Real Talk.

People often ask me how they can specifically pray for us during this adoption journey.  Well, I am about to put it all out there…the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I know the Lord is leading me and is right there with me each step of the way.  He hasn’t failed me yet and He never will, but I am human.  I have difficult days.  I struggle with sin, anger, frustration, sadness, etc.  You name it, I have felt it.

One thing I have been struggling with over the last couple of weeks is the simple question “why?”.  Why does this have to be my path to motherhood?  Why did I have to suffer the pain of losing Taylor and Asher?  Why is adoption so dadgum expensive?  Why can’t I just go the traditional (free) route of having my own baby?  Why, when I want nothing more than to be a mom, am I forced to wait on some unknown timeline?  Why, why, why?  There are answers to all of these questions.  Some I might not know until I am face to face with my Father, but there are answers.  This morning part of my devotional was Romans 5:3-4:  “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”  I think that is a pretty good answer.  It doesn’t specifically address all of my “why’s”, but what could be better than strengthening our confident hope of salvation? I will take it!

Another area of weakness for me lately has been control.  For those of you who know me, I don’t think you will be shocked to hear me say that am TOTALLY a Type A personality.  Schedules, agendas, to-do lists…oh, you are speaking my love language!  I like to have a plan, I like to be in control.  This is not always a bad thing, but many times it is.  In a way it is me saying “Lord, I don’t trust you to handle this.”  I have had to let go of this control and hand over the reins on many different levels.  I am not in control of when (or if) we will have our baby.  For someone who likes to plan things out down to the very last detail, this is hard.  However, the biggest thing for me lately has been letting go of the fact that I do not have control over who our future birthmother will be and what she chooses to do to her body.  Many of the situations we have seen have involved varying degrees of substance abuse.  This scares me.  If I was pregnant, I would be in control and could take care of my body.  I know the Lord will protect our baby in the womb, but knowing we will more than likely have to deal with a baby who will experience drug exposure/withdrawals is terrifying.  I think knowing that God is in control and and being scared can coexist…as long as we rest in His sovereignty at the end of the day.

Now the big one.  The hardest one for me to talk about because it is such a personal and secret thing I have carried around.  My sinful heart. I have let this adoption process take over my life.  It has become all-consuming.  Quite simply, I have allowed this baby become an idol in my life.  I have had to step back and realize that even if we NEVER have a baby, that will be ok. My worth and value are NOT dependent upon having a child.  HE should be the most important thing in my life.  HE is enough.  During our ABF (Sunday School) we have been discussing the spiritual disciplines.  Last week we talked about prayer and I became even more convicted.  Part of the lesson talked about the motives behind our prayers.  We can pray for GOOD things (i.e. having children), but be motivated by selfish desires.  This is where I got a big gut check and had to take a step back and re-examine my heart.  I was also reminded that God ALWAYS answers prayers and that there are three possible answers to our prayers: Yes, no, and not right now.  It could be that we are getting a “not right now” on this adoption, but it might also be a “no”.  I have to put my trust in the fact that God knows what is best for JD and me.  He will answer our prayers to start a family in the exact way they need to be answered…whether it is a yes, no, or not right now.

So, there it is.  The hardest things for me when it comes to this chapter of our lives.  We can’t express enough how much we appreciate all of the continued prayers!  I will end with this- a song that has given me so much peace over the last few weeks…

Christmas in July!

Santa Claus and his elves have been very busy in Baby Davis’ nursery the last week or so!  The first elf to visit us was Nana Davis and she brought us a brand new rocking chair!  This was one of the big pieces we still needed for the nursery and we were totally surprised by the delivery!  I can’t wait to read books and sing songs and spend many, many hours cuddling in this rocking chair!

Then after visiting with Aunt Candace, Uncle Mark, and Cousins Wilson and Anna last week I was sent on my merry way with two giant airline carseat bags Santa bags full of goodies!  We can now clothe our new baby as soon as he/she arrives!!  Since we won’t know the gender until we are matched with a birthmother we are very happy to have stacks of boy clothes and girl clothes…and who knows…we might need both since J.D. told one attorney we are working with that we are open to twins.  Yikes! The Hancock elves also contributed the beautiful crib!

