Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Being the Girl I hated

Yesterday I had my weekly OB appointment. The last few visit feel like an out of body experience for me and yesterday topped them all. As I sat their waiting to be called back I sat next to a young 19 year old girl who ended up sharing with me her struggle with endometriosis. They are talking about doing a complete hysterectomy on her at her young age, a decision that will impact her life forever. I can't even imagine.

Then my name got called and I walked back and did the routine checks. The nurse looked at me and said "Beth you are picture perfect..." Oh my, words I have never really heard before, not even with Ty. As I turned to leave I glanced behind me where they do their blood testing, and there before my eyes sat a young girl crying with her husband. She caught my eyes and I saw her glance at my stomach and quickly look away. My heart dropped...I knew all to well what she was facing.

I stood up to leave and tried hard to hide my belly and walk as quickly as I could because I knew in that moment I was a girl she hated. And I totally understand and receive those emotions from her, she has every right...

I remember the day we found out about our molar pregnancy, all I wanted to do was get out of that office, the office that now held all my fears, all my anger, all my sadness... and yet there I had to sit across from a very pregnant lady who was getting the news that she was "picture perfect..." while I got the news that my baby was no longer. I hated her in that moment. I did not care what her story was, or the journey she was on, all I knew is that she had what I desperately wanted and I did not understand why her and not me.

Now years later I sit on the side that I spent so much time hating. I hated the birth announcements, I hated the pregnancy news, I hated baby showers and baby departments at stores. I avoided pregnant bellies like they were the plague, and I left any conversation that had to do with babies...and now here I sit...on the other side.

I have said it before but because of my experiences I have been robbed me of my innocents. Now as I sit on the other side I am forever grateful that the Lord has granted me with this gift, yes gift, because in that moment for that young woman crying I could pray for her, sympathize with her, and do everything I could to stay clear of her so that I did not in force more pain.

I find myself doing this always. When I am out shopping I notice the women who look away...and I embrace that, I don't take offense, I notice and pray for them.

I don't know friends why I sit on the other side now, I don't know, but I am humbled beyond words. I can promise you though that I remember feeling and honestly really believing that a normal pregnancy was never going to happen to me...no not me... But God is a big God, with Big plans and I believe He really does grant us with our hearts desires. So friend, if you are on the other side looking at me thinking "that will never be me..." please know I remember and I am desperately praying you onto this side...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Joy and Sorrow

Last night we attended a beautiful wedding. It was such a honor to be apart of this particular wedding, watching this sweet couple unite. The young brides journey has touched and impacted lives around her, I am not sure she is even aware of. She is a sister, a friend, a daughter and a birthmom. She is the birthmom to the daughter of a very close and dear friend of mine. I couldn't help but get emotional when I would see the two women talk and interact...God is in the midst of every detail and it is amazing to see how far he has brought this young woman and her journey. I was surrounded by joy. My heart overflowed with joy, my spirit was singing praises as I watched this couple celebrate, or as I captured a few candid pictures for them. It was wonderful.

I left the wedding and headed home, took a bath and crawled into bed the joy stepped aside and sorrow filled my heart as I knew what today would bring for another dear friend.

On January 8, 2010 a little boy took his first breath in heavens presence. He was born into this world sleeping. My heart aches for this precious couple. I have watched the dad grow into a man after Gods heart. From 10th grade on, I have seen this young man be captivated by Gods abundant love...Although our journeys have not crossed in many years he is one I enjoy keeping up with on Facebook. Watching his journey continue to unfold has brought such moments of praise in my life. I knew he and his wife were expecting and I also knew we were very close in our due dates. I would occasionally hop onto his profile to see if the sweet baby boy had entered into the world. As her due date came and went, my anticipation grew...until a few comments were posted on his wall and I instantly knew...and my heart begin grieving for this couple.

Today they will bury their first born...sorrow, such heavy sorrow. And here as I type this out I am pregnant, with a son...my joy, their sorrow. Oh Lord we long for your return. Every time I feel sweet baby Karsten kick and move I pray for this family, every time I feel pain or discomfort, I pray for this family.

The sorrow that surrounds my love ones right now takes my breath away. It really does make me cry out to the Lord for His sweet return. Until then all I can do is pray Gods peace over these families who are grieving in ways I can't imagine. My dearest friends Dan and Wendy grieving the loss of their son of 22 years, my sweet friend grieving the loss of the son who never took a breath, my dear wonderful girl friends grieving the loss of their angel babies...the list seems to overwhelming...

Yet, there is joy, I will never understand how the two walk hand in hand but they do. Joy and sorrow...only a few steps away, never far from one another. This season of Christmas has meant more to me then any of the seasons past. I can't explain to you my heart to share the HOPE and JOY of Christ to everyone who will turn a listening ear. This season we all need joy for everyone of us has or is experiencing sorrow, the joy my friends is in the birth of our Savior. We can rejoice, for Christ is born, and with Christ comes hope, healing, peace, comfort, and...Joy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Writing Again...

