Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's a Wonderful Life (in full color)

          Every year my family watches the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. We always watched the black and white version until this year. I liked the black and white version. It gave authenticity to the time period,  the mid 1940’s.
         This year as we watched the latest color version, we were amazed at the details we could see because of the realistic coloring. In the black and white version everything was a shade of gray, and objects ran together. 
         In the colorized version the details jumped out. When Mary lost her bathrobe and had to hide in the hydrangea bushes, I never noticed the flowers before. Instead of gray leaves and gray flowers, there was vibrant distinction between the two. My husband said he never noticed Mary sticking her hand out of the plant before, asking for her robe. I didn't notice the knickers the boys wore before. In the black and white version their pants and socks all blended together in the bland grayness.
         It was like we were watching a new movie. Our teenage boys seemed more drawn in with the color as well.
         I started wondering how often I go through life looking at the grayness instead of the colors. Some events I view as the same old thing. They have become rote and I don’t have to think about them.
         Is that how I go to the grocery store? Am I on autopilot and so focused on the task, that I see the people and products in black and white.
         While driving to work, do I see the streets, cars and people in gray?
         At the gym? Walking the dogs? Christmas shopping?
         I miss so much around me when I am looking at the world as if it is all gray.
         Years ago I remember sitting at lunch with a group of women. The leader of our bible study fellowship class was eating with us and we were talking about prayer. One of the ladies asked if she should be praying about the small, insignificant things in her life, or just the major decisions. Another lady chimed in and said she always prayed about the little things, especially when she was looking for a parking spot. She prayed that God would provide her with a close parking spot. The rest of the group was silent, indicating to me they thought she was silly to pray for a parking spot. I remember the wise leader’s response, she said,
“The more we pray and then look for God’s response, the more we will see Him. If we only pray about the big decisions, then we are only looking for God to answer those prayers. If we pray about everything, and then look for God in all the details, whether He provides a great parking spot or not, we will see Him more often.”
         I want to see God at work all the time. The Bible says He cares about the details of our lives, but do I notice Him everyday?  I want to see God in color in my world, not in the grayness of black and white. I want to wake up, live life alert to all the colorful ways God works in me, in others and in situations. Don’t you?

     Jesus said, "I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10
         I’m looking forward to seeing the New Year in full color. How about you?


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is Not

         The most wonderful time of the year can be the hardest time of the year also. We look forward to the Christmas season with such high hopes and anticipation for Peace on Earth and Joy to the World. And it is all that. The birth of Jesus is the birth of our hope to have a real and personal lifeline to the God of the universe. There is no denying that without His birth, death and resurrection, we would be dead in our sins and for eternity. We are so appreciative for all He has done and continues to do in our lives and families.
         It is all the extra stuff about Christmas that can be hard. It is the traditions we associate with the season. We know all the commercialism of Christmas is not the real reason we celebrate, and yet we can’t avoid it. We can’t get away from the Christmas music, the Christmas shows and commercials, the decorations, even the colder weather brings the anticipation that everything is going to be cozy and bright.

Yet, the reality for many is far from the Hallmark card wishes we send out. So many have lost loved ones this year, and the holidays will never be the same. Memories flood back to the good times and amplify the empty place this year.  People who have divorced or are separated from their spouse this year ache for the happier Christmases of the past as well. Friends fighting cancer or staying in the hospital over the holiday wonder how next Christmas will be. Friends who have had surgery or are sick and not able to ‘do Christmas’ the way they want because they are confined to the house, recliner or bed are disappointed. There is also the list of friends who have lost jobs recently and are unsure what the New Year brings. They can’t relax and enjoy the silent nights because of the anxiousness in their hearts.

         Just watching the news, the reality is we don’t have Peace on Earth, in our country or around the world.
         I don’t mean for this to be a downer of a post. I really don’t. I just want to acknowledge that this time of year can be especially hard. When our expectations exceed our reality there is disappointment. I’m not sure how to lower our expectations with the music blaring ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year.’
         I want to acknowledge to my friends and those reading that I am sorry for the added hurt this season brings. In most families, everything is not all cheery and bright.
         I pray in the coming new year, that the baby born in the manger will comfort your heart, fill the loneliness, heal you and your loved ones, and bless you in a new and unexpected way.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


