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A BitterSweet Announcement

Change Direction by Phil Whitehouse, Flickr

January was one of the hardest months we’ve had in a long time. In fact, the other night John and I were talking about how January was the hardest month of our marriage. And in that conversation John said, “I actually think we’re entering a really hard season… it’s not going to be just the month of January.” It was sobering to soak in those words, but I knew he was right. We are just in a hard season of life right now.

As you noticed with my last post, we are in a really tough spot financially. We thought we’d have enough money to get through this ‘dry spell’ of John’s business, but we were wrong. And we’re now scraping everything we have together to try to make ends meet. And we’re only making it because (a) of the jobs you guys have given Dream Steam as a result of my last post (thank you!); (b) my parents graciously and generously helping us out wherever they can, and (c) generous donations by a few dear friends. We seriously don’t know where we’d be without you guys – our community! (Seriously. THANK YOU to each and every one who’s helped support us on this unexpected journey.)

So that’s why I got the bar tending job last month and started working 20+ hours a week to try to help fill the financial gap. So with the mental stress of our financial struggles and the reality of living with more bills than income, I was now in this constant state of exhaustion from working til 3 in the morning 3 nights a week and feeling like I could never catch up on sleep and feel like a normal human being. Made me realize that I wasn’t as young as I used to be. I could work late nights if I didn’t have two sweet kiddos to take care of full-time. But kids change everything. Just in case you hadn’t heard. 😉

But our/my stress went to a whole new level when I noticed my period was late. I looked at John with panic, and he tried to reassure me everything was okay. The next morning I took a pregnancy test, and sure enough, two lines appeared almost immediately. No need to wait the full two minutes – I was pregnant. I looked at John before crumpling into a hot mess of tears. I wept. For a long time.

We have worked so hard and so long to bring our adopted baby home. We have never been so driven to make our dream and our calling a reality. Even though we hadn’t been given our adopted baby yet, it feels like our baby has been taken away from us, and it truly has broken my heart. I spent the month of January just weeping, day in and day out – because of our finances and because of this sudden change in our adoption plans. Even now, as I type this, tears are streaming down my face.

I’ve had every emotion since the news of our pregnancy – everything from shock, grief, anger, resentment, sorrow, numbness… (okay, maybe not every emotion. Mostly just the hard and heavy emotions:). I was angry for most of January and mostly angry at myself (and a little bit at John, b/c hey, it took the two of us to tango:). When it comes to adoption, there is very little you can control. About the only things you can control are how fast you do the paperwork and not getting pregnant (if you’re a couple like us who don’t struggle with infertility). And so I was angry at myself for not controlling one of the only things I could control!

But not only did I feel angry, I felt guilty. I felt guilty for not being more ‘responsible.’ I felt guilty for working so hard to ‘take’ people’s money only to not be able to use it in the time frame we had hoped. (Amazing how guilt can change things like ‘donated’ into ‘stealing’ – I seriously struggled with feeling like I stole people’s money now that we’re not able to use the money right away – talk about a guilt complex! I need therapy, you guys:).

As someone who loves Jesus, Scripture, and theology, you would think I’d find great comfort in knowing that God is in control and had this all planned, but that line of thinking hasn’t brought me comfort because I don’t believe this pregnancy was necessarily of God’s will (we have free will, which John and I chose to use on a particular night in December). So while I continue to adjust to the reality of our family’s changing circumstances, I have found my greatest comfort is in knowing that people love us, have our backs, and will support us on this unexpected journey in ways that we need. And I think that’s okay – because I’m not rejecting God’s sovereignty; rather, I’m accepting his love in the form of community that he’s surrounded and blessed us with! And I am grateful knowing that this sudden change in plans isn’t going to be for naught, that good things will come of it, and as I’ve been reminded by family and friends, I won’t be able to imagine life without this little babe that’s growing in me.

So what does this mean for our adoption? It means we have to postpone our adoption until our biological child is 3 months of age (our agency’s policy). So over the next several months, we’ll be talking and praying about when to reactivate our adoption process (do we start right when our biological baby is 3 months old? or do we still want to keep about 2 to 2 1/2 years between our kids like we have been?) Lots of decisions to be made. In the meantime, we will continue with our adoption training since the trainings take place over several months and don’t necessarily have an expiration date. So hopefully that’ll be one less thing we have to do once we reactivate the adoption process!

And how does this affect our day-to-day lives? Well, it makes us tired. I’m in bed a lot due to the exhaustion from my pregnancy as well as from working late nights, which then impacts John as the household and child rearing responsibilities fall on him more since I’m in bed so much. My body then translates exhaustion into headaches which only adds bliss to a pregnant mama who’s already tired, bloated, gassy, and queasy, not to mention, stressed from everything that’s going on. And on top of that, I feel guilty for being an absentee wife, mom, and friend as a result of everything. So, I’m pretty much a wreck. 🙂

So if you think of us, will you pray for us? Pray for our family during this hard time. Pray for John’s business to pick up once again. Pray for me as I feel physically exhausted, emotionally fried, and zombie-like most days. Pray for peace for my heart, and please pray that I will bond with this child within me long before s/he is born.

