it just got real

The realness of adoption.  Loving a baby you haven't met and the risk's that come along with it.  But it's all worth it.  It's as though your faith is being proved in the fire!

(waiting to be fingerprinted for approval to foster and adopt)

I’m just gonna tell (warn) you now, this might be all over the place.  This isn’t one of those well thought out post.  I haven’t sent it off to someone to proof or give to my husband to see if it makes sense or if it’s just plain dumb.

This is just me.  All me.

We are in the final week(s) of waiting for Baby Girl.  We were told she was due around the first week of September.

Here we are.  September 1.  Labor Day. Hah.

If you read my last post on our adoption journey, you know that once August hit, I haven’t been sleeping well.  We were also told they suspected birth mom would go into labor early for several reasons.  So the waiting game has really been in high gear for me since August.

But it’s now September.  I woke up yesterday and today the same.  Still dark outside.  The house quiet.  My heart heavier then I’ve ever felt.  I woke up with the feeling that I’m crying.  Not because I “just know” something.  I know how some people get that feeling and they just know.  I have been there before myself.  But this is because I DON’T KNOW anything.  I don’t know if birth mom has changed her mind.  I don’t know if she has had Baby Girl already.  I don’t know if she is just chillin’ on the streets somewhere in Houston waiting for labor pains to come on and then give us a call.  I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING!

I just know there is a Baby Girl.  I know she is due around now.  I know that I have given a piece of my heart to her.

You see, when you foster (and even when you adopt too – but it’s not as talked about because you aren’t planning or even thinking really that you will give them back even though it’s a risk for a while) you are told that these kids NEED your love.  They haven’t had a stable, constant, unconditional love in their life.  And that is what they need the most.  So when you go into Foster Care, you are told that part of that includes loving this child without holding back knowing you may not have this child forever.

I get that now.  Really get it.

I have tried, really I have, to guard my heart since we got the phone call  June 1st.  I’ve been through this now three times.  The first one, we lost a baby girl the week that she was due.

The second… well , the second was evidence that we could all see here on earth that God is God and is faithful in His promises and that NOTHING is impossible for Him! We are now a family of three!  Amen!

Here we are now.  Number three.  Where do I go with this?  I tried not to get my hopes up BUT I also want to have complete faith.

Apparently Faith is my thing too!  It’s what I’m good it.  It’s what my “spiritual gift” is.

And here I thought I had already learned so much.  Had already been refined.

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. ~ Phil 1:6

Yes.  Yes this is definitely true.  As I woke up this morning with my heart feeling like it was aching, I had a picture of something like gold being held in the fire. This is a picture of our faith.  Our faith is like silver & gold.  But gold has to be held to the fire to be refined before it is perfected and useful.  If you attend church somewhere I’m sure this isn’t new news to you. You’ve heard many times from your pastor how your faith will be tested in the fire.

If you don’t go to a church maybe you haven’t heard it put that way.  Maybe you’ve felt it but didn’t quite know what it was.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. ~1 Peter 1:7

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. ~1 Peter 1:7 (The Message)

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. ~Psalm 66:10

I don’t know what the outcome of this will be.  I don’t know if she will call us or if she has changed her mind.

I know I love this Baby Girl completely already.  Just like when my sister was pregnant with my two nieces.  I prayed for them and didn’t realize how much I loved them already until I saw their faces for the first time.

It was that way with the first little girl we lost.  It was that way with Little B!  And it’s the same now.

Maybe this won’t work.  I will be heart-broken.

For a while.

But God will still be God and He will still have good planned for me.  His promise is still true.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn bush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever. ” ~Isaiah 55: 8-13

Would you please pray for us?  Pray for Baby Girl and Birth mom?  I won’t ever be able to tell you how much it means to us!  But your prayers are priceless and we need them.

You know, writing this all out, my most messiest of thoughts and emotions, is not easy to do.  I battle here with my mind telling me it’s silly and my heart knowing how others sharing their stories is what may help encourage and inspire someone else. I was reminded about that recently by someone I know who reads this small little space on the www.  It’s incredibly humbling!  I just want you to know I appreciate all the time you spend here reading my words.

