Saturday, August 27, 2011

To begin again...

So, I met this beautiful gal today that I didn't know who was reading my blog, and from my conversation with her, it reminded me that I need to be faithful to continue to share and write the stories God has given me. 

I have been not sure where to go next with this, because there are so many things I have been taught after I was given Josiah, about being a new mom and all that fun stuff :)  But at the same time, I know that there is so much to be written about Ava and about Lena and Mallory. 
Recently I looked on my old Myspace account.  I still kept it active after I switched over to facebook, and I realized how much blogging I did during the time I had it.  And most of the blogging was about God preparing me for Miss Ava. 

I really like some of the things I wrote, so this may be cheating a little, but I think I am going to start pulling a little from the blog, and then adding any things that God has shown me in reflection since the time I wrote it, because there is nothing like the lessons you are learning at the moment, but there is also so much more in the lessons I was learning that I didn't realize I was learning until later.  So in future blogs there will be the combination of both. 

But first things first, I am going to share how God led us to start the adoption process again. 
It was February 2006.  Yup, a year later after Josiah was born.  I was very exhausted from training and raising a 1 year old very hyper active toddler that was always on the go and into everything.  My sweet first little baby was becoming a little boy and God was definitely teaching me to learn consistency in disciplining (something I am relearning right now with Mallory and Lena) and Nick was in school a few nights a week so I had a lot of one on one time with my Josiah.  I was learning a lot about how to raise a little boy at this time, and I loved it some of the times, and other times I felt like I was walking around like a half dead mommy.  :) 

One night when I was feeling like the dead tired mommy, Nick was home and we decided to go out to Target with Josiah.  I was pushing the cart around, with barely enough energy for the remainder of the day, when I hear these words out of Nick's mouth.

"I think it's time we start the adoption process again." 

Uhh....  what?  maybe we should just have our one little boy and call it good. 

Looking at him with as much energy as I could muster, I responded with an unexpected fervor that shut that plan right down.  I don't exactly remember my words, but they were not kind and probably involved something about him being crazy and Josiah being only one and Nick being busy all the time and this was not the day to bring up such a notion!  I think I was definitely in "freaking out" mode with that response. 

Nick dropped the topic pretty quick that night, and I was left with the fact that my husband had a dream placed on his heart that I was not on board with yet.  Which meant I needed first, to get some sleep that night :)  and then to go before the Lord and really seek out what He had for us.  I needed to pray and sort things through and listen to God. 

February 14th, we planned a special valentine's family date night with our friend's the Cowan's.  We decided to hit up Chuck E. Cheese on Valentine's night figuring it would be pretty empty (which it was!) and let the boys (Josiah and his buddy Preston) have a fun time playing together. 

That day while Josiah was taking a nap, I remember looking at the picture over the fireplace mantle.  It had me and Nick with Josiah on our laps.  And as I thought about it, I knew we were not complete yet.  Our family was not done.  And I knew what God was telling me.  "It's time, Kari, trust your husband."  
So, when Nick came home, I gave him his Valentine's card which told him I was willing to go on the adoption waiting list again.  Nick was very excited. 

I told Erin that night as our boys played, and she shared they were thinking about trying to get pregnant again too.  God was conceiving in both of our hearts to be prepared for the growth of our families.  It was a special night to share our hopes and dreams together with them. 

Erin and I with our boys Easter Sunday, 2006
Now, mind you, just because I made a decision to follow this dream, I still had days of doubting.  Like when I would hold our friend's babies - like Ezra Becksfort or Noah Wilson, and then see Josiah have a major jealousy attack.  

Meeting Noah at the hospital

Meeting Ezra Becksfort at the hospital

I really wondered if we were doing the best thing for Josiah and for our family.  I kept questioning the timing of all of this.  And I still ached to get pregnant someday. 
Then God spoke to me.  I am going to post my first myspace re-blog down below :) 
I just have to say to end this post is, that when we seek Him God is always good to give us that confirmation of His plans for our lives when we need it the most.  Praying that He does this for you wherever you are at! 

