Corban is 6 months old today!!!
What an incredible gift this boy is to us, to our hearts, and to our family and friends. In honor of Corban’s half birthday and in light of all God has done for us, we want to share this video with you. This video is not just a recap of our journey, it’s a huge thank you note to the hundreds of you who have prayed for us, encouraged us, and financially supported us. We could not have done it without you. Thank you for being the rich community God has surrounded us with!
The song in this video was specifically chosen. Throughout our entire adoption, this was my (Lauren’s) song. Every morning on my drive to work, I would sing this song at the top of my lungs; believing that one-day these words would be proven true. At night, I would whisper these words to myself to quiet my anxious thoughts. This song was a constant reminder to me that God was close even when He felt far off. It was a reminder that He was faithful even before circumstances began to change. This song marked me and our journey and I can now claim what this song affirms of the Lord that, “He was there in every season of my soul. He was the anchor that I hold. He was faithful.”
We hope this video makes known the faithfulness of our God. As Isaiah 63:7 states, “I will make known the LORD’s faithful love and the LORD’s praiseworthy acts, because of all the LORD has done for us– based on His compassion and the abundance of His faithful love.”
Here it is:
:::A special thanks to Travis Fish who put this video together. Travis, thank you for capturing our story and for making it come to life. I cannot express how much this video means to us! Thank you!
:::To Matt Adkins, thank you for making this song personal with the voices and arrangements. You are the true definition of a friend and we can’t imagine our world without the Adkins. Thank you for journeying with us through all the highs and lows.
:::To Adam Kersh, Candi Shelton and Davis Harwell, thank you for making this song become extremely intimate to us and for singing these words of hope over us. We are so honored to have your voices fill this video.
:::To Shelley Giglio and Mike McCloskey, thank you for being open-handed and allowing us to adapt this song for our video. You two are inspiring and the music you produce impacts and changes hearts, I know first hand. Thank you!
And finally to Jesus, our ONLY hope. Corban’s story is YOUR story. Thank you for allowing us to be stewards of this precious life.
Dear Mom of an Adopted Child,
I met you in adoption education class. I met you at the agency. I met you at my son’s school. I met you online. I met you on purpose. I met you by accident.
It doesn’t matter. The thing is, I knew you right away. I recognize the fierce determination. The grit. The fight. Because everything about what you have was a decision, and nothing about what you have was easy. You are the kind of woman who Makes.Things.Happen. After all, you made this happen, this family you have.
Maybe you prayed for it. Maybe you had to convince a partner it was the right thing. Maybe you did it alone. Maybe people told you to just be happy with what you had before. Maybe someone told you it simply wasn’t in God’s plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin’s neighbor’s friend. Maybe you ignored them.
Maybe you planned for it for years. Maybe an opportunity dropped into your lap. Maybe you depleted your life-savings for it. Maybe it was not your first choice. But maybe it was.
Regardless, I know you. And I see how you hold on so tight. Sometimes too tight. Because that’s what we do, isn’t it?
I know about all those books you read back then. The ones everyone reads about sleep patterns and cloth versus disposable, yes, but the extra ones, too. About dealing with attachment disorders, breast milk banks, babies born addicted to alcohol, cocaine, meth. About cognitive delays, language deficiencies. About counseling support services, tax and insurance issues, open adoption pros and cons, legal rights.
I know about the fingerprinting, the background checks, the credit reports, the interviews, the references. I know about the classes, so many classes. I know the frustration of the never-ending paperwork. The hours of going over finances, of having garage sales and bake sales and whatever-it-takes sales to raise money to afford it all.
I know how you never lost sight of what you wanted.
I know about the match call, the soaring of everything inside you to cloud-height, even higher. And then the tucking of that away because, well, these things fall through, you know.
Maybe you told your mother, a few close friends. Maybe you shouted it to the world. Maybe you allowed yourself to decorate a baby’s room, buy a car seat. Maybe you bought a soft blanket, just that one blanket, and held it to your cheek every night.
I know about your home visits. I know about your knuckles, cracked and bleeding, from cleaning every square inch of your home the night before. I know about you burning the coffee cake and trying to fix your mascara before the social worker rang the doorbell.
And I know about the followup visits, when you hadn’t slept in three weeks because the baby had colic. I know how you wanted so badly to show that you had it all together, even though you were back to working more-than-full-time, maybe without maternity leave, without the family and casseroles and welcome-home balloons and plants.
