No Words…

No words, I realize that is an interesting and contradictory title for a blog. However, that is how I feel. Or rather, I should say how I have felt for the past 2.5 months. I have no words to describe the awe inspiring, magnitude of God. Everything that he has been doing and has done. I just have no words. But, I’m going to try. I’m going to try and put into words what I am feeling in my heart. Bear with me. I may stumble or go off in a thought but, ultimately, I want to show you how God truly does know our hearts desires, and how He has a plan for each and every one of us. 

I’ve always heard that God knows our hearts desires, and he wants to bless his children. God has blessed me with far more than I deserve. He has blessed me with an amazing husband who loves me unconditionally. I should have known that God hears my heart’s desire. He heard my prayers for my future husband, and Kevin is everything I could want and more. But, through the past 5 years, I at times have doubted if he had truly heard my prayers. When I look back now, I am ashamed that I doubted him. Because he heard every prayer that I uttered, even when I didn’t know that I was praying. The times were I sat in the bathtub crying, he heard my heart. I am so thankful that no matter what I did (and do), Jesus still loves me and continues to bless me. 

If you have been on this journey with me for a while, then you have read about my struggles with depression, especially learning how to accept that having biological children was not safe for me. Adoption was always our plan, His plan for us. She was always meant to be ours, I see that now. Not a lot of people know that we had some close calls, I wouldn’t say matches, per say, but we did talk with two birth mothers. The first one was 3.5 years ago. She ultimately decided to parent. Which is fantastic! But, over the years I have thought about the “what ifs” with that baby. The other was a scam. We are thankful that God gave us the eyes and intuition to see that things with that situation was not what he planned for us.

Our hardest “what if” was a year ago. Someone told us about a baby girl that was born and the mother took off. The family wanted the baby adopted before DCF intervened. Unfortunately, the mother disappeared, and there was nothing we could do. I was heartbroken! I knew for sure that we had missed our opportunity! I had a hard time coping with that. Kevin simply said that this child was not meant to be ours. That God had a plan. I couldn’t see that plan, though. 

In the beginning of January 2019, right about the time we were starting to renew our home study, again, we started attending church. We both grew up going to church, but after we got married we stopped going. We weren’t living for him. We just wanted to do our own thing and sleep in on Sundays. 

I believe that was a turning point for us. I believe God started putting things in motion. God wanted Kevin and I to return to him. We had to return to him before we could bring our daughter home. He wanted to teach us, to grow us. He wanted to grow my faith. Kevin had it. Kevin has always known that God would make us parents, but I couldn’t see it. I was too consumed with my grief to see it. 

I see it now. I see how he orchestrated everything. I am in awe of God and his faithfulness to Kevin and I. 

In March, Kevin took a test for work. He had been studying for months. He has been working so hard for us, for our future child. It would be a step for us to be more financially stable. I just knew that he was going to pass it, and that we would be a step closer to our child. However, he failed his test by ONE POINT! I knew how upset he was. I’ve been there before. In college, I failed a test that was needed for my degree, I failed it by one point. But it still didn’t make it any easier seeing him upset. In the 10 years that Kevin and I have been together, that was the most upset I had ever seen him. He felt like he let me down and our future baby. I held him and told him nothing could be further from the truth! I was so proud of him and I knew he would get it next time! If anything, his vulnerability made me love him more. 

Looking back now, we think our daughter may have been conceived right around the time that Kevin took his test. It wasn’t time yet, God was still lining things up. He needed us to wait. 

Fast forward to the summer. We signed up with another agency. I was getting impatient and frustrated. We had 6 months until we needed to update our home study for the 3rd time. My heart couldn’t take that. Going through the fingerprints, the questionnaires again, for a 3rd time. I wish we wouldn’t have signed with another agency, we lost money, I was so consumed with my impatience. I was blinded by it.

Summer faded into Fall. Faded into the start of the holiday season. As much as I love the holiday season, I was dreading it. It was another season without our baby. 

