The number of children in foster care is astounding. There are some families who take their pro-life convictions so seriously, that they reach out to those who are without a loving household and bring them into theirs. This is consistent with what the Scripture describes in James 1:27:
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
Anne Leber is not your typical mother, nor is the Leber family your typical family. They are Kingdom-driven.
Jump on over to The Kingdom-Driven Family to listen to a podcast interview with Andrea Schwartz and Anne (a homeschooling mom) as she shares her journey of responding to the Lord’s call to rescue children, resulting in the adoption of eight children via foster care.
From Aimee': A promise. A promise is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. A promise is a guarantee. It is an oath, an agreement, a contract. A promise is a covenant. God has many promises in the bible for us. His promises can be found from Genesis to Revelation. For the rest of the year, I will be praying God’s great and precious promises from Matthew to Revelation over our children we birth, adopt and foster and I invite you to join me and pray for your children. The effective, fervent prayer of a person who keeps God’s commands has much power. Prayer does change things.
Today, I am praying the promise of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ taken from Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Father, I bring forth my child/ren (call out their name) to You. The very name of Jesus means Savior. Thank You, Lord, for saving my child/ren from their sins, saving them from the darkness of this world. I pray for their mind, Lord. Help them be disciplined in their thought life. Let them desire to want to think on what is just, pure and lovely and of good reports (Philippians 4:8). Lord, I pray for their eyes. Let them be strong to turn away from things that displease You, from seeing things that can lead them on the wrong path. Let their eyes be open to recognize You in their life (Luke 24:31). I thank You that any veil that is over their eyes is taken away as they turn to You, Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16). I pray that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened in order that they may know the hope to which You have called them, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in Your holy people, and Your incomparably great power for us who believe (Ephesians 1:18,19). Lord, I pray for their ears and what they are listening to. May they hear Your still small voice. May they hear You crystal clearly when You speak to them.
Lord, I pray over their hands and feet. I rebuke laziness and apathy from them. I declare the works of their hands will be pleasing to You, Lord. They will know the value of hard work at home, at school, and in their calling and purpose as adults. They will be diligent in the work before them and they shall prosper. Their feet will carry them through and bring forth peace to people on their path. They will be strong in the Lord, unshakeable and not afraid to share the good news of the gospel. Thank You, Lord, that You make known to our children the path of life; You will fill them with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand (Psalm 16:11).
So today, Lord, I thank You for sending us a Savior; for sending us Your Son Jesus Christ, for dying on a cross for my child/ren whether birthed, adopted or fostering, for conquering death and raising from the dead so that my child/ren can be saved, can be one of Yours! In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
From Jeanne: When I believe He is good, when I believe He can, when I exercise that belief with trusting Him, and when I follow through by obeying what He is telling me to do...oh my gosh I can't even begin to tell you how many amazing miracles Ryan and I have experienced through it! I want to scream each one from the mountain top! I love sharing Isaiah's many miracles because it is a testimony of how when God calls us to something it is in
HIS HANDS. I always hope it encourages someone in a hard place relying on a miracle!
STORY: So we went to the hospital in Columbus this past January for a variety of testing and things we needed to check on Isaiah for after returning from China. It was three days of testings and all sorts. The medical bills piled up. We followed up in August too so and more expenses came. With our finances being tighter than normal due to many factors from starting a business, to having 3 children, to have home needs, you know...the list goes on, it can always be something. However, the great thing is, it's been used as a process of building complete trust for Ryan and me in our faith. Those stepping stones that seemed worrisome at the moment each has proven to be a beautiful gift that has helped us grow.
So back to the story, the medical bills piled up and the hospital is a great one, they have an amazing program that works with your insurance company to help get the most coverage as possible and then they even offer some assistance and generous leverage in areas for the bills. I can't say enough about this hospital and the people. We qualified for a few things and have been waiting for a response over the last 8 months. Ryan and I have faithfully prayed over it and have felt an extreme peace that God is our provider, it is all His anyway right? So, in the mail yesterday it came...the letter. I opened it knowing no matter what the numbers reflect, He will provide. He chose precious Isaiah for our family and He loves Isaiah and has already shown us He is taking care of every detail for him as long as we walk faithfully (2 Cor 5:7 We walk by faith not by sight).
