Wednesday, June 27, 2012


One of the first outfits that was purchased for our baby boy is a precious little gown that has the words, "Brave, strong, honest" on it. The birthmother loved it as much as me I think, so we decided to put him in it today for his hospital pictures. He looked SO handsome in it! It also made me think of the meaning of his name: "Gabriel: My God is my might." Not only does he look like a strong little boy, but I'm reminded of the strength that God is giving us as we all go through this very intense journey.

I can say with all honesty that today has been one of the most difficult and emotionally draining days that I have ever been through. I have so many emotions running through my head. Don't get me wrong--everything is going great! But adoption isn't a risk-free journey by any stretch of the imagination, and the emotions are so very raw and unlike anything else I've ever experienced that I'm not even sure I fully understand what is running through my head and traipsing over my heartstrings. I see this precious, beautiful, healthy baby boy who, as much as I have tried to guard against, I am so very in love with...and then I see the most amazing, strong and beautiful woman sitting next to him, and my heart just breaks in so many different ways. My heart aches at the thought of not getting to call him mine, and my heart breaks at the thought of her not getting to keep him as's such a mess of emotions that I just can't sort through. So, today, armed with emotions and little sleep, I became very frightened at the thought of all of the possible outcomes of this situation. My sensitive heart began to crumble, and reality began to sink in.

So, in an effort to get our minds off the intense emotions, to give the birthmom an opportunity to rest and have some special time with Gabriel, and also to do something fun with Lucy (who has been exceptionally well-behaved for a four year old stuck in a hospital for the past two days), we went to see the movie BRAVE tonight. I will preface this all to say while it was an entertaining movie in many ways, I'm not so sure I would recommend it just because I'm really not big on witch craft, which I didn't realize before seeing it that it had so much in it. (DH was quick to point out that Little Mermaid-my fave Disney movie-isn't exactly folklore-free.) All of that aside, towards the end of the movie I suddenly was struck by the movie's title: BRAVE. This girl had to find the courage to face the situation placed before her, embrace it, and just be brave. I was reminded of sweet baby Gabriel in his precious outfit this morning, and then I was struck by my sudden timidity in the whole situation, but God was calling me to brave. I felt Him whispering to my soul, "PB, are you willing to trust me in the situation I've placed before you? Are you willing to surrender to the outcome you desire and trust my perfect plan?" You see, I was reminded that being brave doesn't always mean going out for the fight. Sometimes, it means stepping back, surrendering, and trusting the One who is in control of the outcome. It doesn't just take a brave soul to face the fight, but it also takes a brave person to be willing to surrender. Bravery is so much more than stepping in and taking control-it also means stepping away and surrendering that control. So, tomorrow, I am faced with a choice to be brave. Yes, I may be given the opportunity to step up to a new role in life, or I may be told it is my season to surrender, but either way I am called to be brave--as in facing the situation head on with confidence in my Jesus, who is going before us.

Joshua 1:9 tells us this wonderful truth:
"Have I not commanded you? Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

And then my mother reminded me of such a wonderful verse this evening,
Exodus 14:14
"The LORD will fight this battle for you; you need only to be still."

So tonight, we COVET your prayers that all of us can be brave, strong and courageous--not just us, but also our precious baby's birthmother who has already shown so much courage. I am praying God's will be done in each of our lives.

Thank you for your excitement, encouragement, and prayers for our family! Be strong; be courageous; be brave; be willing to surrender...

What a gift...

My view right now...
I am so overwhelmed right now...I keep thinking I'm going to wake up from a dream, because it just all feels so unreal. As I'm writing this, I have the most precious little snuggle buddy wrapped up laying in my lap snoozing away with the most content look on his beautiful face...and then, next to us is our baby's birthmommy, finally getting some sleep. I can't even begin to express what a special moment this is for me-the woman and the baby that I have prayed DAILY for, for MONTHS, are both right here with me. My heart is so full! No matter what happens, I am truly treasuring this very special moment, and thanking God for this amazing gift right now.

Please continue to pray for us, our precious Gabriel, and his amazing birthmommy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

T-Shirt Fundraiser!

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever...I think it's because I really want to share all of the amazing details of everything, and I really can't just yet:( BUT, please know that all is going well, and if it continues to do so we should be bringing our baby home VERY soon! I can't wait to share it all with you, but for now I just ask that you please join us by praying for us:

*For our baby's birthmother
(a beautiful woman who we have grown to just love in these last few weeks!)

