Matt and I feel like we are in a dream unfortunately it’s a nightmare. It still doesn’t feel real and our reality hits me at different times. I have not been looking forward to this moment and having to share this news for a second time this year. But because of circumstances out of our control we will no longer be bringing a sweet baby girl home this week. Without going into too much detail, we were the targets/victims of adoption fraud and what we have heard is  the birth mom was receiving support from multiple families, which is a felony. She knew what we went through earlier this year and looked us in the eyes several times and said “I will not change my mind, I would never do that to you guys” and we believed her, supported her, and gave so much time, money and love to her. Again with the last adoption we prayed, believed in faith and prepared for this little girl like she was already ours.

Things don’t always happen the way you want them to and it is really hard when they don’t. We live in a broken world with broken people I am more aware of this than any other time in my life. I’m not going to sugar coat it, this one has really thrown us and it really hurts. Thankfully I have been able to hold it together when Lily is awake. When she is up life has not changed for her and luckily God has given me the strength not to lose it in front of her. She has such a happy heart and is so smart. I freaked out a little bit about what to tell her since she thinks her baby sister is coming soon. Matt had the best answer “Baby sister isn’t ready to come home yet”. I am so thankful for his wisdom.

And then there’s…GOD, his love and provision over our lives and hearts remains, it remains our constant source of strength, our ever present help in trouble, and this is trouble. Trouble in our hearts, minds and ideas of what should happen, what could of happened, what didn’t happen.

There are so many questions we both have and we might not ever get the answers to them. Nothing feels ok about right now and I don’t know when or if it ever will, but HE knows and that is enough for me. He had a plan for us and that sweet baby girl. We pray the family that did take home, what we thought was our baby girl, will love her and care for her as we would have.

In the last couple of days I have totally questioned how much I have shared of our journey but then I was reminded that this is real life and we are real people with real highs and real lows. This blog and my Instagram are not just a highlight reel of all the best moments in my life. It’s a reality reel and reality is life isn’t perfect but we serve a God that is perfect! Our constant hope and prayer from the beginning of our adoption journey was that God would be glorified. He is a good, good Father regardless of the outcome.

After we got the news and I was able to calm down there were some truths that came to my heart in a sweet whisper. I wanted to share them with you because they hold the power of life and hope in whatever you are going through.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by the long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”  Jeremiah 17:7-10

He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust alike.  Matthew 5:45

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.  James 1:5-6

I’ve always heard of nesting but have never experienced it. With Lily I had no time to nest but with baby #2 I have been busy preparing our home for our sweet girl due October 19th. I’ve noticed I can easily fall into the trap of becoming too busy, preparing our home, the baby’s room, making freezer meals and researching what baby items we might need; that it can be all to easy to neglect my heart. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that but it’s true. This family of ours and the children God is allowing us to raise has been born out of years of what we thought were unanswered prayers. But he was answering our prayers, he was going to grow our family. It just wasn’t the timing we had planned. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around this, God is growing our family!!! We have a child and will have more children. It might sound goofy but the reality that we get to be parents still leaves me in awe. We went so many years longing for this and now we are here! Only God, only God!

There are moments I still get chills, butterflies whatever you want to call it when I look at Lily and think about where we have come from and that I get to be her mom. Matt and I together get to steward her precious life. And here comes baby #2 and to say I am feeling every emotion possible would be as accurate as I can explain it. Excited, happy, nervous, scared and anxious are just a few. I feel like it doesn’t matter how much planning I can do to prepare nothing will really prepare me for two. I have talked to so many friends who have multiple children and there is a thread of similarity to what they have to say.

#1 It’s crazy

#2 You will develop a new normal (routine)

#3 You are giving your children the best gift, a sibling.

I recently added a new sign to our house. My friend Ashley makes them and I see it everyday and am reminded of God’s goodness and his faithfulness to us. But it’s not just for us, it’s for everyone. He is for you, he is on your side. The moments you may think he’s forgotten or doesn’t care it’s just not true. I can say this because that’s what I used to think. If you are in that season or have been in it for a period of time, maybe for years, then discouragement and questions can start to feel like they are over running your faith. Like, does God really know what he’s doing? Or does he even care about me, those were some of my biggest struggles. Well he does, I promise you he does. Sometimes all we can see is whats in our front seat or we keep looking in our rear view mirror even. But God sees our future the mile or two ahead the kind of stuff we couldn’t even imagine or comprehend he knows it all and he sees you!

