Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adoption & Coaching through my DADs eyes!

My dad has been a coach for my WHOLE LIFE and he recently retired. He now works for a company called ProMaxima and part of his job is to encourage around 4,000 coaches monthly. Here is an email he sent out this week...he shared our story of adoption! We could have NEVER walked this journey of adoption if we our families weren't SO supportive. Thank you Gaddis' and Gerdes'! Love you all!

This past Friday I witnessed a life changing experience......
here's the story:

When my daughter was in junior high.....each night, before going to bed, she requested that our family adopt a baby. We had our hands full with the two we had and told her one day when she was old enough she could do that.

Her passion and dream for that to happen came true last year. Lindsey and her husband Jason waited 18 months and, finally, on December 5, 2009 Natalie Grace was born. What a blessing she has been this past year. The adoption process was finalized in court last week. I was not fired up about driving 4 hours for a five minute ceremony (just did what my wife told me to do).

Boy, am I thankful I did not miss out on this life changing event. As I sat in the courtroom waiting for our turn, tears filled my eyes, as I witnessed other families' dreams coming true. As I watched, I began to relate this with what we do as coaches. We have the opportunity to make life changing experiences for athletes we come in contact with each day. As you already know you are looked upon as a father, leader, and a role model for most of your kids. Thanks for all you do as a COACH!

Here is an email I received from a player who
I coached 18 years ago:

"What a difference my athletic experiences in high school taught me about life. I am pretty sure my class had the greatest coaching staff ever assembled (had them brain washed) to help us grow as athletes, team members, leaders, but mostly men. I look back on those days as the best of my life. I miss it something terrible. I hope all you coaches know how much y'all helped us grow."

Have a great Christmas break and NEVER GIVE UP on making life changing experiences each day for your athletes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Natalie Grace!

Today we celebrated Natalie's 1st Bday! We can not believe that this day has come...this year went by TOOO fast! She is a HUGE blessing to our family.

She crawls all over the place, has two teeth and loves to push her toy stroller around the house. She is constantly making noises and loves doing patty cake and blowing kisses. She is eats EVERYTHING but her favorite thing to eat is Chick Fil A! She is for sure a GA girl :)

Our lives have been changed because God placed this little princess in our family. We love EVERY minute with our Natalie Grace!

Monday, November 15, 2010

BUSY...Quick Timeline!

September 18th - Jason did the wedding of two of our students from Green Acres Baptist Church (Jason was on staff at GABC when we first met almost 10 years ago). Hannah was one of the 1st students I ever mentored in ministry...she continues to bless my life! So proud of both her and Cody!

October 9th- 15th - Jason and a team of people from Revolution spent a week in Haiti doing medical missions! It was an intense week and God moved! Our church supports a mission in Haiti called Haiti Cheri...they are an ever present HERO to the people of Haiti.

October 17th - We started the Advance Initiative at Revolution! You can go here to get more info!

October 22nd - My Best Friend Amy got married---we have been praying for her husband for 5 years and God TOTALLY hooked a sista up! So proud of her and Phillip and SO thankful for the way they love Jesus and love each other.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Apple Pickin FUN!

Today we went to Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, GA. It was beautiful. I still have to pinch myself that we live in this amazing part of the country! Gods master piece, his creation, is SO fun to explore! We PICKED apples right off the tree and drank yummy fresh apple amazing!

When we were driving home we were rocking out to the PASSION CD! Wow I love that CD! I was singing to Natalie and I had an amazing thought...last year at this time we had NO idea that God had picked Natalie for us! But just like apples have to wait to be picked until they are perfectly perfect, the weather is just right, and the trees are heavy with reds, pinks, greens and golden deliciousness...we have to wait on the Lord!

He PICKS our blessings...and when the time is right...he allows us to experience that blessing in its FULL GLORY!

In order to get to the U-Pick section of the orchard a lovely tractor took us for a ride on its trailer :) The ride was bumpy, dusty, hot and SO MUCH FUN! And it was beautiful. We drove past the section where they are planting strawberries for next year, drove past the cherry orchard and peaches! GLORIOUS! Then we arrived at our destination...and my friend and I were like children on CHRISTMAS! Who knew picking apples right off the tree would be such a worshipful experience.

