February 9, 2014

To Know Him

This morning I stayed home from church and although I was missing I wasn't going to neglect spending time in the Word. This is something that has become so very precious to me, especially in the last few years. In the last few years, we have gone through the process of adoption and brought our daughter home. For us adoption has been emotionally, spiritually, and physically exhausting. Satan fights hard for these children and we were no exception. Spiritual warfare has never been more real to me than it became not only in the process but in bringing our daughter into our family. I quickly realized I had no power on my own to fight the fight, so I planted my feet firmly in God's Word every single morning and sometimes more than once a day in the darkest times. There have been times where I have felt His presence so strongly and heard him speak so clearly that I didn't want to do anything else but sit right there and be with Him all day long.

In my time with the Lord I usually read a couple different devotional books, the bible, and write in a journal whatever I feel the Lord is speaking to me that morning. I have been doing this almost consistently for 3 years now and in that I have this beautiful book full of notes and prayers during my time with Him. It's so amazing to look back and see where I have been and where God has brought me. To see prayers I have prayed and realize how they have been answered. These last few years have been some of the hardest of my life and without a doubt God has got me through them. I know without that time with Him each day I would not have the peace and joy I do despite what we have been through and continue to face.

I say all of this not to elevate myself, it's not about me. My heart is that I might encourage others to do the same. If you are not spending time with the Lord you are missing out on something that will change your life in ways you cannot even imagine. I'm not talking about 5 minutes of "What's up Lord, do this for me please, Amen." I'm talking about opening your bible in total surrender to whatever He has for you. There have been mornings where I really haven't liked what I heard Him telling me, it's not always warm fuzzies, but if our goal is to know Him more and become more like Him, sometimes there is a little pain in that beauty. Sometimes it means a little sanctification.

Oswald Chambers says,  "Sanctification means to be intensely focused on God's point of view. It means to secure and to keep all the strengths of our body, soul, and spirit of God's purpose alone...
Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us."

Sanctification isn't easy. It can be painful as the Lord begins to strip our lives of things we might be holding onto a little too tightly...even the seemingly good things.

In the end though if it means having the nature of Jesus and becoming more like Him, how could we not want that? Wouldn't we be so much greater for Him to fulfill His plan and display His glory?

I just think if we would commit as a body to grow in Christ, to know His Word, and know Him more, we would become such a great force for Him. We could do greater things in His name for His glory and make an eternal impact on His kingdom. We have to choose to surrender completely in every area of our lives. It will be a struggle, but it is possible and when we choose to surrender we become even more surrendered. It's a beautiful thing.

I challenge you to spend the next 30 days in the Word and I would LOVE to hear how it impacts your life.

January 29, 2014


Have you ever felt restless?

Lately, I have been in a season where I have felt restless. This happens to me from time to time and for some reason, I'm in that season again. I've felt the Lord more near than ever lately and in that I have become hungry for more. More time in the Word, more of His presence, and just more of Him. I feel like I'm on a pathway in complete darkness and He is lighting my path with every step I take. I have no idea where this path will take me and our family but I know He is leading the way. In that though, I become restless. I know there is more beyond the dark unknown and I want the Lord to light the path and show me where He is leading, but I know He is taking me one step at a time for a reason.

There is a song "Called Me Higher" by All Sons and Daughters that I have declared my "theme song" for 2014. This is where God has me right now as we pray about our calling as a family and how God would use us. This song has been my prayer since I have been in this season of feeling restless.

Here is the song and the lyrics below:

  • I could just sit
  • I could just sit and wait for all your goodness
  • Hope to feel your presence
  • And I could just stay
  • I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel you
  • Hope to feel something again
  • And I could hold on
  • I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside
  • And I could be safe
  • I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
  • Never let these walls down
  • But you have called me higher
  • You have called me deeper
  • And I will go where you will lead me Lord
  • You have called me higher
  • You have called me deeper
  • And I will go where you lead me Lord
  • Where you lead me
  • Where you lead me Lord
  • And I will be Yours
  • I will be Yours for all my life
  • So let Your mercy light the path before me

  • You have called me deeper
  • And I will go where you will lead me Lord
  • You have called me higher
  • You have called me deeper
  • And I will go where you lead me Lord
  • Where you lead me
  • Where you lead me Lord

  • January 22, 2014

    In All Honesty

    I know I have been neglecting this blog for the last several months, since not much has changed I felt anything I would post would only sound redundant. In all honesty I've had this post sitting in my drafts waiting to be posted for quite some time now. I wasn't sure I wanted to post it, until a dear friend who has adopted a little girl from Africa close in age and behavior to our daughter, gave me the courage to do so after she posted a very honest and blog about the struggles they have been going through.

