Tuesday, March 4, 2014

To the timid, hurting, raw mamas: a note from Amber

Dear Momma, whose heart is raw . . .

Created for Care is just a few days away. Facebook is buzzing with excitement, friends are  excited to see each other, and mommaʼs from afar are all getting ready for a weekend of retreat and refreshment. It may be hard to see as your heart hurts . . .

I donʼt know what led you sign up for Created for Care this year. Itʼs been different each year for me. The very first time I attended, my husband and I were babies in our adoption journey.  Our dossier had just been completed to adopt from Ethiopia and I heard people from my adoption agency buzzing about this retreat they were all excited for on our agency facebook page. I was hungry for connection and for just further direction in our journey and went to my husband with a request that went something like, “I donʼt know that much about this retreat or anyone there, but I feel like God is really speaking to my heart to go . . ..!?” He sweetly gave his blessing and I signed up not knowing a single soul who would be there, found three strangers as roommates and flew to Atlanta by myself.

I remember feeling so alone that first night. God was so gracious and blessed me with great roommates and one who was an instant soul sister and is like family today. Looking back, we laugh now at how we each spent the weekend trying not to “hang” on the other or look like a total newbie as we stared in awe at seeing those whose journeys we had followed online walk by us in person. Hope was so tangible for what God would do and He faithfully showed Himself in further directing our adoption journey. He built connections with friends I couldnʼt have even thought to pray for but deeply needed. I went home and told my husband I had found a place I felt at home and just felt God stir something in me. Created for Care was all about refreshment, calling and a tangible hope.

That second year? Our adoption journey with Ethiopia had stretched long in front of us. We were in the trenches of the wait - two years in. God had stretched me, found me and given me a rich community to walk alongside and hold me up in it. I came back to seek God, yes, but I will admit it was more about being able to get away with dear friends. To be honest? The wait, while hard, felt fruitful. I came with the desire for community and renewed strength to worship Him in the wait. God cemented my love for how Created for Care pours into the heart of the momma, speaks of His love for her and then calls to go forth in that love. And before I could even express what He was working in me, I found myself blessed to be a part of the Created for Care team and being able to support other mommaʼs in holding mini retreats back in their home towns. Created for Care that year was all about friendship, grace to persevere and the reminder of where my hope lay in the unknown ahead.

This past year has been the biggest whirl wind as I got to be a part of the “behind the scenes.” I wish you could have seen email after email as the heart of this yearʼs retreat was whispered, grown and planned as only a God who deeply sees and loves His daughters could. Amidst the lives of women who were stretched beyond themselves and living full lives, He simply was. It was so exciting to see each detail fall in place as He prepared, months ago, to meet you exactly where you are today. I wasnʼt quite ready for how that would apply to myself.

You see, the circumstances of my life when retreat planning began this past year were not the same circumstances I lived in the days leading up to the february retreat . . .Part way through this past year, God surprised our family and orchestrated a story we sat in awe of as the details fell in place. Amidst our international adoption journey, our paths crossed with those of a birth mom. Details of her story seemed to line up so directly with where God had brought our own family and as we prayed and sought Him and took baby step of faith after baby step of faith, we suddenly found ourselves matched and hoping for a son to be born this past January through domestic adoption.

I was sad to have to step back in the planning and to miss the february retreat but we were so excited for our family to grow. Plus there was still March!On a tuesday night, 2 1/2 weeks before the retreat, my husband and I were scurrying around as our girls slept in their beds, finalizing lots of last minute details. We planned to fly out the following morning for birth momʼs scheduled c-section. Suitcases were packed, crib stood ready, and our girls had said their night time prayers praying for their little brother to be. A late night text came in from our birth mom (who we had been loving and connecting with along the way) that she had changed her mind, was so sorry, but was going to keep her baby boy.

Our world fell apart that night as I sat on our couch and cried tears of grief to a depth I donʼt think I had thought I could feel for a child I had never held, known or laid eyes on but had claimed as mine. I remember thinking that with such clarity as I realized God had answered a prayer I had been praying for months . . . that God would graft my heart with this little boy in a way that only He could as I prepared to be his momma. I remember writing a post sharing the news to avoid lots of “praying for you” with excitement texts and emails the following morning and falling into bed praying we would wake up to a different reality.

