Friday, December 13, 2013

Once & For All

Yesterday  was the day we finalized the adoption in court. The night before I couldn't sleep. I wasn't nervous I was just curious to know what that day would feel like. The morning came full of peace and ease. Finley was in the best of moods as we scooped her out of her bed and brought her into ours for the morning. Ferrill and I lay there looking at each other while she cooed and said to one another "we did it. The day is finally here." We sipped coffee with a side of victory.

At 11:20 we were sworn in by the judge stating our names, address and that we are responsible for caring for now baby "Gallaway" and no longer her previous name. It was a moment of great pride as we replied a firm yes to their questions. "Do you understand your obligations to this child as of this day forward?" "Yes." "Do you understand this child will be able to inherit as if your own nature born child?"Yes" To be honest it all happened in a flash. The judge stamped loudly our paperwork, we took a few pictures and we were done. Just like that, we were finally done. Finley managed to stay awake for the appearance and passed out immediately afterwards. We walked down the long long hallways of the courthouse to leave as I heald her and I felt as though a heavy coat was being taken off of me. suddenly my pace felt a little quicker than before, my heart freer than it had been. It felt official finally. Perhaps somewhere in my mind layed a seed of concern that someone may show up and undue this beautiful thing .That my new family was still in jeopardy. But no one and nothing did. And today began a brand new day. Today is the first day that after one and a half years I am no longer "in the process of adoption." Today and for the rest of my life I am the mother to a beautiful girl named Ms. Finley Elizabeth Gallaway.

As if everyday doesn't have its own special moments, ive grown fond of having specific ones. Ill be someplace were suddenly I vividly remember being there before while my heart was going through all its troubles. One in particular is in my back yard sitting in a lawn chair staring up into a tree looking to find a raccoon I named Craig. When id left my previous job to start staying home with the april baby and it didn't wok out I would sit out there for hours watching that silly raccoon. Feeling mostly pathetic that this was what my great adventure had come too and trying to keep my mind off of the situation. Only the other day I took a minute to relax in that chair,I looked up searching for Craig whod left my tree for a better one months ago and I had a flash back to that time only to have it swiftly swept away by the faint cries of a waking babe. I pause to take in those special redeeming moments and give thanks.

Last New Years I journaled a promise from the Lord. He told me "at the end of this year you will laugh." So many times this one phrase was the hope I held onto, when things got bad id often look to the sky and mumble "im not laughing God!" his quick rebuttal was always "then it isn't over yet." I hope her presence in my life always reminds me to choose to say yes to what God is asking of me, knowing that he has this INCREDIBLE and perfect plan that I can trust in. I could have said no. That though is sickening to me. God would have allowed me to say no and I would have missed out on all of this. I hope when the next task comes (because it certainly will) that he finds my heart eagerly waiting and ready ,allowing his perfect love to cast out any fear.

So this is the end you guys (and really the beginning) but you know what I mean. I don't know when i'll write or share publicly like this again. (oh dear. im tearing up... wow I didn't see this coming) its just how can I possibly thank you enough. For your time,for your thoughts and prayers? For your giving? For your interest in us at all. Many of you walked with us through this and often I found comfort in your words and in your friendship. Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart,thank you.

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most o us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief or bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing ,and face with us the reality of our powerlessness.This is a friend who cares. -Henry JM Nouwen

The End.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mastering Choices

One thing I used to observe about many mothers was how consuming of a role it appeared to be.Sometimes it seemed sweet and sometimes scary to think of the thought of almost loosing ones self in this new identity of motherhood. You hear so often "your whole life will change. Nothing will EVER be the same. Good luck ever  (sleeping, showering, going out) ever again!" I know many woman who say that their child is #1 and then themselves, and then their spouse, maybe vice versa if the guy is lucky. That never made since to me. So I braced myself for this tittle wave of motherhood that would consume every part of me... but it never came. Not at all like that at least. It surprised (not disappointed) me when days went on and I felt totally like the same person. Although I love and am committed to my daughter she has not overtaken who I am, and in that I am relieved. Weeks ago I was thinking about this and stood in the door way and without thought I said out loud while holding her "Jesus, you are still my first love." At this I felt a little like I was betraying what is normal, but also proud that my heart was not stolen from the one who has given me everything.

One thing I have found to be tricky about being a mom thus far are all the choices. Do I feed myself first or her?  Do I nap while she naps or do house work (or more realistically do I watch Netflix)? Do I brave going to buy groceries or wait until another time? Do I go out of town or no? on and on motherhood appears to be a constant state of choices, but the one choice I hadnt figured out was this. Lord how do I spend time with you now?

I have such an awareness in myself that I need God to do this motherhood/wife/friend/daughter/sister thing well. But where is the time? The time ive spent reading my bible these past few months has been so little. Over and over again ill put Finley down for a nap and grab my bible, make a coffee and sit on my patio and I promise you the moment I settle in to spend intentional time with him she cries. This past time it happened was almost amusing and when I heard her wake up I looked up to the sky and said "Lord! surely you see my so sorry but it doesn't look like today will work" This happens so often. I was listening to a friend of mine weeks ago who has 2 young kids say "my relationship with God used to be so good, real and tangible, but now... its as if I don't know who he is." We both stared at each other wondering how this kind of thing happens, and when/if it will happen to me?

I recently voiced my concern of all this to the Lord and was wowed by the simplicity of his answer. When I asked "Lord how do I take care of Finley and also go off to spend time with you?" his simple response was" I never intended for you to separate the two things. Don't put your daughter down and be with me... pick her up and be with me." surprisingly never once had I thought to do that. For my whole saved life its only ever been he and I. How beautiful of a thought it was to me to think I would be the one to introduce my daughter to Jesus as we spent time in his presence together. So lately when given the chance each day Finley and I lay in bed and I read the bible out loud and talk to the Lord about life.

