Wednesday, November 30, 2011

National Adoption Month- Bringing Home Baby

My baby was 8 months old before I held him in my arms for the first time!
I had known of his existence long before I'd met him- even before he was born
I'd spent many nights praying for his safety and well being, without knowing - he was mine.

There wasn't time to prepare. 
We weren't planning on adopting. 
We had two boys already.
But God had another plan, and this baby needed a home: 

and. . . .  then there were three boys! All under the age of 5 

The brothers began to bond and grow in love

They got into trouble

It's amazing what can happen while a mommy brushes her teeth! 
(you should have seen the day they got hold of the peanut butter) 

We worked quickly to make connections, to form bonds, make memories. 
to cover the hurt with love.
Preparation taking place- after the fact.

Psalm 34: 18 
"The Lord is near to the broken hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit" 

You may notice that there was a lot of food involved. 

It was one of the only ways to keep him happy. 
He had seen neglect and known hunger. 
For food 
For Love. . . . 


For his forever family. 

Zephaniah 3:17 
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love;
He will exult over you with loud singing." 

Day after day and night after night we prayed over him and tried 
to quiet him with love and exult him with singing. 
It was not easy. I'm not going to pretend that it was.
Sometimes, it still isn't. 
We were not prepared.

But, we press on in our adventure. 

Parenting is tough. 
Parenting special needs, be they physical, mental, or emotional
is even tougher

The only way to truly prepare yourself for the challenges which lie ahead 
is to hand it all over to The One who has prepared the way.

There have been challenges I would never have thought of. 
Yet, by God's grace we're still standing

Jeremiah 29: 11 
"For I know the plans I have for you,declares the Lord, 
plans to prosper you, and not for evil, 
to give you a future and hope" 

I speak of the difficulties, not to scare you away from adoption, but to 
share with honesty and to be a testimony for truth. 
No one has promised us an easy life - raising children under any circumstances 
brings it's challenges and every parent can tell you that there are days 
when you will doubt your own abilities. 

I speak these truths about difficulty because I can tell you with absolute certainty, 
You Don't have to rely on Your Own Abilities! 

Deuteronomy 7:9
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, 
the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love 
Him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations"

If you are considering adoption, or if you are a family who is struggling 
please know that there is hope. 
On your darkest days, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 
God has a plan to prosper you! 

These are precious pictures to me. I think they are beautiful. 
~My family that God put together in the way that only He can.~

We have known hardship, and pain.
You won't see those pictures. 
We have had dark days when we couldn't see the answers-
couldn't see the beauty of His plan. 

And it is 

Only By the Grace of God and Through His Love 

We know true Joy and have the Peace that passes all understanding

Just look at what God can do if you trust Him! 

I am so grateful that I can lay it all at His feet - all my failures - the pain.
When I don't know what to do 
He is God and He loves us! 
He know JUST what to do, what is needed.

He has shown us that what we needed most is to be
Teaching our family about the love of Christ. 
Stopping in our tracks and letting them see as we bend in obedience to Him
let them witness how the power of prayer can transform the situation
can transform a person at any given moment.
Even the dark ones.

It is amazing what happens when instead of allowing a situation to
escalate - I stop and pray out loud with my children.
It's amazing how quoting scripture out loud
can calm my children and bring my heart around to where it needs to be.
Especially during the toughest times.

If you are hurting today, if you need direction, support, prayer -
If you have adopted and are having difficulty or are just struggling as a parent
Please don't hesitate to contact me
I will come up along side you in prayer and support

We can claim the power of God's Word over your life - 
and He can make you and your family whole! 
He is a God of Healing and Love

Proverbs 8:17
"I love those who love me and those who seek me diligently find me"

He has prepared the way for you! 

*if you need prayer and support or encouragement
just leave me a comment with your email address or 
contact me privately through mine: 
You'll find no judgement here - only God's love, as I am 
here today only by His Grace!      

* I recommend you read- "How to Have a Heart for Your Kids"
 How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids  I'll be linking with Amanda Pelser for the book discussion in January!
You don't want to miss it! There are some wonderful, honest moms who will be chiming in on
the topic - I can't wait to hear what they have to say and am honored to be adding to the
discussion about "letting go of your children and trusting God with them"! I hope you'll join us.

