Tuesday, December 13, 2016


"But I don't want you to get hurt too!" These were the words that fell out of my mouth with my dearest of friends this morning on the phone over a cup of coffee. It makes me sound heroic to say that, and it is true, every time a potential adoption situation comes up I run the risk of watching those I love be disappointed, again and again.  I can handle it, but I cant handle seeing someone else hurt when its avoidable. But to be very honest, when I think about it, I guess I don't share more because it hurts me, even when I think it doesn't, it does. Even though I'm getting conditioned to the phone calls, emails, ups and downs the truth is I often cry in private, at how complex, unknown and emotionally stirring adoption really is. And not just adoption. Life.

Just since I blogged in the summer I went home to visit my family, specifically my mom. As many of you may know She had a major stroke in February of this year affecting her fine motor skills and memory. She cant speak, write or use utensil's. When I was there out of 4 visits she only knew me on the final day.  It was a redeeming moment of joyful tears (unlike the ones I cry now remembering it all) We communicated, although without words, and in the end when I was leaving we both looked at one another and knew we might not know when this could happen again or what life might do. We sobbed together and I wish I could forget the look of such sorrow that was in her eyes. Nurses held her back from following me down a long medical hallway that was now her "home." I cant express in words the deep pain I still feel as I heard her crying out for me. "Just keep going" my mind would tell my heart trying to over rule all feelings in that moment, as I kept walking towards those double doors. But as if I was in my own personal hunger games I turned back. Their was my mother, the one who has loved me most on this earth. being kept from going after me by not 1 but 2 nurses.... I put on my bravest of faces and with great difficulty blew a kiss and waved goodbye. She did the same back to me. And this is the memory played over often in my mind, both lovely and haunting, causing me to cry fairly often. Even now.

I don't have the time or energy to share with you about our trip to Asia in August, about being held by the communist police for hours of interrogation. Or about Ferrill's car accident in September totaling our vehicle but leaving him totally unharmed. Or about the Baby we weren't matched with in July....Or November.... Or just last Friday.

Its a lot as you can see. Its complicated and difficult. I know very little about what's going to happen but if I think on what I do know, I know this. I love being a mom. I was made to mother. Perhaps I will or wont carry in me our own sons and daughters... but being pregnant isn't the same as mothering. I know I'm supposed to be here, I know God has asked us to receive children into our hearts and home. I know Finley was an ordained gift of God, and I know In him is LIFE.

You deserve to know more. Those who have sown both in prayers and in finances certainly do. This is me saying I'm sorry. As much as my sinful nature says I don't need you, the truth is we really do. More than you could imagine and more than I can understand I need you with us. We need prayer, we need more finances, we need more joy in the midst of everything. We need rest and divine leadership.

We are making quick arrangements even now to be shown again to a birth mother. Our hope is that in a week or so, maybe sooner, we can share of new news. Please pray for us as we hope and wait patiently for the Lords will to be made known. YOU ALL ARE AWESOME. Thank you for your love, even just your interest in adoption and what God is doing in our lives/family is flattering.

Until then life goes on and I find myself doing dishes and day dreaming of a new little life in our home. Seeing him.... holding her.... and wondering where in this world my child might be.

All our love

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Hello everyone, just wanted to share a few updates for those who are following us along  our second adoption journey.

well, to show you just how quickly things can change, last week the agency called and asked if we were ready and prepared to be shown to an expectant birthmother (as well as the birthfather). We prayed about it, had peace, and said yes!. The couple was given our profile book as well as 2 other couples and given some to think about who they felt most comfortable proceeding forward with. In the mean time we rushed doing the education courses still needed/required, and had a very full week ahead. I was helping lead an instate missions trip to Alabama when the agency responded that the couple had decided to move forward with another couple. I don't share this to disappoint anyone, just to ask that you all continue to cover us in prayer as this may happen several times privately before we are officially " matched"  and share openly. We are doing fine concerning the decision and it was a great beginners exercise as we truly put our trust in the lord knowing  he considers all things. In the end we celebrate both families who are moving forward with their adoption plan, knowing if not now, at some point and at the right time it'll be ours again.

