Sunday, December 29, 2013

"My home is in Heaven..." ~ Billy Graham

17 years ago I stood in a crowd of thousands of people in a California amphitheater. We were there to hear some guy speak. I didn't really know who he was but I knew that he was famous... and I could sense from the energy of the crowd that something huge was going to happen. I knew that God would move and my life would be changed. His name was Billy Graham. 

I was 13 years old and in 3 months I would undergo a major surgery to fuse my spine in order to stop the progress of my Scoliosis. The back brace I wore had become a part of me... something that I couldn't imagine living without. It held me together... binded the parts of me that were broken and seemingly, defined the parts of me that were not. My head knew that back surgery was 'routine'... my heart hadn't gotten the memo.

I was terrified.

When a doctor preps you for surgery, he explains the pros in depth... and quickly mentions the cons. The risks. Death always seems to be a risk. This time was no different.

I stood surrounded by friends and strangers at the same time. A man came on stage and I can't remember a word he said... but his words hushed the crowd of thousands and the world seemed to fade away. His presence was empowering... his words echoed off the walls of your heart.

I would say I couldn't speak for everyone there... but I'm certain that I can.

His words changed people. They changed me.

I remember his question; Would you like to dedicate your life to Christ? I'll help you!

But I had done that years ago. His conclusion didn't apply to me. Until...

Have you already given your life to him? Have you spent each day living purposefully? Living for him? Would you like to RE-dedicate your life to him? Let me help you...

And I did.

And my fears faded. Death no longer filled me with fear but instead, filled me with hope! My hope rested in him and in him alone. The promises I had made years ago renewed in my heart and became the anthem of my life.

All because of his words.... of the words that my Jesus put in the mouth of a man.

A man named Billy Graham.

In early October I was contacted by the Billy Graham Association. One of their head publicists reads our blog. A compliment? I think so!

The Billy Graham Association wanted to host a blogger luncheon. They were inviting some of the top bloggers in our region and wanted to clue us in on the BGA and what makes it tick, what they have to offer our community, and most of all, who this guy is. 

If you've ever heard of Billy Graham, then you know that no one in their right mind would pass up an opportunity like this. And if you've never heard of him, a quick Google search will give you some perspective.

The day was amazing! Billy Graham Headquarters... the birth-place of so many of his movies and crusades and interviews... breath-taking! The library... a chronicle of his life... of the millions of people who were imprinted in the patchwork of his heart from the day he was born... inspiring. Pieces of his life... large and small, minute and monumental... all played a part in the purpose of his life... humbling.

I didn't learn anything about the life of Billy Graham that I didn't already know. It's impossible to attend one of his crusades and lose track of him... he's just 'that guy'. What I learned had more to do with his ministry than anything...

The Library, located in Charlotte, NC, has something to offer for everyone... free tours of the library that chronicles the plan God has for his life from day 1, Christmas festivities free of charge, tea parties and luncheons for kids, gardens more beautiful than any I've ever seen...

A hidden gem.

Billy Graham's life work defines 'purpose'. His library, just one small glimpse into the life of a true prophet, gives anyone who visits determination to find their own. Men like him are few... his life has been rich and full... but his time is growing short. Pray for this man. Learn more about him... visit his legacy... support his cause. 

I am honored to have been given a glimpse into his life... a life that changed lives... including mine.

My perspective was changed, my fear was squelched, and my life-verse can now be echoed through his words...

"My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world."
~ Billy Graham

To Lisa and the many people who made opened up this opportunity and included me in the impressive list of bloggers who were invited... thank you! I am proud to be considered a Billy Graham Blogger and look forward to working with you in the future to continue the purpose of Billy Graham's life and of his library... to carry on his legacy.

Other BGA Bloggers;

Emily A. Clark
Malise Terrell
Briana Bruzali
Gail Purath 
Jennifer Schmidt
Megan Scheibner 

A little about us...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Give the freaking Elf a break!

Do you know someone who's faith in the human race and belief in all things good was shattered when they realized that there really is no Santa?
Probably not.
Have you ever met someone who never spoke to their parents again when they finally told them who the real Santa is?
I didn't think so.
Does your 5 year old daughter believe that Cinderella and Ariel and Jasmine live at Disney World?
I'd guess that she does,
Does your son think that Superman saves kittens and stops trains?
He does.
So why is everyone giving the Elf so much flack?!
My news feed is full of people who are 'confused' by the hype surrounding the Elf... who put other parents on the naughty list when their Elf tee-pee's the Christmas tree or repels from the doorbell.
Whether you facilitate and encourage your child's belief in Santa or not.... whether your Elf reads the Bible or ate the last cookie... or if Cinderella lives in a computer or Superman is just a man in a cape...
Did you believe in Santa when you were little? How'd you turn out?
Did you think that Belle was the most beautiful girl in the whole world? How'd you turn out?
Did Superman follow your airplane to Gramma's house? How are you doing after that?
I am disgusted lately that the biggest argument in a season of joy and family and BELIEVING is whether or not the belief in Santa is healthy or why an Elf would get into a little trouble (I do, however agree with those who think he's slightly creepy looking...).
So annoying.
My kids believe in Santa... it's from their belief in Santa that they learned how to say 'ho ho ho' when they were babies and it's him who first introduced them to candy canes and started their little minds to thinking about cause and effect... naughty vs. nice. Santa works at the North Pole in the Winter but he spends his summer in Heaven with Jesus and our angel baby. He and Kazaar (yes... we believe in the Elf, too) meet at McDonalds and chat about the week's happenings... over a McFlurry. For a few short weeks out of the year, we don't have to take privileges away... because Kazaar is watching... so we all get dessert, everyone gets to watch the Christmas show before bed, friends come over to play when plans are made... and that's just good enough! We get to watch our kids' faces light up when Kazaar gets into a little trouble... no one is perfect, after all!! (And... Elf's get bored when we're not home!)
I don't care if your kids believe in Santa or not.... they'll be fine either way. 
I don't care if you have an Elf or not.... they'll be fine either way.
But we have chosen to allow our kids a few short years of a little extra what? It doesn't really matter, does it?!
In the world they will grow up in... whether they believe in Santa or not.... they sadly face a lifetime of more significant disappointments; people aren't always good or nice... not everyone believes in Jesus like we do... people die... not everyone is going to go to Heaven... the Bible doesn't tell us what happens to our pets when they die...
We have chosen to allow our kids the opportunity to believe in Santa and Kazaar.... it won't last forever... their lives won't end when Santa and Kazaar turn into Mom and Dad....

and  they'll always know what Christmas is truly about, because we're the one's who are responsible for that....
And we've chosen to give them a lifetime of memories.... waiting in line to meet Santa.... sitting at the top of the stairs while mom and dad take a painfully long time to brush their teeth so they can run downstairs and see what Santa brought them... anticipating the surprise when Kazaar took flight while they were sleeping and landed himself in a new spot...
We made that choice.
You made your's.
Don't judge me and I won't judge you....
(though our Elf might... ;-))

But please, give the freaking Elf a break!

