Adoption, Bible, God, My Story

Michal & The Joy of the Lord

Quiet Time…

There are times when I read my Bible and nothing notable stands out to me. Yet, I diligently read the Bible over and over again because I know it’s good for me. How do I know? Well, besides, ‘the Bible tells me so,’ it’s because of the times when things in the Bible do stand out to me! I wanted to share some thoughts that came to me while I was reading 2 Samuel 6. 


I always thought Michal, David’s wife, had a real problem for getting so upset with him for dancing and praising the Lord half-dressed in the streets. I mean, wasn’t he praising God after all? God wasn’t striking him dead and it seemed to be portrayed as a ‘good’ thing to do in the text. And even if she was upset with David, he was her king! Kings demand honor and respect whether or not we agree with them. So, why would she put herself in a precarious position by judging the king? This time reading through the story, I saw something a bit different than usual. I saw Michal as a person and considered her history…

Her Story…

…She’s in love with a man who has a rocky relationship with her father. But, he’s in love with her too and he asks for her hand. The father, thinking he can get rid of this suitor sends him on a crazy task in hopes that he’ll die trying or just give up. But he’s surprised. David has indeed done what Saul asks of him and Michal becomes David’s wife. 

Michal and David probably don’t have the easiest of marriages. After all, over and over again, Michal’s dad, Saul, who’s also David’s boss, tries to harm him. Finally, it becomes apparent that Saul does indeed mean to kill David when he has the chance. David seemingly has no choice. Preservation of life demands that he run away, not to mention the godly promise of being the future king! 

Gustave Doré (1865)

In an act of heroism, Michal says, ‘If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.’ She lowers David out the window and when the guards come to the house to search for David, Michal tells them he’s sick in bed, hoping this would buy them some time. It doesn’t work. The guards go to the bed and pull back the covers only to see that a dummy has been made to look like David and placed in bed. David was already out the window and making his get away to Samuel the prophet.

As David stays away from home in order to save his life, Michal is left on her own. Saul eventually decides to give her in marriage to another man. Over the years this man seems to come to love Michal deeply as is shown later in the story. When David’s kingship is being established, he requires that his first wife, Michal be returned to him. As she is being transported to David, her husband follows behind, weeping. The first question that comes to mind is, who would Michal rather be with at this stage in her life? Her first love or the man who she’s currently with? Poor Michal must feel like a pawn being fought over between two kingdoms – Saul’s line and David’s line.

The Hurt and Pain Shows…

We get a glimpse of how she might be feeling when David returns from retrieving the Ark of the Covenant. He’s praising God and dancing in celebration of the Ark being brought to his city that he unashamedly ‘leaps and dances before the Lord.’ The Bible tells us that when Michal saw this from her window, she despised him. That word carries such weight. I imagine that all the resentment, hurt, and pain of her life comes out against David as she sees him full of joy. How long has she held onto the pain of his earlier abandonment, even though she encouraged it? How long has she held onto the hurt of being taken, some might say kidnapped, from her second husband that she had made a life with during the years David was gone? It seems like the hurt, resentment and possible unforgiveness clouded her vision to see the joy of the moment – God’s presence entering the city. The only way she could respond was with disrespect and judgement towards her husband. Still, even with all this backstory, there had to have been a way for redemption.

“David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem” by Darlene Slavujac, 1993

My Own Hurt…

This led me to look at my own life more closely. How often do I have resentment towards other people and miss what God’s doing in and around me? How many times have I judged someone or something (an organization maybe) because of the pain and hurt caused to me. In what ways is that unforgiveness and bitterness robbing me of the ‘Joy of the Lord’?

Let’s bring it to a very real place in my life. During my elementary aged years I had to be interviewed by a DHS (Department of Human Services) worker to determine if a certain person had ever abused me. You see, I was in frequent contact with a man who had an allegation made against him of abusing a child from nearly a decade earlier – this child now being a teenager. I was interviewed by the DHS social worker assigned to the case in a one-on-one meeting – this being necessary so that no other person could potentially influence my responses and answers. The worker who interviewed me made me feel very uncomfortable and unsafe. He asked me questions that I didn’t want to answer or think about. I had not been abused and so it was hard for me to come to terms with and have an understanding of what he was suggesting. In that interview, I felt like my innocence was being stripped from me. I felt dirty just thinking about the things he was insinuating.

That interaction and process put a bad taste in my mouth for Social Services. I held onto a dislike for ‘the system’ for YEARS! I was afraid of the people and didn’t trust the system. I had bad memories and images in my mind from the questions I was asked. I couldn’t get over the feeling of being sullied and I was angry that I had to ‘grow up’ sooner than I should have.

But finally, in my adulthood, God came to me in a new way. He gently prompted me to receive some deep inner healing prayer. Through those hours spent praying, I was finally able to release my judgement of DHS and other social services. I was able to forgive the institution that made me see parts of life I never wanted to know about. In relinquishing my right to judge, God peeled back the layers of hurt and moved me towards freedom. Freedom to trust, freedom to see the good in systems and freedom to regain my childlike innocence.

