Sunday, December 01, 2013

It's Been A While


This year has beaten the hell out of me. I've had so many stories to tell and I've written none of them here. The coals are starting to glow again. Maybe I am still a writer. Maybe I can find the old me who could write freely and bravely. Maybe I can make sense of what I've seen and done and felt this year.

In early 2013 I got involved in fighting sex trafficking in my city. It all started when our church staff took a little van tour to see where brothels are operating all around us. That two hour van ride changed my life. I have seen and done more crazy things in 2013 than in all my teenage years put together. My girlfriends and I were all binge-watching Alias on Netflix when we got involved and it had quite an effect on us. It's not weird for my friends to have a girls night out that ends in some sort of outreach or prayer drive.

Last spring I also got involved with teaching ESL to Muslim women. I was just a sidekick to the real teacher, but it was so cool getting to know the ladies and help them learn English. We were uninvited to return after the session was over and I think it was because of something I said. That was incredibly discouraging, but I'm glad that I had the chance to know these women.

In March we were trying to have another baby and on the day I found out I wasn't pregnant, we heard about a baby who needed a family. We changed directions overnight - funny how that happened - and decided to walk through the doors toward that baby until they closed. The doors closed quickly, but it burned adoption into my heart.

After Mother's Day we officially started the adoption process with an amazing Christian agency in Houston. We spent the summer getting our application, family profile, and homestudy done. It was a LOT of work. We kept this largely on the DL because we didn't want to drag our whole church through drama - if it turned out to be dramatic. I wrote about the journey in a beautiful, white leather journal with my monogram on it. I declared that "Jesus is writing a redemption story." 

On the first day of school we were matched with an expectant mother who had chosen us through our profile book and a video we had made. We spent six weeks getting to know her and came to love her very much. We were planning for an open adoption, so in all of our minds we were becoming a family. She invited me to be with her in the hospital for the birth of the baby and to stay there afterward. This was very, very risky. We were either looking at a best case scenario or a worst case scenario. It turned out to be worst case scenario for us. Thirty-six hours after the baby was born, we were kicked out of the hospital. It was October 14 - my 34th birthday.

The last six weeks have been the most painful time of my life. I am a naturally empathetic person but I now realize I've had no clue whatsoever what deep grief is like. You can't control it. You can't tell it to end. You can't keep it from coming back after you've told all your people you're okay now.

Tonight I boxed up the nursery. Moving the furniture will be Curtis' job for this week. But at least my part is done. I cried a lot. The anticipation of this day has been terrible, but when I woke up this morning I knew it needed to be done.

I am moving on.

In 31 days this calendar year will turn to 2014. Fourteen is my second favorite number - the Lord's number times 2. That's got to mean something good. I never liked 13 anyway.


98 comments:

Alexia said...

I am sorry the year was a struggle. I pray The Lord to cradle you in His loving arms and soothe the tears and the pain.

Alexia- Siesta girl

Denise Ferrell said...

So sorry, Amanda.

Marissa Burt said...

Praying for courage for you and an awareness of the Lord's nearness this Advent. So very sorry for your loss.

Sammy said...

Oh. I know that pain. The pain of a birth mother changing her mind at the last moment. I also know the joy of a very open adoption. Adoption made me a mommy and i am so grateful. My heart knows your grief and I wish I had clever soothing words right now. All I know is what you already know, is that Jesus knows our pain. Love to you Amanda x

Ashley said...

Well...I've learned a little about grief. Enough to know that God is good and abundance of words are pretty much pointless. So, no more words, only prayer.

Colleen said...

Sweet Amanda, I'm so sorry. Praying here in Buffalo for your family.

DLJones said...

Praying for you sweet, brave one.

Kelly said...

The most encouraging part of this post is:

I'm moving on....

Amen!

~ Kelly

From the Bumpy Road said...

I'm so sorry for your pain this year. I'm praying that God will bring much good from these hard times and, also, much peace to your heart this Christmas season.

