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A look back

I started this post months ago and have been hesitant to share.  I don't ever want to come across as someone who claims to have figured out the magnificent and mysterious plan of God.  He knows all and sees all and has a plan that involves all of eternity.  I will never comprehend it and that makes me look at Him in awe.

But looking back on the 3 years that we waited for our daughter to arrive, I can see that God was preparing us. He used various circumstances to get us ready for her grand and sudden entrance into our family.  Check out one incident that happened about 5 months before she was born:

One afternoon in the spring, we received a phone call from our social worker.  A baby had been born who needed a home.  With very few details, we decided to move forward.  A conference call with our attorney and social workers was scheduled for 9 PM.

At this point, I was in shock.  In an effort to prepare and process what was happening, I pulled out some baby clothes and went to Target for diapers and formula.  I can't say that it helped much.  We were about to become parents again overnight!

The conference call lasted about 45 minutes.  After finding out more details about the situation, we were left feeling torn.  Our attorney's honest assessment of the situation revealed a high legal risk.  If we chose to adopt this baby, there was a chance that we would find ourselves in a custody battle.  There was a possibility that the baby could be taken from our home someday.  

How in the world were we supposed to make this decision overnight?  It seemed impossible.  Was this a time when we were supposed to take a leap of faith in spite of the lack of peace we were feeling?  Was this the baby that we had been waiting for?  Or was our lack of peace a sign that this was not the right baby for us?

It probably goes without saying that not much sleep was had that night.  The next morning, I spent some time out on our back porch praying.  I still did not feel at peace about the situation and neither did my husband.  I wanted to move forward.  I wanted to be able to feel confident about getting in the car and going to get that baby.  But I didn't.  

I called our social worker in tears and told her no.  It was horrible.  I second-guessed our decision.  How could I turn away from something that I had wanted for so long?  

But the bottom line was that neither of us felt a peace about the situation.  As days passed by, we eventually became more confident in the decision we had made.  

Fast forward 5 months...

We received a phone call about a baby that had been born who needed a home.

Dejavu, right?

We moved step by step through the situation, and 22 hours later brought our daughter home. 

I believe that God used the situation in the spring to prepare us for our daughter's arrival.   It was a sort of "dry run," so to speak.  There were details about our daughter's situation that made it clear that she was the one for us.  Details that gave us the courage to move forward into what God had for us.  

I am often reminded of the lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman:

"God is God and I am not.  We can only see a part of the picture He's painting."

It is cool to be able to look back and catch a glimpse of what He was weaving.  I know that there is SO MUCH MORE of the tapestry of my life and our daughter's life and her birth family's life that is hidden from me.  I don't know all of the whys and hows.  I am ok with that.  It is part of what makes God, GOD, right?



"We make our plans, BUT GOD..."

We had every reason to give up.  The average wait time for a domestic adoption was 1 year.  It had been almost 3 years.  I watched all the other prospective adoptive couples on the agency website disappear as they brought their children home.   In my rough estimation, we were passed over by about 75 birth families. We waited only 3 weeks to be chosen by our first child's birth mother.  We had no reason to think that it wouldn't happen again.  Our adoption workers could offer no explanation .  

In November 2011 when our firstborn was only 15 months old, I was worshipping with our church family.  I distinctly remember God impressing upon my heart, "Do not be afraid to start the adoption process again."  It seemed early.  Our son was so young, but we decided to go for it.  

As months turned into years, I began to question God's leading on that Sunday.  Why would He lead us to adoption again if the process was only going to result in heartache and tears?  What was God doing here?

In 2014, I began to look into international adoption.  Up until that spring, I didn't even know that it was an option for us.  Back in 2006 when we first started looking at adoption, we were told that we were ineligible for international adoption due to medical concerns.  I was stunned to learn that international adoption was an option.  I honestly didn't know what to do with the information.  Was God changing our direction?  Was our child waiting for us somewhere overseas?

My husband and I talked and prayed and talked and prayed some more.  I talked to international adoption specialists and read up on different countries.  

But we never had a peace about moving in that direction.  There were obstacles in every direction.   Adopting from another country is no simple task. There are several factors to consider. We all see beautiful families everywhere who have made the journey, but it certainly isn't simple and definitely not for everyone.

On  August 15, 2015, my husband and I sat in his truck in a parking lot.  I was melting down in a puddle of frustration and despair.  We had recently experienced another disappointment in our adoption journey and emotions were running high.  I was certain that I could not bear another disappointment and rejection.  I felt like I was falling apart.  I wanted to quit.  But how could we  walk away from the possibility of another child?  How could we give up on the child that we felt God had for us?  

