Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Time Flies!

I cannot believe it has been three years since the last time I posted here. A season of life began for me where there was barely room to breathe. Half the time I couldn't even find my Bible, let alone sit quietly with God. I spend my days running around, unshowered, wearing stained yoga pants and apologizing to God for all the time that I am not spending with Him. Its just been...busy.

Luke just turned four. FOUR. He graduated from preschool last week which is a little silly to me because back to preschool he goes next year! It's been more of a journey then I ever thought, even with all my research and knowledge on adoptions and kids from hard places. As it turns out we now believe that Luke was probably exposed to substances while in utero. Last year, at my wits end, we reached out to a child find program here locally to help us and to test Luke. His language is much better but his cognition struggles. Many times a lot of what he says doesn't make any sense. And he obsesses over food. Oh my goodness does he obsess over food. I found it ironic that we had done research on kids from third world countries who display food-driven behaviors due to previous starvation. We really didn't see this coming. I had no idea what an impact can be placed on a child just between drug exposure, prematurity, and two months in the NICU. If someone had told me ahead of time what it would be like I may have quietly backed away. Honestly I think that's true about most things in life that are hard but worthwhile. Like moving, marriage, and even having biological children. It's all been much harder than I ever thought, but it's also been more rewarding. Would I trade it for anything? Heck no. I love that little boy and there's no doubt he's my son. Even in the middle of a tantrum my heart can be filled with joy when he looks at me with those huge brown eyes and pouty lips and says "I wuv you". Oh my! I love him, too!

I've learned some valuable things over the past four years. The first is that the celebration of the act of adoption is short-lived. Kind of like a wedding. When the guests have gone home and the honeymoon is over, the real work starts. And it's not always a beautiful pinterest picture. Sometimes it's downright difficult. Sometimes it's subtly sweet. A great quote I recently heard said, "I have four children. Two are adopted. I forget which ones". And it's so true. I forget half the time that Luke didn't come to us in the usual way. Once in a while someone will ask, "Are you babysitting?" and then I remember. But there are times that I am pulled back, even for a brief moment, and think, "Oh yeah, he was an orphan". On his birthday last week I couldn't help but think about his birth mother, whom we've never met and have no name for. "Do you think she even remembers him?" my oldest daughter asked me. My heart twists when she says it. A mother's heart always remembers. "I'm sure she remembers sweetie. Mommies never forget their babies". Sometimes we talk about meeting her in heaven one day when we are all united.

The second thing I've learned is how incredibly broken I am. I'm not a morning person. Come to think of it, I'm not a night person either. I'm an introvert: I like being around people but it's draining and to recharge I need to be alone. Yet I love my large family. I'm tempted to let a random curse word fly sometimes when I've told my 14 year-old for the TENTH time where to put his dirty underwear. I'm a bear when I'm tired or hungry. I'm inherently selfish. Sometimes I just want to stop giving. I get tired of pouring out to others and I just want to sit and pour into myself. I just want to eat food that is hot, and eat it in silence. I want to actually style my hair AND put make up on. Ultimately, my kids have exposed how broken I am and how much I truly need grace. A decade ago I thought that I would work out all those mothering "bugs" in the early years of my first child's life and then I would be a positive, perfect mom from that moment on. I realized earlier this year that I have been beating myself up for a long time because my oldest is now 14 and I haven't worked out all the "bugs". I panic because I'm running out of time and I'm still not a perfect parent! It's only recently become a new idea to me that maybe there will never be that "perfect parent" destination. That I am constantly growing and changing, and trying, and failing, and learning, and moving forward. My kids are teaching me as much, or more, than I am teaching them! We are all refining each other to be better people. I make mistakes, and ask my kids to forgive me, and I move forward with the desire to do better. Of course, because I am human, I will fail again at some point (as hard as that is for me to swallow) but it has made me more grateful for Jesus and God's grace than ever before in my life!

