Lauren & Jason

Our Plan B is God’s Plan A – This phrase has been our motto while we have traveled through our adoption journey. I am humbled to be able to share our story with you.

February 2016 my husband, Jason, and I became pregnant. Although we were not planning for our sweet little one, we were more than prepared in our lives for this next step. I was apprehensive as I was diagnosed with Lupus Anticoagulant. It is nothing related to Lupus, but it is an antibody found in blood that can cause pregnancy complications. I had known miscarriage would be in my future based on this diagnoses. Little was known about how life would or could be with this antibody, however.

Our first appointment at eight weeks, we hear the heartbeat and see the baby. We were more than ecstatic to be able to see a tiny human moving around in ME! ME! We were referred for a consult to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (high risk OB) because of the Lupus Anticoagulant. It was a reassuring meeting at twelve weeks. Since I had not had a miscarriage or a still birth prior there was no need for me to be monitored as high risk.

At my sixteen week appointment my OB placed the doppler on my belly and moved it around. A few seconds passed, no heartbeat. My cheery regular OB stated that it may be difficult to hear the heartbeat as the baby may be moving.  A minute had passed, which felt like an eternity and still no heartbeat. We were moved to a room that supplied an ultrasound machine. My doctor squirted the gel on my belly and started with the probe moving it around. She was quiet, I was quiet, my husband was quiet holding my hand. The doctor confirmed our worst fear, there was no heartbeat. Baby was still.

I made it home, unable to comprehend what was happening. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t speak. My baby was no longer alive and I was carrying he or she inside me. My surgery was completed and I woke up with an empty womb.  I would be dishonest if I told you I wasn’t angry. I can tell you I completed the five stages of grief in a continuous circle. I leaned on God more than ever to allow me to make it through the darkest of times. And in those dark moments when I spoke to Him my tears would dry, my sniffles would stop and I felt peace.

We received the pathology results from our sweet little one. We were having a boy and there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. We do not have an explanation for our loss other than it may have been related to Lupus Anticoagulant, but little was explained.

Four weeks post surgery I developed left side pain. Excruciating side pain. Long story short I had bilateral occlusive pulmonary emboli, which means both my lungs were filled with blood clots. I was placed on an injection of heparin known as Lovenox once a day for a duration of six months. My new norm was a once a day injection and chest pain. My clots had blocked blood and oxygen flow inside my lungs. Parts of my lungs had died. I was told lung function may return, it may not. Although lungs are known to regenerate, the oxygen and blood were blocked for so long I most likely have permanent damage and scar tissue.

Fast forward to another four weeks. I was back in the hospital with severe side pain, shortness of breath and unable to sleep lying down due to the pain. They found more clots. I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. So in the most simplest definition, my immune system is attacking itself. Auto means “self”, so literally my body is attacking itself, including my unborn babies. I will have to inject a blood thinner every twelve hours for the remainder of my life.  My diagnoses is not who I am, it is just part of my story.

But HE is good! Because I am here, able to share our story with you!

October 2016 we became pregnant again! This time planned. Due to my circumstances we were high risk. I had an appointment every week with an ultrasound. Jason was at every appointment with me. Week sixteen I knew something was wrong. I was heading into my appointment and Jason was terribly ill with the flu. I would not make him come into the appointment with me, but I was terrified. I had the ultrasound tech always tell me before I opened my eyes if there was a heartbeat at every appointment.

My eyes were shut and I asked the tech if we had a heartbeat and she quickly responded that there was. I opened my eyes with relief and stared at the large flat screen in front of me. Baby did not have heartbeat and baby was still. I was flooded with emotions and sobbed immediately. WHY did this happen again? We did everything right! I did everything so very right!  We lost Holden Grace January 3, 2017.

“He gives me new strength. he guides me in the right paths, as he has promised. Even if I go through the deepest darkness I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Psalm 23:3-5

My high risk OB could not tell me what went wrong. Her response was maybe it was “too soon”. She did not explain what the future would hold or how we would have handled the pregnancy differently. I realized at that moment she did not know what to do with me or my condition. I threw myself into research. I have a 30% change of carrying a baby to term and there is the potential risk to me. With the levels of severity associated with Antiphospholipid Syndrome I have the highest tier.