Our journey to get to the U-PICK section of the orchard is much like our journey to ALLOWING GOD TO PICK FOR US! He picks the most amazing fruit...he desires for US to trust him and allow him to work! His season for harvest is perfect. He is RIGHT ON TIME and delivers some of the most amazing blessings. We don't have to figure out what works best for us, our family or our timeline! He knows the right time...when we will be ready and when our blessing will be ready! He invites us on a journey to experience him, sometimes it will be bumpy, dusty and hot...but it will be SO MUCH FUN and SO BEAUTIFUL! He works ALL THINGS together for our good...see from his perspective!

Jesus...U-PICK for me!

He LOVES us...a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

1st Wednesday...

The 1st Wednesday of every month we do a service at church that is focused on Worship, Communion and Baptism! This is a time for families to worship together and take the Lords Supper...its a powerful time!

At the August 1st Wednesday Jackson cried and begged Jason to get baptized that night. Jason told him that we wanted to wait until next 1st Wednesday so we could really make sure he understood what baptism meant. We talk about it all the time with him but we wanted to take a whole month and focus on what it means!

Jason and him spent time together talking about the symbol of baptism and why we follow in baptism after we accept Christ! **Jackson accepted Christ in Sept 2008 in our van, in his Christian Preschool parking lot...he is so funny telling the story!

Jason drew some pictures for Jackson explaining all the details:

On the 1st Wednesday of September, last wednesday, Jason came home early from work to spend a little more time with Jackson before the 1st Wednesday service. We talked about it again, had him tell us what it meant...and then he said...I'm not ready yet! So we said...okay that's fine! You wait until you are ready!

Worship was AMAZING, our RevBand is SO talented! Its a beautiful worship experience each weekend! Our Worship Pastor has done an amazing job demonstrating what true Worship is!

After worship we took communion as a family...Jackson got in trouble because he ate his "bread" before we even started doing the communion (I had asked him 3 times to wait for his dad)! We prayed as a family and then Jason went back up to the front to get prepared for baptisms.
I LOVE baptisms...I LOVE watching people proclaim their FAITH & LOVE for Jesus! Its powerful EVERY TIME...I don't want it to EVER get old!

Once everyone who was in line got baptized, Jason asked if there was anyone else who would like to get baptized. A few seconds later I saw a lady walking down the isle, she was ready to follow in obedience! It was powerful...she has MS and she needed help getting in and out of the baptismal...but she was determined to proclaim that she was a Christ Follower!
Her obedience gave Jackson the courage he needed, he looked at me after watching her struggle and said "Mom, I'm ready!" So I told him to go tell his dad...and I honestly don't have any clue how we held it together!! It was life changing for us!

Jackson also wanted Josh Boggs, one of our RevKids Volunteers to be a part of his baptism, our RevKids Ministry is amazing!

1st Wednesday was challenged me! If a 6 year old and a woman with MS can stand in front of a whole church and say "I LOVE JESUS WITH MY LIFE AND ACTIONS", then so can you, so can I! The same power that raised Jesus out of the grave is the SAME power that will live within you when you accept him as your Savior! He is a force to be reckoned with and he desires us to follow him! Proclaim never know how your obedience will effect the generations younger than you!

What God is doing at Revolution Church absolutely blows me away! He is moving in lives...with a strong and mighty power! He desires for his people to be changed and to be passionate about him...that's happening at REV CHURCH! So grateful to be a part of this movement in GA!

And lets end this post with a picture of Jackson's very HAPPY little sister...our sweet Natalie Grace! God has been so gracious to us...we are so unworthy yet through HIM he allows us to parent these precious children!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A failed adoption....

***I was cleaning out my "Drafts folder" here on my blog and I came across this post I had written but never posted! I remember these feelings of a failed adoption so vividly...and I wouldn't trade ANY of our story! Its all part of God's plan to bring Natalie to us! I know some of you who read this blog have experienced a failed adoption...your child is coming...and GOD will blow you away with his perfect timing! Praying for you!

August 18th, 2009

Oh goodness...the emotions rage when you know that the adoption you had been praying for starts falling apart before your eyes!!! On Tuesday, April 28th when we got our call I thought that was the REAL call...little did I know that only 2 weeks later we would receive the phone call from Sara letting us know that our birthmom must have changed her mind since they couldn't get a hold of her.

IT HURTS!!!!! ITS PAINFUL!!! No amount of encouragement helps in the middle of the chaos. You cry, you scream, you snap....its as if you have an outer body experience.