         I didn’t know what the principal would say and neither did he. My son broke one of the school policies and we knew there would be a tough consequence. We thought it would either be a three-day suspension or expelled from the school. I didn’t particularly want to tell on my son, but I had to speak to the principal about another important matter, which related to the policy, so it was sure to come up.
         Never one to bail my kids out, I was willing for him to receive whatever consequence the school wanted to give him. “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.” I thought, in the name of tough love. (It was not an actual crime, just a school policy.  :) )
         My son was repentant. He cried. He knew the consequences would be severe. We drove to school as he thought of his friends and the schoolwork he wanted to turn in, before he was called in to face the music.
         I parked the car and he walked in to class. I walked down the hall to the principal’s office. The receptionist said the principal would not be in that day. The counselor was unavailable, and the other administrator was on his way to a meeting. Finally, a teacher approached me and I explained my dilemma. She offered to help me and confirmed that the consequences of his actions were usually more severe than I anticipated. But, she said since it was an isolated incident, and my son could fix it, there would be no repercussions this time. Then she left for her classroom.
The free and unmerited favor of God

         I stood in the empty hallway and smiled at God. It is a good thing God loves that boy so much. I thought to myself. Only God could have arranged the timing when nobody but the one teacher was available, and she had a solution.
         Later, when I picked my son up from school he reluctantly climbed in the car. He said he had a terrible day, waiting to be called into the office at anytime. He couldn’t eat anything and was sick with worry. He said He prayed all day, telling God He was sorry and truly wanted to follow Him. He thought that would be his last day at school and he begged God to be able to stay.
         When I told him he had received grace, he couldn’t believe it. He eyes lit up and a smile beamed across his face. He said, “That is God! He answered my prayer.”
         I agreed and told him, “God must really love you son, to give you grace in this situation. And you know why He did it? Because you are special to Him and He has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life. Apparently, His plan did not include suffering the consequences of your actions at school today.”
         He was overwhelmed. “I don’t know what to say.” He said, still grinning ear to ear. “That is amazing.”
         I told him about a time when his brother got in trouble at school for doing something “everybody else was doing.” I told his brother the Lord has a higher call on His life. He wanted to teach him to walk in obedience, so he got caught when others didn’t.
         But this time, years later, the Lord rescued this son, but taught an equally important lesson. Sometimes, even when we don’t deserve it, God gives grace. My son promised not to do it again, and said he knew better than to take advantage of God’s kindness. Then, as he stepped out of the car he said,
“Mom, you can write about this if you want to.”
Thanks son.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 

    Don’t you love it when you receive Grace instead of what you deserve?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Don't We All Have a Little Scarlett O'Hara in Us?

         Do you remember the scene in Gone With the Wind where Scarlett O’Hara is desperate for money to save her southern plantation? She lost everything in the Civil War and had to work in the hot sun, picking cotton, to keep it going. She decided to visit the wealthy Rhett Butler and ask for money. She didn’t want to show up looking like a field hand, so she made an elaborate dress out of the ornate curtains in her living room. She meets Rhett and talks to him as if her life is going great, and she doesn’t have a care in the world. He is happy to see her, until he looks at her hands. He sees how rough and weathered they are and realizes the meeting was a charade, because she had been working in the fields, was penniless, and wanted money from him.
         I never understood that scene until I saw it again recently. She was pretending to be someone she was not, or at least, she was not representing her reality. She was doing her best to make herself and her situation appear better. 
         I remembered this scene, as I was getting ready for a networking meeting. I didn’t want to wear the old work shirt with our company name and logo on it. It’s not that I’m ashamed of the company, it’s that the shirt is old, too small and not in style anymore. It looks more like a mechanic’s shirt, than a marketing shirt. Envisioning the other women at the meeting wearing cute, stylish clothes, I wanted to wear something else. However, the truth is, November is a slow month for our company, and anytime we can get our name out there, it helps bring in jobs. But, like Scarlett, I didn’t want to appear desperate. I wanted to appear confident, like everything was going great.
         Don’t we all do that at times? A women wears a beautiful wedding ring, even though their marriage is anything but shiny. People drive expensive cars they can't afford. Others brag about their kid’s success, but leave out the reality of their strained relationship. Don’t most people present an I-have-it-all-together image on Facebook and social media, when their life may really be unraveling?
         Thankfully, God knows our reality. We don’t have to put on a fancy drapery dress and try to impress Him. He knows when our life is difficult  - maybe not picking cotton in the fields – but still painful and hard.  He loves us and has a plan for our lives.
         Unlike Scarlett O’Hara, we don’t have to rely on our land or Rhett Butler to survive. We have a God who loves us and will provide for us from His abundant riches. We know, as Believers, what David said is true:
“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”         
 Psalm 54:4
          Even though I didn’t want to, I wore my company shirt to the meeting. I prayed and trusted God would provide for us through the lean months, as He has for so many years.
               Have you ever acted like you had it all together, when you were really going through a rough time?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Leaving a Legacy

