One Day

"O Lord, my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me."

Psalm 30:2

I was sitting criss-crossed on top of the doctor table. It's not a beach trip unless you make a trip to Urgent Care. Can I get an, "Amen?"

Honestly, I was admiring my tan. I'm fair skinned, so it takes a lot of work to get a tan. At first, you need one good tan-burn, as I like to call it, then you're golden. I was proud of the Essie nail color I picked. The coral against my tan toes just looked like summer. Then, I started feeling so proud that I found time to paint them. The white paper was crinkling under me every time I moved. It's so annoying. And I was sweating, so it was sticking to my legs. Ugh...

They couldn't have chosen worse music to play in the room while I was waiting. If I didn't feel so bad, I would've climbed on top of the counter and changed the station. Brandon gets so embarrassed of me sometimes, when thoughts like that pass through my head. Luckily, he wasn't there.

I've never had a UTI before, but I knew that's what it was. Apparently if you don't get those things treated pretty fast, they ruin your beach trip. I debated for two days whether I should go. Good thing I did.

*******

So God has been teaching me much about healing lately. And I'm not quite sure why, because none of my prayers for healing have been answered.

But I'm learning with Him, it's about the process. Not the end. I think the healing happens some time along the way.

Micah is still only

eating

two ounces. And that's a good feeding. He's not tongue tied. Believe me, I've had three different doctors check. He's on a different reflux medicine now. A different formula. Different bottles. We literally have tried it all after the hospital visit. We're getting all the therapy a kid can get. It seems to make him much happier after feedings and in between. But every three hours, I fight that kid to eat.

I swaddle him, put him on his belly over my arm and sway him side to side. The OT said this stimulates his nervous system and allows him to calm down. Oh, and I have to pat his back when I do that. Once we sway for fifteen minutes, then I take the "therapy paci" and orally stimulate his gums. This is supposed to prepare him for the bottle. Once he is orally stimulated, I turn on the sound machine, because any noise distracts him, and makes him loose his suck. You can imagine how challenging this is with an 18 month old sister. I sit with my knees up, turn him on his side, support both his cheek and chin with one hand while the other hand holds the back of his head and pray. PRAY. The entire feeding. Not out loud of course. Too distracting.

This happens EVERY three hours.

Every three hours, I pray for God to heal him. And you'd think I won the lottery when we finish with an empty bottle. Everyone in our house screams and claps and talks in a happy baby voice to him!

It's not really, but kinda really funny. Can you believe I was actually worried that God wouldn't teach me as much with Micah as He did with Selah? When we found out about Micah, I thought back to all God taught me through

Selah's adoption

. He moved mountains to get this girl into our family. Then we got a phone call in September about Micah. Just one phone call. He literally fell into our laps.

His name

means, "Gift from God." Because that is exactly what he is.

Boy, did He show me. I needed Him throughout Selah's adoption because it was new and scary and hopeless at times. I literally need Him every three hours with Micah. Sometimes, before a feeding, I text my family and friends and ask them to pray for us. Yall. It's hard.

But, I am trusting and resting in God's healing for Micah. One day, he'll suck bottles down better than the best eatin' baby in the world. One day, instead of little bird legs, we're going to be squishing his little rolls. And I told God last night, those rolls will be visible evidence of His faithfulness.

One day.

*******

I just knew when the doctor walked in she would have a surprised smile on her face. I knew she'd probably tell me that I had a UTI, but I also knew she'd tell me the impossible.

That I was pregnant.

I prepped my heart for it. The silent conversation I had with God on that crinkly paper with the terrible music was confident and full of worship. I was expecting Him to heal me. I knew He would. I wasn't overly excited because you don't get super excited about things you already know.

The door opened, and the doctor sat on her swivel stool. Told me I had a UTI, gave me prescriptions for some medicine, wrote the discharge papers, and left.

And I said, "Not this time, Lord, but one day."

It is impossible, this healing. My physical healing is absolutely impossible. It will literally be a miracle. There is no way I could get pregnant, or keep a pregnancy.

Throughout this process of heart healing that has happened along the way, I'm not

barren

anymore. He has taken all of those empty parts of my heart and filled them with Him. It has been beautiful.

There were days I couldn't make it to baby showers, and if I had to go because it was a close friend, I'd always slip out early and cry in my car. One time my mom wouldn't let me drive home until I calmed down. I would literally ache when I went to Chic-Fil-A. All the moms and their babies enjoying that fried goodness. It hurt.

That's not me anymore.

Because God is faithful, and I am now that mom. One baby on my hip, the other one on my chest. I've had two baby showers. People came to MY baby showers. I get the incredible honor of buckling babies in car seats, carrying diaper bags, wearing spit-up, and looking a little

frazzled

sometimes.

