Two days with Melissa

I never in a million years dreamed that infertility would bring me true, genuine, deep friendships with people that were once complete strangers to me.

But over the past almost five years, God has blessed my life with several new friendships. The common thread between us all?

Infertility and adoption.

God has even granted me the privilege of meeting in person many of these new friends.

Melissa started reading my blog years ago. When it was clear God was calling them to adopt, she emailed me, and our friendship has grown from there.

March 26th, I flew to Atlanta and got to spend two days with Melissa while she and her husband, Ryan, were there on business!!

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It is absolutely crazy to me how connected you can feel to someone you have never personally met but who has walked the same road as you: infertility and adoption.

We hung out for two days as if we had known each other for years.

We did get to site see in Atlanta, but one of the biggest highlights for me was being able to hear Melissa tell her story and how God has brought them to where they are today. I had read pieces of her story on her blog and through email, but being able to sit down in person and talk about what God has done in each of our lives concerning our infertility was just so very special to me.

I caught a red eye flight to Atlanta and arrived before 8am! Melissa was there to pick me up. As I got off the plane I sent Melissa a text that said: I’m the girl with the big, red purse (and red eyes)!

I was able to see the sunrise from the airplane. That was a beautiful sight. Creation really does proclaim a Creator. No way any of this “just happened”.

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We rode the shuttle from the airport to the hotel and spent the morning at the hotel restaurant eating breakfast and talking for about two hours straight!

We spent the rest of that day going to Underground Atlanta, lunch at Joe’s and lots more talking.

The next day we had some site seeing planned:

The Coke Factory and the Aquarium!!

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I had never been to either and enjoyed getting to see something new with Melissa. We had so much fun that day.

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We got to taste different Coke products from around the world which was very interesting. We both liked the Apple coke from China (where Melissa is adopting from!).

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The Aquarium was a lot of fun too. We were worried we wouldn’t get to see much of it because we had to get back to the hotel in time for me to get to the airport, but we ended up being able to see everything except the 3D show!

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We even crawled through this tunnel (for kids!) to get up close and personal with the penguins. This boy (probably about 10 years old) was in the tunnel with us and we asked him to take a picture of us. He said, “Uh, I don’t have my camera.” and then scampered off. We chuckled and then took this picture ourselves.

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There were so many beautiful sea animals.

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After the Aquarium we got back to the hotel in time for me to ride the shuttle back to the airport for my 6:30pm flight.

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I am so grateful for that time with Melissa. Crazy as it may seem (since we met over the internet….oooo!), Melissa is a friend for life. (Melissa and Ryan met over the internet too! Smile) She is such an encouragement to me and I wait with great expectation to see how God is going to unfold the next chapter of her story as she welcomes her daughter or son through the miracle of adoption.

To the Family and Friends of Mike and Brooke

We made it to the mountains. I am glad to be here, however, my heart is heavy for Mike and Brooke and I feel this is a post that needs to be written now.

If you are reading this and are a friend of Mike and Brooke’s, you need to know that a failed adoption is equivalent to a death in the family.

To Mike and Brooke, their 3rd child, Elise, has died.

Their dreams of her becoming their child have died.

A common misunderstanding is that a failed adoption is “okay” because every mother has a right to allow motherly emotions to make her change her mind at the last minute. While this is absolutely true, in Mike and Brooke’s case, this is NOT what happened. Their case goes deeper and there are legal issues involved.

Friends and family of Mike and Brooke…THIS is the time to continue to stand by them, to love them, to pray that they will lean on the strength of the Lord in this time.

Brooke’s status on facebook recently was something to the effect that the world continues to live life while their world is standing still.

Those are the same emotions anyone would feel after the death of a loved one. After the funeral, friends and family go back to normal life and the widowed spouse or the motherless child must somehow figure out how to live life with this emptiness the size of the Grand Canyon in their life.

It is the same for Mike and Brooke.

Adoption is a crazy thing and yet a beautiful thing.

My husband and I were crammed in the tiny bathroom of the family cabin late last night, talking. (We couldn’t talk in our bedroom because Little Bug was asleep in there. Wesley was asleep in the living room. Like I said, tiny cabin, so the bathroom was it!)

Dave said something I will never forget. We were just talking about how we could not believe this had happened to Mike and Brooke.

Then Dave said, “The laws surrounding how adoption works aren’t risk-free for anyone involved—the adoptive parents or the birth mother. That shouldn’t be a surprise though. The need for adoption is born out of an original flaw that kept the birth mother from caring for the child adequately on her own. That goes against nature, so how can we expect adoption to be any smoother a process?”

Until you have walked the path of adoption, you just simply cannot understand the magnitude of emotions involved.

It is completely overwhelming.

And what Mike and Brooke are experiencing is every couple who is on this path’s worst nightmare.

It is like a death in the family.

Today was supposed to be the day little Elise was in their arms, forever their little girl.

Today hurts and the days and weeks ahead are going to hurt, too.

We need to allow Mike and Brooke to grieve. We need to take care of them like we would if one of their children had died because essentially, this is what has happened.

You are probably thinking, What in the world do I say or do to help them?

The fact is, you don’t have to tell them any elaborate speech. Nothing you say is going to take their pain away.

Just be there for them. Make yourself available. Acknowledge their heartache. Acknowledge their lose. Make a meal and drop it by. (As soon as I can get internet access to post this, I will also be putting up a “Take Them a Meal” site so you can sign up to take them a meal.) Drop a card in the mail. If you are one of my readers, leave a comment on this post for Mike and Brooke to read.

Anything just to let them know that you have stopped your life, for just a moment, to let them know you care and are praying for their broken hearts.

Pray for Selah, their 6 year old daughter, who is taking this very hard. She is old enough to understand what is going on. In my opinion, Mike and Brooke are doing a fabulous job of using these tragic events to teach their daughter truths about God. On top of their own broken hearts, I can only imagine it hurts even worse to know their precious daughter is hurting, too. Pray for sweet Selah to be able to process this in her mind and feel the love of God holding her through this time.

As the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to surround them with our love and support.

There is a long road ahead of them and knowing they are not walking it alone is what Mike and Brooke need to know today.