Tuesday, February 19, 2013

God's Blueprint

With God there is a plan and a purpose for everything. He has a blueprint for everyone’s life. Knowing this gives every member of the adoption triad comfort; the adoptive parents, the birth parents, and the adoptee. The fact that God has a blueprint for each life brings value and meaning to all life, even the unborn.

Life on this earth may sometimes be unplanned, accidental, or even unwanted but with God there are no accidents. He has a plan for EVERY life, even those who appear to have no purpose.  Often people are given labels and based on those labels their worth is measured. God sees beyond labels, disabilities, and social status - He sees the unique plan He designed for each life.

Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee..

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

God has already chosen our child, and knows his/her name. Before the world began He desired this child to be in our home. God has given our future child a set of blueprints and this child is set apart to eventually be in our arms. The circumstances may not always be easy or ideal, but God’s way is always perfect.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Walking by Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) is a very meaningful verse to me during this journey to adoption. As soon as my eyes ran across this verse I claimed it for my own before beginning our second adoption process. I had been asking the Lord to give me something special for this next step. Before Noah’s adoption my husband and I used the theme, “Open Arms Held High”. Although that remains true, we are in a different position in our lives. Right now there are many decisions hanging in the balances. I’m not talking small things, but BIG things – we are facing a collision of life altering decisions happening simultaneously. My husband and I believe the Lord is leading us to a new ministry, one which we will have to relocate. We don’t know the when, where, or how, but we know WHO is leading us and that He is in complete control. It isn't very comfortable walking into the unknown. At times I feel blindfolded with my arms outstretched in front of me, but I’m putting one foot in front of the other in faith knowing God is in control of my future. When I stumble and trip on a bump that is along the road…I’m going to remember that I am walking by faith, not sight. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Long Awaited Update

I just sat down to finally update my blog, but to be honest I hope I am not able to finish. I am waiting for my phone to ring and dash off to the hospital tonight!  The preparations have been made; my house is clean, I have meals prepared in my freezer, the diaper bag is packed, and the car seat is in the car – any moment now! I am so excited to meet our little blessing….our SON.

I have received so many messages, emails, phone calls, and text – yes, everything is fine. I just haven’t had time to write lately. Things have been busy at the church, and we have been doing our best to get a little ahead.

God has been so good – I get excited to share our story with others. It’s been encouraging for me to speak to many people about our journey to adoption. I know God has brought this special plan into our lives to share it with others.  Everyone faces difficulties and trials, and I can relate with them to a certain degree and share God’s grace in my life. I can have peace and rest because I know God is in control and His plan is always perfect – He makes no mistakes.

It has been a considerable time since the last time I wrote, so I won’t be able to share all the details with you. However, I will give you a brief version of what the future looks like for our little family.

Our baby boy’s due date was moved from September 2nd to August 25th. From what the doctor says baby is doing very well and seems to be quite healthy and strong. All along they thought he would come early, so each week I would prepare for his arrival. His due date came and went – nothing. The birthmother went to the clinic yesterday (Friday) and they said if he doesn’t come this weekend then they will induce her on Monday. They were fairly certain he would come this weekend. He hasn’t made his grand entrance yet, so maybe he will debut on Sunday – perfect for my husband who is a pastor! ;)

I wish I could share all the details of how the Lord has affirmed and reaffirmed us during this past month. I am hesitant to share many details so publicly on my blog for a variety of reasons.  I love to talk about adoption so you can speak to me anytime, and I would be happy to share with you our experience.

Here is what we can expect when we receive the call.

Kevin and I will go to the hospital as soon as the birthmother starts labor. I have been invited to be part of the birthing experience, which I gladly accepted. Let me just stop here, and ask you to pray for me specifically during this time. I know this will be tremendously difficult for me and I need you to pray for emotional strength during this crucial time. It has been my constant prayer that the birth mother would come to know Christ as her Savior and also that the Lord would show her mercy during labor. It will be very challenging for me to watch her go through labor. I can honestly say I would much rather take the physical pain, than to go through the emotional turmoil of watching. The Lord has given me real victory and I know this is God’s plan, however, I know I will watch her go through labor and wish it could be me. Please pray the Lord will give me wisdom and discernment during this critical time.

I really don’t know much of the details for the rest of the hospital stay other than it is the most crucial part of the infant adoption plan. Please keep this in your prayers. Kevin and I have been given no reason to worry or fret about this important time, but in the back of my mind I’m still uneasy about the whole ordeal.

Once everyone has been released from the hospital we will then go to a neutral location and have an entrustment ceremony. This is not the standard procedure; typically the hand-off happens at the hospital. It isn’t out of the ordinary either though, and the birthmother asked if we would be willing to comply.  This is another crucial point that I am trusting the Lord to help. I am sure by this time we will be very tired, which will make us even more emotionally vulnerable.  We will need God’s strength and grace in a way we will have never imagined. I have been told this will be the single most difficult thing I will ever have done in my life. My husband and I would appreciate your prayers.

