When a Day Feels Like a Week

This post good also be entitled: “Divulging Some ‘Secrets’ That No Longer Need to Be Secret” or “The Crazy Adoption Roller Coaster.”  You can take your pick.

Image by Robbert van der Steeg

Image by Robbert van der Steeg

If you haven’t noticed, I have been pretty quiet on this blog lately.  It wasn’t because I didn’t have a lot to say (we all know I always have something to say).  It was because everything that I wanted to say needed to be kept hush hush.  Most times that I thought about our adoption journey, I thought about things that I couldn’t share (at the time) and I couldn’t come up with anything else to write about, so I stayed quiet.

You see, in the last few months, we have been presented with five separate adoption possibilities.  I asked all of you to keep your eyes and ears open for adoption situations and you sure have.  Before you think I am going to make a big announcement, I should probably tell you, we ARE NOT matched, but we are at peace and are thankful that God is guiding and protecting us.  Keep those ears open!

Each situation has been exciting, even when we thought it was a long shot, and each one has resulted in my brain thinking non-stop about it and over-analyzing every single detail I knew.  Each situation has brought about hope, a little bit of anxiety, a lot of wondering, and even more prayer.  In these times of wondering, praying, and over-analyzing, a minute feels like an hour, an hour feels like a day, and a day feels like a week.  I check my email and phone WAY too often and, inevitably, the minute I stop checking and leave my phone somewhere or vow not to use it, I miss a call.  At one point, I realized I had only known about a situation for 12 hours, but it felt like it had been part of my thoughts for a week.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

I am thankful for the peace of the Lord, but that doesn’t mean that this journey hasn’t been trying and consuming at times.  I am so thankful for friends who listen to me vent and point me back to God and remind me of all that He has done for us.  You see, even when the “No’s” have been a slight relief (because I didn’t have a peace about a situation or because there were some scary unknowns), each one has also been a small disappointment.  It is a hope deferred (Prov 13:12), because each time, whether I tried to stop it or not, my brain hoped that this could be our next child and began to picture our life as a family of 4!  You see, I used to try to protect myself and guard my heart with each and every situation.  I still do to a point, but I have learned that if I am to be utterly surrendered to God’s will, I need to trust Him to protect me and I just need to say “yes” when He asks if I am willing.  I am learning that no matter how hard I try, it is impossible to stop my mind from “going there.” Instead, when my mind does go there, I turn it over to Him and ask for His will to be done and for Him to protect our family . It is so great to know that God’s plans are BEST for our lives and that He has good things in store for us!  I fail a lot and over think things, as I try to decipher His will and read into every possible sign, but ultimately, He is right there ready and willing to protect us and guide us if we ask Him.  I am so thankful that He knows the details of each and every situation.  He knows what the future holds and what we can handle.  He knows what will be best for the baby and the baby’s biological family.  He closes doors when they need to be closed.  What peace this knowledge brings!

Certainly The Lord guards the way of the godly ~Psalm 1:6a

The 5 situations that have been shared with us have each been unique and all have stretched us in one way or another, as we waited, sought God, and prayed for direction.  One – a set of 3 year old twins; another – a young girl who lived nearby and was considering adoption as an option fairly late in the pregnancy; another – a married expectant mom with children, considering an adoption plan for her unborn baby; another – a young girl who lived further away and had just told her parents; and, most recently – a high risk pregnancy with a very early delivery scheduled.  Some situations advanced further than others.  In one, the expectant mom never saw our profile, while in another we were tentatively chosen and I was mentally decorating a nursery.  It has been a roller coaster that I haven’t wanted to drag everyone on (except for a select few prayer warriors), but it has also been a time of growing in faith and praying for other people’s children and for sweet women who are at a point in their life where they really need prayer!  Although the hope deferred does sometimes make my heart sick, I know that the tree of life is coming (as it already has with sweet Abby), and am finding joy in the moment, enjoying our girl, trusting God, and meeting amazing people along the way.

Thank you for your prayers for us along the journey!  God is truly guiding and directing.  We are anxious for the day when we get to meet our next little one(s).  Some days I am less patient than I should be, but tonight, right now, I have joy and peace!

I Say | He Says

When I talk to others about our unique adoption, which was clearly penned by God, I often hear myself saying, “we’ll never have another birth mom like Natasha” and “our next adoption probably won’t go as smoothly,” or “the odds of us having an adoption as affordable as our first are very slim.”  Oh me of little faith!

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~ Matthew 7:11

Oct 5-7

Who am I to put God in a box?  God is the one who gave us the gift of Abigail (our daughter) and Natasha (Abby’s birth mom).  He gave us a perfect baby, a birth mom who is like a sister and more family members that share our faith (Natasha’s family).  He gave us a situation that our entire family was comfortable with and excited about.  Who am I to say He couldn’t or wouldn’t give us another amazing gift?

