Category Archives: Adoption

God at Work Wednesday: Kevin’s Story

Today you get the pleasure of reading Kevin’s story and (like ALL stories that God is writing,) it’s a goodie πŸ˜‰ You’ll prob get a good glimpse into how he stole my heart almost 10 years ago.

You guys—I’m giddy excited to introduce you to my beloved. He’s THE ONE I vowed six years ago to spend the rest of my life with until my dying day, come hell or high water.

I could go on and on for hours and days about how much I love him and why…but today I’ll let him do the talking.

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“When Liv and I got married I said to her in my vows that when God saved me he saved my future marriage along with my soul. Before Jesus, I knew there was no chance of me staying satisfied in any one relationship.OliviaKevin-488

I grew up in a very unchurched environment. Church seemed boring and irrelevant,but I would have told you I was a Christian if you asked. Why? Because I believed in God…duh. That all changed my Freshman year of high school, but before I go there I’ll give you a bit of back story.

My parents got a divorce when I was 5 years old. I had no idea the impact that would have on my life. I love my family. I wouldn’t change a thing – but the impacts of a broken home are dramatic.

I grew up idolizing my brother and all I cared about in life was impressing him and his friends. The only things they cared about, at least as far as my young mind could see, were sports and girls…so I threw all of my energy into those two things. I thought the better I could be at sports and the hotter the girl I could pull in, the more approval I would get from the people I respected most. Underneath it all I now realize I was struggling to find my identity. I was insecure. I was doing anything to feel that love and acceptance.

By 7th grade I grew into this young hot shot that every father wanted to keep his daughter away from. I had done way too much way too soon sexually. I thought winning a girl’s heart made me a man. I thought the further I could get a girl to β€œgo” with me meant I was winning. In reality, I had this gaping hole in my soul that would only take and never be satisfied…until Jesus filled it.

β€œEveryone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

That’s Jesus talking. I was drinking from the things that would only make me thirst more. It was like I was lost at sea, drinking salt water, only to leave me unsatisfied and eventually leading to death. But God rescued me. He wooed me to himself. The circumstances are undeniable. It was a perfect storm for my salvation.

My Freshman year of high school I met Josiah and Austin – 2 Christian dudes. We bonded over Boyz 2 Men and Michael Jackson during basketball season (so cool). Josiah’s dad started a church that next summer. My girlfriend made me go to Young Life. It was all working together to get me to Young Life Camp…I reluctantly went.

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For the first time in my life I heard the Gospel in all its simplicity and all its power. It hit home in a new way. I knew I was dirty. I knew I was broken. I knew I needed to be right with God. What did that mean? I never realized that being a Christian meant more than believing in God. There’s a way that this actually works and I was completely uneducated. The bad news was that I was on a path to a perpetual state of unrest and dissatisfaction. Continue the way I was going and I would continue having to constantly prove myself. I would continue believing the mirage that the next achievement would satisfy me. Not to mention, death and hell at the end of this human existence. It was a bleak future to say the least.

The good news…the Gospel…is that Jesus calls me his own through a relationship with him. Not because I earned it, but because he earned it on the cross. He gives me an identity as God’s adopted son (don’t even get me started on that one) and he calls me loved and accepted and forgiven. He paid off the debt that I owed to a righteous and just God. He took the punishment that I deserved. He accomplished it all.

β€œCome to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Living a life to impress everyone else is exhausting. In Christ there is a peace that simply doesn’t make sense and a joy that is overwhelming. My identity is not found in the financial planning, the achievements, the vacations, the THINGS of this world, not even my family – they are found in the one who satisfies and gives rest. The one who brings life.

β€œI came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

In an achievement driven world what are you finding your satisfaction in? Will it last?”

IMG_2054(Must have more where those wedding pics came from? lol… ClickΒ here for a little video montage from our wedding day.)

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When an adoption falls through

I haven’t written about our failed adoption in a long time. Mostly because it wasn’t even two weeks after that heartbreaking phone call that we were asked by Coleton’s birth mommy if we would adopt him. The gears shifted quickly back then as I was drifting in and out of pregnancy twice between that loss and when C bear was born. Honestly it left us feeling so hurt and confused that we just didn’t talk much about it.

But it was a loss. It was a traumatic loss.

We had met with his birth mom twice. She loved the Beatles, so we downloaded all kinds of Beatles lullaby music. He was going to be our firstborn son that we could cradle in our arms, rock to sleep, and call by name. He was going to be named Carson, and for two months we pictured what he would look like…be like…sound like…feel like…smell like. We prayed for him and his birth mom every single night.

We decorated his nursery so perfectly. After all, he was about to be born! The birth mommy was going to be induced ONE week after my phone rang. The call came on a Friday. Just in time to cancel his baby shower for the following day.

Heartbreak.

A failed adoption is heartbreaking, not just because it is a loss…but because it’s hurt upon hurt. Not always, but most likely there has been loss or infertility along the way.

Here’s the redemption piece.

It’s amazing how many families are made whole through adoption, and how God gives us a glimpse of his bigger purpose through that. If no one ever faced heartbreaking infertility or loss, so many children would be without a family. So many families would be missing out on these INSANELY AWESOME kids who were WOVEN TOGETHER so they could be theirs!

If we hadn’t gone through so many miscarriages and even walked through that failed adoption, our little Coleton wouldn’t be our son! We literally can’t imagine life without him. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we would go through all of the hurt again in an instant to have Coleton and Annabelle here in our arms.

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But, lawdy lawdy…it hasn’t been easy. Especially the day we got the phone call that our first birth mom had changed her mind. Her boyfriend’s parents would be adopting the baby. We were so crushed…upset…confused…PISSED (frankly)….and above all else: heartbroken. All of our personal miscarriages and now this??

Did God not want us to be parents after all? Was there seriously something that wrong with us? WHY?!?!?

We didn’t know. But now we know. It wasn’t any of that. It was that God could see our little Coleton, who was already growing in his mother’s womb. He knew that C was going to fit more perfectly into our family than we ever could have imagined.

If you have had a failed adoption, and I know there are so many of you…I’m so sorry. The pain does subside, but it is harsh and intense initially…and probably will be for awhile. You should grieve. You should mourn (mourning being the outward expression of grief, for example, create a memory book or buy something that will remind you of that child you were growing in your heart.)

As with any grief related to child loss, it is yours. Don’t feel like you “should” or “shouldn’t feel a certain way”. Don’t compare your loss to others and don’tΒ  sweep it under the rug. When an adoption falls through,Β especially when you’ve held the child in your arms, but also when you haven’t yet (in my experience) is pain upon pain and needs to be processed.

I’m so thankful for the friends who stood by us even when we kept enduring loss and pain. It must have been so exhausting for them! But they didn’t give up on us, and we are so grateful that they kept praying for us and pointing us back to the source of all comfort.

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If you know someone who has had an adoption fall through, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. That child was theirs in their heart, and they just lost that baby (or older child.) Shower them with prayer, words of encouragement, cards, flowers, mementos…whatever kind of love you are best at giving. They need you.

If it was you…hang in there. God’s got this.