And just to tick off a few of you 'Elf Critics' even more, I thought I'd share with you what our Jesus-believing, Santa-serving, church-going, love-and-logic practicing, away-in-the-manger, tree-tee-peeing Elf gets into when the babies go to bed...

When the babies are away, the Elf will play (courtesy of said-babies' Daddy and Uncle ;-))...


Make sure you don't miss our new info video.... we love it!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baby K update and our new video!

I continue to be amazed by the overwhelming response to Baby K's story... the dedication you all have had in finding her family has been truly remarkable!
I have to apologize to so many of you ... I've received dozens of messages and emails asking for an update on sweet Baby K and I haven't responded to one of them :-/ I'm so sorry! But this was because I had no update to give you... 
When an adoption situation crosses my path, I put lots of effort into verifying the details and confirming policies, etc about the representing agency or attorney. I'm super picky about the situations I put in front of you.... I KNOW your passion for these kids and I KNOW that God uses you to move mountains on their behalf so it's never my intention to mislead or misrepresent anyone! I take it very seriously.
I did my research on Baby K's agency and even spoke to the woman who was primarily responsible for finding her family... she and I were in contact with each other as your emails poured into her inbox! When the number of inquiries about Baby K reached over 500 she asked me to remove Baby K's story so she had time to catch up on follow-ups for the inquiries she had already received. I did so right away and she promised that she would keep me posted as they continued searching for a family... and she promised to let me know if they needed any more help.
Long story short... she never followed-up.
And that's where I get pretty ticked off... for you AND for me.
I spent the majority of last week emailing, calling and texting the agency to get some sort of update on Baby K. We all need to understand that privacy is the main concern in adoption situations... Baby K's story had travelled SO far, her picture had been posted everywhere, and the agency had to be careful to protect this sweet girl AND her family. HOWEVER, the response I finally got last Friday was NOT good enough for me...
"We can't disclose any information.'
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! People's lives have been forever changed by Baby K's story... hearts became aware of special needs adoption, of adoption in general as an option for their family, and I didn't accept that as an adequate answer. So I pushed... hard. Is she ok?! ALIVE?! Does she have a family? Was it one of the 90,000 people who visited this blog ALONE over those 2 days?! These people deserve a little better than that!
And here's what I got...
'Baby K is alive and doing very well."
And that, my friends has to be enough.
Needless to say, I won't be posting any more situations from that particular agency. And please, just know how much you helped... how many lives have been changed... and that 'our' sweet girl is alive and well :-)
On another note...
I'm SO excited to share our new 'intro' video with you!! My brother has an amazing talent for photography and film... he has done incredible videos for PT schools, churches, and has recently been asked to complete a film for a local refugee ministry! SO... when he asked me if I wanted a video just for On Loan From Heaven, I couldn't wait to get started! AND... I couldn't love it more!

To watch an amazing video about our Fighter, Hunter, head over here. To see more of Eric's talent for capturing life, or if you'd like to contact him about a project that's on your mind, head over here  or email ericchole (at) me (dot) com!

Friday, December 13, 2013

the look...

Parenting a child with special needs is tough.
It's a joy, don't get me wrong...
but it's tough.
Words like 'age-appropriate' or 'developmental delays' or 'failure to thrive' swirl around in your head... but at the same time that medical professionals warn you of those terrifying realities that have become your child's life, 'don't compare' and 'I'm sure he'll catch up' and 'by the time he's 2 years old....' are meant to be soothing and comforting to the already-terrified parent.
I remember so many times when Hunter was tiny... at the store or a doctor's office... watching 'typical' kids run and play and talk... things we were told Hunter would never do. They were full of joy and life and I'd watch them longingly...
I didn't long for me...
for my son.
This is where I first became aware of 'the look.'
The look on a parents' face when, no matter how hard they try not to, they find themselves comparing their child to another seemingly-more 'normal' child... doing seemingly-more 'normal' things.
I'd watch closely... how they moved, sounded, responded to kids and adults... and I'd look at my son and my heart would shatter.
Not because he wasn't good enough or as good as them... because he was.
It would shatter for him.
For the things he'd never be able to do or say or understand... for what he would miss out on in life...
And I would walk through the rest of my day paralyzed with the fear that if he wasn't able to run and play and talk and understand, then he would never experience joy... the joy that comes from being full of life.
'The look' in my face... the look I know other mom's could see... was the look of a Mama who was....
scared? anxious?
jealous, even?
That's a hard one to swallow.
It took months for me to learn how to hide 'the look'... how to block out the sounds and sights of other kids who were Hunter's age. I put so much energy into ignoring what was 'typical' and settled over and over again on the reality that Hunter would be his own 'typical'... his movements and growth and development redefined 'normal' in my head.
And I was ok resting there for a while... in a place where 'normal' and 'typical' didn't exist... where the sounds and sights of kids running and playing and talking and responding to their surroundings didn't define 'normal' anymore.
We were sitting in the waiting room at Hunter's Audiologists the other day ... Hunter took over the place! He was running from chair to chair... he would walk over to someone else who was waiting and would gently put his hand on their knee, just so they would say 'hi' to him... he'd move on and grab a magazine just so he could throw it on the floor... he made himself welcome behind the front desk and got a kick out of the paper shredder...
and then I saw them.
The beautiful couple sitting around the corner with their son, in the far side of the waiting room. Their 6 year old son was in a wheelchair... sitting up, but not really... aware, but not... happy, so happy!
His parents were watching Hunter so closely... his movement, his sounds, how he responded to his surroundings....

the look.

We were getting the look... US!

My heart broke at the longing in their face... the grief.... the jealousy.

It was as if Hunter sensed their attention and, as if on cue, he walked over to their son's wheelchair and gently placed his hand on the wheel. He looked from the boy to his parents and back at me... I knew what he was asking me and I nodded... he looked back at the sweet boy and smiled at him before he toddled off.

