Redemptive Love

What do you think of when you hear the word “redemption”?  This word I think can mean different things to different people based on their experiences, hurts, and journey in life.  For me it has always brought me to a place of reflection.  What Jesus did on the cross for me, that I’ve been rescued from my former sinful nature because of His redemptive love.  Up until a year ago, that’s pretty much where it ended.  Just some vague reference to Jesus and love, it had almost gotten to the point where it felt a bit robotic.  Growing up in church I had heard those words my whole life.  It wasn’t until I went through a rather traumatic miscarriage experience 7 years ago that I stopped and questioned what redemption really was.  I had big questions for God.  If you really loved me, why did you allow this?  If you have redeemed me from the grave, then why does this hurt so deeply?  Big questions like, how can I ever trust You again?  I’m being honest and a bit raw today because now that I’ve come through that and have healed I can look at the scar and see the good that it has brought.  When God takes the pain, the hurt and the yuck of this life and holds us as we walk through it so that we can see His glory in the midst of it, that is redemption.

Redemptive love holds you and whispers, “it will be ok, I won’t ever leave.”  Even when you are pushing away with all your might because it hurts.  Redemptive love says, “I understand you don’t want to trust me right now, that’s ok.”  Redemptive love, never gives up.  Miscarriage is hard.  In my case we had 5 completely perfect and healthy pregnancies and births before the miscarriage.  I thought I had dodged the bullet and that statistics of 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in miscarriage don’t apply to me.  Having had 5 babies previously I was well versed in all things pregnancy and birth and the unborn.  I also knew the methods of early abortions and was well versed in how an abortion is carried out at all stages of pregnancy. In our experience we ended up in the E.R. after I passed out from blood loss during the miscarriage.  I was given a drug to help the process.  I later found out this was the same drug given to women in the first trimester who have elective abortions.  The next day, when the drug did little to help things along we went in to see my Dr.  She took one look at me and immediately decided I needed a D &C.  She promptly found an open O.R. and reserved it for just that.  Before I knew it I was being prepped for this out-patient procedure, again a procedure that is also used in early second trimester abortions.  I went home that day empty and broken.  As a dear friend who recently wrote about this topic so eloquently put it, “Part of a sisterhood that I never asked to join”.

In January of 2016 I stood in this spot and wept as angry protesters shouted behind me. In May of 2017 we returned, full of faith and joy. Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.


Empty and Broken, angry at God, and confused about how any good at all could possibly come of such a terrible experience.  But God.  As I’ve healed over the past seven years I gained a perspective of that experience that allows me to see that there can be good from even the most painful of experiences.  I asked God to show me a promise in His word, something, anything I could grab onto and not let go of to get me through.  He drew me to Psalm 126.  Specifically verses 5 and 6.  “Those who sow in tears, will reap a harvest of Joy.”  These two verses have sustained me through my darkest days, and have been a source of comfort when doubt creeps in.  This promise in God’s word is what I clung to with all my might during the pregnancy following the miscarriage.  It was the promise I prayed into as we were waiting for our baby girl who joined our family through the amazing gift of adoption.  Psalm 126 is why our son’s middle name means, “joy” and why our daughter’s middle name is Joy.

Joy comes in the morning.  My heart has grown and changed in these 7 years.  I am not the same person I was before the experience of loss.  I believe in that experience, God in His kindness and mercy did answer my prayer.  He did take something horrible, and used it for His glory.  A cry of my heart for years has been, “Lord, give me your heart for the unborn.  I want my heart to break with the things that break yours.”  This is one of those dangerous prayers that you pray thinking God will answer one way, but in the end He carries you through something so heavy and difficult that you come out on the other side a completely different person.  Prior to experiencing the loss of a child I would pray for life, I would stand on the sidewalk outside abortion clinics and I would ask God to show me how He felt about the issue of abortion, but I never (not once) shed a single tear.  It’s a heavy topic.  I was confused and thought as a woman, as a mother, that there was something wrong with me.  Why didn’t this grieve me to the point of tears?  I believe part of it was that I didn’t fully grasp what it was to walk through loss.  Going through that season was like an opening of the flood gates, literally.  I cried all the time, sometimes I wasn’t even sure why.  I would find myself suddenly overwhelmed with emotion, and grief.  It was part of my healing process, but it was also part of the way God was using the terrible, horrible of personal loss to answer my hearts cry to know His heart.