My heart could not handle another loss. I knew it was time to move forward. Through the heartache and heartbreak, adoption gently nudged in my mind. Almost immediately I knew adoption was exactly what was meant for our family. I wouldn’t be honest if I said Jason was as committed as I was initially, but we prayed. And we prayed. AND WE PRAYED SOME MORE!

Adoption is exactly where we are meant to be. I have never felt so much peace with a decision and can only thank HIM for guiding us. With that peace we dove right into the adoption process. I found so many adoptive and waiting families on Instagram. One particular adoptive mama wrote a blog detailing each and every step. Because of her, we signed with Christian Adoption Consultants and began our home study. Thank you to her for her shinning light! I was apprehensive about our home study approval. Would the court not deem me as a fit mother because of my autoimmune condition?

And you know what? God is good! We are home study approved and have been a waiting family since May! My husband and I are immeasurably blessed and waiting for our rainbow. I know HE will bring a perfect baby into our arms. Through the grace of God Our Plan B is HIS Plan A and “we are filled with joy” Psalm 126:3.

We would love any support, prayers and shares of our story! If our story can help one woman, one couple, one family to find peace through the storm it would be an absolute honor.

To financially support Lauren & Jason click here. 

**More opportunities to support Lauren & Jason coming soon here.

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take courage my heart

This song is undoing me these days and putting me back together. I am constantly listening to it when my thoughts seem to get out of control. Turn it up and let the words cover your heart, mind, and body. {lyrics below}

Slow down, take time
Breath in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory
And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory!

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
And hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfold
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
And hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfold
He’s never failing
He’s never failing!

He’s in the waiting…

{lyrics by: Kristene DiMarco}

Ellie & Scott Lawrence

“Jesus Knows.”

A simple phrase I have found myself repeating during the last several years.

Allow me to share part of my story to give you a frame of reference for what that phrase means to me. My husband Scott and I just celebrated 6 years of marriage. In my perfect world, we would already have 2 (maybe 3) kids. We began trying shortly after our 3rd anniversary. I thought I would be just like everyone else and get pregnant quickly. It didn’t take long for me to realize my story wouldn’t be “just like everyone else” — Or that “everyone else” didn’t necessarily have it as easy as I assumed they did.
Infertility was something to which I was previously naive. I never imagined it would be the road on which Scott and I would find ourselves. Months went by with pregnancy tests screaming a big fat NEGATIVE at me. About one year into our journey, we decided it was time to get things checked out. We both dove right into the world of tests, blood work, the dreaded HSG test, and ultrasounds. As we got all of our test results back, we found ourselves in the unexplained infertility category. I never even knew there was such a thing (like I said, naive). Our doctor recommended we try IUI a few times before moving on to more intense treatments. We took some time to pray about it and felt an incredible peace about going the IUI route.

I will never forget getting the call about our first IUI results. I was at work, checking my phone every two minutes, anxiously waiting for my results. The phone rang and my heart sunk into my toes. I anxiously answered, only to hear the nurse say “Ellie, your results were negative. I’m so sorry. Call us when your cycle starts back up and we will do another IUI.” That was it. Months of emotional frenzy had been interrupted by a few short weeks of hope and even for a brief moment, excitement, only to come to a screeching halt with a 13 second phone call. I went into a nearby room, fell on the floor and sobbed. Every emotion you could imagine came out. I was angry, confused, and devastated. Scott was out of town, so I had to break the news to him over the phone. Let me tell you, THAT WAS THE WORST. In that moment, I needed my best friend. I needed him to just bear hug me and let me sob into his shoulder. Well, he was in Texas so that wasn’t possible. We just wept together over the phone. Devastated. In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit say “I see you, Ellie. I am still good, always good.” Jesus knows, friends. Jesus knew that is exactly what I needed in that moment to somehow pick myself up off the floor.

