Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 401

"This is all way beyond our maturity level."

Ben's exact words when we hung up the phone, after a very lengthy conversation with baby boy's birth father, last night.

I'll come back to that in a second, but first I have to share something with you about our faith.

I Corinthians 13 says:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Ben and I led a small group, within our church, not too long ago and we had t-shirts made that advertised the above verse on the back and "Live to Love" on the front. It became the focus of our group as we strategically made efforts to love the people around us at work, at home, and in our communities.

Casting Crowns wrote one of our favorite songs. The chorus sings:

If we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching

And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
Jesus is the way

Ben and I full-heartedly believe that as the Body of Christ, we should be living to love. All the time. Every situation, every encounter, should be viewed as an an opportunity to be Jesus. We don't ever want to be accused of not reaching...healing...teaching...going. We want our actions to show that Jesus is the way....

That being said. Nothing about this adoption process has been within our control...nothing. I don't know if it's our personalities...the leading of the holy spirit...a lifelong relationship with the Father...or simply, awe of the whole situation, but the minute we received "the call" from the agency, it has been easy to trust God. Which is ironic, given my sabbatical from talking to him...

I think deep down there was just an inner knowing in my heart that he had a plan.

I imagine that one of the blessings of adoption is the fact that we did not create this baby....he is not ours. Therefore, it is easy to trust God with his life - as we should. ALL children belong to the Lord, we are just given the privilege of taking care of them. So who am I to stand in the way of what God has planned....what he's doing...with his son? Because we're ignorant to finite details, we have to roll with the punches and trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding our steps.

Back to last night's phone conversation.

Up until two days ago we had yet to hear anything from the birth father. He asked to talk with us and we were more than willing. Last night, Ben's fingers dialed his number nervously, as my stomach did flip-flops. There is no manual for this, Take 5.

We had a great conversation.

I was so moved to compassion for this man. He cried through most of his words, explaining that although he couldn't take care of a newborn, he wanted his son to grow up knowing how much he cared. Without second guessing and only a few minutes of talking, we offered him all the privileges we've given to Rebekah (in regards to openness). We've spent months connecting with Rebekah and falling in love with her family. In a matter of one 60 minute phone conversation our hearts equally spilled for this man and his family. It can't be explained apart from our Father. At the end of our conversation he asked if we would be willing to come to his house for a family dinner, once the baby is born. It only took one knowing glance from Ben to say, "Absolutely. We'll be in town for 2-3 weeks, you're welcome to see baby boy as much as you'd like."

There are many details to the story that I don't feel at liberty to share, but the underlining thread screams God's redemption.

I was telling someone the story, this morning, and they said, "You agreed to a family dinner? Are you really gonna want to do that? It seems very awkward." In the recesses of my mind, I quietly heard, why is his love not showing them there is a way...

This story...our story...God's so much bigger than us. Ben's right. We are dealing with issues way beyond our maturity level...but we're rolling with it. We continue to walk in complete peace. And I mean complete. I've written this before. I am not concerned; I have no worries; I do not feel threatened by the presence of baby boy's family in his life. I mean this kid has more parents, grandparents, and siblings than anyone I know - all wanting to share in his life. Who am I to deny such love?

We don't know what God's doing here, but we are leaving every opportunity open. This miracle baby boy will be a walking testimony. As his parents, it's our job to release him into God's potential for his life. We take our job seriously, even though we've yet to meet him. We know we're in uncharted waters...we know that our actions defy the natural. All we can do is strive for love, at all costs, and see what God will do.

Love never fails.


  1. amen, it will never fail! and i am holding to that as we get ready for things that are going to be "hard" on us as well in situations we are getting into.

    baby boy needs to be able to love all his parents. God is opening up doors that look scary at first but can lead to all sorts of GOOD and things that will GLORIFY HIM!!!!

  2. I dont even have the words for this post. I dont even know you but I can just feel your love for God coming out of my screen. You amaze me and I cannot wait to continue to read how HIS story unfolds in your life once Baby Boy is born!

  3. An amazing post, Rebekah. It shows once again how beautiful you are inside and out. You and Ben are going to be the best parents any birthparents could wish for! I am so excited to be able to follow your story.