More on our Adoption Journey

More on our Infertility Journey

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how he defines himself

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. ~Brennan Manning

Just Melissa: How He Defines Himself
You. Guys. This just got real! What happened?  Where does the time go?  I know a lot of you reading this have little one’s in school.  Several just sent there’s off for the first time.  Can I just tell you… oh my stars!  There really aren’t words to describe it is there?  You mom’s know. That’s your baby!  That’s my baby I just sent out into the BIG REAL WORLD all by himself. We struggled (well I struggled really) all summer with whether to wait one more year.  With a July birthday, he will be the youngest.  I’ve gotten lots of advice from wise people I respect.  Some say hold him off.  Boys mature slower and waiting one more year will be better.  Some said to go ahead, it will be great for him.  He is so smart he will love it. I prayed, prayed hard.  Bart knew my issue was really more of a letting go issue and not really an issue of having peace about the decision.  I came to terms with that myself.

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So…we now have a Kindergartner!  Ah, did I just say that? I know this sounds silly, but really y’all.  Wasn’t this just yesterday?

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Look at that sweet boy walking to preschool for the first time.  That little Buzz backpack was bigger then he was. But you know, he is so excited.  And I am really excited for him.  We love his teacher!  I have such a tremendous LOVE for teachers now that I have a child of my own in their care all week. School really is a big deal.  They learn so much.  They grow so much.  But my prayer for Little B is that he learns and grows and remembers what life is really about.  I want him to know that being respectful and obeying is important.  I want him to know that working hard is important. But above all, it’s who you are that matters.  Bart and I care less about straight A’s and more about how he see’s himself and the influence he goes on to make.  We care more about him discovering God’s love for him and that God has a plan for him and less about him measuring up to the world’s version of success.  We pray that as Brennan leaves the shelter of our home and enters the world, that he is a light!  We are the primary influence in his life, the school is there to assist us in his learning.

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So I don’t have to be scared.  I don’t have to worry.  God will protect him.  He will guide us as parents just as he will guide Brennan’s steps. I don’t believe it starts when they are older.  I believe it starts know. As Brennan was walking to his classroom yesterday, I asked him if he remembered the song he learned and performed last year in Preschool.  ” Of Course!” he said.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.  Be an example for believers.”

This is who we are.  This is my prayer for him each day as he enters those doors.  Well, and that he has fun!

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I don’t really see that being a problem though!

Creativity kits for kids!

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so here’s what’s been going on.

I mean really.

Can’t believe it was last November since I’ve been here.  Can I first just tell ya life in Houston is so not the same as life in Des Moines. It’s a whirlwind in comparison.  In a good way.  But I do sometimes miss the slower pace of the day to day living that Des Moines offered.  However, our hearts are so content here.  We know without a doubt we are where God has called us to be.

BUT… the sacrifice is this here blog.  I love it.  Dearly!  I miss y’all.  Like crazy.  So please forgive me for my rudeness.  I have been getting lots of questions on how the adoption is going.

I also have not been getting much sleep and my mind has been reeling.What better time to come here with you and share what’s been going on in the Lewis house.

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It’s hard to put these things in words.  Really it is.  I’m gonna try, but please don’t judge my inability here.  My goal is to be transparent.  In all we do, it’s our desire as a family to search after God’s desire for us and to share what he has done.  This is all him!

I shared last October how we felt God calling us to Foster to Adopt.  We were led to a specific agency, which is also a ministry to the homeless of Houston.  In March, after taking the first necessary steps to start the process, a family very generously and sacrificially donated the money to pay for our adoption!!!!

I mean, really!

My struggle for so long was “HOW” we would do this.  Adoption so wasn’t practical.  It’s expensive and we didn’t have extra money saved up.  Not to mention the house we were in at the time, well… I HATED IT!  Not to mention it was tiny.

But, God promised me that if we would just take the step and LOVE a child, HE would provide everything for us to do just that.

And provide he did.  There are no words that can adequately describe how grateful we are to this family and how humble we are that they would choose to help our family.

So then…we waited.

