Today on the blog, Lyndsie is joining us and I am so excited! Although we have a few mutual friends, we haven't ever actually met, but that didn't keep me from lurking around on her blog(s) a couple of years ago (she has since taken a break from blogging). I can vividly remember reading through many of the milestones that she will talk about here today. When she originally titled her blog "A Love Worth Waiting For..." so many years ago, I'm sure she never knew how that simple phrase would prove itself over and over again to be a true representation of her life. Her testimony really is incredible. She is so heartfelt, sweet, and completely unapologetic about her love of Christ. Check out the amazing story of how her two sweet babies came to be a part of her & husband Daniel's life.
I was so humbled and honored when Hollie asked me to guest post on her blog during A Month 4 Moms. As I prayed about what to share on adoption and motherhood, I felt like the Lord impressed upon my heart to share "in the waiting" of our adoption journey. It was during this time in my life when the Lord was more real to me than ever before. Even though I didn't see it at the time, He was molding me and making me into the Momma He would have me to be for our children. So many dear friends are "in the waiting," whether it be waiting on that one positive pregnancy test, waiting to bring their child(ren) home through adoption, waiting for a job, waiting for test results, or just waiting on God in general. It is during those times when our faith is tested. It is in those times when we must trust in the Lord and in His timing. Though the valley may seem impossible, the Faithful One is just preparing us for the road He has set before us.
My husband, Daniel and I met when we were 13 and 15 at a summer camp. Our "love story" started right away. Looking back, there was no doubt that God designed every step of our meeting, our friendship, our relationship, and eventually our love story. Daniel and I went through many hardships together at a very young age. As crazy as it sounds, I am thankful for each and every one of those trials. In those hard and devastating times it made me realize how precious life is and how great our God is. In the spring of 2006, at the age of 19, I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, it returned 2 years later in the spring of 2008.
At the age of 21, I had a total hysterectomy.
As you can imagine, this was absolutely devastating for both Daniel and I. We were making plans for marriage and for a future together. Even before marriage we had talked about having children; we both come from big families and we had always desired to have a family of our own. After coming to the reality that I would never be able to have biological children, I felt like my world was turned upside down. It was a very dark time in my life. It was hard to wrap my mind about what had happened and what my future would hold. It was hard to see or feel God working during that time in my life. Did he not know the plans I had for my future? Did He not know my passion for children? Did he not know that Daniel was planning to ask me to spend my life with him that very weekend I had surgery? I know there were many moments when I felt so alone. But I was never alone. He was always right by my side, pouring into me His all sufficient grace. And He did know about the plan I had for my life, but He had one far greater: HIS plan.
Daniel and I were married in the spring of 2009. Our wedding day surpassed all of my hopes and dreams. It truly was a "perfect day." I could never have imagined what our future together would hold...
We had an amazing first year of marriage! It was one of the most memorable years of my life! I remember like it was yesterday, we were sitting at a table on our 1 year anniversary trip and we were talking about our future and about children. We both knew at that very moment that we were ready to bring a baby into our family! (or at least we thought we were ready!!) We decided to start the adoption process right away. For a year we had one adoption after another fall through for one reason or another. Just the very thought of a baby made us pour our whole hearts into every adoption situation that came along and with that came a lot of heartache and devastation. We learned A LOT during this year and we made A LOT of mistakes. However, I am so very thankful for that time in our lives because through it all, we gained a new love and appreciation for adoption and for the precious birth mothers who make such a hard and selfless decision... and for that I am thankful.
Daniel and I grew closer to each other during our times of grief, and even closer to the Lord as we put our trust in Him. "The Waiting" was long and hard, and at the time felt unbearable. After months of trying to make everything work on my own, I finally broke down and told the Lord that HE was enough. If I wasn't meant to be a Momma, if that wasn't the plan He had for me, then that was ok with me. It did take me a while to get to that point and to truly mean it, but I needed to reach that point in my life. I realized that I had already been so blessed and if He chose not to bless us with a child, that He would always be enough and He would fill that void in my heart. Soon after I had that moment with the Lord, we got "THE CALL". Almost exactly a year after starting the adoption process, we got a call for our son, Ethan. Ethan was almost 8 months old when we brought him home and his adoption situation was an extremely emotional and heartbreaking situation. Through Ethan's adoption, Daniel and I were able to understand the deep, deep love the Lord has for His children in a way that I do not think we would have ever been able to understand or experience if it had not been for Ethan's adoption. I have no doubt that the Lord had been preparing us for that very moment when we first held Ethan in our arms. I do not believe we would have been ready for it a year before when we thought we were ready. Once again, the Lord's timing was perfect and He showed His goodness and His love to us like never before.
There is SO much to Ethan's adoption story-- so many God moments that I literally wouldn't know where to start. I will have to share one unforgettable moment that to this day still gives me chills and makes my eyes fill up with tears. Soon after bringing Ethan home, Daniel and I wanted to look back to see what we were doing around the time Ethan was born. We quickly realized that the exact day Ethan was born, was the very same day we got an email from our first birth mother saying she had chosen another couple. While we were grieving over what we thought was "our baby" the Lord was really just preparing us for what was to come... OUR SON! How great is our God?!?! This is just one of the many amazing God moments we had throughout our adoption process with Ethan.
As undeserving as I felt to be Ethan's Momma, the Lord chose to bless us again 8 months later when we adopted our precious little girl, Aubrey. What a year it was for our family. Aubrey's adoption was a huge reminder of the Lord's Grace-- The Unmerited Favor of God. Aubrey has a precious birth mother and birth family. What a humbling experience it was to witness their selflessness and their love for Aubrey. We are forever grateful for them and for the precious gift they shared with us! The Lord has blessed us far beyond anything we ever deserved.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or thing, according to the power that works in us." Ephesians 3:20
I always wondered how I would feel when I held our children in my arms for the first time --- with both Ethan and Aubrey, I just knew... I knew that God had been preparing me for that very moment and for that precious child chosen by the Lord to be apart of our family. Our children are the answered prayer that strengthened my faith and deepened my relationship with God. What a beautiful reminder they are of His faithfulness!
I realize a year is not that long to wait and that there are many of you who have waited much longer, and others who are still waiting. When you are waiting for something you desire so deeply, a week, a month, or even a year seems like forever... I hope I can encourage you to embrace the waiting, no matter how long it may be. Because it is in the waiting when we feel the Lord draw us closer than ever before. The Lord has you there for a reason, no matter what that reason may be. I know for us, He used that time to show us so many things. For Daniel and I to draw closer to each other and closer to the Lord, we had to fully put our trust in Him. It was a time for us to learn to appreciate adoption and the gift of children. It was also a time for me to prepare to be the Momma Ethan and Aubrey would need me to be. I'm so thankful for the waiting time in our lives. It was then when He showed me that His plan is always something worth waiting for! This verse was such an encouragement to me during this time:
"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
Motherhood is not always guaranteed. It is a privilege and an honor and one that is denied to too many.
I am a Mother. Not because I deserve to be or because I'm entitled to be. I am a mother because I have a merciful Father who chose to bless an undeserving sinner. I have been blessed.
PS: You only have a couple of days left to win some supersparkleicious earrings!