But morning came and reality got harder as the days progressed. Amazingly? Birth mom stayed connected and we found out when baby boy was born and even received a picture. We were so grateful for those details even as we grieved. Then hearts and faith were further stretched as due to circumstances in birth momʼs story, CPS was called in and we learned that baby would go into CPS custody and not home with birth mom. All while our arms ached for what we had hoped was our son.

Those were dark days. Lay on the floor and cry out to God days, and days where we were sustained on prayers alone. Yet He carried us, met us and saw us.Created for Care approached. I had never canceled a single flight to C4C and my precious roommates and dear friends, had never filled my spot in our room. Because I hadnʼt been planned to be there, I had few roles to fill, and I felt God whisper, “Go. Come sit with Me.”

So this past year? I will fully admit to walking, still slightly shell shocked, into the doors of the Lodge for Created for Care 2014. Grief was still fresh and raw and I felt almost fearful for what was in store. God moves mightily amidst those rooms - I had known that intimately and first hand. But it almost felt like too much. The hope in fresh young eyes. The laughter of light hearted friends. The confident walks of those who knew which way they were going.

Me? I walked in just praying not to fall apart.Friends walked alongside me, before me, and sat with me in it. Yet most of thursday night I was sending SOS texts to my husband as he helped deep breath me through it. All night I just kept trying to figure out how I was going to walk into worship that following day and allow God into the broken places of my heart. I just kept praying, with my husband holding me up at home, that I could stay open to God, let Him in and trust Him to go to those deep places with me . . .even if it was painful and broken and messy.

Friday evening session came and the music began to swell and I pleaded for the grace to hold on as I kind of just wanted to run for the halls and chocolate. “Come. Sit with Me.”That night God gave me the grace to stand as the music rose. He gave me strength to raise my arms in surrender. And He saw me in my grief and my heartbreak and loved me in it. I donʼt think I hardly sang more than a dozen words. I couldnʼt as the tears fell down with abandon. But I worshiped in my broken that night and felt God touch the raw with His healing hands and say that we (Him and I) would be ok.

I would love to say the rest of the weekend was one of all joy. There were absolutely times the laughter was real and deep and the friendships were priceless and He gave me the capacity to form new ones and engage more as each day passed. God had healed a deep, deep spot in my heart that first night of worship . .. but I still had to navigate this new normal I found myself in. But He spoke into me that weekend and piece by piece I made it.

Each time I struggled to find connection and a safe place with another women there (even while surrounded by dear, close friends), God met me and showed me it was Him that I was there for and to find. Each time the pain felt like too much? God showed me I was not alone in our hard and that hope could be restored. Little by little, the overwhelming weight of our grief lifted and I felt able to walk where we have been called standing up, firmly held by His grace and unending love. He lifted the depths of the sadness and spoke into our future.

So why do I write all this to you? Momma whose heart might be raw today?Because I want to let you know that you arenʼt alone and you arenʼt unseen as we head into the retreat. I promise that even as you see full hallways, or rooms, of light hearted women, there are other mommaʼs whose hearts walk broken with you. There are mommaʼs fighting for the souls and hearts of their children. There are mommaʼs  fighting for their marriage and families with every ounce of remaining strength they hold. There are mommaʼs fighting for their faith as they have been pressed down with the weight of this world and its trials. And there are mommaʼs who are grieving children who have not been, or who were, or arenʼt home with them yet.

You are not alone.

Satan will come this week and tell you that you shouldnʼt come. That life is too hard, too heavy, or too complicated to get away. But hear your Father whisper, “Come. Sit with Me.”Parts of the weekend may cause you to feel alone. “Come. Sit with Me.”Parts of the weekend may cause you to feel emotions you have hid or run from. “Come. Sit with Me.” Parts of the weekend may cause you to face realities you are grieving in your own walks. “Come. Sit with Me.”

You are coming to the right place. We are here to be community to each other and love each other though it. It is a safe place to come broken. This weekend isnʼt just about retreating to be refreshed, it is about retreating to be restored, renewed and rebuilt in even the most broken places of our heart. It isnʼt about friendships and some one to stand beside. It is about the One you can stand upon and His deep, deep love for you.

We are another month into our unexpected journey and the grief is still there. It still surprises me when I am not looking for it and my arms still ache for the little one we didnʼt bring home. But God walks with us and carries the weight of it for us. He is restoring and renewing and rebuilding with each new day. I feel that hope rising up again, and joy more tangible, even on the days He still catches my tears.

