Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Eisley Taught Me About Trust

Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for families
Protection while we sleep
We pray for healing
For prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while you hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness
We doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

All the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win we know
That pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
What if my greatest disappointment, or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest night
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I saw that song plastered all over Facebook months and months ago. I never clicked on it, just saw that people were "so touched by it". I don't know why I never clicked on it and listened to it. I just didn't.

I was at a friend's house awhile back and we were talking about old memories of Psalty the Song Book and his wonderful repertoire of children's music, and my friend was flabbergasted that I didn't have my kids listening to the very CD's (which were at that time cassette tapes) we all grew up on. She offered to burn me a copy (thanks Rachel!!!) but there was still some room left on the CD after Psalty. She told me she'd burn some Laura Story onto it, she was sure I knew her.

"No," I told her, "I don't think I've heard her."

"What!?!" she said. "How have you not heard her song 'Blessings'"? It's like written about you!!!"

Well alright then, I better listen to it! And I did. And she was right, I felt like it was written about me. (I realize I say that a lot, but you know what I mean) After our many losses, especially our experience with Lily, I often found myself wondering what in the H-E-double hockeysticks the Lord was doing. Did He not hear my prayers? My cries to keep my babies healthy and my pregnancies uneventful? Why, why, why did this keep happening? I often felt ignored by God. Like He simply wasn't listening to me, or didn't care, or both. In my heart of hearts, I knew the Truth, of course. But when you are in that much pain, you don't care for the truth much.

And then, once again, the Lord allows yet another unspeakable heartache to enter our lives. We have grown to care and love very much this woman and the baby girl she is carrying. That happens when you spend so much time in prayer for people. But once again, it is as if our prayers fell on deaf ears.

We SPECIFICALLY prayed for this baby's health. "Lord!!!" I cried. "WHY can't you just hear me just ONCE!!!???"

I have cried that so many times.

The other day Eisley asked me if I could dig out the Psalty CD. After we got it, we listened to that thing until I was literally dreaming in children's worship songs, so mommy decided to put it away for awhile, replacing it with Adele, which I realize isn't the most uplifting of music, but the change I needed after months of non-stop Psalty in the car (Yes, I do own an Ipod, but we only have one car dock, and Josh keeps it in his car for reasons I am now thinking I should debate...).

Anyways, I stopped for a moment to find the CD, and stuck it in. We listened and sang along, and it was just a Psaltastic time. Yesterday, I was in the car by myself, and the CD had moved along to the Laura Story song "Blessings" my friend had burned for me. I literally had to stop the car because I was just crying and crying over the realization that I, in fact, do not know everything, and God is not ignoring me, but He is aware of a heck of a lot more than I am. Who am I not to trust Him? I have to believe. I have to believe that there is a greater purpose in all of this, that He does hear me, that He does love me more than I can fathom, but He knows something that I don't.

Our greatest aspiration as Christians is to live for the life beyond this one. What if all that He is allowing into our lives, as painful as it is, is fulfilling a purpose that may not be apparent in this life, but will be in the next one? Which life do I want to live for, this one, in its blink of an eye, or the next one, which will last an eternity? As hard as it is to do, I definitely want the latter.

I was out shopping with Eisley today. She begged me, begged me, in her sweetest little Eisley voice, to take her shoe shopping for school. Even though it was totally past a time I like to leave the house and she was already in her pajamas, I just really couldn't think of a good reason to turn her down. It's summer, we are starting school soon, she slept really late this morning, and it would just make her entire day if I said yes, so I did.

She has had her eye on a specific style of shoe ever since I broke down and let the kids start watching Nikelodeon (which I specifically did not allow up until this point because of the commercials and the direct effect they have on my children's begging). They are high topped Sketchers Twinkle Toes, and Eisley simply can't imagine herself starting at a new school without them, especially since I dropped the bomb on the Style Queen that she would be wearing one of six school uniform shirts in a bland variety of colors every single day of the first grade.

So we ventured out on this little shoe shopping adventure hoping to find a cheap pair at Ross or something, but were totally unsuccessful. She was so, so disappointed. I looked at her sad little face and I just melted. It is not often she gets her heart set on things, but when she does, it is simply a travesty not to fulfill her wish. I had these sudden overwhelming feelings of sadness for her, not because of the stupid shoes, but because her greatest wish at this point in her life is to be a big sister. And try as I might, I just can't seem to make it happen.

But I can buy shoes.

So we continued, and we went to store after store and failed miserably at each one. WHERE ARE THE SHOES??? Why would you advertise something and then make it impossible for normal people to find?!? I was feeling like a failure as a mother. I felt so sad that I couldn't grant her this simple thing. I wanted so badly to give it to her. And then I had this thought...

God loves me so much more than I love Eisley (which, I have to tell you, is an unfathomable amount, because I already love her an unfathomable amount, so, you do the math). When you love someone that much, you want to give them the desires of their hearts. You go out of your way to do it. You stay up past your bedtime and go to more stores than you'd like to admit. You spend more money than you probably should. You work extra hours, you spend the time and the effort, you do it. Because they want it, and you have the power to give it to them, and it won't do anyone any harm to grant them this tiny thing, so you do it. I wondered to myself, why? Why, if God loved me so much, wasn't He granting me the one thing I have been asking for these past two years? What was the hold up?

As we walked out of the last store into the dark of the dead of the night, I told her we needed to give it a rest and try again tomorrow. Or try the internet. The internet will not fail us. She sighed. And then she told me she needed to go potty.

Well, okay. We were in a parking lot, and she's six, so I figured her bladder could handle the five minute ride home.

I was wrong.

As I rushed home as fast as my conscience would allow on a very busy main road, she yelped at me from the back seat that I needed to hurry, hurry mommy, don't let me have an accident mommy!!!

I finally made it to the stop light right before our house. I had to turn left, and as I said, it is a super busy road. I waited in the middle of the intersection for the clear space needed to turn left, but cars just kept coming. Eisley is literally crying in the backseat telling me to turn. I'm telling her I can't, it isn't clear yet! She screams that I have a green light and she is going to pee in her pants if I don't turn RIGHT THIS SECOND!!!

"But I can't!!!!!!" I say.


Now, I am an adult, with twelve plus years of driving experience. She is six. The extent of her traffic knowledge is "Green means go." To her, I was torturing her. All she wanted was to go potty, if she didn't get to a potty RIGHT NOW, the worst of the worst of the worst in the world of a six-year-old would become her reality. She would pee in her pants.

But I knew, being the wise and highly intelligent adult that I am, that if I turned, we would crash into another car and die or be severely mangled. Does Eisley know that peeing her pants is nothing compared to being severely mangled? Yes. But she did not understand that these were mutually exclusive. To her, I was simply being mean. That, or I didn't understand the severity of the situation at hand.

Remind you of any other situations you've been in?