Within the fall season, our church had a worship night. I wrote about that night in my blog “I am a Christian…but struggle with depression.” I prayed that night, with tears streaming down my face. I whispered to Jesus and said“ If I never become a momma to Ava or Eli you are enough for me. You have brought me through so much, Lord. How could you not be enough for me? Forgive me when I lose sight of you.”

I was filled with hope at that point. I still couldn’t see how or when it would happen, but I had hope in Jesus. 

I am human though. Holiday specials brought me down. I was losing sight of God. I was beginning to lose faith, again. I had faith, but it was dwindling down to a mustard seed.

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” always comes on TBS. I grew up watching it with my parents and brothers, it was tradition, I had to watch it. I watched it with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t take it, so I decided to take a bath to try and calm down. With tears streaming down my face I started to pray. Just asking God that if it was his will for us to be parents, that he would make a way. A good friend sent me a text right as I was praying that prayer. She said “Your turn is coming. It will be worth the wait. Love you!” 

Unbeknownst to us, our daughter was born the day before….

 On November 24th, 2019 at 7:50 a.m. Kevin and I got the call that we have been praying for, for 5 long years. A baby girl had been born and she needed a mommy and daddy. Kevin and I knew that she was the one that we had been praying for! 

The second I laid eyes on her, I knew she was the child that I have been praying for since I was 15. I’ve always known that pregnancy probably would never happen for me, but I also knew I was going to be a mother, and it was going to be a little girl named Ava. I had faith that I would become a mom some way. I’ve held onto that hope and faith for years. Sometimes it was small, but I held on to it. I held on to Jesus. When I felt like I was falling, Jesus would hold me tightly and whisper “She’s coming.” 

I have called her by name for the past 5 years. I knew we would be parents to a little girl. Everyone around me kept telling me that I needed to be okay with it, if we had a boy, and I would have. I would have loved my boy fiercely, but I knew our child would be a girl. Jesus told me.

God answered prayers that I didn’t even think were really prayers, just wishful thinking. Daydreams that I had. I always hoped she would have dark hair and blue eyes like her daddy. She definitely has dark hair! Her eyes are still to be determined. She is a dream. She is such an easy going baby. She loves her sleep, just like her momma and daddy! She is such a happy and joyful baby. Her smile is so infectious. I cannot imagine my life without her. 

I always felt like my CHD took away my dream of being a mother, but it didn’t. It gave me a better dream. A better life with her. If I would have been able to have a child, it would have robbed me of being Ava’s mother. Something I will never take for granted. She is mine and I am hers. We were destined to be together. To be a family. 

I see now why our wait was long. We were waiting for our daughter. In the two months that we have had her, we have seen God’s miraculous hand in all of this. Kevin retook his test for work on October 19th and passed it! She was born one month later. Two weeks before she was born a coworker said that God had spoken to her and he wanted her to tell me to stop praying selfishly for myself and start praying for the birth mom. So I listened to God and changed how I was praying. 

I am forever grateful to Ava’s birth mother. She loved her first. She held her first. She made the courageous decision to have her and give her a life that she knew would be best for her. I pray that Ava inherits her strength and courage. I am so proud of her. I pray that she knows that. I still pray for her daily. I pray she knows how much I love her and how thankful I am for her. 

I share my story and our journey to give you hope. To show that God truly does hear the desires of our hearts. He hears our prayers. He may not answer them in the time that we want them answered. But he does. He makes everything beautiful in his time. He may just end up answering more than you’ve asked of him and completely blow your mind. He is a mighty, mighty God! He’s a faithful, loving and just God. He wants to bless us. We just have to be faithful to him and trust him. And I know that is hard, trust me. When you are in the thick of a storm and you don’t see how you will make it out, just trust God. Have faith in him. He loves us so much. After all, as the Bible says, we are adopted in Christ’s love through Jesus. It says in Galatians 4:4-5 that we are no longer slaves, but God’s child. I hope that you know just how much God loves you, and how much he wants to bless you. We just have to come to him. He is always there, waiting with arms wide open. Waiting to hug his children. 