I am so ready to write again. I still find it so interesting that through the grief of losing Daniel all I could really do is be silent. I still find myself heavy with grief that takes my breath away- I just miss him. I am still praying that God would release words to write Daniels story. When I think about writing it my heart pounds and my mind races, to me this means the time is not right. I know God will open that door to my heart with words that will only be from Him...I don't want to move a moment to quickly.

So I need to just catch up on the ends and outs of life...

I have 3 glorious weeks and 4 days until baby Karsten enters this world. Am I ready? Physically...YES!!! Emotionally....hmmm, he can stay in there as long as he likes! I am excited to meet this little man, and I will miss his movements and dancing. I will miss the pregnant belly, but I think my boys (especially Jaden) will be thankful they can crawl up in mommy's lap a little better :). Overall this pregnancy has been nothing but a blessing with very few hiccups. I am forever grateful and thankful every time I enter the ob- the place that was filled with pain and frustration that is now filled with joy and excitement. I am not sure why God has blessed me so and all I can do is thank Him over and over again.

I am really enjoying the Christmas season this year. Something about little kids that just makes it magical. We are not focusing on Santa at all with the boys, we figure we will see where they personally go with it, but we are not making a big deal about him. We are however trying hard to really teach them the celebration of Jesus birthday. We proudly hung Jesus birthday banner in Jaden's room and we love to pull out their nativity scene and play with it. We sing happy birthday and give baby Jesus lots of Kisses. We are also doing an Advent Calendar with them this year...I love starting these traditions that I pray impact their lives forever.

We decided to celebrate Ty's birthday a little early, this Saturday. I knew I would not be able to do much right after Karsten is born and this way he gets a celebration. So this Saturday we are having just a few people over to help us throw a very small but very special 2nd birthday for Ty! This is better suited for Ty anyway- he is not much for big crowds or lots of people...although he is doing so much better in this area! Ty is really starting to talk more too, it also warms my heart to see him follow his brother around and he absolutely loves to do anything that Jaden is doing!

Jaden is talking up a storm and communicating in ways that amaze us. There are so many times we look at each other and say "did you teach him that?" to which we both reply "nope." Ahh, thanks Nick Jr. for teaching my child right now. Yup, Nick Jr. is a staple in my home, especially when we are all sick and it is painful for me to move. I keep reminding myself that these months and days are just a season, it will not be like this forever... Anyway, my favorite phrases right now that Jaden says are "Momma I Loooooove you!" and "Momma, look at that..." or "Momma where is T-rex? Oh right there..." And yes it is a clear as that, yet in his very cute little voice!

To say I am beyond blessed really does not describe how I truly feel. I am excited to write more hopefully. God has laid a few new things to really share about, but again when the time is right. For now I must go check on two quiet little boys, which means they are into something!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sitting in the Silence

I have still been struggling to write. I just don't have the words to say what my heart is crying out. This grief of missing Daniel is different then any other grief I have experienced. It is not like the loss of the babies and in some ways it is a greater, deeper pain. I think because every time I hurt I think about what Dan and Wendy (Daniel's parents) are experiencing, losing a son of almost 22 years. When I experienced the loss of the pregnancies it was a personal grief to Kevin and I, this grief of Daniel is a wave that runs deep in the hearts of many people- not just me.
It's just so different.

I think one of the reasons I struggle writing is because I am not ready to move beyond to mundane things. I could update the blog about the boys, about things going on in my personal life outside of the grief of Daniel- but to me this feels like moving on...I want to sit in this moment of deep feeling as long as I can...I am not ready for life to be normal- will there ever be a normal with out my Daniel boy?

I am praying that God would grant me the words to write Daniels story- Daniel has an incredible story even up to the moment when God called him home. I know Daniel would want as many people to know about it. Please pray that God would take over one of these days and release the words on to paper- it can't be anything of me it must be all of Him.

For now that is why I am quiet...because for now when the boys are distracted and I am not needed, I sit in silence with the Lord and let my heart grieve the way it wants to. Sometimes this is deep mourning and tears and sometimes I celebrate what Daniel is doing in the presence of the Almighty King.

Today- it is missing my brother-

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Breath at a Time

I think I am struggling with writing because I don't know how to properly describe our Daniel. I want each of you to understand just how remarkable this young man was...but how can I do that with simple words in a blog? Anyway, I found this post I wrote about him several years ago...

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Daniel Bradley

I have been thinking and in prayer for a long time about this post but sometimes I don’t know how to express what is my heart. The post I am about to write about is about the life of a 19 year old boy (I can’t use “man” even though that is what he is!!) named Daniel.

I have known Daniel for his entire life, his parents and my parents are best friends, and have been for over 20 years. I can remember feeling Daniel kick in Wendy’s (his mom) womb. Daniel has an older brother named David. David and Daniel grew up with us and we have always referred to them as our brothers, for truly in my heart that is what they are.

At a young age Daniel was diagnosed with DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). That will be the last time I will ever write out the diagnoses, for we hate speaking the disease that I know the Lord does not see when He looks down over Daniel. The world needs a description and likes to place labels that do not belong on our lives (just like infertility in mine…). If you spend much time in Daniels life you will see that he and his family NEVER speak this word, they do not allow the description of the “world” to describe their lives. They always speak truth from Gods words, and they claim those of which Christ speaks, not what Doctors may say! I only write it out now so you understand how the world perceives Daniel.

