Adoption Awareness Month and this Adoptive Mom’s 2 Cents

Hey hey! I hope you all had a wonderful week! We definitely did. This past Sunday we were finally able to baptize little Amelia! It was such a beautiful morning. Amelia was so good, and she even smiled when the deacon anointed her! I was so proud! I’ll be really honest with y’all and say that for quite a long time I believed we would never have children, and so I would get really emotional over the thought that we’d never have baptism pictures or first Christmas pictures or wedding pictures of our children. And then on Sunday I felt extremely emotional just knowing that our beautiful baby, the baby I prayed for so long to join our family, was finally in my arms and we were able to have her baptized. It sounds a little silly typing it out but that was truly a dream come true for me. But that dream would obviously never have come true were it not for adoption.

Some of you may know that November is Adoption Awareness Month, and tomorrow, November 9, is actually World Adoption Day! I’ve followed the posts on social media in years past from families who had adopted or were in the process of adopting but this is the first year I can count Chris and myself in with those families. Initially I wasn’t going to share my thoughts because I didn’t feel qualified to talk about adoption in depth yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel qualified to do that. But after thinking about it a little more and reading some beautiful and vulnerable posts from all parts of the adoption world, I decided to share a little bit after all, especially since tomorrow is meant to be a day to celebrate the gift of adoption, as well as a day to remind us to not overlook all those who suffer because of adoption.

Something that really stood out to me while learning about adoption and the trauma involved in it, is that there are people who feel that you can’t really have peace in adoption. Their argument is how can you be at peace about something that you know is going to cause so much pain for someone else. Here’s my take: when God plants a seed in your heart, and you follow His lead as He guides you to what He has planned for you to do, you will have peace. Sure, it won’t be a peace that totally cancels out all your worries and fears. We’re human, therefore we have human emotions. But I learned through our adoption process, and I’m still learning now, that I will only have true peace if I do God’s will. And I firmly believe that us pursuing adoption was His will.

My heart truly breaks when I think about T, Amelia’s birth mom. I am filled with so much pain knowing that she is more than likely experiencing the most difficult days of her life right now. I’m not blind to those things. I have so much guilt on a daily basis because of the joy and excitement I feel every day since becoming Amelia’s momma. But I also know the conversations I had with T. I know the things she told me, that I will cherish in my heart and share only with Amelia, the baby we both love with everything we have. And I know that she trusts me and Chris to love and raise Amelia.

I’ve had people tell me that a loving God would never let biological families be separated, that we are tearing a family apart because we adopted Amelia. I’ve been told that we are ripping Amelia away from her real mother and her heritage, and that we will never be her real family. I’ve had people tell me that we were coercive because we were excited that T chose us to love and raise her baby. I’ve even had people tell me that I have no idea of the trauma that birth mothers experience, that God privileged us more since we didn’t have any struggles (ha!) and that adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem…and two minutes later the same person boasted of her involvement with Catholics for Choice. Talk about a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I digress. πŸ™‚

My point is, nobody knows our whole story except for us. I don’t share everything. I shouldn’t share everything, that would not be right. But I share what I can to help other people know they aren’t alone. I felt so alone for such a long time, and it wasn’t until I opened up about our infertility and our miscarriage that I started to realize how many people there are who are in the same boat. I finally connected with people who weren’t afraid to share the difficult, messy parts of their stories, with the sole intent of helping other people feel like they belong. I am absolutely certain that I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on adoption topics. Far from it. But I am also absolutely certain that I will do everything in my power to learn what I need to learn and accept that I can’t know it all and I will inevitably make mistakes.

I have had so many doubts throughout our adoption journey, doubts about my ability to be a good mom, doubts about whether or not an expectant mom would choose us to parent her child, doubts about every bit of contact we had with T, whether or not we were giving her the support she needed, even though we were doing our best, doubts about how we would feel about openness in our adoption, and the list goes on. But what I never doubted was that God was there. I never doubted that we were walking the path He had set us on, and for that reason, even in the middle of lots of emotional turmoil, I had peace. I am not perfect, but I can do God’s will. That’s the only way any of us can truly be at peace.