This loss has been bitter sweet for the past seven years. While I could look at the end result and see how my faith has grown through it, there is still someone missing from our family.  For me this loss was a double whamy in that we went through this during the spring, arguably my favorite season.  Where once this season brought only good memories and happy thoughts of warmer days, these past seven years those good things also remind me of the pain of loss.  If you had told me 7 years ago that this was the story God would write I wouldn’t have believed you, but God writes the most amazing stories!  1 year ago a brave and amazing momma choose us to parent her beautiful baby girl.  She has shown a depth of love and sacrifice that still leaves me breathless, but it gets better; our court date to finalize was almost exactly 7 years after I had the D&C procedure.  This is redemption.

Finalization Day!!! It’s official, she has our name.


This is God taking your mourning and turning it into dancing.  This is what rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness looks like.  This is Redemptive Love.  We’ve walked through the pain of loss, we’ve leaned into Jesus, the only one who can truly heal our hearts, and we have our Joy in the morning.

Number Crunching

Today we’re going to talk numbers.  I know it’s somewhat taboo to ask what the costs are when considering adoption.  The fact of the matter is this, adoption is costly.  There are many reasons for this that I will not get into, but the bottom line is, valuable things cost something.  When we speak about adoption we are literally speaking about lives.  Many times these are lives that either would not even have a chance at life if not for adoption, in other cases they are lives that would be tossed about from home to home never finding a permanent family.  So yes, it is going to be costly.  Redemption is costly.  On average a late first trimester abortion costs between $300 to $500.  An average domestic adoption costs between $25,000 to $50,000 depending on many factors.  So when we look at the costs associated with adoption what we really need to be asking is, how valuable is human life?  Abortion says, life is disposable.  The fees to get rid of the “problem” are so low in comparison to what a family pays to save that life.

We need a perspective change.  Instead of looking at the bottom line, and what it will cost in the end, we should be asking what is wrong with our society that a mother can pay $300 to have the life of her child snuffed out, when there are waiting lists of families all over the nation who have sacrificed and said, that child is very valuable.  We are willing and ready to be a family for that child.  The cost of adoption isn’t shocking to me, maybe it should be.  When we look at it in comparison to the cost of an abortion my only thought is, what better way?  What better way to live out the gospel.  What better way to be Jesus with skin on to a world in need.  What better way to show a mother in a desperate situation that not only is the baby in her womb valuable, but she is valuable!  She is worth the sacrifice.

As a family we know the costs firsthand.  Almost 1 month ago we got the call.  The call from our agency saying, we were chosen by a momma, and did we have the funds ready to wire to cover the agency fees?  Only a few days later we recieved another call, “the expectant mom will be having a c-section in just a few days, you need to make travel plans”.  Because we were ready, we had prepared, we had saved, we had done some fundraising, and God had set the whole thing up, when that call came, we were able to jump into action and say yes.  Today we have our daughter in our arms because we didn’t let the cost deter us.  We could have, in all those months of waiting, and looking at the funds just sitting there, and setting aside money knowing that one day we would get the call, we could have given up hope, we could have said, it’s too costly.  We could have spent that money on other things, on home improvements or vacations, but adoption is all about counting the cost.  When Jesus adopted us, did He decide that hanging on a cross was too costly, and He would rather spend the day at the beach?  He could have, He is God afterall.  He could have said, yeah, no thanks, the price is too high, but He didn’t.  Instead He chose us over His own personal comfort.  Do I wish adoption cost less?  Yes I do.  You may be surprised at why I wish it cost less though.

If it were less costly, all that would mean for us is the ability to adopt more.  Simply put, we have been called to adopt, to care for the widow and the orphan, this is true religion.  This is true compassion, when you are grieved over an injustice and you can no longer sit idly by and watch from the sidelines.  Our compassion for mothers in difficult circumstances has drawn us to action.  The cost is a limiting factor for so many families who feel called to adopt, it holds them back and tests their faith and even results in asking the question, God do you really want me to do that?  I believe a day is coming soon when life will once again be valued, when abortion will be a thing of the past, a memorial we remember of a by gone era.  When that happens there will be children who’s mothers either don’t want to, or can’t care for them.  Where will those children go?  It’s time for an adoption movement to arise.  It’s time for the church to get ready to take in the children who have no homes.   I want to challenge you to grow in faith in the area of finances.  If the cost is a limiting factor for your family, yet you feel called and have a heart desire to be a mother or father to the orphan, I challenge you to say yes to God in the area of Adoption.  If adoption is something God has called you to and you’ve set it aside because of the cost, maybe God is simply waiting for your yes before He releases the finances?  I’ve discovered oftentimes, when God calls me to to something He only shows me one step at a time, and usually there is not breakthrough until I’ve set all my excuses aside and said yes!  Will you join me in asking God to release finances for families who are called to adopt?  If you personally don’t feel called, then maybe God is asking you to be the one to provide in the area of finances for a family that does?  #AdoptionIsRedemption  #AdoptionIsCostly  #AdoptionIsWorthIt  #EveryLifeHasValue

