Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A New Beginning

I almost fell down the stairs when I read the following text message from our social worker: "New mommy and daddy come get me! (birth mom) signed!"

I'll remember that text for the rest of my life, because it was the moment I knew I was for sure going to be a mama.

It was only 3 weeks since we had lost the little baby boy we had decided to name Judah.  Our hearts were broken beyond anything we had felt.  Then one day at work I saw a call from our social worker and I called her back because it was my planning period.  She said that she had a question about our home study and what ethnicity we were comfortable adopting.  She said there was a birth mom and they were considering us as their top choice (it was an agency adoption) and as long as the birth mom signed the baby would be ours.  My head started spinning - but I made it through the rest of the day teaching and casually mentioned it to my Farmer Boy after work.  We both were very casual about it, and decided that we wouldn't say anything to anyone because we were convinced that it would fall apart again.

But, deep in my heart I began to dream and I started calling the Baby "Button" when I prayed for him (we didn't know he was a boy yet).

We heard about the possibility on a Wednesday.  The baby was due on December 29, so we decided that we would wait through Christmas and see what would happen, especially since we were sure it wasn't going to materialize for us.

On Saturday morning the 13th, we were sleeping in (for the last time in our lives probably!) when Joshua's phone rang.  He answered and told me with his eyes that it was our social worker.  He put it on speaker phone and she said: "The baby has been born, it's a boy, he is 6 lbs 6 oz (off by an ounce) and he scored 9/9 on his apgar test ...  and are you sure you want to adopt him because if not I need to find another adoptive family."  I think I almost choaked on my words because I tried to say them so fast - "YES WE'RE IN!!!!"  Then we sat in our bed and got a little teary and prayed for him, prayed that even if he wasn't our baby that he would be blessed and so loved in his life, we prayed for his birth mom and the whole situation.  Then I started cleaning the house.  That night Joshua was in the Christmas parade on a float playing and singing a Christmas song with students at our school, and I was chaperoning the high school winter ball.  I kept thinking of this little baby boy, but I kept telling myself that it wasn't likely to happen.

When I got home that night there was a new stocking hanging above the fireplace in between our two stockings.  :)  My farmer boy was starting to dream too.

Monday was the longest day of my life.  We knew that birth mom was supposed to sign adoption papers that day, but we didn't know when.  We were at work, but not telling anyone except our bosses - so I was trying to teach while discretely cleaning up my room, getting all the finals printed and sub plans made, all checking my phone obsessively.  But there was no word.  By the end of the day I was feeling stressed with naking copies buttoning down my room and getting to a doctor appointment I had, all while feeling that for sure the birth mom had run away and it wasn't our baby after all.  A couple co-workers noticed my stress and asked if they could help - so I told them what was going on and I almost started crying because I said that we were so afraid that we were loosing another baby, and I was (still am) grieving the loss of Judah.  Then I rushed off to my appointment, and was texting the social worker who said that birth mom was in a meeting supposed to sign - and when I was walking out the door my cell beeped and it was the social worker with the text I will never forget.  I literally was almost falling down the stairs and the security guard said: "don't fall down, are you ok?"  Then I called Joshua and said: "You're a Papa".  He was shocked and so so happy.  

The date was December 15th.  Exactly 10 years earlier I had woken from surgery to  hear that I would never be able to carry a child.  The date that always reminded me of what I had lost, from now on will remind me of the day I found out I was going to be a mama. 


We rushed around getting tickets - we ended up on the last 2 seats on the 11;05 pm flight out of Kona Monday night. The last two seats on the last flight out that night.  We had a 2-3 hour layover in Washington and my amazing Mama drove for 2 hours to give us a hug.  We barely made it to the airport before we had to leave to catch our next flight.  She pulled up the the drop-off zone and jumped out  I ran to her and we grabbed onto each other and started sobbing.  It felt like a crazy movie and people were looking at us and we were sobbing and hugging like we hadn't seen each other in years. She brought a blanket her mom had made.  That hug was epic and I felt so so loved. Tuesday (one week ago today) we landed in the city where our baby was.  When we touched down I felt so excited - we were near to our Baby. Thankfully Josh has family here and so we were so so blessed to be met at the airport and have had a wonderful place to stay with loving wonderful relatives.  

