poured out

Here are the contents of my heart, poured out in my journal on March 17th, 2011:

It’s Thursday and I am at my parents’ house. Little Bug is napping and I am in my old bedroom to spend time with the Lord uninterrupted. How many times I’ve poured my heart out to Jesus in this room…I don’t know! But this I do know…I am incredibly blessed. If God chose to not grow my family any further – I am blessed beyond measure. I spent countless hours pleading with Jesus to bring me my husband  – and He did – and then I spent countless hours asking God to please put a baby in my womb – and He did so much more than that.

I have learned throughout the past almost 15 years (I was fifteen when God really started His work in molding me and making me who He planned for me to be) so much about my Savior and yet, in comparison to who God is, I know only about as much that will fit into the period at the end of this sentence.

That is just how big God is.

My life is the Lord’s for His using. My infertility has taught me that I am not on this earth to simply enjoy life’s pleasures and then to live eternally with God when I die and go to Heaven. This life matters, even though it is fleeting and I can be here today and gone tomorrow. This life matters but it is not what the world says matters that really matters.

What matters is that I am living for Jesus. What matters is that I have laid my life before my God and I have said, “I surrender, do as you please with my life for your glory.”

That is what matters.

I am so thankful that God has shown me the whys behind my suffering with infertility. It is my platform for others to see Jesus through me as God works miracles through my life and as others watch and see how I am completely trusting God and the promises of His word.

People who do not know God have a hard time sometimes believing He is real but when they come across my story, they see tangible evidence of an invisible God at work in the life of me. Put aside all my other roles in life (wife, mother, daughter, friend) and that is my purpose in this life.

To allow others to see Jesus through me.

Writing and my blog are the tools God has given me to proclaim the good news of Christ and the hope He has to offer to the world.

I want to be found faithful.

As we find ourselves with the opportunity to adopt again this summer, if this birth mother chooses us after looking at all the profiles she will be presented with, I know this is another opportunity for God to perform another miracle in my life so that I can give the glory to Him.

Unfortunately, my heart knows and believes all these things with every fiber of my being, but I have a great enemy that HATES this – all of it.

He hates adoption because it is a picture of God and His love for us. He hates that I am happy, content and filled with joy in spite of the fact I am infertile. He wants me to be bitter, angry, jealous all the time. He hates that I have chosen to live my life for the Lord and he hates that God is making good from bad for His glory.

When the worry creeps in and when I feel myself getting impatient as I wait to hear if we were chosen to parent this baby due this summer, I must remember Satan is trying to pull me down by attacking my flesh since he can’t have my heart.

I must fix my eyes on Jesus.

living in neutral

This is something I wrote two days (March 10) after my friend sent me the text about the adoption situation and wondered if we would be interested:

Even when I try to keep my emotions in neutral when we are in a place like this where there is an opportunity but we don’t know where it will go…sometimes it is hard to stay in neutral.

When I say “neutral” I mean that I am not letting myself get hopeful, excited or carried away with dreaming about things should we be chosen.

But even better than describing this state as living in “neutral” it can be described as “walking step by step in faith”.

When this is on my mind, I am completely at peace: If this is our baby nothing is going to destroy God’s Plan to place this baby in our family. Nothing. Absolutely nothing!! (Jeremiah 29:11)

I must keep my eyes focused on that truth as I run this leg of the journey to #2. Keep my eyes focused on the prize—and the prize isn’t necessarily this baby.

The prize is God’s perfect amazing plan that will bless us with another child in His timing.

That is the prize!

Hebrews 12:2

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.

August or July?

head down

baby has dropped

no dilation

Braxton hicks contractions

That is the latest update on Melody based on her latest doctor’s appointment.

How early do babies drop before birth?

Are we going to have an August or July baby?

Time will tell…

God knows the appointed day for Sweet Pea’s arrival.

Please continue to pray for her health.

Just Be Still

I keep a personal journal that I write in. I started writing in journals when I was 15 years old and I haven’t stopped.

