All About Faith and Our Journey to Adoption

I haven’t written in detail all about Faith and the adoption for many reasons, but mainly because it’s a story that requires patience in a process that is beyond my control.  After our failed adoption in October, I am a little more reserved when it comes to sharing out certain details.  Further, there are parts of the story that are largely our daughter’s to tell when and to who she desires to share it with someday, and I greatly respect that part of this beautifully crafted masterpiece.
However, I do want to share some of my story with you because you all have been part of it, too.  The countless emails and prayers and messages all showed me that this little ol’ teacher blog was way bigger than the lesson plans and random classroom fodder that I’ve posted for the past three years.  I can’t even type that without crying because I am overwhelmed that so many of you prayed throughout the initial adoption, lifted me and my family up in the absolute awful time following the failure of that adoption, and then prayed our daughter right into our arms weeks later.  Wow.  Just wow.
So, I’m probably getting ready to type a small novel, but if you want to know all about Faith you can read on 🙂
* * * * * * * * * *
After our failed adoption in October, I struggled.  Oh, how I struggled.  My faith felt hollow and my outlook on the future of our family was bleak.  I didn’t sit on the couch in our family room by myself for days afterwards, finding it too painful to sit in the same spot where I received a phone call telling me that a child I had grown in my heart for nearly six months would never come home to the nursery that I’d planned for him.  He had a name.  A big brother.  A closet full of blue.  I’d installed the carseat into my car only hours before the phone call.  I had to take it out before I dropped Becks off at school the next morning.
all about faith
 All of this was and is currently sitting on the dresser in the nursery.
The unfinished nursery.  Still looks like this today.

I hadn’t ever experience grief before.  And, suddenly, there was this epic loss.  A baby that I hadn’t carried or even seen an ultrasound picture of.  I was grieving a child that never even belonged to me. And it was weird.