Now that our youngest is two I feel like I'm getting some semblance of myself back. Over the last month I've been able to take a deep breathe, grab a few more winks of sleep, shower more frequently, and enjoy having a toddler. Husband and I are starting to dream about a night away at a hotel somewhere or maybe even starting date nights again. I'm thinking maybe a hair cut and more time to exercise is on my horizon. So what happens? God brings the need of orphans back into my life. And for weeks I've been fighting it. Heck, no, Lord. I'm just getting my body back! I already make four boxes of pasta and 2.5 pounds of meat at each meal! I've done my part. But there it is; that yearning to fill a need. Suddenly we are talking about older child adoptions. I've been doing research- because that's what I do when I want to avoid doing something at all costs-and the truth is painful. Older children age out of a system in most countries at 14 and then they're on their own. I've found lots of different statistics but none of them are good. 21% of Russian orphans who age out are dead by the time they are 21. 38% of Asian girls who age out are caught in human trafficking. The suicide rate hovers between 20-30% for a child from any nationality who ages out without a family. One site I read say most are "simply never heard from again". My heart is breaking and resisting at the same time. Older orphans bring their own challenges. They can be harder in some cases. Frankly, some days, I'm just tired of doing hard stuff. I want to be blind to these children and the needs of the world, because the needs are frankly overwhelming. Most people know that there are 150 million orphans worldwide. I did NOT know that 100 million are from China alone. From my research, two thousand were adopted last year from China. Two thousand out of 100 million. It's not even a dent. I want to do more, and I need to do more, but I'm hung up on my brokenness. How can I be a good mom to an older orphan? Babies grow up with you and grow into awareness. They accept you because they don't know any different. An older child will know that he was abandoned. He will perhaps have waited for a family, and dreamed of a family, and had preconceived notions of what his family would be. There are so many ways I can disappoint.

All of it has brought me back to my knees, back in prayer, because frankly I can't move without Him. I find it ironic that I just got my time back with my Bible and I could potentially face losing it again. If I know it's directed from Him then I can be confident I can handle it. It's gotten me through the worst days with Luke. "I know he's supposed to be here, so God knows what He's doing!" We will see where this all takes us, but for now I am glad to be writing (and showering) again!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Sometimes God puts people in your life to spend the years with you. Sometimes they are there just long enough to say one thing. One thing that is so impactful it changes the course you are on. A friend I saw today referred to them as angels. I had never thought of it this way before and I like it. It makes me smile. There have been several angels in my life and I am so very grateful for them.

When I was young my parents put a picture of Jesus in my bedroom. It wasn't anything fancy but I can still remember every detail of it. It had a brown faux-wood frame. Jesus was in the center, holding a sheep in one hand, his staff in the other. He had dark brown hair and beard, a blue robe and brown sandals. I didn't think much of it at the time but I wish I had it still. It is still the image that comes to mind first when I think of Jesus. I can still recall accepting Jesus into my heart when I was still small and the joy I felt getting baptized. I have heard that once you accept Jesus into your heart He never leaves. I believe that's true. No matter how far from church I strayed, no matter how much I wanted to be one of the bad kids, Jesus and His image never left me. 

I found out I was pregnant during the spring of my senior year in high school. I was devastated. I was a straight A student. I was on my way to the Air Force Academy to do something amazing. I had hoped to be a fighter pilot. I had big plans and it didn't include sticking around in the small town I grew up in. I was a good kid, but I made a mistake. I was terrified of my parents and distraught at the fact that I would be known as the girl who was pregnant rather than the girl who left and now flies jets. I decided to have an abortion.

There was a friend who I shared study hall with. We would get a pass and sit in the hallways filled with windows to do school work in the sunshine that was cast onto the floors. Winter in Maine is cold and the sunshine through glass was so warm. I told her about the pregnancy and was surprised by her response. "Don't do it. It'll all work out". She then told me about a friend she knew who got pregnant at 16. They were now married, living in Pennsylvania and had bought a new minivan. She pointed out that at the time it seemed devastating but that they were doing well. I thought that story was well and good but didn't apply to me. I didn't want a minivan. I was off to do important things. We parted ways that morning knowing that my appointment was the next day.

