Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More undeserved grace

Lord, once again I ask you...who are we that you are mindful of us.

We had another undeserved grace bestowed up us last night. I am still having a difficult time accepting it.

As many of you know our first adoption with Lily cost nearly 3 times the expected amount. So many people helped us financially, emotionally and spiritually. So much so, that never in this lifetime would we ever be able to repay everyone. However there was debt to one generous helper that we had been working really hard to pay off. We had managed to pay off nearly 1/2 of the debt. Well last night that debtor informed us that our debt was clear and that they did not want anymore money from us. They wanted us to have the money so we could pursue this adoption and any unexpected/expected expenses that may occur. What an amazing blessing! Once again, I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around this undeserved grace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Visit to John Hopkins

Today I spent the day with our birthmother, taking her down to John Hopkins to meet with a specialized ob-gyn. Even though we have been acquainted with her , it was really nice to really begin to get to know her more intimately. She is a very lovely young woman.

While at Hopkins, with the counsel of the physican, she determined that due to some personal risk factors she will plan to transfer her care to Hopkins and actually deliver the baby there! The awesome thing about that, is originally she was told she would have to have a C-section due to previous medical history, but at Hopkins she will have a choice to deliver vaginally if she so desires. I think for her long term child bearing dreams that would definitely be the best for her. I wouldn't want her to choose adoption for this child and then not be able to have any more children in the future.

I have to admit that does make me nervous because what if she changes her mind. My sister told me it is one thing to have a baby surgically removed from you, it's a whole other thing to labor through and push that baby out of you. But I have to remember to submit myself to God and realize whatever the journey, He will be next to me. But I must say, Lord please keep her steadfast in her decision.

I just wish there was someway that this adoption could be a win-win for everyone. That the birthmother doesn't have to lose, so another family can gain. I would love to talk with anyone who has experienced different degrees of open adoption. On the one hand, I feel like she is my niece and her family is our extended family, but not really sure what that would look like in an open adoption.

The most awesome part today was being able to see the baby via sonogram and hear his heart beat! Absolutely amazing!!!! Our birthmom took the pictures home to show her mother, but she said she would give them us to afterward. That would be super awesome, but I don't want her to feel like she has too.

Anyway please continue to lift her up in prayer. Pray for her health. Pray that the rest of her pregnancy is uneventful. Pray that she remains steadfast in her decision to choose adoption for this child. Pray for her emotions and any sadness or grief she may experience. I just want to protect her from that.

Pray for us as we anxiously anticipate the time. Give us a sense of peace and calm as we go through the homestudy process. I have found myself nervous about the financial risk and the potential to lose it all. Again, I need to commit my fears to God.

Thank you Jesus, for your divine intervention in our lives. Help me to fear not (Isaiah 41:10).


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who are we that your are mindful of us?

Lord who are we that you are so mindful of us? I simply cannot wrap my head around it.

First let me start with some history.

A while back, I remember praying to God about having another child. I remember he said to me, "someday you will have a baby". Of course I literally took that to mean that "I" Kim Gjerde would actually conceive and give birth to a child. Not that I don't believe that might never happen, although honestly the whole idea of it makes me really nervous. Never in a million years did I imagine what is happening now.

Olav and I have always wanted more children in our home. We love Lily dearly, I didn't want her to grow up all alone and we just felt like we had more to give to a child. However another adoption domestic or foreign was out of the question due to financial restraints. Olav always said that we could not go through the pain of adoptng again, unless the child landed on our doorstep.

We had talked about foster care, but I was really uneasy. We had already gone to the classes previously and I left in tears, having flashbacks to when I had custody of Lily and I was fearful they were going to take her away from me. In November, we spoke with a foster mom and she encouraged us to look into it. She said that God gives her the strength she needs to handle those difficult times. Plus she had this beautiful african american baby girl that just melted my heart and I thought, why not try.

So in a huge leap of faith Olav and I decided to take the classes to become licensed as foster care parents. While still super nervous, I felt like I personally was in a much better place emotionally than I was when we signed up to take the classes previously.

The classes were great. We learned ALOT through them. While taking the classes, awesome things started to happen. First we got a phone call from our friend who mentioned that a local family whom had adopted from China was considering offerring the child up for readoption. Of course we told our friend we would be interested. Next we got a phone call from another friend who mentioned that their brother and his girlfriend are expecting a child and that adoption may be on the table for discussion. Of course we said that we would be interested. We couldn't believe it! While we were considering foster care and adopting through foster care, we weren't actively seeking or expecting anyone to contact us about a possible adoption.

Fast forward to this past tuesday...

We receive an email from a young mother whom we know asking us if we would considering adopting again!

As you an imagine the answer was an resounding YES!

Immediately we contacted our adoption lawyer who was extremely helpful in helping us bring Lily home and finalizing her adoption and asked her how this all works and how much something like this costs. Remarkably the fees for this adoption will be exactly or less than we will be receiving back on our tax refund from the IRS, with whom we had just completed less than a day or two before!

So we set up to meeting with the birthmother and her family on Saturday night.

Prior to the meeting we did not know the gender of the baby. However thursday morning while Olav was having his quiet time he was reading the passage in Judges where an angel of the Lord appears to Samson's parents (pre-Samson of course) and tells them they are going to have a child. Olav heard God tell him that the unborn baby will be a boy. He emailed me at work and told me we were having a boy! Of course when I got the email, I screamed with excitement. I even ran upstairs and told my good friend that we were having a boy. Of course at that time I didn't know that he hadn't been told by the birthmother, but by God. But I must say one thing about Olav...when God speaks to him, he really speaks to him, so I believe him!

So fast forward this past Saturday night, we go to meet with the birthmother and her family. I was so totally expecting to be interviewed, screened, scrutinized etc. But no...they said that they wanted us to be the adoptive parents for this child. Holy moly!!!!! And guess what....the baby is a BOY!!!!! and he is due on May 18th. Less than 2 months away!!!!! Oh my goodness....Lord who are we that your are mindful of us!!!!!!!

So tommorow I get to go with the birthmom to John Hopkins to visit with a specialized ob gyn to see if the birthmom might need to deliver there due to her personal health issues or if she can go to her local hospital. On tuesday I get to go with her for the sonogram. I get to see our son! She even has invited us to the hospital for when she gives birth. We won't be able to be in the room with her because she has to have a c-section, but we will be able to see the baby in the nursery and do all the things first time parents get to do!!!!! Needless to say I am super excited and feel really at peace.

I do ask you to pray for the birthmother. While she says she is confident in her decision and seems unwaivering, I pray that all those pregnancy hormones don't trip her up. Pray for her health and the baby's health.

Lastly, I know many of you might want to know why she is choosing adoption or why she choose us so late in the game...and why we know these answers, we don't want to share them as to protect her. Furthermore, we know that all things work out for the good who love him.

Thank you for taking this new journey with us! I pray that it will be peaceful and rather uneventful and that God's amazing providence, power, and might will be shine brightly for all those who know any of the parties involved might see.

With much love,