*our baby
(to be safe, healthy, and strong)

*our Lucy
(easy transition into being a big sister)

*the process
(that all will go smoothly and we will indeed get to parent this precious child!)

We are beyond excited and very anxious, too! But, each time I start freaking out, the Lord leads me to Scripture that gives me so much peace and confidence in HIS control over the situation. Two of my favorites right now:

Philippians 4:6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Job 23:13-14
13 But he is unchangeable,[a] and who can turn him back?
What he desires, that he does.
14 For he will complete what he appoints for me,
and many such things are in his mind.

I am reminded the I have NO control over this situation. It is pretty much out of my hands at this point. But, I feel like God is telling me it is ok to embrace the excitement at this point in our journey. I know it may not end like we are hoping, but God is ultimately in control, and I can trust HIM to guide not only the outcome but also my emotions. So yes, we are so excited and trusting in God's perfect plan that He has already laid out before us. I'm
so thankful we serve the God who goes before us to prepare the way and to prepare our hearts. So, as you are praying for us, please also join me in PRAISING God for going before us!

Also, I know many of you have asked how can you help, so we have a new fundraiser if you would like to be involved. DH has created this awesome shirt design (pictured below), and we will be taking orders until July 15th! The funds raised go towards our adoption costs and our dear friends' adoption costs (they are in the process of adopting from South Korea!) Shirts are $15 ($18 if they need to be mailed out.) Just email me at: with how you'd like to pay (PayPal, check, cash, etc.) and let me know sizes.

I also still have some CDs left if you would like to purchase one of those to benefit our adoption costs. Cost is $10 ($12 if shipped.)

Thanks so much for your support of our journey-by your words of encouragement, sharing in our excitement, praying for us, and those who have been able to give. We are so very blessed and cannot say thank you enough!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Well, it's official: I'm an old woman! lol:) I still don't know why I'm making such a fuss over being 29+1 (yup, I'm still sticking to that tag!) but I think you've all grown to know of my quirky ways, so there ya have it;-) I have to laugh at myself, because I cried like a BABY over turning 30 *cringe* because of it seeming so OLD to me. I guess that's my inner youth still wanting to come out, right?:-) At any rate, I'm trying my best to embrace this new stage of life--gotta put my big girl panties on! lol:)

I did have a wonderful birthday! I'm so blessed to have such amazing family and friends that do so much to make me feel special. DH had decided to celebrate the entire week and gave me a present each day in honor of my birthday-how spoiled do I feel?! And then my mother and I got to spend the day going baby shopping and ended our trip with a mother/daughter manicure. (I love having my nails painted, but rarely actually have them done. When I was a teenager, I went through a period of time where I painted them a different color ever day. My favorite was this hideous shade of green called "Daisy the Pig" that literally looked like a heavy animal had stepped on my nails. I guess growing up is good in some ways because I definitely am thankful to have outgrown my love for that color!) Then my mom made us all an amazing dinner to close out the day:)

I also received an incredible gift yesterday. No, we didn't get to welcome our baby home on my birthday, but there is certainly evidence at our home that they are on their way because of the BABY FURNITURE in it! A precious family said we could have their baby furniture as their son had outgrown it, and they even delivered it to our house yesterday. (Lucy's bedroom set was pretty much all busted by the movers. The safety standards have also changed since she was born, so we weren't exactly sure what we were going to do for furniture for this baby.) I'm so overwhelmed by such an amazing gift--just so very thoughtful to allow us to have their furniture to use for our baby. I'm really just speechless over the whole thing. I can't wait to show you all the room all set up! (I'm not sharing gender on here yet though, so ya'll will have to wait for the time being:-)

And now we get to close the week out celebrating Father's Day. Sometimes this day is a bit hard for me, because I really miss my Daddy, but I am SO thankful I get to celebrate my husband on this day--he is just the most amazing daddy! He leads our family with love, strength, integrity, involvement...I could go on and on about the amazing man of God that he is! I'm hoping that we will soon be celebrating him being a daddy a second time by welcoming our baby home! They are certainly going to be blessed to call DH their Daddy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You're going to want to read this one...