Now for more good news. While going through the paperwork and documents involved during this event, we realized this adoption is actually projected to be at least $7,500 LESS that what wed expected! Talk about great news!

ALSO, our church felt led to make an account available for people who want to give online  specifically to our adoption. This means you can use your donation as a tax write off.
 To give this way, visit  www.nlcf.org and go to the "giving" section. Their will be a category marked "Adoption Fund"

We've had amazing things happen over the last few months. People calling from out of town saying they were praying what to do with extra funds and the Lord told them to wait until something arrived in the mail.  Then they received our letter. Also I had a dream about walking into a local business and saw a donation thing set up for people to give towards the adoption. I then called the business (in real life) and they were super happy to do that for us! Also PDQ (a local fast food place here in town) is allowing us to do a fundraiser July 3rd with another couple, who are also adopting, and theiy're giving us 10% of sales from 12-6pm that day. The Lord is doing his thing and leading us faithfully every step of the way. As of right now we have close to $8,000 raised and are moving forward to raise about $8,000 more.

Oh what was that? You want more good news? Okay! My dad is also coming into town on Monday! In Jan/Feb I did a project for a family in town and when it was time to invoice them a bill, I just felt led to ask them to pray about what to give, telling them whatever they gave would go towards our next adoption anyway. Well, they responded and said they felt led to buy a plane ticket, and this gave me the ability to either go home and visit my family or allow my dad to get a way and rest. We chose the latter and my dad will have 9 days of rest here with us before returning back home to care for my mom who is still in a nursing facility. Isn't God just so good and kind!

So that's our update for right now. Blessings to ALL who have given so far. I declare peace and joy over you and your house as you have sowed so generously into ours!

All Our Love,
Ferrill, Sharon, & Finley

To give online visit
www.nlcf.org (Click giving and then "Adoption Fund" OR
www.gofundme.com (search Gallaway Adoption) or find it on our FB profiles
Message us privately if you'd like to give directly

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Mom (a quick update on her and our adoption process)

Today is my moms Birthday. But I guess I should tell you what's gone on since my last post. I shared with you her stroke, my trip home visiting her and how my siblings and I were preparing for her to return home after her rehabilitation. I was there the first 24 hours she was at home before returning to my home in Florida. The following 3 days only proved that none of us were prepared or qualified to give her the care she needed. Knocks on the door at 3am from neighbors returning her to us. Moments of her not remembering who my dad was and hiding from him, terrified.  Being driven to her appointments and trying to get out of the car while it was moving. Terrible, heartbreaking, truly dangerous situations that meant we had no choice. It didn't matter how desperately we all wanted life to find any kind of resemblance of what it was like before. It would never be familiar again.

So in these past few months, she has become a resident of a care center (that my way of saying nursing home so that I don't cry)And its been awful. All of it, for all of us. She has no peace, no understanding. She tries at all times to get away and often punishes us when she sees us for what we've done. I just got off the phone with my dad before I started to write, and he said everyday he goes (6 days a week) his heart breaks a little more. And I guess mine does also. Even though I don't show it.

My grandparents, both 85 having been married 65 years now, have also moved into a nursing home and are not doing well. My mom would watch my nephew while my sister worked, so that has also changed their family dynamics. Every where you look, our lives have changed. Its sad to think back on what was once normal just 6 months ago and see how quickly life is changing all around us. But really, I guess anyone could say that these days. But as difficult as things are,my testimony is that it hasn't consumed me. The reality of life and circumstances has only made me desire the true reality of what is eternal. The more sad I am, the more hope I look to find in knowing that this world is not meant to be  home to anyone who claims the inheritance of the kingdom of God. The more I see the cycle of life on the horizon, which is death, the more comfort I accept in remembering that we will all one day be together again, without sickness or fear. The moments I entertain the thoughts that one day this could be me and my daughter, the more bright and joy filled I see today for the gift and bliss it really is. That is truly the power and joy given to us through Christ, that although in this life we will have troubles, we can have peace and cleave to hope, that what he did, overcame all of this. I love life, I really do, but no one is fooling me that this here is what it was meant to be all about. I want my heart to always love the Lord and seek first the kingdom, live a life of power and adventure to the fullest, and then peace out of here to meet my God who did it all, face to face.