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

So much Love

 

This morning we are headed down to Southern California to see our birth mom and baby via ultra sound. Matt’s sister Kate (Auntie Kate) is just 2 hours from her so we will spend the rest of the weekend in L.A. We’re ready for a fun family weekend.

As I write this update I have been thinking, praying and working through so many emotions and thoughts on our call to grow our family through adoption starting with but not limited to…I’ve been thinking a lot people haha 

1- Not physically carrying my babies

2- Baby showers 

3- Telling Lily that neither she or her siblings grew in mommy’s  tummy. Not sure how this one will go. 

When we adopted Lily we didn’t have 9 months of waiting and hearing how the pregnancy was going. We didn’t find out about her until 6 hours before she was born. I had a whole bunch of new emotions and feelings that I experienced but it was after she arrived. There was no wondering about the pregnancy and getting updates about how she was growing and changing in the womb. 

This time around I have really been struggling with not physically being pregnant. Knowing our baby is growing and kicking and I can’t feel it or get to experience it is making me sad. I want to be clear Matt and I are one hundred percent committed to adopting and are not pursuing any treatments to get pregnant but I think I am still grieving all the extras that a birth mom and fertile women get to experience. 

I read this quote recently, “God often uses our greatest pain as a launching pad for our greatest calling”. 

My greatest pain by far has been experiencing infertility and my desire to be a mother. God saw that pain and answered that prayer and now my greatest calling is being a mom. Most days I still feel like pinching myself I am so honored to be a Mom.

But that doesn’t mean that now my pain is gone forever. I never expected that once I became a mom I would never feel pain around this issue again. I guess I am a little surprised at my grief that is coming with watching our beautiful birth mom carry our baby. Along with the pain there is also amazing joy and honor that we have been chosen to be parents again! I mean the pain is nothing like it was before I had Lily. It’s just different. We are in something new and with new seasons and change come feelings and thoughts we experience for the first time. The good news is I have learned to sit with these new feelings, not feel bad, guilty or that something is wrong with me. Its my process and I am so thankful God talks about feelings, emotions and struggles in his word. 

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23 

 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.  This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:12-16 

The verses in Hebrews chapter 4 have brought more comfort and peace to my struggles with infertility than anything else. Whatever you are struggling with today infertility, infidelity, depression, sorrow or worthlessness please take hope that Jesus Christ our great high priest empathizes with you and understands what you are going through. Look to him, talk to him he knows you better than anyone else.

So much love!

 

We recently went on vacation and I of course went and got my nails done before we left. I have been to this particular salon before and liked it. I was having a nice conversation with the woman who was doing my nails and then she asked, “Do you just have one daughter?” My response,”Yes” and then she asks “Are you going to have more kids?” A few things went through my head before responding. Do I tell her that yes we do and that we are adopting and expecting a baby in October. I don’t get asked this question much by people I hardly know. So I told her. I thought just because you can’t see a baby growing in my belly that doesn’t mean that I can’t share that I am an expectant mom and that we are excited. She says “Your daughter is adopted?” Again my response “Yes” and then…chirp, chirp. I wish I could que in some awkward silence music. Because she said nothing to me after that, seriously I am not kidding it was like I had the plaque.

I have thought about this now for a couple weeks and wanted to share a few thoughts.

First: To the Adoptive Parent

If you didn’t already know awkward, rude, uninformed people are all around and when things like adoption get brought up it seems like all of those traits become exaggerated 🙁 There will always be people that don’t understand or know what to say and that’s ok. Don’t let their issues, opinions and lack of excitement for what you are going through affect your journey and your excitement. Share as much as you feel comfortable with. Celebrate the journey you are on and embrace that new life that God destined for you to raise up, nurture, steward and love forever. That is beautiful, holy and exciting. It’s worth sharing!

To the “Adoptive Mom” I hate saying that because like the quote says I am a mom I don’t need any other prefix. But unfortunately that’s not always the case. We aren’t giving birth to our children so that means we don’t have a big pregnant belly telling everyone we are adding to our family and we are excited about it. So when having more kids does come up we make the choice to announce it. Then make the choice not to let unpleasant reactions effect us.

Second: To those curious and asking 

I am not mad at this woman who had such a strange reaction to my news that I am adopting for the second time. I don’t know her story. She may have had a bad experience with adoption, I hope not but I have no idea. I did wonder though that if I was 6 months along and showing if she would of treated me the same way. I’m not dwelling on this I promise just opening up and trying to take in every part of this journey but that thought made me sad. If someone you know is adopting and going through the process and you don’t know what to do here’s a few pointers for you.

