Sunday, November 24, 2013

Redemption. A Birth mom's Perspective.

Redeem: to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable
We have been purchased at the greatest cost, 
and what has fallen to the ground in ashes can be made beautiful.

Adoption is complex. 
There is no perfect solution.
 Someone's greatest sorrow became my greatest joy, yet there is another side to the story. 
When adopting we not only adopted our Eliana, we adopted a family. 
K has become family. 
We fight for her and love on her as if she was our own flesh and blood. 

Adoption has a redeeming value. 
In a situation where two families are faced with life altering decisions, 
one decision can changed everything. 

By the grace of God, we were put together with K. 
Two worlds collided and were forever changed. 
In her moment of crisis, we became an answer to her deepest prayers. 
In our desire to grow a family, she became our answer to years of prayer and crying out. 

Earlier this week I asked K to write...
Write on what adoption has meant for her. 
Below is what she sent me. 

The impact that Brian and Jen have made on mine and my kids's life has been nothing short of incredible. 

They are a God send. God really and truly works in mysterious ways. 
He has been behind the scenes ever since our initial contact via phone. 
Whenever I have doubts or concerns about the outcome of a situation that I have felt I had no control over he reveals himself in his perfect timing. 
That is why it was so important that Brian and Jen stepped in when they did when I was pregnant with Eliana.  
Im always reminded of the love and compassion God has for me. 
He really cares and loves me so much.
 Enough to bring Brian and Jen into my life. 
They immediately knew that I was very much in need of their help after talking and visiting with me. 
Even though neither of us beforehand knew each other were even on the planet. 
God had prepared for our paths to cross. 
I felt as if I was at war with myself. 
As if I was in defeat but Brian and Jen came to our rescue. 
My rescue. 
Because of Brian and Jen God reminded me that there are true genuine unselfish people still out there. 
Brian and Jen needed Eliana. 
Eliana needed Brian and Jen. 
Life is all about miracles and answered prayers. 
God has superceeded and singlehandly fulfilled all of those promises I mentioned above. 
I had no idea that by meeting Jen I would soon find out how true and genuine a person could be. 
I don't ever have to worry of her judging me and I want to be influenced by her because she loves Jesus. Shes an awesome mommy and great with kids. 
She's done nothing but shown me love from day one. 
She's a go getter and it reflects in everything she does. 
We have so much fun together! My kids adore her.
 Jen and Brian are the glue that just mended everything together. 
We have a bond so close to each other. 
Brian is one of the coolest people I know.
 He loves Jesus with a passion. 
And pursues him everyday. 
Always has an encouraging word to give. 
Knows the bible like the back of his hand. 
He loves being a dad. 
I am glad he has the energy and patience it takes to raise a child. 
He fits the description of being a dad to a tee.
 Brian and Jen have reassured me time and time again that God keeps his promises toward his children if you are obedient and faithful and trustworthy. 
Brian and Jen are my miracle. 
They were the answer to my prayer.

Written by : K on November 23, 2013

I am thankful for a loving Savior who has given us all we need in order to walk out the journey.
By no means were we the "Savior" in this story, Jesus was. 
As we've felt our way through this open adoption, we have made lots of mistakes. 
We've made every effort to bring our precious K to the feet of Jesus time and time again. 
She has willingly been obedient to the Lord, and her life is a testimony to his goodness.
Our lives are a miracle. 
There are so many miracles that have led us to where we are today. 
For us adoption has been interconnected. 
It has been the redeeming silver lining. 
It's brought hope into hopeless situations. 
Each adoption story is different. 
There is no "right" way to adopt...
But this is our story.
Written by God
and lived out by us. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Love Wins. (Part 3)

Where I left off. 
Sometimes you have to pick up where you left off.
Even if that means over a year behind,
 so today I bring you part 3 of our story. 

I believe that the reason I hesitated to share this part of our story is because it is so very intimate. 
It is the rubber meets the road of adoption. 
It's the one life laid down for another. 
This part of our story is deeply woven with beautiful hope, courage, and rejoicing, 
but deep sorrow and surrender. 

If you want to catch up, you can read PART ONE and PART TWO
I actually recommend reading our  story from the oldest post to the newest. 
It gives a more thorough understanding of our journey. 

SO. Picking up from Part two. We had the honor of first meeting K on Memorial Day. 
It was magical.
 There is just something extraordinary about meeting someone 
that you potential could forever be tied to. 
We spent the next several months traveling back and forth to her hometown. 
Hours were spent on the phone and over text message getting to know each other. 
Through it all, there was an understanding that we were all just trying to figure out how to do this. 
There are not many blogs, books written on how to get to know, form a relationship with your birth mom, so we were all navigating uncharted territory. 

