taking root

While at the Reunion in Beersheba Springs I was sitting on the couch and Little Bug was standing in front of me. Little Bug randomly started talking to one of my mom’s classmates which wasn’t at all unusual. She was loving our time there and after I told her that even though all of these people are strangers to her, she can talk to everyone because Grams knows them all and everyone is a nice person, she was talking to basically everyone she met!

As I was siting there I heard Little Bug start telling my mom’s classmate, “Mommy prayed for me to be in her tummy, but God didn’t."

I immediately put my full attention on her to see where this was going to go.

Never before had I heard Little Bug use those words to tell her story. They were basically the exact same words I have been using for a couple years now to tell her her story!

The classmate said, “Well, you were in somebody’s tummy, weren’t you?!”

And Little Bug enthusiastically replied, “I used to be in Ms. Tracy’s tummy” and then, with a big smile she turned to me where I was siting on the couch and said, “but this is my mommy!”

That was the extent of the conversation and Little Bug was on to something else but I sat there for a couple minutes, just amazed.

Having heard my testimony, the classmate was amazed too and she asked me if I wanted to write that down and then ran to get me a piece of paper to do so.

I don’t know what kind of emotions Little Bug may have to deal with later on in life due to her adoption, but I do know I have desired from the beginning to make her adoption be something positive and special in her life because that is the truth. It was something positive that happened in her life and I believe one day she will see the complete picture of why being adopted was such a positive event in her life.

I think for her four year old little mind, we are on the right path. The simple story God laid on my heart to tell her when she was just a toddler has taken root in her heart and I am beginning to see those results now as she is initiating adoption conversation to others.

I will navigate these waters one step at a time.

The Toxic Womb

Both of my daughters grew and developed in “toxic wombs”.

It is a fact that I can’t allow myself to think too much about, because honestly, it angers me.

It is what it is, and the fact is my girls were exposed to methadone (and other narcotics) while in the womb and nothing in this world can ever change that fact.

Little Bug’s birth mother was on methadone for the last month or so of her pregnancy with Little Bug.

Sweet Pea’s birth mother was on methadone for six of the 9 months of her pregnancy with Sweet Pea.

Before Little Bug’s birth all we were told about methadone was that “it will not harm the baby”.

While this was true, it didn’t give a complete accurate picture of the effects methadone would have on Little Bug.

Tracy, Little Bug’s birth mother, told me during one of our hospital visits to see Little Bug right after her birth that, “Little Bug will need to stay in the hospital about a week.”

Thinking she didn’t know what she was talking about, I didn’t think much more about that.

Until we arrived at the hospital after TPR had been signed and learned our baby girl was no longer in the regular nursery.

Little Bug had been moved to the NICU because she “had to go through some withdrawals”.

Talk about freak out session.

We entered the NICU not knowing what in the world to expect. I was in tears because we had no clue what was the matter with our precious baby girl.

The NICU nurses were very good to finally explain to us what was going on. We were told that Little Bug was withdrawing from no longer having methadone in her system. She would be scored every so often on her “withdrawal symptoms” and as long as she was below a certain score (of which I cannot remember at this time! I think maybe it was a 6 or 7?) she would not have to be given morphine to help her with the withdrawals. We were told she would be in the NICU anywhere from 5 days to THREE months!

When I heard 3 months I was so angry! Why didn’t anyone prepare us for this??!

The NICU nurses told us sleeping was the best thing for Little Bug and if she had too much stimulation she would cry and cry and crying would only make her scoring higher. So we obeyed the NICU nurses and kept Little Bug in her isolate, only taking her out to feed, change and reswaddle her every 3-4 hours.

After only 5 days, Little Bug was able to come home, but her withdrawing was certainly not over. It was just clear that she was not going to need the NICU to go through the rest of her withdrawals.

Little Bug was very stiff. We had to do muscle exercises with her daily to loosen her stiff muscles. Her Daddy did those with her every morning before he went to work and every evening. Little Bug SCREAMED the entire time.

Little Bug was also VERY easily overstimulated. Methadone effects the nervous system so her senses were extra sensitive to any kind of stimulation. Her nervous system needed time to heal from the drug exposure and it needed time to grow and develop further so that she could handle processing the sensory information.

Around a month old, we decided that it was best for Little Bug to stay at home. At home we could better control her environment so that she would not become overstimulated. I remember feeling like a slave to my house. I also remember telling myself it was only for a season until Little Bug could handle the outside world.

