Monday, February 20, 2012

love, love, love

Hey you all, we've been busy and going full speed! 
In late January, we went to Orlando, FL with Young Life for the occasion of the all-staff once-every-four years celebration!  We took Van and had a great week of bonding, re-learning how to parent a new-born and believe it or not, we got some much needed rest!  We loved being in Florida, so warm, great friends and a lot of fun.  But we couldn't wait to get back to Colorado!  Even though Colorado's not warm in January...but we wanted to get back to Campbell and finally get our family of four all together.  It was so great to finally have our little foursome together under one roof and to figure out our lives together!  We love it!  It's crazy, and hard, and fun and we are learning so much and getting stressed out and seeing God's mercy and feels like life!  And speaking of life, we are reminded every day how special every life is.  Life is such a precious gift!  And Van is embracing life.  He is healthy, growing, and developing on track.  Campbell is a great big sister!  She loves her baby brother and we love him and her!  We had a fun Valentine's day.  Izzy and CJ went to a daddy/daughter dance at Trail West and had a special time.  Izzy & Lisa got a sitter and enjoyed dinner and a movie.  We are so blessed!  Thank you so much for all your prayers, encouragements and friendships!  Love, love, love!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

wow...Jan 22nd

hey all four of you or fourteen or forty!?  Anyways, we are closing in on wrapping up our first week back in BV.  It has been a great week.  We are starting to get into a routine at home with Van and Campbell Jane.  Lisa's mom is here and she has been a tremendous help.  Lisa and I are remembering all the newborn realities and even picking up some of the good old practices that bring back fun memories of when CJ was born.  Of course, when you're sleep deprived...if you can remember anything, then that is fun.
We had Van's first Dr's appt on Wed.  He had a really healthy check-up and the Dr was so great and encouraging.  Van weighed 7 lb 10oz.  That is a 1lb 8oz gain from his lowest weight a little after he was born.
This was also a big weekend for Wilderness Ranch as we selected our 2012 guide class.  So, on top of all the other moving parts in our life....we had to pause for about 36 hours and focus on the process that selects the new guides at WR.  Wow.  God is so good.  Thank you Jesus!

Monday, January 16, 2012

home at last, home at last, thank God almighty, we are home at last!

(loosely borrowed from MLK Jr on MLK Jr Day).

Yes, the Ismert family is home.  Back in BV.  Back in the mountains.  All four of us.  Praise God.  We drove from Ft Worth to BV all in one long, long day.  We pulled in at 9:04pm...making Izzy the winner of the 'when will we get there' time guessing game.  I guess 8:57, Lisa guessed 9:06 and Lisa's mom (Mudge...who road tripped with us!) guessed 9:15.  The closest without going over is the winner!

Anyways...thanks for the prayers, support, flowers and groceries!  We love you all!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

every day is a day closer

Greetings!  I know it's been a little while since the last update.  I'd love to say that we are on our way home to Colorado.  But we aren't.  We are still in Ft Worth and still waiting for the state of Texas to approve our paperwork, allowing us to head back to the mountains.  However, we are so blessed to be staying with family and our time in Ft Worth has been very full.  We are bonding with Van and our little family is starting to feel more and more exactly the way it should.  We are so thankful for each you and how God is using you in our lives.  We are convinced now more than ever that this journey and all the miracles we've seen are representative of the larger network of loved ones who are praying and doing so much to help.  We are humbled and forever grateful. 

When we look at Van, it is really looking at a miracle.  One glance powerfully reminds us of God's goodness, mercy and grace.  I'm talking big picture stuff.  Not just goodness to me and Lisa and CJ, but grace and mercy to every human being created and walking on this earth.  Everyone, past, present and future.  Life is a gift.  Of course, we see this when we look at Campbell Jane and know other parents see this and really everyone just seems to be easier to see in children.  I just wish we saw this reality in everyone of any age we see and encounter.  This type of lens is what I am grateful for today.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Van in Cow town

Good morning...the blur that is our life right now is so fun...and fast...and full of surprises!  We made it back to Ft Worth late Wednesday night.  We spent yesterday just trying to set up a 'home base' for us at Lisa's mom & dad's house.  We have been here two nights so far and will be here until we get the green light from the state of Texas that we can head home to Colorado.  Thanks for your prayers! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

she signed!

Great news!  Van's birthmom made it to the adoption agency this am and signed the necessary paperwork that moves the adoption process forward!  Praise God!  This is huge and we are celebrating!  We anticipate being able to leave Amarillo for Ft Worth this afternoon.  We want to say a giant THANK YOU to all the people in Amarillo who have helped us.  Especially the Mason family.  Donny and Lisa have been tremendous in opening up their home and we've been very comfortable here and felt like family.  Also a great thank you to Joel Mason and Julia Halliburton for just being there to talk with and pray together and add some Wilderness Ranch community to this special time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

His name is...

Van Woodson Ismert
Van means 'God is gracious'
Woodson means 'son of the creator'

We both love the name and can't wait for you all to meet Van.  Thanks for being patient with us as we really prayed and discussed for many hours what to name our son. 
Regarding the adoption PROCESS...we are still in Amarillo and waiting for the birth mom to arrive at the adoption agency to sign the legal papers waiving her parental rights.  That is a huge step and I wish I could say it had already happened...but as of right now...the birth mom hasn't arrived at the agency.  Once she signs those papers the adoption process can make tremendous strides forward and we will be able to head on down to Ft Worth and await with family for the court order allowing us to go home to Colorado.  Best guess at this point is a 2 week time frame for that to happen.
love you all and PLEASE keep praying!  There are many more miracles ahead of us in this story...thank you for your encouragment and support!!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Will arrive tomorrow!
Love to all of you.

a new day

We are at the hospital this morning and the adoption process is definitely moving forward.  We have connected with a local adoption agency "Special Delivery" and they are helping us with the details as our little son is being discharged today and we will be able to take him with us!!  We'll keep you posted as much as we can, but we are thrilled with having this precious little one with us!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Celebration...We Got a BABY BOY!