And as I sit here snuggling with my daughter, I see that…

He only wants the best for his children. As any good father does…


I am a Christian, but struggle with depression…

Mental illness is a hard subject to discuss. There is just such a stigma about it. I struggle with depression and anxiety. Both of which, stem from my congenital heart defect. Depression is tricky, because one minute you can be happy and laughing and then, you have a trigger. Thanks to therapy, my therapist and I have been able to identify my depression trigger. My trigger is my inability to have children due to my CHD and the littlest things can trigger my depression. It can be a song, seeing something on social media, an email, or Target’s baby section. Those are just some of them. It has been hard, but I have accepted that it is not in my best interest to have biological children. Adoption is my dream now and waiting for this dream…is hard.

For the past week I have been really struggling with my depression. It was triggered by something someone posted on Instagram. There was absolutely nothing wrong with their post, they were sharing their joy of adopting again. But, it was that “again” that triggered me. They joyfully announced that they were adopting another baby, they would have two children under a year old. They are excited and nervous, understandably so. I would be too. Like I said, it was that “again” that got me. 

That’s when the negative thoughts started coming. “How did THEY getting matched again?” “What’s wrong with us/me?” ‘Why haven’t we been match yet?” “What are we doing wrong?” When these negative thoughts start it is hard for me to ignore them or change them into a positive though, which is what my therapist encourages me to do. Sometimes I can snap out of a depression cycle before it really starts. Then, there are times like this past week where it feels like I am spinning out of control. 

When i’m starting to spin or feel like I am, I take a bath with lavender essential oils and my bath salts. Normally it lifts my spirits or helps me to relax a little bit more, but on Sunday it did the opposite. I was laying in the tub, listening to my christian playlist, when I felt this enormous cloud of darkness just sit on top of me. I heard a voice say ‘Why don’t you just give up? Come on, throw in the towel. Why keep fighting?”

It freaked me out! At that point I knew my relaxing bath was over, and nothing would be able to calm me down after that! For the next couple days, I just felt like that cloud of darkness was following me around everywhere. Sleep was difficult for a few days and I kept waking up. I was exhausted both mentally and physically. 

I finally broke down and told my husband how I had been feeling. He knew I was struggling, but he didn’t know how bad it was. I was scared to tell him. I told him about my bath and how scared I felt. He gently rubbed my leg and said “Baby, I am so sorry, but you know what? I am so proud of you for acknowledging that situation wasn’t good and getting out of it. Don’t listen to Satan. You have such a great life and we will be parents. I don’t know why it’s taking so long, it frustrates me too, but I know it will happen. Just have faith, I love you so much.”

Our talk made me feel better…but I still felt the cloud of depression around me. Our church was having a special worship service and I felt like I just needed a night worshiping Jesus and praying. So I went. By myself. I cannot tell you how much I needed this night. 

With my arms raised, worshiping to Jesus I kept feeling that this big weight was building in me; then our worship leader said, “Is there something that you are waiting for a job, financial security, a baby….if you never get the things you pray for….will God be enough for you?” Not gonna lie… at that moment the tears started coming. I stood there thinking, is God enough for me? Is my life without a child enough for me? 

With tears streaming down my face I whispered to Jesus “ If I never become a momma to Ava or Eli(Yes, I have already named my hypothetical kids), you are enough for me. You have brought me through so much, Lord. How could you not be enough for me? Forgive me when I lose sight of you.”

At that moment the overwhelming weight and cloud of darkness lifted. 

I am a Christian, saved by Jesus. Yet, I still struggle with depression, and that’s okay. Jesus doesn’t love me any less. Growing up, I felt like if you were a Christian and struggled, then you weren’t truly saved or you weren’t living your life right. Or your faith wasn’t strong enough. Because, as Christians we aren’t supposed to struggle with depression, right? Wrong! We can struggle just as much! Life is hard, but having hope in Jesus makes it easier. 