It has made the waiting a little bit easier as we have worked on setting up the nursery.  It gives me hope that one day we will (Lord willing) have a baby to rock to sleep and place gently in the crib.   We have not seen any new situations lately and have not had the opportunity to present our profile to any expectant birthmothers, but I know God is still working behind the scenes(mostly on my heart).  It is hard when there are long stretches of days/weeks with no activity on the adoption front, but I have to step back and trust in the Lord’s timing.  This process has really stretched and tested me in ways that I did not anticipate.  Over the last couple of weeks I feel that God has placed my weaknesses right underneath the spotlight and I have become majorly convicted about the way I have let this adoption become all-consuming (blog post to come on that soon).  However, He has used friends, conversations, and Sunday School lessons to meet me where I am speak directly to my heart…and for this I am grateful!  He will NEVER abandon us, even in our sinfulness and weakness.  I start back to work tomorrow and although I would love a couple more weeks of summer I know the distraction will be good for me.  I pray that it gives me the time I need to regain focus and perspective.   Thank you to all of you for the many ways you support us.  All of your kind words, messages and encouragement reanimate us when the going gets tough.  It is amazing how the Lord can work through a simple email, text or note that arrives at EXACTLY the right moment.  And to all of you prayer warriors:  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  We can feel your love and prayers surrounding us each day!!

A tough day

Headstone

For the past 12 years July 22nd has been one of my least favorite days of the year.  It is a day that brings up a lot of hurt, emptiness, and heartbreak.  It is the day our first son, Taylor, was born.  For many years I kept everything bottled up inside and did not allow myself to mourn the loss or process through the grief.  I do not think I had the strength or maturity to properly work through the emotions.  Little by little I allowed myself to start feeling the pain.  I knew if I was going to try and have another baby I had to properly deal with the loss of my first child.  Over time I realized I was never going to have the strength, it was something I couldn’t handle on my own.  Along the way, especially after losing Asher, I learned a few things about grief. First, it has to be dealt with.  In Holding onto Hope Nancy Guthrie says “I realized I had a choice-I could try to stuff the hurt away in a closet, pretend it wasn’t there, and wish it would disappear, or I could bring it out into the open, expose it to the Light, probe it, accept it, and allow it to heal.  I chose to face it head-on, trudge through it, feel its full weight, and do my best to confront my feelings of loss and hopelessness with the truth of God’s Word at every turn.”  As I read her words, I found myself saying out-loud, “YES, YES, YES!!”(*along with a little fist pump).  I have also learned it is okay be sad and heartbroken over the loss.  I don’t have to say “well, my baby is in Heaven so I am happy and rejoicing”.  We live in a fallen world and all experience the hurt and suffering that come along with it.  We must still trust that the Lord is sovereign over all things, but we can still be sad.  Truth is, He is sad with us.  I know He has mourned with me over the loss of my boys, and I feel so much comfort knowing He personally shares my grief.  So today, I let myself be sad.

Looking back now, even though we were unaware, I guess July 22nd was the first page in our adoption story.  This year July 22nd brings a new, unexpected type of heartbreak for me.  Today I cannot help but think of all the birthmothers who are making the choice to give their children up for adoption.  My heart hurts for them.  After losing two babies I can understand the loss and emptiness they will feel when they hand their child over to pretty much complete strangers.  No matter what their circumstances may be, they will walk a hard road of grief and emptiness that can only be healed through the power and love of Jesus Christ.  So today, July 22nd, please pray for these women.  Pray for their pain.  Pray that if they do not already know about the saving grace of Jesus that someone will share it with them…because speaking from personal experience, their grief is something that CANNOT be handled without Him.

