This year marks 16 years.

16 years of summer days spent at the cabin.

Started when I was 6 months old, this cabin has always been my second home.  It is not mine, but when you spend your many summer days and New Years Eves in this place, it takes a big chunk of your heart.  

It holds my best memories.  Sledding, fort-making in the woods, Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs in plastic orange bowls, early mornings getting 10 people out the door for skiing, crazyscary thunderstorms, popsicles on the deck, kickball with families on the golf course, smores over the barbecue, golf cart drives before we were qualified to drive avoiding security.  It's always the same going up -- dinner, boys in one car, girls in the other.  Two dogs.  A whole lot of stuff.  

What used to be two weeks has turned into ten days, has turned into the only thing that works in our crazy family schedules -- a weekend.  But it was one of the best weekends.

I love this dear cabin.  See you on the last days of 2013.

Major photo dump coming your way:



When these women have sat in the passenger seat of our car,

When they've been to our house and held Trey,

When they've cried and laughed with my mom,

When I can hear the murmur of the voices through the conference call my mom is having with her and her chosen adoptive family,

When I photograph the moments of two families coming together, forever,

When I hold their babies for 24 hours and love them before they go home forever, and I point out their similarities and how their noses are the same,

When I hear the news that she signed her rights away and prepare this sweet new babe for his new forever life,

When I kiss their baby's forehead for the last time,

When I get to sit at the same table as these women and their chosen adoptive parents,

And laugh,

And cry,

And watch them say goodbye (the dreadful, dreadful goodbye),

I realize,

I am living a life where I touch Jesus' love tangibly.

I am living a life where I can laugh and look into the eyes of both of the women who love the same baby, just a different way.

It gives me shivers.  It puts butterflies in my stomach.

We are so very very very loved by Jesus Christ.  When we make the worst possible choices and drive our lives in the worst direction.  There are second chances.  He always, always, always makes the broken road into the beautiful one.  That is one of the most confident thoughts in my mind about our Lord.

I am so extraordinarily blessed that He would choose for me to see this broken beauty unfold before my eyes, day after day after day.



Before you go any further, read this article.

And before I go any further, my youngest brother came to my family through domestic infant adoption. His mother chose this.  She signed the papers, picked us as the family, and ultimately placed him in our arms.

I will not go into her private story, for our sake and especially for hers, but she was clearly not at a place in her life to support, care for and raise a child.

To address one specific thing that stuck out to me in this article, you cannot simply persuade women who initially choose adoption to choose to parent by offering to "help" them.  It is not always that any amount of money or months of rent payed will persuade them to parent.  Some birthmothers are addicts, too young, financially unstable, in an abusive relationship, emotionally not able to parent... and on and on and on.  And so they make a selfless decision to place the child for adoption.  And we as Christians should be applauding and encouraging and thanking them for their bravery and maturity to realize what they believe they are incapable of.

And to address another, I have never known a Christian adopting an infant domestically who does not understand the severity of these infant's loss.  I do not think people pray for a baby to come to them as ignorantly as this article suggests.  We pray that the Lord would bring us the baby we are meant to have.  We pray that the Lord would help us to be there for this baby's birth mother.  And ultimately, we pray that the Lord will have the last word.  Because He always does.

This article portrays that domestic infant adoption is all negative and rooted in selfishness on the adoptive parent's.  And that's just plain wrong.

Okay, they may not be truly "orphans" by definition, but when their mother signs papers to relinquish her rights, that baby is considered an "orphan."  Also, if we are professing to be Evangelical Bible-believing Christians, we are not running into this adoption process without God's leading.  We enter the adoption process when He leads.  We choose infant adoption because He led us to it.  We do not do it out of selfishness.  And if we do, then I pray the Lord will convict those hearts.

But for now?  How completely discouraging this article was to me.

When we pray for a baby through infant adoption, we are not rooted in selfishness.  We understand and fully realize what it means for that birth mother to choose this.  We are not praying that God will provide us with a baby just because it's "easy."  Cos it ain't.

I agree, though, with a part of what she writes.  A lot of people truly don't get the major loss that is in all adoptions.  Many people decrease in their minds how much of a loss this infant is going through.  To describe it easily, when a baby is growing in the same place for 9 months, hearing the same voice every single day, that baby comes into this world attached to his mother.  But when all of a sudden this baby does not hear this voice anymore, instead a new one, it is a whole process.  It is a loss.  It is still a loss, even for such a tiny human being.  And it is not okay to desensitize this part, I agree with her that far.

"The difficult truth for many to accept: for a child to be adopted, a tragedy is first required."

How domestic infant adoption is portrayed as a divorce honestly haunts me in this.  It is not that way.  And when you present it that way, you are saying adoption is rooted in selfishness and sin, and that is so not the case.  

It is love all the way around.  I can tell you honestly I have never seen Jesus more tangibly.  I have never touched Jesus' love so physically.  They understand their incapabilities.  They make a decision.  They choose two new parents.  To be the adoptive family, to come alongside this woman in her journey, to love her, to watch her, to learn from her.  It is learning how to love like Jesus.  It may be hard at times, it may look impossible at times, but it will stretch you, it will mold you, it will change you.  In a way nothing else can.  When you allow Jesus to step in in such a way, you meet the eyes of God.  You really do.  

Also, what was said at the end really, really disturbed me, coming from a Christian.  "There are half a million children in the United States living in foster care, many of them waiting to be adopted. They are quite eager to fill empty arms."