I realized, as we were sitting at this stop light, Eisley crying, me panicking, Laura Story singing about Blessings on the CD player, that this situation is not unlike what God must experience on a daily basis. Us humans whining about peeing our pants when He is only trying to protect us from being severely mangled in an automobile accident!!!

This analogy might seem like a stretch to you, but it really hit home for me.

He knows more than I do. He is listening to my first prayer, my greatest prayer, to honor Him with my life, to serve a greater purpose for Him, before my second prayer to have another child. I have to trust Him. I have to trust His love for me, even when what is happening makes no sense to me at all and seems almost cruel.

Eisley thought I was being cruel. That I wasn't listening. That I didn't understand how very badly she needed to go potty. She was mad at me! To me, her pleading broke my heart. I hated seeing her like that! I could relate to what she was experiencing as I myself have been six and had a bladder the size of a walnut with a brother who would have teased me endlessly had I peed my pants. Her situation, through her eyes, was dire. I wished so much that she would just trust my love for her and the fact that I did understand her pain, but I had to make a different decision, for her own good. Even though it broke both of our hearts to do so.

But I know better than her. I love her so much, that I would allow this awful, horrible, no good thing to happen to her, because I wanted to save her the pain of what would come had I turned left when she wanted me to.

Josh and I struggle with the trial that God has allowed into our lives right now. We are so hurt that we are going to lose another baby girl that we have grown to love. We are so sad and especially heart broken for her mother. But if God were to sit me down and explain to me that He is allowing this because of this amazing reason and that amazing reason, that this person may come to Christ and that person may finally turn back to God and showing "Kim" this kind of unconditional love may cause this chain reaction and that chain reaction, I am sure I would understand. He loves us so much. He allowed something awful, in our eyes, to serve a purpose for Him. And I am pretty confident that one day He will have that conversation with me, and we will both cry, and I will thank Him for allowing what He did for the reasons that He had.

Does that make it less painful right now? No. Honestly, no. But it does make it worth it.

Josh and I are determined to find and help create purpose from each tragedy the Lord allows into our lives. We will never, ever waste a sorrow. Ever. We will do everything we can to make the tears and the heartbreak and the utter brokenness of what is happening worth it. At this point, that means sharing with all of you what God is teaching us. I'm sure He is doing a lot of behind the scenes action that I'm unaware of, and that is comforting as well.

We will not shield ourselves, our children, or any of you from the pain of what is happening, because we are fully confident that the Lord will create something totally awesome from it. We will continue to love this little girl and her mother. Even if it means another piece of our hearts is taken from us.

My sweet cousin Lisa sent me this video, that so much better says what we are feeling about this whole situation. Please take a moment to watch it, and if you have two moments, listen to Laura Story's "Blessings".

You won't regret it.

"All of Me"
Matt Hammitt

Afraid to love something that could break
Could I move on if you were torn away?
And I'm so close to what I can't control
I can't give you half my heart and pray He makes you whole

You're gonna have all of me, you're gonna have all of me
Cause you're worth every fallen tear
You're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love
Even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I'll start

I won't let sadness steal you from my arms
I won't let pain keep you from my heart
I'll trade the fear of all that I could lose
For every moment I'll share with you

You're gonna have all of me, you're gonna have all of me
Cause you're worth every fallen tear
You're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love
Even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I'll start

Heaven brought you to this moment
It's too wonderful to speak
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me
So let me recklessly love you even if I bleed
You're worth all of me, you're worth all of me

Sunday, July 22, 2012

From the Mouths of Babes

Josh turned off the TV and cleared his throat.

"Guys, we need to have a serious family talk. Come have a seat."

Eisley and Jake bounced onto the sofa and Josh and I looked at each other and took a deep breath.

"You know Kim had an ultrasound and the doctors told her the baby's brain looked funny?" I said calmly.

"Yeah," Jake said. Eisley nodded her head.

I took a deep breath and prayed that God would show me how to explain this to them.

"Well, she had another appointment today. Remember when I was on the phone in the car? They were calling to tell us that the baby is so sick, that she won't be able to live for very long after she's born."

Eisley opened her arms as high and wide as they could possibly go and looked up to the heavens.


I struggled inwardly between bursting into tears and swallowing a smile that was creeping up in my throat. I felt exactly the same way. My kids always seem to express the very thoughts we are all thinking but have trained ourselves not to say, whether it be from fear of social awkwardness or being struck by lightning.

I stroked her hair and tried to come up with an explanation. "I don't know baby. I am so sad this is happening too. I just don't understand why, but I know Jesus loves us so much."

Jake bounced up and down on the couch. "This is so cwazy! This is our fowth baby to die in our family! I feel like giving up!"

Josh put his arm around Jake and sighed. "I know buddy. But you know how sometimes you guys want something and we say no, or we tell you that you have to wait? That's because we're smarter than you and we know what's best for you, even though we love you so so much we still have to say no sometimes. God is saying no right now, but that doesn't mean He doesn't love us. He is so much smarter than us and He knows what we need."

"It is okay to be sad and frustrated and angry," I said. "Even we feel that way. But no matter what, we have to trust that God loves us and knows what is best for us. Do you understand that?"

Both kids nodded, and I realized I was trying to convince myself just as much as I was trying to convince them. Please, Lord, let what I'm saying be true, I thought.

"What we need to remember is that Kim is the one who is very, very sad right now. We need to be praying for her. I'm sure she feels the way I did when I had Lily in my tummy and the doctors said she died."

"What are we gonna name this baby?" Jake asked. "How about...Heavenly?"

I smiled and looked at Josh. "That is such an awesome name. We will just have to wait and see, okay? Kim gets to pick her name, but I think we will get to help. Maybe we should wait and see her first."

Jake bounced again. "I think if we have sixteen babies die, we should definitely give up!"

"Okay. If we have sixteen babies die, I promise we'll give up. Deal?" I asked.

Jake thought for a moment. "Okay, deal."

I thought to myself how much we were damaging them, when all we wanted to do was make them a big brother and sister. What had we done? What would life be like if we had stopped after the two of them? What kind of people would we be? They have known so much disappointment, so much heartbreak. I had to ask them...

"Do you guys want to stop trying to have a baby? Do you just want to be happy with the family we have?"

Eisley answered first, "I don't wanna stop trying, I just want these babies to stop dying! It feels like I'm never gonna be a big sister!"

Jake chimed in, "I think the next baby will not die. Hopefully, this is gettin' cwazy!"

Josh and I took a deep breath.We are 28 years old, I thought. God is giving us way too much responsibility, having to have conversations like this and be responsible for the moral outlook of two humans. Were we doing it right?

"You know what, this just sucks. It just does," I said. "But I just know that God has such a great plan for our family. Our job right now is to pray for Kim and her baby, and make sure she knows how much Jesus loves her."

"Maybe we can convince Kim to become a Chwistian." Jake said.

I smiled at him. "Well, we don't convince people to be Christians Jake. They decide to love Jesus all by themselves. But maybe if Kim sees how much we love Jesus, she will want to love Him too."