We also had to limit visitors as Little Bug could not be passed around from person to person. It was hard to have family members over who we knew wanted to hold our long-awaited baby girl, but could not, because it was too over stimulating for her! Fortunately, our families were understanding of this.

Around 3 months, her overstimulation issues became a thing of the past and she was able to handle the outside world like any other baby.

When we found out Sweet Pea’s birth mother was on methadone, and had been since January (when she was approximately 3 months pregnant with Sweet Pea), we immediately got our family and friends praying that God would shield her little body from any effects of the methadone.

I guess common sense just told me that since Sweet Pea had been exposed to the methadone way longer than Little Bug had, I assumed Sweet Pea’s withdrawals were going to be way more severe. And I prepared myself for a longer NICU stay with Sweet Pea.

But then I read an article that the amount of time on the methadone is not what determines how affected the baby is to the methadone. It all has to do with the placenta and how much of the methadone the placenta allows to pass to the baby.

When Sweet Pea was born the rH factor trumped my focus on withdrawing from methadone. (It also takes a few days for the withdrawal symptoms to show up.) But I will never forget seeing Sweet Pea for the first time. A tiny baby laying on a bed, unswaddled, with blue lights shining on every inch of her body, except her diaper area. She had “sunglasses” on to protect her eyes so I couldn’t even see her eyes at first.

She was a sight, that is for sure.

Then our lawyer started filling us in on what is going on with her. (The lawyer is not given rights to medical knowledge of the baby until TPR is signed. So while we drove over to meet Sweet Pea for the first time our lawyer was already at Sweet Pea’s bed side getting all the information about her medical condition.) I remember words like, rH factor, blood transfusion and very jaundiced and all I wanted to know was, “Is she going to be okay? Is she going to be healthy?”.

We were quickly told by the lawyer and nurses standing nearby that yes, Sweet Pea was very sick right now and without medical intervention she would continue to be very sick, but because she had been treated aggressively right away, she would be just fine.

After Sweet Pea’s blood transfusion and her blood levels started increasing, I then started to think about her withdrawal symptoms.

The only thing so far that the nurses had noticed was that she seemed to have a very sensitive stomach. The nurses were trying to figure out what formula would agree with her stomach the most.

Then, just like Little Bug, at six days old, we thought we would get to bring Sweet Pea home. However, her doctor decided that she needed a few more days of monitoring because she seemed a little “irritable” at times. As much as we wanted our daughter home, we totally agreed with her doctor.

Sweet Pea came home at nine days old. It wasn’t long and her tummy troubles really started to show themselves. She writhed in pain after feeding. It was so pitiful. After lots of trial and error on formula, sleeping positions and other things that were suppose to help with stomach pain, we found a combination that worked well with Sweet Pea.

By 3ish months, her stomach issues were under control with Zantac, Gripe Water, mylecon and ready made Similac Allimentum formula. Besides her Zantac prescription needing to be tweaked every month or so and causing her some discomfort until the new dosage was found, there was no more writhing in pain after eating and that was such a relief!

This is just my experience with two babies who have been exposed to methadone. I have a friend whose baby was also exposed to methadone and her baby spent 6 weeks in the NICU (same NICU Little Bug was in, just 10 months later). When he came home, she told me he cried about 70% of the time from the pain of going through withdrawals. He also had a MAJOR spit up problem. He would throw up entire bottles of formula and they had to thicken his bottles to help him keep food down. I have another friend whose daughter’s situation was very similar to this one. Her daughter spent the first 9 weeks of her life in the NICU withdrawing from methadone.

My girls’ withdrawals are minor compared to my friends’ babies. Their babies would be consider very severe cases of methadone withdrawal.

Each baby’s withdrawal symptoms are different.

I wanted to put this out there for anyone who may have adopted a baby exposed to methadone or who may adopt a baby exposed to methadone in the future.

I know I’ve said it before but I absolutely hate the fact my daughters grew in a toxic womb. But then I think about the fact that it is because of these toxic wombs that God wrote the redemptive story of my daughters’ adoptions.

Drugs are a horribly wicked addiction. They come into a person’s life and literally take over. They control everything there is about that person. Everything that person does is for their next high.

Drugs steal, kill and destroy relationships and a woman’s ability to mother their children.

It is extremely tragic when you stop to think about it.

Both of my daughters’ birth mothers are held in bondage to the stronghold of drug abuse.

