Friday, October 28, 2016

21 Months Waiting

Today we have been waiting for our baby for 21 months.

I think it is safe to say the last month waiting has been the hardest, honestly this was a post that 2 weeks ago I didn't think I would have to write. I didn't think we would have a 21 months waiting post.

We are getting back to normal now. Back to work, back to church, back to appointments and spending time with friends. For me, sometimes socializing is hard, it takes a lot out of me. So, if you have asked me to hang out and I say no, that's why, sometimes it's too much for me to be social. We are still grieving, but we are also finding ways to celebrate and appreciate Toby's short little life. 

What happened has made me question a lot. Are we doing the right thing? Are we supposed to continue down this adoption road? Where is God and why isn't He showing up for me? I really was questioning whether we heard God correctly, if this is what we are supposed to be doing. Luckily Adam and my friends lovingly speak truth to me when I don't see it myself. My friend Kelsey said something that really stuck with me. She said, " don't let Toby's death be in vain. Your heart made room for a child you will never meet and you will be stronger and a better mom because of it. Toby would want you to finish what you started." And I think she is right. We can continue our adoption wait and honor Toby by continuing to wait and see this adoption through to find the baby that we will get to meet and bring home.

I also had a friend share a story with me and he compared the wait (or any significant wait in your life) to being like Moses and the Israelite. They were literally running away from the Egyptians. They were standing at the edge of the Red Sea and this HUGE army was moving towards them. It LOOKED like there was no hope. They were asking, God, why did you lead us here just to destroy us? Why did you free us from slavery just to let our enemy defeat us? Then Moses heard God say, "just touch the water." and I'm sure Moses was like EXCUSE ME?! You want me to touch the water - do you SEE what is happening here? But he did it, and the Red Sea parted. God showed up in what looked like an impossible situation, when His people thought He had left them for dead. And God will show up for me. I may not have enemies chasing me down, but I am at the end of rope, facing my Red Sea, my "God you brought me this far, why did you lead me here to take away my baby?" So, I will keep waiting, in my Moses moment, waiting for God to direct me to touch the water. Waiting for God to show up in an unexpected, only-God kind of way. 

Everyone's adoption story is different. This is NOT what I thought mine would look like at all. But it is my story. God will use what happened for good, that's what He does, use impossibly hard and no way out situations for good. So, we will continue to wait, pray for us as this is not easy.

Thank you for all the continued encouragement and support. Seriously, it has been so encouraging to know so many people care and are covering us in prayer.

With Love,
Kristen

Monday, October 24, 2016

A week later

It has been a week since we found out that we lost our baby. It has been the hardest week I've ever gone through, but the support we have received has been awesome. We have been covered in prayer by, I'm sure, hundreds of people. We have been given food, flowers, cards, and lots of hugs. The hardest question to answer has been "how are you?" I'm not okay, but I'm holding it together - most of the time. Sometimes, after a long day of holding it together, I fall apart. And, it's okay, I'm grieving. I've never really had to grieve before, so I'm trying to figure out what that means for me. Sometimes it means crying, sometimes it means not talking to anyone and binge watching Netflix, sometimes it means listening to the Serial podcast and cleaning my house, and sometimes it is taking a walk with a friend and talking about ways to remember our baby.
We named our baby Toby - we don't know if Toby is a boy or a girl, but we thought it fit. It means God is good, or the kindness of God. Even though it is hard to see God's goodness in death, we know He is good. We don't know why God allowed this to happen, but we know that we have a God who understands. Our God sent His own son to die and watched Him die, and felt the pain of losing His child. We are in good company with God.
One thing my counselor said was that maybe we were matched with Toby because God knew we would remember this baby. Toby will forever be remembered as our child, as all children - no matter how short their life- deserve to be remembered. This is a great honor. And now Toby is with Jesus, he or she is perfect, healthy, happy, and will never cry or be sad. Toby was our baby for 5 days. 5 days that were too short, 5 days that we never saw or met this baby, but Toby is and forever will be our baby. This thought has helped heal my heart.
We will eventually be matched with another family, a family whose baby will be born alive and that we will get to take home. And we are hopeful for that day and pray that it is soon. We are hoping for our profile book to go back into circulation to be seen by expectant families this week. But, we will always remember Toby and the impact Toby made on our lives.
We are trying to get back to normal, but our normal will never be the same. Please pray for us as we try to figure out what life looks like now, how we are grieving, how we will heal, and how we will remember Toby. And pray for us as we go back into the wait. The wait is excruciating and going back into with a loss makes it harder. Pray as we are around family and friends who have babies or are pregnant, because that is a sharp pain to see as it brings to light what we don't have and what we lost and what we are waiting for. Our hearts have a lot of healing to do.

