Sunday, November 15, 2015

Loss...

I've debated this post the last few days. But then the words from a kind friend kept ringing back in my mind "rachel you don't have to be okay. Pursue haiti, pursue Harper full force, but this baby is a loss and that loss will never leave you, and that is ok"... I hope I can get these words out like I mean them and no one takes it wrong. I have never had a miscarriage, my heart breaks for the women who have. I know that loss must be unbelievably devestating. I also know from my friends and sister who have suffered miscarriages is that a part of the tragedy in addition to the death, the physical pain and turmoil is the loss of hope. You see as guarded as our hearts were to this domestic adoption. As many times as we told ourselves it may not work out, we had hope it would. We were counting down the days and weeks until her due date (December 19) just to know "for sure" this baby was meant for us. So when it all came crashing down, when we knew deep in our hearts this baby wasn't ours and days later when our heads finally accepted it the loss of hope set in. That devestation wrapped around me and I felt hopeless. I wept, Kevin too. Friends surrounded me in prayer and arms of love. People listened and continue to listen. I have mourned this baby. Mourning not knowing where it will end up. Mourning the selfish womb it's growing in. Mourning its future. Mourning me never knowing it's future-( revelation 21:4 "he will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be Mourning, nor crying not pain anymore, for the former things have passed away") God's plans aren't mine.(Jeremiah 29:11 for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans for welfare and not for evil to give you future and hope) He holds my future in his hand. God is holding this precious life in his hand. The hard part is me placing that child in his mighty hand, again and again. Please join us this December and every December as you hug and kiss your babe's and watch them open gifts, pray for this child- pray wherever it ends up it is so loved and treasured and more then anything pointed towards Christ daily. Knowing it is being covered in prayer for the rest of their lives makes the pain of not being their mother almost bearable... Pray for my heart, pray for my own mind that God will give me peace, pray that Harper will come home soon and the rest of our adoption will be without distraction or incident, pray that this baby won't be forgotten in any of our hearts.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Heavy hearted

We come to you all today with heavy hearts. We have walked a road for a few months with a very sad women, a broken women, a drug addicted women who sees no value in herself. A women who we strove to speak truth to, who we shared God's words with, who we prayed for. A women carrying a child we hoped to be ours. That same women made the same promise to another family, and maybe several other families. While carrying a helpless life within her she is using that life to manipulate families with the promise of adoption at the end. When we found this all out we knew we had to step away. But obviously that decision was not easy, because there is still life within her womb a baby, a soul that MATTERS and that baby I'd being born to a mother who seems to not care about it at all,and in all likely hood will not be allowed to keep it, in my mind that seems unjust and unfair. And I have wept for that child. I have wept for its mother and I have wept for myself and my husband... even though I wasn't carrying this child it still feels very much like a loss. We are grasping for thanksgiving though and therefore we have looked at this whole awful situation and found reasons for thankfulness, we ask that you Praise God with us for these things: 1.our eyes are more open to the brokenness in our world, we can no longer live in a bubble of our church friends and ignore the evil, addiction and poverty that is others daily lives. 2. We are walking away financially unscathed, God protected the funds we raised and we are so THANKFUL. The other families involved were not that lucky. 3. We shared Christ with this mother. This is 2 fold- 1 whenever God's name is spoken it brings him glory and His name has been spoken again and again throughout this process. Also even if I never speak to this mom again,we have shared Christ's love with her and maybe just maybe it has planted a seed in her heart and someday she will come to know him! Her soul matters. 4. So many have come to love this baby, and even if it never knows us and we never know them this baby has been loved, prayed for and will continue to be prayed for. 5. God has worked our hearts. He brought us to our knees before him again and again. He has shown his love for us again and again through so many who love him and we are so thankful for all who have come around us during this journey. 6. God has sealed our hearts for Haiti. He has sealed our hearts for the orphan. He has sealed our hearts for Haiti. Where we go from here: We ask that you pray for us throughout this loss. We ask that you join us in praying for this birth mom and her unborn child. As excited as we were to adopt this baby there was a part of my heart that was sad to not adopt from haiti (maybe God's voice quietly telling us our daughter was in Haiti all along), and we are EXCITED to get back on track with bringing Harper home, we can't wait to know her face, her smell and her voice. Pray specifically over november 21 and our silent auction and pancake dinner that God's presence would be obvious and his provision apparent.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Change of plans...