The Joy of the Lord…

And now, I’m working with social workers and allowing them to privately interview my own kids in order to be approved for adoption. I can tell you, it was really hard to feel comfortable allowing each of my kids to be interviewed privately by our caseworker, but I also have come to trust. Through establishing a relationship with our caseworker, I could see that she is not like the social worker that interviewed me so many years ago. I’ve also learned from others who have been through this before, that the adoption questions are super general and don’t go towards subjects that I had to discuss so many years ago – unless there was a good reason to. After my kids came out from interviewing, each of them was so happy and excited that they got to have a special part in making our adoption approval come to fruition. I’m so thankful that I have presently and will see in the future the ‘Joy of the Lord’ while working with this institution towards adoption!

Trust, Honor, Respect…

Reading Michal’s story and trying to imagine what life might have been like for her really helped me to get a different idea of why she responded like she did. It also helped me to apply it to my own life circumstances. I have had enough negative experiences to be able to feel justified in holding a grudge against people and even against my king, Jesus/God. But if I did that, then where would I be? I’ve chosen to release my judgement of situations because I don’t know all the details. I can’t know all the possible outcomes or all the spiritual forces happening behind the scenes. BUT, I do know that I can trust God to bring about good in my life through the pain and trials. I can choose to see the ‘Joy of the Lord’ in my past, present and future. And even when I don’t understand, I still choose to honor and respect my King, Jesus. I know one thing, when given the opportunity, I will dance with great abandon in the presence of the Holy Spirit/God. 

I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness (joy) of the Lord in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13
Adoption, God, My Story, Praise and Worship

Espresso & Mocha

First, I blogged…

I began blogging because I had so many things inside that I wanted to share with people, but it just didn’t seem like there was often a lot of time to ‘shoot the breeze.’ The blog has been a great place for me to share my stories, reflect on how God’s been a part of each of them, and dream about my future. It’s helped, healed, and grown me in ways I didn’t know would happen when I started. It wasn’t my idea to start blogging, it was God’s. So, a few weeks back I decided to blog about a joy that was given to me during a painful transition in my childhood – a Siamese Kitten. That kitten was so special to me and I was very sad when I had to give him up after only a year or so because we were moving to a new home and couldn’t have the cat. 

Fast forward to not long ago. It was the end of the work week after what had been a very busy week and preceding weekend. I getting some rest time in before the kids came home from school and another busy weekend began. At this point Putty, my husband, had been on a work trip for nearly 1.5 weeks and I was being intentional to get some down time in whenever possible. I decided to read that afternoon, but as I was reading I felt very strongly like I needed to get up and make a video recording of a praise and worship song that had been on my heart that week. After I finished, I sat back down to upload the video and continue reading and that’s when I received a text notification.

Then, I Received…

I received a text from my mom. She had been volunteering at the Humane Society/Animal Shelter when she happened to come across some new kittens that were just put out for adoption… Siamese kittens! She stopped in her tracks and couldn’t believe her eyes! She talked with God about how I had just blogged about my first Siamese kitten and then less than 2 weeks later, here were adoptable ones just the same! She heard God tell her that these kittens were a gift to me, her daughter. As soon as she could, she sent me a text about these kittens.

I played it cool and tried not to get too excited about them. I had a number of reasons why it wasn’t the time for us to adopt kittens, the biggest of which was that my husband was across the globe in Australia! How could we make this decision and why on earth would he agree to adopting them without meeting them? 

Mocha & Espresso

Then, Mom sent me the links for the pictures of these kittens. My heart fell for them immediately. Not to mention, their names were already meant for us: Espresso & Mocha! We love coffee. That was that. I texted my sister to get another opinion and while I was texting I started to cry over the possibility that these kittens could be mine! I didn’t understand it, but it sure felt like a confirmation that God was leading me to keep exploring the idea of adopting these kittens. So, I texted Putty and his response floored me. He told me that he couldn’t really discern one way or the other if we should get these cats, but that he felt positive that God was telling him to go with my lead on this. So, the decision was up to me.

I quickly asked my friend to come babysit, then asked Mom to meet me at the Humane Society, and I was on my way to see these little ones. I knew that I needed to take the next step of seeing them in person. On my way, I asked God about these kittens and He told me that they were a gift for me if I wanted them and that He has already provided for us to have these two join our family. I cried tears of joy. He also reminded me how I had just posted a video of me singing Reckless Love by Cory Asbury only a few hours earlier. This song always reminds me of adoption and here I was going forward with a potential adoption! I was racing after these kittens just as God chases after us.

