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I lived in such a deep depression for many years of my life.  So deep I never thought I would crawl out of it.   During those 10-15 years of my life I struggled to understand how God could really love me…personally.  I believe the Bible.  I believe when He says He loves the whole world.  For whatever reason I couldn’t fathom that I was part of that “world.”  I never felt like I belonged.  Maybe that’s just part of how some adoptees feel.  I remember thinking often while growing up that if I wasn’t good enough for my own mother to want me why would anyone else truly want me…including God.   That was a lie from the pits of hell, but that’s what the devil likes to do…shoot those fiery arrows with awful lies straight at our heart.  I wonder too if people who deal more with depression are people who feel just a little bit deeper than those who aren’t depressed.  Many, many, many times throughout my life people have said something in passing that hurt me to the core.  Something that they probably never gave a second thought, but something that about destroyed me.  One thing that has helped me during those times was claiming John 10:10 The thief (that’s the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I  (that’s Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  What’s so exciting to me about that verse is that God doesn’t just want me to have a life.  He sent His only Son so that I could have an ABUNDANT life.  When I think of abundance I think of being drenched in goodness.  You know how you can buy a cheap frozen pizza and you take it out of the box and you can literally count each piece of grated cheese.  That is NOT abundance.  When my teenage son puts cheese on his pizza I wonder if we should invest in a cow just to supply him with enough cheese.  It’s crazy folks.  His pizza probably weighs more than any of my children at birth.  Now that’s abundance!!!!!

Almost two years ago my brother-in-law and sister-in-law welcomed a 3 day old baby into their home.  I honestly couldn’t wait to see her.  I had no idea what she was going to look like, but it didn’t matter.  I loved her already.  I finally was able to see her about three weeks later.  She was perfect!  To my surprise she even had brown skin.  I honestly couldn’t kiss her and snuggle with her enough.  I remember leaving their home the next day wishing I could kiss her just a few more times.  Every time we went to visit I fell just a bit more in love with her.  From day one she was part of our family.  It didn’t matter if she had been in my sister-in-law’s womb or not.  It didn’t matter that she had brown skin.  Nothing mattered.  She was in our hearts.  She was family.  Over the past year or so there have been a few fearful times that she would be adopted or put back into her birth family.  Each time God showed himself faithful and graciously answered our pleadings to allow her to stay in our family.  We continue to pray, and He continues to hear.  1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him (Jesus), that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  I believe with all my heart that He has heard our prayers and I thank Him for that.  It looks like this sweet little toddler is soon going to leave our family and go back to her birth mom.  I’m sure in some cases this could be a great thing, but in this particular case it is not.  Not just because we want little S to stay with us, but because we know S won’t have the stability, love, and care that she has now. 

Knowing that S will be leaving any day makes me want to crawl into a dark hole and die. I know Satan is hoping I fall back into a deep depression, but I refuse to give him that satisfaction.  I know that God understands.  He tells us He does. Ps. 147:5b says, “His understanding is infinite.”  I also know that I don’t think like God.  Isaiah 55:9 says. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My (God) thoughts than your thoughts.”  One of the reasons His thoughts are higher than mine is the fact that He is perfect and can see it all.  He sees the beginning and the end.  He already knows S’ future.  We only know how much it will hurt when she leaves.

A friend of mine said the other day that she is so sick of the devil.  I wholeheartedly agreed with her.  She also said that she didn’t believe that S leaving our family was God’s Will but the result of us living in a sinful world that the devil is having a field day running.  I again agreed emphatically.  I’m sure there will be people that don’t have something encouraging to say like my friend did.  They’ll say this is God’s will.  They’ll say she’s better off.  They’ll say it’s ok because she wasn’t really family.  When my son passed away so many people said he was much better off in God’s arms than in mine.  OK, this is true, but it was the very last thing I wanted or needed to hear.  I understand that God loves my children more than I’ll ever be capable of loving them.  I also realize He can care for them far better than I can.  That does not mean I want Him to take them all to Glory to be with Him now. Sometimes the best thing to say is, “I don’t know what to say”.  