Well, I’ve said all I’m going to say tonight and no baby news. L Maybe tomorrow…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Direction of Our Faith - Written by Kevin

Throughout life there will be many joys and sorrows, comforts and trials. There is often a stronger emphasis on faith during trials. Many times faith can be a hindrance from moving forward for God because it is not channeled in the right direction. Often it is thought that with enough faith the trials will be taken away and peace will reign. True faith will give the peace needed through the greatest of trials because it is not in the removal of the trial, but in God that carries His children through the trials.

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus spoke about the unbelief of people and said, “If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”  During the many months of being told that we could not have children biologically, we prayed and knew that God could still give us children if He desired. We claimed verses such as Matthew 17:20 and many others that mention about praying in faith, believing. Nothing seemed to happen (having children biologically) even though we prayed, but something did happen in our hearts. God began to work in our hearts reminding us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD (Isaiah 55:8)”.

During this journey I came across many Bible passages to help me settle this in my heart. The night we shared our trial openly with the church, I preached on the verses God used in my life. We can find different accounts of people who prayed, received, and God was praised. Others prayed, but the trial was not removed and God received great glory! Yet others cried out to God for their desires repeatedly, God granted their request, but smote many with a plague. For sake of time I have only written a few accounts from the Bible.

The Apostle Paul
Paul is remembered as the great missionary that took the gospel throughout the known world. Through the inspiration of God he wrote nearly half of the New Testament. Paul was greatly used of God in starting many New Testament churches, and for standing boldly for the faith. In the midst of his great service for God, he had what he described as a “thorn in the flesh.” We do not know exactly what this “thorn in the flesh” was although some speculate that it was his eye sight. We do know from the account of II Corinthians 12:8 that he prayed three times for it to depart from his life.
Three specific times he pleaded with God that it be removed but nothing happened. Was it because he did not have enough faith? What if he fasted and prayed longer? What if he had the other apostles anoint him with oil and pray over him? These are thoughts that have gone through my mind during the trial that God has given to us. By His grace, God helped us understand that it is not simply having faith that things will happen the way “I want,” but having faith that “God is in control.” Many times we say we have faith, but our faith is not in the idea that God knows what is best, but in our idea of what we think is best.

At first Paul began to pray that his “thorn in the flesh”, which was a messenger of Satan to buffet him, would be removed. The only answer he received was, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” God was using this infirmity to make Paul the man he needed to be so God would receive the glory and not man. God can bring trials into our lives to shape and mold us so He will receive the glory He deserves.

The Lord Jesus Christ
Another person who prayed three times for the removal of a trial was Jesus Christ our Lord. At first we would stop and think, “Why would Jesus pray that a trial be removed, wasn’t He God in the flesh?” Yes, Jesus is God, born of a virgin who lived a sinless life so that He could die for our sins and make a way for man to be redeemed back to God. Just hours before He was taken away by a band of men to be falsely tried and crucified, Jesus was in the Mount of Olives speaking with His Father. Jesus knew what was ahead of Him, and he prayed so earnestly that His sweat was as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). It was not necessarily the death that He feared, or even the beatings that He would face, but it was the thought of God turning His back on Him as He took upon Himself the sins of the world. We cannot fully understand this thought, but we know as Jesus hung on the cross, He cried out to His Father, “My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?” As Jesus prayed in the garden, He prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will but thine.”

Many times we begin this prayer. We pray, “If it be possible, let this trial pass from me,” but so many times we never give God the option having His will done in our lives. There was no other way that redemption could be brought to mankind except through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus suffered death, the punishment for our sins, so that God’s name would be glorified. Jesus desired the glory of God and salvation of man more than comfort for Himself.  During trials we often think the best way for God to receive glory is to remove the trial. Many times He receives the most glory by taking us through the middle of the trial as He walks beside us each step of the way.

The Children of Israel
The children of Israel are an instance in the Bible of a group of people who begged God until He fulfilled their desires (Numbers 11). They had such a craving and desire for meat that they began complaining to Moses.  In I Corinthians 10:6 the Bible says they lusted after evil things. Was the meat they desired really evil? No, the law was not against eating meat but God still called it evil. What would make this meat evil in the eyes of God? Their desire for meat became greater than their desire for God, which made it evil in the eyes of God. Their desire for meat became a hindrance with their relationship with God and caused bitterness and resentment toward God. We must be very careful that our desire for things (even good things) never becomes greater than our desire for God Himself. We must never allow our faith in acquiring things to replace our faith in God.

God gave the children of Israel what they desired; not for one night, nor ten, or even twenty nights, but He gave them meat for a full month! In the midst of feasting, God sent a plague which caused many to get sick and some even died. God taught them that it is not people, things, or food that will satisfy our desire, but only God Himself.

We battle with trials and difficulties throughout our life and we may give excuses why we deserve an easy life. We tell God we could serve Him better if He gave us ____?____, and we could accomplish more if He removed_____?_____. We must stop and always keep our eyes on God. Remember that He knows what is best for His children and what will bring the greatest glory to His name.