Memories are an amazing gift. Both my husband and my earliest childhood memory is of learning to tie our shoes.  Why is it we can remember some events with precise detail from years ago, but can’t remember other more recent events at all?
Last night we were at a home group Bible study.
We were discussing who God is . . .
         which led to how God has always wanted a relationship with us,
                           which led to when God’s presence dwelt with mankind,
                                           which led to a discussion of the tabernacle,
                                                               which let to us passing around a                                                                                                                   replica of a tabernacle for                                                                                                                   everyone to see.
          We discussed the details of the tabernacle and what items were in it. The most important part of the tabernacle was the Holy of Holies because God’s presence hovered above the Ark of the Covenant. (You know the Ark of the Covenant from the first Indiana Jones movie.)
          Inside the ark were three items:
a jar of manna,
the stone tablets with the ten commandments written on them,
and Aaron’s staff, which budded.
         Last night, after the Bible study was over, our 24-year-old son and his wife stayed and talked to us. He said he knew the staff budded because that was God’s way of choosing Aaron as the high priest over the other leaders from the twelve Israelite tribes. It is a small detail in the Bible, but very specific. We asked him how he knew that detail.
         He said when he was young I led a mom’s Bible study at our house. The mom’s brought their kids, about 12 kids in all. While the mom’s were studying the Tabernacle in the living room, one of the kid’s grandparents offered to teach this group of kids about the Tabernacle, upstairs in another room. For twelve weeks this amazingly generous couple spent two hours each week teaching those kids the details of the Tabernacle, using a flannel board and other props. They also brought snacks and games.

He said,
“Mom, that was the first Bible study I was ever in and I remember all about the Tabernacle from that couple teaching us. They were amazing. They were always prepared and had a flannel board and pictures. It was great.” 
My son was 4 years old!

         Four years old, and he remembers - twenty years later, about the details of the Tabernacle in the Bible because of the lavish love this couple had for the Lord, the Bible and teaching those kids.
          I am overwhelmed with gratefulness, again, for their amazing servant hearts. At the time, I thought it was so kind of them to take the kids so the mom’s could study the Bible. Little did I know what an impact it would have on my kids and our family.
To my friends reading this who teach little ones at church, Sunday school, Bible study and preschool:
               What you are doing is important and these kids do remember.                               Thanks for leaving a legacy!

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
 Matthew 19:14

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Changed Life

 “Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.”                                                       
-Mother Teresa


          A rough looking man with a long gray ponytail approached me. I was volunteering at the Guest Information table in the lobby of the high school where our church meets.
Looking at the stack of CDs on the table, he asked,
“Do you have last week’s sermon?”
“I’m sorry, we are all out of that one.” I said. “You can watch the sermon online at the website though.” I offered to him.
“Nah, I don’t have a computer.” He said, noticeably disappointed.
“Last week, I was high when I got here and can’t really remember what the preacher said. But I knew I needed to come back here. Now I am wondering what he said that made me have to come back.”
         The previous week we grilled New Mexican green chili cheeseburgers in the courtyard, after the church service. We invited friends and neighbors to join us for the free cookout.  A neighbor invited him, and he came back again this week.
         I offered to order the CD of the message from the previous week for him and have it at the table  the next Sunday.  I wasn’t sure he would be back. He didn’t look like the church going type.
         To my surprise, the following Sunday he walked up to the table eager to see me. I spoke first,
“Hi! Guess what? I have the CD of the message you wanted.”
“You do?” he asked. He walked around behind the table and gave me the biggest bear hug I have had. “You are the best! Thank you so much! I like this church. I think I am going to keep coming back.”
         Week after week, he faithfully attended church. He met people, asked questions, and enjoyed hearing God’s Word preached.
         A year later, at the next church cookout, he climbed into the outdoor baptism tank. His eyes sparkled and he grinned ear to ear, as he stepped forward to the microphone. To the crowd of several hundred people he said,
“My neighbor invited me to this church last year. I learned about a God who loves me and has forgiven me for everything I have done. He has changed my whole life.” He said, choking up. “I only wish I had found Him earlier in my life.”
         I admire the neighbor who befriended him and invited him to church. He had not come for the first few months, but she kept inviting him. He finally decided to attend because we were having a cookout with free green chili cheeseburgers. That day his life was changed.
I love the verse in Romans 2:4
“Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
         It was God’s kindness, through his neighbor, that changed that man forever. He only wished he had known of God sooner.
Has someone shown you God’s kindness? Do you look for ways to show His kindness to others?