I lost control...I lost my joy...I lost the drive to keep going...I GAINED weight...I ate...and I cried!!! I'm just saying...I had REAL emotions...I didn't just sit at home and in a calm voice say "it will be okay." Nope, it effected me in ways I cant even explain.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that God is HOLY, that HIS time is perfect, that he wants me to desire HIM above anything else...but I'm not gonna fake it...this journey is HARD!!!! But God's Word says "WHEN you go through trials...." I'm not a Christ Follower who believes...just follow Jesus and everything will be perfect! NO WAY...being a Christ Follower is MESSY, people turn on you, people think you are CRAZY...people try to talk you out of your purpose!!! Following Jesus isn't for wimps...its for the desperate people who KNOW they need a Savior!!!

Through all of this over the last 4 months...and the last 18 months of FOCUS has been on Jesus. We are adopting because we feel lead by the Holy Spirit to take care of orphans (James 1)! I want HIM and HIM alone to reap all the glory for this journey. I don't want a pat on the back, I don't want a celebration of Jason and Lindsey Gerdes, I don't want people to look at us and say...WOW...I want EVERYONE's focus to be on GOD, the Creator of Life, the Giver of Breath, the Author of Adoption.

So if anything...this adoption hasn't been a failure...its been fruitful...Ive learned more than I ever could think imaginable! Ive prayed prayers that scare me, Ive laid flat on my face for hours and begged the Lord for guidance, strength, perseverance, deliverance, and peace!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So different...

Last year at this time my life, our life, looked DRASTICALLY different! We were on staff @ BAF in TEXAS, had one child and waiting on God to move in several areas of our life. Last year I celebrated my birthday in TEXAS with two precious friends, had dinner with TEXAS Pastor's wives...and had a NORMAL TEXAS Birthday!

This year...on my birthday, which was Tuesday...I couldn't help but be SO emotional as I reflected back on my life over the past year. This year wasn't a TEXAS birthday but a full fledged GEORGIA birthday! Jason asked me last week what I wanted for my birthday and I couldn't really think of anything because my heart is SO full, this season of life we are in is MORE than I could have ever imagined. I am humbled that God allows me to love him, I'm so imperfect yet he desires ME and I desire HIM. God has shown me more about HIM in the past year than I ever thought possible.

He has blessed us with a little girl who was TOTALLY created to be a part of our family. Jackson is thriving in his new school and he is CRAZY about RevKids, I love that he is EXCITED to go to church! God has given me friendships here in GA that are priceless treasures to me! I have to remind myself that I have only been friends with them for 6 months, cause it feels like we have been friends for YEARS! I'm getting to watch my precious husband Pastor a church, not a church we planted, which we thought that would be our path, but instead a church that we have adopted as our own. We love the people as if we have served with them for the 6 years the church has been alive!

I'm more in love with Jesus and his people then ever before!

Our long adoption journey, the times I thought that Christ had forgotten that HE placed adoption in our hearts, the times where I thought God would NEVER move in our lives again...the moments where I wanted to give up in ministry...all of those times where I felt desperate for HIM...on THIS side of that season of life...I'm glad I didn't give up! I'm glad Jason and I worked HARD to love Jesus even when we didn't understand what he was teaching us. I'm thankful that as we pursue Jesus he refines us to LOOK JUST LIKE HIM!

My life is SO different this year...and yet HE remains the same GOD!

If you are in the adoption process, be encouraged, HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU! HE IS the same God that put the burden in your heart for the hurting, for the orphan! He WILL deliver in HIS TIME! His time is precious...DO NOT let Satan tell you any different! Please let me know if I can pray for you during this time of waiting, you can email me at LindseyLGerdes@gmail. com!

If you are pastor's wife, PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBAND! Love and Support him. He has a huge weight to bare and he needs to know you are 100% behind him & beside him. Love the people you have the honor to serve...YOU are there to SERVE...not be served! Love and Touch as many people on a Sunday as you can! BE REAL and HONEST but most of all SHOW THEM YOUR SAVIOR! He is SO worthy to be talked about...LIVE YOUR FAITH OUT LOUD!

Side Note:
***Being a Pastors Wife and the Adoption Process...both are journeys that are tied to immeasurable blessings...but can also develop a feeling of loneliness! So if there is any way that I can lift you up in prayer, please don't hesitate to share! You are loved sweet friend, God has HUGE things for your life.

You never know...NEXT YEAR @ this time...your life could look SO DIFFERENT!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I WILL Blog again!

