The Fight

I’m the worst blogger in the world. But, I find myself drawn to blogging in the moments or seasons where it best helps me to process life. And, I’ve found myself in a moment where typing out words is cathartic in a way that nothing else can lend.

We are still chugging along in our adoption process and are fighting for the sweetest little girl that is in no doubt our daughter. I can honestly say that the love I’ve had for each of my other babies as they grew in my womb is the same love I have for our Luna while we sign papers and check emails. Even when the adoption process has gotten hard (and it has), I’ve always known in my heart that this is our daughter. She is worth the fight. The hard. Just like any of our other babies, she is worth every single smidgen of the cost.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve found ourselves in a bit of a snag. A step of the process that is really a bit of a “non step”, has become wearisome, confusing, and in the words of our case worker– just bizarre. I wake up all hours of the night checking my email for any new information unveiling great news. But, then it doesn’t come. Sometimes leading to more bizarre information or just a discouraging funky start to the day.

I find myself in the same routine every day these days. Checking emails furiously. Firing off more emails furiously. Exchanging information with our case worker, whom we adore, and try to come up with our next idea. We have other friends that have been in a very similar battle. Some have won it and others still fight. This has only been our life for a few weeks and could go in a positive direction at any moment. But, I look at friends that weep, cry out to God, rally troops to lobby on their behalf and have been at it for months. Or others that battled for years only to have the victory half won with the next round of battles upcoming. The Lord has given me such a small glimpse into their burden and I am humbled.

What would you do for your child? What if you physically could not get to your child and had to wait on things that don’t make logical sense? I know the questions seem odd. But, really stop and think about those questions. Soak them in. Your very own child. Quite honestly, stuck in a system. And, while you battle and fight and strategize and fast and pray, your child waits another day. Just one more day would seem like too much to picture your life without your child.

We are in such a fallen and broken world. Adoption is even something that is a need in the first place. In a perfect world, adoption wouldn’t even be needed. Orphanages wouldn’t exist. Children wouldn’t sleep in a bed wondering if they’ll ever have a family of their own. And, children that now DO have a family wouldn’t spend any extra days without them.

While the Lord is completely in control, He changes time and seasons, He sets up kings and removes them (Daniel 2), we still find ourselves in a broken world with a battle that isn’t against flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6) Quite frankly, adoption is such a beautiful picture of God’s adoption of us. And, there is an enemy that has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a). We know that this delay in our process is not a moment where we just sit back with no action and trust it will just all work out. While the enemy may have come to destroy, we trust in a God that has not only given life but given it abundantly (John 10:10b).

Therefore, we fight against the red tape, we pray, and we ask God to take our efforts in multiply it into much. He is a God that makes much of our little. So, we ask that He takes our little– all of the emails, the phone calls, the prayers, the plans of action– and multiples it into the big.

That if we really stopped to think about it, wouldn’t it be safe to wonder if God’s timing for adoption is always immediate? Like His timing for our adoption in Him? There may be a wait involved, but wasn’t God’s heart for us to turn to Him as immediately as possible? I can’t help but believe that this ache for our daughter, on the other side of the world, in some small way, mimics His ache for us. I can’t help but believe that He has fought for us from day one. And, that the fight for our Luna is holy and a small reflection of the fight He made for us.

Lord Jesus, bring her home like You’ve brought us to Yourself

Adoption Grief

One of the other major things we discussed with our social worker was grief in adoption. And, many questions on how John and I handle grief and loss. It’s so amazing to sit back and think how God has created the timing for our adoption. Because while we’ve discussed adoption for years, it never seemed to be the right time until now. And, I believe that one of the reasons is because our views on grief and loss would’ve been much more naive a few years ago than they are now.

One of the very first things I knew I had to do after losing Warner was to allow myself to feel any emotion at any time. If I was sad, it’s okay. If I was mad, it’s okay. If I was confused, it’s okay. If I was joyful, it’s okay. And, I made the commitment early on that I was going to fully feel whatever the emotion was at the time and to find appropriate responses to my feelings. It was one of the best things the Lord led me to do in the days, weeks, months, and years following his loss.