And there it was - NO WAY! NO WAY REALLY? Is this happening? Oh my gosh it is! It just did! How did that happen? It happened! THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU! I'm humbled at how you go above our prayers every time because you're so loving! AND AMAZING! THANK YOU! Yep that's what I was saying over and over!
I encourage you today to BELIEVE He can. If you need prayers I am happy to pray with or for you! Ryan and I are no different than any other husband and wife who may be walking through a trial. I believe wholeheartedly that financials are the easiest and quickest way to being humbled and trusting God 110%. It is there we seek harder than ever to hear Him (Proverbs 3:5-6 says He will instruct us in which path to take). And as we trust, He guides, as He guides, we experience peace, when we have peace we reflect Him in our lives/hearts...as the light for the world to see God and how amazing He is!
GREAT STORY ON BELIEF/TRUST
An Acrobat, A Wheelbarrow, and a Challenge of Faith
Can you imagine a tightrope stretched over a quarter of a mile and spanning the breadth of Niagara Falls? The thundering sound of the pounding water drowning out all other sounds as you watch a man step onto the rope and walk across!
This stunning feat made Charles Blondin famous in the summer of 1859. He walked 160 feet above the falls several times back and forth between Canada and the United States as huge crowds on both sides looked on with shock and awe. Once he crossed in a sack, once on stilts, another time on a bicycle, and once he even carried a stove and cooked an omelet!
On July 15, Blondin walked backward across the tightrope to Canada and returned pushing a wheelbarrow.
The Blondin story is told that it was after pushing a wheelbarrow across while blindfolded that Blondin asked for some audience participation. The crowds had watched and "Ooooohed" and "Aaaaahed!" He had proven that he could do it; of that, there was no doubt. But now he was asking for a volunteer to get into the wheelbarrow and take a ride across the Falls with him!
It is said that he asked his audience, "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?" Of course, the crowd shouted that yes, they believed!
It was then that Blondin posed the question - “Who will get in the wheelbarrow?'
Of course, none did.
[from Kenneth Baa’s book] Tens of thousands believed but no one trusted. Belief and trust are two different things. It occurred to me, though, that there’s something wrong with this illustration. Why would anyone get in the wheelbarrow? Why would anyone do such a dopey thing? There would have to be a compelling reason. So, try this: imagine there was a thick forest behind the spectators and that suddenly the forest caught fire. There was no way of escape. Now things are about to get interesting and suddenly all the rules change. Now there are only four options for the crowd:
Option #1: “I’m not here, and it’s not hot”. Deny your situation until you’re burned to a crisp.
Option #2: take your chances by plunging into the raging water below.
Option #3: try to go across the tightrope yourself.
Option #4: Get in the wheelbarrow!
Suddenly, the offer to get in Blondin’s wheelbarrow looks very attractive. Furthermore, it’s not the leap in the dark, it’s a step into the light and perhaps you’re only real hope. He’s already demonstrated that he could go to the other side and come back. And so has Jesus. His crucifixion and resurrection was his going to the other side and back, his demonstrable evidence that He is who He claims to be. Entrusting my life to Him, sitting in that wheelbarrow (so to speak) is not a bad choice, as would be ignoring or rejecting Jesus. With Jesus there are really only two options because ignoring him is just covert rejection. At the end of the day, you either trust Him or you don’t.
Matthew 17:20 (NLT) “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.
As a Mom to eight children, six adopted and two birthed, I can tell you story after story of countless moments in the past 14 years of Motherhood of how I looked at the circumstances in front of me, the hard experiences of raising and loving children that we adopted at 9, 13, and 15 years old, raising and loving children who had immense needs that seemed impossible to meet and thought, “I must have heard God wrong.”