    So here it is:

    I get the question often, especially after being in therapy, "is she doing better?" My response is usually a pretty blunt, "no." Not much has changed, it's only been a year after all. Life is still hard. Honestly, at times it's been nearly unbearable. This girl has been through years of hell and a few short months of therapy isn't going to undo that. Our therapist always tells us, "this is not going to be a sprint, it's going to be a marathon."

    For over a year now our lives have been a roller coaster of emotions. Never in my life have we experienced something so heart wrenching. Our hearts break and grieve right along with Lucy. Before we adopted I was prepared for her grief, I knew it would come and it would be ugly, but I was not ready for just how ugly it would be. Even more than that, I had no idea we would enter into our own grief right along with her. I had no idea we would mourn the death of what our family once was. I didn't know I would grieve the hopes and dreams I held deep in my heart for what I wanted for this family of mine. As I've grieved, I've felt the Lord slowly drawing me closer to him and at the same time forcing me to loosen my grip on my family, because truly they are not mine, they are His. It is about His plan for us, and in the end that is better. There is no dream I could have for my family that is greater than anything He could plan for us. It's a journey, but I'm learning to let go a little more everyday. It doesn't mean I'm not still in a deep time for mourning, letting go is never easy.

    It's even harder when you're only 4 and 7. More than my own grief, the grief my boys have gone through has been heartbreaking. Adoption isn't this fairytale where a family brings this child into their home and it was like they'd always been there. It has been a process of loss for us all. We have lost time...lots and lots of time with our boys, like when we've had to restrain a aggressive angry little girl who is actually kind of enjoying the moment in a way because she's taking the attention off of her brothers and getting it all for herself. In some ways they lost their freedom too, I constantly have to monitor all that they do and say when they play with their sister because of things she has been through. We've had to place cameras in the main areas were they play so we can be sure everyone is safe. It's been a big adjustment for us all.

    With all of that, there is one thing I want to be clear about. With all the pain, all the grief, the nights I have cried my heart out, asked why, held a daughter who raged and tried her best to hurt me, dealt with the sadness of yet another family day/night ruined because of a giant raging tantrum, watched a little 4 year old girl turn into an infant before my eyes frozen with no words, seen the trauma and anxiety in my sons, dealt with anxiety myself, fought off panic attacks, dealt with fibro flare up after fibro flare up, fought to keep our marriage strong...with all of it, I would do it over again. Without a doubt we know God has called us to this.We may not know why we've had to go through all that we have but I rest in knowing He allowed all of this. He chose us to step in when our daughter needed a family and fill that void. I know when I choose to draw from Him what I need each day, He will provide the strength I need to get through each moment. I know He will pick me up and carry me on His back when I don't think I can take another step. I know there will be a day when this grief ends for us all, it may not be soon, but it doesn't change the fact that God is still good and He will still work all of this for HIS good.

    I have been told before that I shouldn't speak about the negative or the hard stuff of adoption, that I shouldn't share that part of our story, that in doing so I may be hindering others from wanting to adopt. Those words were so hurtful, it was like saying what we and so many other adoptive families I know are walking through should be kept to ourselves, like that side of adoption doesn't exist. Almost shaming in a way.

    In my honesty about our journey, the last thing I want to do is discourage others from adoption. I think adoption is an amazing beautiful thing but in that amazing and beautiful thing there are some ugly things that come to light. After all, through adoption we are bringing deep darkness into the light, just as Christ did for us in our adoption with the Father. You can't have the resurrection without the cross.

    When you adopt so many people tell you how much your blessing the child or what a great thing you've done and then of course, how we've "rescued" this little girl. In all honesty, I'm convinced that adoption is just as much for us as it is for the children we adopt. The Lord uses adoption to sanctify us in ways we never could have imagined and show things to us about ourselves that we never knew were there, both good and bad. In a way, I feel like the Lord has rescued me from myself. There is no room for selfishness here.