Ganise C. said...

This is beyond heartbreaking and I truly am so sorry, sister. I am praying for courage, strength and healing. May God bring you out of it all with His arms wrapped around you. Praying for unexpected, beautiful blessings on the road ahead of you.

The Andlers said...

Thankful that His mercies are new every morning. You just know something supernatural is taking place in your life when you go through storms like this. I can't wait to hear how God uses all of this for His Glory! I've missed reading your words and thought of you often as I zoom through blog world.

Carrie Jones said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. You're a gifted writer and I've missed your voice! Much love to you xoxo

Kristen Maddux said...

My heart bleeds for you at this time. I am grateful though, you chose to share so bravely. I'm ready for 2014 myself. May it truly be a year of redemption for many.
Kristen Maddux

Lyndsey said...

Wow! What a tough year seems like an understatement. Praying for you!

teri butcher said...

I've learned a thing or two about grief these past few years as well. I think some of the hardest things to grieve are things that die in our hearts, especially when people around us think "you should've moved on from that by now". I had to grieve a dream that was crushed by the church. To grieve ministry when it is alive in your heart. To grieve (almost all of my) friendships that were lost in the midst of this heartache. I once told my husband that this grief was worse than when I grieved my father's death; because death is final--grieving the living is different. I've learned to live differently since my loss. It's hard to trust. When I used to be such a fighter, I've undoubtedly become more of a "flighter" (Fight or flight? I usually flee now.) The biggest thing I've learned is how to be a friend to the grieving. I came a cross this quote that witnesses to my heart.
"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing...not healing...not curing...that is a friend who cares."--Henri Nouwen
Praying that you have people like this surrounding you as you walk this journey.
Warmly,
Teri

teri butcher said...

I've learned a thing or two about grief these past few years as well. I think some of the hardest things to grieve are things that die in our hearts, especially when people around us think "you should've moved on from that by now". I had to grieve a dream that was crushed by the church. To grieve ministry when it is alive in your heart. To grieve (almost all of my) friendships that were lost in the midst of this heartache. I once told my husband that this grief was worse than when I grieved my father's death; because death is final--grieving the living is different. I've learned to live differently since my loss. It's hard to trust. When I used to be such a fighter, I've undoubtedly become more of a "flighter" (Fight or flight? I usually flee now.) The biggest thing I've learned is how to be a friend to the grieving. I came a cross this quote that witnesses to my heart.
"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing...not healing...not curing...that is a friend who cares."--Henri Nouwen
Praying that you have people like this surrounding you as you walk this journey.
Warmly,
Teri

Meggie said...

Thanks for sharing an update... so, so sorry for your loss and the suffering you've endured this year. Praying for you and your family.

Kelli said...

Amanda, my heart is breaking for you. I'm an adoptive mom and I know how fragile the whole process is. Praying that God will comfort you now and allow you to see a glimpse of His purpose, when the time is right. Many, many blessings prayed for you in 2014.

Michelle said...

Praying for you sweet Amanda. Sharing your story is hard but I know from experience He will use it to bind your wounds. Blessings to you and your precious family.

None said...

Amanda, there's so much I want to say, but I want to be careful not to presume or preach. I followed you on Twitter before I stepped away from it for a while, and although you never divulged what was going on, I strongly sensed what it was and felt even more strongly urged to pray for you. Please don't give up on this dream; God planted the seed for a reason. However, I think the way He plans to bring it to fruition very differently than you anticipate. I understand distancing yourself from it, but please remember that God uses our greatest headaches and turns them into incredible blessings. I don't know your particular grief, but I do know He will give you favor. I will continue to pray for you. I don't know what exactly I'm to pray for, but the Spirit does. Sending love and comfort. Please forgive me if I've been presumptuous; that was not my intention.

Tara G. said...

You are precious to trust these words that skim the surface of your heart to us. Much love, sweet sister.

Ian Scott said...

