Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 update

Time flies by so's hard to believe it is already 2016.
Estelle Schiek Photography

Here's a few things to report...

CHRIS - is past another knee replacement, and on to bigger and better things.  He started a new job recently driving school bus and seems much happier than before.  He looks forward to a relatively pain free year.

RACHEL - I continue working hard at my job teaching 4th grade.  I was blessed to have a student teacher this first semester - which is a lot of work, but very rewarding.  I also adore singing on our worship team at church and helping out in other areas.  I started karate this October and am testing for my gold belt this week.

JOSHUA - we made it past a rough patch at the beginning of this school year.  He is doing much better now in 1st grade with all of the support and help that he receives.  We still struggle some regulating his behavior (ADHD) and anxiety needs, but God helps us everyday.  He is a rascal - but a sweetheart as well.

IN OTHER NEWS - not much is going on.  2015 was a rough year for us, as Chris was off work for the last 4 months of the year.  We had a few health scares as well, and have been learning how to manage Joshua's mental health and medical needs.

We still hope for another baby to come to our family this year.  Our adoption profile is being shown next week and we hope that it might result in a match for us.  I can't help but dream a bit whenever I know our profile will be shown, even though the chances are small.  There are 25 waiting couples at our agency, and every one of us wants a baby just as badly.  We trust God for His perfect will and timing.  In the meantime....a quote from one of my favorite characters:

Saturday, April 4, 2015


I haven't written in a while.  Life is so busy, time just gets away from me. We find ourselves approaching Easter tomorrow.  I'm in a bit of a funk, I think. This is the time last year that we first learned of Carolyn and I've been thinking about her a lot lately.  Josh is doing well, but we've been having a few struggles.  Work is very busy and other activities are pressing me for time.  I feel quite overwhelmed much of the time.

I think Jesus must have been overwhelmed at the cross.  If you've seen The Passion of the Christ, then you have a small idea of what it must have been like.  I watched it last night and was reminded anew of how suffering was heaped upon his shoulders, one thing after another.     And yet - He overcame.  And because He overcame, I have hope.  Hope that my funk will not last forever.  Hope that there is another baby for our family.  Hope that Josh will turn out all right in the end.  Hope that for all of my striving and strain, there is peace on the other side.

In Christ alone my hope is found.  He is risen!

Saturday, September 27, 2014


I recently visited a new place.  It wasn't planned, and I hope to never go there again.  It's the place of anger and bitterness.  I've spent the last month or so locked in a battle of wills against myself.  All those pieces of me that I usually keep well tucked away have been rearing their ugly heads.  I think that's what anger and bitterness do - they shove everything else out so they can take over.

"God, this was a bad decision. You did the wrong thing.  I don't see any good in this situation - for anyone, us, Carolyn, her birth parents..."  I finally said it...finally told God how I really feel. I told Him how mad I was at Him, how I didn't believe Him when He said he worked for my good.  I told Him I was having a hard time trusting Him.

He heard me.  That I know for sure.  He heard.  And He is love.  He loves me.

The battle I've been fighting?  It's not over.  I still don't understand.  I'm still not sure why.  I still feel angry...but I don't think I'm living in anger anymore.  I chose this weekend to let the anger go.  I placed this situation - the cause of my sorrow and heartache - in a chair, looked at it, and then chose to watch it walk away.

Remember in the movie the Neverending Story - when the horse sinks into the Swamps of Sadness?  He lets the sorrow overtake him and gets stuck and ends up dying in the swamp.  Carolyn is always in my thoughts... I wish I knew she was ok.  Truth is, from the few things I have heard, there is cause for concern.  And that makes it harder.  Harder to trust that He has things under control.