Why am I saying all of this? I feel like I have friends falling from the Lord left and right and not because of sin really, but because life happened and although they may or may not attend church, are really involved and have what appears to be these wonderful lives, they aren't in love with the Lord like they once were. Instead of their light growing brighter I see it growing dimmer. And to be honest it scares me. I want to learn how to be present with him in this life while life is pulling on me from every direction. I write this because I wonder if you're like my friend with 2 kids who doesn't remember. The Lord is so patient. So in love with not what we have to offer but who we are. He chooses us even on the days we don't chose him. And although he would never guilt or shame you into himself, im sure he misses you.

Revelations 2:2

"I know your deeds, your hard work and perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate evil, that you have tested those who claim to be something they are not and found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this one thing against you. You have forsaken your first love."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Finley Elizabeth

Our sweet Finley was 4 weeks old on Sunday. Ive sat down at least three times to write and ive just wanted to say so much that I got over whelmed and never finished. To make things short and sweet, having Finley is a dream come true. We love being parents. I have nothing,not one single thing negative to say or complain about. Of course she cries, yes we wake up every 2-3 hours, but she was so desired and so wanted that we welcome it all with nothing but smiles and so far not even a hint of frustration. Weve been blessed with what appears to be an easy and none complicated baby.

If you don't already know how stunning she is,my dearest friend and photographer made the 6 hour drive just 4 days after we brought her home. You can view those images on her website and personal blog here. www.tirzahphotography/

Often it is all overwhelming.Not her nor motherhood,but God.

 He has in the past weeks truly overwhelmed my heart with love. Ive never held a promise of God before. Ive seen him be so faithful and good. Answer prayers,provide in wild ways and do miracles, but never had those things layed their sweet head on my chest or had a heart beat. Ive never experienced a promise and desire fulfilled in such an intimate way.So many years I have spoken and declared truth,and had moments were it was just rehearsed, and here she lays,in my arms. She is my very own fruit of the truth of Gods word. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes,it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

 One interesting thing that happen was the second night she was home with us I had this wild dream. I drempt I had a lion up against a wall and he was roaring and striking his giant paw towards me and I would just kick him relentlessly. All night long with no fear I kicked this lion until I woke up.Such a strange dream. I dream a lot but never before about a lion. Then I remembered in 1Peter 5:8 it says "Be sober,be diligent,because your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour." when I reread this I cried like a baby. What a representation of our victory. It says he is LIKE a lion,he imitates,but never forget he is anything but who he claims to be. He will roar at you most in the area I believe you are destined to walk in. So ask yourself, in what area has he come to threaten you?

Tuesday Ferrill and I took Finley to an outdoor shopping area to stroll.It was our first. Only one other time have I experienced a feeling similar to that stroll.It was when Ferrill and I first got married and months later we were taking a flight to Oklahoma.I blushed when I got my first flight ticket that said Sharon Gallaway row 15C and no longer Sharon Richardson.When the person sitting beside me saw my ring and asked if I was getting married, I said I was already a newly wed and introduced my "husband" Ferrill. Strolling was that same magical feeling of pride. Like putting on your favorite coat when the seasons have changed.I doubt ive ever felt so beautiful as I did with her.

So I'll end this post with this last story.Tonight Finley insisted on only being held and I didn't mind.We sat and rocked as we stared at each other and I felt this overwelming urge to sing. (I dont sing) but something sprung up from a very deep and at this time forgotten place in my heart. It was a song that Id heard years ago and fell in love with. During the ends and outs of this adoption I would play it over and over again.Sometimes praying,sometimes grieving. Many times I would just sit in the car and cry,and wonder,and hope. I pulled it up on my phone to play Finley calling it "our song" and im not even kidding when I say she must have grinned 10 times while it played. The Lord purged the old pains of my heart and I wept as he healed me even further.Sometimes I just say "shes here!" The one that the Lord had my heart carry for 14 months but was quick to labor is actually here,and I let that refreshing relief wash over me. So hear is something very private for you to enjoy. May you realize that the Lord is with you wherever you are.

Ferrill, Sharon, & Finley

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Biscuits & Gravy

How much time do I take in telling the most wonderful story of my life? This past Monday the 19th I was working as I have been for the past few months as a business woman's personal assistant.I had only been at her home about two hours when my phone rings and its the agency. We hadn't been able to connect by phone in 8 weeks! It was fine too,and not a flaw of the agency. Their just wasn't anything to discuss.Our April adoption had fallen through, our hearts had moved on and so had our normal lives. We were waiting for something to happen but no one really knew what. Would we be re-matched? would we get a call from a hospital? Would Isaac's birth-mother resurface? None of us knew. Seeing the agents name pop up on the screen made me almost cringed a little at the thought of having to "regroup" and talk about how we were feeling. The truth is I hadn't felt anything.Not angry or sad.Not hopeful nor like we were actually ever going to adopt a child. So when I answered the phone and shes says "Hey, how would you feel about having a daughter?" It took me by surprise. A daughter? Not a son, that was always easier in my mind to process, but someday I knew he would leave me for another woman (his wife of course) but a daughter one day becomes... your friend. So my answer was "yes! yes I want a daughter! Are you thinking of reshowing us to a birth-mother?" "No,I'll call you around 3:30 today to come get her!" I had walked outside when I took the call,which was good because in this moment I almost threw up from the shock of news,nerves and excitement.

 She went on to explain that out of the blue that morning a girl had called the agency with a week old baby that she was unable to care for and wanted her placed by the end of that day. She was scheduled to be at the agency by 3:30. So I called Ferrill,retold the story and we quickly left our jobs to head home and await the call within the next two hours.It was a good thing too since our house was a wreck! We immediately called our parents and our 2 closest friends,then it was dishes,laundry,vacuum,where are the bottles and putting in the car seat. Its crazy. We were SO calm and SO freakishly peaceful.I even layed down for a 10 minute nap. Then we got a text. Please be here by 3:45! It was finally happening.

We left our home and I made one look back before closing the door and muttered to the space that had been my safe place of rest and longing for so long "So long my beautiful things, soon your four walls will be filled with joy" and I closed the door to the old and drove towards the new one that had finally been cracked opened.

