My Adoption Story

November is National Adoption Month. While this month is intended to raise awareness for foster adoption, I thought I would share my adoption story. I was not adopted through foster care.

When people find out that I am adopted I tend to get questions. These questions have been a part of my life and I’m used to it. I don’t get offended by questions and I will gladly answer any questions that come my way. These are the most common though…

Question 1: How old were you when you were adopted?

Answer: 3 days old.

Question 2: Have you met/do you know your birth parents?

Answer: No.

Question 3: Does it bother you not knowing your medical history?

Answer: Most of the time no. Sometimes it would be nice to know a few things.

My adoptive parents, whom I will call my parents because that’s who they are, tried for many years to have children. My mom, for whatever reason, couldn’t have babies. She suffered through at least three miscarriages (that I know of). She never spoke of the details but I do know it was hard for her.

My dad was a pastor and my parents were both from Arkansas. They pastored at a few churches in Arkansas for a couple years before God called them to a church in Indiana. My parents prayed and my dad felt led to move from their home and their family and take this position in Indiana. My mom on the other hand DID NOT WANT TO GO.

Psalm 25:4-5 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

I remember my mom telling me this story. She was on her face praying to God. Begging. Pleading. She didn’t want to go away from her family and move to Indiana. She cried and prayed and cried and prayed before finally giving in. She couldn’t understand why they needed to move to Indiana-where they knew no one. But she listened and obeyed.

My mom and dad were in Indiana for a year or so (my facts are a little fuzzy) and my mom had made friends. It was made clear that she couldn’t have children. One night in April they received a phone call. A nurse, my moms friend, who happened to attend my parents church, called my parents with a question. She knew that my parents couldn’t have babies and well…there was a baby born that didn’t have a home. “There’s a little girl here that needs a home. Would you be interested in adopting?”

Hint: that little girl was me.

My first picture.

Sadly I don’t know all of the details of everything that happened but the important thing is that they said yes! Within three days I had a home.

My story is unique. Adoption is very difficult. It is very costly. Adoption is a PROCESS! My parents had not filed for adoption. They had not filled out the paperwork. My birth mom hadn’t searched out for the perfect family for the baby she carried.

By listening and obeying Gods command all the puzzle pieces fell into place. My parents told me that I was a gift from God because they obeyed. Had they not moved to Indiana I would have had a very different story-or maybe no story at all. There was a plan and it played out perfectly.

Did my birth mom, who was 15 by the way, plan on having a baby? No. But God had a plan. Did my parents want to move to Indiana? No. But God had a plan. Did God place that nurse in the hospital on that shift for a purpose? Absolutely.

When we listen and obey great things will happen.

Found in my baby book.

Are you afraid to move, start a new job, change schools, change careers? Are you hesitant to go on that mission trip or volunteer for a position at church? Is God tugging at your heart? Is God calling you to be a foster parent? If you listen and obey then you may play a role in a miracle. You may get to witness an actual gift of God being presented to someone. How fantastic to witness first hand and be a part of something great happening.

It is hard for me to think of myself as a blessing or a gift. I was definitely not the perfect child but I was given the perfect family. If I had not been adopted I wouldn’t have the family that I have now. I have wonderful aunts and uncles, cousins, one of whom I’ve been able to travel the world with. Though they are far away in Arkansas I still have relationships with them which has been so special since my parents have passed.

Ephesians 1: 3-6 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Maybe you don’t have a family. Or maybe you do but you don’t have great relationships with them. Maybe you are an orphan or bounced from family to family. I want you to know that you can be a part of the family of God. He will never leave you or forsake you. He may not be there in the physical world but He is there to love you, protect you, forgive you, guide you and give you grace. He will provide someone in your life to love you unconditionally. Blood relative or not.

Do I want to meet my birth family? The short answer is yes. In fact I have searched for my birth mom on social media and I’m almost positive that I have found her. I have a great fear of being rejected and have not reached out to her yet. It’s all in God’s timing. Hopefully one day I will get to meet the person who chose to give me life.

The Broken Vase

My sister in law, Liz, and I were having a conversation not too long ago. Actually we have this conversation quite often…getting rid of junk. Literal junk in our homes. We do not want to become “hoarders” or pack rats.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It’s funny what items have emotional ties though. An old stained t-shirt, a book with the cover torn off, a birthday card signed by someone who is now gone, a onesie your baby wore. Continue reading “The Broken Vase”

The Truth Is…

In a perfect world everyone would tell the truth. The truth is though that a lot of people are scared of the truth. They are scared to tell the truth and scared to hear the truth. Sometimes we are scared to admit the truth to ourselves.

Maybe the truth goes deeper than: “does this make me look fat?” Or “I’m on my way”-when you haven’t left yet. Maybe the truth is “I’m hurting”, “I’m hiding”, “something isn’t right but I don’t know what it is”. Continue reading “The Truth Is…”

YOU are a Good Mom

Do you use over the counter medicines or all natural/ essential oils/ earthy products when your kids are sick?

It doesn’t matter. YOU are a good mom.

Does your kid go to daycare or stay home with you?

It doesn’t matter. YOU are a good mom.

Do you feed your kid fast food or cook from scratch?

It doesn’t matter. YOU are a good mom.

Does your kid go to public school, Christian school, or homeschool?

It doesn’t matter. YOU are a good mom.

Did you have a natural birth, c-section, pain management birth adoption…foster…etc?