"Yeah." Jake said. Both kids were quiet now. The conversation had run its course. I remember hearing that you should never give kids more information than they could handle or than they wanted. The problem with our kids is that they can handle so much more than the typical kid. They always have so many questions, and we have never felt like hiding the truth from them was the right thing to do.

"Okay, well we're gonna keep praying, and we're gonna just see what happens okay?" Josh said.

And then we turned on Good Luck Charlie. And that was that.

Josh left the next day for a trip out of town, and I was on my own with the babies. They spent the day with their grandparents while I worked, and when I picked them up, we went to Target. They had spent four months earning marbles through various chores and good deeds, and, as promised, got to pick out a toy as a reward for all their hard work after finally filling their jars to the brim.

We had so much fun browsing the aisles, debating our purchases. I sprung for new lunch boxes on top of it, seeing as they will soon be starting first grade, and every first grader needs a really cool lunch box. They each picked out a very cool toy, and I rationalized buying Lunchables for dinner for a million different reasons, all valid in my opinion.

We stayed up much later than six year olds should, watching Good Luck Charlie on Netflix and playing with our new toys. After a somewhat emotional breakdown by Jake, I swiftly put them to bed. Jake fell asleep like a rock after I tucked him in, but Eisley obviously wanted extra mommy time.

She was being so whiny, and she is never whiny. Eisley is a mature Christian woman trapped in a first graders body, and conversations with her are always wonderful. But tonight she was just not herself. I asked her what was bothering her as she tried to get comfortable in her stuffed animal infested bed.

"Nothing! I'm just upset!"

Here it comes. I could feel it.

"What are you upset about baby doll? It will feel so much better if you talk about it."

She started bawling. Crocodile tears, go get the tissue box, shoulder shrugging tears.


Well that was out of nowhere. Eisley has talked non stop about how special our baby shower was. She has never expressed anything but utter joy at the thought of having a new baby. She has never mentioned jealousy, or a fear of being replaced by the baby. I smelled a cover-up.

"That's really what you're upset about sweetheart? You know we will still give you gobbles and gobbles of attention when the baby comes. I will need you so much to help me! Plus the baby will sleep all the time, and that's boring. I will need you to play with me! Are you sure you aren't upset about something else? Are you upset that you have to wait even longer now to be a big sister?"

Eisley looked like something clicked in her brain. So that's why I'm sad, I could see her thinking.


No kidding, I thought. I have struggled myself with the utter "unevenness" of our losses stacked against the oodles of healthy babies some people have. As a six year old, though, the injustice of it all was just too much to bear.

"I don't know baby. It just isn't fair, I know it feels like that. I feel so sad too. I feel so angry at God sometimes. It's okay for you to feel that way, and it's okay to cry and cry. Go ahead and cry and cry."

And she did. She cried and she cried. And I shushed and I shushed and I stroked her hair and I wished Josh was there to help me.

She hiccuped and continued spilling her little heart. "I just wanna be the ones to have a baby and have people bring us meals! I wanna be the ones that has a baby and people come over to hold it and feel jealous of us that we have such a cute baby and wish they didn't have to go home but then they have to give the baby back to me because it's actually my baby!! I wanna be the ones with a baby that lives at our house!"

We recently took a meal to friends who had a new baby. Eisley got to hold him and we spent some time chatting about new babies and all that came with them. Apparently it stuck with her more than I realized.

"I know baby girl. I want that too. It will be so fun when we have a new baby and people come to visit us and everyone will tell you what a great big sister you are. And then they will have to give the baby back and go home, just like we do for other people's babies."

She wiped her tears and continued. "It just feels like I'm never gonna be a big sister! I'm worried that I'm gonna be ten before I'm a big sister!"

"Oh baby," I tried to comfort her. "I don't think you're gonna be ten."

Suddenly I remembered the story of Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. What genius! I could tell her a Bible story completely applicable to the situation, and what a great mother I would be, telling her a Bible story to teach her a valuable lesson.

I told her how there was a true story in the Bible about a man named Abraham and a woman named Sarah. They wanted a baby sooooo badly, but they kept trying and trying and Sara never got pregnant. All of her friends got pregnant, and had lots of babies, and Sarah cried (I improvised some of this, but I'm pretty sure my logic was spot on. You don't get pregnant for years, you spend many a night crying into your pillow. Even if God didn't write that part down.)

I told Eisley how Sarah got older and older and older and still they couldn't have a baby. I told her how they would pray every night for a baby, but God did not give them one (I skipped the whole, Abraham knocked some other chick up to carry on his family name, but I think you'll all excuse the edit considering the audience). I told her how they got so old that they both got gray hair, and Sarah's friends started having grandbabies, and she still didn't even have a baby. Sarah thought it was so unfair. She thought she would never be a mommy.

Then I told her how God told Abraham one day, that He was finally going to give him a baby! A son! I told her how Abraham just couldn't believe it, and how he laughed out loud and said, "But I'm an old man! I have gray hair! Sarah is old and has wrinkles and all her friends have grandbabies! She can't have a baby!" And I told Eisley that indeed, Sarah did get pregnant, and she had a son, FINALLY! And they named him Isaac, because Isaac means laughter, and it was so hilarious seeing Sara be pregnant even though she was super old (again, I'm sure she'll read the actual version someday, this was the six year old version, you'll excuse the errors).

I smiled at my wonderful parenting. Surely Eisley would glean from this story that even though we may have to wait a long time, God will give us the desires of our hearts.


Okay. Or that could happen.

"No, baby, I don't think I'm gonna have gray hair. I just think that God makes us wait longer than we want to sometimes. We just need to be patient."

This was not going at all how I wanted it to. Forget that conversation, this entire process was not going at all how I wanted it to. I felt terrible. What business did I have explaining things to Eisley when I didn't understand them myself?

I took a deep breath and tucked her in. "Sweetheart, I am so sorry you are hurting. You can be upset and cry and feel frustrated. But you have to trust that Jesus loves you. I love you, and your daddy loves you, and everything is going to be okay. I promise."

She was so tired. She had nothing else to say.

"Things will look so much brighter and happier in the morning. Things always seem so much worse at night when it is dark and we are tired. Go to sleep baby doll."

And she did.

I wanted to share all of this with you for a few reasons. First, I want to remember it someday when these conversations become blurry. Second, I think the perspective and hearts of little children are just amazing. You are better people for being a fly on the wall of those conversations. I know I am better having been there. It broke my heart, seeing my babies hurt like that. Being a parent is so very hard. But someone told me that Jake and Eisley are learning such very hard, very valuable lessons earlier in life than most people, and they will be better for it. I hope so with all of my heart.

My greatest fear is that we are damaging them, putting them through all of this. But then I see how simply happy they are. How much joy they have, despite everything they've been through. Jake and Eisley have amazing, wonderful, completely fabulous lives. They are developing sensitive hearts and empathetic souls through all of this, and I can't wait to see the people they become and the things they do because of what they have seen.

