Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2014

No, the title isn't a typo. It's a prayer. It's a big prayer, that our family (unlike the last two years) doesn't lose another loved one, but that we gain one. 

This Christmas season was rougher than I foresaw emotionally. I think the rain had a lot to do with it. Last Christmas, although huge, we only mourned Kendall. This year, the twins and Kirk's brother Ric were added to the list. 

But we came together with smiles, laughs and memories, past and present. 

The kids continue to surprise me by only asking Santa for 1-2 things. Even when he looked surprised and asked if there was anything else. One gift that has kept Kristen busy for hours today is a rainbow loom. Okay...  I thought it was fun to use too! But she came up with the idea to try to sell some to raise money for the adoption. It made me smile to know that her heart is for her next brother or sister! 

I'm blogging on my phone, which is dying... So I'll wrap up quickly. 

The Pallets for a Purpose will continue after the new year! I have a couple of orders lined up already. I'm excited to announce we're rounding up the year at $5,000! That is in 12 weeks (10 if you minus 2 for holidays) which is still so amazing! I love hearing the stories of people who have ordered pallets that have already been touched by adoption is their own lives and want to support us in our story. Thank you again...

Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Adoption and Church Capitol Campaign

Last Sunday our small group was prompted to discuss two things in our lives that seemed to clash or not sit well together. Where we'd have to pick one thing over the other for example, or put one thing on hold, to better prioritize God's plans in our lives.
Well, God knew us well enough to put us on as the campaign for our church. We are expanding to make room for more kids! And this has been very well received in the church. During the beginning phases of planning, is when Kirk and I decided on adopting and started looking at our budget.

We came to amount X from the campaign and prayed about it, and went up to Y for our giving to the campaign before finding our route with adoption and knowing how much that would cost us. Two great things for God, but man, it would be nice if we didn't both. Could we compromise and go back down to X? We did for a little while, while we kept praying and ended back up a little above Y.

We went to our advance commitment meeting to give our pledge and felt led to turn Y+ into Z. My eyes got a little bigger when Kirk told me the plan.

Our plans for our family, are what God's plans are. Our children are His, what we have is His, and how we get there is God's plan. We've already felt the sacrifice of putting our family on "hold". Its not easy, but God let us know that both investing in our church and adopting were possible and that's He'd provide.

In 6 short weeks, through pallets, subbing at preschool, yard sale (in Roswell) and selling a few things around the house... I can not believe we have raised over $3000 for adoption!! When I think $500 a week, I ask myself where did that come from? At this rate, we can meet our goal in less that 11 months!

I know I keep saying it, but I mean it and I can't say it enough.... Thank you all for helping us on this journey! I can't wait for the day we sign our first papers!!

Nov 3- Orphan Sunday:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pallet Pictures!

Pallets For A Purpose is our current fundraiser. Some people have asked if I have a website for the pallets, because they aren't on Facebook... So here are some pictures... From September to Christmas I finished 78 pallets! So if you don't see what you like here, ask! Too expensive to ship, but if you live in the North GA area email me!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Moving Forward: Baby Steps

Baby steps... no pun intended.

I'm the type of person, that when we decide something, I want to do it or get started "yesterday". It doesn't help that this is a long process to begin with. I feel like everyday we're making it longer when we don't DO something.

We've chosen to hold off on signing with an agency till we have enough funds not to put ourselves in debt. Hence the pallets. And I've prayed with an open heart that God put us here and He will provide.

I've been in a Beth Moore Deuteronomy study about God "Bringing 'us' (Moses and his people) OUT, to bring us IN" And we started this study at the beginning right before Kirk said, "Let's do it"! But it's applied so much to where we (our family) is right now in our walk with God. Being able to feel like God had us go through hard times, so we could fine tune our hearts and ears on Him, and be obedient in doing what He'd ask of us.

So as we said "yes" to God and we find out how much adoption could cost, then put our foot on the breaks a little. We can't go into debt here. So our prayer becomes where is this money going to be coming from? We look at what we have, that's not locked up in 401Ks etc. There was a part in the study that was about "protecting" yourself out of your calling from the Lord. God doesn't ask you to do something wonderful, in the end to put you in a place of misery. But we don't want to over "protect" what we have right now, to miss what He wants for us through this adoption.

So say we have X (still undetermined) amount to put forward, we still know we need 2X or even 3X to be where we feel comfortable to start signing papers.

