Sunday, May 22, 2011

More On Our Decision To ADOPT!

So here is a little more on how we came to this huge new exciting decision! This is an excerpt from our “Statement of Motivation” for our adoption agency…More on that to come too! :)

“I have always been interested in adoption and have always wondered if the Lord was calling us to adopt. Several years ago Barry and I first began to discuss the issue of adoption and we decided to pray about pursuing adoption in the future. I told him at that time that as soon as he was ready – I was on board, but he has always been a little bit more hesitant. He had never really given adoption much serious thought, and he felt like he might be open to it in the future but preferred to have a biological child first.

We started trying to conceive in May of 2008 and went through three years of infertility, including infertility treatments and two miscarriages and only occasionally discussed the possibility of adoption. Neither one of us ever wanted adoption to be Plan B and didn’t ever want a child to feel like we adopted them just because we couldn’t have a biological child. If we ever adopted we wanted it to be for the right reasons, because we felt like the Lord was calling us to do so, not just because we couldn’t have a biological child.

In 2009, I read a book called “Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families” by Russell Moore. It reinforced to me the importance of having Christian families adopting the 147+ million orphans in the world and I felt an even stronger desire to adopt one day. I sent Barry an article about the book and continued to pray that the Lord would open his heart to the idea. I still had some concerns about adopting internationally, such as the cost, not being able to bring home a newborn, and problems with brain development due to life in an orphanage, but knew if Barry ever felt like the Lord was leading us in that direction, then we would do so.

In February of this year we decided to take a break from infertility treatments and really focus our prayers on the next step that the Lord wanted us to take. We have always prayed before each new test or infertility treatment, but this time we felt strongly that we needed to take a break for a little while. It was during this break that on a drive to Montgomery I felt the Lord lay heavily on my heart the idea of adopting internationally. All of the previous concerns I had about adopting just melted away. I could actually SEE us adopting for the first time! I called one of my best friends and told her what the Lord was telling me that day and asked her to specifically pray that the Lord would change Barry’s heart if this was His will. The very next day I was speaking at an Orphan Advocacy Group for work and asked Barry to come with me. At the meeting, the leader was discussing why the Lord had a heart for orphans and made a statement that I would later find out really impacted Barry. He said, “God does not only have a heart for the fatherless because He wants them to have an earthly mother and father. He has a heart for the fatherless because without Christian families adopting these children, they may never come to know their Heavenly Father!”

After we left the meeting we got in the car and I simply asked Barry, “So...what are you thinking?” I had not mentioned to him about my experience in the car the previous day because I wanted it to be the Lord changing Barry’s heart not Lisa changing Barry’s heart. He told me that he had been thinking about adoption a lot more recently and had been praying about it a lot. He said that the Lord was beginning to change his heart and he was beginning to feel more and more comfortable with the idea!! At that point I shared what I felt in the car the previous day and we decided that I could begin looking into adoption agencies. Barry began reading the “Adopted for Life” book and throughout the next two months we prayed about it constantly.

The book was able to answer many of the questions and concerns that Barry had and every time we discussed adoption he said he was feeling more and more led in that direction. When he finished reading the book he told me that it was time! He knew that the Lord was leading us on the path of adoption and he was ready! It was so neat seeing the Lord change both of our hearts and to bring us such an amazing peace about this upcoming journey. God is good!”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Finally…Barry’s Cardboard Testimony and an Announcement (and no, I am not pregnant)

I am finally getting around to posting the rest of our cardboard testimony (we are doing it next Sunday!) Here is Barry’s testimony…

“When we lost our baby to a miscarriage in August, 2010, we had already been trying to have a baby for 2 ½ years. Emotionally, it was the lowest point that I’ve been in my life, after coming off such a high from the pregnancy that we enjoyed for 14 weeks. I was at bottom, but during that time, I felt closer to God that I think I ever have before. Not only did He pick me up and bring me peace, comfort, and hope in the midst of our pain, but during that time it caused me to reexamine other areas of my life and refocus on what God would have me to work on, such as my own selfishness and pride. I still feel closer to God now than before the miscarriage and God is working in a lot of different areas of my life. As I have prayed for his will for our lives, and our future children’s lives, he has begun to open my heart to the idea of adoption, which I never before thought I would be open to. He is done this through His word and through some new good friends that we have made who have a passion for what God says about adoption and how we ourselves are adopted into God’s family. I am excited about the coming months/years to see what God will do in mine and Lisa’s life together, and I will continue to trust in His plan, because I know He loves me and only He knows what is best for me.”

Which leads me to our announcement…


I cannot explain to you how excited we are and how 100% certain we are that God is leading us down this path. It is so neat to see how He has changed our hearts and opened our minds to adopting and we are SO EXCITED about the future!! More details including how we came to this decision to come…but for now I will leave you with this little teaser. :)

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” -James 1:27 NIV

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"The Final Summit" by Andy Andrews

OK, so this has nothing to do with infertility...

What it does have to do with is free books!!! How?? Book Sneeze! :) What is Book Sneeze you may ask? A very cool way to get free books, and I am all about free! Anyone who has a blog is able to sign up on Book Sneeze, request free books and then all you have to do is write a 200 word review and post it on your blog and one other consumer review site! How easy is that?? So the first book that I reviewed was called "The Final Summit" by Andy Andrews (who I would like to mention that my mom babysat for many years ago!) Here's the review!