Bringing Home Hadassah

The Backstory

We’ve known that adoption was in our future for almost 10 years, but our journey started years before that. The dreams started when I was pregnant with our first child 15 years ago. I had no idea what they meant at the time, but dream after dream have come through the years in which I gave birth to or was holding a dark curly haired, dark skinned baby girl. We first met someone with the name Hadassah at a church in the city which we were invited to come and speak about LIFE. The pastor and his wife were a black couple and they had a daughter whose name was Hadassah. I was giving the message that night and it was all about Esther. My husband Jeremy and I left and said to each other, “The next girl we have, her name is Hadassah.” That was 8 years ago.

Throughout this process every time I wanted to give up on this dream, every time I got discouraged, or thought it was too hard or maybe wasn’t God’s plan, I had a dream. In one specific instance, I had a particularly challenging day with the kids. I went to bed and as I was falling asleep I cried out to God and said this is too hard, the waiting is hard. Either come through or take away this desire. The next morning I had a message from a friend she said, “I had a dream about you last night, in it you had adopted a baby girl.” This has happened multiple times over the past nine months. God is so faithful! So many times I wanted to give up on Him, but He never gave up, He never left our side because He knew the plan He had in store. It’s so much better than I ever hoped or dreamed it would be!


Over the course of our marriage we have had many adventures! None have even come close in comparison to this! July 1st 2015 we sent in our first application and check to hire an adoption consultant. We also started praying for the momma that would carry our Hadassah. On November 20, 2015 we got the completed home study. I cried as I read that our family had been approved. It was time to begin applying to agencies! On Friday March 11, 2016, just days after getting matched we were notified that we needed to get ready to leave our home state because birth mom was scheduled for a C-section Monday morning! That entire day is a total blur of packing, and phone calls with the attorney and the adoption agency. One thing that I will always remember about that day is the attorney asked me if we had a name picked out. I told her we had chosen the name Hadassah Joy. She said, “Oh like Esther in the Bible? Isn’t there something coming up soon that has to do with that?” Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating what Esther did when she was used by God to rescue the Jewish people from Haman’s plan to have them wiped out. This year Purim happens on March 23rd and 24th. If all goes smoothly we will bring Hadassah home during Purim.

We had planned to leave early Sunday morning so we would be sure to be there in plenty of time. Saturday night Jeremy had a dream, he rarely dreams so when he has dreams that he remembers we take notice. In the dream he was leading a group of black children to safety and there were trees with low branches lining the path he was leading the children along. In the trees there

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Leaving the hotel on Monday morning! Ready to meet Hadassah, and her tummy mommy!

were men with small paring knives that would jump out and try to cut off the hands of the people leading the children. We prayed about this dream and knew that God was trying to warn us about some kind of danger. After a little more prayer and searching we discovered that the trees in the dream looked very similar to Myrtle trees. The root word of Hadassah is Hadas which mean Myrtle tree. We knew this dream had significance and meaning. The knives we believed represented word curses and cutting off of hands we felt was a warning that the enemy was trying to cut off the work of God’s hands. We sent off a quick e-mail to a few prophetic friends and asked them to pray and call us and we were off. We got about ½ way to our destination and we got a call from a prophetic friend of ours saying she too had a dream that night with Jeremy and I in it. She told us her dream and we talked a little about the 2 dreams and what they might mean. Her dream was that there was a home remodel happening but there were a lot of delays. And obstacles in the way of accomplishing the goal. We talked and prayed and felt that although the Lord was warning us that this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, He was also guiding us along the way and showing us how to pray through it. With that ammunition and faith boost in hand we continued to drive and pray. We had no idea just how challenging the week ahead would be.


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Waiting and praying.
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Waiting for Hadassah to be born.