    The reality is adopting children from hard places is not easy but it is possible with God's help. When we rely on Him to walk with us each day. 

    Adoption is hard. Parenting is hard. Parenting an adopted child is even harder. In my honesty I want to stand with those who are struggling and too afraid to say so and I want to be real with adoption. Not all adoptions are as dark and hard as ours has been but adoption is not usually easy. There is always grief because there is always loss, otherwise there would be no need for adoption. But we adopt not to rescue, but because we were adopted and that is the call God has placed on our lives. One thing I have learned, among many, is that living in God's will does not always mean it is easy and full of instant and visible blessings, sometimes it is hard and there is a lot of sifting of us as we become who God wants us to be. Like I said before, I know that God is good and He is always working things for His good as long as we are seeking after Him in whatever circumstance we are in. 

    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose. 
    Romans 8:28

    November 20, 2013

    It's been a long time since I've updated. I kind of feel like it's been a bit redundant lately so, I thought I'd take a blogging break. I'll be posting a one year update very soon though.

    For now here is a video of a song that has really ministered me to me lately.

    August 30, 2013

    He Sees Me

    I have been so behind on blogging lately. I have so many posts I want to write but have had so little time or energy to sit down and write them. I usually do my blogging in the morning but these days I can hardly drag myself out of bed and by the time breakfast is over and I've gotten ready for the day it's lunchtime and the day is gone before I know it. I've wanted share about my trip to Africa and yesterday I was reminded in my time with the Lord of the trip and one particular moment I had while I was there. The Lord placed some scripture in front of me that he used to speak to me there and it all came flooding back.

    Back in June I took a trip to South Africa, it was my second trip but this trip was particularly more special than the first because not only do I love South Africa but I have a friend who is a missionary there now. I was so excited to see all that she talks about and fall in love with the people and places she loves and that most certainly did happen. This trip was a blessing to take, it was something I chose to do at the last minute but I really felt God telling me to go. At that time Lucy had been home for about 8 months and we have been dealing with some pretty dark and heavy stuff with her. We were dealing with her major issues from morning until night and add to that my two boys who were now having issues because of the disruption Lucy's issues had brought. I was struggling with my health and I felt so overwhelmed. I was becoming so self-focused, not on me but on our situation and all that we were going through. It was becoming almost obsessive to the point that from the moment I awoke to the moment I went to sleep I would be thinking of ways to "fix" Lucy or the situation we were in with her. I had to step away and I knew God was telling me to do this. I questioned it at first but I felt like maybe if I stepped away to focused on someone else that would be the breather I needed to come home refreshed and renewed. I had no idea God was taking me all the way to Africa to speak to me about our circumstances at home. 

    The moment I stepped off the plane and breathed the beautiful smell of fire and exhaust Africa, it was glorious! It's the only other place in the world I feel like I'm home. The third day we were there we went to an AIDS hospice. Since I was a teenager the AIDS crisis in Africa made a huge impact on me, it's something I have been passionate about and I've always looked for ways I can help advocate for the people affected by it. On my first trip we worked closely with AIDS infected and affected adults and children, it was incredible. So upon arriving to the hospice I was so ready to minister however I could. This is my heart! What I didn't expect is how I would be the one who was ministered to as well, and in a such a deep way. 

    We went on a cool Tuesday morning, it was winter in South Africa and it was beautiful. We went into the first ward and had a chapel service for the patients and that alone was an overwhelming experience. To think these people come there to die but many end up leaving because they get well enough to walk out. The reason for that is because in this hospice they are loved and cared for not just in a human way but in a spiritual way. Truly, they are looked upon with the love of Christ and not shunned or stigmatized as they have been in their past because of their disease. To watch them sing the words, "because He lives I can face tomorrow" just broke me. I couldn't imagine what they were going through and to watch some of them sing those words with a  As we were there we broke off to minister and I sang worship songs in the women's ward with one of the guys while he played guitar. There was one woman who wanted us to come over and sing to her, we'll call her "Miss S". We went over to her bed and she was laying there with the most beautiful smile on her face. She had been a gospel singer in her church and loved music. She sang a beautiful gospel song and then she asked us to sing to her, so we did. We sang the song "One Things Remains". When we were done singing she said, "I feel like I could get up and walk and dance now!"