With little S I know that God knows her future.  He knew when she joined our family what was going to take place this month.   When something hurts us that doesn’t mean He isn't in control.  He is in control.  He does care.  He hurts right along with us.  He sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us.  I also believe that God can move mountains.  He can make a way for S to stay in our family.  I will always have that hope.  I refuse to let the devil take that away.  If God cares about a bird, or the grass in the fields, or how many hairs I have on my head than I KNOW He cares about S.  He cares about how we are hurting.  He hears our pleas.  He understands our sorrow.  He’s collecting our tears.  He feels our grief. 

I saw S two days ago presumably for the last time.  As my sister-in-law pulled out of her driveway with little S in the back seat my family and I stood in her yard waving and blowing kisses.  S peeked her little head up and could barely see out of the backseat window.  She waved.  She giggled.  She blew kisses.  She had no idea.  I’ll never forget that happy little brown face as long as I live.  I’ll never forget kissing her soft feathery wisps of hair on our first visit.  I’ll continue to praise my heavenly Father for allowing us to love her. To hold her.  To watch her learn. To see her grow.  To hear her giggles.  To hear her say “thank-you” in her sweet little way.  To watch her take her first steps.  To see her  welcome her baby brother into the family.  To rock her to sleep.  To comfort her fears.  To sing to her.  To tickle her.  To pass down clothes to her.  To just plain enjoy her.  Because my God is good.  He’s fair.  He’s just.  He’s sovereign.  He’s perfect.   I know the devil is trying to steal S from us. I know the devil is hoping to kill our belief in God.   I know the devil is hoping to destroy our faith over this.  But Satan will not get that satisfaction.  We hurt but we don’t give up.  We cry but are comforted by the Comforter.  We are even fearful at times, but we KNOW God is fighting for us and He will win!