On November 11, Toby's due date we are going to do a lantern release. If you want to release a lantern or balloon for Toby please take a picture and send it to us.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I will leave you with this:

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me,
YET this I call to mind and THEREFORE I HAVE HOPE:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.
Lamentations 3;19-24


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Baby That Made Us Parents

Warning: this is not a happy post. This is a very heart breaking, hard post.

Last week, we were notified that we were chosen by a birth family! We heard about all the details and decided to accept the match! Everything seemed so perfect. The parents were together, they picked us because we were young, hip, and looked like we liked each other. The baby was due Nov. 11, no drug exposure, and they were very sure of their decision. They wanted a closed adoption, which we were sad about, but knew that was always something they could pick. They didn't want to meet us, so we have never met the family and don't know anything about them. We talked back and forth between our social worker and the pregnancy counselor about names. WE WERE ECSTATIC. We bought a bunch of baby stuff, talked to our families, and our jobs about taking time off. We didn't tell everyone because birth families can always change their minds, and we were waiting to hear about their birth plan and to find out the gender. We were really excited and could not wait to find out more and finally be parents! We were done waiting! We made plans for how to do thanksgiving and Christmas with our new baby, we finally could do and plan things we have been waiting for for 3 years!
Then Adam got a call from our social worker Monday. When we both got home from work he sat me down and said we needed to talk. He said "this is not good news, but we will be okay." I said " did the expectant family change their mind?" and he said "no, the baby died."

And my world crashed. Our baby died. Our baby was gone. We lost our baby. We cried. And cried. And cried. We told our friends, our family, and we had friends come over and spend time with us and cry with us.

We don't know what happened to the baby, and we don't blame anyone, it's just one of those freak accidents. We have a lot of questions that have no answers. Why did God allow us to get matched and then take our baby away? What happened? Boy or girl? How is the birth family? When will we get a baby? Will we ever get a baby?

We have been waiting so long and we thought we were done waiting. We chose adoption because the chance of me miscarrying is so high. We are now parents, but parents without a child. We always knew the birth family could change their mind, but we never thought this would happen. We were never prepared for this. This should not happen.

So, what now? We wait again. This is very upsetting and frustrating to us. We go to holidays as parents with empty arms- this is heartbreaking. We will continue to struggle with our friends having babies and being pregnant - maybe even more now. And we will become stronger and continue to hope. We still have hope. Knowing that God has a plan for our GOOD, and not to harm us gives us hope. Knowing that God is good and keeps our promises gives us hope. We don't necessarily feel hopeful, but we have hope. One day, we may be able to look back and understand, and if not that is okay. We trust God and His plan for us - even though we don't understand why He allowed this to happen. We know that His love and light will shine through this situation somehow (listen to the song Thy Will Be Done by Hilary Scott if you haven't this has been running through my mind the last 24 hours, and Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson)

Please be praying for us. For healing, for strength, for us to be confident moving forward and not to give in to anxiety, fear, and doubt. Pray for the birth family and their healing too.

Thank you for your support and giving me a place to be honest and share the hard stuff about adoption. I wasn't sure if I was going to write a post on this, but I promised from the beginning that I would share our full story, and this baby will always be part of our story. And this is something that happens in adoption so I think it needs to be shared.

When we decide what to do in memory of this baby, I will share it with you. Let me know if you have good ideas.

Kristen