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"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

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5 easy meals for busy mamas

With a new baby in the house, homeschooling, and teaching piano lessons,  I don't have a lot of time and energy to be cooking.  But who wants to eat frozen dinners and fast food all the time? Not me!

Everything that I cook these days has to meet the following criteria:

Tasty

Easy

Healthy

5-Year Old Friendly

Here are some of the yummy recipes I have discovered:

Chicken Fajita Soup  I used rotisserie chicken for this one and it turned out great!

 

Spicy White Chicken Chili  I make this in a crockpot.

 

 

Slow Cooker Taco Soup This makes a ton!  We love eating the leftovers for lunch and dinner

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup  My hubby thought that this needed more beans and corn so you may want to add more.

 

 

Slow Cooker Bean and Kielbasa Soup  I use turkey kielbasa for a healthier alternative.   

 

Hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

 

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Be Brave: Watch the Planned Parenthood videos

 

Abortion. 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anything so far...

When I first heard about Jennie Allen's book Anything, I was both scared and intrigued.  The central theme of the book is surrender.

Surrender...It's a scary idea...the concept of handing over the controls of your life.  

I have been hesitant to read this book because of its very topic.  I am halfway through.  Here are some quotes that have struck me:

 

"God often seems unconcerned with helping us maintain same, simple lives, where everything fits and works."  (chapter 5)

 

A friend of Jennie's told her that one of the most difficult things about infertility was feeling left behind.  All of her friends were having babies and "moving on with their lives."

I can totally relate.  I want to fit in.  I wanted to be having kids when my friends from college were having kids.  I want my kid(s) to be generally the same age as the kids of my friends.  I want to be "normal."

But where in the Bible does God require us to fit in with the crowd?  Nowhere!  In fact, He requires the opposite.  He desires for His children to be set apart.  

For me, part of being set apart means having children later in life.  It involves a struggle.  It involves disappointment.  It involves pain.

Ok, that sounded a little depressing.  

But once I embraced the concept of being different as just being part of God's plan for me, I felt peace.   I felt a burden lifted.  I felt release.  I even felt excited about what God has in store for me...not just as a mom, but as a child of God.

 

"God builds our lives whether we give Him permission or not.  Do we really think we are better captains of our lives than a God who sees everything and deeply loves us?"  (chapter 6)

 

On our adoption journey, we have gotten close to becoming parents again on more than one occasion.  I have found myself thinking, "God, what are You doing?  That child would have had a better life with us." Or "That child would have fit in so well with our family!"

At the heart of those statements, there was a part of me that thought that I knew better than God.

Yikes...that is tough to admit.

I was doubting God's goodness.

Trying to understand things that I am not meant to understand.

I was assuming the role of "captain" when it isn't mine to assume. 

So on days when I am tempted to think that I know better than God, I remind myself of how much He loves me.  I remind myself that He knows all and I DO NOT!

As I continue to read this book, the question lurking in the back of my mind is this:

Am I ready to tell God "Anything"?

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Oh, the lies...

 I always look forward to summertime.  

I love the relaxed schedule.

The "Famously Hot" weather

The smell of pool water

Time away with family.

Extra long days

Ice cream.

This month has been rough though.  I feel weighed down.  My thoughts are swirling about the future...swirling about the present that hasn't quite turned out the way I envisioned.  

My son recently turned 5.  While we celebrated another fantastic year with him, I fought feelings of sadness.  Fear.  Here is a peek at what was going on in my head:

"Oh my goodness.  He is FIVE!!  School-age... and he doesn't have a brother or sister... I never thought my kids would be so far apart in age... I wanted them to be close...  Does this mean that we will NEVER have another child?  Is it too late?!  AND... I am turning 40 this year!!   I was supposed to be done with the baby stage by now!  What am I doing?!  Is God trying to tell me that we are done?  That are family is complete?"

I eventually told my husband some of my crazy thoughts.  HIs response: "You are being lied to."

He was dead on.

Because of some recent adoption disappointments, I had gone into full-blown panic mode.  I made assumptions that simply are not true:

Our family is complete.

I am too old for someone to want to parent their baby.

We have passed the optimal window of time to add to our family.

I will never be happy.

I am doomed to be miserable as I envy other families with more children.

And the list goes on.  