Somewhere along the way, He healed my heart. And it was long before I was every called, "mommy."

But this physical healing. As much as I want to forget about it, adopt all the orphan babies in the world, and as many times as I've tried desperately to put the flame out, hope still flickers.

That thing will not die. And I believe it's because God is trying to teach me something.

He's teaching me something about healing even though He hasn't answered my prayer.

I'm going out on a limb here, because "what if He doesn't?" I don't know. I just know that He's asked me to pray for healing. I don't know why. For the life of me, I can't figure it out. But I am. I am praying for God to do the impossible. Literally, impossible.

And I believe Him.

It's funny God has been doing all of this in my heart now for almost a year. Just this week, I read this

blog post

, and Preston Yancey killed it, "This is how we pray now. Wild. Untethered. Rushing into hope and trust that God is who God says God is."

It's scary to pray this way. Real scary. Because what if I'm wrong? What if I'm hearing Him wrong? What if He doesn't heal me? I don't know. I tell myself again, I just know that I am supposed to pray for healing.

Pray for my son's healing. Pray for my healing.

He'll do it.

We'll just wait.  

One day...

*Photo by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

*

brown baby. white mama.

The Top Five Things I've Learned From Our Transracial Adoption

5. People

still

ask me if she's adopted.

Ummmm. That would be a yes.

One of my favorite stories is when Selah was about six months old. We went to dinner and we're going to a late movie with our dear friends. This was when she was small enough to sleep in her car seat. It would be a nightmare now, but then, she was a great little movie go-er. I would feed her right before the movie and she'd sleep through the whole thing. It was wonderful! We haven't seen one since. Just kidding! Anyways, the story.

We were standing in line to get our tickets, and this sweet little man came over and asked if she was adopted. Of course I smiled kindly, and said, "yes." I was thinking in my head, "duh." He told us how he took mission trips to Africa every summer and really had a heart for the orphan. He mentioned how he and his wife wished they would've adopted when they were younger. Then he asked me where she was from. I'm 100% positive he was expecting an African country. And without skipping a beat, I replied in a VERY southern accent, "Greer," (our town). Everyone laughed at what to me, was the honest truth, and when he got over his shock, I explained that we adopted through a local agency and shared a little of our story with him.

I know that people KNOW she is adopted when they ask us. Her brown skin attracts attention and people are curious of her story. It's a way for them to ask permission to step into our story in a non-threating way. And I really do love that. She has given us more opportunities to share the Gospel than we could have ever dreamed. And although I could take some of their questions the wrong way (Is she yours? Where's her mom? Are you babysitting?), people know there is a story to be told. And she gives us an opportunity to tell it. One day soon, she'll be old enough to tell it herself.

4. Not everyone will be happy about it.

And that's okay.

We have learned that we are not responsible for changing those hearts. Only God can. Their hearts will not change until the Spirit helps them understand the Gospel more clearly. While we pray that for them and practice humility, we love and show them grace. And I remember the grace God has shown

me 

through Jesus.

My husband is way better at this than me. He has taught me more about grace by watching him give it, than anything I've ever read before. I'll have to admit, my mama bear comes out extra ferocious in this area, and I am still in desperate need of being tamed. I guess really what I've learned, is that I still have much

to learn

about loving others and showing them grace when I feel it isn't deserved. I wish I could say this comes easy to me, but it doesn't. At least, not yet.

3. As a white mama to a brown baby, it is my responsibility to be educated on skin and hair care.

PLEASE HEAR ME, I am by no means saying I know all there is to know about this, I don't! But I do WANT to know. I want to be educated, and I want to always have her hair and skin looking nice. And when I don't know what to do, I need to get help from someone who does!

Anyone who knows us well, will tell you I can go to the grocery store looking a hot mess. But you better believe Selah's hair and skin will look nice. I want the African American community to see that she is well taken care of by a white mama.

Here are a few things I've learned...

  • Coconut oil is a great moisturizer and smells so yummy. I use this on both her hair and skin. Right after I wash her hair (once every one or two weeks) in Carol's Daughter's Cleansing Conditioner, I comb out the tangles, and put a heavy helping of coconut oil in her hair. Even if it's not a wash day, and it feels dry I still put coconut oil in it. 
  • I LOVE the kids detangler spray by Shea Moisture. I mix conditioner and water in a water bottle and spray her hair in the mornings to freshen it up. I've recently started using Carol's Daughter's refresher spray and love it too.
  • I put Shea Moisture Style Milk in her hair after I fix it. This helps hold the curls so they don't get fuzzy.

