Friday, October 26, 2012

this day...

" Your book were written, every one of them, 
the days that were formed for me, 
when as yet there was none of them..."   
-Psalm 139:16

If every day has already been formed, before there ever was a day,
then this day, too, is all to His glory.

It is this day that the baby will be placed in the other family's arms.
And it is this day that they will remember and celebrate for years to come.

Today is a day like they've never imagined.
When the fullness of God's grace will swallow them up.
The cries of a newborn will sing the glory of His faithfulness.
An entire community will watch and delight in His goodness and spring forth His praise.
A young birthmother will find herself torn between grief and joy,
feeling the wrenching pangs of separation and loss,
yet knowing a love so sacrificial
that most of us cannot fathom.
Her baby boy will rest securely tonight in his new forever family.
And never know the depths of love that surrounds him.

It is a day for which this couple has only dreamed.
A day that will change them forever and ever.
Today they become parents
and all that that entails.
This day is sure to bring a cacophony of sound:
the cries of a newborn, telephones ringing,
the music of laughter, the cheering of loved ones.
Oh, the day of celebration!

For me, this day will be quiet.
As I reflect upon the story He has written for me.
As I wrestle with what could have been.
And trust that this day has been formed for me, too.
I had hoped this would be a day of my celebration,
and it was not written as such.
Like a due date for one who has miscarried,
There will be no sounds of a crying newborn today.

But there will be other graces given.
He has promised manna each day,
and as He cares for the sparrows,
I know He will display His loving tenderness for me, too.

It is clear what this day holds for the other family,
but I must look a bit more closely to see
that which He has provided for me this day.
It is surely there.

We never know what this day may hold.
Things too wonderful
or too dreadful
for our hearts to grasp.

Yet each one has been formed.
Before there ever was.

And it's His story
I am clinging to today.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

my little pumpkin...

I love her.

Though the seasons change,

and life often turns unexpectedly,

There will always be some things

that will forever stay the same.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

a musician's life...

Just in case you've been wondering why there have been no recent blog posts, it's because...

my big concert is less than 2 weeks away!!!

Next Friday evening, my string quartet will be performing in downtown Lynchburg, VA, at the James River Conference Center @ 7:30pm in an entire concert, "Date Night! with Strings Attached" by ourselves!  (you can get ticket information HERE.)

The first half of the concert, we'll be performing Dvorak's American Quartet.  And the second half of the program-- oh, the second half-- will be lots of fun, contemporary songs perfect for a lounge-y feeling concert... "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Coldplay's "Viva La Vida," "Sweet Dreams are Made of These" by the Eurythmics, "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen (and many more) and we're saving the best for last-- Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody!"

Needless to say, I'm SUPER excited.  And our quartet is working super hard.  (another day I'll explain why this concert is going to be miraculous when it finally's been quite the journey with the four of us!...)

But right now?  Everything in my LIFE is revolving around this concert!  In addition to being a wife, stay-at-home mommy, worship director, and RUF wife, adding the "rock star musician" role is getting to be a little insane for me.  he he....

From three long rehearsals a week to transcribing violin parts and changing out strings to practicing on my own to shopping for my 2 (!!) concert outfits, this is taking over my life!  (in a good way, right?)  It's very exciting, and I hope all of you in town will come out and cheer us on (student tickets are only $5!), but I must say I'll be somewhat relieved when it's all over, too.  :)

And I think how, in God's providence, the birthmommy picked the other family last month.  My heart is SO much better than it was, and I am not feeling the weight of grief like I did initially.  (perhaps because I'm way too busy to...)  The baby was born two weeks ago, and he will probably be placed with his new adoptive parents this week or next.  I can't begin to imagine what life would have looked like for us with a newborn this week, (though I obviously would've dropped everything and anything if it had worked out) so perhaps even the timing is God's grace to us.  Who knows.

I'm trusting my Father ultimately knows what is for my best.  And when the time comes and we're supposed to adopt a baby, nothing is going to thwart His plan, right?

So in the meantime, it's time to throw myself into MUSIC!  Get ready for a fun evening next weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

fall at the farm...

What a joy it is to watch these two gals grow up together.
My little Caroline loves her best friend, Leah, sooo deeply.

So you can imagine what a dream come true this day was to share with her friend!

"Mama!" I would hear, followed by waves and a smile as big as Texas.

I love her.

Ahem, well, ... all 4 year old best friends have their "moments."

We are crazy for Caroline!


This girl loved the corn shooter.  {insert funny comment here}

(don't know what all the thumbs up was about, but she suddenly started doing it in all the pictures I took-- ha!)

Caroline's favorite part was the "corn crib."

Sweet, sweet times.  Our hearts are full.  Thumbs up!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

camp out...

Well, the 1st annual Backyard Camping Adventure was a... ahem, success.

(Many thanks to our friends who loaned us the tent and aero bed!  I probably won't be doing this enough to warrant buying one of these... he he)

Sure, we live 30 minutes from the mountains and all, but if you know me (Amy), let's just say I'm not quite the camping type... :)  Nevertheless, my sweet husband and daughter were SUPER excited to try it,  and it's something I've dreamed of doing for years for when I had kids someday.  (knowing that even if I don't care for it, I knew they would love it!)

So this was about as wild as I wanted to get for our first time as a family.  (and maybe from here on out..)  Because hey, if it didn't work out, my bed was still within walking distance...

Caroline was beyond excited when we set up the tent that afternoon!  The weather was perfect... not too warm during the day, and a little chilly at night.

Getting the campsite ready to go...

Let the fun begin!  We enjoyed hot dogs and smores to our hearts' content!

There really is something so peaceful and uniting about a campfire.

Talking, laughing, singing together.   You can't beat that.