So we keep praying. And I keep in this Beth Moore study. And we talk about this "manna" God sends down to His people. This fully made bread type of food, ready to be eaten. Okay God, where's our "manna"? Where's this money coming from? Start raining money... this is your will, that we do this....

But in the Promised Land they weren't just given everything perfectly made, ready to eat... but they were given all the pieces to work for what they needed.

So as you guys know, I started a couple pallets a few weeks ago, not knowing where it would lead. And each week, I've been filling orders. Not so many that it has overwhelmed me all at once, but a constant flow of "You've (God) given me the tools, now I can produce the product that can carry us through, little by little." I am so thankful for each pallet project that I've made, b/c I love to be crafty, but also because yet again, I'm doing something I would have never thought I'd be doing. And I love seeing God continue to work. Some have asked how many I've made, and I haven't been keeping up with the number of pallets, but rather the number in the bank. In three and a half short weeks, we've received about $1000! I'm amazed that I could do that!

So, you've read my little Bible study lesson to wonder what the news is...Our little step forward is that we finally set up a specific adoption bank account in which we have linked PayPal! I've learned to celebrate the little things, because a lot of little turns into a big! People ask us where we are in the adoption process. And I've been saying- since the government is on break, we're waiting to see what happens in the new year. How much insurance will cost, how much taxes we will get back, if there will be an adoption tax exemption renewal. But all that won't stop us from adopting. We are moving forward! We won't let the craziness of this worldly life stop us from what God wants for us.

If you'd like a pallet for our fundraiser, please let me know! (Shipping is too costly) But if you'd like to donate and can't receive a pallet, you now have a way to do so! Thank you everyone! God is using you in His mighty plans for this "soon-enough-to-be" child. And I can't wait to watch God bring us OUT of this place we've been in, to bring us IN to something more wonderful!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

God Given Talents

Brainstorming on how we could fund-raise aside of a big event or the garage sales we are planning, I was looking at garage sale groups on Facebook and Craigslist randomly and saw someone post about free pallets around town. I had already made us one, so I decided to go out on a limb and make a few more for an up coming garage sale to see how well they'd sell.

I went to Troncolli car dealership and drive around to the back. I felt strange, being where I felt like I shouldn't be, but the Craigslist post added a phone number and I doubled checked by calling him and finding it was legit. The guy didn't pick up, but his voice mail said he worked for the company.

I did my first few designs and decided to go ahead and post them on our group site... and BAM you all have been keeping me busy! I've taken orders and sold at least 13 so far now! And I have 10 that are current on my list! A fiend is trying to get me to do the church fall bazaar... but I don't want to get too back up.

I've been back to Troncolli. They are are nice and help me load, when they see me. I told them to expect me back! Then I have an un-named pallet source that I've seen twice. And another offering to deliver to my house! Although that was nice, making my weekly runs gives me enough so far for what I have needed. I don't want my HOA getting mad at me for built up piles of pallets! There are new houses being built, and I've been eyeing their trash piles too...

I have one person from both New Orleans and KY coming to get one next month! And one wanting me to ship it to her in another state! I'm going to UPS to find out how much that will cost! Christmas, wedding, birthdays, baby shower, any appreciation gift, or just for yourself....

The little miss hap of cutting the cord to my saw last week really upset me. Right after doing it, I sat and cried a minute. Psychologically, probably not all about the cord being cut. But I'm glad it could be fixed and I got back on course!

I was called tonight to sub at the preschool tomorrow. I am happy to do so and said yes, it's what I signed up for. A little more extra cash... But I was a little bummed I wouldn't be getting my pallet time in while Drew would be away.

Some have been saying how talented I am, etc. And though I accept a compliment, I will say two things: 1) anyone could do this and 2) I do have a background in building things and design (Bach of Architecture). This is fun for me, and I do realize it wouldn't be someone else's cup of tea. But, as another friend thought... I have not free handed any paintings yet, except the flowered one. I was blessed last Christmas to get a Silhouette machine, in which I can transfer images and have a machine cut them out for me. I use these as my stencils and I paint over them.

My continued prayer throughout this adoption was and will be about being able to do it debt free. and God shows us the way.  I am just grateful that God has given me talents that can be used to help us on our way! I'm thankful for you guys who have bought one and even two or three from me! We are looking into an adoption bank account, in which to link PayPal for future ways to help out.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Agency "A" Post Meeting

There are three Christian agencies that we're looking into currently. Agency "A" is local in the Atlanta area. "B" is in Macon. And "C" is in Columbus, GA.