Satan had gotten me good.  He had convinced me (almost) that I had everything to fear and that my world was coming to an end.  He succeeded in stealing some of my joy as we celebrated a very important time in our family's life: the birth day of our son.  

I am so thankful for the wisdom and honesty of my husband.  His words were the beginning of healing.

So once I realized I was under a spiritual attack, what did I do?

I went to church.  I didn't want to.  I thought I would cry as soon as I entered to worship center... and, well, I did cry.  And then I asked a friend to pray with me.  The Holy Spirit gave her the exact words to pray over me.  It was beautiful...and a super powerful weapon against the enemy.  

I read my Bible and devotionals.  The words of God are my weapon against Satan's attacks.  They soothe my anxious spirit.  

I replaced the lies with truth.  The verse "The truth shall set you free" has taken on new meaning for me.  I was in a prison of fear and anxiety and despair.  I began to meditate on words of truth...truth about how much God loves me (perfect love casts out fear)...about how my peace and joy are not dependent on my circumstances...about how Jesus lives inside me and life is not hopeless.  

As I continue praying and meditating on the Word, I am being released form Satan's grip.  Praise God!

The battle is not over.  It will not be over until I get to heaven.  But it's ok because God is on my side!

This difficult season has been a good reminder of the importance of walking DAILY with Christ.  I am have been reminded of how crucial it is for me to read the Bible every day.  As I read and pray, my mind becomes more like Christ.  

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me the weapons to fight!

 

 

 

 

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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 care...to 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.

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Recently, I wrote a post about arrows that distract us on our journey to parenthood.

There is no easy solution or answer to the pain, frustration, and confusion that comes along with infertility.  Oh how I wish that there were!  Over the past 12 years, I have discovered some things that helped me persevere through it all.  None of these ideas are perfect or foolproof, but they did help me. 

 

Focus: It is so easy to get distracted…so easy to focus on what you do not have.  I want to encourage you to focus on what you DO have:

God

Relationships

Career

Church

Neighbors

Don’t buy into the lie (like I did) that you don’t have a purpose unless you are a mom! 

Visualize blinders on your face...blinders that block the distractions and allow you to focus on what God has placed in front of you. 

Live with intention.  Go after the relationships and ministries in your life with everything you’ve got! 

Journaling Scripture:  I am super analytical.  When I found myself not pregnant month after month, my mind would kick into high gear.  What was wrong with me?  Why wasn’t the medicine working?  Would I ever be a mom?  Around and around the thoughts would go.  The BEST thing I found to steady my mind and my heart was to write a verse from the Psalms out in my journal and personalize it.  Looking back, I wish I had done this more consistently.  The Word of God truly is food for the soul!

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Psalm 119:103

Group Exercise: I have never been athletic.  In high school and college, I hated the aches and sweat that came along with exercise.  In the beginning of our journey to parenthood, we joined a gym.  I started taking group exercise classes and was HOOKED!  The music and energy I got from the instructor motivated me.  I found myself challenging myself and pushing myself to do things I never thought I could do.  In a weight class, I remember thinking, “Wow, if I can make it through this class, I can handle the challenge of infertility!”  Pushing myself physically made me stronger mentally.

Bounce” your eyes: When you are walking through the mall and pass by the Motherhood Maternity store, quickly look at something else.  Don’t allow your eyes to linger on those cute pregnancy clothes.  Don’t give your mind a chance to start envisioning how you would look in that outfit in the window. 

Filter Facebook:  Manage your social media wisely!  If a friend of yours is pregnant and posts often to social media, consider “unfollowing” them for a time.  This way, you won’t be bombarded by baby stuff every time you get on social media, but you can choose to check out their page when you feel like it.  Some days are better than others.  Some days you can handle the baby pics and some days you cannot.  This is simply a way of guarding your heart.   

Just Say No to baby showers:  This is so tricky.  On the one hand, you want to be excited for your friend and celebrate with them.  But on the other hand, being at a party watching your dream come true for someone else while all the while wondering why it wasn’t happening for you hardly seems like a wise idea.  So, I am here to say that it is ok to NOT attend a baby shower.  And you need to give yourself permission to decline an invitation.  Infertility is an emotional roller coaster with potentially deep lows.  If you are in the midst of a low, why pour more salt into the wound?  Plan a date day/night with your hubby instead!  Your friend will certainly understand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As a teenager, I spent a lot of time day-dreaming.   I imagined myself with the love of my life, settled, teaching piano, and living in the same place that I had lived most of my life.  I expected my life to be fairly predictable.