Grief looks like a lot of things, I learned.  There was a lot of crying.  A lot of praying.  A lot of waiting by my phone for a call from our agency to tell us she’d changed her mind.  When my phone would ring I would get unfairly angry at the caller on the other end, upset that it wasn’t our agency.  Eventually, one of my friends kindly suggested I give their number a specific ring tone so that I wasn’t facing this disappointment every time the phone rang.   So I did.
I talked to close friends over lasagna and wine, and cried some more.  My family loved on all of us.  I journaled.  Cried.  I read the Bible.  I searched for comfort, for guidance, for a scripture to direct my next steps.  I couldn’t say enough good things about Brandon during that time.  He was my compass, pointing me back toward Him and His plan when I would question where I was going and what I was supposed to be doing with myself.
With our Home Study set to expire on December 5th, I began to reevaluate our next steps.  Of course, we could renew our Home Study with our current agency, change agencies, look into further fertility treatments, look into international adoption, etc.  But nothing was standing out.  B was in the whatever mode.  Whatever you want to do is fine with me, Abs.  Except I didn’t know.  I had a spark and a fervor and a this is it! attitude when we initially started the adoption process back in December of 2012, but I just wasn’t feeling it this time.
On November 5th – a very important date, I would later learn – I wrote out a very specific prayer in a journal gifted to me by the same girls who’d thrown me a baby shower only weeks before.  I won’t share the entirety of the prayer, but in it I basically asked God to help me discern his will.  In a week.  Like, I asked him to answer my prayer in ONE WEEK.  The week went by and nothing was glaringly obvious, except the fact that I still felt nothingness about what we should do.
On Saturday, November 9th, we made a quick evening road trip up to Michigan to celebrate my Papa’s 85th birthday.  Ironically, we never intended to go in the first place because we were expecting to have a newborn son, and initially RSVP’d no.  But, of course, things happened and we went.  Becks fell asleep in the back and, before I knew it, B and I were engrossed in a conversation about God’s will for our family.  I told him about the childish prayer I’d written.  I cried.  Nothing was standing out! I told him.  I asked God to help me discern His will and He. Was. Silent.  The conversation eventually led to this dramatic statement from my husband: let go.  (I know, life-changing, right?!)  But, that feels like giving up! I replied.  No, it’s letting God have control, he explained.  I mulled it over, and, through tears, I agreed with him.
I had been trying.  For years.  I tried planning and scheduling and hormones and timing and more hormones and adoption.  And it had ALL failed.  I had tried enough, Brandon said.  And, for once (and only once), my husband was right.  I had tried enough and it was time to let God do his thing and for me to back off.  At the conclusion of our conversation, we had decided to let our Home Study expire and spend some time in the next few months putting God back in control of our family.
We drove in silence for a bit after that, and while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I rolled over a status update from our agency:
“I made an unexpected drive to ****** today to visit with a birth mother who delivered very prematurely.  Please pray for her and for the little one – under 3 pounds!”
In the darkness of the passenger seat, I snickered.  I’d just had this heart-to-heart with my husband about getting off of this roller coaster and I see that post.  Thanks, God!  <-sarcasm font]  I said a short prayer for the mom and baby and then talked myself through every reason why I was positive we wouldn’t be a fit for that situation.  I even told Brandon.  His quick retort was to let go.  Oh, the irony!!!!
While Becks swam in the hotel pool that night, I told my mom and sister our plan.  We were through.   Givin’ it to God.
We went to the party and drove home that same evening on Sunday, November 10th.
Becks plays in the hotel room with my sister and niece.  Less than 24 hours later, he would be a Big Brother.
At the birthday party with B.  Less than 24 hours later, we would have a daughter.
I was texting with some of my girlfriends on the way home and told them about our decision.  We got home late that night, and – thankfully – I’d already planned to have Monday off.
On Monday, November 11th, I got up and drove Becks to school.  I dropped him off and started back home to tackle a list of things I’d been saving for an open day.  Around 8:45am my phone rang.
The Special Ring.  The one assigned to my agency.
I knew the minute I looked at the screen to confirm it really was them, that this was the phone call we’d been waiting for.  And, it was.
A baby girl was born.  On November 5th.  (See date noted above.)  You can meet her today.  Call Brandon.
A BIG EMPHATIC YES! is how I responded to our agency once I finally got ahold of Brandon at work.
Then I was all by myself  at home, pacing and praying and reading the Bible.  Here’s a snapshot of my internal conversation while I was waiting the excruciating three hours it took for Brandon to get off work…
God!!!!  Really?!  I mean, REALLY?!  Did you REALLY just do this?!  I mean, OF COURSE you did!  Of course!!!!  Because you knew!  You knew all along!  This is our baby!  This is our girl!  A daughter!  O.M.G.  God, you are too much!  This is crazy!  For REAL?!  I don’t have anything pink.  I should go to Target.  What if I see someone I know and I look as crazy as I feel right now and they see the pink clothes in my cart and then they figure out what is going on before I can even tell anyone?! GOD, THIS IS CRAZY!!!!  This is so much better than anything I could’ve imagined!  You are God and you are GOOD.  Shooooooooeeeeee!  Wait, what will we name her?!  Will Brandon EVER get off work?!  I should read the Bible.  What should I read?  I mean, REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?
Except that seriously went on for three hours.  We only told my parents because we needed someone to pick up Becks, and I had to keep this monumental secret from my family and dearest friends when I really just wanted to shout it out the front door!
I really did go to Target!  This is what I bought ^^^^^
At 1:45pm on November 11th, we met our daughter.  A very small, but very mighty, little girl.  All two pounds of her.  Perfect in every way.  Just a peanut with a lot of growing left to do in the NICU.
Probably my favorite picture of daddy and daughter, taken the first week.      Beckham holds his sister for the first time.
She is doing well and will likely come home mid-to-late January or early February.  We are in no rush.  We want her to grown and thrive.  In the meantime, we love on her every single day.  As a preemie, she has a lot of hurdles yet to overcome, but we feel that only by walking in His will on a day by day basis can that be accomplished.  It’s all in His hands, as I’ve very clearly learned.
Oh, and her name?
Perfectly perfect.
{I promise I will post more pictures where you can see her better soon!  Stay tuned!}

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Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.


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