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Five years ago today our Adoption Story Continues…

Such an influx of feelings today.  A day of happy celebrations and a day a little sad.  I woke up so ready to sing happy birthday to my babies!! And realized one is gone.  Although he came home from college this weekend and I watched him drive away… there’s that empty place that I don’t get to kiss him and tell him Happy Birthday!! But that little girl we all love, well she was ready for her Birthday singing!! She even went looking for more presents.

adoption down syndrome

It started with an early early morning call from the social worker; that our birth mother was going in for a C-section within the hour and could we come on up.  So we called our neighbors to help with our other kiddos and headed up.  We got there just after she had been born and our 48 hr window had begun.  I cannot tell you the emotional roller coaster that began… that’s been written about here before… The funny part of the adoption story is our oldest who shares her birthday, called it the night before.  He asked if we could celebrate early because he knew that Mia would be born on his birthday… Thinking he was looking for a way to celebrate a day early, I giggled but we did happily celebrate that night.  Oh the JOY that was felt knowing they would have that special bond with so many years apart.  And today are so alike in so many ways… He refers to it as an “October 6th thing.” Reminding everyone that they share this day.

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Mia is a story of Great Faith in a God that is SOO BIG!! Believing in the things unseen and never giving up.  Not because she was born with down syndrome, not because she’s our blessing we could never have imagined to be so wonderful.  But because I almost quit on that journey.

Not being able to have more children of my own with 2 premature babies, I knew adoption would likely be the option for my husband and I after Ethan was born if we wanted to have more babies.  I think in the beginning, I knew it was a bit selfish reasons and a bit feeling called.  But whatever the reasons, God calls us to love the weak and fatherless {Psalms 82:3-4}.  I remember praying about it before I talked with my husband the first time and was led to this verse in the bible… Matthew 18:5 – “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” The road was so long and so hard.  We had many almost placements and many heartbreaking moments.  I cried out many times for Him to reveal himself abundantly clear if this was His way or my dream.

I remember telling myself that I was hurting my children with all the hurt that we were going through- when actually I was teaching them the greatest lessons in faith I couldn’t have without that journey.  That when you believe in a big God and you keep walking that path no matter how hard and how long, your reward is more than you could ever imagine guess or request in your wildest dreams {Eph. 3:20 MSG}.  They saw us loving and saying Yes to whatever the Lord had for us.  They saw us giving our whole hearts and being broken and still believing. They saw us being faithful.  I can see that now that I am not stuck in the middle.  I held tight to this verse “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” {2Timothy 4:7}

Can you recall those moments that almost break you.  Where you don’t have an ounce of strength to keep fighting? And instead of fully surrendering to His strength, you allow yourself to be filled with such doubt and pain.  I think I remember the devastation of losing the donor for our child in Thailand the most. That was the cliche “straw that broke the camels back.”  We had already had doors close on China, red flags on Kazakhstan, led to a place of domestic adoption where God had to totally change my heart {don’t ever tell God you will never do something He’ll show you otherwise}, we were given ample reasons to ache over a broken and crazy system, and then back to international…   Ready to travel to pick up a little boy within 4-5 weeks and being told the subsidy had been lost due to the market that had tanked.  We all of sudden needed 30K in that short time to travel.  I felt that was God saying abundantly clear- this just isn’t your time.  I cried and went into the darkest depression I have ever known for 2 weeks.  I still pray for that little boy.  It was time of reflection of all the things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to.  It was a time of doubt and such negative banter inside my head.  I was truly getting in my own way of receiving God’s biggest blessings because I was so hurt.  It’s hard to come out of that spot.  I wish I could tell you my faith didn’t waiver because you just read how dark it got.  I never believed for a second that God wasn’t there or faithful.  I just didn’t believe that we were going to be able to continue pushing through.  My poor friends.  I couldn’t have made it without that army of women who believed bigger than I could at times!! Not one time did they tell to give up… not one time.  And I am thankful for God placing me strategically in a place where I could have that support.

