Friday, May 25, 2012

Yes & No

Our caseworker called this week.

Two of LJ's sisters will be available for adoption in a few days.

Before we brought LJ home reality set in, we were clear on our intentions with LJ's sisters. He has three. One is older and two are younger. Two of them have been fostered together for the last several months and the state will be placing them together. We were firm on honoring birth order (and we are happy that we stuck by that decision), so declined the opportunity to adopt two of LJ's sisters. Right before LJ came home, we discovered that a third sister had just been born. We told our caseworker that if the youngest sister was not grouped with the other two and became available for adoption down the road, we would be interested.

It was easy to agree to adopt more children from foster care before one ever stepped foot in our house.

Within a week of bringing LJ home we were so overwhelmed by the chaos, we questioned whether or not we'd ever be able to do this again. Fast forward two months and although we still have some obstacles to overcome, we are really enjoying our new family and a cloak of peace has settled.

When our case worker called with the news of termination for two of LJ's sisters, her follow up comment was, "Be ready with your answer on number three."  I expected termination for the youngest (of many) to be at least a year out. And it still could be. But in order to have an answer "ready" when the call comes, we have to discuss our answer, now.

Enter discord.

My answer is a passionate, teary, YES. Ben's answer is a solid, sure, NO.

It only took minutes for our discussion to get heated, so we parted and agreed to think things through, separately. My initial reaction was anger. I mean - we aren't really in a position to turn down an opportunity to have another baby! Up to this point, I knew the possibility of ever rocking a newborn again was pretty unlikely. Sure, our life is crazy, right now, and it isn't the BEST time to introduce another family member into the mix...but this isn't just a baby's LJ's sister! I balled my fists in frustration, but, quietly, prayed that God would settle my heart and give me direction on what to do/say.

After a day or so, the Holy Spirit came upon me and reminded me of my love for my husband and the blessing his steady reasoning is in my life. I am an easy love and sometimes my passions cloud my sense for reality. I constantly have to evaluate whether my heart is running away with my dreams or if God, truly, is stirring me to action. Ben is really good for me in this regard.

I started chewing on his points of reason - What in the world would I do about work? I LOVE my job and have a beautiful setup, right now. Would I really be able to leave three babies at home in someone else's care, all day? Would our someones even be willing to watch three kids (probably not)? Can five of us share our two bedroom condo? Can our boys handle another game changer, right now, so soon? Can we handle three kids under three?

Ben's answer is not no to adoption or no to future kids. His answer is no to adopting another kid, right now.

I want to be mad about it...but I can't.

I, of course, want my way. I WANT to bring home this precious baby girl that is more beautiful with every picture I see...but, I have to care about Ben's feelings and reservations.

His voice is as important as mine (although it takes a good dose of humbling to admit that).

I am so thankful for godly wisdom. My head wants to pray for God to change Ben's heart, but the Spirit leads me by saying, "Lord, your will be done."

I have to trust Him. I've seen too much to do otherwise.

If the call comes, today, I would, respectfully, tell our caseworker "no". But the call may not come today, or next week or next month. This system moves, painfully, slow. There is a possibility (especially the longer it takes) that when the call DOES come, our answer will be "yes".

The peace I feel is infectious.

Sadly, there will never be a shortage of children to adopt...and even more heartbreaking, this will most likely not be the last sibling of LJ's to adopt, either.

It's a good reminder to myself. I am only thirty years old.

I have seven more decades to live out my hopes and dreams. They don't all have to actualize, right now.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Business Opportunity Giveaway

Thirty-One Business Opportunity Giveaway!

Hello Heart Cries Readers!

My name is Laura, and I am a long-time friend of Rebekah’s.  Many of you long-time readers may remember a giveaway I did months ago for a Thirty-One Picnic Thermal Tote.  I’ve been a Consultant with Thirty-One for over two years, and while, quite frankly, I started selling simply because I wanted as many of the products as possible, my time as a Consultant has exceeded my expectations in EVERY way.  My husband and I took a 7 day Caribbean cruise I earned as a reward trip a few months back and my commission checks have gone from a few helpful hundred dollars per month to full time income that continues to grow.  I feel blessed and humbled by my business and also
frequently feel the need to pinch myself:  is this really happening?  Isn’t this just something you read about in the promotional material for direct sales companies??  And to think that Thirty-One is a faith-based company and always upholds the highest standards with regards to customers and consultants to boot?  It can’t get much better.