Encourage, celebrate, repeat. Even just a simple congratulations is perfect. There are a few things as an adoptive mom I feel insecure about and one of them is my inability to carry my baby’s myself so to say to me/us “I am happy for you” or “Congratulations” that validates and shows that Adoption and what we are doing is worth being noticed and it matters. Sometimes I hold back my tears when I am with a group of other moms and they start sharing their birth stories. I don’t have a physical birth story and sometimes not all the time I feel like less of a mom because of it. I get sad about it but then at the same time I celebrate and am so thankful God has us on this particular road to parenthood. It’s complex, frustrating and really difficult sometimes but I can honestly say I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sometimes just asking yourself would I want this to be said to me? Fill in the blank with whatever it is. When we announced we were going to adopt the first time we had some doosies thrown our way. Matt and I were able to shrug them off and move on. That’s the beauty of following God’s plan for your life. All the nonsense and insensitive things people will say to you don’t bother you like they may have in the past. What God wants for you is so much bigger and better than the silly opinions of others.

Apparently a lot of deep thinking and revelation can come from one visit to the nail salon for me ha. But seriously we are not called to make people comfortable or to live comfortable lives ourselves. So I won’t stop being excited for our adoption or our previous adoption. I will continue to share and celebrate this amazing journey we are on.

If you are adopting, thinking about adoption or you know someone who is adopting and you don’t know what to say to them. Please message me I would love to answer any questions you have, pray with you and for you or give you some ideas on how to encourage your adopting friends.

So much love!

 

Hey everyone, I wanted to give you an update on our current adoption status. At the end of March we flew down and met with a new birth mom in Southern California. Let me just start by saying we were up for 21 hours, we had the first flight out that morning and the last flight that night….It was a great day but the longest ever!!! And we missed Lily terribly 🙁

It’s so crazy how things work out. I’m not sure why I would ever doubt that God has everything under control. Then he does this and I go “Oh ya you do know what your doing”.

We met the new birth mom through our friend Heather. Heather and her husband have adopted four amazing children. She walked with us, encouraged us, and advised us through the last adoption that didn’t end up working out. You can read more about that here My Gift of Suffering

A few days after our failed adoption Heather reached out to one of her birth moms to say hi and thank her for placing her child for adoption with them. Well, that birth mom had some news… she was pregnant and was not in a position to parent. She told Heather that she wanted to make an adoption plan. Heather waited a few days before telling us and then when she did we could not believe it. We were actually driving out of town for the weekend to Monterrey to get a little break.

When we flew down to meet her for the first time Heather came with us. We had lunch and I found a great pregnancy center that we had made an appointment with for a pregnancy test and ultrasound. Total side note: I am so thankful for all the years God had me working as a Counselor at the Sacramento Life Center. There were so many times I came home crying and confused and questioning several things:

1) How can all these other women and sometimes young girls get pregnant and I can’t?

2) Why in the (bleep) am I still working here? Sorry for the language 🙂

Hindsight is 20/20 right. I had no idea what God was preparing Matt and I for. He was calling us to Adopt, to love when it’s really, really hard, to sacrifice and to give everything of ourselves to our future babies and their beautiful birth moms. Most importantly and the biggest lesson ever has been to trust Him. To give ourselves and our future to Him and to ask Him what He wants and how does He want to do it. All those years I worked with women in unplanned pregnancies He was working with me.

Ok, back to the day we met. We got to see the baby on the ultra sound. It was Matt’s first live ultra sound so he was very excited. I had to bite my lip to keep from wailing like a freak ha. I have seen ultra sounds before but I have never seen my baby’s ultrasound. We saw and heard the heart beat and a little arm moving so fast.

Before we left that day we were all on board. We liked her and she like us. She told us yes we are the baby’s parents. Now some of you may think we are crazy for sharing this story before the baby is here especially since our last adoption didn’t go as planned. Well you are right we are a little crazy hahaha but I am called to share the good, the bad and the ugly in hopes that it may help someone else on whatever journey they are on. But just because one thing didn’t work out how we hoped and prayed it would doesn’t mean that God didn’t have His hand all over it. We know whatever happens He is with us guiding and directing our every step.

Baby B is due in October and we are so excited and honored to be on this journey. Thanks for coming along with us. Love to you all.