The father and I arrived at the clinic the next day. He paid cash. They told me since I didn't have insurance I couldn't get pain relief. I didn't really understand but I didn't care. I went into the room and they inserted something into my cervix. It was supposed to dialate it, open up my womb so they could do whatever it was they do. I was told it would take an hour so I was sent back out to wait. While I waited I prayed. And cried. And shook. I thought about Jesus and the picture that hung in my room. And prayed some more. I was in a lot of pain, having never had a cervix dialate before. It seemed like it was too late to make a decision anyway so I didn't know why I was so upset. I think that's how a lot of us feel sometimes, like it's too late to change course. On the contrary- it's NEVER too late. Suddenly I knew. I just did. We went back up to the counter and I said I changed my mind. They told us we wouldn't get our money back. The father didn't care and neither did I. Inside the room again, they told me I would probably miscarry anyway since the cervix was open. I told them again that I didn't care. On our way out the receptionist handed us a $100 bill back and gave a small smirk. I think she might have been proud? Maybe she just felt bad? I'll never know. But I'll never forget the feeling of relief I had walking out. The inner turmoil had come from an internal battle; what I wanted versus what people expected. How I appeared to others versus doing what my soul knew was right. Good versus evil. Once I had commited, once I made the decision, it was easy. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to face my parents.  I just knew it paled in comparison to being in that room.

We went home. I didn't miscarry. I never even bled. I told my friend back at school and she was overjoyed. She had given me support. I knew there was at least one person who didn't think this was terrible, and that was enough. She was my angel. I told my parents. I survived. Nine months later in a warm tub of water with a loving midwife I had my son.

You, little buddy, almost weren't here. Almost...

At age three my son was diagnosed with Asperger's. Syndrome. I don't care. I wouldn't have it any other way. I cannot imagine a life without him. It certainly did changed my life drastically. I used to daydream of flying jets, traveling the world, and only owning enough possessions that would fit in a car. Heaven forbid I be stuck in one place too long. Now I've been forced to become patient, tender, and selfless. I've had to open my home to therapists that now feel like family. I've had to learn about a condition I didn't know existed and didn't care about. I've had to see things from someone else's perspective. I've had to accept. I've learned to rejoice in the small things.

                                                              My son and his sister
Be that angel for someone. Let God use you. Say what's unpopular. If it's you that needs an angel right now, then let me be that for you. Talk to God. He loves you. Everything will be alright.

Today I am married to a wonderful man who loves airplanes, too. And yes, unfortunately, I have a new minivan:)