Jesus tells us this in John 16:33, he says 

“I have told you these things, so in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

How comforting is that? To know that no matter what we are struggling with, Jesus has already overcome it! Its okay to struggle, Jesus will always be there to pick us up. Jesus loves us with an everlasting love. He wants us to come to him with our wants, our hopes and dreams, our failures, our struggles, all of it. He wants to be enough for us. 

Romans 8:38-39 says, 

38, For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God is more than enough to sustain us. We just have to be willing to give it all to him. To lay it down at his feet, which when you are in that cloud of depression, that is easier said than done. Trust me, I know! But, when I am in that dark place, I just remind myself of how God has been so faithful to me. Remind yourself of all the great, wonderful things he has blessed you with. So when my depression feel like it is too much, I cry out to Jesus, literally. Crying helps, listening to my Christian playlist on Spotify helps, reading my bible helps, going to church helps, talking with my husband helps, therapy helps, and blogging help.

Don’t let the fear of what others will think about you or the fear that Jesus won’t love you, deter you from seeking help. Find what helps you! If talking to someone helps, do it! If taking medication helps, do it! You deserve to be happy.   

Remember no matter what, Jesus loves you and will always be there to handle whatever life throws at us. He is enough for me. And, I pray he is enough for you.

Verses to remember:

Jeremiah 31:3

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Matthew 17: 20
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

When life throws you curve balls…

Life can be tricky, and sometimes it can be difficult to navigate. But, it is important to remember how strong you are and how to keep going when life throws a curve ball at you. Some curve balls can be exciting. Some however, can be hard. I have had my fair share of curve balls thrown at me over the years. I wish I could say that I handle each curve ball with grace and dignity, but unfortunately I am human and act on my emotions.

Last week felt like curve ball after curve ball was being thrown at me. My emotions were all over the place. I have been on a health journey since December and I have lost about 30 lbs since. I am trying to keep my heart and liver as healthy as possible for as long as I can. I want to be here for a long time! I had my 6 month cardiology appointment in early July. My cardiologist was elated to hear about my progress. She suggested that I have a cardiac stress test done and see how much my function had improved. We all were expecting great improvement!

We scheduled the test for mid-July. During the test, I felt like I was rocking it! I was on my little bike just pushing my legs as fast as I could go! I just kept praying, asking Jesus to give me strength! I wanted to “ace” this test! I felt like Wonder Woman when I was done!

 After waiting two weeks I finally got the results of my stress test. They weren’t the results we were all hoping for. Somehow my heart function went down, which I find crazy because my body feels so strong! My cardiologist assured me that everything was fine, this just wasn’t what we were hoping for. She told me to continue exercising and eating healthy. I had a flair up with my anxiety and depression because of the results. I felt like what was the point of making these healthy changes? Obviously it wasn’t working. I haven’t felt like exercising since I got to results on Tuesday. I spent much of the week on the couch watching Netflix.

After spending the week wallowing in self pity, I was reminded during my quiet time last Friday of how far I have come. I have overcome a lot adversity in my life. God reminded me that, while these weren’t the results I was hoping for, this is a part of my story. I need to own it and find a way to grow from it. I have come a long way since December and I should be proud of that! I am proud of my hard work! This one test doesn’t define me. I am physically doing things I never though I’d be able to do. One of my amazing Zipper Sister’s gave me a much needed pep-talk. She told me that had I not been making these healthy changes, my results could have been much worse! God knew that I needed to hear that encouragement from her.

My point of this is, yes, life throws you curve balls. But it is up to US how we handle them. You could keep listening to the voices that tell you this curve ball will cripple you and there will be no way to ever recover from it. Or, you can choose to listen to the voice of truth, to God’s voice. The one that tells you to get back up and keep swinging! Because, when God is behind you, you can do anything!

So, when you feel like you can’t take anymore, or you aren’t strong enough….just give the bat to Jesus. Jesus will help you fight your battles for you, you just have to be willing to let him swing. So that’s what I’m doing, i’m handing it off to Jesus. And when the curve balls of life come, I’ll let him swing for me and knock that ball out of the park!

Verses to remember:

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deut. 20:4

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9