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;  no shadow of shame will darken their faces.  Psalm 34:5

The band-aid has been ripped off…

baindaid

Well, the band-aid has been ripped off…we heard our first “no” after presenting our family profile to an expectant mother.  It was what we were anticipating, but it brings a mixed bag of emotions.  There is the obvious disappointment and a touch of sadness, but strangely there is also an overwhelming sense of relief.  I never would have thought “relief” is something I would be feeling after hearing someone say they did not choose us, but that is my predominant emotion at this current moment.  Maybe it will morph into something different later on, but right now I truly believe it is God’s way of protecting my heart and letting me know this was not our baby.

We have seen multiple situations, but this was the first one where we felt comfortable presenting our profile.  I have been on a rollercoaster ride of emotions since we decided to put ourselves out there about a week ago.  Initially, there was excitement as we read the details.  Along with that excitement there was a little bit of fear due to some legal risks surrounding the situation, but we were ready to take the leap and go for it!  Over the next few days there was anxiety…What was the birth mother looking for in an adoptive family? What would she think about us based on our profile? How long would it take her to make such an important decision?  SOOOOO many questions racing through my brain. The first day or so my prayer was what it has been from the beginning of this process:  Lord I pray for your will to be done.  You are in control and I trust you 100%.  However, as the days passed I became very unsettled.  Something in me just knew this wasn’t our baby.  I do not know if it was the distance from the birth mother’s hometown or the legal risks, but it just didn’t feel “right”.  I began praying a different prayer: Lord, protect us in this situation.  You know the risks and obstacles and if we need to be protected from this please let us hear a “no”.  I have no doubt those feelings were placed upon my heart to help me handle the answer we received.

There will be more “no’s” in our future and more than likely some very heartbreaking ones. However,  I am glad to have the first one out of the way!  I am certain not all of them will be this easy to take, but having one under my belt will hopefully give me the strength to persevere through the hard ones.  This is going to be a challenging journey, one that we will only get through with TREMENDOUS faith and patience…but our day is coming!  When the time is right, we will hear that beautiful “yes”!

Hurry up and wait…

Hurry up and wait

A friend from church described it best when she said that we are in the “hurry up and wait” stage of adoption.  After months of filling out piles upon piles of paperwork, frantically gathering documents and just being busy busy busy with adoption tasks, we have reached the point where we can do nothing but…wait.  It is a drastic change, and quite honestly, a shock to my system after months of nonstop craziness.  I think the stark contrast makes the wait that much harder and is REALLY reinforcing the fact that we just have to trust God’s timing.  I constantly (many, many times a day) have to remind myself that I am not in control of any part of this process and I should not try to take control from the One who is.  Knowing God is driving this ship takes away the stress…however, it does not make the waiting any easier.  Waiting is hard.

There are multiple layers to waiting when it comes to adoption.

Wait type #1:  Wait for “situations”.  A situation is when we receive detailed information about a birthmother. These situations will include medical history of the birthmother/father and their extended family as well the known details of her pregnancy and any possible legal or health risks.  We must wait to receive situations that are consistent our preferences from either an agency or from our adoption consultant, Susan.  For each situation a birth mother is presented a number of profile books for potential adoptive families. Which leads me to wait type #2…

Wait type #2:  Once we receive a situation we feel comfortable presenting to, we add our profile book to the mix of potential families to be matched with the birth mother…and wait.  We wait for the birthmother to look through the profile books and chose the family that will best fulfill what she desires for her child.

Now that we are “active” we are starting to receive these situations and have JUST started the presenting stage of this process.  I anticipate a lot of emotions as we enter into this phase.  We will more than likely hear “no” a number of times and will have to ask God to guard our hearts and accept that we will hear our “yes” one day!  Once we hear that “yes” we will encounter wait type #3…wait for our baby to arrive!

I guess it is kind of like being pregnant and anxiously awaiting your due date…only WAY less predictable.  I sure do hope I am at least a few months  into my “pregnancy” at this point 🙂

Look at our fundraiser t-shirt!