Friday, October 31, 2014

Update on Birth Mother and Twins

        This is the last day of Our Adoption Adventure. THANK YOU to everyone    who read and left encouraging comments. I appreciate it.  If you missed some of it, click here to start reading from the beginning. 
         Our Adoption Adventure took place fifteen years ago.  After reading this series, several people asked how Emma is doing today. I am happy to say she is doing great.
         We prayed everyday God would bless her and provide for her and He has. I called her several times a week the first few months after the delivery. I wanted to know how she was doing and she wanted to know how the babies were doing.
         She reconciled with her family and moved back home within a couple of months. The first year was rough on her. We arranged for her to visit the babies and me several times. I wasn’t sure if that was helpful for her or not. She was happy to see them, and proud of how well they were doing.
         Over the years I sent letters, pictures and video of the boys twice a year.  She sent a couple of cards and a letter, complementary of us and positive she made the right decision. Today she is happily married, received her GED and attended school for a professional job she loves. We are so happy she is doing well.
         Our boys are in high school now. They are very much like the rest of our family. They like the things we like and we do lots of things together as a family. They love going to Disneyland. They went with us to Israel this year and loved it, and like our other kids, they would love to go again. (You can read about that trip here.)
         They don’t talk about their adoption or ask very many questions. We told them from the beginning what a wonderful birth mother they had and how much she loved them. They are mostly consumed with typical church and high school activities. They know God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives.

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I will blog about more adventures on Mondays and Thursdays.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Happiest Place on Earth

Welcome to Day 30 of Our Adoption Adventure. To read from the beginning click here. If you liked this series please subscribe by email or Bloglovin. Thanks!

“I have four children. Two are adopted. I forget which two.”
Bob Constantine

         Fifteen years have past since that tumultuous summer we adopted our twins. We also have two biological children. When asked, I always say there is absolutely no difference between our bio kids and our adopted kids. We love them all the same.
         We don’t ever think about them being adopted. They are all just our kids. We are a family and we are crazy about each other.
         Sometimes I think people believe adoption is the second best option. That only after you couldn’t have bio kids should you try to adopt. God builds families all kinds of ways. Today, we have so many blended types of families, stepfamilies, half siblings, and foster families. There is not a best way.
         As women, we do our sisters a disservice when we are in groups and talk about our birthing stories. I have been guilty of this many times. I think we can rejoice in the birth of all of our children, while still being sensitive to those without at birth story.
         But when the goal is to have a family, to love and raise children, the birthing story is the least important part. It is like going to Disneyland. It doesn’t matter if we fly or drive to Disneyland; the important part is that we arrive. It is Disneyland, the happiest place on earth! Sure, flying is faster and easier. But, the memories and adventure of a road trip are great too. Our family would never miss out on Disneyland because we couldn’t fly there. We would find a way to drive.
It's not always Disneyland, but home is the happiest place on earth.
           Someone once said, “I could never love somebody else’s child.” What if Jesus’ earthly father or Moses’ mother had that attitude? Once those children come home, they are our children. God predestined them before creation to be our children. We couldn’t love anyone without God giving us love. (1 John 4:7 “Let us love one another, for love comes from God.”)
         Our adoption journey had a few rough spots, but it has been worth every one of them. Our family was not complete without our twins and God faithfully worked everything out to bring them to our family. Truth be told, home is the happiest place on earth.
         If you long to have children to love and raise, don’t view adoption as second best. The Bible says,
 “Children (adopted or biological) are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from him. Blessed are those who have many children.”           Psalm 127:3,5.
*** Join me here tomorrow for the last day in this series, Day 31, for an update on how the birth mother and the twins are doing. ***

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What Do You Say to Someone Who Gives You Their Child?

Welcome back to Day 29 of Our Adoption Adventure! To start reading from the beginning click here.  If you enjoyed this, please subscribe by email or Bloglovin. Thanks!
         Every year for the past 15 years I have written a letter and sent pictures to our twin boy’s birth mother. I also send a letter, pictures and a video of the boys every Christmas. Each time I start to write, I am flooded with the thought, she gave us the greatest gift anyone could give another person.
         Instead of rewriting it, please click the link below to read:
         There is a photo of the babies and me on the day they were born at the bottom of the post.   I also have a photo of their birth mother with them in her hospital bed. One day I might ask her permission to put that photo beside mine. 

