Adoption, God, My Story

One Hundred Kids

One Hundred  Kids

Do you know what seems pretty impossible? Having 100 kids biologically. The most recorded number that any one mother has ever had is 69! Even though it’s over halfway there, it’s still not 100. When I was little I remember thinking, ‘I want to have 100 kids when I grow up!’ But even then, I knew that wasn’t physically possible. So I told myself, ‘I guess I’ll just have to have an orphanage.’

Family of Feodor Vassilyev whose 1st wife had 69 children


I’m not sure why so many of my childhood thoughts revolved around orphanages. Maybe it’s because my brother was adopted out of one. Maybe it’s because my grandmother had lived in one. Maybe it was just all the popular movies of the 80s and 90s that focused on children in orphanages – think Annie, Anne of Green Gables, and other such stories. But, orphanages were in my play and in my perceived future.

The orphanage my grandmother lived in

God speaking…

I didn’t dwell long on the idea of having an orphanage with 100 kids in it. I went about my life of growing up, going to college, getting married, and so on. Yes, from time to time I remembered that ‘silly childhood thought,’ but I didn’t give it any weight. Until…

When I was a newly married woman, I started attending a Charismatic church. The talk about the experience of the Holy Spirit was different from my Evangelical upbringing. Eventually, I started learning about prophecy and how God can speak to us in so many ways. Very vividly, this childhood statement came back to mind. Was it a prophetic message from God? Was He trying to tell me something through this? What could it mean?


So, I began asking God if this thought was from Him or if it was just a childish notion? If it was from God, was it for now or sometime in my future? Was it literal or figurative? I mean, how could it be literal from God when I’m pretty sure that the last US orphanage closed by 1979 and I don’t feel a call to overseas missions? If it’s figurative, what part of my life does it intersect with; children, students, friends, mentees, etc?


Whatever this is, it hasn’t been as clear cut as the time God spoke to a man who was praying over Putty and said that he saw an albatross bird flying over an ocean (and other things). Umm… Yes, Putty was about to go out on a mission trip to China that would change his life! It hasn’t been as obvious as the word I received in February 2009 and just read again recently that said, ‘Playing Piano: take time to worship on your own’. What is God calling me into right now – ten years later? Playing piano and worshiping on my own! It’s amazing how His words come to pass literally (playing piano and worship) and figuratively (an albatross flying over the ocean).

What I do know…

Even now, what I do know about the orphanage thoughts is that it lines right up with my desire to have children. It lines up with my heart for orphans and children in need. It lines up with God’s call for us to bring a child into our lives through adoption, whether a true orphan or an ‘emotional/spiritual’ orphan. God has been speaking. He’s been speaking since my childhood! He’s been gently guiding my future and now is the time to get my feet on the ground and start running with it! I’m so excited to bring the next child into our family.

Listening, Waiting, Responding…

We can all hear from God. We should hold onto the things we think God has spoken over us. We need to be ready to move if He shows us something in alignment with those words. It might take a long time, but  what is important is the process of listening, waiting, and responding. God can and does speak to us, even as a child.

God, My Story

Swaddled in Love

Liquid Love

A few years ago, I began to hear that some people have experienced God’s love like a liquid that was either poured over them or filled them from head to toe. What a wonderful expression of the Father’s love for us. How amazing that we can feel something so tangible from an ‘unseen’ God!

Waiting for it…

Receiving Prayer

The way people explained this liquid love made it seem so good! I received prayer to know the Father’s love more deeply and tangibly. I had hopeful expectation that I’d get that ‘liquid love’ sense, but I didn’t. I knew God loved me. That was never up for debate. I was happy about my history with the Father, but deep down, I did want to experience that tangible love. I kept waiting… for years.

Inviting Him in…

Then, one night as I was trying to drift off to sleep, I suddenly started to feel fearful. Oftentimes my mind plays out the story of whatever bad thing that fear depicts and then I either try to ignore it or pray about it. But this night was different. As soon as I recognized that this was fear, I stopped those spiraling thoughts in their tracks! I said, ‘Holy Spirit, Jesus, Father, I invite you and I ask you to come now.’ I knew that only He could keep the fear from going any further.

Swaddled in Love…

Sure enough, I suddenly felt His ‘arms’ all around me. Since there were three that I invited in (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) I actually felt surrounded on all sides. But it wasn’t like actual arms hugging me because it was more all-encompassing, like I was being held, not just hugged. I felt a slight pressure around my body and then I realized that I was also feeling heat. This warmth moved from the outside-in. Then, it hit me! This is God’s love dispelling my fear!

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear… 1 John 4:18a

What I was experiencing was comforting and loving, but it was not what I would describe as ‘liquid’ love. So how would I describe it? A cocoon came to mind, but that’s not really very appealing to me. It seems a bit…binding.

Then I saw it. It was like being swaddled. Babies love to be swaddled because they can sense the bounds of where they are and they are warm and… they know they are safe – and that’s how I describe what I felt that night. I was swaddled in God’s love by the Heavenly Father himself.

A loving father holding his swaddled child

There are so many times when we hear other people’s stories and experiences and we hope for the same exact experience for ourselves. But we serve a unique and creative God. He shows us His love in ways that make sense to our individual personalities! So, we can learn to trust God to give us our own, unique experiences with Him! It’s okay if they’re different from others’ or even from our own expectations. As we continue to lean into the Father, we will see how He is showing us His love in an individual and unique way.

My Story, Voice

Embracing the Musician Within

Not a Music Nerd

Let me be honest. Sometimes the things I am most passionate about, I play off as having only a passing fancy. I cover up my excitement so that I don’t come across as immature or uncool. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed as the person with only this one interest or seem obsessed and with nothing else to talk about. No, I want to be well-rounded. I even went to a liberal arts college that gives a person an educational experience across multiple disciplines. But what happens to those things I’m truly passionate about when I push them aside?

