Saturday, July 31, 2021

40 Years Ago Today....

Today is my 48th Birthday!

40 years ago today I was with my family camping in Minnesota during my birthday week.  We went mini golfing and laughed.  Went to church and Sunday School.  I had no idea what was about to happen no idea that my innocent fun filled life was about to change dramatically.  

That next day I would feel the urgency to use the bathroom and it persisted.  My parents took me to a nearby ER and they thought I had a urinary tract infection.  When they tested they found no infection.  So they did more tests and found out I had cancer.  Cancer that they thought was benign, but discovered later was indeed malignant and had burst outside itself.  Cancer that itself weighed 5lbs in my little girl body.


I had no idea the seriousness of it all.  My dad had lost his only sibling - sister to cancer when she was only 21 and I was a baby.  No idea that my parents knew the seriousness of the situation.  No idea the recovery time from surgery ahead and the months and months of radiation treatments that would make me sick everyday.  

No idea the hundreds of miles our 4 hour round trips to Iowa City for treatments would be coming.  No idea the other children I would meet who I would also see pass away in the hospital.  No idea the hundreds of hours I would spend waiting on doctors while my mom would help me with homework or be reading the Bible.  No idea the hundreds of people who were all praying for me, family, friends, strangers.


No idea what caused this kind of cancer that typically only affects women over 40.  No idea that I would have a hysterectomy and all of my internal organs affected by the effort to get rid of ever cancer cell.  No idea that I may not live.  No idea......... 

No idea that God caused the cancer to roll onto my bladder which caused us to go to the hospital- MIRACLE.

No idea that God had planted doctors to do this massive surgery that was, at best, a guess as to what to do- MIRACLE. 

No idea that we would be able to run into so many people during the surgery and radiation treatments that we could witness to- MIRACLE.

No idea that God would allow my grandparents to take turns staying with my brothers so my dad could work and my mom could come with me all those weeks of radiation- MIRACLE.

No idea that God would use my testimony to touch so many in my life- MIRACLE.

No idea that God would bring me a husband and we would still have 9 beautiful children- MIRACLE. 

No idea that even today 40 years later I would be able to share my God story of how he used me, healed me, and restored me to who I am today- MIRACLE.

There really aren't words to describe the difference between 40 years ago today and one day later when I found out that I had cancer.  I was already saved and knew the Lord as my personal savior.  In those years of being healed miraculously by Jesus He gave me a gift most others do not have.  He gave me the gift of perseverance, a deep faith that I can't describe, and a love for Jesus that goes far beyond and keeps growing.  MIRACLE. 

My grandma was right- I am a walking MIRACLE.  


Friday, June 4, 2021

You Are The Most Beautiful Sunflower

 Stephanie & Derek’s Adoption Story:

“We first thought about adoption in 2010 when our first biological daughter was 2. While talking about growing our family, my husband said, “We could look into adoption.” I replied that was something I was open to. We ended up having our second daughter two years later.

For years we had that desire to adopt, but just never felt called to act on it. One night in 2017, I had a dream that I went to the hospital having pain that felt like labor but not looking pregnant. The doctor came in and said, “You are having a baby, congratulations, it’s a boy.” I yelled out, “I didn’t know I was pregnant!” He handed me a baby boy and I woke up. The pain felt so real, so did holding the baby. I remember looking around the room to see if there was a bassinet and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that dream started watering the seed of adoption that had been planted in my heart years ago when he first brought up adoption. I had that same recurring dream for the next 3 years.

In February 2020, I mentioned to my husband I was really feeling that calling. He agreed and we started researching adoption. I decided to start interviewing consultants for domestic adoption. I had my first phone call with an agency on the day of the pandemic shut-down. I had very little knowledge of adoption. I was really looking for someone to educate me and help me navigate what would be the best for our family.

I’ll never forget the first time I spoke to Dawn at Christian Adoption Consultants. She asked me what led us to adoption. I told her the story about how a year earlier while on a cruise I felt like God was letting me know after years of having the desire, that it was time. She did something that confirmed to us that CAC was the right choice for us: she almost immediately started educating me on ethical adoptions. I knew when I hung up that CAC was exactly what I was looking for and that Dawn was going to be in my corner. Throughout the process I would reach out to Dawn if I had a question. She always gave me her honest answer. In some ways I felt like she was my teacher.