Nice story, right?  So what does it have to do with Heart Cries and Rebekah allowing me to post on her beloved blog?  I’m glad you asked.  I wanted to do another giveaway, but this time, instead of giving away a thermal tote or purse, I’ve decided to give back something much greater: an opportunity for a Thirty-One business of your own.  It’s no secret many families have been affected by the economy, and I’d like to give a reader the opportunity to start up as a Consultant on my Team for FREE.  It gets even better:  ANY new Consultant who joins Thirty-One on or before May 31st has the opportunity to earn back the $99 start up cost if she “qualifies” (sells $1000…very easily accomplished through 2-3 parties) in her first 30 days.  From the very first dollar you sell, you will make back 25% commission.  Through this giveaway, one reader will win a Visa Gift Card for $115 ($99 kit fee plus extra for tax and shipping).  She will then not only have a kit full of awesome products, but also have the opportunity to earn the $99 rebate!  Free start up ($115 Gift Card) + $250 in commission if $1000 sold + $99 rebate from Thirty-One = $350 in your pocket, a kit full of fun products, and a business opportunity that will continue to grow.  Sound good?  I thought so :).

Here are the details:  leave a comment below and make sure to leave an e-mail address if I cannot click through to find your contact info on your own blog, etc.  Rebekah will randomly choose a winner on Wednesday, May 23rd.  I will contact all who entered after the contest has ended to let each individual know if she was the winner and to invite her to join my Team and still earn the $99 rebate if she did not win.
  I will not contact anyone after the initial e-mail, unless invited to do so.

Please feel free to e-mail me directly at  You may also visit my Thiryt-One website at

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Funny moments in the life of the new Pinchback family.

Ty says something super cute (I wish I could remember what!)

Ben: Ty, you are awesome. You are my favorite boy of all the boys out there.

Me: Um...Honey. [With an eye roll over to LJ]

Ben: ["Oh, yah..." under this breath]. LJ you are my favorite boy of all the boys out there, too. I have two favorite boys.

I laughed.

Everything about our life has changed. And I love it...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May His Hand Bless Your Future...

Today was less about mom's day (for me) and more about dedicating LJ to the Lord, this morning at church. I was quite emotional during service, today. I remembered all the Mother's Day services I quietly sobbed through or avoided. I thought through all the years of pain and ache and empty arms. How different life is, today, only three short years later.

A mother and her three year old daughter did a special dance to the below song and it ripped my heart open. At a minimum, fast forward to the last minute of the song. I've typed out Rachel Aldous' lyrics below. It was incredibly moving. I held my boys close as tears streamed down my face.

It isn't important that we missed out on 2 years and 7 months of LJ's life, nor that we are just dedicating him, today. It only matters that we're here, now.

This is my prayer for my boys...I hope it's yours, too.

May God grant you peace
in the midst of a storm.
May God give you strength even
when you’re forlorn.
May you answer the door when
Jesus comes knocking. 

May wisdom guide when
your mouth is talking.
May discretion protect you
and keep you pure.
May you never stumble
or fall for a lure.
May your heart remain humble
to the very end.
May uprightness and truth
be what you defend. 

May the world not ensnare
or change who you are.
May the light that's within you
shine like the stars.
May angels surround you
body, spirit, mind.
May favor and peace be yours to find.
May rejection and pain
never reach you.
May your spirit grow bold
for what you’re called to. 

May you grow up to serve Him
all of your days 

May He lead you and guide you
in all of your ways
May His Hand bless your future with
friendships that last.
May you cherish your youth
and not grow up too fast. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2 Boys / 3 Moms

Rebekah and I haven't talked in awhile (my attention has been very focused), but a week doesn't go by that I don't think about her. She has always been a natural part of our family's conversation, but even more so in recent days as Ty watches his aunt grow a baby in her belly. He makes many parallels between his story and his cousin's. Too many parallels. He's been asking me "how" he came out of Miss Rebekah's belly and if he was really dirty when he came out....I have no idea where he learned the dirty part, but so far he's satisfied with me telling him that he "popped right out of her belly, crying for warmth and huggies."