When we got to the agency they walked us down a hallway to a back waiting room.Door opened we could just see workers hussling up and down the halls with paperwork and small talk. We waited.In the excitement of saying yes we didnt even ask any questions.Is she healthy? Is she red white or blue? All we knew was a girl,and 7 days. Finally we hear "we have signed consent! lets get her back to them". The birthmother had completed all her paper work releasing her parental rights... our gift was slowly making her way down the hall. And there she was. Now this moment is more than i can fully share right now. The things inside our hearts so private and intimate that I havent even fully processed but I will say my dad gave me some beautiful advice when id called hours before.

Okay dad- Id better get inside and prepare as much as I can for whats about to happen."Can I just give you one small piece of advice before you go? As your father?" Of course! "When you see her,grab her and hold on as tight as you can.Dont worry about breaking her or hurting her,just take ahold of her,because she will be yours, as much as you were once and still are mine. Youve waited a long time for this.You will make an incredible mother,and if you believe with all your heart she is yours she'll believe that she is yours too." (gosh, coming from a man that almost never talks intimately,it was almost more than I could handle) So without many words and details that is what happened.She became ours.Our beautiful,4.12oz -7 day old African American daughter,that we named Finley Elizabeth Gallaway.

Maybe an hour later we had the beautiful opportunity to meet the birthmother.She was beautiful.She was honest and pleasant.She loved her child enough to care for her,and then enough to let her go.We thanked one another,we cried, we made commitments and then we said goodbye. We arrived at 3:45pm and we were headed home by 6:30pm.

I may still be in shock. I find myself crying in the morning when the sun comes in the nursery and i'm holding her. I think of how many nights I sat in there and my heart poured out its pain and discomfort to the Lord only to be met with the comfort of hope that one day, this may happen.And it finally has. Us loving each other is like a slow and steady rain. It gently but intentionally pours,washing away all the dirt and giving a freshness to life. Its all been so sudden and new that I have yet to really sit before the Lord and pour out my thanks.Don't get me wrong,I have thanked him, but all my heart can muster without breaking this inevitable dame is a whisper. Small moments and tears in the night where I think about the goodness & faithfulness of the Lord and their aren't enough words,just tears,and a muttered "thank you."

So thats enough for now. My heart can hardly handle it. Every time ive finished a post before its had such a big question mark at the end. But not this time. This time I will end by saying to you thank you! For your love and your hope for us. For the time you have invested and the prayers you have sown. She is here. We did it. And now I will close the screen,push my laptop away and scoop into my arms our promised child.

All our love-Ferrill,Sharon & Finley

(OH MAN! are you crying?! I am. I forgot to be funny and explain why I called the post biscutts and gravy.Its because when she poops I think it smells like biscuits and gravy,and even that makes me happy.)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Two Months

Its been two months believe it or not since sweet baby boy came into this world. Can you believe it? I haven't written because nothing has changed. Our hearts are slowly letting go of the hope of him like a balloon about to float away.

I dont really know what to say.I try not to go by how I "feel." I love what is true and I focus on those things, but if I may for just a moment allow myself to express how I "feel" I would appreciate being heard.

I feel overwhelmingly disappointed. Not angry,not frustrated nor confused,but sad and dissapointed.At least I know why,other than the obvious. Ferrill is away on a missions trip to Moldova,a trip I didn't get tickets to go on because I was going to be home with baby, and because I was going to be alone with baby we also bought tickets for my parents to come and visit their 2nd grandchild.So my husband is gone,my parents are visiting and everywhere I go I feel a sting of pain.Mothers day was brutal, Fathers day was too long. Right now at this particular moment I hurt.As my parents unpack the toys they'd been collecting for the baby that never came home,we all grieve a little.

I haven't felt like this long.Surprisingly I hadn't thought about it hardly at all the past few weeks. Then a few days ago in the kitchen I had this (for lack of a better word) vision. I was thinking "wow its like the whole thing never even happened!" and then I saw it like a storm.A tornado actually. When a tornado comes you have a wild storm and then it stops.Most people would think its over at this point but this is actually whats called "the eye" of the storm.You're basically still in the middle of it, another storm will come before its finally over. I immediately thought "Nooooooooooo! I dont want to do this again!" but in my heart I know we will, as many times as it takes. So again im dissapointed that the first time was not a charm, and I am not above being part of a high statistic of failed adoptions.

 One thing I would like to add is some people have asked and said things like "How are you not angry with God? How could he do this to you? Does God not care?" " My thought is this.God is love, and I love him in a way that I also love my husband. When I go out into the world and I get rained on, a speeding ticket, coffee on my favorite tee-shirt I don't come home and walk through my front door and start asking my husband why he did all these things to me. Of course he may have been present while these things happened, some I did to myself and sure maybe he could have intervened to prevent something from happening but i don't suddenly abandon my love for him because of this, nor do I suddenly believe he  loves me less because they did.If I didn't believe my husband loved me always and had only the best intentions,what kind of marriage could I possibly have? Sometimes things just happen and what freaks me out is to see so many Christians be quick to question Gods love, when this is just life and not any actual persecution were experiencing.(may I also add christian means "Christ like" or "tiny Christs" and nowhere in the bible do we ever see Jesus Christ ever look to God and blame or accuse that he was not loved.He trusted.) Somewhere in the bible it says (my bible is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over there, and im not getting up,because im sad remember) lol anyway,somewhere in the bible it says In the end,the love of MOST will grow cold. Not few, but most, and if I cant keep my heart and mind believing in his unfailing love for me during this tiny trial, I believe I certainly wont make it in the end.

So in another week or two Ferrill and I are making the call and starting the process over again. Who knows what could happen. The possibilities are endless. But God is still greater than all of these things and I love him more than I did in the beginning,so if at the end of the day I can say "no harm done" do I really have anything to complain about?

Goodnight world.The adventure goes on.....and on.... and on......

Shout out to my dearest friends Bekah and Melissa, (deeeeeeeeeep sigh) Your friendship has been a gift from God during all of this.Our phone calls and lunches have helped restore what the past 2 months have stolen.*cheers to you!*

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cups & Sunsets

When I got saved, I mean REALLY saved I was 15.I remember specifically dedicating my life and my future to the Lord to mold and shape with 1 stipulation.I will not go to Africa! Perhaps it was because I was a small town country girl whod never traveled,and I guess perhaps the scariest thing to me at the time would be to be on the the other side of the world where life must look totally different then my population 197.