We went to our first meeting with "A" last night. It was great to see the room filled with hearts looking to adopt. I could tell there were faces of many different paths. Older couples, younger couples, possible single moms.We filled out a name tag and grabbed a Life Lines Magazine and a folder of info and waited to start.While thumbing through the magazine, I feel myself start to get too emotional (who me?) and I decided to close it and put in down. It had some great stuff in it. But adoption isn't just about a family getting a child and living happily ever after. It's also about a lot hard decisions and loss.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to attend a "get to know you" meeting about a new minister at our church, while still pregnant with Kendall. A lot of their story was about their adopted son, and they had invited someone out to talk a little about adopting. I believe this guy was from agency "A". And I was thankful that I was sitting next to a friend with tissues, as he started with a demonstration. He said something like, "Hold up three fingers. Those should represent three of the people who mean the most to you in your life."  Well duh, mine were Kirk, Kendall, and collectively my other two kids.

Then he said, "Take one of those fingers away." Representing the loss an orphan could experience. Knowing I was "with child" and knowing what was to come, I held back the tears as much as possible without having to leaving the room. He continued with taking away the second and third fingers, explaining who they were to an orphan, leaving a child with no one. I think I was so fixed on my situation, I don't remember the whole story, but you get the drift. And for the most part, I think he was talking about international orphans. Applies elsewhere.

So the meeting starts and it's a lot of information on the process of adoption from the start of when a woman finds out she is pregnant and the different scenarios. A lot about what happens even before an adoptive family is involved and what happens before a family could get that phone call of, "We have a possible match for you."  Some legalistic things about birth mothers and birth fathers. Rights. At what month would a birth mom start looking for a family (with in the 7-8th month). The differences in a birth father vs. legal father. The levels of open-ness between birth parents and the family they chose. The age requirements for adoptive parents.

The adoptive families make this profile booklet that tells who they are. And after a home study, an interview process where you define the criteria of a child you'd be willing to adopt (as well as other things), they show your profile to birth family looking for similar qualifications. Then the birth parents choose who they fill meets the needs they are looking for. This list of check boxes is very detailed, not just "boy or girl". They will ask questions about age of a child; if you are willing to take a child with disabilities; if so, they list a common few. You can check one, none, or all of them. They ask how you plan to raise this child. If you are financially secure, able, and/or have community and family help if needed... etc.

Everyone knows adopting isn't always easy on the wallet. Although I don't put a price on my children. One thing we're having to talk through is the differences in fees from agency A, B, and C. There is a big jump on one over the other two. You have to keep an eye out for hidden fees and add ons. I kind of compare it to picking a private school for Kristen. They all sounds great, but which one fits with our family. We will continue to pray God gives us a peace about where He leads us.

Agency "B" has a seminar in February, that we could sign up for. But they require a pre-admissions form to be submitted, with a non-refundable amount, to attend. This form is something all the agencies do, but it wasn't required for last night's meeting. It's like asking us to commit before we know we want to commit. And February sounds so far away right now.

 Agency "C" is the one I was talking about in my "edit" of the last blog post. I get a good feeling about them. Their emails read as if they have a big smile while typing it out. But they are in Columbus!! That's about a 2 hour 20 minute drive, one way. A meeting here and there is one thing. But there are group classes that parents are supposed to take before a home study is conducted. If we have to drive down once a week or something, for an amount of weeks... that's a haul.  I just looked up Macon, thinking it had to be closer, but not really. About 2 hours one way, as well.

So our next steps are to nail down fees of the other two agencies and schedule a time to meet with them. I hope to have a garage sale to help us out some. Like Dave Ramsey says, "If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." There are grants out there as well. But you have to be within the process of adopting to apply for any. And can only receive any before the adoption is finalized.

As we do this, I will be looking at the following scriptures to continue to remind me that God has our back and that His treasures are being saved for us in Heaven.