Some of the things I write in my journals make it to the blog, but many things that I write stay right there in my journal.

I’ve decided I want to share some of the things I wrote during the time period of March 8th (when we first learned of this baby) until the time we were matched with this baby in May because God did such a tremendous work in my life during that time and I feel I can’t be quiet about it!

Today I share with you something I wrote in my journal on February 23rd, just two weeks before we learned of this baby:

It’s another time period where I need to be still and just know that God is GOD.

Just be still and know that God has a plan.

Just be still and know God will give me the strength for whatever is to come.

Just be still and know His Plan is beautiful.

Just be still and know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Just be still…

Instead of setting my mind on worry, I must set my mind on great expectations, because I know God is going to do something big again…for His glory.

I wrote this in reference to the drama we had just been through with Little Bug’s birth mother claiming she was pregnant, but then finding out after six weeks that she had either never been pregnant or miscarried and was not telling us. I wrote that in my journal three weeks after learning the truth.

While I was greatly relieved that we did not have to endure Tracy’s drama for six more months, I was anxious about the prospects of starting the adoption process again in the summer. There were so many unknowns and thinking about it all was just very overwhelming.

But, as always, God had a plan and it was bigger, and better, than anything rolling around in my mind that day.

Just thirteen days later, God started working the miracle He had planned all along…for His glory.

please pray for Sweet Pea’s health

If you were following my blog at the time of Little Bug’s birth, you will remember that Little Bug had to go through withdrawals from methadone after birth.

Her hospital stay was only five days. It could have been much longer, but thankfully, five days was all Little Bug needed.

Her withdrawal symptoms lasted until she was about 3 months old. We had to be very careful to not let her get overstimulated. We learned to watch for the signs that she was overstimulated. Little Bug could not be passed around like a baton to family members who were eagerly awaiting a chance to be able to hold her. I hated that, but ultimately, I knew I had to do what was best for Little Bug. Little Bug also had to go through some physical therapy because another symptom of withdrawals is tight muscles. We had to loosen up those muscles. Dave would do exercises with her every day before going to work and then again when he got home. Little Bug would scream and scream and I felt so helpless holding the paci to her little mouth trying to calm her down. Another example of having to do something that was hard but something that I knew was best for her.

Well, we are facing all this again with Sweet Pea as her birth mother is also on methadone.

It is a case by case thing. We won’t know how Sweet Pea’s little body handles the withdrawals until she is here. We have no idea how long her hospital stay will be.

We are just praying that God will shield Sweet Pea in the womb and that her little body will not be greatly affected by the exposure to this.

I have already starting thinking in my head how I am going to balance taking care of Little Bug while having a baby in the NICU. I know it will be a challenging time because I will feel torn, but I just keep reminding myself that it will only be a season of time.

Please join me in praying for the health of Sweet Pea. She has been exposed to a lot in the womb, but we are continuing to walk by faith, knowing that God is knitting her in her birth mother’s womb in the exact way He needs her to be for His glory.

A Due Date

As I said before, we’ve gotten conflicting dates as far as a due date goes. Bottom line is, it is unknown when Sweet Pea was conceived.

The lawyer first told us the due date was due July 8th, which was pretty interesting to me considering that was the exact date I had calculated Tracy to be due.

But now we’ve been told to go off an ultrasound that was done in late January putting the baby at about 11 weeks gestation.

Based off that measurement, Sweet Pea is due to make her appearance the beginning of August. So we are going off that knowing sweet Pea could make an appearance before August.

I know good and well that she will be here on the day God has already appointed for her life to begin outside the womb.

And we will wait for that day.

journey to #2 (Part 2)

Exactly one week after learning the outcome of the situation with Susan, a friend of my mom’s told us about a baby in the foster care system that might become adoptable in May. I started calling DCF to find out what we would need to do to adopt through the foster care system, should God continue to open the door to this opportunity.

God did not place this baby in our home but He did use these circumstances to push us in the direction of our current match.