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his way. Kevin and I have talked about adoption since before we married. Then we had 4 kids very close, and it seemed like a crazy idea. But God wouldn't let up. After talk, prayer, debate and tears we knew God wasn't done growing our family. And we knew the way he wanted our family to expand was through adoption. We discussed every option, foster care, international amd domestic. We took a couple foster care classes amd ultimately decided it was not a fit for our family right now. We glanced at domestic but decided it too wasn't for us because we weren't necessarily looking for an infant. We ultimately leaned towards international, and after much research and prayer we chose Haiti and began pursuing a girl. Haiti is a long wait so we figured 2+ years. At the start of this process the song by Hillsong United "Oceans" came out. And I couldn't get through it without tears streaming, all I could think of was what God was calling us to with adoption: "spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me, Take me deeper then my feet could ever wander and my faith be made stronger in the presence of my savior" We began paper work, we began fundraising. Everything took far longer then we imagined. We finished our homestudy and began work on our dossier, we have nothing paper work wise in haiti at this point nor do we have an official match. Those song lyrics played in my head in the deep moments of doubt with this adoption. I felt like I was doing good claiming God's promise to us to walk beside us through this adoption. I knew to pray for trust constantly: trust to travel overseas, trust to raise the needed funds, trust to bond with a child not biologically ours-those things to me were God calling me to where my trust was without borders, haiti was deeper then my feet could ever wander, and my faith was certainly being made stronger with every step! Well I am thankful that God was building my faith (Isaiah 41:10 "so do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand") in preperation for the turn our journey would take. Because now we are in the midst of a DOMESTIC ADOPTION, yes take a breath and read those words again- DOMESTIC ADOPTION. THE EXACT thing we didn't think we wanted is exactly what God called us to. I know you are asking how we got here... well I won't bore you with details. But a friend passed us the info of a lawyer who is a friend of hers, who was looking for a family to adopt this baby. We had to act quickly but ultimately put our name in as a potential. A whole lot of things have happened since but im going to be vague- the mom is no longer working with her agency and the adoption will all take place through our lawyer, the Mom has had limited medical care (we are now helping her with this)and has recently gotten out of jail. But she has selflessly chosen life for this child and we are so very very thankful for that and indebted to her for choosing us as this child's parents. So we know This is a lot to take in, it's crazy, maybe we are crazy but here is the even crazier part... she is DUE IN EARLY DECEMBER. With that being said we need your prayers now more then ever, she has every right to change her mind and at this point that would be devestating- pray for protection of our hearts, We are hopeful the baby will be born healthy but the lack of medical care and some other things give us cause for concern, please pray this baby will defy every odd and be born 100% healthy that the doctors and nurses would be in awe of our Gods powerful hand. Pray that this story will be Gods story- that we will trust in Him at every twist and turn and claim his truths. To this point we haven't had to use a lot of our funds but if this all works out we will have a lot of fees at once come up very,very quickly... legal fees, traveling costs, care for the Mother, medical expenses and preperation for bringing a newborn home we are looking likely close to 10-12,000 dollars... in A MONTH we need you guys more then ever to prayerfully consider coming beside us and giving, but ,more then anything we ask for your prayers! We have a pancake dinner and silent auction November 21, if you can attend we would love to see you there, if you can donate towards food or an auction item that would be a huge help, please let me know if you want to help. If you feel led to donate you can do so 1 of 3 ways: mail 721 silverhill Dr murfreesboro tn 37129. PayPal yates1876@gmail.com or our give forward page that I will update asap www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/jhw6 (or Google pay forward bringing harper home) We love you all and ARE SO THANKFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sofia pearl is 6

