Monday, August 5, 2013

Living in the Grey

I feel I probably left a few of you wondering......
So I will just get to the point.....
This past January, I found out I was pregnant.  Shock, huge shock.  It sounds amazing, and it is, but when I saw the 'pregnant" sign on the test, my heart ached.  I cried.  I knew unless God worked a miracle, we would lose Sophi.  Korea has laws set in place that if you become pregnant even after you accept your referral you will have to give up the child.  Ugh.....just writing that opens my heart once again.  We waited to tell the agency until I got a confirmed pregnancy.  Jerrell and I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to give us both of our babies.  In my mind, I was looking at it black and white.  I either get Sophi and lose this pregnancy or get this baby and lose Sophi.  To me at the end we were going to lose something.  Things happened along the way that would encourage me that maybe God had different plans....maybe I would get both of my sweet babies.  I finally called our agency, Dillon International, to talk to our case worker.  I explained our situation as I cried.  She told me they would plead our case but not to be hopeful because situations like this didn't usually turn out in favor of the adoptive parents.  At the end of the conversation I asked if there was anything I could do to help plead our case for our little girl.  She told me we could write a letter but needed it ASAP.  So as soon as we got off the phone, I poured my heart out.  It was very hard to write a letter trying to convince them to please let us have our daughter.  I feel like deep down I knew God's answer but I continued to push and push.  A lot of anxiety filled my heart as we waited for their verdict.  About two weeks later Dillon called me and gave me the news.....Korea adhered to their laws and Sophi would be placed with another family. Even as I write this so many months later it grips my heart more than anything I have ever felt.  I loved her with all my being.  My husband loved his daughter.  My parents and in laws loved their granddaughter.  My grandparents loved her.  One of my sweet grandmothers even had her picture framed on the great grandkid wall.  We loved her.  We still love her.  It was loss. A loss that makes your knees buckle and cry out to God, Why?  Why, after I felt Him speaking to me about her would He then take her away.  I am seeing a little of Gods "why" all these months later.  I will never understand it completely this side of heaven but I am trusting in Him, His sovereignty.
I am going to start a new blog!  Our adoption journey I feel is not over. This chapter is but God has made it very clear to Jerrell and I that this is not the end.  We don't know what it will look like but ready.  Our little boy Jack is due at the end of September!!!  We are beyond excited.  God is good, even during difficult times.  He gives and He takes away.....but I am  choosing to bless His name!
Living in the grey has become my life motto.  At first, I thought either I would get Sophi and lose the pregnancy or vice versa.  I didn't believe God to do both.  I know He could have done both.  But the grey ended up not being what I thought, that God would give us both.  Living in the grey to me is when things don't go as expected, whether good or bad, believing  that God can do things in us that is beyond our comprehension, beyond our understanding.  He has done that for us.  I will elaborate more in some future blogs possibly but I am choosing to live in the live in the Hope of our Savior.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's a GIRL!!!!

Wow, time flies when you are in the midst of God's amazing grace and mercy.  That is how I feel today and have felt since August 29th.  Yes, we have our baby girl.  Miss Sophia Grace and we call her, Sophi.
So, let me back up.......first off I apologize for just catching some of you up.  Its been a whirlwind and just enjoying Gods moments.  We received our "referral" call about 12:57 on Wednesday August 29th. Yes, I remember exactly because when I saw the caller id, I immediately heart started pounding and I starting analyzing every reason Dillon would be calling me.  They've only called one was when our application had been accepted ( we communicate via email) I figured this might be it.  I was in our home office and God of course arranges things so perfectly that my husband was also in our office......and Dara, who is there everyday.  But Jerrell not so much.  So I am thankful God placed him at home when I received this phone call.  Our case worker so sweetly begin to ask a few questions about our special needs checklist and then began to fill me in on the precious baby.  After giving me some details she asked if I wanted to hear more.  I DID!  I already felt God at work.  She told me about this baby and then at the end said, and its a girl.  I was already crying but then I started sobbing.  Jerrell soon realized what was happening and came over and wrapped his arms around me.  Dara such a quick thinker, snapped a picture of us in that moment.  In the moment that Gods grace and mercy was much bigger than I have ever encountered.
We followed Dillons suggestions of meeting with our pediatrician before accepting but we knew in our hearts she was our little girl.  When I prayed about her and asked God is this her, is this our little girl, immediately God said to me, "For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him." 1 Samuel 1:27.  Jerrell shared that when he was praying God said, This is your daughter, love her. Wow.  God didn't beat around the bush.  We asked and He answered.  And I want to give a shout out to Him for answering us so directly because I don't always get those direct quick Thank You God!!! :)
We called Dillon the next day and accepted our sweet baby girl.  We have been beyond excited and kind of giddy about it all.  I do not think the wait for her has really sunk in.  It could be awhile, a long while.  Like a year while.  Yikes.  God will sustain us though and He will give us the patience we need.
So many details I am leaving out but they are tucked deep into my prayer journal because I have seen God orchestrate this so perfectly....and how He spoke to me about Sophi before we even knew.  God is amazing.  I look back and think how much I have missed when I wasn't close to my sweet Savior.  He really cares about every detail of your life and loves to speak to you in dreams, through others, and directly with His Living Word.  I am so thankful that He loves me and speaks to me.
This has been an amazing journey up to this point and I know it will continue......but I ask and beg you to pray...pray for sweet Sophi and pray that we get her home soon.