After learning that the situation with Susan was no longer a possibility, God lite a fire in our hearts and we knew it was time to officially begin our journey to #2.

Dave and I had decided that we were going to put our names with multiple avenues and then just wait and see where God lead. We had five different avenues we wanted to pursue, including the foster care situation.

On May 2nd, 2011, while Little Bug was doing Independent Playtime, I got the list of names and numbers I needed to call to get the ball rolling with all these different avenues. Most of my phone calls that day were to DCF about the foster care situation.

My last priority that day was to contact the agency we had adopted Little Bug through. Independent Playtime was almost over for Little Bug and I almost did not pick up my cell phone to call Emily.

But I felt like I should go ahead and call her. Right then.

So I did.

I left her a message saying, “We are ready to get the ball rolling on another adoption! Just wanted to let you know. Please call me back when you get the chance.”

Ten minutes later, my cell phone rang and it was Emily.

She started telling me about a woman who had just called her the previous week. As I listened to Emily speak, the details about this woman sounded strangely familiar.

I dismissed the thoughts though and told myself that this woman couldn’t possibly be the same woman Susan had been working with.

I called Dave and told him about my conversation with Emily. We both decided we wanted to learn more. I called Emily back and told her we were very interested about the situation she had told me about earlier.

Emily scheduled a phone conference with us for the next day, May 3rd.

May 3rd I drove to Dave’s work and he came out to the car and we dialed Emily for our 3:30 phone conference.

Emily had the woman’s file open in front of her and she began telling us what she knew of this case.

When Emily said something in particular, I knew.

I looked over at Dave sitting in the passenger seat and mouthed the words, This has got to be the same girl, to him.

I stopped Emily and told her we needed to tell her something.

She listened as I explained the past almost two months to her.

All three of us were dumbstruck and in awe of God, even though none of us could be 100% certain this was the same situation because I had never known the woman’s name while working with Susan. However, we knew the similarities would be one in a million if this was actually two separate cases.

I will never forget Emily’s words, “Well, this sounds like a perfect match.”

We talked a little more and then hung up with Emily.

I couldn’t say anything at first. I just sat there, trying to process what had just happened.

And then the tears came.

Rarely do I express my emotion through tears, but in that moment, there simply were no words as I replayed what God had taught me over the past almost two months.

God is in control! If this is the baby He has for me, NOTHING will stand in His way of placing this baby in my family. God’s got this. I just have to roll with things as they happen.

Emily said she would show this woman our profile definitely on May 12th, if not sooner.

Another nine days of waiting!

After that phone conference I wrote in my journal: No, we are not officially matched. But God’s got this and I am rolling with it.

May 12th, Emily told us she was going to go talk to the woman and take her our profile. She told me she would call me as soon as she knew anything.

Around lunchtime on May 12th, Emily called.

She said, “I am just leaving Melody’s now. She chose you! She really liked you guys!”

I said, “She chose us??!”

Emily said, “Yes!”

As the pieces of the puzzle started coming together and I realized the magnitude of the miracle God had done again to bring us our second child, I literally couldn’t put all this into words until weeks after we were officially matched.

Late last week, Emily called me to tell me she had spoken to Susan and had asked Susan if she had worked with a “Melody”.

Susan confirmed what I knew in my heart.

God had indeed done another miracle and this woman was in fact the same woman Susan had been working with!

Apparently, after Melody decided that she no longer wanted to place this baby through Susan, she called Emily.

Emily met with Melody for the first time on April 26th – just six days after Melody had decided to not work with Susan anymore.

Five days later, on May 2nd, I contacted Emily and told her we were officially ready to start the process of adoption #2.

Ten days later, we were matched with Melody.

When God is ready to move, He moves, and nothing stands in His way.

I could not have orchestrated all that if I tried. God’s Plans are way bigger than our human minds can comprehend.

All He requires of us is surrender and obedience, which started for me on March 8, 2009, when I learned pregnancy wasn’t in God’s Plan for me.