    This is a glimpse of that moment. I love this picture. I LOVE her face in this picture. I love that we were able to come and meet her where she was and bring her joy. Just as Christ comes to us and meets us where we are bringing joy to us in our hard circumstances. Something I noticed that day was she never had a look of sadness or discouragement. She was constantly smiling and seemed content despite her circumstances. It really struck me. I chatted with her for a second after we sang and then it was time for us to leave and I thought that moment was amazing but I really had no idea what was in store for me when I saw her again. 

    We came back a couple days later. I had woken up this day feeling a lot of pain, my fibromyalgia was hitting me hard and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I could hardly think about anything else but how much pain I was in that day. I did what I usually do, put on a smile and did what I had to do. I don't let it stop me from living my life and I certainly don't want sympathy from others so I "grin and bear it". On this day we led the chapel service at the hospice, while we stood there the entire time as much as I wanted to focus on what was going on all I could thinking about was the pain. I began to feel sorry for myself because I just knew it would hinder my ability to serve that day and it made me angry. Why did this have to happen now? Why couldn't the Lord spare me just this one week so that I could do His work? What I didn't know is that He was trying to do a work in me. Using that pain to break me and open me up to hear Him speak.

    After the chapel service was over we broke off again and some of us went to visit the patients. I went straight to Miss S because she was such a sweet woman and she made an impact already. Well, the moment I walked over to her bedside she was smiling. She radiates the beauty of the Lord, really this woman glows. She asked me to sing for her again and I chose Amazing Grace but asked her to sing with me this time. We sang together and I held back the tears. Just thinking about her life and what she must be facing yet the joy she has shining through her amazed me. After that we began to talk and I will never forget, she began to talk about her circumstances. She told me how she sees people come in who are bed ridden and dying but they end up getting better and walk out because of the care they receive there. She told me she believes she will be able to get out of her bed too. She told me about her family and the struggles her son was having and I thought about Lucy, she said, "I pray for him often and I know God can change him." Then she reached over and grabbed my hand and asked me to pray for her. In that moment it was as if she was a child, I felt like it was one of my children who were scared and needed comfort. I held back the tears the best I could and prayed for Miss S and for her son, I prayed for her healing and her sons spiritual healing and ultimately that the Lord would bring her comfort and peace that passes all understanding. When we finished she said, "I know the Lord is with me. I know he sees me where I am, when I am laying down and when I rise, He knows my thoughts and He cares for me. He is always with me." She was speaking scripture to me, Psalm 139. The hope that she had and the confidence she had in Christ was inspiring. She was confident that although she was facing all these things God still saw her and He was over it all. It was evident as we talked that though these things may make her sad, though she wants her son to know the Lord and change his life ultimately she has joy and peace in Christ because He sees her.

    As Miss S shared her heart with me the Lord spoke to me and said, "I see you too. I see what you're going though, I see your pain. I see your struggles with Lucy and your grief over it all. I see you." As I held Miss S's hand I felt like I was holding the hand of the Lord. It was something I can't even put into words. I'll never forget that moment. I could have stayed and talked with her all day, I think of her often now. I got one last picture with her before I left and of all my pictures of Africa this is my favorite!

    As I walked out of the ward I met up with the woman who runs the hospice, we had chatted the first day I was there and I had shared with her some of the struggles we had been through with Lucy. Instead of giving me advice or looking at me in shock or like I might be exaggerating she totally got it. She spoke words I had not yet heard from one person when I shared with them our story. Words of compassion and understanding, words that could only come from God. So as I walked out already feeling the Lord was speaking to me she was busy with other things but came to me and handed me a little piece of paper. She said, "I was thinking about our conversation Tuesday and the Lord gave me this verse for you." I took it and thanked her as I held back tears once again. I was so touched, her week had been so busy with us there and other things going on yet she thought of me and took the time to give me this scripture. Really though, it was God through her. I opened up the paper and it had Matthew 12:20 written on it. I wasn't familiar with this verse so I went and immediately looked it up.  It said, 

    "A battered reed He will not break off, 
    and a smoldering wick He will not put out, 
    until He leads justice to victory.