This song is blaring in my heart right now by Mercy Me,

"Just when I thought I'd seen it all, new mercy breaks the door
With eyes open wide, it feels like the first time, first time
Your beauty, no eyes see, your majesty, your worthy, your love for me, is healing, your God.
I thought I knew your face, I thought I tasted grace
But it was nothing like this.'

My whole life up this point has been filled with God's grace and mercy.....from times of desperation, to rejecting God, to wondering if He was really there at all, to wanting to walk out, to falling at His feet.....its all been for something so much bigger than me.  I can't believe God loves me so much to give me a precious baby girl so that His plan can continue.  I am overwhelmed with emotion and love for my God.

I will try and post pics soon.  I am not patient at all and it takes patience to "bedazzle" this blog and well, it might take a miracle for that to happen.  But I do know, I need to post some pics of our Sophi and will soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

3 months and waiting....

It really hasn't felt like 3 months....I thought each month would go by slowly but God has been good and graciously given me peace about all of the details.
We had our fingerprints done about a month ago. So we are waiting on all of that to be approved.  Until that takes place or we get a referral, there is not a whole lot to report except my emotions.  It seems the last several weeks I have had this deep yearning or longing for my sweet child, Tuckers sibling, the child that will make our family a family of four.  I can not wait.  It's a feeling that I didn't really grasp before when adoptive parents would talk about hurting for a child they did not know....well, I get that now.  I am missing my baby.  I truly have a heart that aches for my child.  That is one more reason I know God is in this.  He has connected my heart with this child already.  I pray and journal everyday that God will miraculously make this time move fast.  Or that Korea will change things and time frames will be shorter.  I want to be with my child.  
I went to see "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" Sunday evening with my mom.  It was such an amazing story.  I had a knot in my throat the majority of the movie, at the very end I cried like a baby.  If you have seen it, then you know why.  I wont spoil it for you all that haven't!! :)
My sweet friend Lindsey Gerdes has been an amazing mentor for me.  She gets it.  She adopted a sweet girl a few years she understands these emotions that are hard to explain or for some one who hasn't gone through adoption, to understand.  Thank you Lindsey!  God put you back in my life at the perfect time.  You are truly a blessing to me.  

I am already preparing....compiling a list of things we will need.  
Gotcha Day photographer, 
gifts for our agency, SW, etc
care packages to send to our child when still in Korea
the list goes on and on.....
Yes, I am sure this is all a little premature, but it helps pass the time.  

Prayer Request:
Our child
Their birthmother
foster parents
health/protection of our child
our patience in all of this
Korea's changing laws...that they will get them figured out and get on with the referrals and EP's for this year
attachment to us
travel to Korea? 

Many more and I will post those soon. 
Thanks to all of you who continue to pray and text me encouraging words.  I can not tell you how great it feels to have you all supporting us.  

And to our precious child~  WE LOVE YOU!!!  WE WILL BE THERE AS SOON AS WE CAN!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A few different thoughts for the day....

I've been pondering a lot lately about "the wait".  It just comes with adoption....waiting.  You get another milestone taken care of and then you wait....another milestone, then wait.  It can turn into frustration or you can chose to serve God and bring Glory to Him while you wait.  I'm going to chose to serve.  Wow, as I'm writing this, I'm realizing the magnitude of what I'm saying.  I know there will be days that I want to cry and scream in frustration but God knows.  So please hold me accountable and remind me that this is much bigger than me and my timeline.

We completed our International Adoption Workshop a few days ago.  It was great information and refreshing to see the other families that have embarked on international adoption.  We began the workshop by telling our story, what brought them to adoption.  We each had stories, some were heartbreaking.  Some were living out a calling, the Great Commission, as one couple described their journey.  I was humbled by amazing God fearing, obedient people.  We all had one thing in common......we were obeying God's calling to love bigger and deeper.

I am scared.  I am really scared.  I feel Satan trying to tell me, you can't do this.  Think about how hard it's going to be.....BUT, I know Gods truths and His promises.  So when Satan tries to stump me or bring me down, I remember and know.