Apr 30, 2006

An amazing weekend

For those of you who were blessed as I was to attend Mary Courson's last retreat, I just feel fragrant.  And I'm not talking about my sweat from working out tonight.  (=  It's just when you have been around someone who loves the Lord and has loved Him as long as Mary did, you just want to hang on to that and let it overflow into other's lives. 
The Lord totally spoke to me this weekend.  The verse cards that were made, I didn't realize they were not all the same until they were announced.  And hearing that they had been prayed over and that each person would get a verse specifically for them, well, it totally happened.  See, Nick and I are starting the adoption process again, and I've been having HUGE fears about it, and I really was hoping the Lord would speak to me to confirm it in my heart.  So far it had just been a submitting to Nick's desires, and me having No Desire to do it, and tons of worries...
When I first saw my verse, I thought, oh, that's a good one.  It read "You are blessed, because you believed that the Lord would do."  Luke 1:45. 
So, I thought, that is a great verse.  Then, when I heard they were prayed over and not all the same, I realized that it was something a little more personal.  And, I started to ponder that verse more, and think maybe it was my verse for this next adoption.
THEN, I went home, and this morning, I looked it up, in my NAS Bible, and here is what it read: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord." 
That verse, is the verse the Lord gave to me, in the middle of our last infertility treatment, as we were coming close to winding down on pursuing getting pregnant, and seriously starting to consider adoption as an option.  I posted that verse on my fridge, on my mirror, on my computer monitor.  (It is words Elizabeth spoke to Mary when Mary had been told she would carry Jesus and birth Him into the world).  I clung to that verse, because it was spoken by a woman who had walked my path, and she had faith. 
So, I realized, I AM BLESSED!  I am so blessed.  The Lord was so faithful with bringing Josiah into our lives.  So I don't need to worry.  Period.  I am jumping off this cliff into an unknown, but I have my amazing Savior who is going to carry me through it, and if He wills, bring about our second child in the best way He sees fit.  So, I don't need to worry.
I just thought about this verse during worship times today and I couldn't help but praise the Lord with my whole heart.  He was faithful to bring about what He had spoken to me the first time, and I know, although it is unknown of when and how and whom, He will be faithful to me once again. 
May You Experience His faithfulness in your life today!
Be Blessed! 

Our Sunshine Smile Boy

Monday, August 8, 2011

Letting Go...

We were into the beginning of January and I was starting to get anxious.   Extremely anxious.  Over every type of worry you could think of.  Rachel was due on the 7th, but we all thought she might go early.  The 7th came and went and no news of a baby. 
We went to church on Sunday January 9th. 

John Mark gave a sermon called the Fight against Fear - I have linked the page for you. 
It is amazing to me how a timely sermon can speak to you through the Holy Spirit in us.  I was in tears at the end of the sermon, and I knew that I needed prayer.  Nick and I figured sometime this next week Josiah would be born and we would become parents for the first time ever.  So we went up and Phil and John Mark laid hands and prayed over us.  One thing I remember Phil telling me afterwards is, "You do know, that even though Josiah will be given to you, he won't belong to you.  Josiah belongs to the Lord." 
God has spoken those words over and over again as a mom of four now.  My children do not belong to me.  I am a steward of them for a blink of an eye, and then it will be over.   To make the most of each moment.  To not worry about their lives, but to trust God with them, because HE is in control over everything - so my worry will do nothing to protect them, to control the situations they are in.  I have to trust.  I have to release.  I have to do my best with each day given to me and pray that they can see HIS love in my life. 

That night we got a phone call from our caseworker Roxanne.  Josiah had been born earlier in the evening, and was doing well.  The plan would be to let Rachel and Evan have Monday with their families, and then we would go up Tuesday to meet him, and he would be given to us. 

Such a crazy thing to anticipate. 

In our adoption classes, one of the things spoken to us that stood out to me, was that while you are in the hospital with your birthparents, it is NOT about you becoming new parents.  It is about them, and the loss they are going through as they give up this child that they carried in them for 9 months and are now having to say good bye to.  

The night before final preparations were made.  Carseat was placed in the back of the car.  Diaper bag loaded and ready to go.  I actually had a cough that was not going away, that my Japanese grandma made me take some sort of gross syrup thing for - and she gave me face masks to wear around Josiah when we were at the hospital.  (which I chose to leave at home)

Nick and I drove up on Tuesday morning - and we got to the hospital around 11.  We met with our caseworker, who was in communication with Rachel's birth counselor who came down and met with us.  We talked and prayed, and when Rachel and Evan were ready, we went up to see them, and met Josiah for the first time. 

I remember the first time I held him, how solid he felt in my arms.  being born at 8 lbs 1 ounce he was a good healthy weight.  And his hair.  He had a beautiful head of red hair.  He rested peacefully and was very content as a baby. 