He broke the ice for me...

Their son had just had brain surgery... he went into it as a fully hearing boy and came out of it deaf.

As we talked... as I travelled through Hunter's story with them... I saw the most amazing thing...

as we talked, their precious son struggled to turn his head just so he could see his parents, so he could just be assured that they were there... with him, in the middle of the visual chaos and silent conversation surrounding him... he needed to see them but more that that, he needed them to see him. Their look meant that everything was ok... would be ok... that he was safe.

And it hit me;

I had spent so much time focused on how other people looked at us and how looking at other kids felt to me...

that I had missed the real looks... the only ones that matters;

the look of contentment and security and safety on my son's face when he looks for me.... and when he finds me.

And when our eyes meet? That look brings out confidence and strength in him ... confidence and strength that only a glance between us can bring out in him because I'm the one who taught him that look, after all.

"I love how your son looks at you."

They sat speechless... and something else amazing happened...

their look slowly transformed from hopeless...

to hopeful.

A few simple words... a million hidden meanings.

What makes a child 'normal' or 'typical' isn't in their movement or language...

it's in their look...

 the one that tells them that they're wanted and accepted and deserving... that they're strong and capable and confident... the one that defines 'joy'...

the one that tells them that they're loved.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tube Sock Snowman- Tutorial!

I have LOVED being Hannah's Room Mom this year... it just always felt like one of those things that stay at home moms do... and the fact that I get to do it makes me want to do it so well!
I am NOT the crafty type... don't get me wrong; I can make a mean tissue paper pom pom or scrapbook paper pinwheel but they followed over an hour of studying online tutorials and asking friends for help ;-)
The 'craft' part of being Room Mom has been the most challenging for me. Reindeer Nutter Butters, Snowman String Cheese, Grinch Fruit Kabobs... easy!

A craft that's cheap and easy for a 5 year old to do without strict adult supervision?
Another story completely.
 I was SO SO SO excited when I ran across Tube Sock Snowmen on Pinterest! The pin I found didn't have a link but I was able to find a wonderful tutorial ... and I could not be more excited about doing this project with Hannah's class at their Christmas party! In fact, Hannah and I have had so much fun creating our 'samples' that we've decided to make family gifts out of them, too ;-)
I've done my best to give you a step by step tutorial and I sincerely encourage everyone to do this craft with your kids this year... they make adorable gifts for grandparents or birth parents or teachers or.. anyone! And they are a decoration that anyone would love to pull out year after year!
So here goes nothing....
Tube Sock Snowmen
(in 6 easy steps!!)
I purchased everything needed for this project at WalMart and will include prices for you, too to give you an idea of your investment... and believe me, it's worth every penny!
You'll need....

*1 package of men's white tube socks (6 pairs will make 12 snowmen) ~ $5.00
* 1 box of rice or 1 bag of dry beans (optional)~ $1.97
* 1 bag of Fiber Filling ~ $3.47
* 1 package of black 'fuzzy sticks' ( 20 pipe cleaners)~ $0.88
* 1 package of red 'fuzzy sticks' (20 pipe cleaners)~ $0.88
* 1 package of 'wiggly eyes'~ $0.97
* 1 package of various sized buttons (any colors)~ $1.97
* 1 package of pom poms (various sizes, any colors)~ $1.97
* Fabric glue or hot glue gun
* Holiday or birthday ribbon in any size, color, or shape (I liked using wired ribbon)

Total (will make 12 snowmen)~ $17.11 (plus tax)


Step 1 (optional):

Pour a small amount of rice or beans into the bottom of the tube sock to provide a base for the snowman to stand on. It seems as though the project will work without the base but it does help provide stability!

Step 2:

Stuff tube sock with fiber filling... approximately 3/4 full.

Step 3:

Tie the open end of the full tube sock in a knot.

Step 4:

Fold the open end back over the knot to create the snowman's hat (secure with a dab of hot glue or fabric glue, if you'd like to. I didn't and they still turned out great!).

Step 5:

Tie off the top 1/3 of the tube sock with your choice of ribbon to create the snowman's head and body. (I used the Holiday ribbon I already had and found that the wired ribbon made the best bows).

Step 6:

Decorate to your heart's delight!!

* The black pipe cleaner arms stick right into the sock... no cutting, gluing, or sewing necessary!! If you're SUPER crafty (I told you that I am not), you could even find some real sticks ;-)
* A tiny piece of red pipe cleaner made a cute mouth!
* We used a tiny pom pom for the nose and a larger one for the cute puff-ball hat.
* Use as many buttons as you'd like for your snowman!

The best part of this craft?! Hannah was able to do almost every step by herself and each snowman took about 5 minutes to make.... all 12 took us about an hour! It truly became a project created by her and with her cute signature on the bottom, I can't imagine a better school craft , birth-parent present, or family gift! 

(See original tutorial here)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

