Thursday, August 30, 2012

a hard truth to grasp, a hard post to write


A call to love the orphan is a call to suffer with the orphan.
-Brandon Hatmaker

I had a hard time writing this post. I feel like if I had to, I could possibly sum it up in just a few words:

We will gladly accept any baby that is handed over to us, and will love him/her with all his/her flaws, challenges, disabilities because God set the example for us and loved us first, and we trust Him with the growth of our family.

But the truth is, i want to expand on the previous sentence. So, here it goes...not eloquently explained by any means, but I'm afraid if i don't hit post now, i may never do it.


Over the last few months i have become acutely aware of the fact that the adoption of a baby you haven't carried and know nothing about is as uncertain as all the what if's of pregnancy and labor and childbirth.

Yet, with this realization has come with it not only some anxiety, but also a greater peace in the certainty that God is totally in control of who he places into our family.

Whether pregnant or adopting, there is little that we actually have control over. Yes, I can choose not to drink or smoke or take certain drugs while pregnant, but in the end, it is God who gives us the baby our family needs. The one we need as much as he/she need us.

And here's the reality: there are women who do drugs and drink that birth perfectly healthy babies and on the flip side, there are organic eating, daily exercising, overly careful women every day who give birth to premature, sickly little loves sometimes too. It's in those situations that we become more and more aware of the fact that it is out of our hands.

So, in light of all that, we aren't praying for the perfect healthy baby (although of course it's every mother's wish to welcome a healthy baby into her arms) But ultimately, a perfectly healthy infant isn't the end goal for us. We just want the baby that God wants to join our family, the one that will make us a family of four.

There have been moments where i have thought that because we are adopting an infant there are certain "issues" that we may be able to bypass - attachment disorders among other things. But the truth is, while we might not have to face attachment issues (although there is always that chance as well) there is also a good chance there will be other issues that will arise down the road if not at birth. a very good chance. I'd say the likelihood is high that our next child will have "issues" by the world's standards. Issues that scare me and make me break out into a cold sweat when i think about it too much or too long. Issues that i may not have even thought of, and issues that may cause some to turn around and head back in the other direction.

And that's where Brandon Hatmaker's quote (above) comes in. We are not only called to love the orphan - our child, an orphan no longer, once we pick him/her up from the hospital - but to suffer with him/her too - happily suffer for the rest of our lives for this little one.

I am increasingly aware of the potential challenges that may come. drug addiction, low birth weight, mental/physical disabilities, emotional issues, and the list goes on and on. They were the same possibilities that were there when we were pregnant with Micah (minus the potential of drug addiction), yet we chose to love him before we ever knew or met him, because we knew he was meant to be ours. And we will continue to love and accept him as he grows - and with his growth could come health issues, learning disabilities, behavioral concerns - for Micah as much as our next son or daughter. These are the risks we take as parents - whether through adoption or pregnancy and childbirth. The risk to say, I'm gonna love you no matter what because you're mine.

And while we may not be prepared for all the unknowns ahead, i'd like to think we're ready only because of the faith we have in Christ.

Because we know that the exact baby that is supposed to join our family, will. Just like with Micah, we didn't know him, but we knew that he was just the kid that was supposed to make us parents.  And it's sobering but also a truth that brings peace. That the Lord cares for every child. orphan or not - healthy, sick, overdue or premature, jaundice (like Micah) or substance addicted, deaf or born with down syndrome - all of them. He loves them, and cares for them, and because of that, we can too.

We don't know what the future holds for us, but we hope it holds a baby (whatever the health or weight or skin color) that is meant to crawl up into our sometimes timid, often fearful hearts and laps. A baby that will teach us how to love in a new, entirely different way, not because we share the same biology, but because we share the same heavenly Father who has adopted us as His sons and daughters.

So if some people think we're crazy because we're open to accepting an infant that needs to go through drug withdrawal, or a baby whose birth mom drank or smoke or was mentally ill - it's only because we know God's grace will be ever present through it all.

