Ornaments for Adoption

We were incredibly blessed to be connected with Megan a few months back.  She contacted us because she was interested in doing a fundraiser to help us with our adoption!  How awesome is God, and how amazing is she to have such a burden for orphans?  Along with Megan’s giving spirit, she also has amazing creative talents.  During the holidays she made adorable ornaments to raise money.  Brad and I were finally able to meet her and her husband in person this week over dinner to say THANK YOU for all of their generosity.  If our guys didn’t have to get up so early, we could have stayed there all night and talked!  Ornaments for Adoption ended back in December, but I thought I would post my message to her blog readers over here too.  Thanks again Megan for everything!

I can’t begin this post without first thanking Megan for her thoughtfulness, kindness, and generosity.  Her burden to help others goes beyond a typical calling, and has been a blessing to our growing family.  Her servant spirit has touched the lives of people she may never meet on this side of heaven.  It does not seem sufficient to say that we are indebted to her for her precious charity. In actuality, Megan and I have never met.  We were strangers just a few months ago, but have been brought together through the common bond of adoption.  

Megan and I each have our own unique stories, but the beautiful thing about these stories is that they are wrapped and intertwined in the Gospel.  When we, any of us who have been transformed by Christ, tell our stories, we are telling the story of who God is.  The story that God has written in my life is not the one that I would have imagined, nor is it the one that I tried to plan for myself.  Though its a beautiful story, it is one that has been laced with heartache.

Despite the difficulties that we’ve faced through infertility, miscarriage, medical mysteries, and the weary waiting on our baby through adoption, there is at least one thing I’ve learned about heartache.  It is good.  Good in the way that failure is good, and change is good, and tribulation is good.  I’ve learned the hard way that heartache can come in the form of one of God’s greatest gifts.  It can be a useful tool.  Just like failure will teach us what not to do the next time, and change can be gut-wrenchingly scary but bring new joy, and tribulations make us stronger; heartache can push us to the edge of our faith.  It can devour us, pull us, berate us, and then remake us.  When we are finally standing on the other side of heartache, we can see how far we’ve come from the person that we use to be, to the person that we are now. 

Obviously, none of us can skip to the end and sneak a peek of our story, or even get a glimpse of the end of this chapter for that matter; however I can humbly say I’ve learned to embrace this thing called heartache.  I can come before you now and say that the heartache of losing our first baby has made me stronger.  The heartache of anxiously waiting for our next child has tested my faith and strengthened it as well.  When our heart aches, God aches with us, so it is not something we should run from.  We have been given a promise that we will never be left alone.  {Deuteronomy 31:6}

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of our story.  Through Ornaments for Adoption, you will always be a part of this glorious journey.  I can’t wait for the day that I get to put Christmas ornaments on the tree with a little chubby toddler in footed pajamas, and get to tell them of our story.  The story of how so many strangers and friends alike came together to help bring our baby home.  Merry Christmas and God bless you all for your kindness, support, donations, and prayers.  

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A look back.

Here’s a look back at my guest post over at Re{de}fining.  Thanks again Jenn for considering all aspects of motherhood!

I’m usually terrible with dates.  I can’t ever remember my best friends’ birthdays.  I actually do well to remember the month.  Thank you Facebook for helping me not look like a jerk.  However, I do remember The Date.  It only took my husband an entire month to convince me we were ready.  Yes, he had to convince me.  May 27, 2007 was our first Anniversary, so do the math: one month of convincing + one last day on the pill and we arrive at June 28th.   We had 13 glorious months of marital bliss before this day.  And then it happened.

(Cue the dramatic music…)

We were ready to start a family.  We were also innocently ignorant to the ways of the world and how things don’t immediately turn out the way that you imagine them in your storybook fairy-tale.  Looking back, I can’t recall encountering anyone in my life who was experiencing infertility.  Even though I’d heard of women who had endured a miscarriage, the dourness of such circumstances didn’t register with me until it was something I had experienced on my own.

After more than a year of shattered dreams, countless doctors visits, and four miserable (& failed) rounds of fertility drugs we felt defeated. We needed a break to physically and emotionally recoup. Surprisingly, a few months later, we were stunned to find out that our time of rest was beneficial.  The day that I found out I was going to be a mother brought a precious joy that very few other events in my life have produced.  Twelve days later that joy turned to gut-wrenching heartache.  The circumstances surrounding our miscarriage are complex.  I actually experienced an ectopic pregnancy, and was miraculously much further along in my pregnancy than I had originally thought.  The following months brought excruciating complications that are sporadically detailed in my first blog, Keeping In Step.

Despite my brief pregnancy, I am a mother; even though my emotions and empty arms would beg to differ on most days.  After my body had healed physically and my emotions had become more stable, my response to well-meaning strangers when they asked if I had any children was usually the same.  “Not yet.”  It was the simple answer, but a response that always brought up raw sentiments.

It’s been three and a half years since we had to say good-bye to our first baby.  There are still so many unanswered questions regarding our infertility issues.  Thankfully, these days I have a new response to those curious inquiries from strangers.  It is still easier not to mention our baby in Heaven during casual conversations, but we will proudly tell anyone who will listen that we are expecting our next baby through adoption.  My journey to motherhood has been a difficult road. Throughout this adventure, I have experienced a variety of emotions and there have been the most difficult of days.  Mostly, I am thankful.  For the privilege of being chosen to be the mother of our precious baby in heaven, and especially for being blessed by the merciful grace of my Saviour.

Guest blogging at Re{de}fining

I’m excited to announce that I am guesting blogging today over at Re{de}fining.  My dear friend, Jenn, is doing a series on motherhood for the month of October.  She graciously asked me to share my journey to motherhood because not all of her readers, or women for that matter, have come to be a mother easily.  There are countless heartbreaking stories of women who have been trying for years to have a baby and just as many moms with empty arms due to miscarriages.  Jenn was thoughtful enough to consider this side of motherhood and wanted me to contribute to her series.  So, go check out her blog, and leave a comment to enter for a chance to win some of my jewelry!