And I’ve seen you in foreign countries, strange lands, staying in dirty hotels, taking weeks away from work, struggling to understand what’s being promised and what’s not. Struggling to offer your love to a little one who is unsettled and afraid. Waiting, wishing, greeting, loving, flying, nesting, coming home.
I’ve seen you down the street at the hospital when a baby was born, trying to figure out where you belong in the scene that’s emerging. I’ve seen your face as you hear a nurse whisper to the birthmother that she doesn’t have to go through with this. I’ve seen you trying so hard to give this birthmother all of your respect and patience and compassion in those moments—while you bite your lip and close your eyes, not knowing if she will change her mind, if this has all been a dream coming to an abrupt end in a sterile environment. Not knowing if this is your time. Not knowing so much.
I’ve seen you look down into a newborn infant’s eyes, wondering if he’s really yours, wondering if you can quiet your mind and good sense long enough to give yourself over completely.
And then, to have the child in your arms, at home, that first night. His little fingers curled around yours. His warm heart beating against yours.
I know that bliss. The perfect, guarded, hopeful bliss.
I also know about you on adoption day. The nerves that morning, the judge, the formality, the relief, the joy. The letting out of a breath maybe you didn’t even know you were holding for months. Months.
I’ve seen you meet your child’s birthparents and grandparents weeks or years down the road. I’ve seen you share your child with strangers who have his nose, his smile … people who love him because he’s one of them. I’ve seen you hold him in the evenings after those visits, when he’s shaken and confused and really just wants a stuffed animal and to rest his head on your shoulder.
I’ve seen you worry when your child brings home a family tree project from school. Or a request to bring in photos of him and his dad, so that the class can compare traits that are passed down, like blue eyes or square chins. I know you worry, because you can protect your child from a lot of things — but you can’t protect him from being different in a world so intent on celebrating sameness.
I’ve seen you at the doctor’s office, filling out medical histories, leaving blanks, question marks, hoping the little blanks don’t turn into big problems later on.
I’ve seen you answer all of the tough questions, the questions that have to do with why, and love, and how much, and where, and who, and how come, mama? How come?
I’ve seen you wonder how you’ll react the first time you hear the dreaded, “You’re not my real mom.” And I’ve seen you smile softly in the face of that question, remaining calm and loving, until you lock yourself in the bathroom and muffle your soft cries with the sound of the shower.
I’ve seen you cringe just a little when someone says your child is lucky to have you. Because you know with all your being it is the other way around.
But most of all, I want you to know that I’ve seen you look into your child’s eyes. And while you will never see a reflection of your own eyes there, you see something that’s just as powerful: A reflection of your complete and unstoppable love for this person who grew in the midst of your tears and laughter, and who, if torn from you, would be like losing yourself.
Sitting in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and blown away with a God who wanted to use our little story to reveal His magnificent glory. Our journey toward adoption has been fraught with challenges. It all started with infertility. I believe that when women are just little girls they dream of two things: their wedding day and having children. Clearly Lauren’s first dream came true when she met me, but the second dream is no laughing matter. Infertility hit her like a wrecking ball and there were days and nights where I felt completely helpless as her husband. I remember nights when she literally cried herself to sleep. My words could not bring comfort and my hugs could not take away the pain she was feeling. Yet day after day, my wife pressed on. She continued to wake up each morning trusting that God loved her and had a plan for our family. Each morning she opened her Bible and declared His name above all names. Each day she went to work to spread the name of Jesus. I am blown away that God blessed me with the partner I have in Lauren. There are no real words to express how I truly feel about her. I know she is my gift from a God who loves me more than I will ever fully comprehend.
After months of struggling with infertility, God began to reshape Lauren’s heart for adoption. One night last May over dinner at La Parilla, Lauren looked me straight in the eye and said, “I think I want to adopt a child.” For those of you who know Lauren, you know that she has a hard time hiding her excitement and enthusiasm. She was beaming. You see, God had given her a vision for adoption that I had never considered. Through adoption, we had the opportunity to change the course and direction of a life by raising them in an environment where they would come to know Jesus. I had never thought of adoption that way before, but we both left dinner that night confident that this was God’s plan to start our family.