Yeah, some nights we may lie awake because of all the uncertainties of the choices we're making, or anxious because of the many what if's - but most nights we just can't wait for it all to happen already. whatever the "ifs" may be, we just want to meet our baby.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

i can't even stand the cuteness

big brother in training

maybe it's just because this guy is mine but i can barely stand how cute he is with his new "bayyy-beee"

i searched all over for a little black boy baby doll, but had to settle for a girl whose purple outfit is camouflaged by one of Micah's very own newborn shirts. as you can see from the pictures the boy is in love with this girl. he hugs her and kisses her and burps her and carries her everywhere. and when he hits her or bites her or drags her by her toes, we have quick little lessons in gentleness and kindness.

seeing how much he loves this doll, i can only imagine how much he's going to love his new baby brother or sister.

and i can't wait to replace fake baby sister with the real deal hopefully soon!

how is this guy already half way to 2?! happy half bday Micah!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

stop it


Soft Spoken: Day 266 (from The Write Brain Workbook)

Finish the story. Start with:

She whispered…

She whispered “stop it” so that no one would hear her reprimanding him in public.
He ignored her with a smooth shrug of the shoulders – that familiar response she knew too well.
He was too old to be corrected here, too proud to bend to her ideals so easily.
She, too stubborn to see she needed to “stop it” as well.

That this marriage of theirs consisted of far too many “stop its” and not enough “go ons.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

pick six


I think I’ve lost what used to seem so cathartic about this blog.

Now, my writing consists of articles on Mondays, comments on facebook, captions to photos on instagram, quotes and bible verses on our kitchen chalkboard and even my single sentence blog is being clogged with half-hearted lines typed nightly with little enthusiasm.

I want to write.

Writing is where I come alive. Well, parts of me at least – different parts – untapped by motherhood or wifery or even Christianity, although I’m the first to admit all are intertwined.

But in the interwovenness of this life of mine, I find myself stranded on the edge of uncreativity and lackluster-ness and dare I say, boredom – all, I believe were self-inflicted when I stopped writing – really writing.

I can’t blame it on motherhood or micah or pure business – because some of my best-loved posts were in the midst of sleepless newborn nights and days busy with all the infractions to personal boundaries that come with new parenthood – or any type of parenthood really.

And for a season I didn’t miss it. Thoughts took precedence over words written and that way okay.

Okay for a season.

But today I walked passed the shelf on the bookcase in the corner of the living room. The one at the top filled with books on writing and poetry and it made me stop - for the first time in months. Maybe even a year. And I felt that long-forgotten, or surpressed urge to create something more than just a sentence a day.

So I picked up the first book that caught my eye. Micah was throwing himself on a stack of pillows on the sun porch floor while I hovered for a moment at the bookshelf by the door.

The Write Brain Workbook: 366 Exercises to Liberate Your Writing by Bonnie Neubauer.

Seemed apropos.

I then brought it to the sun porch where Micah played on pillows and opened it at random and landed on Day 208.

I read it and ran to grab a pen and a notebook.

And this was the prompt and what followed.

Pick Six: Day 208
Without moving, write down one thing within your line of vision: an action, person, item, texture, emotion, etc.
Then another thing (6x)
Now use all six of these in a piece that begins, “I was frozen in place…”


1.       Little boy
2.       Cozy coup car
3.       Pillows on the floor
4.       Dog at my feet
5.       Wet toe nails
6.       Breeze on tree branches

I was frozen in place
unmoved some days
except by the little boy in front of me
growing up before my eyes
pretending his cozy coup car was all that separated boyhood from
Pillows on the floor break his landing and
I wish I could cushion every fall with pillows from deck chairs from here until
But the dog at my feet bears witness to my
inability to stop time
wet toenails dry as I sit here
and wish for this breeze
these trees to not drop their leaves come autumn
a too-soon telling sign
that I have no power over
stopping time
and hard landings

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