That morning in the truck, we came up with a "plan."  We decided to stay in the domestic adoption program for a few more months.  If we did not have a placement by the end of that time period, we were going to drop out and pursue international adoption.   Did we have a peace about our "plan"?  Not really.  Were we convinced that it was what God was leading us to do?  No.  

But in the end, our "plan" did not matter.

God is sovereign.

And He had a better plan.

That Saturday, August 15, 2015, our daughter was born.  

"We can make our plans, but the final outcome is in God's hands."

Proverbs 16:1



Be Brave: Watch the Planned Parenthood videos



Somewhere along the way, I had started to ignore its horrors.   It was just another one of those evils in the world that I could not control.  It was legal and there was nothing I could do to change that.

My husband and I tried for years to have children.  We tried artificial reproductive techniques several times without success.  No doctor has ever been able to tell us why we cannot conceive. 

In the midst of the pain of infertility, I couldn’t allow myself to think about the fact that there were thousands of woman getting pregnant and killing their babies.  It would have made me even crazier than I already was.  I avoided the posts on abortion on social media.  I did not listen to segments on the news.  When the Planned Parenthood videos were released, I had no intentions of watching them.  I didn't see the point.

When I tell people that we have been waiting for years to adopt our second child, I am met with looks of disbelief:

Person: “But there are "so many children" out there that need to be adopted!”

Me:  “really?  Well where are they?”

Today, I got my answer.

I got brave and watched.

I saw the "so many children" in pieces, in a container that looked like one of my 9X13 baking dishes.  The people in the lab were talking about the “specimens” as if they were talking about mining coal.  The callousness of the technicians was, well, there is no word to adequately describe it. 

Watching the videos sparked something inside me. Anger. I cannot in good conscience keep my head buried in the sand.  I cannot turn my head the other way.  I cannot just breeze over the stories that are being talked about in the news.

I just. Can't.

I can list reasons why I shouldn't get involved:

-it hurts

-I don't have anything to offer

-This world is too far gone

But those are just excuses. 

Babies are being killed.  People are being killed.

I will no longer look the other way.  I will educate myself.  I will pray.  I will keep my eyes open for ways to save the preborn children.  I want to be able to look my children and grandchildren in the eyes and tell them that I did my part to end the great genocide of our generation.

Be Brave.










1 Comment

Am I going the right way, God?

I am WORN OUT.  Drained emotionally, Spiritually weary.  Physically exhausted.  

My hopes have soared over the possibility of another child in our home, only to come crashing down...hard.

Birth mothers are just not choosing us to parent their child.  For some reason, they are not connecting with our family.  

I don't get it.  I have driven myself crazy asking why.  

The emotional roller coaster is exhausting.   I don't know how to NOT get excited when a possibility presents itself.  I don't know how to move on with life without allowing thoughts of this baby to consume my thoughts, my dreams....without allowing myself to lose sleep over this child that I have never met.  I don't know how to say, "Oh well, maybe next time." and just move on with my day as if my heart is not breaking.  

I don't know how to not be content enough to not want another child.  I don't know how to let go of this dream.  

...and I am not convinced that I am supposed to let go.

When these disappointments hit, I naturally question whether or not we are supposed to just drop out of the adoption process altogether.  We have heard "no" dozens of times.  Is God trying to tell us something?  Are we just refusing to hear?  Refusing to see His will?  The problem is, my husband and I both feel that there is another child out there for us.  I can't ignore that feeling, that desire...just like I couldn't and didn't ignore the desire to be a mom when we were trying for our first.  

We don't have a peace about quitting.

Am i being stubborn?  Am I refusing to surrender to God's plan for our life?

I really don't know.  I am not going to pretend to know.  In this moment, I just feel sad.  

God sees my tears.  He has promised to comfort me.

Today, I will allow Him to do just that.

1 Comment


I entered the adoption process with very little knowledge about adoption.  Growing up, my experience with adoption was very limited.  I had a few peers that were adopted, but I never talked to them about their adoption story or what it felt like to be adopted.  I never really thought about how adoptive parents tell their children their birth story until I was actively involved in the process.  We received adoption training with BETHANY CHRISTIAN SERVICES.  The tips that I am about to share came from our education through Bethany and my experience as an adoptive mom.

1. Tell it as a story:  Kids love stories…especially ones that feature them as the main character!  I often start out my son’s story with, “One morning while I was eating my cereal…”  

2. Start early:  Our social worker advised us to start telling our son his story when he was an infant.  I thought that was weird, at first.  She explained that it would get us into the habit of telling his birth story and also give us some practice.  Almost 5 years later, it is very natural for us to talk to him about the circumstances surrounding his birth! 

3.Create a Book:  Make a storybook about the story of your child’s adoption!  Include pictures of the birth family, adoption day, time in the hospital, the first time you met, and his homecoming.  Shutterfly even has an Adoption Story template!