I am so sorry. I do believe God writes a better story than we ever could. He's not done writing this chapter of yours!

Sunni said...

My heart is broken for you! I will be praying! 2014 will be a redemptive year.

Bethany @ 3SonsPlus1 said...

I'm so sorry to read of your heartbreak. Sometimes living in this world seems insufferably overwhelming, but we know who will win (who has already won!).

We're an adoptive family, too, and it can just wreck you in every way possible. So very sorry. I hope you feel God's peace and direction in the days ahead- I know that's what I need these days, too. ~Bethany

Kate Shapiro said...

I'm so sorry, I can understand your pain in a different way. I had a miscarriage this past April and it was the worst, most painful thing I've ever gone through. For my family and I, 2013 has not been a pleasant year either. It's been filled with disappointment, grief, sorrow, financial problems and illness through and through. I can't wait for 2014 to come and to lock the door on 2013 forever!! However, through all the grief, God has never spoken more loudly or lovingly to me in all of my life and now we are expecting a little girl next April. I pray that He will use all these sorrows to show you His love even more and that 2014 will be filled with many blessing! <3

Hilary said...

God is faithful. You are loved!

lil' mama said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

Tracey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colleen said...

Amanda,

I'm so very sorry. I will be praying for you, Curtis and your family.

Colleen

Tracey said...

amanda, bless your sweet heart - & i mean that most sincerely. bless you for sharing your pain. you have no idea how God is using this to help & encourage others. i have precious young friends going through this exact grief (the similarity of your stories is a little uncanny). this post is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ssmt) in action. prayer for deep peace for you & curtis.

Dionna Sanchez said...

Oh, Amanda. First - I'm so glad to see your blog open again. I've missed reading your posts.

Secondly - how deeply sorry I am for the struggles and tears you've gone through in 2013. I feel things very deeply too so I know well that when you grieve, it permeates your very bones.

The world continues to need people who open their hearts with abandon. I pray that in time, you will be able to open your heart again.

thenewbec said...

There is so much I want to expound upon in terms of how I relate on various levels, but in the end I've decided that it won't likely make you feel any better, so I'm going to scrap it. Just know that this PW's bio & adoptive mama's heart is pouring out on your family's behalf tonight.

"You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book." -Psalm 56:8 MSG

Susan said...

Sweet girl, I feel the heartache with you, having walked through failed adoptions - plural. You are so dear to be willing to share your story and you should know that it makes those of us who have ventured down that path and struggled feel less alone. Prayers for you from a heart that understands.

nancy said...

Sweet, sweet girl. I well remember the pain of putting all the nursery things away after many years of secondary infertility. Heartbreaking. It took me years to move on and you have endured much more. You are brave and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Sarah said...

Very sorry. Can't imagine how hard this year has been for you. May The Lord heal your hearts and strengthen you in your time of need.

Spicy Magnolia said...

Sweet Amanda, I've missed your writing. Your last post was back in January 2013 and I re-read it after I read this one. Bookends to 2013 your two posts are. And yes, quite the year it's been. I pray for you and think of you often.

May the sweet aroma of Jesus be fragrance to you as you take each step forward with your eyes on Him. As we celebrate the first Sunday in Advent, marking our waiting that is graciously filled with hope, I pray He would rekindle in you joy and anticipation of the promise that He is making all things new. Much, much love to you.

Beth Willis Miller said...

Amanda, praying for you and your sweet family...Jesus is with you, His name is Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace…love this new song, Just Say Jesus…that is all we can say sometimes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84LSLk3hfD4&sns=em

Shelley B. said...

thank you for sharing your heart. I have been praying for you for a while and will continue, grief is so unpredictable and so hard. I agree I am ready for 2014, it's been a hard one for me as well. Many blessings and love.

Shelley

Laura said...

Sorry for such a hard year, lifting you up and will continue to do so. Lifting you and your family up before the Father. Much love and blessings.

Bev Brandon @ The Fray said...