What we did not know that night at dinner was that God had much bigger plans in mind than just adding a member to our family. We didn’t know He had plans to grow our trust, dependence, and faith in Him. We didn’t know that God had plans to grow our marriage by having us walk through the many disappointments and uncertainties found on the road toward adoption. What we didn’t know is that God wanted us to experience his provision through the incredible community of friends and family who traveled on this path with us. You prayed diligently and consistently for us and you need to know those prayers were heard and felt. The cost of adoption looked like a mountain we would never be able to climb, but you flat out blew us away with your generosity towards us and a child that none of us knew. You listened to us for hours on end and helped us navigate through unchartered waters. There is no way that Lauren or I will ever be able to adequately thank you, but we are confident that God will continue to multiply your generosity in our world for generations to come.
Finally, what we didn’t know that night at La Parilla is that God wanted us to walk through the process of adoption to reveal a greater picture of who He is. We knew that the enemy would cast obstacles in our path, but we watched God take each one of those obstacles and toss them aside. He protected us, opened up doors, answered the deepest prayers in His glorious way, and gave us the strength to keep going. He used each challenge we experienced over the last 10 months to show us how powerful and loving He is. I talk to a lot of people about God, but how thankful we have been to experience God in such a tangible way through our adoption story.
Corban Andrew Espy was born Monday, February 24th, weighing 8 lbs. and 6 oz. We are forever grateful to our birth mother for her selfless and yet excruciatingly difficult decision to put her child up for adoption. She allowed Lauren and I to be in the delivery room and wanted Lauren to be the first person to hold the baby. I even got to cut the cord. We love our birth mother and her family. One of Lauren’s dear friends says that our God is a “Cross Blesser”. By that she means that when God blesses one person it’s has rippling cross blessings to all involved. I believe this to be true for us and our story. We have been blessed with a child, but our hope is to continue blessing our birth mother for years to come. God blesses us to be a blessing. We both feel that God has called us to do that, so our hope is to continue to show her Jesus in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Some of you may have heard that Corban had some complications at birth. Doctors are calling him a miracle baby as the umbilical cord was found during delivery to be wrapped around his neck and in a true knot. However, all tests indicate that he never lost access to his blood or oxygen supplies. He did have some irritation in his lungs due to the meconium he expelled prematurely while still in utero, and that caused doctors to quickly transport him to NICU. He has been here for the last week, but Corban has made remarkable strides since then. Doctors say he will not have any long-term effects and expect him to be discharged from the hospital later this week.
Needless to say, Lauren and I are eager to get back to Atlanta. We miss you all and can’t wait to bring Corban home soon. Please continue to keep us in your prayers in the days ahead as we finish our trip well. We are so incredibly grateful for each one of you. Thank you for helping make our dreams come true and for partnering with God’s story in our lives. We love you all!
-Stu (Corban’s Dad)
Dear friends and family,
I can’t believe February is finally here! I have looked forward to this month with so much expectation knowing that with every day we are getting closer to this precious one’s arrival! Our BM has another ultrasound today and that should help us to solidify exactly when we fly out (either this upcoming week or the next). Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer. God has been so extremely faithful to us and in these last days several big decisions have been made that have given us even more peace and confidence that God is directing every step.
Another way God has provided for us is financially. So many friends and family have prayed for and given to this adoption which has truly blown us away. Your generosity has been another reminder that God is at work in this adoption. Thank you!
I wanted to share with you one last fundraising opportunity if any of you or your friends would be interested. We are going to have a ONLINE adoption garage sale! I wish I could have a real outside garage sale but let’s be honest standing outside in the freezing cold right now is probably not the best idea!
I have gathered some personal items as well as items from friends and family. The gallery of these items is located below. The prices are negotiable but I’ve marked them as true to cost so as to make the most amount possible to put to our adoption fund. If you have any friends and family that would be interested in these items PLEASE send them this post. As much money as we can raise in these final days the better!
Here’s some details about the online adoption garage sale:
1.) Contact: Send me a personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the item number you’d like to purchase. (All items being sold have a number next to them so that’s what I’m referring to as the item number.)
2.) Pick-up: In your email, please let me know the ideal time to pick up these items. If you live out of state, let me know and maybe we can work that out as well! (There is a good chance we will be leaving this week for Oregon so the sooner the better.)
3.) Payment: Cash only. (The cash will be applied to our adoption expenses incurred while in Oregon.)
On a final note, If you still would like to contribute but are not interested in the actual garage sale items, you can always visit adopttogether.org and put in our names: Lauren and Stuart Espy for a tax-ded. donation.
I can’t wait to post our next update…which hopefully will entail us leaving for Oregon! Thank you so much for getting the word out about this Adoption garage sale!
Forever grateful for your roles in our journey!
