Saturday, March 31, 2012

"The Promise's Cost and it's spiritual Reality."--Lesa's & Jamie's take

--Lesa's Take --


Anticipating getting to hold Paxton.

To Hold his tiny fingers, to kiss his tiny nose, to tickle his tiny feet that felt much more than tiny when he had been kicking me.

Medication or not, I was still aching with pain... The IV in my arm making it hard to get comfortable... That and the fact that everything below my waste felt like a million fire ants had just run rampant stinging every inch of where ants should never go.

More than that though, my mind was racing with grim thoughts.
Here I was, in a hospital bed... Awaiting a baby. A baby that was born to me. A baby that I never expected in a million years to be having. A baby that needed more than I could give him.

Negativity settled in, and it was anything but a stranger.
What if he didn't like me? What if he senses that I am going to leave him? What if he looks at me with his innocence and see's impurity? what if I fall even more in love with him and can't let him go?

After a brief moment of skepticism, I sought out my fond affections that I tried my hardest to hold true too.

This was a miracle... Everything about the circumstance was God Breathed.

I began to relax... Jamie poked her head in my room a couple of times to see how I was doing and if I needed anything. I appreciated her concern and her devoted kindness.

Nurses came in and out of my room, while Paxton was snug in Ben and Jamie's... Then, before I knew it... Paxton was in my room... In his little cart... Squirming and looking around. The nurse put him into my arms... And for the first time, I gratefully embraced him with a tender kiss and felt the inseparable bond between mother and son.

A love like no other. A love I wanted to share. So I had visitors in and out of my room whenever Paxton was there.. It was bitter sweet. I loved having visitors, but I couldn't help but to want all the moments with Paxton for myself.

A selfish attitude crept in and clenched tightly to my heart... I knew I only had a small amount of time with Paxton and internally, I had a hard time letting anyone hold him... Thinking it would rob me of my time with him... I wanted every second. I smiled with my lips, but felt the pain of immense sorrow.

" I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

I didn't want to fall asleep, but my eyes were so heavy. I would have to swallow my fear... close my eyes and simply drift off...

Jan 13th-- As soon as i woke up I knew The day would be full of visitors! Many of my friends and a few Family members came to see me and meet baby Paxton. A few sent flowers and even though they couldn't be there, I could feel their loving support.

The day soon came to a close, Susan was the last one left by my side.. Softly tickling little Paxton's feet. I was getting so tired but I knew Pax was going to get to stay the night in my room with me! I willed myself to stay awake, no matter what.. I would fight for the time I got to have with him alone.

Susan said her goodbyes, and was worried about me being by myself... But I had wanted everyone to go home and get some sleep--especially my mom who had been there all day... And had no where to sleep... I understood that they should just go home and sleep in their own beds-- I would be fine... Or so I thought.

I was finally alone. Alone with Pax. I picked him up and laid down in my hospital bed. I put him in the middle of my legs, knees bent so his face would be looking at me. I held his hands and stared, mesmerized.

I grabbed my phone and began taking pictures of him. Every move he made I wanted to document. Every hand motion, every sleeping face, every leg kick... I wanted frozen in time.

I picked him up and put his head on my shoulder and held him tight. Having this moment, alone with him... Just listening to him breathe... Making his little baby coos as he slept... I began to cry.

"Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy." Psalm 126:5 NLT

I started singing softly to him, in prayer and in praise... Asking God to watch over him... Asking Pax to not forget me if I didn't get to see him often... Asking for guidance and peace for both Paxton, his new family, and I.

A rocking chair looked at me from the corner of the room. I stood up and held Paxton tightly, rubbing his back... We made our way to the rocking chair. Sitting, rocking, a feeling began to fill the room... Not any ordinary feeling. It was an uneasy, unhappy, fearful feeling.

"But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3 NLT

I sat Paxton on my lap.. And he was looking at me.. Wide eyed. I looked back at him.. And this fear washed over me. Paxton scared me.. He was looking so much deeper into my eyes than I have ever experienced... But then, I heard something.. Behind the curtain that hid the bathroom.

