Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the latest

There are times when I wish I could subscribe to the “risk-free” version of life. The place where everything is safe, where fear can’t nag, and where things fall in place exactly as I expected. It might not always be the best for character building, but it sure is comfortable!

Honestly, I was hoping to live in the risk-free zone in regards to this adoption. I knew it was possible that we could experience something that wasn’t clean cut, but I was hoping we wouldn’t. I was comfortable where I was—comfortable with my recent spiritual stretching, and not all that interested in being stretched to new lengths.

But while comfortable is a cushy place to be, it lacks any kind of permanence. It seems that just when I start to feel comfortable, the door is thrown open for God to come in and allow circumstances to change until I get uncomfortable enough to turn my focus completely, totally, and unwaveringly back to Him. In other words, it seems my comfort level is not always God’s priority for my life. Growing my faith is.

Right now we find ourselves in a position where risk is a very real element in pursuing this adoption. Moving forward means making ourselves vulnerable to hurt, and that scares me. In fact, there were several moments today where fear was right there with me, gripping my heart, stealing the joy and excitement I so desperately wanted to be feeling. I was digging in, trying so hard to avoid the chance of pain that I wasn’t asking God what it was that He wanted for me. Fear seems to cloud perspective faster than anything else. But gently God reminded me that He is bigger than my fear. He has a plan, even though it’s not the plan I had for myself.

For now, all I know is that tomorrow we will take Adrienne home with us. I trust God to take care of all the details that follow. I am excited because I believe that this is the little girl God has brought into our lives—the one we have prayed for and the one who has already taken part of our hearts. Loving can be dangerous, but as my mom reminded me yesterday of a quote from Hinds Feet, "to love is so lovely." I’m thankful that God is giving us this chance to take her home and love her. I read something from a book my grandmother brought by today. It says, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” I believe this. I believe that even though this place is outside of my realm of safety, God will keep me safe.

I am praying for God to give us joy and excitement tomorrow when we go to pick Adrienne up. I pray that He will teach us to lean totally on Him. I also pray for Adrienne’s birth mom. I don’t know her, but I love her through faith and I pray that God will meet her where and when she needs Him most.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meeting Adrienne

Yesterday was the big day: we got to see Adrienne for the first time! We were all excited, but by the time we got there, Marianna could hardly contain herself. We had to briefly fill out paper work before we could see her, and Marianna didn't appreciate the delay. She kept saying "Where's my sister? I want to see my baby!!" Adrienne was brought out shortly after, and she took our breath away. It was an amazing moment. The time we spent with Adrienne was beautiful, and even though she slept through the visit, I would say the first meeting was absolutely perfect.

I can't share details or pictures right now, but I can tell you that we want to bring her home at the first moment possible. If that comes next week we will be thrilled. Please continue to pray for all of the many details. I hardly know what to pray specifically except that God work the details out according to His absolute best plan. I don't pretend to know what that is, but I want whatever that is with all my heart.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a bump in the road

Today didn't bring about the news we had expected-but then with everything we know about adoption, maybe we should have planned on something out of the ordinary. I won't go into the details, but while we will get to meet Adrienne tomorrow, we won't be able to bring her home. It is our hope that sometime next week placement will happen. The particular circumstances are out of our control, yet we still feel a peace and confidence that Adrienne Christine will be our daughter. The more we hear, the more we see God's hand on this. I don't believe that God has to give signs in order for something to take place, but I feel like He's let certain things happen that allowed us to know that this is the child for us.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we watch everything unfold. We are dying to have her with us, yet understanding that God has everything in control. It's a good place to be, but certainly not the easiest! I'll update tomorrow after we meet her. I can't wait.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Adrienne Christine

Today we got the call we've been waiting on. The birth mother chose us!! Barring anything unexpected, Adrienne Christine will come home soon! Please continue praying for the details. The birth mom will sign away her rights on Wednesday, so please be lifting her up right now!! But for now, I want to say with all my heart, "Thank you, Jesus!!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a big maybe

Right now we're in the waiting stage. We've known all along that there isn't anything concrete about this adoption process-nothing is predictable, nothing can be pre-planned. But today, waiting took on a new meaning when I received a call from our adoption agency letting us know about a baby.

