Monday, May 19, 2014

Pour some sugar on me! Or not...(Detox Day 1)

Last week as I was pursuing some of my favorite blogs,
I came across a 14Day Sugar Detox.

For some crazy, ridiculous reason I decided to forward the info on to the hubs.
I might as well signed us up right then and there.
He was all, "Yeah! Let's do it! I'm totally in."

Of course.
Of course, he was.
Mr. Up-at-5am-P90x-Crossfit-Triatholon Man.

By the time he had emailed me back with his enthusiastic affirmations,
I had already come up with at least 3 reasons why it was not good timing for us to Detox from sugar.

I mean, our ANNIVERSARY is in 6 days. come ON!

By that evening I had come up with at least 10 more reasons why this was a bad idea.
Rob, on the other hand, was still all in.
The window to sign-up for the Detox group was quickly closing....
....and then, all the sudden, we were signed up. (curse you, Paypal, and your easy money transfers!)

As we were laying in bed discussing what we had just signed up for, I posted this:

Yes, I was in bed at 9:09pm. Don't judge.
People. You guys are so encouraging. and wonderful. You really are.

So, we were in.
If you know me very well, you know that if I'm going to do something,
then I want to do it all the way.
no half-way around here.

which was a little terrifying at first, since women were saying things about how they would rather give birth than go through a sugar detox?! For reals?!?!?! Not. helpful.
Not that I've given birth before, but I've heard that it can be a little brutal.
and I witnessed full body shakes during the one live birth I sat in on.
Let's hope this Sugar Detox thing doesn't come to that. (cue wide-eyed terrified expression)

On Saturday, I was with my BF at a riveting graduation ceremony. (sarcasm font on the riveting part)
and because sometimes we only get to talk during times when we should be listening,
I leaned over and said: "Oh hey. Did I tell you that we signed up for a Sugar Detox."
and, as any bestie would, she responded with, "Yeah. That's annoying. And really great for you. But mostly annoying for me."

I love her.
And then today she sent me this:


we share an Amazon prime account (community!)
and the Amazonians were suggesting she buy a bunch of healthy food stuff due to my most recent order.

you're welcome, SJ. 
much love to ya. 

So, today is DAY 1. 
I've made it through 2 meals and am headed home shortly to make meal #3 of the crazy
no-sugar detox.

so far I don't have a headache.
but I'm tired.
and I love the coconut oil/coffee blended stuff. YUM-O.

and so far I'm still really glad we are doing it.
next post I'll share why I am doing this and why I felt like it was time. 

Several people have asked about it and told me that they wanted to know how it went,
so I decided to blog about it a few times.

plus, it will good for me to remember how well (or terrible) this went for future reference.

So, if you interested in a candid, sarcastic, and honest look at my 14+ days without sugar, carbs, dairy and a bunch of other stuff....then feel free to follow along.
If you aren't...well, I promise I will only be slightly offended :)

If you have specific questions or things you want me to know about
leave a comment below (or on FB) and I'll be happy to share my experience.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

for my mom

it's that time of year again.
when people flock in droves to the card aisle to select something that poignantly captures their true sentiment about the woman they call MOM.
when families gather around to to remember and reflect on our mothers-who they are and the impact they have on our lives.
when we celebrate the tremendous sacrifice and selflessness that is involved in raising children and shaping young lives.

this year I was really hoping to spend Mother's Day with my mom,
but a flight cancellation yesterday prevented that.
even though I won't get to celebrate with her in person again this year,
I want to find a way to let her know just how much I am thinking of her this year,
and how truly thankful I am for her life.

this has been a difficult season over the last few months.
and even though she has not always know what to say,
or how to say it,
my mom has stayed available and present.
she has reminded me through texts and calls that she is always there,
even when separated by hundreds of miles.
Thank you, mom, for your availability and presence in my life. 

my mom and I have walked through uncharted territory these last few months.
this type of emotion and grief is new to me,
which means it is new for those who love me.
in the last weeks and months, I have sensed that those who are closest to me are not sure exactly what to do with me.
I am often the strong one, the sure one.
How do you support the one who is usually the supporter?
I will admit that I am not always the best at receiving these gifts;
so I am thankful for those who have shown me steadfast love and grace.
thank you, mom, for your love. 

thank you, Mom, for
giving me space,
praying without ceasing,
offering me comfort and kind words,
sending small "happy presents," and
reminding me of Truth.