We took a nap, took a shower and went to meet our Baby at the adoption agency office at 6:15 on the 16th.  We walked in and I was disappointed to hear that we needed to sign papers and go through details and that the foster mom wouldn't be bringing him until around 7.  I don't think I've ever signed my name so fast - I just wanted to have my son in my arms and to know that he was ours.  Suddenly, around the corner came a lady carrying a fuzzy blanket with cars on it (he was so little I couldn't even see him in the blanket) - she was singing "We wish you a Merry Christmas!" and before I knew it the tiniest little baby wearing red and white striped jammies with a reindeer on them, was being placed in my arms.  I just stared and stared. His jammies were so so big, and I noticed how long he was and how skinny. His little lips were perfect. He was sleeping. I kept saying: "my baby, hi my baby, my baby". 

 But, I didn't react like I thought I would - it didn't seem real.  The foster mom said: "What's his name" and I couldn't say anything - it seemed like we couldn't be naming him!  Joshua said in such a proud Papa voice: "Genesis Evan".He didn't almost seem real.  We took pictures,  I stared and stared at him.  I was vaguely aware of the social worker and foster mom talking in the background but I couldn't pull my eyes off of him.  I wanted to feel like he was mine, but I was in shock and I just kept thinking how tiny he was and how cute. Finally, they said we could leave, and we put him in the car seat and walked out to the car.  I sat next to him in the back and fed him a bottle.  Then we stopped at Walgreens to get something, and we called our families to tell them his name and how cute and relaxed he was.  Our families were so so excited and shocked! In just 24 hours we went from finding out that we were going to have this baby as our own to having him in our arms. 

We then went back to the home where we are staying and introduced him to our aunt and uncle. When we finally went into our room, I sat on the bed and started to feed him.  Suddenly I started to cry.  I kept picturing myself as a three year old pretending to nurse my dollies, and I couldn't believe that my dream from my childhood was coming true.  I was a Mama.  I was this perfect Baby's mama! It was overwhelming. It's funny that it took my heart about 4 hours after he was placed in my arms until I realized that I was his mama.  

I'm a mama.  My Farmer boy is a papa.  Genesis Evan (meaning new beginning and God is gracious) is our son.  Forever.

This passage I randomly read the morning of December 15, 2004 before I went into surgery - 10 years later I am that rejoicing woman I had wondered if would ever exist. 

Isaiah 54:1-2 
Sing, barren woman,
    you who never bore a child;
burst into song, shout for joy,
    you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
    than of her who has a husband,
says the Lord.

Genesis sees his Mama for the first time

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Still Thankful

It's Thanksgiving day.  There is a turkey in the oven and pumpkin pie all ready.  And all I can think of is a tiny baby bib that says: "My First Thanksgiving".  My Farmer Boy picked out the bib on the night we found out that we were chosen to adopt a newborn baby boy.  He said that we had to get something for Thanksgiving since the baby would be born by then.  He was so excited picking out a little outfit with forest animals and the bib.  Now both the outfit and the bib are sitting in the guest room (AKA nursery), because I can't bring myself to pack them away.

While waiting for the call saying we should get on a plane and fly to meet our baby boy, we got a call telling us that this baby was not coming home to us.  When I got off the phone I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of my lungs.  We lost our baby.

People keep saying that there will be another baby at "the right time".  I know these are well-meaning loving statements, but I want to scream that we don't want another baby right now.  We are grieving the loss of THIS baby.  The name we had chosen means "praise, and God is gracious".   Even as we feel the giant emptiness this little life has left in our hearts, we believe God is still gracious and worthy of our praise.

I have a friend who suffered the loss of a stillborn baby, and her description of what grief she endured feels familiar.  Because, even though this baby didn't die; we feel the emptiness of a baby who was due to be ours this last week.  We were prepared.  I have a freezer full of milk.  I have been pumping to help stimulate lactation so that I could nurse my baby.  In 10 years I have not felt so much like a woman as I did these last few weeks.  My husband was surprised that I was talking to sisters and friends on the phone as much as I was, and the reason was that I felt like I was part of the mommy club, and it felt really good.  I made curtains for the nursery.  We bought diapers, bottles, wipes, onsies, tiny baby socks.  My husband picked up a carseat and learned how to put it into our car properly. We packed our bags to head to the hospital (out of state) as soon as birth mom went into labor ... I can't bring myself to unpack.