          I have enjoyed sharing our story, because it is really God's story. For the last two days of the month I want to share:

           *** Please join me here tomorrow. ***


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gone Missing

Day 28 of Our Adoption Adventure. Click here to start from the beginning. Please subscribe by email or Bloglovin so you won’t miss a post.
         At home we were filled with incredible love as we bonded with these precious babies. Our joy was mixed with a huge undercurrent of stress, knowing they were not legally ours. Friends and family brought a steady stream of meals, baby gifts, visits and support. Everyone loved these babies. It was such a miraculous story and both boys were strikingly cute with their dark features and big brown eyes.
         In bringing the babies home I did something I swore I would never do. We brought them home without any legal documentation they were ours. The form Emma signed at the hospital was only a release form allowing us to leave the hospital with them.  Birth mothers can sign adoption papers as early as 36 hours after delivery. Initially, I thought we would go with Emma to the judge on the day the babies were released from the hospital. I wanted everything signed before we brought them home.
         In the craziness and stress at the hospital, everyone agreed we should take them home first. The next day, in addition to feeding, changing and loving our babies, the top priority was to get their adoption papers signed.
         Before the delivery I arranged for a lawyer to represent Emma. The earliest appointment he had was two days away. The social worker drove and picked her up. Afterward the social worker called and said the meeting was a disaster. The lawyer acted like he didn’t know anything about adoption and did not use positive adoption language. He talked to Emma as if she was suing us. We made an agreement with Emma prior to the delivery for how many visits, letters and pictures we would send. At the meeting, the lawyer started all over and asked her,
“How often would you like to see the babies?” 
Hormonal and teary, Emma said, “Well, I would like to see them everyday.”
“I can arrange that.” He said.
         The social worker reminded her that she already agreed to a plan with us. When she called us, the social worker recommended we find another lawyer. This one was not going to be helpful. Because she lived in a small town, the lawyer options were limited. When I found one with adoption experience, he didn’t have an appointment until the next week. That would mean another week of stress and worry, trusting God and growing in our faith.
         The next Monday was the eighth day after they were born. We had an appointment for the boys to get circumcised. As we were getting them ready, the director of the adoption agency called and talked to my husband. She said,
“I have some bad news. Can you come to the office to talk? This is going to be difficult. Maybe you should come alone. This will upset Robyn.”
Some friends were with us, so the two men drove to the adoption office. I knew there was only one piece of news that could be so terrible.
         I tried without success to hold back the tears. Thankfully, my friend helped me get the babies dressed and drove us to the doctor’s office. We prayed together. I wish I could say I had great faith during this time. I knew God was in control. He already performed such a huge miracle. I clung to Him and prayed constantly.
         In her office, the adoption director said,
“We have called Emma repeatedly and can’t get her to answer her phone. We left messages telling her it is very important to meet with the new lawyer and sign the adoption papers. We have not heard from her.”
“Have you tried calling her family? Maybe they know where she is.” My husband said.
“We tried them and they won’t give us any information.” She said. “I’ve been down this road before and this is not good. The longer she goes without contacting us or signing the papers, the greater the chance the adoption will fall through. I want you to be prepared for this.”
 “Do you think something happened to her?” my husband asked.
“I don’t know. But without anything signed, if something did happen to her, the babies would go back to the family.” She said.
         By this time, I was head over heels in the deep end of the emotional pool, in love with these babies. My husband, being more level headed, backed himself out onto the deck.
         Several days went by without any word from Emma. Finally, at the end of the week, she called the adoption director. She said she needed to get away and went with some friends on a road trip. Their car broke down. They were in a different state and she didn’t know how many days before someone could fix it. The director told her how concerned we were and that we needed her to sign the papers to finalize everything.
Emma said, “I don’t know why they are concerned. I signed the papers at the hospital.”
         The director explained those were not the adoption papers and she still needed to meet with the new lawyer to sign and appear before a judge for this to be legal.
         We bought a bus ticket for her for the next day. It would take her another full day before she arrived home. We made another appointment with the new lawyer. He could not request a court date until he met with her.
         Twenty long days after we brought the babies home, she finally signed the adoption papers and made it legal before a judge.
“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”  Psalm 28:7
Filled with joy and thanksgiving, we prayed for Emma. I thought to myself, what do you say to someone who gives you their child?
***Click here  to read Day 29 on what to say to someone who blesses you with this incredible gift. ***

