Friday, April 24, 2009

Go now, and live.

Seven and a half years of waiting and wishing is coming to a close in just weeks. It’s been an uphill battle from the word go. I dreamed of being a mommy, Shawn needed to be a dad. A painful chapter that lasted several years included multiple heartbreaking miscarriages and countless medical procedures.

We were left broken, battered and exhausted….trying to put a round peg into a square hole….meant for a different path. Hard to accept, and a difficult chapter to close. Not realizing that these dark days were getting us ready to be the parents God needed us to be.

Just days after a lonely Christmas in 2004, we threw in the towel on having a biological child, I was done, it was time to move on. The decision was made to pursue adoption from China and immediately I started to perk up and feel God’s hand on my life again, though I know now he had never left, and in fact, guided us to this new path.

We jumped through numerous hoops, produced mounds of paperwork, opened our home to a social worker barely out of school to judge whether we were fit to be parents. Bring it on. I had a new surge of energy and was made of steel after all the battles in my life.

Eighteen long months later, Leah was placed in my arms in May of 2006. What an amazing child she is! We are absolutely crazy about her. I humbly thank God every single day for allowing us to be her forever family.

When we started the process to adopt again in October 2006, a year before Kate was born; the wait times were climbing fast. For several years, I had been promoting adoption at educational seminars which gave me the chance to learn about the waiting child program which included special needs orphans, China’s ultimate underdogs. These children needs referred would be considered relatively minor issues in the United States, but not so there, so we opened our hearts to consider a child with a special need.

In October of 2007, the same week Kate was born, we submitted our medical checklist to our agency. We were told 8-10 months until a referral from that point, but waited another 17 months. It seemed endless at times and I did have moments when I felt like it wasn’t meant to be.

Then I saw her photo for the first time.

Oh my. Her soulful eyes and beautiful smile has captured my heart and wrung it dry. But God was clearly asking us to step up to the plate and stretch ourselves again, to risk, to have faith. Kate has a visible special need, missing most of her fingers on her right hand and a few on her left.

I’ve had a top doctor recently tell me that she was a reject, that she should have been left in a field to die, to not pursue this adoption. The horror of his statements gave me extra strength that I needed to take on this new challenge.

More than ever, the adversity, the darkness and the light, Shawn and I have had in our lives makes us the perfect parents to raise her. I have peace. Yes, this precious little girl does have a noticable need, but I absolutely refuse to let it define who she is, because she is so much more than that.

She will face harsh adversity and climb mountains daily, but I know she also will show more courage and determination than anyone I’ve ever met. She is going to touch lives, and not just a few, many. She will inspire, she will teach compassion, she will do something amazing for this world.

Just wait and see.


  1. Oh my goodness Melissa! Well said!
    The journey God leads us on through adoption is absolutely amazing! And, Kate is a precious miracle! She is so beautiful, and I truly believe that God has prepared you to be the perfect parents for her, and that He has prepared her heart especially for you. The wait is so long and hard! Thanks for the encouragement :) I can't wait to see a photo of your precious Kate in your arms-

  2. Oh my....this spoke to my battered soul more than you may ever know. We are kindred spirits in so many ways. You will raise your precious Kate to be the warrior you have become...and you are right....all things in good are where you need to be right now because of where you have been...perfect puzzle pieces coming together in God's perfect plan....

  3. Hello again...
    I kept thinking about your post after I left, and that doctor's awful comment, and I wondered if you have ever read the book "Saving Levi"? It is about a baby boy who WAS left in a field in China to die, and the family who cared for him, and ultimately adopted him. It is an amazing story, and one that is still continuing today.

  4. Very well said, Miss Kate is one lucky little girl as are her parents. We cant wait to meet her, God is so good.

  5. I want that doctor's address! Your daughter is BEAUTIFUL and she looks so vibrant and full of life. yes, adversity she will face (as we all do!) Even without a "physical" need, we are all in NEED. I love your story (so far!) and can't wait for the next chapter.

    Thank you for baring your heart! I can't wait to come to Kentucky!!

  6. I am coming over from Felicia's blog...Kate is lovely! Oh, her eyes are so expressive! She will be a blessing {I'm sure she already is!}...will pray for you all and trust that things will go speedy quick and perfectly well as you finish up this long process!

    We are adopting a son from Thailand with mild special needs! We received his referral in February and are just waiting for that last piece of paper for our immigration approval and then voila! Travel dates! Isn't adoption amazing? Oh, such a picture of God's plan for His children!