The past few months I’ve been radio silent not for any other reason than it’s been the holidays and life is crazy! But I’m back and can’t wait to share about a few new happenings surrounding this adoption.
First off, our trip to Oregon to meet our birth mom went above and beyond our wildest dreams. We had instant chemistry together, laughed a lot and were able to go deep quickly. It was such a gift for Stu and I to have a weekend with our birth mom and her mom as well. Thank you for each one of you who prayed for us and over us. We felt it and I’m not just saying that…truly your prayers were our strength that held us together. Thank you!
Leaving Oregon, we felt even more confident that the Lord was not only in this but is orchestrating this story. Our birth mom continues to tell us how she wants us to be her son’s parents and how she already feels like he is ours. I believe both parties involved truly feel a peace and a sense of unity as we head into February. What a gift this is to us and to her!
As we left Oregon in November, I kept thinking this is going to be forever to wait for him. Now, we are less than a month away and I can barely wait to get the call and fly out there. But as we wait, here’s a few other ways God has continued to show his goodness to us.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13
I love this passage in scripture. When our hearts are broken, dreams die and plans fail, the Lord brings me back to this verse and reminds me that I will see his goodness in the land of the living. I’ve claimed this verse throughout our entire journey and now I’m experiencing this verse through the goodness and generosity of so many he has brought in our path!
Here’s some tangible evidence of God’s goodness in our story recently:
1.) Dear friends who have given us an amazing friends and family rate on a rental car for our time in Oregon.
2.) An Oregon photographer who is not only excited about capturing the day of the birth but who has a boss that has adopted two children of her own and is willing for her to come shoot whenever we get the call. I can’t believe her boss is allowing her to be this flexible and yet I can because it’s God and he’s that good.
3.) Hugely blessed by family members who are opening up their Portland home and inviting us to stay the entire month of February for free!!!!
4.) A continually growing amount of donations to our adopttogether.org fund. This fund combined with the donations made to Hand in Hand is almost fully funding our adoption. Wow, thank you for those of you who have and are financially contributing to our story. We are truly humbled and overwhelmed by Him supplying our every need through you!
5.) A baby’s room that has been fully furnished through our sweet parents and several friends who have offered up their talents to make this room even more personal and special than I could have imagined. (More on this to come…)
6.) Southwest Airlines who has made it extremely easy to travel, change dates and check in free baggage. Not knowing when our birth mom will go into labor is a little hard because I so desperately want to be there for the birth. Yet knowing that our dates can move around has created such a peace in my heart. Add to all this, my parent’s generosity to give us their credit of two free airplane flights! Again goodness upon goodness.
7.) Friends who have loved on us consistently through notes, time spent together, text saying they are praying, sending books, being sounding boards as we process it all, giving us get-a-ways to be refreshed heading into the month ahead and so much more! You all are the truest expression of God’s goodness to us!
We are in the final countdown (80’s reference for Wendy Henderson 🙂 of 23 days till her due date. As we wait, our hearts are encouraged through God’s goodness that shows up in the small things and the big ones. We are hoping to fly out on February 10th, to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally plus to get our last little bit of R and R. (We hear that goes away quickly!) Our birth mom’s official due date is February 13th but who knows when she will actually give birth. Our hope is to be out there a few days before the birth in our family’s home in Portland. When she calls, our plan is to drive to the hospital, which will be about 2 hours away.
That’s the plan for now, but we know it’s the Lord directing our steps. As he does, I would ask that you all would join us in continuing to pray for the timing of all this. Specifically that Stu and I would be on that side of the country when she goes into labor, that God would prepare our hearts and the heart of our birth mom for what we are about to walk through and that the continued goodness of the Lord would be seen in the land of the living!
Thank you for journeying with us!
-Lauren and Stu
Bags are packed. Seats confirmed. Hearts are ready.
The time has officially arrived! We are leaving for Oregon today to meet our birth mom, Beth and spend the weekend with her and her mom, Dawn. As we head out to meet strangers who will soon be as close as family, a few things are going through my mind. (And by a few, I mean a million :-).
1.) I hope she likes us. Someone described adoption as moving from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat of your life. Knowing that a significant part of my future is contingent upon someone else’s approval of us as parents is a new reality for me. I find myself wondering, will she think we are nice, good parents, trustworthy people? We can’t help but be who we are, yet I’m hoping she enjoys us and says at the end of the weekend, “I like them!”
