I haven’t posted lately because I have just been swamped with this paperwork trimester of adoption. Seems I get one thing finished, or so I think, and either I didn’t have it exactly correct or it needs some thing else added to it. Last week I visited 2 police departments, 2 doctors offices, DFCS, and an employer all in one day and came home with nothing completed to show for it. This week I am busy collecting everything that I distributed last week. As I type this I am waiting on a tax return from 2009 to print out that seems to be 1000 pages long. But all in all things are coming together and I should be ready to send back a mountain of paperwork sometime next week. This is just the beginning of the home study though. We haven’t even had the first visit with a social worker, so hopefully this is the hardest part of what is in store.

In the midst of keeping up with 2 jobs and finding a way to get forms completed and notarized and turned in, I have also found myself searching for a way to keep up with things on the homefront. Any of you who know me, know that my homemaking skills are lacking :). I am a “fly by the seat of my pants” type girl who hates routine and struggles with discipline. Sometimes, believe it or not (for some of my OCD friends out there), this can be a good thing. I rarely get stressed with things that are last minute or spontaneous… it is the little mistakes here and there or the little whispers in my ear that “I should do this” and “I should be doing that”,they overwhelm me… and I couldn’t figure out why until a friend of mine put her finger on it the other day. “You’re a perfectionist, aren’t you?” and the answer in my head was that if you ever saw my house, you would never feel the need to ask that again. And then I took the time to think about it for a minute. Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed, stressed, and pretty much like a “screw up”. I’ve been on high alert to my mistakes in this adoption process, at work, with my kids and my dog, at home, pretty much everywhere. These were all piling up high around me yesterday when this question was asked. So here is the answer, Kelly, “Hi, my name is Candace and I am a perfectionist.” I know, crazy, right? I can guarantee as my mother-in-law is reading this, she thinks it is (Love you, Mom). But I really do expect myself to be perfect. I don’t hold that expectation for life or for anybody around me, but I hold myself to standards that I can’t always meet. You never really have to get upset at me for a mistake…all you have to do is point it out and I am already beating myself with a baseball bat. So yesterday afternoon, as I was planning out how I was going to become super housekeeper on top of everything else, I pretty much lost it. I haven’t cried in a while, so David was quite puzzled when I burst into tears. He, of course, was asking himself and me what he did (Poor guy. He has been the brunt of a good many crying episodes). And in that moment when the tears began to fall, I felt my Father in heaven put His arms around me and speak soothing words to my heart. “It’s okay, Candace. I am here. I am the reason you don’t have to worry about being good enough. I see your heart, Candace. Quit being so hard on yourself and just do the best you can.” Well, perfectionist me is balling by now, thinking about how I don’t even deserve for Jesus to be comforting me… I mean I haven’t read my Bible enough or prayed enough or had enough quiet moments with Him. You know what, I am not good enough…but He still loves me. How in the world can we resist such love!

So today I have done as God requested, picked myself up and I am trying again, realizing that perfection is not an option. I may not ever have a spotless house… I may not ever be employee of the year… When my kids grow up, they may have some stories to tell about the mistakes mom made… and I may not ever reach even my expectations for myself… but when David wrapped me in his arms last night and asked what he could do to help, my answer was “you already have”. I realized that David loves me just as God does… because I am his gift from God, not because of what I do or don’t do right. I love my children here and in China because they are my gifts from God, not because they will never make a mistake. When we have the power of Christ living in us, this is how we should love, overlooking the faults of others. And when we are loved in such a way, we should NEVER take it for granted.