I'm not exactly sure why, but I have been DREADING turning 30.  Maybe it's in part from all of the grey hairs that seem to be sprouting up all over my head, almost as if they're taunting me!  And then a few weeks ago (this is GROSS, so be prepared!), I took a sip from a straw and felt something very strange in my throat, gagged it up, and out came a FLY!  The song "There was an OLD LADY who swallowed a fly..." kept ringing through my ears.  (I did warn you; it's a gross story!)  I actually began the "preparations" for my 30th starting on my last birthday when I deemed it my "first annual 29th birthday," therefore making this year my "second annual 29th birthday."  So this year, I rode 29+1 miles on my bike on my birthday week to commemorate the occasion:)  I think what it really all boils down to, if I'm being completely honest, is that I really thought that my life would look a little different by this point. 

HOLD UP THOUGH!  I'm not saying I don't absolutely love my life!  I am madly in love with a husband who is madly in love with me, we have a BEAUTIFUL little girl who lights up our lives in so many ways, we live in such a great town full of loving people and serve in a church that we are so blessed to be a part of.  I have amazing extended family (my momma is truly my best friend!), we live in a beautiful home that I love, I have time to spend on my hobbies and friends that share in the love of those hobbies.  I have an amazing support system of friends and mentors in my life...really, the list could just go on and on.! 

What I meant by the previous statement though is that I think I thought by the time I turned 29 again *smiles* that I would have accomplished a few more things I had set out to do in my life.  With each passing year, I realize my childhood dream of portraying Little Ride Riding Hood in Into the Woods just isn't going to be a possibility with all of the grey that is now adorning my once dark brown locks.  (This may seem like a silly goal for some, but it was honestly on my bucket list.)  And, as a child dreaming of their future, I think I envisioned myself with many more children by the time I reached this age.  So as 30 draws closer and closer, I think I've realized those dreams and goals are falling further and further behind.

So, about a year ago when I began struggling over the issue of age (and yes, I know 30 really isn't that old!  For some reason, it's just been a big number for me to think about.), the Lord gave me this verse (I may have shared it on here before.):

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

 You see, I had to come to a point where I trusted in God enough to do something with my hopes and dreams.  Hopes and dreams are something we often cling to with everything we've got, but when we hold on tightly to something and are unwilling to let it go, it is never free to really turn into anything more than just a hope and a dream.  We have to be willing to let it go so God can do something with it--we have to TRUST in Him.  Bottom line: Do I trust God?  I want that answer to be a wholehearted YES!!  And I want to truly believe that placing my hope in Jesus will never disappoint me.  He has proved His faithfulness so many times in my life-why would I doubt Him now?

So, that brings me to last Thursday.  I've been reading through Genesis, and my reading for that day "just happened" to be chapter 41.  When I came to verse 46, I just stopped and started bawling.  This is what it says:

"Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharoh the Kind of Egypt..."

I think I talked about Joseph in a previous post, but lets recap: Remember the boy who had these grand dreams that the Lord had given him?  Well, before God brought those dreams to fulfillment, Joseph went through YEARS of torment, turmoil, and unfulfillment.  But then, when he turned 30, it was the start of those dreams finally being brought to life. 

So why did this bring me to tears?  Because the day that I read that, last Thursday, June 7th, was the day that we drove to meet our baby's birthmother.


I know ya'll want details, but I will save those for the next post:)  I just wanted to share our AMAZING news with you guys though!  We are THRILLED, GRATEFUL, and totally praising God for answering our heart's cry!  Please join us in praying for our precious, beautiful birthmother and her baby, and that all will go smoothly. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blue Skies...

I found myself feeling very guarded this week about the whole adoption process.  What if we get picked by a birthmom and then she changes her mind after the baby is born?  Of course, I want what is going to be best for the baby, and I know ultimately we are going to end up with the baby God has chosen to be a part of our family, so I've just been praying God would only place THE birthmother and baby in our lives that is supposed to be there.  Sometimes I think that seems kind of selfish, but I just feel like God is calling me to be bold in my requests, so I'm pouring my heart out to Him but while I'm trusting that He will prepare our hearts to grieve or rejoice.

A very dear friend reminded me yesterday that I've just got to have faith.  Seems simple, but my stubborn flesh often puts up a fight towards such a simple task.  This friend showed up at my door yesterday afternoon with this shirt for me to remind me of that truth.  I'm sporting it proudly today, remembering that God has called me to have faith that He IS going before us and preparing His perfect path for our family!

Then, last night, I saw this verse posted on FB:

Romans 15:13
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Not only was God reminding me to put my faith in Him, but He was also reminding me again that it is OK for me to hope and He WANTS me to hope!  So Romans 15:13 is what I'm praying continually today-for God to fill me with such joy and peace as a result of trusting in Him that my hope will just OVERFLOW as I experience HIS power.  I have faith that He WILL do what He has promised, and I'm clinging to that today!


