Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

We decided to tell Sam's family about our adoption plan on Christmas Day!

We printed off copies of our profile for his parents and sibs. We wrapped up each binder/profile and had them rip the package open at the same time. We then had the opportunity to share with them some of our struggles over the past couple of years and the journey God has on us right now.

It was awesome! And such a relief to be able to tell them. I know we have their prayers and support as we continue to move forward in this process.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trying Not to Get Discouraged

I wish I had this really fabulous update right now, but I don't. It seems that we are back in a holding pattern, just waiting for God to do something big.

I have been talking with Whitney at Mercy Ministries and they don't have any adoption opportunities right now.

I guess we will just keep waiting. Seems to be the story of life right now.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December 4

Mercy Ministries Day!

WOW - that is about all I can say. I was so impressed with this place. Everything was done in excellence - from the receptionist's greeting to the housing for the girls. Everything was excellent.

I had several divine appointments today that I thought would be worth sharing. Mainly because you NEVER know when God is going to show up and show off.

Both "appointments" were with women that work at Mercy and are struggling with infertility. I had the opportunity to encourage, uplift and pray over both these women. I know God has a destiny for them and for their families. It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to be in the right place at the right time.

What was supposed to be about 1 hour meeting and tour turned into a more than 3 hour long visit.

So today God showed me that He can do "abundantly more than we ever ask or imagine." I thought I was going to Mercy for a quick meeting and campus tour. God obviously had other plans!!

Let Me Be Real

OK. So I am not going to pretend that I didn't just have a good cry. The afternoon with Emily was great (really, she is so great), but I just can't understand why God just had me do that.

It was so very difficult to sit at a table for 3+ hours and talk to someone that just "happened" to get pregnant. And then to hear how excited she was to parent. Well, let's just say it was theraputic to have a good cry.

And on a sidenote - I did not tell Emily that Sam and I are hoping to adopt. It just never felt right. I focused on her and relating to her experience.

Monday, December 3, 2007

December 3

Today I met Emily. A confident, gorgeous girl with a contagious smile and laugh.

We met at Atlanta Bread Company and here is how the introduction took place:
[Emily was already in the restaurant when we arrived]

Yvonne: Emily! Hello! This is my friend Jen!
Emily: Hey Jen
Jen: Hey Emily
Yvonne: Well, I just thought I would have two of my favorite people meet and talk. I'll be out running errands if you need me!

And then there were two.

Thank GOODNESS we are both outgoing because the time really did fly. We spent 3.5 hours together!

I had the opportunity to share in-depth my adoption story of placing Michael. I shared my favorite memories and a very special scrapbook Michael's older sister Morgan made for me when he turned 10. I talked about how healthy, positive and rewarding it has been to watch him grow and be loved by an amazing family. What a miracle God provided for me and my son!

As we started talking, it became clear to me that Emily (about 3.5 months pregnant) had already made up her mind to parent.

I reiterated over and over again that adoption was right for ME and that she really should seek the Lord to determine what is right for her situation.

At the end of the afternoon we exchanged phone numbers and said we would keep in touch.

OK Lord, what was THAT about?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Details

Not only will I have the opportunity to meet with Yvonne's young friend, I am also making some plans to visit Mercy Ministries.

I am going to meet the Adoptions Director, Whitney. She has been my direct contact at Mercy and is in charge of the application process for prospective adoptive couples. In addition, Whitney works one-on-one with each girl as they go through the decision making process. We have had long conversations and I am excited to put a face with a name.

I am also going to take a tour of the Mercy campus.

It seems that God has several assignments for me in Tennessee! I am starting to really get excited for this trip!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Travel Plans

The trip is booked. I leave for Tennessee December 2-4.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer." ~ Psalms 19:14

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What is up God's Sleeve?

So I received an interesting phone call from Yvonne today.

She said that 5 short days after I called her (to share our adoption plan back in early September) she received a call from friends/business partners saying their 18-year-old daughter was pregnant.

She has been diligently praying the last couple of months and has waited to share this news with me. She invited me to come to Tennessee to talk and meet with this young girl and simply share my positive adoption experience.

Over the years, I have willingly shared my story with young girls that find themselves in a similar situation that I was in at the age of 16. I merely spend a few hours sharing what was right for me and why I chose the path of adoption. At the very least, I am able to sit down with girls and say, "I know from experience what you are going through. I know what kind of decisions you are facing. I know...and now I will be praying for you."

Even though this is something I am quite comfortable doing and sharing, I have never hopped on a plane, traveled to a different state and met someone...just to share my story.

OK God what are you up to?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Profile Complete!

I don't know how else to say this but YIPPEE!! We just finished putting together our profile and I have to admit it looks pretty good (thanks to a really talented designer friend of ours!).

We have prayed over the binders and are believing God for the perfect adoption situation.

Two profiles will be sent to Mercy (that is what they require).

One profile will be sent to our friend Yvonne.

We will be praying about who else should receive the profile.