I have never felt this broken.

I know we'll make it through,  and no matter what I still have so much to be thankful for because God is always good and very present.

Monday, October 27, 2014

To Our Almost Babies ...

It was five years ago, right after we were married that the first call came: and our first adoption loss.  Since then, we have had international, local, infants, older kids ... each unique and exciting for a moment when we wondered or even believed were going to be joining our family.  Even as we believe these children are where they should be, part of our heart will love each of them always,  Here is what I will likely never get the chance to say to our Almost Babies ....

Sweet Precious Baby,

Oh how grateful I am that I have known of you.  Even though we may never meet, I am overwhelmed with prayers for you.  I pray that every day you will know you are loved and valued so incredibly.  I pray you will always feel your purpose in this life, and live every moment to the fullest. May you forever live in the knowledge and be strengthened knowing that you are a beautiful person, made by the most loving Creator. I want you to never feel pain, but I know that you will in this world.  So, I pray that when you fall down, you will have a hand to help you up.  I pray that when you cry you will have a shoulder.  I pray that when you are sick, you will have someone to hold you and take good care of you, and make you feel better.  I pray that for every hurtful word you hear, you will hear a million uplifting words.  I pray you will believe the amazing truth about you, and will not believe any lies about you.  I pray that when you are confused or frustrated you have a compassionate listening ear.  I pray you will have friends who will stand with you.  I pray that you will know real and lasting love in your life.  I pray that you will make this world a better place every day. I pray that you will know the One who made you, and live your life rejoicing that no matter what, He loves you and is with you always. Oh sweet baby, you were never mine, but I am just the most blessed to have held you in my heart for a little time. What a privilege to pray for you. For all that I selfishly wanted to give you, I know that the best gift is just the prayers - because who couldn't use more of those?  Oh baby, I only ever wanted what is best for YOU.  And I believe you are where you should be, with the ones you should be with.  So, I am just sending my love and thoughts across the void of the world to you.  I'm choosing to leave you where I put you the moment I knew of you: in the most powerful, loving Hands that I have ever known.  Be blessed sweet baby.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The white bunny, and facing fear of loss

There is a white bunny in our yard.  She's been there for about a week, every day we see her munching on grass at the edge of the jungle.  But, I am avoiding her.  Because I don't want to make her run away.

She was here for a couple weeks about a year ago as well, and that time I would talk with her and spend time trying to get her to eat from my hand.  One day I took some kale from our garden and held it out and she came up to me and ate it right out of my hand!  I was so excited!!  But, the next day she was gone.  I looked and looked and called for her for days.  I felt like it was my fault that she left.

There is a song that says: 
"Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow, and they go so fast

You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

But you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
'Cause love comes slow, and it goes so fast

Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
Cause you loved her too much, and you dived too deep

(Lyrics by Passenger)

The line that says: "Everything you touch surely dies" went through my mind when the bunny ran away.  And, this time I just have been enjoying seeing our little fluffy friend from afar. I don't want to get too close and make her leave again.

I feel the same way about adoption.  Over the past 5 years we have had several adoption possibilities/opportunities presented to us.  And every time, we have ended up loosing a baby we dreamed of, a baby we hoped would stay in our heart forever.  It sometimes feels like if we pursue a specific adoption, we doom it to fall apart. Will we ever be parents?  It hurts so bad when it doesn't happen, and even though we believe the children we have loved are where they should be, we miss the dream of them being in our life.  How can you keep hoping and dreaming when it keeps falling apart?  It sometimes makes me want to stop trying so that I can protect my heart from feeling so empty when a dream leaves.