We may have some very hard conversations sometimes, but we also have more fun than any family I know. They are fine, even if I have to remind myself of that from time to time. They will be the most gracious and thankful big brother and big sister this world has ever seen, because it wasn't forced upon them against their will, but granted to them after years of wishing and praying and hoping.

The vision of them holding their new brother or sister for the first time, examining their tiny toes and fingers and laughing when they makes my heart smile.

And it makes all of this worth the wait.


This is so not how I thought this week would go.

Instead of spending this week getting to know our new daughter, being up every night for feedings and diaper changes, adapting to a new way of life with three children at home instead of two...we're adapting.

I've been up twice now very late at night with Eisley and Jake, having conversations deeper and more heart wrenching than conversations with six-year-olds should ever be. I've been praying, not for the health of this new baby, but for the strength to handle what is coming. Instead of preparing for the baby to come home any day, we are adjusting into a different mode, adapting to our new circumstances. We are confident there will be a baby here eventually, but there's no longer a need to have the diaper bag packed and ready to go, and we're finding a more long term solution for the baby furniture we thought would be needed in the upcoming days. My calendar on the fridge now taunts me with a big circle around a date that once meant we'd finally have the baby home. Now it means...nothing really.

Josh is going back to school next week, the kids shortly after that. We've been buying new backpacks and lunchboxes and ordering school uniforms. I expected to be on maternity leave for the weeks preceding and following their first days of school, and am realizing how much this throws off my timeline and vision of how this school year would begin. I'm adapting.

Some things remain the same. We continue to pray constantly for this baby and her mother. Our prayers have adapted though. We now pray God will show us how to be a light to them, how to best support them and walk with them on this hard road. We pray the Lord will bring us a baby someday, but we pray for extra patience while the wait is now extended past what we can predict.

We had a couple of donations for the adoption in the past week or two, and then yesterday Josh got paid for his summer basketball camps he's been running. As I made the deposits today, I realized...we met our financial goal. We have enough for our final placement fee for this adoption. I felt like it should have been so much more exciting than it was.

Afterwards, I realized how unbelievably shameful my attitude was. Even in the midst of this heart ache, how could I miss it? God blessed us with EVERY SINGLE PENNY we needed for this adoption! I stopped and  imagined myself kneeling before Him and holding the exact amount we needed to complete this adoption, and I just thanked Him. It is nothing short of a miracle that He provided the near $13,000 in a matter of months, when we literally started out with nothing to put towards our goal. Nothing! I remember cleaning some yoga studio with Josh to earn the very first hundred dollars we would deposit into our adoption account. That seems like an eternity ago, but at the same time this goal seemed insurmountable in certain moments, and here we are!

I wish I could take a count of how many different people gave and sacrificed for this adoption. We have had people give pennies, portions of their paycheck, monthly donations, gifts and items for fundraisers, allowances from little ones, time, energy, and ideas to help us with fundraisers, huge sacrificial financial gifts, odd jobs to help us earn more, and the list goes on. Not to mention the gifts people have showered on us to help prepare us for this baby! People have offered encouragement and love with each and every dollar, and there is no possible way, even if we said it every day for the rest of our lives, to thank you all enough for the generosity you have all shown us.

We might not be in the place we thought we'd be this week, but that goes both ways. I never imagined we would have reached our financial goal this early. When we started this journey, I would have laughed if you told me that in only a few short months, we'd have enough for our final placement fee without having to take out a single loan. I always knew God would provide what we needed when we needed it, but He far exceeded my expectations and blessed us beyond measure!!!

Though we are adapting to this very difficult situation, we hope you will rejoice with us in this very significant victory!!! It is huge! I felt at first that it was almost inappropriate to talk about finances while we are facing what we are facing right now, but you know what? We all could use a little good news, and this is great news!

People have asked me, very hesitantly, what happens to the funds for the adoption in our current circumstances. We don't make our final payment to the agency until the baby we are adopting is officially placed in our home and papers are signed stating they are legally ours. That might sound like a super petty thing to be talking about right now, but the reality is people are wondering and are worried for us that we might be starting all over again having to raise new funds for a new adoption. I just want to put your mind at ease that we will not have to do that, and God has provided all we need!

I had someone that I really look up to and admire because of her deep experience with loss share with me today an experience of hers that encouraged me so much. She reminded me that it is very possible that God orchestrated this entire situation so that we would be there to walk along side this birth mother, to encourage her and be a light to her very dark situation. I fully believe that God knew all along that this is how things would play out, because He knew if He placed us here, we would be obedient in His request to love on this mother and her baby, despite the heartache it may cause our family. Maybe no one else would do that, so He asked us to. And if so, I want to make sure we are doing that to the very best of our ability.

This baby girl has so many people praying for her! Her mother, though she has absolutely no idea, has an entire mass of people praying for her who otherwise would not even know about her or her situation, had God not placed Josh and me in this exact circumstance.

I have no idea, and I'm not even going to venture a guess, what God has in store for our family. He may choose to do something completely unexpected in this situation with this particular baby and her mother. Maybe not. All I know is that He has each of us praying fervently about the whole thing, and I am truly, deeply excited to see what comes of all of this.

Waiting is so incredibly hard. I thought it would get easier as I got older, but it just gets more complicated. What helps me is to not look at it like we are waiting for anything in particular (because I don't honestly know what we are waiting for...just that it feels like we are), but that we are living in the exact moment and place that God wants us to be. Right now, I feel at total peace that we are exactly where God wants our family to be...praying and supporting this birth mom and her baby girl, teaching our children the lessons that we can glean from the whole experience, and listening very intently for any direction the Lord gives us.

That kind of an attitude is itself an adaptation for me! I am so glad God is changing me in that way, because it is so much more comfortable and peaceful! I'm sure it will take many more years of lessons and experiences like these, but I will take them one at a time.

And I will adapt.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Job 9: 18
"...he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness."

Job 7: 11
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.:

Job 7: 20b
"Why have you made me your mark?"

Job 6: 11-12
"What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient? Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?"

Job 5: 8-9
"As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.

Job 5: 18
"For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal."

Job. I don't want to even begin to compare my life with his, or my troubles. That guy had it bad. God literally let Satan run rampant with all that was precious to him and make his life so miserable that Job says, "I loathe my life" at least three times that I counted while reading through the book today. He was a mess. He was hurting, and from what I gathered, his greatest heartbreak was not losing all he had, including all of his children, it was that the Lord and God he knew to be Sovereign let it happen. He could not make sense of it.

I was reading through the book of Job on my kindle on the way back from San Diego today. I highlighted so many passages that I might as well have just highlighted the whole book. I could have written it. It is so deeply and honestly raw. There are no cliche Christian encouragements or shallow pats on the proverbial shoulder. Job was hurting. He was confused. He questioned God and lamented at his situation. If you haven't read the book, I encourage you to do so. It's not that long. But if you have ever been heartbroken or deeply saddened, you will find comfort in someone else being way worse off than you, and inspired that he is somehow still praising God through it. Not in a fake, "All of this is God's will let me just roll over and smile" sort of way. In a "Lord, this sucks. My life is loathsome. I'm so hurt you would allow this. But I know I deserve worse, and I know you will create good from this" sort of way. (And the kicker is...He does. If you can trudge through the hard parts, there is a happy ending for all, though you'd never know it reading through chapters upon chapters of Job's 'woe is me, life hath left me to rot' perspective.)

