Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Music for the Soul

How great is He!

How Great Thou Art

Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed;

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home- what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Good things come to those who wait!  As I sit here with our son...I realize that life doesn't get much sweeter than this!!  God is good and we are so grateful.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Cross That I Carry

Adoption = Anxiety. From the get go I have felt bombarded with a million emotions. I struggle with keeping my anxiety in check. We go months and months without hearing from our agency and then the little voice of doubt starts to creep in. It feels like we're waiting for something that will never come. Everyday morning it's a struggle to not let the thoughts of "when" consume me. Do I believe in the Lord's perfect timing? Yes! Is it so hard to sit back and not have control? Yes! Would I completely mess things up if I did it my way? Yes! I believe all of these things with all my heart and yet I continue to struggle. My deepest desire is to become a mother. Then I start to think about all the things I have longed for...good friends...a boyfriend...graduating from college...a proposal...a healthy marriage...a job for Wesley...buying a home. The Lord, in his time, has granted everything that I ask of him. He knows the desires of my heart. Looking back everything happened in the exact way it was supposed to. I can remember all the stress we went through when Wes was looking for a police job. He now has a job he loves and all the stress is but a distant memory. I cannot wait for this stress to become a distant memory!

Sometimes I look at people and think that their life must be easy. But all I really see is that they are not carrying the same cross that I carry. How silly of me to assume that unloading my cross and picking up theirs would suddenly fill me with a sense of peace! My prayer is that I let go of the anxiety and the voice of doubt. I want to live a joyful, purposeful life. It's so easy to get stuck inside yourself where you start to dwell on everything you don't have instead of the blessings that have been granted. However, my heart aches for a precious child. It literally aches. The pain has the power to bring me to my knees but it has not destroyed me. I refuse to let this temporary cross I am carrying destroy me, my marriage, friendships, and most importantly, my relationship with God. I know that only He has the power to ease the ache and the pain. My cross is waiting patiently, in joy (not anxiety) for the biggest blessing from above. Somedays are just easier than others.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Choosing Your Words Carefully

It's very seldom that I become offended by someone who is asking about adoption or our infertility. I don't (normally) feel jealous about the couples who are able to get pregnant. I have resigned myself to the fact that while we will not conceive in the traditional way, our journey to parenthood is truly a gift in that it has opened my eyes and my heart in a way that would never be possible without this trial. I feel more compassionate and inspired to see God's plan for our family. But, as every adoptive couple will tell you, people say things out of support that come across as silly or insensitive. The biggest thing that I find fault with is when people will tell me that they know of a family who adopted but then became pregnant several months later. I know that they are just trying to be supportive but it comes across as saying..."don't day you can be a real mom because you might get pregnant". I am overjoyed for the women who are able to conceive after adoption...for that is God's plan for them. I joke that Wes will think I'm cheating on him if we do, in fact, become pregnant one day. People who make these statements aren't trying to be hurtful but they also don't know the severity of our medical condition. The Lord does great things. If He wants us to become pregnant, then it will happen in His timing. However, I want others to understand that every woman is different. Some may find hope in these words but I hear these words as if someone is viewing adoption as an option that isn't quite as good as a natural pregnancy. Wesley and I are not hoping for a pregnancy...we are praying for a family. There will never be a shortage of people who unknowingly offend someone, whether it pertains to adoption or to everyday life. My hope is that we can educate our friends to speak kindly and thoughfully. We love to answer questions about adoption and our journey...we just don't want others to think this is a second best option or a Plan B.

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew 18:5

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Bothers Me About Adoption

I know that adoption is a business. Anything you believe otherwise is simply an illusion. Adoption agencies have staff; they have overhead; they have advertising fees. Even though an agency is listed as "non-profit" does not mean that they do not generate revenue. What bothers me the most about this entire process is that I am in constant fear of a) wondering how we are going to pay for this adoption and b) wondering how will we ever be able to afford to do this again? Ever heard the expression Cash Is King? Never is it more true in adoption. We all know that if we're willing to shell out $40k we would be able to bring a child home sooner than we can blink our eyes. There are BIG agencies who charge BIG money with the promise of quick turnaround times and promises to the birthmom of paid expenses for 3+ months of her pregnancy.

There is nothing wrong with the families who choose this route or these types of agencies. I truly do not believe you can put a price on how you create your family. However, I wish that the adoption agencies didn't prey on the emotions of all those involved. Many times, you have birthmoms who may be young or uneducated or simply without a support network. These women find themselves scared and pregnant. Enter an adoption agency who can promise that not only will their child find a loving family but they will have financial support throughout their pregnancy. Enter the couple who have been going through infertility treatments for years, who find themselves creeping into their mid-late 30's. The clock is ticking. They feel desperate for a child. Simply pay this huge fee and get matched with a birthmom sooner rather than later. The little agencies don't stand a chance against these BIG agencies.