2.) I hope she feels safe. There is a lot we need to cover on this visit. I’ve heard that a plethora of topics are discussed during these visits from “who do you want in the delivery room” to “what was your relationship with the birth father?” Of course, I don’t plan on bringing ANY of these up but inevitable conversations will arise. It’s amazing to me that you can go from not knowing someone at all to entering into the most intimate details of their lives. I’m asking for favor as we navigate these conversations with her and hoping she feels safe enough to be vulnerable with us.
3.) I hope she has fun. There is so much heaviness with adoption. Based on her texts, I know she is excited to meet us but I’m sure she is also thinking “Do I really want to go through with this?” “This will be so hard to lose my baby.” All these and so many more thoughts must flood her mind on a daily basis. I’m hoping this weekend is a reprieve for her to laugh, enjoy life and just be a teenager again. Luckily, Stu is going on the trip so laughter is guaranteed.
4.) I hope she knows we love her. God has really done an overhaul in my heart in this area. My desire to have a child has been so strong that at points, you see a birth mom as a means to an end. (Now, you may think how dare you say that, but it’s been a thought in my head and I think it’s okay to be real about it.) I was thinking this would be a great relationship to create for a few months or years, send pictures and texts and then go on with our lives and celebrate the addition to “our” family.
BUT GOD has reframed this whole dynamic for me. The minute we were matched with Beth this empathy that was foreign to me became a close friend. I saw her not as “the birth mom for our son” but as a friend and a HUGE part of our future son’s life. God has put a love in my heart for Beth. There is times my breath is taken away just thinking about her courage to place her baby for adoption when everyone around her must have been encouraging her to abort. My eyes light up thinking about how God is restoring her trust as she places her child with friends who will no longer be strangers. My joy is ignited knowing God’s story of redemption will be woven through every element of this journey. God has placed an extreme love in my heart for Beth. It’s unlike anything I thought possible in my selfish nature. I hope she feels a lavish love from Stu and I this weekend as we make her and her needs our utmost priority.
So, we are hours away. I’m nervous and calm, fearful and excited, sober and stoked…all these emotions are running parallel tracks as we head into these next few days.
Last night as these thoughts circulated my brain, I started listening to a version of Because He lives that we did at Gwinnett Church this past Easter. The second verse struck me anew as we head down an unknown and yet decidingly more committed path over these next few days. Here are the lyrics to verse two:
“How sweet to hold a new born baby. And feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because he lives.
Because he lives. I can face tomorrow. Because he lives. All fear is gone. Because I know, he holds the future and life is worth the living just because he lives.”
These words are such a comfort to me. There is a calm assurance in my heart that God has brought us this far and we can face uncertainty not because we know the future but because he does.
So many of you have asked how you can pray. Here goes…
1.) Pray that Jesus would shine brightly through us this weekend. I pray Beth falls in love with Jesus because we are a tangible expression of him in her life. This is the highest goal of our adoption journey that Jesus and his spiritual adoption of us becomes a reality for her. This is so much bigger than “getting a kid”…eternity is hanging in the balance and for some crazy reason God’s letting us be a part of it…what a privilege!
2.) Pray that our relationship with Beth would take root. It’s going to be an adjustment from texting every day to seeing each other face to face. We would covet your prayers for tons of laughter, memorable moments, real conversations and strong chemistry with one another. There are so many relationships to form between Beth, her mom, Stuart and I and possible even grandparents. We would love your prayers as we begin to solidify these relationships.
3.) Pray for team Espy! We are about to go through a lot in these few days…from emotions to ultrasounds and so much more. I know that our marriage is going to be under attack. Pray for our unity, for peace, for patience as we navigate new roads (literally and figuratively).
Thank you for journeying along with us. What a gift it has been to have a community of people loving us through these days. We can’t wait to report back on our time with Beth. I believe the best way to end this post is to share the video that brought me such peace and comfort last night. As you and I walk through our “uncertain days” we have a calm assurance…thank you Jesus!
Lastly, for those interested in partnering with us financially, there is still a significant amount of fundraising needed. We have partnered with another organization Adopt Together to raise our remaining funds.
All donations are tax-deductible and checks, debit and credit cards are accepted.
For more information visit: https://www.adopttogether.org/00684
Lauren and Stu
We are matched and just like that our lives are changed forever!
I have waited about a week to put words around our recent match because I honestly was too in awe of God to even begin writing. I think I can finally put some words around it all so here goes.