However for 19 years I have walked along side of Daniel in a way I never imagined. I never imagined the Lord allowing me to be a part of such an amazing miracle and an amazing young man’s life. Although Daniel is the one in need of prayer, he is often times the one that prays for others. Daniels life is really about serving the Lord, speaking truth, and bringing people closer to his savior, that is his family’s mission in life.

Even now as I write I am frustrated, I do not feel as though there are the right words to describe all that is in my heart about this family, about this life, about this journey, and about all that God has done and is about to do. It is amazing that I can question Gods healing in my own life, but when I look at Daniel I do not question what God can do; I can see it, I can picture God raising Daniel out of the wheel chair, I can see Daniel walking and preaching the truth of the Gospel, I Can see it with EVERYTHING that is within me.

Sometimes we have to walk the rugged rocks and the hard path to see the mountain view, to see the face of God, to see his hand, his work, his amazing love…. If you had the easy path would you really ever see the love of God? That is how I see Daniel, he is walking the hardest of hard journeys, but when you look into the face of Daniel or the face of his family, you truly look into the face of God. I know that it is nothing of them; they give all the glory to the one who deserves it- God.

I am inviting you to come along side of Daniel, not only in prayer but in also spreading his story! I truly believe that impact and calling on Daniels life is just beginning, God has mighty things and a special call on this young man’s life… don’t you want to come along? The more people that hear about his story the more hope and faith we can spread, and the more prayer Daniel will have for his healing. Please be a part of his journey by checking into his blog- leave comments, he LOVES to hear from you!

I am not sure if my faith would be where it is now if it was not for the life and ministry of this family.

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Daniel Boy

Usually writing is what brings healing to my heart. It is what I did through each loss and each passing month of trying to get pregnant. Facing my grief through words of my heart. However, I am having a hard time writing through my grief this time. I am having a hard time formulating my words. I want to write a post describing to everyone in the world just who Daniel was, why I loved him so much, how he was more then a friend; he was my brother. I want to tell the stories of growing up together, I want to find words to help describe the righteous man he was...but I can't see through my emotions to even begin doing this.

I am praying it will come, because I want to have these words documented and kept forever. For now it is important for people to know that I lost a very best friend and brother. It is important for people to know that Daniel J. Bradley went to be with the Lord September 24th. God graciously called Daniel in his sleep, no suffering. It is important for people to pray for David his older brother, Wendy his mom and Dan, his father who lived his life serving his son.

My heart hurts beyond any pain I could ever find words to describe...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Whats in a Name

I have loved picking out names for all my babies! When we found out we were pregnant for the first time we knew instantly that something was not right because I was bleeding so heavily. I just took a pregnancy test on a whim at the suggestion from my mom. Turns out that pregnancy test saved my life. 2 weeks later at 2am on a Thursday morning we said goodbye to our first son. I had told my mom I was going to name him after my dad "Eddie." Turns out Eddie means Richly Blessed. I did not feel richly blessed during that time, but looking back what a fitting name for my journey!

Almost a year later we found out we were pregnant again! This pregnancy was quickly dubbed a miracle, and no one surrounding me saw or expected it to be anything less then that. 10 weeks into the pregnancy we discovered that it was a molar pregnancy. I remember that night at 4am I awoke and the grief had finally hit me like a wave and I wept desperately in my husbands arms. I didn't think I would be able to take my next breath. We had just gone through a series in church on Praise, and the name Judah was brought up several times. So, at 4am we named our second son "Judah," Praise. I did not feel like praising at that time...

I had chosen the name Jaden early on and started claiming him by name. "Jaden," Jehovah has heard. I knew that no matter how God would bring this little boy into our lives that it would be because God had heard my deepest cry and longing! And so a year after Judah we found out about our Jaden Daniel! What a blessing my Jaden has been, and his name has truly describe his story and blessing in our lives!

The very next day after Liesl had chosen us we found out we were pregnant with our miracle baby. We found out 13 weeks into our pregnancy that it was a boy, and we had already discussed what we would name him. Tyler Woolley is Liesl's older brother and one of the biggest reasons I believe Jaden exist today. He brought our names to Liesl, and helped her make the choice to give Jaden to us. We could never put into words just what Tyler meant to us, but we knew that our son would be honored to have his "uncles" name! And so sweet "'Tyler (Ty)" James, honorable, was brought into our lives. And honorable describes both Tylers in my life!

Never in a million years did I ever imagine I would be picking out a 5th little boys name. I can't even put into words what this pregnancy and baby means to me, he truly is the "more the you could ask or imagine" part of my journey! We researched and researched names until God finally led me to the name of my 5th son: "Karsten," anointed one. Karsten David has already made his impact in our lives, journey and story. I feel so honored and blessed to be a mom of such a mighty army of men. I believe with my whole heart that our calling is to raise up these boys to be warriors for God's Kingdom- what a calling and honor- more then I could of ever asked...

