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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This Time Last Year

It's nearly Easter and it's a joyous time for our family. I am fresh back from a solo shopping spree to find the girls special Easter dresses. I found hats and gloves for $1 each at Target. What a steal!

While I was there I couldn't help but take a stroll past the clearance section to scan over the boys clothing. I would have purchased a ton of clothes but for the fact that I have no clue what age or size our little guy will be and there is a HUGE range between birth to 2 years old so I (barely) kept myself restrained. I whispered to my son below my breath that I was thinking of him and wishing him a Happy Easter, that I love him and I can't wait for the day that I can hold him close and tell him so IN PERSON.

Looking at the newborn layette's I also had to acknowledge my children in heaven. For those of you who might not know a year ago, this past Christmas Eve and this coming Easter, was the anniversary of our first and second miscarriages respectively. Yup, our holidays were definitely challenging but I am so thankful that through it all, through all of God's faithfulness, we were able still praise and find many things to be thankful for.

Tonight, I want to acknowledge our waiting children. The two waiting for us in heaven and the one who's waiting for us in Ethiopia. Just today I was cutting a friend's hair and we were talking about adoption and I found myself telling her that while I would have NEVER chosen to lose the babies I am grateful that the Lord used those events to draw us to a new line of thinking. One that reached further than we could imagine at the time.

We had always spoken of adoption in our future, but I have to be honest that I am not sure if we ever would have actually done it. I can't say for sure. It just seemed so much easier to have homegrown ones. Less paperwork and money needed. I wonder if we would have become lazy in that regard had we not been woken up. I don't ever want anyone to think that our adopted child (hopefully future children) are plan B because that would be SO WRONG of them to assume but I do credit our loss of Pumpkin and Bean for directing our hearts to the loss orphans suffer and the change the Lord brought about in our hearts which made inaction no longer an option for our family.

At roughly this time last year I wrote this post. In it I wrote that I looked forward to the day when I could write a post about the beauty that had arisen from the ashes of such sorrow and loss. Today I rejoice that I can indeed write such a post! Truly, I wouldn't trade God's sovereign plan for my own.

Dustin and I are still very much able to bear children (a question I get asked occasionally) though, for us, that isn't the point anymore. I can't express the richness this process of adoption has brought to our lives and how much we treasure all that God has been doing in us to bring this about. Adoption is definitely a process, or a journey if you like. Just like in homegrown pregnancy paper pregnancy has stages and processes we all have to work through. Never should we rush ahead to the finish line before the proper time (though often we may feel we want to). Adoption can be difficult and just like when a mother's belly swells a paper pregnant mommy may feel discomfort with the stretching that is going on. But growth is happening. Maturity is taking place. Miracles are in the works.

Sure, it would seem off hand that adoption takes more faith than having children by birth. I don't actually believe so. I actually believe that many of us take the birth process for granted and tend not to rely on God but instead tend to take Him for granted in many ways ( I know I am guilty of that!) simply because of the commonality of it all. After all you can look around and see how God manages to make families by birth everyday. Seems so ordinary. Parenthood is NOT ordinary EVER! We do well to remember that. We must always hold our children with open hands because they belong to God. There are risks in life. Some events just "feel" riskier than others but it is sheer arrogance and pride that causes us to take life for granted. A real failure to consider the blessing and miracle of it all.

In arriving at the decision to adopt Dustin and I feel very strongly that God asked us a question last Spring in the midst of grieving the loss of Bean, which was: "would you be willing to receive a child from my hand through adoption? Are you willing to sacrifice some things for adoption just as your adopted child has had to sacrifice many more things to be adopted? Will you trust that I can make a family any way I choose and that you can love in a deeper way and come to understand my love better through the adoption process?"

What was our answer? It was simply, "YES!"

I am so thankful that today God has caused Dustin and me to want no other child than the son He has planned for us from Ethiopia."

Glory! God is so good!


Karen said...

Thanks for sharing your heart with us - so well-said! The ways God leads each of us to adoption may be different, but no one more important than the other. Thanks for sharing the way God led your family. :)


The Journey Begins Here said...

Glory! God is so good...all the time! Thank you so much for that beautiful description of paper pregnancy. I have never heard it called that before. I have been reading a book written by Tony Dungy. I posted about it today. If you have a minute, check it out. He talks about the loss of a child also. Are you familiar with his story?

I really enjoy reading your blog and I hope to visit often.

Thank you, God, for bringing me here! Theresa

luvgod2 said...

That is so inspiring to hear of your journey through this paper pregnancy and the maturing of understanding God's plan for you and recognizing the "beauty for ashes." God will bless you with amazing blessings as you raise your son in Him and show him Christ's glory in you and Dustin!
Blessings from our awesome Father be on you!

Stacey said...

Wow Jen, I'm not sure what I can even add to that. You speak with such peace about it all. What an amazing example you are to all of us! I feel so blessed to have you in my life! Thank you for opening up your heart and sharing!

It has been so awesome to watch your journey. I still remember that first Saturday night when you said "Stacey, Dustin and I have really been talking and praying about adoption this week!" I knew right then that God was doing a work in your hearts!!

I can't wait until he's here and we can all spoil him :o)

Apryl said...

You have an amazing story to share, I praise God that you glorify Him through the difficult times you have endured. Thank you for your transparency, I'm excited to see the boy God has chosen to bring into your family!

Susie said...

What a beautiful testimony...thank you for sharing so openly about the work God has done in your heart! It's amazing how God uses our heartache and pain to bring about such wonderful blessings in our lives! This is just the beginning of a wonderful story of God's love!