Beauty for Ashes T-shirt

OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS!  I am so excited about the way this t-shirt turned out!  We will be selling these t-shirts as a way to raise funds for our adoption.  More details on how you can purchase one in a minute (or you can skip directly to the bottom of this post), but first a little backstory on the shirt…

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 61:3:

To all who mourn in Israel,
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

I love the imagery of this verse and the hope it promises.  One morning, shortly before Asher passed away, this verse was in my devotional.   As I read the words I became a blubbering mess.  I knew that we were about to be reduced to ashes and that we would be mourning the loss of yet another son.  However, this verse showed me that God had a promise for us:  He promised we would receive a crown of beauty from those ashes and that we would one day be praising festively instead of mourning.  I feel that this verse has been applicable to our lives on SO many different levels, and just one of the ways is this adoption.  We feel that this adoption will be a crown of beauty (our new baby) for ashes (the losses of Taylor and Asher), and that once we meet our son or daughter we will joyfully praise him for blessing us with a child!

(Our Road to Adoption link)


So, that is a little explanation of why we chose “a crown of beauty for ashes” to be on our adoption fundraiser t-shirt.  Now onto how you can own one of these shirts!

  • It is a navy, nice and soft t-shirt. 
  • The shirts are available in youth sizes.
  • Tank tops are available
  • We will begin by pre-selling the shirts for two weeks.  I will be placing the order on September 19th.  The company will then ship the shirts to me and I will distribute them as soon as they arrive.
  • Send me a Facebook message, comment on Facebook or the blog to let me know the size(s) you need.
  • The t-shirts will be $20 each and the tank tops will be $22.  You can make your donation a few different ways:
    1.  Through PayPal click here- PayPal Link
    2. Via check sent to-
    Hope Davis
    P.O. Box 2436
    Madison, AL 35758
    3.  You can pay in cash/by check directly to JD or myself (or someone who will see us)

***ADDED BONUS- your name will go on a puzzle piece for helping out through this fundraiser!!!***

Nursery time!

changing table and sign

We are super excited to start putting together our nursery!  It makes things so real when you start setting up a room for baby!  JD and I wanted to work together to build things for the nursery and wanted to put our personal touches on the room.  We just finished up two special pieces, our changing table and a sign that will go over the crib!  I am SO thrilled with the way the sign turned out!  We might not know all the details of the story yet, but we know who the author of the story is!  Today my dad told me “I’ve read His other story-and though there’s lots of pain all along the way-there’s redemption and glory at the end”.  AMEN!  How true is that?!  The same One is writing our story- a story where starting our family has a lot of pain along the way, but we know His glory will shine through in the end!

A new development…

Y’all this adoption process is complex!  There are so many things to think about and SO much paperwork!  We were warned, but until you are in the middle of it there is no way to to truly grasp it!  We have been blessed by so many families at church who have adopted and have been able to offer us amazing advice and talk us through this crazy time.  Which leads me to our new development…

Last week I had lunch with a friend from church who has personal experience with adoption.  After talking with her, JD and I decided to pursue the possibility of adopting locally in addition to working with the out of state agencies recommended by Christian Adoption Consultants.  She suggested meeting with a local lawyer from Decatur who specializes in adoptions and who is an adoptive parent himself!  We had our meeting on Wednesday and were both super impressed with him and feel like we are in good hands.  There are a unique set of pros and cons that come along with adopting in state and adopting out of state.  We initially shied away from local adoption because Alabama Adoption laws scared us a little.  For example, the time the birthmother has to change her mind after birth is significantly longer than in other states.  After suffering two losses so late in my pregnancy (Our Road to Adoption)I was not sure if this was a risk I was willing to take.  The thought of bringing a baby home and getting attached only to have that baby taken from us a week later gave me heart palpitations.  Then it dawned on me…GOD HAS GOT THIS!  If that happens, it is a part of HIS plan and there WILL be a reason.  I realized I was worrying about things instead just letting go turning it all over to the one who is ALWAYS in control.  Truth is, He already knows who our baby is and the road we will take to meet that baby, in state or out of state.  I know there will be long, hard days/weeks/months of waiting for Him to lead us to our baby, but I also feel so much peace knowing HE HAS GOT THIS!  We are just along for the ride!