Archive for August 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Broken and Beautiful Path to Titus: Part 2

Amidst the sorrow of processing the unexpected end to our match with the twins, God continued to show us His love.  But experiencing His care didn't make all of the hurt go away-far from it.  There were many many tears, many unanswered questions, and a sense of complete confusion as to why in the world we were in Florida.

We drove to a Starbucks, planning to spend some time writing a letter to the twins' birthmom.  We wanted to tell her we love her dearly and wanted an opportunity to share with her again how thankful we are for the chance we had to get to know her.

We pulled into the Starbucks parking lot and Josh said, "Let's check out a different one, this one doesn't look that great."  So we went on for a couple more exits and then went inside a nice spacious Starbucks.  We sat down, extremely burdened and overwhelmed as to what we should write.

Suddenly, Josh looked up towards the doorway with a strange expression on his face.  "Is that Jesse," he asked?  "It can't be.  I didn't think he lived in this part of Florida," I said.  But walking towards us came a dear pastor friend that we've known for over seven years.  He just happened to be in the area visiting a church member that was in a nearby hospital.  He just happened to come to Starbucks for the second time that day before he headed home.

After sharing with Jesse why we were in Florida, he and the co-pastor with him said, "We're going to pray for you right now.  Let's sit down."  They prayed for us, encouraged us, and grieved with us.  Right in the middle of one of the hardest weeks of our entire life, right in the middle of some random place in Florida where we'd never been before, God sent a kind, compassionate friend to pray for us.

As we drove away, I was overcome by the absolute unmistakable care of God for us.  He didn't have to bring Jesse into Starbucks to pray for us but He did.  My grieving heart felt such a deep comfort in knowing that God was very near to us and He was going to great lengths to let us know He cared.  A sense of peace mixed with sorrow reigned as Josh and I drove on to Tallahassee for the night.  We expected to fly back to Illinois in the morning.  Little did we know that our entire lives were about to be changed forever.

To read Part 3 go here.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Broken and Beautiful Path to Titus: Part 1

God's ways are often so mysterious; they rarely make sense when we're in the midst of a dark cloud of sorrow.  Our week began under that cloud, ridden with tears and disappointment that our match to adopt twins had ended.  We love those twins and their selfless birthmom immensely so ending our match with them was excruciating and felt much like a death to be greived.

That match ended as we were heading to Florida to meet the twins' birthparents.  (In fact, when we arrived at Midway Airport, Josh asked if we should just stay in Chicago.  Then while we were in line, I asked him, "Should we really just go?  What for?")  Instead of arriving and meeting the twins' birthmom who we love, we had a phone call with the attorney's office and then headed to the beach, heartbroken and confused as to what had just happened.  I have never seen my husband cry so hard and I have never felt so numb in all of my life.  All we had hoped for, all we had imagined, all we had dreamed about these twins had been crushed.  It was devastating.
But amidst the tears and the questions and the exhaustion, God was there.  He was there and He went to great lengths to remind us that He cared.
In the spectacular sunset over the ocean, He reminded us of how beautiful He is.  
Psalm 19:1"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork."
With the raised hands of a father, praying over his son on the beach, He reminded us, "I'm here."
In the quirky stillness of a local beach shop...
In the peaceful emptiness of a charming bed and breakfast...

In the freshness of a bright blue sky, God was caring for us.  He led me to Psalm 27:13,14 and we clung to it for dear life:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
          (Psalm 27:13-14 ESV)

Wednesday morning, I texted with my friend and adoption consultant, Tracie, who had been praying for us (my writing is in green).  Here was our short conversation:
(a "stork drop" is adoption lingo for a last minute adoption situation)

You can read Part 2 of the story here.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Surprise! Meet Our Son, Titus!

Stay tuned for this incredible story!  God has absolutely stunned us with His amazing care and love for us and for our new son.  We can't wait to share more with you!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Family Memories

Each summer, Josh's parents come out for a visit; it's something the kids look forward to all summer long.  This year, the visit was extra fun because Aunt Amy and Eli came, too!  We made so many fun memories...

The first morning of their visit, sweet Eli emerged with this rockin' shirt to announce their family's big news.  Our kids can't wait to have another cousin to play with.
There was lots of hugging, playing, and laughing amongst the cousins (and only a teeny bit of fighting).
Many delightful books were read...
Some silly books were read...
One very special surprise birthday party was enjoyed by all...(sorry about the permit sign-we're getting a new fence!!!).
The party was complete with some extremely sugary kid-made birthday cupcakes for Grammy, the birthday girl!

There was a very entertaining trip to the children's museum (Eli would have stayed on the pretend train all day long, I think!).
There was an extremely sweaty trip to the zoo, complete with the ever popular carousel ride.
Many, many, many hours were spent swimming in the hotel pool.
There was lots of negotiating over who could sit by Pops, ride by Pops, play with Pops, etc..  (He's a seriously popular guy!)
There was the traditional Dairy Hut trip for some yummy ice cream.
And an obligatory cousin photo shoot where I had to bribe the participants with candy...
Plus lots of gratitude and prayers about the twins!