Phillippians 4:19
Mark 10:17-29
Luke 14:25-35

I know I covered a lot and also not so much. I have a few friends asking questions, feel free to ask! I feel the adoption process is not talked about enough. Many people want to adopt "one day" but feel intimidated. I believe details to protect a child remain private. But the rest is likened to not being able to talk about a child loss. You don't know much about it until you go through it yourself, or watch someone else go through it. If more people who want to adopt, feel more comfortable with the process, then there might not be as many orphans in the world.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Step 1 & 2: Agency Exclusivity

Step 1: Educate yourself- Been doing a lot of web searching. I plan on getting a couple books. I feel like going to a couple of info meetings with different agencies would help; our first one is Tues the 10th.

Step 2: Selecting an Agency-
The one we will be meeting with on Tues is Bethany Christian Services.The way we came to feel adoption was the door that was opening up is though Christ, so I've been trying to find the agencies that say they are Christian based.

I'll state now, that as a Christian, I believe in signing a Statement of Faith when it comes to certain things as this. Carrying for Orphans has a biblical background. I'm about to talk about exclusivity in a certain agency that is leaving my mouth hanging. Some could read back to this and say just having to state that you are a Christian with a Christian agency is also being exclusive. I'm not sure what they'd say if you were to tell them you weren't a Christian, but I'd hope they would want to talk about your relationship with Jesus Christ.

So this one other agency that I call asks me a few questions... check check check... we could qualify so far. Then they ask which church we belong to: First Baptist Church of Cumming. And then her words become foggy as she starts telling me that their agency is an affiliate of ______ (Christian church denomination) and that since their funded by them, they can only serve those from this church. <<mouth open>> "Okay" (we say our good byes)

Now, she was a nice lady and did support what she knew of Bethany Christian Services. But as I start talking to Kirk about what I just heard, I couldn't help but wonder the long lost phrase "What Would Jesus Do?"

There are children in this world needing homes, but we can only bless them with people of our church? We will limit the amount of perspective adoptive parents to show our biological parents without asking to your perspective of what being a Christian really means to someone? Wow, What is that saying about what you think about your view on the Bible and being a Christian?

We're learning from step one about adoption. And I'm not writing this is hate on this agency or church. But writing so that others see what the adoption process really looks like.

This agency makes me sad today. I can see how people could throw Christianity out the window from people trying to be so exclusive. I haven't found anywhere on their website where this policy is stated. And therefore makes me ask if they care which affiliation the biological parents are from? And if not, that opens up another can of worms I won't go into.

Aren't too many children without homes to be this way? I was hoping to have some different agencies to choose from, but now I'm afraid that choice is being narrowed down so much we won't have a choice. So I continue to pray that God keeps leading us the way He wants us to go.

Edited to add:
I found another agency tonight that I told in my comments that I was proud of them. It's the first one that I saw that had a link/tab for bringing people to Christ. A "How to become a Christian" link. If a person has a heart for adopting and hasn't become a Christian, therefore can't adopt through certain agencies... THIS one is actually sharing what Christ is about. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Starting on Step One

Thank you all for going to our new facebook group! I've been researching and internet surfing for the different adoption agency in Georgia. There are a couple faith based ones. I've emailed a couple for more info and we will be meeting with them eventually. Here's a link to a sample "step by step" on how to adopt. I think everything looks easy on paper, but this doesn't give a time schedule and a money schedule. So this is probably not even 1/3 of the what to expect. So far (obviously) the step on choosing an agency seems like the hardest part. Please pray for us that we feel comfortable in our decisions and we continue to go God's direction! I did feel warm hearted after I sent an email off to one agency... I hope their response and future conversation continues those feelings.

Many have asked if we are headed toward domestic or international adoption. We feel domestic is the way our family is headed. I had a "duh" moment after telling Kirk's parents we planned to adopt. They started talking about Kirk's cousin who also has had infant losses (twins born too soon) and then afterward adopted. "HELLO!!" Kirk looked at me like, "where have you been?" I'm actually happy that I put them out of my head for these decisions, or that God did that for me. I might have second guessed myself, as to following in someone else's foot steps. But they we love them and they mean a lot to us. Happy to have someone in the family to relate to.

Some have also said, "we know this person adopting or has adopted" etc. I feel at this point we are well surrounded with friends that WERE adopted, HAVE adopted, and have PLACED a child for adoption, that if we need help, we can find it. But truly thank you for all your support. It shows us how excited you are with us! 

Just thinking forward as we also research adopting grants and plan garage sales etc... if anyone has big ticket items they'd like to donate, let me know!!

