Meet Beau

We finalized Beau’s adoption earlier this month so we are now officially and forever a family of six!
Beau has been home now just over 9 months. It has been one of my greatest responsibilities and privileges to help our son learn he is safe with us, he can trust us not to disappear and we are his forever. I have watched the mother-child bond and attachment form over these past 9 months and it has been a beautiful thing. When he was brought to my doorstep, we were strangers. At that time, I did not know the work that lay ahead of me for the almost 5 month old baby who had been placed in my arms to recognize me as trustworthy mother and for me to feel that fierce mother-child bond with him. We were strangers.

But we are strangers no more.

What a journey this past decade has been in my life.
All I have time to say right now is weaved through everything that has happened in my life – good or bad – over the past 10 years has been this: God’s faithfulness.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

I won’t be able to finish writing Through the Lens of Grace by the end of this month as I had hoped because….God has written another chapter!

December 7th we got a phone call from our adoption agency about this little guy. The next 9 days saw his mother signing her consent to terminate her parental rights, us meeting this woman, a court hearing to put a motion to intervene in his case (he was in the state’s care) and then another hearing where the Judge ruled that it is in the best interest of this baby to be placed in our family. He came home on December 17th, eight days before Christmas!

Once again, our lives have been uprooted with the sudden and quick addition of another child into our family, but we are confident that God orchestrated everything to bring this child to our family and He will give us what we need to meet his needs. He was born the day the adoption from this past summer officially failed. God is a Redeeming God and we trust Him to redeem the brokenness he has already experienced in his short life and we give God all the glory for what He has done and will continue to do!

Blog Name & Prayers Needed

I wrote all the names on our white board.DSC03684

You will notice some that were not on the comments of the other post. Those came to me through text messages.

Dave & Little Bug voted for Cowboy while Sweet Pea & I voted for Beau.

Then, Sarge was the tie breaker. I laid out the vanilla toy ice cream cone (Beau) and the strawberry toy ice cream cone (Cowboy) and told him to get one.

He picked vanilla!

(This was my attempt to chase him down and get a picture of him with the vanilla ice cream)DSC03688

So Baby 4’s blog name will be…


A dear friend text me the idea of “Beau”. It stands for Beauty because God has taken ashes and made beauty in more ways than one during this journey.

Please step up your prayers for us this coming week and pray for a peaceful process.

I will be back with an update as soon as I can.

This is the baby doll I bought when we were waiting for Sweet Pea. I would tell Little Bug I had to “feed the baby”, “change the baby” to get her used to the idea that I would have to care for the baby as well as her. I brought it out again last week and started doing the same with Sarge. This boy is a big Mama’s boy and he isn’t so sure about this baby doll, although he loves to crawl up in the chair with me while I am “feeding” the doll. Then he proceeds to stick his little finger in the doll’s nose and eyes. That’s a promising interaction right there!


I keep referring to this baby doll as “his baby”. Even at under two years old, I want him to know Baby Beau will be our baby to love and hold.

steadfast love & faithfulness

Hello. I did not intend to write this story at a snail’s pace, but that is where life has me right now. Baby prep is done (that was the month of June) and now I am hoping to get more of the story written and published before baby is born this month.

For tonight, I am just here to write about something that has been on my heart over the past couple of days.

Every morning, my alarm goes off at 7am and I reach over and turn it off and then I reach for my headphones, plug them into my cellphone and turn on the Bible app. Since my Bible study at church is on summer break, I have been listening to the Psalms over and over and over again. The app will read to me, so I lay there listening to the Psalms for about half an hour before getting out of bed for the day.

One morning this week it hit me like a ton of bricks how many times the Psalms mention “the steadfast love of the Lord” and “His faithfulness endures forever”.

If we can’t find HOPE in those words that are repeated over and over and over again in the Word of God, I don’t know where we can find hope.

Waiting to adopt a baby – even when it is your 4th – is never an easy process and those words made my heart soar when I had been in a low place.

If I just stop and reflect on the past decade of my life which includes meeting and marrying Dave, going through infertility, adopting our two daughters, going through the devastating circumstances that lead me to believe my marriage was over, walking through the restoration of my marriage and rebuilding it from nothing to what it is today and adopting our first son in the midst of all that…and now standing on the brink of bringing a 4th child into our family.