It breaks my heart to think that drugs have literally ruined their lives and made them both not be able to be a productive member of society.

If I could save them both, I would in a heartbeat. But I know all I can do is pray for them to know the One who can.

We live in a fallen world full of sin. But we also live in a world where God is still at work performing miracles and interceding in innocent little lives who were born to mothers addicted to drugs.

Through God’s divine intervention and a moment of clarity in the lives of two women addicted to drugs, two little girls were plucked from a life of growing up with mother’s addicted to drugs and were given a stable environment to thrive in.

It is a gift given to them by their Heavenly Father and their biological mothers.

I have been told many times that I saved two little girls lives. I simply do not see it that way at all.

All of this is because of God. It is His redemptive story. Adoption is simply a reflection of God’s redemption for His children.

We were all born unto sin, destine to die as that is the only just payment for sin. However, God desired to not see His children die so He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for all mankind’s sin.

Jesus entered this world as a baby boy, born in a stable in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. He lived on this earth and then died on this earth. His blood paid for our sins, making it possible for us to be adopted into the family of God.

Adoption totally changed my daughters’ lives, just like adoption into the family of God has totally changed my life.

I don’t have to allow the anger I feel to consume me because I can see the big picture now. As much as it saddens my heart to see my daughters’ birth mothers living addicted to drugs, it saddens God even more. But in a way that only God could do, He has made good come from bad.

He has taken two precious girls out of a life consumed by drugs and given them a blessed, abundant life filled with opportunities that are endless.

I can only pray that God will free these women from the bondage of drug addiction.

I don’t know Melody…and I wish I did.

The drive home from the Crisis Pregnancy Center is almost a half-hour. So it gives me lots of time to think.

This past week, I was thinking a lot about Melody, Sweet Pea’s birth mother.

Probably because Sweet Pea’s birthday is just around the corner and I have never met Melody.

I have never even talked to her on the phone.

I’m actually not sure what you would call Sweet Pea’s adoption. I definitely know it is not an “open adoption”, but is it “closed”?

I would be more than willing to meet Melody one day and we send updates to Melody via the agency every three months.

In fact, I hope and pray to meet Melody one day.

Sweet Pea’s adoption was so different than her sisters and yet, there are so many ways their adoptions were similar.

But, I never met Melody and I spent nearly seven weeks with Little Bug’s birth mother prior to her birth.

While those weeks with Tracy were some of the most stressful seven weeks of my life, I would not trade them for the world.

I learned a lot about Tracy’s personality in those weeks.

I learned she has a beautiful smile, a wonderful sense of humor and…a spit-fire personality – just like her birth daughter. Smile

I know virtually nothing about Melody’s personality.

What I am going to say next might stir some judgments against me in the adoption community, but what I have decided to share here is simply my experiences and the effects it has had on me. Be nice if you choose to comment, please.

My bond with Little Bug was not instant. Don’t get me wrong. I loved that baby the instant I laid eyes on her. But…she wasn’t mine. I couldn’t fully be her mother the first time I saw her. Her mother was Tracy. I just hoped to be given the privilege and honor to become her mother through the self-less, sacrificial act of Tracy who would relinquish her rights as Little Bug’s mother and place them on me.

Eighty-one hours after her birth, I officially became Little Bug’s mother when Tracy signed her TPR.

And then, I was a mother.

And as much as I had longed and waited and desired to play that role, after the initial honeymoon of it all, I felt so discombobulated with my life!

I went from infertility treatments to motherhood in a matter of two months!!

I was trying to figure this baby out (Thank you Babywise, who came and saved the day when Little Bug was around 3 months old.) and transition my mind from infertility treatments to parenthood and it just took me some time to really feel like I was Little Bug’s mother and she wasn’t going anywhere.

I think I was somewhat in shock over the miracle that had brought me this precious baby and my mind needed some time to catch up with my heart.

My bond to Sweet Pea was literally instant.

One look was all it took and she had my complete heart.

The difference??

For one, I was already a mother. I knew how to be a mother and it was easy to open my heart to another daughter to love. And I knew I wouldn’t feel lost because I planned to do Babywise with Sweet Pea from the first day I brought her home. There was a plan in place and that gave me confidence in parenting that I didn’t have with Little Bug.

But what made the most difference was this: The first time I laid eyes on Sweet Pea, she was totally and completely mine.

TPR was not looming in the background haunting me saying, Is this your baby, or not?