OAB Interview Project: Judy Miller Part II

~~~ If you missed Part I of my interview with Judy Miller, be sure you read through it here first!~~~
 Part II...
Lindsay:  You and your husband are more ‘seasoned’ parents than many of my readers who are just starting their families through adoption… where do you and your husband find support for your relationship with each other? What advice can you offer to the parents of young children whose relationship is trying to weather the storm of infertility or the challenges of adoption?
Judy: I still find my guy to be the most amazing man ever. We have grown up and experienced an awful lot together—infertility, loss of a child, deaths of siblings and parents, adoption, and raising children with special needs. He is my safe place, and I am his. This is our journey that we committed to, wholly and together.
We make ourselves a priority, and this grew out of our oldest son would accosting my husband after work when he was just a little guy. My husband was just starting his business, and was exhausted. Although thrilled to see our son he needed “15” (time to transition into the house environment) after a long workday. It dawned on me then that we also needed designated time for ourselves. I made sure we had a minimum of one “date” night, as well as time away from the kids—an overnight, a weekend away, and sometimes longer. Our kids think this is pretty cool, and they benefit by seeing our commitment to each other.
 Advice for parents? Be truthful, and graceful with your words. Listen with your soul. Remind yourselves why you fell in love and married in the first place. Continue to date each other. Dates can simply be having a glass of wine together on the porch on a summer evening or taking a long walk in the outdoor beauty. Take time to connect and share.
 Infertility does, in a way, prepare a person for the adoption process. People challenged with infertility are not in control; nor will they be during the adoption process. Their adopted child will have suffered great loss, as they have. Adults will arrive, hopefully, into parenting with empathy for loss.
Lindsay:  Your family has grown so beautifully through adoption, but as I know all too well, adoption doesn’t ‘cure’ infertility. You and your husband experienced fertility challenges after your son was born … did your decision to grow your family through adoption ‘interrupt’ the inevitable grief one travels through with infertility? Do you think you ever finish the grieving process, even when you know your family is whole and complete? 
Judy: There are still times when I become very sad. I sometimes experience this when working with parents who are adopting after experiencing infertility and/or the loss of a child. Sometimes, I think of my child during month she was due. Some years are tougher than others.
I view grieving and joy as two branches of the same tree. And yes, I know we speak of trees often within the adoption world. But, the branch of sadness intertwines with the branch of profound joy of being blessed with my kids and being their mom. What a sacred privilege!
I don’t think we ever “get over it.” The pain softens, the ache dulls, but it’s always there.
Are we whole? Are we complete? I don’t know… We always say we’re still listening.
a.       What advice can you offer to the waiting adoptive mama as she prepares her heart and life for motherhood?
Judy: Prepare yourself to be open and to appreciate what adoption can mean for your child as he or she ages. Accept that parenting the adopted child IS different than parenting a biological child. Recognize that although you’ve been “vetted” you may need to speak to someone or seek support in the future, in order to support your child. Understand that your child’s story is theirs, and should not be shared with others 
Take the time before your child arrives to streamline your life and prioritize what matters, and prepare any siblings, family members and close friends for the child’s arrivals. And keep your expectations low
b.      What advice can you offer to the adoptive mama of a child approaching tween years who is anxious or feeling ill-equipped to handle the evolution of her child’s emotions and thoughts toward his/her adoption?
Prepare early. Changes in children are occurring in the brain long before the physical signs are present.
Make sure your child has the all the facts about his or her story prior to adolescence, even the tough truths. Understand that how your child views his or her adoption and what it means to them will evolve.
Know that your child may experience feelings from the inherent core issues; understand how they may manifest. Understand that what your child may come to feel and express isn’t about you; it’s wholly about him or her. Read my guide, What To Expect From Your Adopted Tween, or work with me so that you can be prepared for your child’s approaching tween and teen years.

Monday, November 11, 2013

OAB Interview Project; Meet Judy Miller!
I am honored to once again have the opportunity to participate in Open Adoption Bloggers' Interview Project. This is something I look forward to every year, not only for the chance to meet and get to know other open adoption bloggers, but it always gives me the opportunity to re-live so many aspects of our own journey to and through adoption.
This year, I was matched with Judy Miller and I have found myself enthralled by her experiences in adoption, intimated by her knowledge of parenting, and so thankful for the chance to get to know her!
Judy is the mama of one 'home-grown' and three adopted children. Her life experiences include travelling through infertility, losing a child through miscarriage, adopting internationally, writing and publishing a successful book, and teaching courses to adoptive parents in the throws of their children's adolescence, among so many other things. You can read Judy's thoughts as she wanders through her own childrens' adoption stories on her blog, Parenting Your Adopted Child; Tweens, Teens, & Beyond. You can also access and purchase her book, What to Expect from Your Adopted Tween... a book I intend to read cover to cover soon ;-)
I know you'll enjoy reading through my interview with Judy... her insight is profound, her emotions are raw, and the knowledge she has to offer those of us in the beginning stages of adoption or parenting is not something to be missed!
(Be sure you click over to Judy's blog, too and read through her interview with me ;-))
I want nothing more than for you to absorb Judy's wisdom and I've decided to split her interview into two parts to be sure you're able to do just that. SO...
Without further ado... meet Judy; Part I!
Lindsay:     What led you to build your family through adoption? How old were your children when you brought them home?
Judy: We made decision to adopt prior to marriage; we just didn’t realize how it would unfold. We were led to adopt internationally. That was always the plan, as was being a multiracial family. All of our children joined us as infants.
Lindsay:   Our adoptions were both domestic, making open adoption a very simple and reasonable option. I love your references to the ‘ambiguous loss’ your children face as they get older. How has your experience with international adoption and limited biological background information affected your tweens? How do you address those questions and possible confusion as your children process the parts of their lives that might be missing?
Judy: Ambiguous loss is very, very difficult to address. Period. There is no, “just get over it,” or, “I’m just going to love them through it.” Any parent who has either or both of these mindsets will have their eyes opened at some point.
We were aware we’d have to help our kids grapple with the unknowns—the lack of information and family and genetic history. And we’ve dealt with ambiguous loss, countless times, as well as discovering what events and situations events trigger feelings about adoption. Knowing this has helped us to be proactive.
Without going into any of their stories (because my kids’ stories are theirs, and I’m a stickler about keeping those private…), due to the nature of our kids’ adoptions, I can share there are missing “pieces.” We strive to be truthful, compassionate and supportive. We rely only on the facts we know, and we are fortunate to have enough that each of our kids has been able to build a foundation. Their frameworks sit, within the historical facts and contexts of their cultures of origin. They may decide to add to their stories in their futures, and we will be there to support them.
Lindsay:    You teach classes and write books on the joys and challenges of parenting an adopted tween and you offer advice to parents who may find themselves struggling through the tween years. As the Mama of tweens yourself, who do you turn to for advice with struggles you face at home? Do you think you hold yourself to a higher standard of parenting because of what you do?
Judy: Advice; I wish I could say my mom, but she passed away just after my oldest daughter was born. I turn to friends who are:
·         Adopted adults.
·         Adoptive transracial parents, whose kids are the same age and older than mine.
·         In interracial relationships/marriages and raising multiracial kids. 
·         Not white, nor are any of their family members.
·         Bi- and multiracial friends who are raised by parents that don’t “match.”
·         Who have immigrated into the U.S. and, when going “home,” are viewed as too American by their culture of origin. They’ve become Third World Kids (TWK).
·         Raising teens and young adults.
·         Who are of the same ethnicities as my kids.
·         Adoptive parents
I encourage parents to build a tapestry of support and diversity for their kids and themselves. I’ll share that we’ve tried to make sure our kids, including our homegrown son, have an expansive diverse groups of friends, role models, experiences, and exposure as possible. Diversity and exposure are inroads to creating openness, compassion, empathy, and understanding.
 I don’t feel I hold myself to a higher standard of parenting, however I do feel I am a very informed, proactive, open parent because of the work I do.

Lindsay:  Being the mom who supports other adoptive parents in their parenting techniques, how do you think your ‘profession’ affects your relationship with your own children(their openness with you, their ability to discuss their thoughts and feelings with you, etc)?  
Judy: My profession—work and advocacy—has helped me appreciate the complexity of adoption, and that of parenting the adopted child. I’ve come to embrace openness as a tool to unlock secrecy, shed light on shame, and face and walk through fear. And through modeling this, teach my kids to do the same.  
I’ve realized that being open in mind and heart is true compassion and support, further serving to “open” my kids and their abilities to communicate their needs as well as promoting our trust in each other and solidifying our relationships. I’ve learned the parenting journey is the toughest “job” I’ll ever love and is fraught with challenges because of the complexities of adoption. I’ve also learned that there are many optional tools to use for raising kids, which is so important, as they all are different.
~~~~Head over here to read Part II of my interview with Judy!!~~~~