On this day - and every day- may you know how much I love you!
Thank you for loving me, for walking with me, for being a witness to my best & worst moments.
I love you.

forever and always your daughter,
erica lea

Friday, May 9, 2014

my journey to motherhood: an adoption update

maybe it because mother's day is this weekend.
or because we finally hit another milestone this week.
or maybe it is because a sweet friend left flowers & a note this morning to let me know that she (& Jesus) are remembering and celebrating me this weekend.

not sure what brought me to this point today,
but I'm finally writing this long-overdue update.

last time I logged on to this space,
I shared that we had hit some significant road bumps in our adoption
& had suffered a significant loss.

Around that same time I sent an email to our people
and asked them to be praying for us as we discerned our next steps.
in January our agency had presented us with the option of switching to one of their other programs.
At that time we were resolved to remain in ET.
However, by the time March came around, we were sensing a shift happening internally....
we were frustrated.
we had hit so many roadblocks.
we were officially a year into the process and had yet to officially begin the wait for a referral.
we were still at least a year away from a referral.

together we spent a lot of time praying and asking God to help us figure out what was next:

"Lord, do we stay the course in Ethiopia or do we switch programs?"
Yes. Both are good things. I am with you. I will see this through.

 "God, just tell us what to do and we will do it."
What do you want? I am with you. We will complete this. 

coming out of that season of praying and discerning we felt that God was freeing us to choose.
so often in my life I wish and pray that God would just SHOW ME-make it clear, tell me what to do.
and yet, I am learning, that often He wants to do things WITH us.
it feels much easier to simply say: God told me to.
and sometimes-yes, God does tells us to take action (and that is not always easy), but I'm learning that often we have to get moving first.
that clarity comes in the moving,
that discernment comes in the doing.

I am learning that this is what faith looks like:
it is taking His hand and saying YES to a life lived both for Him and with Him.
We are learning that sometimes He makes His steps clear, and that other times He asks us to simply get moving.

all that leads us to this:

at the end of March we made the decision to switch to our agency's Domestic Cross Cultural program.

and while we initially felt peace and excitement over this decision,
we have also walked through intense grief and disappointment. 

now, I recognize that this does not mean that we are walking away from Ethiopia forever and ever, amen.
I do.
trust me, I am holding on to the hope that we might someday have an Ethiopian baby in our arms.
until then we will continue to take what we have learned from the last year+ to advocate and support orphan care and prevention.

on a personal level, however, the change of paths has felt really hard.
for a year I pictured little Ethiopians joining our family.
for twelve months I dreamt of their big brown eyes and mocha colored skin.
I have spend hours upon hours planning, researching and preparing for two little Ethiopians to become my babies.
so walking away from that has been heartbreaking.
it is not a decision we made lightly or easily.

I still can't fully articulate all that went into the decision or how it was reached,
but I sense that we are where we need to be.
I sense that someday I will look back on this journey and see God's hand leading and guiding,
and that I will see more fully the beautiful picture He was painting.

just know that even though I am excited about what is next,
I am still grieving for what we have left behind.

so what's next? 
yesterday I mailed our Family Profile Books to Texas where they will remain until a birthmother enters the Domestic Cross Cultural Program.
at that point, she will be shown our profile (along with the other families' in the program) and will hopefully choose us to parent her child.

how long? 
we've learned to stop asking this question. there is reason to believe within a year, but we have no control over this. and neither does our agency. so we will continue to wait and trust and hope.

so what has changed?
we will be adopting an infant child of another race, not 2 like we had originally planned.
the child will be born somewhere in the US, not overseas.
other than that, not much.

as always, thank you.
thanks for journeying with us.