I can't say enough about the joyous Christmas celebrations Lisa, CJ and I enjoyed this year.  We opened up presents on Dec 19 in Buena Vista, Dec 25th in Fort Worth and Dec 27th in Houston.  We were blessed to be with the best people in the world...our family!!  We want to say a hearfelt thank you for all the special time together and the thoughtful gifts we received.

A great part of Christmas this year was the new babies!  Rachel Nichols (Geof's wife) gave birth on Dec 29 to a baby boy.  My sister, Bethany, will give birth to a baby boy any day now and some good friends Mike and Crystal had a baby girl on Dec 29th!  We got to see two new born babies on Dec 30th in Fort Worth.  This special trip to see the babies put us one day behind on our return back to BV.  So, on Dec 31st we left from Fort Worth for the drive to BV.  We weren't making great time and pulled into Amarillo for lunch at almost 2pm. 

And we left Amarillo after lunch, but not for long.  We returned about 9:30pm because we received a call from our adoption agency that a birth mom they had told us about in Oct had called them to report she was going into labor in... Amarillo!  When the adoption agency suggested we turn around and go back to Texas, we did just that!  Lisa was acting in some sense as a representative of the adoption agency since we could get here faster than anyone from the agency (in Tulsa) could.  So, last night just before visiting hours ended, Lisa briefly met with the birth mom who had just delivered a little baby boy at 4:18 that afternoon.  We spent the night in a hotel and went back to the hospital this am (New Year's Day) and Lisa  was presenting the prospective adoptive families (including us) to the birth mom.  CJ and I were waiting in the waiting room.  About 11am Lisa called me and said that the birth mom had chosen us!  CJ and I joined Lisa in with the birthmom and the 1 day old little boy.  And we became parents for the second time! 

Because the baby was born in Texas instead of Oklahoma we quickly realized that there would be a whole other set of hurdles to jump through. The fact that today is Sunday and a holiday added in another set. Needless to say that after a day of lots of phone calls, with agency's, attorney's, and adoption specialists, we have now hired on another adoption agency. 2 adoption agency's is just not enough for the Ismerts. We now have 3. This evening a local Amarillo agency got involved and is helping us get this little boy. So far, it has been a battle because Sarah (his birthmother) is choosing us but legally we have no rights to him without an agency. Today, by the favor of God, we befriended a nurse who is a believer and she began helping us with bonding time. We got to hold him lots and pray over him.

His story is one of miracles. It is a miracle that he is alive. We are praying for a healthy little guy and at the same time wanting God's Best and trusting that God makes no mistake in CREATION. That is what He does...He Creates, Restores, and Redeems lives that come from broken places.

We are still trying to pray about the details and what all we should share but we do want to ask for prayer for Sarah. She is broken and is in desperate need of restoration.

We are so amazed and overwhelmed.  In every way we are thankful that we are in this process and get to hold a precious little boy and start a second journey into parent hood.  But again, please remember that this is a PROCESS.  Please pray and be patient with us as we don't have all the answers or know all the details.  Being residents of Colorado, having an adoption agency in Oklahoma and having a baby in Texas is rather complicated.  We are trusting God to take us every step of the way...but there is still an element of risk in all this.  But, some of the best advice I ever got regarding adoption is "adoption is not for the faint of heart"!
We are trusting Jesus and praising Him and so thankful for His hand in all this.  The baby is precious with dark soft black hair, and looks as healthy as can be.  Talk about a New Year's Celebration!!

No name yet but he weighed 6 lbs and 8 ounces when born.

CJ loves horses!

We were so happy to include a trip to Tulsa on our way to Texas for Christmas.  Campbell Jane was born in Tulsa and we had a evening planned with the birth mom and birth grandmom to have dinner together and get reacquainted.  They had not seen Campbell in two years.  We had a great night at "Grandma Jan's" horse property south of Tulsa.  CJ just loves horses and was so excited to look at all the horses and see the stables.  CJ's birthmom, Cory, was so nice and easy to be around.  She is just wonderful and it was great to see her baby pictures and marvel at how much CJ looks like her.  Just re-connecting with them has helped our communication with them so much and we hope that Cory can make it out to Wilderness Ranch sometime this summer!

more follow up

Also, regarding Cambell's heart check up in November and that went well.  She was so cute and brave as the nurse rigged her up with all the little connectors for the EKG test on her little heart.  The test did reveal a minor heart murmer but we were relieved to her from yet another physician that we can take a wait and see approach and typcially these conditions heal over time in little kids.  Thanks for your prayers for CJ and us as we trust and wait for this healing!

gone since November

howdy friends...thanks for your patience with this attempt at blogging.  I wanted to jump on my New Years Resolution to blog a lot more.  So, it's Jan 1 and blog #1 for the year.  And boy, it's gonna be good.  My last blog post was all about my sister and her husband and their impending adoption.  Well, great news!  The little baby boy was born on 11/3 and he is healthy and the adoption has been going great.  We got to meet little Eli Cameron on Dec 26th when my family got together for Christmas.  He is so special and wonderful and we love him!  Catherine and Eric are wonderful parents who have alot of transition in their lives....they are in the process of moving back to Houston as well as being first time parents.  Please keep them in your prayers!!