And, I am amazed to think how much preparation was happening for the future of our family even then. Even the name and concept of this blog, Joy in the Sorrow–how joy and sorrow can intermingle in a way that only God can make it, has overwhelmed me to think that it has all brought us to these holy moments. We serve a God that was a man of sorrows on this earth. How comforting is that? He was not immune to sorrow but yet He leaned into it. And, because He did, great redemption was made for all mankind. Just imagine if we were all Christians that actually stepped into the pain? There’s much to be gained from allowing pain, grief, and loss to have its place.

One thing I’ve come to notice with the walk of Warner’s grief is that it takes on new forms in different seasons. For example, when Jedidiah was born, there was a new wave of grief. Grief, pain, and loss ebbs and flows and takes on different forms at different times. If that’s not all a small preparation for our precious new little one that will be entering all kinds of transitions over the years while coping with their story, I don’t know what is.

It was such a precious time with the social worker to discuss Warner’s life and loss, our opinions on the pain of grief, and how there’s absolutely no shame in receiving help when you need it. I am a huge proponent of counseling and it was so lovely to hear from a social worker encouraging that if at any point we feel we need the extra help or our child does, we should pursue it. Just a few years ago I may have agreed with those statements but not down to my core like I do now.

If you or someone close to you is struggling through pain, grief, or loss, emotions are good. Talking is good. Support is good. Isolation is never helpful. Seek out the help of family, friends, counsellors, books or whatever is available to best meet your needs. Shoving down the emotion or pain never works out and it tends to become something greater that you never intended. Don’t be afraid to lean in to the pain. The redemption and healing that comes is well worth the work

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8‬ 

Your Mother Chose Life

Just the other day we had our first visit with the social worker for our home study. She is already a precious answer to prayer and really feel like we have a great resource in her. Most of our visit consisted of questions about John and I’s marriage, our parenting techniques, our preparation for cultural differences, and training segments from our social worker. It was a great experience and next week will be our last visit when she can begin to write her home study report. We’re so excited at the progress!

One of the things that struck me in all that was said over our 2.5 hour visit (which included a tour of our home), was about our child’s birth family. Our social worker said that as our child grows and the questions begin about their birth family, the most important thing we can do is to emphasize life and not to focus on any negative. “Your mother chose life. That’s important. She cared for you enough to choose life.”

One of the most surprising parts of this adoption process to me has been the heaviness on my heart for our child’s birth family. I have found myself awake in the middle of the night praying for our child’s birth parents and wishing I could just sit with them. Since we don’t know our child yet, we don’t know any of his or her history (and we likely won’t share much once we do). But, I have found myself with so many thoughts and emotions.

We have no idea if our child became an orphan out of intention that was good, bad or tragic. There are so many unknowns in general with international adoption, but I have found myself trusting in a known God to meet those birth parents, if they are still alive, with a grace and comfort that only God can give. And, that the gospel of Jesus would find them if it hasn’t already. I’m not sure that a day will go by for the rest of my life where I don’t think about or pray for our child’s birth family. I wasn’t expecting to feel such a burden for them when we started into this process.

But, now I wonder, how could I not? Adoption is born out of brokenness and thankfully, God is in the business of transforming broken into beautiful. But, it doesn’t change the fact that the ashes were there. As a mother already, the thought of not being able to parent my children, for whatever reason, feels crushing. And, while I don’t know and may never know the details of our child’s birth family, I know I serve a God that sees.

He sees our family excitedly preparing to enter in a child from thousands of miles away and yet just as desired as anyone else in our family. He sees our child and has every circumstance under His control. He sees all of the birth family with a powerful love He has for them.

“The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man; from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭33:13-15‬

Dying Grace

Not along after our Warner was born and then went to be with the Lord, John posted this to Facebook:

“My pastor always says God only gives dying grace on dying days, that is so true. We mourn but not as those with no hope. Today I met my son, today my son met Jesus. All in all a good day.”

Those words still give me chills. Every word he typed was incredibly raw in the moments following Warner’s death. I think those words bring such an emotion out of me because they couldn’t be truer. The Lord really did walk so close the days leading up in preparing our hearts and through Warner’s death and afterwards.

This past weekend we’ve been working on one of the adoption papers that I have intentionally put off as long as I could. The medical and special needs form declaring what needs we are comfortable to adopt. It’s a very strange situation to be presented with a checklist knowing that each box represents children waiting for families. No child was given a checklist of the needs they wanted to inherit or to decide to become an orphan. So, to be on the other end and make decisions that seem so unfair is a very draining process.