So I will continue to learn, and listen to other adoptive parents, listen to birth mothers and birth fathers, and listen to adoptees, so that I can be as well-informed as possible, and raise our daughter as well as we possibly can. But I will never not speak up when someone says that peace can’t be found in the adoption process. I will never not speak up when people speak uncharitably and/or judgmentally about birth mothers. I will never sit back and keep my mouth shut when people talk down about adoptive parents. I will never keep Amelia’s story from her. She will always know how much T loves her. She will always be given all the information I have to share with her.

Adoption is chock-full of more emotions, messiness, and beauty than you would possibly believe. I can only share what I know. I can only be a voice for one side of the story. But I will always do my best to educate myself on how to walk through life with a child who was adopted, and how to make sure that her birth mom is always aware of how loved she is. I know that us having Amelia in our family is the reason her birth mom’s heart breaks. But I believe, because of so many things that I will not be sharing with y’all, that God brought Amelia and T into our family. And for that I am forever grateful.

Please, if you are touched in any way by adoption, learn more about it. Learn how to speak about adoption, and more specifically birth mothers, with charity and gentleness. But if you only learn one thing, learn this: birth mothers love their babies. They don’t “give them away,” as we are so used to hearing. The decision to place a baby for adoption is the most painful, soul-wrenching decision a woman will ever make. She will live with that decision forever, and with the trauma that goes with it. It is not something done hastily or lightly. So be charitable and kind in how you speak about birth mothers.

Well, this turned into a more emotionally-charged post than I originally intended. Oh well. It’s important stuff, I think. I’m so thankful that I can share a little bit of what we’ve learned. I’m not an expert by a stretch, and I have a lot to learn, but hey, I’ll get there one day. Please pray for everyone in the adoption triad (child, birth family, and adoptive family) that we can navigate this path with love, compassion, and openness. Adoption is hard. But it’s also beautiful, because it comes straight from God. And that’s why it can also come with a certain amount of peace, for everyone involved. Pray for us as we continue to learn about adoption and prepare our hearts for difficult conversations in the future. I’m praying for y’all! ❀

Mommin’ Ain’t Easy: What I’ve Learned in the Past 7 Weeks

Hey! Happy first day of November! I hope y’all all had a great Halloween yesterday. Amelia wasn’t overly impressed with her first holiday, mainly because she’s yet to learn how incredibly delicious Reese’s and Snickers are. Next year I’m sure she’ll have a lot more fun. πŸ™‚

I’ve spent the last 7 weeks doing the most fun, exhausting job I’ve ever gotten to do: being a mom. My whole life that’s all I ever really wanted to do, and now that I get to live that dream, I’m finding that it’s even better than I imagined it would be. Amelia is truly a dream come true. The past couple of months have really been the best and most challenging months I think I’ve ever had, and I’ve just learned so much.

I’ve learned that I am capable of eating more quickly than it’s probably healthy to eat.

I’ve learned that dry shampoo still does a good job even on the 6th day of not washing your hair.

I’ve learned that I can still function on less than 3 hours of sleep, and that wearing glasses is an excellent way to help hide those tell-tale dark circles.

I’ve learned that babies can sleep through pretty much anything – during the day. πŸ™‚

I’ve learned that I can reheat the same cup of coffee multiple times and when I finally get to drink it it still tastes (almost) like it was freshly brewed.

But my favorite thing I’ve learned is how much love my heart is capable of holding. Every day that passes I love Chris and Amelia more. My heart feels like exploding when Chris scoops up the baby and calms her when she cries, or when he bounces her up and down and she grins at him. Some days I still can’t believe that this is my life, that I get to raise sweet Amelia and to be her momma. But if I’m being totally honest with y’all, not all days are rainbows and butterflies.

Some days I feel overwhelmed, and then feel guilty for feeling that way. After all, I didn’t physically give birth to Amelia, I don’t have raging hormonal shifts from delivering a baby happening in my body to make me feel all the things. I have no reason to feel overwhelmed, right? Some days I feel bad that I even think of asking for help. I hate asking for help anyway. And after all, I am physically capable of caring for my child so I should be able to do it all day long all on my own, right? Some days I feel like I’m not a good mom because I actually enjoy getting out of the house alone sometimes, without taking Amelia with me. I should always want her attached to me at the hip, right?