Was this the medication? Why was I so scared? Why was the silence so loud? What are the voices filling this room?

Feeling like a crazy person and as if I was ruining the only night I would spend with Paxton, I shakily grabbed the curtains and slung them back. No one. Nothing was there. I was losing it.  A dark presence was there... It was threatening Paxton and I.

Scared and alone, I crawled back into my bed and tried to play a little music to calm my nerves. Cradling Pax, I began to feel so tired again. I needed Jamie... The presence wasn't leaving and I could not fight it.. I felt so unprotected.

It was then that a knock shot me straight up and I became wide eyed. It made me jump, but when I saw who it was... I was relieved. It was Jamie. I wanted her to stay with me. I wanted her to hold Paxton. I knew that since she was there... It was safe for me to do the very thing I was refusing to do... Sleep.

Waking up momentarily, I saw Jamie Holding Paxton in the large Chair across from my bed. I felt as though he was safe in her arms.

Light radiated from them as they bonded, and the darkness that I had felt vanished.

"People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light; Sitting in that dark, dark country of death, they watched the sun come up." Matthew 4:16 MSG

I fell asleep, sound asleep... After I couldn't fight it anymore... Knowing that in the morning I would be saying my tear filled goodbyes to my saving grace.

"And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you." 2 Corinthians 9:14 MSG

God gives grace to those who have received and accepted his sacrifice... The sacrifice of his Son Jesus. In acceptance, we can embrace grace and give sacrifices of our own, just as He did for us.

"The Promise's Cost and it's Spiritual Reality" - Jamie's Take

Our son was born. Yet he had two mothers. The reality of adoption was becoming so real. 

I was unsure how Lesa was doing and was told by the nurse that she was resting. Paxton was born at 7:58 at night and was brought to our room throughout the night and early morning to be feed. He had many visitors from our church family and one of my girlfriends that worked at the hospital stopped to see the little miracle. The next morning, Paxton’s first morning was going to be with Lesa, until then (minus his vitals in the nursery) Ben and I were going to have him. 

I did not carry him in my womb but he was undeniably mine. My love for him was unreal. The fear that we wouldn't connect vanished the very moment I held him and kissed his little head. He was my son given from the Lord. 

At nine in the morning he was taken to Lesa. As I heard the baby nursery crib being wheeled into her room and not mine my heart sank. I was devastated. I had spent the whole night with him and was in love. His nearness to me was supernatural. God's presence was in our room. I felt the piece that was missing - filled - overflowing. Now she would have him for the next few days - as we agreed - as we wanted, for her.  

But I feared. 

I feared he was going to forget me and be drawn to her. The one who loved him and nourished him for months. The one who was familiar. 

And I feared more. 

She carried him for nine months and she was gonna fall even more in love and she's gonna change her mind. 

The whole night we had him, it was as if all my worries and fears, now that he was here, had arrived. I kept telling Ben faithlessly  - "She is gonna change her mind, you saw him, he's perfect - she isn't going to want to give him to us." 

Ben was tender and comforting. We were at our most humble. We were undeniably broken. 

I kept thinking I must of felt like Abraham. He was given his heir, Isaac, finally after years. And then God asked him to sacrifice him. 

I had to remember the Word said, “Early the next morning, Abraham set out...”-Genesis 22:3

He was prompt and complete in his obedience. 

He bound his son - the one he loved and prepared to kill him - to honor God’s request. 

But in Abraham’s full obedience, right before he strikes Isaac, God stops him. In Abraham’s obedience, God was honored. God honored Abraham’s faith with a ram. God gave Abraham something else to sacrifice. 

He goes on to say in verse 17 and 18, “This is what the Lord says: Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.”(see full story in Genesis 22:1-18)

I wanted to honor God. He was my reward, not Pax. I realigned my focus and my faith and I put my trust in the Almighty. 

We were able to see him a bit the next few days and had family visit. My parents were in love. Ben's close relatives that lived in town visited and got to meet him briefly. We did not want to over step and take Lesa's time with him. 