I have always been a passionate person as far back as I can remember; however, my passions before giving my whole life to Christ were directed to worldly pleasures and full of self-focused desires. The day I gave my whole life to Him, my passions turned towards His Kingdom, towards the ways of my Lord. It’s beautiful what God does. Once we give our life over to Him on this side of heaven, God takes what the devil meant to further his dark, hate-filled agenda and turns it into a powerful tool to further God’s Kingdom, to bring hope to a truly dying world. My passion before salvation was a tool for the enemy. My passion after salvation is a weapon towards the enemy!
One of the greatest pieces of this world are the eight children God has given to my husband and me. These are the gifts that are the most valuable to us. These are the gifts that are most valuable to Him….. His children! The enemy would love nothing more than for Moms and Dads to bow down to depression, to bow down to giving up, to bow down to indifference and spinelessness. The times of “hard” during the parenting years are the exact times to dig your feet deep and let determination rise in you. These are the very times to grab hold of staying power and be determined to endure through the tough and the hard days of parenting.
As I look back and remember the moments of thinking I don’t see how any of this is going to change. I don’t see how my daughter is going stop hating me for adopting her. I don’t see how my son is going to heal from years of abuse in an orphanage. I don’t see how to balance the joys of motherhood with the hurt and frustration I feel during motherhood. As I think about these moments, I see how one decision early on to war in prayer for our children, for our family, has no doubt changed the future of our children; changed the atmosphere in our home.
The bible is filled with His great and precious promises for His children; for us, for our children, we just only need to pick it up and speak it forth. God’s word says in Isaiah 55:11, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” For the remainder of the year, I am going to write on the promises God has for our children. I hope you will join me in praying these promises over your children as well!
I know the hard days of parenting children we adopt and/or children we foster. One of the greatest treasures you can give children is the gift of God’s word being spoken over them! 2 Peter 1:4, “And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
So I invite you to come back, during my times as a contributor on Adoption Strong, and join me in praying His great and precious promises from His word over our children!
From Jeanne: The moments I experience true miracles I get so overtaken with the emotions and reminded, God is faithful and Isaiah was chosen by Him for Him and we are just blessed to be his family…forever family. Despite how Isaiah’s circumstances started off in the beginning years, God’s sovereign and loving and saw this precious boy in China in an orphanage and placed His hand of favor over him thousands of miles away and slowly placed him on our hearts and home. The divine connection in that two-year process, lives forever changed and daily we are impacted in this journey that is hard, fun, adventurous, emotional and rewarding. But it has been the continuous provision and favor along the way has left Ryan and I speechless many times and has increased our faith ten times over. I know without a doubt that God has large plans for Isaiah; I can only wait to see.
Isaiah has extreme anxiety with doctors’ offices or hospitals. Any of them will make him nervous from the minute he steps into them. He slowly gets quiet, gets nervous, and begins to cling to me. Even candy won’t help. He becomes withdrawn. The walls go up. Then comes the nurse or the doctor walking in, the tears begin to flow. The fear is overwhelming to him and the lack of trust over takes him every time. I on a normal day can handle these type of things and started off pretty strong, but after so many visits, I began to realize the anxiety was taking its toll on me. My heart aches and has extreme compassion now for parents who go through anything that requires on going hospital stays and visits. From what I have experienced in a short time I have become fearful of having to take him to the doctor for anything. I dread it.
Although Isaiah’s blood test were done in China and all okay, our pediatrician called for another test to confirm them. We attempted to do this at the lab at the pediatrician’s office one day but after him hyperventilating and throwing up because of being so upset it wasn’t accomplished and a redo was underway. To be honest, I had put it off for fear of upsetting him again. Then my doctor finally said we had to schedule it. We decided to go to Woman’s hospital lab so he wouldn’t associate the pediatrician’s office with the emotional trauma/fear he has since the last attempt was so rough for him. I know one might ask, how much does a child really know at 2 years old or even as a baby, but trust me, a child who has endured what he has by hospital visits, not having a family to go through it with or the security, can establish a wound. He has learned to become resilient and at the same time skeptical of hospital people. His sensual memories remind him of fear and pain in those places. I have seen it enough times to know sometimes we just cannot comprehend it, because we have never walked in those shoes.
