Surviving Sarah Podcast: Episode 14

My last post, I told the story of how God asked me to "close the door, take time to heal, and fall in love." Over the past few months, I haven't been writing as frequently, but have been invited to do some pretty cool things. Last week I was asked to speak at a large ladies event in my hometown. It was an honor to be asked, but even more an honor to be able to talk about my Dad all night. I was able to meet some of you who follow along with me through the valleys and mountain tops of our story.

I often sit behind this computer and type my heart out to you. It's honestly scary some days, and it's not often that I am able to see where my words land. But that night, to be able to wrap my arms around some of your necks, see your sweet faces, and the eyes that read these words, was such a blessing. I can't thank you enough for following along. And it brings such joy to my heart when I am able to hear what Father is doing in your hearts and in your sweet families.

I was also able to be on a friend's podcast recently. I met Sarah Bragg at

Allume

last October. I saw her walking up to my table and thought, "Gosh, she's so cute!" She just sat right down, introduced herself to me, and it felt as if we had been friends for years. She is an amazing mom, beautiful writer, and home girl knows how to dress! She has written a book for middle school girls, and has spoken all over the country. After talking with her, I knew her heart beats for the Kingdom. And that is exactly the kind of friends I want to have!

God called her that weekend to start a podcast. And she's one of those people that decides to do something, and just does it! Her podcast is amazing! I get so excited every Tuesday, because I know her next episode will be sitting in my inbox. You need to go to ITunes, search for her podcast, Surviving Sarah, and then subscribe! Follow along on her blog too! I promise you won't regret it!

I was so honored when she asked me to join her for Episode 14. We talked about everything from our love of coffee, to books I'm reading, and the hard that has filled my last few months with our sweet boy. I shared our whole journey through infertility and the sweet moment I held Selah for the first time. So if you're new around here, it will be a great way for you to get caught up with our little story. But also, how awesome is it to hear someone's voice?! Even though when people call me on the phone, they ask to speak to my mom. Wow. Anyways...

You can listen in to our conversation here:

http://www.survivingsarah.com/blog/episode-14-jessica-satter

I'm breathing in His beauty today.The sun is shining over here, friends! And if it isn't where you are, He is still working in your waiting, and making beauty from all of those ashes! So lift your face, sweet girl!

All my love,

Jessica

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

When Infertility Still Stings

There were four yesterday. FOUR.

Sweet black and white pictures of little nuggets (that mostly look like aliens) fill my newsfeed.

And all these years later, it still hurts. Not nearly as bad, but it does.

I still get baby shower invitations in the mail, and it still stings as I hang them on my fridge. I rest my hand on an empty womb and I'm reminded, again, that my body was created to produce children. But unlike most every other woman in the world, mine doesn't.

I still ache. I still grieve. I still tell my husband when he asks me what's wrong. He still hugs me tight, and tells me how sorry he is. And I still run to Jesus, every single time. I still cry out to Him in the shower. I still run to Him in that pain.

And He's still there.

He still reminds me, 

for now

, that is not my story.

This is... and it's much better.

Almost two November's ago, we got "The Call."

Well, I got a text.

"We're getting a baby," my husband TEXTS me. WHO DOES THAT?!!!!

So I do what any

waiting mother

does, I run out of my classroom, and call him immediately. "Yeah. The case worker called me because she knew you were in school. You're going to be a mama! A birth mom chose us. It's a baby girl. She's due in January." I believe he was in shock. The rest I didn't hear. I heard a few sniffles on his end, and he heard loud sobs on mine. I was dancing around in the teacher's bathroom in the elementary school where I teach. Our math coach heard my hollering, she came in to hug and dance with me. Pretty soon, the teachers on my grade level started peeking their heads out into the hall to see the ruckus. My principal was there within seconds and wrapped me in a huge hug. I quickly texted our families to let them know before they found out from anyone else.

The rest of the day was a blur. Pink, bows, monograms, dresses, and dreaming of HER face filled the rest of my day and all of the days to come.

That was the day. That was my positive pregnancy test. I'll never forget it.

The days followed were filled with anxiety, excitement, and all of the emotions in between

. You can't possibly understand the extremes unless you've been there. Waiting. Yet again, but in a different way. This time in hopes that a baby just might call you mama.

We met the strongest woman I know

. We immediately connected and it felt as if we had always been family. She allowed me AND my husband the amazing privilege, to watch her child, our child, come into this world. I cut the cord binding them to one another, she was placed in my arms, and the weight of the miracle in that tiny baby's body crushed me.

The nurse asked who should wear the "mommy bracelet" and her birth mom looked at me and said, "Jessica is her mommy. She should wear the bracelet." In that second, she gave me permission to be Selah's mom.

After all of the waiting. After all of the negative pregnancy tests. After all of the gallons of tears I had cried over the years, longing to be a mama, in that second, every single tear and moment spent waiting, was worth it.

She's almost two now. That six pound, itty bitty baby, who made me a mama, is almost two.

And I can barely deal.

And the

story of how her little brother came home to us

, just makes me cry. His birth mom chose life for him. She made the brave choice. The hard choice. He is a miracle, and a little fighter. He has

overcome so much already

, and although our days are still hard, they are beautiful. He is our miracle.

I fell into the bed last night, dog tired. Like the kind of tired where you lay in the bed and your feet are still pulsing. I was rushing through the "before I go to bed list," remembered a few things I forgot to do, and then thought of the next day only a few hours away. I started feeling overwhelmed. Micah's Gotcha Day party is this weekend, he also gets dedicated on Sunday, and we have lots of therapy and doctor appointments to still make this week.

Selah wanted me to hold her from the moment I walked in the door yesterday. She would hold up her little hands and say, "Hold you, mommy. Hold you." So instead of washing the dishes that towered over the sink, or sweeping the cookies she threw in the floor, or making 24 calorie formula for my little guy, or priming his feeding tube, or packing my lunch for the next day, I picked up that little girl. I took her in the living room with that sweet baby boy, and I enjoyed those tiny hands wrapped around my neck.

I snuggled my nose in her neck and kissed her squishy cheeks over and over. I made baby noises and silly faces with her brother. We all laughed at one another. And I was there. Right in the moment with them.

When my feet were aching in the bed after a long day, and I started my "overwhelmed, you picked the wrong girl" speech with Jesus, His Spirit reminded me of MY story.

He reminded me of the hurt I felt when I saw those black and white pictures in my newsfeed. He reminded me of the sting I felt as I hung up that baby shower invitation on the fridge today. And He reminded me of how much better I know Him now because of all of those years of waiting, still with a barren womb.

He also reminded me of my story. The story He has written in my life. The story that is so much greater than me, but one that tells of His Kingdom. Not the story I expected, but better than anything I could have ever dreamed. He reminded me how tired I was because

I worked a full time job

that day, came home, and was a mama to TWO babies.

Infertility still stings. Some days worse than others. But I still run to Him, He is still there, and He still reminds me of the beauty He has made from my brokenness.

The story He has written, the way I know Him now, and the two brown babies sleeping upstairs, have made every.single.second, worth it.

So when infertility still stings, remember He's writing a story greater than you. A story that tells of Him and His Kingdom. Nestle up close to Him, and remember all He has done.

It's worth every.single.second.

*Photos by my friend,

Rachel Ackerman

.*