But, you know what?  If I had given up the first 7 times I tried to walk, I would be crawling around still.  If I had stopped being with people because I was so petrifyingly shy I would never have had any of the friendships of my life.  If I had stopped driving when I was learned and people were honking behind me for going so slow - I wouldn't have enjoyed the thrill of driving with the windows down.  If I had been too afraid of relationships ending I would have never considered that out of my league handsome Farmer Boy so many years ago.  If I had given up when I was learning to drive the tractor I wouldn't have tilled the field. If I had been too concerned about trying a new career, I wouldn't have the joy of being a teacher at a wonderful school.

So, even though I'm scarred spit-less, I'm going to continue to say YES to the adoption situations that come our way. Yes, it will hurt like hell every time an adoption opportunity falls apart, every time we are not chosen, every time we have to make the hard choice to walk away ... but good things usually require hurt somewhere along the line, and it's so worth it.

I think I'll go ahead and try to feed our little bunny guest tomorrow.  Maybe she'll decide to stay this time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Falling off the monkey bars, and looking for joy

They tell you not to take it personally when you don't get chosen in an adoption opportunity.


It's easy enough to say, "Ok, we won't take it personally" .. until you get that phone call, like the one I got yesterday: "Well, for whatever reason, and we don't know what that is, but ... she went with a different family."  And suddenly you can't tell if the world has stopped spinning or if it's suddenly spinning so fast it makes you dizzy.  I've had a few people ask me today how I'm feeling, how I'm doing. Usually I say something like: "It is what it is, and we're survive."  (which is true) But, how does it really feel like for the childless one who just found out that a specific adoption dream has fallen apart?  Well, here it is - in all it's raw honesty.  I can only speak from my own experience but this is how it feels to me:

You know when you're a little kid and you fall off the money bars, and you land on your back so hard that for a moment you can't breath - the breath gets "knocked out" of you.  It feels a little bit like that.

You feel slightly relieved that at least the wait is over and you know, but at the same time you would give anything to go back to before you got the call - when you found yourself dreaming of how your baby would smell when you gave your baby a bath ... but there is no going back.

If you aren't with your spouse at the time, all you want is to be in his arms.  But, you also dread seeing the look of disappointment in his eyes.  And no matter how amazing he is, you feel like you need to apologize for being the barren one and making him go through this emptiness.  Even though you know he loves you and doesn't blame you - in that moment and as you process the end of this dream, you blame yourself.

You suddenly feel like you can't do it ever again.  No matter what comes, you literally cannot handle the broken feeling that comes at moments like these.  You want to call back your agency and tell them to take your name out of the list of names.  But, like most feelings, this one is often a see-saw of wanting to give up, and longing to find a different program, a new dream - because even though this is so painful, you are addicted to this dream.

You dread telling people. You feel like you are letting down your parents, siblings and friends who have been praying and excited with you. The joy of adopting is magnified by having family share in the excitement (I imagine), but the pain is also magnified when you see the disappointment in those who looked forward to welcoming a child into their lives too.

You wonder - even though your social worker specifically told you about 3 times that it wasn't personal and you would never know, you still wonder what exactly it was that made the birth parent choose someone else. It's fine to say it's not personal, but in that moment, all you know is that someone looked at pictures of you, read words you agonized over, and didn't choose you.  You feel embarrassed - like the kid who didn't get picked for the team.

All the insecurities of your life flood back .. I usually feel fat and ugly.  I know I'm not fat and ugly, but for whatever reason I feel that way whenever I get this news.  It's very weird - and the only thing I can think is that I am so vulnerable in that moment that all the insecurities of my youth flood back over me.

You know that feeling after you spend the whole day on your feet, in the hot sun, without any water?  Well, after I get this news I feel kind of like that.  I feel so incredibly exhausted in every way: emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  All I want is to curl in a ball under the blankets and make the bad dream stop.

This is how I feel.  So, how do I respond?  Initially, I react similarly to how I reacted when my Grammie (who I lived with and walked her last years on earth beside) died.  I keep going in a bit of a dazed determination.  I find things to do, and I cling with everything in me to the One who never leaves - Who has promised me an eternity with no tears or pain.  I disagree when people say that God never gives us more than we can handle.  It was too much to handle for me when I watched my Grammie take her last breaths on earth.  This unfulfilled dream of children is too much for me to handle. I have to depend on Him to handle it for me.  Or I wouldn't make it through.  I'm not that strong.  But, He is.