So I started off this morning by labeling today’s experience as it would be how it has always been for Isaiah, emotional. Ryan and I woke up for routine morning coffee before the kids and we prayed Deuteronomy 31:8, one of my favorite verses when anticipation is underway. Praying the promise that God would go before us and prepare the way with favor and remove the fear. I prayed it but did I believe it? If I am honest, my heart really didn’t. It would have to take a miracle right? 20 times of crying why would 21 be different? Unfortunately, my expectations were low.
Now this time I invited Caden to come along. He said he wanted to be a helper. He packed a bag of Isaiah’s favorite things to bring with us…marshmallows, Ipad movie, cookies, suckers, and applesauce. Sweetest. I loved the opportunity to teach him to be compassionate in caring for Isaiah. Knowing that him being there would ease his fears some too! So I showed Caden a video of a little boy bravely getting blood drawn so he would know what to expect and explained to him that Isaiah gets really upset and cries. And off we went. Prayers went up! Please Lord, protect his little heart and make our experience easier this time because He is only 2, I prayed. We pulled in to the parking lot. I was ready for the nervousness to begin…we hopped out. Caden wheeled his Superman suitcase full of toys, Isaiah marched like we were going to a toy store, and we walked in. There we were in a hospital. Isaiah got quiet. So my heart started to sink a little. We checked in and thankfully Caden was laughing and playing so that eased everything a bit, and distracted Isaiah. Then came the wristband part, this is always a sure sign to get him angry, normally he will slap it away…but instead out came his wrist willingly! Eager to put it on! He told the lady “thank you!” Wow. I was surprised at this point. Ok ok you have my attention! But the true test lie ahead. Next we walked to the waiting room and then Isaiah's name was called. We all walked into the patient room. Normally the combo of the nurses outfits and the room will result in the beginning of the tears…but there weren’t any tears. None.…I wasn’t sure what was going on…but trucking ahead Caden and I pulled out the iPad, got a cartoon on, and I explained to the nurses despite the food and drink rule we have a suitcase full of snacks because Isaiah’s situation is a little different than most. They were kind and understanding and let us carry on. Caden put on Diego and began feeding Isaiah marshmallows and cookies. Isaiah sat on my lap. They began to hold his arm down; placing the band on it to find the vein and I felt he was about to breakdown I was waiting for it…but no not a single tear. Then the needle came out and the process of filling 5 valves of blood…..prick….minutes….still no tears. He smiled at them and was proud to show them his sucker Caden gave him, then continued to watch cartoons. One, two, three, four….almost done – felt like forever. Once they were done and pulled the needle out and Isaiah smiled again and said ‘ALL DONE’! Not ONE single tear. Seriously, it was a true miracle. Not one ounce of fear expressed in the entire process. I was trying to keep it together. My eyes were tearing up. I was humbled. I was ashamed I doubted. I was grateful that God is so loving He uses examples like this to prepare us for the larger things ahead.
It was a miracle not only that there wasn’t a tear, but that he did that with a smile and ZERO FEAR. I doubted God was able; I labeled my situation before it even happened….and then I realized after today…GOD IS ABLE. I will no longer let the experiences of the past determine the ones of the future. I will begin to speak life and positivity. Knowing that life is full of tests and trials, everything may not be perfect but everything will be OKAY BECAUSE HE CAN, HE WILL, AND EVERY DAY HE BLESSES US MIRACLES! I will believe. Little Isaiah has great and mighty plans upon his life. I document this story as one more to add to the LIST of them that I have, to reassure Him that our heavenly Father loves him, adores him, has favor over him, and has great plans for him. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
I encourage anyone who may be feeling hopeless or doubtful based on how it looks and feels….to believe GOD CAN AND HE IS ABLE TO DO ALL THINGS….
