The days between finding out that Kate had gone to be with Jesus and holding her in my arms for the only time were filled with what I can only describe as anguish. My skin hurt. It was as though everything on the inside was pushing against my frame, desperate to force its way outside. I felt like, maybe, I could cry hard enough that the pain would eventually seep out through my eyes. When I held her, I ached and I prayed and I wept for everything I had dreamed she'd one day be. Somewhere, though, in the middle of all that desperation, I felt the presence of the Lord.
It is alright to grieve and hope.
In that room, where there were two bodies but only one soul, I talked to my God. I began to feel that, just maybe, that wasn't the end of our road. Perhaps, there was more in store for our family. I prayed and I cried and I wondered if all the miracles surrounding Kate being brought into our lives were preparation for something still to come. I almost felt like Kate was telling me that she knew she was fiercely loved and achingly grieved and that she wanted me to hold on to hope. Now I don't actually believe that my lifeless infant was speaking to me, but, with her in my arms and a new hope in my heart, peace washed over me. Tears dried. I felt almost joyful as I considered that there might be more.
I was afraid to speak it aloud, though. Afraid that my husband wasn't ready to hear that I thought there might still be another child for our family. Eventually, we talked about it. A lot. We prayed about it. We shared our feelings and our confusion with one another.
At one point, my mom asked if I would want to try to have another child if I'd delivered Kate myself. I told her I would have wanted to get pregnant again the moment the doctor gave me the green light. I'd also made a list of pros and cons back when we were trying to decide whether to adopt Kate. Even after we were all in, I still had miniature panic attacks thinking about the cost of diapers and formula and college. I was worried and wondered if I could be enough for all three of them. About a week after we lost Kate, I asked myself if I thought I would, eventually, feel relief that I didn't have to start all over again. "No," I responded. "I will never be relieved that I do not have her. I will miss her for the rest of my life." These two responses made me realize that, as for me, I want nothing more than to parent another child.
Troy feels the same way.
We have sought the Lord's will. We have no idea if His plan includes another child for our family or not, but we realized that we would be trying to limit Him if we pulled our name. By staying listed, God can open doors if He chooses to or He can keep them closed if He wants to. By pulling our names, we'd be saying, "We can't do this. This is scary. We don't want to hurt again. We're afraid." After considerable prayer, we felt that removing our profile would be akin to putting God into a box.
Over these many weeks, we have had numerous individuals ask us if want to adopt again. We've also had dozens of people tell us, unsolicited, that they believe God has more in store for our family. I do not believe these people are prophets, but it has helped validate our decision. We may be done. God may have for us these two beautiful boys and our daughter in heaven. I also know that He might have more. Believe me when I say that I was completely content with the size of my family until He brought Kate to me. Now I long for nothing more than a living, breathing baby in my arms. I trust His plan and know that, in time, He will reveal it to us. I believe that it is the best plan, regardless of whether or not it lines up with the current desire of my heart.
Please join us in praying for our family. Our boys pray daily that God would bring them another baby. They begged us to stay listed with our facilitator. Troy and I long for another child. If it is not the Lord's will for us to adopt again, please pray that He would reveal that to us and that He will change our hearts.
If, however, it is His will for us to add another child to our family, please pray for all the details surrounding that situation.
Please know that we continue to grieve the loss of Kate in ways we never imagined. We miss her and we long for her. But we also have great hope for the future. Thank you for grieving with us and for sharing in our great expectation.
Financial Situation: Nearly $14,000 of your donated funds is being used on our behalf to match us with a birth mother and baby. It was a one time fee and is available to us until a successful match is made. So rest assured that your donations are still being used to help bring a child into our home. This means that our financial obligation is limited to legal fees (estimated to be about $7,000) and potential birth mother living expenses/medical expenses depending on the situation.
God miraculously provided so much of Kate's adoption expenses and burial fees. We believe that the Lord will again provide should we be matched. We certainly do not expect anyone to donate but we do still have our page at Adopt Together. Donations are tax deductible. If we feel the Lord leading us to remove our names prior to a successful match, we will guarantee that any money we pull from Adopt Together (using valid adoption related receipts) will be donated to another adoptive family or adoption related work.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future."