  4. That is so awesome. God's plans are always SO much better than ours. I understand exactly how you feel. While everyone questioned our level of openness with out daughter's birth family, it just felt right. I remember having them over for dinner one time and thinking, "it would be weird if they weren't here."

    May God continue to give you strength and peace. The journey is about to get really fun! :)

  5. What an amazing post and an amazing story that you have. Your absolute faith and trust in the Lord is something that inspires me. I can only pray that I can have the faith that you have in all things in my life.

    BTW, I LOVE that Casting Crowns song. I tear up almost every time I hear it.

  6. That is just SO beautiful. Really. From an adoptee standpoint, this is SUCH a blessing for baby boy!

    Amazing. God is just so awesome.

  7. I need to say again how much your words encourage me, Rebekah. I wouldn't be where I am regarding my feelings towards open adoption if it weren't for finding your blog. You are so's all about Him and His plans...and just letting Him use us as He sees fit. are such a testimony of His love and grace. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so transparent.

  8. Amazing. You are so right. . . Your son has SO many people in his life already that love him to pieces. That is never a bad thing.

    I'm so happy the conversation went well with the birth father.

    I am so excited for you guys to meet your son. :-D

  9. Beautiful post... thank you for sharing it with us.

  10. Your faith continues to amaze me
    God Bless you!

  11. My whole body got the chills. I look forward to one day having our own adoption story that hopefully includes lots of family, ours and theirs, to love this little person!

  12. As I've walked this waiting road, I've been constantly bombarded by the fear of others. My parents are scared of openness, people I meet tell me how I should handle openness, and it's just frustrating.

    Why isn't our love showing them there is a way??? Because people are scared.

    I refuse to live in fear of my child being taken from me physically or emotionally. You know?

    The courage that you and Ben show is a testament to the love you have for your child. Open Adoption isn't easy. It is work, but it is worth it. And I believe with all of my heart that God calls people who can handle it to the cause of Open Adoption.

    And you, Ben, Rebekah, and the little guy's father, are called. It is obvious and it is beautiful.

    May God continue to bless you and your new family.


  13. Once again I am bawling. When I sit back and look at how everything has played out, I just bawl esp. since know. I also want to add that while our kids can't see their bio parents because of CPS rules, we do see and talk regularly to their birth great grandparents. There have been times that R and I think, "This is so strange" but they have become good friends with us, give us great big hugs, presents at Christmas and have alot of mutual respect for one another. It's all because of our love for Christ and our mutual love for the kids. It just reminds me that "I can do all things through Christ" even if it doesn't fit the norm. As I have said all along you have an amazing story and when you write the book, I will be the first one standing inline to get it. -K

  14. What wonderful news! Baby Boy is very, very blessed. I must say that I am jealous - I wish our adoption was much more open than it is. There is one parent at the school I teach at who always gets completely freaked out when I tell her about letters or phone calls with my daughter's birthmom. She just can't seem to wrap her head around the fact that birthparents are a TREASURE, not a threat! Aye, some people!

  15. Wow. Isn't it amazing to bond 2 (or 3 or 4) families? Your son will always be loved sooo much. I tell people that no one gushes over Decs as much as we and his birth parents do. It's amazing.


  17. This is the most fantastic post I have read in awhile...on any of the blogs I follow.

    You are an inspiration to me and I feel so much more secure in my ease and trust with God's will with our DIA as I follow you and read about your story.

    Thank you for sharing your heart...and I am praying for you and Ben as you get ready to welcome Baby into your lives!


  18. I'm so glad that your conversation went so well. What a great post.

  19. Bravo, Rebekah! Just so you know, your love for all people just drips from your words... all the time!!

    You will encounter people being afraid of open adoption a lot. It is different and most people are afraid of that. I am too, sometimes. It might be a little awkward and uncomfortable for awhile, but in reality, most relationships are to a certain extent. The goal is to get beyond that.

    Our adoption is not as open as yours, but your story is truly inspiring to all of us. It can work. It does work (although obviously not in all situations)!!

  20. Rebekah, your faith will continue to see you through. God is good, and it will all fall into place. I'll continue to keep all concerned in my prayers!

  21. Thank you for putting me in check "spiritually". This post was beautiful, you are one classy couple and I'm so happy God led becky to you!