Well what a summer we have had! God has done more in my heart in 8 months of Natalie's arrival and our move to GA...then I ever thought possible! School has started back and a routine will now be my best friend :) I promise to catch up on our life...God has been so good to us!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Surrendering MY plans!

God's timing simply amazes me! The day we got the call saying that we had been chosen by a birthmom we had been "officially" waiting for 20 months and been in the adoption process for almost 3 years!

The same week we got our "chosen" phone call was the same week my husband had his 1st face to face interview with a Pastoral search firm. Here is where the blessings get even crazier!

For the past 7 years we have had the honor of being on staff at Bay Area Fellowship in Corpus Christi, TX. My husband was the Student Pastor and I got to serve along side of him serving students and loving on leaders! WE LOVED OUR JOB!!! We knew that at some point we would love to go somewhere for Jason to be the Lead Pastor or to plant a church...but we also knew that God hadn't released us from our precious church, BAF! So one day Jason came home and said "Lindsey, Bil (Sr Pastor @ BAF) told me about a church in Georgia who is looking for a Lead Pastor and after talking with Bil I really think that this could be a fit for our family."

(At this point we hadn't been chosen by a birthmom)

So we started the interview process with the search firm! Jason didn't have a resume together because we didn't have any intentions of leaving Bay Area during that season of ministry...we had been simply serving where God wanted us and we LOVED it...we were content and then ALL OF SUDDEN like a unexpected Hurricane our lives were totally turned into a surreal whirlwind!

Jason had his first face to face interview October 15th...we had gotten our "chosen" phone call by our agency on October 13th.

Our lives felt insane during those months of October, November and December...CAUSE IT WAS INSANE!!!!

After several trips to Georgia, lots of meetings with the search firm, search team, and pastors...we were offered the job on DECEMBER 5TH...uh yes...the SAME DAY Natalie Grace was born! Hows that for God's timing!

Okay so here is where it gets GOOD! On Friday, December 4th Jason had an AMAZING prayer time before I had even gotten up. We had been begging God to either shut the door to this opportunity OR swing it WIDE open...either way we simply wanted to do what HE wanted! We just wanted to be in HIS will! I woke up with Jason sitting right next to me in our bed...him stroking my hair :) I could tell that he had been crying. He started to tell me about his prayer time.

James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." This verse had become SO alive to us during our adoption journey and it was the reason we were able to KEEP going! That Friday morning God used that verse in such a tangible way for Jason. You see we thought when and if we ever left BAF that we would go and plant a church somewhere...get to create something from would be as if it was our biological child!

But God had other plans for us! During Jason's prayer time God revealed to him that we were to go and adopt this church in Georgia. No we didn't start it but God was asking us to go and parent this church. But we would have to leave something we cared about SO much...our student ministry! We had been given the freedom to create an amazing ministry that served students right where they could we leave that...our first born love! God sweetly reminded Jason that HE would take care of the ministry...Jason began to feel released! THEN....Jason started praying for ME! Here we were about to bring a baby into our family and I NEEDED my support group...these people had prayed COUNTLESS hours for our adoption...they had cried with me and rejoiced with me! HOW COULD I LEAVE THAT?? I was so distraught with the thought of these precious people NOT getting to watch Natalie Grace grow up. So Jason pleaded with God for him to take care of his bride...Jason said "God I will go to GA and take care of your bride BUT you have to take care of my bride." And then he asked God to reveal it to me, on my OWN terms, if GA was the place where we were to go and do ministry!

On Dec 5th we woke up and started getting the house ready for my grandparents to come for their visit...I was cleaning the bathroom when ALL OF SUDDEN God totally spoke SO clearly to me...I didn't hear his audible voice but wow it was so close to that...I sensed him RIGHT there in the bathroom of all places! I looked at myself in the mirror and said these words "look after widows in their distress." I had been really pondering that verse for 2 years trying to figure out what it would look like for OUR family to take care of widows...I NEVER NEVER thought that the word widow for us would mean God's church! The pastor of the church in Georgia had resigned in May (during the same time that our first adoption fell through) this church had been without a "lead pastor" for 7 months. God simply reminded me that we were suppose to go and take care of the widow...HIS church that didn't have a Leader...and that my husband was to be the Leader of this church. God asked me that day to go and fall in love with the staff, the people, the community and to love them as if they were our own! This was a church in wouldn't be our "biological" we didn't plant it...we didn't give birth to it...BUT he asked us to adopt it as our own!