Well 7 years into my adventure with God I cant say it was a total shock when I was in a church service and they announced a womens group going to Africa in the fall and my spirit knew in a moment it was time to go. I wanted to go where he led me but I was so afraid. Afraid of what? After a heart to heart with God I realized I had this underlining fear inside of me that God would take me someplace far far away... and leave me there.He would abandon me.He would watch me from a distance and teach me lessons the hard way.None of this was true of course and it took faith and trust to journey half way around the world to discover that not only would God not abandon me to the things that I am most afraid of,but he would show me something so beautiful and amazing that few people will ever see.

So at the very start of this adoption I realized it could go badly and leave us devastated, so I worked very hard to be realistic and to keep my heart protected. But over the past 4 months I allowed the Lord to tear down that wall,so I fell in love with a boy I had never met,that I still have not met yet. So what do you do when you find yourself in your own worst case scenario?

So what happened? The call never came from the hospital for us to come and the mother informed the agency she didn't want to place. It may seem very cut and dry but its not. Without sharing very private information the birth-mothers current situation is very temporary.She will soon need to find a place for her son to live and were praying that that phone call still comes. For those of you who have sown financially into this do not worry, money has not been lost.The Lord has not released our hearts to move on.So we wait.

The past 3 weeks have been... so many things. I consider myself a very consistent and stable person,so to have one day be very normal and the next emotionally exhausting is a challenge. Some days the cup is half full,somedays half empty,sometimes I hate the cup, and at times I am grateful for it.Ive been wanting to write the last few days but ive been short on having something beautiful to say about it all. I will say the Lord has not abandoned me.Even when I wish hed turn away just for a moment to leave me to my self pity and at times despair,  he will not.For this I am most grateful for.That even in my worst case scenario he is with me,and the very thing that I had been most afraid of I am walking through to discover something new.It is sweet to hit the bottom sometimes just to realize that even here God is with you.God takes away the sting of fear and shows you that surely with him you can really do all things,you can go anywhere.You take away power from evil when you are no longer afraid of the unknown that once paralyzed you.Maybe this is what Paul meant when he wrote the Corinthians;"Death where is your sting? Grave where is your victory?"

Somedays I find myself early in the morning and in the evening sitting on my front step.Because if I know one thing that is consistent in this wonderful/awful position im in, its that if I look and wait long enough,at the right moment the sun will rise and the sun will set.This is how im dealing with things. If I set my eyes towards him and I wait, surely he will come and show himself faithful.And when he does I have no doubt that it will be stunning and marvelous.

Keep us in your prayers
I'll be in touch.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do I Surrender?

Have I ever told you that I love the apostle Paul? He is absolutely my favorite person in the bible besides Jesus. I have always prayed to be like Paul (I suppose that was silly.I should have spent time asking to be like Jesus lol) I just love his story. An "enemy" to Jesus and a murderer of his beloved believers.Then in a moment a radical salvation.He was told he would suffer greatly for the kingdom.He thought it would be better to die in many of his trials but knew the Lord saw no benefit to his death,but to his life. The Lord knows how much I admire John, so it was no surprise to me when he said that Johns greatest writings of Love were produced during his many imprisonments. He spent a total of about 5-6ish years in prisons that were in sewage beneath the streets of Rome, where he learned what love was. Mind blowing.

So Isaac was born Monday. Tuesday I died.Wednesday was a challenge but sweet,and today is beautiful.Let me explain. When I say I died Tuesday I mean all hope was lost. I realized and was told their is no plan. We were not called to visit.He was not placed. The end. And so I sat on the couch saying to myself "this just happened to us.The worst has happened.Every fear every great concern that the Lord himself comforted me in to get this far has happened." I had such a clear image of my condition. Satan himself had shot me with a shot gun filling me with hundreds of tiny holes.He then picked up a fist full of seeds of mistrust and threw them on me and then he picked up a hose and watered me down with confusion in hope that these seeds would take root and grow. And I turned and looked towards the Lord while being assaulted and I asked him.. how Lord can you save me from this? And I went to bed with a dead and hopeless heart,ready to post that it was all over,we had lost and I was planning my escape. Then I woke up Wednesday and I cant explain the moment that it happened or how,but the Lord shocked me and I had another clear image of my condition. Tuesday I went to bed dead, and all my friends and believers who were praying for us gave me mouth to mouth all through the night keeping breath in my lungs and my heart beating.YOU all sustained us by prayer until I awoke and in a moment God said"you will live and not die!" and I came to life again.  My hope even greater, my faith more alive than my flesh could keep up with.

Wednesday we were lathered in love and affection from all over the world.From Flowers and cards being sent from Chicago, to coffee being dropped off,words of support and encouragement flooded us from Kansas,Texas,New Life,The Carolina s,Missouri..... it was a downpour of people not allowing us to give up even when I would have chosen too. And so let me tell you about today.Thursday. Most of yesterday I would find myself saying over and over again "surrender" and I would speak this over the birth-mother.Well at about 2am this morning (I havent been sleeping well) I was in the living room enjoying the quietness when it occurred to me that perhaps the surrender was not for her,but for me. I was reminded of the storyin the bible of the two mothers pleading before the judge over who had rights to the baby.When the judge had a solution to split the baby into two pieces one woman agreed but the other surrendered for the life of the child. I said to the Lord "No i must fight for him!I cant give up!" But he said," surrendering is not giving up.Surrender is the highest form of trust." And so at 2 in the morning i kneeled before the Lord,and I surrendered back to him,his beloved son Isaac.I did not look to the other mother for help or comfort,nor the agency,I placed him in the judges hands and I submitted the outcome solely to the Lord.For his love and his intentions for Isaac's life are greater than mine.He alone will rule according to his perfect will and plan.

