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.

In my last post I shared about my new perspective on suffering. God gave me a new view into the world of suffering and disappointment. Today there has been another shift in my thinking/perspective I wanted to share.

There was more to our recently failed adoption that just the birth mom changing her mind. Sadly we were lied to and taken advantage of and a few hotel rooms were trashed. And without oversharing too much personal information I wanted to share honestly some of the thoughts and feelings I had the days and weeks following our sad news.

Here are some of the thoughts that went through my head

  • I want to call her and give her a piece of my mindA gentle, calm voice reminded me that I am a follower of Christ and to remember that she knows that and she is going to remember the way we treated her. Regardless of what she did or didn’t do. It doesn’t change the call on my life to love her. Yes I was upset but “in your anger do not sin”. I was sad, disappointed and hurt but what would telling her off accomplish? I loved her and thought we shared something incredibly special. I sound like a creepy ex there haha but I think you get what I am saying.
  • She should be ashamed of herself: Anyone heard or said that a time of two? I am guilty of saying it and thinking it also. Then as quickly as that thought/accusation came to me so did this question. Do I really want anyone to feel shame? No way!! I know what it’s like to feel shame and I wouldn’t wish that for anyone.
  • Why us? Why do we have to go through this?: If not us then who? Who should go through this? This one is tough but for now I am trusting God with all my “Why’s”. Now I’m sounding a lot like Lily 🙂 The “Why” stage has begun with her and everything is why right now. I wonder if God gets annoyed at me asking why all the time.
  • We have to spend so much money and go through so much just to have a baby!! Now this one I rolled around in for a while. Had a pity party and cried, honestly I will probably always wonder and question this. The new perspective didn’t come to me very quickly but when it did oh boy. All that changed in that statement was one word. Simply change “have” to “get”. We get to fight for a baby, we got to fight for this little boy, fight for his mom, fight for a family. Now we have a new little person to pray for. He may not be ours but he is still God’s.

Never in my life have I been given such valuable gifts. I can’t see them and it’s hard to explain them but they are there. They are in my soul and my mind. For me infertility and adoption have stretched my heart and mind into places of faith and trust that I didn’t know existed. For an emotional and anxious girl like me let me tell you it is a BIG DEAL.

This whole experience has been painful, hard, upsetting, confusing and the list goes on. But there is something else that means more than anything. It is what I am clinging to and finding hope in every single day. It was the fact that this was no surprise to God. He knew what was going to happen and he watched over us and protected us every step of the way.

Thank you to everyone who has walked this journey with us. You might have found yourself saying and thinking some of the things I did. Thank you for the protection you have over our family. You supported, prayed, encouraged and suffered right along side of us during this process. We felt your love and are better for it!

 

 

-Written January 2017 but never posted-

Lately I have felt exhausted, emotionally and physically. The holidays were wonderful but filled with a lot of new and exciting but challenging things for our family.

I shared awhile ago that we were ready to grow our family again through adoption. Well we decided it was time to find a lawyer and start the legal part so when we did find a birth mom we would be ready to go. A week before Christmas I received an unexpected phone call about a birth mom who wanted to place her child for adoption and we matched what she was looking for. This was a surprise to us since we hadn’t even made a profile or had been actively putting ourselves out there yet. We were planning on standing outside of an abortion clinic with a sign saying “Are you pregnant, freaking out? We can help, We are ready to adopt”. This is a whole other blog post…coming soon.

Within a week of the phone call we met the birth mom at Starbucks and each shared our stories. We told her about our desire to have lots of children and that adoption was the avenue God told us to take. We liked her, actually we loved her. Seeing her bravery and selflessness to choose adoption was amazing.  Matt and I both felt that this was our next child. She is due in February and we are preparing our hearts and our home for this little miracle.

 Going through the adoption process is such an unpredictable ride, you never know whats going to be around the next corner and I am praying with all my heart that she doesn’t change her mind. But she might…and I have to be OK with that. I am trying to stay positive and trust God with the growth of our family but let me tell you it isn’t easy. But we do have HOPE because we have seen what God has done in the past, how he brought Lily to us. I am standing firm on his promise of providing for us, loving us, wanting the best for us, and his desire to give his children good gifts.

But then there is the waiting…I’ve heard about it but haven’t experienced it until now. There were long painful years where we waited for God to open the doors for us to pursue parenthood. Once we started the process, Lily came to us just a month later. There was no meeting a birth mom and waiting. No nine months of feeling anxious that she could call it all off at any moment.

– March 2017 –

Above is a post I was writing while we waited for the birth of our son. We prayed and hoped he would be ours but in the end the birth mom changed her mind. Our hearts hurt when we found out and we are still trying to work through all of the emotions and feelings that come with it.

The night we found out we were shocked and disappointed because we had heard from someone else in her town that she was no longer pregnant. She hadn’t told us she had given birth but was still receiving help. Immediately Proverbs 3:5-6 came to me and I began repeating it over and over in my head and my heart. It’s no coincidence it’s on the sign I had made for his room. God’s grace and his promise of “trusting in him with all our hearts” was giving us hope and life as we faced a messy situation with lots of unknowns.

As the days unfolded after we got this sad news the Holy Spirit gave me a gift and a reminder of something I had not thought about in a long time. Several years ago I worked at a retreat for post abortive women and men. It was a weekend where they got to grieve the loss of their aborted babies. That doesn’t sound heavy at all right?! I mean it was amazing and full of healing but also very draining and hard to watch others relive such pain. I’m telling you all of this because there was an exercise that we do on the first night where we drink from a cup that symbolizes Christ’s suffering. This principal of suffering is found throughout scripture but here a few verses that stand out to me.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21

Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:13

Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing he is able to help us when we are being tested. Hebrews 2:18

Our suffering is nothing compared to what Jesus went through he was rejected, betrayed, and then killed. Although we didn’t go through rejection or betrayal to the degree that he did, we were suffering.

This was huge for me!! In all the years we were unable to have kids and suffering I never once had that perspective. I went through waves of emotion with God. I questioned him, argued with him, was mad at him and then I would see his purpose and plan through the waiting. Obviously I was all over the place in those years of waiting. But never once did I see what He was giving me in my suffering. This suffering has been a gift and I am so grateful for a Father who gives good gifts! It’s so weird to talk about suffering as a gift. Currently I am not sure how to put into words why I feel it is such a gift but I do. I know what scripture says about suffering and hardship and what it produces in our life. But I am trying to figure out what I feel about it. What does keep coming to me though is how God defies logic and what we think is a horrible situation and unfair or unjust he says no it’s actually a good thing. 

For those of you who are struggling to grow your family and are confused, sad and upset, I am sorry and I know exactly how you feel. I’m sure everything I said is probably really annoying to you. I know when I was in the midst of our struggle to have kids I hated reading and hearing stuff like this. Allow yourself to grieve but don’t let bitterness take root in your heart. God is writing your story and it will be an AMAZING one!