I'm thankful that in this moment, as I pack up my dreams for the next time they are awakened, my life is not ruled by how I feel.  Yes, it consumes me at times and is so overwhelmingly painful.  But, in the same times, if I keep my eyes on God to be my strength I make it through.  I went to work today - where not one person knew of what the last few weeks have held, and I looked for and found joy.  I found it in the students and their excitement for life, I found it in the beauty of a tree full of pink and yellow tissue-paper blossoms, and I found it in the smell of fresh basil being planted behind my classroom.  I came home, and found joy in the man who is always faithful and loving to me (I will forever be amazed and thankful for his choice of me).  I found joy in talking on the phone to my nephews as they lay in their beds across the ocean.  I found joy in a hot shower, in clean clothes, in an oven to bake in, in making dinner ... my heart hurts but there is joy everywhere if I look for it.

Not all of you reading this are going through infertility, and the crazy road of adoption.  But, I'm pretty sure that if you're human, you have had moments that feel like this.  So, I challenge you to look for joy.  Looking for joy doesn't mean that the stuff you're going through doesn't rip your heart into shreds.  It doesn't mean that you are "happy" - joy is so much deeper than what our world says "happiness" is all about.

And, it's there if we look. 

Let me know what you find.  :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The beautiful secret in the night

If you know me it will come as no surprise that I do not love living in a tropical climate - and I live in Hawaii.  How I ended up here is an interesting tale, but one for a different day. :)  I dislike being sticky and hot, and having my hair turn into something that resembles an un-brushed Old English Sheepdog (it took me while to figure out a similarity to the mess of my hair - but having raised a sheepdog I think it is fitting)  I miss having Northwest fruits almost daily, I only like 2 tropical fruits that I have tried so far.  I would not go as far as to say I hate living in Hawaii - but it just is not where I hope to live for the rest of my life.  When people ask me how I like living in Hawaii I usually say that it is a fun adventure for this season of our lives.  And that is true.  There are lots of fun bits to living here - the most fun being that I get to have my husband be my top priority and all the time we get just the two of us.  But still, Hawaii is just not my dream location.

But tonight - oh tonight I had an experience that changed my view of this place.

It happened after a very long day with work: as we drove up our mountain (we live on one of Hawaii's many volcanoes) the rain increased.  We then were in the middle of thick cloud and heavy rain, and we actually drove past the cloud (we live at 3,000 feet) and pulled into our driveway.  Because it was still raining, my sweet Farmer Boy dropped me off at the door (isn't he the best?!)  and went to park our car.  I nearly did the splits slipping on the driveway - but eventually I gracefully managed to get onto the deck.

And then IT hit me.

The most enchanting fragrance I had ever experienced.  It was pitch black, heavy and hurried raindrops dancing and singing on the tin roof, and I was frozen in stunned breathlessness.

Night-blooming jasmine:  a powerfully fragrant, yet gentle as old fashioned lace floral scent rolling through the rain-drenched night air.  And I was transfixed and amazed.  Immediately I was in love: deep, abiding love - the kind that knows that years from now, if I catch the tiniest breeze of night-blooming Jasmine I will return to this little home my Love and I have made in this new and adventurous place.

I was not in love with the scent as much as I was enthralled by the One who made it.  The glorious freshness of this night, the frog chorus raising and competing with the raindrops dancing on the roof, the clouds of mist ushering me into our home, the welcome feeling and being home after a long day.  Gratitude for all He is and does.

This moment was short but powerful at a time when I needed it.  This summer has been the most difficult and painful time of our life.  Dreams we dreamed, gone in a moment.  Futures we thought would be ours changed forever, door after door slammed in our faces, hurt too deep for words or tears, questions of if ever...  I needed this reminder today.  It has been challenging this year - so challenging.  And yet - just like the rain and nighttime usher in the beauty of the night-blooming Jasmine, so sometimes the hard parts of our life usher in moments of beauty.  Or maybe they just open up our eyes to see the beauty that was there all along.  This life is messy, and crazy, and draining.  But it is also unspeakably glorious, and creative, and life-giving.