We arrived at the hospital Monday morning and right off the bat we were met with delay. The C-section was not going to be at the time we had been told, they were moving it back 2 hours. We were able to meet Hadassah’s tummy mommy and she told us she chose us specifically because we had other children and she knew we would be able to take good care of her baby.  This blessed my heart so much.  The reason so many agencies had told us we wouldn’t be chosen was exactly why she thought we would be a good fit.  The nurse came and told her it was time to get ready for the C-section and we headed over to the Labor and Delivery waiting room to get ready to meet Hadassah.  It would be 2 more hours until we actually got to meet her.

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Those who sow in tears WILL reap a harvest of JOY!
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Meeting Hadassah for the first time.

We finally got the news that she was born,  and we had more waiting until we were told we could go in to see Hadassah.  What a glorious meeting that was!  She was absolutely perfect!  The first time I held her I cried like a baby.  It was so good to finally have this promise of God in my arms.  Leading up to this day we had been praying for favor with the nurses and doctors.  We knew that some hospitals are not very friendly toward adoptive parents and we had asked God to give us a staff that would be understanding toward us.  He delivered in more ways than one!  Hadassah’s first nurse was amazing and she helped us have skin to skin time within the first hour after her birth so we could bond.  The entire nursing staff was very supportive and worked to help us navigate this dance.

The 5 Day Fight

Hadassah’s first bedtime story.

We were so happy to have this promise in our arms but having been warned through dreams, knew we our journey wasn’t finished.  It’s such a delicate dance in an adoption situation.  The adoptive family is in a place of absolute joy at the arrival of their much awaited blessing, but there is another mother who is grieving the loss of a son or daughter.  As difficult as her life situation may be and as much as she may know that she can’t raise this little one, it is still a hard path.  After 2 days in the hospital Hadassah’s birth mom was discharged.  We were minutes from being discharged from the hospital when our representative from the agency came into the room and asked to speak with us.  With tears in her eyes she told us that Hadassah’s birth mom had changed her mind and didn’t want to go through with the adoption.  We were filled with faith that this wasn’t over.  We knew in our hearts because of the dreams we had, and the promise of God that this was an attack of the enemy on Hadassah’s life that he desired to cut off the work of God’s hands by taking her from us.  He had given us too many signs along this journey for us to turn away without a fight.  We called some dear intercessor friends we knew would stand and pray with us, and we set our hearts to prayer.  We made the little room in the hospital literally no bigger than a closet, our prayer closet and we fought for this promise.  Psalm 126:5-6 has been the verse we have stood on during this journey, and we knew that God had given Hadassah to us as a harvest of joy.  So we held her and prayed and cried and asked God to intervene and change the situation.  Then I left her there with Jeremy and went with our agency representative to talk to Hadassah’s birth mom.  I prayed the whole way there and asked God to fill me with his spirit and give me the words to speak.  In the end we left that meeting with a provisional custody agreement giving us temporary custody of her until signing day.

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Sleeping in the hallway Wednesday night
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Our room/prayer closet

I returned to the hospital.  And found Jeremy sitting in the rocking chair with Hadassah.  He told me the Doctor had ordered blood work to check her bilirubin levels because she had some jaundice, and that she wasn’t being discharged that day.  After that whole ordeal we were slightly traumatized and couldn’t imagine leaving her alone at the hospital all night.  We stayed in the room as long as we could and when they kicked us out at midnight we went and slept on the floor in the hall.  Even that ended up being a way for God to show His kindness to us.  Nurses brought us pillows and blankets, and

everyone seemed to understand why we refused to leave without our daughter.  We were shown such kindness by everyone it really is a testimony to the power of God.

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Getting ready to leave the hospital!

The next day Hadassah was discharged to us and we cried.  Her doctor was so kind and understanding with us.  He was a gift from God!  After the scare of birth mom almost changing her mind we still had to wait 2 more days for her to sign her relinquishment.  Today, Saturday was signing day.  We received a call from our attorney at 11:14 am with the good news that mom had signed and it was irrevocable.  Hadassah Joy was officially our daughter.  We have to wait a few more days for some paperwork to clear her birth state and our home state before we can go home.  We are thrilled, amazed, and in awe of the awesomeness of God.  His plans are so much higher than ours.  We are also so very thankful for our friends and family who dropped everything on short notice to help out with our kids at home.  And for our church family and our dear intercessor friends who stormed the gates of Heaven with us.  Hadassah is absolutely precious.  Her birth mom is an amazing, coureagous, and brave lady.  We love her and have welcomed her into our family as well.  We can’t wait to build a relationship with her from a far. 2016-03-15 18.23.31  We are in love.

