 18 almost 19 weeks pregnant!  The time between November and now has been amazingly wonderful and at times still a little frightening.

What I have learned is that our God is all powerful, all loving, all knowing, and in control.  All of my worries and fears have been systematically stomped on and proven to be unfounded.  He has always known exactly what I need, and now he knows I need signs to deter my worry.  And he has provided that every step of the way.  From doctors appointments to blood work to ultrasounds.  At each step, I have been provided all that I need to be able to relax and enjoy this journey more and more.

I know now God had this amazing plan all along, and that the journey to get to this point was needed for me and for Chris.  I would not ask for it to be any different.  We have grown so much together and in our faith that every struggle has clearly had a purpose.  We are so thankful for God’s constant ability to show us that we have nothing to worry about because he’s got this!

Our little man is doing really well.  Two appointments ago he was in the 65th percentile and last appointment he was in the 75th percentile.  He is growing like a weed and doing well.  My next appointment is March 30th and we will be at the halfway point!

I know we’ve said this over and over, but we are so thankful for all the support and prayers, and it makes it so much fun to share our joy with you all as well!

Love,

April …Chris and our little man

So many updates to share!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an update, so here ya go!

  1.  Chris and I are still working with our foster/adopt agency on the legal risk/adoption side.
  2.  We have also seen a fertility specialist and are pursuing a treatment with him, and I’ll explain more below.
  3.  We were presented with an opportunity for a private adoption that became pretty complicated pretty quickly, and I’ll explain more below on this as well.

The first update is really just that we are continuing the process with our agency, Arrow, here in Austin.

The second update is kind of a long story, but I’ll  make it short.  We have some friends who have used a specific fertility specialist and are now expecting their first child in December.  Because of their encouragement, we decided to at least pay their doctor a visit.  He spent a lot of time with us going over our medical history, did some more testing, and came back with cautious optimism, so we have chosen to pursue using medication and IUI in order to try to conceive on our own.  This consists of oral medication for me to help me produce more eggs, which I just completed by first round.   Then we go in for an ultrasound this Sunday to take a look at potential eggs.  At that point, if all looks good, I will receive a trigger shot for ovulation and then about a day later we will both go back in for our roles in the IUI, Intrauterine Insemination.  Then we wait and hope for the best.  Due to my endometriosis, he believes this will increase our chances for pregnancy from about 2% to about 18% at a relatively low cost.  So we ask for your prayers this upcoming week, and God’s hands over each step in this process.

The third update is a little more complicated.  In short, we were connected with a couple out of state wanting to seek out an adoptive family for their baby through private adoption.  Their due date was supposed to be March 2016.  We felt blessed to be considered.  We had a brief couple of conversations and then birth mom had to have an emergency c section early this week at 24 weeks.  We have been in contact with them since, and ask for lots of prayers for birth mom, baby, and doctors through this time as well as guidance for ourselves in all of this.  Baby came into this world very early at 1 lb 8 oz, but with no major issues at this point.  The doctors say he will need to stay in NICU for at least three months, and if all goes well, will be able to go home.  Again, please pray for all involved in this precious little one’s life.

As always… we will keep everyone updated as best we can.

April and Chris

Just waiting and praying…

It’s been a few weeks since I have updated everyone on our adoption journey.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have decided to focus on legal risk and straight adopt kiddos which means the process is a little slower, and we have a little more control over the situation.

At this point, we are continuing to receive information on possible matches that we then read about and talk about to determine if we want our agency to submit our information to the agency that is looking out for the children.  To this point, we have submitted our information on four children/sets of siblings.  Two have have not matched, and we are waiting to hear back on the other two.  And so this is how the process goes and goes…

In connecting with other families through our agency who are going through the same process, we have learned that the matching part can take a while.  It is a lot of give and take, there is a ton of information that everyone has to read through, many families that are interested in the same children, and a million more state agency workers involved in  making the final decisions at each point in the process.

We are learning more about ourselves through this process than I every imagined, and God has continually worked on our hearts in a million different ways that have only brought us both closer to Him, and that makes it all worth while regardless of how it all ends.

We are still hopeful, yet reserved, and as always, we ask for your continued prayers through it all!

Love and Blessings!

April (& Chris)

Where are we now?

So… we were officially licensed on September 3rd with our foster/adopt agency.  Since then, we’ve had two potential placements not take place for a variety of reasons… as many of you already know.  One through the adoption side and one through the foster side.

While we have not been able to find our forever kiddos just yet, we have learned a lot about the foster/adopt system and processes.  There are a lot more people involved in every decision than you can even imagine.  There are a million variables that all have to work for a placement to reach our home.  And even though the agency works hard to help you prepare for the emotional side, you really can’t be prepared.  Whoa.

As a result of learning by fire in the first few weeks, Chris and I have decided to seek our forever children through the legal risk/straight adopt side of our agency.  All that really means is it cuts down on some of the variables, not all, and allows for a little less extreme emotions to fly around and a little more preparation time in most instances.  Really…. it’s all just really complicated.  Trying to simplify here.  : )

We really just wanted to give everyone an update and let y’all know things won’t be moving as fast as we originally thought it would and that’s ok.  We are still praying for our little munchkins that God has planned for us, and, as usual, ask you all to keep praying as well!  We promise we’ll keep everyone posted!

April

We are OFFICIAL!!

We are OFFICIALLY Licensed for foster/adoptive placements!

What does that mean?  That means our agency can now consider us for and place us with children!  We do have some choice/say in this, but they must take the first step.  We have provided them with a little list that they work from to help match us and the children.  We’ve asked for a child/children between newborn and six years old.

The child or children will be considered in foster care with us until they are potential up for adoption OR if they already are up for adoption, they would be considered in foster care with us until the adoption is final.  That’s in a nutshell, but it’s a little more complicated than that.

However, we could receive a placement at any time now!!!  Sooooo…. we are asking for prayers!!  Please pray that the hearts of our forever children are being prepared to accept us, and that our hearts and the hearts of our family are being prepared to accept them.  We also pray that God shows us how we will provide for them in the best way in all areas!

We feel very excited about the possibility of forming our new family soon!  A few things everyone needs to know going forward…. once children are placed with us, the information we can share will be limited… including pictures… until we are able to officially adopt them.  This will be difficult, but it’s in the best interested for everyone, and we are legally bound to privacy.  I will post updates, but they will not be in detail.  Just a heads up.

We are currently being considered for a placement, and we ask for prayers about this process and that God’s hand be the one guiding it!

As always, thank you ALL for your continued support!  We know we would not have made it to this point without each and every one of you!

Love,
April & Chris