With our second IUI, I felt a little more prepared to receive the results. I remember thinking this could be the most amazing phone call of my life or another call with heart shattering news. Thankfully, I wasn’t working that day. Scott and I were together, the details of this call are more of a blur to me. Once I heard the words “negative,” I was quiet. I hung up the phone, and we just wept. We began asking all of the questions. What went wrong? Everything looked so good on paper. We felt so isolated in that moment, like we were the only ones feeling that pain — right where satan wanted us. I would be lying if I said I didn’t allow myself to unpack and settle into that sadness. I allowed that negative result to control the next few weeks of my life. I sunk into a sadness I had never experienced before. Yet, it is in those moments where Jesus comes in and rescues us. Jesus knows, friends. He met me right where I was in my sadness…right in the middle of my ugly-face crying. I experienced Him like I never had before. After the second failed IUI in January of this year, I knew I couldn’t handle another round of medicine (which literally made me a crazy person) and another potentially failed IUI. My heart couldn’t handle it. Scott and I spent a week praying and seeking God for what was next. We didn’t feel Him leading in any specific direction. We decided to take 3 months and just stop everything. Let me tell you, GAME CHANGER! I called it our sabbatical.

(Side note: If you’re in the middle of your infertility journey, I can’t encourage you enough to take a sabbatical. Pray about the amount of time. Obviously there is no magic number for the length of your break but trust me…the break is necessary. It was for me.)

Taking this break allowed our hearts and minds to shift focus from our infertility and to our Sustainer. The One who had been working all along, behind the scenes, in order to redeem our story. Jesus revealed more of Himself to me in those 3 months, restored my joy, and gave me a renewed hope. During those 3 months, we prayed about what would be next. For us, it was either more fertility treatments or adoption. We have ALWAYS wanted to adopt, but I’m almost embarrassed to say it wasn’t our first option. We just didn’t realize it was God’s first option for us.

Three months had gone by and we didn’t yet have any specific direction in mind, we just were finally at a place where we wanted what God wanted. We began casually researching different agencies around the country to wrap our minds around the adoption process. Our hearts and hands were completely open. We eventually found out about Faithful Adoption Consultants and couldn’t stop reading about them, scouring all of their social media posts, and experiencing overwhelming joy over each picture of a family, matched to a precious baby. We set up our initial phone call with them at the end of April, and prayed for clear answers from God. We hung up from the call, Scott and I looked at each other, and for the first time in a long time, we had tears of joy! Jesus knows.

Here we are 3 months into our adoption process.

Our home study was approved this week.

Our profile book was approved this week.

More than half of our money is raised.

We are only a few weeks out from being active! IS THIS REAL LIFE?

ONLY JESUS, FRIENDS. ONLY JESUS!

I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have fears in this process. I was telling a friend the other day that I feel like the “what if’s” and anxieties of adoption are the same “what if’s” and anxieties I would have if I were able to get pregnant. Anytime those fears creep in, I take a deep breath, say out loud “Jesus knows. He knows.” There is so much power and peace that comes when we say the name of Jesus. So, when those anxieties creep in, speak His beautiful name, out loud! I am excited to watch this journey of adoption unfold. It is so surreal that we are even in this process. Just today, I asked Scott “Has it hit you yet that we are going to have a baby soon?” We both just looked at each other and grinned like little kids on Christmas morning.

Jesus knows exactly where you are.

Jesus knows the tears you cry when you see that negative test.

Jesus knows the fears and anxieties that come along with adoption.

Jesus knows you by name.

Jesus knows every single detail about your body.

Jesus knows your dream is to hear a little one reach out and call you Mommy.

Jesus knows your deepest fears and greatest joys.

Jesus knows every single detail about the beautiful babies He has created just for you.

And you know what?

JESUS KNOWS AND LOVES OUR FLAWED, SINFUL, FEARFUL, ANXIOUS SELVES.

Rest in that today.

Jesus knows!

__________________________________________________

If you would like to support Ellie & Scott, please visit the links below.

www.adopttogether.com/scottandellie  (tax-deductible)

www.youcaring.com/scottandellie (regular)

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never been pregnant and I’m thankful.

Close your eyes and think of something you want so badly. Think about what you would do to make it happen. What would you endure to see it come to pass?

Pregnancy. That was what I wanted to badly. I was in a single-minded-pursuit of that one thing. I wanted to do whatever possible for ME to make that happen. But it never happened. And still hasn’t.

Because it hasn’t happened, I wanted to share a little bit of our backstory so you will know where we’ve been. I think people probably assume we have either experienced miscarriages or been told we will never conceive a biological baby. Neither is true.

I don’t think I have ever written those words on the world wide web which seems odd. Me not conceiving became the catalyst for growth in my faith like I’ve never experienced before.