I was able to spend time with Lesa. I just wanted to hang out with her - but I didn't want her to think I was coming to just oversee her time with Pax. I genuinely wanted to see her. We also got our online gift in the mail - a necklace with a brass shoe and a blue pearl and a "C" for Charlie engraved on a small medallion. Lesa had set her mind and connection with him - as baby Charlie. 

As much as I wanted to see her and make sure she was okay - I wanted to hold and be with Pax more. It was different now. The Promise had come. It was no longer about Lesa or us - it was about him. 

I just remember I never left the hospital. I didn't want to miss any chance to see Pax or any news of him and his 'check-ups'. The first morning our Pediatrician that we picked got to see him and was so incredible with our needs, as his soon to be full-time parents. He let us know Pax was healthy and really strong. He actually lifted his head up the first morning of life while on his belly when getting checked. We were so proud. At the same time we were so nervous and emotional. I would find myself crying, in gratefulness but also in wakes of fear and in impatience. I just wanted to bond with him. I also cried at the thought of what I was doing - I was taking a baby from a woman.  

More than all the details of the next few days - what I remember most was spiritual heaviness that was happening. I KNEW Pax was God's gift to us. I had to remain faithful that Lesa would stay faithful and obedient in giving us Paxton. The first night in the hospital there was some serious spiritual stuff going on. Ben and I could feel it. As much as I felt the Lord's presence - we both felt a battle. We knew God had something huge in store for this little baby. Ben and I didn't doubt it...nor do I think the enemy was oblivious to it. 

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." -Ephesians 6:10-12

I believe in demons. I believe in the Devil. I believe he doesn't desire goodness and for us to have hope. He is a liar and a cheat. Jesus came to set things straight. He died for us to have POWER of everything the enemy throws our way. Jesus went as radical as death because of the reality of spiritual warfare. 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." -John 10:10

I say all that to share and document the next few paragraphs. 

Ben and I were spurred to pray many times throughout the day. For Paxton, for Lesa, for the adoption but also for Paxton's life - what God was calling him to do. We saught God on direction, guidance and wisdom on how to raise him up. A battle was raging and all we could find ourselves doing was pray. As we waited, while Lesa got her time with him, we prepared ourselves in prayer. 

And we weren’t off from our senses. A very real battle happened.

The second night in the hospital, the plans were made, baby Paxton would stay with Lesa. I was broken. I yearned for him. She would have visitors - they would hold my baby and share in his first days of life and we didn't know them.  We would hear him cry and I would weep. Ben would hold me close and we'd snuggle on the hospital bed in our room. 

We were able to give Paxton good night kisses and tell Lesa sweet dreams and we went in our room, shut the door and snuggled on the bed - that was really intended for one. We eventually fell asleep. We were restless. I was waking up often - sweating and crying and praying. Something wasn't right. I fell back asleep only to be woken up by Ben saying, 

"Jamie, Jamie...go check on Lesa and Pax. Go into her room." 

He was serious. This was real. This was urgent. 

We could feel it. There was something spiritually happening in her room. 


I knocked on her door and peeked in with her "come in"...She was on her bed, sitting erect and alert. She looked exhausted. She was holding Pax closely. Some thing was in her room. I knew she hadn't slept since the night before. By her very appearance, she was very much aware of what I was feeling. But I didn't know where she stood with the reality of spiritual warfare and such.  
At this moment, it became clear to me why the Lord had called me to fast. I mumbled prayers under my breath as I sat down in her rocker. It was warm - she had been here recently. I peered at her and we talked for a moment. She began to relax. She showed me pictures of her and pax and was messing with her computer. I prayed lightly. Whatever was in here was moving. I rebuked it..then... it was like... the room got silent...even though it sort of was..Pax asleep and Lesa on her computer and phone..and I on the rocker. I can't explain it but it was loud, uneasy and "busy"..then it all went away. 

