Still here and will continue to be

My wife and I have not been very good, lately, at keeping up with this blog. Many of you have shared your stories and have read/responded to the stories of others. We appreciate all this interaction and pray that it is helpful. As we turn to a new year we plan to make a better effort to write more and respond to comments left here. There is obviously a need for this forum and therefore we want to make sure there is something here for people.

And so, God bless you as you celebrate Christmas and may the peace of Christ fill your hearts.

Have a happy new year ūüôā

~Eric~

Finalization Day ~ Malachi

Today has finally arrived.

After beginning our first adoption process on June 28, 2012 and going through two failed adoptions, today (Aug 31, 2015) we have a finalization hearing for a second adoption; our son Malachi. Today we anxiously await the judge to declare that this adoption is in the best interests of this child. We have a number of friends that are going to be present today, including both sets of baptismal sponsors and we couldn’t be more thankful that they are also part of this special day.

Today marks the day when Malachi’s name will be officially and legally changed and when we get to apply for a social security number for him. That is just paperwork and red tape that must be gone though, but our relationship with Malachi doesn’t change.

Malachi is our son.

He became our son when he was first placed in our arms on November 1, 2014. So nothing changes when it comes to our relationship with him, but there is something about the finalization of an adoption to put the final bow on this wonderful gift from God.

And so we are excited and thankful today, and will continue to be as both our children (Mayah and Malachi) bring us such great joy. And we continue to praise our awesome God. The road has been long and bumpy but I wouldn’t change a thing; for this long road has changed my wife and me for the better as it has prepared us to be the parents that God created us to be.

Praise be to God!

~Eric~

Never, Ever Alone

Dreams have been shattered,
Hope seems lost,
but
you are never, ever alone.

A precious life ripped from you,
a beautiful child gone,
but
you are never, ever alone.

The pain seems overwhelming,
the grief seems more than you can bare,
but
you are never, ever alone.

People seemingly don’t understand,
searching and searching for words to say,
but
you are never, ever alone.

You just want to hide,
and bury your pain,
but
you are never, ever alone.

God may not make sense,
His ways are far above you,
but
you are never, ever alone.

God is love,
holding you securely in His arms,
and
will never,ever let you go.

Not Alone

I continue to be amazed and moved with compassion with all the stories people share on this site about their failed adoptions. I remember thinking and feeling so alone after we went through our two failed adoptions. Some people around us found it hard to empathize because something like this doesn’t seem all that common, but failed adoptions are out there. I don’t know how “common” they are but from reading all these comments on our failed adoption story page here, it seems pretty common. Just recently a friend of mine email me about a friend of there’s trying to make sense of a failed adoption. I referred her to this blog in hopes that through reading the stories of others they wouldn’t feel alone.

The fact of the matter is that there is no easy road to healing. There indeed is a grieving process that one must go through, and hopefully it is one that is gone through with loving family and friends. But the other fact is that even if there are no people around to help you heal, God is there. And that is not a cliche that I am throwing out there. For my wife and I, our faith is what helped us. It was the knowledge and certainty that God was doing something through us, even though we couldn’t imagine what that was.

And now we have two beautiful children.

If that wasn’t God’s plan for my wife and I, I can about imagine we would have been disappointed but my hope is that my faith is in such a place that I would have continued to praise God. I can’t see the whole picture but I am confident that God is doing what God is doing for his glory and in the best interests of his children, even if it doesn’t make sense now.

So keep sharing your stories. My wife and I indeed read them and I know others do as well. I may not always respond to comments quickly but I WILL respond (and I will try to respond faster in the future).

God bless,
Eric

An Open Letter to a Birth Mother

[This post was originally published on Eric’s blog,The Heart of a Pastor]

Dear birth mother,

I can’t imagine how you must be feeling this day; the eve of Mother’s Day, knowing that you are not mothering the child you brought into this world. But I want you to know how thankful I am for you and for your courage. You made the difficult choice to place your child for adoption. But not only that, you made it possible for me to be a father and my wife to be a mother.

For the longest time I struggled with why God had not chosen me to be a father. I struggled with a God watching my wife and me struggle to get pregnant. I struggled to watch others around me parent children while I waited and wondered; will it ever happen for me? For the longest time I struggled, but through God you brought our struggle to an end.

And now…

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for the child you entrusted us to raise.
Not a day goes by that I don’t look at my child and smile.
Not a day goes by that I don’t consider your sacrifice.

In my eyes you are an amazing woman and my child (your child) will grow up to know how amazing you are as well. We will never stop speaking of you. We will never stop praying for you. We will never stop remembering you.

But I also want you to know that even though my child does not contain my DNA, that does not mean my love for them is lessened in anyway. The child you brought into this world is loved beyond measure. But even though I love my child there is one that I love more than them: God. And because of this they will know God and His amazing love for His children. And my prayer is that this child will grow to share that love with others.

Birth mother, know that you are remembered, cherished and loved. Your choice will never be forgotten. Your sacrifice will always be remembered. And even though you brought an end to our struggles I recognize that your’s may continue. And so if it is of any comfort to you, know that your child is being showered with love every single moment.