Speaking of adventure, lets talk about adoption. We are currently just waiting on a few minor details for our home study to be done while we fundraise. We've had about $4,000 come in so far from people giving! Yay! S

o my hope is that within the next 30-60 days were able to let the agency know we are in good enough shape financially to be considered for a match. This experience has been day and night different than before. I had so much doubt, stress, unbelief, and dread before. This time (and 3+ years later) I am confident, peaceful, full of trust and sure of Gods goodness. How amazing is that! Its from reading the word of God, choosing to restore and renew my mind and believing his words when he speaks.

This summer will be full and exciting for the Gallaway's as they have proven to be every summer. Yes it will have its moments,like this week when my child has tested every limit, and I slept on her floor all night because she was sick, or that just the thought of packing for all the travel coming up makes me want to cry, or that its 90' out and the AC in one of our vehicles isn't working, but hey, this is life and life to the fullest! Choose Joy! Choose Adventure! Set it in your heart that God is good and always with you and let no situation, circumstance, or devil rob you of that ONE truth that will change every moment of each day of your life.

Thank you for your prayers, your thoughts, your words and your giving into our lives.

All My Love

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Death & Life (Another stroke/Another adoption)

Of course this isn't how id imagined sharing our exciting news. I imagined such joy and excitement as I explained to you again the wonders and mysterious ways of the Lord, and yet to be honest my heart is currently so crowded with grief that im only writing now in hopes to make room emotionally for the joy I so desperately and eagerly await to feel again.

Ferrill and I decided months ago to begin another adoption. Where and with whom we didn't know, but our hearts were in a place to move forward and we positioned ourselves to hear and await our next step from the Lord. It wasn't long after that, one Wednesday that I was upstairs in our bedroom getting ready to take Finley to the park. I felt the easy presence of the Holy spirit step in for a chat. I guess in my heart I was waiting for it to feel like it had with the first adoption. One grand moment of total THIS IS IT and theirs no changing what I know in my heart I was to do, but this adoption, it felt so casual, the same weightiness that had happened before felt lacking this go around, and that concerned me. It was after these thoughts and concerns were shared, that the Lord shared with me his opinion. He basically said-I have given your heart the desire and capability to adopt. That is a gift from me to follow a biblical instruction. Obviously I love adoption because all my children except one are adopted, and at any time in your life should you desire and choose in your own hearts to adopt, I will always meet you promptly with affirmation.- So it was after this while still upstairs that I thought heavily about my choice, and in my heart and out loud I uttered a yes. Yes Lord-I want this, and I trust what you've spoken to me. Immediately I had a vision of Jesus leaving me to go ahead. The Holy Spirit clearly gave me Deuteronomy 1:29-31 and before I read it he paraphrased it. " The Lord is going ahead of you, pioneering the way for you to receive your child. Do not be afraid or full of dread. You know him now to be faithful, and he will do again for you what he did with Finley. The Lord will waste no time in showing you this is his desire, be wise be quick to receive his promise. The actual verse itself says "Then I said to you: Do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God is going before you, he will fight for you as he did for you in the land of Egypt before your very eyes and in the desert. You saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his sons, all the way you went until you reached this place." wow! even now rereading that and typing it im blown away at his faithfulness. Surely he is our God of HOPE who completes every tasks he sets out to accomplish. It was in that moment that I conceived in my heart our second child. I felt it with its tornado of emotions and beauty.