3 years ago I laid on an operating table and heard God whisper to my heart "wait and see what I have for you Beth..." And every tear, heartache, and rocky climb was worth this mountain view!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not my ways...His

"Man can plan his path but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9This verse is so embedded into my heart. It is one of those theme verses that God gave me years and years ago that He ever so gently whispers to me in difficult times. I don't know how many times I make plans, decide how things are going to go, find comfort in my future thoughts and decisions only to have them come crashing down with a tidal wave from God. I find myself at His feet with my broken plans and conceptions and lots of times hopes and dreams, and have to tell Him how sorry I am for trying to force something that was never intended. I am constantly giving over my life to Him, for His glory and purpose and sometimes...well it just hurts.

I have sat down over the course of the last month to write this blog to you. I know my blog is not a very read blog, I don't have a lot of followers, but those of you have chosen to come along the journey with me have impacted my life forever. I always pray that God would use my journey to speak to others, it is His story anyway, and I believe He has. I know I am not always graceful with my words, and I know that my grammar and spelling are off the charts bad (sorry all you editors out there), my desire for writing overshadows my learning disabilities in this area and I am thankful for that! This particular blog is one of those I feel so led to write about but am grappling to find the words to use. So with that said please know I am trying to write this blog with as much sensitivity as I can, I am open to further discussion or questions if you were to have them but I do ask that you email them to me please.

As you know my sweet Jaden's birthday was this past month. It was a celebration for sure, of his life, story and purely of just who Jaden is and is becoming! It was also our opportunity to spend some time with our sweet girl Liesl (Birth-mom). I can't believe that we have known Liesl for three years now. Amazing. Going into open adoption I truly went into it with open arms and an open heart. I did not realize before Jaden was born the emotions I would experience once this dream became reality.

Before Jaden was born I built a wonderful relationship with Liesl, we connected on so many levels and it was so easy for me to love her. She shared her past choices and wants for the future. She truly loves Jaden and wants the best for him. Knowing this and knowing some of Liesl's past decisions we made some guidlines regarding some of her choices and the effects they could have over Jaden. We made it clear that if these choices were made we would have no other choice but to limit the contact between her and Jaden. Over the course of the last two years we have had to inforce those guidlines even when it hurt to do so.

The weekend of Jaden's birthday was a realization to ALL of us including Liesl that somethings needed to change in our overall open adoption. There are some life changes that Liesl has to make in order to have the relationship that is healthy for both Jaden and her. It was hard conversations that we had to have over the course of the 4 days she was here. There were many tears and heartache but overall the decisions were made in love and openness on both ends. As much as I want to be the one to stand along side of my sweet girl and help her through these tough choices and decisions I have come to realize that my main priority and call in all of this is not to parent Liesl but to parent Jaden. It is not easy because my love for Liesl is so great.

I went into this with great hopes and expectations and for right now my open adoption does not look at all like what I thought it would. I am so thankful that God protects us even when we don't realize we need the protection. I may of gone into this with greatest of intentions but in the end GOD knows what is best for Jaden and Liesl. He knows what their relationship should look like regardless of what I wanted, or even Liesl wanted it to look like.

I stand back amazed by Gods ever moving ever flowing grace and sufficiency. This particular goodbye with Liesl was one of the hardest because we are not sure when we will be reunited with her again. She has a mountain to climb and it is hard to not want to pull her up it so she can see the mountain view, but she is going to have to do it herself. It is hard to step back and let God be in control of that and to trust that no matter what happens He will sustain all of us through and in it.

So, I know that this probably open up a million questions, but please understand that I want to protect my sweet girl and my sweet little boy. Somethings and details really don't matter. You can know that we will take any prayers you are willing to pray, Liesl has a hard journey ahead of her and I know she would welcome any and all prayers. This also means that my openness about open adoption will probably take a back seat until God reveals that part of the story to us. I will still write as openenly as I can about adoption and my emotions in it but I will probably refrain from sharing much about Liesl and her relationship with Jaden at this time.

I step back and once again hand over the pen to allow God to continue to write the most beautiful story that only He could form words for!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Jaden Boy...what words do you use to celebrate this life that has forever changed yours? Jaden is my first born son, my heart and soul and the one to first call me "momma." He is more then I could ever dreamed of and blesses me in ways I never thought possible. The past week we celebrated his second birthday, I can't believe it has been two years. Those years have been filled with so many amazing moments I don't think there are words that could ever really describe them. Here is the awesome video Kevin put together celebrating this past year!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Two Worlds

The losses I experienced have forever marked and changed my life. I will never be the same girl I was before I ever tried to get pregnant. I am thankful for the change and embrace it with open arms, even to this day. I have said it before, once you walk the journey of loss or infertility it robs you of your innocence, I don't reject this I have really learn to embrace it.

I think one of the greatest reasons I had to take a break from blogging after the boys came was because I did not know how to collide the two worlds. This is something I still deal with. I know that my joy is someones sorrow. When we found out we were adopting so many were excited, yet even that I remember caused one of my closest and dearest friend pain. She had also walked the path of adoption only to leave it with empty arms of a failed adoption. Then on top of it all I found out I was pregnant, while she too experienced a pregnancy only to lose it. It has forever changed our friendship and I completely understand why, again my joy being her sorrow.