*You can find all these products at Target. The Coconut Oil can be found at Trader Joe's or your local grocery store.*

  • For her skin, I swear by this natural lotion recipe! Selah started getting eczema on her tummy really bad and NOTHING would get rid of it. I asked one of my sweet friends, Ashley, what she used on her kids, and she gave this lotion to Selah for her birthday. I will NEVER use anything else! You can find the recipe here. It says diaper rash cream, and you can use it for diaper rash, but I use it as lotion. Ashley adds 20 drops of lavender essential oil to hers. She makes it in huge batches and says it lasts forever. You can buy the products to make it here. I rub her down in this every night! The lavender essential oil clears up her eczema, helps her sleep, and smells heavenly.
  • I also put Aquaphor on her cheeks every morning and every night. They get very chapped in the winter, and this seems to help heal the dry spots. 

I still have SO much to learn, but these things have worked wonderfully for Selah. They might not work for your brown baby, but it's worth a shot!

2. Our skin does not match, but we match hearts.

She's brown. And I want her to be proud of that! 

Brandon and I want to always have an open, on-going conversation about how we do, indeed, have different colored skin. The fact is, our skin doesn't match. She should feel comfortable talking with us about that. We want her to know her African American heritage and connect with other African Americans. She has curly hair like her daddy, her and I have brown eyes, but her skin is brown and ours is white. And we shouldn't push that under the rug, or say that we don't see her skin color, because the world does. She needs to have the tools to be successful and confident as an African American woman to Caucasian parents. Who doesn't want that for their baby?

But the truth is,

we

 really

don't

see her skin color. We both were there to watch her take her first beautiful breath. I cut the cord, and she came straight to me. Most days, I have to remind myself that I did

not

give birth to her. I have to remember sometimes that I didn't carry her for 9 months. Her

birth mom

did, and we are forever grateful. 

But this little girl is mine. She is my daughter. And although our skin doesn't match, we match hearts. She has started laughing like me. She wrinkles her nose when she smiles, like I do. She pats my shoulder with her little hand like I pat her's. She has a kind and sensitive heart like her daddy. Like him, she is very pensive and observant. And one day, I want her to know Jesus like we do. We want to teach her to love Him. That this life is nothing without Him. He is Life. 

We match hearts. 

1. Love really does make our family. 

Love is an action, not always a feeling. 

After we brought Selah home, I experienced somewhat of postpartum. The adoption blues, as it's often called. I know this sounds crazy. I couldn't believe it either. I was even ashamed. There were so many factors that caused these "blues."

For one, although it was beautiful and absolutely perfect, the whole hospital experience was extremely emotional. Not just the normal, your baby was born emotional, this was different.

Honestly, we weren't even certain that we would come home from the hospital with a baby. Our birth mom couldn't sign until 24 hours after she was born. Up until that point, she could have changed her mind at any time. So we had all the anticipation of "will she really do it?" We prepared ourselves for the possibility of an empty car seat. Thankfully, it was full of six pounds of sweetness.

We had the beautiful experience of seeing Selah come into this world. But we were also being sensitive to our birth mom and all of her emotions. Although she is literally the strongest woman I know, all of the hospital emotions were heightened to the max.

So after we got home and started sorting through those emotions of her adoption,

complete joy and sadness at the same time,

I had this precious little life that now depended on me. Forever.

Then we started sorting through,"Oh my gosh, are we really parents?" We were sleep deprived and didn't know what in the world we were doing. I didn't get to bond with her for nine months. And she didn't have Brandon's chin or my nose, but she shared our last name. 

It took me a while to feel like she was really mine. And this shocked me. It made me feel guilty. No one prepared me for that. I read a little about it, but never thought it would happen to me. I wanted this child more than anything, and we walked through a really, really dark season to get her into our family. And I didn't feel as if she was mine?

Those days quickly passed and before I knew it, I couldn't imagine our family without her. And like I said earlier, it wasn't long before I had to remind myself I didn't carry her. I don't have maternity pictures

to show her, or the crazy stories about Brandon running to get me ice-cream or pickles in the middle of the night. 

But we do have the story of how we prayed every day to be her parents. We have countless stories of a faithful God. 

The time He used a couple in our church to give us 10,000 dollars for her adoption. The story of the William's children who sold lemonade to help us bring her home. The countless really large checks we received. All the times I laid in the floor of her nursery dreaming what she would look like and wondering, honestly, if God would answer our prayer. 

The story of the day we met her birthmom for the first time and how she cried when we told her about Selah's name. 

We don't need maternity pictures or our skin to match. Love really does make our family.

She will always be my baby, and I will always be her mommy.

