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!