We got word today that the sweet little baby girl we have been praying for and planning to adopt into our family has a specific and catastrophic gross brain abnormality. She was diagnosed a few days ago, and the diagnosis was confirmed today. She is not expected to live long after her birth. It could be moments, days, months...none of the possibilities are good enough in my heart. We are left, baffled, at yet another heart breaking scenario for our family. Why?

I don't want to pretend to make sense of any of this, because it is just so senseless. I am simply heartbroken for her and her mother. I'm so baffled. Emotionally I feel as if I have been smacked across the face in front of a crowd of people. I don't know what to do, or how to make the situation okay. I want my response to be graceful, yet I'm so hurt.

I feel like God never ceases to challenge me with situations I couldn't dream up if I tried. We prepared our hearts for the possibility of birth mom making a different plan. We prepared our family for the different scenarios of special needs and how that would impact us. We prepared to bring a baby home. We had a baby shower. My house is set up and ready to bring a baby home, like, tonight. If there was preparation to be had, we prepared it. This was totally out of left field, and we've had to completely turn to Him for our reaction and response. And despite my feelings of Job-ness, I am trusting that God will work it together for good. Only He could make anything of value out of this total and utter mess, but I know He can, and if it takes the rest of my life, I know He will.

This little pumpkin has such a hard little road ahead of her. We know there is always the possibility of God doing something totally God-like and allowing her to be born free of any abnormalities. But...we have been through enough of this kind of thing to know that it just doesn't happen like that most of the time. He is preparing us for the worst for a reason. Usually because the worst is about to happen.

I wanted a baby girl that was healthy and would be a physical part of our family forever. God, however, knew from the moment He created her that this would be how it panned out. That this birth mom would choose us, that we would learn of this news this late into the game, that she would have no one else. No one. As selfish as I am, I have come to realize that this whole situation just isn't about me and what I want. It is about a little baby girl that needs love for the little while that she is here. And Josh and I have made a decision that we will do what we can to love on her in the time that we have with her.

The adoption of this little one is complicated because of the situation. We just won't know anything until she is here. We still want to believe that God will grant us our desire to have a baby come home with us through adoption, but we are taking it one day at a time. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves and start thinking about going up on the waiting list again. We just need a little time.

What happens from here is just so dependent on what happens from here. This is not the end of our adoption journey, it is a major detour, for sure, but we know God will use it to grow our faith and bring us closer to Him and to each other. He already has.

Right now, we would like to ask everyone around us to be praying for this little one. She has a mother who is hurting very much, and I can relate to the feeling of knowing your baby won't live the full life you imagined. Please be in prayer for her. This baby girl has such a wonderful opportunity to impact so many lives, even though it is so different than what we ever imagined. Please pray that God will do awesome things through her short life.

We are totally resigning to God's will right now. Whatever He wants us to do, whatever role He wants us to play in this situation, we will do that. We'd like you to pray that He will make it very clear to us what He wants and that He will grant us the strength to do whatever He asks.

I honestly can't predict how things will play out. What I imagine happening is us being there for this little one as much as we are allowed to be, and supporting her until she leaves this world or blesses another family who is better equipped to take care of her. At this point birth mom wants to continue with an adoption plan, though we are wondering how her heart might change knowing her baby girl has only moments or days on this earth. She wants someone there to hold her and love her until she goes, and since right now that doesn't look like it will be her, we are wondering if it should be us. We will talk to the agency and see where we go from here.

Speaking of going from here...

Eventually we want to get back on the proverbial adoption horse, and ask that God bless us with a little one to bring home to Jake and Eisley. Eventually. I promise we'll get there. We knew this adoption faith walk would be long and hard, full of surprises and possibly heartaches. I knew that, and our family knew that. This is just par for the course. Stuff happens. We deal with it as best we know how, and we move forward.

This is something God wanted in our lives, and in your lives apparently, too. Do with it what you will. We are choosing to use this opportunity to love on this baby girl, name her, pray for her, advocate for her. To show her and her mother what it means to be a follower of Christ. To see "Kim" through her pregnancy and make sure she is not alone, and that this baby will not be alone. To be the an example of God's unconditional love to both of them. That's all we can do really. What can you do?

I feel like apologizing to everyone. We all were hoping so much for a more joyful outcome. I am trying to put away my feelings of selfishness and remember that there is a mommy hurting so much more than I am, that there is a baby girl who is at the brunt of all of this, who has such a hard little road ahead. Please be praying for her. Right now, I feel that our family and loved ones are responsible for interceding on her behalf. We are responsible for praying for her, and if you don't know what to pray for, pray God will use her life to make an impact for Him on this world! Honestly, she already has done that! What a special little girl, to impact so many who only a short time ago learned of her existence!

God has taken this sweet little baby girl who would have been born into this world practically alone and entrusted her with a family of people who are praying and loving on her. I don't know how long or in what capacity the Lord will allow us to be a part of her life, but we are a part of this chapter, and I will spend every moment that I think of her praising God for her creation and asking that He do something miraculous with it. Her existence was not an accident, and none of this is a surprise to God. Though we are shocked and dismayed by the outcome, I know God has been preparing our hearts for this for a very long time. My three pumpkins in heaven will greet her with open arms! That thought makes my heart so happy for her.

Once again, we are so thankful for the love and support of our friends and family. Sometimes I feel like it would be so much easier on everyone if they cut ties with us altogether. I feel so upset over the heartache we have caused among those around us. But the reality is, we are just being obedient to the Lord, and that comes with heartache sometimes. Welcome to life. I'm so sorry if I ever handle any of what the Lord asks of us with anything short of a humble heart. He has blessed our family more than words can even express. I am reminded of that every time I look into the eyes of my daughter or hear the belly laugh of my son. Who is more blessed than I am??? NO ONE!!!

The thought occurred to me today that there are so many people in this life who have been called to be Jobs. They are the ones people look at and say, "Wow. Sucks to be them. I'm so glad God doesn't treat me like that!" (Maybe those aren't our exact thoughts, maybe it's more on the side of, "Wow, God really trusts them with a lot. I can't imagine Him trusting me with all of that." But you get the idea). They are asked to handle more than the average human being thinks they are capable of handling, and yet they do it, so gracefully, with so much praise in their hearts for their Savior. Where does that come from? I can think of so many of those people in my life right now. I'm incredibly blessed to even be included in their story, counted as a friend, or asked to pray for them as they fight the Job-like fight. I'm honored to do so. But as trials persist and this road stretches out to be a lot longer and harder than we originally thought, I find myself relating more and more to Job and looking to those very Job-like people to inspire me and encourage me to be better at this.