Meanwhile Ferrill had been praying for where wed adopt from. We weren't unhappy with our previous agency. We are grateful, but we didn't have the peace needed to reach out to them a second time. After a short time Ferrill said he wanted to correspond with an agency in Kansas. That's right folks.... Kansas. After numerous emails ,questions and calls our hearts said yes to this starter agency in Olathe Kansas. The same day all that happened after being at the park with Finley I went to a local coffee shop. A sweet girl a few years younger than me leans over the oversized counter and greets Finley warmly as she always does. The girl, whos name is Myles says to me "I've mentioned before how beautiful your daughter is, and last time you said you wished you could take all the credit .Is it safe for me to assume she is adopted.?" Yes I said. "And are you ready to do it again? The second is always the best one" This caught me totally by surprise! This thing that had happened earlier in my heart I hadn't even shared with anyone, let alone to be shared first with a girl I vaguely knew. I responded with a timid "yes, at least I hope so. Why would you ask me that?" Her response was nothing short of a sign and a wonder. A key part of this story that I will cling too always. She said " Because I was the second one adopted in my family. My sister was from Florida, and I was from Kansas!" I was speechless. she then proceeded to unknowingly speak such life over Finley and I. She said to me "you know we (meaning the baristas) we talk about you every time you stop by. We talk about how good a mother you are, how lucky Finley is. You know you were meant to do this right? She then hands me my iced vanilla latte and comes around the counter to talk to Finley. "You know what Finley, you and I are so special, never forget that. Moms and daddies love their babies but you were loved twice. And your mommy here (looking at me) she pursued her love for you." Somewhere along the way she expressed how much she loved that she had been adopted and how "eclectic" her family was." My mom was a nurse, my dad this loud Italian, my sister is my closest friend who looks nothing like me", as she touched her own fun curly red hair." It is different, but its so fun, and you can totally do this".
 I thanked her only mildly for her kindness before exploding into tears the moment I sat in the privacy of my own car. Had that really just happened? What were the chances? My brain quickly trying to make this just a quiencadence. But theirs no way. Of all the places, all the times, this was a God ordained moment, and I refused to need any more convincing than that. I went back the following week to thank her personally and explain that we were in fact applying to adopt in Kansas and how much shed affected me with her kindness, but when I arrived her co workers explained to me that she had taken a job in south Florida. That had actually been her last day when we spoke. crazy.

So all that happened quickly and we patiently wait to hear from the agency, but instead of the agency calling with good news, 2 Sundays ago my dad called with bad news. My mom had had another stroke. A bad one. He had taken her to the ER and she was currently unresponsive. Needless to say it was a sleepless night. If you dont know,when someone has a stroke, it takes 5-7 days for the swelling in the brain to subside enough for doctors or therapists to really see how bad the brain was damaged so it becomes a waiting game. Monday, the day after her stroke I truly felt like my mom had died. She wasn't responding to touch or sounds. Unable to move at all. Her eyes turned so strongly to one side, the area of the brain affected that only the whites showed. Apparently I just shut down under extreme stress because Ferrill took the day off work to watch Finley and all I did was cry and sleep in my bed all day, and book a flight to go home that Friday. It was so much. The unknown, the phone calls. Id volunteered to call my aunt (my moms sister) to tell her what had happened. Hearing her cry painfully on the phone while about to clock into work for a 12 hour shift was so brutal. To be so far away and helpless was a terrible feeling for us both. Miraculously by Thursday (5 days post stroke) my moms body was fully functioning. She could walk on her own, take herself to the bathroom but mentally she was gone. Didn't know who my dad, sister or brother was when they were in the room and she had yet to speak.Her reflexes in her throat had not returned, so their was always great concern that her lungs could easily fill up with water just by trying to take a drink, causing her to drown. All these crazy things unknown to anyone unfamiliar with strokes. The brain is truly a sign and wonder, Gods creative ability at its best. Scans determined the areas affected were the short term memory, motor skills and language parts of the brain. Days of tests showed no indications of what was the cause of them, A concern because without understanding where and why the body is clotting, others would be inevitable.Shed had a stroke 3 years earlier ( id blogged previously about that event) that affected her in many ways, but the one personally that affected me was that she could no longer write. In addition to talking a few times a week wed often mail cards, packages, small things here and there and she went from having the most beautiful penmanship to what looked like chicken scratch. I treasured all the letters and cards in my possession that had her beautiful words on them. Suddenly they were more precious. But now... to think that not only may I never have another conversation with our voices again, that she may never look me in the face and know I was hers... that is the pain that tries to haunt me. A searing burn in my heart as I try desperately to swallow an unimaginable reality. For an independent soul like myself I have moments where i feel so wildly alone in the world now outside the presence of God. Im amazed when i feel it. Amazed that just knowing she was out there,just a phone call away made me feel safe somehow.