I have am so cautious about my pregnancy, about pregnancy announcements, about baby talk, about my symptoms or any and everything in between. I don't update Facebook with my latest pregnancy thoughts...in fact I have yet to announce to the facebook world about this pregnancy. Why? Because my innocence in pregnancy is gone, I know the pain a facebook status can cause, I know the announcement will bring tears to someones eyes, I know the wants and desires that are out there so why would I knowingly put pain into someones life or path. I don't reject this, I embrace it. I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to understand a taste of the world of loss and infertility, because I now can pray for these girls, can encourage or stay away the best that I can.

The reality of it is though, I cannot protect them from the pain. For instance, their are several women pregnant in our church right now...but there are just as many women dealing with a recent loss, daily reality of infertility, or silently dealing with the want and desires of a child. I am aware of several of these women, I stand on the side of joy, knowing their sorrow...so what can I do? I long to protect them from the constant talk of pregnancies, to shelter them from the constant Facebook announcements, and ultimatly give them their greatest joy, but all I can really do is give them a simple knowing smile, or a tighter hug and of course my prayers.

I stand on the other side, but my losses never go away. I stand on the other side, but my innoncence is gone. I stand on the other side, begging God to allow each of those girls to join me on the side of joy.

But until then, I stand on the other side offering every bit of encouragement, hope and support I can give. Because I remember the tears, pain and suffering..it never really goes away.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finding Contentment

It is easy to find contentment when everything in life is going the way you want it to, and really how often does that happen? And so we find contentment to be a fleeting moment, here one second and gone the next.

When I was going through our journey of trying to have a child, I found myself in the most discontent position ever. It seemed that the only thing in life that would make me happy was having a child, and if I was not going to have a child then I was going to live a very discontent life. Of course you feel this way, and honestly of course God knows we are going to feel this way, He did design us...However, I believe it is what we do with the discontent that either breaks the heart of God, or gives Him the most glory.

I remember finally coming to a place in the journey, when I was able to give it over to the Lord. I submitted it to His hands and placed the desire upon the alter. And it was a real moment, it was not a moment where I was thinking "If I do this then...well then God will give me what I want..." Nope. it was a true sacrifice, one that took a daily walk, climb and battle to the alter to lay it back down again and again and again.

I can remember having many conversations with Kevin about how if God did not give us a child then I knew in the depths of my heart that He had something greater for us...something that would bring us joy that surpassed all understanding. It did not mean the ache, or want was not there it just meant that I was going to stop living my life thinking that having a child was the only thing that would make me happy. It was in that moment that God was able to bring sweet Liesl into our lives, who in return gave us the greatest gift of Jaden, and the next day the surprise of Ty.

Now, it was not always this way- it took me a lot of tears and anger to come to this place...it was not something that happen over night, it was something that took place over a lot of time. It is also amazing how you quickly drop back into a life of discontentment, which honestly is where I have been. I have been discontent with where God has us with Kevin's job. It is not an easy place to be when the future is so unknown, but honestly every tomorrow is unknown.

Our Pastor taught an incredible message last night at church as he finished up His series on the 10 commandments...I highly recommend you listening to it if you have the chance HERE (Laws for Life #6). Anyway he really encouraged us to be content in the now, being content in the now allows God to bring the greater blessings, ones you did not even know you needed or wanted.
1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

Timothy even goes onto to say that we brought nothing into the world, and we can't anything out. God is faithful to provide for the today, so why are we so consumed with the tomorrow? And why is it that He provided for us yesterday yet we worry about today? God has proven Himself time and time again to me in ways I never imagined or could dream of, yet I am concerned about a job? No, today I lay it all down and live content in moment.

Friday, July 8, 2011

First of Many on Open Adoption

Lately my thoughts have been consumed with my sweet Jaden Boy! I know the reason, he will be turning 2 in 4 weeks and I am in awe of that reality. I can't believe it has been 2 years since we brought home this bundle of joy. I can't believe how far God has brought us and all we have learned about adoption, open adoption, and family the last 2 years. And I can't even imagine what the next several years will bring us and teach us.

As I look back over the last 2 years of Jadens life it is not at all what I ever expected. Jaden is beyond my hopes and dreams, he is more then I ever expected and blesses me to the core everyday. I did not expect to love him as much as I do, I know that sounds crazy but my love for him overwhelms me at times. Jaden's name means "Jehovah has heard" and Jadens existence in my life is a daily reminder that God really does hear the deepest cries of our hearts, the ones we don't even know about.

As I think over Jaden's adoption it too has left me speechless and it has been nothing like what I expected. For starters open adoption was so easy to talk about when Jaden was an idea, a thought, a dream. I am thankful for this, I am thankful that God gave me a heart for Liesl from the moment I learned of her. I am thankful that God protected my heart from myself and I was able to freely walk into an open adoption with Liesl with little to no expectation of what I would really feel when Jaden would enter this world.