**This was edited, changing my words in CAPS. WERE: people were adopted, not ARE adopted. Adoption is wonderful but not a word the defines a person. PLACED: adoption language is changing as open adoption becomes more common. Although my word was GIVEN, not given up, birth moms that have an open adoption don't give up on their children. Another wording used is: "Made an adoption plan for..."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We're hoping to adopt! Pt 2

Part 2: How adoption started with our family

March 17-

After our miscarriage, I wrote a friend, saying the above, about the my old blog becoming a book... I didn't know what God was planning, I knew something great was coming! 

In the middle of May 2013, God started laying adoption on my heart. I kept quiet a little while. I was sifting through "Why do we need to adopt? I can have my 'own' kids." and making sure I wasn't making this up in my own head, just because I wanted another child. 'Own' kids.... takes me back to my first post about Kendall. Our children are not our 'own', but God's given to us as gifts, no matter how they come into our lives. These clips of Rev. Run reminded me we don't make our 'own' babies.

Many people would be asking if we needed another child? After a loss of an infant, many if not most parents try for another. They call these babies 'rainbow babies'. The beauty of a rainbow after a storm. Having another child doesn't replace the one lost, it doesn't hide or change emotions, but it does help the healing process. To hold another one of your healthy children in your arms and to feel that in some way, there was a purpose in it all. Not ending your childbearing in a gut wrenching experience, but one of beauty again. 

My mom would later ask if I was scared to try again- no... this isn't about what I wanted for my life anymore. That would have ended with Kendall being a healthy baby, or not miscarrying. This is about what God wants for our lives... and I can't say that without being excited!

After some more of God's coaching, I spoke with a couple of friends, just to have some prayer. I knew since adoption wasn't on Kirk's radar, that it wasn't going to be easy to bring up. I didn't want to feel like I was forcing him into anything as well. And since Kirk's brother passing away was an answer to a prayer for God to speak to Kirk before I had to tell him about dropping our 10 year anniversary trip to Hawaii next year for a mission trip, I wasn't about to ask God to tell Kirk before me again. I learned to fear the Lord.

Two more weeks passed, and there was a chance in casual conversation in a car ride that I could tell him God was starting to put this on my heart. It was a quick conversation.

Little bit longer and mid June we were watching a show we like to DVR and watch together. I was sitting on the Lay-Z-boy and he was laying on the couch. I had my laptop in my lap. The show had took a turn for adoption in the plot and I started getting emotional. Kirk asked me what I was reading on my laptop, not thinking it had anything to do with the show. For a couple of days, I brushed off questions about why I couldn't sleep well that night. I was debating telling him or not. There hasn't been very much in our 9 year marriage that we disagreed on anything and I didn't want to put that strain on our marriage. We'd been through enough. 
 God came back to me and very clearly said, "There's nothing to be afraid of, I've got this covered." I decided to start the conversation in an email. I could get all my thoughts out and not be interrupted, get off track, or cry through the whole thing. Kirk was on our other computer at the time, so I knew he'd read it right away. Then we spoke in person for a while before bed on June 22.

Not more than twelve hours later, one of our ministers at the church had all the adoptive families up on stage. Kirk and I didn't exchange glances. I just kept praying. After our small group met the next hour, Kirk asked a friend to have lunch with him during the week for some Godly, male conversation. And I prayed. I started feeling excited. I knew after the year we'd had that I was hearing God clearly. And I knew that if we follow the road He has for us, and if God wanted us to adopt, we would. And I waited.

Scared and excited all in one. I knew the same feelings when we started KKF. Something I never planned on doing or knew how to do, but following God's direction puts a huge smile on my face because I can feel Him smiling back! 
I will admit that I was avoiding the Bible at this time. I knew there are specific verses that tell us to care for orphans. And I didn't want have those just to "throw" out at Kirk while in our discussions. I also felt God more through prayer at this point. While I waited and prayed I did a little research and came across these videos of singer Mark Schultz:

After watching this video, I cry. I, like Mark who is adopted, had viewed adoption in the past as irresponsible people, giving up on their children. But now to be able to relate to having to give over a beautiful child and starting The Kendall Keepsake Foundation to encourage women to carry to term, no matter the situation... I have a new respect and love for these families. 

GOD WAS CHANGING OUR HEARTS! And it wouldn't have happened without this past 2 years playing out through the tears the way it did. And the song Jesus, Friend of Sinners lyrics of "break our hearts for what breaks yours" keeps ringing true. I advise caution to anyone who really sings this with all their hearts, b/c heartbreak hurts. But you can't be healed without being hurt.

