Tag Archives: adoption

When We Miss the Ones We Don’t Get to Rock and to Raise

I could be anywhere and it could be any day. And it comes over me like a wave. Even now, 4 years later. I never see it coming.

This morning as I stood in my bathroom putting my make-up on, his name (well, the name we gave him) crossed through my mind followed by a rush of images and memories.


I can’t explain it. I’m learning I don’t need to explain it.


Who can understand the heart of a mother who loves deeply the child that is from another woman’s womb, even before she has met him? Surely, I can’t. Yet, somehow, I keep trying to explain it. To find some kind of logical explanation for this space in my heart. When you experience the kind of loss of a child but it is not death, how does one grieve?


Continuously. Sporadically. Without reason or warning.

My mind says, “Why are you crying and sad? It’s not like he has died.”

My heart replies, “But it is almost worse. We will have known him and loved him, but he will never have known us this side of eternity.”

My mind retortes, “Still, you know he is safe and loved.”

My heart whispers, “Yes. But not by us. He will know love. Of this I have no doubt. His mother loves him deeply. But this mother loves him deeply too.”


The mind can sound so harsh when it speaks to the heart with it’s sound logic. And the heart can seem overly dramatic to the mind who can not understand how to categorize these kinds of emotions and feelings.

The journey into and through adoption is not for the faint of heart. I never understood love to this degree until I fell in love with these precious ones of mine. And when it came time to choose to surrender and not fight –to take back a child to his biological mom– it was as if someone had asked for one of my girls that I had loved and known nearly since their birth and were now in elementary school. How does love happen that quickly?

Somehow as mothers,our hearts give











I can only speak of the kind of love I know as an adoptive mother, but I imagine it is the very same for the ones who carry your DNA and grow in your womb.  Somehow as mothers, our hearts give themselves away as soon as we know there is a child that has been entrusted to us. Even before he was born, as we sat in the room across from his birth mom, my heart gave itself away. It never asked me, it just leaped right out of my control and in love with our coming son. And then as the first cries escaped his lips as the cold of the outside world and the air filled his lungs, my heart gave itself away again.

That first night in the hospital I couldn’t have pulled his tiny little clear bassinet any closer to my bed without it being in my bed. He breathed in and out and with every other breath he uttered the sweetest little squeak.


Miracle. A living breathing miracle lay right by my side.

And then he was home with us, squeaking and snuggling in his room so carefully prepared for him. Time slowed down as it does when your baby comes home. Hours go by staring at the miracle of your child, without any regard for shower or hair brush or any attire fancier than yoga pants.


And then, it all changed.

The piratey-shark decorated room became silent.

Crib empty.

Door closed.

Hearts broken into a million pieces.

Shortly after bringing Fisher back to his birthmom I can remember well-intentioned people saying to us, “We are so sorry. God will bring you another child.” Implying (and some out-right saying) that our next child would somehow fill the void and the loss of this one.

One child can never replace another, no matter how many God may entrust to you.

Even as I write this afternoon, there is a precious, most handsome, two-year old blonde headed boy with eyelashes a mile long. With sucker in-hand he is begging for me to bounce him on my leg. This child, my second son, completely owns my heart.

Still, one child never replaces another.

As much as I wish the birth of a new child –a new miracle–could erase the grief of the one not rocked in my arms long enough, this just isn’t the way the heart works.

Mother’s Day is bittersweet for lots of mommas who didn’t get to rock and raise the ones they gave their hearts away to. Maybe that’s you.

Maybe you grieve the one taken before you could even see his face. Perhaps the delivery room was the place of both hello and goodbye. I know some of you never even left the hospital before having to say goodbye. There are brave ones of you who gave life and chose adoption, surrendering the one you’d come to know so well in the 9 months prior to birth.

Some days it comes. The grief washes over us and pulls us back in it’s powerful undertow. It’s on these days at this particular time of the year that I lean into Jesus and ask Him to remind me of the truth of His Word.

The truth that says, “He is good and His mercy endures forever.”

The truth that says, “He is faithful and sovereign.”

The truth that says, “Even what the enemy intends to use to destroy us, will only be used for my good and His glory.”

On these days when I’m struggling I turn up on the volume on songs like this one and put it on repeat. When my heart is weak my soul needs the washing of these words… of THE WORD.

