A Letter to My Adopted Son

You're not that tiny newborn anymore.

You're six months old. And we dedicated you to Jesus Sunday. This is the letter I read to you at your dedication.

You love playing with your feet, you think your sister is hilarious, and don't you dare tell your Daddy, but you have a HUGE crush on your mama! Although right now, you'd rather have me, pretty soon, he's going to rock your world. And you're going to see just how awesome he is. Really. Grow up and be just like him.

You smile and giggle when we make funny sounds at you. You laugh so hard when I kiss your neck, and although most days are really hard taking care of you, they are filled with so much beauty. I can't imagine our family without you in it.

From the moment I found out about you, I have worried about you. Before your sister came home to us, I didn't know what it felt like to be a mama. I had no idea how much I would love her. I didn't know how it would feel to hear her say my name for the first time. I didn't know how it would feel when I watched her get shots. I didn't know how it would feel to watch her take her first wobbly steps, or feel her little arms wrap around my neck.

I didn't know what it would mean to watch my heart walk around outside my body.

But when I found out about you, I did. I knew just how much I would love you. I knew all the things in this big world that could hurt you, or cause you pain. And I worried.

I worried because I couldn't reach down and rub my belly to feel you moving. I couldn't schedule doctor appointments to know you were okay. I couldn't eat well and drink lots of water to keep you healthy. I worried a lot about you. And over and over again, God reminded me that you are always His first.

We knew once you were born, you might have some obstacles to overcome. And we were ready for them. While you were growing in your birth mom's belly, I felt the Lord speak a word over your sweet little life; be brave.

I think He gave it mostly to me because I was scared I wouldn't be enough for you. When I worried if you would be healthy, or all the obstacles you would overcome, or when I felt that I wouldn't be what you would need, I would hear Him whisper to me, "Be brave."

Sweet boy, you are brave. Much braver than your mama. You have been through more hard things in your short little life, than most people encounter in a lifetime. There were days, when we weren't sure what the future held for you. I would ache when I thought about you growing up, because I wasn't sure if we would get you there. You spent the majority of your first few months in the hospital. And you are brave.

You are a fighter. You are an overcomer. Your Daddy and I cannot be more proud to call you ours. We fought for you. We will always fight for you. You were so wanted. You are loved more than you'll ever know.

Sometimes it terrifies me, raising a black son in the world we live in. And although my love for you sees no color, the world does. My prayer for you is that you will always know your true identity. I want you to always feel as though you have a place to land, to know where you belong. Not only in our family, but mostly with the Lord.

Your Dad and I chose your life verse not based on your adoption into our family, but hopefully soon, your adoption into God's.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." Galatians 4:4-7

My heart's greatest desire is for you to place your identity in Christ. Live as His son, Micah. Walk in your sonship and inheritance from Him. Live as you truly are, relentlessly loved, anointed, set apart, cherished, and free. And I pray that as you walk in your True identity, others will see Love and join this Kingdom forever family too.

And I pray you are brave.

When others question that sonship. When they question your roots or where you belong, I pray you are brave and you hold fast to the Truth. When the enemy causes you to doubt you are loved and wanted, I pray you'll lean in close to your Daddy, the One you hear me talk about all the time. Listen to only what He says about you. His voice is the only One that matters.

And your mama's, of course. But really just His.

You are more than I could ever dream.

I love you more than you'll ever know,

Mommy

Be Brave. Smile At The Future.

I don’t know if it’s the crisp wind, the smell of burning leaves, pulling out those leggings and boots, or the warmth in my hands left over from my pumpkin spice coffee, but there is something about fall that I just love.

It almost beckons an invitation.

The wind blows and a few bright colored leaves fall to the ground, inviting me to cozy up on my couch with a blanket, coffee, and crackling fire. The busyness and freedom of summer is met with schedule and routine, things I so desperately need. But with the cool, crisp mornings, fall also brings to me fear.

Every fall, since I was in the seventh grade, something traumatic has happened in my life. It sounds silly for me to even write, but it’s the honest truth. Around Labor Day of each year, it starts calling out to me...

Fear.