I’ve never ever seen a positive pregnancy test. Like ever. I have no idea all the emotions that come with those two pink lines staring back at you. I do not know what it is like to sneak around for a few days to plan how to surprise Dru with the news. I do not know what’s it’s like to feel a baby kicking inside my belly. I do not know what it’s like to have to pee every five seconds because a baby is all up on my bladder.

And six years ago this was the only thing on my mind. The desire to have a baby in my belly consumed me. It trapped me every single day. Questions plagued my mind, heart, and body daily.

I am here to say today that our GOD IS BIGGER than the biggest desire of our hearts. He has an even greater plan than the one we’ve dreamed up in our heads. {#shockerIknow}

My Evie girl was the very reason why I had never conceived. What I thought was being withheld from me was actually allowing me to receive the best, most perfect blessing of my life.

These are the questions we continually lay down at Jesus’s feet and really never expect an answer this side of heaven. BUT God. He allowed me to hear words from my birthmother that forever shaped my faith in my God.

She told me in December of 2014, one of the reasons she chose us to be Evie’s parents is because we did not have any children. FRRRRRRIENDS!!!!! Go back and read those words again. No really. Do it.

Do you see that? Do you see that He was in it ALL??? He was there all along!! He was guiding us and NOT withholding. He was preparing. He was aligning our hearts with His most perfect and awesome plan.

Today, I am asking you to maybe not hold so tightly to your plans. Loosen that grip. You’ll never be the same. Promise.

As always, if you have comments or questions, I’m here. Reach out and ask.

So much love for each of you,

KB

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birkeland family update: now what?

it’s been two weeks since we found out that I am not pregnant and I want to share what happened in my heart over the course of last month.

I think I shared in one of the live fb videos I did that I didn’t plan on sharing our journey this time around. I thought that we would just precede with everything and then share when we were finally pregnant. But I was assured my the Holy Spirit that I must share. I had a lot of reservations as to what people’s reactions would be to us taking steps to a biological child now after adopting. And let me just say, those were lies from the enemy that I let my heart believe. Every single comment, text, email, and call I received was supportive and loving. {we have the best support system!!}

As I read each comment, it’s like the Lord was removing every lie I had believed, one by one. I found healing by sharing. I have seen this happen so many times, not sure why I didn’t think it wouldn’t happen this time. Obedience precedes blessings.

During the course of all the meds and such last month, I told Dru that if I’m not pregnant then I am experiencing this and sharing it for someone else. I knew deep down in my spirit that I was not pregnant…. so whoever is in the midst of something out of your control but taking steps of obedience as the Lord leads; I’m here for you. I see you. I get you. please reach out, tell someone of the struggle. Do not do this alone.

Now for what’s next..

I talked with my nurse after the negative pregnancy test to see what they believed would be the next step. Basically, there was nothing abnormal about anything during the cycle, so we would do the same course of treatment. So that’s where we are. We talked last night and I feel peace about not doing an IUI next cycle. That means we would still do the meds/monitoring.

I am not sure when we will start again, but I am gaining more and more peace about what to do. We would love your prayers to surround our family.

specific prayers:

1:: prayers for peace as we make next step decisions.

2:: prayers that Dru and I would continue to grow closer together/our marriage would become even stronger even in the midst of making a lot of decisions/doc appt/meds/the fact that the drugs most definitely alter my moods/emotions 🙂

3:: prayers that when I do become pregnant for a healthy babe & uneventful pregnancy.

4:: prayers for me to use my time and words wisely. also that the Lord would continue to allow me to speak/minister to women in the midst of struggle and waiting.

Thank you {as always} for reading and loving us so well. If you are entering into the world of infertility and/or adoption, I would love to chat with you and help you in anyway I can. shoot me an email {kaileyabirkeland@gmail.com} or come join me over on IG {@kbirkeland}

Much love,

KB

how to love a waiting mama

Mother’s Day has looked different for me every single year for the past nine years. At the beginning of our marriage, there were thoughts of one day having little ones making me homemade gifts with *mommy* written in their precious little handwriting. As we approached year five and still no little loves to call ours, my heart was torn and broken in so many ways.

I was alone…isolated…desperate and dreaded the weeks/days leading up to the day. I did not want to be around anyone on this day + I did not want people to tell me *happy mother’s day* ASSUMING I was a mother + I did not want to look at social media to see all the mamas with their babies. It was all too much.