I spent a lot of the weekend heavy with the weight of a few conditions that we felt we could check “yes” on but trying to make sure that was the correct decision. We decided to table it for now and pray for the right leading. We are still praying, discussing, and researching. And, that’s when the Lord has really begun to work on my own heart and remind me of that dying grace.

Our pastor this weekend shared from Philippians 3 and went on to close out his sermon talking about this idea of dying grace. How grace is transformative and the Lord makes grace what it needs to be when it needs to be it. And, not a moment before. He’s there in the trenches and doesn’t abandon us when we need Him. When we share His sufferings, we get to know the power of His resurrection.

“that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” -Philippians‬ ‭3:10-11‬

We are still praying and trusting that the Lord already knows our child’s needs. And, no matter how simple or complex, that same dying grace that held us together during Warner’s life will hold us together as we navigate a treatment plan for our child. It really is quite an amazing grace

{If you would like to financially support our adoption, you can do so here:}

{If you would like to follow our adoption journey on Facebook, you can do so here:}

Our Adoption FAQ’s

Where? We are adopting from India! Our agency works all over the country with many different orphanages in many different states. So, we won’t know exactly where in the country until we’re matched with our child.

What agency? America World Adoption Agency. This wasn’t an easy decision. But, after a whole lot of prayer and then a whole lot of confirmation from the Lord, this is the agency He had for us.

Who? We will be adopting a boy or a girl that has a medical need. That’s such a broad thing to say. The needs range and we’ll get to more specifics of what we’re comfortable adopting later down the process. But, in general, God has done such a work in our lives. Our child didn’t get the option of checking a box on whether they would be born with a medical condition or not. So, why should we be able to turn our backs on a situation that may be a little different? We will work more with our caseworker and pediatrician down the road on what needs we are best equipped to care for in our family.

How old? Likely younger than Jed. We definitely want to keep with birth order with the girls. We’re a little more lax about Jed’s birth order. But, generally, in the past, India has liked to retain birth order. So, likely, that’s how it’ll work out and we’re great with that!

When? India seems to be showing shorter wait times after changing some regulations last year. The general timeline that’s still given is 18-24mos. My prayer is home by the beginning of next summer or even sooner. I would love to have next summer with the girls home from school and all four kids home to work on bonding.

Why India? India has always been in the back of our minds whenever we’ve talked about adopting one day. Honestly, I can’t even fully explain why other than the Lord and now I believe our child is there. We prayed through some other options. But, India still had our hearts. And, once we discovered they only adopt a child with medical needs (under the age of 5) to foreigners and that they liked to retain birth order, it just felt like an exact fit to what we were feeling led by God to do. And, after more research we discovered that India has more orphans than any other country in the world. Over 30 million orphans in India alone.

How’re you paying for it all? Good question. I don’t know. Haha! This is a HUGE step of faith for me and one that I know God has been crystal clear on for us to take. Looking on paper, it doesn’t add up to be able to afford a $35,000 adoption. But, all I know is that God called us to it and He will provide. In the meantime, we are praying a whole lot and doing all we can. John is taking on side projects (video, web, and graphics), we’re selling some things from around the house, I’m cranking out as many sewing/embroidery/crafting projects as I can to sell, and we’ll be doing some fundraisers {Check out our first one here:} So, in short, if God doesn’t pull through, we’re sunk. But, I’m {surprisingly and can only be Jesus} at peace because I know He will pull through.

Those are all of the common questions I can think of for now! Thank you all supporting us enough to want to know more!

Pure and Undefiled Religion

We. Are. Adopting.!!!


Yes! We have begun the process of adopting from India! Man, so many emotions and thoughts this New Year. We have always talked about adoption, even before we were married. And, the timing was just never right. But, this season, we knew that God was calling us and to turn around wouldn’t be fulfilling what God has in store for our family.

Over the last six months or so, I have hit such a wrestling ground with my faith. Who is Jesus? What is ministry? What is the church? What does Christianity look like? And, the way that I view all of these things or my experience, does it really line up with Bible or the actual truth? I have flat out wrestled with so many things. Feeling uneasy and uncomfortable, not uncommon while growth happens. But, unsure where I felt on so much. Except that I knew I loved Jesus, yet was finding a hard time reconciling so many things.