Okay so all of that took place with me looking in the mirror with a cleaning rag in one hand, the other hand on the counter top bracing myself so I would collapse :), and tears streaming down my face! I couldn't believe it...God was taking care of Jason's bride and breaking MY HEART for the people of Revolution Church!

So I went to the garage where Jason was...and I was SOBBING!!! He thought I was sobbing because I didn't want to move...I told him what had just happened and he said..."Were you reading your bible when all of that happened" and I said "NO, I was CLEANING the bathroom."

***Side note: When I walked out to the garage Jason had the vacuum cleaner suction hose up in the air with a golf club handle being shoved down into it...I asked him "What are you doing" he said "I just sucked up a pair of your 'personal belongings' (didn't actually say that but you get the picture) up in the vacuum cleaner!" Wouldn't you know that while God was drawing me to a place of painful surrender He added in some comedic relief :) I heart God!

So there it was...our YES to move to Georgia was ON THE TABLE...and about an hour later we got a call letting us know that the search team had met that morning (during my meeting with Jesus) and they officially wanted to offer Jason the position of LEAD PASTOR at Revolution Church in Canton, GA! We accepted! And then Natalie was born just a few hours later!

I cant even explain to you the freedom in Christ I experienced that day! We were about to walk into some deep hurts and deep JOY!! And we were THRILLED about all the details! The hardest part was to walk away from a ministry and friendships that we totally adored and loved. But I'm SO thankful for my friendships in Texas...they graciously encouraged us to accept this new role and have been SO SO SUPPORTIVE...Revolution Church has a HUGE support system in Texas!!

We packed up and moved to GA and arrived here Feb 27th...we have lived here going on three months! I miss my "peeps" in Corpus EVERY DAY...but Jason and I know that we are RIGHT WHERE we are suppose to be! We have adopted this place and I'm blessed by the people we have the honor of serving. They have taken care of my family as if they've known us for 10 years. They love my kids, they love me and they love and respect my husband...their Lead Pastor! God is good!! I'm adored by the King of Kings and he allows me every day to serve the people of Canton, GA and I'm in LOVE with the staff, the people and the community!

God's timing is perfect...might not be how we planned it...but I'm so glad HE is the master creator and that he loves me enough to pluck me out of a "comfortable" situation and place me in a beautiful city to love the hurting and the distressed! Wouldn't change a single detail of our last 5 months! And I'm so grateful that he used the adoption of Natalie Grace to get us to a place of FULL surrender so we could go and adopt HIS Church!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Details of December Part 3

One of my most FAVORITE memories when Natalie was born was this next story I get to share with you :)

When we received the information that A(birthmom) had gone into labor on Saturday but we weren't going to be able to see Natalie till SUNDAY...I was HEARTBROKEN!!! I cant even begin to tell you the thoughts that started going through my head...FEAR set in and the serpent of LIES started rattling in my head and heart. I immediately began to pray that JESUS would go before us and that he would whisper sweet truths into Natalie's heart until we could actually get there.

Okay so fast forward to the day we are being discharged from the hospital, Monday Dec 7th. We were just about ready to leave when a cute little nurse bounced into our room...she was our discharge nurse...OH BUT PRAISE YOU JESUS, she was SO SO much more! (I'm bawling at my kitchen table right now as I type this...all the memories of God's goodness just flood right back into my heart when I get to share Natalie Grace's story) Her name was Melissa (btw this is my best friends name and she had been praying for years for our adoption) and SHE was in the delivery room when Natalie was born...she was the FIRST to hold her! Then she shared her experience with me. She said that something came over her the moment she found out that Natalie was going to be adopted. She spent HOURS holding Natalie all night and telling her that she was loved, that her parents were on their way...that she was a chosen child! She said she just couldn't stop whispering into her ear...she said it was the strangest feeling...she just HAD to tell Natalie Grace that she was LOVED!!!! At this point she didn't even know Natalie's she just said OVER AND OVER again...Baby girl...YOU ARE LOVED!!!!

As she began to tell me I was in utter amazement! I KNEW what had come over that precious nurse....MY JESUS...MY HOLY SPIRIT had gone before me and whispered sweet truths into our baby girl's heart! Im in awe at how much HE loves our baby girl...our sweet Natalie Grace!

Nurse Melissa

***Have to pause for a moment...our sweet almost 5 month old is stirring upstairs in her bed...good morning to our miracle!!!!

Like Ive said before...our stay in the hospital was something I will treasure forever! We were blessed with an amazing experience and wouldn't trade ANY of the details.

