"All Things"

An adoptive mom who loves Christ, family, running, fitness, and all things health related.

Archive for the tag “Adoption”

When the Lord meets you right where you are.

Today my good friend, Pam, and I went to the Priscilla Shirer Simulcast at Life Church in Allentown. Pam and I used Priscilla Shirer’s book, The Resolution for Women, to have a Bible Study throughout this school year.  The book and the studies have blessed Pam and I so much and it has been such a joy to grow in Christ with my dear friend.  The Lord has not only blessed us individually during this year, but also blessed our friendship so much.  I am so happy that I have this sister in Christ to journey through life with.

We had planned to attend this simulcast since we heard about it back in October.  I remember thinking that I probably would not be able to go because I figured that I would be traveling or just have gotten home with my babies.  Well, here we are- still waiting.  In fact, Monday marks 10 months at #1 on the sibling list. Yeesh.

I had a long week and was feeling emotionally run down and exhausted this morning. I woke up in a little bit of a funk and prayed that the Lord would speak to me during the simulcast, that He would reveal what He wanted me to hear, that He would meet us there and bless us.

God showed up in a BIG way today.  The simulcast was amazing.  I’m talking hair stand on the back of your neck- wanna shout with joy- feel I am the only one in the room with the Lord- type of amazing.  I am always so blown away by how God can take a broken spirit and bless it; how He can give me strength when I feel like I have none left; and how He can speak to everyone, in different situations, so personally and beautifully.  Our God is amazing.

During one part of the event Priscilla Shirer had a special prayer time where she devoted one minute of prayer to different situations.  For example, she began by praying for marriages.  First,  she asked anyone who has experienced a divine blessing in their marriage to stand up as a witness for what He can do.  Then, anyone needing prayer for their marriage raised their hand and we spent a minute all praying for people’s marriages. This was such a neat way to touch on a variety of prayer requests and to connect to other women.

I loved praying for different needs: for addiction, for financial concerns, for healing.  So beautiful.

Then it happened.

Priscilla said, “and now I want to pray for the women whose hearts are aching for a baby.”

My heart started to race and my head whipped up. Seriously?

She continued, “for those who are experiencing infertility, that the Lord would work a miracle in their body….and for those who the Lord has called to adopt….”

Now I was crying.

“…that the Lord will match these women with their children.” And then- I promise you this is true- she said, “I got a tweet from a woman who is in the process of adopting.  She has waited for a long time to see her children’s faces and would like prayer that the Lord will reveal those faces to her soon.  She is adopting from Ethiopia.”

Pam turned to me and said, “did you tweet?!?!?”

Nope. I don’t even have a twitter.

Wow.  Seriously, wow. Not only did God meet me right where I was today, He spoke to me and let me know that He hears me, that He’s working, and that He will complete what He has started in my life.

Pam and I stood together, hands in the air, hugging and crying, as thousands of women prayed for infertility and adoptions.

It was a divine moment.

The Lord met me right where I was.

This day was blessed for sure.  I asked the Lord to speak to me, and He did.  He always does.

The actual message of the simulcast deserves its own post- it was amazing. I loved it so much.

I was blown away with the whole event, but absolutely stunned and so so so blessed by the outpouring of love from our father.  I cannot believe that she not only prayed for adoptions, but for a woman waiting to meet her children from Ethiopia.  I believe God sent that tweet especially for me.  He was saying,

“I know, Heidi.  I am here, I am working.  You just keep on trusting me, girl, because I am going to bless you in ways you never ever believed possible.  Don’t give up.  I got you and your babies right where I want you- and that is in the palm of my hand.  I will never, ever let you go.  You do not have to worry about your babies because guess what? They were my children long before they were yours and I love them completely.  I will take care of them, comfort them, love them when you can’t. They are my chosen and dearly beloved.  I have big plans for them and I will carry them, just as I have carried you, all the days of their lives. And, one more thing, Heidi.  When I do it- when I reveal my plan to everyone- there will be no way to explain it except that it came from me.  Your story- your journey- your weakness- it is all to display my glory. They are coming.”

Bless it, Lord.  You are amazing.

Wishing

My mom mom always used to say, “Don’t wish your life away”.  When I heard this I would always wonder what she meant.  Now that I am older, I totally understand what she was telling me.  I am so guilty of “wishing my life away”; I am always thinking about my next step.  When I was in college, it was wishing to be done school to and be a teacher.  When we lived in our apartment, I wished to be a homeowner.  Now that I am a homeowner, I wish for a bigger house.  