Deuteronomy 31:8 – Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.
And the icing on the cake, I could not find my wallet today when I was at the hospital. I was starting to panic bc of all that is in it…prayed hard because I knew the anxiety it could impose with the cards and fraud issues…so at lunch today went back to my last stop WALMART…ehhh…walked to customer service and asked by chance if a wallet got turned in…and sure enough she came out with it!!! SO THANKFUL for the favor of the honest person who came across it in the parking lot and turned it in!
There is a title I worked months to earn, that I waited years to hear articulated. From the time I knew that we would gain a daughter from across the ocean, I prayed about it, pled for it, and then tried to lay down a foundation of security so that I might hear it spoken out loud, by her. What did I want so desperately to be called by my tiny beauty?
I knew I was her mama, but to hear that word loft from her lips as a sweet offering of acceptance and intimacy—it would be the culmination of so many dreams and prayers.
She spoke it for the first time about three months after her Adoption Day, mouth awkwardly maneuvering into position, trying to find her voice. Then at last: “Mmmaaammmaa.”
I was prepared for the joy, the elation, the relief I experienced with that sweet spoken word. At last! She knows I’m Mama. Do you know what I wasn’t ready for? The grief. Even now, when she looks at me with eyes full of trust and love that have been earned over many months, leans in close and whispers, “You’re my mama,” my heart contracts. It contracts with so much love and gratitude for the place to which we’ve come that I’m overwhelmed. Yet simultaneously . . . at the same exact moment . . . it squeezes with grief for the woman who originally bore that name. Right or wrong, my heart can’t help but whisper, “She should be saying this to her,” and I want to weep for this woman. I don’t at all feel guilty for being Lucy’s mother, but I ache because of the brokenness that made it necessary for me to be her mother.
The heartbreaking part of adoption is that in a perfect world, it would not exist. Families would stay together. Mothers would not be forced to leave their little ones behind. And so, we live in a constant state of dichotomy. With every milestone achieved, with each new display of affection or familiarity, we celebrate—and we mourn. We mourn for the one who would not, who could not remain in this priceless role of mother.
As our kids get older, they feel it, too. No matter what age a child is when adopted, there may always be an underlying sense of grief. Even infants adopted at birth can carry around a subconscious burden of loss that, in most cases, will somehow surface throughout life. They know they are special, they know they are chosen, they know they are loved, but they also know that their stories were birthed out of brokenness, and it hurts.
How do we—and our children—live with loss in a way that is redemptive instead of debilitating?
Disney attempted to answer this question in the surprisingly profound hit movie, Inside Out. The main characters of the film are the emotions of a little girl named Riley: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. While trying to navigate a season of loss in Riley’s life, Joy realizes that Sadness is a crucial component of Riley’s emotional health. If Sadness is not recognized and embraced, Joy is superficial and forced.
How true this is! If we simply stuff, hide, or ignore the very real element of loss in our children’s stories, the joy we try to offer them will feel shallow. If we choose not to recognize our own hearts’ opposing contractions of happiness and sorrow as we grow in intimacy with our children, we will never fully appreciate the gifts that have sacrificially been given to us. To be human is to experience both emotions simultaneously and not deny either one access to our hearts.
So, we celebrate milestones. We cheer on bonding and trust, and then we weep for the very same things. We weep for our children. We weep with our children. We say, “I know this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I’m so sorry.”
But there is more.
Disney did well, but they did not paint the full picture. As believers we know that this dichotomy will not always exist. There is a King who will return to make all things right, a Savior who will absorb the sorrow. In this we have amazing hope, and we can offer this hope to our children. Through tears we can proclaim, “Dear ones, this is not how it will always be. The King is coming. The King is coming! One day, the light will dawn and remain. The ache will dissipate. You will no longer feel conflicted. You won’t have to feel happy and sad for the exact same reasons. You will only find it easy to love. The day is coming—just you wait and see.”