It has been everything but predictable...and hardly settled.

So much of my adult life has been spent in the in between:

In between schools

In between jobs

In between cities

In between states

In between singlehood and marriage

In between houses

In between churches…

...you get the picture.

I am a planner by nature and am NOT a fan of the in between.  I like to get organized.  For example, it is only Wednesday, and I am already itching to make plans for the weekend.  I want to do things today in order to make sure that the things I want to do or accomplish over the weekend actually happen the way I want them to.  But there are details about the future that I do not know; so I cannot make plans. 

I get so restless in the in between.  Anxious.  Frustrated.  Irritated. I seek any way in which I can move myself OUT of the in between.  Then I just get more frustrated because there is nothing I can do to change my circumstances.

So what is the alternative?

I have been thinking about Israel this week.  God had taken them out of their dark life in Egypt.  They were finally free from bondage.  And on top of their freedom, God had promised them a gorgeous place to live in.  But before they reached their paradise on earth, God put them in a place that was far from desirable.  Hot.  Dry.  Desolate.  Definitely not an in between that is pleasant to exist in.

But in this place of uncertainty and discomfort, the Israelites got to see and experience some really cool stuff!

A pillar of cloud that showed them the way

A pillar of fire to light their nights

Food that fell from the sky

Water rushing out of a rock

They got to experience God’s leadership, guidance, and provision.

As I live in this in between, I am keeping my eyes wide open.  I don’t want to miss how God may be revealing Himself to me.

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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.

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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:

Exhaustion

Anxiety

Overwhelm

Sadness

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!

Alyssa



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Arrows: Handling Distractions that Threaten to Steal Your Joy

 

I am walking through the mall, and pass the Motherhood Maternity store. 

I am on Facebook, and a video pops up of a friend announcing the sex of their baby in a really fun way.

I am in Target shopping for things to decorate my home, and I pass by the baby section.

Suddenly, I am thinking about all the dreams that haven’t come true for me.  I am fantasizing about the “cute” maternity clothes that I have never been able to wear.  The sight of a cute set of sleepers has brought me to tears. 

I have been shot by an arrow.

They come out of nowhere.  I am going about my day, feeling content, focused, accomplished.   Those feelings are replaced by sorrow, fear, frustration, and anger.    I feel like my world has been turned upside down.  I am distracted.  All I can think about are babies and how my life has not turned out the way I had hoped and planned.  My heart aches. 

Years into our journey to parenthood, those arrows still pierce my heart.  And honestly, I get annoyed with myself.  After all this time, shouldn’t I be immune to the distraction that these things create?  Shouldn’t I be strong enough by now? 

No!

I am not immune.

I am not strong enough…

On my own, that is…

 

While I still deal with the negative emotions/distractions, I have learned to handle them better.  Instead of consuming me and ruining my whole day (or week if I am to be completely honest), I have learned to remove the arrows and allow God to heal my heart.

God has taken me on a journey that has resulted in a deeper relationship with Him.  He is healing wounds inside me that I never thought would heal.  He is giving me an eternal perspective.

It has been a process...a long process. Oh, how I longed for it to happen fast!  I wanted to be strong.  I wanted the sadness to disappear.  I wanted to be spiritually mature.

But growth does not happen overnight.

For me, the key to growth has been consistency in the Word.  The only way to maintain an eternal perspective is to fill our minds with the words of our Lord.

Scripture has the power to change us-to make us more like Christ!

 

"…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."  Hebrew 12:2

 

I am so much stronger when I am in the Word!  When envy threatens to steal my joy, I am able to resist that temptation and regain my focus on the Lord and on eternal things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. Ask, "What can I do for you?"  Infertility is an emotional roller coaster.  One moment, you can feel happy and light-hearted and the next down in the depths of despair.  It is filled with moments of sadness, anger, confusion, frustration, anxiety, hope, and peace.  Many times, I didn’t even understand what I was feeling!  Instead of trying to guess what your friend may need, ask them!  Ask how you can pray for them.  Asking will give your friend an opportunity to identify her needs and make them known.  It is much more comfortable to tell someone what you need after they have already asked! 