I then went to bed and although I hardly slept it was mostly due to the songs that my heart kept singing to the Lord. Great and mighty is he, for from you are all things,and to you are all things,you deserve the glory. I woke up with so much peace.Today is a victorious day. Not because we have seen the fruit of his promise but because im walking through it.Satan had truelly cornered me and God saved me.And the victory is that even if this doesnt end how we want it too, we have walked through it, and we were not over come.The Lord is writing inside of me a lesson about love, just like he did with Paul. If not for a son- then this is the pearl I have dived so deeply to find, and I am content.

So NO this battle is not over! At the end of the day bottom line is Isaac will either go into the states custody, or he can still be placed with us.They are both still in the hospital now working through all that.In the last moment God may still save the day, but I have surrendered to his perfect plan,and who am I to tell him what that is or how to play his last hand.Last Id like to say this, my dad text me this morning and said he was grieving for us and our loss. I do not want condolences, sympathy or im sorry's. We have not been overcome, for we will see the perfect plan of God in this situation. What that is,is just a mystery still. So praise God that we are alive! I can not only breath but I can smile and find comfort in him. For God will be the only judge of Isaac,but you better believe if he does come home with us tonight... their will be a celebration like nothing ive ever experienced!!!!!!!!!!!! So until this book is shut, the adventure goes on. I can feel the Lord even now smiling at his good work in me, and how the angels marvel at how we have never scene God,but yet we believe in him.

Monday, April 22, 2013

While I Have The Time

I just wanted to give you all who are holding your breath out there an encouraging update on our day. I woke up to a text from the girls mother at 7am saying they were at the hospital and would call me later.About 9:30am she called and said she almost called me yesterday to share something that the Lord had done for her personally. I dont know if ive shared with you or not that the girl lives with her mother,and although shes been very supportive,the last few weeks has been very emotional and troubling for her.I dont blame her.How difficult it must be to see your grandchild placed for adoption because your own child is not able..and neither is she. So ive tried not to push or be angry. These emotions of hers are all very real and understandable. I trust the Lord to help each of us maneuver through this. So this morning she calls almost in tears and says "I went to church yesterday and the preacher prayed about Abraham and Isaac and I heard the Lord say to me, Isaac needs his father, trust me and hang in there just a little longer." She said in her heart she knew this baby needed us,a father and mother to raise him in the ways of the Lord,and he silenced the concerns and fears in her heart!

 Today was  wonderful! Which may sound unusual considering our circumstances. We had a couple over that we disciple, Ferrill went to work and I cleaned house.My mind free as a bird.Today felt so easy. At one point I sat on the couch and thought "whoa God this is just so strange.I would have never thought id feel as good as I do." In my mind I had this image of being under this giant tent.This tent was intimidation and it grew bigger and bigger.... but then today God came along and kicked those 4 corners down and the tent crashed.And here I am.Not scared,not nervous.Thanks to many of your prayers.Actually as I was cleaning I was listening to some fun music and dancing and the dancing made me laugh, and the fact that I was laughing so hard made me cry (not like a melt down pitiful cry.But like a laughing in the midst of my circumstances is so bizarre and wonderful kind of cry)

Then I got another text around 6pm from the girls mother saying she was progressing really well and was "considering" letting us come to the hospital! Of course this is all good news. I dont know what to say guys. My heart is so confident that the Lord will be faithful. Im just praying for her heart to keep being softened and that the transition would be smooth and easy.

Please keep praying until we get through all this.Come on out baby Isaac!

You dont have to read this next part.Its for me for future reminders.
Dear Sharon, since belonging to the Lord means trials and stretching,that I may become more like Christ, surely you realize this situation will be only one of many in your life time.I hope to remember that it does no good to worry,for what good has worrying done? I hope you remember God only really needs your "yes" to embrace the adventure he has,for he already knows the plan and needs little if any help from you.   I hope you remember that every moment of your distress he comforted you in heart changing ways. Remember to just go one day at a time because when THE day finally comes God will lather you with the supernatural gifts of peace and grace. That the day youve dreaded the most can actually feel like the best.Cling to every word and promise spoken by him,for you will need all that he says to draw strength and encouragement from.Know that taking on the challenge he lays before you means an extra special nearness to him that will forever out way all the difficulty. Remember how bad your mind told you it would be.. and then how bad it wasn't. Sharon this IS the most adventurous life possible.This is the kind of life he intended you to have.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The End In Sight

Has it only been 9 days since I wrote!? seems like a long time ago. This adoption has been like a roller coaster. In the beginning I was my own biggest enemy. Trying to make the choice to ride or not .And then the looooooooong pull upwards with all the thoughts,fears, and emotions that go through your mind once you realize their is no going back.The past 2 months have been the pure emotion of the ride.The laughter,the tears. Pure adrenaline.And that 30 second ride that has  been my 9 months is almost over and I am reaching the part where you start to slow down and you try to decide if you loved it or hated it?

We still havent heard from or met again with the birth-mother. The past 9 days of knowing nothing have been a challenge to say the least.But from what ive been told,yesterday she called the agency and made them aware that she is being induced this Monday . It was no invitation to come.It was not to say she was placing the baby.It was just a phone call. But then again up until then she had made no contact with us or the agency,so I have to wonder,why call then? Your guess is as good as mine. So what'll happen next? Well, by Wed or Thursday the agency can call the hospital and see if she had the baby and was released OR when its time for her to be released she may call the agency and say she wants to place him.The agent would go to the hospital for her to sign the paperwork and then we would be called to come get the baby. Our son,Isaac.You know, I hadn't cried ONCE during all of this until just now.As I wrote "my son Isaac"... my eyes fill up with tears as my heart aches a little wondering if I will ever be able to call him that again. So many of you call and text and FB and I have to keep telling myself that we have the most amazing people around us who really care and love us.But to me it often feels like so many questions I do not have any answers for.I am just as blind as you in this. So in the mean time I wash bottles.I practice attaching my car seat to the stroller that intimidates me. I walk into his room every morning and look at all his lovely things.I pray and I wait.I keep hope alive.