And then? Joy. Only joy.
This article is an excerpt from Jennifer Phillips’ new book, 30 Days of Hope for Adoptive Parents, available at Amazon, Lifeway, or anywhere books are sold.
Jennifer is also the author of the widely-praised book, Bringing Lucy Home. She is the mother of four, including one precious daughter from China.
Let me first start by saying I believe that we are all meant to raise a soul and however you get that soul that's the soul your are meant to raise.
Bryan and I were married April 3, 1999. We both wanted to be parents but we were young so we just thought it would happen when the time was right.
In the fall of 2004, we decided it was time to have a family since I hadn't gotten pregnant in the last 5 years. We decided we would adopt. We started our home study and were approved March 2005. We had our fist placement that same day, a baby boy just born. He didn't even have a name. We named him Bryson and life was wonderful for 6 months until his "unknown" father came forward and wanted our baby. So after 11 1/2 months, we lost our son to an abusive father. We were devastated!!
In 2007, we decided that it was time to pursue the fertility route. After not getting pregnant with our local doctor, we went to see a specialist in Toledo. He came in the room with our records and said you two will never have a baby and walked out and that was that! Again we where devastated!
In 2012, my good friend said that God had placed it on her heart to carry a baby for us. So we found a different clinic in Cleveland and started that process. The doctor told us there was no reason I couldn't have my own baby. So we started a ton of tests. I found out I was a diabetic. My A1C was 13.3 and I had no symptoms. I started making changes and started walking 3 miles everyday. About the 3rd day, my legs felt like jello; I was sore. I couldn't do this! I was about 1/2 mile from my house but I wanted to give up! I looked down because I was defeated! It's then that I saw my very first heart! When I saw that heart, I instantly thought Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. I was listening to music at that time and Matthew West came on with Strong Enough. (Great song look it up if you haven't heard it) So I realized I was right. I was 100% not strong enough, but my awesome God was strong enough for both of us! I was able to get my A1C down to 5.8 in 4 months. I had many trips to Cleveland. On one of those trips ,I stopped to buy my brother up some spark notes for a report he was doing. While I was in the book store, there was a bargain book table. I noticed a baby name book. I picked it up to see what a named I had fallen in love with meant. I looked up Elliana and right there in the book store I could feel the presence of God and I knew everything was going to be okay! Elliana meant God answers prayers. So we didn't get pregnant but I was okay with that. I never once lost faith or was mad at God. I always came back to God answers prayers in His time and His way. I then started seeing hearts everywhere and would think how much God loves me and has a plan for me.
In 2014, I needed a change. I had been doing childcare for many years. I loved every single child and I had so much fun, but if I couldn't be a parent it was time to move on. So I started working at the bakery. I got rid of all the baby stuff so all Bryson's stuff was now gone.
In May 2016, I had more medical things and I needed a hysterectomy. I was okay with this because I had come to the conclusion that God does answer prayers and sometimes the answer is no. His plan is perfect and even if it's not what we want God knows what we need.
In July 2016, I was at work working with my co worker. She was telling me how she felt like she was letting her family down. Her sister-in-law was pregnant and she was not at a place to take the baby. Her mother-in-law was not healthy enough to take this baby either. The birth mom wanted to have an abortion and she would pay for it. But her mother told her if she did that she couldn't live! My first thought was No! I just got rid of all the baby stuff and just couldn't set my self up for heartbreak again.
I was frosting donuts and putting them on trays to go out in the case. When I walked through the bakery to put the donuts in the case over by my co worker on the floor was a chocolate heart! I couldn't even believe it! I said hey look at this. She said oh it's a heart! She went back to her work and I knew it was my sign! Again, I was not strong enough to have that heartbreak again but God was.