Part of the beauty that struck me was that I never get to enjoy that enthralling fragrance during the sun-filled days.  It is only in the darkness of night that the true beauty of this heavenly flower is enjoyed.  Isn't life like that?  During the days of happiness and sun-soaked life, we sometimes miss out on exquisite beauty that only come from times that may seem dark and stormy.  It's a lesson I have seen over and over again, illustrated through nature in little and enormous ways.  I know it's something God wants me to remember always.   May I be faithful to remember this light-bringing truth in the times that are dark.

 I have the blessed choice to allow the hurt of today to bring beauty into my tomorrow.

And I choose to open up and allow the beauty to sweep in where the ashes are.  I choose to breath deep of the fragrance of God's grace and goodness in this moment - because it's always there if we have eyes to see.

I'm so thankful for the night-blooming Jasmine, and the picture of beauty in unexpected places.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Waiting Place

I was reading a children's book (  Oh The Places You'll Go  by Dr. Seuss or Theodore Geisel) to my nephew that other day, and I was struck by something the book said about waiting:
"You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing."

(Before I go into my thoughts, I will say that I do enjoy this book and a lot of the message is very courageous and great for kids to hear!)  I was thinking about this portion of the book, and thinking how right now my husband and I are in a waiting place.  I got a message from my adoption agency contact yesterday in which she said that she knew she was asking me to do the very hardest thing in waiting.  We have done everything we can on our home study and preparing and filling out an endless amount of forms ... but now, it's time for us to wait.  We will either be finding out soon that we will be parents this year, or we'll be finding out that we have to wait a little longer for this favorite dream to come true.  And, I think that Dr. Seuss has a good point that much of waiting is very useless - if we're waiting for life to begin, or not enjoying what is happening and not getting involved in life.  BUT, I think that in some ways, waiting is often beyond our control, and waiting CAN actually be a very useful place for leaning in on our trust in God.  I'm reminded of a favorite passage in Scripture that says: "Be Still and Know that I am God!" (Psalm 46:10).  There ARE times when waiting is the only thing we can do - waiting on direction from God, waiting on prayers we have prayed, waiting on something we have put in His hands.  Waiting can be a place of so much growth and deepened dependence on God - and that is anything but useless!   
So, as we sit in this "waiting place" of our adoption journey, we choose to lean on God and trust that He will bring us out in His good time.  No, we won't stop living and stop loving and growing in this waiting place, but we will be still and know that He is God and we will leave our dreams in His very loving hands.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Hi friends!

So - we are in the middle of an adoption situation, that we are pursuing full speed!  We have been asked by some people if we have an adoption fund and how to donate. Here is a link on how to donate to our paypal account.  Adoption costs will be somewhere in the $30,000 range.  IF for some reason this particular adoption falls through, we are committed to using this fund to adopt - and are actively involved in adoption agency which we will pursue if this one falls through.  Thank you for helping bring our Someday Babies home!
Adoption Fund

Friday, July 11, 2014


You never know what tomorrow will hold, 3 weeks ago our dream seemed over - and today we are again allowed to dream.  We have been hesitant as this dream was given back, and we are trying to protect our hearts more this time (but when it comes to babies it's really hard to protect my heart!).  We will know for sure in probably a month, but for now it feels good to have even a glimmer of hope that the dream we lost is being given back.

Only time will tell.

In this uncertain time, we know that trusting God with our dream and our future is the best thing we can do, and just trying to hold that dream with an open hand ....

Saturday, June 28, 2014

It was the most beautiful dream ...

One of the best things I've ever seen was when my husband set up a crib we found at the thrift store.  The look on his face was priceless.  We were so close.  And now we'll be taking apart that crib, packing up the baby clothes, and saying goodbye to a dream.

It's been a whirlwind 2 months, and the story is not mine to share in detail - but just to say that we fell in love, and we really thought that God was giving us our family this summer.  We dreamed and talked about them and planned for them, and got excited when our adoption agency was so positive, and we even got some super exciting news on Father's Day. We would look at each other with unspeakable excitement as we went about our days, because we knew with each day that we were falling in love - and it was so much fun!  We picked out stuffed animals, we talked about names, we discussed plans for the future, we told parents and siblings ... we let ourselves dream. It was so much closer than we have ever gotten to adopting, and it was such a beautiful dream.