Monday, October 27, 2014

Running on Empty

Thank you for following. This is Day 27 of Our Adoption Adventure. If you missed the beginning, you can click here to start on Day 1. If you have enjoyed this series, please sign up by email so you won't miss future posts. Thanks!
         The nurse called for a security guard to walk my husband and me, and the baby twins out to the car. Was the nurse concerned someone would be waiting for us in the parking garage? Did she know something we didn’t know? I was glad the security guard was there. But truthfully, God brought such a miracle in that hospital room, there was nothing in the parking garage He couldn’t handle.
         As we walked outside, the first thing I noticed was the sun. This was the first time since we arrived that the sun was shining, the rain was gone and the blue sky was back. After everything we had been through in the hospital, it felt like God was smiling  on the situation.
         I know we are all special to God and we are all His favorites, but I couldn’t help thinking, these are some special little boys. God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life.
         After we buckled the babies in the van, and shut the door, I could not wait to leave that town. In the craziness of the last few days, we never filled up with gas. My husband said,
“We have to stop and get gas. We are completely out.”
         I didn’t want to stop anywhere in the small town. I felt like we were being watched and I didn’t want to have any more confrontations.
“Please, can we drive to the next town? I really don’t want to stop here. The next town is not too far, is it?” I asked.
“It is at least an hour away. The gage is right at the empty line.” He said.
“Please, I really don’t want to stop here. Maybe there will be a gas station along the way.” I begged.
Reluctantly he agreed.
         We breathed a sigh of relief as we drove out of town. It was a miracle the babies were with us. We were not sure it was going to happen until she signed the papers.
         We called several of our friends and family to pray for us while we were at the hospital. The grand parents, especially, were concerned for us. I wasn’t sure when we would have cell service again, so as we headed out I called to let my mom know it was over and we were coming home.
         She was relieved.
         “Do you have the babies?” she asked.
         I realized nobody else knew what was going to happen either. If not for Emma’s love and determination to give her boys the best life possible, the situation would have ended differently.
         “Yes, we have the babies.” I said.
         As it turned out, there was not a single gas station along the way to the next town.
         “Lord,” we prayed, “You have brought us this far, and we were foolish not to fill up, but if you could get us to the next town, we would be forever grateful.”
         I could picture us pulled over in the middle of nowhere, no cell service, carrying these babies, walking on the highway to the next town.
         100 miles. It was 100 miles to the next gas station. We drove almost two hours with the gas gage on empty. We were thankful we made it.
         Three hours after leaving the hospital, we finally arrived at our house. We walked in and our closest friends and grandparents were there to greet us. Our older kids hugged us and looked amazed at the little bundles.          

           Our living room was filled with baby gifts! These friends surprised us, and organized friends from church to bring over diapers, clothes, blankets, baby seats, bottles, toys, everything we would need for these sweet babies. While we were gone, they brought these gifts to the house and my Mom let them in. That’s why she asked on the phone if we had the babies with us. They were going to haul all of those gifts out of the house before we arrived, if we didn’t have the babies with us. It was one of the nicest things anyone had done for us. We were overwhelmed with gratefulness.
         Everyone wanted to see the babies. Our older kids were the first to hold them and feed them a bottle. They were moved with love. Our friends marveled with us at what God did, and how sweet these two precious baby boys were. It felt wonderful to be in our familiar home, surrounded by our friends and family.
         God is so good.
         We were relieved the babies were finally home with us, but the battle was not over. In bringing them home, we did something I swore I would never do. After the second birth mother changed her mind, I made my husband promise we would not bring a baby home until they were legally ours. It was painful enough to lose a baby before they were born. I knew I didn’t want to be in a position where a birth mother could change her mind after we brought the babies home.
         At the hospital Emma only signed a hospital release form. She had not signed any legal documents toward adoption or relinquishing her parental rights. In our state a birth mother can sign as early as 36 hours after delivery. Initially, I wanted to wait to bring the babies home until they were legally ours. It was so crazy and stressful at the hospital, we took the huge risk of bringing them home with no guarantee.

         You will not believe what happened next.

Do you remember times when God moved mountains for you? 
Has He provided for you even when it didn’t make sense?

*** Click here to read Day 28. ***