White Trash Scenario, Tornados, Finals.. The List Goes On

This has been a rough week. Yesterday was the hardest day. I have previously mentioned that I had an abortion when I was younger; it not only sent me spiraling into a deep depression for a long time, but it also added to the demise of the only serious relationship I have ever had. This guy – I will call him A – and I were together for over four years, and were involved in every aspect of each other’s lives. While I know in my heart that the end of our relationship was for the best, it was still extremely hard to move on with my life and let him go.

Last summer, I found out from my aunt that A was dating my 30something year old cousin. My cousin – whom I will refer to as K – is quite a bit older than A, and they met at holiday dinners that I brought A to when we were dating. Uhhhhhhh, can you say OUCH?! After I found out the news, I drove around aimlessly for a while and finally parked in a parking lot where I proceeded to cry my eyes out for hours. To say that I was devastated would be a gross understatement. I was heartbroken, and very wounded that my cousin would do something like this, knowing how long A and I were together and how much I was involved with him. I missed all of our traditional family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas because I could not bear to see K.

Fast forward to yesterday. By this time, I have managed to choose to forgive them both and I knew they were still casually seeing each other. While I have forgiven them, that does not mean I want to see them or have any other interaction with them. My mom said, “I have some hard news to tell you; your dad and I found out yesterday that A & K are pregnant.” What a classic white-trash scenario, eh? Keepin’ it all in the family!

This news would have absolutely devastated me six months ago. While it still hurt, I was not surprised. Apparently, A is going to move in with K and help raise their baby. Awesome… The main thing that upsets me currently about their relationship is the fact that A will possibly always be a member of my family. He will be at family gatherings. He will be around MY family, whom he conveniently already knows because WE DATED FOR FOUR YEARS. Gross. I guess that frees up my schedule at the holidays for the rest of my life because I definitely won’t be going to my aunt’s house for awhile, if ever.

It would be so easy to let myself get angry and allow bitterness to build in my heart. But, I refuse to allow A & K to have that much control over my emotions, and I refuse to turn on my beliefs. Situations like this test one’s faith and convictions, and I am determined to pass this test.

So, that was the first big blow of upsetting news I received yesterday.

I decided to get on facebook and see what everyone is up to while I am in self-inflicted isolation. Baby Daddy pops up on my newsfeed, and guess what he is doing this week?! Partying on the beach in Florida. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but yesterday it really got under my skin. It must be nice that the only responsibility and inconvenience to him regarding this pregnancy was signing his parental termination of rights and dropping them off in my parents’ mailbox. It must be nice that his body isn’t being completely reconstructed to create a beautiful baby boy that he helped conceive. It must be nice that he can party every day and pretend the situation doesn’t exist. It must be nice.

However, if the tables were turned and I was in his position instead of mine, I can’t honestly say I would not be doing the same thing. That is all I have to say about that.

Next, as the day dragged on and became evening, a huge tornado leveled several towns in my state and I had friends in the ER. Needless to say, yesterday was a rough freaking day emotionally.

On top of all of those things, I have a huge test next week and then finals the week after that. Trying to study, get huge year-end projects completed, and memorize all the stuff I am supposed to while simultaneously dealing with “pregnancy brain” aka “I can’t remember anything ever” and the constant anxiety I have regarding the future/my current pregnancy seems an insurmountable task.

Dear Jesus, help.

Quotes About Overcoming

“Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them.” ~John Bunyan~

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things. God has no poor children.” ~D.L. Moody~

“Often, people give up without knowing success is just around the corner; if they had only persevered a little longer, if they had only tried one more time, they could have succeeded.” ~Ashley Ormon~

“The beautiful thing about setbacks is they introduce us to our strengths.” ~Robin Sharma~

“A person who cannot handle setbacks will never handle victories either.” ~Orrin Woodward~

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” ~Molière~

“Success is not to be measured by the position someone has reached in life, but by the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.” ~Booker T. Washington~

“Nobody looks good in their darkest hour. But it’s those hours that make us what we are. We stand strong, or we cower. We emerge victorious, tempered by our trials, or fractured by a permanent damning fault line.” ~Karen Marie Moning~

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” ~T.S. Eliot~

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” ~Chinese proverb~

“Challenges can’t overcome people who never quit trying to overcome them.” ~Constance Chuks Friday~

“You may not appreciate the prestige of being on your feet if you’ve not felt the pain of being on your knees.”
~Constance Chuks Friday~

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ~Johnny Cash~

“He overcomes a strong enemy who overcomes his own anger.” ~Unknown~

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33~

”Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ~Romans 8:37~

“Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” ~Theodore N. Vail~

“You never fail until you stop trying.” ~Albert Einstein~

“If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost. Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” ~Zig Ziglar~

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” 
~Lou Holtz~

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” 
~Nelson Mandela~

4D Discoveries, Johnny Cash, and Psalms 3

At this point, I have flown down to M & D’s house once (over spring break), M has flown to my house once, and most recently M, D, and their daughter W have made the long drive to my house once to attend the 7 month 4D ultrasound. That happened last week, and they stayed in my parents’ guesthouse. It was so nice to have both of our families together; my brother, his wife, and their baby girl came down to my parents house as well, so everyone got to meet/know each other and hang out a bit. Although this is a hard situation, this is the best possible way that it could play out and I am grateful to God for that.

The 4D ultrasound was a great experience. Everyone working at the doctor’s office is aware of my adoption plan, and they all seem to be quite intrigued over it. I take any opportunity I can to present adoption in a positive light these days, and I am hoping after LM is born I will be able to place some brochures or information about adoption in the doctor’s office. Every time I go to a doctor’s appointment without M and/or D in tow, the nurses, receptionists, financial advisor, and my wonderful doctor ask anxiously if I’ve changed my mind. I assure them that my mind will not be changed; it’s just a very long drive for M & D to my state for a mere 15-minute checkup.

M, D, W, my mom, and I were escorted back to the ultrasound room, and we were all delighted to find that the office had JUST gotten brand new, state of the art 4D equipment. My mom sat by me and held my hand while LM’s soon-to-be-family stood by the big screen, waiting to see LM! Every time I go back for an ultrasound, I am so relieved to discover that LM is growing and developing just fine. I’m sure every expectant mother has fears that something could be wrong with her baby, and I am no different. Well, LM is absolutely adorable, and absolutely perfect. We got some excellent pictures of his face, hands, and little feet. Such a relief!! And it was very sweet to watch M, D, and W during the ultrasound. They are excellent parents, and W will make a wonderful big sister for LM. It’s so strange to see this precious little baby look so much like me. It’s quite overwhelming at times, actually.

After the ultrasound, we all headed back to my parents house. W loved meeting my baby niece, and played very beautifully with her. I can tell she is excited to finally be a big sister. D and my brother had a little jam session with their guitar and mandolin that night, and we all had a Johnny Cash/Merle Haggard sing-along. Later, I played piano and sang a couple songs, and it was a fun time for everyone. M & D left the next morning, and I was sad to see them go.

Having LM’s future family here to visit is a big stress reliever, and also a very fun time. I have always been an extraverted social person, and because we are trying to keep this pregnancy from certain family members and acquaintances that do not need to know, I basically cannot leave my parents house in my hometown when I am staying there. That part has been very hard; some days go by very quickly, while others seem to drag on forever. Loneliness is something I’ve become very well acquainted with this year, along with its friends Anxiety, Insecurity, Pain, and Helplessness. Thankfully I know how to use these new “friends” to get closer to Jesus instead of drawing away from Him, and I am so thankful for my relationship with Him. I can’t even imagine how hard this process would be otherwise.

In other news, Little Man is growing exponentially! I am officially 29 weeks and 1 day, and I have felt a significant change in his size over the past few days. For example, I woke up about 3972045 times last night because he was apparently practicing gymnastics in my stomach. I took the glucose tolerance test last week – three hours and four needle sticks while fasting, the whole annoying deal – and passed. Hooray. So far I have only gained 21 pounds since becoming pregnant (my mom is a registered dietician, a fact that is both a blessing and sometimes a pain in the butt). I’m a very healthy eater, but it wouldn’t hurt me to exercise more. Again, this is hard to do when I can’t even go walk at the park without seeing someone I know. I suppose I’ll have to start wearing disguises.

I finally remembered to ask my doctor how many people would be allowed in the room during my scheduled C-section; he said the standard answer is one, but VERY rarely they allow two.  That one person will be my mother.  I don’t remember if I have mentioned it before on this blog, but I requested a C-section to make things easier for everyone involved. That way, M, D, and their family will know when to book plane tickets, it will be easier on me emotionally, and in the event of any complications it won’t be a rushed decision; it will be planned.

God keeps giving me Psalms 3 as an encouragement; sometimes my emotions get the better of me and I become very anxious about the birth and adoption. There are so many conflicting reports from birth mothers about how they felt after the baby was born, whether they regretted their decision or not, etc. I have been learning daily how to trust – on a new level – in His plan, and trust that He will take care of me and give me the strength to do what I know is His will in this situation. He continues to give me peace that passes all understanding – something I truly understand now.

“But You, O Lord, are a shield about me; my Glory, and the Lifter up of my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.” ~Psalms 3:3-5~

Meet Baby Daddy

Here is the story of how I met Baby Daddy (BD), and how he came to be Baby Daddy.

BD and I met nearly 9 years ago when I was 17 years old and a senior in high school. This was a very painful time in my life, and to say I was having a crisis of faith would be putting it lightly. The summer before my senior year, I was raped (while a virgin) on an overseas mission trip by a person from the country we were ministering in. I told no one except my brother for a year, and I was very hurt that God would allow this to happen to me, especially since I had worked so hard to stay pure and I was on a trip serving Him when it happened. I became very bitter and numb emotionally, and decided that it was easier not to care about anything than to keep a tender heart towards God. I still loved Him, but I was young and felt very betrayed and wounded.

Needless to say, I started actively looking for trouble wherever I could find it, and I began partying all the time. My friend L introduced me to BD, and a group of us went motorcycle riding that day and I got drunk for the first time that evening. As with everything in my life, it was all or nothing; I didn’t just “get drunk”; I got completely loaded. Ended up throwing up multiple times, passing out, the whole nine yards. BD took care of me and prevented anyone from taking advantage of me, something I am still very grateful to him for doing.

BD and I have stayed friends since we met that day about 9 years ago. We have gone on many motorcycle rides together, thrown parties together, avidly watched all seasons of Breaking Bad and the first two seasons of The Walking Dead, and generally had a great time together. We have hooked up occasionally here and there, always after a night of too much drinking and mayhem. I mostly left that life behind me when I transferred to my private college, partly because I didn’t have time to party anymore but mostly because I had revived my relationship with Jesus.

Last June, my lifelong best friend in the world died suddenly. I have had many friends die over the years, but his death hit me harder than any of them. During my senior year of high school, after the rape, I had 4th period free every day and I would go to an abandoned room in the school and cry my eyes out. One day, this friend (who previously did not like me at all; we actually hated each other) walked in this room during one of my crying sessions. I panicked because I thought he would tell everyone. Instead, he sat down on the floor next to me, held my hand, and let me cry. He came back to that room to sit with me every day for the rest of the year. We became extremely close. After his death, I sunk into a deep depression and cried myself to sleep every night (assuming I did sleep that night) for months. I started going out to bars and wasting time and money again, just to try and forget – if only for a few hours – that I was going to live the rest of my life without my best friend and the most incredible person I’ve ever met. Fall break rolled around, and I drove home for a much needed recess from grad school. BD and I decided to go out on the town, where we proceeded to get super wasted and stay out until 5am. Afterward, I went over to BD’s house and stayed the night. Low and behold, Little Man was conceived.

The next afternoon when I finally woke up, BD dropped me off at my car and I went home. I promptly decided to grow up, get my relationship with God back on track, and quit giving into my childish and ineffective depression/escapism.  A few days later I packed up my things and drove back to school to finish the semester. I completely forgot that BD and I had slept
together, until I went to my routine gynecologist checkup in January and found out that, surprise! I was nearly four months pregnant! I started scrolling through my text messages, trying to remember what/who in hells bells I was doing nearly four months ago – then, I saw BD’s name and it hit me. I quickly texted him and said “Well, we’ve got a problem.” I was on birth control at the time of our hookup – unfortunately I was also on antibiotics and didn’t realize that antibiotics render birth control ineffective. He quickly figured out that I was, in fact, pregnant.

BD and I have had multiple conversations over the years about how we did not understand everyone’s rush to get married and have children; who wants to be tied down for the rest of their lives, purposely?! I knew exactly how he felt about having children, which was that he did not want them, nor did he ever really want to grow up. (And neither did I, since I’m being honest). After I told him that I was pregnant, he offered to pay for an abortion and drive me over the state line to get one. I do not blame him for this reaction, nor do I judge him; after all, a few short years ago, I DID have an abortion. I have felt guilty ever since, and determined that I would never go through that again.

I calmly informed him that abortion was not an option; when he asked me why, I reminded him that I was the one who ultimately had to live with myself and find a way to sleep at night. He got it. I told him I would be placing the baby with an adoptive family, and while I could tell he was not thrilled with this decision, he understood why I was making it and told me to let him know if I needed anything. He also was totally on board with keeping it a secret; although he is nearly 30 years old, he is still terrified of his parents finding something like that out. It must be nice to be a male, and not have the evidence kicking you under your shirt for nine months!!! EYEROLL.

So far, he still has not told anybody, and he has gotten the parental termination of rights papers signed, notarized, and in my mailbox. I continue to pray that he stays more concerned with other things than with the fact that he will soon have a child with half his DNA running around. I suppose that, if I had to end up in this situation, he was an excellent choice for Baby Daddy material: he is causing no problems with the adoption process, there are no hereditary diseases on his side of the family, he’s attractive/blondish/hilarious, we are good friends, and we made a super cute baby.  He has 5 days to revoke his termination of rights after LM is born – something that I highly doubt he will do. Anyway, there is that bit of the story for you all, in case you were curious. More

Meet The Family

In my last post, entitled ‘Family Shopping’, I told the story of how LM’s family was chosen. After they were notified, a Skype meeting was arranged. Unfortunately, the night before the meeting, there was a huge ice storm in my state and my adoption caseworker was unable to come to my house for the skype call. So we had to reschedule for a week later.

The day finally came! I was SO nervous; how do you prepare for a first conversation with your child’s family? I woke up way too early, cleaned my entire house, got ready, and tried to calm myself down. Finally my caseworker (I will call her CW from now on) arrived, and she gave me a few pointers. The main thing she told me was not to be shy about asking the questions I wanted to ask, no matter how awkward or strange they may be. I had a million things running through my mind and it was hard to collect my thoughts. Finally it was time for them to call!

After the first couple of minutes, my fears were soothed. Talking to them (I will refer to the adoptive parents as M & D – mom and dad – on this blog) was like talking to old friends. Conversation easily flowed, all necessary questions were asked/answered, and – most exciting of all – phone numbers were exchanged! I immediately sent them the few ultra sound pictures I had on my phone, and nearly two hours later, the conversation ended. I loved the way that M & D interacted with each other; their relationship seemed very strong but not overly serious. They knew how to have fun and communicate well with each other, but weren’t flippant or overly jovial about serious matters.

This call happened on a Tuesday, and my next doctor’s appointment was scheduled for Friday of the same week. M had mentioned that she would love to fly up (they live in a different state) for any doctor’s appointments if I so desired; it had not previously crossed my mind that she would want to attend these appointments, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. I texted and told her I’d love to have her up for my next appointment, not really thinking she would be able to come on such short notice but hoping she could. To my happy surprise, she immediately got online, booked a flight, and made plans to come!

D would not be able to get off of work on such short notice, however. I was greatly impressed by the bravery necessary for M to get on a plane alone – after only one conversation with me and with no idea what kind of a situation she would be walking into – and fly several states away just to attend a doctor’s appointment. What love she already had for my unborn child!

My mom and I prepared a goodie basket to put in M’s hotel room. We put hard copies of the ultra sound pictures, a blue binky, snacks, tea towels, and a lullaby CD in the basket. My mom, who is an antique connoisseur/trader, found an awesome antique glass baby bottle and used it as a vase for some hydrangeas. (Little known to us, hydrangeas turned out to be M’s favorite flowers!)

After dropping the goodie basket off at M’s hotel room, my mom and I headed to the airport. M’s flight was delayed, and I remember being so worried that she would be stuck overnight in a strange city. Thankfully, she got on the last flight out for the night and made it to my city just in time. I gave her a big hug when she got off the plane, and we headed to the hotel. When we got to her room, she pulled out a present for me; it was a beautiful necklace that all of the women in her family had. I was extremely touched by this gesture, and I wear the necklace all the time. The three of us talked until late into the night, and then my mom and I headed to the house.

The next day, M and I went to a very long brunch and really connected. We both shared family stories, thoughts, and plans for the future. After brunch we went to my parents house, which is the house I grew up in. I am a classically trained musician; I’ve studied piano, voice, and violin since I was 3 years old, and I reached the highest level classically in piano when I was 17 years old. I’ve also led worship and been in several rock bands over the years; so needless to say, music is a huge part of my life. I played piano and sang for M, which she really enjoyed. After a quick lunch we headed to the doctor’s office!

M and my doctor really hit it off, as he has relatives living in the same area that M & D live in. I love my doctor; he is first of all one of the best in the area and secondly, somehow manages to make me feel at ease while being absolutely honest/blunt at the same time. He’s basically the perfect OB doc. I was SO GLAD M was there for the ultrasound; it was really sweet to see her face and have her there to share the experience with my mom and I. They checked LM’s fingers, toes, organ/bone development, etc. Everything looked perfect! Upon hearing about why M was there, the tech made the ultrasound longer than necessary, and even switched over to 4D for a few minutes at the end just for us to see. She also printed off two sets of pictures so that M and I could each have one.

M flew home the next day, and I felt much more at peace after meeting her.

I started dealing with my feelings of grief and loss as soon as I decided to go with adoption. I had been told by CW that a lot of girls make the mistake of shoving these feelings aside until the baby is born, which ultimately makes it a lot harder on everyone involved, especially themselves. I am determined for the day of LM’s birth to be a celebration; I do not want the focus to be on myself, because the whole reason I chose adoption was for his benefit. M & D asked me if I would mind having a lot of their relatives at the hospital for the birth. While many girls probably would find this too difficult, I love it. I’m so glad LM is going into a huge, close, loving family, and I think having most of his new relatives there to celebrate is absolutely the way to go.

The day I found out I was pregnant, I was so upset and angry with myself. God made it immediately clear to my heart that the only way I would be able to get through this was by praising Him. He also told me what to name the baby; when I looked up his name, I learned that it means “my praise”.  I was mad; I told Him I didn’t want to hear that right now and proceeded to throw a book at my bedroom wall. (I know, I know… Really mature reaction). After working through my initial anger and shock, I turned on some praise music and forced myself to sing and dance. Pretty soon, I was no longer forcing it but I was truly praising God. That is the moment when I knew everything would be alright.

My Jesus will never leave me; He will NEVER forsake me. Even in the most difficult times of life, when everything feels wrong and devastation is near, I’ve learned that those are the times He is nearest to me. I have been through many devastating situations in my life, many more than an average individual. I always come out a stronger person, and the only reason I have been able to keep my sanity and not have a nervous breakdown through them all is His never-ending love. This situation is no different, but it has a big positive to it that a lot of my previous life situations didn’t: out of this difficult time of sadness and uncertainty, an entire family is being changed for the better.

M & D are going to have LM as an end result, and I will have the comfort of Jesus and the knowledge that I did the best thing for my child. So many upsetting situations that I’ve brought on myself as a result of sinning (like this one, for example) only have negative consequences. This one has a HUGE and wonderful positive “consequence”, and that is LM. I cannot wait to see what his future holds.

Family Shopping

After deciding to place my child with an adoptive family, I prayed for guidance and began methodically searching through hundreds of potential familys’ profiles. It was such a strange feeling, this “family shopping”! I had several minimal requirements for the family, which I made known to God in order of importance: (1) Christian, (2) Southern, (3) Financially stable, and (4) Blonde (I didn’t want Little Man – LM – to look out of place)! Initially I wanted a couple that did not have children of their own, because I was worried about them favoring their biological children over their adoptive child. However, after further consideration, I decided that I preferred parents who had decent experience with this whole child-rearing thing, aka parents who already had a child.

Another major thing I wanted was for LM’s parents to have an extremely solid marriage. One of the main reasons I am placing him is so that he can grow up with a mother AND father – something I cannot provide for him. I would be devastated if his parents divorced after the adoption was finalized. I reminded myself to trust God, as He planned this child’s destiny at the beginning of time and always takes care of the desires of my heart (when I manage to get out of His way).

Most of all, I wanted to pick the family that God ordained for LM. I’ve learned repeatedly throughout my life that God’s will ALWAYS trumps my own will, the will of others, and the opinions/plans of man. Thankfully I’ve gotten quite good at listening to His voice and learning how He speaks to me.

I began to wonder how anybody made this decision without the help of God. The profiles are insanely minimalistic; how is one supposed to make an educated decision about something as important as choosing parents for one’s child, based on a one-page bio and a couple of pictures?! After several profiles, I was overwhelmed and wanted to stop searching, but decided to check out one last family before quitting for the day. I sighed and clicked on their profile.  Immediately – before even reading anything or closely examining the pictures – I felt a prompt in my heart. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the family that God – not I – had chosen for LM. What a relief!

Upon reading the bio of LM’s future parents (I’ll refer to them as M & D from now on) I was deeply touched by their story. They met in college years ago, and they have been married for over 10 years. They have a beautiful daughter, and several years ago were pregnant with their second daughter until a horribly tragic accident caused M to lose the baby. This accident also left her unable to have any more children. My heart broke when I read their story and thought about the pain M & D had experienced. The fact that they stayed married after the accident (a miraculous feat after something so traumatic, painful, and life altering) and the fact that they did not abandon their faith in Jesus as a result of the accident, impressed me greatly.

Not only did M & D meet my top four requirements, but they met all my other requirements as well! They had an unusually solid relationship. They had experience with raising a child. I knew I did not have to worry about them favoring their daughter over LM; it was quite clear that they would greatly cherish all of their children, regardless of their origins. Most importantly, though, God strongly confirmed that they were LM’s appointed family.

I found out I was pregnant in January, and I found the adoptive family exactly a week later. I excitedly notified my caseworker from the adoption agency. To my surprise, she said that the family would not be informed of my choice until mid-March. When I asked why, I got a pretty vague answer but read between the lines. It was because they did not want to get M & D’s hopes up, only to have me change my mind and keep the baby later on in the pregnancy. While I understood this reason completely, it also slightly annoyed me.

I am not what society considers a “typical” birthmother. (Which, as far as I can tell, seems to be something along the lines of a 16-year-old high school dropout with a drug problem and an abusive boyfriend). I am also not what society considers a “typical” grad student, a “typical” American, a “typical” Christian, etc. Really, there is nothing typical about me/my life… But more on that later. My point is, the agency CLEARLY does not know me, nor do they understand my absolutely indomitable strength of will once I make up my mind. This strength of will is especially immoveable when I know that I am doing something God wants me to do. However, people do not believe you when you tell them things like that about yourself, so I bit my tongue and accepted the wait.

A few months later, M & D were finally notified, and a Skype meeting was arranged!

I will continue my story in my next post. Thanks for reading!

Quotes about Strength

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ~Albert Camus~

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ~Jane Austen~

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”  ~Marcus Aurelius~ 

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”  ~Mother Teresa~

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” ~Mahatma Gandhi~

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  ~Frederick Douglass~

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi~

“Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson~

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”  ~Psalm 28:7~

“I am fallen, flawed and imperfect. Yet drenched in the grace and mercy that is found in Jesus Christ, there is strength”  ~Adam Young~

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”  ~August Wilson~

“When I thought I couldn’t go on, I forced myself to keep going.  My success is based on persistence, not luck.”  ~Estee Lauder~

“Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog.” ~Anne Bonny~

“Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly.” ~Lawrence G. Lovasik~

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.”  ~Laozi~

“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. ”  ~Kate Chopin~

“Screw pretty. I’d rather be strong. Pretty fades over time. Strength gets you through the bad shit.”  ~Thea Harrison~

“Joy is strength.”  ~Mother Teresa~


Quotes about Adoption

“I once heard a girl who had decided to parent her child say, ‘my baby’s the best thing that ever happened to me.’ I believed her. But I wanted to ask, ‘are you the best thing that could’ve happened to your baby?’”   ~Tamra, birth mom~

 “I loved my child more than words can explain, and I still do… Had I loved him any less – one ounce less – he would be with me now! My love for him was the only thing that could enable me to break my own heart. I didn’t just feel love; I did what love dictated.”   ~Tamra, birth mom~

 “My adoption was treated as a celebration.” ~Michael Reagan~

 “My life has been shaped by the decision two people made over 24 years ago. They decided to adopt a child. They got me, and I got a chance at the kind of life all children deserve.”  ~Karen Fowler~

“A birthmother puts the needs of her child above the wants of her heart.”  ~Skye Hardwick~

 “Adoption isn’t about giving a child up, it is about giving a child more. More love. More family. More opportunities. Just more!” ~Unknown~

“My love for you has always surpassed my need to be with you.”  ~Ashley Eldridge, birth mom~

 “My baby was unplanned. I didn’t want his life to be unplanned too!”  ~Sierra, birth mom~

 “I made the decision to do this because I felt in my heart that this was the right thing to do and knew I could make someone else have a wonderful gift from God, the same way that I was to my mom; a precious gift.”  ~Christina, birth mom~

 “Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”  ~Rabindranath Tagore~

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.”   ~Jeremiah 29:11~

“There are advantages [to adoption]. If they turn out badly, we can blame their natural parents. We can also choose our own assortment of ages and genders. We can even get them ready-grown, if we wish.” ~Loretta Chase~

“Since we have had this baby with us, I have never again wondered why I never got pregnant. There is no doubt in my mind that God, in His wonderful way, was saving us to be the parents of this wonderful little boy.” ~Kathleen Silber~

“Adoption is the most intentional process on Earth.” ~Jody Cantrell Dyer~

“Even though you weren’t born to us, you grew in our hearts. We will be forever connected because love is what makes a family.” ~Deanna Kahler~

“Adopted. Big Deal; so was Superman” ~Chris Crutcher~

“Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also difficult and painful. Adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the Gospel in my living room.” ~Katie Davis~

“There are times when the adoption process is exhausting and painful and makes you want to scream. But, I am told, so does childbirth.” ~Scott Simon~

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