Click here to read through dozens of other Open Adoption Blogger Interviews!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stream of Consciousness.... 'Choosing' Adoption

I've written before about one thing that separates conception from adoption more than anything else, in my opinion.

No matter how it may seem, hopeful adoptive couples are given much control in their journey to grow their family through adoption. Sure, it's a long and stressful process... but we tend to focus on the control we DON'T have and don't focus enough on the control we DO have;

We get to choose the race of our baby.

We get to specify our comfort-zone when it comes to a birth-mom's past behaviors, lifestyle and health.

We can say 'yes' or 'no' to CP, or CF, or DS, or AIDS, or STDs, or ADHD, or missing limbs, or hearing loss, or blood disorders, or blindness, or prematurity, or heart defects, or kidney issues, or liver dysfunction, or pulmonary problems, or ...

Those last 5? Okay, yeah... it's getting personal now.

Many hopeful adoptive couples use themselves as the guideline by which they rank their level of comfort...

"I have never done drugs so I'm not open to a child who has been exposed to drugs."
And that's fair.

"I don't drink so I'm not open to a child who has been exposed to alcohol."
That's fair, too.

"If we conceived, our baby would not have A, B, and C so we aren't open to A, B, and C."
I get that.

I really do.

While Joey and I have always taken the 'check list of openness' very seriously, nothing causes you to stop and think about your level of comfort more than coming face to face with said baby who has A, B, C, D, E, F.... and so on.

When we first learned about Hunter, all of his medical issues were fully disclosed to us; heart issues, kidney issues, liver problems, and more I haven't mentioned... on top of his prematurity.

Here's the thing.... many many times in the 2 years we waited for Baby Smith #2 were we introduced to 'special needs' babies... Downs Syndrome, FAS, drug exposure, HIV, schizophrenia, and more. For each situation we became aware of we prayed, talked to family and doctors, researched, and asked ourselves honestly if this baby, and everything that came or could come with him or her was really right for us.

Inevitably, 'seomthing' always caused us to move on.... to continue waiting.
When we heard about Hunter... and ALL of his medical needs and unknowns.... we didn't hesitate to ask when we could meet him.

Sure, we did our research and prayed and talked to family and doctors but when it came down to it... when we were forced to be completely honest with ourselves and truly envisioned what our future could look like with this baby boy, it was right.

I've wondered many times why he felt right and the others didn't.

When I catch myself wondering.... never doubting.... but wondering...
I'm reminded of one thing;

God chose me to be his daughter.

He took into consideration all of my flaws...

External; my curved spine, flawed vision, high cholesterol, migraines, clumsiness
Internal; constant worry, self-doubt, gossip, doubting HIM, moodiness...

And he chose me anyway.

He chose to look past my weaknesses and unknowns and he chose me... for me.
We walked into Hunter's isolette and spent a few minutes getting to know him. Joey held him, we chatted with his primary pediatrician and nurse, we asked our questions, talked to our social worker, and finally made eye contact with each other...

My eyebrows raised... a sure sign to Joey that I'm asking him a question.

Joey nodded... a sure sign that he understood my question.

And we cried.

As much as I'd love to say that we chose this baby.... taking into full consideration all of his 'flaws'...

He really chose us.

And in the end, his 'flaws'... his 'list' or 'special needs'... are the things that make him ... him.

They tell his story... even the one's that are no longer there.

His 'flaws' are the reason we love him as fiercely as we do... because without them... without who they have made him... we wouldn't be who WE are today.

His parents.

God chose us to be his children.... He chose Hunter to be his son.... and he chose us to be a family.

So maybe the questions and concerns and conversations were God's way of letting us, our human selves, feel like we had some iota of control over the future of our family.

The truth is.... we had a choice.

Except I'm so thankful that we really didn't.

Monday, November 4, 2013

UPDATE on Baby Girl

I have just spoken with the agency representing the precious baby girl who is in need of a family.... the response to her need has been overwhelming and can only be described as a movement of God's love on her behalf! It's been truly remarkable to witness!

The job of matching a child with his/her family is a tall order... home studies, support systems, capabilities, finances, location... there's so much to sort through to even consider someone as a 'candidate' for such a special, but complex baby girl. Those of us who have adopted know this all too well....

I have taken baby-girl's story down for the moment while the agency's special needs department sorts through and responds to each inquiry... it is of utmost importance to them that they respond to each and every inquiry and do their best to find the right match for her. If a family still has not been found in the next few days, we will repost! And as soon as she has found her family, we'll be the first to know!

If you're a family who inquired about her, please be patient! You WILL hear from her placing agency... give them some time and keep praying :-)

I am humbled beyond words at how fast and how far this baby's story has traveled... the intense love and heart for special needs adoption has been pulled out of so many hearts through her story! 

Whether this was the first time your heart has been tugged at by adoption or whether it's been a constant ebb and pull that you've ignored for quite a while.... don't ignore your hearts this time, friends. This baby isn't the only one who needs a special family.... there are thousands more; overseas, in the US, and in your city and state. I'd like to encourage you to research local agencies and foster care systems.... let this baby girl's life leave a legacy by building your family through adoption!

In the mean time, please continue to pray for her... for her health and especially for the special family who's hearts are being prepared to welcome their baby girl home... even if they don't know it yet!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Not To Say Part VI: The Grieving Friend

Grief; deep sorrow, especially that caused by someones death. Misery. Sadness. Anguish. Pain. Agony. Heartbreak. Desolation. Despair. Torment.

Those words are so real to me.

Maybe they are to you, too....

And I was going to wait for this post because some might see it as a cry out from me or a complaint... But really, I just have too many hurting friends. It's needed.... I needed it then and they need it now.