We were discharged VERY VERY late on Monday, December 7th and arrived back to Corpus Tuesday, Dec 8th @ like 2:30 in the am!!! With a very WIDE awake baby! My best friend Amy had been keeping Jackson for us while we were gone once my grandparents was such a cool moment when we walked into our house and she was waiting up for us to get home!

When we finally got to sleep it was time for us to WAKE up to get Jackson ready for school :) I was SOUND asleep with Natalie right next to me in her bassinet when I felt someone taping me on the shoulder. It was Jackson...he looked at me and then looked at his baby sister (this was the first time he had seen her in "person"...we sent LOTS of pictures while we were in the hospital) and he said "mom she is REALLY here." It was LOVE at first sight for him!
Jackson seeing his sister for the first time!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Details of December Part 2

Our stay in the hospital was amazing! Our nurses where BEYOND amazing and NEVER once showed any judgement towards A(birthmom) or us.

One encounter I had with one of the nurses totally took me off guard and I KNOW it was a total God moment. It was EARLY Monday morning (Dec 7th), the morning nurse, Laura, had come in to check on Natalie and see how she was doing. After she got Natalie all wrapped back up she came over to my bed and said "I think this is amazing what yall are doing." I told her thank you but that we were just ordinary people. She began to tell me HER story...oh my heavens HOW GOOD IS GOD????

Our Nurse...well...SHE is a BIRTHMOM!!!!! Oh Praise you Jesus for this encounter. I was in total shock (I shouldn't have been...God does these types of things)! She had chosen adoption for her child 25 to 30 years ago (cant remember was 5:30 in the morning)...she told me HER point of view on adoption, she told me about the day she met her daughter 25+ years after she had placed her for adoption...she told me her pain...her JOY...her peace! It was a moment I will be thankful for FOREVER!!! God totally knew she would be Natalie's nurse...and that we would be there for that moment. She taught me so much about birthmoms and the feelings they experience after they place their child in their forever families. It was a priceless conversation.

On Monday afternoon A was discharged from the hospital...we couldn't leave yet cause it hadn't been 48 hours. She wanted to go home and so our agency was going to go to her house, let her sign, then come back to the hospital and let us sign!!! It was a whirlwind!

We were getting Natalie all prepped to head back to Corpus when there was a knock on our hospital room door. I went to the door and it was A's friend...she was coming to let me know that A wanted to say bye before she left. My heart started racing...I wanted to be tender with her and express how thankful I was (am) for her. I walked into the hallway and there she was...a precious woman...who had just given birth to a precious little girl. Tears started trying to flow...but I tried really hard to be strong. I gave her a hug and told her I loved her so much. She hugged back and said that she knew we would love Natalie and she knew we loved her. I started crying and she grabbed me by the shoulders and said "we aren't gonna do this...cry...Im going to be okay." At that moment I wanted to cry EVEN MORE!!! Holy cow what an amazing girl she is...she wanted to be strong for ME...yet she was the one leaving the hospital after 9 months of pregnancy without her child...and now she was giving me permission to love, raise, and adore...her child.

I walked back into our room and LOST IT....I mean UGLY CRY!!! The nurse and Jason were both heartbroken too...we all just looked at eachother! I LOVE LOVE our birthmom! I am thankful and grateful for her decision. Her leaving the hospital was all became very real for Jason and me.

SIDE NOTE: Please don't talk about birthmoms as if they aren't humans LOVED by our gracious God...our society has a negative view of birthmoms...THIS MUST CHANGE! They aren't GIVING UP their child but instead they are choosing LIFE and then letting a family raise and love their child...that's BRAVERY!!!! So lets be careful how we view these precious women!

After A left the hospital we had some time together...just me, Jason and Natalie. We finished packing up and got her ready for the drive home. We took LOTS of pictures and just basically sat their and held her and loved on her...we didn't put her down hardly at all the whole time we were at the hospital. We had prayed for this very day for 2 1/2 years and now here we was all happening BETTER than we had planned or prayed!

Stay tuned for Details of December Part 3....we had A LOT of things happen in December!!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Details of December Part 1

I was just upstairs loving on our precious 4 1/2 month old little bundle of sweetness and this overwhelming since TO BLOG came over me...I gotta get Natalie's story down on paper! Its hidden in my heart and talked about daily...but gotta get it documented!