Be anxious for NOTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6&7

I don’t consider myself a Proverbs 31 woman.  I feel like I have such a long way to go to achieve that status.  I do, however, feel that I’m on that path.  Sadly it took me way too many years to set that as my goal.  I always felt like it just wasn’t attainable.  I remember my high school principal giving devotions each morning from the book of Proverbs.  Whenever he would talk of the Proverbs 31 woman, he would make mention of his mom and his wife.  They are/were the picture of that chapter!!!!! I loved them both so much but I knew I wasn’t anywhere close to their godliness.
As I prayed for my children this morning, I thanked God for blessing me with such precious treasures. Each time I knew I was going to be a mommy again, I prayed something specific for each one of them.  Some things were spiritual and some things were…well…selfish.  God answered each silly request.  I think I may be one of His favorites.  ;-)  I often feel that I fail them as a mother.  They in turn remind me that they think I’m pretty awesome.  This continues to make me shake my head.
For Phebe, I asked that she would have dimples in her cheeks.  Phebe is 22 and I often tell her I want to grow up to be just like her.  She has the patience of Job.  She NEVER complains. She refuses to gossip.  She ALWAYS sees the best in others.  She is an encourager, a teacher, a helper, and thankfully my daughter.  I tell myself many times a week that I couldn’t do my job without her.  Today in her card to me she said she hopes to be half the mom I am.  Isn’t that funny?!?!? I want to be like her…she wants to be like me.   God knew what He was doing when He brought us together. She is beautiful inside and out.  Proverbs 31:30 says, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Thank you Phebe for being the one who made me a momma!
For Abner, I prayed that he would have lots of energy and be filled with happiness. These were two things that were lacking in my life at that time.  Abner is now 16 and let me just say, "WOW, parenting a teenager is REALLY difficult!!!!!"  Don’t get me wrong…I love this kid completely!  He’s just in that stage of life that he has to learn so much big stuff that it’s hard to cram it all in.  I mean who really wants to be learning ALL THE TIME?  We all like to goof around.  We all like to not be “adult” at times.  So being an “almost” adult is crazy hard.  This guy has taught me to really think before I talk.  I’ve learned that he can only hear so much from me.  If I start to lecture him, all he hears is Charlie Brown’s teacher…Waw Waaw waw. How many times does it tell us in Proverbs to essentially keep our mouths shut or to choose our words wisely?  LOTS!  Proverbs 31:26 says, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness." So thank you, Abner, for helping me to learn this very difficult virtue.
For Uriah, I prayed that he would point others to Christ.  Uriah…how could someone who was on this earth for only 2 days make such an impact on my life?  It’s amazing how much he taught me.  I learned so much about God’s peace, love, grace, and mercy through his short life!  Uriah was so beautiful!  His skin was a little dark, he had crazy curly hair, big round eyes, and a cupid lip!  I could have never asked for anything more.  I can still feel him in my arms.  I can still smell him. I can still hear his final breaths.  I still love him.  I still miss him.  I still hurt for him. I couldn’t be happier about where he is.  I never have to worry about him.  I never have to wonder if he is going to accept Christ as his Savior.  I never have to wonder if he will be hurt or hurt others.  He lives in perfection.  He lives with my Lord.  He’s waiting for me. Proverbs 31:25 says, "Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come." Thank you Uriah for being such a wonderful little soldier for Christ!
For Asher, I prayed that he would love Jesus with ALL his heart.  Asher is 5 and boy does that little man love Jesus.  Asher is able to convict me like no other.  I remind him occasionally that he is not the Holy Spirit.  ;-)  The other day he said to me that he was trying to find things every day that he can do to help others.  He says this is what God has created him to do, so he must be faithful to his job.  Well, I’m here to say little Dash Dash has not missed a day of work.  ;-)  When he told me about this it made me stop and think about myself.  Do I daily look for ways to help others?  Um, yeah…he keeps me on my toes.  I seriously make decisions based on what Asher would do.  Is that insane or what?  The kid is 5.  He was my healing balm after Uriah went to heaven.  How could I ever live my life without this little soul winner? Proverbs 27:11 says,  "My son, be wise, and make my heart glad!"  Thank you Asher for making me want to be a better Christian!
For Selah, I prayed for blue eyes and curly hair.  Selah Grace, my little 3 year old.  Woe, let me just tell you this.  If I wasn’t saved and loved the Lord with all of my heart this little girl would make me consider beating children. OK, not really, but she does get on my last severed nerve many, MANY times throughout the day.  She’s one of those people who will be doing something wrong and just look at you with a big ole smile on their face.  She KNOWS she’s going to get in trouble, but the consequence never seems to deter her from her sin.  I guess I better come up with some better consequences. She’s amazingly independent and loves to accomplish things that seem impossible for someone her age.  I honestly think she thinks she’s in her twenties.  She is one of my favorite people to hear pray.  She’s so genuine and sincere.  She thanks Jesus EVERY day for her family and especially her baby brother.  If she knows someone is sick she thanks Jesus for making them better before she asks Him to heal them.  It’s the cutest thing!!!!  She loves her daddy more than anything in this world.  She’s quite certain that the sun rises and sets on him.  I love seeing how much she loves my man!  Proverbs 15:29 says, "The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous." (She's not righteous yet, but I know the Lord is working.) Thank you, Selah, for helping me be a better prayer warrior!
For Baryk, I prayed that he would bless others, through Christ, for all his days. Baryk L. will be a year old in just a couple weeks.  I cannot believe how fast this last year has gone! This little guy is the happiest baby I’ve ever seen.  He laughs all the time.  If he wakes up in the middle of the night and I go to get him he holds his little arms out to me with the biggest smile.  Once I pick him up he giggles like I’ve just tickled him for ten minutes.  How can I be upset that he wakes me up?  He is a smart little guy too.  He says far more words at this age than any of my other babies.  I know he will be walking soon.  I’m sure as a momma I’m supposed to be happy about that, but it brings tears to my eyes.  I’m very well aware that as soon as they take their first step that it is their first step walking away from me.  I know that my job is to raise them to live for Christ, and allow them to live an abundant life God has in store for them.  Knowing something and wanting something are two very different things. Bear was our little surprise, but oh what a blessing he is.  Hence his name…Baryk L. = blessing from the Lord.  I’m so thankful that God knew I needed this little smiley mister in my life. Proverbs 31:25 says, "Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice."  Thank you Bear for making me smile all day (and sometimes all night) long!

Last, but surely not least my moms!

My mom who carried me.  Thank you for loving me enough to send me away.  Happy Mother's Day!  Love you so much!!!!
                My mom who raised me and told me about Jesus.  Thank you for teaching me                
                 so much about being a godly momma!  Happy Mother's Day! I love you! 

My mother in love.  Thank you so much for loving me just the way I am.  You always make me feel like I'm doing such an amazing job!  Happy Mother's Day...love you bunches!!!!!