I looked at Lesa as she was blasting worship music from her gadget. She set her computer up near the sink and continued to hold Pax. I asked her if she needed anything. She just wanted me to stay. So I stayed. She relaxed in her bed and laid her head back. Still holding Pax she asked me how we were. I began to tell her - when she dozed off. I kind of giggled because it was instant. She was exhausted. I said "Lesa" a few times loudly as I got up and walked towards the bed - then making sure Pax was okay - I prayed. I touched her hand and her shoulder and I prayed. Outloud, I prayed. I sat back down and just watched her and him sleep. A few moments later Pax began to cry. I waited to see if Lesa would wake up. She never moved yet he continued to cry harder. She obviously was exhausted. So I took Pax from her chest and changed him. I was unsure when he had ate last but from his serious sucking gestures I made the decision to feed him. 

Lesa woke up when the nurse came in to check on her. We chatted a moment and she dozed back to sleep. I stayed in the rocker just holding him. It was the first time I was able to have a moment alone with him without visitors since our first night. 

"And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." - Exodus 33:19

It was about five in the morning at this time and my best friend, April, was working in the hospital. I walked Pax to our room and April was able to snuggle him a bit. I left Lesa and my door open in hopes that if I hear her wake up I can bring him back in. I felt guilty having him in our room so at about 6 or 7 I put him back with her and headed to the cafeteria with April to eat. I had the worst migraine and hadn't left the maternity floor since Pax's birth but I needed to get away and just process. April was so timely and in this moment I was reminded why I loved her so much. She didn't do anything extraordinary - she merely stayed with me and talked. She rubbed my back and fed me pain medicine. I was an emotional basket case and she was unfazed, encouraging and nurturing. 

I headed back to the room. The day had started. I needed a I hopes that when I woke - we would be given our discharge papers.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Beauty for Ashes"--Susan's take

This is an amazing piece of writing, written by my dear friend and "second mother", Susan. She is so talented and a God given inspiration. I hope you read this and discover that being a Godly Woman does not require your money, your advice, or your judgement.  Sometimes all it takes, is just being there and giving someone your love... And the most precious thing of all: your time. 

Sweet Lesa.  Friend of my son, Spencer. She’s floated in and out around our house for several years from dinner guest to prom date.  A source of frustration for Spencer because he saw such beauty in her that he wished she saw in herself.  Covering up insecurity with a false confidence and a restless, sometimes reckless approach to life.  Romantic relationship was not to be, but they remained friends. 

I knew through him that she was in a dark place, sinking.  Unresolved issues.  Drugs.  Now a pregnancy. I decide I’ll try to connect with her mom, who I recently began teaching in the same building with.  Maybe I can offer some encouragement.  Once upon a time I was young, single, and expecting too.  

Fast forward a week or so and Lesa is at my classroom door.  She falls into my arms and I just hold her there for what seems like a long time.  This is new between us.  She wants to talk.  Plans to come by the house this very afternoon.  I hardly have time to get home from work and she is there, anxious to share.  Who I expect is a little girl lost and broken.  Who shows up is a woman who has found her Savior.  These were not the kind of tears I was bracing myself for, these tears of joy!!

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me,
for the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the LORD’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the LORD has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT

Over the next several months we grow closer and closer. I’m relishing being “Mama Susan” and would be lying if I said the prospect of becoming “Grandma Susan” wasn’t tugging at my heartstrings.  But there are tough choices for my girl on the horizon and time is ticking away. 

Sometimes it’s so hard to differentiate “patience” from “procrastination”.  I was with her when she met with the adoption counselor, but things just didn’t seem to click into place.  Tick, tick, tick.  Will she be able to follow through with her plan of adoption if she brings the baby home, has more time to bond?  The days are speeding by.  We are praying for the answer.  God is faithful.  

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” Matthew 21:22 NLT

February 11. Excitement! The text that Lesa is at the hospital! “Do you want me to come up?” “Sure, but only if you want to.” Of course I want to! I want so much to be right there through these next hours, but do I want that just for Lesa or for myself?  If there is anything I’ve tried to assure and reassure Lesa of these past months it’s that “love is sacrificial action”, our family motto—God’s love for us, her love for this baby—it’s so much more than a word or a feeling.  I’m trying to take my own counsel because the truth is maybe the sacrifice I need to make tonight is not in leaving the comfort of my nice warm house to stay up all night at the hospital, but to stay put—step back and allow someone else to step in.  

