Our story

When does our story begin? - Written December 2008

I was asked to share the story of Samuel next week at a group called Mom's In Step at my church. I’ve pondered the year…the month…the season that our story begins.

Does our story begin with March 9, 2001 – our wedding day? When Ryan and I chose Ecclesiastes 3:11 as our wedding verse: He has made everything beautiful in its time. We chose that verse because from our first date – June 22, 1993 to our wedding day – was nearly an eight-year journey. We had a rough ride at times, but God took us apart so that we could find ourselves and Him, and then in His great wisdom and mercy, brought us back together.

Does our story begin with the fall of 2005 when we decided it was time to grow our family? Ten months later I had the great privilege of telling Ryan on June 4, 2006, that he would be a dad. Two weeks later on Father’s Day, we told both of our parents they would become grandparents for the first time. We all cried tears of joy. Then on July 10, 2006, I had the beginning signs of a miscarriage and our lives were changed forever. We never got to hold or meet our precious baby.

Does our story begin with July 2006 as we began a two-year season of waiting? We were tested and found to have ‘unexplained infertility.’ We chose not to pursue fertility treatment and instead waited on the Lord. What followed were months of difficult, impatient, confusing, misunderstood, and painful waiting.

Does our story begin with August 2008, when I discovered God had blessed us with a pregnancy for the second time? Tears of joy could not be contained. Praises could not be kept quiet. A 7-week ultrasound could not hide the precious beat of our baby’s heart. A 9-week ultrasound could not hide the heart-wrenching truth that once again, our baby had died.

Does our story begin with October 2008 when we got a call that a 19-year-old birth mom had just given birth to a baby boy and was looking for a family to adopt him? He was less than 24 hours old. Were we interested? Would she choose us? We knew very little about adoption. But we knew a God who was bigger than our heartache and better than our wildest dreams. From phone call to parenthood was less than five hours.

After wondering, questioning and pondering when our story begins, I realize this story really isn’t about me. Or Ryan. Or Samuel.

I am the storyteller, but this is a story about the Lord. And it’s a story of astonishing grace. Unending faithfulness. Incredible sovereignty. Unexpected blessings. An inconceivable plan. Perfect timing. And a magnificent miracle.

From everlasting to everlasting you are God. And our story will always begin and end with you.

Samuel's adoption story:

Part One
Part Two
Choosing a name

Sometimes God say NO - Written March 2009

"God always answers our prayers, but sometimes the answer is no." - Author Unknown

In April of 2006 Ryan and I were asked to share our story of waiting with our church family. The sermon that night was titled, "When God Says No." God had clearly said no to us the previous summer when we lost our first baby. Ten months later we were waiting on the Lord and His perfect timing for our next baby.

In the season that followed we learned that when God says no, there is nothing you can do to turn that no into a yes. You can beg, plead, petition and go before the throne of the Almighty. And He promises to listen. He always listens. But sometimes His answer is still no.

And when God says no it is painful. So heart-wrenchingly painful. Author Ginger Garrett says, "When the answer is no the Bible instructs us to praise him, pour out our hearts to him...and to wait." We learned God's answers weren't for us to try to understand. Our role was to walk in faith for that day...trusting, believing and hoping that in God's grand timing He would say "yes."

Sometimes God says YES
"When God saith, "I will," all the devils in hell cannot turn aside the blessing, and all the ages of eternity cannot change the King's Word." - Charles Spurgeon

When God says yes, there is nothing you nor I can do to stop it. That is a wonderful, yet scary truth. We are not in control. Our lives, our futures, our marriages, our families, our finances, our relationships...God says "yes" and God says "no" in HIS beautiful and perfect timing.

God said "yes" to us last fall when we were given the miraculous gift of Samuel.

And today, it is with a heart so overwhelmed with the goodness of God, that I tell you that He has once again said "Yes."

We were no longer praying, petitioning and asking the Lord for our miracle. We were celebrating the one given to us. But the Lord decided it was time for another "Yes."

I am pregnant. Yes, pregnant.

We are amazed.

We are shocked.

We are grateful.

Grateful for God's "No" that eventually led us to Samuel. And grateful that He has chosen to bless us with another "Yes."

After three ultrasounds, and much prayer, we believe that a healthy baby is growing in my womb. In September Samuel will be a big brother.

We are shaking our heads at God's timing...His plans...His humor.

God you continue to write a story so unbelievable, so amazing, and so perfect that we are in awe of you. 3 1/2 years ago I could not have imagined the journey you had in store for us. Nor would I have wanted to know. Your story is much better than mine. Your story is far more beautiful. Your story gives you all the glory. Your story is one of Hope. Your "no" is filled with hope and your "yes" is full of hope. Thank you for being a God of Hope through it all.