Our Adoption Story

I don’t really remember–
When God first put adoption on my heart,
Or my husband’s heart.
It was a process…
It started back before we had biological children.
When I would check the Oregon waiting children pages.
And I would read their stories.
And my heart would hurt.
And I would feel unable—
Not ready–
To meet the need so great.

And then years later, I sat at a child’s sports practice with my friend Becky,
Who was open to adoption.
And I told her my secret.
I was willing…
And felt my heart pulled–
To adopt.
But I would pray (because the decision was so great, so big, so beyond me-in-my-own-strength)…
I would pray for God to place it on my husband’s heart.

And then one day,
On a car ride home…
After a day spent with children needing rock-solid-family-permanent–
He said,
“Do you think maybe God wants us to adopt?”
And I knew that was a message from the Father’s heart,
Our Father who “places the lonely in families”
(Psalm 68:6).
And so we took the baby steps.
And saw closed doors and open doors and major moments of
And within months we were matched with Selah,
Our December baby.
Who lived to be a true time of–
“pause and value”,
As her name suggests.


He gifted us those almost-five months of peace.
When I felt most at rest.
The most restful and valuable–


In my whole life.
And then we lost her–
To a disease in a world full of sin-induced-hurt.
To a disease in a world needing–

But we wept and writhed in the aching sorrow,
That kind of sorrow that churns within and pulls out
The deepest, silent, voiceless screams–
A pain beyond all words.
I knew that on the day she died–
When the judge cleared the courts and finalized our papers,
And they delivered her adoption decree up to the hospital,
Just hours before her death…
I knew–
God was in this.
This path of adoption.
Because adoption is real.
Because the hurt could not be more real,
More deep.
We truly mourned our child  that day.

I knew the depth of love-adoption,
How deep adoptive love is.
How complete and firm and solid and final–
That love is.
That adoptive love.

And so she entered into…
And we wept.
And we grieved.
And I lay on my bed silently shouting Job’s cries.
And my heart hurt not fully ready to embrace new love again–
Just frozen in a pained embrace–
For a long while…

We started the process soon after.
But God knew I wasn’t ready.
We needed to surpass birthdays and lost days and grief days and the season of spring when everything–
The cherry blossoms blooming,
And the smells and the songs and the possibilities…
Could only remind me of–

We stepped back–
In fear of future hurt.
We stepped back–
As we thought of what might happen.
For a length of time…
We stepped back.
Waiting until we could fully say…
“Your plan. Your will. Be done.”
Risking a heart broken is the only alternative to creating a heart unbreakable.

And on the day we rejoined the journey,
He matched us with a mama-so-in-love…
A child so loved by a mama-who-trusted-hope–
Who trusted Him.
Who went in–
To end a life,
But saw the life.
And chose Life–
For the child,
That she would carry.
That baby.
Our baby.
Our Lydia.

Even amidst the turmoil,
Even amidst the hurt,
Even amidst the abandonment–
That mama wouldn’t forget her child.
And in that grasp of self-sacrifice,
Her gift was beyond all gifts–
Except His.

And two months later.
On a perfect day,
A God-appointed day…
Our Lydia Grace was born.
It was Father’s Day,
My husband’s birthday.
And in love for us, that sweet mama welcomed in
Our Lydia.
Alone in a room of pain and delivery.
But He was there.
She chose deliverance and called so we could hear–
Our Lydia’s first cry.
And I wept–
At the gift.
Of life.

Adoption ushers in life,
And family.
And love.
Adoption ushers in redemption.
And hope.
And an eternal hope.

I understand it better now.
His love for me.
That it is real and full–
As I am truly His child.
As she is truly ours.
As I love her with that lay-down-my-life-for-her–
Kind of love.
Which He did–
Lay down His life.
So that I might be adopted…
As a real child, as a real heir,
With love beyond all measure–
Through adoption.

“…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons,
by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
~Romans 8:15

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  1. That choked me up. Love you and your heart. And love the precious family God has blessed you with and that He allows us to know you all!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. anna-marie says:

    Beautifully written and a wonderful story

  3. Beautiful, Kara. I love your heart and could feel it broken as I read this. You are an amazing woman with a lovely heart.