At different times on this journey she has asked me to be there with her on D-Day, but recently things with her mom are going smoothly… and there’s Jamie now. I’m absolutely praising God for both of those things, but it’s leaving me unsure of my own role.  I don’t want to miss this but I don’t want to take it from anyone else either.  Lesa and Charlie have been one and the same these past months, and being there for one is being there for both but the imminent separation is looming and although I have fallen in love with this baby, my focus must remain on this young woman I have seen blossom before my eyes these past months no less dramatically that a time-lapse video of a flower from sprout to bloom. 

My girl. I decide I’ll go on up and just see how things are going, how Lesa is doing, be a support for her and her mom, make myself available but stay on the fringe.  Halfway there I get another text that they are on the way back home.  Good.  There’s still time for me to share with her how I’m feeling and let her make the call.

With assurance that Lesa does want me to be with her at the hospital, I head on back up Saturday afternoon.    I’m so anxious to meet Jamie and Ben.  I’m excited to tell them what I believe God wants me to share.  “I know you see your prayers answered in this miracle, but remember that the answer to our prayers is YOU. YOU ARE THE ANSWER!”  

As I enter the room, I can see Lesa’s excitement but I can also sense her pain—so much deeper than the physical squeeze of the contractions is the squeeze on her heart.  She’s trying so hard to fight both.   The only thing I know to do turns out to be a huge moment of blessing for me.  I slide over to her bedside. Smooth her hair. Stroke her eyebrows. Whisper a prayer.  Whisper “I love you. I’m so proud of you. You can do this.” We both know what I mean. Not just this delivery, but this sacrifice. With sleepy, tearful eyes my girl whispers back, “Thanks for being here just for me.”  Thanks for letting me.  

"Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble." Proverbs 17:17 MSG

Thank you again, Susan... For listening to Gods voice and guiding me with Patience and Love... And for showing other women what It takes to be a strong, bold QUEEN of GOD that we are meant to be!!! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

"The Promise Inspires" - Megan's Take (Ben & Jamie's cousin)

The following blog was written by Megan Ward. She is married to my husband's first cousin, in essence we are cousins. She was the third family member I called after my parents to share my news with..she was my hardest call. We shared unforgettably tender moments together in my salon chair, at our family reunions and our family holiday get togethers. We desired a family and both wanted the other to be pregnant every month. I asked her to share a piece of their journey in relation to us - however I strongly - STRONGLY - encourage you to read their blog entries of their adoption story. You will be moved, inspired, and encouraged by her writing. Follow her blogs -

