Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Power in Acknowledging that We are Powerless

I was laying in bed this evening with my five-year-old, reading her books, while the sound machine created a beautiful thunderstorm backdrop.  Before I knew it I was convinced of a thunderstorm turning overhead, and I was welcoming the much needed drops of rain.  We finished up reading and saying our prayers together, and we laid there enjoying the sounds of our simulated thunderstorm. I could feel the tensions of the day dissipate from my muscles, while acknowledging how relaxing and comforting the sounds of those big lightning strikes were.  This is very contrary to another time in my life, my elementary years, when maybe these sounds weren't so comforting.  I remember running down to the basement, and pleading for my family to join me, every time the skies would darken over the beautiful planes of South Dakota.  I was convinced that the concrete walls of the basement could keep us safe and secure from the monstrous storm headed our way.  My quest to control the situation and create a sense of safety would leave me hysterical if I could not accomplish it.  It all came down to control.

Fast forward a few decades and pass over a period of full-blown panic and anxiety attacks, and I eventually landed in a spot of deeper trust and faith. And this, you see, could not have happened until I acknowledged that I do not have real control.  And this was the most powerful moment in my life.  It was the brightest lightbulb. It was my Ah-ha moment.  And it was freeing!  And I am so eternally grateful that I did find my peace when I did, as we see so much turmoil at this time in our beautiful we see so much hatred and bloodshed in the world around I lay here, pregnant with our eighth child.  I acknowledge that there are no guarantees in "our vision" for our our future.  We have no promise of tomorrow.  We only have today.  God does give us a brain to make wise choices, and make preparations… but still, no guarantees.  The only God given power we do have is prayer.  It all comes down to prayer.  And it's a struggle for some, who need to see to believe.  But believe.  It's what we were designed reach outside of ourselves and unite ourselves with Him in prayer.  It is so incredibly powerful when you can acknowledge that you are powerless with regards to true control. God did not custom design us to control the universe, to decide who lives or dies, or to take upon ourselves  all the worries of the world.  He does give each of us unique talents to contribute our part to make the world a better place united in love, and to be in union with the holy spirit through prayer.  He does not abandon.  Why do we?  It's so simple.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Adoptive Love


    Someone once told me that adopting a child is the closest thing we can come to in understanding the great love our Heavenly Father has for us.  We are adopted because we are His, imperfections and all . . .covering all cultures, races, ages, religions, physical differences, and pasts.  We were made to be loved, and to love, regardless of anything else.  We are all worthy of it.  We were specifically designed for it, from conception.

When Joseph and I look at our beautiful children, we are amazed.  Don't get me wrong, we have figured out "how" babies are made by now (ha ha). . .and one thing leads to another, and we're holding another little bundle of love.  We always thought that we would have two children, three at the most.  But a little voice kept us open to life, and the the realization of the value of life, increased with each child.  And when you suffer a loss of a baby, at any gestation or age, you especially are reminded of how precious each life is.  And life truly is out of our control . . .bringing it into the world, and losing it to the next.    

It was just one year ago August when we lost our sweet baby girl, Adelyne.  The loss was so heavy for our entire family, yet the light remained lit.  Hope remained.  Trust was intact. We both immediately brought up a discussion we had had over the course of several years, to open our hearts to adoption.  The time felt right for both of us.  We were confident in our decision, yet did not have the answers as to how we were going to make it happen.  The answers came though.  

We both felt strongly that China was where our child was waiting.  We poured over files and photos, and I remember asking "how?".  HOW can we reject any of these, and HOW do we choose?  HOW will we know for certain?  We already had one child with special needs, and we were well aware that we would not know the extent of an adoptive child's special needs until bringing him or her home.  But then we saw his picture.  We both knew.  I know that sounds romanticized and maybe even cliche, but it's more than true.  There were uncertainties in his file, and much was left up to the imagination to fill in the gaps, and understand his "special needs". Yet it was all okay.  We were at peace. We were immediately pre-approved, and by the next week, we started up the fundraising engines.  Support flew in from all directions.  We were overcome with emotions, gratitude, and love.  It was an emotional time for me.


Just 7 months after we found him, we brought him home.  


Growing in faith means growing in trust.  It means being okay to not have all the answers.  Having Drew home has been nothing short of amazing.  He is an incredible little guy, who fits perfectly in with our crazy bunch.  He has his two year old brother's love of music, his five year old sister's independence, his eight year old brother's curiosity, his eleven old sister's full upper lip, his fifteen year old brother's gift of gab, his 17 year old sister's love of art, his mommy's love to get-up-and-go, and his daddy's gift of being always willing to help.  We did not choose Drew, he was chosen for us.  He was always in the plan . . .