Another part of great education Christian Adoption Consultants provides for their clients is adoption education by having them speak to a birth mother and an adoptee. I spoke to birth mom Lori. She taught me so much in our short phone call. I’ll never forget her teaching me about open adoption. At one point she said, “You and I could have the same flower from the same garden. Mine might die if I don’t take care of it or know how to care for it. Yours might be beautiful. A sunflower was not meant to be a rose. You cannot change it into another flower. Their DNA is there, it cannot be changed. This is nature. But nurture them and they will bloom into who they are meant to be.” That stuck with me because I understood it so deeply being a fellow plant lover.

One morning at 6:58 am, 3 days before the historic ice storm that hit Texas, we got the call that our birth mother was in labor 6 weeks early. Due to Covid restrictions, it took two days for us to finally see him. After the most emotional “hello” of my life with his birth mother, it was time to finally see him. I’ll never forget scanning the NICU room for him and seeing him for the first time. When they placed him in my arms, it felt like God himself handed him to me. He looked at me eyes wide open. It was as if our hearts knew they belonged together. After a few minutes, I thought about what Lori said to me that day. I looked down at him and said, “You are the most beautiful sunflower I have ever seen.””

If you want to know more: 813-360-7368

I would love to share how Christian Adoption Consultants can help you on your journey!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Treasure Box

 So it started off with my precious treasure box that I got quit a while ago.  I have filled it with the only treasure in this world that will not fade- scriptures.  Scriptures that I wanted to study, memorize, read over and over to encourage me.  

Then it hit me- why not encourage our children with the same thing!  So for Christmas this past year I decided to make a treasure box for each of them.

I created lists of past memories- some movies we have loved watching over the years, where we have gone on vacations, talents for each child that I see, truths from scripture about God and who they are, and scriptures with their names in them.  

I would say this is one of my favorite ideas God has given me.  I want to keep adding through the years on different holidays, birthdays, or random days.  When it comes to encouraging our children it is the best feeling.  To share with them the Good News!  To point them back to God maybe on their worst days when they feel alone.

This world can be harsh, there are seasons that sometimes feel like they go on forever, but the truth is that God is working- even when we don't see it.  So start today.  Notecards and a pen are all you need to start.  I pray you are encouraged! 

Monday, February 1, 2021

"Anything Is A Blessing That Makes Us Pray" - Nick & Kama's Adoption Story Of Faith

This post's title, "Anything is a blessing that makes us pray", is a quote from Charles H. Spurgeon, the influential English preacher from the 1800s. Nick and Kama have been touched and challenged by his words over the years. This particular quote reminded them that the heartaches of this life give us an opportunity to press in to God's presence. Their adoption journey prior to, and since working with me at Christian Adoption Consultants was hard, but as Kama says, "I must tell you; this was the most painful process that I have ever been through, even more painful than childbirth. But, wow, was it worth it!" The end result was the blessing of their precious baby girl, along with the blessing of knowing God's heart in such a deep way.

Adoption was on Kama’s heart since she was a child. When she and Nick dated, they both had a heart for adoption. After getting married and having two sons, they discovered that they were not able to have any more biological children. They continued praying about adoption. Plans for adopting were paused as they were meeting the needs of their boys but knew God would lead them to adoption in His time. Three years later they considered moving forward with adoption, but the prospect of expenses involved caused them to stop once again and wait while trusting for God’s financial provision. They continued to pray as a family – praying for their future daughter, sister, and her birth mother. Another three years later is where their adoption journey continues. Kama shares their story from this point:

“Three years later we couldn’t resist our call to adoption. Our hearts ached for this child. One night, our oldest son, looked at us at the dinner table and said, “Why aren’t we going through with the process of adoption? We all want this child and pray for them and we know God will provide so why don’t we just do it?” The faith of a child. He was right, we needed to just take the steps and trust the Lord. So, we decided to start with fostering. We signed up with fostering to adopt in November 2019 and got all our paperwork done in three weeks and we were approved in December 2019. After more and more praying, we decided to stay with fostering but to also try to adopt and see what the Lord did. In February 2020 we started our home study process for adoption, and we were home study approved and working with Dawn at Christian Adoption Consultants in March 2020. Well… as you know March was the month where everything was shut down due to COVID.

