What. A. Year.

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2014 has probably been the longest year of my life. Since announcing our adoption journey, I have lost two grandparents, experienced loss through friends that feel like family,finished out a school year and begun another, Ken has changed jobs, so many ups and downs through the adoption process, the matching of us with our birthmom, and finally the birth of our sweet W. During this extremely long, sometimes hard year I have learned several lessons that I am sure will last me the rest of my life.

1. God is still God. -It doesn’t matter what is going on around you or within your spirit, He is good. It took a really hard situation happening within the life of one of my really good friends to realize this. Even when we have no idea what is going on around us or why it is happening, we have to believe that God is still God. If we lose sight of this truth, our lives will collapse especially during those hard times.

2. Life isn’t fair or perfect. – Again, we don’t always know why things happen. If we were in control, things would always be perfect. Things would always be fair. But here’s the thing: We aren’t in control, He is. And HE is always fair, even when the situation doesn’t seem it.

3. Don’t try to plan because it isn’t going to work. -Even if your plans were to work out, they wouldn’t be NEARLY as glorious as God’s plans are for your life, so just give it up to Him. It will be worth it, I promise. 🙂

4. The hardest times of your life is when your witness shines the brightest. -I have had some really hard times during this past year, but during those times, my character is given a chance to show who really lives within me. I couldn’t have gotten through these times in the past 365 days if I didn’t have the spirit of God within me, so why not show his spirit during these times that are so hard?

5. Don’t let your hardships overtake you. -Basically, what I am saying in this last lesson I have learned is cry about your problem and then move on. Quit whining. Quit complaining. Pray, cry, then move on and get stronger. It’s the only way to really, truly live. I know some problems are harder than others, but I promise praying is going to help way more than whining is going to help. (I know from experience. 🙂 )

Hopefully, you can learn something from the lessons I have had to experience this past year. Most of you probably have already learned these lessons, because most of you are probably more advanced than I am. This past year has been hard, but let me tell you, it has also been the best year of my life. How could it not have been when I have this sweet boy looking up at me everyday? Happy New Year, y’all!

Reassurance.

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Just a few minutes ago, as I was laying here looking at my beautiful son, the director of the adoption agency, Mrs. Jane, called me. This wasn’t surprising because we went by the agency today and we missed getting to see her. I thought she might be calling to see if she could stop by to see us. As soon as she got on the phone though, she told me that she was calling because our birthmom had called her at the agency. My heart sank. I really felt like I was going to throw up. However, she told me that she had a twenty minute conversation with our birthmom and she said “Stacy, if she told me once how much she loved you and Ken and your parents, she told me a thousand times.” She was just calling Jane to thank her and to tell her how this whole experience had changed her life. She told Jane that all along, people kept telling her that she would feel regret and that she would feel sad, but that now all she feels is that God just allowed her to carry this baby for us so that we would be blessed, just like she was blessed by us.

I don’t know if I have actually stopped and said this enough, but y’all, we serve an amazing God. A God that loves us enough to put people like our birthmom in our lives. A God that loves us enough to allow us to bless our birthmom. A God that loves us enough to know the plans that He has for us all along. All along, His plan has been for this relationship between Ken and myself and our birthmom to be formed. His plan has been to bring this sweet, 5 pound 10 ounce baby into our lives. Without Him, all of this is not possible Our lives were changed, Ward’s life was changed, our birthmom’s life was changed, and we want everyone to know this amazing story. Please keep praying for our birthmom. We are not out of the woods yet on the 10 day waiting period, but we feel pretty good about it. We would like prayers just for her well being, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. We would like prayers for her to be able to see Jesus through her decision and through Ken and I especially. Thank you again for all of your prayers through this whole entire journey. We are OVERWHELMED by the amount of love that has been poured out by you all. I really believe that our sweet baby might be one of the most prayed for and loved babies in the universe. We love you guys.