TPR had already been signed; hours before I met Sweet Pea Melody had officially signed the TPR and placed the responsibility of parenting Sweet Pea on me.

The fact that I could love my baby wholly and completely from the first moment I laid eyes on her is one of the most precious gifts God has granted me on my adoption journey.

But at the same time, I wanted to meet this woman! And given the choice of meeting and knowing Sweet Pea’s birth mother before her birth or seeing Sweet Pea for the first time knowing she was already mine, I would choose to know Melody.

I love the gift God gave me, but “forgetting” the fact she did not come from my womb and “forgetting” Melody is not healthy for anyone – and yet, it is easy to do because I wouldn’t even recognize Melody on the street if I saw her!

So while I thank God for both of my adoption journeys and the lessons I learned and the lives that were forever molded together in very unique ways, I do pray for the opportunity to meet Melody one day.

I want to speak with her and tell her the story of how God lead us together through not one but two lawyers. I want her to see the miracle in her placement of Sweet Pea.

If she wishes, I want her to be able to see the baby she carried in her womb for 9 months.

I want her to see how happy she is and how she is the smiliest baby on the planet.

God brought Tracy back into our lives for six weeks at the beginning of 2011 and I was able to take some pictures of Little Bug with her birth mother. I want that for Sweet Pea, too.

I just have to trust that if God knows Sweet Pea will need to one day see pictures of her with her birth mother, God will make it happen.

A Change of Heart: Guest Post by Dave

**This was written by my husband, Dave.

I went with a team from my church to Haiti on July 14th. It was a life-changing experience for a lot of reasons, but one thing in particular happened to me while I was in Haiti that I think is most worth sharing here.

This specific life-changing event happened on Thursday night. The week was almost over; Thursday was our last night of crusades, and Friday was a free day before our trip home Saturday. Each night at the crusade we had music, a testimony from someone on our team, and a message from our pastor who was with us.

I knew about the testimony ahead of time. My sister-in-Christ E was to talk; I knew she had been raped and, as a result, became pregnant. I didn’t know the whole story, though, and what I didn’t know took me completely by surprise.

To understand how E’s testimony impacted me, it’s important for me to emphasize what a low point in her life it was to be bearing a child that was a product of an assault on her body (even worse, as she put it, “He raped my soul”). Hearing how E felt so bitter and alone, carrying this painful reminder around inside her made me feel sick to my stomach. I almost never cry, but I was very close when I heard E describe her feelings during those 9 months of her life.

E explained that she went to an abortion clinic, but she couldn’t go through with it. Still, she knew she couldn’t raise the child. It needed a loving home, removed from the pain and anguish that brought it into the world. I knew what her next words would be, even though I had never heard them. E allowed a family who couldn’t have children adopt the child.

Hearing E say that put me over the edge. Until this point in her testimony I had been thinking about E as who she is now, but when I learned she had been a birth mother for another family, I realized fully that she was once just like the mothers of my own children. Abused, alone, and emotionally a wreck. I cried as I listened to how our girls’ birth mothers must be living even today.

E’s testimony revealed a sin in my life that I had been unaware of. In the past I always looked down on our girls’ birth mothers. I was thankful for the gift they gave us, but I didn’t really care about those women. I would rather never see them again. I certainly didn’t pray for them. I’m sure feeling that way is somewhat natural, especially with the way our first adoption was drawn out by the birth mother, but God convicted me of it through E and her story. I realized that the same compassion I had for E as she told her story should be what I feel for our girls’ birth mothers, except even more because they have yet to find salvation. My attitude in the past had been the same as the Pharisee’s attitude toward Jesus when he would choose to associate with the “unclean”.

It’s true; Jesus spent his time on earth drawing in people just like E, people just like Little Bug’s and Sweet Pea’s birth mothers, people whose lives are wrecked, who have no hope. Luke 19 talks about them when it says “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (v10)

I later told E in person thank you for her story, that it had changed me. I used to see our girls’ birth mothers as trash. I know that sounds harsh, but I have to be honest about it. Now I pray for them daily, and I thank God that he has changed my heart through the testimony of E, a sister in Christ who boldly followed God’s will for her to share her amazing redemption story.

etestimony

it seemed an eternity away

As July 8th approached I had this feeling that this day held some significance but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

And then I remembered.

July 8th. That was the approximate due date we had figured for the child we thought would be our second baby.