I will always remember the annual Ward family Labor Day reunion in 2010… I remember Jamie and I swapping disappointments and frustrations about our desires to begin our own families. I remember the sting of yet ANOTHER year of watching everyone else showing off their babies or pregnant bellies and yearning to be a part of it somehow.  I remember feeling thankful to have someone who understood and whom I knew would understand how HUGE it would be to get a positive pregnancy test.  
Even more I will remember Christmas 2010 when Jamie and I sat at the table in the quiet and deserted kitchen while our large family celebrated Christmas in the other room.  With tears in both of our eyes we asked each other and God WHY & WHEN… why weren’t either one of us pregnant yet?  When would it happen?  What where we doing wrong?  Wanting to start a family wasn’t a wrong thing to ask for… right?  And we knew that we would both make great moms… it was what we were created to do… wasn’t it?  SO many questions we bounced back and forth.  Not really in self-pity, just open and honest.  You could practically see our hearts laying there on the table with big missing pieces that seemingly could only be filled in one way.  What was different this time was that in the midst of our questions and our tears, we grasped hands and took it to the only One who knew the answers. We prayed over each other and gave the upcoming year to our heavenly Father, who held our hearts’ deepest desires in His hands.  When we finished praying I remember looking up into Jamie’s eyes… and feeling a peace, a reassurance come over me.  And then an excitement to see what the year ahead held.  Little did I know how God was already working and preparing… 
Fast forward to the end of January… my phone rings and I answer it upon seeing it was Jamie.  I am pretty sure that Jamie skipped all formalities (not like we are formal people anyways!) and all of sudden I am hearing her tell me that she is going to be a mommy… and that it is a boy… and that he was due in three weeks!  She was talking fast and I am pretty sure I was only catching every other word...I knew she was nervous about telling me and was trying to do it as gently as she could in her excitement.  And I loved her even more for it.
"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests." Ps. 20:4-5
At first I was just SHOCKED.  And then almost immediately came the sweet JOY and EXCITEMENT… I was literally shaking and was so in awe with the way God was working in Ben & Jamie’s life.  Jamie was worried that I would be hurt… she is sweet that way… she even insisted that I should have a baby first, although I was never sure why she would think that.  Anyways, I truly was over the moon excited for them and never once even thought that it should be me.  In fact I was in a state of hopefulness because we were in the middle of what I was considering a very “hopeful” cycle with our fertility specialist and a new medication.  And if we are being really honest here (and we are!) I have to also add here that adoption was not really on my radar…. I thought adoption was a great way to build a family and had nothing against it, but just didn’t see it personally for Nathan & me.  I wanted to experience every bit of pregnancy, the good & the bad.  And adoption just seemed like a long and tricky and possibly heartbreaking process.  I just wanted to be “normal” and have a “normal baby, the normal way.”
The next three weeks seemed to drag by as we all waited for Baby Paxton to get here.  I remember watching Jamie build this unique relationship with Lesa and thinking that it was not anything like I had ever seen, yet not surprising since God’s hand was very evidently on EVERY SINGLE detail of this adoption.  I remember vividly the night Paxton was born… Nathan and I were celebrating Valentine’s Day a bit early by going to see a local Off Broadway performance of Beauty & the Beast. We knew that Lesa was in labor and Ben & Jamie were at the hospital with her.  At intermission we pulled out our phones and I pulled up Facebook to see if there was any news and sure enough there he was… my heart melted and I couldn’t wait to snuggle him!  But even more my heart leapt at the realization of how Jamie must be feeling in that moment.  I wondered if it was the same as if she had given birth to him herself.  If I was already feeling love for this sweet, precious baby boy I had yet to meet, how must she be feeling??? 
The next day we had the honor of meeting Baby Pax for the first time… and looking back, this is where God really began to do a huge work on my heart.  Holding Paxton was sweet and he stole my heart but what really did it was watching Jamie & Ben with him.  I had visited many friends over the years when they had babies and watched the excitement and happiness over the new baby… but this GLOW  that Jamie had was indescribable.  JOY was radiating off of her and even though there were visitors in the room and Paxton was being passed around, her eyes barely left him for a second.  There was no doubt in my mind the amount of love she had for this baby boy that didn’t grow in her belly, but in her heart.  Little did I know that I would be picturing the joy on her face OFTEN in the months to come… and how HUGE of an impact that little visit to the hospital would be in my own life.  
"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27
Less than a week after Paxton was born, we found out that we were not pregnant as we had hoped and that we had hit a dead end once again.  On top of that, we couldn’t go farther financially and emotionally we were done.  One thing became abundantly clear to us… the road we were on was not working for us.  After more than a week of a roller coaster of emotions and sorting through the disappointment and anger and pain we realized that it wasn’t God that had been turning a deaf ear to our heart’s desires, it was us who had been covering our ears and eyes, refusing to hear or see what God and where God was trying to lead us.  After talking to our doctor we agreed to do one more month of medicine and then take a break.  Halfway through that month at my weekly ultrasound it was clear that there was no need to go any further because my body was not responding one bit to the medicine and I would not even ovulate that month.  While disappointed, we knew this was God being merciful and sparing us what the month would inevitably hold… it was with this realization that our prayer changed from “Lord, please make us pregnant” to “Lord, please open our hearts to what you have for our lives.”  
While we continued to pray that prayer daily, we still struggled with wondering if we would ever have a child of our own to love.  We spent our time enjoying each other and enjoying all the kids that had been placed in our lives by family and friends.  Maybe that is how it would always be.  But Nathan began to bring up adoption a lot… especially as he saw Ben and his interaction with Paxton.  I kept reminding him of all the reasons NOT to adopt… after all, Paxton’s adoption seemed ideal and once in a lifetime.
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Ps. 27:13-14
We continued to pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and for our hearts to be content in this waiting time.  And God was faithful in providing that rest and that peace of letting go of the fertility treatments and temperature taking and the timing of certain things.  During this time we were provided with many opportunities to love on Paxton.  Ben and Jamie even trusted us to keep him overnight.  After those snuggle times with Pax, adoption would always be a topic of conversation between Nathan & I.  For the most part my heart was still held fear of the idea, but it was beginning to soften.  
Meanwhile, at church we were in the middle of a series titled “One Small Idea Deep Inside of You Could Change Your Life Forever”… in that series we were learning about true surrender, relying on scripture, being expectant in prayer, and intentional in obedience.  Our hearts were open and thirsty for God’s promise of faithfulness.  Over the next weeks our hearts became fully softened and excitement built as we actually began to HEAR what God had been whispering into our hearts and minds… ADOPTION. 
“I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in.” Malachi 3:10
April 6th, 2011 we sent in our pre-application for domestic infant adoption to Bethany Christian Services and began the adoption process. Unknown to us, that same month a 14 year girl became pregnant and was faced with the biggest decision of her life.  And God in His infinite faithfulness wrapped His arms around her and led her to BCS in her 5th month of pregnancy.  God’s plan for our family was quickly unfolding into something beautiful that only HE could orchestrate.
On November 21st, we got OUR PHONE CALL.  The one that changed OUR lives.  The one that told us that WE would become parents to a baby boy before Christmas.  And on December 21st, Logan Christopher was born and we experienced what Ben & Jamie experienced earlier that year…. that complete love and joy that comes with knowing that God not only heard our prayers but that acted in a way to answer those prayers that was above and beyond what we could have ever imagined.  God you are faithful. 
"But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done' in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints." Ps. 52:8-9