Which can only mean one thing...I am one of those Jobs.

Dang it. When did that happen?

But. Jobs of the world, before you go running out of the house begging God not to burn down your last ox... listen. The upside to being a "Job" is that we get direct communication with our Savior. I'm not saying He doesn't listen just as intently to my friend Wanda who has never had so much as a hangnail in the trials department. I'm saying that we have more meaningful opportunities to have a special commune with Him when we are going through stuff like this. There is time set aside for you, for me, to lament. To cry. To ask Him why and fully expect a response, though we may not get one in the time frame we desire. Time for him to comfort us and help pull us up by the bootstraps. It's a gift. Take advantage of it. You will come out so much wiser and at peace with all that's gone down. I have never come out of a serious prayer and Scripture reading time where I have cried out to God and asked Him to show me the purpose in it all more upset with Him than when I entered. He always finds a way to calm me down and bring some light into the situation.

To our loved ones, we love you. Thank you for standing by us through another storm. Thank you for the encouragement, verses, hugs, and love you have sent our way. Stand back and watch our God make something beautiful from these ashes. I am fully confident He will.

Job 11: 14b "Let not injustice dwell in your tents. Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish. You will be secure and will not fear. You will forget your misery. You will remember it as waters who have passed away.And your life will be brighter than the noonday. Its darkness will be like the morning."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oy Vay.

"Never go to bed angry."

I have heard that saying hundreds of times, and while I don't totally agree with it (sometimes, at three in the morning after you've been emotionally arguing for three hours, you just need to go to bed. Forget the stupid saying someone wrote on a card at your bridal shower. Go. To. Bed.), I think it can definitely be applied to blogging as well.

The last post, along with its spelling errors and emotional vomit, was the result of a really hard day. I was just stepping off of an emotional roller coaster that left me totally dizzy, nauseous, and confused. I felt the need to update everyone because I had been texting back and forth with so many people that I figured it would be easier to just update the blog. I felt the need to ask for prayer from our adoption support community, because, well, we really need the extra prayer right now, and so does this baby. 

All of that being said, it was really late at night, I was really upset, and I probably should have just gone to bed. But it is what it is. This entire journey is such an emotional roller coaster that one day we can be on the highest of highs, and the next the lowest of lows. Sometimes we can be both of those places all in one day, like we were yesterday!

I spent a lot of time (like, a LOT) on the phone with our caseworker today. I had sent her a very similar emotional email last night, albeit with many more details and emotional outbursts, and she was wonderful about talking me down this morning and reminding me Who is in control here. There is just so little we have control over, and that is even more true in this particular situation.

We are documenting this journey in a way that a lot of people wouldn't. Many people would go through all of this quietly, and deal with the emotional ups and downs privately . While many of the details of this situation will remain private, we feel like you guys have been praying for us and rooting for us since the beginning, and we want you to be on board with the whole thing. If that means this particular placement falls through, we know you will grieve with us and encourage us as we go back on the waiting list. If this baby is born with issues, we know you will be there to pray us through it and support us entirely. The other side of that is, we don't want anyone thinking this process is a piece of cake. That God isn't daily and momentarily working miracles and intervening in order for one particular child to be placed in our particular family. There are so many facets to adoption, and we want everyone to be aware of how God has worked out each and every detail. If we hadn't told you all that went down yesterday, I think you would have lost an opportunity to spend some time with the Lord, possibly on your knees asking Him for help. I know I would have. I'm not presuming to believe that every person who reads this blog is a Christian and/or they spend any amount of time praying for our family, but even those who aren't should have the opportunity to see God do awesome things. And if you aren't with us for the lows, you will not appreciate the highs nearly as much. 

What happened yesterday is just one of those things, one of those adoption shockers that just shouldn't be that shocking, though it is. What we expected to happen didn't happen. When will I start expecting the unexpected? 

So...what happens next? Where do we stand with this adoption? What can we be praying for? 

What happens next is...we wait. The mother of this baby is still pregnant, and has an appointment at the end of next week in which we are hopeful we will get some answers to specific questions about the health of the baby. We will be praying constantly that God work a miracle and allow this baby to be healthy. 

Where do we stand with this adoption? We are still the parents "Kim" has chosen to raise this baby. She still has the right and option to make a different plan, but so do we. Right now, we feel God wants us to stay put and see what happens. So that's what we'll do.

What can we be praying for? Everything!!! Pray for the mother of this baby, pray for the health of the child she's carrying. Pray for our family to be patient as we wait for some answers. Pray for Jake and Eisley. Their little hearts have had so much disappointment over the past couple of years! Jake asked me as I was tucking him in last night, "Is it okay to be mad at God?" I told him of course it's okay, as long as we talk to Him about it. He said, "Well, then if it's okay, I'm a little bit mad at God." I told Him I was too, but that I trusted that God loves us more than I love us, and I know He has good things for our family! And I snuggled the beans out of him until he fell asleep.

The truth is, I can say all the things I know to be true in order to encourage my children and my husband, but there are times when even though I'm saying them, it is hard to believe it myself. That's okay though. I am surrounded by friends and family who will remind me of the Truth even when I have forgotten it. 

I don't mean to sound awful, and I hope none of you take this the wrong way, but I cannot wait for the day when I am on the other side of trials. I want to be the one encouraging someone else through a very hard time, a tough wait, or a heart breaking scenario. I wish none of my friends or family had to go through any of those things, but when they do, I hope God will equip me to be there for them the way people have been there for me so many times. Our family is so grateful for the support of those around us. 

I know it is a bumpy ride, but thank you for following along with us! We are still hopeful that this placement will work out and this baby will be perfect, but we are preparing our hearts for the possibility of neither of those things happening. Time will tell. 

For now, we continue to enjoy each and every moment with our perfectly perfect children, who brighten even the darkest of days. My parents decided to up and take Jake and Eisley to Sea World next week, and I decided to tag along. My reasons are threefold...(Friends reference, anyone?) is physically impossible to be sad at Sea World (this same fact can be applied to both Disneyland and Target, look it up). Two...I am off for three days next week and have no desire to sit around twiddling my thumbs with no children and nothing to do but worry and wait. And three...I would just miss them too much. ;)

Our caseworker said she thinks it is a fabulous idea, and since it is only about five hours away, if something were to happen and "Kim" went into labor, we would just book it back to Phoenix and hope for the best. What about Josh? You might ask. Well, you may or may not know this about Josh, but he enjoys his alone time. He has to work anyways, and yes, he will miss us very much for the two and a half days we are gone, but I think he just might enjoy the peace and quiet. ;)

Thank you again for following along on our crazy adoption journey. 

Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I hate vagueness. I hate when people are vague on facebook. I hate when people are vague on their blogs. I hate when people have "unspoken" prayer requests. Drives me up the wall. Just give it to me straight! If you don't want me to know the details, don't tell me about it at all! I think that might be a combination of impatience and nosiness. It's a major character flaw, and I'm aware of it.