In December of 2010 I didn’t know how I was going to make it to July 2011 — it seemed an eternity away.

And now here we are at the year anniversary with a baby girl that wasn’t that baby but was born almost in the month of July. Smile

This time a year ago we anxiously awaited the arrival of little Sweet Pea.

I’ve been thinking about her birth mother a lot lately.

I don’t write much about her here on this blog because I just don’t know much about her seeing as we have never met.

I do hope that one day the circumstances are right and we are able to meet her. I would love nothing more than to sit down and have a conversation with her.

I would love for her to be able to see the sweet baby girl she carried for nine months since, according to our lawyer, she was only able to see Sweet Pea briefly after her birth because she (Sweet Pea) was so sick and needed immediate medical attention.

And I would love to tell her the story of how we were matched. She has no clue that we were waiting to be shown to her with the first lawyer she worked with and then were eventually matched with her through the second lawyer she worked with.

There are so many emotions surrounding this time last year. I look back on those days with fondness because I was in those last weeks of waiting for baby to be born and to really know if this baby was ours or not, and I lived those days and that time in such peace — unlike the days and weeks before Little Bug’s birth.

God was in control as He had clearly shown from the very beginning of our journey to #2.

Tonight, I am just so thankful for my daughters and the two women who loved them enough to choose more for them.

Pink Shoes: A Birth Grandma’s Story

In honor of Birth Mother’s Day, which is today, I am re-posting something from Pink Shoes.

It is an adoption story from the point of view of the birth grandma.

It is a beautiful story. The adoptive mother and author of Pink Shoes, Maggie, encouraged others to repost this to spread the word about adoption – that it is a noble option for women and teenagers facing a crisis pregnancy.

Today, and every day, I am thankful for the two women who chose me to be the mother of their baby.

It was one year ago today that Sweet Pea’s birth mother chose Dave and me to parent Sweet Pea.

In honor of birth mothers, I post this written by Sharon Miller, a birth grandma:

It’s in the early morning when I’m having my first cup of coffee in the quiet house that I head over to Pink Shoes—a favorite blog of mine. It makes me smile and sometimes I just sit there laughing at the stories that Maggie, the blog’s author, tells.

Maybe it’s because I’ve raised 3 daughters and it brings me back to those early days when everyday things became an adventure. My daughters are practically grown now, they are 21, 19 and 16. And while I love watching them go out in the world and become confident, strong and caring young women, I also miss those fun days of playing in the snow, ice skating after school on our lake, swimming all day in the summer, playing games, reading books to them, having a houseful of little girl friends around giggling and talking nonstop.

But maybe—actually most definitely– it’s because my 19 year old daughter Tarah, is the birth mom of Georgia, the little girl that is the subject of most of the entries on this blog. Georgia reminds me so much of Tarah and also of my other daughters; Hannah and Helene. And Maggie, Georgia’s mom, reminds me of me as a mom. She is an amazing mom and she writes about everything I have felt about being a mom and raising my girls.

I love being a mom, it’s what I’ve always wanted to be. When I learned that Tarah was pregnant at 16 I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen. I guess because I felt like a failure as a mom. Didn’t I talk birth control enough and how did I not know her relationship with her boyfriend had progressed so far? I was embarrassed, scared and angry; most days I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

We decided Tarah would quit school for the trimester and the school helped us set up homeschooling. I didn’t want her walking through the halls pregnant with everyone talking about her. I felt so helpless, I couldn’t see anything good in this situation and I had always been able to see the positive in everything. I prayed and prayed. I willed myself to accept it—it was what it was—and I knew we had to work through it, we had to handle it well. God gives you answers if you really pay attention and that’s what I did.

I let go of the “I’m a failure as a mom” thing. I told everyone close to us and I told everyone at our church. I knew we would need the support of everyone we loved to make it through this. Tarah’s sisters were also there for her every step of the way. They were so supportive though this journey they were forced into. Sometimes I think they felt left out, but they were there through everything, supporting their sister. They are both amazing. I am so proud of all three of my daughters.

I’m still amazed at the amount of unconditional support we received. And we needed it, we had big decisions to make. We didn’t have a lot of time either. We found out Tarah was pregnant in November and she was due in March, just over 4 months to figure out the future of this little baby girl growing inside her.