Then that call, Michele didn’t know we had given up.  I didn’t tell anyone but our family.  But you see that little boy in Thailand was a little boy with down syndrome.  We had to write a 14 page essay proving what we knew about down syndrome and what we would do to provide for him.  All that reading and all the research was God preparing us for this one call on a late afternoon.  I answered it standing in front of my 3 pane rustic mirror- that mirror will be with us till I die.  It was Michele our social worker.  My heart dropped, she had a mother who had just found out she was pregnant and that she was told she was 90% sure she would deliver a baby with down syndrome.  Would we consider putting our profile in with this mother.  “Yes” before she could even finish her question. “Don’t you want to pray about it and talk with Dalton.” and I quickly replied, “We have prayed for this baby… call Dalton”

That walk was a long one.  We found out so early.  We prayed for her mother daily.  So many genetic doctors counseling her to abort that child.  So many fears and a woman who wasn’t close with my BIG God was scared.  My prayers in the beginning were so conflicted.  I simply handed it over to God and let my prayer be for her mama.  I let my prayers be for her wisdom, heart, her body, soul, and spirit.  Keeping her close to Him and strong.  I prayed for that baby to be given life.  Being a mama already, it was so hard on my heart.  There was no praying that Mia would be born with down syndrome so her mama wouldn’t want to keep her.  If my heart was going to be broken it was going to be because her mama found that inner strength to fight hard for her daughter.  And I think it’s within this last few years that inner strength I prayed for her mama- was something she had the whole time.  Giving Mia a home with us and family with us, was likely the strongest and most courageous things she will ever do.

So on this day,  I am reminded how giving up isn’t an option.  He will reward us ten-fold if we just keep on believing even when we think the road is too long and too hard.  I look into her face and see the story of my greatest faith and hope you can ever imagine!! And a tiny/big piece of my heart aches for a mama I just love!! For the gift that she gave to our family.  A life she entrusted us to love unconditionally and provide for fully.  Thank you!!

mia with the joel project

This post is dedicated to all those mama’s out there on the adoption journey…. He will see you through all the pain, all the twists and turns, all the disappointments and it will be all in His timing.  Which is of no comfort for those in the journey.  I hated that phrase most!! I already knew that but it didn’t help me get through the day!! But I promise you when you come out on the other side and see the very one he had handpicked for you before you even knew you wanted to adopt- THAT JOY is like NOTHING else!! If I had given up and let myself get in my own way because it was going to be another upset, or what if she too changes her mind… I wouldn’t have that darling little face calling me mama!!

For all the mothers out there facing the hardest decision you will ever in your life have to make…. Be Strong and Courageous. God will never leave you, nor forsake you{Deuteronomy 31:6} … There is no condemnation and no judgement.  You are BRAVE, you are STRONG, and no one will ever love you less for GIVING your child LIFE!! Thank you for LOVING your child enough to be so incredibly selfless.  My heart is full of so much love for our special mother, you are doing great things and will continue to be blessed!! Thank you Thank you!!

And for all of the other people that this might not be what God has put upon your heart…. Whatever it is… See it through.  Pray for his supernatural strength and wisdom to see you through.  I am praying for you!!

Thanks for allowing me to share my heart with you today!! Now to celebrate that girl!! I just love her!! And Kaelyn… I love you and hope you had a most wonderful day- a first birthday in your new season of life… I am not sure I’ll ever get used to it!!

 

Comments

  1. Beautiful! Happy Birthday Mia! You are all such a blessed family indeed.

  2. NancyJIll says:

    How I love to read of other’s adoption stories….they take me back to our own…the first time looking into the eyes of our brown eyed baby girls. Thanks for sharing your journey with us….definitely brought a tear to my eyes and a smile in my heart…the Lord God is good indeed..and worthy to be praised….blessings to your precious baby girl on this day celebrating the Lord’s most beautiful creation of her!

  3. Makes my heart so full of joy and happy for your sweet family. I know you miss your sweet boy, Dalton, too. My son is in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Oral Roberts Univ. fulfilling what God has planned for his life and I miss him so much! Being far away and training for pole vault season gives him no time to come home. Your family is beautiful and what a testimony of God’s faithfulness, even through our weakness. “When we are weak, then He is made strong.” God bless you!!

  4. Granny Karen says:

    Thank you beautiful mother, family of my precious grand daughter!

  5. Robin Nemire says:

    Happy Birthday Mia, you have all been blessed by this angel!

  6. Hey, Lori. I know we’ve probably chatted about your story and I think you know mine but I just wanted to say God is good! Adoption is not always the easiest journey but it is a calling with a reward many don’t understand, Blessings to you!

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