Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lydia's Story Part III: Falling In Love

I've decided to continue sharing Lydia's story...regardless of what the future outcome is! I'll have more updates as to how she's doing soon, but for now, here's Part III! (And if you need a reminder of how Part II ended, as I did, here's where you can find it: Lydia's Story Part II: The Meeting)

Now....where did I leave off? ;) Oh yes, now I remember:

We sat there for what seemed like an eternity, but was really only about 15 minutes. Carrie entered the room again, sat down and said....

"She likes you - and she wants to move forward!" As Carrie smiled at us, joy flooded my soul.

She said yes??? She said yes......SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Really??" I gasped, as tears began to slip down my cheeks again. "Really!" Carrie answered. "You know, I'm a believer too, and I really appreciated everything you said back there about the Lord."

Oh wow oh wow oh wow! I had been praying that the Lord would provide another Christian to walk along side us during the stressful time in the hospital -- and He had answered my prayers!! I began crying even more and grinning at the same time. Carrie also commented on how she had been a little concerned when we mentioned homeschooling, since so many people have a stereotypical view of Christian homeschoolers, but she said that Heather and her aunts liked it that our faith was so important to us and that we had goals for our children's education.

"Do you wanna go in and meet her?" Carrie asked. "Um, YEAH!!" I replied - and then I remembered to ask about bringing in the gift. Carrie agreed that it would be fine to do that, and as I reached for it, I realized we had left our camera in the car! Ahh! Joe ran down to get it, and we waited for him -- I couldn't believe I was going to get to meet this precious little girl!!

When Joe returned, we followed Carrie back into Heather's room. This time she had a little bundle on her lap. As soon as we walked through the door, I realized I had no idea what I was supposed to do! Should I walk over to Heather? Should I reach for the baby or wait for her to be handed to me? Should I sit on the couch? Or would that make me seem indifferent? And why in the world had I not asked Carrie what I should do before we went in there?!?!! So, in a moment inspired only by the Lord, I took a few steps toward Heather, tilted my head and said, "Aww...she's precious!" "You wanna hold her?" Heather asked. "Yes! Please!" I replied, and reached for the sweetness that lay wrapped in a blanket.

That moment still brings tears to my eyes as I think about it now. Looking down at the beautiful baby girl that this woman had brought into the world, and that was going to be my words can describe it. Not even now.

I looked up at Joe, misty-eyed, and saw that he was just as smitten with this little darling as I was. How could my heart be this full of love for someone I had not borne in my own body? How could I be worthy of such a gift? I began to understood just a fraction of the love God has for us, as His own adopted children.

"She's....beautiful..." I breathed, " did such a good job, Heather!" She smiled.

At some point I realized that Heather's aunts were still in the room, looking on as we were captivated by this baby girl....their great niece. I suddenly felt guilty for holding her, and asked if they wanted to hold her. "Oh no," they replied, "You enjoy it." and I took them up on their offer!

A little bit later, I realized that we hadn't taken any pictures! Joe and I took some of each other holding the baby, and then I asked Heather if she would like to get in a picture with us. She agreed, and we asked Carrie to take a picture of the four of us. Heather remained on the couch with us after that last picture, and I asked her to open up the gift we had brought for the baby. We laughed as we realized that 0-3 months would be waaaay too big for her at this point! She was such a petite little thing!

Carrie left to talk to some of the nurses, and Heather's aunts left at this point as well. We remained on the couch with Heather, talking more about various situations. During this time, Heather reminded us that the father of her child was Hispanic, and living illegally in our state, and asked if there would be any problem with the fact that the baby was bi-racial. I laughed, "Oh no! Not a problem at all! In fact, we had a hard time deciding whether to choose domestic adoption or international adoption! It won't be a problem at all." Heather also shared with us that she was half Native American Indian, making her baby a quarter Native American Indian. I pictured this little girl running around in the summer with her bronze skin, next to me slathered with sunscreen - and I laughed to myself.

Heather continued to ask us if we had any questions for her, so I asked her what made her chose our portfolio out of the rest. She told us that when she saw we hadn't been able to have children of our own, she knew that she would be giving us a very special gift in her child. Boy was she right.... I also asked her what her favorite color was, just because I couldn't think of any other questions. She said purple was her favorite.

At some point Carrie returned to the room and asked us if we were driving back home that night. I told her that we had booked hotel to stay in if the outcome had been favorable, and that we planned on leaving the following day. Carrie seemed happy with that, and then the CNA that was next to her spoke up, "You can stay here if you want." "What??" I replied. "You can stay here if you want. We have a room open on the birthing floor, it's just one hallway over. You're more than welcome to stay here." I looked at her, stunned. And then I began to cry again. "Really?!?!??" I asked, "that would!" She and Carrie laughed as they saw how important it was to me, and shortly after, she led us down to our room. I couldn't believe we would have the opportunity to stay right in the hospital!! God always provides! Now we wouldn't have to spend any extra money on a hotel room, and we could be closer to Heather and the baby!!