Miracles have snowballed from that place. God has taken my barren womb, and in ways only He can, He has performed miracles.

Adoption is no cake walk, for sure. Nothing is certain. We are dealing with risks that I would rather not deal with when it comes to building my family. We are dealing with health risks that I would rather my children not have to deal with.

But, we are here once again, on another journey of faith.

And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God’s faithfulness goes before us every step of the way.

God’s got this and I am going to continue to roll with it, trusting that God is in control and if this baby is the baby God has planned to be our second child, nothing will keep God from placing this baby with us.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY. GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE. AND WILL DO.

journey to #2 (Part 1)

The time has come for me to tell you where God has lead and what God has done concerning our journey to #2.

I am going to start from the very beginning.

The first half of this story will be very familiar to you if you have read this before.

It all started March 8th, 2011. Driving home from my parents house it dawned on me that I had not yet started praying for the woman who would give birth to our second child. I decided that night would be the night to start praying for this woman.

I got home, got Little Bug to bed and it wasn’t long after that and I received a text message from a friend about an adoption situation that her lawyer, Susan, had told her about.

My friend wanted to know if we were interested.

Dave and I talked and we decided that we would go for it.

I called Susan the next morning. She told me that I needed to get a family profile to her as soon as possible so she could take them to the woman to choose a family for her baby.

Monday, March 14th, our profile was updated and we went to Susan’s office to turn it in.

I left there very anxious to know if we were going to be chosen or not. Susan said she was taking this woman 3-4 profiles to look at.

Wednesday, March 16th, was a day filled with anxiety for me. I hated having to wait. I just wanted to know one way or the other if she had chosen us, or not.

The anxiety was consuming me. I knew I needed to get away and be still before the Lord and allow Him to teach me what He wanted to teach me through these circumstances.

God impressed upon my heart that He is in control. God began teaching me that no matter when we found out the outcome of this potential adoption situation, if this baby was the baby that God had for us, nothing would keep God from placing this baby in our home.

This is something I wrote in my personal journal around the time we took our profile to Susan: I don’t have to do anything – besides continue to live my life for God’s glory – because God’s plan will prevail. I don’t have to worry if she will pick us because if this is our baby, she will pick us. I don’t have to worry about whoever else’s profiles she will see. God is in control. He has our best interest in mind. His plan for bringing another baby to us is already written. He will carry out His plans as we walk in obedience with Him. He said open the door and we did by putting together this profile.

During that quiet time alone with God and no distractions, God taught me that it simply did not matter if we learned the outcome the next day or months from then.

At the time, I figured we would have an answer by the end of the week.

That is funny to me now.

By Friday, March 18th, we were still waiting.

But God had a purpose in the waiting. He had more to teach me. I began to realize that if I kept my eyes on Jesus and did not allow myself to worry about anything that I could possibly find to worry about (Is our profile good enough? Will she like what she sees? Should I have said this, should I have said that?), it was there I would find complete peace in Jesus Christ as the days of waiting turned into weeks.

On March 18th I wrote this in my journal: And we still wait… But my heart and mind are at a different place now – a place of true trust and desire for the Will of God. There is something to be said about this place! I am literally waiting for God to move and show me His Plan. I have the assurance that it is going to be good however God moves. And, today, I wait in great expectation to see what God will do. God will move when He is ready, when the time is perfect. Until then, I wait on the Lord. I wonder if this woman has been given the profiles? I wonder when she will see them? What will go through her mind as she reads ours? As she reads the other profiles? When will she make her decision? When will Susan call? All questions I would LOVE answers too. I will know soon enough. God will reveal His Plan.

Several days later I decided to call Susan myself for an update. I learned that the woman was waiting for something to happen and then she wanted Susan to bring her the profiles. She did not want to look at them until this event in her life had taken place.

So, I knew another week of waiting was in our future.

March 24th I wrote: And here I am … still waiting but … it is okay! I am totally at peace…trusting that if this is our baby, she will choose us.