Here’s the thing: I put so much pressure on myself to be able to do it all. Alone. All by myself. And that’s just stupid. I have the best husband in the whole world, who comes home from working all day long and does the chores I didn’t get to during the day, because Amelia was needing extra snuggles. I have a husband who is the best daddy in the whole world, who can swaddle that baby better than anyone, and who completely adores our sweet girl. I make myself so anxious with feeling like I have to do everything, but I don’t even come close to doing everything by myself. I never could!

I realized after much self-reflection that I put all this pressure on myself because I felt like I needed to make up for the fact that Amelia didn’t grow inside of me, that I somehow needed to prove that I am a mother. How ridiculous is that? I’ve learned – or I guess I should really say that I’ve come to more fully understand – that being a parent has everything to do with love. It has everything to do with being there when your kids need you. And that isn’t contingent on biology. Amelia is in no way biologically related to me and Chris and yet the first time we saw her it felt like we’d known her forever, like she was completely a part of us. I feel like we spend so much time trying to be the best parents, and do everything perfectly for our children, that we end up missing out on the most important aspects of parenthood: spending time just being with our children. Whether or not they share the same blood is largely irrelevant when it comes down to it. The important thing is the love you share.

I feel a little bit like I just spilled my guts to y’all; I guess this motherhood thing is making me (more) emotional. But I felt like it’s important to share the not-so-great along with the great. I freaking love my life. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I’m human, I struggle, and that doesn’t really mean anything except that I’m human. I love being Amelia’s mom, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need a little alone time sometimes. Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work. I love it, but it is far from easy. I think that’s the beauty of this life though: being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the most rewarding, fun, and beautiful thing I’ve ever done. And I’m so proud and thankful that I get to do this job.

Okay, enough rambling. I have Mass to attend (happy All Saints’ Day friends!), a gumbo to cook (because it’s below 60 degrees in Louisiana, so obviously we need gumbo) and a baby to snuggle (I can’t even lie – I’d hold her all day if I could). Please keep our little family in your prayers as we continue getting used to this parenting thing…Amelia will be 7 weeks old tomorrow but I still feel like most days we’re just winging it and don’t really know what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks we’re doing. πŸ™‚ As always, please know that I’m praying for y’all! ❀

Sweet Amelia

Hey friends! I’m back! It feels like ages since I’ve even had an opportunity to sit down and try to write in this little space, even though it’s only been 6 weeks. But what a crazy 6 weeks it’s been! As most of y’all know, our sweet girl, Amelia Anne Catherine, was born September 14th. None of the plans we so carefully laid actually happened, but I don’t even care. God proved once again that His plans are better.

We had planned to drive out to the state where Amelia’s birth mom, T, is from, because we all thought we would have plenty of time to do that. She wasn’t showing any signs of going into labor and the due date was coming up, so we really thought that driving would be absolutely perfect. Ha. We were wrong. The day we were set to start driving, which was three days before the due date, T texted me that she was starting to have some signs of labor and that we needed to head out there.

Chris and I went into panic mode immediately. I was freaking out, I could hardly breathe, and we were both running around like crazy people trying to finish packing and reorganize our luggage to be better suited for flying. We got the only flight out that day, and arrived late that night in the state where we’d meet our daughter and her beautiful first momma. Less than 48 hours later we were holding sweet Amelia Anne Catherine, and feeling so much love we didn’t even know what to do with ourselves.

God’s plans are so sneaky. And beautiful. I thought I wanted to share with y’all all the ways God’s hands were in this process, and I thought I would tell y’all all about our time in the state where Amelia was born and the things that made her joining our family even more beautiful and special. But I’m not going to share those things. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t want to shout from the rooftops how incredibly amazing God is and how perfectly He designed this journey for us. But all those most beautiful and special details make up my daughter’s story, and they’re for her to share when she wants to share them.

I will tell y’all, though, that I had no idea that adoption could be so beautiful. Obviously I know it’s an amazing, complex, beautiful, messy thing. The sheer magnitude of adoption is staggering. But so many things happened over the last six weeks that completely blew my mind. So many things that I never imagined or dreamed of happening in adoption. Conversations were had and people were introduced and families were grown in ways that I never would have thought possible. Again, they are details that Amelia can share one day if and when she wants to. I’m just so thankful that God didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the apprehensions I had about open adoption. I’m so glad He took our hearts and shaped them and softened them to be able to welcome the incredible gift that we have received through having openness in Amelia’s adoption.