So that Friday I drove 2 hours to the airport (cheapest tickets) flew 3 hours (to Missouri where im from) road 2 hours and finally arrived to the nursing home/rehab facility they'd transferred her too. I sat in the car a few minutes to myself. How do you prepare yourself for these things? I determined that you cant, asked the Lord for strength and made my way down the sterile hallway to room #236.
I stepped in the room to see this woman who is my mom. The one who gave me life when she was 36 after doctors told her she was too old to have children, the one who I think favored me because I was born on the one day my dad requested she not go into labor, a rainy Sunday morning throwing off all his church plans. The one who's role is to declare life over you, in every area, always.  I sat beside her on her bed and took a deep breath as I looked at her face waiting, hoping for her eyes to find me. I waited... and I waited... and for a moment the fog had lifted and she saw me. "Sharon?" her first muttered words. She gave me a hug, started to rock me back and forth like her baby patting me gently on the back and began to hum. I cried letting her love me for as long as her mind would allow and then she was gone. Almost a suttle push at not knowing what was going on again before she pulled away and she drifted off again to somewhere unseen. It was painfully beautiful. Ill spare you the rest of my 6 days there Extreme highs and lows, uncomfortable moments and conversations between siblings about who's to try and do what. My dad who retired last spring now a 24/7 exhausted caretaker to his wife and elderly parents. My sister becomes the nurse checking in daily since she lives close by and giving my mom baths. My brother and I painfully and helplessly at a distance watching them do what we cannot. I am currently back home now but in many ways im still not.She seems to have made no further progress since I left. I feel this consistent sadness the hovers as I go through the motions of mundane life and responsibilities. Somewhere in the midst of it all my husband calls to tell me the agency in Kansas has called and accepted our application. I feel us both pause on the phone as we both smile. A tender moment almost swallowed whole and forgotten due to such difficulty.

 I was talking to one of my dearest friends a few days ago trying to explain how im feeling. "I want so badly to stop being sad, so that I can move forward in joy in this adoption." But that's the thing I cannot change. I cannot change or rewrite the beginning of our story. I cant change that the last time mom and I had a conversation I was telling her we were adopting again. The joy and hope she carried for me is painfully felt and missed. I feel like I must respectfully entertain grief a while longer even though his presence is unwanted. Grief is an interesting topic im discovering. People ask me how im doing and I don't know what to say. But when I do say that I am sad or still sad, it makes people uncomfortable. People are uncomfortable with grief and sadness. We only show the highlights of our lives so when something so strong like grief opposes it we want it to go away. Let me first say before this next part, that I have chosen to not mention what has happened until now. I like to deal with issues very personally and privately almost to a fault. I believe everyone who has asked me how I am, how she is loves me very much, but I do think, when you pass me by so quickly and say How are you, I sometimes feel like you ask that, for me to make note that you were kind enough to ask, not because you are willing to take more than 30 seconds to listen to how im really doing. When I say im not good you want to fix it because you love me, instead of respecting my sadness and allowing me to take my time. I also think it would be nice if we could make the whole wearing black during mourning socially acceptable again. If I could go out in public and people see and know I was mourning without me explaining why, and they would chose to be gentle towards me for however long I needed all just by wearing a color... that would be great. Genius actually.

So here I am. I thought perhaps id feel better afterwards and maybe I do a little. The Lord has taken care of all my needs and I am blessed. We will soon give more details about our upcoming adoption and I have no doubt it'll be an adventure, but for now, im going to sit for a while and let the Lord care for me while I rest. I will need lots of strength for the road ahead... that beautiful exciting narrow road ahead.

If your mom is still living do me a favor, call her. Hear her voice and close your eyes. If she is near then hug her when you see her and when you do, count to ten instead of your usual 2. Look her in the eyes and setting aside all of life's issues tell her that you love her.