Oh! Oh! Sweet Girl! After our 3rd baby, I became infertile for 7 years. Then, I had 3, lost 3. Then I had him! Sometimes there are no words for what we go through, no explanation this side. What I love about your post is that you are living trusting in the midst of what doesn't make sense, what hurts so deeply, and you are falling forward on a very Good God. You'll never let Him go. He'll never let you go! Dt 31:8. Grasped. You are committed to give live love, no matter what! It's a Beautiful God stirring in you! Your tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1. Praying for you and your precious family, Bev

StacieHope365 said...

You Brave Warrior!!!

Dori Cook said...

Amanda,

I read this with tears in my eyes. I wasn't even going to comment.

2013 has been a year of heartbreak for me, too. I lost my Daddy after a 9 day journey from a cancer diagnosis to Jesus. Totally blindsided by that. Never saw it coming.

After 8 months of walking through excruciating grief and also trying to hold up the hands of my mother who is struggling in every possible way -- mentally, spiritually and physically -- we lost my grandmother. 8 months to the day of my Daddy's passing.

My eyes are tired of crying and my heart is tired of feeling broken.

Even still -- this I know -- God is completely trustworthy and faithful.

Today, I've had this scripture on my heart nearly all day long. I knew it was for me, but I also knew that it had to be for someone else.

May it is you.

"For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God will be without power or impossible of fulfillment." Luke 1:37 Amplified

Praying this over you and your family tonight. Mine, too, for that matter.

Love and blessings,
Dori

Missy said...

Amanda, thank you for sharing your pain. I am so sorry for the disappointments you have faced this year. In many ways, 2013 has been a disappointment for me too. For me more than anything else, it has been a year of fierce attack.

At the beginning of the year, your mom gave us Psalm 65:11 as a benediction of sorts for the year. In recent weeks, when I have literally found myself sobbing on the floor, I have wondered whether God kept up His end of the bargain in crowning this year with His bounty. I wondered it again as I read your post. And then it occurred to me ... the crown is always put on last, lest it get disturbed in all the primping. So, my prayer for you and for me is that in these last few remaining weeks of 2013, we would YET see God crown the year with His bounty. I pray that as your family rounds the corner into 2014 your wagon tracks would overflow with abundance.

Thank you again for your transparency, and I am truly sorry for your losses this year. Love to you and your family.

Marian said...

I have missed your blog posts greatly this year. I kept wondering what hurt you were experiencing. I follow you on twitter, and again wondered what in the world was happening. I hope that doesn't sound totally stalkish, it's just that through years of bible studies, blog reading, etc, I feel like I know you all. My family frequently makes fun of me, when I share things I read. I went to Daytona and heard your mom at LPL. It was wonderful, but her comments stirred more empathy for whatever was happening. Prayers for a year of peace and blessing.

HeHoHasMommy said...

Amanda,

Hugs! So sorry for y'all heartbreaking loss! There are no words that I could say that can truly help this tremendous grief, but I have been praying for you & your family! Although I can totally relate to your statement about grief because it is totally true based on my own deep experience with grief, I have never experienced what you are walking through. I do pray that God will continue to walk through it with you, hold you in his arms, & comfort you always! I pray he sends people to uplift you who have walked experiences similar and know the grief that you carry!

amoveableme.com said...

Praying for you this evening. Thank you for sharing this, I needed to hear/read this and I am sure many many other people feel the same.

beckyjomama said...

Oh sweet girl, I know your pain. Putting away an empty nursery is harder than anything I have ever been through. It is so hard to give up that dream. But God ... as I read your words this afternoon, I looked up and through my tears watched two sweet girls in Santa hats watching The Polar Express. And, because He has a sense of humor, one looks just like me and the other just like my man. God is SO very faithful. I am praying His sweet peace fall like a salve for your heart and soul tonight. You are loved! SO loved!!!

bethany said...