Maybe you too, today, need to turn up the volume and allow the truth of these words from The Word to wash over your brokenness, your grief, your tired heart. If so, friend, know I am right there with you today; knee deep in worship and tears and Truth.




Baby Brothers are Expensive (a throw-back post from my former blog)

I'm Kathleen! (1)

This entire post was originally written on 4/6/2012 and while I would edit so much, I’m choosing to leave this untouched and just like it is.  This was the beginning of the journey into our 3rd adoption story.

I long to share each of their stories and since this journey is best documented, we’ll start here…

This post is from March 6 2008!  This was truly the beginning of our adoption journey.  Rachel was not quite 5 years …


Rachel was having a bad dream and asked me to come up and pray with her. So, of course, I went upstairs and prayed with her and then after I was finished she informed me, “Mama, I was praying when I was up here in my bed and I said, ‘Dear Lord, can I please have a baby brother? Are you making him? Is he finished? Amen.’”

Uh-oh, the prayers and faith of a child…so then I prayed, “Uh, dear Lord, um about this baby brother thing she’s praying for…” Just kidding I didn’t really do that. The thought did cross my mind though!

Rachel prays for a baby brother at least 3 times a day. We’re not currently praying that, but you know it only takes one little prayer warrior! Yikes.

And then on May 15, 2008 I posted this funny Rachel quote:

So, since I’ve started working for Starbucks and we’ve been discussing with the girls that I’m working to help us accomplish some financial goals that we have (including the possibility of maybe adopting another child). And as you all know, Rachel’s been praying for a brother for months!

So the other night at dinner Rach says, “Mom, I know why you’re working.”

To which I reply, “Oh yeah, Rach. Why’s that?”

“Well,” she says, “because baby brother’s are expensive.”

I could not stop laughing!

And it continues on into June/July 2008…

 We are in a phase of life right now where we are working diligently to pay down our debt and are definitely making sacrifices to see that happen. I started working at Starbucks (which is literally about 1/4 mile down the street) in May. We are also involved with leading a Small group every other week and I lead our Student Ministries every other week. Reid’s involved in the church softball league on Tuesday nights. So our life right now…is pretty crazy! Most weeks we have something going on every night –Monday night I usually work, Tuesday night…softball, Wednesday night Youth Group (every other week), Thursday night…Small group (every other week), Friday night I usually work, Saturday I usually work, and Sunday afternoon/night I usually work. This has made for a hectic (and sometimes frustrating) lifestyle. BUT, we know that God is faithful and He has called us to radically change our lives to eliminate the debt we’ve been chipping away at. And we definitely feel called to serve and be in fellowship with those at our church so we’re not willing to give the Small Group and Student ministries up either. We’ve come to a place where we’ve decided that, for a short time, life is going to be a little uncomfortable. More messes will be around the house, we may not have as much down-time, and the meal planning may suffer in the busyness.

However…we’re looking at being debt free in less than 8 months and we are willing to work to make it happen! I can not wait for the day when we can look at each other and instead of our money telling us where it’s going to have to go….we steward our money where we feel God leading us to put it!

On another note, Rachel is still praying for (and now is saving her money for) a baby brother! :) She prays at least twice a day that God would give her a baby brother! Seriah just turned 3 on Monday and is such a creative child! She’s got a different way to do just about everything. And she’s incredibly coordinated!

And on December 25, 2008…

 Rachel has been praying for a baby brother for almost a year now and we have had several conversations about how that happens in our family. :) You know…we go “pick them up.” And oh, by the way, according to Rachel, “Baby brothers are expensive.”

Well, we had been talking about adoption and all the great things about it and Rachel wasn’t sure she wanted us to adopt. She was thinking that maybe it’d be cool if mom had a baby in her belly. Then when she found out the odds of that happening (and not to mention, if it did happen…the odds of it being a boy) she leaned back toward adoption.

Well, after watching a video clip from The Nativity where Mary gives birth to Jesus Rachel leans over and asks,

“Mom, why is Mary crying?”

I explained to her that when you have a baby it is painful.

She sat quietly until the clip ended and then leaned over to me and said,

“Mom, I definitely don’t want you to have a baby brother in your belly! It looks like it really hurts!”

I couldn’t agree more!

*And so here we are, years later with a handsome sweet 2 year-old…but the journey from this entry in 2008 to Max was not an easy one.  I look forward to sharing more of this journey and our adoption stories with you in future posts!