In May, we were finally matched with a birth mother who was due in six weeks with a baby girl. That situation ended with us driving to the hospital with us thinking we were going to meet our daughter only to have the birth mom stop communicating with the agency. We waited, we called all the hospitals in the area, the case worker called and even went to her house, yet no one knew what happened. Our hearts were shattered to say the least. We waited two long days in another state to see if she would show up or call, but nothing. We went home to try to heal… only to have her call three days later. She told us that the baby was sick and in the hospital. We told her that we didn’t care, we would love the child no matter what. When the case worker called the hospital, they found out the baby was discharged, was healthy, and in her care. The birth mom finally texted us just to let us know that was not going to follow through with the adoption plan. We were heartbroken all over again. We didn’t understand. Why God would you lead us down this road to only have us lose all this money and to break our hearts and get our hopes up? We cried out to the Lord. We knew that our Lord was Sovereign, and we knew that even this was part of His plan, but we didn’t understand. So, we cried, but we lifted our hands up to the Lord and sang as well. We started this journey to bring Him glory… and if it meant that we would suffer, even then we would praise His name.

After our failed adoption we decided to apply with a couple more agencies and keep applying to situations. We applied and applied and applied. We got a no after a no. After every no, I would overanalyze and think “what is wrong with us? Why aren’t we being chosen?” During this time, God brought me to a point of realization that even during this time of “wait”, he was working. Charles Spurgeon said, “Anything is a blessing that makes us pray.” So, I kept reminding myself and my children, that through this time of uncertainty and unknown, it was a blessing, because God was keeping us on our knees and trusting Him. After months of hearing no after no, God finally opened my eyes to make me realize that every no was a blessing, because that was not my child. God was working even when I could not see it. As a family we finally started praising God for this journey and tried our best to “enjoy” it even through the pain.

On December 6, 2020, I was making dinner and checked my phone after setting the table. I saw a “Stork Drop” come across my email from an adoption agency. At first, I panicked because I thought we were too late to apply. I quickly looked the situation over, and I showed my husband the situation. He began to cry. The situation was for a little girl who was born on December 5, the same day his sister was born forty-two years ago. His sister was his best friend and passed away when she was 18 from epilepsy. He looked at the situation and said, “Apply, this is our little girl”. I quickly applied and then we sat down and just started crying over this precious child. We prayed together over her and for God to protect her. This little girl had a tough beginning and was in the NICU and our hearts cried out to the Lord for her protection. For the first time, we didn’t pray for the birth mom to “choose us”, but we prayed that the Lord would bring the right family for this child and would save this precious girl and let her grow up to know Him. About two hours later, I received a call from our adoption agency, and they told me that this was an ‘agency pick’ adoption and that we were chosen as her family. We got our little girl!

We got on a plane the next day and went and met our precious gift from God. She is a constant reminder that God is always working out all things for our good. A couple days later, when the agency met with the birth mom, they showed her our profile book. A couple months before the birth, the birth mom was going to choose a family and she told the case worker she decided upon three families from the website and not only were we one of the three families she considered, but we were the #1 family she wanted for her daughter. Oh, how great is our God that he worked out all things.

We spent the next ten days loving our daughter in the NICU and watching her grow stronger every day. Our Lord is the Lord of miracles. Through all the “nos”, through our failed adoption, through all the waiting… God was always faithful, always good, and in control of all things. What a great God we serve. We give Him all the glory and praise His name. So, if I can offer any advice…. Have faith in our great God.

When I began the adoption process, I believed I was strong in my faith and walk in God, but this process brought me to a place of crying out to the Lord and trusting in His sovereignty more than I ever thought possible. I was reminded daily how the Lord has the whole world in His hand and has ordained all things. During our journey, I was reminded of the quote by Charles Spurgeon, “You may fear that the Lord has passed you by, but it is not so: he who counts the stars, and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting his own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature he ever made, or the only saint he ever loved.”"
As with Nick and Kama, one of the biggest honors for me as an adoption consultant is being able to provide support to families during the journey, with all the struggles they face - praying with them on the phone, or sending encouraging texts. It would be my privilege to talk with you today about your own adoption journey. Feel free to reach me anytime at:

(813) 360-7368