I know this post is a little cryptic. But y’all know I share as much as I feel in my heart is right to share, and I just feel like one day Amelia will be so happy to be the one to share all the special details surrounding how she joined our family. And she will be able to share about how loved she is by both of her families. She’s completely and unconditionally loved by everyone who is part of her story. She’s the answer to our countless prayers, and so is her first mom. I do feel like I need to make something very clear, though: Amelia’s birth mom is amazing. I have so much love and respect for her, but not just because of her gift of Amelia. She is incredible in her own right. And had she chosen to parent Amelia, I know Amelia would have a wonderful, love-filled life. But T chose me and Chris to have the joy of being her daughter’s parents. She chose us to become part of her own life forever.

I will never be able to put all my feelings for T into words. And maybe that’s a good thing. There are so many intense emotions that even trying to sort them out is overwhelming. So I just feel them. Our joy comes from T’s grief, and that’s a tough pill to swallow, but I also have a lot of peace in our family’s story because we didn’t close ourselves off to what God had planned for us. Allowing ourselves to walk through an open adoption situation even when we were scared led us to being able to have visits and conversations that brought immense amounts of peace and joy. God is so good, friends.

We are so happy to be back in our own home instead of living out of hotels like we did for 35 days. Our routines are getting established again and Amelia is now used to her new home. It was rough the first night back because we were running on almost no sleep, and Amelia was cool without sleeping, so that wasn’t too fun. But now she loves her little bed and has a routine all set. She’s growing so quickly it almost makes my heart hurt, but at the same time I’m loving watching her grow. She gets more alert and active every day, and she’s getting stronger and chunkier too! We just love her.

I have a lot more thoughts that I actually will share with y’all, but they’re for another post. I have a baby to tend to who loves to be held and cries when she’s put down. πŸ™‚ As always, please continue to keep our family in your prayers, and keep Amelia’s first family in your prayers as well. I’m praying for y’all! ❀️

Home Stretch

Hey everyone! Welcome back to my rambling and disorganized thoughts on everything going on right now. I’m so glad you’re here. πŸ™‚

We’re in the final countdown now, friends. I’m honestly hoping this is my last blog post for a few weeks. I’m hoping we get a call this week that baby is on her way. But in the meantime, Chris and I are just trying to enjoy the last few days before we hopefully become parents. It’s such a bittersweet time in our lives. If I’m being totally honest, I am a little scared. Okay, I’m a lot scared. I may not be carrying this baby, but I love her and I want to be the best momma to her that I can possibly be. And there are so many doubts filling my mind all the time. But I feel in my soul that I was born to do this. I’ve always felt that I was meant to be a mom, and while that doesn’t completely quell the fears and worries and doubts, it does ease them a little.

I have noticed, in this last week especially, that I’ve been so emotional thinking about our marriage and our life together lately. As though all the wonderful days of just the two of us are over now. And they’re so not! I know that things will be completely different once a baby is added to our family, but it will be such a good kind of different and new! Sure, we won’t be able to just get up and go whenever we want, and gone are the days of slow and lazy weekend mornings, but I tell you what, I’m so ready for the chaos of a newborn.

Even though I’m feeling sadness that one phase of our life is ending, I’m freaking pumped for this new phase, too. It just feels so strange to be heading into parenthood. Chis and I have been together nearly 7 years now, and it’s always been just us. Our foundation is so strong and solid, and I love what we’ve built together. We waited to try to have kids until we’d been married for a little while for that exact reason: we wanted to be a strong couple, and to have the opportunity to navigate the early days of being married and living together for the first time. It was a real fear that we’d have kids right off and once they were grown and gone, we’d have no clue how to just be married and together, without the addition of children.

Our plans for growing our family obviously didn’t pan out like we thought they would, and y’all know how I feel about my plans being derailed, but I wouldn’t want to walk through this crazy journey with anyone other than Chris. We may not have it easy, but my goodness is our life sweet. I still count the hours till we can both be home together in the evenings, and I still can’t wait till he’s off on the weekends so we can spend all our time together. Chris is absolutely my best friend and favorite person, and I’m beyond excited to watch him become a dad.