Obviously, my biggest wish is to be a mom.  Today marks 30 months on the waiting list for our baby(ies).  30 months of waiting, praying, WISHING.  A lot of these past 30 months have been a fog.  It is so hard for me to live in the moment when I am wishing and praying so hard for our baby(ies).  

What I know, however, is that life does not stop just because I am wishing.  Life goes on. As it goes on, I can either enjoy life or I can be so consumed with praying for tomorrow that I miss out on the many blessings of today.

I don’t want to do this- because today is blessed. It is. So blessed.

God always meets me right where I am. Always.  Even when I fail Him, He is faithful.

I have a husband who loves me.  Hard.  My Bri is what fairytales are made of. Even after 13 years together, he makes me feel like a princess each and every day.  Really. Yesterday he bought me my favorite flowers (our wedding flowers) just because.  

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Beautiful

I have a mama who walks every road that I am on right beside me.  My mom is the definition of love.  Her heart and mine are interwoven so intricately- she laughs, cries, and prays with me, always.  

I have the most fantastic family.  We have been through so much together, and we love each other in a way that defies explanation. My siblings are my best friends and I am convinced that my nieces and nephews are tiny glimpses of heaven.

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I have the best friends that encourage me, laugh with me, cry with me, and help me to get through the day. I do not have a TON of friends- but I have a couple of really, really, really close friends that are so close to me I consider them a part of my family.  

We belong to a wonderful church with so many opportunities to grow and serve.

We are healthy and have the ability to do crazy things- like run a marathon!

I am blessed beyond measure.

As I wait for the phone to ring, for my arms to be full- I hope I can remember that my arms are, in fact, not empty.  As I wait for tomorrow, I pray that I can be content with today.  

Thank you, mom-mom, for giving me the advice to not wish my life away.  I hope that I can live my life in a way that would make you proud and to enjoy the moment….each and everyday.

 

Turn it into praise

We celebrated the beginning of Holy Week last night with an “Evening of Praise” at our church.  It was so wonderful.  Praise and worship is my favorite part of our church service- so to have an entire service devoted to singing was a fairytale.

I went to the service with a heavy heart.  We are in our 29th month waiting on our blessing(s) from Ethiopia, and this week marks 9 months at #1 on the sibling list.

9 months at #1.

9 months of waiting for the phone to ring every.blessed. day.

9 months of waking up with a hopeful heart thinking, “maybe today,” and going to bed- disappointed- praying, “please let it be tomorrow.”

9 months of obsessively keeping the phone at my side, checking the volume, checking the service- making sure that I will hear it ring.

It has been an emotionally exhausting 9 months.

To say that I am ready for the phone to ring would be the understatement of the year.  As I write this, I struggle to find the words to fully explain how I am feeling. For those that know me, you know that I can be private with my struggles.  I wrote about this in my post on Taking the Noodle.  I am working on this…

I prayed that the Lord would speak to me last night, and He did.  What I realized is that every negative emotion, thought, feeling- all stem from fear.  I am afraid that I can’t wait any longer, that I will never be a mom, that my children are scared, lonely, hungry, alone…..I could go on and on. Yes, I am afraid.

I will NOT let this fear define me.  I will not.

Standing in church, singing to the Lord, I decided last night to take my fear, my doubt, my weariness, and turn it into praise.

I was searching for the right words, and came up with this:

When my strength has failed me and I don’t know how to pray;

I hold onto your truth and your mercy for each day.  

When my soul feels anguished and I feel I can’t go on;

your mighty hand is holding me- for when I am weak, you’re strong.  

When I feel alone and scared for what I face;

your loving spirit engulfs me, covering me in your grace.

Yes, your word is true- a strong anchor for my soul;

Your love and mercy surround me- it’s you that makes me whole.

So when my journey scares me and my life feels like a maze;

 I will take my fear and turn it into praise.

I praise God for his perfect timing, for his goodness, and for our journey.  29 months on the list- 9 months at #1 on the sibling list- are all necessary to give us the PERFECT children that God has already placed in our family.

I can’t wait to tell my kids how much I love them.

A Jolly Holly Day

Today was a great day. I woke up around 5:30, had some breakfast, and was out the door to run by 6:15.

It was glorious.

I love running as the sun is coming up, and it is always fun to watch my neighborhood wake up and come to life as I run.  My neighborhood is super hilly, so it adds a little bit of a challenge to my runs.  I finished 9 miles in 1:22:10 and I was in the door before 8 am. Love it.

Afterwards I went to meet my sister to pick up Holly.  We had such a fun day with her!! I took her to a jewelry party at my friends house for about an hour. She was so good and I loved showing her off 🙂  After the party we spent the rest of the day at home- playing and snuggling.

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Having fun with Uncle Beek!