I said nothing that night. I just prayed the rest of the evening. The next morning, the first thing that came to my mind was text her. She was going on vacation and I wanted to tell her because I know how long the home study takes. She was so excited when I told her, but she had lots of people to talk to. The birth mom was already going through an agency which was good but expensive. The birth mom, through my co worker at this point, still told us to call and talk to her caseworker. Kelly told me that a targeted adoption was $12,000. At this point no one knew but Bryan and I. When Kelly told us that, I knew we needed prayers. Our family had to be told. We started telling our family and very close friends. Within 24 hours, we had the money! My co-worker called me with a few things she needed to tell me before we went any farther. Birth mom was an addict, she has Hep C and there is a chance the baby might have down syndrome or other genetic problems. Without hesitation, I said doesn't this baby still need a home? I knew God had a plan and whatever that plan was for this baby I would do my part! When I would see hearts, I then would think Matthew 25:23: Well done my good and faithful servant!
We had our first face to face meeting. Birth mom tells us that she has addiction issues but she is only doing pot. Then she tells us it's a boy. She said the only thing she wants for her son is for him to know God. Still to this day, I believe that was God telling us He will give him to us but we have to give him back.
We told her we would take her to doctor visits. The first visit I took her on, she said you know I was really upset when I first found out I was pregnant. I wondered how this could happen to me. But now I realize it's because he was never mine. He was always yours. That day, I saw his sweet little face for the first time and heard his heartbeat. I also am pretty sure she shot up in the bathroom that day. So I prayed!
I asked for prayers everywhere. I prayed that God would just wrap my baby in angel wings and let him come home safe to me. That's also the time we picked Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" declared the Lord " plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".
It was right around this time that $3000 of the money that was promised wasn't going to be coming. At this point he was our baby and we would put it on a credit card if we needed to. We were not going to let anything get in our way. A little while later Justin asked if he could ask for an offering during his sermon. The $3000 was raised and so was the $600 attorney fee.
We found out that birth mom's addiction was way more then just the pot and the whatever she used that day in the bathroom. But we kept praying for our son! On one of the last doctor appointments we went to, she said I don't understand.... I was thinking oh goodness what am I going to have to explain this time. She has some very colorful conversation. Then she said I don't understand why God would use me to do such an awesome thing. I told her I read in a book once that God uses ordinary people for extraordinary things. She was like that must be it because I can't believe I get to be part of something so amazing.
The Tuesday Nikolas was born, birth mom tested positive for opiates, anphetamines and pot. He was withdrawing. He was on the NSA scale. They told us that if he reached a score of 8 3x in a row or anything over an 8 he would be put on morphine. I called that night to check on him as we couldn't stay over night. The nurse told me his score was a 7. She said it's not IF Niko is going to go on morphine, it's WHEN. I hung up the phone and prayed Jeremiah 29:11 again. God has a plan for my sweet boy whatever it is, it's for his good! The next morning when I called, he was scoring a 4! When we got to the hospital, the doctor in the nursery told us Niko was going to be "high maintenance" and he would be delayed. The doctor said he would meet his milestones but not on time. He was going to need extra attention, patients and care. I said I can do high maintenance, no problem! I prayed over Nikolas everyday as I held and rocked him. We could only stay a few hours the first 3 days. On Saturday, I could spend 12 hours there and that's what I did! He was scoring a 6 that morning still not on morphine. After I held him that whole day, his score was a 3 when we had to leave. The next day they let us take him home! Out of 11 addicted babies, he was the only one who never had morphine!
He is so NOT high maintenance! He sleeps 12 hours at night, he is happy, rolling over and pulling my hair all on time or before milestones! Just like I said the whole time, GOD answers prayers!
The Missler Family
Andrea, I love how God answers prayers! Such a beautiful story of God gently reassuring you and directing your path along this journey to your son. Thank you for sharing!