    The flood gates opened and I began to cry. Since Lucy had been home I had not cried over it all. I had not realized it, but I had become hardened and bottled up so many emotions in surviving the day to day. I knew for sure that was from God. It wasn't a familiar verse to me, it wasn't one that I had been given over and over by people like Philippians 4:13 or something. He did see me. He knew I was battered and just so tired. But, I knew that day that although I had felt alone I was not. I honestly think that this was the reason He brought me to Africa. He had to take me out of my circumstance so I could hear him clearly. I love how the Lord works, He used my passion to soften my heart again, to break my heart and open my eyes. I think he even used my pain that day to open my eyes to pain of others and to see that even though Miss S may be suffering she had hope beyond all of that. I had begin to lose sight of the hope I had in Him. I had become so consumed with the day to day survival to even think beyond it. But, that day He reminded me that He had not made a mistake in calling us to adopt, He knew all our struggles with Lucy, and He knew my health struggles too. He sees them all and He is over them all. 

    So, yesterday morning as we had been in the midst of tougher struggles with Lucy than ever and I had been dealing with health issues in the midst of it the Lord gave me Psalm 139 once again. He brought my mind back to Africa and reminded me once again that He sees me and He sees it all. 

    If you're in a hopeless situation, a situation you feel like the Lord is far from you I challenge you to read Psalm 139. Let it remind you that He sees you. He knows what you're going through and He is over it all. He is the only one that can get you through it. 

    July 26, 2013

    I'm Still Here

    So I realized it's been a couple months since I've posted a blog. I was trying to do one at least once a month but it's been crazy! I went to South Africa in June, came home and then the next week we closed on our house and moved into our new home. I want to blog about all these things soon! It's just too much to fit into one blog! So here is a blog letting you know, I'm still here! I haven't given up on blogging!

    It's now been 9 months since Lucy's "Gotcha Day" and while you might think things are getting better I have to honestly say they are have not. We are struggling with some hard things, she is still a very broken unhappy little girl, and we are stil struggling with attachment issues. In fact, we have recently discovered the attachment issues may be more serious than we wanted to believe. If you see us in public you may think I'm making all this up, it certainly may appear that she is a happy and well adjusted little girl but if you are close to us you know our struggles. We hoped that as a year home approached things would be getting better but instead in many ways they are worse. She can go a few days with little to no issues and then like a light switch she is a different child from the moment she wakes up. I have learned to see the signs, if she is bouncy and hyperactive, chatty and singing non-stop it usually means it's going to be a rough day. I know that sounds crazy, usually that would describe a happy child right? I've learned in our case it usually means something is going on in her brain, I don't know much about all this yet but I know enough to know that something is just not right. Most likely there will be many battles that day, there will most likely be raging, and absolutely a lot of sassy and totally defiant disrespectful talk from her. It's exhausting. If you see me and I don't engage with you long, I seem distracted or not all there it probably means I've had a rough day or a rough few days. Please forgive me if I am this way with you, it is not at all intentional.

    The other day I was looking through our Congo pictures and I was thinking back to the months that led up to the adoption. We had such preconceived ideas about the way things would be, we had our own hopes and dreams and to be honest so far the majority of them have not been our reality. I literally thought to myself, "she is not the little girl I always dreamed I'd have." I would have never chosen to bring home a little girl who would disrupted my home in such a big way. That is hard, it has been hard to accept. I'll be honest, I have questioned God's calling on our family. I have wondered if we jumped the gun, if we misunderstood God. I can honestly say though, I know for sure God called us to this with it's struggles and all. I don't know why, but I know He did. He has been reminding me daily that He called us to this and He has equipped us for this call. Though I am tired and many days I am just plain weary I know He has called us to this and He is working it all out.

    If there is one thing I have learned through this adoption so far it has been that Adoption is not about rescuing a child, being someone's savior, and healing someone with love. It doesn't just effect and benefit the child. It changes the parents too. Adoption has been a refining process as much for us as it has been for Lucy. We have seen our adoption in Christ in a clearer way than we ever have. Adoption is hard. It seems beautiful and glorious from the outside but it many cases it can be messy and ugly in reality. We may be struggling, there may be days we feel like we are treading water but at the same time we are clinging to God more than ever before. He is changing us day by day just as we pray He will do for Lucy. So while I post about how hard it is, please know that we don't regret it and we believe there will come a day when there is true healing for our daughter. It will not happen overnight, there is much to be done for that to happen but we know God will not leave us as orphans and He will not allow Lucy to live in her orphan mindset forever.