I held back at that point though.  I knew I could not let myself get fully attached until everything was final.  The words of Phil "Josiah does not belong to you, he belongs to the Lord" echoed in my mind. 
Josiah was taken to be circumcised, and we had a chance to talk with Rachel and Evan more.  Evan shared how they had put antibiotics in his eyes and that he had wiped them away because he thought they were tears.  I gave them a red photo album as a thank you gift that maybe they could use to put his pictures in...  as if a photo album could really ever say thank you.  Thank you for giving us your child. 

How do you really ever say enough for that - there is no words that really justify the gratitude. 
As the day progressed though, the emotions started to get tougher.  We would go in and spend time with Rachel and Evan and Josiah, and then we would go out and they would talk.  They would talk with Cindy their birth counselor,  and then they would talk with us. 

"This is just a really hard thing to do." 

We began to see that this could go a different direction than we had planned that morning when we left our home. 

Dinner time came and went but I barely nibbled on a bagel.  We would take turns holding Josiah out in the hall while conversations in the other room were going on - but after awhile there came a point that I looked at his face, and I knew I could not hold him anymore.  I gave him to Roxanne and said "I just can't do this right now." 

Evan came out with tears sharing he knew it was the right thing for them to do, and he didn't understand why Rachel would think about changing her mind. 

Cindy came out and told us that Rachel was just having doubts. 

We went in and talked more with Rachel and Evan, and let Rachel talk through how she was feeling. 
We told her we wanted what was best for Josiah - and prayed with them that God would show them the right decision to make. 

We left them to talk again, and then Cindy came out and said that she said Rachel would sign the papers.  We went back into the hospital room, and I was holding Josiah again, and Rachel was in tears, she said,"I feel like I am being forced to do this."  When she spoke those words a prayer went out in my heart to the Lord that said, "Please Lord, I don't want to take her baby away from her.  This isn't right.  Please Lord intervene this IS not right." 

It was 8pm at night, and Rachel was needing to be discharged that evening.  We left the room again, and Cindy came out and said, "I can't let her sign the papers at this point." 

I felt relieved in a way, and said "We would not feel comfortable with that either." 

We waited a little longer, and the decision came through Cindy out to us, that Rachel would take Josiah home that night, and was asking if we could find a hotel close by to stay the night in, and then Rachel would let us know the next morning.  Nick emotionally lost it at this point.  He started crying, and just said, "this is just really really hard to be sent back and forth emotionally on what we will do." 

I grabbed Nick's arm with tears in my eyes - because that is what came forth when I saw my husband crying.  "It's okay Nick, it's okay"  I cried. 

Nick calmed down a little, and we agreed to do that, and at 9:30 at night we left the hospital without Josiah.  We both knew in our hearts that if she was taking Josiah home with her, he would not be our son. 

I made a phone call to my dear friend Leah, who had been in charge of calling everyone else and asking them to pray through out that whole day.  (which we definitely were covered - in the midst of the emotional roller coaster God's peace prevailed in our hearts).  I broke down crying again, and told her that we were leaving without Josiah, and that Rachel was taking him home, and that Evan and Rachel would let us know tomorrow. 

As we walked out to the car, a man passed us by.  Nick and I both had bloodshot eyes from tears, and he nodded to us, and all he said was, "rough time?" 
We responded with a short,"yeah."  To me somehow that was comforting.  To have a perfect stranger be empathetic in such a way God used to comfort my soul. 

We headed onto the road with a mission in mind to find a hotel for the night.  I had surrendered in my heart that he was not ours - and I started thinking about what I would do when we got home.  I didn't think I would be ready to try adoption again anytime soon.  Maybe I would get a job at the mall?  I really didn't know, but I needed something that would keep me busy... a new vision since the one I thought I was suppose to do hadn't worked out...

As we pulled out onto the freeway, I look over to my right - through my watery eyes I make out in bright red letters:


Nick saw it too. 
"Nick, look!"  I said - "Jesus cares for us." 
And he smiled a little at me, and said tenderly, "Yeah, he does." 

We found an Extended Stay America and Nick pulls into the parking lot at 10pm at night and goes into to see if there are any rooms available. 

Right as he walks inside, my phone rings. 


"Kari, it's Roxanne." 

"Hi Roxanne." 

"So, after you and Nick left, Rachel and Evan talked some more, and Rachel found that peace from God that she was looking for and they signed the papers and have gone home.  Josiah is yours.  You need to come back to the hospital and get him." 

"What?!  What!  Hold on just a second!"  as I am flying out of our car and running up to Nick, "here talk to Nick." and I shove the phone in his ear. 

Wow.  Really God...  Really Really?  There is no mind changing at the point - they left, papers are signed no going back - he has truly been given to us. 