So be encouraged precious momma. You are being prayed for before you enter those doors. And if those walls start closing in and the raw of your heart feels like too much?

Come find me.

I would count it my privilege to love you and pray for you as we walk these roads and together offer our broken hallelujahs.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Psalm 43:5


Be Loved.

Be love. . . .

Friday, February 14, 2014

February Retreat Recap LINK UP!

Welcome home February mamas!!!! Words cannot express how much we absolutely loved being with you last weekend. From start to finish it was a joy to serve and connect with you! Thank you for coming with open hearts and open hands.

We are still coming down from the C4C high and are praying that your transition back home after being gone all weekend was smooth and joyous... but for those who have had a tougher home coming please know that we are standing with you in prayer.

Just a few things for you to keep in mind now that you're home...

  • If you meant to purchase something at our store but forgot or didn't get a chance - you can still order merchandise at our C4C Store!! 
  • If you didn't pre-order your DVD and/or CD set of our main sessions and breakout sessions you can do that now at our C4C Store too! These are great to watch/listen to with your husband or to use for mini retreats! 
  • Many of you were asking for the song list from the weekend, so the wonderful Lovelyn Palm went ahead and made a spotify station with the music from the retreat! Click here to enjoy it! 
  • For those of you on twitter and instagram... we have some fun hashtags for you to check out and use! (Obviously keep using #createdforcare for all your C4C posts). #C4Cdadsurvival made an appearance over the weekend and some of the pictures are hilarious -- Dad's held down their forts beautifully! #createdforcareaftermath starting popping up this week as moms posted pictures from their transitions back home. 
  • Beth Guckenberger has provided the link for the video she showed on Sunday as so many asked for it. You can find Shannen's Story at www.163000000.com
Please keep connecting with the women you met over the weekend to encourage one another in this journey! As always, email us at createdforcare@gmail.com with any questions you might have! 

It's YOUR TURN to share!!! Link up your recap posts below!!! (If you aren't a blogger but want to share, please click the "submit" button on the right and see how you can share your experience with us!)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The God Works in the Details at Created for Care {even table seating}

Very late in 2010, I ran across a blog mentioning a conference for adoptive and prospective adoptive mama's in Atlanta. Only 250 were attending and though the registration was technically closed I stalked Andrea until she gave me permission to attend and drag a friend from here in South Florida along, too. That month my husband and I had switched agencies and programs after a year of pursuing a Chinese adoption and things felt primed for movement but entirely opaque. 
In late January of 2011, I arrived at the 1st Created for Care conference a complete newbie to the adoptive mama scene. I knew absolutely no one, save the girlfriend who had traveled from home with me and since she was with a different agency, program and country I was seated on that very first night at a table for Ugandan adoptive mama's. As with all women's events, this one instantly intimidated and overwhelmed me - after all, I was a complete novice in adoption! 

I even had a scratched-out name tag around my neck, a woman who had never had a passport before let alone brought home a child from Africa and here I was sitting at a table for dinner with women who instantly impressed with me with their lingo, common friends, international travel experience, lengthy timelines and referrals. I felt a total and utter fraud. There was, at the time, one table for Ugandan adoptive mama's and I was an absolute unknown. I basically sat slack-jawed, offering nothing but basic questions as my contribution to the dinner conversation, just simply astonished that these amazing creatures had DONE it - this thing called adoption - and they knew what the deal WAS. It was all impressive and I felt so ridiculous. All these women seemed to be part of a sorority and it was one that was obviously hard-fought to be a part of and here I had never even known it existed before. 
At dinner that night I met women who, though intimidating giants at the time became friends to me as I pursued our daughter a couple months later in Uganda, all long-distance friendships and all contacts made from that first night at dinner, fellow Ugandan adoptive mama's. 

One friend, Sara, and I realized we would be in Uganda at the same time that spring, each bringing home our kids. We met there in Uganda with our kids and sat on the couch as old friends, an easy sisterhood after just that one meeting in Atlanta at C4C which in the unfamiliar heat of Kampala was a welcome cane cherished familiarity. Sara told me there was a little boy who was sick, whose mama was in Atlanta but who I had never met: would my physician husband mind going to see him, she wondered? She had seen him herself, tiny Miles, and said he looked poorly, so we planned to visit the next day. 
The following day, my husband Andrew and I drove through town with our little girl and met baby Miles. MY ER doctor husband slumped in the car beside me after examining him and told me in a confounded voice: "That boy is going to die tonight. He can't breathe. I don't know what to do. There is no medicine here. He can't stay here. He'll be dead by morning." 