Grief is what I believe to be the most raw and unforgiving emotion in existence. It follows you.... a dark shadow that you wish you could run from. In moments when the light seeps in, you know in the back of your mind that it's still right around the corner... waiting. It's a memory full of now fruitless hopes and dreams... a wish that came true in the cruelest of ways.

A lifetime without feeling the reality of those words wouldn't be long enough.

There isn't a rule book or a simple 'hot-to' for the walk through grief.

And there really isn't a rule book that outlines what to say to someone who is grieving.

Holding someone to any kind of standard in the cycle of grief just doesn't seem fair.... it isn't fair....

but in our purest desire to comfort and console, I've learned that sometimes.... just sometimes... a phrase that feels gentle and positive on it's way out.... can feel abrasive and painful on the receiving end.

I spent the past 7 weeks trying my hardest to wade through the never-ending tide of grief as I find my new normal without our precious #3. I have felt supported and encouraged by so many friends and family members who have soldiered around me to offer their strength in moments when I have none... in moments when the tide is coming and I just don't know if I'm going to find a way to move in time. The waves of sadness and anguish are often-times unexpected and they can be overwhelming... but they're always allowed.

"I'm praying for you." "I'm here if you need me." "What can we do to help?" "How are you holding up?"

But there's one.... that one comment that seems to be the most encouraging and uplifting on the surface.... and it's the one that carries the most potential to cause even deeper hurt.

"Aren't you so thankful for the 2 babies that you do have?"
"Just look at everything you have been blessed with."
"Doesn't this make you even more grateful?"

The most common response to grief.... coming from a place of concern... sinks into a place that cues guilt and shame.

As soon as those words are uttered, the conversation is over. The person who is hurting has no choice but to move on from the conversation ... a conversation that was necessary and needed.

"I'm so thankful for them!" "I am so blessed!" "I've never been more grateful!"

but the words hang close, leaving the taste of an implied sense of failure in the one who is grieving...

Those comments carry within them a challenge of sorts.... an "I dare you", so to speak.

The griever hears something completely different...

"How dare you focus so much on the loss of this baby when you have 2 right in front of you?"
"When will you move on and enjoy the things you do have?"
"Let's stop talking about this and talk about something else."

they carry the implication that your sadness isn't fair to your family.... or that you're taking too much time to grieve.... or that the moment is gone and it's time to move on...

But the thing about grief?

Rehashing over and over again to you.... is healing to them. Repetitious darkness and sadness to you... turn into a balm of hope and enlightenment for them.

How can I support someone wading through the quick-sand of grief?

One of my very best friends had distanced herself some in the week or so after our miscarriage and one day her text came...

"I just don't know what to say. I know you're hurting and I wish I could help but I don't know how. It's ok to hurt. I'm so sorry, Lindsay."

And that was enough. No expectations. No instructions or suggestions.

When grief consumes you, the permission to hurt keeps you afloat... but it's the knowledge that you'll never be left alone, no matter how much time passes or how long the sadness lasts or who you are on the other side, that brings the most healing to someones heart.

The day before Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world (John 3:16), he asked his closest friends to sit with him in the garden of Gethsemane while he prayed and the Bible says that he 'plunged into an agonizing sorrow."


"This sorrow is crushing my life out of me. Stay here please, and keep watch over me."

Jesus didn't want to be alone. He didn't ask for his friends to help him devise a plan or want them to fix the inevitable.

While Jesus grieved... in the moments when he was wrecked with anguish and torment over what he was facing, his friends got bored. They fell asleep.

"Can't you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay awake for me!"
(Matthew 26:36-46)

Being the friend of someone in pain is not a job to be taken lightly... even Jesus' request for support in his darkest hour was too much for his friends to handle. It's hard. Walking this kind of path with someone can turn into a long-term position.... and it can be just as hard for the friend as it is for the one in need.

So you ask again...

How can I support someone wading through the quick-sand of grief?

Let them hurt. Remind them often that you hurt because they hurt. Be with them. Stay awake and alert.

And one day... hopefully not too soon... but one day... you'll have the most amazing friend keeping watch for you.


Click below to read through the What Not To Say series...

Part I: What not to say to someone struggling with infertility

Part II: Infertility Part II

Part III: What not to say to an adoptive parent

Part IV: What not to say to a birth mom

Part V: What not to say to a waiting, hopeful adoptive parent

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day... Will you share your baby with me?

I wanted to find a special way to acknowledge Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and a few words continue to float through my mind and my heart...

Embarrassment. Guilt. Quiet. Sadness. Fear.

We lost our precious #3 2 years ago, but the pain is still fresh... I've travelled through feeling embarrassed that my body couldn't do what it was 'supposed' to do. I've carried the weight of guilt on my own shoulders that a precious life is missing from our family. I've isolated certain people... and sadness continues to be a common theme throughout some of my days. I'm scared that our #3 will one day be forgotten.

We've received so much support since sharing our story and I've been floored and honored by how many women have in turn, shared their losses with me... but some of them are women I know. Women I know really really well. But I didn't know about the most precious part of their heart that is missing.

Why is that? Why the silence and secrecy about the babies that our hearts break for every day?
Hundreds of organizations are spending today celebrating and remembering the lives of the missing pieces of our world.... of our hearts. Families will release balloons or butterflies in honor of their sweet baby. As sweet as those celebrations are, thousands of woman... like me... just aren't in a place to make their day of remembrance that public... that big.

But our babies deserve to be remembered. WE deserve to honor them and remember them...
So here... in the safety of this blog... of my own haven...

Will you share your baby with me?

It's a tall order... it might take you a while to share... and sometimes our memories are painful... but will you?

I would love nothing more than to fill today with the memories of our babies.

Leave a comment here or on Facebook introducing us to your sweet pea.... don't just copy and paste a previous blog post... take a second to really remember.  Tell me your story or simply give me a name or date... does a specific quote or verse remind you of your baby? Tell me.

Remember your baby today~ shamelessly, without guilt or fear or embarrassment... I know that the sadness is inevitable but I would love nothing more than to 'meet' your angel today!
And if you're really brave, introduce your angel to your friends and family; let the world know that we're not a statistic... We're mama's and daddy's who have pieces of our hearts waiting for us in Heaven!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Hunter Update.... "Your Son May Never Walk..."

(If you're new to Hunter's story and the miracles of his life, please start here and then head over here)
10 weeks premature.
Resuscitation at birth.
A fatal heart condition.
Cerebral Palsy.
If the heart condition didn't kill him, a rare metabolic disorder that would.