I've been warned about people saying some pretty ridiculous things to you when adoption becomes part of your life.  I had my first episode yesterday.  When I told this sweet lady we were adopting her face looked so she felt sorry for us that we HAD to adopt.  Let me clarify something just in case anyone thinks we are sad or heartbroken by this amazing God ordained decision....WE ARE NOT!!!  We are thrilled and beyond excited.  I am so humbled that God chose our family to love this way.  It's not disappointing to me at all.  I mean that.  Jerrell said to me yesterday that no matter if we had more biological children, we would adopt.  This is what we are called to do.  Not because of any other circumstances.  So please, do not feel sorry for us.  Be excited to see what God has in store.  Take this journey with us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A little bit of this and a little bit of that....

I guess its time I fill you in on where we are in the adoption process.  In December we received our packet in the mail with the pre- application.  We submitted fairly quickly and were approved shortly after.  Then on to the second and formal application......WOW!  I have never known so much paperwork.  Everything you can imagine went into this application.  We finally submitted that application after about a month or so of working on it.  Once it was approved we began our home study.  That is the part I was most anxious about.  Who really likes the idea of someone coming in your home and trying to figure out if you would be good parents or not?  Not me!!! I did a lot of research on expectations on both sides and it helped me relax some.  The main thing I learned is that they are coming in to your home and interviewing to prove you are good parents not so much to disprove.  Our social worker was from Ft.Worth so for our first out of two visits she came to our home.  As soon as she walked through the door, I relaxed.  She was super sweet and easy to talk to.  Thank you Lord! :) I really enjoyed our time visiting.  Jerrell did his individual interview on this day. After his interview was completed he texted me to let me know he had passed with flying colors and could he have wings for dinner. Ha!  Yes, he got his wings. :)

I met our social worker in Terrell at the Starbucks for my individual interview.  I was actually looking forward to this meeting.  After the interviewing was complete we visited and I had answers to my questions and felt even more comfortable and at peace for this whole process.  So our home study is complete.  The paperwork is not complete yet but I believe our part is.  Now the wait begins........

We are waiting to be contacted that they have a child that could possibly fit our family.  They will send us information on this child and then we have to accept or deny.  So I ask you to pray.  Pray for our sweet baby.  Our child could be born could have been born a few months ago, or maybe the sweet child hasn't even been born yet.  We do not know, but one thing I do know is our God is sovereign and that has to be enough.  It is enough.  He is enough.

I'm so thankful to have support.  I have appreciated all your comments and love to know you are praying. During all the waiting this process calls for, you guys will help us get through.  So thank you in advance.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Can I get an AMEN??!!

Isn't it amazing when you embark on a journey that God has called you to and along the way He continues to reinforce that you are on His path, the only path, the right path.  Well, that is what happened today.  It was one more way God has made this adoption very clear.  That is all part of His perfect plan.  Jerrell and I have been looking for a small group......well, we haven't actively looked.  But, we were definitely thinking about it. A friend told us about a small group they were going to try so we decided to join them.  We have been very hesitant in the past....making excuses, etc for not trying some out.  So, this was a good big step for us.  The lesson was awesome.  At the end we did the normal prayer requests.  I am not one to share too much information when I am out of my comfort zone.  So, I kind of nudged Jerrell and said, "Should we tell them so they can be praying?"  He spoke up and shared the beginning of this journey with our new small group.  Its what God did next that has me literally blown away and amazed at HIS amazing perfect timing.......
When Jerrell and I finished giving the run down, we then learned our small group leaders had recently finalized their adoption.....from......KOREA!!!!!!  I at that moment wanted to  say, "God, are you kidding me?"  I was so humbled that our amazing Father cares so much about this whole process that he would bless us with a couple that we can share this journey with.  They can mentor us through.  Thank you Jesus.  What a mighty God we serve.  I refuse to look at this day as a mere coincidence......this was God's perfect timing.  He is perfect.  I love my precious Savior.  He is so sweet.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012