  4. You are the delight of the Lord — your family is the delight of the Lord. To travel the world of adoption is such a blessing and encouragement. To model what God intends for us, the LOVE he has for us as his children and how he mourns when we are lost to him. The joy at joining him and accepting our adoption is wonderfully displayed here. I love you guys!

  5. This is so beautiful – heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.
    I’ve felt the desire to adopt for awhile, but not my husband, so I’m encouraged to hear that the Lord placed it on your husbands heart as well.

    • Thank you Jessica…I was so thankful for how God let my husband lead us down the adoption road (I’m a “make-it-happen-do-er”…so it was difficult for me to not push ahead of God’s timing). But–it was such evidence, when my husband brought it up eventually….that we really were supposed to head in that direction. And because the leading was clear–it gave us strength and comfort when Selah died. We never had to look back and wonder…if that makes any sense?

  6. Amy Thornton says:

    I could probably write a better comment here if I weren’t typing through tears . . . thank you for sharing this. Thank you for loving unconditionally. For being willing to risk your heart. Your children are very blessed to have you and your husband for their parents.

  7. God bless your hearts- I so “get it” – our story is different – but, I get it! I didn’t know that November was adoption month- my Spencer was born in November :) we adopted him 8 months later – and it was finalized that December :) big hugs!

    • Kelli–I’m looking forward to reading more over at your place…I quickly stopped by this afternoon after reading your comments. Your heart for sharing God’s Creation with your children…seeing them enjoy the wonder…it is so close to my heart! Love that your little guy came in November…our Lydi’s adoption finalized in November ’09…the day before Thanksgiving…couldn’t have been more meaningful for us… Thank you for these words of connection… Love, K

  8. I hear here, and read here… of a heart breaking with the things that break the heart of God. So sweet. So thankful for you and your family, being a family to another child of His.

  9. Tricia Keierleber says:

    beautiful! ADOPTION ROCKS!

    I’m crying- trying to contain sobs as not to alarm my hubs. I hurt so much for y’all. To ever imagine losing Annie- well, its too much- hence the contained sobs!

    • We crossed paths just now…I was over at your place…looking at beautiful newborn photos and SweetBEE’s photos :)
      I love your heart Tricia…felt an immediate connection the first time I visited your place…
      I know you love with deep, true love…and your little one is so blessed and is clearly such a blessing. Love how God uses this medium to connect hearts who hold adoption close.

  10. Yana Yaroshevich says:

    So beautiful… God bless you for taking that step. It’s oh so needed for so many children.

  11. i love this, kara. my husband and i have been discussing adoption too. please pray for us on this journey… yours is so beautiful, heartbreaking and inspiring…

    • I will stop and pray right now. For direction & for unity…
      I know He’ll let you know…I love that verse…”He places the lonely in families”
      He places.
      I can rest in that…His timing.
      I love that you’re open to adoption and…
      it doesn’t surprise me one bit (after reading your heart-in-words for a while now)

  12. Muthering Heights says:

    This is so breathtaking and heartbreaking…

  13. Kara, this is so beautifully written and even though I had already read your story, this made me cry because it is so beautiful, so heartbreaking, so hopeful, so real. You were blessed to have those days, weeks, months with Selah and privileged to be her mom for her days on Earth and to still be her mommy and know that you hold her again someday. What a precious gift your Lydia is and what a legacy of love she has already!

  14. Chelsey Hall says:

    What a beautiful story. So inspirational. I would love to one day share in that same story if the Lord allows!

    Thanks, too, for linking up with the Koinonia Community! :)

  15. Jen4Ever4Always says:

    Your adoption story is just beautiful! God is so good :) Thanks for sharing, even the parts that must be so difficult to share.

  16. Elizabeth Johnson says:

    Wow. Not being a mother yet… I can only imagine the agony. But to have it grow into something so beautiful as this testimony… that is truly of God’s grace!
    Thank you for sharing!


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