Time for bed...

She was too adorable not to take a picture...

This was the view when I awoke first thing.

Well, actually THIS was.

Let's just say for me, it was a rather sleepless night.  Every little branch cracking and creature cooing kept me waking up.

But who cares?  I wouldn't trade this memory for all the sleep in the world.

I am so blessed with this little family of mine.

And I'm living some of the best days of my life.

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Friday, October 5, 2012


I don't know what to write about, but I know I need to write.  Ever feel like that?

Processing this grief and loss is a journey.  I get the feeling that people around me expect it to be over and done with.  After the initial news wears down and the prayers slow down and the flowers die, I'm tempted to think I should just be "over it."  People have stopped asking me how I'm doing.  I guess it's over in their head, just like any major news story dies away after a few short days.

But those who know loss in their own life know differently.  It doesn't just go away.  In a sense, it's always with you.  It's part of my story now.  My heart will always wear this scar.

Grief is not a one-way destination.  It is not some place you work to "arrive" one day.  It is truly an expedition with no clear end, full of twists and turns, feelings that creep upon you when you least expect.

I just went through two days without the pangs of loss.  Conversations with those who have lost through miscarriage and a women's Bible study on fear and anxiety helped "fill" me, and the following 48 hours were oh so nice.  It was so refreshing to feel contentment and peace for a brief time.  Just to know it will come again.

And then an email comes to my inbox, stealing the peace I had just struggled SO hard to find.  News of the birthmother who rejected me.  How she and the other prospective adoptive mom will be at an adoption meeting I was invited to attend.

Now, I'm no dummy-- I wasn't going to attend that meeting and risk putting this girl in a terribly awkward place, not to mention subject myself to emotionally crumbling again.  I'd be crazy to go.

I'm getting over this.  I'm trying, anyways.  But it's kinda like hearing your ex-boyfriend is taking another girl to the prom.

And then the grief battle rages within all over again.  Anger.  Disappointment.  Hurt.  Loss.  Worry.

Next week is her due date.  We thought we'd be having a baby next week.  There will be a baby next week.  But it won't be going to me.

I accidentally stabbed my hand over two months ago now, and I am still feeling much pain and soreness as the scar tissue must be forming underneath the surface.  But because I am functioning just fine on the outside, I am the only one that FEELS this wound on the inside.  It hurts!  Still!  When will it stop hurting?

I wonder if in God's providence, He ordained my physical injury to teach and prepare me for my upcoming emotional injury with this failed adoption.  Because right now my heart is crying out, When will this stop hurting?  

Just as the pain in my hand reminds me to do the things I need to do (like stretching, exercising, and massaging the scar tissue), the pain in my heart reminds me and points me to something else, too.  Without the pain, I would have little need to turn to the One who comforts, who fills me up with grace for each day.  Pain is the alarm to drive me to Jesus.

The scar on my hand is still forming and healing.  The scar on my heart is the same.

From the outside, it appears to be over.
From the inside, I know it is not.

Grief leaves a scar.  Though it will heal one day, the mark will always be there.

Thankfully there is Another who still wears scars on my behalf.  And it's because of those scars, I know  I will find my way through my own.

like mama, like daughter...

I can't believe I haven't shared this little gal's piano talents with you before now!  She and I have enjoyed doing our piano "lessons" almost each day for the past several months.  Caroline loves, loves, LOVES music, and as you can imagine, her mommy doesn't mind it so much either.  :)

What an absolute JOY to watch your daughter fall in love with what you love, too.

She's doing great, too!  She raced through Book 3 of our series and is onto Book 4 now.

Here's a few songs for you.

She continues to amaze me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

she is amazing...

Unfortunately, life doesn't stop, even when you wish it would.

I know it's only been a little over a week, but Marc and I are still feeling the loss of this adoption.  The pain lingers on, much as I'd like to deny it or try to just get over it.

But in the meantime, there's also lots of wonderful, tender moments still happening in my family.  It's crazy- I'm simultaneously living some of the saddest and greatest days of my life.

This week, my daughter has amazed me so many times.  She is amazing.

She prays for God to give us a baby.  She is not sad, and she doesn't want us to be sad.  Of course, she must learn that life will be full of both happiness AND sadness and loss.

We drive by the maternity home and she says to me, "Mommy, is that where the birthmommies live?"

I watch her be incredibly sweet to the little kids at the playground.  Her face lights up with delight as she watches them and plays alongside them.  I can't help but long for the day when she becomes a big sister... oh, how her face will light up!  (and then she's in for a wake up call!)

This past week she has given more help to our family, taking on new responsibilities like fixing her own cereal at breakfast and washing herself at bathtime.

At church on Sunday, she looked at me on the stage and proudly whispered to the student next to her, "That's my Mommy."

I am utterly grateful for her, God.
Especially now.
I am humbled to be called her mom.  What a gift!

And if you were to ask her what's at the center of her world right now, she'd tell you about preschool.  Three mornings a week and she absolutely LOVES it.

So the following pictures are some recent pics from her preschool teacher.  I want to remember these sweet, happy days.

The second week of school, I came to Caroline's class to talk to them about alopecia.  (Caroline was very excited about this.)  The kids were sooooo quiet, you could hear a pin drop.

We brought our book "Everybody's Got Something" and showed the kids pictures of Caroline when she had hair and how it slowly fell out until she was bald.

I love her, I love her.

Look at my child's pad.  Who is this four year old???

For show and tell, Caroline brought her doll with alopecia, Avery!  These kids are going to be experts on alopecia!  he he

Getting lined up for the 1/10th miler fun run...

And they're off!  Go, go, go!

Great run, girls!

I'm a proud, proud mama.
She is simply amazing.
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