    I am not really sure how to explain or give an exact time when I knew God had called me to adopt.  I was maybe 12 or 13 when I remember seeing something on TV about adoption that spoke to me.  At that moment, I just thought this was something else that made me get quite emotional.  I tend to live emotionally and passionately...sometimes thats good sometimes thats bad.....just ask my sweet hubby.  :) So, as the years passed I just remained silent in this desire really.  I didn't put two and two together that God was truly preparing my heart for something that would take place 20 years later.  I can feel the emotion that swelled up inside of me when I would attend a concert usually christian, that would promote adoption or taking care of orphans.  I couldn't resist the tears that filled my eyes.  I married an amazing generous and loving guy....but adoption at that time was not even a part of his plan or a thought that had crossed his mind.  Of course me, didn't quite understand why anyone would not want to adopt....even though God would eventually change my husbands heart, it was me he worked on.  So many times He spoke to me and said, my child not in your time but in Mine.  He had so many things He needed to work out in me, in Jerrell and in our marriage before we could take a step of faith like adoption would call for.  As most of you know, we emarked upon a long journey of infertility, short to some who also have experienced this hard and lonely battle.  Before we even decided to try some unconventional methods of fertility treatment we attended an adoption seminar in Arlington with Dillon International.  Let me back up for a minute.....International adoption was my heart.  I never thought of domestic.  At the time, I couldn't explain to anyone why that was, but now I know it was just part of God's amazing plan.  When we attended the seminar Jerrell was as he says "70% against adoption, 30% I guess that means he went with a little curiosity.  We learned a lot.  But, after we returned home to Austin, Jerrell told me, his heart wasn't in it.  He really wanted to try to have a biological child first.  I was ok with that....ok, maybe I was disapointed.  Yes, I wanted that biological child, I wanted to feel what pregnacy felt like but I was so scared that we may never revisit this deep burning desire that was flooding my heart.  Little did I know, that once again God was telling me to be still and patient and know He is God.  Man, you would think I would have it down by now but God has to remind me of this truth so very often in my daily walk with Him.  Another reason I am so thankful for His Grace.  We started our infertility testing.  We were told in November "07" that we most likely could not have kids, to me finding out I was pregnant in Jan. "08".  Of course in my mind, I knew it was Gods plan for me to carry this child and become a mommy this year.  God had other plans.....I miscarried several weeks later.  It was devastating, yes, but I can look back at that time and see the growth that needed to happen.....the clinging I need to do with my precious Savior.  He carried me, HE carried me through.  I can not think of many other times in my life besides my miscarriages that I have seen God carry me through the way He did.  He was so sweet to my broken heart.  I am forever grateful to my Savior for He is worthy to be PRAISED.  After the miscarriage we took a break with infertility and just really prayed and thought I would get pregnant without any treatments.  A few years passed and we felt ready and willing to take the next step.  In Vitro fertilization was what the doctors recommended.....boy did I have my many ethical dilemmas I thought.  We prayed and prayed and felt God leading us to this decision.  We did one cycle and God blessed us with Tucker in February 2010.  Tucker has been the sweetest blessing.  I am so thankful that God let me experience pregnancy.
One of the ethical dilemmas with IVF is the number of leftover embryos.  I knew God had all this in His hands so when we went ahead with IVF, we had to just put all our faith in Him.  We had two embryos left over from our first cycle.  We began to revist the idea to do a frozen transfer....before we began, I found out I was pregnant again.   ended up losing this pregnancy and once again my sweet Jesus wrapped me in His arms and walked us through.  We decided to try our frozen transfer in October 2011.  The frozen transfer did not work.  We were heartbroken.  We struggled with what God wanted us to do from here.  I had so much turmoil about going through the whole IVF process again.  Jerrell was so sweet and supportive on whatever I wanted to do but I think deep down both of us had reservatioins.  Those reservations were God saying this was not His plan for our family.  I went to spend my birthday weekend with my bestie in Ruston.....once again Gods perfect timing.  One thing I can always count on Mandy for is to tell me truth.....Gods truth.....not what I want to hear but what I need to hear.  I asked her ....what she thought, should we try IVF again?  She looked at me with relief.....God had been preparing her to talk to me.  She had prayed that very morning in the shower for such a time as this.  She spoke Truth to me.  She told me to follow what God has put in my heart....Adopt.  I could have cried and buried myself in her arms....but I didn't, we had a movie to see!!!!  Thank you Mandy for speaking truth to me.  You are a spiritual giant in my life.  I will be forever grateful that God used you to start this amazing journey.  On my way home from Ruston it was like God gave me a peace that I had not had in a long time.  That peace beyond understanding.....just another time in my life I was able to witness this divine God- made emotion.  When I got home, I sat down with Jerrell and told him I had made a decision but it was only mine and I needed to hear what he had in mind.  He agreed!  He agreed! What???  U wanna adopt too?  As calmly and as easily as he could, have shared this info with me, he did.  Yes, God had changed my husbands heart and we were about to live a dream.....we were about to do something that I am humbly thanking God daily, sometimes hourly, for choosing us to love bigger, love deeper.  Thank you God for choosing our family to eventually love a sweet sweet baby from Korea.  Let the journey begin......

Wow, long post, thanks to ya'll who stuck with me through this one. :) I will write more soon....I have lots to catch up on as we are beginning our journey to adopt from South Korea.  YAY!!