Monday, December 8, 2014

4 years. 4 weeks : An adoption story

4 years ago I fell in love.
I fell in love with a boy with big brown eyes that stopped my heart and breath both at once. He called to me without words and I felt everything I thought I knew come crashing down around me. My eyes were shocked into focus and locked on his face before I even knew what he meant to me. I fell in love with a boy who was across oceans and time zones. A boy whom I'd never met and had only 1 photo of. A boy who had no family to speak of, no one to claim him, no one to brush his blonde hair across his forehead or lightly kiss his nose just to see if the corners of his mouth would smile. Just a boy. An orphan among millions but my heart found him. And under his photo was written the name that changed my life…Shea. 

If you were around 4 years ago you know the story of Shea and the journey I was led on by the adorable face you see above. If you don't, I feel excited and blessed to tell you to sit here and tell you, it is a beautiful story - not without it's heartaches and tears - but with the happiest of "endings." That is, if you can really call being adopted into a loving family an ending…seems like "new beginning" is a better description. And in truth, finding Shea was the first big step in our family's journey to adoption. It was Shea who God used to grab my heart and hold it tight. To mold it into a new shape and create a new heart within. That sounds painful. To have your heart grabbed within your chest and molded - pushed and twisted in ways it's never been moved. Let me tell you - it was. It was crazy-awful-painful. When I say He grabbed my heart it quite literally felt like my heart was being squeezed - and not in a comforting way. (Is there even a "comforting" way to squeeze a heart??) It felt as if my life-vessel was struggling to pump outside of my body - compressed in a vice. I felt physical pain along with emotional turmoil as my God showed me not just the plight of the orphan, or the way we should love, or the way we should act, or the way we should feel -
He showed me how HE loves.
How His plan is not always (in fact quite rarely) my plan, how His love is not always (in fact is quite rarely) easy and how His timing is often (in fact is quite rarely) the way I wish it to be. He showed me what it was to be broken for His sake - and that it wasn't about me. That if I truly wanted to follow Him, I had to let Him break me in order to build me.

 **Synopsis + SPOILER ALERT(s)**
1) I wanted to adopt Shea (shocker huh?)
2) We did not adopt Shea (no this is not my creepy way of announcing we've have a secret child these past 4 years.)
3) I was disappointed and confused by God's plan (times a bajillion) but Shea's family found him. They reached out to me after finding him and allowed me to be a part of their adoption. His mother embraced me like no other and to this day calls me "Auntie Jo" though we've never met in person. And they are living fantastic lives for God in NY. (true story).

You can read more from Me-four-years-ago here :  Saving Shea : The Rainbow
Find out more about the Kulp family and where Shea is now :) : Controlled Chaos

This was the 3rd time God had broken my heart in my entire life and I felt it severely. Little did I know, He would go on to break it again (ouch God) but each time I have come out of my shock a little sooner than the last. I shouldn't be surprised that my heart is continually broken for His sake. I am His. I can't not smile and type that. I want to be His! I am grateful to be His! He bought me at a price - the death of His son ; the perfect sacrifice- and I owe my life, heart and soul to Him forever. My broken heart is the best thing He could ever do for me because only when it is broken, can He come in and do His work. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

(*Ok I'm sorry to interrupt myself but "And Now my Lifesong Sings" by Casting Crowns just came on pandora - the soft slow one - and I'm crying. Ugly fat tears. Ok. I just had to share that. Wait! Go listen to it and cry ugly tears. It's worth it. Really. It's beautiful and gets me every.single.time. Just grab tissues! PHEW! Ok deep breath. Back to blogging.)

4 weeks ago.
Four weeks ago our family made a decision. It was a choice 4 years in the making - covered by prayer and pleading for guidance from God. A decision that can only be made in faith as with trembling hearts and hands my husband and I prayed in earnest our Lord's will to be revealed in our lives in regards to adoption. We decided to take a month (hey that's 4 weeks too!) and pray specifically on this subject. Fears were high for both of us. Fears of finances and increased responsibilities. Fears of heartbreak and rejection. Fear of the unknown, the unplanned and the uncontrollable. But in the end, faith overcame fear. It outweighed, outtalked, outshone and outright kicked fear to the curb, giving us the courage to say yes. We said "yes" to adoption and announced just 1 day later - November 9th 2014 (the 1st ever World Adoption Day) - that we would be embarking on the amazing, mysterious, love-journey known as adoption.

(That's right. We announced it on the first ever World Adoption Day…ever… I could say I had no idea things would work out that way…but…I was definitely hoping it would. ;) No chance of forgetting that day. Ever. )

So here I am. My blog. Wow it's been a long time.

Again if you knew me 4 years ago you probably remember I used to write on this thing allllll the time. Oh my goodness.
When I was pregnant with Jet it was a way to keep family and friends updated.
When Jet was born it was my almost-daily mommy-brag book (look at my adorable baby! He's 4 weeks old and looks just like he did yesterday! He's freaking awesome and you'll never find one better! Whoo-hoo! Fist pump!)
Later it became a way of reflecting on motherhood, special needs parenting, and the joys and struggles that came with it all (and every comment felt like a hug. I'm not even exaggerating.
 I loved this little blog.)
As time when on life got busier and I couldn't visit as often so it was a way of overwhelming the world with a barrage of photos of our family from the past 3, 6 or 9 months since I'd last blogged.
And lastly, it served as a tiny sounding board where I could share a little of my feelings, thoughts, fears, hopes, prayers and pleadings as I battled anxiety and depression.

And over a year since my last post - it's still here.

Holding onto photos.

Protecting memories.

 Keeping my words for me should I wish read them again.

Waiting for me when I come back.

(Because of course it's an incredibly loyal and insightful little blog who anticipates these sorts of things.)

And I'm happy it is so.

Because I do believe…

I have some writing left to do.


Laura said...

I cannot believe it's been over a year. WOW. Well, I love you and I'm thrilled about this journey you're going on! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you guys.

Jamie said...

And I can't wait to read it and follow your journey friend! We will be adopting at the same time.... so fun!

Amanda_in78 said...

Welcome back!
I've missed your beautiful way with words... and pictures
Can't wait to see what the future brings

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