So here are the details of December:

On December 2nd we found out that our birthmom (going to call her A through this post) would have a csection on Wednesday, Dec 9th @ 12:30pm in Houston. Our plan was to go to Houston on Dec 8th, get a hotel, REST, and then be at the hospital early Wednesday morning to be with A and love on her while she was getting ready to go in for the csection. I had EVERYTHING PLANNED for Tuesday-Friday...Jax was all taken care of with friends and we were set and ready to go!

My grandparents decided that the would make a quick trip to visit us the weekend before Natalie was to be born. They flew in on Dec 5th and were planning on flying back on Dec 7th. My nanny several times said "I just think something is going to happen if we the baby might be born or something." WELL....Dec 5th (Saturday) we were all gathered watching the Texas Longhorns FIGHT HARD to win the championship (booo that didnt happen...poor Colt! Love that dude)...I had just told everyone..."okay, I'm not getting up again, I want to sit here and watch the game." Right after I said that I checked my email and went in to total shock mode!!! We had an email from our agency letting us know that A had gone into labor and was at the hospital and was having her csection TONIGHT!!!! I totally paused and then started freaking the email to Jason, Jax and my nanny and pawpaw! We just all looked at each other and had NO idea what to say or do!!! (My Nanny mumbled something under her breath...Im sure she said..."I knew I was right"...LOVE YOU NANNY)

I got on the phone with our agency and they informed me that everything was fine but she had gone into labor...and for us to meet our case worker at the hospital in Houston on Sunday. So we packed our bags, made phone calls to get Sunday services covered...CRIED...freaked out...CRIED...made more phone calls...PRAYED....CRIED!!! I was in total awe of this very moment!!!

So there we are at our home while our precious birthmom was delivering our precious child. AND the PLAN was for us to be there when she was born so we could be the first ones to hold her...but NOW...WHO was going to hold her and tell her how much she was loved!!! I just couldn't fathom the thought of our precious daughter in the hospital nursery with NO one to love on her. Right then I started begging and pleading with the Lord that HE would be RIGHT there speaking truth over her. I got on the phone with friends and asked them to pray too!! I knew A had decided not to see Natalie because she thought it would be too I just begged God that he would comfort A and Natalie since I wasn't going to be there to show love to both of these precious girls...our birthmom and our child. (As if I thought I HAD to be there to comfort...I cant wait to tell you what happened)

We didn't sleep hardly at all that night! We got up early and headed to Houston and my grandparents stayed with Jackson. HELLO BLESSING! We made our way to Houston but first stopped off at a Whataburger in Portland to get loved on by one of my precious prayer warriors, Donna Brown! We had forgotten to take Jackson's booster seat out of my car and my grandparents needed it and she was going to take it to them! BUT then she gave us a personalized Christmas ornament with ALL of our names on it...even Natalie's! OH MY became real! I'm pretty sure we prayed right there in the parking lot...Donna Brown doesn't matter where you are!

Our drive to Houston was AMAZING! Since it was Christmas time the radio stations were all playing Christmas Music...OVER AND OVER again we got to hear about the birth of our SAVIOR...the very SAVIOR who had orchestrated our miracle! Oh what a priceless time...I kind of wish I could go back and relive that day all over again. I was changed that day...and I will always be grateful for what God did in our he so tenderly loved me enough to bring me and Jason to the place of adoption...what an HONOR to serve our KING by loving and raising his children.

We arrived at the hospital and met our case worker! She let us know that we would be able to STAY at the hospital in our own room with Natalie!! What a huge blessing! We were going to be able to have our daughter in our OWN room for her stay at the hospital.

We got to look through the hospital nursery window and could see Natalie with a cute Santa hat on. We couldn't SEE her face and features though so we were DYING to see her! The nurses got us all settled in our room...all the security wrist band stuff...and then while they were prepping Natalie to be brought to us...I got to go have a visit with A. ***This was priceless to me!!! I was amazed at how well she was doing. The first question she asked me was "Have you seen her yet"...I said no and she said "Well hurry back to your room so you can go love on her." So I loved on A just a bit more then headed back to our room.

Just a few moments later the nurses rolled Natalie Grace into our room! OH MY OH MY!!!!!!! I was SO not prepared for what took place in my heart that VERY moment I saw was INSTANT LOVE!!! Not "Oh I will have to grow to love her", Not "we gotta bond", Not "I love her but it doesn't feel like she is mine yet." NOPE instant LOVE (the same love Jesus has for us)! I was amazed at how beautiful she was (is) and Jason and I couldn't take our eyes off of her! SERIOUSLY one of the BEST BEST days of my life!