If you’ve read this blog long enough, you know I have always desired to mother 4 children, but none of this was ever about little ol’ me and my desires.

In fact, all along the way, God has asked me to lay down my desires at His feet.

I constantly hear people talking about trying to figure out “God’s Will”. I remember as a teenager desperately desiring to figure out what “God’s Will is for my life”. I didn’t want to mess up, but I didn’t quite know what it meant to “do God’s Will”.

The past decade has lead me through some pretty tough and desperate times. I’ve come to the end of myself multiple times and realized I wasn’t anymore in control of my life than I am in control of the sun rising every morning. I found myself in circumstances that seemed hopeless. Infertility and infidelity leave you feeling empty.

All I had was my faith in Jesus Christ.

Every time life brought me to a desperate situation, God whispered in my heart that I needed to surrender.

We don’t like to surrender because surrendering means giving up control of our lives. Even if it is a false sense, we like to believe we are in control of our lives. When tragedy strikes we quickly learn we are not in control and we are at the mercy of our circumstances.

It is in that place we can chose to continue to rely on ourself or we can choose to put our faith in God.

When we choose to put our faith in God, we then have to choose to surrender to His Will and I can guarantee you His Will is going to look different than what you desire.

Why is that?

It is through desperate and hopeless situations that God can show us Himself!

A decade ago, I was in my mid-20’s with all my hopes and dreams staring me in the face. I was a 4th grade teacher at a local elementary school, but what I really desired to be was a wife and mother. God brought me Dave is early 2006 and that was step one to all my dreams coming true. All I had to do next was get married and then the babies could start coming.

Except they did not.

Oh how many times I cried in the dead of the night, “Why, Lord??? All I want to do is be a mother! Why would you allow me, of all people, to be infertile?”

It made no sense in those desperate days.

A decade later, I see why every day in the faces of my 3 children.

This was never about meThat is what I see most right now.

All the muck I had to tramp through to get to where I am today has brought glory to God.

I am a barren woman, but I am also the mother of 3, almost 4, children.

My marriage was doomed to end, but instead it is stronger than it has ever been.

You can’t read this blog and hear the testimony of my life over the past decade without seeing the steadfast love of the Lord and His faithfulness written in every single circumstance.

God took my barrenness and did what only He could do…for His glory.

God took my broken marriage and restored it…for His glory.

It was never about me; it was always about Him receiving glory in and through my circumstances. That took surrender on my part and then God did the rest.

His steadfast love and His faithfulness humble me and make me thankful for it all.

Tonight, if you are in the middle of the muck of life, if you find yourself in a hopeless situation and you are crying out to God “why?”, surrender it all to Him and then stand back in great expectation of what God will do for His glory.

Let the steadfast love of the Lord and His faithfulness overtake your life. Get yourself out of the way so God can do His work in and through your life – no matter your circumstances – for His glory.

Making room

We haven’t been writing more of the story because our attention has been on…


I know many of you have read this blog from the very beginning…during our early years of infertility. You have watched the miracles unfold as we have welcomed three children into our family through adoption.

You would think going through this a 4th time would be easy. That it would be second-nature to just trust God with all the unknowns and uncertainties that come with every single adoption process.

It is never easy…

…but I know God is the same God He was yesterday, and is today and will be forever. (Hebrews 14:8)

If this is our baby, God will place this baby in our family and nothing will thwart that plan.

In the meantime, we sit, waiting to see God move and accomplish His purposes…whatever that may be.

We appreciate you joining us in prayer over this matter over the next several weeks as things begin to unfold and God writes this next chapter to His story.

It’s all for HIS glory and we praise Him.

The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23

Popping in to Say Hello

And just like that, another season has come to a close and Christmas is in 36 days!! I feel this describes our family, except the season we’ve been in has lasted way longer than the seasons that change with the orbit of the earth.

Adopting an NAS baby on top of having two young children has been one of the hardest things I’ve done. This season has been so hard. Adding a third child to the family is already a big adjustment, and then when you throw in Sarge’s special needs his first year….it was just hard.

We are turning a corner though. Sarge’s development is right on target at one year old and, earlier this month, he took his first steps! He is eating us out of house and home (this boy can put down some food) and his sisters can make him laugh like no other. He is a complete joy although we are still trying to figure this 3-kid thing out!

Our homeschool year has had it’s challenges, but is overall going well. We have joined Classical Conversations and I feel like this is going to set the course for our homeschool for many years to come. We are beginning to find our rhythm and, perhaps the best thing of all, I’ve re-established a schedule for ALL three of my children. A schedule that basically went out the window over the past year. The affects of that were very obvious around the beginning of September. Re-establishing a schedule for my children has helped tremendously with the chaos we were experiencing.

I can hardly believe we ring in a New Year in just 43 days! I love the Holiday Season. Last year, we were fresh from the hospital home with Sarge and last Fall is seriously a blur to me. I don’t have any memories besides attempting to keep Sarge as comfortable as possible through his withdrawals.

That was then and this is now. I am thankful God saw our family through that season.


The events from January 22nd to Sarge’s birth and beyond are still as mind-blowing to me as they were when I was living them. I hope to begin to write and share this story within this new season. The time is drawing near and I desire to bring glory to God by telling His story through what He did in and through my family. I hope you readers who have stuck around through this long period of silence on God’s Faithfulness Through Infertility are doing well…and enjoying this Holiday Season.


August 5th 2014 was the day we got a glimpse that God maybe, just maybe, wanted to place Sarge in our family.

It’s crazy to think back to that time. One year ago today we traveled to the mountains for what we thought was going to be a restful week of vacation with the family. And then – with one phone call that came while we were sitting down to eat at our favorite pizza place – our world was rocked. It’s interesting to me how life can change so suddenly, with no warning. One moment you are sitting down to dinner with your husband, two children and parents and the next moment…..your heart is breaking for a baby you’ve never laid eyes on.

I came back to the table with a cloud of doom written all over my face. I could hardly eat. I think I did eat but my mind was hundreds of miles away with a little baby boy.

In those moments, I didn’t know what God was doing. All I had were the facts of what was going on right then and there. And it scared me for that little baby. I wanted the best for him, but what if what I wanted for him wasn’t what God wanted for him?

From that day forward, my mind was focused on this situation. I knew in my heart that I wanted to step in and say we’ve changed our minds, yes, we can adopt him after all. Even though I wanted to say that, a baby right now was the furthest thing from my mind prior to August 5th! Remember, we had had to say no to adopting Sarge back in March, when we first learned of him. It was hard to say no, but I knew it was necessary, given our circumstances back in March of 2014. I had tried to imagine what life would be like if we did adopt him, and I had decided a newborn on top of homeschooling the girls was just too much! There was no way. A newborn didn’t fit in our life.

So, desiring to adopt him when we got the news on August 5th was scary. We were in no way financially prepared to adopt. Domestic infant adoption is expensive. We’d already depleted savings twice in five years. We were trying to build up a savings – not deplete it even further!

My mind was so far removed from having a newborn. I had sold my baby stuff on Craigslist in March (yes, two weeks before we first got the phone call about Sarge). In my mind, our family was moving to the next stage of life. Our girls were growing up, we were moving out of the baby/toddler phase and into the phase of having kids that aren’t tied down to napping and eating schedules. I was really looking forward to that!! After 5 years of naptimes and bedtimes trumping fun activities, I was really looking forward to some flexibility there and having older kids that we could go and do stuff with.

But God.

As usual, God had other plans for me. Since deciding to grow our family back in 2007, God has time and time again asked me to surrender my plans for His. And I’ve done it every time and I’ve been witness to the amazing hand of God moving in ways that are not humanly possible to do things that only a God who loves and cares for His children can do. I’ve witnessed miracle after miracle after miracle.

While life swirled around me at this news, my heart was quiet….and still. I knew God had a plan for this baby. I knew He was in control of where he ultimately ended up. I knew God would work out all the details to place him in our family if that was where He desired him to be. I knew I had to sit back and wait for God to reveal His plan and then GO if God called me to go.

In the wee hours of the morning, two and a half weeks after we got that phone call, we were called to GO. We got up in the middle of the night, threw some items in a bag and left town for the next 27 days. At the time, we had no way of knowing it was going to be for that long.

As I am sitting here reflecting on last year, one thing seems to be at the forefront of my mind: When God calls you to GO, He equips you.

As I look back on this past year, God has taken care of every single detail concerning adopting a baby with absolutely no notice.

The first few days in the NICU with Sarge were surreal. I couldn’t believe I had a newborn son. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. It took a while for reality to set in that I actually had a 3rd child and my first son. In fact, even months after bringing Sarge home I would have those moments where I would look at Sarge while feeding him or rocking him before bed, and think “How in the world did this happen?!”. I had to consciously shift my mind-set while in the NICU and tell myself that this was God’s plan for my life at this time instead of what I had thought I would be doing in August of that year!

God gave me every single thing I needed while we spent that time at the NICU. Every single thing. I compared it to the Israelites receiving their daily manna from the Lord. That’s how that NICU experience was for me. Those were some of the hardest weeks of my life physically and emotionally but God gave me what I needed to get through each and every day.

While there, I instantly knew what Sarge needed, and this carried on when we came home with him too. I would be sitting in the hospital holding him, watching him going through withdrawal, and it would hit me like a ton of bricks exactly what he needed. This happened with his feeding schedule there and with the weaning process of his morphine. I would know exactly what needed to be done differently, would discuss it with the nurses first, then the doctor and then once the doctor gave the official okay to do things the way I knew they needed to be done, it was always a good thing in the end for Sarge’s recovery. This was an intuition that I had no doubt that came from the Lord. It was so humbling knowing God had literally sent me to that baby’s bedside to be his advocate and HE was guiding me every step of the way in knowing what Sarge needed.

Back home, while we were in the NICU with Sarge, things were happening on the home front too. Without warning, my brother called my parents the morning after we had left in the middle of the night, to tell them we had gone. My parents took over care of Little Bug and Sweet Pea for the entire 4 weeks we were away, which was no small task. That’s my parents though – they step in and do what needs to be done. My parents took over our human children and Dave’s parents, again without any hesitation, stepped up and took our fur baby. And – still to this day – almost 1 year later, they still have her. When we returned home, taking care of a dog on top of 2 active girls and an NAS baby was too much to handle. They willingly said they would keep her and she is so well taken care of there. She wasn’t getting the attention she deserved at our house and is much happier with them. We have both been blessed with amazing parents who step up to help when we need it however we need it.

Like I mentioned, I sold my baby stuff right before we got the first call about Sarge. Have no fear! Our connection group at church began taking baby donations that were pouring in. By the time the donations of baby clothes and baby gear had all come in, I could have opened my own second hand baby store – that was how much we were given! We had to come back one day to do a quick home study about a week or so after Sarge was born and we decided to drive home the night before our home study the next day. We arrived home and my mom had been going through all the donations for us and had everything spread out in our bedroom. We arrived home close to midnight. I was too tired to move everything off the bed, so we ended up sleeping in the girls’ beds that night! I remember standing at my bedroom door, looking at all the donations and just simply being amazed that all of that had been given to us in a moment’s notice. God was taking care of everything….right down to having clothes for this baby for months to come!

When I can freely share the story of Sarge, you will see how God doesn’t take hard circumstances away from us sometimes because He uses the hard circumstances of life to teach us and to show up in our lives when we desperately need something outside our own strength to get through.


These past 18 months I could not have lived through in my own strength. I’ve needed Him every step of the way and He’s been there. Every step of the way.

A Slice of Normal

Tonight, in the midst of all the constant chaos, we decided to be brave and head out to a Fall Festival that we have attended for several years now. I had no idea how Sarge would do because….you never know how Sarge will do. Since he had had a really rough night and morning, I had my suspicions if that bout of pain had finally passed, he might pass out in his car seat and be good to go for the evening as he finally caught up on rest.

I was right! We had a FABULOUS time. I was soaking it all in because for the first time in over two months my whole family – all FIVE of us – went out together and enjoyed a wonderful fall evening at a Fall Festival. So much so that I am taking the time to document this evening on the blog before I go to bed!

All five of us driving in our new car for the first time:


(Yes, we had to buy a new car…for the second time this year. Back in February we went down to being a one-car family. Dave sold his car. We sold our family car and we bought a new car that we planned to keep forever. And then Sarge came along and no matter what we tried, we could not fit three car seats in the back. So shortly after we got home from the NICU with Sarge, we started car hunting again. We didn’t want a van so we went with a Santa Fe and we love it. Sweet Pea and Sarge are in the middle seats and Little Bug sits in the very back.)

The girls enjoyed a hayride with Grams and Gramps.


I loved getting to see my big girls have fun playing games!


Finally, we were doing something normal and I cannot tell you how good it felt!!


After we had left I realized we never took a family picture together. Oh well. I did have Dave snap this picture of me with Sweet Pea after we had finished her craft.


We are no where out of the woods with Sarge, but I do think we are finally at a place where we can leave the house with him…maybe. A month or even just two weeks ago, I would have not even thought about trying to go anywhere (besides dr appts) with him. Even though I am an introvert, the isolation was starting to get to me.

I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness in giving us this evening…even if it is just a slice of normal life that eventually will come.

It’s not a cake walk.

Sarge has been on Zantac and a prescription formula and there has been no change to his level of pain associated with eating. It’s quite disheartening to see this baby continue to suffer, and to know that his issues stem from being exposed to drugs in the womb. If this was just a reflux or sensitive stomach/allergy issue, the Zantac and prescription formula would have helped by now.

I spoke to a woman yesterday who gave me the name and number of a doctor who works with babies and children that have been exposed to drugs in the womb. I called this morning to get Sarge an appointment. I am waiting to hear back when they can fit us in. The doctor is booked out months in advance but when a case like us calls in, he does what he can to see the infant as soon as possible. Please pray we can get in as soon as possible.

Speaking to this woman yesterday, who is a mother to three children exposed to drugs in the womb, was a big source of encouragement yesterday. To speak to someone who has walked in my shoes and validated every single feeling I am feeling as we walk through this was just what I needed yesterday.

I am pretty much homebound with Sarge as I learned the hard way on Friday night. Every fall, the family takes a trip the mountains to the family cabin. Since we got the phone call about Sarge while there in early August, I desperately wanted to go there this fall. It was going to be full-circle to take him there. After speaking with his birth mother in the living room of the cabin and then the family immediately going to prayer when I hung up with her, I wanted to take a picture of Sarge in my arms after asking the Lord to place him in my arms during that time we didn’t know where Sarge was going to end up.

My parents asked to take the girls up to the cabin with them, and because I am relying so heavily on their help these desperate days, I had no choice but to say yes even though there was a tinge of Mommy Guilt thrown in there about sending the girls away for a week after having been away from them for four weeks while Sarge was in the NICU. But, I knew I had no other choice but to send them.

And then I thought, Why not go up for a long weekend? And that became the plan. Dave, Wesley, Sarge and I would drive up on Friday after work and stay through Monday! Perfect! I was so looking forward to a bit of “normal”.

We pulled out at 4:45pm. Sarge was due to eat between 5-5:30. We made it to the north side of town and stopped to eat dinner and feed Sarge, so we really didn’t get on the highway until 6pm and we had a 7-8 hour drive ahead of us NOT counting the stops we were going to have to take to feed Sarge along the way! It can take anywhere from 45-75 minutes to feed him. That’s a lot of lost travel time on the road. I was beginning to second guess our decision in trying to make this trip.

But I just chose to make it an adventure…until Sarge was extremely uncomfortable in the car seat. After eating Sarge writhes in pain. We hold him until the pain passes and he can relax and fall asleep. This takes anywhere from 1-2 hours after he eats. If I held him until his pain had passed before putting him in the car seat to continue our travel we would literally NEVER make it out of our state, much less all the way to the mountains! So I tried to comfort him as best I could with him in the car seat, all the while thinking this was going to be a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG night.

Then, around 7:30pm, after we had only been on the road 1.5 hours and would need to stop again to feed Sarge around 8:30pm, my dad called to tell us that Sweet Pea currently had a 102 temp and had thrown up. Say what?!?!

I felt SO defeated at this point! Little Bug had been plagued with a horrible stomach bug that had lasted 4 days the week prior and now it appeared it was Sweet Pea’s turn! Sarge could not be around those germs. We started talking about our options, one of which was to just turn around and go home.

After 15 minutes of talking it over, we decided to just go home. We were asking too much of Sarge to make this trip in his condition. Later I was kicking myself for even thinking this trip was a good idea! I should have known better and had I thought about the logistics and the fact that being in the car seat for 8+ hours probably wasn’t going to be the best for Sarge, let alone being out and about while we were in the mountains, I would have realized even attempting the trip was a dumb idea.

Defeated we drove the 1 hour 45 minutes back home and we were home by 11pm. I was unpacked by midnight because I was so mad and didn’t want the chore of unpacking to hang over me.

God is teaching me much in this season of my life. One of which is the fact that we are so not in control of our lives!! It’s a lesson I’ve been taught many times before.

Life is NOTHING like I imagined it to be this past summer as I was preparing for our first official homeschool year! But- God is faithful and He is giving us the grace to move through these days in His strength. There is no doubt in my mind that this is God’s calling on my life right now. To love and nurture this precious baby boy to health. God made it abundantly clear that His Plan all along was for Sarge to be our son and it is one my highest callings in this life to be the mother of Little Bug, Sweet Pea and now, Sarge.

Once again, life has turned out to be anything but what I expected. As always, it’s a wild ride and as hard as life is right now, I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

I remind myself daily – if not multiple times a day – that all of these circumstances are temporary. This is all a season. A season that will pass.

As I was sharing my feelings with the woman I spoke with yesterday she validated the one thing that has just been nagging me from the beginning of all this. It goes against every grain in my body to not be capable of caring for all three of my children at the same time by myself. I feel like I should be able to. I want to more than anything, but logistically it is just not possible because of Sarge’s delicate state. I was sharing these frustrations with her yesterday, telling her I feel like a wimp or something. She said, “You are not a wimp! Adding a third child to the family is hard enough under normal circumstances. But you have a drug baby on top of all that! It is NOT easy. When my third came along, my two cousins moved in with us to help take care of everyone for the first several months because I COULD NOT do it alone. It was impossible to care for two little ones on top of a drug baby.”

Do you know how much that was music to my ears?!? I am not crazy. I am not weak. I am not being a wimp. I am doing the best I can do given the circumstances. And I am blessed that God has given me parents who are so willing and capable of stepping up and helping us through this time. And we will get through this. She told me, “Things will improve. Life will get easier.”

I know it’s true. Right now, life is hard. I feel pulled in twenty million directions 24/7. It is extremely difficult watching a baby suffer and knowing the reason was completely 100% preventable. I can’t dwell on that too much. It is what it is. This baby is right where he needs to be and I am going to do EVERYTHING in my power to get him the help he needs so that his body can heal and these drugs don’t have a lasting effect on his little body. By God’s grace, I know he will be healed. The alternative is not acceptable to me.

It is taxing and tiring trying to figure out what to do next to help him! I am praying this doctor is our God-send and will give me the tools I need to help Sarge recover.

This summer I had wonderful plans in place for our first year of homeschool! I was so looking forward to this season of our life. God had other plans and now my focus has shifted although we are still very much homeschooling Little Bug. (I just love the flexibility homeschool provides.)

I want to write a post soon about all that I have learned from everything we have gone through in 2014. Perhaps the biggest is a reminder that our lives are not our own. We make plans, which is a good thing to do, but ultimately we must keep our hearts attuned to God and His plan for our lives and be ready to surrender our plans for His plans if His plans are different from our own. God’s plan for our lives is rarely a cake walk because He takes us places to make us totally dependent on Him! It’s truly a good place to be.

In the midst of all the chaos, there is peace because I know I am right where God wants me doing exactly what He wants me to do in this season of my life.

It’s just hard and I truly appreciate the support and prayers during this time.

PS: Sweet Pea was sick that one time. She immediately asked for applesauce, ate it, kept it down and slept all night. She was perfectly fine the next morning and went on a long hike. I am convinced God used that to make us turn around because He knew the trip was too much for Sarge.