What I'm trying to say is that there are so many birth families who are searching for loving adoptive families for their children. These birthparent(s) really want to provide their child with opportunity and a stable home environment. It just saddens me that the agency with the most glitz is the one that attracts (and perpetuates) this cycle. It's hard to see these smaller agencies that cannot offer a birthmom living expenses, but can offer counseling and guidance, being passed over for the agencies that can offer money (and the promise of momentary financial stability) for a birth parent. I recently checked into another adoption agency who said the number of their adoptions were significantly down from the previous couple of years. She was able to chalk this change up to two things: more birth fathers deciding to parent and more agencies offering to pay for birth mother expenses. I'm not going to lie...if I were in these women's shoes, I too would consider these large agencies who could help me financially.

There are so many children in need and so many willing families but the financial obstacles are great. I know that there is not much we can do to change the circumstances surrounding this business, it just saddens my heart that a lot of adoptive families will shy away from adoption due to the financial factors involved.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011


I read this book a couple months ago called Unplanned. It's the story of an ex-Planned Parenthood Director. It's her story from pro-choice to pro-life. It is profoundly moving and weighs heavily on your heart long after you have turned the last page.

I like to think of myself as pro-choice. I believe that every woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body. It's not for the government to decide or for someone to forbid certain behaviors. On the other hand, I (personally) stand firmly against abortion. So where does that put me? Some waffler in the middle of this great debate. However, the longer we sit on the waiting list...just waiting for our little miracle...the more time I have to be thankful for all the women out there who choose life. Because of their brave and selfless sacrafice, I will be a mom. These women could easily choose to have an abortion. After all, they are bombarded by "choice" and words to make them believe that the life inside them is a "fetus" not an infant. Praise God for quieting their minds and leading them towards something greater.

Regardless of the reasons why a birthmom chooses life over abortion, the outcome is still the same. They are providing another couple with the gift of life...a gift, that without these women, would be impossible for me and Wesley. I pray for our birthmom (wherever she is) daily. I think about her and the struggles she will have to overcome while choosing abortion, life, adoption etc. I cannot imagine the weight that she must carry throughout her pregnancy. I pray that the Lord's peace is with these women as they make huge life changing decisions.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Music for the Soul

This was played at our wedding and has monumental meaning as we travel down this road.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adoption Benefits?

Adoption benefits = bane of my existence. Long story short is that my employers has no formal policy for leave when adopting a child. When we became active in February I was very upfront with my employer about our adoption. I wanted to know how much time off I was allocated and how much (if any) compensation I would receive when placement occurred. I was told that I could take the FMLA standard of 12 weeks (hooray!) and that compensation would be discussed upon placement. We are essentially in limbo!

At first I literally could not stop obsessing about the type of financial situation this could leave us in. It would take everything we have to not only pay for the adoption but then worry about how we would make ends meet for 3 months. UGH! There are certain things about adoption that are less than glamorous and this happens to be one of those things! Unfortunately, the law does not protect paid leave for adoptive families. Most pregnant women would be paid a minimum of 60% of their salary per the company's short-term disability policy. Adopting a baby in no way makes me "disabled" so any help from my current employer would come directly from their bottom line.

What I'm hoping is that I will receive the same treatment as any pregnant woman - having the option of 3 months off with 60% of my salary. We will find a way to make up the extra 40% that we would be missing. However, there is nothing mandating that the company pay me anything. It seems so unfair. Now, I actually think that when we receive a placement my company will help us out. They seem to be very family friendly but we have no answer until that happens. I will be the first staff member to adopt so there is no protocol for management to follow.

Adoption has a long way to go with respect to mandated benefits. It seems like adoptive couples face an abundance of hurdles when preparing for their child...paperwork, the homestudy, medical evaluations, waiting on the list, the actual cost of adoption etc. I could really let this process chip away at me. It would be very easy for me to see how others view adoption as a less important or "plan B" way of creating a family. It seems at every corner that adoption is undermined by the series of hoops we have to jump through. And yet, here we are trying to maintain a sense of peace and purpose. It's hard and can definitely be a struggle. I can't say that there hasn't been days when I just want to throw up my hands and cry that we cannot conceive a child. In some ways, so much of the burden would be lifted.

I try to lay these fears out in prayer. It does help and I do have a sense of peace. Nothing will stop us from creating our family but it's so stressful on top of everything else!!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Feeling Sad Kind of Day

I wonder (all the time) when it will be our time! When do we get to experience the joy of parenthood instead of this feeling of longing? The longer the wait the more the little fears start to creep in. I literally feel broken today. There is a sadness that is weighing on my heart and I can't explain it. I know when this happens that I must turn to prayer and the good word of the Lord and yet it feels like there is a weight of 1000 pounds on my shoulders.

Oh you play with my emotions. It's a rollercoaster ride and just when you start to enjoy the ride it comes to a screeching halt. I no longer wish to ride this rollercoaster. I want off. I want to spend my days not wondering "when" as it is an all consuming thought. I want our family to grow and I want to share the love that Wesley and I have for each other with our child.

I know that our time will come. I know that there are families who have been waiting a lot longer than us. I know that the Lord has everything under control. And yet, here I am, spending my day in worry and anxiety. When does it end?