Goodness, I’m clearly feeling emotional these days. But I have a good excuse, so it’s fine. πŸ™‚ I just can hardly believe we’ve made it this far already. We are a mere 9 days from Baby Girl’s due date. 9 DAYS PEOPLE. I’m excited, nervous, scared, joyful, and just generally emotional. Obviously. Baby’s bag is packed, our bags will soon be packed, and we are just waiting for a phone call now. I’m itching to just head out. The waiting is so stressful, but Baby will come when she’s ready. I’m just hoping she’s ready sooner rather than later.

Please continue to keep the expectant momma in your prayers, and pray for the continued health of both her and her baby. And please pray for me and Chris, that we can have the grace, courage, and strength to accept any and all surprises, challenges, and joys I’m certain these next few weeks will bring. I’m praying for y’all! ❀

ALMOST BABY MONTH!!

This Sunday is September 1st. What the heck people?! This Sunday it is officially BABY MONTH!!!!! The last 6 weeks since we matched have absolutely flown by. I knew they would, but it still felt like a long time at first. Now it feels like we just got the match call, and we didn’t know if the baby was a boy or a girl, and we didn’t really have any clue what we were in for during the next two months. We had no idea we’d be able to build a relationship with the expectant mom, no idea what updates would be like, and no idea of the immense love our hearts could hold for a baby we have yet to meet. Amazing what you can learn in such a short amount of time. πŸ™‚

I was told a while back by an adoptive parent that hopeful adoptive moms experience a nesting phase just like any other expectant moms…and it’s really true. I’ve been washing clothes and itching to pack our bags, clean the house, and have everything in complete order for when we get the call to travel. It’s weird, actually, because I went for so many weeks feeling like it wasn’t real. I guess it just hadn’t completely sunk in. But as we come up on the two week mark until Baby Girl’s due date, I am freaking out just a little bit more with each passing day. The fact that we are now receiving regular updates on the progress of the expectant mom and Baby Girl definitely go a long way in helping everything seem even more real. In the very foreseeable future, Chris and I get to travel to meet that sweet momma and baby and we could not be more ready or more excited.

I’m still struggling with the anxiety surrounding this whole process, though. I have anxiety brought on by my lack of control, and then I feel more need to control things because of the anxiety, and it’s a vicious circle. But it’s all good. Some days are calm and relaxed and others are me running around like a crazy person, feeling insanely busy all day but really getting nothing done because there’s not actually a whole lot left for me to do. I’ve realized that some of that anxiety is coming from the fact that not only are we almost in baby month and ready to meet Baby Girl, but September is also the month I was due when I was pregnant with Madeleine. She would’ve been two on September 11th.

I still have those pregnancy tests, the only positive ones I ever saw. Actually, I should say they are the only positive ones I got that I wanted to see: I was totally unaware of how long it would take my body to stop producing pregnancy hormones once I started to miscarry, and I had to take pregnancy tests weekly during the time it took my body to miscarry, to find out if my hormones had regulated again. It took 7 weeks. Needless to say, I tossed every one of those vile false positive tests. But I still have the first two I took, the real positive ones, the ones that told us Madeleine was there. I know I’ll never get rid of them. They sometimes feel like the only proof I have left that I was ever pregnant, and that Madeleine existed. I remember excitedly counting the weeks to figure out my due date, and loving the fact that her birthday would be in September with most of Chris’s family. For weeks following my miscarriage I couldn’t stop keeping track of what week we should’ve been in in the pregnancy. People who knew I was pregnant but didn’t know I had miscarried would ask how far along I was and I could still tell them right away, followed immediately by, “…but I miscarried.” I still don’t know when I stopped keeping track of each passing week, but I do remember being so relieved when I was finally able to stop.

The trauma of that miscarriage and the loss of our baby has not left me and I know it never will. But I thank God it’s gotten a little easier. Some days are still really hard. Some days I still have to take a minute and just cry because I miss our baby. But it’s not every day. Most days I can smile when I think about what she would’ve been like had she had a chance to grow and be welcomed into the world. But at the same time there isn’t a doubt in my mind that she had an impact on the world and on our future. Madeleine was sent into our family for a reason and she was loved immeasurably for the 7 weeks we got to spend knowing she was growing inside me, and she continues to be loved tremendously now.