Does anyone else find the above vague paragraph ironically vague? I apologize.

Here's the deal: I can't give all the details I want to give to people because as of yet, they're not my details to give. Despite all of that, I still want to ask you guys for prayer. I have a major "unspoken" prayer request, and for all of you who are like me and just had their ears perk up in morbid curiosity, I hear you.

Here's what we can tell you: The birth mom of the baby we have been planning to adopt had an ultrasound yesterday. We got word last night that there were some major concerns on the ultrasound, and they would be inducing her today. Josh and I dealt with that as best we could, and gave it all to God. I was in the middle of a two day dose of IV meds (which was supposed to be five days due to a recent relapse, but had to cut it short for obvious reasons) and my nurse was kind enough to give me one last dose early this morning while I packed up the kids and the things we would need for the hospital. We were very hopeful that what birth mom had been told at her ultrasound was more of a misunderstanding than anything else, for reasons of which I will continue to be vague. We got to find out the gender of the baby, which you will be really excited to know...we are also keeping vague. ;) I honestly wish I didn't know, but they told me right along with the rest of the news. We, however, decided not to tell our kids or families until this child is here and safe and in our arms, and at this moment that is looking...well...vague.

We aren't sure of the details, and the ones we are sure of we aren't really that sure of, but the birth mother did not get induced this morning as was the original plan. We are vague on the details, we are unsure of what is next, and we got some news that is making us question if this baby will end of placing with us at all. I know, vague, right? I'm sorry.You are now just as confused as we are, but probably less broken hearted, because I only gave you bits and pieces and you didn't have to explain all of these non details to two six year olds who were expecting to see their new sibling tomorrow.

Today started out so fun (other than being hooked up to an IV for four hours, but what's new there right?). The kids packed up their Big Brother and Big Sister shirts and took their back packs to Grandma's house to spend the night. We were hopeful we'd get to send them a picture of their new baby brother or sister by late tonight. Off they went, happy as clams. Josh and I straightened up, made sure the bassinet and baby things were ready to go, packed up the hospital bag, got stuff to read and listen to in case it was a long night, got a change of clothes, and got the car seat ready. We went to Target because I still needed a changing table pad for our changing table, and we wanted to pick a few things up now that we knew the gender (Okay, I had to pick a few things up. I'm sorry, I can't help it!)

We went to lunch at Chipolte and waited for our phone to ring. We were supposed to get a call around 1:00 that she had started her induction and we could come down. That call never came. A call did come about two hours later from the agency telling us that they would not be inducing after all, for reasons that make absolutely no sense to any of us. They told us she had been sent home by a nurse, who had made a passing remark about the health of the baby of which I won't even repeat here because it is so weird and totally inappropriate to give that kind of news to any expectant mother without even a doctor or social worker present. It makes NO SENSE. NONE. I could give you all the details so that you could all agree with me that the whole thing is a big fat mess, but I won't.

I will remind you, though, that this isn't just our disappointment. It is Jake's. It is Eisley's. It is our parents' and siblings' and close friends' who are right there dealing with all of this minute by minute and worrying as well.

What's going to happen from here? Who knows. We have a lot more questions, a million, and I'm not sure we will ever get the answers we want.

So tomorrow I will get up and go to work, just like I planned, right before I called in and said I would be starting maternity leave tomorrow, oops, and try to get back into the routine. I will have fun laughing with my goofy co-workers who no doubtedly will be bringing all kinds of sweet treats to the floor for TGIF. And I willwait some more. Wait for a phone call about this mom, about news on the baby, wait to possibly hear the news that this just isn't our baby after all and we will go back in the book. I don't know what I will hear, but I am praying that God just gives me inward peace, and outward grace.

That's my goal this go round. I've been handed a lot of just total crap hands, no one can deny that. I have learned over time that I might not have a choice about what happens, but I can ask for peace on the inside, and grace on the outside. The peace is for me, so I don't rip my pillows apart every night, so I don't take a baseball bat to the bassinet that taunts me in my room, that I don't take that particular bitter moment where my world is crunching in to send a nasty email to someone that "deserves a piece of my mind'",  that I don't fall asleep crying every single night that once again, we were so close, yet so far. The peace is for me. The grace...the grace is for everyone else.

Grace is going to work with a smile for those around you, even though you want nothing more than to hide in the bathroom and cry. Grace is allowing inquisitive remarks to touch you as innocent curiosities, not harsh attempts to make you wither away right there in the hallway. Grace is moving forward in body while protecting the shattered spirit within you while no one is the wiser. While patience protects yourself (and possibly the furniture in the near vicinity), Grace protects others.

I have no idea where we are at right now. As of now, we are still on hold and this birth mother still wants to place her baby with us. As of right now she can have the baby at any time. The only things we know for sure are that we know very little. There was a concern about brain development, but that is all we know. There hasn't been a second opinion so we're hopeful she'll get one. But that is up in the air.

So...we pray.

As always, we pray. We pray for the miraculous health of this baby. We pray for the mother to make wise decisions and be an advocate for herself and her unborn baby. We pray God will get her where she needs to get in order to get the best care possible. Pray for our kids as they are obviously confused and disappointed just like us.
Pray that God's will be done, no matter what, and that He will equip our family to recognize that plan and accept it fully once we do.

Thanks for your love and support.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well still no baby news...but that's okay! We are trusting in God's perfect timing and just enjoying each day as it happens!

I was so, so beyond blessed by my incredibly dear friend Heather and my wonderful sister Lisa yesterday because they threw me and Eisley a baby shower!!! When we started on this path, I remember some friends asking me if they could throw a shower as it got closer. I was actually really hesitant in my heart. First of all, that anyone would want to do another shower for us after we have already been blessed with two sweet babies and so many gifts the first time, and second, that it would definitely be different having a shower for a baby no one knew! Plus people have already been giving and giving to us in order for this adoption to even be possible, how would they feel being asked to a baby shower on top of it? But as our adoption progressed and then we got the call, I not only had one friend offer to throw us a shower, but a few! We are blessed by so many incredible people, that I wonder sometimes how we got so lucky. We have such a wonderful support system in our family, friends, and church family that we never, ever have felt anything short of immense love. That has never been more evident than after our loss of Lily, and then when we chose to start the adoption process. There are so many people in our lives that give so freely to us, and we can never express how much it means to our family.

We not only have an amazing church family who offered to throw us a little baby welcoming after our baby comes home, but also my dear and possibly oldest friend in the world who offered to throw us a shower for family before baby arrives so we can be somewhat prepared! We went back and forth as to if it would be okay to do it before the baby comes, knowing there is always the possibility of the adoption falling through. But we decided to have a little faith and optimism and know that even if this adoption doesn't work out, another will.

Eisley was over the moon excited for this shower. She had it marked on her Taylor Swift calendar for over a month and counted down the days every night before bed. That girl will not rest until she is a big sister, and this was possibly the most exciting party she has ever looked forward to, including all of her birthdays!