It was like yesterday but yet a lifetime ago that we welcomed our sweet Sofia into our little family. She was the 1st of my babies that I delivered drug free and it was the most humbling experience ever! Despite all our classes, talks and prep for a natural birth I had majorly underestimated the intensity in a natural birth. By the wee hours we were exhausted, both physically and emotionally, we were bound together more then even more then then before as I relied fully on Kevin for every ounce of strength when the pain seemed to much and finally when Sofia made her entrance (screaming) we felt indescribable JOY! Her life has brought us continuous joy! She is head strong, funny (I mean FUNNY), she is a friend to everyone, she is compassionate and empathetic, she is head strong and emotional! She keeps her momma and daddy on their toes! She started kindergarten this year and LOVES IT. she has made many friends, loves learning and her teacher is womderful. We are so proud of her and can't wait to see what God has in store for her life!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

exhausted momma...

We are coming out of the cloud of our 1st phase of adoption. The haze of early fundraising, the phase of heavy paper work, the phase chasing around town to get medical exams, passports, finger prints, background checks, and psych evals. This last few months I don't know that I have ever been so exhausted. Every minute I have something to do, or should be doing. Either I'm at preschool, running kiddos somewhere, household chores, and then in my few minutes of non committed time I'm chasing paperwork around. But it is paying off, we are on the edge of finishing it up. Adoption is fUll of unexpected. That is what I've been told from the begining. and they weren't lieing. Here's an example. We needed local background checks. I was told to go the local city police department. So off I went. My little duckies following behind me. We were sent to 3 different offices. Then finally told they "no longer do those here". Back to the mini we traveled. I texted my AMAZING caseworker and she got right on it. After calling she discovered the police department no longer did them. So we were sent to the Rutherford county jail. While waiting for my background report a whole line of men from the jail came out, orange jump suits and all. and you know what my boys did, they high five them. The whole line of fugitives. Oh me. all I could do was laugh, I hope their day was brightened. When I went to get fingerprinted, my babe's played peek a boo with a man in an office who was obviously busy but sweet enough to entertain them so I could finish the task at hand. When I needed to have a drug screen I wasn't allowed to take the kiddos into the bathroom with me, so a nurse stood with them and played to keep them calm and entertained. The countless times I've visited the post office I have been greeted by the same kind women-always quick to ask me about our adoption and even quicker to remind me God is in control and that she is praying. While getting my passport we waited over 2 hours, the kids were a wreck but when we got in the office she made them smile and laugh and gave them crayons and paper for distractions. You see adoption can be lonely. So very isolating. Your friends are pregnang. They are feeling and knoWing and growing their child, and our child is far away, and we don't know her, or even if she is born yet. Yet we are fightiNg for her. Fighting to finance her homecoming, and by the grace of God and kindness of people we are. We are fighting the nay sayers, those who think we are crazy. Those who think we have "enough" kids. Those who think we are selfish to adopt. We are fighting the busyness of our schedules to finish paperwork. Appointments. And deadlines. Losing sleep as we stay up late to do trainings. And we don't even know her yet. But oh how we love her. We crave to know her, crave to touch her, kiss her and call her ours. God is growing us through this. Every time the devil beats us down the holy spirit moves and God's presence is seen again. I don't really know the ppint of this post, I guess it comes from exhaustion ☺