Balancing two wildly different adoption stories has been interesting. I wouldn't say that I make things up per se...but, I do retell LJ's story in a way that honors his birth mom and what I hope to be the truth about her. I really struggle with my thoughts when it comes to LJ's mom. For her privacy and LJ's protection, I am not going to share the little I do know...but I would like to talk about the parts I don't.

I don't know what LJ's mother felt when she carried him in her womb. I don't know whether or not she cared for him or herself in the way I would if he grew in me. I don't know if she cried with joy at his birth or turned him away, quickly. I don't know whether or not she had one hour or one week with him before he was taken. I don't know whether her heart broke or if she sat in icy silence. I don't know if she misses, wonders, cries, or prays for the little boy she hasn't seen in over a year.

Being a mom to a son that I don't feel mother of gives me good perspective. I believe that LJ's mother loves him very much. For whatever reason she hasn't been able to overcome her life circumstances - which, truth be told, is probably because she's never been given the tools or know-how to do so. She chose to give her baby life and she refrained from substances while doing it. That's love in my book.

I think she snuggled him close in the hospital and wet his hair with her tears. I think her insides ripped when she handed her baby to her case worker...and I think she thinks about him often. She is his mother.

In the last few days, God has been stirring my heart for her. A woman that I know very little about. A woman that has had everything I would deem precious taken from her. A woman that doesn't know my name or that I exist. A woman that is mother to my son.

I am going to contact her when God gives me the release.

Guidance from the Holy Spirit is mandatory, here, as my family's safety is more important than warm fuzzies. Even if done anonymously, I want this woman to know that her son is safe and healthy and loved to pieces. I want her to know that he will be taught to honor her and that our family will continuously lift her up to our Father.

These women - these mothers of my sons - were brought into my life by God alone. I've said this many times, here, before. Although, I do not buy into the theory that God created these babies for me or impregnated their mothers for my benefit, I do believe that he brought us together for the good of these boys.

God has entrusted Ben and I with these sweet, sweet souls and we take our job seriously. For me, part of the job is loving every part of my sons - including their first families. Rebekah is EASY to love. I mean, you all love her, right? And you don't even know her! An unkind word has never sprouted from my mouth when it comes to Ty's mother....she is a treasure in my life.

Loving LJ's mother is not as easy...but God is giving me the heart for her.

This mother's day, I will be praising God for the goodness he's filled my life with and remembering the women that have sacrificed.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Spy Something Black

We are really starting to settle in and feel like a family. One of the topics I've yet to talk about is that of race. I was amused every time it was brought up over the past couple of months. Of ALL the difficult challenges we've faced, race was never one of them.

During the first week of transition time, Ty would ask questions like, "Mom, what color are LJ's toes?" or "Mom, what color are LJ's ears?" After bringing LJ home, Ty asked Ben, "Dad, are you white like me?" We didn't avoid the topic of race, but we haven't spent a lot of time talking about it either.

We talk openly about each of our characteristics and how God made us special. We also spend time talking about our similarities. There are lots of them.

The boys get fanfare everywhere we go. My general impression is that people don't care that we're a trans-racial family, but are curious about how we came together. When you put two adorably, polite and social boys together, friend-making comes easy. Because they are always matching or coordinated in their clothes, people rarely ask if they're both ours (this happened a lot during our transition period). It's obvious that they are.

Laron's skin requires special products, but so does Ty's hair. None of it is a big deal. Our differences make us unique; our God and family structure make us the same.

It isn't until moments like, today, at breakfast, that we think much about our different skin colors. We were playing "I Spy", all four of us taking turns, as we waited for our pancakes to arrive, when Ty said:  "I spy something black....and it's him (pointing to LJ)!" Ben and I looked at each other and couldn't help but laugh. I, quickly, stepped in and said, "Well, I spy something white and freckled...and it's you!" Both boys giggled and we moved on.

We've done our part in trying to live culturally aware and enhanced lives. We both work in diverse settings, we attend a diverse church, and (strategically) play on diverse playgrounds and take the boys to an office of diverse pediatricians, etc, etc.

At the end of the day, we are just two parents raising two boys. We are flexible and mold-able and completely reliant on God's grace to do the job.