    Thanks for letting me stop by!
    Blessings to you~

  7. I've also popped in from the UK from Felicias blog, and so glad i did!!!!!
    You have two beautiful children

  8. all are one beautiful family. Love your post. You inspire me!

  9. Melissa - you have such a gift for words and a heart full of love for your precious family. I truly believe all you say about your beautiful Kate. She's coming into your life w/ a twinkle in her eye and she just has that look that she will indeed inspire and succeed.

    Your path to motherhood started with pain but God is good and the blessings of your daughters is amazing!!! Can't wait to meet her!

  10. Beautiful post Melissa! God has prepared you for this time and to parent this precious little girl. He has given you whatever you may need to prepare Kate for any challenges she may face. I know you will do a beautiful job and she will grow up to be an amazing person!

  11. Oh my goodness what a beautiful post !! It was just beautiful and the words you spoke are so TRUE!! Cannot wait to meet your daughter!!

  12. O'Man, this was a good post Melissa. Marla told me to come check it out. I've been sewing all afternoon, after a trip this early afternoon to the zoo. It brought tears to my eyes, and made me mad. I can't believe doctors can be so darn rude. They really are a different breed!!!!
    Little beautiful precious Kate will be loved by all who will be lucky enough to meet her. She is a special little girl coming into a special family. I can't wait to watch this all unfold.

  13. Oh, what a perfectly beautiful post! I found your blog through Felicia's. Your Kate is soooo beautiful!!! I am sure she will amaze you over and over with all she can accomplish.... and no doubt that the determination she surely has will surely surpass any special need she was born with. God has made sure of that in His perfect plan. Congratulations to your family!!!!

  14. I remember the day I realized it was a true miracle that I never was able to get pregnant, but if I hadn't gone through the heartbreak of trying I wouldn't be the person I am...and the person I am is the person my children need me to be.

    Loved your post! Can't wait to see that sweetie chasing her sister around and wearing you out.

    Lisa (Dave, Emmy & Aidan too)

  15. It makes me so sad and angry to think someone could actually say that! She is perfect and absolutely beautiful just as she is. She is going to be such a blessing to your family and I think those eyes say that she's going to be able to overcome any obstacles that might come her way.

  16. All I ask is that I be a fly on the wall when you run into this "doctor" (can we call him this if he can't even keep the oath of 'First, do no harm'?!) on the street with Kate, in all her amazing glory. Won't he feel ashamed! I am so looking forward to following your amazing journey, meeting Kate, watching Leah become the rockin' big sis she is meant to be, watching Shawn experience, first-hand, the amazing event that is match day, and watching you, my dear, for the second time, having a baby placed in your arms, your care and your heart. I can hardly wait! The butterflies have already taken up residence in my tummy on your behalf!

    Lynn Cranston

  17. Congratulations! I found your blog through Felicia. Kate is simply beautiful! Made perfectly by God in every way! Wouldn't you just love to take her and show that doctor how completely wrong he is. What an awesome blessing she is!!

  18. Hi Melissa!
    I recently met Felicia and follow her blog. I popped in from her's to congratulate you on your newest daughter and now I sit here with crocodile tears running down my face. Kate will not only know that she is loved, but she will place that love inside others hearts. You are one amazing mommy and with you and her family by her side, Kate will move mountains!!! I can't wait to follow your journey. Do you mind if I add your blog to my sidebar? God speed!!!

  19. Congratulations! Kate is absolutely adorable and I can't wait to follow your journey to get her! You are soooo blessed!

  20. All I can say is ....thank you Lord for bringing this precious angel into our lives!

    I love her so~

  21. Congratulations!! She is beautiful! You have a lovely wonderful family.


  22. Oh Melissa, how lucky Kate has you for her parents & Leah for a sister & I know you feel just as lucky for her to be your daughter! Thank you for sharing your hearts thoughts

    I'm lucky to call you my friend

  23. this is my first visit and what a beautiful post.

  24. Found your blog linked from another... not sure which one now. .? LOL
    What a beautiful post- and your blog is amazing. I would love to follow along.
    Your girls are beautiful. So excited for you!
    You are right- no one should ever be defined by their special need, visible or not- good for you.

  25. wow!!!
    melissa, i'm so excited to meet you. i'm thrilled that you dropped by today and left a comment so i could find you...what a beautiful entry about a beautiful baby girl. you truly touched my soul! what a precious family. i am thrilled to follow your story
    blessings to you