Today that dream slipped away as fast as it had appeared.  And no matter how thankful I am for another family and the joy they are having right now, I feel like I can't breath.  And I miss the family we thought we would have. I feel like I'm not whole all over again, and I feel ashamed and unworthy of the gift we thought we were being given.  I don't feel like a women all over again.  I feel like I've been kicked out of the mommy club again ... I couldn't even look at my sweet husband as he told his parents tonight.  I feel like anyone who doubted we could do it is justified and maybe we aren't cut out to be parents after all.  I feel like an idiot for believing that we were being given this miraculous dream.

And it doesn't matter that I know we will continue looking and being open to the children God may someday bless us with, because this was a real situation, and we were not just in love with the idea of a family - we were in love with THIS family.  They were (and still are) very alive and real.  We had planned for them in ways that only someone who is expecting a baby prepares.  We love them.  But, we now know they are not meant to be ours.  Remember that post a while back when I said that I was going to go ahead and dream, because it's worth it to dream, even if every dream ends with waking up?  Remember how I said that even if this dream fell apart I would choose to be grateful for the beauty of the dream?  Well, it is easier said than done, but I am trying very hard to be grateful, and to trust God and love Him even though this is unspeakably hard at the moment.

But I also feel like I should be allowed to miss them.  Sometimes, things just suck.  And, for us right now we have just lost children we were excited about coming into our family, and of course it's going to hurt.

We'll pick up the pieces, and someday we will be in the position to begin actively pursuing something else.  But right now, it feels as if someone we loved has died - and we're not allowed to go to the funeral, and we're not allowed to grieve.  Hurting doesn't mean that we can't be grateful for things learned, for the beauty of the dream, for the joy and fulfillment of the desires of others, for the beauty of God's creative miraculous artwork in making babies ... I'm choosing to find gratefulness, but that doesn't mean there are not tears.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A letter to our Someday Babies

{I don't know where, or when, or how they will come to us - but I know that someday I want them to know without question how much they were loved and wanted today}

Dear, sweet, chosen, deeply loved Someday Babies,

Today I was listening to a CD your Papa made for our journey to find you - and the song is currently one that I am loving: "If you're tossing and you're turning and you just can't fall asleep, I'll sing a song beside you; and if you ever forget how much you really mean to me, every day I will remind you."(Bruno Mars)... And I don't know, precious ones, when you will come to us, or where you are right now, I don't know if you are sleeping, or awake and unable to sleep - I don't know if you are born, or not.  But, what I do know is that you are here inside my heart already, you mean so so much to me and your Papa -  and if it takes every day for the rest of my life, I will remind you of this truth.

I love you with abandon.  

I've abandoned the thought of anything else I have ever wanted in my life.  And I would gladly abandon so much more for you sweetheart: I would abandon where I want to live, I would abandon any job that I love, I would abandon sleep, I would abandon playing in the waves alone with your Papa any time I want, I would abandon my tidy living room, I would abandon spontaneous sushi dates, and oh my children ... I would abandon so much more.  

Babies, I feel you inside my heart, like a hundred butterflies both humbly gentle and demanding of attention at the same time.  Throughout every day I think of you a million and one times, and even the rare moments when I don't have a conscious thought of you - the feeling of you is always there.  And I love you.  Every moment I love you.  So tonight my Babies, I'll lay down to sleep, and I'll hold a pillow with arms that long to hold you, and I just wanted you to know that even when I am sleeping my love for you is very wide awake.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Forever the Hope of my Heart"

So, have you ever found a song that captures what your heart wants to say so well that you feel like you literally want to eat it?  Well, this one has been constant the past two days.  As we wait in life and try to not put hope in man - we want our hope, our future, our joy, our EVERYTHING to be in Him.  Excuse me while I go back to singing this super loud because all my co-workers have gone home and the rainy campus is GREAT for singing! ;)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why live life from dream to dream ...