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I love her perfect posture

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Eating lunch

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Can I eat lunch with her everyday?

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“Aunt Heidi- enough with the pictures.”

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My failed attempt at getting us both in a shot!

As I wait for my baby(ies), it blesses my heart so much to be able to spend time with my nieces and nephews.  They are like a little dose of heaven and remind me that my time will come.  I am so lucky to have their little faces to kiss!! 🙂

My mom surprised me this afternoon with a little Easter present for Bella and her brother or sister.

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Adorable

My mom said that the flower represents how our babies are sprouted in our heart. Seriously so sweet.  My mom gets me. I love that she is always thinking of our babies and encourages me each and every day. Clearly, my mom is the best.

We topped off a great day with a great dinner.

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Tomato pie!

Day 1 of my 9 day break= a tough one to beat!

What was awesome about your Saturday?

28 months and good news

Today marks 28 months on the waiting list.  Usually I kinda dread the 11th of the month-but try to remember what my sister, Kristianna once told me- I am not one month farther, but one closer to my baby(ies)- hooray!!

I woke up this morning with to an email update from our agency.  The update was to inform us that a region of Ethiopia, Tigray, has recently re-opened for adoptions.  This region was placed on hold months ago and we have been praying boldly for the Lord to open it up.

Well, He did it.  🙂

Talk about an answer to prayer! Hallelujah!

I have goosebumps thinking about this news- thinking of all the children that will now be able to be matched in families-thinking of our babies and getting that call.

Seriously, that call.

The heavens will open with the joy that will surround us.

I can’t even imagine what I will do, how I will act.  It will be surreal.

Like I say every night, maybe tomorrow….

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Last night was a glorious night.  My mom and I went for a nice walk around the neighborhood.  It was nice to get out and enjoy the weather and to talk with my mama.

For dinner, I made vodka sauce with vegetables and ground turkey.

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I made this with spaghetti squash, which is one of my favorites.  I love the flavor of the vegetable and the fact that I can enjoy a pasta dish without all the calories of the actual pasta.  I love to have my sauce right in the squash- like a spaghetti squash boat.

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Sprinkle a little cheese on top & enjoy 🙂 This dinner was so good and so filling!

This morning I woke up and did my 1 mile + Jillian Yoga Meltdown.  I love starting my day off with yoga; it is so peaceful.

I really felt the daylight savings hour this afternoon and evening because I am so ready for bed! Going to enjoy an early bedtime tonight.

I will be going to bed with a smile on my face.  Praying that we do not see 29 months.  Praying that this is OUR MONTH! 🙂

Take the Noodle

Many people know that our journey to parenthood has been blessed, beautiful, and full of growth.  However, our journey has also been hard. And, when I say hard, I don’t mean the typical “tests of faith” and “obstacles to overcome” hard.  I’m talking gut-wrenching, worst-case-scenario happening, dark depression kind of hard.

Hard.

If you know me well, however, you probably don’t hear me talk about this very often.  I am pretty head-strong, and like to stay positive.  In the past 4 years that I have been aching for a baby, I have become really good at smiling, staying positive, and not sharing my grief with too many.  I tend to internalize.  God has given me strength that I did not know I could ever have.  I have endured. I have been blessed, and I am so grateful for that.

Through it all, I have carried my burden {mostly} privately.  Then, last Tuesday I had a really hard day. I broke down, I shared, I grieved.  I reached out to those around me and felt the strength and prayers of the people that love us. We are blessed with the most incredible support structure that has loved us, prayed for us, and encouraged us so much these past 4 years.

I spent my entire commute home on the phone with my mom, crying.  I spent the night with my sister and husband, prayed, and went to bed early.  I woke up early on Wednesday and ran 6 miles- flushing it all out- praying and praising the Lord.

And, then, on Wednesday morning, I heard the Lord speak to me; I had one of those “aha moments.”

I envision myself in the deep end of a huge pool- I have been in this pool for 4 years, treading water.  I find comfort in my treading because I know that God is my lifeguard- He is watching me and He will not let me sink.

He will not let me sink.

So, I tell myself, “just keep swimming.” I just have to keep kicking, keep going, keep pushing forward.

Just keep swimming.

I am in a giant pool, treading water.  For the past 4 years, people that love me have been surrounding me, encouraging me, loving me, and rooting for me- all with pool noodles.  These people have said, “Here, Heidi, take my noodle so you can rest.”

With a smile, I have resisted taking these noodles.  I felt like with God watching me, I could keep going.  I don’t need someone else’s noodle.  I can do it.  I can do it.  I am doing it.  Just keep swimming.