We had little to no counselling when it came to what to expect after Jaden would enter the world. The only counselling I received was as we entered the hospital, the adoption agency told me that this was Liesl's time, to let her set the pace, let her have Jaden as often as she needed...this would be the only time in her life that she would be the "mom" and she needed time to grieve and say goodbye. It was wise advice for our situation and I am thankful for it to this day. I am also thankful that once again God wrapped me up in a bubble that I was unaware of and I was able to freely love Liesl and Jaden in a way that was beyond myself, it was clearly God.

So at 3:38am on August 14, 2009 Our (Liesl, Kevin, and my) son entered the world. It still makes me so emotional. I remember them placing Jaden on Liesl and at that point I saw Liesl become a mom, she loved him and you could tell she was even overwhelmed by the love for this little boy. I remember falling into our nurses arms (whose name was Beth and she was truly an angel sent from God) and whispering to her "Pray, please pray for her..." I knew at that moment that this was going to be a journey far beyond my expectations, and it has been.

The days following Jaden's birth I saw Liesl take the step at her own time, I remember the day it happened too and it was not in the hospital, although those moments were there, it was the 3rd day...the day we said goodbye to her. We had taken her to a park, we took pictures, we cried, hugged and then she took Jaden down the hill and stood there with him saying her goodbye. When she returned she look at me and placed him into my arms...there was a moment between us, as she let go of her role and gave it to me. How can I describe in words that moment? I can't because it is not for everyone...

This only the start of my starting to journal my thoughts about open adoption. I hope I can portray and honest and open description of what it has been like. The ups and downs and all the in between. Open adoption is beautiful and a gift from God, but it is not always an easy journey...I also know that our situation is a rare case, and I know that our story will look so different from yours or someone else I am thankful though that God has laid it on my heart to share our story about Liesl and Jaden, because it is a true testimony of our God!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Trip of Reality

This weekend I had the amazing privilege to go away for a few days and visit my dear friend Jamie in PA. Being with Jamie is true water to my soul. It refreshes me and blesses me to my core! I got to spend time with her and her sweet little family which includes a 3 year old precious little girl and a 7 week old new little baby boy and of course Brian her husband! Saturday Brian kept the kids so we could spend the day kid free and boy was it amazing. We hit our favorite shops and eat at our favorite places...we become teens again, enjoying life in our own world.

Of course as Jamie and I are together we talk...and talk...and talk. This visit was no different, but actually being in PA, which is where Volvo is moving us, was a reality check for me. Since finding out about the potential of moving I have tried my hardest to embrace it with open arms. Moving is nothing new to Kevin and I and with each move we have been beyond blessed, so this I know would be no different. As Jamie and I processed through my emotions of actually being in PA and seeing what our life could be like...I was shocked at what I discovered. PA is not our home, it does not sit right in my spirit, and this is eye opening for me.

I realized while being in and around PA that Asheville is where I would love to raise my family, we are so invested in the community here and we love our friends and family. Not to mention our church family is one of the biggest reasons we want to put down our roots here, we are invested in our church and believe in their vision and feel extremely connected.

Kevin and I have always said we wanted to go where God would have us go, we did not want to be stubborn in our ways and stay somewhere because it is comfortable...but in this case staying will not be the easy decision..in fact it will be the riskiest decision, but I believe it will be the greatest more rewarding decision as well.

So my prayers for this move have changed.

Lord you know my heart, we want to glorify you, we want to live our lives making your name famous. We want to raise these children in a way that brings them into a relationship with you and gives you honor. So Lord, we want to stay, you have given us a heart for this area and we long to continue being your hands and feet in the ministries you have given to us. We will exhaust every opportunity to stay knowing that at the end of this journey you still may ask us to move. We will not close our ears or heart off, we will keep our eyes open to whatever you have but we ask that you have a job for Kevin here, a house for our family here, and we ask that you make a way for our family to stay!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Parenting These Blessings

Parenting these two little boys has been beyond a blessing. They are constantly teaching me about love in a way I could never before comprehend. My heart explodes every time one of them calls out "mommmma!!!!!" I tell the boys all the time "if you were not my boys, I would wish that you were..."

Going out in public is also fun, people are constantly asking if they are twins. God is such an amazing and creative God when it comes down to these boys. They really do look like brothers. Ty coming from two dark haired, dark eyed, and dark toned daddy, came into the world with light brown hair and blue eyes and fair skin. Ty is also in the 99% in everything. He is HUGE! He weighs more then Jaden and has bigger feet. Jaden, looks a lot like Liesl. I can't wait to get pictures of them together when she comes for his birthday. What amazes me though is that Jaden with his sandy blond hair and blue eyes, still stands taller then his brother and they wear the same clothes, so they really do favor one another. So this is usually how a conversation in public goes:

Stranger: "aww they are so cute, are they twins?"

Me: "Almost they are 4.5 months apart..."

Stranger (if smart enough to realize that is humanly impossible): "Wow, how is that?"

Me (huge smile on my face): "One is adopted"

Stranger: "Oh wow, what an amazing story, which one is yours?"

Me (who hates hates hates this question..): " they are both mine! If you can't tell then neither can we!"