2. Wish her a Happy Mother’s Day  Wait...what?!  Yes, you read that correctly. This one is definitely counter-intuitive.  I never would have come up with it on my own.  I will never forget when my friend wrote to me, “Happy Mother’s Day, to a woman with a mother’s heart.”  My heart swelled.  I felt loved, recognized, and included.  Mother’s Day is one of the most difficult days of the year for those longing for a child.  No matter how brave I tried to be, I would inevitably end up crying in the bathroom at church.  My friend made that particular Mother’s Day just a bit easier to bear.

3. Remind her that God is on her side:  One of my relatives whom I hadn’t seen in awhile encouraged me with this thought.  The truth of this statement hit me hard.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was feeling like God was against me!  With every month that passed, every failed treatment and adoption attempt, I was feeling like God was not working for my good.  It was a powerful reminder for me to hear that God was with me.

“The Lord is for me.  I will not be afraid.”

Psalm 118:6

4.  Offer to take her out:  Shopping, movies, pedicure, ice cream, coffee, a walk..anything fun to help her relax and take her mind off of things!

5. Write a note: A text, e-mail, or card.  A simple “I love you and am thinking about you” goes a long way.  I highly recommend a comforting verse from the Psalms.  God promises that His Word will never return void.

“so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do." 

Isaiah 55:11
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Waiting to get the phone call that a birthparent has chosen you or that your baby is waiting for you in the hospital can be a journey laced with times of discouragement.  The moment that you are “this close” to becoming a parent (or parent again) only to discover that this is not your baby.  The holidays and milestones that pass when you find yourself thinking: “I thought my family would look different by now.”  The sadness comes in waves. 

The good news for God’s children is that He is with us every step of the way!!!  He has a plan for our life that is greater than anything we could have imagined.

God’s timing is not the same as our timing

 People have said this to me so many times over the past 11 years as we have journeyed in and out of our periods of waiting.  Quite frankly, it used to make me cringe.  I used to think, “What does that even mean?  Is it one of those Christian clichés that people use all the time without really pondering its meaning?  And how is it supposed to make me feel any better?”

As I read the Bible, I began to notice that God talks about His timing a lot.  It is not simply a cliché!

About a year ago, I was reading through the book of John and was pleasantly surprised at how many times “timing” is referenced during Jesus’ ministry on earth.  In John 7, Jesus’ brothers wanted Him to travel to Judea so that His disciples could see the works He was doing.  Jesus’ response:  “My time has not yet come.”  Later in the same chapter, the authorities sought to arrest Him but no one was able to touch Him. 

Even in the life of Jesus the Son of God, things happened in GOD’s timing.  Praise Him!

For the first time, I found comfort in knowing that our family would grow when God caused it to grow. 





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I used to think of waiting of a state of being in which nothing takes place.  A time that is stagnant.  A time that is wasted.

I was wrong.

The years that have passed while we have waited for our second child have been a tremendous time of growth and change. 

The word perseverance has taken on a new, more personal meaning.  

The domestic adoption process is very unpredictable.  You can wait a day or years for a placement.  Months can go by without hearing anything from the agency.  You can find yourself in situations where you are required to make tough decisions for you and your family.  Is this child a good fit for our family?  Are we equipped to parent this child?  Even if the answer is “yes”, there is no guarantee that the birth parents will choose you. 

How does one prepare for a new addition, yet remain content in the present simultaneously?

I do not have the answer.  I do not know of any magic formula.  I have posed this question to many respected individuals and have not gotten answers. 

I do believe that it takes tremendous strength and perseverance to exist in this state.  And I have found those things in my relationship with God.

About a year and a half into waiting for child #2, I became so weary.  The emotional roller coaster of expectations, hopes, and disappointment was sucking the energy out of me.  I felt physically and emotionally weak and was filled with anxiety.  Was this the journey I was supposed to be on?  Was I on the right path?  As I meditated on His Word, the Lord gently whispered,

“You can do this.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Keep going.  I am here.  I am right beside you every step of the way.  You can do this.  I led you here and I have not left you to do this alone.”

When I am weak, then I am strong

God sustained and continues to sustain me as I wait for His will to unfold in my life.  When I meditate on His Word, I go from feeling like I want to give up on the adoption process to feeling like I am able to continue…from feeling like I cannot handle another disappointment to feeling confident that God will give me everything I need when I need it. 

  "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  James 1:4







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