The drive back to the hospital was an amazing gift after all the emotional ups and downs of the day.  My mind started thinking - we need to find out when he had his last bottle so I know when to feed him again, and we have a long drive to Vancouver where we will be staying for the next few days until courts sign off on paperwork to allow us to take him across state borders...  and mom gear had totally kicked in. 
What had we gotten ourselves into??? 

My favorite memory ever of this day.  We came back to the hospital room to see our caseworker just finishing feeding him a bottle to get him ready for us. 
I pulled out my going home outfit I had picked out for him - a pastel green striped gown with mitten sleeves and a matching hat. And I got to put him in our carseat that had been given to us by friends.  I gave him his cute blue hippo rattle, and I knew he was my son now. 

I remember the ride home to Vancouver just beaming.  He was so quiet and slept a lot of the way.  I kept looking back there, as if pinching myself to tell me it was real.  We really did have a baby boy in the back of our car.  Nick and I had been given the gift to be parents for the first time ever by an amazing brave beautiful couple that loved their birth son so much and they had chosen us.  Us! 

To me this is a moment in life that I can only look back on and see God.  GOD.   Too many fingerprints of HIS hands on this to ever think anything different. 

That is what I can handle for writing tonight.  Thank you for letting me share. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

To tell the truth...

So, I know I have not written about the second half of Josiah's birth story - hoping to get there this week - there is just a lot of stuff to think and pray about as I write it and I want to make sure I don't leave anything out. 
In the meantime, I have a story to tell.  About a sin.  About a sin I did.  YES, as a mom, it does happen from time to time, but after confessing it to my children, I feel the Holy Spirit urging me to share the story with all of you. 
Today was Josiah and Ava's last day of VBS at Village.  They had a great time and I have been blessed by their attitudes and I am so grateful for all the people that helped put it together for the kids. 
It is lunch time, the babies are hungry, naptime is quickly approaching, and Lena hasn't pooped yet and needs to, which means it is time to get home.  I picked up Ava from her class, and then we go get Josiah. 
As soon as we pick up Josiah, and we say our thanks and goodbyes to his teachers, he says, "Mom, can we go to the picnic?" 
"The picnic."  I repeat.
"Yes the picnic, it's $7.00." (I don't have $7 cash on me)
"Um, do you have information on it?"
Josiah: "Well, maybe in my papers."
"let's go out to the car and look at it."
I start loading up the babies in their carseats while Josiah looks through his papers. 
"I can't find it mom!"  Josiah starts to get panicked. 
"I think it's today Josiah, and I don't think we can go, we need to go home if it's right now." 
"maybe we can ask someone?" 
"Josiah, when did you first hear about the picnic?"
"If you had told me about it yesterday, maybe we could have considered it.  But I just found out about it just now."  (LIE!  Why didn't I say today?  I don't know)  Because floating in my mind is an email my sister in law sent me earlier this morning about how there was a picnic after VBS. 
We drove home, and I had a very sad son who did not get to go to a picnic. 

Now, yes, I need more warning about a picnic, and Josiah needs to recognize that he needs to ask and not just expect that we can do something.  But see, how that conversation went?  I didn't have to make it get that built up and then have the disappointment be even worse.  I could have been upfront and told him I had heard about it, but we were not able to go because of the reasons I listed above.   These thoughts floated in my mind on the drive home. 
Then we got into the craziness of unloading babies, feeding lunch and Lena pooping and naptime.  I started to vacuum and mop my floors.  And the Lord gently brought it to my mind again.  Josiah and Ava would never know I hadn't been completely honest with them, but I knew that I needed to tell them the truth. 

So I sat them down, and told them how I had not been honest with them.  Telling them how I had found out about the picnic this morning, but instead of telling them immediately no, I took a wrong turn, because I didn't want to tell them no, even though I needed to, and so I lied about it. 

Josiah and Ava were both very forgiving and kind about it.  And my soul feels clean and light and I am so grateful for the opportunity to take my sin and confess it. 
Not only that, but Josiah brings down a little flyer he got from VBS, and shows me a page in it - it has pictures of 5 children that told lies about different things.  And at the bottom, it says, "Jesus forgives." 
I thanked him so much for sharing that with me, and as he heads back up the stairs to begin lego creating for the afternoon, he turns around with his sweet dimpled smile and says, "I hope that made you feel better mom." 
Yes Josiah, yes it made me very comforted to know that Jesus forgives, and that HE would turn my sin around and use it for His glory instead.  :)