Obviously this coming month is so bittersweet for me. When we presented to the case that we matched with, I really loved the fact that the expectant mom was due in September. A lot of the cases we saw had September due dates, actually. It was like a little special gift that the month that brings so much heartache and such painful memories can now bring sweet memories and hopefully happy endings too. Madeleine will always be our first baby, and no matter how many children we adopt or welcome into our family biologically, she will never be replaced. But I know she had a hand in leading us to the expectant momma who chose us. I prayed so hard for Madeleine to intercede for us, and for her to be able to have a little brother or sister she could watch over from Heaven. And here we are, hopefully really close to having those prayers answered.

Please pray for Baby Girl to continue to grow healthy and strong, and for the expectant momma to have continued peace and confidence, and that she remains healthy and well for the duration of her pregnancy. We are getting so very close to meeting them, and to starting on a whole new adventure, one that will be unlike our wildest dreams, but one that we’re also really looking forward to and excited for. Please keep praying for me and Chris as we get ready to embark on this new phase of life in a couple of weeks. We could definitely use all the prayers! And as always, I’m praying for y’all! ❀

Grace Upon Grace

Hey everyone! I just looked at my calendar and realized there is only one full week of August left. Where has this year gone? I definitely understand now what my parents meant when they used to say that the older you get the more quickly the years go by. It’s so true. Summer is practically over – the season anyway, definitely not the temperatures – school has started again, and next thing we know we’ll be seeing pumpkin flavored everything and hearing Christmas music in all the stores.

The days are just blending together and time seems like it’s flying by. That’s a good thing on one hand, but on the other hand I’m really aware lately of the fact that these are likely our last days with just me and Chris. Our last few weeks of date nights every weekend and slow Saturday mornings sipping coffee on the front porch, for a while, at least. Our last few weeks of just the two of us. Our lives are about to be turned upside down in hopefully only the best ways, and I’m so ready for it!

It seems like only yesterday that Chris was telling me he was ready to start the adoption process, when in reality it was over 6 months ago. But my goodness the changes we have seen in the last 6 months. I don’t think we’ve ever accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. We did have a 6-month engagement, but our wedding preparations were significantly less stressful than these few months have been! From completing our home study and agency paperwork and filling out more papers than I ever thought I would in my life, to accepting the match that we had prayed for for so long, this has been a really crazy and busy half a year. So many things have changed, and we’re just getting started! Through it all God has just given us grace upon beautiful grace to help us through all the new things.

So here we are, a mere 3.5 weeks away from Baby Girl’s due date. Three and a half weeks y’all. I’m freaking out a little bit. We haven’t gotten anything together for ourselves yet but I can promise y’all that little girl is going to be the best dressed little miss in the hospital! We don’t know yet whether we will be driving or flying out to meet the baby and her biological mom and we probably won’t know for sure how we’re getting there until it’s time to actually make that decision. We could get a call any day now that the baby is coming and we’ll need to make our travel decision based on what the expectant mom has decided for her delivery and hospital stay. We are definitely hoping to be able to drive, as it will be really nice to have our own car and to not have to bring a baby back home on a plane. Because all kinds of people breathing on the baby just makes me very uncomfortable. But hey, whatever happens, it is going to be okay. We’ll make it work, and God will provide.

I’m just so giddy when I think about how soon all of this is going to go down. I can’t believe it’s so close. We’re still so excited to meet the expectant mom and to spend some more time getting to know her, if she wants that. I wish I could tell y’all all the little things that have taken place that bring me an immense amount of peace about the whole situation. One day I will share those things will y’all. But for now, I can just tell you that I’ve seen God’s hand in this process, throughout the waiting, and in this match over and over and over again, and it blows me away. Things that I could never have planned myself that point so clearly to God. He’s so good to us. No matter the outcome of this process, God has been with us and it’s so obvious to me that He brought us to this particular momma and baby for a specific reason. Our stories were always meant to be intertwined and I think that’s a really beautiful thing. Yes adoption is hard and messy and painful, but y’all, the beauty that God brings from that mess is just incredible.