I decided something though the other day.I took a day or two and felt bad for myself and then the Boston bombing happened.Immediately I was brought back to the real world and I just sat watching the news thankful that nothing "bad" had happened to me.Sure im in a tough vulnerable spot, but im ok. I thought about what id do if after all of this, this baby does not come home with us. I considered my brokenness.My justified anger and bitterness. And then I realized in the midst of all that I cannot control,that I could make my own choice.I have decided not to become those things.I have planted myself at the Lords feet and I look to him and declare his goodness never changes, and that I belong to him no matter what. Some days this posture feels uncomfortable, but most days it feel like home.
So my answer to the first paragraph is not that I hate roller-coasters, nor do I necessarily love them.But im happy I did it, and im relieved this one will soon be over. I hope to always be willing to ride again should the Lord tell me too,but this coaster doesn't stop for us until the Lord brings a life into our home.So if not this child,this time, then the next,or the next,or the next...

 So please pray for this sweet life with me however the Lord may lead you.Monday,Tuesday,Wednsday or Thursday may be one of the most challenging days weve had... or it may still become one of the greatest ever! I will let you know what happens, but please let us come to you.

Here we go...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Trials & Temptations

So much has happened since my last "Monday" post.I wish I could say everything's been great since then.Unfortunately it has not. (Ive been writing for about an hour now and have'nt liked any of what ive tried to say,so I erased it all feeling the need to just try to simplify a very very complex situation that without details would be very confusing) We realized after meeting with the birth-mother last time that we needed to meet more often.When we are together her mind is clear and peaceful,when she is away she is bombarded by lies and deception.We'll we've been kept from seeing her ever since then, and since that time satan has really had a hay day. This girl has become so confused,so manipulated,so scared,so deceived she cant even think straight.Satan has said everything and used anyone he could to dig such a giant hole between us and this mother/baby.

Maybe you're wondering,"well what if this isnt Gods will and its not your baby and etc..." Well this process has been about 1.5 years in the making.Being lead by the spirit we have prayed,journaled (recorded),seen miracles and provision happen.Every piece of evidence screams a resounding YES that this is absolutely the baby God has for us for a million reasons.So this is what I need YOU to do for me from this point on in this post.If you are reading out of curiosity or to be nosy then STOP. If you do not have faith to be in agreement with us then STOP.From this point on I don't need people to talk or feel bad for us...I need people to pray! If you cant or wont be doing that for us then I ask that you go on about your day.

So needless to say the past 3 days have been intense. I am so completely aware of the spiritual warfar that is taking place that I just pray all the time for HOURS at a time.What is wild is that during a time that should be so miserable and awful... I am experiencing such a supernatural peace and clarity! My mind is clear,my spirit strong,my emotions in check.Even now I do not wish this difficulty away because the nearness of God is so good it so easily overcomes any fear.

I went to the beach today to talk with the Lord and 3 hours later it may go down in my life as one of the most incredible times ive ever had with him.The things he said to me have become my greatest possessions,anchoring me in the eye of this ragging storm. I thought id leave you with just a few of my journal entries from today. You can decide for yourself what to think or pray. I wish so badly I didn't have to write about this difficulty were facing,but the need for prayer is so great.Then again did I actually think satan would go down without an epic battle?...NO! The greater the fight,the more glorious the victory.Hes not lazy I'll give him that,but neither am I and unlike him I don't forget the promises of God so easily.

In the flesh... things do not look good for this adoption at all. But my spirit tells me other wise.PLEASE pray for our situation however the Lord leads you.He could be born anytime now.

4/10/13 Laying here on the beach listening to the waves the Lord says "why does the sound of the waves not scare you? Do you not know that at any given moment they could easily sweep over you and take you away to your death? It doesn not scare you because you have learned that I control the edges of the ocean,and you have become familiar with the tides and their limitations.And so it is the same with the situation you are in now.You can chose to listen to the chaos surrounding you and become scared at satans threats, but just like the ocean he also is aware of his limitations.He roars like a lion but he is not one.He intimidates like the waves but he will not overcome you.Do not be afraid.

"As you hear the roaring and ragging against you, have peace. The 3 boys did not know the outcome of the fiery furnace,Paul did not know the outcome of his imprisonment.David did not know the outcome of his battles, but I gave each of them the measure of faith and peace needed to endure.And what has the outcomes taught you? I was faithful.I was good.I was glorified.I am the same as I was then.I have not changed.Take courage."

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I had a bad feeling all last week. Even though this experience is difficult Ive always been able to maintain my peace throughout it.Except for last week. I remember on two occasions trying to discern what the feeling was and finally I dared to shared it with Ferrill. "For the first time in my heart I feel as though im not sure well get this baby.I feel in my spirit somethings not right."

So I was not completely stunned when the agent called with the phrase every person going through this fears the most.Now at this point we were actually leaving our home in minutes to go meet her and the agent in town "Sharon I just need you to prepare yourself. Shes decided she doesn't want to place the baby.She plans to inform you at our meeting" I took a deep breath in that moment and checked my spirit. This was what that feeling was about, however my heart told me everything would be okay. She still wanted to meet.

The 7 mile drive there felt like slow motion as I prayed in the spirit the whole way.It didn't help that just that morning we had installed the car seat in the backseat.I just knew in my heart she was being deceived.I prayed many things but I mostly prayed for peace.If you're wondering if I was totally loosing it the answer is no.Not at all. It was actually a little freaky just how together I was. My mind was clear,my spirit confident and my emotions were totally together. A miracle in itself.

When she came in she was indeed different.She was not her friendly warm self but in fact very cold and distant. Ferrill would later tell me that the scripture that the Lord kept giving to him was Proverbs 21:1" In the Lords hand,the kings heart is a stream of water that the Lord channels towards all who love him.How much  more the hearts of men?" We acted as though everything was normal.We talked,we encouraged,we loved her.

Maybe 20minutes into it I watched as she leaned over to our agent and whispered into her ear. Moments later I got a text on my phone from the agent (sitting across from me) the texts was Shes changed her mind.She does want to give you the baby. And just like that we were back on course. It was like flipping a light switch.She became herself again and the conversation was growing deeper and deeper.We stayed for about 2 hours together.Her heart becoming more and more open.Towards the end she finally shared with us that she had every intention of telling us shed changed her mind.She said "One day I woke up and a voice told me I may never be able to have another child and that I must keep this one.But when I saw you peace just overcame me and I remembered why I was doing this to begin with." we talked openly for a very long time.Honestly it was the best visit weve probably ever had together.