Sunday, March 31, 2013


This is our second year homeschooling and even though I miss my alone time, I wouldn’t change it for the world. We use the Classical model of education that emphasizes history. It has been a blessing to be part of such an amazing homeschooling community and also to see what my kids can learn when they are taught amazing things. They know history, from Creation to the present. They can sing it to you in a 12 minute song. They don’t understand the details yet but they can see the pattern; the rise of fall of civilizations. The mistakes made my humans, over and over again. The amazing accomplishments that have taken place by human ingenuity and the blessings of the Creator. I know I do not speak alone when I say that I feel like the world is changing again. Many feel it’s for the worse. Some have predicted ultimately for the better, perhaps a third Great Awakening. I can’t see where we are headed yet but I am surprised at the conversations that have taken place among family, friends, and even strangers. Should we leave the country? Is there anything left to salvage? Is America America without freedom and God? Are we headed for a Civil War? If there is one, do we join?
These ideas cause my mind to wander back in time, not-so-very-long-ago, to the roots of our nation. I have always held a deep respect for the founding fathers but I have gained an even deeper understanding of their situation. I have always assumed that it was easy for them to fight. Easy for them to look at the British superpower and say, “Sure! Let’s grab our muskets and get this done!” I believe it is so important to remember that they had no idea if they would win or not. They didn’t know that if they did win it would create the most glorious and prosperous God-fearing nation that ever existed. They didn’t know how much God would bless America. They didn’t know that it was from sea to shining sea. There were just thirteen colonies. Ordinary people with an extraordinary idea. And they had families and lives, and despite the fact that they were being taxed and controlled, they were ok. I have actually heard that argument used, that France is a socialist state and they are doing “ok”. I’m wondering when “Ok” has become the standard. I assume that in this example, “Ok” means that we are alive, and we have food, and shelter. If this is the case then they can take our freedom and we might be ok. They can force our kids into public schools and we would be ok. They could take our guns and our Bibles and we would be ok. I don’t believe Americans settle for ok. Those courageous young soldiers in the American Revolution certainly didn’t. Without knowing the end result they set off, to fight, to die for an idea. I can see them, at Valley Forge, freezing and starving, wondering if it was worth it. I wonder if they wished to be “ok” again, if only they could go home and forget their crazy idea. Was being oppressed worse than being dead? I think of what these families and men endured so that future generations might be free and it brings tears to my eyes.
Interestingly today is Easter and as I sat in church this morning I was surprised to see the Resurrection story in a whole new way. It is easy to look back at the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection and celebrate it. I grew up a Christian, hearing all of the time how “Jesus died for your sins”, and yet it meant almost nothing to me. I heard it so much it hardly had an effect. That is so easy for us today as Christians because we know what happens on the third day. Yeah yeah yeah, he was whipped and crucified, but he rose again! It’s all good. How many times I have thought that, unknowingly! It’s a happy ending so why bother with the details? Well, it might be important to remember that people did not know that He would rise again. What a dark few days that must have felt like! Jesus comes, He heals, you follow Him, and then He’s killed. He was supposed to be their Savior and now He was gone. It would have felt confusing and hopeless. “They were between the Now, and the Not Yet”, as spoken by our Pastor. How many times have we all been there? It doesn’t’ have the be the Revolutionary War for us to think of times when we were in the dark and lost, wondering what in the world God was doing. We can’t see the big picture. We don’t know how the puzzle pieces all fit into place. If we did, how easy would it be to move forward! Although my family has received many blessings, we’ve also gone through more trials than I ever wanted. I frequently wonder why. I have been told on multiple occasions that God needs to use us and that He is getting us ready. Many times I don’t think that it’s worth it. Those times are so dark. God seems so silent. It is that dark place between the Now and the Not Yet. If only I could go back to those American Militia men and smile and tell them, “It’s alright. It’s beautiful, you should see it. Keep fighting.” If only the apostles could have known that Jesus was not saving them from the Romans, He was saving them eternally. It’s alright. He saves us all.
When you find yourself in that dark place, recognize it and take heart. Keep going forward even though you can’t see. He can see, and the Not Yet is coming.

“Behold! I make all things new”  Revelation 21:5

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Catching Up...