I want to challenge you {really everyone} to be careful of your words and be so-full-of-grace leading up to Mother’s Day and especially on Mother’s Day. It isn’t a happy day for everyone.

I want to list a few things to think about and then I have a challenge to those of you who I have mama in waiting in your mind right now…

  • let her stay at home give her the space to do so. do not push her to go to church or to lunch or really anywhere. it will just make her heart hurt more.
  • she needs grace. so much grace on this day. I have found that the best thing to do is say *I love you and I am here for you.*
  • lower your expectations of waiting mamas. do not put any of your expectations on her to do or be or act a certain way.
  • her feelings are real. her wanting and desiring a baby that isn’t in her arms is the most real thing to her. she longs to hold that sweet love so badly it hurts sometimes so badly that she doesn’t even want to get out of bed.
  • if you have a close friend/family member that IS a mother but her babies are in heaven… she is still a mother. however you feel lead, tell her Happy Mother’s Day. she is a mother. {in my opinion, the best and most non-invasive way is a simple text.}
  • so to sum it up: waiting mothers need to be affirmed, acknowledged and celebrated on Mother’s Day.

now for the FUN part! I have two ways I want to celebrate waiting mothers.

1)) I am going to be hosting a giveaway for waiting mamas on my Instagram feed this weekend. I am asking you either ARE a waiting mama or you WILL send the gifts TO a waiting mama. So please consider entering!

2)) oh I’m so excited about this. I am going to share links to donate/purchase items in support of adoptions. You will be making it possible for a waiting mama to be ONE step closer to bringing her baby HOME. here are the links! YAY!!

Mullaly Family Adoption

Baby Vargas Adoption

The Guntlisbergen Family Love Story

Salinas Family Adoption Journey 

Schaaps Adopt

Green Family 

Adopting our daughter from India

Matthew and Megan Adopt 

Cooper Family Adoption

so much love to each of you! please let me know if you are going to join us over on Instagram or if you are going to support one of the waiting mamas above.

love,

KB

birkeland family update :: growing our family

I know, I know so mean of me to make you wait. But I had good reason, I promise {it’s all about timing, don’t ya know?} A lot of friends in our new city didn’t know about our journey to Evie so that has made this {re}sharing even more fun. And of course, you lovely people that follow along and have been for a long time. We are just so grateful. We couldn’t have made it this far without all of you. Your prayers, love, and hope have inspired us and encouraged us to keep-on-going and keep believing.

When we were in the waiting room with Evie’s birthmother, the Holy Spirit whispered a promise. I do not feel like it’s the right time to give all the details but you need to know that we serve a God that fulfills promises that He gives to His children. We can put our HOPE and FAITH in those promises. He says He will never leave us or forsake us. In my thirty years on earth He has never left my side. He has always been a closer than a breath.

He was so close as we have been waiting and praying about what’s next for our family. I have been taking care of myself by going to my annual OB appointments, but I have not inquired about infertility related things at all. My heart has been so so so raw. It has truly taken all four of these years in between to heal and hope again. All of the ladies in this world of infertility would all be saying a resounding *AMEN* right now if we were in a room together. Nothing compares to all the stages of infertility.

At the beginning you are so hopeful and sure you will stop taking birth control and there will be a baby in your belly. But after couple of months of negative pregnancy tests, you start thinking you might should go to the doctor. You make the appointment – the doc {probably the nurse} says they do not consider you infertile until you’ve been trying for at least a year. So back to the house you go. A year passes, still no baby in your belly. You go back. Then all the doctor appointments begin – the blood work, surgery, the HSG test … and still nothing. All of that can just really really bring someone down. Month after month of being told that your dreams are not coming true. It’s hard. So hard. So much loss and hopelessness and fear.


Take a look at that picture —–> that just screams BUT GOD! Our God has a plan for all our pain and it’s not wasted. Not one bit of it.

So here we are. It’s 2017 and for two years we have been praying and praying and praying some more… asking God what’s next for our family. Do we adopt? Do we pursue biological children? Do we wait? Do we make appointments? Do we call up a social worker and start the home study process?

He answered us. He gave us peace. This past 21 days of prayer & fasting, the Lord answered.