Following insert from Jamie: Megan is a talented and heart felt writer. AGAIN, I encourage you to read Nathan and Megan's Adoption Story, as well as see their little man, Logan - on her own blog:! Be blessed!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Honored Father" - Benjamin's Take

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After waiting in the hallway for what seemed like days, with my face pressed to the floor so that my ears could at least capture the sound of my first child’s birth. He came.
When I walked in, Lesa the birth mother of my child asked me without hesitation, one of the best questions I’d ever been asked - If I would like to hold my son.

There he was, all 7 pounds and 5 ounces and 21 inches long, right in front of me, swaddled in a blanket in the arms of a woman that I could never repay. The emotion inside of me was like none that I had ever felt. It was greater than joy, greater than happiness, greater than excitement, greater than love. The emotion was unexplainable.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I have wanted to be a father since the day I got married. I LOVE kids. Ask anyone. I am drawn to them and for some reason they are drawn to me. I told Jamie that as soon as she was ready we were going to do it (pun intended). Every fiber in me was ready to be a father. I know I am created for many reasons and one of them, most assuredly, is to be a father. A father to children of birthed by my wife or through adoption. 

So after close to 4 years of unsuccessful attempts at becoming a father, there I was, a little after 8pm on February 12 finally seeing my miracle alive; my promise fulfilled!

I cannot sit here and type details like Jamie and Lesa can. My brain doesn’t work that way. Chalk it up to being a guy or whatever, but this is how I remember the time leading up to the moment above.

Friday night, February 11, Jamie and Lesa were headed to a woman’s church function for a rally. So I, of course, was headed to my friend Nathan’s house with a bunch of buddies for a men’s movie marathon.

I remember watching a movie, couldn’t even come close to telling you what it was, and receiving a phone call from Jamie with this excitement in her voice, almost to the point to where I couldn’t understand her, telling me they were headed to the hospital.

If you know me than you know my reaction was rather monotone in its outside appearance. I told her okay and that I would go pack up some things for the hospital and wait on her phone call.

All this, while on the inside I was pretty much having the time of my life. I was dancing and yelling and screaming and smiling like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

I went and packed, and..............................well, I fell asleep. Jamie was taking too long to call and I was tired, so I went to bed. Don’t even remember Jamie getting home or crawling into bed that night (I am a very strong sleeper). Makes me think if I would of heard her calling. 