Besides, if I took someone else’s noodle, then they would have to tread water for a while, as I rested, and I would feel bad about that.  Nope, I thought, “I can do it- I am tough.”

Until Tuesday, when I couldn’t. I felt like I was sinking. As I reflected on this I heard God saying to me,

“Heidi: Take the noodle.”

Take the noodle? Rest and let someone else carry my burden for me? Float for a while?

So, this week, I took the noodle.  I finally surrendered to my own stubbornness and realized that I do not have to do it all.  God does not expect me to swim alone. He does not want me to swim alone. He has sent me all these people that love me- all these people that want to give me their noodle- that want to help me.  And, just because I accept the noodle does not mean that I am weak or that I am giving up.

As I float, I realize that:

It is okay to feel tired of praying and to allow other people to pray for me and for my babies.

I do not have to have it together at all times.

I can still glorify God while admitting that I am having a hard time.  In fact, I glorify God by admitting that although I am having a hard time, He is pulling me through and I trust Him completely.

It is okay to cry in front of others.

It is okay to question, be angry, and get frustrated.

It is okay to let other people do things for me.

It is okay to be weak.

As I float, I think about one of my favorite verses:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

So, I took the noodle and I am floating; floating on the noodles of the people that love me.  As I float, I am looking up at my Savior, my lifeguard- sitting on His throne, watching me.  I feel like the Lord is smiling at me- happy that I am finally accepting the help that He has been sending me all along. 

I float and I smile back, thanking the Lord for blessing me with so many people (and their noodles), thanking Him for giving me the ability and strength to keep swimming, and thanking Him for placing me in this deep water.

If it weren’t for the deep end of this pool I am in, I would not have had the closeness that I have felt to the Lord.  When I was in the shallow end, I knew that the Lord was there-but, since I could stand on my own, I was not 100% dependent on Him.  In my deep end, I can’t stand- the water is deep, and I grow tired of swimming.

However, as I float on my back- for the first time since I jumped into this deep end- I am able to fix my eyes on my lifeguard.  With other people’s noodles, I am able to lay on my back and just focus on looking into the eyes of my Savior.  As I look at Him, I see Him give me a wink.  He is watching me, He is rescuing me, every.single.blessed.day.

He rescues me.

And, in His wink, He is telling me that shallow waters are just ahead.  He is going to do it.  He is going to deliver me from this deep end.  He is going to send me my babies.

And, when He does, may He be glorified- my Savior and Lifeguard.

#8

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Our chalkboard backsplash to record our numbers!

Yay!! We got word today that we moved down one spot on the girl’s list to #8!! The #1 family received their referral for a 5 month old.  I am so over the moon happy for this family and for the fact that this little 5 month old sweetie how has a family.  Praise the Lord!

Each number drop represents being one step closer to my baby(ies).  One spot closer to the child(ren) that the Lord has planned for me.  Praise Him!  I am praying that this is the beginning of a flood of referrals, including ours.

Yesterday, the wait was really getting to me.  My sweet sister, Kristianna, sent me this email:

Just take a deep breath and keep imagining the finish line, baby Bella smiling up at you as you hold her close, her little baby giggles as you kiss her chubby little neck. You are going to make Bella feel so special one day when she realizes how much heartache you endured making sure you waited for HER, and no one else. Through all these emotions, your love for her never wavers and even though these past 3 years have been hell, they have been worth it!

 

I hope my words are comforting and I wish they could heal you completely. But unfortunately there is only one little girl (and maybe her brother/sister) that can do that. Praying so hard you are united this week!

 

Love you!

Remember when I wrote about words yesterday? Yeah, this is what I was talking about.  My mom, sisters, and friends have picked me up, reminded me of God’s strength, and have helped me to keep on going.

Having my numbers drop today after such a hard day yesterday was like getting a deep breath from God.  When the wait feels unbearable, it feels hard to breathe.  Seeing movement is like a breath of fresh air.  I can do this. I can keep going. I can do ALL things 🙂

Let’s keep the good news coming!!

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Last night I made turkey and gravy sandwiches for dinner. I had mine without a roll and paired it with veggies and sweet potato patties.  My mom found the sweet potato patties in the freezer section.  They are 60 calories each and SO good!

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This morning I got up at 3:55 so that I could get in 6 miles before work.  I ran 6 strong miles and felt great.  I love being done my workout before the sun (and most people) are up!

After, I had my usual oatmeal-beefed up with an apple.

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Apple, banana, and blueberries. So good!!

Lunch was leftover chicken in my crock pot and a salad.

Tonight Beeker and I are going on a little date to the diner before Church youth group! I think I am going to have breakfast for dinner! 🙂

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