My spirit is unsettled. I have trouble sleeping. I tell my husband a thousand times to be careful going to and from work. I feel terrified when he leaves and make sure to kiss him and tell him how much I love him. Because what if something happens to him? I text my babysitter throughout the day, checking on my children. Are they safe? Do they seem sick? I ask for protection every time I get in the car. I fear tomorrow. Because what if that’s the trauma this fall brings?

It sounds silly, doesn’t it? Um, those things could totally happen in any season of the year. So why do fall winds bring with them such fear to my spirit? Those traumatic events that have previously happened do mark my memory and senses associating them with the fall. But each year, fall also beckons an invitation.

Fall invites me to be brave.

Because I know, I struggle with fear in the fall, around August, I ask the Spirit to prepare my heart. I ask Him to guard my mind, to cover me, armor me with Truth. And each year it gets better. Each year, I feel more victorious.

This fall, the Lord has brought to my heart the woman in Proverbs 31.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25 ESV

I looked up several different translations and they each express how she doesn’t fear the future.

She even laughs, thinking of tomorrow…

“…smiles at the future.” NASB

“…laughs at the days to come.” NIV

“…full of joy about the future.” NLV

So how can I become brave and not fear the future?

First of all, my fear is sin. It is a huge sin issue in which I constantly struggle. If the opposite of fear, is faith, then faith is what I’m lacking. If I truly believe that in all things God works together for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28), or that He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Col. 1:17), or He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hew. 13:8), if I truly believe Him and what His Word says about Him, there is absolutely no ground in my heart for fear to claim.

But even more, let’s just say those terrible fears happen. Does He change? Does that mean He is no longer good? Does that mean He leaves me alone? As hard as those days would be to walk through, it doesn’t change Who He is. My Dad. My Lover. My Best Friend.

Each season that passes in my life, I have been able to look back from where I journeyed and see a very faithful, very beautiful God. By the time I am able to start the trek back up the mountain; the valley below has delivered to me a new side of Him. A side I would never want to trade for easy.

Are valley seasons fun? Um. Never. Do they hurt? More than anything. Are they scary? Absolutely.

But that’s where I have found Him to be the most good. There. In the hard. In the scary.

Like that time I was told after a lifetime of wanting to be a mommy, that I can never carry biological children. That was my worst ever fear. And it happened.

And I can never be more thankful. Because I know Jesus in a way I would have never known Him had I become pregnant. And I have been given the gift of two, beautiful brown babies that call me, “mommy” through adoption.

So, ha ha ha, Future!

He was good yesterday, He’s still good today, and He’ll be good tomorrow! So whatever that means for me and you, let’s curl up on the couch, with our coffee, crackling fire, and pumpkins perfectly positioned on the front porch.

And let’s be brave.

Because whatever happens tomorrow, we’ll have Him. And, dear sister, He is always enough.

*Photo by my fav,

Rachel Ackerman Photography

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Beautiful by Pain

Some nights when the fighting was too loud for me to sleep, a little bird would chirp outside my window. In the middle of the night. In the dead of winter. And I always knew it was Him.

Even as a little girl, I knew Him to be safe. He was safe in the midst of the chaos I grew up in. I came to know Him when I was only five. Although I only saw tiny glimpses of Him, I knew He would always be enough.

I was diagnosed with a heart disease when I was in high school. I had many doctor’s visits, heart surgeries, and just plain hard days. But even in my physical weakness, I found Him to be strong. I could rest in Him when my body was so tired. I am still finding Him to be faithful in the day to day of living with this disease.

But it wasn’t until that one, lonely pink line showed up month after month.

All of my friends were posting pictures of swollen bellies. It seemed like every time I checked the mail, I was invited to, yet another, baby shower. I could not escape the longing to be a mother. It would find me in the isles of the grocery store, in the middle of a commercial, or especially, in the silence of the night.

That’s when I really found Him. In the hard of infertility, He met me there. He met me in the brokenness of my story, in the empty parts of my heart, and the barrenness of my womb. I found Him there, in the hardest days of my life. He saw me. And after hormones of every kind, a year of infertility treatments, and accepting I would never carry biological children, I realized just as a little girl, He would always be enough.

I am incredibly honored to be writing over at my friend, Hayley's blog. Click

here

, to finish reading. And go ahead and follow her while you're there. Her heart is beautiful.

*Photo by

Rachel Ackerman

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