We know that these times together are definitely a gift not to be taken lightly.  We're so thankful for cousins that love to be together, for family that can laugh and have fun with each other, for so many beautiful memories that our kids are growing up having with Josh's family even though we live miles away.  Thank you, Pops & Grammy, Aunt Amy & Eli for coming to visit us!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Matched: Two Not One

It's so difficult to find the words to share this beautiful, surprising update on our adoption story.  In all honesty, it still feels surreal to us.  When you've waited and prayed for years for something and then suddenly you find yourselves waking up not needing to ask for that same request's really just hard to process.

We are delighted and amazed to announce that we've been matched with an expectant mom due in December with...get this...twins!  Yes; the very thing we've been hoping and praying for.  We can't believe that this is really happening!  Here are some of the events of the past week:

Thursday:  I got an email from our adoption consultant about a twins situation that needed families to show their profiles for and I immediately got this nervous/excited, "Oh my goodness, this could be it!" kind of feeling in my stomach.  I called Josh but couldn't get ahold of him so I texted him.  Then I called him again.  Then I started texting multiple people who I thought might be with him to tell them to have him call me.  (Sorry, everyone!)  Eventually, he realized he'd not been checking his phone and called me back.  It took about 2 minutes for us to decide that we wanted our profile shown and about 2 minutes to decide that we probably wouldn't be chosen.

Friday:  We wrote an additional letter to be included with our profile.  It specifically addressed our desire to have an on-going relationship with the birthparents of our little ones.  I emailed it to the attorney's office and heard that profiles would be shown on Monday.  That evening, I sent out an email asking people to pray for this expectant mom, especially that she'd have peace and that God would clearly direct her as she chose a family.  I wondered if it was ok to even hope...

Saturday:  We waited and prayed and enjoyed time with Josh's family.  We talked about how twins would be amazing but it was too far out of a chance; we didn't think there was any way that we'd be chosen.

Sunday:  We waited and prayed some more and enjoyed more time with family.  Many others prayed for this expectant mom, too.

Monday:  We heard that profiles wouldn't be shown until Tuesday.  (More praying and waiting.)

Tuesday:  I woke up in the morning and thought, "What if we aren't chosen?!"  Josh woke up and thought, "What if we're chosen and we have twins?!"  We laughed and talked about how we'd just have to wait and see, but it wasn't very likely that we'd be picked.  We went to the Children's Museum and all that I could think about was that a very real very pregnant woman had our profile in her hands and was making one of the biggest decisions of her life.  Tracie texted to let me know that the birthmom was taking the decision very seriously and we wouldn't hear back that day.  (More waiting and praying.)
(Mesmerized by the trains at the museum.)
Wednesday:  I swayed between feeling completely despairing that we for sure would not be chosen for the twins, and having a flicker of hope that maybe, just maybe she'd choose us.

Thursday:  We'd still heard nothing.  Josh said, "I think we probably have about a 10% chance of being chosen."  I felt depressed and figured we'd hear later that day that we weren't chosen.  I emailed Tracie and asked her if she'd heard anything.  About 5 minutes later she called me back.  I assumed she was calling in response to my email, to break the news to me that we weren't chosen.

I pick up the phone and there was something different in her voice...,"Katie?  Katie?"  Then our reception got spotty and the cell phone died.  My heart was racing and I started thinking that maybe this was the call we'd been waiting for.  There was just something about the way that Tracie said my name that made me wonder.

I ran down the stairs and yelled out to Josh (who was waiting in the van for me to head to the sprinkler park) to get inside fast.  I picked up the phone again as Tracie called back and she said, "Katie?  Katie?  She chose you.  She chose you!"  I hugged Josh and screamed and heard more details.  We were in complete shock.  We really did not think that we were going to be chosen.  And just like that, we were!

We headed to the sprinkler park, called some family and friends, and walked around with crazy huge smiles on our faces.
(Splash Pad fun with cousin Eli!)
Later that afternoon, I spoke with the attorney's office and later that night I had our first conversation ever with our expectant mom (who is, by the way, absolutely incredible!).  Afterwords, I hung up the phone stunned as she texted us ultrasound pictures of the babies.  Twins!  Two little beautiful babies.
(Here's one of the little guys!)
There's much more I could write about how adoption's never certain until after the babies are born or about how we honestly don't know for sure if this birthmom will go ahead with the adoption in December.  I could write about how much I love our birthmom already or about how thankful Josh and I are that God so specifically answered so many of our prayers.  I could write about how we're telling our kids and ourselves that we have an incredible opportunity to love and care for this expectant mom regardless of what happens after the twins are born.  I could write paragraphs about how breathtaking all of this really is but not today.  Today, I'm just leaving it at this: we're matched.  And Lord willing, we're not just expecting one baby in December; we're expecting twin boys!

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