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On June 1st, our case worker called to ask for our family photo book.  She had a very urgent tone in her voice and I knew something was up.  A few hours later she called me back.  After explaining that “this” has never happened before, she went on to tell me that a currently pregnant mom came to see them and wanted to give her baby up for adoption.  She looked through several family books.  Our case worker then showed her our family picture on her phone (because I never actually got the family photo book to our case worker.)

The birth mom looked at our picture and immediately said that we were the family she wanted her baby to go to.  She also said she wanted me to BE IN THE DELIVERY ROOM!  She also said the baby is a GIRL!  She also said she was due in 3 MONTHS! Which makes her due around the first week of September. (Though my case worker thinks she will be early)

Y’all… this is a straight up adoption.  A FIRST for this agency.

And then…we continue to wait.

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In the waiting, I am trying not to get to far ahead of myself.  It’s always a risk.  Birth mom can always change her mind. We know because this has happened to us before. It’s hard for me to dwell on the possibility of this happening because it did happen to us before.

But y’all, the “nesting” stage doesn’t just come when you are physically pregnant.  I was fighting it, but I couldn’t help it.  So I began to crochet.  I figured the things I made would always make great gifts for other babies, so I was safe. That makes since right?  (But you better believe that each of those little blankets and booties were made with prayers and love for baby girl.)

And so…we continue to wait some more.

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I’ve talked with our case worker and they haven’t heard from birth mom since that day she came into their office.

They tell me this isn’t at all abnormal.  They tell me this is how it is with street moms.  They don’t want anyone to know where they are, for many reasons.  They also don’t want to spend what money they may have on minutes for their phone.  They also don’t think of others… well… because it takes all they have to survive for themselves.

We are proceeding as normal.  We are waiting just to get a call from our agency saying that birth mom is in the hospital having baby girl and to hurry up and get ourselves there.  AND.  We are also waiting knowing that there is that possibility that this could not happen.

But I’ve seen what God can do.  I’ve seen what He has done.  We lost the first baby we were going to adopt.  I grieved the loss of her.  But then, a week later, we got another phone call about Brennan.  And as I prepare for his first day in Kindergarten next week, I wonder if baby girl is also getting ready for kindergarten wherever she is.

Y’all, if we hadn’t gotten the call about that baby girl, and THEN LOST HER, we wouldn’t have our son.  AND HE IS SO SUPPOSED TO BE OUR SON!

So I know, that no matter what happens here, God HAS GOT THIS!  He has a plan.  He has given me a promise. I trust him!

But I also want you to hear when I say that this is hard.  It is good, but it is hard.  I am waiting for the unknown.  I could very possibly have a baby next week or the week after.  Most moms are pregnant and have a plan with the nursery all complete, bottles and paci’s sterilized and the hospital bag packed.  Not us.

I now waking up most nights at 2 am and can’t go back to sleep.  My heart is heavy all day wondering where baby girl is, if she is safe, if she will be our baby girl.  But I refuse to doubt God.  So because of this hard place we are in, I am listening to worship music ALL day long and you know my face is wet with tears as I am broken before my Father.  I wake up and go straight to my bible for some word from Him and He NEVER disappoints or abandons me. In my head I am repeating promises from scripture as I go throughout my day. Old hymns I grew up on are coming to mind and I am singing them like crazy (God is so good, he is so good, he’s so good to me. He answers prayers. He answers prayers… )

I remember that there is MORE to this!  I remember that God created baby girl and loves baby girl and has a plan for baby girl.  And he does the same for me and my family.

So we are waiting.

Y’all, I know this is a long post, but trust me, this is the short version.

Would you please pray for us?  Mostly pray for baby girl… that she is safe and protected in the shadow of his wings wherever she is.  Pray for birth mom…that she is safe and that somehow she knows and feels the love that God has for her!

And would you pray for our family?  I learned so many things through all of this infertility and adoption.  One very valuable thing is the POWER OF PRAYER!  Y’all I believe it.  I feel it when y’all are praying over us and this baby.  I know God is faithful in his promises.

Thank you for walking alongside us during this journey.

**If you want to follow the journey on Instagram, you can find me here :: #waitingforbabylewisdos **

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