Stranger: "oh that's sweet...well if I were to guess (yes they really do this) I would say this one (pointing to sweet Jaden!!).

Me: "Sure, He is mine and so is HE (pointing to Ty)

Stranger: "oh... you really are not going to tell us?" (Yes this is most commonly said)

Me: "Nope, have a great day!"

Raising two little boys so close in age also has its challenges as well. Most commonly people say "oh you are a busy mom..." And yes I am, but as I sit here writing this Ty is playing in his room and Jaden is watching Elmo's world. We have figured things out and if we are home things are usually calm and collective (usually...). Now there are those days where I really do feel like I am losing my mind and pulling out my hair, but just like anyone else we have a routine we follow and I find that I am able to function well...we are just doing life together and having two is all I know!

The difficulties I face is being able to really "do" with my boys at this age. I would love to go to story time, swim lessons, the park, a Little Gym, or something similar to these things. The first difficulty is finding the energy to do either of these things with two little boys under two. They are so curious about anything and everything that when we do anything I almost need a second hand to keep up with their busyness. The other hard part of the boys being 4.5 months apart is that they are in completely different developmental stages at the moment. The older they get the smaller the gap will be, but having an almost 18month and almost 24month adds its challenges. Challenges I greatly accept and take but challenges all the same.

I am once again reminded that they are happy boys, they are doing just fine, and they may not be able to do what others kids are able to do and I may not be able to do what other moms maybe able to do, but I don't think my kids are missing out on anything in life...once again God filling in the gaps.

I know that adding a third is just going to add to the fun, and I am ready for it. It may have it challenges, but everyone has their challenges. I am learning to focus in on what I can do and do it to my best ability and leaving the rest up to God!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Undeserving Love

I feel so blessed and overwhelmed this morning...but above all of those feelings, the strongest of them all is the feeling that I do not deserve any of this.

I went on a hunt this morning looking for a blog I wrote about two years ago, I know it is there but I could not find the specific one I was looking for. But in the process I relived my journey through those hard days. When I look back and read the words written by a broken girl, my heart breaks all over again...I remember all of those emotions, they never truly go away. What I can't believe is how far God has brought me and how I feel as though I am unworthy of this journey I am walking today.

I never in a million years thought I would even get pregnant and have a healthy baby, much less get pregnant, adopt and get pregnant again...never ever imagined it. I can remember calling out for one baby, why in the world would God bless me with 3 healthy babies?

A couple of months ago I was studying Gods word every single morning. I would awake before the kids at 6am, sit and enjoy an hour of uninterrupted and much needed time with my God. Since becoming pregnant, mornings have not been that friendly to me and finding time to study with Him has become a struggle. I hate that days add up to weeks that add up to months without me going before the Father and seeking His heart and what I hate more is that this seems to be a cycle of my life.

I find that there are months where I can't get enough of Gods words, I can hear Him, feel Him and long for Him...then life takes over...something throws me for a loop and I go right back into the old patterns that I hate where seeking Him seems to be last priority...and then I feel so guilty. Look at what you have blessed me with and all you are doing for me and yet I can't even spend 10min with you?

I am reminded daily that God does not bless us because of our doing, this is the grace of God...we don't even deserve life or our next breath yet He extends it to us because of His love...in the same light just because we are not doing does not mean God is not blessing...there is nothing we can or can't do to make God love us more...

I think in my human nature I feel as though I can manipulate God...thoughts like "well If I do this HE will DO this..." but this is not how our gracious, loving Father works...He says "I love you no matter what you do or don't do, I love you because you are my child that is all you have to do."

So today I feel overwhelmed and blessed...and Loved.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well Poop!

I often times hop onto the Internet in the afternoons and scroll through Facebook and my blogs that I follow. Many of the blogs and people I follow are in the same or near the same stage of life of raising a family. I find that I compare myself way to much, do you do this too? I know that people (and even I do this) paint a picture of what they want people to know about their life. However, in the moment this is not what I see, what I see is perfection and I think to myself "oh man she does that with her kids...I need to be like that..."

I scroll through status similar to these (exaggerated...but I think you will get the point)

So and So: is painting with her children while sipping on an ice tea and smelling the dinner that is already cooked, all while admiring the laundry put away and the cleaned house...

So and So: is so thankful I was able to run 6 miles, cook dinner, teach my child to read, all while looking perfect...

So and So: is so amazed by her husband who brought home flowers, stayed up all night with the baby, folded laundry and cleaned the house - all while giving me a massage...

I have to be careful how I let it effect me, I also want to be careful because I do not want to portray my life in this way. I don't want to paint a life of perfection, it is so far from perfect. I also don't want to just complain, because honestly that is just as annoying as the braggers. I want this blog and even my Facebook to be a place of reality...day to day struggles, joys and happiness and even the ups and downs all why giving God the credit and glory!

So today my status would of said:

Beth: was suppose to go to the park and library, however the park alone was enough of a work out, stopped by Chick-fil-a because buying lunch is much easier then making it, brought it home and ate it on the porch because their high chairs still had breakfast on it. Ty had leaked through his diaper so being clever I just took it off and let him run around naked, great idea until I discovered he pooped all over the porch...Jaden sat in it, the dogs stepped in it and I somehow got it all over my leg...all while sitting in sweat pants and drinking a root beer because it is the only satisfying drink...