I used to dream so big.  My brother and I used to look through the JC Penny catalog (yes the real paper and glue catalog not online!!) and we would pick out what we wanted our lives to look like.  We would pick our future spouse, our kids, the rooms in the house, the color of the walls ... down to every detail.  My favorite was planning the nursery.  I would usually choose to have twins or triplets and would pick matching yet different colors for their bedding etc.  So .. as I typed that I cringed, because it sounds so dumb in retrospect.  And so vain.  But on some level it was also full of hope - hope that our lives would be full of all the biggest and best blessings our childish minds could contain.

Fast forward several years and my dreams started being shattered one by one.  Almost exactly 6 months after we were married I stood broken and in shame as I whispered to my best friend and husband: "I don't know how to dream anymore."

When you are trying to adopt something weird happens (or is with me at least), you want to dream ... I mean you kind of have to dream to begin the process, but at the same time you are terrified of dreaming.  Especially as has been in our case when you have lost babies you thought God was giving to you.  As soon as you begin to dream it shatters, and you almost feel like even breathing a hopeful breath will break the magic of the dream and wake you up.

God has been showing me gently all my life I guess, but more lately, that HE is good even if our circumstances are not.  And that being grateful for even the hard bits of life is what really knowing Him is all about.

Last night I thought; "I shouldn't let my heart have even the tiniest glimmer of hope" ...(after all only a couple of weeks ago an international situation we were decided to pursue was taken from us because of international adoption law changing and countries becoming harder to adopt from) but I also realized that maybe I would rather have the sigh of relief that dreaming brings even if the dream ends the way they always do.  It's torture loving children you have never met, knowing you may never.  But at the same time, how can I stop hoping?  And how can I hope, when I know that if I ever am given my dream, someone else will be making an impossible decision?  I feel like my hope for adoption means that I hope something very hard happens with someone else, and that makes me feel horrible!  So, last night I let myself dream.  And today I regret it, because I'm afraid of how it will feel when I wake up.  But, I just keep trying to remind myself that I will be grateful and choose joy even when I have to wake up ... This is just the reality of where my heart is right now.

So for now, every love song I hear is my heart crying out to our babies ... One Day I've Fly Away
A Thousand Years   say something

Friday, March 7, 2014

Cursed to be a Blessing

I haven't blogged in a while - I have been very busy with my new job teaching at a Christian High school!  But something has been on my mind and heart for a long time in regards to adoption stuff and I haven't been able to sort it out until just this week.

Someone said something yesterday about how a young couple is being so blessed as they are pregnant with their first baby - and basically that God is blessing them by allowing them to be part of creating an eternal being.  Which is AWESOME - I mean, pregnancy is miraculous in every way and I will always be overwhelmed with worship of a God who can make a baby this way!

When I read the Old Testament in particular there are so many stories of infertility - and the people involved usually refer to themselves as being "cursed" with the inability to bear children.  I'm guessing that most of us who can't have children feel "cursed".  Now, I know that in Biblical times much more pressure was put on women to be able to produce children - and we live in a different culture today .. but there is still a very strong feeling of being cursed.  The Bible also has many stories where God opened a woman's womb especially after her seeking Him, or some special grace given.  Even though I don't really believe I am cursed - it feels like it.  Because of all this, and because of the general feeling of shame involved in infertility, I have often wondered why God won't gave me a miracle and let me have children.  I don't doubt His love, but I feel "less than" all the time. (which is ok - because in my "less than" He is my adequacy)

But this week I realized something.  I consider the ability to bear children to be a great blessing, and I will probably always feel a bit cursed in my inability.  But this week I started thinking about the blessing of having loving parents (a blessing I have been blessed with).  There are children in this world that would give anything to have the blessing of parents who love them, the blessing of coming home to a safe place, to never be abused, to have a warm bed and lots of hugs, to have a daddy to tell them they are beautiful, to have a mama put band-aids on ouchies, to have unconditional love and acceptance and safety.  My heart aches for children who don't have those blessings.  And I suddenly knew and accepted that I'm ok with being "cursed" so that some of these kids can have the blessings they are longing  for in this life.

We started filling out paperwork for our home study this week.  It will be a long process - but we're trying to take steps in the right direction.