Thursday, November 19, 2015


Adoption is beautiful.  

But the road to adoption is often not.  

The journey is filled with tears and grief on all sides.

An unplanned pregnancy brings a new mother tears of confusion.  Tears of shame and rejection.  She cries herself to sleep as she feels a baby kicking within.  A baby she knows she cannot keep.

She cries tears of pain as the baby is born, and tears of love when she holds her baby for the first time.  Tears fall upon the paper documents as she signs the termination of her rights as a parent.  Tears of separation as she says goodbye to a child she'll never raise, even though her post-partum body would beg to differ.   

The tears of a birthmother grieving for her child.

An unexpected infertility brings a couple tears of despair.  Tears of disappointment and confusion.  Tears of jealousy and bitterness as everyone around them announces yet another pregnancy.  They mourn the loss of having their own biological child.  Tears of injustice fall down their faces at every hurdle in adoption-- homestudy, fingerprints, background checks, paperwork, fundraising-- just to be able to be called "Mom and Dad."  

They face tears of disbelief and impatience as they wait.  And wait.  

They meet a birthmother and believe THIS is the one, only to be rejected.  Broken hearted.  The tears never stop flowing.  They grieve and wait some more.  Every day passes by hoping for THE phone call or email that never seems to come.  

And then one day, like a bright ray of light cutting through the darkest of storms, IT COMES.   

These lives intersect.   And suddenly the tears transform.

The birthmother's tears now include tears of relief.  She trusts that her baby will be loved and nurtured in the couple's arms. 

And for the couple, the tears of despair suddenly turn into tears of joy and deep, profound humility for the gift they will be entrusted. 

 There are no words to describe seeing your child for the first time.

Only tears.

 The journey to this moment has been flooded with so many tears,
and as you humbly hold the child of another woman's womb as your own,
you know deep down it's just not fair.

Why must she cry tears of grief while I cry tears of joy?
 It was three years ago this day that we met our sweet Jameson and welcomed him into our family.

 It brings tears to my eyes even today.

I'm reminded of God's faithfulness.

God hears the cries of birthmothers.

He hears the cries of longing couples.

And he hears the cries of an infant who has been taken from one family and placed into another.

 God works through all these tears.
They are not in vain.
And they are not unseen.
And one day, one GLORIOUS day, they will be no more.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
Revelation 21:4

Monday, November 9, 2015

dreams come true...

In some ways it feels like he can't be 3 years old already.  (Where's my baby boy??)

In other ways, my life is so vastly different now that it hardly seems possible Jameson's only been in the world three years!

But it's true.

My sweet guy turned 3 this weekend.

And all his dreams came true for his birthday:

1.  He wanted an "excavator cake."  (thank you, Nanny, for making that happen!)

2.  And he wanted an excavator.  (thank you, Mamie!)

It was a whirlwind of a trip down to South Carolina and back in 24 hours, but Jameson wouldn't have wanted to celebrate any other way than with his cousins at Nanny's house. 

make a wish!
And celebrate we DID.

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday, dear Jameson,
happy birthday to you!

When it came time for cake, cousin Elijah had a better way to eat it.
Ha ha ha ha!
 Caroline sewed this sweet tool belt for Jameson by herself.

(She's been taking sewing lessons with a dear older woman in our church each week.  Great job, CC!)
 And what three year old boy wouldn't love swords and more swords... diggers and more diggers...
 But here was the only thing he wanted in the world:

an excavator he could actually work.

So Mamie got him a remote-controlled excavator, and all his dreams came true.  

I had the idea to dump some dry rice in a tupperware container so he could actually do some scooping.

HEAVEN. ON. EARTH. for Jameson.

(I'll pat myself on the back for that fleeting moment of motherhood brillance...ha!)

 Marc's father, "Papa," is sadly suffering with blindness and dementia.  Mr. Randy has blessed our family with his faithful and tender care of Papa now for a few years.  

Each time we visit, Jameson wants to jump in to help Papa in different ways.  My sweet boy.
Jameson, little did we know you'd be a part of our family.

But now we can't even fathom it without you.

We loved watching your birthday dreams come true this weekend.

But YOU, my son, are surely the dream come true.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

super hero halloween.

It's one of our favorite holidays of the year.

And this year, it was a super hero Halloween.

And boy, did they get into character!

It was the first year that Jameson truly understood trick-or-treating, and it was MAGICAL.  After he visited each house, he would come up to me and say, "I say 'thank you'!  Mommy, can we go to anudder house?"  After I said yes, he'd take off RUNNING, his cape flying behind him.

You know, I will praise my neighborhood every other day of the year, but on Halloween night, it is pretty pathetic.  We see Halloween as one of the best nights of the year for a neighborhood!  It's like a huge neighborhood block party of sorts-- an opportunity to visit with neighbors!  A chance to be Christian and love your (literal) neighbor!

But I think I counted 4 porch lights on TOTAL?!  Maybe that's partially a result of living in a neighborhood with poverty?  No one turns their light on anymore because they know kids don't trick-or-treat here.  Sure, we've got kids here, but my neighbor who's lived on the street for 40 years told me they all go up to the wealthy neighborhoods where there's an abundance of candy.  Honestly, looking at dark house after dark house, I can't blame them!

Some neighbors left the 'hood to attend church events.  Some were attending other functions in town.  
But the few houses that had their lights on?  We thanked them.  My kids were so happy for them.  One house waited for us to come before turning their light off.  They remembered us from last year and knew we'd be back.  Hopefully we're setting some kind of precedent?  We have hopes that it can improve each year...

But since we anticipated our neighborhood's Halloween anemia, we drove across town to our former neighborhood to continue a tradition of trick-or-treating with Caroline's friend, Leah!

Speaking of tradition... look at these girls each Halloween past...

Caroline & Leah, age 1
Caroline & Leah, age 2

Caroline & Leah, age 3

Caroline & Leah, age 4
Caroline & Leah, age 5

Caroline & Leah, age 6
Caroline & Leah, age 7
It's so crazy how big these girls now are.  How fast time flies. 

Somehow I thought they'd be little and giggly forever.

Happy super hero Halloween!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015