  22. That happens to be our wedding verse!! I LOVE it, and LOVE how it applies to the adoption process...

    You two are such a neat put things into perspective for so many people out there struggling through their time of "waiting" I try not to be overwhelmed with the possibilities of what could happen, in regards to openness...and just pray that I have to strength, and trust in
    God to go with the flow! Thanks again!!

  23. You, your husband, and this story...Amazing.

  24. wow and wow! Your story mirrors mine in so many ways I LOVE reading your blog and catching up. I remember after DJ was born, we told our family and friends that we were all going over H's mothers house for a big family dinner. Most people thought I was NUTS! But 6 days after DJ was born we went and met the WHOLE family and had a wonderful evening together. At no point did I ever feel that DJ was not 100% ours! They made sure of it. They made us feel comfortable, loved and welcome. I know you and Ben and baby boy will have the same experience...

    By the way...I LOVE that of my FAVES!

  25. Perfect ending to your never fails.

    I really don't even know what to say, except that I totally get what you are saying here, and it is beautifully stated as usual!

    ALL of adoption has been a tremendous act of faith for me, more than anything else. Faith in knowing that it will work out the way it should.

    I also know exactly what you mean about dealing with things way beyond your maturity level. I think most of parenting is like that, so maybe these experiences are precursors for you.

    I am so glad your heart is at peace, and I really am beginning to be unable to wait much longer to see you with that baby boy!!



  26. My eyes are brimming over w/ the truth of your words. We have three children, all through very open adoptions - mostly w/ their first mothers. We had the honor last year of finally meeting after almost 4yrs, our oldest daughter's birth father. Our willingness to be open to him was just as instantaneous as yours - and the ONLY explaination is our relationship with the Lord.
    People around us, even family members, couldn't understand our love for this man - but it truly is beyond any human capabilities. It is only obediance to our God and a true belief that this was the best, right thing and a surrender to the Holy Spirit that enabled us to invite him into our lives.
    We are still, even after 5yrs of doing this and 3 children, questioned by those around us. I truly believe adoption is a calling - especially open adoption, which I also truly believe is how God intended adoption to be if at all possible.
    Continue being led by Him. I always tell others what a tremendous honor, and blessing it is for us to be part of open adoption. It is miraculous - you are in for a great adventure!

  27. It is amazing the faith that you have, and wonderful you have let it sustain you through this process.

    I have a open adoption with our birthmother's and there families, it is something I have cherished. It is God putting us all together. People have asked me isn't that strange? No, it was how it was meant to be. We enjoy having them in our life, it just wouldn't be the same without them. I wish we could know the birthfather however, at this time it hasn't been a option, we don't know where he is. But I would love to meet him, he is the father of my girls. Knowing him would be knowing my girls better.

    Baby Boy will be so lucky to know he is loved in such a big way:)

  28. Your little boy is so, so, blessed. I would happily go to a family dinner with my son's birth father or birth mother. I would happily meet them in person, get photos, talk on the phone. All that wasn't in God's plan for our little boy, and we're at peace with it, but I'm glad that your little boy will have all that. You won't have to worry about all the what ifs. You can pick up the phone and call one of them if you have a question. I spent 6 months waiting in fear just for the termination, worrying about the birth parents. People talk about how open adoption is best for the kids and birth parents, but they don't seem to talk about how much better it is for the adoptive parents. Open adoption limits or eliminates that kind of crazy situation I was in and is so much healthier. Yeah, sometimes it is a sacrifice, but the alternative can be a sacrifice, too. When you don't know something, the imagination often makes it much worse than reality.

  29. That is such a beautiful post. I nominated you for an award, stop by when you can so you can see t.

  30. Dear Ben and Rebekah, heart goes out to you...i know this feeling of complete and utter love for a family you don't even know...

    What I do know and believe is that God have prepared us (and you) long before baby boy was to come into our lives. God sent my husband and myself to another country for 2 (two) very long years! to prepare us for our son's adoption.