As I went to title this post before submitting it, I typed in "Faith and Hope..." which immediately brought my mind to the old song by Point of Grace "Faith, Hope and Love."  (My mind works like a jukebox except it doesn't require the quarter--give me a title and I start singing something! LOL:)  I thought about posting the lyrics to that particular song, but as I was looking them up I came across another POG song entitled, "Blue Skies."  Wow!  These lyrics brought such encouragement to me right where I'm at, so I want to close today's post with sharing them with you:

Blue Skies (Point of Grace)
On days of gray
When doubt clouds my view
It's so hard to see past my fears
My strength seems to fade
And it's all I can do
To hold on, 'til the light reappears
Still, I believe though some rain's bound to fall
That you're here next to me
And you're over it all

Lord, the sky's still blue
For my hope is in you
You're my joy
You're the dream that's still alive
Like the wind at my back
And the sun on my face
You are life
You're grace
You are blue skies
You're my blue skies

When nights are long
Seems the dark has no end
Still we walk on in light of the truth
For waiting beyond
Where the morning begins
Is the dawn, and you're mercy anew
Oh, to believe we're alive in you're love
There is so much to see
If we keep looking up

(Repeat Chorus)

You fill the heavens with hope and a higher love
A picture, a promise for life

(Repeat Chorus) 

Monday, June 4, 2012


I had a sweet conversation with my Lucy-bug last week.  She was asking why Gary and Walter (our cats) like to eat bugs.  I told her that God made them that way, and it's good that they eat them because one, we don't like them and two, we don't want there to be so many that they take over (there's enough of them here right now as it is to feel like we're in a plague!)  That conversation led me into asking Lucy if she knew why God made her, and I went on to explain that the reason we were created is to bring glory to God.  I explained how one way we bring glory to God is through our talents.  We talked about how her Sunday School teacher has been given the gift of teaching, so her teaching Sunday School brings glory to God.  We talked about how Daddy plays the guitar and sings and that also brings glory to God.  And I told her how Mommy loves to play the piano at church and that brings glory to God.  I've thought about that conversation many times in the past several days, and it continued running through my head as I had my quiet time this morning.  One of the things I read in My Utmost for His Highest  was this:

"We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing-that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future.  But as we grow in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment."

You see, I think we often get a mixed up in the simplicity of our calling.  In our society, it's easy to associate "glory" with something "big."  We think of a famous singer or actor/actress and the huge audience of people they have following them and giving "glory" towards them, so maybe we begin to associate bringing glory to God with having to do something "big" and grand and with a bunch of people around.  And when we feel like God has placed a calling in our lives, we may find ourselves always waiting for when that "big moment" is going to happen when He can really use us, because we forget that God is great enough to be glorified in ANY way, and that He does not measure things the way we do in this world.  What I have to ask myself is this: Am I seeking to glorify God or to find glory from man? 

So, as I thought over all of these things, I began to think of my love for music and how I'm getting to lead the VBS music at our church this week.  No lie, I absolutely LOVE leading VBS music!  I love teaching kids how to worship Jesus through song, and I always have a blast wearing the costumes and dancing up on stage being silly.  (I guess it's part of the musical theatre lover in me.:)  You see, I felt the Lord place a calling on my life back when I was in junior high, and for years I kept waiting for Him to do that "big" thing in my life where I would finally be able to really fulfill my purpose and bring Him glory.  But through the past few years He's been teaching me that none of that really matters, because my purpose in life is solely to bring God glory--it's up to Him how He allows me to do that and how He chooses to do that in me, but my fulfillment is found in using my talents for Him, no matter in what capacity.  I may never get to be the lead in a musical on a big stage (my dream is to be in Into the Woods); I may never get to lead worship for large youth rallies traveling across the United States (a dream DH and I have talked about since we met); but I can still bring glory to God, and He is giving me the opportunity to do that this very week in a small town in West Texas doing something I love: leading music for VBS.

It was seriously so amazing to see over 100 kids tonight jumping up and down and throwing their arms in the air in abandon tonight as they exclaimed last night's song: 

You are remarkable!  
Your works are wonderful!  
I worship you my God, my Maker.  
You are remarkable!  
You are incredible!  
I stand in awe because You are remarkable! 