Go Royals! Bethel, my Alma Mater.

Losing Myself…

Reflecting on my childhood, I realize that somewhere along the way, I took on so many interests that my highest ‘joy-giver-interests’ started to get watered down. I started to question, ‘Who am I really?’ and ‘What’s actually important to me?’ I thought, ‘I feel like X is important to me, but so-and-so really has a good argument for Y being important. So, maybe I should rethink that and move towards Y.’ This happened over and over again and each time I chose to put my passion in a box for the sake of another’s passion, mine got buried deeper and deeper. No, it wasn’t completely gone, but it wasn’t at the forefront either.

Finding Myself…

Slowly, I began to see that some things just weren’t for me. They weren’t life giving and it didn’t feel like God was leading me in those directions. So, I stopped doing them. As more ‘potential interests’ got thrown out, my passions started to float to the surface once more! There was a wind on them that sent them pushing ahead and showing up in so many places. It was exciting and I felt more alive again!

Embracing the Musician Within…

Me and my music scarf!

This past year one of my greatest passions was reignited – Music! Yes, I have been doing music non-stop in a professional manner since I graduated college, but still I found myself ignoring the importance of it in my life. Very few people in my social circles seemed to have a true interest in music and when I came across those that did, we ended up talking about other things. But somehow, this year is different. Suddenly, I don’t seem to care if I am nerdy about music. I want to publicly show my love of it! My home decor changed (music lamp, music mugs, etc) and even some of my fashion accents (see scarf in photo). I sought out other musicians to talk to and felt joy and excitement rise again inside of me!

Me and a piano that Handel (composer of ‘The Hallelujah Chorus’) frequently played!

I’m not afraid to say, ‘I am a musician!’ I love music. It helps me express things that I can’t put into words. It helps me process underlying emotions. I am a singer! When I sing out, I feel like I’m soaring along with my voice to a new land that’s full of adventure and the unknown! I am a music professional! I can ‘talk-shop’ with other musicians and know that I have something to say because of my years of practice, teaching, and observing. So, bring it on! Let me sing! Let my voice be heard! This is who I am… (at least in part)… and it’s such an important part.

If we find ourselves feeling dull in life, then let’s look at what we’re giving time and energy to. How many of these things are life-giving to us? Do we purposely carve out time to interact with our passions? Are we constantly trying new things at the expense of what brings us joy? Are we letting go of things that ‘clutter’ our space for our higher passions? It’s so important to remember that when we move those things out, we’ll have more room to explore the passions that God has put inside each one of us. They’ll be life-giving, hope-filling, and joy-bringing!

Adoption, My Story

Pre-Steps to Adoption

Pre-Steps to Adoption

When I dreamed about adopting, my idea of the process was formed from my Mom and Dad’s experience – go into a foreign orphanage, choose the baby that God highlights to you, get all paperwork and approval done in 3 days, and be on your way with your new baby. As I looked into the current adoption process, I realized how miraculous their adoption really was!

The process is much more than 3 days, but even before that part begins, there’s so much to decide ahead of time! My hope is that through sharing some of what we’re learning through our adoption process, others will know more of what to expect for their own journey. But of course, each adoption story is as unique and individual as the children that are adopted!

So Many Decisions…

In researching, I read a lot of blogs and books that outlined the process AFTER an application had been filled out, but didn’t see many about the part prior to it. My experience is that there’s a lot of work and deciding that has to be done before you even submit the initial application to adopt. Obviously, the first step is to decide to welcome an adopted child into your home and then decide on the ‘right’ timing. Once Putty and I felt like it was the right time for us, we contacted a private agency a friend recommended to us, so we could ask questions about the process.

But before we could even schedule a meeting we were told that we had to decide if we would be going the domestic or international route. This was not what I wanted to hear because I wanted to talk with a knowledgeable individual about the differences between the two. Unfortunately, different employees handle the different types of adoption and that’s why I needed to know which route I wanted to explore. I guess I could’ve scheduled two separate meetings, but I didn’t think about that at the time.


Honestly, I felt like I got stopped in my excited tracks. I was having such a hard time deciding what I truly felt God was showing me as our adoption journey. Most of this is probably because I have a hard time making decisions. There’s a fear that I’ll choose wrong and something won’t go well. But, through this journey I’ve learned a lot about what choosing actually looks like. So, for a year I took time to research different types of adoption, have discussions with my husband, reflect, discuss with friends, reflect some more, and then decide. It was a long process, but one that ended up giving me a lot more clarity.

Adoption Inquiry Meeting…

After a year of weighing domestic vs. international, we decided to look into domestic adoption. The next step was to schedule our adoption inquiry meeting with the agency and learn as much as we could about the process before filling out the application. This meeting ended up being really helpful and we got some clarity on private vs. fostering adoption, costs, getting matched with a child, and the steps through it all. We knew that we had another long process ahead of us, but we were up for the journey because this was about our future child!

Fast Forward…

Everything above this paragraph was written prior to my post Adoption Update: April 28, 2019. Since that post, we have had so many more interactions with people about their experiences with adoption and we are yet again rethinking and praying about some of our initial decisions. This truly is a process and not one to be taken lightly or to rush ahead in. Please pray for us that God will make things more clear for us and that He will guide us in the adoption steps that are His best for our family, current and future.

In all this, I’m learning that important decisions don’t necessarily have a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ path. There are usually many good paths and some bad ones. Obviously, we want to choose from the good ones. God teaches us to be patient in the waiting, always listening for when He’ll show us which next step to take. Also, we can be sure that no matter what good choice we make, God will bring about His goodness in the journey.