"The Final Summit" is the third book following David Ponder who was previously seen in "The Noticer" and "The Traveler’s Gift". He and many other historical figures are on a quest to save mankind from themselves. They are faced with the task to answer the question, "What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?"

I enjoyed reading the first two books, although at times they even seemed to get a little too heavy in the history lesson, but this book I feel was a little too much of David Ponder and his travels. It has been a while since I have read the first two books and the author does not do a great job of recapping what has gone on in the previous books and I was left feeling confused for the first few chapters. I enjoyed the concept of the first two books but felt like the author took the concept a little too far with "The Final Summit". There were a few mentions of Biblical matters but no scripture was quoted, no actual Biblical advice was given and their final conclusion was very anti-climactic and I believe did not get to the true point of what society really needs...Jesus.

As for the good things in the book though, the author uses great detail and you feel as if you are actually there. There were also many insightful statements made throughout the book regarding how we should live our lives and I did enjoy reading those parts.

Overall I would recommend this book if you have recently read the first two and enjoy getting a dose of history in your reading.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Special "Happy Mother's Day"

Well...tomorrow is the day all of us have been waiting for, right? Ha! Mother's Day is possibly the hardest day of the year for many women (and men) who struggle with infertility and baby loss. I say Mother's Day but honestly it's the whole season surrounding it. From commercials to TV shows to radio shows to products in's all about mothers. Great in theory, but for those who so desperately are trying to become mothers and those that have lost's a VERY HARD few weeks!! There are also many people who have lost their mothers or who have bad relationships with their mothers or who have never met their mothers, and guess what? Hard day for them too. I honestly don't think I will ever be able to really enjoy Mother's Day or Father's Day because I know the heartache associated with such times. Even last year when we were pregnant on Father's Day my heart ached for all the men sitting in church who desire to become fathers. I have talked to many women who struggle with Mother's Day for a variety of reasons and I just want to remind each of you that it can be a really tough day for so many.

To be honest, I am not dreading this Mother's Day like I have for the past several years. I have written about the "peace that surpasses understanding" in previous posts and I just can't explain it but I have it. :) God has brought me to a really good place right now, and while I have a twinge of sadness that not only do I again not have a baby in my arms this Mother's Day...I now have two babies in Heaven this year...I am OK. I do not completely plan on going into hiding tomorrow. :)

I think the hardest thing for me this year is that...I AM a mother and yet not one that the world recognizes. What defines a mother? I don't think it's giving birth to a child. I don't even think it's having a child in your arms. I think sacrifice, love, patience, among other qualities makes a mother...check, check, check. A woman who is struggling to have a child or who has lost a child doesn't appear to the outside world to be a mother but I would beg to differ. A woman who doesn't struggle to get pregnant has a long 9 months full of sacrifice, preparation, pain, anxiety, etc. that begins her motherhood journey. But women who struggle year after year to get pregnant and often go through many painful procedures and tests to even begin her motherhood journey...YEARS of sacrifice, preparation, pain, anxiety...I am not trying to say that women who struggle with infertility are better in any way although reading through what I just typed comes off that point is just that I believe we ARE all mothers. The world just doesn't see it that way.

Especially this year after losing two babies...I am a mother. But I won't be celebrating it tomorrow like mother's who have babies here on earth. People won't be wishing me a Happy Mother's Day (and even if they did I might tear even though I want people to wish me a happy mother's day maybe I don't at the same time...hmm...double edge sword...), I won't be getting cards and flowers and gifts from my child. However, I know that I am a mother and that I will get to meet my babies one day. I know that God has a plan for every woman who is struggling with infertility and baby loss out there and that one day we WILL be able to celebrate (as much as possible) with the rest of the mother's out there.

So, I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you out there a Happy Mother's Day. Whether you are waiting to conceive, waiting to bring your child home through the miracle of adoption, whether your children are in Heaven, or if you DO have your child in your arms...HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Each of you are in my prayers this weekend, as well as every other day.

And a poem…

“Happy Mother's Day”
it comes around every year;
but when you have empty arms,
it's very hard to hear.

It's a day to celebrate a mother,
for all the trials she overcame;
and a reminder to an infertile
of her loneliness and shame.

But what really makes a mother,
Is it just conception and birth?
Or is there something more,
that shows a mother's worth?

It's putting your child first,
in everything you do;
it's sacrifice and determination,
and love and patience too.

An infertile woman makes all her plans,
around a child not yet conceived;
she loves them even though they aren't here,
more than she ever could have believed.

She appreciates and understands,
what a blessing that children are;
she works hard for just a chance,
that motherhood is not that far.

All odds are stacked against her,
and yet she still has hope;
everyday is another struggle,
finding ways to help her cope.

So even though her arms are empty,
she can still be a mother too;
So say a special “Happy Mother's Day”
for those waiting for their dreams to come true!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

“Blessings” by Laura Story

This is a great song with amazing lyrics that my mom introduced me to…

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home,
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Check it out here!