Well, that's the only update for now.

Friday, October 12, 2007


We have made great progress these last couple of months. We have completed our home study (which is no small feat!) and have most of the application filled out for Mercy Ministries. The next task is the profile and this will be how the birthparents get to know me and Sam - through personal letters (we both write one) and lots of pictures!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My friend Yvonne

Let me introduce you to my friend Yvonne. This woman is an amazing prayer warrior and dear friend.

I first met Yvonne years and years ago. She was (and still is) a very important person to my grandmother. They were prayer partners for years.

When I found out I was pregnant (check out first blog post for this story), my grandmother confided in her prayer partner and Yvonne went to work immediately praying for me and my situation.

Through her spirit-led prayers, Yvonne helped make a connection that will last a lifetime. She introduced me to Rocke and Dee, my son Michael's adoptive parents (sidenote: Yvonne and Dee are cousins).

Fast-forward to present day.

Sam recently suggested we call Yvonne and share with her the adoption plan. I think it is interesting God put her on his heart since he has never met Yvonne, only heard about her.

Sam has felt from the beginning of this process that word-of-mouth could be exactly how this story unfolds. We are earnestly seeking the Lord and asking Him for the right people to tell.

So to-date here is what we've got:
1. We have downloaded the application for Mercy and are moving forward.
2. We shared our adoption plan with Yvonne and her husband Art.
3. We decided to share our adoption plan with Rocke and Dee.

That is it for now! I am excited to see how God is going to work!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Paperwork Anyone?

So no one said this was going to be easy, but I now have a new kind of respect for others that have adopted. It is no easy task to get all the paperwork in order.  

From forms to fingerprints to meetings -  this has practically become my full-time job!  

Thank you Lord that I have a flexible schedule!

And thank you Lord that you have protected me and Sam throughout the years. There are lots of hoops we need to jump through, and we are passing with flying colors.

OK, back to work. We still have a ways to go!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

God's Mercy

Over the past few years, I have kept my eyes and ears in tune to really cool adoption stories. Every time I hear a great story, I do a little bit of research.  I track down a blog that was written or a Web site of an organization. I have filed it in my "favorites" folder so I could go back to it someday.

Well, that someday is now!  I have been praying through each Web site "favorite" asking the Lord to prompt my heart to where He wants us to fill out an application.  What does He have in mind for our family right now? International? Domestic?  Obviously, there is a lot to consider.

One place that has had my heart from the beginning is Mercy Ministries (  They are headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and help girls through all walks of life.  From eating disorders to addiction to unplanned pregnancy.  These girls WANT to be at Mercy and are on the road to restoration, healing and wholeness.  It is awesome what this ministry is doing to help young women.  

I showed the Web site to Sam and he was excited.  We both feel that this is the place we are supposed to put in our application.  It is an understatement to say that we were moved, genuinely touched, by this ministry.  

So here is where we are at. They only do 2, maybe 3, adoptions a year. Not good odds by the world's standards.  But, we feel this is an opportunity for God to do a miracle and provide us with the perfect birthmom and baby.  We are already praying for a perfect fit!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Is It Time?

So I am no stranger to open adoption.  Obviously, I have lived it as a birthmom. It has been an amazing experience. One I would never trade.

I have always felt the desire to adopt. Over the years, it is something Sam and I have talked about from time to time. When we first got married and started dreaming about our future, I told him about my dream to adopt. My dream became his dream. It is something we have always wanted to do, something we have felt called to do.  

In all honestly, our timing was that we would have biological children first and then continue growing our family through adoption. As some of you may have experienced in life our timing isn't always God's timing (big sigh here!).

As I mentioned in a previous post Sam and I just went through another miscarriage. Each time this has happened in the past few years, I automatically have asked Sam, "Is it time to adopt?" And each time his response has been "Give it four weeks. I don't want this decision to be out of a reaction." 

The first two times the four weeks came and went. We discussed it briefly and just felt that the Lord was asking us to wait on His timing. (is it OK to sigh again here?)

This time is different. It is the beginning of July 2007. The beginning of a new journey for us! Sam and I feel a different sense of urgency this time. We feel an excitement for what God has for us. We feel strongly that He is pointing us in the direction to adopt.

So what do I do next?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Marching Forward

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in Romans 8:28-39.  This is a paraphrased version highlighting some of my favorite verses:

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (vs 28)
"If God is for us, who is against us?" (vs 31)
"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (vs 37-39).

Here is what I discovered today as I was considering this powerful passage:

We are all called. We all have a purpose. We have been marked by God to become like Christ. It's a becoming, a choice, a life we accept or reject. God is not a respecter of persons and desires all of us to be justified and glorified.

God is for me. He is FOR ME. Cheering for me. Rooting for me. Encouraging me. Loving me.

Sometimes He asks us to do the hard stuff. Look at what He asked His Son to do? (FOR ME by the way.) How deep was His love for His only Son? How painful was it to allow His Son to die? But, God knew the big picture. He asked Jesus to go through the hard stuff so that we might live life with freedom, joy and hope.