I tell you this not to scare you but to give you a glimpse into the intensity weve been experiencing and to ask for your prayers.That day was so full of supernatural grace and peace that we breezed right through the storm. Then the next day when I woke up I felt like id been hit by a truck.My heart and soul needed a lot of rest to recover. During our visit we also found out the due date is actually closer than wed thought. In just 2 short weeks, not 4! .Im not at all interested in taking any woman's child from her.I wont fight over something that I don't believe is totally gods will. We're in an ongoing battle in the spirit.Its like being naked in a warm bed with a fluffy comforter pulled up to your ears and having Satan stand at the end and constantly tugging at it to take it from you.I fight very hard to keep the peace that is mine given to me by the Holy Spirit.I truly believe this child will be our son.And in the end what if hes not?...well,I'll bravely cross that bridge when I get there.In about 2 weeks we will all know the outcome.

 You know as difficult as its been I don't wish this time away. In the past nine months my heart and mind has been so tested. If anything I am thankful for this wonderful/awful experience.Surely my maturity,character and trust in God has grown an unmeasurable amount.Im sure in the upcoming months I will begin to forget all the work and labor that it took to get us here.Instead I hope to be filled with crazy love.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Whats New?

Dear Friends,

I cant believe its been 3 weeks since I last wrote and we found out the gender. So much has happened between now and then. Part of me wishes I could share every detail of this adoption with you (the good,bad,ugly,scary) but for the privacy of the birth-mother and our sweet little family I choose not too. I often feel like my life,at least this part of it,has been like a movie.A romantic,comedy,suspense thriller! Everything is going as planned.We've actually been able to meet with her as well as our agent 2 times in the last week to discuss the future and the details of delivery/placement day. But nothing is ever easy and every week we draw closer has its unexpected twists. All I can really say is if you ever want to know what spiritual warfare looks like in the flesh,try to save a life by adopting a child. You have good and evil waring over who will get the soul of a person.Very soon I am confident we will reap the rewards for fighting the good fight of faith.

Weve raised about $3,200 more since I last wrote. which leaves us with ONLY about $5,500 left out of $23,000! (whoooooa-where did it all even come from?!)  Some people have asked how they can help so i'll give you some info at the bottom.

Just to refresh your minds the baby (boy) is due the very end of April. 7weeks away! It also just accured to me that I may not have mentioned that he is biracial.(did you just squeal a little? I did.) When we were praying our way through the paper work and got to the race/gender part we both just felt like we should leave it totally open.Our hearts and minds were ready for whatever the Lord had in mind-black,white,Asian,mixed,whatever-Love is Love & a life is a life. The birth-mother is Caucasian and African American herself, and the birth-father is African American.

This past weekend 30 of my dearest friends and my husbands parents got together and threw ferrill & I a beautiful shower! It was sweet and uncomplicated.I was nervous of what my emotions might be like that day. I didnt want to be emotional,i wanted to be able to relax,and I did. I let my sweet friends love and encourage me.At one time I looked around and thought,Lord I never imagined my first baby shower would be for a child im not even carrying,but im not at all dissapointed, Im actually kind of proud.My heart is learning to fully love someone I cannot see.This child will belong to my heart.I could not have asked more from the Lord than to not see him as any different than as our own.He has also exceeded in his goodness by giving me such peace and clarity as we maneuver  through these last few weeks.

My dearest friend Bekah,as well as her husband and 7month old is coming to visit this weekend! Seeing her brings a flood of memories to mind.She has been (thinking of the words to say-my eyes tearing up) She has helped carry my heart through this awful/wonderful year of my life.I love her.I can only hope that what we have sowed in tears together we will reap in joy with our small boys and discovery of mother hood.She is a brilliant photographer with an ever evolving soul. Im hoping she will snap some pics of the nursery when shes here to show you soon.

Is their anything else i'd like to say?( I feel as though I have such a short window left of having your attention and interest before I fade away.) I dont believe I have anything to add this time.I am doing well.Working hard to remain anchored until all is truelly "said and done." The Lord has been so lovely to me in ways I cannot articulate right now.His way is excellent.I feel my heart is at its healthiest,and all is well with my soul.

Thank you for checking in on us.If you want  to help us with any remaining funds you can go to and click on "giving" follow the instructions and at the very bottom under designated giving" type "ministerial adoption fund"-it will then go directly to our adoption account. If you'd rather mail a check you can send it to the church address,made out to NLCF with ministerial adoption fund in the memo.

Much love to all of you,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quiet Voices

Today I write for myself. For the future and whatever it all may mean. On several occasions the Lord has made a statement to me that at the time made no sense,but would make sense later.That happened again yesterday and this time, it excites me.
For example a year ago this past Fall I was getting into my car in the church parking lot.I was feeling quit wonderful and carefree that day after service so I invited the Lord to tell me anything he wanted! whatever you want to say Lord im right here and im listening. He said,to my surprise "you are living your life under a canopy of fear" (why is it that we often ask God to speak and when he does we dought and tell ourselves it was us,not him) It caught me so by surprise I did just that, and dismissed the random thought.looking back Im sure it was a sting to his heart.As if calling a friend excitedly saying you cant wait to hear how theyve been,only to find yourself also talking to your child or spouse at the same time and needing to get off the line moments later.
Anyway 2 months later I went to a dermatologist and had a suspicious spot I needed to have removed for a biopsy, the biopsy was precancerous and more would need to be removed. It was then that I realized just how full of fear I was.For weeks my mind swirled downward toward worst case scenarios.I could not seem to help it. 15 stitches later and a nice scar to prove it im of course fine, but the issue of why all the fear, needed to be addressed. In the end im now grateful that my fear issues were exposed and thankfully dealt with by the leading of the Holy Spirit and of course the Word.Without that lesson perhaps I would have always been too afraid to say yes to an adoption.I needed to remind myself of his good intentions for my life,that he is for me not against me and most of all that I exchanged my old life for this new one,whatever it may look like.