We were, to put it mildy, completely blown away by how fun and beautiful everything was! There were so many fun details and our family just had a great time celebrating our adoption and enjoying time together! We're so thankful to Heather for all the work she put into it, to my sister for all she did, and to our family and loved ones that brought food and helped set up and clean up. We are so thankful for the many gifts we received for this baby and are once again left in awe of the generosity of others, and so inspired to show that same kind of love to people in our lives.

Here are a few pics. :)

Me with Heather, the hostess with the mostest!!! ;)

That is an owl diaper cake made by my mama!

Yeah, I was totally overwhelmed with love!!!

Who made these adorable cupcakes? Josh's mom, of course!!!

Eisley Joy had such a wonderful time! She is working on the alphabet book here. "E" for "Eisley"!

Our alphabet book in progress!

Yeah my drawing wasn't even close to this good...

Eisley's entry :)

Does anyone want to guess who had the "V"? Hint: My sister is a nerdy doctor...

Onesie decorating! 

Haha! There were some VERY creative ones!!!

Eisley made an "I love Sissy" onesie. Notice her new shirt!?

I had a great time!

There is no sufficient way to thank those that have consistently loved on us and supported us throughout this process. You will hear me say it a million times but it still won't be enough...we are so grateful. 

Eisley and Jake helped me unpack our gifts and put everything away. We picked out the going home outfit (hint: someone made it at the shower!!), packed the diaper bag for when we get the call, and are now ready and waiting for this little one to come home. My prediction is July 19th as a birthday, but that's just me. ;) 

I am so excited. I am enjoying every second of this. But if I'm being totally honest, every bit of every day is tainted with a small sadness. I am sad for this baby's mother. She is not enjoying a baby shower, she is not installing a car seat and packing a diaper bag. I am counting down the days until the arrival, and she is counting down the days until she lets this baby go. I am sad for her mommy heart. 

I am also holding on to each bit of time I have left with Jake and Eisley the way our family is now. I am fully confident this baby will bring us so much joy and change our family for the better, but this morning as I had both kids in bed with us, sleeping and snuggling before my alarm went off for work (when the sun comes up my bed gradually becomes smaller with each child that crawls in), I realized that it won't just be them anymore. We will have a new little one, and I am overjoyed for that! But it will change the dynamic of our family. We will have some adjusting to do. We have gone seven years with things just the way they are! Thankfully our giant bed is plenty big enough for two more tiny feet kicking me in the ribs! ;)

As each day approaches, we feel more and more anxiety. Will the baby be okay? Will he or she be healthy? What will the hospital experience be like? Will our plans fall through? What decision will the mother of this baby ultimately make? Will our family indeed grow in just three short weeks, or will we be waiting, once again, indefinitely? 

But I can't know the answers to those questions right now. All I can do is prepare for the best, worry about the worst, and pray constantly that God's will be done and that I will accept it, whatever it is, gracefully. 

We have never needed your prayers more than we do right now! Please be in prayer for this little one. Please pray that God will bless it with perfect health. Pray that his or her mother will make the decision that is best for that baby, whether it be a home with us or with her. Pray that God will prepare our hearts for whatever happens, that He will equip us for what lies ahead, and He will grow our faith! 

Thank you so much for continuing to follow our family's story and for supporting us the whole way. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Baby Yet :)

I just wanted to pop in and update the blog, because I follow a lot of blogs and find myself getting antsy when they haven't been updated in awhile! So even though there is really no news, I felt you all deserved to know that there is no news. ;)

We are keeping very busy and are anxiously awaiting the birth of the baby! He or she is due in exactly ONE month, though there is a strong possibility of an earlier birthday. :) We just returned from a wonderful family vacation up north in Minnesota, visiting family and doing a lot of fishing! It was so nice to get out of this incredibly hot weather and enjoy wearing a sweatshirt now and again! I am also very busy helping my sister plan her upcoming wedding, and I go back to work tomorrow which will definitely help fill the hours while we wait for yet another life changing phone call that our birth mom is in labor!

One very fun thing that I got to do was take Eisley shopping for the baby's going home outfit. We will probably venture out to a few more stores before we make a final decision, but we found an adorable outfit for a both a boy and a girl, since we don't know what we are having! I kept the receipts so we can take back the gender that our baby isn't haha!

It is really interesting to me how different the 36 week mark is when you are pregnant versus when you are adopting! I remember being absolutely consumed with the fact that my babies could be born at any moment, and granted I was carrying 14 pounds of wiggly baby at that point so it was pretty hard to forget, but this time I often have to remind myself that our baby could come at any time! Josh was planning a trip with some friends for a few weeks from now and we both almost forgot that the baby might and will probably be born by then! It makes me realize how very different this experience will be, caring for a newborn that I didn't give birth to. Hopefully I will have a lot more energy this go round! I know I will have a lot more help with my two big kids to assist me!

Jake and Eisley are over the moon excited for the arrival of this little one. We have had to be diligent about gently reminding them that this baby's birth mother might change her mind, and that it would be okay if she did, even though we would be very disappointed. It is a fine line we are walking between preparing them for a new baby in the next couple of weeks and preparing them for the possibility of a lot more waiting if "Kim" changes her mind.

I am so excited for the arrival of this little one, but at times I am also gripped with fears that this baby might have major health and developmental issues, that "Kim" might change her mind, that I won't immediately attach to this baby the way I did to Jake, Eisley, and Lily. I know they are valid fears, which is why they are all the more scary. I would appreciate so much your prayers for those things!

As far as fundraising goes, WOW we are SO CLOSE to our goal!!! We are fully confident, as we have been from the beginning, that God will provide every penny that is needed for this adoption. We can't wait to reach that goal!

Thank you again so much for your continued prayers and encouragement. We have come such a long way, but this is really only the beginning of our adoption faith walk when you think about it! We haven't even adopted this baby yet! We can't wait to share the rest of our journey with you, and we are so thankful for your support and love.

Please be praying for the mother of this baby. Please pray for the health of the baby. Please pray that God will bring this baby in His own perfect timing, and that everything will go incredibly smoothly! Please pray that our family will immediately bond and fall in love with this child, and that we will be equipped to handle anything that comes our way! Please pray for God to prepare our hearts for what comes next on this journey!

I will keep you posted! Just for fun, here are a few pics from our recent vacay! ;)

A big family reunion picture, minus a few loved ones!

The Harrison Family with Grandma Betty

Jake loves fishing more than ANYTHING in the world !!! He is very good at it too!!!

He started to get a little cocky after his 60th fish...

Jake and Eisley with Uncle Mike and Aunt Coley

Eisley's favorite store ever!!!

Eisley's turtle took second place in the Turtle Races!

Goofing around!

They love to ride the Quads!

Eisley was quite the little fisher too!

Me and my sweet girl

On a boat yeaaaaah in our flippy floppies! ;)