Aww sweetie, I'm so sorry for your loss. I will pray that you will run into the arms of Jesus (as I am sure that you have)and recieve from Him his peace, healing, and comfort to mend your broken heart.
Life just plain stinks sometimes! I think that its okay to say that and not follow it with some feel good christian "its going to be all right" thing....with that said, know that it IS going to be all right. Even if your world feels upside down, Jesus is ALWAYS right side up. He will right it.
Much love and prayers from California!

bethany said...

I've missed your posts :) I don't know if it's moving on as much as moving forward. Moving forward with faith that the Lord has your hand and will continue to lead you. I'm in awe of your amazing faithfulness and what a wonderful, God-loving woman you are. Thank you for being such an amazing example. Love you, friend.

AGirlOntheDoorstep said...

Hi Amanda. I am so very sorry for your loss. I don't know what it is to lose a baby through adoption, but I do know what it is to walk out of a hospital after 35 weeks of pregnancy without a baby. We experienced a cord accident and lost our baby girl.
Grief can come along side you like an unwanted best friend. It hurts from the inside out and yet sometimes we cling to it.
Keep moving, friend. Keep pressing onward. May your heart be soft and pliable as He does a brand new work inside you.
I'm praying for you!

Anne Burris said...

So happy to see you blogging again.

Anne Burris said...

So happy to see you blogging again.

Tara said...

Amanda, though I was thrilled to see "Baby Bangs" pop up in my Dashboard reader, tears welled up in my eyes as I read your post tonight. I am so very sorry for all that you have endured during the past year.

May God draw you near to Himself and give you peace. Praying for your ministry, your marriage, and that that the perfect little one will be matched up with your forever family.

Deborah said...

Ahh Amanda. The words just aren't there, except to say "I'm praying". May God's sweetest blessings rest on you.

Connie Hughey said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I understand deep grief. I've been there. Never could have made it back without Jesus. Praying for you and Curtis.

sheilapaige said...

Thank you for being courageous to share your heart with the blog world again--I'm sure that wasn't easy, but I know God will use it.
May you and your family continue to be upheld by our Father who loves you so.
Thanks for sharing your pain...even though it is a different kind of grief than I've experienced, I relate to the pain of grief and loss. May the God of all comfort continue to wipe your tears away.

Teri said...

Oh boy. I was wondering where you've been this whole year and now I know that you were being used by the Lord. Thank you for sharing with us. I will be praying for you all and looking forward to what 2014 is going to bring to your family. From what it sounds like God has some peace and restoration for you all.

Talley Family said...

I wish I could give you a big hug! I too know the awful pain of losing several children at the last minute after waiting years for a placement! Grief is such a mysterious thing but through the pain and grief I have drawn closer to God than ever imagined. It is hard to even articulate! Much love to you and your family and will pray for continued healing!

Sherry said...

Amanda, I have missed you and your writing. Thank you for sharing your heart. I can't imagine the pain. Love you, friend, and praying for you~ Sherry

Elisabeth said...

Amanda-Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to write. Thank you for being vulnerable. Thank you and Curtis for walking the hard roads and doing the hard things. Thank you for the encouragement and example you have been to me over the last few years. (You don't know me. Doesn't matter. Jesus uses who he wants how He wants.) Your dedication and passion to Him have been a huge part of who I'm becoming. A few weeks ago you stood up and shared your heart at church. Thank you for doing that too despite how hard it must've been.
I'm praying and interceeding for your family and your heart. I don't have any idea how hard it's been. But I can pray. And pray I am. Because you KNOW God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. Redemption is coming.

Taylor said...

I'm so sorry, Amanda. What a crappy year. I'm praying the last 29 days of 2013 are much better and that 2014 is even better than that!

Holliday Family said...

What an honest and brave post. Be blessed in all that you're going through (Please Lord, let it be so). I'm praying for you from our small corner of the world.

Terrie and Carley said...