If you know Hunter's story, you know that this list has changed significantly over the past 18 months... Hunter's heart condition is gone and he doesn't have CP or a metabolic disorder. Hunter's miracles.
I know I've said it before but... we were ok with that list.
Yes. It's a scary list. Yes. In a way, we signed up for it. Yes. We were terrified.

But our fear... it wasn't for us. It was for Hunter.
The lessons we've learned over the past 18 months... the numerous ways we've been stretched and challenged and tested... are life-changing.
The miracles God has preformed in the past 18 months... the one's He continues to shower down on our son... are life-giving.
I have never known someone as hard-working, as determined, and as hard-headed as Hunter. His work ethic would be considered unheard-of for a middle-aged, successful adult. His determination and his fighter instinct are why he is alive.
You see... when your life begins as Hunter's did, nothing comes 'natural'. That word just doesn't seem to exist in his world.
Eating never came naturally. Sucking on a pacifier never came naturally. Rolling over and sitting up never came naturally. Crawling? Pulling up? Squatting? Going from crawl to sit or sit to crawl or crawl to pull up or pull up back to sit or ...
everything he 'shouldn't' have ever been able to do....
they didn't come 'naturally' to him.
We have seen him work for every single thing that he does; from breathing.... to sucking on a pacifier.... to breathing and sleeping at the same time... to using a bottle... to breathing and sucking from a bottle at the same time... to holding a bottle... rolling over... sitting up... crawling... using a spoon... chewing... pulling up...
The effort it takes, the amount of time his amazing therapists spend with him, the painful crying when his body fights his will to learn and do better...
When he succeeds?
I've never seen such joy... so much unashamed and well-deserved pride... on someone's face.
The thing about Hunter?
He always succeeds.
Every. Single. Time.
He has help, yes... from us, our family, his therapists... but his will, his hard-work and determination are what get him there....
where no one ever thought he would go.
And, friends... he's going places....

Just 18 months ago, only moments after meeting our son for the first time... completely overwhelmed and intimidated by the 3 pound precious baby boy in front of us... was the first time that we heard, "Your son may never walk or play sports and his activity may have to be limited, which will be hard for a little boy. If he does ever walk, it will be a struggle."

 I've learned that miracles can't be defined by something super-natural.... sometimes we have to physically fight for them. And maybe it's not the end result that is the miracle, itself... maybe the miracle is the determination we have to fight, that can only come from something super-natural; from our Heavenly Father.

I don't have the strength and determination that my son has. I can't help but think that I would have given up a long time ago if I ever had to go through even half of what he has. Hunter fights for the 'natural' part of his life every day. The biggest lesson he has taught me? He's taught me that miracles never come out of our fear.... but often, they do come from our willingness to fight.

I spent time just watching Hunter walk today and was completely humbled by the miracle I saw in front of me.... he is a walking miracle ;-)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Considering Abortion.... A Letter

Hi Sweet Girl~
I don't need to know your name or look into your eyes... and I don't need to have been where you find yourself tonight to know that you're terrified and in pain. If you find yourself in the greeting of this letter, then all I know about you is that you're pregnant and you have a choice to make... and I know what your choices are.

This isn't a letter that will talk politics or preach Bible verses or tell you you're killing your baby or beg you to choose adoption or tell you you're an awful person for even considering something like abortion.  All of that is about the baby you're carrying...

This is about you.

It's not a letter for comments and likes... it's about you.
My name is Lindsay. My husband and I have always wanted kids and we spent the first year of our marriage trying to build our family the 'normal' way... we had sex. After a year of having sex, just the two of us, we called in back-up. After a year of having sex under the careful instruction of a fertility specialist, as a three-some, we went back to having sex... just the two of us. We also filled out our first adoption application... 11 weeks later, we brought home our precious baby girl through an open adoption. My cycles grew more and more painful over the next year and we discovered that I had mild endometriosis.... maybe the reason we never conceived, probably not. Our specialist suggested trying again to get pregnant because a pregnancy will wipe out endo. So we did... and we quickly became a two-some again. 2 years later we brought home our precious baby-boy through an open adoption.
17 months later we got pregnant. Just like that... and probably like you did; we had sex... and got pregnant.
10 weeks later, I miscarried.

And that was 5 weeks ago.

 I have no business talking to YOU about the decision you're facing tonight. I've never faced an unwanted pregnancy. I'll never have to choose between parenting or abortion or placing my baby for adoption.

 But...I was pregnant once and I figure that's all it takes for you and me to have something in common.
Whether or not I agree with abortion doesn't matter....
I lost my baby. Choose abortion? You will, too.
So here we are.... standing on different sides of the same 'procedure'. And that's where you come in...
My husband and I had just come from the ultra-sound that showed that our baby's heart had stopped beating. We were broken.... devastated.
The doctor walked in to discuss our 'options' with us. We liked him. We could tell that this was the worst part of his job... but it was also a very 'normal' part of his job.
"I can give you a pill to take. The pill will cause your body to finish what has already started and will force miscarriage. Or you can go home and let your body figure it out on its own. It might take a few days but it could take a few weeks. You'll feel strong cramps that are actually contractions. Some women feel more comfortable letting their bodies miscarry naturally.

I had already been bleeding and cramping for almost 2 weeks... our baby had held on until the very last couple of days and waiting for the inevitable was torture. The physical pain was getting unbearable, as well. I knew my body wasn't going to handle 'natural' very well... emotionally or physically.
 "We can also do a D&C.... Dilation & Curttelage. It's the same procedure as an abortion.... except we'll give you medicine so you don't know what's happening during the procedure. Women do it every day without medicine when they have an abortion. We'll dilate your cervix by inserting various size rods. I'll use a scalpel to scrape out the content of the uterus.... (to scrape out our baby). If I need to, I'll use a vacuum to suction out larger pieces of tissue..... (which would be my baby's body and placenta). When the procedure is done, you'll have a normal period for about a week. You'll feel very normal the next day and this will all be over with. You can consider trying to get pregnant again after 2 menstrual cycles, if you want to."

Here's where I find my place in writing to you~ my doctor compared my 'procedure' to an abortion... and I'm taking that as permission to do the same.
I had my D&C the next day....
and it was nothing like he explained.
Waiting in pre-op before surgery wasn't 'normal'. No one treated me like I was 'normal'. I didn't feel judged... I felt pitied. I didn't make the choice to lose my baby.... but I still couldn't look one person in the eye. I couldn't stand to see their questions. The anesthesiologist asked me if I was ok..... "no", I said. He finished his paperwork and left.
I glanced over at my chart... looking for some written sign to every eye who read it that I had miscarried.... that this wasn't an abortion.