The morning of February 12 I headed to our house to fix our water problem. We were staying at our friends, due to our shower being broken and water having to be turned off. I needed to get it done because that night we were going to a Valentine’s dinner that our church was putting on.

All I remember is that the day seemed just like any other for the most part. I got a phone call from Jamie pretty soon after I left informing me that Lesa and her mother were headed to the hospital and that she would call when they admitted her. I called my mother to inform her of the update because I knew she would want to be there. 

I then went back to attempting,as best I could, to fix the shower. To no avail it remained unfixed. I started picking up around the house and trying to stay busy. I was starting to wonder if it was another false alarm, because I hadn’t heard from Jamie. 

I started freaking out. Surely Jamie would have called by now, even if to just let me know nothing was going on or to ask me to grab something else from her millions of clothing options, for her to wear to dinner.

I realized I had no idea as to where my phone was. The search began. It took me literally close to 30 minutes to find it and when I did I had more than a dozen calls from Jamie and a few from my mother.

Voicemail after voicemail of, “Lesa is being admitted, where are you? Grab the bags and head to the hospital.” Ensured me we were having a baby today. 

I called Jamie to get the latest update, to find a very worried bride. I explained my phone fiasco and asked if she or the ladies needed anything. Jamie gave me directions, as any wife and then filling me in. 

A huge smile came across my face not only because I knew I was going to be a father soon, but also because I could hear the joy and excitement in Jamie’s voice. We were going to be parents.

I went and grabbed the bags and headed to the hospital, picking up lunch for myself, Jamie and Lesa’s mom on the way. 

My job at the hospital was the informer. Jamie would tell me updates and then I would relay that on to our families and friends that were there waiting. I was in a constant walk, not wanting to sit down, anxiously awaiting the birth of my son! Jamie says it didn’t take long, but when you are outside the room, not seeing everything first hand, it seemed like it was taking an eternity. I met a lot of new people that night as there were two other families expecting new additions at any moment. Hearing the cry of their new baby made me want to hold Pax even more and brought tears of joy to my eyes at times.

The moment finally came that Jamie said the nurses told Lesa this was going to be the last time she pushed and that if Pax didn’t come out they would have to do a C-section. Of course from getting to know Lesa over the last few weeks and knowing that she wanted to give birth naturally as well as knowing that God answered prayers I knew Pax would be here at any moment and I was ready for him.

Lesa’s sister was there and so her and I laid on the floor with our ears pressed against the door as much as possible to hear what was happening in that room. I remember hearing the nurses say "okay stop pushing we have to get the doctor" because the baby was coming. I remember hearing the doctor enter. I remember hearing laughter. I remember hearing the word push a few times. I remember hearing silence.

And most memorable moment of that night, I heard my baby boy cry for the very first time.

"A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world." John 16:21

Since I couldn’t go into the room I ran out to the waiting rooms and informed everyone there that Pax was here. I seemed of overheard measurement wrong and told everyone he was 31” long, I didn’t know any better. I was hugging family and friends until Jamie came and said I could come into the room.

And there he was, my promise! Lesa handed him to me. This woman gave me a miracle, just placed in my arms a beautiful breathing miracle. She trusted me to be his father. I was honored.

"And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:5

The rest of the night was perfect. I held, changed, fed and kissed Pax over and over. We had friends and family pop in and out until close to midnight congratulating us and coming to see (and wanting to hold) Pax.

When I would hold him I was thankful that God would consider us to raise him. I was going to love him with every fiber of my being and I was going to raise him knowing and loving the God who gave him to us. He was going to grow up never doubting if he was loved. Im determined to give him everything he needs and encourage him to be strong and courageous and nothing he would ever do would separate him from my love.

"Start children off on the way they should go
and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

"The father of a righteous child has great joy;
a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him." Proverbs 23:24

I was a father. Jamie was a mother. We were a family!pastedGraphic_3.pdfpastedGraphic_4.pdfpastedGraphic_5.pdf