Reality folks...reality. And now after their nap they are watching Curious George...I am not teaching them to read but I am letting the monkey teach them about how to get on a subway...hmmm....Once again thanking God who fills in the gaps...and thankful for a sense of humor that made me laugh at it all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dreams to Reality

There have been so many moments over the course of the last two years where I could not believe this was my life. Like right now.

As I type this I am sitting on my deck listening to the joys of my boys little voices fill the air. There is nothing quite like it. I try hard to freeze the moment, making it stand still in time. I know one day I will wish with everything inside of me for these days to be back. But there is no going back, there is only going forward. And so I must learn to embrace the moving forward with open arms and a ready heart.

Raising two little boys is a huge responsibility. I long for my boys to be warriors for God, to have hearts that seek Him, and want to know Him. That is my prayer above all other prayers "Lord give them hearts to know you, ears to hear you, life to serve you..." Because at the end of the day this will be the one thing that will carry them through all of lives difficult times.

Ahh yes I sound so spiritual writing all this out, and yes this is my deepest hearts longing, but can I just say that even two years into my parenting I have failed daily, by the moment. I laugh now at my dreams before becoming a mom....I will pray through each situation, I will never allow my anger or frustration to get a hold of me...that I will quote scripture each morning as I danced around to praise music while fixing them breakfast, looking perfect because "I will never be that mom that wears sweat pants everyday"...um yeah not quite, makes me laugh out loud...instead I often times roll out of bed, put on what I had on yesterday (which is sweats and a T-shirt), come down stairs and put on Word World, or Elmo, depending on what I am not sick of, and fix them a bagel, or eggs...depending on what we had the day before.

Perfection got thrown out the moment my boys enter the world, and my flesh often times gets the best of me. I am thankful that God is a big God who fills in my many missing links and pot holes, taking care of the boys when I am failing. And there is nothing super spiritual about that, just a thankful earthly mom!

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Time


Hello!!! I can't even tell you how excited I am to be writing again. I have been praying for sometime now about whether to blog or not. The time off was much needed and I think appropriate. God has revealed so many amazing things to me in the last several months. Things I hope to share with you over time.

I believe the time off made me refocus. I played around with opening a new blog and starting over, but then God pressed on my heart the importance of this blog. This blog has always been my journal and I am so thankful for each writing, each entry, each word. They are my heart and my journey and I don't for one second regret anything that was written. I look back and see how far God has brought me, how far this journey has come, and how much God is continuing to do for me, in me, and through me!

I know many people came across this blog because they were dealing with their own loss and ache to be a parent. When I became a mom I did not feel like I could journal any longer because I did not want to cause more pain to those still experiencing loss and grief. I am so beyond sensitive to those dealing with infertility and loss. I feel like I can encourage but how can I speak on that subject any longer when so many have passed me by with so much more grief and pain?

God is showing me though that I still have a story, I still have a journey and although now my joy might be someones sorrow, my story still speaks to those who God intends it to speak to. I have a heart to be open and honest, I am called to this. I am called to journal publicly about the ups and downs of life in hopes that it points to God and God alone.

I want to share my insecurities of being a mom, I want to share my joys of being a mom, I want to share my frustrations of being a mom. I want to be able to speak about open adoption, I want to be a huge advocate for adoption and be a open book on this subject.I want to honest about the big and little things but most importantly I want to share my heart with God, my struggle to put Christ first in a life that continues to move fast at a pace I struggle to keep up with.

And now I am about to enter into a whole new phase to this journey. I am pregnant. (I just have to stop for a moment and tell those of you who are still dealing with infertility that I am so sorry. I did not know how else I could write it or say it. I understand if my blog needs to not be read any more, please do whatever YOU need to do. I believe in a big God, a God of blessings and of joy and a God who is so intimate that He is catching every tear you cry, and holding you tightly in the palm of His almighty hands.) This is complete and utter excitement and comes with an emotion I can't describe. I never ever thought this would be my journey. I will have 3 children under 3!

What amazes me is the fear and grief that still comes with each pregnancy I experience. Even though I hold onto Ty and Jaden I find myself still expecting the worse. I am learning daily to let go of my fears and live in the moment of Life! I am just short of 11 weeks and all is going well so far. We are beyond grateful and feel blessed beyond measure.

The other phase in our journey is the unexpected news that Kevin's job with Volvo here in Asheville NC is coming to an end. They are shutting down the plant here and moving us all to Pennsylvania. This is devastating news to Kevin and I as this has become home over the last 4 years. We can't imagine moving but we feel that at this point we don't see any other way. We have no definite plans as of yet, and are thankful we will have baby #3 here. The move is not suppose to happen until June 2012.

So, here we go and I invite you to come along with me! AS I wrote this post I fed breakfast, watched Elmo, change 3 poops, ended 3 frustrating arguments, fixed 3 toys and now we are outside playing and all before 10am so with that said no my post my not be consistent in timing!