God understands my big picture. It can't be easy for Him to see the tears and the pain. It can't be easy for Him to see me walk through turmoil and suffering. But, if I can keep my eyes focused on the big picture I am reminded that He knows best.

What can separate me from God's love? Nothing. Not yesterday. Not today. And not tomorrow. Not my current circumstances. Not tomorrow's either. Not life. Not death. Not heartache. Not happiness. Not broken promises. Not unfulfilled dreams. Not anger. Not shaking fists. Not tears. Not a lack of joy. Absolutely nothing can separate me from God's love. Nothing I do or say can make Him love me any less. His love is always available. I can drink it in. Anytime. Anyplace. 

In closing...I guess it's pretty simple.  Keep remembering the big picture. The victory has already been won.  We are more than conquerors in Christ.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Heartache too Familiar

I have to start out by saying that this blog entry seems a bit harder to write. I find myself in an all too familiar spot.  Grief, loss and tears have become a way of life it seems these past few years.   

Sam and I have just experienced another season of grief.  This one seems harder than the others.  Probably because of the time and resources we poured into trying to get pregnant this time. The 'getting pregnant' part was a success.  The 'staying pregnant' part was unsuccessful.  

I feel like David probably did when he was writing his Psalms.  I feel like I could write my own psalm that cries out to the Lord saying:

Answer me in my time of distress
Take away the grief
Wash my tears and see the cry of my heart
Send your mercy and grace
Lean your ear towards me
Have you forgotten the promises you have made?

But, just like David, I can't end with the anguish and despair.  I have to end my Psalm as David models. So with my hands high in the air, this is what I exclaim:

Yet, even still I will praise You
I will bless your name and call you faithful
I will celebrate and rejoice in the days to come
I will lift my eyes to You and seek Your face
I will declare that God is good all the time.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Beginning

March 2007

[Our wedding day was August 12, 2000]

Sam and I have had a pretty amazing marriage. We love each other with great intensity. We are each others biggest fans in life. We believe in one another. We support one another. We are the best of friends.

It would be great if I could say life has been bliss. That things turned out exactly how we had hoped. But I would be lying to you.

The last few years (about four to be exact) have been "the best of times and the worst of times."

It amazes me that even while going through trials, God can give you life's best. Sam and I have had the opportunity to do things we had only dreamed of. Travel has become one of our passions. From the West Coast to the Caribbean we have spent unforgettable vacations with friends, family and each other. We have been blessed beyond belief with success in business, a beautiful home, health and happiness. The last four years have been some of the best!

The last four years have also been some of the worst. Nobody told us starting a family would be so much work. We have experienced heartache. Grief and loss. Dreams crushed and hopes dashed.

But, let me just interrupt this train of thought to claim, "I judge God faithful." No matter what we go through, I know God had His best in store for us. I know He has an incredible story He wants us to share. I know He will provide a way.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Long, Long Ago

It is hard to know where to even begin. This story - the story of becoming parents - is long, detailed, exhausting, and yet exhilarating. God has woven an incredible tapestry. I don't think anyone will be able to read this story and not realize there is a God. And that God, MY God, is faithful until the very end.

I need to start at the beginning. And the beginning is more than eleven years ago. I was only a sophomore in high school. A scared sophomore once I found out I was pregnant. Yes, for those of you who don't know my story...surprise!

Soon after I discovered I was pregnant, I realized I had two options - to parent or to place this baby with a loving, adoptive home. I chose the route of open adoption and placed my son, Michael (who turns 12 in June '08), with an amazing family. I wanted him to have everything I couldn't provide him at the age of sixteen. I wanted him to have a loving, stable home. I wanted him to have experiences in his life that I couldn't give him at that time.

Rocke, Dee and big sister Morgan (age 4 at the time of the adoption) were an answer to prayer. I had looked through lots of profiles and just could not find one that clicked. Well, after reading Rocke and Dee's, I remember tossing it on the coffee table and saying, "this is too perfect. I need to meet these guys." After grilling them (literally, Dee told me later it was like being on a job interview) I decided my son belonged with them. God had provided.

Over the years, I have remained close with Rocke and Dee. We catch up over long lunches, they send me pictures, notes and videos so I can be a part of Michael's life. It has been an incredible experience. Perfect in every way. More than I could have ever hoped or imagined.

Sam has also had the opportunity to share this experience with me. We have known each other since we were fourteen so when we started dating it was no surprise to him, or his family, that I was a birthmom.

Sam has embraced this part of my life. In more ways than I could have ever asked of a husband and best friend. When we get cards in the mail, he can't wait to rip them open with me to read the note and look at the pictures. He says he can't wait to be able to throw the football with Michael, attend a graduation and even his wedding someday! I am so grateful I have someone to share these moments with.

I am so glad that it is now Our Story.

And that is how it began...