Our Birth Mom

In my last post, I shared about our

open adoption.

 When Brandon and I were walking through the

adoption process

, I read everything I could find about birth moms. I wanted to know what it was like through their eyes. Whether you are interested in adoption, in the middle of paperwork,

waiting on your baby

, or possibly considering adoption for your child, this post is for you! Here are Lakeisha's (our birth mom) thoughts on open adoption...

Why did you choose adoption?

I chose adoption because I wanted better for my child than I knew I could provide. I could have kept Selah, but it would have made life so difficult for the two boys I already have. At first abortion was an option for me. However, I went to Piedmont Womens' Center for an ultrasound to see exactly how far along I was in the pregnancy. There was a brochure available for an adoption agency. I called and spoke with a wonderful caseworker. After further conversations, she helped me confirm that adoption was right for me.

What fears did you have about adoption?

I was nervous that our (Jessica, Brandon and my) baby would resent me, and still am at times. I didn't know my biological father until I was 14. Don't get me wrong, I have a daddy that has always been there for me. However, I found out from a stranger that he wasn't my biological father. It crushed me. It made me question who I was and everything else about myself. When I met my biological father, I didn't see him as my daddy. Not because he wasn't there for me, but because I was neglected by him with selfish motives. I don't want Selah to resent me for placing her with Brandon and Jessica. I want her to love me more because of it.

What qualities were you looking for in picking a family?

At first I didn't have anything specific I was looking for in a family. I had no idea who or what type of people I was looking for. I am a go with the flow, and if it is right, it will happen, type of person. I knew I wanted my adoption to be open, but I didn't want to be the only one to make the terms. I was open to everything except a closed adoption.

What helped you heal after placement?

I know this is going to sound crazy but there is and never was a "healing" process for me. I have nothing to heal from. I'm not sure how to put this into words, but I am going to try my best. I don't feel like I lost anything. I gained more than I could have EVER imagined from this. I never lost a daughter, I gained a family. She is mine but wasn't made for me. I have honestly only REALLY cried (like boo-hooed) once. It was the night when the three Satterfield's left the hospital. The only reason I cried then is because of the nurse. She kept hugging me and repeating, "She's not going to hate you, she will love you more." I wanted to tell the woman to get out of my room, but I held it together and then when she left out I burst into tears thinking, "but what if she does hate me?" I got in the shower, cried a little more, and after that, no more tears. I have cried because of some of the hurtful things friends and family have said to me. Not because I gave her up for adoption (I hate that phrase by the way, I didn't give up anything either), but because some people do not understand my decision.

How do you feel about open adoption?

Open adoption is an excellent option for anyone. In my opinion, the only reason I could understand a birth mom wanting a closed adoption, is if she was raped and it would be more traumatizing for her and the baby if they knew each other. Other than that, I can't really understand it. Even if you don't want an extremely open relationship like I have with my "baby mama" and "baby daddy," :) then you can still have updates. Every situation is different, but I think mine is PERFECT.

What would make a birth mom scared to have an open adoption?

The only fear I could think of is if the birth mom and adoptive family didn't want the same thing in the adoption. Or if they are awkward around each other or do not feel comfortable. It could possibly hurt the birth mom to see the child she gave birth to respond more to the adoptive parents or leave with them. But again, I don't have those problems. Communication is key in these situations. Never be scared to say how you feel, just because you don't want to offend the other person. More than likely, the other would be thinking the same or at least something in the same boat. I don't keep anything from my adoptive family. They know the good, the bad, and the ugly. There is no need in

keeping anything from them.

What are your wishes for your child?

I want Selah to have everything I had and more as a child and an adult. I had a great childhood. Things didn't change for me until I found out about my father. I began to act out. I don't want her to go through the same experiences that I lived, so I want to be an open book for her. All I ask is for her to have a stable, Christian foundation. If you choose the best parents for your child like I did, then you don't have to worry about their childhood or their life in general, for that matter. You know that it will be the best and even better than you could ever ask for.

What does adoption mean to you?

Adoption is awesome. It is the very best gift you can give someone. In my eyes, nothing is greater. Abortion is selfish and a cop out. Every child has a purpose, and whether that purpose is to be "your" child or not, only God can determine. It is such a blessing to see a family as special as the Satterfield's, who can't conceive a child themselves, watch their child be born. I can't describe into words the feeling that gave me.

Thank you so much for being here and hearing our story. I'm so thankful for each of you! My prayer is that you see God's glory and His beauty in these words! Be encouraged, dear friend, even when it feels as if He's forgotten us, He is working in so many lives around us to write His story, not only for our good, but theirs too.

Stay tuned...exciting things to come!