Please continue to pray hard for the momma who chose us to have peace and comfort in the days and weeks ahead, and for God to give her the courage and strength to make whatever decision is best for the baby. And please pray that when the baby is close to making her appearance Chris and I can get a heads up far enough in advance that we can make the drive to get where we need to be, rather than having to book a flight last minute. But also just pray for trust for us. Trust that whatever happens over these next weeks we can always remember that God has a plan. And His plans are always for the good of our souls, and that’s ultimately the most important thing. I’m praying for y’all! ❀

Baby Clothes + Countdowns

Hey there friends! I hope you all had the best week. It’s been busy and crazy in our house, but that does make the days pass more quickly, so I’m definitely okay with it. We are in the home stretch in our countdown to Baby Girl’s due date, and we are so excited! I do have a lot of fears, and I’ve never been shy to share about those negative feelings, but I am really, really excited and hopeful, too.

Every update we receive from the expectant momma who chose us makes my heart skip a beat. Every day that passes I know is bringing us closer to meeting that sweet momma and baby. I started washing the baby clothes this week. I held off for a long time, out of fear mostly, but also because so much was up in the air. But here we are, just a few short weeks from the days we’ve prayed and hoped for for so very long. And I decided it would be an act of hope and courage to start really going all in and preparing for a baby. So now our house smells like Dreft detergent and I love it. With every piece of clothing I wash, I’m so shocked and surprised when I realize how small that baby will likely be. I’ve been around a lot of babies in my time (I do have 7 younger siblings, after all, not to mention that my job throughout high school and college was babysitting) but it never ceases to amaze me how small they start out. The little body suits make my heart melt and I can’t wait to snuggle a tiny baby in one.

I’ve organized the clothes and beautiful accessories the baby has already been given, and when I think about the generosity of our family and friends, I’m honestly overwhelmed. There has not been one person to whom we’ve told our adoption plans who did not immediately brim over with love and joy for us. The prayers, support, and love from our family and friends has been incredible. We’ve received so many gifts in the way of clothing for the baby, not to mention bottles, bedding, a changing table and bassinet, beautiful headbands, handmade blankets and bonnets, and an absolutely beautiful handmade dress from my aunt that makes me want to weep every time I see it. It makes my heart melt when I stop and remember how very loved we are, and how loved our children will be. All the fears we experienced before starting the adoption process completely vanished when we told our families we were hoping to adopt. I was so afraid that maybe a baby who wasn’t biologically related to us would be treated differently by people, but there is not a doubt in my mind anymore that our children will be loved immeasurably, whether they come to us through adoption or biologically.

I’m coming to understand that adoption is not for everyone, and it absolutely requires a courage and faith that can only fully be found in God. I never in a million years would’ve imagined when we got married that Chris and I would be here now. I never would’ve thought that we would be unable to have children who share our DNA. Even though we always wanted to adopt and were always open to it, we definitely believed it would be in addition to biological kids. But God’s plans are different. There is no way we could be walking this road, full of fear and doubt, grief and tears, without God. Even when we were angry and didn’t want to acknowledge His presence, even when we said, “no more” and “I give up,” God was there, whether we let Him in or not. Yes, we are terrified. I’m scared out of my mind some days. But here we are, walking this journey with an expectant mom we cannot wait to meet, on the road to meeting a baby we all love with our whole hearts. It’s confusing and messy and really overwhelming, but it’s beautiful too. And it’s because of the support of family and the love of our Heavenly Father that we can experience the joy and beauty even in the midst of the hard stuff.

I’m really glad we have the opportunity to share our journey with y’all. It means so much when people let us know they’re following our story and praying for us and thinking about us. I love the community that has come from simply starting to write about our sufferings and joys and fears and triumphs. It’s amazing to me that God has brought us so much support through this little blog of mine. It doesn’t get a whole lot of attention most weeks, which I’m completely okay with because I usually just write because it’s therapeutic for me, but when I realize how many people are actually rooting for us and cheering us on because I share with y’all, I’m just blown away. So thank you. Thank you for the prayers thus far, and please continue keeping us in your prayers as we get closer and closer to meeting some very special people very soon. I’m praying for y’all! ❀