I cannot believe how much time has passed since I’ve last posted. There’s so much to say and yet I only want to say what is meaningful. Luke, our son, is amazing. He is healthy, and huge, and wonderful. For how small and premature he was he has none of the issues that he could have. One more blessing from the Lord. He is currently ten months old with his adjusted age being 7 months. He has brought me so much love and so many challenges. I’ve learned that having a preemie is comparable to having a newborn for a much longer period of time. It has tested my patience, caused me worry, and then caused me joy when we meet our milestones. I’ve learned that regular baby shampoo on a biracial baby is not a good idea. It makes a large, dry mess. Luke and I have experimented with Shea Butter and Kinky Kurly products and he looks so handsome. I have learned how to field questions, sometimes wonderful and sometimes so rude you can hardly get yourself to speak. We have started being able to get out of the house more, taking trips to the library, the Grand Canyon, and Sea World just this past week. I feel so blessed to be able to shower this little man with love and opportunity. Not because I am amazing, but because God is amazing. And God must have very special plans for little Luke.
As for panic and anxiety, that has been a journey in and of itself. That’s just what it was: panic due to trauma. It started years ago with our first trauma, and was intensified with each subsequent trauma. When I suffered the drug reaction it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It has been scary, on the days when my body does not know that I am not under attack. It has been rewarding the moments when I can overcome it. I asked a good doctor at one point why God would allow this to happen now, when I’ve just been given this huge blessing. He told me directly, “You’ve lived it. You’re learning to understand it. And you’ll be able to smell panic from a mile away. One day you’ll help someone through it”. I am not far enough in this journey to know what the complete purpose it and I have had a hard time accepting it. At some moments the symptoms can be so great that I have told God I don’t want to do His purpose. I do not want to help others with their trauma and panic. I just want to live. I have spent nights shaking in panic and fear, crying asking God, “Why?! Haven’t I gone through enough?” I discovered that I can go 4 days without sleep when my body is too terrified to let me sleep. And somehow through it all He has helped me to keep breathing. Keep walking. Keep going. And I don’t know why. I found myself reading Job not long ago and after 38 chapters of Job crying out in agony, God finally responds.

“Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? What supports its foundations and who laid it’s cornerstone as the morning stars sand together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:1-6

Who am I to ask what His plans are? Who am I determine what is fair or to tell God what to do? Job replies:

“I am nothing-how could I ever find the answers? I will put my hand over my mouth in silence. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” Job 40:3-5

I have spent the past eight months wondering why this would happen when I wanted to be doing God’s work. I want to be praising Him. I could not understand why He would allow even MORE things to happen in my life that would keep me operating at my full capacity. I would be lying if I said I had complete peace with it now. I am still tired by it and I still have moments where I look to the sky and shake my head. If my absence from this blog, however, was enough to ruin God’s plans, than I have made myself too big and my God too small. I may not like it, but I am no one to argue.

I still want to do big things for God. Hubby is currently working on a mission’s trip to Cuba and we continue to sponsor children through Compassion International. As if my plate weren’t full enough I find that I am beginning to scan the horizon for our path. I don’t know if its future adoptions or foster parenting or mission work. I don’t know and I won’t pretend to know. I just want God to guide my feet down the right path. So until I know where our next stop lies I will continue to rejoice in Luke, in my family, and in my life. Even when it feels like I don’t want to.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Finished Story...

The three days where we waited anxiously to hear about our adoption were the most shocking and spiritual days I have ever lived. I could not wait to tell everyone all the accounts and share in what can only be called “a miracle”. I’ve learned in the past few weeks, however, that no one gets away without scars. And right around one of the best times of my life, my wounds became exposed. Even though I have desired to write and tell our tale, I have literally been unable to. Anyone who has ever written music, books, poems or blogs can tell you what it’s like to simply lack the emotion and words to write. Tonight I am hoping to break this streak by doing what I’ve always done: being candid.

On Tuesday of our fundraising I was anxious but not too hopeful. But the miracles started right away. Checking into my blog, we could see that after 48 short hours, it had been read over 1,000 times. Perhaps that isn’t much, but for us that was a big deal. And that does not include the letter that we wrote and sent out to friends. I’m not even sure I know 1,000 people. I had 23 waiting “friend” requests on facebook, all from people that I did not know. My inbox was full of stories from strangers, some telling us of their prayers, others telling us of their donations. Some people just wanted to know that they related; they were adopted, tried to adopt, lost a child. For strangers to be so honest with us about their lives was a privilege to be a witness to. One lady told me that she had been praying about how to help when her Bible study that morning covered James 1:27. Then she knew what she was supposed to do.

“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of God and Father, to care for orphans and widows in their distress.” ~James 1:27

As we sat in our house on Tuesday we got front row seats to watch how God moved in other people’s lives for us. All of this was for us and Baby Melvin. The more blessings that happened, the more I wished that they were not happening. With each amazement I was feeling less worthy and deserving. I started recalling all the sins I’ve ever committed. Every bad thought I’ve ever had. Why would anyone give us money? Please, don’t give us money. You don’t know us. Then another stranger’s voice rang in my head. God knows you. Really? Of course. But why? Look at us. Not many people know the ‘nitty gritty’ about us, but we knew it.