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

happy 2nd birthday Fischer jonathan

Fischer, You my sweet baby are 2! Your 2 years of life have flown by but at the same time oh how I have savored you. I have held you every time you awoke at nighg. I have sat and cuddled you and ignored chores simply because you asked. You are truly our baby. We have never had a 2 year old and not already added on anot her sibling so it's safe to safe you are spoiled ☺ You are very talkative. you have spoken in full sentences for several months and you love to chat. You make everyone laugh bc you talk so much. You have the best grin. The best laugh. Your happiness is contagious. You are an amazing cuddle bug. You always want to sit on our laps, cuddle us, suck your thumb and rub our arms-always. You brother gave you one of his blanket and it has become a huge attachment for you. It is so sweet seeing you sucking your thumb and holding your blankie. You love jumping on the trampoline and will jump until you are red faced and puffing. You love to swing and giggle the whole time! You love to ride the 4 Wheeler with rei and he is so patient letting you on and off at your whim. You and Reiter both love trucks and tractors and "drive" them around everywhere Making truck noises. You both take at least 1 to bed every night! I taught preschool Tuesday and Thursdays this year so you attended school. You did so well and love talking about your friends, especially tinsley. You love music and chapel and are so cute walking on your rope with friends. But momma missed you to much this year. So next year you and I will be back home, I just want to continue savoring these toddler days with you! Fischer we pray you come to know our God who "wuvs" you and "made me and you and everything". Because as much as I love you God loves you infinitley more! We pray you are a man of integrity. We pray you always see the weaker person aND make it a priority to care for them. We pray you are a gentlemaN. We pray you have a heart for your family. We pray you know how proud we are of you and how much we love You. You keep telling us your "13", that will be here soon enough I'm sure. For tonight happy 2nd birthday my chubby, sweet, loving baby boy!

happy 7th birthday my love

Averi noe'l This week you turned 7. I really don't know how that happened. 7 seems like a big big kid. 7 seems very grown up,and in my momma heart there will always be a part of me that thinks of you as my baby! From the day you were born and I held you and kissed you and fell in love with every little feature on your face I prayed for Jesus to steAL your heart. I see the holy spirit stirring questions in you and some times I feel inadequate to newer them, but God is gracious and gives me the response you need. I pray you lays seek answers to your questions, and that you are always able to trust us to help you! I pray you come to know jesus, and that he uses you in bigger ways then we can imagine! This year you have lost 4 teeth! I loved your toothless grin when you first lost the top 2! You have thrived in 1st grade. You love to read and finished your first chapter book on your own! You love math and received the math award for your class this semester! you also adore puzzles, you can do a 100 piece puzzle in less then an hour on your own. You love to have your own notebooks and pens or markers or pencils. You write us letters and notes all the time that say things like "I love you because your my mom" or "you're a great dad because your my dad"...they are always so sweet and make us feel very special! You have just entered the tablet world and I'm sure if dad and I didn't closely monitor it you would play on it for several hours, most school days you don't get a chance to play it tho and your time is very limited on the weekend. you look so grown up when you are playing on it! We took a girls weekend to Atlanta and you were able to pick out your 1st American girl, you have never been a huge baby doll player like your sister, but this Julie doll has become your faborite! You take her everywhere and are always dressing it! Our trip to American girl was such a fun and special mother-daughters time and I'm so thankful we were given that opportunity! You love your friends, especially our neighbors Chloe and Laila as well as your school friends you love to talk about! I love coming to lunch with you or help in your classroom and seeing you interact with them! Your best friend is your sister. You hardly fight but are instead best friends. You play together well and giggle almost nightly until you fall asleep. Sofia loves to sleep in your bed with yoy, and even when I can tell you want some space you let her and that blesses my heart! We miss you while you are at school but are so very proud of how well you have done there! You are playing soccer again and sister you are rocking it this season. You have finally gotten a streak of aggressiveNess and seeing you hustle thrills me! You seem so confident on the field, such a change from the 4 year old we had to bribe to kick the ball! you are also in gymnastics and I'm so proud of how hard you work there. You and Sofia have lots of friends in your class and I love watching you talk and enjoy them while you pracTice! my favorite thing we have done this year is American Heritage Girls! Its a Christian centered scout troop and I have had the joy of being one of your leaders! We have had 2 lock ins and several events where we have been able to serve together and that has been a such a privilege! Averi I wish I could lock you in at 7. I love everything about you right now. But I say that every year, and I don't want to miss the amazing things I know God has in store for you sweet girl! Know you are unconditionally loved baby girl. You are so precious. It is a true honor to call you daughter and I feel blessed every time you call me momma! Here's to 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!