2013 has been a year for me and my family also. It seemed every holiday brought some kind of dramatic event to our family. We have experienced a lot of hurt and deception this year. It was a hard and difficult year. I will be thinking of you and your family as you too celebrate the ending or 2013. My prayer for you as well as for me, that we can recoup some of what Satan has robbed us.

Karen said...

Have been keeping you and your family in my prayers through out this year, in particular for protection, wisdom and courage. Some of these details I knew, others I knew little about and appreciate your courage and honesty in sharing. Any type of grief is hard but the deep, sudden, unexpected type is the worst (at least in my experience.) We know the enemy is behind some challenges you have faced this year, or has used certain situations to hurt you and your family even more. It seems that 2013 has been a very tough year for many people, including you, others at our church, several of our friends and for me and my family too. I also look forward to 2014, praying for a much better year ahead for us all.

Kelly said...

Amanda, my prayers for you and your family are added to those of your other sisters around the world. I'm so sorry for the emotional upheaval of 2013. Praying you find solace in the goodness of our God.

Elizabeth said...

This hurts to read, I cannot fathom how much it hurts to live. May the peace of the Lord be yours in a cup running over, this day and evermore.

k and c's mom said...

I've missed reading your blog and wondered what was going on in your life. While I was thrilled to see the new post pop up on my Dashboard reader, I was sobered to read the journey of your last year. I couldn't comment yesterday I was so grieved for you and your family--and worried about how your children were taking the news. I just thought about and prayed for you today, and felt compelled to come back and read the comments and post my own. You are surrounded by a very loving and authentic community, and I am very grateful for that for you. I know you will keep walking, keep writing and keep experiencing the heart of a Father who knows and feels it all right along with you.

Christopher and Amy said...

So sorry for your difficult year. We too have been through a failed adoption. It was beyond awful. A few years later God turned our ashes into something beautiful when he blessed us with twin baby girls through another adoption. Our beautiful girls will be four next month and we are so glad we waited and received the exact children God wanted for my family. Don't lose hope!

Heather said...

Amanda, I have thought about you many times over this year of your blog absence. I'm so sorry that this year was downright awful for you. I pray that 2014 is the year when the Lord lets you see beauty and growth where there is now pain.

Mary Gegare said...

Dear Amanda,
I have never commented on your blog but am a Siesta on your Mom's. I am so sorry that this last year has been so difficult. I know I can't fully know your pain, but I do know grief. A little over a year ago I lost my best friend of over 30 years in a mass shooting. Day after day I felt like I had a sword piercing through my soul. I thought I would never recover. But I can truly say that no matter how deep the sword of suffering has gone into my soul-His love is deeper still. There is a sermon you can find on line preached by my Pastor at that time, John Piper
called Sorrowful yet Rejoicing. I will never forget how that touched me when my grief was so fresh or how Pastor Piper was not afraid to take off his glasses and look into my eyes and share my grief. I'm so sorry for your pain. I am praying for you.
Mary G.

Neha said...

Hi- it's your old friend Neha. I was so excited to see a new blog post but saddened to read the content. So sorry for heartache. Sadly, I can relate. I took a facebook hiatus bc of it so if you need any pink eye advice we'll have to email :) Moving onward and upward to a new year.

D said...

We recently had a year just as you described. We have also experienced the agonizing loss when a birth mom changes her mind. Prayers for you and your family that every time you look around and wonder where He is, you are bathed in His Peace and Presence again and again. "The Lord replied, 'My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.'"
Exodus 33:14

alicia said...

Your words are beautiful & refreshing to my weary, worn out soul... Lest it get disturbed! Thank you

alicia said...

Amanda... What you wrote is such a stunningly true, brave & painful version of grief. Once you're aquatinted with it deep down, you are changed. Forever. I will certainly pray for your sweet family & especially that in hope & healing you will find your brave honest voice in your writing. After my family experienced a huge loss- it's been hard to find my voice to sing again. I get it. I've been so blessed by Ann voskamp's words about "darkness" in 1000 gifts & pray you find comfort there too! Also- I'm writing your ending in BIG LETTERS and hanging it on my fridge. I too am moving on. Thank you for your bravery.