There are at least a dozen other amazing things about our story that we would really like to share, but we cannot. Hadassah deserves to hear many of the details we are not sharing from us first as she grows up, but we are amazed at the faithfulness and kindness of our heavenly father. He has woven together an amazing story for us with incredible intricacy. It is a pleasure to run after God and join Him in another amazing adventure.

Who is called to adopt?

Adoption is a beautiful picture of the gospel lived out.  It is what Jesus did on the cross, his sacrifice has brought us into a family we never would have been a part of otherwise.  Adoption is also costly.  It cost Jesus his very life!  In modern times it costs a large sum of money, as well as time, and other sacrifices in order to bring a child home.  In looking at adoption I realized many agencies charge fees that are equivalent to what my husband made the first few years we were married.  Put that into perspective, to bring a child into your home through adoption can cost a year’s salary!  The first few years we were married the amount of money we lived on was so small that we qualified for government assistance.  Yet here we are a decade later, in the thick of it, crunching the numbers, dipping into our savings, praying and researching agencies, all to bring home a child.

Is it worth it?  Is what Jesus did on the cross worth it?  Or do you wish he would have been less willing to make that sacrifice?  Everyday as we go through our routines we are making choices.  Some choices are simply for our own personal comfort, some are for the needs of our family, some are great sacrifices for the needs of others we have never even met.  But, we spend our days making choices.

So, who is called to adopt?  Whether a family embraces adoption or not is just another choice they have to make.  Is everyone called to bring a child into their home?  I don’t believe so, but everyone can have a heart of adoption.  So what does that look like?  There are actually many wonderful ways to live out the calling to care for the widow and orphan in their distress.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

Some families may be in a place financially where they can give towards adoption expenses, but they can’t care for a child, they can give.  Some families may not have the finances to give, but they have baby items or toys they are no longer using, they can be donated to a family who is adopting, or to an agency that helps mothers in crisis.  Some families have a love of children but feel overwhelmed in their current season and can’t take on the responsibility of another, they can offer to babysit so adoptive parents can have a night out.

All can pray.

We can pray and ask God to strengthen the mothers considering abortion, that they may have the ability to have a selfless love and choose life for their child, even if that means it’s a life they won’t get to be a part of everyday.  Regardless of what we think when we look at adoption from a purely pro-life perspective, choosing to head down the road of adoption for a birth mom is a very difficult choice.  There are many reasons for this, but the biggest and perhaps simplest is that to choose adoption is a choice that requires the birth mom to grieve a loss.  The best way I’ve heard it explained is to think about having a miscarriage.  You know there was a life there, yet you never got to know that child, they were taken from you before you even had a chance to know them.  It’s the empty arms after leaving the hospital that may be the most difficult part.  As a mother, you know your child is in good hands, with a loving family that you hand picked in the case of adoption, in the arms of Jesus in the case of miscarriage, yet there is still an emptiness in your heart that will never be filled.  Mothers in this valley of decision need our love, prayer and support.  They are in a very vulnerable position.  When we find ourselves in these type of situations those are the times when our enemy the devil swoops in and whispers the lie that there is an easy way out.  The thought of growing and nurturing a child for 9 months and then giving that child to someone else is unfathomable to a mother, even a mother who knows she isn’t in a position to provide for a child.  Often these mothers will justify abortion all the while not realizing that they will still grieve the loss.  Adoption and abortion are both choices that will result in a mother having to grieve.  The difference is that in adoption there is hope that the mother will be able to continue to have some kind of relationship with her child, maybe even be a part of his or her life.  The days of adoption being a big secret are largely over.  In every state in the United States open adoption is being praised and celebrated not only for it’s benefits to the child in knowing who their birth mother is, but to the birth mother as well.  It brings great comfort to many birth moms to see their baby growing and thriving and being loved by parents who cherish him or her.

Having a “heart of adoption” doesn’t necessarily have to mean you personally adopt.  It simply means seeing things through the Father’s eyes.  He is what a heart of adoption looks like.  He sent his son to live a selfless life and die a death he didn’t deserve, adoption is interwoven beautifully through out scripture.  Read the story of Moses, or Esther, or even Jesus, who was adopted by Joseph.  You will see the Father’s heart of adoption.  It is what selfless love looks like.  Adoption is redemption.