From the beginning Tarah wanted to make an adoption plan for her baby. You see, my daughters had grown up without their father in their lives. He met someone else while we were married, left our home and eventually our state to start his new family. He was never there for them physically or emotionally. I tried, but I could never replace the loss they felt not having a dad in their lives. This is why Tarah was adamant about adoption; she wanted her daughter to have a mom and a dad in her life. She knew if we raised this little girl, she would start her life with visitation schedules, every other holiday schedules, and two homes. She also knew that at 16 she was not ready to be a good mom; the kind of mom that this little girl deserved.

Yes, she could have taken care of a baby. I was a pediatric nurse and I taught all my daughters baby care. We loved babies at our house; we are the kind of people that carry everyone’s baby, we beg to babysit, we plan special things just for kids…..we love them. My girls knew how to change diapers, use bottles and how to rock and pat a fussy baby. But raising a child was different, they are only a baby for a short time…….and then they’re toddlers and grade school kids, and adolescents, and…….and…..and.

So we started our journey toward adoption. The first agency we went to they gave us about 20 scrap books of potential families. We were so overwhelmed, how do you choose a family to raise this little girl, who could ever be good enough to trust our little girl’s life to? I wasn’t sure I could do this. So again I prayed for strength and it came from a couple we knew that had adopted their son 20 years ago. They told us, “if you’re not completely connecting with this agency, go to another one.” That sounds so simple but at this high stress time we had never thought about that and it really did sound overwhelming to start over again.

But we did it and we ended up with an amazing social worker who introduced us to Chris and Maggie. They were the only couple we met and after that first meeting we knew they would be our little girl’s parents. I’ll never forget that first meeting when we talked about what kind of adoption we wanted. We said we would love to get pictures just to see how she was doing and what she looked like growing up. That was really all we expected at that time. Who would have guessed it would turn out like it has.

About six weeks after that first meeting Tarah went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Georgia Elyse. Her middle name the same as Tarah’s. We spent an amazing weekend with her in the hospital. I spent the nights there and Georgia stayed in our room. Chris and Maggie came the day after she was born and we all sat together, taking pictures and holding her.

Releasing her was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Tarah dressed her and put her in the car seat, Maggie and Chris were there, we kissed her, we cried. I’ll never forget the emotion. Tarah had asked one of her nurses to come in to be with her during this process, she’d felt a real connection with her, and she did, on her day off. That was such a support for Tarah. This nurse had given Tarah a baby blanket to wrap Georgia in while in the hospital and then to take home to hold while she was missing Georgia; she still sleeps with it. Maggie was crying and we held each other. I told her to take her baby girl home and love her and I would take my baby girl home and love her.

I knew everything was going to be ok, hard but ok.

Chris and Maggie had given us their address, home phone number and cell phone number. That gave me such comfort. You see, as hard as this was there was never a point when Tarah or I ever changed our mind, or ever thought this wasn’t the right decision—we knew it was what was best for this little girl, for Georgia. I was so proud of Tarah. I had done a good job raising her; she was a strong, brave loving young woman.

So we went home, it felt so lonely. Tarah slept with me and her blanket. We cried. I wanted to call and go see Georgia the first day home. Tarah said no, we needed to let go first. How wise she had become. We enrolled her back in school and that Friday, just one week after giving birth she was in school all day trying to catch up. And she did.

She graduated 2 years later with honors, a member of student council and was accepted into Michigan State University. She was where she was supposed to be and Georgia was where she belonged; the adoption was working exactly as it was intended to work—how any adoption can work.

Meanwhile, during those 2 years we saw Georgia often. Chris, Maggie and Georgia had become a part of our family. They came to our house and we went to theirs. They are a family, Chris and Maggie are Georgia’s parents. There has never been a point where I thought any differently or regretted our decision. I love seeing them and since the day she was born Georgia’s picture has been my screen saver on my phone. I look at her face every day and smile. Maggie is an amazing mom and Chris is the kind of dad every girl dreams of. Georgia will always know where she came from and that she is loved so much by her adoptive family and her birth family.

It has been so wonderful being able to be a part of her life. I never dreamed we would be this involved, but I truly believe it is the best thing for Georgia. We don’t see her as often now, but I think of her every day. I talk about the adoption to everyone. Most people look at me like I’m crazy, “isn’t it so hard to see her,” they ask. “No,I love seeing her, there’s nothing hard about it.” I feel so lucky and privileged to be a part of her life.