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:7-11

One time, just days after uttering my “we won’t” sentiments to a friend, I received a call about a girl similar to Natasha, who was considering adoption.   She ended up miscarrying, but that call hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was as if God was speaking directly to me, saying, “I can give you good things, beyond your wildest dreams.  I can bless you again!  I am the God who created the heavens and the earth.  I hold you in the palm of my hand.  I want GOOD things for you.  Don’t lose heart or lose faith.  Don’t limit Me with your unbelief.”

Oct 5-2

When I have doubted, He has continued to show me that He is able!  Just the other day, as I was seeking God, I read this devotional and was reminded again to trust and believe that He is writing our adoption story and it will be for our good:

And He marveled because of their unbelief. ~ Mark 6:6

This is the day of miracles. My power and love will combine and My glory will be shown. Awaken your heart, be expectant, not reluctant, before My promise. I can do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think. You need to stretch your faith, My child, instead of nursing puny, negative doubts and fears. Faith still moves mountains – faith and prayer. Faith borne on the wings of prayer. This is what you need to practice – faith-filled praying, expectant, eager and confident praying. My heart is gladdened when My children pray this way. Don’t be afraid of believing too much. Be afraid of limiting My work and cheating My glory by believing too little. I love to reward a chastened, believing heart, a faith that has been tried and not found wanting. Pray for such a faith and I will give it to you; and then it is yours to guard and use for My glory. Awaken, my child, awaken your heart! (Helms, Hal M., Echoes of Eternity (Paraclete Press, 1996) October 3, 213-214.)

Friend, please don’t be like me and operate in a state of self-protection, saying “we won’t” or “it won’t happen” in a poor attempt to guard your heart from hoping, wishing, and dreaming.  Instead, ask, believing that our Father in Heaven gives good gifts to His children and believing that He is more than able.  Walk in the knowledge that if you ask for something that isn’t good for you, He will say no, but if it is good for you and glorifies Him, He can, and very well may, say yes!  Have faith, even if it is as small as a mustard seed.  Then, watch Him amaze you!

The Perfect Gift | Part 1 in the Journey to Parenthood Series

Over the next few weeks, you are going to be hearing from some guest bloggers – adoptive parents who are at different points in their adoption journey.  I hope you enjoy seeing the different faces of adoption as much as I do!  Today, I am excited to share a poem written by an adoptive father for his future child.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for this couple!

The Perfect Gift by Dennis Miranda

In her song “Blessings,” Laura Story cries out to God and begs the question “What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”?

When life hurts does God really heal? What happens to the hurt once the pains subsides?

As our family and friends already know, one year ago this month Tina and I experienced what is commonly referred to in adoption as a “disruption.”   Although we’ve had no contact with Jack over the past year we still miss him tremendously. But God is good and we’ve been holding on to Him and His promises throughout. Well, after a year of pinching pennies we’ve finally saved up enough money to put us “in the books” for an infant adoption through another agency!

Recently, I was thinking about Jack and about the new little one that will enter our lives any day. I believe that out of pain and suffering in this life God can take it and make beautiful things rise from the ashes. Now, I’m not much of a poet, but here is a poem I wrote born from the heartache of loss and strengthened with the hope of having another child of our own someday.

Run to Win,
Den

Dear Child,

You don’t know me and we haven’t met yet,
But if I were a gambling man I’d be willing to bet,
That you were created with purpose and the greatest of love,
For every good and perfect gift is from our Father above.
‘though you are not born of my flesh nor have my same eyes,
In my arms I will hold and you’ll be just the right size:
To cradle, to burp, to rock to sleep,
To love and to cherish this time for keeps.
How we wait with hope for the day you’ll arrive,
To give you our love and to share our own lives.
Right now we are busy preparing your room,
So hurry up and come out and get here real soon!
We have so much to show you, there’s lots to see;
Friends, family, a Chihuahua named Mickey.
Books to read and songs to croon,
Like “Jesus loves me” and “Good night moon”.
There’s goodies to eat from the world’s greatest chef,
Momma’s homemade cooking is always the best!
We’ll laugh and we’ll play, have ourselves a ball;
My arms by your side in case you should fall.
I’ll teach you to love my son/my daughter:
Jesus, mom, your neighbor – in that order.
Sadly one day we will have to let go,
To watch from afar as you grow and grow.
If I hold on too tightly please don’t get mad,
It’s just the thought of you leaving makes me real sad.
Don’t cry for me but know in my heart I am glad,
For I will always take pleasure in being your Dad.
So sleep soundly my child, stay safe and keep warm;
For the next time we meet will be the day you are born.

With Love,

(your anxiously awaiting) Dad

“Every good and perfect gift is from above,” James 1:17

1368834_698312976863872_411280197_nDennis and his wife Tina are High School sweethearts and have been married for over 24 years. They are “empty nesters” with 2     grown sons in college and are waiting to be matched with their next child. Dennis is a retired Marine, enjoys writing, and is currently attending the Pennsylvania Bible Institute.  To read more from Dennis, you can visit his blog, Running to Win.