That's it.

So I imagine if it's you sitting in that post-op room, our charts would be identical.
They didn't know my story. They won't know your's. Maybe that will make it easier for you.... but I doubt it.
The medicine worked right away... I remember kissing my husband.... we were both crying. I fell asleep with tears running down my face.
I woke up to a nurse trying to help me put in a sanitary pad for the bleeding. I guess doctors don't do that after they take your baby out. I remember how terrified I was to pee afterwards but they wouldn't let me go home until I had.
The rest of the day was a blur.... I ate, I slept, and woke up the next morning anything but 'normal'.
I expected to bleed and I did.... but it wasn't a 'normal' period, like my doctor had said it would be.... my baby had just been scraped out of my body.
THAT'S why I was bleeding.
My stomach was crampy.... but not because of my 'normal' period.... my cervix had been stretched open with a rod so my baby could be vacuumed out.
My boobs still hurt.... I still felt nauseous.... smells bothered me for days.... I was exhausted.... pregnancy tests still detected my baby but really, they only detected parts of him/her.

The other parts? My body spent weeks trying to clean out the rest of it... of him or her. 3 weeks, to be exact. I called my doctor to ask if that much bleeding, if all of the clots and clumps were 'normal'.... "We try our best to get everything out during the 'procedure' but it's inevitable that we'll miss tissue... it may take a while for your body to get rid of what we missed." Something I wish he had included in his explanation of 'normal'.

I want to share this with you because even though I didn't make this choice, I wish so badly that someone had been able to prepare me for what would follow a 'procedure' that was so simply explained in words.  My baby was already gone... but the pain I have felt every day for the past few weeks as I've faced one of the worst experiences of my life is indescribable.

I don't wish that.... this... on anyone, whether they choose it or not.
You? You have this choice. I don't know what you'll choose in the end... it's not up to me and it's not my business. But I want so badly for you to know..... and I want you to know before.

This isn't about your baby's life. It's not about the politics behind abortion or what the Bible has to say about it.

It's about you.
Nothing about the decision you're considering is 'normal'. That's why the process you're in right now is painful and terrifying. It's not 'normal'.
After a D&C? After an abortion? Your baby is gone. Officially. Whether you wanted this or not.. the reality is sickening. There aren't any choices left to be made... there aren't any more appointments to make or people to call or research to be done or pills to take....
Your baby is gone.

And you have changed.

That part? About you changing? You don't know that you're choosing that, too.
Maybe your baby's heart had already stopped beating.... or maybe it stopped beating during your 'procedure'.... it doesn't matter because the pain is the same.
And that 'normal' that will come when it's all said and done?
It doesn't come.
Sure, you'll find a new 'normal'.....
but when you get your period, you'll think about that one that should have been 'normal'.... and why it wasn't.
when your cramps tell you that your period is about to start.... you'll remember the cramps that should have been 'normal'.... and why they weren't.
when you have sex, you'll have a moment of sheer panic when you remember.... and then a tiny part of you will wish for the moments 'before' all over again.
And all of a sudden, your new 'normal' consists of choices that have become memories.... and no matter how hard you try, memories don't change.

The emotions that follow something like a D&C... no matter how or why that D&C happened.... don't go away.
It's true... I haven't been in your shoes. And I'm thankful for that.
But I've been quite a few things....

I've been the girl who only ever wanted to be a Mommy. I've been the who wanted so badly to experience a pregnancy. I've been the girl who lost babies in the adoption process. I've been the girl who got pregnant after 7 years of infertility. I've been the girl who had a miscarriage. I've been the girl who lost a baby. I've been the girl who had a D&C.

I AM the girl who is trying desperately to recover... and I'm the girl who is absolutely terrified for every woman who will ever face being who I am right now... who I have been for the past few months... who I will be if and when my new 'normal' ever comes.
Choose to parent. Choose abortion. Or choose to place your baby for adoption.
It's true that the after-effects of all three will last forever.... when your newborn hasn't slept in days... when toddler is laying in the middle of Walgreens throwing a fit because he wants a pencil. Or when your best friend gets pregnant and you somehow know in a split second exactly how far apart your babies would have been... when your period reminds you every month of the one that should have been 'normal'. Or when every picture, letter, and visit with your precious child makes it possible for your heart to break and heal all at the same time....
 Only one of those choices makes a face disappear forever. That part is about your baby.

Only one of those choices results in a pain and memories so deep and so gut-wrenching that it has the potential to ruin you. That part is about you.

 I've also been the one who was blessed enough to become a Mommy.... by 2 women who chose to push through the pain and fear. Even though the choice they made was painful, it at least carried with it the chance for a lifetime of healing... and of knowing the precious face that they chose to carry.
I didn't choose to lose my baby... but I wish I could change it every second of the day.
I don't know how our family will grow from here.... if we'll adopt again or if I'll get pregnant again. While both of those are exciting things to think about.... neither one will bring that baby back and neither one will ever take away the pain of the process of losing him/her.

Now? I'm the girl who wishes I could do something to make sure that no woman ever has to experience this pain... from a miscarriage? I can't change that. From an abortion? Maybe I can.

I have friends who have had abortions.... I don't know anyone who has had two. I no longer wonder why.

I have friends who support abortion... who have also had miscarriages and D&C's. The pain I hear in their voice every time their precious baby and that horrible 'prodecure' are brought up is excruciating. It makes me wonder how, even if they see abortion as simply a choice and not a decision between life and death... how they would support anything that could cause that kind of pain for another woman. How can they think it isn't the same?!

I can't promise what your future will look like.... but abortion? It will change you.... physically and emotionally. That I can promise you.
I don't envy the decision you face.... and I'm praying that you feel supported. I wanted you to just know.... maybe not from someone who has been right where you are right now... but from someone who has been on the other side where you could be soon.
I wish I could hug you and tell you that, no matter what, it will be ok.... but that's not comforting for me to hear right now and I won't put that on you, either.
 Even if I don't know you, I'm sorry you're in pain.... and I'm praying with everything in me that your pain stops here.  It's comforting to know that you can make that choice. This place... where I am... choose not to be here. For you. The choices that come later can be for your baby. This choice? This one can be for you.
~ Lindsay