You can read our other adoption posts here

3 in 30 Goals -
Time is moving far too quickly these days! My boys are growing so fast (as you can see from
the article) This month I really want to slow to an "intentional" speed - I've been working on
doing this for awhile- but it's time to set it as an official goal. It includes taking time each day to
be in the Word and sharing it with my children. That is how I plan to "set the tone" for our day
each day & to be intentional with each other and Christ as we move into the Christmas season.

In the spirit of being more intentional - I want to encourage and lift up my husband. I'll be
reading and praying the scriptures from the awesome "Build a Better Spouse" ebook -
(see my side bar for more info or to purchase your own copy) I've already read through it and
it's just a wonderful way to build up your marriage whether you are struggling or just need to be
more intentional - slow down and take the time to focus on your relationship with the one God
has given you. I have a sweet husband, who deserves for me to slow down and appreciate him!
There have been times in our almost 12 years of marriage that I was aggravated with him, angry
and not letting it go. Stopping to be grateful for his positive qualities- changed my heart and set
it straight! It made a difference in our home. I highly recommend Ashley's ebook- it will help
you do the same!

My health is still on the list! Drinking more water, exercising several times each week - I need
to start a stretching program daily. Yes, daily. And I will drink 3-4 big glasses of water each day
(they are more than 8 oz- these cups I carry around- usually filled with Coke Zero) Even through
the holidays I will eat less sugar & less wheat products - smaller portions.

If you need to set goals or have a few you'd like encouragement with- check out the community
of women at the "3 in 30" blog! They're awesome!

 Linking with-
The Pelsers    3in30


ells said...

This is beautiful and honest...I have been thinking about and praying for are you feeling?

Jennifer @ said...

Your children are precious, and I'm so delighted that you shared your incredible story (in words and pictures) with our new community at Getting Down With Jesus. These are tender moments, and I'm honored that you would link them up. God-Bumps here ...

Kelli said...

You have such an incredible story. Its so warming for even me knowing how much God is using you for others. I can only imagine the parents lives you have touched with your posts and IRL. We have some close friends that are wanting to adopt and I had so wanted to mention them on my blog during the month of November and I sadly never got around to it. I suppose its never too late.

Emily... said...

Thank for visiting! I have wondered for a while if adoption might be a direction for us one day. Thanks for drawing me to your space so I could read about your adventure. What a beautiful family! And a lovely honest post...

Amanda @ The Pelsers said...

Adoption is amazing. I've been following the story of some friends who are adopting internationally and run into issue. It's heartbreaking that there is the little girl with a family who wants her, they have been given custody, but they've been denied a VISA to bring her home. Thank you for following God! And thanks for linking up with Kids in the Word Wednesday.

Rebecca said...

I can NOT wait to meet your sweet family!

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

Thank you sweet friends- some of you have prayed for our family and your blogs all encourage me on a regular basis! I love what God is doing throughout this online community - I'm thankful for each of you!

Brandee Shafer said...

What an amazing post. Brought tears to my eyes. I LOVE the photos. If the eyes are the window to the soul, that adopted one has quite the remarkable soul! May God continue to bless you and yours as you rely on--and grow in--Him.

Three Thinking Mothers said...

I'm glad I read this post today. I was just talking to my sweet friend (who has moved away) and we went through the adoption of her two boys together. It was a humbling and moving experience for my family to witness the birth of her family... and you are right, I saw that adoption is NOT easy, but God placed so many people and circumstances in her path to guide the way. It was truly amazing.

All of your boys are beautiful! And, very blessed!

dsblanchard said...

Dear Kelli,

I came here after you left a comment on my blog. I have tears running down my cheeks in huge droplets. You offer yourself to those who are struggling. I am really in awe of that. My experience having 2 birthed-from-me children and 2 adopted children is that adoption parenting is so much more difficult. In our case, the poverty the girls came from left them with needs our sons never had. We also didn't know family histories or interactions before we got them. These blank spaces were difficult to get past. Anyway, I know of what you speak. You are such a treasure being willing to reach out to others.

Thanks for leaving me your address,

Michelle @ Liturgical Time said...

Three boys! I'm so impressed!
God bless you in your parenting and homeschool journey. Special needs means special blessings. I will pray for you and your sweet family.

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing journey...those boys are very blessed to have a mom like you...Thank you also for visiting my blog. Blessings to you and your family.

Donetta said...

So beautiful!! Love it!

Bernadette said...

Hi, Kelli...Just checking in with my brave warrior sister. Think of you often. Hmmm....keep looking for more posts and more of your life in words. Praying that you are FULL to the bursting with the love of Jesus, and that you are just....well. From your gal over there at freedom journal. :)