That song went along with last night's theme: nothing is too difficult for God.  Tonight's theme kind of went along the same lines: if God is for us who can be against us?  VBS is, of course, tailored to minister to the kids, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that these songs are also ministering to where we are at in our adoption process.  As I popped in the DVD this morning to go over the choreography for tonight, the lyrics took on such a personal meaning for me:

If God holds my days in His hands
If God has power over my circumstance
If God knows the plans He has for me
Why should I fear?
Why should I worry?

If God is for me who can be against me?
If God is for me who can be against me?
Whatever happens I know

I trust He is in control
If God is for me who can be against me?
No matter what challenge we may be facing in life, we can trust in the One who has gone before us.  Oh, how I need to be reminded of that truth daily as we go through this stage in our lives!  He hasn't forgotten me!  He is calling me to trust Him, to depend on Him, and to remember He is ultimately in control and going before us to prepare a way for us.  My prayer is that I will bring glory to Him in ALL things--not just through the loves He's given me in life, but also just in the way I live my life.  Even as we are in this time of waiting to become parents to another child, my prayer is that I will glorify God as I wait patiently on Him.  He is worthy and He is able, and I am SO, so very thankful!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pomp and Circumstance...

I love music.  I know this is no real shocker to most of you reading this, but just in case you didn't know:-)  However, I do have to confess there is one song that I've heard enough of for this year: Pomp and Circumstance.  It's like the classical version of "This is the song that never ends..." because literally, " it goes on and on..." lol:)  It's funny to me, because it's SUCH a short song and we use it as a processional for (often) HUNDREDS of students to walk into, one by one.  Wouldn't a longer song have been more appropriate?  Like maybe "Total Eclipse of the Heart" or something like that--it's at least 7 minutes long!  Well...OK, maybe that wouldn't be the best choice for an academic ceremony, but you get my point, right?;-)

At any rate, we have just left the month of May and entered into June which means we are surrounded by a land flowing with caps and gowns.  Yes, I poke fun at the never-ending processional, but Pomp and Circumstance signifies a very special and important milestone in life: graduation.  I'll never forget the feeling of walking across the stage to receive my college diploma...well, maybe I've forgotten how my feet felt because they were numb from being so cold outside!  (The difference between Illinois and Texas in May!)  Seriously though, it was a very special day for me.  I worked so hard to receive that degree--so many sleepless nights of studying, long hours of practicing, and stress-filled tests and performances--but as my shoes clicked across that graduation stage as I heard my name called, even the most difficult times I endured in college (and believe me, my college years were full of LOTS of drama!) became so very worth it all.  There was a sweetness that pushed its way through the bitterness and made everything worth it all.  God had allowed me to persevere; it was really an amazing moment for me.

So why do I bring all of that up on our adoption blog?  Well, as we were attending DH's cousin's high school graduation this past weekend (Chris-we are SO proud of the young man you've become and the way you strive to please God with your life! It was so special to be there to help you celebrate such a great accomplishment!) I found myself thinking of the parallels between graduation and adoption.  I know it's stretching things just a bit, but I'm finding that everything in life is starting to all mesh together these days (can you tell it's on my mind much?;-)  It takes a lot of time and energy to graduate from any stage in life.  Among other things, you face difficulties, make priorities in your time management, and anxiously wait for the day to come when it's all over.  And, when that day does arrives, all of that hard work is accounted for and you have something to show for it that you're very proud of.  Adoption is like that, too--We've faced difficulty in TTC, committed lots of our time to finishing paperwork, made the requirements a priority in our lives, and now we are anxiously awaiting the day when we will hold our bab(ies) in our arms and realize it was truly all worth the wait.  I truly just cannot wait for that moment!  In the mean time, it kind of feels like we're stuck in the processional of that "song that never ends," but I do know that eventually the last note will sound and we will "graduate" from this stage in our lives...  *smiles*  I can't even imagine what it's going to be like, but it's exciting to try:)  Just remind me to bring a copy of "Pomp and Circumstance" with me to the hospital when it does happen--maybe I'll have them play that over the loudspeaker at the hospital instead of Brahms's Lullaby!:-)

Worth the Wait
Such a long road lay ahead
Never thought this day would come and bring it to an end
But now hear you are
In my arms
So many tears I had cried
But now they're tears of happiness I can leave the pain behind
Because now here you are
In my arms

And you've filled our hearts with such hope
and our lives with such joy
You're the one that ours hearts were yearning for
And with every breath that you take
And every smile that you make
Please know that you were surely worth the wait
So welcome to our world...