Anna and I had to realize that our desire for children should never overpower or replace our thoughts of the One who created us, who loves us with an everlasting love, and wants what is best for our lives. When we understood this, we learned faith defined and how we can have the peace of God, even if we cannot see the end result. Often we look for the light at the end of the tunnel in vain, because Christ is the light and He is walking beside us.
- Written by Kevin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Prayer Request

When you think of me, could you please specifically pray for these two things?

1) Please pray for my husband and I tomorrow (Tuesday, July 26) at 8:30 AM. This will be another BIG day and Kevin and I will need lots of wisdom.

2) Although I haven't ever mentioned the cost of adoption, it is considerable. This week we applied for our final grant. We are prayerful that one of the organizations will be able to assist us. We know God has guided and led us in this direction and we trust Him to provide.

There are several more personal prayer requests, but those are two I feel comfortable sharing at the moment.

Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and love. We have been overwhelmed by the kind response, encouragement, and prayers by so many of you. Thank you!

PS - Only 38 days until baby's due date! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


June 27, 2011
What started as an ordinary day would end as one of the best days of our lives! We will never forget how the Lord blessed us on June 27th.

Monday is one of our favorite days! Kevin and I often catch up on projects around the house or take the day off on Monday. Since we had recently finished our home study we thought we should start painting the baby’s room. We were having a great day together and it felt good to get things accomplished in our home. Kevin was painting the bedroom a buttercream yellow and we were brainstorming about decorating ideas. I was in the kitchen attempting to make my first ever strawberry freezer jam. J During the middle of this messy task, my phone rang. I looked down and immediately had butterflies in my stomach when I saw Elisa's name. I quickly answered the phone and began pacing the floor. A quick flashback of our last conversation popped into my head. "Elisa told me she would instantly let me know if she was calling concerning a question", I thought. Elisa was very chirpy on the phone and asked how we were doing, she asked about our anniversary, and on and on....to be honest I was getting annoyed. “Why is she so chatty?” I thought, but secretly I was hoping it was THE CALL. Finally, she asked if I was with Kevin. At that moment I KNEW exactly what she was going to tell us. I got all shaky when I turned on the speaker phone. Elisa was elated to share that birthmother “P” had chosen our profile and was very impressed! There were eleven profiles and birthmother “P” was glued to our little profile book that was never intended to be in her hands. Her social worker urged her to look through the other copies, but “P” never wavered. The emotions of that moment were overwhelming and powerful. I burst into tears. I cried and cried and cried....(I still cry when I think of that moment)

After we hung up Kevin and I were overjoyed!  We couldn't sit still - we couldn't focus, we were so thrilled! We went out to dinner to celebrate our answer to prayer and of course we had to go and buy our little guy some clothes!

There is no doubt in our minds that God is in control. Seventeen short days after completing our home study we had a placement! Just writing about our story gives me goose bumps as I reflect on God's goodness. His plan is always perfect.

I started a journal to my baby boy on June 27th. Love him so much....I can't wait to hold him!

This is a picture of the front cover of THE profile book. :)

Stay tuned to hear about the day we met birthmother “P”. J  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Bump in the Road

Our profile books were finally finished, approved, and ready to be ordered. I "randomly" decided to order a 5x7 paperback book for a personal keepsake. It wasn't a random act at all though, because it was the very book that linked us to our (future) son. I made sure to order the nicest 8x10 hardcover profile books for the birthmothers to look through. Little did I know the paperback book was faster to process and would be delivered just a couple days later.

June 20, 2011
The morning of June 20th was frustrating as I attempted to call the UPS store to find our order. No help – it was already on the truck and there was no way to get a hold of the driver. I prayed and waited for the brown truck to pull in our driveway carrying the hardcover books. If birthmother “P” was to view our profile at 2:00 that afternoon we desperately needed the profiles! The clock struck one 'o clock and we left the house with the "random” paperback book I intended to use as a keepsake. We arrived at Bethany right before the social worker got into her car to meet birthmother "P". After passing off the book, Kevin and I breathed a sigh of relief. Even if nothing came of it, at least we knew we did our best.

Later that night, what do you think was lying on our doorstep? Of course- the three, beautiful 8x10 hardcover profile books!

June 23, 2011
We were on our way to Indiana for our anniversary and we stopped into the Bethany's East Lansing office to visit Elisa (our case worker and now precious friend). She had the official copy of our home study that needed our final signatures. As my husband and I sat and signed our official home study it was a strange feeling to sign a paper that took so much time and effort to complete. It took Elisa forty hours to write and that is not including all the visiting time, emailing, phone calls, etc. What a labor of love!

My husband and I asked about birthmother “P” and if she had selected a family yet. Elisa reassured us that we would receive an email notifying us of her decision or a phone call if we were the chosen family. I mentioned in passing, “Please don’t call me for questions then because my stomach will be in knots when I see your name on my phone!” We laughed and Elisa said, “If I do call you with questions, I will begin the conversation with – I’m only calling concerning such and such….” I didn’t think too much about that little conversation until just four days later...