For two years we had been praying for this moment. We began requesting a son for months after losing Wyatt. Then we asked for direction on having more children. Then we simply asked to be blessed with more children. Then we decided to pray only for God’s will and shared with him the desires of hearts. Several months ago our prayers had evolved into asking for God’s will to be done and for us to like it. Whatever it was. This is where our prayers held. It only made the most sense. We didn’t know what was best. We didn’t know what we could handle. We decided it was most important for God to use us. If that included children than it was a bonus. Throughout our adoption journey we continued to pray for his direction and His will. One night when I was feeling very confused a dear friend of mine read me a scripture and told me, “That means just keep doing what you’re doing and wait for direction from God.” So Tyler and I took that on. It’s too hard to question every thought you have and not act unless you’re sure it was a direct instruction from God. So continued our process, praying for God to intervene and change our course for His needs. Then the day we went to accept Prae, we received our phone call regarding Melvin.

By the close of the day on Tuesday we had a little over $12k. Three days. Each day we were one third closer. The support from friends was amazing. Even though the voice inside my head still doubted we could pull this off again on Wednesday, everyone around me sent encouragement about the beauty of the third day. Our world was changing, even though we didn’t know the results. I wasn’t happy or sad. I was simply stunned. Like a bystander in a movie. We spent much of these days in prayer but never before have I ever experienced the hand of God moving immediately as you pray. I’ve never heard of it happening to anyone and I cannot count on experiencing it again. But as we prayed, messages popped up, phone calls came in, money came in, and prayers flooded our house. People we hadn’t spoken to in years called just to say hi; as if our situation was a magnet they were drawn to. Strangers called just to say they loved us. I had mentioned before the metaphor of our lives all being “God’s party”. It felt as if it became clear, just for a little while, that this really was God’s party and everyone wanted in. We are spiritual beings, created in the image of God, and so we are drawn to His presence. We know when our Father is home. Many people, as if separated from a beloved parent their entire lives, scrambled to be part of or merely touch this miracle just to be close to Him. I have to admit, on Thursday when everything was done, I had a strong feeling overcome me. My mind said, don’t go. Please don’t leave me. For three days we knew, in a very human way, that God was present. Of course He always is, but we don’t always feel it. I didn’t want my Father to leave. I didn’t want to go back to a life where some days I feel Him and some days I don’t. I did not want to ever feel separation again.

Late Wednesday night we were getting messages from some friends back in Idaho. A little back story: I love this couple with all my heart. They lost their son after birth a year after we lost Wyatt. They were in our sister squadron and we spent an afternoon with them reminiscing about our boys. I think about them often and still wish that I could take their pain away. Our letter had gotten to a friend of theirs. This friend was adopted and wanted to know how much more we needed. We scoffed (can you believe through all of this I’m still scoffing?) and told her “Around $7K”. A few hours pass and we get a phone call from Isabel at the adoption agency. Completely in tears, and despite the late hour, she called to tell us so that we wouldn’t spend another night worrying. Someone had called and covered the rest. Baby Melvin was ours. Tyler and I were bawling. I contacted my friend. She informed me it was, in fact, her acquaintance that had made the phone call. This happened to be someone she had not spoken to in ten years. It was finished. God clearly wanted us to have Melvin. It was over. Or so we thought.

The next day Isabel called bright and early with a ‘problem’. Apparently more people were calling who wanted to be part of this and were not taking no for an answer. On Wednesday generous donators closed the gap that had to be made by that one donor. Even with that gap closed, the giving continued to cover all of our post placement visits over the next 6 months as well. And to think we started out trying to adopt with no money and wondered how in the world we were going to do it. Tyler and I spent lots of time musing about how our lives had just changed. Would there ever be any doubt again? Would we ever pray and wonder if He was listening? Would we ever wonder if He knew who we were? Would we ever doubt that He cared? This new realization became more complex when I think about the troubles that we’ve had. This also showed us that He was there for that, too. He watched us suffer. He collected my tears. He allowed our pain and loved us through it. And He already knew about Melvin.