Here's the short version: A perfect, healthy baby girl weighing in at 6 1/2 pounds with blondish hair and blue eyes was born on May 10th. The birth mom called Life Choices while she was in labor to let them know she wanted them to help her find a family for her baby.

This baby girl went home to a "cradle care" family on Monday, and she will remain there until her adopted parents bring her home. The birth mom will sign away her rights next Wednesday, and at that point she will be presented with the profiles (potentially 4). She will look through these and make her choice, and the little girl will go home with her family on May 31st.

I have thoughts running around everywhere when I think about this. I never anticipated knowing ahead of time that our profile was going to be given out, but special circumstances demanded we be told before the fact. Because of that, we are left with 8 or 9 days ahead of us knowing that it's possible that we will get a baby in the next three weeks. At first I was tempted to think we have a 25% chance of being chosen. But really, I don't think that's right at all. I think we either have a zero or 100% chance of getting the baby. She's either the one God has chosen for our family, or she is the baby that God has chosen for one of the three other families. We are no more deserving than anyone else. Rather than asking God to give us this baby, I'm asking that He give her to the family He has chosen. She is the answer to somebody's prayer-we just have to wait and see whose! I would love for you to join us in praying this week. Praying for the birth mother, for this little baby girl, and for the family who has been chosen for her already by Jesus.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Being a mom

Mother’s Day started early for me this year; Marianna woke up at 2:45 and I haven’t been back to sleep yet. For the second time in her life, absolutely nothing I could do helped her to settle down. Nathan even put a movie on in hopes that she would drift off once it started, but an hour later she was in our room, more upset than ever.

I admit that by the time 5:00 am rolled around and I was still awake with her, I wasn’t happy. I had anticipated that today might be hard, but I hadn't considered that the hard part would come in the form of Marianna in full blown hysterics. I asked her if she realized today was Mother’s Day and she was supposed to be nice to me. She responded with more tears. I would say that in my 2 ½ years of being a mom, I have not been as frustrated as I was between 4:58 to 5:03 this morning. I’m serious. I knew she was being irrational, and I thought it ironic that today of all days, when we can’t sleep in and she can’t take an early nap, and when I'm facing the first mother's day since Poppy, she chose to have a melt down.

I had already thrown down the gauntlet and told her she couldn’t sleep in bed with us, and when she refused to sleep on the floor, I was at the end of my frazzled rope. Thankfully, at that moment Nathan intervened and went to sleep in her tiny twin bed with her. They are still asleep as I type.

As soon as I walked out of Marianna’s room, listening to her deep breaths as she snuggled next to Nathan, trying to recover from the hysteria, my frustration evaporated. I was instantly humbled as I thought about the gift she is. The gift that being a mom is. I love her so much I don’t know how to put it into words.

I knew there was no chance of sleep after all of that, so I stayed up thinking. Mother’s Day is a day that means a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it’s a day of appreciation and fun as they get to relax and enjoy time with family. To some, it’s a reminder of what has been lost. And still to others, it’s a painful symbol of what has never been, despite the longing in their hearts.

This morning I took being a mom for granted. I lost sight of the fact that it is the greatest privilege God has ever, and will ever give me. That wake up call is probably what I needed more than anything else today. I will never understand why God allows moms to hurt so much when their children are sick, when their children die, or when they long to have children and can’t, but I understand that the source of great pain is also the source of indescribable joy. Yes, opening your heart as a mom can be something that hurts more than anything else, yet God has chosen to give us children as His ultimate blessing. I am so grateful for that!

On this Mother’s Day, I want to praise God for the blessing He has poured out in my life through Marianna and Poppy, and I thank Him in advance the other child He will bring into our lives in a way that has not yet been revealed. I also want to ask you to join with me today in praying for those in your life who want to be a mom, and have not yet had the chance. Pray that God will pour out His blessing of children through conception, adoption, or any other way He chooses.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone I have met on this journey. I pray God blesses you richly today!