Saturday, February 13, 2016

Adoption and a Valentine's Surprise

Cody and Breanna recently began their adoption journey and I've loved walking with them. Just yesterday I was on the phone with Breanna and we were both in near tears thinking about God's goodness in allowing families to partner with him to extend His love through adoption to both babies and their mamas.

This week on their blog, Cody shared his search for the perfect Valentine's gift for Breanna, their adoption, and how God surprised him with his amazing provision and care. I'm excited for them to share their story here as well...

...We have shared the story that began us down the road to adoption. We have shared information about the process of adoption. We have shared ways to partner with us through buying shirts, prayer, direct donations and other support that will help us move closer to bringing home a baby.

Today, I (Cody) am happy to share a moment that will forever be a fond memory of mine. A story that would not have happened if we had not accepted the call to adopt. A story…well…you just have to hear.

Cue flashback.

Two weeks ago I saw this image on my wife’s newsfeed:

It clearly caught her eye, but we are saving money. She looked, smiled, and scrolled on. I don’t know what she saw when these bracelets crossed her screen, but I know what I saw.

I saw a cuff with an arrow and heart on it. Where others may think Cupid, all I could think was Psalm 127:4, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” I thought about the arrow God was already shaping for us, but is not yet ours. The arrow God would bring us in His timing. The arrow that has already stolen our hearts and we haven’t even met yet. I thought about my bride being able to look at her wrist and be reminded God was shaping this arrow and would be faithful to bring it to us.

I thought…Valentine’s Gift!

We have been saving every penny, but I still had hoped to surprise Breanna with a little gift. This would be perfect. Especially if I could just buy one part of the stack. So I called first to see if they would sell just one part of this stack. I talked to a super sweet person who informed me they don’t, you have to purchase the whole stack.

But don’t worry, it gets worse.

She then proceeded to tell me they were sold out. That if she had one she would sell me hers, but she didn’t even get one. She recommended I try a store and then we hung up.

Bummer. But…it gets worse.

The next day I thought I’d swing by a Rustic Cuff store to find out if they had one and find out how much it cost. For those familiar with Rustic Cuff, you are now laughing because you don’t “swing by” Rustic Cuff stores. You carve out an hour to wait outside in a line to get into a store and then you don’t leave empty handed because you actually got in! After driving by the old location to find out that place was closed, I headed to another location close to a meeting I had downtown. I stood outside in line for 20 minutes before I had to give up. I had a meeting to get to, so I left without even gracing the door. But this would be the perfect gift…so I wouldn’t give up.

It gets worse.

The next day I decided to arrive at a store when it opened. So 5 minutes before it opened I pulled in to see 50 people waiting for the doors to open. Again, I couldn’t afford to wait that long. So I drove away. Decided I would go back to Cherry Street and see if I could get in and get this perfect valentines gift.

On the way I am getting real with God. “This isn’t how this is supposed to go!” I tell Him. I had it all planned and just knew it would be perfect. Doesn’t God want me to make my wife smile with a gift that reminds us of Him? Shouldn’t it be easy to buy a bracelet? It’s not like we are asking for a kid! That’s a different prayer…this one should be no big deal. I was frustrated. My timing, my gift, my plan…all falling through. And my expectations of my next stop were minuscule to say the least. 

So I arrive and I get in the door just before the security guard starts making people wait outside. WIN!

I bob and weave through shoppers looking for the cuff. Man on a mission. A mission that seemed to be failing. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Confused I headed to the front desk to ask for help when I spotted it. That perfect gift to remind us of God’s timing and provision. And it was in a box marked “Display Only”. So inserting the question to the worker between other customers, I asked where those cuffs were. Her answer, “Online only."

It gets worse.

I pull up their website thinking no big deal. Except I was quickly reminded it was SOLD OUT! And I saw the price for the first time. Both things disheartening. But I was hopeful…and perhaps now entering that mindset of a “I am man and refuse to go down without a fight because I want my girl to swoon.”

So I did the only thing I could do. I asked the woman if I could buy the display. She frowned and told me they couldn’t sell those, but said she would ask just in case they could make an exception. I then watched her walk over to the woman in charge of this store to get confirmation. I saw the woman’s head shake no, make eye contact with me, and then go back to work.

Mission. Failed.

As the original lady came back to inform me they couldn’t do it, the other woman startled us by stepping in and said, “Let me ask the woman in charge. We aren’t supposed to sell these, but I don’t know. Maybe she will let us.”

It gets better.

I stood on the wall and prayed. How ridiculous! I am asking God to let me buy a bracelet. But at the moment, it was bigger than a bracelet. IT was about God caring for the little things like Breanna’s smile and a reminder to have on her wrist that our arrow is coming. I just knew the beauty in the meaning of  this bracelet and wanted to share that with my bride. So I prayed for favor. For a gift. For a surprise. And I got one.

She came back and said I could buy it! The owner of the company told her if she “deemed me worthy” then I could have it. She told me “For whatever reason I just looked at you and thought…he needs this.”

It gets better.

I had hand her the cash I had been setting aside since Christmas. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. And overwhelmed with the conviction to share why this mattered so much. To let these ladies know they were now part of a story much bigger than a cuff. I asked if I could share with her why this was such a big deal to me. I told her why the cuff caught my eye. The crazy journey to end up in this room. The meaning associated with that arrow. And I was stopped mid-sentence.

The woman put the cash I had given her back in my hand.

She said she would not take my money.

It gets better.

She went on to tell me her husband was adopted. That if his mother had not chosen life, she would not have her family. If he had not had someone to adopt him, she would not have him. She said she would be praying for us every step of the way and said, “God is going to give you that baby.”

And then the first woman I had spoken to leaned over to inform me every one of her nieces and nephews are adopted. She affirmed the beauty of adoption and how thankful she is that it happens.

And there I stood.

With my plans and my timing and my frustrations and my money all in my pocket because God had a better plan. Not only did I walk away with money I had saved for a gift that would now go into the adoption fund, I walked away having seen our adoption support family grow by a store full of people who witnessed God’s provision and timing. I walked away reaffirmed that the God who takes us through crazy frustrating times so we can get a free gift would also deliver to us a child He has already set aside for us. My God is faithful in little…and will be faithful in much. And somewhat like the Grinch, it was not my heart, but my faith that grew that day.

One day we will go (and wait in line) and walk inside that store to introduce a precious baby to a room full of women who prayed for that child. And for all the waiting, and questioning, and praying, and “it gets worse” struggles of doing what we know God has called us to do...we will be able to hold a child, surrounded by a community of friends and family and tell that precious baby, “it gets better."

- Cody 

To hear more of Cody and Breanna's journey, you can follow their blog, Baby Brumley #3. Maybe if you follow along you'll read about they day they walk back into that store with baby #3...

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