Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Congratulations Adam and Mary

Adam and Mary didn't have the kind of Christmas they had planned for. Far from it in fact.

In the days leading up to Christmas, Mary had been uncharacteristically preparing their nursery; organizing, cleaning, and nesting.  And on Christmas Eve morning, Mary had been praying specifically for their adoption and their little one who would someday be in their arms.

Christmas Eve afternoon they got the call that a little girl had been born. A little girl who needed a family. They held their breath and that evening found out the birth mother had chosen them to be her parents.

So Christmas day was spent traveling several hours in anticipation of a moment they had dreamed of. A little girl to add to their family of three little boys (boys who were all eagerly praying for a sister).

A sweet girl who was the answer to all of their prayers.

Sometimes our plans for timing, or holidays, or life don't work out quite as we anticipate. 

But God's ways are higher.

God's dreams are bigger.

And God's plans are always better than ours.

Merry Christmas, Adam and Mary. I'm so thankful we serve a God who gives such good gifts.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Congratulations Jay and Brandi

This year, these sweet little girls are bringing home a baby brother for Christmas.

Their parents, Jay and Brandi began with me at Christian Adoption Consultants in June. Three months later, they were matched with their beautiful birth mother. And just this past weekend, their son was born.

The best gifts come in small packages. This one was exactly 7 pounds, 6 ounces.

It will be a very Merry Christmas for Jay and Brandi and two very proud big sisters!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Congratulations Matt and Jayme

This is another adoption story that can only be explained by God and his amazing timing...

Matt and Jayme started their adoption process in November. When I say started, I mean they began with me at Christian Adoption Consultants and with their home study process just over five weeks ago.

I need to track the dates just so you can appreciate their story:

November 7th - began with CAC and started their home study 
November 21st - I created and printed their profile for prospective birth families 
December 5th - their home study was approved

That day when they emailed to say their were home study approved, this was our conversation via email:

Jayme: So - what are the chances of us having our baby by Christmas?? LOL!! I know, slim to none, but a girl can hope, right? :)
Me: I would say the chances are slim but totally not impossible. We'll see about God's timing!!!!

And then, not 5 minutes later I sent her a situation. A birthmama from Jayme's hometown, due in several weeks and wanting to make an adoption plan.

For Matt and Jayme, there was no hesitation. They sent their profile and a heartfelt letter to the birth mother and a unabandoned "yes" to whatever God had for them.

December 13th they were matched.
December 14th they got the call that their birth mama was in labor.

Hours later they were parents. 

Jayme was right. A girl can hope. A family can be made before Christmas. 

And God can surprise us all with his seemingly impossible timing.

Monday, December 16, 2013

It Was Not a Silent Night

It was not a silent night, there was blood on the ground...

The beginning to Andrew Peterson's ballad, Labor of Love aren't the typical jovial Christmas lyrics we're so used to hearing this season. More the norm in coffee shops and stores are songs of sleigh rides, decking the halls, and having a holly, jolly Christmas.

The Christmas holiday is filled with warm memories, lighted nativities, family traditions, and good cheer. We focus on a chubby little baby; laid in a manger. The sweet smelling hay and the young mother with an angelic look on her face. I had someone recently tell me that although we think of Christmas as being all merriment and cheer, that wasn't God's design at all. 

The first Christmas was a declaration of war. It was God coming into the world to change everything.

He came to declare war on suffering, sin, and sadness. The chubby baby in a manger would later calm storms with just a word. The mother with an angelic look on her face would someday watch her son hang on a tree like a criminal. 

Christmas acts to magnify everything in our lives. It highlights our joy and our pain. Our celebrations and our heartaches. Togetherness and loneliness. I have to be honest. This year I'm banking on the fact that Christ came into the world to change everything. There will be no sentimentality in our home this year; there is little room for it.

But there will be advent to celebrate. 

Living in the tension of a God that lived in skin and walked on this Earth. Who came to start the war on death and brokenness. And that someday, he will come again. To make all the sad things untrue and fix the heartache.

And to ultimately save and redeem everything.

This is what makes Christmas something to celebrate. Not a sentiment to write on a Christmas card, but a reality that we can put all of our faith in a Savior who came and a conqueror who will come again.

This is the real good news of Christmas. For all of us.