In the end, please know that while we/I may have disappeared from the face of the earth, we haven’t forgotten you. We love you guys so much and seriously miss spending quality time with our friends. We’re hoping to emerge from this crazy phase come this spring. If John’s business picks up with the warmer weather, we’re hoping to have a little more room to breathe and the ability to give back as a result. Until then… thanks for having our backs. <3

P.S. Baby’s due in September. <3


  1. Yuki Johnson on February 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Precious daughter-of-the-King –
    The God who created you and knew you before you inhabited the womb of your mother, is also the God who created and knows the little one inside your womb. He is the one who knows the timing of all things and this does not surprise Him! I promise you that He has things planned for you that are sweet and beautiful. AND what the enemy may think is something thrown at you to discourage you, is going to make you both stronger and better parents and deeper lovers of Jesus. Don’t be downcast, don’t be stressed. Sometimes we become so immersed in the issues at home and at hand that we can’t see beyond the now. Remember dear one, you are very capable, amazing and incredibly talented. You can and you will move forward through this and together you will become soldiers for the Mighty King who has incredible plans for your future! Plans that He promises to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future. He is using these incredible blessings to bring Him glory! SO, keep on keeping on. Keep on looking to Him. Keep on praising Him through it all! (And check with your doctor to see if you need a little extra Vitamin D… the weather, the season and the baby may be depleting you of that and it causes exhaustion and depression.) WE LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!

    • on February 26, 2015 at 4:24 am

      Yuki, Thank you so much for writing and sharing your heart and encouraging us at this point in time. We so value your friendship and your knowledge of us as individuals and as a family, and truly cherish your words. Yes, it is hard to remember the bigger picture and to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you’re right, thankfully we don’t have to figure this out all on our own, but we have Someone on our side who loves us and is working to bring as much beauty and good from this situation as He can! Thanks for loving on us and supporting us over all these years. We are so grateful for you guys!!!

  2. Sam Wilcock on February 16, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Totally know where you are coming from. When we found out baby number three (child number 5 due to our previous adoption of a brother and sister) was on her way, we were devastated at first due to our plans to adopt again and myriad other things (like the fact that we had to wait to sell our old house until the end of the year, and the little fact that we are too old for this!) going on. God has been good. It has been hard, and He has helped us to come around to a place of Joy as we await our little girl joining us in June. We will be praying for you and yours as you walk this challenging journey. Know that He is there with you and will never leave you in this journey.


    • on February 26, 2015 at 4:28 am

      Wow, Sam, that is crazy (that our families are both expecting surprise babies)! And yet that somehow brings comfort to our shocked and weary souls… knowing that others have experienced/are experiencing this, that we’re not alone, and that *somehow* God will help us on this journey. Thank you for your prayers, and we will be covering you guys in prayer as well. Too bad our families aren’t in the same state – it’d be nice to share this journey with a family locally! <3

  3. Hillary on February 16, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I read your blog today when I saw that it was shared to FB by a friend. I am struggling for the words to comment, but I feel like I need to tell you something. See, I was there- where you are now. My story leading up to it is different, but last March I found myself unexpectedly expecting our third child. We had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. We had started (but decided to postpone) foster classes. I had been off of maintenance chemo for almost 4 months. It was a messy situation. I cried. I panicked. I thought that God surely must have made a mistake because we had other things going on. For Him. I needed to be a survivor. And foster kids. I didn’t ‘have time’. I spent a few weeks/months (not really sure at this point) sulking and being scared. Another aspect of the pregnancy was that we didn’t know when we had conceived, so the idea that I could have still had the chemo poison in my system at the time of conception was terrifying. All of this was simply not part of my plan. What I need to tell you, though, is that God’s plan was better! My unexpected miracle is now 3 months old. He is one of the biggest blessings of my life- so incredibly right and perfect and designed just for our family by the God who knows what we need when we need it! He is more than I could have ever hoped for and then more still! We are so blessed!! I spent so much time feeling guilty when I first found out that we were pregnant- guilty about having 3 kids, not ‘controlling’ what we should have, asking for more prayers after surviving cancer…. The list goes on and on. Once I came to terms that I was indeed pregnant, I started praying a single prayer on repeat “God, Thank you for this beautiful, perfect, healthy baby.” Anytime I felt guilt or worry, I prayed that prayer. Some days it was 10 times an hour. Gradually, guilt and fear turned to excitement and love. I still worried what others would think about us having ‘so many kids’, but the joy really outshined the worry. Today, I am sitting here holding my precious little love and I know that God gave me this child. To teach me something about me and about Him, but mostly, to continue blessing me abundantly! I will pray for you and your family. I know that it will work out because, as I have learned, God really doesn’t make mistakes!

    • on February 26, 2015 at 4:32 am

      Dear Hillary, Thank you for taking the time to write and to share part of your family’s journey with me. I truly, truly appreciate that and had tears in my eyes from feeling like there is hope. That beauty and joy and excitement *can* come and WILL come because I want that! I thankfully am no longer angry and devastated, but I’m not yet excited and happy about the pregnancy either. I can feel the love growing in my heart for this child, but the excitement and joy has yet to grow. So reading your words and getting a glimpse of your story gives me hope, which is the best encouragement any person could receive. I can’t wait to be where you are! Thank you again for writing, and thank you so much for your prayers. So, so appreciate it.

  4. Lynda Griffin on February 17, 2015 at 8:31 am

    i just wanted to say that things will get better! Right now when you are in the middle of everything it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there!
    This hard time will pass! Your new baby will bless your socks off and John’s business will improve! This is my prayer for you and your family! Hang in there kiddo!

    • on February 26, 2015 at 4:34 am

      Lynda, Thank you for writing and for helping us to remember the bigger picture. Yes! We too pray for John’s business to improve and for our love and joy and excitement to grow towards our child. And we so appreciate your prayers – we are so, so grateful for the community of people who’ve gathered around us and are supporting us in so many ways – thank you for being a part of that community! <3

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