Monday, December 17, 2012

Letting Go of What I Hold Most Dear...

I'll be posting about Gabriel's finalization once I have all of the pictures gathered.  It was an amazingly incredibly super special day though, for sure!  Be on the lookout for that post...

But for today, I wanted to share some thoughts with ya'll that I had this morning during my quiet time...

I attended a Family Variety Show last week that was put on by some dear friends of ours.  Their 5 year old twins recited part of Luke chapter 2 and it was seriously SO precious!  There's something about hearing sweet little voices quoting scriptures that just melts my hearts and makes me smile.  As I went to open my Bible this morning, I felt compelled to read over that familiar passage, and I'm so glad that I did!  I got to verse 19, and it just really stuck out to me:

"But Mary treasured up all of these things, pondering them in her heart."

As I looked back to see what "all of these things" was referring to, I went back to verse 11, where the angels proclaim to the shepherds that this baby who has been born is "the Saviour."  I couldn't help but wonder if maybe that's what Mary was pondering.  Perhaps she was looking at her baby boy and wondering what His future was going to entail being the "Saviour."

As I look at my own sweet baby boy, I can't help but wonder what his life will entail, too.  I wonder this about Lucy, too, of course, but with Gabriel there are some other unknowns added into the equation.  Since Gabriel was added into our family by the gift of adoption, he will experience certain questions and struggles as he grows older I am sure.  My mommy heart wants to protect him from all of these questions and possible hurts, but I know that I can't.  I wonder what his feelings and his questions will be as he begins to understand his beautiful story.  How will it effect him?  How will our relationship as a family be with his birth family as he gets older--will that become more difficult and will it be difficult for him?  What about for his birthmother--how will she be effected as he grows older?  So many questions that continue on and on in my head, but the same truth stands for them all:


As I kissed and hugged my baby girl as I dropped her off for school this morning, I had to fight the urge to focus on fearing for her life in light of the recent school tragedy.  I was reminded that she's really not mine--she's on loan to me by our Heavenly Father who has given DH and me the privilege of caring for her and guiding her through life.  No amount of worry or fear or caution will change the fact that God is ultimately in control and He is always caring for her and watching out for her and going before her.  
 My greatest defense strategy as a mom is not in worrying over my children or trying to keep them in a bubble and shield them from life.  No, my greatest defense as a mother is found in surrendered hands that are willing to let go of the most precious gifts I've been given and trusting them to my Saviour.  My greatest battles are fought (and won!) not by words or deeds but by calloused knees and worn pages in my Bible.  

I'm so thankful and humbled by the gift of being Lucy and Gabriel's mom, but I pray my focus as a mother would always be, first and foremost, on my God and Saviour!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Still on the journey, but not like before...

The house is so least for the moment anyway:)  Everyone is asleep...except me of course, but that's pretty typical:/ Tomorrow is just such a big day, and my mind won't shut down...

Since I started this blog, you've probably read many statements over the past several months that spoke of "another step in the journey" or something along those lines, and tomorrow it seems like we come to the culmination of each of those steps, because tomorrow (technically today since I'm up past midnight) we get to finalize Gabriel's adoption!  It's so crazy to look back on this past year and retrace each of those monumental steps...

So it would seem that now we are at the end of our journey, but now that we're here, it really seems like our journey has only just begun.  Perhaps this part of our adoption journey is coming to a close, but I don't think the road will ever come to a halt.  There will be new moments to experience as a family as we continue to wait for what God has in store for us...the only difference is that this time, we will be waiting as a family of FOUR, and we could not be any more thankful or blessed!

We are still on the journey
But it's not like before
For we started as three
And now we are four.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Tribute to the REAL heroes...

I’m so excited that by this time next week we will have Gabriel’s adoption finalized!  These past 5 months have FLOWN by, and while I never want to wish away time, I have to say I will be so happy once everything is official.  I was telling Lucy this morning how she was going to have to miss school one day next week.  Here’s how the conversation went...

Lucy: “Why?”
Me: “Because we have to go to court.  We are going to see the judge who is going to proclaim that Gabriel is officially a part of our family.”
(without a pause) Lucy: “But Gabriel already IS a part of our family!”

I can’t even tell you how much joy filled my heart at that very moment.  My mommy heart just overflowed to hear my daughter say those words...not because I haven’t seen the evidence that Lucy loves her baby brother and views him as her baby brother, but just to actually hear her say the words.  To her, it doesn’t matter that he didn’t grow inside of my belly, because Gabriel is HER brother that is a part of HER family.  I love that it doesn’t matter to her that is skin is darker than her or that he doesn’t look just like her.  In each of our hearts, we know that Gabriel is the baby boy GOD chose to be a part of our family, and no one else could ever fill that role in our family.

It’s interesting to me to hear people’s response to Gabriel’s adoption.  Just this week, I had someone at a restaurant asking me questions about Gabriel. “He’s such a big baby!  Was his daddy a big baby, too?”  Well, no, his daddy was a premie!  OR, “Just look at all of that hair!  Does his daddy or did you have a lot of hair like that when ya’ll were babies?”  Well, no, not at all!  I finally told the lady, “Well, no, his daddy wasn’t a big baby, and no neither of us had quite that much hair, but that’s because we actually adopted him.”  I always hesitate to tell people that Gabriel is adopted.  NOT because I’m ashamed of it--I love the fact that he is adopted!  And I love getting to talk about adoption.  But, I usually hesitate to bring it up because a passing conversation with a stranger gets a general response from them that goes something like this, “Oh my goodness that is just SO wonderful.  What an amazing thing you have done.  What a blessing for that boy that you would do that for him.”  I am SO proud of the fact that Gabriel is adopted...but NOT because that makes me into some kind of hero.  I’m proud of the fact that he is adopted because of how blessed I’ve been to see God’s hand guide our family down HIS perfect path for us.  And while yes, DH and I had to be willing to choose adoption, I don’t feel like I need to be rewarded or praised for that decision, because it’s the amazing path that God chose FOR our family, and we are so humbled by that.  I do pray that Gabriel’s life will be blessed by having us as his parents, but WE are the ones that have truly been so blessed.

Gabriel’s birthmom loved him so much that she made the most selfless decision anyone could make--SHE is the hero!
My dear friend who told me about our adoption agency--SHE is the hero!
Our kids playing together the night Kursten told me about Christian Homes
 All of the people at Christian Homes who gave of their time and talents to make our adoption happen--THEY are the heroes!

Our caseworker, Margaret and us at our last post-placement visit
All of you who purchased a CD...
My solo piano album fundraiser

 or a T-shirt...
our family wearing the fundraiseer shirts DH designed for ours and the Gruben's adoptions

or came to or purchased from the Lucy Loops open house that my precious friend threw for us to fundraise,  or gave sacrificially to help us bring our son home--YOU are the heroes!
Some of my Lucy Loops "Bows with a Twist" from the party Jennifer W had for us

And all of your who prayed right alongside us and encouraged us each step of this journey--YOU are the heroes! 

DH and I do not want to be placed on some lofty platform where we are viewed as saints--we are on the receiving end of the work done by so many others, and we are humbled, grateful, and SO so so very blessed beyond measure! 

So, as we look forward to the consummation of Gabriel’s adoption, please know even if you can’t be there in person (although know that you ARE most certainly invited!  Let me know if you want information on it!) that you will be there with us in our hearts, for God has worked through YOU to make this journey possible for US.  You have helped us become a family--a REAL family--and we are forever grateful to you!