This is about as bad as the famous "Why would you adopt from that country when there are thousands of kids waiting in the US?"  Especially from a believer.  When Christians are called to adoption, they are led by Jesus.  Not by their own will.  And I have a hope and belief in a God who works in our hearts so mightily that He will let us know when we are going the wrong direction.

And I can tell you right now, infant adoption changed my life in a way nothing else could.  I saw the face of God.  Please don't tell me my family and I are selfish for choosing to adopt him in this way.  God has huge plans for him.  God has huge plans for every child adopted as an infant.  He may have been born to another woman, but neither sides are selfish for this choice.  And I especially don't believe Christians are in the wrong in praying with, for and through the domestic infant adoption process. 



I'm sure they mean well when they tell men to get our of their choice to murder their unborn baby, but I'd really like to know what they think they're going to solve by that.  The only thing that pops up first in my mind is all that $$$$$.

One out of three children in the US live without their fathers.  That is 24 million little lives that have fathers who abandoned them.  Whether it be through divorce, pure desertion at first awareness of pregnancy, or just plain chosen abandonment.  It is a huge issue.  It is not "no big deal."  It is a sensitive thing.  And when we scream to the world that "men aren't helping," well, we're just being so aware and helpful (obviously).

Like we need more men that think sending $$$$ a month to their kids living with their mom is being a "good dad."  Like we need more men that hear their girlfriend is pregnant and get the heck out of where they are, change their phone number and address and never speak to this girl again.  Like we need more men that justify the abandonment of their children in their eyes because the media shouts to the world that nobody needs their opinion.

I don't know about y'alls, but in my mind, it's time for a wake-up call.

One year ago today, I was rejoicing.

I was rejoicing because God answered my prayer.

Trey's birthfather's, the one who gave him his Jamaican qualities and what I hope is true--those big black eyes, rights were severed.

A judge signed a piece of paper that made him almost ours forever.  He was no longer Trey Malachi's father on paper.  There was no more option or thought or fearful wondering if he'd ever take Trey as his own son.

And in those moments in the East Coast beach condo bedroom, when I felt I might lose my brand new baby brother who I fell in love with, I waited for this day like no other. 

I'll be honest, if I could go back, I'd pray for something different.

I'd pray that the Lord would change my baby brother's birth father's heart.  I would have prayed that he would make the steps to be able to maintain a relationship with his son.  I'd have prayed that he gets his life together for his son.  I'd pray that he would rethink his actions and want to be part of his son's life.  I would have prayed that someday, somehow, they could have an ongoing relationship.

I sure as heck didn't want him to make steps to be his father.  Now and at that moment.  I'm not that crazy.  But if I could change one thing, just one thing in this life, I think I would highly consider that I could rethink those actions and desires from a year ago on my part.  

I realized, on this day one year ago, that this man would never lay eyes on these baby-eyes I love so very much.  I realized he wouldn't be there on his first birthday, or on his first day of school or at his first game.  I realized it but I didn't want to wrap my mind around it.

In the months since July 6th, 2012, I haven't stopped thinking of him.  The man I see in my baby brother everyday, even if I've never laid eyes on him.  I know he has his eyes.  I know he has his body type -- he's super tall and thin.  And all at once I wonder where he is and if he ever thinks about him.  

It doesn't matter how connected you are to your adoptive parents, or how accepting you are of the fact that God ordained these once-foreign people to be your parents.  It doesn't matter how much you are okay with the fact that you're the only black kid in a family of white people.  One day you are going to realize that you've been abandoned - by somebody.  Birthmothers don't abandon their babies.  They choose what is best for them.  They make a choice out of love.  And T, along with what I hope is all adopted babies, will one day learn how much love was a part of this great choice.  But beyond that, I have the highest respect and applaud the birthfathers that stick around.  The ones that don't ditch the girl they got pregnant.  The ones that are there for her the entire time and don't just chuck $20 at her on his way out the door.  The ones that sign the papers with her and the ones that love this baby enough to choose the harddddddd hard hard and not run the other way.  

So today, I grieve for my baby brother.  A year ago I was rejoicing, and I'm still rejoicing, because this was another step the Lord gave us to say "forever" for our Treybe.  But I'm also sad.  Deeply sad for the day he will ask about his birthfather.  The day he is old enough to learn that his first daddy had the choice, but he chose not to be part of his life.  He has three dads.  A Heavenly Father that will never ever ever ever abandon him, a Biological Daddy that chose no relationship with him, and an Adoptive Daddy that will fill that Bio-Dad hole.  It will be an extremely hard thing for him to process.  The thought that someone abandoned you isn't easy by any means -- whether you knew the person well or not.  

But today, I don't just share this thinking of T's birthfather, I share it thinking of every pro-abortion person that says we don't need men voicing their opinions on the lives of their children.  They have as much right as she does.  And I could cry a thousand tears in gratefulness for all the men that choose forever for their children.  No matter when, how, why or how hard it is when it happens.  The ones that look at their actions and pull themselves together -- for their children.  

So today I celebrate every birthfather who's stuck around for the long, hard journey.  And I grieve for every adoptee who's birthfather chose the same thing my brother's daddy did.  I grieve for every child who lives with their biological momma who gets money every month from their "dad."  I grieve for every man out there who made this choice.  And, I grieve for the men that fall into the lie that women don't need their opinions on the lives of their children.  They do.  

And a word to the pro-abortion movement: thanks so much for jacking up our culture even more.  I pray that the Lord will change your hearts and the hearts of the men and women you are engulfing with your lies.  God has the final word.


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