The more time we spent together the more tightly knit we became. 
She quickly became like a sister to me, and my love for her was deep, like blood deep. 

August quickly approached, 
and we all knew that the day we'd meet this little one was coming at us like a bullet train. 
There was no stopping it. 

As I look back, I honestly am astonished I was not more afraid.
Sure, I had moments of fear.
Moments, sometimes days where I was crippled by the what ifs, 
but I had an underlying peace. 
I had peace that if this was our Eliana Faith... our little answer to Faith
It would all fall into place. 
I was not afraid of K changing her mind. 
If she had, I would have still loved her as deeply as I do, 
and I knew God would have lead us to our Eliana. 

Before we knew it...
the day to travel for the planned c-section was here. 
We planned to travel on my sister's birth day and celebrate my sister in K's hometown the day before the scheduled c-section.

I should preface this next part by a couple things. 
1. My sister is my best friend. She is the only person on this planet that shares my DNA and has walked out the length of my story. There is no one else on the planet that knows me to the extent that she does. 
2. My Sister is a labor and delivery nurse. 
3. My Sister's love language is gifts. 
I know those sound random, but they are an integral part of this beautifully God written story. 

We packed our car August 23, 2011.
We packed our suitcases, and we packed a suitcase for a baby. 
We put an empty carseat in the car, and we in faith headed out of town into the unknown. 
Again, I remember being nervous, yet I had a deep peace. 

We arrived at dinner time on the 23rd. 
As we opened the door to K's house, we knew something was up. 
In between each sentence, she was having to take a breath and bear down. 
I remember looking at my sister, the labor and delivery nurse, 
and mouthing, "Oh. crap."
Her response: a head nod. 
A head nod from a nurse is never a good thing in this kind of situation. 

Ready or Not...
Here we went. We packed bags quickly and headed to the hospital.
One day prior to the scheduled c-section. 
K was in active labor.
(We even had to pull out the infant carseat, so we could all fit in the car to get her to the hospital.)
I remember sitting in the back seat thinking, 
"Are there hidden video cameras somewhere?!" 
It seemed like a movie.
I felt like I should be hanging out of the window screaming at people 
"MOVE OVER woman in labor over here!!!"

K was immediately checked into the hospital, 
and she was told that she would be having the baby that night.
Holy canoles, for being a girl who likes her ducks all in a row, 
my ducks just got blown out of the water! 
Was this really happening?! Now?! Like this!!

Watching K labor was difficult. I hated seeing her in physical pain. 
I wished I could pull a Freaky Friday and switch spots with her,
 so she wouldn't have to hurt. 
So... back to my sister. Have I told you how she amazing she is?!
Well, she is an amazing sister and an amazing nurse. 
We took turns coaching K through the contractions. 

Time marched on, as we waited for them to call her in for the c-section. 
If I remember correctly, there were three emergency c-sections that trumped K's, 
so she was forced to labor far longer than any person undergoing a c-section should have to. 

The time finally came for her c-section, and we were all ready. 
Ready to be done with the physical pain. 

They wheeled her back into the surgical, delivery room, 
and as they did I whispered the scripture I was given for K long before we met her into her ear.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go"
Joshua 1:9

With that I let go of her hand and released her and the baby fully onto the Lord. 
Eliana was born a little after 11pm weighing in at 8lb 8oz. of perfection.
On my sister's birthday (Could there be a better birthday present?)
Three hours later, K was ready for us to come meet Eliana. 
I love that K was the first to get to see and hold her. 
I know most adoptive moms wish it was them, but I love that it was her. 
She was able to lay eyes on this beautiful girl for the first time and love her fully. 
She was able to love her and see her first. 
I had Eliana many years ago in my mind's eye, 
so I love that in the physical K was able to be the first. 

The ride up the elevator seemed to take forever. 
I felt like I had led in my shoes. 
The moment was here...
This was the moment I had dreamed about for years.
This was the day I'd meet my daughter. 
As we reached the door, I felt like my heart could be heard audibly outside of my chest. 

I had already made the decision that I would love this baby without abandon. 
I would love without bounds, fully knowing that it could end in heart break. 
We entered the room and my eyes immediately met K's. 
I just wanted to see in her eyes that she was ok. 
In fact, I remember that I had to remind myself that a baby was there. 
My Eliana. 

This picture below speaks volumes. 
It speaks much louder and more eloquently than I could ever use words to convey. 
This picture is the culmination of years of waiting. 
Years of negative pregnancy tests. 
Years of longing with seemingly no answer. 
Years of unknown. 
They are boiled down to this moment. 
The moment I first held Eliana. 