About 5 years ago, my friend Joy Phenix invited me to be a part of a group of women she hosted monthly at her home. Joy is incredible at hospitality and so a warm meal and time with Joy was always a quick yes! This group was a combination of a bunch of women I had never met…one of which was a woman named Kristen. Kristen and I became friends through our time together over dinner and chats at the Phenix home. I invited her to join the production team at Buckhead Church and she did. Kristen got involved in our church and met her husband, John, as well during this season. John and Kristen ended up moving away and so we lost contact outside of FB.
A few months ago, I was having lunch with Joy at our spot, Nordstroms Cafe…duh! I was sharing with her about the adoption and she asked if I had spoken with Kristen since she was adopting as well. I had not known Kristen was adopting so immediately after our lunch, I got on FB and messaged Kristen. We talked on the phone that night and discovered that we were both using the same agency. Wow!
After that night, Kristen and I remained in close contact. We would text or call weekly and sometimes daily. September rolled around and Kristen was headed to adopt her baby girl. I was able to be on a prayer list for her and pray throughout the hours of the night, she would text me while in the hospital with her BM, she would share what she was feeling, thinking, etc. It was such a gift to know what I too could expect having lived through this adoption through her. Kristen and John have an amazing relationship with their BM. They went out for an ultrasound a few months prior, Kristen was in the delivery room with her BM and they continue to send pictures/text even now. It was a very special relationship they formed.
So after the BM signed the papers, Kristen and John were waiting on ICPC clearance to leave the state. One night, she texted me asking how I was doing. I told her I was a little discouraged explaining that we had put our name in for a situation that was dragging almost to the one-month mark with no word from the BM and I felt like this adoption would never happen.
Kristen said, “Well, can I encourage you with something?” She proceeded to tell me that her BM has a daughter who is pregnant with a baby boy due in February. Kristen had just found out the day before and instantly thought of Stu and I. I was in shock listening to her describe this precious teenager girl who was placing her son up for adoption. I told her that Stu and I should talk and I would be back in touch.
Here’s a few things that Kristen shared during that convo about this sweet BM: She wanted to have the same kind of adoption that Kristen had just gone through with her mom…(including us in the ultrasounds and hospital room during birth), she said she wants to name the child Andrew which was really special because my grandfather, who passed last Thanksgiving, was named Andrew and was a true hero of mine. Plus, she is having this child in Oregon, which is where my grandfather was born, making this story even more special.
I proceed to share this with Stu and almost instantly he says, “This is it…we need to put our names in.” Now, to know me is to know that I’m impulsive. I shoot and then aim. Stu is exactly opposite. He is a processor and throughout this whole adoption he has been the slow one in making decisions. That’s why his decisions are usually right and thought through and mine are typically followed by an apology. When Stu had a peace about it, I knew this was it. We had prayed so diligently that God would give us like-mindedness and for the first time in MONTHS, He did!
Through the course of several days, phone calls, text, etc…we put our name out there for this BM. About a week later, we got the call from the agencies saying we had been chosen! We were blown away!
God is so creative. His plan is always worth waiting for. I’m so grateful for every situation we said “no” to because waiting on a situation we both wanted and prayed for was completely worth it. God has not only surprised me by the way he wrote this story but has re-instated a sense of awe in me as I watch his plan unfold. Only he knew that 5 years ago, a dinner at Joy’s house would change our lives forever.
Last week, we had our first conversation with our BM. I have been texting her almost every day since and she really is a gift. I love her sweet heart and her courage to make this decision. We are planning to fly out for an ultrasound at sometime point in November, which will be so special. We are just overwhelmed by God’s goodness.
Here are some of my parting thoughts:
• I want to thank all of you who have been belief on our behalf. Sometimes when personal circumstances are too hard, it becomes difficult to believe for yourself. It’s as if you know God is real but you wonder if He’s good. So many of you have believed for us and on our behalf and it has meant the world. Your tenacity to trust that God really was working all things for his and our good gave us hope even when that was hard to believe.
• I also want to say that God is insanely creative and he places EVERY relationship into our lives for some reason. Joy was just being obedient to what God had asked her to do and yet there was a providential relationship that changed the course of our lives because of her. Kristen has been one of God’s greatest blessings to me this past year and it all started with someone inviting us to dinner. So, be bold…invite people over and look at every moment as an opportunity because it may just be one.
• Finally, I want to say this…I have married the greatest man in the world. His wisdom and patience to wait for God’s best has been my strength and comfort in these days. I love you Stu!
*Here’s a little video of me telling Stu the night we got matched. (FYI, there is PDA:-)