Sarah said...

Oh, Amanda, I'm so sorry and will pray for you. Actually, I've prayed for you at random times occasionally since your blog turned private. I have missed your posts and the Lord has put you on my heart every once in awhile. ♥ My heart is aching for you and tears have filled my eyes as I read this post. Praying...

Sarah

Deidre said...

I'm so happy to see a new post from you, though I am so sorry for the year you've had. Grief is so hard to explain. You can be 'okay' one minute and then blindsided the next. Lifting you up to the Father!

Deb said...

Thank-you for sharing this... I as well had the same experience in July with a failed adoption...I have spent the last 5 months in deep grief...but slowly healing... Prayers and Blessings to you for sharing this... and much peace and healing for your precious heart...

Patty said...

Amanda, I am so sorry this has been a hard year and praying for courage and strength for you. I told a friend today that this year has been so hard and I am ready for 2014. Daddy died this year and mom is living with us. Grief comes in waves when you least expect it. Learning more and more about the comfort of God. Praying God will astonish you with something special before this year ends and for a wonderful 2014.
Love,
Patty

Donna said...

I am so sorry to hear that you and your family have faced so many hardships in 2013. I've read your blog for a long time and follow you on Twitter and have often thought of you over the year. Please know that you are in my prayers. God is working in your life and I know He has big plans for your life, you are already such an inspiration and have done so much to educate others about human trafficking I am sure there is more ahead.

Kimberly Orr said...

Praying for you beloved...and claiming Deuteronomy 33:27 for you. The Eternal God is your dwelling place and underneath are the Everlasting Arms. When the bottom falls out He is still there holding us...Oh how thankful I am for the hands that hold us.

susan said...

Thank you.

fuzzytop said...

Amanda - I am so sorry it has been such a difficult year for you. Praying for Him to bring you beauty from those ashes.

Adrienne

Island Rider said...

Praying for you!

Rena said...

Oh, Amanda, I am so sorry for the pain you're experiencing... My heart grieves with you and for you. I am praying God would comfort you and bring healing in ways only He can. Praying you sense Him so close in this advent season. --Rena (a siesta)

Unknown said...

oh wow Amanda...I am so sorry for all the pain and grief you and your family have endured during this year. As a labor and delivery nurse, I know all too well that scenario and my whole heart breaks anytime a birth mother changes her mind, bc I know the adoptive parents are experiencing an unfair and deep deep loss. I have missed your blog this year and when I would notice that you still hadn't written I would say a prayer for you. I just had a feeling something wasn't going well for you to be away that long from your blog. anyway, I'm glad you are back. I'm so so sorry..i will keep you and your family in my prayers.

destinmimi said...

Amanda, I too have missed your blogging but felt deeply that you were going through something like this. I am so very sorry...my prayer is that you and Curtis will feel God's amazing love and comfort like never before! Merry Christmas to you all!!

LCS said...

Grief will change you and your journey with Jesus FOREVER. I have never ever experienced anything like it until last year. As your heart heals, you may find unexpected gifts from going through such a heartache, but it takes time. Prayers!

Rose said...

Amanda, I cried as I read this, I am so sorry for your family, one thing I know, God is the author of your beautiful story & he is NOT finished writing it. Hugs

Sincerely Anna said...

I understand open adoption loss, and my heart aches for you. My husband is in full-time ministry too. You'll be in my prayers, specifically for you to have that support you need to heal and grieve. Glad you're blogging again.

Blessing of Adoption welcomes you said...

Praying so much for your family- We also have 2 biological children (17 & 14) and pursued an open adoption- Our Ellie is 2.....we adopted her at birth- Our adoption story is a lot like yours.. after the first 'attempt' we were not sure what to do. 6 months later the Lord brought us Ellie (adopted her at birth). Again, will be praying for you- for strength, clarity, and direction. When you get a chance please check out a blog post I wrote about our adoption- Hugs to you!! http://www.blessingofadoption.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-pictures-worth-thousand-wordsadoption.html

Changed by Pure Grace said...