As with any adoption story, there are no two adoptions that are the same. We would love to hear your adoption story from a Christian perspective. Some families choose international adoption while other families choose domestic adoption (private or foster care). If you have adopted and would like us to feature your adoption story on Adoption Story Wednesday, please go to our Share Your Story page to submit to Adoption Strong.
My husband and I struggled with infertility for several years and after spending thousands of dollars trying to become (and stay) pregnant, over those years, we felt God leading us toward the adoption journey. We left one treacherous road and began traveling down another.
We pursued adoption through Christian agencies and foster to adopt. The weeks and months continued to pile up. We had our hearts broke through foster care, nothing was happening with the agencies and we felt lost. We didn't know what to do.
Then, one night out of no where, we were approached about a private adoption. We spent much time in prayer and felt God lead us towards pursuing this adoption.
We were so excited...and scared. We kept our guard up, for the "just in case" scenario. We were there when we found out we were, all three, having a girl. We picked a name and started decorating the nursery. Sadly, at 7 & 1/2 months the "just in case" scenario happened...the Birth mother changed her mind. Our hearts were crushed.
A few weeks later, while sitting in church, God began to speak to me. He was calling me to write a devotional book to help other "Mother's In Waiting". I argued with him back and forth for a while. (Why do we think we can win?!) I was explaining to God that I was simply not qualified! He reminded me he needed availability and HE would provide the ability.
I submitted and said, Ok God, when I have a child of my own, a few years down the road, I will write the book. He said, No, now.
Honestly, I was a frustrated and hurt that He was asking me to do this at the darkest time of my life. God, why now?! I need someone to help me right now! I don't have it in me to encourage others at this time in my life.
He spoke, again, to my spirit and said, Now! Now, while you are in the midst of the pain and darkness. Now, while the emotions are fresh. Right now, while you will be able to better relate and communicate with the other Mothers In Waiting. We continued to "argue" and as always, He won! :-)
I jumped on board and started writing the next day. Well, it wasn't me writing. It was all God. I simply held the pen while He did the writing.
This book has been a total blessing. Not just for the readers...but mostly for me. I didn't know it at the time, but God used the writing of this book to heal my broken heart. The writing had so much healing catharsis for me. It was extremely painful to write, but God used it as a release for me.
What felt like my curse of being able to have a child of my own, has now turned into my calling. I have been able to encourage, minister to, and simply talk to women, struggling with the wait, all over the United States.
To those who are feeling a ministry come out of your wait...be obedient! God is looking for Availability NOT Ability! He will provide what is needed for the calling. He knows the plans He has for you. Trust Him!
To all the Mother's In Waiting, Don't Give Up!! God is faithful to keep His promises! It's worth the wait! He will be with you EVERY step of the way. He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
I pray you will look into this devotional book for Encouragement and Hope. Not because my name is on the cover, but because God wrote this book!
**The little girl we were adopting was due on May 8th 2016--Mother's Day. That was an exceptionally hard day. You know what? This Mother's Day, I celebrated with my perfect 9 week old son.
God had a purpose for that failed adoption and the heartache that came along with it. We just have to trust His plan.
Had we adopted that baby girl, I wouldn't have this adorable, squirmy baby boy in my arms right now, as I type this.
Be encouraged! Don't give up! Keep the faith! God knows what He is doing! I'm praying for you...sweet Mother's In Waiting.
Luke1:45 "Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."
To purchase Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for the Mother in Waiting from a Mother in waiting, you may go to Amazon here.
From Michelle: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord”……..”For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord”……..”For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.”
Sometimes we have to declare this promise over and over again. Sometimes we need to hear this promise over and over again. God has a plan for you and to grow your family. Hold tight to His plan this Mother’s Day. Do not loosen your grip. He is working behind the scenes to orchestrate a plan that no human, medicine, finances, could ever manufacture…..for He has a plan for you and for that little one you so deeply desire in your heart to hold. So, today choose to hold on tight to His plan.
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper