25 August, 2014

Welcome to the Herd!

Family road trip! Complete with at least 3 potty stops (and iced coffee to take the edge off so many potty stops) and at least one newly coined word from Clara. This trip it was, "gooseballs".

I love the Blogsy app! Never before have I been able to type a blog post while on a road trip.

We are on our way to a weekend trip to Chicago to visit with my family and celebrate my beautiful niece Elizabeth's 2nd birthday. I can't help but reflect on how big all of our children are getting! They are growing so beautifully and becoming such wonderful little people. What a joy and immense blessing to be co-creating them with our Lord.

We often quote the movie "Ice Age" when talking about our very unique extended family. Sid the Sloth says, "We are the weirdest herd I've ever seen." And truly WE are. Not only do we have unique upbringings and values set, our family has grown in very unique ways. A family of 3 girls, we welcomed a 2-year-old brother (through adoption) at the same time we were welcoming brother-in-laws into our lives. And just when the lake cabin was the perfect size for our extended family, God surprised us with both my niece Elizabeth and our joyful son Thomas. And the story of Elizabeth's adoption is what brings me to today's post.

Elizabeth joined our family through adoption. Her story is worth telling and retelling as a powerful example of God's generosity and provision. My sister and brother-in-law found out Elizabeth just a week before she was born. Elizabeth's beautiful and generous birth mom has two other daughters and was working to get her feet back under her when she found out she was expecting Elizabeth. She knew that God was not calling her to parent this child. She did not search for an adoptive family until she was nearly nine months pregnant. She found my sister and her husband through a friend.

An uncomplicated pregnancy with good maternal choices, Elizabeth's mom had not had any prenatal care. Shortly after meeting my sister and her husband, she visited the doctor to check her dates. During the examination, the medical staff discovered a tear in the amniotic sac which was leaking amniotic fluid. Fluid levels were so low that they decided an emergency c-section was in order.

My sister was called and she rushed to find a floating replacement nurse on her pediatric critical care unit. In tears, she and her husband rushed to the hospital. They waited in the waiting room for news of their child. Elizabeth arrived healthy and they were told they needed to wait out the recovery time. Expecting a wait, my sister sent her husband home to let the dog out. Shortly after he left, a recovery nurse came up and offered to sneak my sister into recovery. As she entered the room and held her baby for the first time, the tears flowed freely. She was the first person to hold Elizabeth and 3 days later our sweet little Lizzy came home.

I visited my little baby girl the Monday after her birth. I snuggled her up close as I sat in the sunny outdoor swing at my mom's house. Never had my heart been so full. All of the sudden I understood the sheer awesome task of being an aunt. There is something so deep about that relationship.

(Insert flux of mama hormones here...and despite scientific hormonal tracking and charting to the exact opposite, said hormones miraculously led to the birth of our sweet little Thomas exactly 9 months later.)

3 weeks later marked the forfiture of parental rights.

6 months later marked the offical adoption date.

Upon her formal adoption, family and friends received a pink announcement with the scripture passage, "For this child I prayed."

And truly there could be no sweeter answer to our prayers. Happy Birthday my little Dizzy! I love you.

(Blogsy and traffic in Milwaukee is not a good combo for this motion sickness-prone mama...)



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