PS: In her phone call, the birthmom also mentioned how great my parents were as well. I have to stop right here and tell you all that I have the greatest parents in the world. They were able to be at the hospital with us and not only did we get to form a relationship with the birthmom, but she was able to meet and get to know my parents. They welcomed her in, just as she was one of their own. (Which she is by the way. She’s one of the most important people in all of our lives.) I just had to tell the world how awesome my parents and Ward’s Marmee and Standaddy are.

The day that changed my life.

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There have been a lot of important days in my life. The day of my birth, the day of my baptism, the day I graduated from college, my wedding day. However, none of these days will compare to December 15th, 2014, the day that changed my life forever.

After one last, long weekend at home enjoying each others’ company(we even got a full nights sleep!), we got the phone call yesterday morning that our birthmom went into labor. All according to God’s plan, we were able to get to the hospital before she gave birth. I was even able to get to be in the delivery room when he was born. Guys, I don’t know how else to say that GOD IS GLORIOUS. Never in a million years did I think that I would experience the birth process. But I did, and I got to see my sweet, precious 5 pound 10 ounce baby come into this world. I got to hear his first cry. By far, it was the most amazing experience of my life. Ken was in the waiting room, but was glad to be there. As soon as he could, he came back to meet our son. My parents were here soon after he was born, so he also got to meet Marmee and Standaddy last night too. (Plus, they brought us pizza, which we ate like we had never eaten before.)

One reason that I know that God is and has been involved in this whole thing is because of the relationship we have formed with his birthmom. If I ever grow up to be as selfless and loving as she is, I will be satisfied with who I am in life. God’s love that he sent to us so many Christmases ago, has been personified through this woman this Christmas. I can never begin to tell her how much I will thank God and praise God upon every remembrance I have of her. Every time I see my sweet baby’s face, I will look back and I will thank God.

Another reason that I know that God is and has been involved in all of this, is because of all of the people that have joined in this journey with us. There have been so many texts and phone calls and facebook messages that have just been so encouraging. We could NEVER write thank you notes to everyone that has been here along the way, so this is our thank you note to you. Just know that our prayers(yours included!) have been answered, no matter what happens from here on out. We love you all.

The final reason that I know that God is and has been involved in all of this(well, the last reason I am going to write about it) is because He is God. He is good. He is always with us. Because of this never failing truth, I have felt Him with us all along the way. Please keep praying for us to continue remembering this even though things are going are way right now. It’s been really easy for us to see God’s glory and mercy this past year, but pray that we continue to search to see it through these next few years of parenthood.

I leave you with this. Remember it’s truth.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8.28

The one whom my soul loves.

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Dear Ken,

A couple of times in the past couple of weeks, people have started conversations with me like this: “Wait until the baby gets here. You won’t have anytime for anything besides him.” I am so excited to spend so much time with my sweet Ward, but at the same time, this thought terrifies me.

There are already so many things that come between us and our time together. Our jobs, our families, responsibilities and obligations that we have, college football, and Pinterest. (The last one is just me.) Sometimes, during the middle of the week, I think to myself, “I can’t wait until Saturday.” because on Saturday I know that usually we have about three hours or so that it is just the two of us, uninterrupted.

Now, we will have another HUMAN living in our house, taking up huge chunks of our time.adding to everything else going on in our lives. Ward is going to be the best thing that has ever happened to either of us, but at the same time, I don’t want us not be us anymore. I want to make this promise to you here and now: I promise that no matter what, I make time for you. It might not be uninterrupted time, it might not be quiet time, it might not be the most romantic time, but I will make time for you. You know why? Because you are the person that knows me so truly and deeply and no one can ever love me the way you do, just like no one will ever love you the way I do. Our love for Ward will be so immensely great, but it will different. Our love for each other has to transcend over all else. Even when things get hectic, and we haven’t slept for hours on end, and even when you get to leave the house and go to work, and I am so frustrated because I want the baby to just. stop. crying, I promise that I will be as close to the person that you fell in love with as possible. Or at least, I will become someone who you fall in love with even more.

Basically, I say all of this to say this: You, and only you, will always be my bae. 😉

I love you,

Stacy