Maggie has done such a good job of talking about adoption to her that even at her young age she knows she came out of Tarah’s tummy and her mom and dad took her home from the hospital. She knows that I am Tarah’s mom, but I’m not her grandma [everyone asks if she calls me grandma]. She is comfortable in our home and when they come over it feels like family. She looks [and sometimes acts] like Tarah, but she also looks and acts like Maggie and Chris. Tarah and Maggie are a lot alike; they have the same style and personality. We fit together so well. Our friends and family have all met Chris, Maggie, and Georgia.

I love watching Tarah and Georgia play together. There is nothing sad or hard about it. Georgia is where she belongs, where she was meant to be. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and if you just pay attention God will show you the way. That’s how one of the worst things I thought could happen became one of the best.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that adoption isn’t about “giving up” a baby, it’s about choosing to give a child the best chance for a stable and secure life. Adoption is about everyone doing what’s best for the child. Maybe if more people talked about adoption it would become a more accepted choice when teenagers get pregnant. I know that I had no idea what to expect when we first began this journey, but I do know that it has been an amazing one, one that I feel blessed to be on.

I found a saying in the book store the other day that sort of sums it up “ just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”

Adoption is my butterfly.

Written by Sharon Miller

8

I asked for 2

God has given 8

Eight people, praying together with me, for Tracy (and Melody, Ashley, Miranda & Jonathan)!!

Mustard Seed Faith

That is all God requires of us

To have faith even as small as a mustard seed

Do you realize how small that is??

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Those are mustard seeds (plural)

And God just requires us to have faith as small as a mustard seed

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Tracy finding Jesus is going to take some HUGE mountains to move

I believe God can do this

I am praying that God will move mountains in Tracy’s life so that she can see HIM

And then know Him

And then believe in Him

And trust Him with her life

Thank you for joining with me in this

I want that for Tracy

Today during the church service a couple stood in front of the congregation and told their testimony.

Both of them are recovering drug addicts.

As they described everything about their pasts, the tears began to well up in my eyes because they were describing the lifestyle that Little Bug’s birth mother, Tracy, lives.

And yet, there that couple stood in front of a large group of people telling of how GOD had saved them from their stronghold to drugs and alcohol.

When the audience gave them a standing ovation after they were finished sharing their testimony, I could no longer hold back tears.

As we stood there clapping and as I tried with everything in me to NOT cry (because I hate crying in public!), Dave leaned down and whispered, “What’s wrong?”

I quickly scribbled on my church bulletin, I want that for Tracy.

In that moment my heart was so overtaken and burdened for Tracy.

It has been since I realized the life that Tracy lives but I have never felt so convicted to pray for her as I did during those moments when I witnessed with my own eyes a couple God has rescued from that lifestyle and who now proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and lean on Him to overcome their addictions.

You see, I admit to thinking, I wonder if there is any hope for Tracy? Can someone who has lived this lifestyle and been a slave to these addictions for decades really overcome this stuff??

God gave me the opportunity last summer to pour my heart out to Tracy over a telephone conversation. I was able to tell her that she could make decisions that would change the course of her life from this day forward. That God could help her find release from her current lifestyle.

But as we hung up I felt like my words fell on deaf ears.

I do pray for Tracy (and Melody) often but not as I really should.

As I looked at that couple standing before me today, I realized I am powerless to change Tracy.

The only thing I can do is pray for her – daily.

Pray for God to move in her life. Pray for God to help her see her need for a Savior. Pray for her drug abuse to disgust her. Pray for her heart to be softened to the Words of God.

Pray for God to release her from these addictions so that she can find new life in Him.

I so desperately want this for Tracy.

It is easy to forget about someone you never see. I haven’t seen Tracy in over a year and I have no idea if and when I will ever see her again.

At the same time, I love Tracy with a love that is hard to adequately describe because of the way our lives are forever intertwined together by one special little girl.

I wish I could snap my fingers and change her life forever.

That isn’t reality but reality is prayer.

Coming before the throne of God every day asking and pleading with Him to intervene in Tracy’s life.

If you are reading this, I ask that you pause for a minute right now and lift Tracy up to the Lord this very moment. Just ask God to intervene in Tracy’s life.

I am going to go further and ask if there are just TWO people who read my blog who will commit to pray with me for 30 DAYS for Tracy. (If more of you are willing to join in, by all means, come on!!) I am going to daily pray for Tracy from this day forward, but I am just asking you to commit to 30 days with me.

If you are one of these people, please leave a comment telling me you will pray with me for Tracy.

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Thank you.