    Just please continue to pray and support us as we walk this journey. Not everyone is called to adopt but I believe everyone is called to do something and in praying for us and others you know who have adopted older children, that is one of the biggest somethings you can do.

    May 2, 2013

    Half a Year and We're Still Here

    Six months ago today, we came home with Lucy.  It has been a very long hard six months. Anyone who tells you international adoption or even domestic adoption is not hard is lying. Some adoptions may be easier than others, but it certainly is no fairytale. You can't just bring a child into your home and expect them to suddenly part of the family just like your bio children, especially when that child does not speak english, is not your color, and comes from an extremely hard place. It is hard. It's hard on the child and it's hard on the family.

    When we brought Lucy home, so many people said to us "Just wait, in 6 months she'll be much better" or "In six months she'll be totally adjusted and fit right in." and my favorite,  "six months from now she'll be just like your other children". Well, six months has gone by and none of these are true. It seems like every time we see someone we haven't seen in a while they ask if Lucy is doing better and it seems like no one can believe after six months she's not doing "better", to be honest that question is very frustrating to me. It seems like when I repsond with a "no, not really" I'm instantly judged because it must be something we're doing wrong. The thing is, most people don't have a clue where this child came from and what hell she has been through and somehow survived. Think about it this way, if you lived the majority of your life in an orphanage where you were treated like nothing, would it only take six months for you to heal? No! You would live your life in survival mode because you don't know who is there to love you and who is there to hurt you. Lucy has a very long road ahead of her and we need continued support and prayer as we walk this road as a family. Please don't judge us as we talk about our struggles. Before we brought Lucy home we thought we had done everything possible to prepare. We read all the books, went to the conferences, support groups...etc, however, what we have learned from this is there is no way to prepare for what you will face. We had no clue what Lucy had been through, no clue what her country was like, or how those things would factor into the journey ahead.

    Now, I will say there have been several of you who get it and who have blessed us with your encouraging words, prayers, meals brought, gifts given...etc. I do want to apologize to those of you I have not thanked for all the ways you have blessed our family. My intention was to write each of you a personal thank you for all those things, but I quickly became overwhelmed with life and those good intentions were swallowed up by fatigue and flare ups. For the last six months I have felt like I have been checked out of life. I know I fooled many of you by the outward appearance, I have a talent for putting myself together when the inside is pretty messy. That's not a good thing. The truth is,
    during that time I was drowning in physical and emotional fatigue and often the disappointing feeling of "this is not how it was supposed to be".  I felt like I was living on auto pilot. I felt like a walking zombie just trying to survive the next moment. Bracing myself for the next major meltdown or resting up from the last one. I have been not only cocooning with Lucy, helping her adjust but trying to help my other two through their adjustment to all this as well and all the while battling health issues. All too often it has seemed like if it's not a hard day with the kids I'm having a flare up.

    So six month have come and gone and I kept thinking I would come out of this fog; that life would fall back into place and things would be as they once were. I've come to realize that life will never be the same and six months in I think I am finally adjusting to this new normal. We're still walking a hard road. The bad days are not as bad in some ways, but are still as trying. The meltdowns are not usually as intense or as frequent but they still happen. The days are not as physically exhausting as they were but still just as mentally exhausting as they have been all along. We may go a few days between bad days but when the bad days come they don't come one day at a time they come a few days at a time or more. My boys are doing better and have adjusted more but we they still have their days too. Aaron and I are still learning how to keep our marriage strong and healthy while holding our family together but God is getting us through it. Each day is a new day, I praise God that His mercies are new every morning. That has never meant more to me than now. I totally believe God knew all that has and will occur in my life and I believe without a doubt He will work it all for His good and His glory someday. This life is not about me. It's all about Him and pointing everything back to Him. Everything that has occurred in the last six months has only made me stronger in my relationship with the Lord and has left me clinging to Him every day because I know I couldn't get through a day without Him.

    I am working on being a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I believe being honest in all of this is so very important. I cannot stand living my life behind a facade. So that is why I write as openly as I do. Not for sympathy, but for understanding. I don't want to be a discouragement to anyone considering adoption, but I do want to give insight to where we are in our journey. I want to let others know that while adoption may not be a fairytale, with the Lord's help, it is absolutely possible to get through the hard times. We could not do it without Him!