I have missed your blogs so much and was surprised to "see" you again tonight. I am so sorry. I know you know I get the grief part (I'm Miller Grace's mama, from the ladies you met in Atlanta several years ago) but it's crazy that we've also walked the heartbreaking roller coaster of adoption path in the years that have passed since. If I've learned anything, it's that God will not plant a seed in your heart for adoption without allowing it to grow to fruition. There are too many orphans in this world. 13 foster kids came and went. I miscarried twice. All after burying our child. I packed up the nursery and gave away every baby thing I had. BUT GOD. Our sweet baby Z is over a year old now and has officially be ours for almost a year. Hold on, sister. He's going to make satan sorry he ever messed with you. Promise. <3

Emily

marthahelen said...

W O W. Such stunning bravery and vulnerability sharing the occurrences of your past year. I just finished watching your mother's video on the blog about the 12th month, and I am praying that for you and for your family. And I'll be checking back here in confident expectation of what God is going to do!

Casey Springer said...

I'm so sorry for your hurt. I can't imagine. Hugs sweet sister and prayers that 14 is better than 13.

Rachel Smith said...

I'm speechless. Luckily, not wordless. I, too, have known the painful end to a hopeful adoption. After 45 hours in the hospital taking care of a precious would be daughter, we were told our birth mother could not sign the paper work because it was too hard to do. It was April 6, 2012. My 30th birthday. And, as the Lord would have it, I saw them exactly 365 days later, after not having seen or heard from them in the mean time, on my 31st birthday. 2013 is for the birds. This year we're going to Hawaii, or California, or the moon for my birthday so it won't happen again. I'm praying for you, as only we can pray for each other. I know that hurt, and I'm praying the Lord will heal you quickly, and that you'll know what to do while you wait on Him to do so.

Rachel Smith said...

I'm speechless. Luckily, not wordless. I, too, endured a painful end to a hopeful adoption as we left the hospital after caring for a precious baby girl for 45 hours. I, too, left on my birthday, my 30th birthday. And, as fate would have it, I ran into the family exactly 365 days later, on my 31st birthday, after not having seen or heard from them for the entire time. My heart breaks for you; I know that pain and I'm praying that the Lord is kind to heal your heart, to heal it forever, and to help you to know what to do in the mean time.

Jill_in_AL said...

Oh, my goodness have we lived parallel sadness in very different ways during 2013. I haven't read your blog in well over a year. All of 2013 we have been trying to sell our home to move across the same city to another suburb. In October/November we had a buyer, all was set. Joy! a few weeks later their financing fell through and all our hopes and plans with it. I have been crying and sad during the very same weeks as your sadness but for a totally less important reason. Last night at our Christmas Eve communion, I talked with God in the pew about laying down all my sadness, frustration and anger. Why me? Why can't it work out for me? I've said to him a 1000 times.

Like you I am ready for 2013 to be in my rear view. Looking for new directions, new plans and immeasurably more in 2014 too. Love and Merry Christmas, Jill

The Cobbs said...

I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for your words regarding grief---we had a sillborn baby September 19, 2013. It has been so hard. Your words have been such an encouragement to me.

Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing your heart- what a year and how many people have been blessed by your prayer drives and dedication to loving others. My heart breaks on the adoption front, but take heart and trust God, as you know tomorrow may look very different than you could ever imagine. For 15 years I prayed to adopt, better yet prayed my husband would share my heart. I asked God to take the desire away or give us a baby. 2 years ago one Sunday at church my husband looked at me and said "we should adopt" 5 days later a baby girl was born and a week later we brought her home. Now my children are 2 yrs old, 17 and 20! thanks for returning to blogging and here's to 2014!