It was stunning. 

We sat in the idling car, knowing that across the ocean there was a mother who I had never met who did not know her son was nearly breathless and waning in a hospital bed in Uganda. After some desperate prayer and a very helpful discussion with our driver, we called Sara and devised a plan to scrape together a mere $50 cash and pay an ambulance to get Miles transferred to a hospital where there was medicine available. 

My husband, Andrew and my table mate from C4C, Sara sat holding Miles, who belonged to a stranger, "Stephanie from Atlanta" while breathing treatments and antibiotics calmed his respirations and fought infections. Sara and I implored Stephanie to come to Uganda, convinced he needed his own Mama to nurse him to health back from the brink and when she arrived we both embraced her as the closest of sisters. 

Miles survived, and flew home to Atlanta where he was added the youngest of 3 boys and today he is a chubby and rowdy kid.
I thought our adoption was for my daughter...but the timing was all about Miles. 

I though Created for Care was meant to give me information...but it was meant to give me people. 

I thought that dinner was meant to make me feel small...but it was meant to give me sisters for all my days ahead.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Worlds Collide Because of Created for Care -- Wynne's Story!!

Hi yall, my name is Wynne and I'm so excited to be sharing on this space today!  I absolutely love Created for Care.  It has been a huge part of our adoption journey, and I’m looking forward to my third retreat this March.  My C4C story today [although I have many I could share] really has nothing to do with adoption!  But I love how God works, in His perfect timing, and how He can weave people and opportunities in our lives when we least expect it.  

Enter Asher Collie.  I met Asher [center of pic below] at Created for Care in 2012.  We were sitting in a breakout session, and I noticed a really pretty tattoo on her foot [where I was thinking of getting one!] and so naturally I struck up a conversation with her.  [don’t you wish every friendship had an awesome tattoo story!]  Besides having a really cool tattoo on her foot, Asher had a dream and a passion: to see JIGGERS totally removed from the feets of the people of Uganda.  She had just started her organization, Sole Hope, and had a booth right across from the Noonday Collection booth I was working!  We spent “pj night” talking all things Africa, tattoos, and adoption.  I loved her heart, and signed up for her newsletter when I got home.  

I followed Asher + Dru’s journey to Uganda, and tried to be a constant prayer supporter and financial supporter for them.  I loved what they were doing.  I loved her heart, as she saw something that she couldn't ignore.  She didn’t pass “the problem” onto someone else, but instead took it as HER mission.  

Fast forward 1.5 years later….my husband and I were leading a Man Up mission trip team to Uganda and Ethiopia this past June, and thanks to Asher [and instagram!] our whole entire team got to spend the evening at their Sole Hope Guest House in Jinja, Uganda having a traditional Ugandan meal!  

I actually took this picture “for created for care”!  We couldn’t believe that because we simply connected at an adoption retreat several years back, we were now sharing a meal in Uganda.  But the story goes on, and gets better!  

As I was praying about which retreat I would get to attend this year, for the first time in 3 years, I’m not getting to go to my usual January-turned-February retreat.  I was a little sad about this, but it just did not work with my schedule.  So I signed up for the March retreat!  Come to find out months later, God was at work!  I mean, He always is, but this is just too cool!  Several months after our visit with Asher + Dru in Uganda, Dru asked me if I was interested in coming on a “blogger trip”.  He had no idea that that’s been a dream of mine for the past two years!  As God always does, He’s working out all the details.  The trip is in...you guessed it MARCH!  The team is all meeting up in….you guessed it, Atlanta!  So the day after Created for Care this year I’ll be headed to Uganda for 10 days with a group of 7 other bloggers to serve and work with Sole Hope and write our hearts out and share their stories.  

You can follow our journey on social media with the hashtag #solehopebloggers, and on my blog Gloriously Ruined.  Hope to see yall in March!


Wynne is a Texas girl married to her best friend wildly chasing after God's plan for her life. She's an incredibly blessed adoptive momma to the most beautiful Ethiopian babies she knows, Camp + Asher. Her blog, Gloriously Ruined, is a place where stories are told, hope is given, and the firm belief that anybody can change the world is spoken. Wynne's own life was gloriously ruined by her trips to visit and love on orphans in Africa, and she's using her stories and voice to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and be ruined too. You can always find her trying to "purchase with purpose", rocking Noonday Collection, and drinking Ethiopian coffee.