We are pursuing our precious biological children – I have my first appointment in the morning with a new OB {not a fertility specialist yet, one step at a time friends} It’s at 9:30am. I would appreciate any and ALL prayers. {Please pray for peace for me + pray that the whole experience would be life giving and full of hope + pray that my heart would be steadfast and know where my hope lies.}

I will update at some point after my appointment and let you sweet people know what’s next for us.

CRAZY love for each of you,

KB

infertility lead us to adoption :: part 2

I’m just so undone by the love I’ve received since I decided to start sharing again. Thank you for the love and the responses from my last post. You guys are so good at rallying behind our family in the big stuff and in the small stuff. I am just so grateful for this community of friends and family.

If you are here for the first time and you are like I’m confused. I thought they adopted. Well we did, but last year I was reminded last year how important it is to share *where we have been* and WHAT the LORD HAS DONE.

Everywhere I turned today I heard and saw the word vulnerability. Such an important part of our lives is sharing what is troubling to us so we can say “hey me too” to those around us. You never know who around is struggling with the same thing and is longing for someone to just affirm their heartache. I’ve never regretted one thing I’ve shared about our journey because it has brought so many friendships into my life that would not exist without the struggle.

After my surgery in 2012, I still did not conceive a baby. It all just didn’t make sense. The surgery was supposed to fix me. I was supposed to have a baby in my belly. Didn’t the Lord want this for me? What had I done to deserve this? Would I not be a good mom? Why not now? Why do I have to wait even more? 

The questions piled up. They piled up and piled up until I decided I had had enough. Enough of this waiting. I wanted a baby and I needed to make it happen myself. I talked with my OB in January 2013 and asked him to refer me to a specialist. I knew what this meant. I knew that I was out of the will that God had for us, yet I still did it. I still took my plans and made them happen. So what seemed like the longest three months of this seven year battle; I was prescribed clomid {very very common in the world of infertility} and it rocked my life. We also did three IUI procedures. None worked. I still did not have a baby in my belly.

January 2013 – referred to RE {Reproductive Endocrinology}

January 2013 – first RE appt at Alabama Fertility Specialist in Birmingham, AL

February 8 2013 – IUI # 1 with clomid – not pregnant

March 9 2013 – IUI #2 with clomid – not pregnant

April 2013 – IUI #3 with clomid – not pregnant

After the third attempt to conceive with IUIs, we were over it ALL. I had sunk down into a deep depression. I was angry. I was sad. I was mad. I didn’t understand. I did not understand why God was withholding from us. And I think the weight of *taking my life into my own hands* had finally caught up to me. BUT God <— aren’t you so grateful for those two words?

He sent my mom to sit me down and bring some light into the very very dark place I had found myself. About a month later, Dru and I had our first conversation about adoption. He did not want to adopt before that unless we were told that we could not have biological children. I asked him if we were praying about adoption. He said yes.

For three months, we didn’t even discuss adoption. I prayed for his heart to be turned towards adoption because my heart was already there. August 4, 2013, we were laying in bed and he told me *I am ready to adopt* – the tears flowed.

The tears flowed because the Lord had brought our hearts together and spoken the same miracle to ours hearts – adoption.

Adoption story and timeline coming soon…

So much love for each of you,

KB

infertility lead us to adoption :: part 1

It took me a longer than I want to admit to be okay with saying those words ::

*infertility lead us to adoption*

I didn’t want to be labeled one of the couples who-didn’t-get-pregnant-so-they-adopted. But for real though, that’s our story and I own it. Like hardcore own it. And there’s beauty and brokenness and redemption all over every bit of it.

I will talk about last year {2016} here and there… well, I take that back, probably every time I write. It was a year that it didn’t seem like a lot of was happening, but goodness the Lord did a lot of reworking in my heart. One of my friends wrote about what 2016 looked for her and she used the word *shifting* and I think it describes my year too.

About two weeks after Evie was born, I began to think about our future children and how they were going to get to us {give me all the babies} My heart was overwhelmed, but I quickly gave it over to Jesus. He settled my heart and gave me so much grace to just soak up my time with Evie girl. And that’s just what we did. 2015 and 2016 were years of change, moving, learning, growing, and looking back to look forward. And that’s what brings me here, right now.