I thank you, again, for entrusting your child to me and I pray that you may always know the love of your heavenly Father. You gave your child up in an attempt to give them a better life (and I pray that I won’t let you down) and God gave up his Son, Jesus, that you may live forever.

So on this Birth Mother’s Day I celebrate you. You may not be “mothering” the child you brought into this world but you will always be a mother in my eyes.

May God bless you always and forever.

Sincerely,
A grateful father

Number 2!!!

Number 2 is here and he is nearly 3 months old now.

Introducing Malachi.

What a joy he has been and what a wild ride adoption #2 was for us.

We started adoption process #2 late last summer (2014). We completed the necessary paperwork and updated our home study. By the end of October we had everything turned in and were just waiting for final approval of our home study.

And then it happened…

On Monday, Oct 27, our caseworker called and said there was a birth mother in Texas scheduled to deliver a baby boy that day and would be shown profiles in the next couple days. We were told, though, not to get our hopes up because things still seemed “ify” with the birth mother. So we prayed and tried to control our excitement.

On Wednesday night, Oct 29 we got a call from the adoption agency in Texas, that our case worker was working through; the same agency that helped us adopt our daughter. The Texas case worker said,¬†“What do you two think about coming down here to Texas to pick up your son?”¬†We were absolutely blown away. The birth mother loved our profile. We were told that the birth parents both signed the paperwork and that our son was being placed into transitional care until we could arrive. It was actually happening.

Like I said, we were blown away ~ and ~ we weren’t ready. We hadn’t secured any financing. We had only just begun to apply for grants. We had no baby clothes out. Nothing. But praise be to God that our family came together to help with the financing so we could bring home Malachi.

So, within 24 hours of that wonderful phone call were were on our way to Texas.

Our hope was to get to Houston by Friday night to get Malachi, but as Friday went along it became clear we would not make it then. So we arranged to pick up Malachi on Saturday morning. But that was not to be either.

We crossed the border into Texas on Friday night, Oct 31, and were driving through the city of Sherman when all heck broke loose. Driving the speed limit on a 75 mph freeway we got into a car accident. A car changed lanes and hit me on the front passenger side of the car. The impact forced me into the curb on the left side; blowing out my driver side tire and badly damaging the strut. I lost control of my car and veered to the right hitting a pickup before eventually coming to a rest on the right shoulder.

Praise be to God that no one was injured.

The awesome God moment in all of this was that the whole passenger side of my car was damaged EXCEPT for the back passenger door…the side where our daughter was sitting.

[Cue the goose bumps]

After filing a report with the police and AAA changing my tire, we eventually limped our car to the Dallas area (about 60 miles) on a badly bent strut where some good friends lived. There is no way that we should have been able to drive that far on that damaged strut. But by the grace of God we made it. We rented a car the next day and continued to Houston. We picked up Malachi at around 4 PM on Saturday, November 1.

Wow…what a journey.

On Monday our friends found this nice, Christian mechanic, by Wednesday he had my car operational again and on Friday we got ICPC clearance to leave Texas and return home.

Once again, praise be to God.

This whole journey was wild, unpredictable and one we could not have done without God. Our first adoption journey included two failed adoptions and this one had a car accident but through it all we give God the praise and glory.

Now I am the father of two children under two. Sounds crazy and I am still trying to get used to that but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

~ Eric ~

God’s wonderful design

It has been way too long since we’ve updated this blog. ¬†I won’t offer excuses here but I want to let everyone know that we will be writing more in the future. ¬†But I HAVE been responding to comments about failed adoptions so please continue sharing your stories.

And there are so many stories out there; so many people that need prayer as they go through and/or recover from painful failed adoptions. Even though the child was never technically yours, in your heart of hearts you are thinking they are. ¬†When I was holding and feeding that little baby in Florida, I fell in love with my “daughter”. ¬†My wife and I made an instant emotion attachment to that little girl, thus the pain when the birth mother decided to parent.

And then there’s the conflicted feelings of anger (and a host of other emotions) but also of wanting to support and pray for the birth mother who just couldn’t go through with placing her child for adoption. ¬†I still pray for that Florida birth mother and that little girl. I wonder how they are doing. But most of all, I have turned everything over to God and trust that God is caring for them.

I don’t write this because I need to rehash our failed adoption (even though its a good reminder to me about God’s faithfulness) but to continue to raise awareness that there are many, many people out there going through similar situations and therefore need our support.

If you are one of them, know that you are not alone; there are people who understand.

If you have never been through a failed adoption or an adoption process for that matter, please consider supporting those who have been called by God to adopt.  And this IS a calling.  This is not knee jerk decision but a faithful response to God.

So…

When fundraisers come up, please don’t turn a blind eye.

When a friend or family members announces they are going to adopt, don’t wait for them to ask for help.

When you encounter someone mourning a failed adoption, be there for them and don’t run away.

And…if you feel the nudge to consider adoption, don’t brush it off. Pray about it and explore that nudging.

Adoption is a beautiful thing as it is a reminder of our adoption into God’s forever family through faith in Jesus Christ. ¬†And because of this, we are all called, in some way, to be part of adoption. ¬†Please continue to pray for adoption and how God is calling you to be part of his wonderful design.

~ Eric ~