And then God brought us Kate.
Then we lost her. My sweet daughter. My third child. Gone. I wanted another daughter. We waited. We were considered for situations but not chosen. We prayed about other situations but, for various reasons, felt led to say no.
It was the Friday after Thanksgiving. Troy had left for a mission trip to Haiti the day before and the boys and I were visiting our family in California. My phone rang. I saw that it was our adoption facilitator and I stepped outside. Kate's mom was pregnant again. She was only 11 weeks along but she wanted us to adopt the baby, if we wanted to.
Fear that the same thing would happen again. Fear that it was so early. Fear that 22 million things could go wrong before that due date in June.
I instantly wanted that baby. I instantly loved that baby.
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts...'" Isaiah 55:8-9
Sometimes, we see a light at the top of a long stairway and we believe it to be an open door. It is not until we get to the top step that we realize the open door is at the end of a long hallway and what we believed to be a door was merely a mirror reflecting that far away light. We cannot walk through the mirror; neither could we have seen the light from the open door without it.
Once upon a time, I felt the voice of the Lord telling me that I would have a daughter. There were no details, just that whisper of an idea that turned into a dream. He never told me I would have another son. But without the journey of having and losing my sweet girl, I never would have known this blessing. I never would have been able to grasp how desperately I wanted him.
I still mourn my sweet Kate. I still wish I'd had the opportunity to raise a daughter. I'm still sad when I see little girl clothes hanging in stores and I grieve the loss of painted nails and tea parties. But that grief is very separate from the joy I have in being Will's mama. There was a time when I desperately wanted just ONE baby. To think that the Lord has blessed me with three boys is just spectacular. Why am I so blessed? Why have I found His favor? Why has He gifted me with the responsibility of shaping not one, not even two, but three men? I truly do not have answer. God gave me a daughter who I believe I will be with in Heaven. And He gave me three sons that I wouldn't trade for the world.
Please rejoice with us. Our Lord is exceedingly good.
We chose to keep quiet. There was simply so much at risk for the hearts of our boys. They'd been shattered once. All I could think about was protecting them from all the unknowns and mighty risk factors of adoption. Keeping a secret from them meant keeping it from the world. Ultimately, this was a wise choice as, for two weeks at the end of the pregnancy, she changed her mind and wanted to parent. We are so thankful that, once he was born, she decided that she did want us to raise him, after all.
Financially, we've been incredibly blessed. God provided a large amount of substitute teaching opportunities for me that paid for most of the living expenses. A nice tax return helped us pay for a good portion of the legal fees. Adoption, however, has many costs. Legal fees often exceed the initial retainer and we're paying for three lawyers. There are filing fees and home study visit fees.
If you have a heart for adoption and feel led to contribute to our process, you can make a tax deductible donation by clicking on the AdoptTogether button. Or you can click here: https://www.adopttogether.org/troyandlori . We appreciate every dollar and every prayer. Thank you!