I wanted to invite you lovely people {our people} back in time to how we were lead to adoption. One of the many ways the Lord showed me His goodness last year was by focusing my attention on the gift and miracle of Evie’s life. He showed me how He brought me, with so much grace, to a place of trust in the story He had written for us.

So that means we look back. I have tears in my eyes as I revisit all this emotion. These are not just words I am typing out. This timeline I am sharing, is a road we never dreamed we would walk, but we did. It didn’t look pretty or sweet or kind the majority of the time, but we made it through.

I am going to share the timeline of what our infertility journey looked like up until my surgery in 2012. Before you read the timeline, you need to know what a few abbreviations mean. In the TTC {trying to conceive} world, it’s easier to use abbreviations for all of this crap instead of writing it out.

BCP :: birth control pills

BFN :: Big fat negative (pregnancy test result)

HSG: hysterosalpingogram {this is a procedure that tests to make sure your fallopian tubes are not blocked}

OPK: Ovulation predictor kit

June 14, 2008 :: WEDDING DAY!

August 2008 :: stopped using BCP

August – April 2009 :: prevented pregnancy

April 2009 :: decided to just “see what happens”

April 2009 – Dec 2010 :: continue to “not prevent pregnancy”

Jan 2011 :: first fertility related appt with OB

November 2011 :: HSG test {everything came back normal; actually I was told I had a perfect looking uterus #goodtimes}

November 2011 – February 2012 :: continued using OPKs

June 2012 – exploratory laparoscopy surgery {mild case of endometriosis, scar tissue, 5 or 6 cysts}

That first four years was only the beginning of the Lord not giving me what I want when I wanted it, all for something better. I have the giggles through my tears as I type this out because we just think we know what we need and when we need it. {spoiler alert: WE DON’T HAVE A CLUE}

I will continue writing about our infertility journey before our adoption journey. I am just so thankful for those of you reading and joining in our story again. Thank you. I am giddy to be writing again.

Before I say goodnight, I have a favor to ask. I am planning to do either a Facebook LIVE or Instagram LIVE video discussing adoption language. Do you have a question about any adoption related language you have heard? Do you have something you want to say but you don’t know how to say it? PLEASE ask me! Comment here or shoot me an email {kaileyabirkeland@gmail.com} or private message me on Facebook.

So much love for you sweet people!

there is always more.

Last year was a lot to process and I recently told a friend it wasn’t my usual struggle of *waiting on a child* which was new to me – the main theme of my life from 2008 – 2015 was *where my baby at tho?* – oh, little did I know, there was more work to be done in my heart. Moving us from our very comfortable surroundings was just the ticket. And boy, did the Lord werk.

My surroundings were not comfortable. My heart wasn’t comfortable. I wasn’t comfortable. moving away from our family and friends that had become family was so difficult. But I kinda surprised myself by not really questioning the Lord. I knew that it was time for us to go because five years earlier Dru and I talked about where we *saw ourselves in five to ten years* – We both agreed that Birmingham would be a great next step for us. We had no idea how or when this part of our story would unfold.

During 21 of prayer and fasting 2016, we were praying for guidance on many fronts. When Dru received a phone call one afternoon I heard that still small voice again. He said, “it’s time.” I immediately thought about our family we would leave in Auburn, but I also thought about ALL our family at church that had prayed Evie into our arms. I didn’t want to take her away from them. I really wrestled with leaving them now after how much they had invested in our marriage, family and our lives.

But the Church supported us and loved us. everyone was so sad to see us leave, but ultimately wanted what the Lord had for us next. And that next step was Birmingham.

It’s so interesting to me how the Lord uses every detail of our lives. It’s like our experiences kinda piggy back on each other. and our faith grows and grows as those experiences happen. IF you chose to be a vessel of His grace, love, and humility. I was silly to think waiting on my first child was going to be the end of my waiting. Or the hardest wait.

So, all of this to say… There’s always more. There’s always more with Him. He has a plan and if we are going to be used by Him, we must be molded by Him. And most of the time, it doesn’t go the way we planned it.

Yes, that’s supposed to be encouraging, but it might not be right now.

If you are in a season like that right now of waiting, know that it is not in vein. He has more.

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I wanted to share a song with you that has really really been an anthem for me the last few months.  It is Champion by Brian and Kate Torwalt ::: check it out.