So yesterday I was walking through the house alone.My favorite music playing,windows open causing a breeze to spill throughout the house.I stood and leaned in the doorway of my soon to be sons room.I take in a deep breath and sensed the danger involved.By this I mean 20% of adoptions fall through and I personally know of 3 friends of mine that have experienced it recently.Ive seen and heard the pain and confusion involved.Ive spent most of my months more aware of the danger of total heart break than I have of whats to be and motherhood.But not yesterday.I leaned and sensed that present danger but I saw clearly the Lord leading me through this steep and narrow path with its cliffs,rough conditions,and danger.I saw him as my good shepherd leading me through this and I smiled at how this revelation could change everything.
I talk to the Lord often about love.I know he is love and to know it I must know him,his character,his nature.I know love is patient,love is kind....all of that very good but over said stuff.I wanted to know something new about love, and in that quit voice I heard him.That statement that is not understood yet.And when he said it,it was so mysterious and romantic.Surely he had a grin on his face as he said," is like lightening." my heart swelled up like a balloon at the hope of someday understanding what that could possibly mean.It has been all these tiny quit moments with him that keeps my heart alive.So now I wait to see what he has in store for me next.But I hope it is lightening.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Condo,The woods,& Today

As Ferrill and I go down this path of adoption, we've had some crazy,stupid,and beautiful things happen.Things so personal,so deep and profound that I know I will remember these lessons for the rest of my life. I would like to share some of the greatest and most monumental to us both. This post will mostly likely be long, but perhaps you will find for yourself a gem of wisdom or revelation as you read.That is what I hope.

It was this past June Ferrill and I had just made the decision to finally adopt and we had just heard back from the agency that they had accepted our application.We were more nervous than excited at that point,mostly due to the financial intimidation that comes with adopting. Within days of that call things got really crazy for us. We've owned a home out of state for several years before we moved here and had been trying to sell for sometime.We were paying 2sets of bill and for the first time ever, we were late on our mortgage payment because we simply didn't have the money.Also within days Ferrill was in a crazy car accident while I was out of town. Our car that we had just finished payments on had been totaled after he was hit at over 50mph at a stop light.Everyone was lucky to be alive and Ferrill was the ONLY one who walked away without even a scratch or bruise.Their were a dozen other things happening at that time also that required money.Our missions trip to Haiti the following month, a new car now, $1500 to do a homestudy, we needed to go to the dentist... it was all too much.
 I remember like it was yesterday. I had just gotten off the phone with Ferrill from work  after having yet another conversation about money,(I was cleaning a condo that day)and this thought went through my mind "Lord this is insane! How do you expect us to adopt a baby if we can't even financially stay afloat ourselves! This wont work!" and I heard this response from God so clearly,"you can choose to be pitiful, or powerful, but you can't be both."  
I knew it was the leading of the Lord to adopt,i knew it was his leading to leave our home and move here to pastor. And after that moment a crazy thing happened. My flesh was scared and I was crying so hard but I could feel this aggressive fiery voice raising up in me! The next thing I new I was declaring "I WILL NOT BE FINANCIALLY OR IN ANY OTHER WAY INTIMIDATED!" I declared the goodness and faithfulness of God and my commitment to his will for my life.

Months after my breakthrough Ferrill would have an experience of his own.He was feeling overwhelmed and needed to get away from the office, so he went for a walk in some woods far away. During his walk he was talking with God "Lord you know our difficulty, you know our needs emotionally and financially right now".Ferrill was also concerned where will this $30,000 come from for this baby."Lord if you could just give us some encouragement or a blessing to help that would be amazing." As he was walking he looked down and saw a $5 bill laying on the ground. It was warn,wet and weathered from laying in the woods for who knows how long and he picked it up praising God that he had heard and even though it was only $5 it still ment so much to his heart. Now,that alone was cool,but what happened next is amazing!!! As he held it up with both hands thanking God for this answer to prayer it immediately fell into 2 pieces.Like it had been burned right down the middle and when it happened he said he heard the voice of God say this to him," Ferrill you need to understand that this... means absolutely nothing to me." When he came home and told me the story and showed me the $5 bill I just remembered thinking all day,how blessed we are to belong to a God that doesn't need or require us to have money.He wants us, and he wants us to trust him.Simple but surprisingly difficult to do and accept.
So this brings us to today.8 months since then and a son due in April. And this is just some of whats happened.
  •  When we went to buy a car our credit was a nightmare from missing our house payment (25% interest) we prayed and called a place being led by the Holy spirit. Turnes out the dealers daughters go to the school associated with our church and he said it would be an honor to finance us through there business.We were able to get a car better than we could have hoped for.
  • Dec 19th we signed a contract to sell our out of state house.2 days later we were matched with our baby.
  • The day we were matched we had 24hours to write a check to the agency for half the cost! $11,520! When we checked the account to see what had came in it was exactly the amount needed as of that morning.
  • Feb 8th we finally closed on our house.It was done. and 4 days later we had the sonogram and found out we were having a son
 As of last week we still needed $8000 to be completely funded. Sometimes I still wonder how this is all happening and where the rest will come from.We just say Lord this is your plan.Help. And yesterday someone gave us a check for $1000, We finally went to the dentist this past Wednesday and since she knew about the adoption she pulled us aside and said she wanted to do all the work for free!!! Then this morning we recieved another $1000 online and even while ive been writing this, Ferrill brought in the mail with a  $200 check! All I know is this. If God is for us,who can be against us? Yes this journey has been long and challenging in many ways but my testimoney is that so far,its been the most amazing thing Ive ever seen the Lord do in our lives in spite of the difficulty.His love for us and this baby cannot be measured and as much as I want this all to work out,he wants it more.Whatever plans God has for your life remember he has already made a way for it.Do not be lied to or intimidated! Just say yes,trust in his goodness and enjoy the adventure hes been anticipating.

           Of course we saved the $5 bill. It now sits framed in our nursery as a beautiful reminder.