The rest of the day was filled with phone calls to our family and friends, more picture taking, and lots of time spent getting to know Heather better and taking turns snuggling the baby. At some point, Heather told us that she had a name picked out for the baby, but she was fine if we decided to change it later. She told us that she had chosen the name "Isabella Lynn", which I thought was beautiful! But Joe and I had hoped to name her ourselves, and since Heather was open to that option, we asked if she'd like to hear some of our name options. When we told her "Lydia", she liked it! And I told her that it was appropriate, since purple was her favorite color, and in the Bible, Lydia was the seller of purple cloth! God sure is good, isn't He?? :) We agreed that we would change her name legally after the adoption was finalized.

That evening, as we headed over to our room in the hospital, Heather told me that if I wanted to be banded I could - then we could have alone time with the baby in our room. At the time, I was exhausted and not thinking clearly, and I assured her that we were ok with just spending time with her in Heather's room, it was no big deal. But after we got back to our room and I started thinking about it, I realized that Heather sent her to the nursery in the night, and I could have the option of giving her the night feedings if I just got banded! Suddenly it became very important to me! I rushed back to Heather's room and apologized for bothering her again, then asked if it would be ok if I was banded and fed Lydia in the night. Heather was comfortable with that, and so I got banded - and at 11pm they wheeled her into our room for her first feeding! We were giddy with excitement. There's just something special about having your baby with you alone for the first time!! We snuggled her, sang to her, and gave her the 20cc's she was drinking at the time. When they came back to get her, I asked the nurse if they would wake me up in the night so I could give her the middle of the night feedings, and they agreed. Unfortunately, though, there was miscommunication between the evening nurses and the night nurses and they never came to wake me up! Of course, I woke up several times in the night, worried that I would miss them! Finally, at 6am, a nurse came in and apologized for the mixup, and brought her in for her next feeding.

Though our original plan had been to head out the next day, the longer we held Lydia and snuggled her, the less we wanted to go home!! We finally decided that it would be best to stay until Heather was discharged, and so Joe called his work and got everything worked out with them. The next few days were filled with snuggling Lydia some more, buying her clothes, chatting with Heather about her future plans and our future relationship with her, and lots of picture taking! We also got to meet Laurie, the bridge care mom who would be watching Lydia for (what we thought would be) a month until everything was finalized.

The night before Heather was to be discharged, I was beginning to feel anxious. How was Heather feeling? Was she upset? Was she scared? What if she changed her mind? Had we done a good job of communicating how much we loved this little girl? What would it be like when she was discharged? Would we be present? Would she place Lydia in my arms or would she leave her in the hospital crib bed? As the questions filled my mind, I kept praying for peace from the Lord - peace and assurance for Heather, and peace and strength for myself, as I knew the next day would not be easy...

To be continued...

Friday, March 11, 2011

And the verdict is...

(I apologize in advance for not calling or personally emailing more of you with this news, but I think you'll understand when you see the rest of this post! It's just a tad complicated....)

So...yesterday was the court date.  Here's what's happened so far:
  • Birthfather was not present. This is good for us.
  • Heather was not present either (she's still in the hospital).
  • A new court date was set for April 6th.
However.....there have been a few interesting twists in the story.

Due to various factors, LSS will no longer be able to be involved with this adoption if Heather is not present in court April 6th. Instead, the state will be taking over, and Lydia will become a ward of the state. Typically, babies are removed from bridge care homes, and placed in state foster care homes when this happens.


We have been given the option of being Lydia's foster care home, starting this Monday. There is still risk involved, as the state could choose to remove her from our home and place her in a different state foster care home, closer to the county that she was born in. But there is a better chance that they will allow her to stay in our home IF Heather is not able to terminate her parental rights on April 6th.

This means that IF the state allows Lydia to stay in our home, that we would have the option of adopting her later (as much as 15 months later), once the parental rights have been severed and everything has been wrapped up. There is a chance that it could be less time than that, but we won't know until we're in the middle of it.

Obviously this is a big decision to make, and we have spent a lot of time in prayer and talking with godly people that we love and respect before arriving at this point. As Joe and I discussed everything, we knew that we had to bring Lydia home. We just can't walk away. That's not how we roll. And honestly, at this point, we're already completely attached to Lydia and view her as our daughter already, so it would be just as hard to have her removed from the bridge care home as it would be to have her taken from our home.

We believe that it is important for Lydia to be in a loving home that is Christ-centered. And whether we get the chance to adopt Lydia in the end or not, this is the best choice for her.

Will it be difficult if things don't work out? Heck yeah!

Awful. Terrifying. Crushing.

But is it worth the risk? Of course!

Please be praying with us as we move forward....the plan is to pick Lydia up Monday afternoon -- finally....she'll be where she's belonged all along!! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Today I received a book in the mail from a friend of ours (Thank you, Karen!!) entitled, "Wait: A Journey to Discovering the Heart of God". It had a poem inside that was exactly what I needed to hear today! I fear I've been grumbling and complaining in my heart a little too much about the amount of waiting I've had to do lately, and this kind of put me in my place. :) I copied it here so that it could be an encouragement to others. Enjoy!
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.