It doesn’t matter. YOU are a good mom.

Breast or formula?

It doesn’t matter. YOU are a good mom.

The list could go on and on. I find myself reminding myself that I am a good mom even if I choose Tylenol over essential oils. If I opt to stay at home rather than go to work. If I set my kids in front of the tv all day because I just can’t deal. It’s not every day. It’s not every time. Organic vs store brand isn’t always the right answer.

Are your kids happy? Are you happy? Is your family being cared for in the best way that you can provide? YOU are a good mom.

Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Motherhood isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. That. Is. Okay. It is okay to have a bad moment or a bad day. Maybe even a bad week. I suggest not unpacking and living in that bad moment. Sometimes it’s okay to let it all out. To scream or cry. As mothers we tend to hold ourselves together for the sake of our family. I’m telling you from experience that it is not good to keep emotions all bottled up. You will eventually explode.

Find a good outlet. Try your best to get some alone time or time with a friend. Join a bible study or play group. Don’t let the title of mom define you. But still…YOU are a good mom.

I see you mama. You are tired. Overwhelmed. Done. The judgement sometimes comes flying at you. Unwanted opinions and articles are sent your way. I see you. I hear you. YOU are a good mom.

I am a good mom.

No Shoes? No Problem!

I know you have all seen those signs on the doors of restaurants and other businesses that say No shoes. No service. I completely respect those signs and follow that rule. But! When I am at home I all but refuse to wear shoes.

Did you know that there are over 7,000 nerve endings in each foot? That’s a lot of data to be processed when you are walking without shoes or socks. All those nerves are sending messages to your brain to tell you something is soft or sharp or uneven.

I am that mom at the park that lets her child run around without shoes. I feel the evil glances from other parents as they shout at their kids to leave their shoes on. I remember a time specifically on vacation recently. Our hotel had a nice little playground-which was awesome for our almost three year old to burn energy. The shaded, fenced in play area had pea gravel instead of wood chips or rubber mats. It was hot and everyone wore sandals. Clearly the tiny rocks were getting in shoes. Just walking in there I had twelve dozen rocks in my footwear. Jack asked if he could take his shoes off. “Of course” was my response. I’d rather him play barefoot than have to help him dig rocks out of his shoes for thirty minutes. Ugh. Meanwhile almost every other kid that came and went asked to take their shoes off. Their parents responded with no. Some parents even told their kids to not get dirty – but that’s an issue for another time. Ha!

Why? Why don’t I like to wear shoes? Why don’t I care if my child wears shoes?

God did not create us with shoes on. I know that seems like a silly answer. But it’s true. We created shoes to protect our feet from getting injured. I totally respect that. And of course it hurts when you step on a rock or a stick but in all honesty if you do it enough you will build up a tolerance- just like with many other things.

You are not a bad parent if your kid wears shoes all the time but just know that I am not a bad parent for allowing my child to be barefoot…and he does ask to wear shoes sometimes when we are walking in rough areas and he has opted to leave them on at the park on occasion.

My point is that you do feel and experience more when your shoes and socks are off. There is a freedom from going barefoot! I challenge you to try it.

Here’s a link to an article with some good points. https://www.mother.ly/child/benefits-of-being-barefoot-for-children

Cultivating Connection

This week I have been hit with small moments of depression. Any amount of depression, no matter how small, is not enjoyable. It hits me at weird times like when I’m driving to the store or a memory pops into my head. I can feel myself shutting down. I want so badly to let the darkness take over and just lay in a bed wallowing. That is exactly what Satan wants. He wants me to grab onto those dark feelings and fall into the pit of hopelessness.

Only by the grace of God am I able to pull myself out of that pit and shake off the darkness and function for my family.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;

I am reminded pretty regularly how different we all are. How our mountains look extremely different from someone else’s and our valleys, or pits, can look different as well. But that doesn’t make my suffering or your suffering any less than that of someone else.

Continue reading “Cultivating Connection”

At Least

Two words I am trying to say less are “at least”. More specifically I am trying not to downplay someone’s suffering.

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When a friend tells you “I lost my pregnancy” is it your first instinct to reply with “at least it was early on” or “at least you already have a child”?

When a loved one shares with you the difficulty they are facing taking care of their parent is your first instinct to say “at least you still have that parent” or “at least you aren’t juggling small kids while taking care of your parent”?

When anyone shares a difficulty that they are facing my natural instinct is to downplay it or explain to them they what they are going through could be far worse. My first instinct is to compare their suffering to what I’ve suffered through. But the fact of the matter is that we all go through different suffering. Not one person can experience the exact same thing that another person is experiencing-not even siblings or a spouse. We all suffer differently and we all grieve differently. We all celebrate differently and experience different types of joy. Why? Because we are all created differently.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I have definitely made more of an effort to think before I speak when someone is sharing something personal. I try extremely hard to not just reply with “at least…”. The best thing that I can do is listen, absorb, love and pray.

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

The best advice that I can give is to be honest but in a loving way. If you don’t understand then say something along the lines of “that sounds terrible, I cannot begin to understand what you are going through but I will be praying for you (maybe even pray in the moment if you are led to do so).

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There are so many things that I have never experienced but what I have experienced I am willing to share. I have had close friends refer me to their friends or family who are facing difficulties similar to mine; they weren’t able to help but they knew that I might have knowledge that could help or encourage.