Monday, September 9, 2013

You're Not Alone!

Last week, I sat at the kitchen table in front of the computer, eagerly awaiting 11 p.m. when Created for Care 2014 tickets would go on sale. I wanted those tickets more than a 14-year-old Belieber wants front row center. 

Last year was my first C4C; I was on the waiting list and got tickets at the last minute. I know now that God intended for me to be there.

God. That guy is a master of timing.

My husband and I adopted our two-year-old daughter as an infant through open, domestic adoption. Shortly after, we opened our home  to two young men needing a family and support while transitioning from high school to the larger world. After nearly two years with us, they're our "unofficially adopted" family. Near the end of last year, we decided to adopt again. We completed a home study update through a private agency with the intention of pursuing a toddler from foster care. However, when we started looking for available children,  we became aware of an older child about to age out of the system. After a lot of prayer, we decided God was calling us to her.Thus, when I headed to C4C, I was smack in the middle of seemingly endless foster care certification classes to bring home a 17-year-old, with anxious doubt dominating every thought.

As you ladies know, being an adoptive mother can be isolating at times. There are unique challenges, especially when a family starts preparing to adopt older children, special-needs children, etc. Close-minded, ignorant, or ill-informed individuals ask insulting questions about our parenting capabilities, our consideration of our other children, and yeah....our basic sanity. Why would a child that old even want to be adopted? Why not get another baby? Can you handle this? 

Honestly, I had begun to doubt our decision. I was weary, lonely, and pretty much terrified. But of course, it's the moments that we are weakest that He is strong. When we cry out in confusion, He answers.

The month before C4C, I attended  my first meeting of a local adoption support group, the 1.17 Moms, based on Isaiah 1.17: “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”  Around a table at Starbucks, I heard story after story of women choosing to do hard things and answering God's call in building their families. Dedicated women who know what it is to love a child from across an ocean. Fierce women who enter the fray of foster parenting. Brave women who face illness, learning disabilities, attachment disorders, grief, trauma, and more with their hearts open. And God said, "You are not alone. I am here. I am in these hearts." 

I climbed into the car with two of these women to head to C4C, and from the moment the car left the driveway, God continued speaking. Paula and Jewell, two amazing adoptive mamas, shared their stories and experiences with me all the way to Atlanta. Paula is currently in process to bring home Viktors, an adolescent from Latvia while Jewell just brought home Edgars, a teenager from the same country. Jenny joined our group at the retreat; she just brought home a teenage daughter from China.

At the retreat, we threw ourselves into all things adoption. I met a mama who has adopted nine kids, many with Down’s Syndrome. Another mama adopted from Ethiopia in groups of three. I met mamas adopting older kids aging out of the system, special-needs kids, and mamas working hard to maintain truly open domestic adoptions. Instead of doubts, asinine questions, forced smiles, or judgment, these mamas shared resources, experience, open arms, understanding, and joyful celebration.  We studied how to connect with our kids while correcting them. We listened to the incredibly important voice of the adult adoptee. We prayed for the healing of a broken international adoption system. But most importantly, we reached out to other moms in dark places and said, "You will make it, and I will hold your hand until you do." And God said again, "You are not alone. I am here. I am in these hands. "

This year, as I head to the retreat, I go as the new mother to a 17-year-old daughter. She's been with us almost four months now, and we finalize her adoption in November. I wish I could tell you, dear mamas considering adopting older children, that it's all flowers and rainbows, but of course, it's not. Our kids come from hard places, and once all the paperwork is done, the real work begins---the tedious labor of building trust, connection, and love. No doubt, you will get weary on this journey. You'll doubt every decision, stay up late feeling like a complete failure (and eating too many cookies), and spend time ugly-crying, wondering if the angry person in your house is ever going to talk to you again. But when you look to the heavens in frustration, remember the answer is, "You are not alone. I am here. " 

Last year, I wrote, " This weekend, God took my little heart and broke it open, healed it, filled it, stretched it, and united it with the 450 other mama hearts beating with the belief that all children deserve families." 

I absolutely cannot wait to have my heart broken again. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 2, 2013

even if only for three days

Last week, while looking through some of my old writing, I ran across a file cryptically entitled FC1.  I opened it and read this with tears in my eyes, reliving the moments that I held my first foster babies K and N (then 2.5 and 1.5 years) over two years ago.