My world became undone. 
I loved her. 
I loved her immediately. 
I loved her with my entire being. 

Our stay in the hospital was short for a c-section. 
I spent most of my time loving on K. 
I wanted K to spend as much time with Eliana in these hours as she possibly could. 
I wanted her to have every moment she could with her to be able to drink her in.
To love her. 
That she did. She loved her deeply. 
She held her and wept. Held her and kissed her. 
This was probably the most emotionally intense days of my life. 
I was completely torn apart watching someone I love hurt. 
Now, it was the heart hurt. 
I hated watching K hurt. 
With each tear that fell on Eliana, I felt like it was my fault. 

There was a moment where I completely melted down. 
I actually left the room and asked the nurse for a private room.
I curled up in the corner of a hospital meeting room, 
and I wept. 
I wept long and hard. 
It was in that time I realized that I was not the source of pain. 
I was the beautiful silver lining. 
You see God foresaw all of this. 
He knew...all those years I lay in bed crying myself to sleep...
He knew K needed and answer to her prayers. 
He knew that Eliana would have two mamas. 
He knew. 

You see Eliana was chosen by God to be in our family. 
Eliana was chosen.
She is so wanted. 
K chose life for my sweet baby. 
K chose a life with us for her. 
Forever, this will be the hardest and most bittersweet decision. 
She is the most courageous, most selfless woman I have ever met. 
I love that God chose us to be the answer to her prayers. 
We are so blessed. 
God takes the most bitter of circumstances and makes them sweet for his glory.
He makes Beauty from ashes. 
In the end, Love always wins. 

Friday, August 23, 2013


We have a BIG Announcement over here at Barren Made Beautiful!

Ms. Eliana will be a big sis!!!

I thought it'd be appropriate to announce our starting the adoption process on her second birthday!

Eliana told me "Baby Grow in my Belly" 

Since we all know that won't be happening for a long while, 
we are praying fervently for Dean Baby #2's Birth mama. 

More Details to come this week...

This is the website to follow us along on our journey.

Be prepared for an adventure... 
Through  my writing you'll catch a glimpse of my soul,
and you will be able to hear the heart of a mama who has trudged through the muddy waters of infertility
into the beautiful world of Adoption. 

We are overjoyed and excited to meet Dean Baby #2! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

5 Months Picture Overload. 2/24/12

 She has mastered the art of sitting up on her own. She's been doing it for about a month now. Each day she sits longer before keeling over.

 We spent lots of time with Bella...Eliana is officially obsessed with Bella. They are buddies. Bella can make Eliana laugh hysterically at any given moment.
I have been doing homeschool preschool with Bella when Eliana is sleeping, and we are both loving it!

 Baby girl loves her baths...She would take 10 a day if I gave her a choice. 
She likes her baths rather warm too...

 Eliana's Birth mom, sister, and brother came for a week long visit. We had a great time!

 Eliana officially eats solids. This is her taking her first bites of rice cereal. She was not a fan of rice cereal, oatmeal, or bananas. Besides that...she will eat anything. She's become quite the eater. She is even getting neater...almost not needing a bath after every feeding ;)

 Bath time with her brother and sister!

 Snuggle time!

 We are so blessed to have the relationship we do with K. I am thankful Eliana will grow up knowing how much she's loved:) 

 Amber has been around the house quite a bit as well. When ever Eliana sees Amber, she lunges for her. She must know how much Amber loves hugs!

 We went to a birthday party with a sports theme. Eliana dressed up as a cheerleader on Team Hannah and Daniel. 

 Hope is obsessed with Eliana. The feeling is mutual. 

 Watching Super Why! with her friends.

 I love how my friends love Eliana. 

 We went to our first mother/daughter tea. Eliana was ready for a nap by the end. Can you tell?

 Auntie Jessi has been watching Eliana, so I can go to bible study every week. It's a huge blessing!

 Girl loves her feet! They are in her mouth continually!

 Can't get enough of this smile...
 Just a couple days ago E reached for her daddy for the first time. She does this excited squeal jump every time she sees him now. She knows Daddy= fun!

 I could just eat those pigs!

I fall in love over and over again every day!

Pictures. 1/9/12

Here's a quick Picture Update:
(click on the pictures to enlarge)
 E is strong! She can roll over and hold her self up like a super star. 

 Those Lashes just keep getting longer!

 When this girl smiles, she smiles ear to ear! The Belly laughs are the best!

 1st Time to have those pigs in the sand! She loved it!

 First Christmas! It was incredibly special!

 Our Sweet little Family...

 Daddy and his little girl.

 Mama and her peanut!

I could just eat these curled up piggies!