I did not receive another update until April 2nd. Susan called and told us what was supposed to have happened did not happen and had been rescheduled for another date.

I hung up knowing we had even more waiting ahead of us. I wrote this at the beginning of April: So, hopefully next week we will know something?? If anything, I’ve learned how God desires me to wait on Him for an answer. I’ve learned this is TOTALLY out of my control and worry does NOTHING to help – except make me anxious and not do what God desires me to do …. Keep my eyes on Him. My eyes are on YOU, God! I rest in the peace that if this is our baby, you will allow this woman to choose us. And if not, well then, you’ve just got something more in mind for us. If this baby is ours, he/she will be ours no matter how long or how short the wait is to KNOW. The outcome will not change. So…we wait. And pray. For God’s Will to be done.

God continued to hold me in His waiting room and teach me as the days continued to pass again and even more weeks went by.

These verses were impressed upon my heart and became my strength as I waited on the Lord and His answer.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depends on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; Pour out your hearts to him, For God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

After I wrote those verses down in my journal I wrote: It has been 4 weeks and 1 day since we learned of this possibility. Susan has had our profile for 3 weeks and 2 days. All of that though is irrelevant to God’s Plan. He knows the day a second baby will join our family. I trust Him to do His great work!!

While we were in Texas, Susan called me there on April 16th to give me another update. What we were waiting on to happen before the woman looked at profiles had indeed finally happened! However, something else had happened as well and Susan did not know if she would ever hear from the woman again. Susan was now waiting to hear from the woman to find out if she wanted Susan to bring her the profiles to look at.

Last thing Susan said on the phone was, “So we just have to wait and see if she will call. I’ve tried to call her, but, like I said, I don’t know if she will call again.”

After Susan’s update, I wrote this in my journal: I stand firm that if this is our baby, no matter these current circumstances, we will be chosen – eventually! So we still wait…

Do you see what God was teaching me?

He was teaching me that He is in control, period. What I viewed as an obstacle, God viewed as just something to make it evident to the world that this is HIS WORK. My hands were completely tied with this one! There was absolutely nothing I could do, except keep waiting.

And keep waiting is exactly what I did.

On April 18th I wrote in my journal: I just continue to rest in God’s peace because He has answers to all my unknowns and He has a beautiful plan to bring another baby into our home. This is all a matter of sitting back and letting God move when the time is right. It requires complete surrender to God’s Plan, complete trust in the Lord to reveal His Plan and patience to wait on the Lord.

April 20th, 2011, the day had finally come for some answers. Susan told me that the woman had called her and she had taken the profiles to her, but, through a series of events of which I cannot share on here, the woman decided she no longer wanted to place her baby through Susan.

Susan told me she never expected to hear from the woman again.

I was disappointed but I knew even these circumstances would not keep this baby away from our family if this was the baby God had planned for us.

After learning this news I wrote: God taught me that I am NOT in control and He is!!! And no matter how much worrying I do or don’t do, and no matter what I do or don’t do or no matter what someone else does or doesn’t do, GOD’S PLAN WILL PREVAIL. Instead of reacting to every thing along the way and allowing it to cause me unnecessary ups and downs along the way, I am just to roll with it, trusting that God will take me where I need to be.

As it turns out, God wasn’t done after that phone call from Susan on April 20th.

May 3rd, 2011, God did something that literally left me speechless and in tears while sitting with Dave in my car in the parking lot at his workplace.

(Part Two will be posted tomorrow.)

It’s a …

GIRL!!!

Her blog name is …

“Sweet Pea”

Sweet Pea is expected to arrive in July.

(Or June or August. It is not completely certain when the due date is, because it is not known when Sweet Pea was conceived and the medical records that we received a few days ago are showing conflicting dates.)

I am thrilled about the prospect of having two daughters and about Little Bug having a sister!

The lawyer called me Thursday with the final piece of the puzzle that I needed to be able to share the miracle God has done.

I plan on sharing the story of this match very soon.