All my love, Sharon

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dear NLCF, this ones for you.

I've typed this up a dozen different ways and I cant seem to find a way to make it flow nicely so ill just come out and say it. You have loved me and my family so well and without knowing it your love has healed many wounds I never even knew I had. I don't know how to tell you that when we pass by one another each week. I see so many of your faces and I remember all these beautiful moments of really good love you've shown and a major weakness I have is not being able to show appreciation as well as I should, so if I may just take a moment id love to explain just how you've affected me

I doubt anyone knows this but the day Ferrill and I knew God was calling us to be on staff at NLCF I actually cried. Not a happy cry, an ugly one. My family was in town visiting and after telling them id gone away to our bedroom to have a few minutes to myself. 30 or more minutes later Ferrill walked in and found me sitting in the back of our closet crying like a child. You see we had been evangelist traveling and ministering in different churches up until now, wed never set out to be on staff anywhere ever.Ive never been an insecure person but I was so insecure about what it meant to be on staff as a pastor. and I myself am a preachers kid. Without over sharing too much I will say that all I knew about church was risk. My own home growing up was unbalanced, and almost each time wed return home from traveling I was grateful to not be on staff at a church. Pastors were exhausted, so eager to please everyone, wife's were often bitter, resentful, and neglected. Church was.....hmmmm what did I call it. Dangerous. To me church was a dangerous place. When I cried in my closet that day I remember feeling so threatened by you. Id watched close friends, even my own family members sacrifice their identify and often joy to become this person they felt the church told them to be. I witnessed countless times as men's egos grew with attendance as their love for God and family were exchanged for a desire for ministry. Church was a dangerous place, I had no good examples of how it could be done well and God was calling us to it.

So when we arrived I braced myself for your criticisms, but I heard of none. I was prepared to fight for my marriage when you inevitably tried to take too much of my husbands time, but it was never necessary. Then I guarded my heart like a shield when we told you of our adoption expecting your unwelcomed words of caution. Your responses shocked me every time.

Instead this was what you all did. (oh geeez... let me just quickly grab a tissue.I can feel it already) Instead your leadership put no expectations on me as ferrills wife. I was given the freedom to ask God where I should be in each season. Often staff were away attending their children's activities. Only once had I ever known a head pastor not attend his own staff meeting because it was his sons Birthday and he was taking the day off. I have watched you do nothing but praise my husband for his service to this congregation. But for me personally this big moment was with my daughter. If I could have had it my way we would have just shown up one day with a new addition. I prefer to be private. My heart truly struggled sharing the journey to adopt, but God knew we would need you. And we did. You see, YOU helped me become a mom. You watched us with love go through that process and your love and kindness changed me. You shared our excitement, or joy, our loss our hurt. You stopped me in the hallways and spoke life over us and with each moment a wall in my heart got weaker and weaker I remember each one of you during that season and when she was finally here your response was so incredible. Your prayers, your giving, your love for us gave me the greatest gift I've yet to ever receive on this earth. You, in a way, made my dreams come true. The very ones id dreaded. The people who threatened me and made me cry in a closet have done nothing but give me grace and show kindness and all I can say is thank you. I know one day when I look back at my life this church will hold one of the sweetest places in my heart, in so many ways it already does.

You know when The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians about love (1 cor. 13:4-8) he wasn't sharing vows between a husband and wife as we often use it now, he wrote it to the church. He was teaching them how to behave towards one another, so that the church might grow and fulfill its purposes. Every time im at a wedding (and we go to a ton) I always think of you. I think of how you all have loved us so well and how privileged we are to be here. I think of how im starting to understand this beautiful idea called church, and how blessed I am to be a part. So as Ferrill's wife and Finley's mom, from the bottom of my heart I thank you. May the next 5 years be as fruitful as the first.

Love is Patient and kind.
It wont envy or boast.
It is not prideful and does not dishonor.
It isn't self seeking, angry and keeps no record of wrong.
It hates what is evil and loves truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.