I've never been in a place like this before.  I've always been able to see hope in the midst of despair and see how the situation was for the good.  This one has changed me.  There is something changed in my relationship with God.  A distance.  I don't like it and I'm trying to find my way back.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Next steps

After much deliberation and prayer, Chris and I have decided to keep our home study and license open and apply for domestic infant adoption with our adoption agency.  We had a taste of what it would be like to have 2 kids, and Josh was such a wonderful big brother.  We really didn't feel like things were over and the door was still open.

So - with the remaining money in the account that was earmarked for Carolyn, and the refund from the unused attorney funds, we had exactly enough to pay the rest of the agency fees to become a "waiting family".  What this means is our information, including pictures, is on file with the agency, and when expecting moms come to the agency to make an adoption plan, they may look at our profile and perhaps choose to meet us and have us parent their baby.  It's the same process we went through with Josh.  Lots of uncertainty, but we believe this is what God is calling us to do right now.

I am in the process of applying for adoption grants, as there is another large sum due upon placement of a child in our home, which could really be anywhere from now until 2 years from now.  Adoption grants will help us gather that money together so we are ready when we need it.  We are also working on our profile information which is what moms will see when they are looking to choose a family.

Please continue to pray for us - these are big decisions with long term effects.  We want to do what God is calling us to and honor Him with our family and our lives.  We still love and miss baby Carolyn - but are confident that God is holding her close.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Joshua is 6

Happy Birthday!
 August 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2014

1 month

Carolyn is one month old.  Today is a sad day.  I'm mostly ok, but things hit at strange times.  I packed up some clothes and things today, but I can't do anymore.  I don't understand why things happened the way they did.  I have to trust that God has a greater purpose and plan, and He trusts me with pain and heartache for a reason, but I really don't want pain and heartache.  Does anyone?  We all just want our lives to run the way we've planned them - easy and full of love and joy.

The hardest part is that I keep waiting for something to happen.  Waiting for a phone call telling me it was all a mistake.  Waiting for a text that says they changed their minds again.  Waiting for some miraculous thing to happen and somehow that baby girl is back in this house with me.  I keep getting reminders - like the doctor's office calls to remind me of her 1 month appointment on Tuesday or the email from The Children's Place or Babies R Us because I signed up for their monthly coupons.  The final attorney paperwork arrived in the mail and should have given closure, but it didn't.

It's done.  Over - and I have to be ok with that.  I can't live my life hoping for things to go my way.  "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness".  Hope isn't about what I want, it's about what God wants to do.  I just wish I knew what it was.

I want to know how this testing of my faith will produce perseverance, character, and hope.  I want to know how this good work begun in me will be completed.  I want to know about His plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future.  I want to experience being settled in my home as a happy mother of children....notice that is plural - and yet, Josh is enough - he is such a blessing and I am so grateful to have him.  I want to learn to be content in whatever state I am - but I'm not.

I have been a mother to 3 children.  Daniel, Josh, and Carolyn - and only one do I hold in my arms - and I would not trade him for a thousand more.  Daniel's birth, illness, and passing was difficult, but we knew that in the end he was safe in the arms of God.  Both Chris and I say we do not regret the 12 days we had with Carolyn - but I think it makes it harder because we had the taste of what having a daughter would be like.

God, help me let go.

Monday, July 14, 2014

No sweet, just bitter

At 3 pm on Friday, July 11th, Carolyn went back to her birth family.  It was heart wrenching for all of us.  We had 12 days to parent her, and in those 12 days we fell in love, although we knew the possibility of temporary was always there.

I got the call Friday morning, and my mom and I dropped her off later that afternoon.  I also returned all the things the hospital had given us as well as some items the birth parents gave us.  The birth parent counselor was there as well.  I did not cry when I gave the baby to her mother, but cried as soon as I got outside.

We pray that Carolyn's birth parents will be equipped to parent her, financially, emotionally, and physically.  We pray for her health and safety, and that she will be raised to know Jesus.  I left a letter for her, but I don't know if she will ever see it.

I am no longer able to receive updates, but the last I heard she was doing fine.  God bless and keep you, little one.  I love you!