I pled and wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is Your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming Your Word.
My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to Wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no', to which I'll resign.
You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."

So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
And He tenderly said "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.
I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.
You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.
You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.
So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know Me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still...'Wait'."
~Russell Kelfer

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keeping My Chin Up

Unfortunately, I don't have any exciting updates or news to share today. As far as I know, Heather still has not been released from the hospital. And the birth father has not been in touch with any one since his last call to the court on the 17th - which, from what my social worker's say, is a good thing. Perhaps he won't show next Thursday at the hearing, which would be really great for us!

I've had several people ask me if Heather can be represented at the next hearing. The answer is, unfortunately, no. At this point, she is not stable enough to talk with a guardian ad litem or other representative and communicate to them her adoption choice. Therefore, she can't really be represented. So....unless she stabilizes soon the court date will more than likely be postponed....again. Laura (our social worker) told me that court systems try to be timely in any situation that involves children, so this won't be dragged on's just questionable as to how long it will last and what the end result will be.

Obviously, this has been quite disappointing to me. I've gone through just about every emotion in the book in the last 2 weeks: outrage, grief, jealousy, indignation, desperation, hopelessness, frustration, wanting to quit, hopefulness, patience, anger, impatience, compassion, urgency, irritation, and resignation.
"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD."                                                      ~Lamentations 3:19-26
And even when all of these things don't make sense and just completely tick me off (!), I'm learning to trust in God's sovereignty, and that He does have a plan - though it's obviously not what I thought it was!!
"Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You." Psalm 143:8 
It really is amazing how the Lord ministers to you at just the right time. On Monday I was feeling downright crabby about everything going on. Kind of having a "poor-me" attitude, and just griping to God about how unfair all of this was. I didn't want to be thankful. And I certainly didn't feel like being joyful! But then, we had our women's Bible study that night. And what was the topic on? Joy. Ironic, isn't it? The following day, I told myself I'd choose to be joyful about this, thanking Him for the way He's working -- even though it sucks. And, to my surprise, the day was actually a little bit happy! He knew just what I needed to hear.

Likewise, I've had two devotionals really speak to me in the past 2 weeks. I've been reading out of L.B. Cowman's devotional book, "Streams in the Desert". It has a short 1-2 page devotional for each day of the year. Here's one that especially encouraged me:

"Have you prayed and prayed, and waited and waited, and still you see no evidence of an answer? Are you tired of seeing no movement? Are you at the point of giving up?Then perhaps you have not waited in the right way, which removes you from the right place - the place where the Lord can meet you.
    'Wait for it patiently' (Rom. 8:25). Patience eliminates worry. The Lord said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence. Patience eliminates weeping. Why feel sad and discouraged? He knows your needs better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to receive more glory through it. Patience eliminates self-works. 'The work of God is this: to believe' (John 6:29), and once you believe, you may know all is well. Patience eliminates all want. Perhaps your desire to receive what you want is stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled.
    Patience eliminates all weakness. Instead of thinking of waiting as being wasted time, realize that God is preparing His resources and strengthening you as well. Patience eliminates all wobbling...God's foundations are steady, and when we have His patience within, we are steady while we wait. Patience yields worship. Sometimes the best part of praiseful waiting is experiencing 'great endurance and patience...joyfully.' (Col. 1:11). While you wait, 'let [all these aspects of] patience have her perfect work' (James 1:4), and you will be greatly enriched.


And then just yesterday, another page eased my heart:

" 'Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what He has made crooked?' (Ecc. 7:13)
    God often seems to place His children in places of deep difficulty, leading them into a corner from which there is no escape. He creates situations that human judgment, even if consulted, would never allow. Yet the cloudiness of the circumstance itself is used by Him to guide us to the other side. Perhaps this is where you find yourself even now.

    Your situation is filled with uncertainty and is very serious, but it is perfectly right. The reason behind it will more than justify Him who brought you here, for it is a platform from which God will display His almighty grace and power.
    He not only will deliver you but in doing so will impart a lesson that you will never forget. And in days to come, you will return to the truth of it through singing. You will be unable to ever thank God enough for doing exactly what He has done.

We may wait till He explains,
Because we know that Jesus reigns.
It puzzles me; but, Lord, You understandest,
And will one day explain this crooked thing.
Meanwhile, I know that it has worked out Your best--
It's very crookedness taught me to cling.
You have fenced up my ways, made my paths crooked,
To keep my wand'ring eyes fixed on You,
To make me what I was not, humble, patient;
To draw my heart from earthly love to You.
So I will thank and praise You for this puzzle,
And trust where I cannot understand.
Rejoicing You do hold me worth such testing,
I cling the closer to Your guiding hand."

And finally....a passage from Romans that helps me to keep my chin up even when I'm feeling down:
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."                   ~Romans 8:16-18 
I can hope, knowing that I am a daughter of God, and that no matter how awful this trial gets, there will be a glory that surpasses it in the future. Praise the Lord!!