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The real reason, revealed

I don’t want to write this post but I am aching so bad, I don’t know how not to write it. I don’t even know what to call it.  Hence, my lousy title.
As most of you know, last weekend was the Relevant conference. I was so excited to go.  Okay, I was nervous about going but looking forward to meeting everyone and spending time with my amazing roommates Amy Bayliss and Marsha

Then, my house was invaded by a virus.  It hit every single person in our family except for Big Daddy.  Being a Road Warrior he wasthankfully out of town for most of it and when he was home he wore a face mask. I kid you not…even to bed.
Baby Sister was the last to get it.  Although I tried my best it was inevitable with all the sneezing and coughing that was being done around her and in her face.  Sick 2 year old sisters are hard to keep away. They want their Mama too and still want to kiss their baby sister (snot covered faces be darned).  As I said, I tried, but it was inevitable.
Baby Sister ended up on a nebulizer. It made things a bit more comfortable her and impossible for me to consider a) taking her to Pennsylvania and b) leaving her at home with Big Daddy.  Not that Daddy isn’t capable.  But, you know how it is. 
As we got closer to Relevant Amy received horrible news and needed to stay behind to care for her family and process it all.
 Then, I found out the real reason I needed to stay home as well.  Our daughter’s adoption may not go through.  She was placed into my arms 41 days ago but in some ways it feels like she has always been my child.  There are no words to describe the many ways my heart is breaking right now.  The fear that is coursing through my veins and the anguish I will feel if I have to tell my children that Baby Sister isn’t staying forever, like I promised.
 I’m not ready to talk about the hows and whys of it, because honestly, when all is said and done, if I have to relinquish my daughter, does it really matter whose fault it is? Will that bring her back to me?

I believed that God wrote Baby Sister’s adoption story.  I believed that He gave me the signs I asked for (unusual peace and speed) to show us that this was indeed His plan for our family. I want to still believe that. I want to believe that He will show up in a GIANT way and against all odds I will raise my daughter. If that happens it will be completely to His glory because there is not currently event the slightest crumb of hope—except in Him and through Him.

Amy missed Relevant too, but in the midst of pain and peace, God spoke to her, and she didn’t need to go to Relevant to hear it. 

I hope He will speak clearly to me too and that no matter what happens I can honor Him and glorify Him through my actions and words.

I humbly ask you to lift Amy’s family and my family up in prayer.
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Faith found online

Today I wanted to share with you some posts on faith that had me thinking this week.  I hope they inspire you to think about the scripture and the amazing gift (and resource) we have in the Holy Bible.

Chatting at the Sky: 31 days of Grace
Coffee Shop Journal: Mind like still water
Other such happenings: John 3:3

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The call to motherhood —-even for the childless

Today I received what had to have been the best compliment I have ever received from someone.  That she is a woman I admire is just icing on the cake!

Do you want to know what it is?

She told me that she believed I was specifically called to Motherhood and from the moment she met me in bible study she could see that motherhood held a different meaning for me.  It was something deeper and more intentional.

Imagine, that.  

Me, the infertile one.  

Me the motherless one.  

I was called to motherhood.

The deepest yearning of my heart has led to the contentment of my soul—- through the gift of motherhood.

And it’s visible.

How encouraging that is for someone who frequently feels she falls short;  Who goes to bed almost every night thinking, “I could have done today better.  I have to try harder tomorrow.”

Is this you, too?

I am so glad that my intentions are visible.  That my purpose and calling show through the imperfect mess that is me.  I hope it glorifies God.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t address a burden I see on the childless.  What happens if you feel called to motherhood but your arms are empty?  What about the women who are waiting on a husband, or waiting to afford IVF,  or waiting on an adoption placement? What about those women?
Sisters, I believe you are called to mother before you are called to be a mother.   You don’t have to give birth to someone to mother them.  You don’t need signed adoption papers to begin mothering someone.

I believe that God is a loving God and not a cruel one. I believe He would never give you a strong desire for something that He doesn’t intend to bless you with.  I do think that sometimes we don’t see His will.  Sometimes the path He chooses for us is different than the typical path, or different than the path we imagined.   But that should not detract us from believing and wanting God’s best for us.

So, don’t let your current childlessness keep you from using your mothering gifts.
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What my Relevant Roomies should know about me

I’m terribly shy in person when meeting people for the first time, or in large crowds with people I haven’t yet met. People are generally surprised to know that about me so I thought I’d throw it out there.  If I’m quiet and not making much eye contact, it’s not you, it’s me.

Because I’m not a good networker I don’t think I’m going to bother coming with cool cards to pass out—-because I won’t have the nerve to pass any out anyway. I still have some left over from BlogHer 10 and if I can find them, I’m going to bring them…just in case anyone asks.

I go to bed early.  As in before 10PM.  I’m not a night person (unless my insomnia hits) and after a day spent trying to act like I’m not shy I will probably need to go to bed at 8:30PM.  But the good news is, that I can sleep through anything—lights, talking, television, etc.  I just pull the covers completely over my head and pass out. Unless the insomnia hits.  Then I toss and turn all night.

I cannot read with background music or noise. I like silence for that.  But don’t worry. I’m going to leave the books at home this trip!

I’m still on the fence about bringing Baby Sister.  I am leaning towards bringing her because she is the easiest baby on the planet (and I want to show her off)…but I might not bring her because posting that your baby is the easiest baby on the planet is probably a major JINX.  So I’m going to rethink that. Much like I should have rethought bragging to Big Daddy that I NEVER get sick leading to my unhealthy demise that included Pumpkin telling me I kinda look like a grandma now.

I might be too detail oriented for my own good. Sometimes I lose my way in conversations (see above) and go easy on me, because I’m shy (when meeting people for the first time) and its hard enough for me to talk in public as it is.

I have not read up on or prepared for Relevant in any way.  So I’m going to need you to guide me. Just point the way and tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it.  I’m still trying to figure out blogging and my place in the blogging world.

I have a sugar addiction. I eat more when I’m stressed…or nervous. Don’t get between me and a candy bowl is all I’m saying.  The fastest way to make friends with me is to ask me if I want to join you for dessert. But order your own. I don’t like to share desserts. Got it?

I am VERY excited about seeing Marsha again and meeting Amy in person for the first time! I love those girls and I consider being their roommate an early birthday present to me!

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When children contemplate adoption

One morning, I heard the now too familiar pitter patter of our 5 year old daughter’s feet as she tried to tip toe into our room to peek at her baby sister. Turning in the bed with my eyes opened just a teensy bit, I could see her quickly duck down and freeze, before slowly rising to again to look at her sister in the crib.  Once the cooing began I could see her tip toe to reach her hands into the crib.  It was a moment I hope I never forget. It was exactly what we hoped for when we made the decision to grow our family through adoption.

Our children do not contemplate biology.  They are all siblings and are all growing up in this house.  That four should come from my womb and 1 be placed into our arms is a minor detail in the definition of our family.

As I rose out of bed to join my happy duo, I had a big smile on my face.  “All is good with the world”, I thought.

As I reached the crib, Pumpkin turned to me and said, “I just don’t understand how someone could give away such a beautiful baby.”

And there it was. Our five year old daughter had been processing her baby sister’s adoption all along, in her own way.  Even when they don’t speak about it, we would be fools to think our children aren’t processing and contemplating everything they encounter, even this adoption.  Even after we have explained countless times what a gift it is and how it is not an easy decision for any birth parent to make.  Even after meeting her sister’s birth mother, whom we all adore,she was still contemplating it all.

Just a week after Baby Sister was in our home Pumpkin had commented to a friend, “I really like my baby sister but I still think we could have kept that other baby too.”  The ‘other baby’ was the baby I provided interim care for over three days. Unfortunately, she never made it into the home her birth mother chose for her, instead she became part of a heartbreaking failed adoption plan.  All of the children, including Pumpkin, were told before the 7 day old infant arrived that this would NOT be our baby to keep and we would ONLY be babysitting for a few days.  But that was no matter to a young 5 year old girl, who was praying for God to bless our family with another child.  That was no matter when she looked at her face every morning.  In short she WANTED to keep this baby.  She could only see what she WANTED and could not yet understand that sometimes what we want and what is best are two entirely different things.  To her young wanting heart she could only see that there is wanting and not wanting. If only that were true. Sometimes we want the wrong things, want what we cannot have, want what we cannot handle and even want at the expense of another.

I know there has never been a moment of  Baby Sister’s life that she hasn’t been wanted or loved.  That is her story.  But in wanting her, her birthmother also wanted  for her.  Her love for her was so deep that she frankly wanted her baby to have more than she could provide and more than she grew up with under the same exact circumstances (young single mother with a GED).  In some adoption circles the phrase ‘wanting more’ is often mistaken for adoptive parents being wealthier than birth parents.  While it certainly helps if you can afford to feed, clothe and house a child, it is not fair to say that women are placing their children for adoption so that they can grow up in another tax bracket.  In our situation V. wanted her daughter to have a mother and a father, siblings, a stay-at-home mom, a chance to be able to take ballet classes if she wanted and to grow up with Christian values in a Christian home.  To simplify our daughter’s adoption by saying we simply had more money than her birth mother would be both untrue and unfair to everyone involved.

As I started to gently explain to Pumpkin that V. absolutely wanted and loved Baby Sister,  I was interrupted by our 7 year old son, G-man.  He said, “Sometimes people cannot afford to take care of their baby or aren’t old enough to be parents or don’t have a husband so they find another family who can do that for them. It doesn’t mean they don’t love them.  They just can’t take care of them.”

In that moment I couldn’t have been more proud of either of my children.  Adoption is now a part of our life. We will speak about it. We will honor it.  We love Baby Sister and we love V.  We acknowledge and honor V’s love of Baby Sister too.  She was her First Mother. That is a fact.  She was the first one to love and want her. That is also a fact and as such it will not be a secret in our home or on this blog.

Two days after we brought our new daughter home her God Father asked G-man what he thought of his new baby sister. His response was, “I think she is NEVER going anywhere and is staying with us FOREVER.”

Out of the mouths and hearts of babes.

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