We need to make it clear with ourselves and everyone else that Melvin is not a replacement. It is not as if we lost a dog and went to get a new one. Of course our hearts ache for our boy. But we were ready to take whatever, whomever God gave us. This is just what God wanted. Maybe He loves my family so much that He gave us this gift. Maybe there are other reasons known to only Him. The whole scenario just shines with God’s love and provision. The whole thing is just so like our God and I am so blessed to have been witness to it.   

“God will always give what is right to His people who cry to Him night and day, and He will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly.”

~Luke 18:7

“I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.”

~Psalm 116:1-2

“And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow won’t He more surely care for you? You have so little faith! And don’t worry about food- what to eat and drink. Don’t worry whether God will provide for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you the make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. So don’t be afraid, little flock, for it gives your Father great happiness to give you the kingdom.” 

~ Luke 12:22-23

Friday, July 20, 2012


I know I am out-of-order in posting this but tonight I know that I need to write this. There has been so much going on in the last few weeks emotionally that have just been destroying me physically. We’ve been to every many doctors and tried a few counselors. Nothing has seemed to put a dent in it so I have delved in, head first, into my thoughts and emotions. Until I truly understand what’s really going on, I cannot write about it. But what I can say is there is a part of the grief process that I believe I left out entirely. It’s also something that has been left out of various support groups that I became a member of after losing Wyatt. What I found looking back is that it’s really easy to be sad, to cry, to be in denial, and to be angry. And that’s where the support usually ends and that’s where I got stuck. It is so easy to be angry about my situation. It is so easy to be angry about my life and I feel SO justified about all the ‘wrongs’ that I truly made it my story. I cannot allow that to be the case anymore. Some of us will have relatively easy lives. Some of us will suffer more than is fair for any one person. Why? I don’t know why. And it doesn’t really matter. I have the option to keep moving forward in my life, bitter at everything that has happened to me. By analyzing myself a little bit I learned this week that I no longer believe anything good will happen, that I just got burned too many times. Not only does that not have to be the case, but I don’t want it to be. I want to get knocked down in life and get right back up the next day and say, “I can’t wait to see what great things happen today”. For years I have pitied myself to such an extent that I will still tell my husband, “I love you but if I had to do it again I would never even date you.” I thought the pain of our experiences were too great. And they sure do suck; I can’t say that they don’t. But I what I left out in all my accounts and memories was all the good stuff that happened to us, too. I started making lists of them today just so I could see it for myself and it was amazing what a change that made in my heart. Among many other things, once we adopted Luke I believe I went in to panic mode because I believe somehow that I will cause his death. Simply by being associated with me, because I lost my last two babies, I feel like I am an omen to him. I think that this just scratches the surface of the turbulence in my soul but it was a starting place for me.

            One thing that was brought to my attention today was that forgiveness is part of the grief process. I made a post a while back called “What I Would Say to my Care Providers”.  It wasn’t pretty, it was not intended to be nice, but it did help me with my anger towards those certain individuals. I guess I thought that was all, but it’s not. Today I picked up a book off of the book shelf that I bought a year ago and never touched. It’s not even about grief and loss but it mentioned it anyway.  It says, “If someone’s unjust treatment of you caused the loss you have experienced, be sure to forgive them completely. Feeling hatred and unforgiveness is like taking poison and hoping it will kill your enemy. All the bitter feelings we experience when we are treated unjustly hurt only us, and not the person who hurt us.” This touched me dramatically since I had left everything off with the anger part. I’ve spent today thinking about this and praying about it and I need to post it. I encourage you, if you’re in any grief or support group of any kind, to not stay stuck in the mode of badmouthing those who have wronged you. Move past that, or you’ll spend your whole life that way.