Andrew Peterson's Labor of Love

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In Their Own Words: An Adoptive Mama Shares How Their Adoption is Affecting Others

I have the honor and privilege of walking with some amazing families. And sometimes I'm lucky and they become dear friends. This was the case with Brandy, an adoptive mama with an amazing story of how their daughter came into their family. If you missed it, take a quick moment to get the back story here. After Thanksgiving, Brandy recently shared these thoughts with me about their adoption, it's impact on those around her, and her insight from this side of her journey....

It's all about perspective...

This post will be a nice little mix between personal story and insights.  In my life it is difficult to divorce the two.  My best insights come from living my life and learning along the way.  I do confess, though, that there are times I would rather learn the lessons without the living it first.  But we all know life doesn't work like that, right?

So, several weeks ago we celebrated Thanksgiving and as usual, I wrestled all month to be thankful...not because I didn't have things to be thankful for, but because gratitude is not my primary mode of emoting. I normally get caught up in the day-in-and-day-out of living that I forget to be grateful. And even more than that, I often forget to direct my thanksgiving to the Lord - the Giver of Everything.

We traveled to see family for the holiday. And while I love visiting family, it is always a test of patience with five kiddos. This year, though, we were able to take along our newest kiddo and introduce her to several family members and friends for the first time. Obviously, all these people knew we were adopting, had brought home a baby, etc. etc. What I didn't realize, though, was the magnificent affect our obedience would have on different people around us.

We were asked question after question, many times the same ones we just answered. I was tempted to feel a bit like a broken record or like I was trying to prove that Eden was as wonderful as she is. But then, perspective hit.  These people were rubbing up against our decision of love and obedience and now had to decide how they were going to respond - to either be pressed on in their journey with the Lord or to hold back and shut off the opportunity. It was actually interesting to watch peoples' faces. And I am very grateful to have married into a family that generally wants to press deeper into God's heart - to obey and try to count the cost. Personal obedience to the Lord always affects those around you. It is never really just about you.  Just as iron sharpens iron, our choices to obey make a witness of the Lord to those around us.

Another epiphany struck me over this past holiday. I was at my in-laws holding my new bundle of joy (she really is so joyful!) and I realized, God really does know what He is doing. Twelve months ago, I was a jumble of hurt and disappointment and was ready to just give up. Then as the year turned and we matched with a birth mother rather unexpectedly, my hopes soared. Then they were crushed again as that birth momma delivered her daughter without contacting the agency and walked out of hospital rightfully choosing to keep her baby. That was so hard for me as I would never ever want to separate a mom from her child, but I had placed so much hope and expectation in that potential. So many other things this year came cascading down.  And it was a real war in my heart to trust the Lord and His plans for our lives. 

And then there I was, sitting at my in-laws, holding Eden, and the Lord sweet reminders began to sink down into my mind and heart. God knows...He knows what He's is doing. 

He knows the process He is taking each of our families through. He knows the why. He knows the how. He knows the length of time. 

He knows the hurts we will walk through and He know the joys He will explode in our hearts.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Link Too Good Not to Share

Last night I read a blog that was linked to my facebook page. As I sat at my computer at my dining room table, sipping coffee in my yoga pants, I wept.

I know I'm late to the game since it was first posted in September, but it's good enough to post. And share. And shout.

The Generational Effects of Adoption

Adoption brings significant, far-reaching, eternal change.

Adoption is a multi-generational love story.

Adoption, at it's truest, reflects the gospel.

Read it.  And while you're over at Jason's blog, read more under his Orphan Care tab. Good good stuff.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Congratulations Romin and Audrey

Romin and Audrey began their journey with Christian Adoption Consultants in May. After seeing many, many situations of possible birth families and babies that might be a good fit for their family, one finally came through in September that seemed to stand out.  

So, they put their "yes" on the table. They were presented to a birth mama as a family who would love to raise her son if she felt adoption was the best choice.

But when an adoptive family says "yes," they are saying yes to more than a situation.

They are saying yes to the sacrifice of finances.

They are saying yes to making room in their homes.

They are saying yes to honor a birth mother's brave decision for life.

Ultimately, they are saying yes to God's call in their lives.

After days of waiting, they were chosen.  After months of planning, they had a due date.

And over Thanksgiving weekend, their "yes" to adoption was answered by this precious little boy.

God does miraculous things with our "yeses." For Romin and Audrey, their blessing is this little guy.
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