I love them.  That is the short story.  Over the course of three days, the two most chill toddlers you will meet captured my heart (and, I think, my family’s hearts too).  I love holding them and watching them smile.  I love showing up at nursery and having N run, grinning, into my open arms.  I love picking them up at daycare and having K attack my legs the moment he sees me.  I love watching them play with my nephews.  Watching them kiss my sister and roughhouse with my brother-in-law.  Watching them dance as Dad plays the piano and enjoy every morsel of Mom’s home-cooked meals.  I love kissing their sweaty heads and assuring them that they are safe.  I love rocking them and singing “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” as they fall asleep.

I also love what they do to me.  I love the mommy side of myself. I love thinking about the children God has created to be mine (and warming to the possibility that they may be younger than I thought).

Do they make me cry?  Yep.  Singing “Masterpiece” on the floor beside N’s pack-and-play brings sobs, but she doesn’t care.  Dropping them at daycare makes me need a nap (one of my ‘sad’ coping skills).  After strapping them into their carseats, I watch from the window for one last glimpse of them.  Singing “in You, the fatherless find their rest” at church this morning causes me to tear up without a second thought.

Precious ones,
Thank you for coming into my life, even if it is for only these three days.  I love you.  Jesus loves you.  If he causes our lives to intersect again, I will be so happy.  But even if not, your presence in my home was a gift.  I was praying for you as I stroked your heads and rocked with you in the chair.  And I am praying for you today.  Be safe, my babies.

The very nature of foster care means that most often, you don’t get to know how the story ends.  As a foster parent, you have to resolve yourself to this reality.

Today was a special gift of grace. 

I saw K first.  Though he had grown (a lot), his face was unmistakable.  I got to meet his mom and dad and see little N (not so little anymore).  They are being adopted together with their older brother.  They are beautiful.  And loved.  And happy.  And safe.

Tonight, my heart is full.  These babies are home.  My daughter is home (two years today!).  For this one moment, at least, all is right with the world.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Laters into Nows

We always knew we would adopt. We always knew we would adopt later. Later, once we had been married for a while. Later, when we had money. Later, when we were 30. Later, once we had traveled the world. Later, when we were ready.

But Jesus turned our later into now. He called us to step out in faith, into the unknown, into the “I thought we’d do this later” moments, now. That’s the radical thing about following Jesus; He turns our laters into nows.

January of 2012 – after having read Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, we were on a quest to live better stories; to say “Yes” to life and God. So we sat down and made a list of things we wanted to do in that year. Cooking classes, guitar lessons, and a mission trip were among the items on that list. The cooking classes were fantastic. The guitar lessons were fun. The mission trip was a divine appointment.

July 2012 – we found ourselves in Uganda, a country neither of us could point to on a map 4 months earlier. We went with eyes and hearts wide open. We went to soak it all in. We went praying it would change us forever. We fell in love with this country; the people, the hearts, the green rolling hills, and that red dirt that stays on you forever.

We came back to the U.S. with heavy and homesick hearts. We came back with lots of questions. We came back fired up to do something, to help change the world in some capacity. How do you experience Africa and come back and live in America? We couldn’t figure out how to be okay with HIV and AIDS, lack of clean water, the orphan crisis, poverty, and injustice. How is your life supposed to change when all of those things go from just being social issues to having faces and names?

So we sat in the post Africa tension. We asked questions. We processed. We read books. We asked more questions. We prayed. We waited. Waited for God to show us what he wanted us to do.

April 2013- we sat on the front porch talking about adoption. It had been on both of our hearts for a while. Neither of us had mentioned it to the other because that was supposed to happen later. It went something like this, “I think we’re supposed to adopt from Uganda. Now.” “I think we are, too.”

We prayed. We looked at agencies. We asked friends to pray. We talked finances. We researched. We got applications and didn’t fill them out. We waited. We weren’t sure. We were scared. We questioned.

I will never forget the night 2 friends came over to our house, handed us a check, and said “We want y’all to use this for starting the adoption.” What? When God shows up on your front porch, hands you a check, and says, “Do it?” You do it. I don’t care what it is.

One “yes” later and here we are; adopting from Uganda. It’s exciting. It’s terrifying. But I’m so thankful we said, “Yes.”

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” 
Luke 1:45 (NIV)