Was God calling me to something different? I could sense that the Lord was stirring me onto something, but I also felt completely clueless as to what. Okay, maybe I go back to school? I’ve always kept nursing school in the back of my mind. I got all of my transcripts together. Began studying for the nursing entrance exam at a college down the road. Attended an informational meeting for the program. But, absolutely was not peaceful about it. I cried and cried to John knowing that I wasn’t supposed to do it but still feeling like something was missing.

More searching and searching and praying. What now? I found myself completely uneasy with so many things. I’ve never been one that has wanted to settle in my walk with the Lord for the easy. The thought of sitting around and complaining about the comforts of my house or car or clothes when I actually have a house, car and clothes just hasn’t ever settled right. Can I call myself a follower of the Lord and spend my attention on stuff or some kind of unattainable feeling? For me, no.

I kept finding myself saying things to John like “the gospel just looks a whole lot like caring for orphans to me”. And, I would continually say it as an example of what I felt was a life living out the gospel. But, not once did I look at it as something God was stirring in me and us at the time (I’m not claiming to be the sharpest tool in the shed here, okay?!).

So, time went on and we continually prayed through what my unrest was telling us. Our first conclusion was me coming to the realization that I LOVE good storytelling. I don’t care the avenue, just really good storytelling. We actually went to a local theater to see “Peter and the Starcatcher” just before Christmas and it was one of the most life giving things to me. (Ahem, it was all about orphans, too👍) But, a story told well, just makes my heart skip a beat. Makes sense that one of the things I fell in love with about John is his ability to translate a story to video and engage you completely within that story.

So, now we had an idea of one of things that presses me on. But, what on earth does that look like for me or for us? Around this same time, what seemed to be happening completely separately was this idea of adoption. This isn’t the first time we’ve prayed whether it was the right time for our family to adopt. So, I was pretty unassuming when we felt like we should start praying and talking.

We began talking and praying and wondering. And, eventually had a FaceTime phone call with some friends that are currently in the process of their second international adoption. We talked and laughed and talked some more. They encouraged what we were already sensing. Let’s just take a step forward. Let’s start with a yes rather than a no. Let’s come from a place of assuming we are supposed to rather than we are not. And, pray like crazy in the meantime trusting that God will shut a door if we’re not supposed to adopt. So, we walked through each small step and here we are now.

It’s kind of funny to me look back on the last six months and see how God was moving and preparing. Caring for orphans is a religion that is pure and undefiled. {James 1:27} That verse in James has been one of my biggest ah-ha moments in this journey so far. That’s why I’ve been at such unrest. So many little stories and details planted firmly in my heart to bring us right here to this moment. I have no idea how the storytelling aspect will weave into it all, except soaking in other people’s adoption stories and for me doing my best to keep you all updated throughout our own process. I know what it’s like to feel the tug of adoption in your heart and to see others adopting, then to wonder if you could ever actually take it on yourself. So, maybe if there’s a few of you out there like me, our walking through this journey, with as much transparency as we can for a public platform, will be life-giving to you.

I’ll update with some FAQ’s soon!! If you have any questions you want us to answer about the how, what, or why, just ask and I’ll do our best to answer! But, we’re thankful to have to you all walk this with us!

Jed’s Star Wars Nursery

After Warner passed away, one of the more difficult things for John was not being able to share his love of Star Wars with him. So, when we found out that our next baby was our Jed{i}, I decided that he needed a Star Wars nursery. But, Google and Pinterest carried a lot of tacky. And, while I’m not the classiest person in the world, I can’t do full-on tacky. So, despite never even seeing all of the movies when I decided on his room, I was bound and determined to make his room look cool! We were on a tight budget, but I’m really glad how it turned out. Enjoy!

Jed Room_0_1 Jed Room_1 Jed Room_5 Jed Room_6 Jed Room_8 Jed Room_10 Jed Room_11 Jed Room_14 Jed Room_15 Jed Room_17 Jed Room_21 Jed Room_23 Jed Room_26 Jed Room_28 Jed Room_30 Jed Room_34 Jed Room_41 Jed Room_43