    We had Kellen Christened 2 weekends ago and it was this huge thing within our families that we should not invite his paternal granddad who raised him for 18 months...I kept on getting this feeling that it will be the right thing to I invited him...and he came! and for the first time in 9 months, Kellen's reaction towards his granddad was more than joy and happiness (as when he saw him in the past 9 months). Kellen was overjoyed! His granddad stayed with us in our home, sleeping in Kellen's bed...and he sat next to us in church...he was sad...but last week he phoned us and told us that we will never be able to imagine, even in our wildest dreams, how much this weekend, and what we told him, has changed his life.

    We told him that he did not loose a grandson/family when he had Kellen adopted, but that he gained a family through us all....and Rebekah...he was also adopted and he had a terrible experience, struggling his whole life...on the Sunday he said 'that one little boy can bring so many people must be LOVE'...and he also said that we changed his view of what and how a family can be, he know now that he made the right decision to have Kellen adopted, that he is not feeling guilty any more...and then he said that he wished he had parents like Marcel and I....

    tears* sweet friend, for you are doing the right thing. I do believe that God already prepared you/us for our journeys...we can just keep on trusting HIm.

    I'm sooo excited for you!!! So very very excited!!!!

    It's sounds like a cliche....but holding a little boy in your /my arms, is the most amazing thing on earth! Together with a loving husband...Sweetie!! the best is yet to come!

    Big hug to you xx

  31. Kudos to you for opening your heart and having supreme compassion.

    We recently introduced my daughter's birthfather into our lives. If you're interested, you can read about our experience -- the good and the bad -- here:

    Reunion in Open Adoption Series
    * Part 1: Considering Joe
    * Part 2: Telling Tessa
    * Part 3: The horrible wait
    * Part 4: The meeting
    * Part 5: Crash
    * Part 6: What was the what

  32. What a beautiful post. I don't know if I trust God that much.

  33. Good call with the family dinner. It will lay the groundwork for the future relationship and set his mind at ease about who you are. It will also provide a source of dialogue so when Baby Boy inevitably asks "what are my parents like?" you can give them a call or go meet up somewhere or just tell him that they're wonderful people that love him very much.

    Openness means you don't have to hide. he can be proud of his story in growing up knowing that he was loved so much that really good people found even better people to raise him!

  34. Incredible! This journey of yours is more amazing every day. Just think how your family circle has expanded again. Baby boy will be SO loved!

  35. In total agreement! WOW!!!

    And Ben did say it best but that's what's so great about not being in control, but having God in control, because He is mature enough to handle anything and everything. *wink*

  36. I just found your blog today and have been reading your story. I am the adoptive parent of a three year old boy who was adopted through the safe haven law. The birthmother chose a closed adoption and we have no contact information for my son's biological family.

    I know that many adoptive parents fear contact with the bio family and I just wanted to applaud and affirm your openness. We deeply desired an open adoption but that was not what God had planned for us. You are right on when you imply that there is no such thing as too many people who who want to love your child.

    When we got THE CALL about our son, we had very little info and had to decide immediately if we wanted to adopt him. I'll never forget the first thing my husband said: "The only reason to say no is fear." Fear not Rebekah. The more open you are, the more God will bless your efforts (although it may not seem like it sometimes, I'm sure).

    One of my big fears about adopting a child we knew little about was that he would have medical problems, etc. Just seven months after he was born, I gave birth to a bio-daughter with a severe heart defect that has required 7 surgeries. Despite my fears, she has been nothing but a delight. Fear not the unknown Rebekah!

    I will pray for the safe arrival of your little boy. I wrote a story for my son's second birthday, it is about adoption (and trees!). Take a look if you'd like :)

    Jane (

  37. I just stumbled across your blog and it has been so wonderful reading just a few of the posts I had time for today. This is one thing I wish we may one day have for our beautiful daughter. Right now we do not know her father, and we may never. We have an open adoption with her birthmom and she is truly a blessing in our lives. I completely understand the peace you have described here, I had the same peace during our short match with S's birthmom. God knew all along she was meant to be ours and I just had to be patient for her arrival! I wish you the best during the rest of your wait and I hope that your open adoption continues to flourish!

  38. I'm just catching up on your story! Your words hit so close to home. Not many of our friends understand the relationship we have with our son's birthfamily. But I too believe..who am I to deny such love in our son's life!

  39. I LOVE this post. We met our daughter's birth father yesterday and I wrote about it here...

    So glad I'm not alone in my thoughts and feelings.