What I Would Say to My Care Providers….Now

1. I forgive you Dr. Bobrawski. I do not believe you were acting maliciously. I believe that you were doing the best with the knowledge that you had.

2. I forgive you Dr. Lawerence. I truly believe you tried to save my son. I believe you were also affected by his loss. I believe you did not mean to harm us.

3. I forgive the whole medical staff, nurses, anesthesiologist, and anyone else who remains in my memory. You were just doing your jobs.

4. I forgive MYSELF. I forgive myself for not having knowledge I now have in hindsight. What a crazy expectation to put on myself! I forgive myself for signing for surgery, I forgive myself for whatever lack of love I thought I felt toward Wyatt during the pregnancy, the better care I thought I should have taken of myself, the many ways I have found to blame myself for losing him. This is the hardest one of all. I FORGIVE MYSELF.

Friday, July 13, 2012


The Monday after we sent out our letter for support was anxious and peaceful all in one. We could not wait to see what would happen but we also had so much peace that God was doing whatever needed to happen and so we just rested in that. It sounds cliché and I’ve always wondered how people actually rested in God, especially with all the worrying there was to do. Since we were powerless in this situation it was very easy to rest in Him. Sometimes I believe it’s knowing that you are not self sufficient that brings us the closest to God.

Immediately throughout the day we say our letter and blog posted and reposted all over facebook. This was the first instance that I was impressed with social media. It was like watching a tidal wave that continued to come and go. Soon it was passed out to people that we didn’t know and comments were made from those whom we were not acquainted with. Of course since it was our original post we could watch all of the traffic on it. Friends of friends of distant friends were offering up their prayers and I swear that Tyler and I felt every one of them. There is truly something unique about “when two or more come together in His name”. There is no other way to describe what we experienced other than we viewed in a tangible way the body of Christ mobilized and it was powerful.

Not long into the day I received a message from a girl I will call Becky. She lived across the country and was a friend of a friend of mine whom I had never actually met before. We were simply friends on facebook because of mutual interests. She asked me some questions about our heart for adoption and where we stood internationally. I tried my best to answer her honestly, that my heart had not changed about an international adoption, but that we were trying to care for all orphans, even if they were local. Not long after she replied back, “Ok. I have $3,000 I’d like to contribute towards whichever adoption you pursue”.

I burst into tears (which I did a lot that day) and replied,

“But you don’t know me..”

To which she replied, “The Lord knows you”.

I hope you can picture this conversation taking place in those tiny message bubbles that facebook gives you. Such a profound act of generosity straight from the heart of God, all typed up on facebook. It was like watching a movie.

            Many of my close friends called to let us know they were giving the agency what they could, even though it “wasn’t much”. During this time I thought the amount of money was not important at all. It seemed to me that everyone had a part to play who wanted to be part of God’s work and they were exactly where they needed to be. If they gave $5 than that is what they were supposed to do, from the beginning of time, and I was glad for it.

            Around 5pm the agency called us. They began by asking us what we wanted to do with the gap left in the money that we needed. “Nothing, we don’t have it,” we answered. At this point I was wondering if they would even let us adopt this boy, because they must think we were nuts. Who adopts this way? Then Isabelle, the case worker, reported that, “We have almost $6,000 here that showed up today. Why don’t we go until Wednesday night to try and get the rest.” We readily agreed, but I was disheartened. Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I was disheartened. I felt like this was one of those situations where everyone gets excited the first day but then when it doesn’t work out the excitement fades and then it all fizzles to a stop. My biggest concern Monday night was how to return everyone’s money. I was wondering why God would allow something to work this way when it could bring Him so much glory. This wasn’t the first time I had wondered that. By this time in my life I know better than to question it. Several amazing friends pointed out to me the profound hope in receiving two more days. “Good things happen on the third day” one said to me. “One third of the way there and two more days to go” another said. Yes, the third day.   “…and the third day I shall be perfected”. Luke 13:32.