Other daily events that God spoke to me through included:
June 27- I was in thought listening to a random song on the radio hoping for it to speak to me about adoption. To remind me the path God put before me. But this current song wasn't it. I looked down at the artist and BAM-- Mark Schultz on radio. Thank you, just what I needed!
July8- Kirk cut a friend's yard who was recovering from surgery and adoption came up in random conversation
July 12- God laid Isaiah 49 (specifically vs 21-22) on my heart- Bereaved parent given more children from God, asking "who bore these children?" God told him 'other nations'... like they would be adopted as his own. 
August 8- Listening to a song I'd heard a million times and finally understand the lyrics! 

August 22- 
During all this rainy Summer, I drive watching the clouds hoping to see rainbows that remind me of Kendall and so much more. And after watching The Bible (the series on TV last Winter) I struggle with being able to ask, in Jesus' name, for things and having the 100% faith that those things would actually happen. Through everything we've been though I've learned so much about surrender. But my logical mind gets in the way sometimes. If I asked... yes, He could do it, but would He? Does He only do it for important things? On what scale of importance does it have to be? We all know God loves to teach people patience with His timing. 

Driving back home, looking for rainbows, I literally tried asking for a rainbow in Jesus' name. Not that I saw one, but it was more about giving God ALL of me, without doubt. I didn't have to see one. Kristen asked what I was doing as I leaned over my steering wheel looking at the clouds. Could you truly do that? That's how bad I wanted it.

That night we miraculously got the kids in bed at 7pm. And Kirk started a conversation. My "rainbow" was coming!! Later he'd admit that adoption had been on his mind every second of every day. And he'd also tell me that he was trying to find a reason not to adopt.  And he said, "there wasn't one." AMEN! Kirk said, "lets do it!"

We're currently signed up for an information meeting with Bethany Christian Services to find out our next steps. 

We're hoping to adopt!

Check out our "About Us" page!

Going into this first/second blog post, I know it will be long. Just bare with me and read it completely to understand where we feel God is leading our family. In typing I decided to make this first entry into two post. I pray and know you will see God's hand in everything from here on out. I haven't typed anything of importance yet, and already in joyous tears, so grab a box of tissues! Here we go!!

Part 1: Pre Adoption
For the many reading one of my blogs for the first time and for potential birth parents, I''ll need to start with a little background before the adoption subject came along...

Kirk and I have been married going on 10 years in 2014. Life was perfect as we knew it. Kristen was born in 2007 and Drew in 2010. We found out we were pregnant with our third and what we thought would be our final child in 2011, to be born in 2012. In our 20 week ultrasound we found out Kendall had a condition called anencephaly, in which she wouldn't be able to live outside the womb. Our full story with Kendall was blogged here. Through the ups and down of that experience we came to a closer relationship with the Lord, our family and our church family. A depth of love that can't be described.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 had become one of my life verses. In short (my words), we suffer as God and Christ suffer, and we feel comforted through Christ and others, so that when others suffer, we know how to comfort them. God knew what it was like to have to give His child. And through the comfort of other families stories of loss, I knew we weren't alone. And neither is a birth family.

After Kendall was born and passed away within 20 minutes, I knew I wanted to do something to help other families create memories of their children.With that, The Kendall Keepsake Foundation (KKF) was founded by myself and sister-in-law (Ashlee).

The stages of grief after Kendall went by fairly quickly, although there is still a loss. I felt like I learned what it was God wanted me to learn through it all. And I am grateful and thankful for Kendall's life and the affects we have seen through it all. Six months later we were ready to try again for another child to continue to fill our home with laughter again. It was the same week, a year later, that we had found out about Kendall's anencephaly that we found out we had two sacs, but the pregnancy didn't look great and we had our first miscarriage.

While my body took it's pretty time to heal again, more tragedy struck our family. Kirk's only brother died from cardiac arrest, as well as other family diagnosises. During that time Kirk and I had been praying that we'd be on the same page about having another child. I felt God telling me, "Don't worry about that now. Focus on the family you have here." I felt confident on getting on birth control, and with that, thought that was the answer to the prayer. That I was finally going to feel we'd be done having children.

It was then God started to redirect my path. Almost like He chuckled, smiled and said, "No, no... just changing directions". Mid May 2013, I started to feel the tug of adoption.