THEN...all the nurses left our room...our case worker left...and it was just us 3! Oddly enough I didn't cry one tear...I think I had emptied my tear bank on Saturday! I was just oozing JOY...this was the day that I had prayed, fasted, cried and begged God for and WOW did he deliver!! Jason and I couldn't stop taking pictures and texting them to every living being...we wanted EVERYONE to see how GOOD God was being to undeserving and yet he was just pouring the blessings on THICK!!! The Holy Spirit showed up that day in our hospital room...and stayed until we were discharged from the hospital. There was a covering of peace for those 2 days we were there. We KNEW that the there was still a possibility that A could change her mind (in TX birthmoms have 48 hours and then they can sign to terminate rights) but we were appointed for the time being to LOVE and ADORE this precious gift. She didn't leave our sight but twice to go to the nursery. The nurses were fabulous! They just oooo and awwed over her and wanted to hear our story! It was a sweet sweet time...a time that I will always TREASURE! God is good good!!!!

The Details of December just keep getting better and better...but first some pictures:

(I cant upload any of the pics cause Jason has them on his for now use this link)

Details of December Part 2...coming soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Sorry everyone for the LONG delay in posts...needless to say we have been BUSY BUSY around here! Okay here is what happened in November.

November 7th was our birthmom's we went back to Houston on November 12th to take her to lunch for her birthday. My sweet friend made her a cake and I took her some little birthday gifts. We hung out for a bit at the agency and then we went and ate lunch. But before lunch she gave me a CD with pictures from her ultrasound. Here we were celebrating her and yet she was giving us a gift that was priceless.

We had a good lunch and got to know each other better. Its the most surreal experience sitting across from a wonderful girl who is VERY pregnant and has chosen YOU (us) to raise and love her child. It takes my breath away every time I think about what a difficult yet brave choice she made. I'm in awe of our birthmom. My prayer is that one day she will be married and have a sweet family of her own. I will rejoice with her.

After lunch we said our good byes and we knew the next time we would see her would be on DELIVERY DAY...another very surreal moment. We took some pictures and loved on each other and then went our separate ways.

We got in the car to head back to CC and I told Jason "I will not be able to make it home knowing on this CD there are pictures of our little girl." So we went back to the agency and pulled up the pictures on their computer. We printed a few out so we could stare and study our precious bundle while we made our drive back home. I would look at the sono pics for a while...put them down...pick them back up...put them down...and it continued the whole drive home. I just couldn't get enough of those pictures. She was beautiful!!!

We got home and told Jackson that he was going to have a baby sister and he was thrilled. We still had to be cautious and he knew that it was still a possibility that our birthmom could change her mind. He is precious and wanted this little girl so badly...but he also reminded us that it might not happen. Such a hard road for a 5 year old to walk and grasp...but he did it so well. We were not telling THE WHOLE WORLD yet...we were still being very guarded and just kept our eyes on our Heavenly Father.

On Nov 18th, we had our pre placement visit with our social worker @ our house. Everything went fine and we talked a little bit about what the csection day would look like. Our birthmom was scheduled for a csection on Wednesday, Dec 9th. (Her original due date was Dec 14th) Our plan was to be there the day she had the csection and then to be the first ones to hold and see Natalie (this is what our birthmom wanted).

Also on Nov 18th, I made the announcement to my High School girls bible study group. This group of girls had been praying for years for God to bring our child home. They were so pumped!!! I was so excited to see their JOY and TEARS!!! That was one of the greatest moments on our journey.

***In my quiet time that afternoon (18th) I was brought to Luke 1:45 "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Earlier in the month I had felt like God was reassuring me that this little girl was meant to be in our family. But that specific day I was having some massive attack and then I got on my face in the nursery and began reading in Luke 1...and that was the verse that hit me hard!! It was as if God was saying...BELIEVE ME...I WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS!!!

One Nov 25th, I got word that Natalie's kidneys were a little swollen but the doctor thought everything would be fine. They said swollen kidneys are very common in little girls and most of the time after birth the kidneys become normal size. We began to pray that everything would be okay and that Natalie Grace would be born healthy...and of course that our birthmom would remain healthy too!

November was a whirlwind!! We were still guarded but had a peace about it as well. We were clinging on every scripture we had read about adoption and we were trusting that this time around a baby would be in our arms.