4. Be honest:  Likely, there are some difficult truths about your child’s adoption story.  As a parent, your instinct is to protect them from anything hard or hurtful.  This is where trust and a deep faith in God come in.  God is big enough to take care of your child’s heart!  Pray for your child as he processes his adoption story through the different phases of his life.

5. Keep your eyes open for opportunities in your everyday life to tell story:  For example, if the city or country that your child was born in is being talked about in conversation or in a book or a movie, use that opportunity to talk about their birth story.  We have talked with our son about his story on walks, in the car, before bedtime, and while running errands.  Over time, the subject has organically worked its way into our every day life. 

6. Make yourself available:  Be prepared to answer questions as they arise.  That may mean that you may need to drop what you are doing, change gears, or shift your focus for a bit to have a conversation about adoption.  In my experience so far, these conversations have been short.  I have been caught off guard at times because the questions seem to come out of the blue! 

7. Clarify the question:  Make sure you understand what your child is asking.  If you aren’t sure, ask them!  As adults, we have a tendency to complicate things.  Keep it simple!  Young children can only comprehend so much.  Your conversations will evolve as they mature.



Dear First-Time Adoptive Mom,


Dear First-Time Adoptive Mother,

Congratulations!!!  You are a MOM!

All the years of hoping and dreaming have finally become a reality.  You are holding the baby of your dreams in your arms.  Your empty, aching arms are now full…and still aching, but for a much more pleasant reason :) 

You are met with smiles everywhere you go.  Who doesn’t love the sight of a tiny human snuggled in a stroller?

Even doing laundry is a little more fun now.  Isn’t it great to pull those tiny little clothes from the warm dryer, fold, and put them away in the cute nursery?

Amidst the joy and excitement, you may be feeling other things as well…feelings that you didn’t expect:





In all the time you spent hoping for a baby, you may not have given much thought to the reality of life after a baby.  You didn’t think about the sleep deprivation, the backaches, and the feelings of inadequacy.  All you could think about was the cuteness of baby clothes, the joy of baby giggles, and the satisfaction that motherhood brings.

You may be thinking: “What is wrong with me?  I have wanted this all my life.  I have been desperately trying everything in my power to bring a child into our family.  Why am I feeling bad?  Shouldn’t I feel ecstatic all the time?”

You know what?  It’s ok.  I am here to tell you that YOU ARE NORMAL!  Of course you are exhausted!  You are now responsible for another human being.  Of course you are overwhelmed!  Your life has been turned upside down.  And quite possibly, you did not have the typical 9 months to prepare for this huge change.  Adoption is such an emotional experience!

And sadness.  You may feel sad for the birth mom who carried your child in her belly for 9 months.  You wonder how she is doing.  How must she feel after placing her baby in your arms? 

I grieved for the birth mom because I could not imagine how difficult it must have been for her to choose adoption.  I felt guilty (false guilt) sometimes because I was so happy.  I felt like I was depriving her of the joy that this child was bringing me. 

It will take time to process everything.  Give yourself time.  Give yourself permission to feel the vast array of emotions that are flooding your heart.  You will not always feel tired and overwhelmed.  Pray for the birth mom when she comes to your mind.  You have a unique opportunity to be a part of what God wants to do in this woman’s life.  Pray daily for the strength to get through the sleep deprivation and backaches.  God will give you everything that you need. 

He is faithful!





There are days when I can literally feel my soul fighting with God.

I want another child now.

It feels like the right time.

I can name a dozen reasons why now would be a good time.

I know in my head that God has a plan.  I know that His ways are higher.  I know that He calls me to surrender my life to Him.


But I cannot… or will not… let go.


And when I cannot let go, I am miserable.  I feel panicky because there is nothing I can do to change the situation.  I am anxious.  I am depressed. 

I try to make our family grow.

I look at other options.

But right now, we believe that we are right where God wants us.

And sometimes I don’t like it.

Little by little, Jesus works on my heart.  He comforts me.  He makes me thankful.  He helps me loosen the grip on my life.  He reminds me that I “…see through a glass darkly…”  (I Cor. 13:12)  I cannot see the big picture.  I never will. 


When I start to let go…when I stop fighting…when I bring myself back under God’s authority…I can breathe again.  I regain focus.  Peace that passes all understanding returns.

We all have something on our life that we would like to change.  I dare say that no one on this earth is completely content with themselves, their relationships, or their circumstances.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and think that the hand we are dealt is so hard and so unique. 

But the truth is, even Jesus had to let go of His desires and surrender to His Father’s will.  Right before He went to the cross, we begged His heavenly Father to get Him out of this. 


“My Father!  If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Luke 22:42


May I desire the will of my Father above all else.