I met those sweet kittens and I already felt like they were mine. I didn’t need a lot of time before heading to the front desk and letting them know I wanted to apply for adopting them. In the time it took me to fill out my paperwork, two other interested people changed their minds and adopted other pets. I couldn’t believe it! I was going to be first in line to adopt them! What are the chances? Well, pretty good when God is presenting you with a gift and you walk the steps out to receive it or in this case, them.

Now, I Steward…

The next day I went shopping for new cat items even before hearing that I was approved to adopt them. Then I got the call that I had been approved and could come pick them up in a few hours! Immediately after the kids came home from school I got us all in our minivan and we were on our way. The kids didn’t know what was about to happen. They thought we were just going to take a trip to the Humane Society and see some animals that Grandma wanted to show them. They were so excited when after seeing them for the first time I announced that we were going to bring them home. Right away their hearts moved towards the kittens, holding nothing back.

It’s been so fun to see the kids and the kittens interact. They have so much fun together. It’s been great to see how much my husband loves having kittens around again and it reminds me of how much he loves even the littlest creatures and how gentle he is with them. And every time I see them or tell the story of how we got them, I’m reminded that God loves me and still wants to give gifts to me, even 25 years later!

Adoption, God, My Story

Adoption Update: October 2019

Home Study Two-Thirds Complete…

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about how things are coming along with our adoption. Well, they are going very well! We’ve had two out of three home visits with our amazing case worker and our last one is scheduled for early November! You know, when I first heard about home studies, I thought they were going to be this mountain to climb and hopefully succeed, but so far, it hasn’t been too terribly difficult. A lot of that has to do with our AMAZING case worker and also my organized nature. I already had a lot of the things readily available that were required to submit for our home study and if I didn’t, I knew where to quickly get them.

So, what has been involved in our home study this far? First we had to make copies of all our legal documents; birth certificates, marriage certificates, drivers licenses, health insurance cards, veterinarian statements and tax returns. Then we asked our places of employment to fill out some forms verifying our employment, asked for reference letters from pastors and non-family friends, got a counselor reference (because I see a counselor), and showed a plan for who would take our kids in the unlikely event of our deaths. These last things we had to rely on other people for and I’m so thankful for all the people who helped with these details!

So much paperwork!

Finally, we had to get fingerprinted and background checks for both State and FBI, get tuberculosis tests to ensure we didn’t have that disease and schedule physical exams for all members of our household. We also had to fill out a ‘financial diagnostics’ form and a fire safety evacuation plan. We went through a number of child recall lists to ensure that nothing in our house was on those lists and we filled out a special needs approval list stating what special needs we’d feel comfortable taking on in an adopted child. Phew! I know, it seems like a lot, but we just kept ticking the boxes off and making our way through the list. We still have more time consuming things to complete, but they’ll get done and then we’ll be even closer to being approved to adopt!

Finding a Match…

Many people are curious to know where we will ‘find our baby.’ In the private adoption world this is called ‘being matched with a birth mom.’ There are a number of ways to be matched; agency assisted adoption, attorney assisted adoption, or independent adoption. This is simplified from the many sub-types under each of these. 

Agency assisted adoptions are like using a middle man to do the matching. We can submit our family profile to them and they can show it to birth mothers whose criteria matches ours. If a birth mother selects us, then we’d meet in person and eventually a birth mother would choose us to potentially adopt her baby. I say potentially because there’s always the possibility that the birth family will choose to keep the baby after birth. 

In Attorney assisted adoption things can be similar to the agency adoptions in the sense that the attorney has a pool of families that they can suggest to birth mothers. However, an agency offers extra things that an attorney doesn’t always do. This doesn’t mean that attorney assisted adoptions are better or worse, just that they’re different. It really depends on your unique needs as a family. 

Finally, an adoptive family can do an independent adoption. I’m using this term to mean that the adoptive parents somehow found a birth family on their own. This is all about the matching phase remember. Most adoptions will still have an attorney in them at some point and some families choose to have the agency assist in other ways with the adoption outside of the matching process. So, the most commonly thought of story here is that a friend of a friend knows someone who’s having a baby and hoping to make an adoption plan. They introduce us to the birth mother and after meeting we all decide if this would be a good match. Then you take things from there to an agency/attorney. 

Honestly, we do not know clearly which way God is moving us yet. We know that we need to get the home study done because all these options will require an approved home study. But how we’ll find our birth mother match still feels like we’re on hold with the exact details. We’re staying open to God’s leading on this one and just taking it all one step at a time. The details that we are clear on is that God has a baby (or baby + another child 2 years and under) for us somewhere and that this baby will be non-white. We have an idea of what race and gender we think we’re expecting, but again, we’re just praying and waiting on God to bring us together with the birth mom that He has for us. 


Fundraising – a necessary step in many adoptions. Adoption can be expensive. There are so many little things to buy here and there; so many tests and appointments to make. There are fees to pay for services, training, and other such things. The little bits really add up over time, but the biggest expense will be the Placement (Matching) Fee if we go with an agency or attorney. Obviously these people put in time and effort to help birth moms and adoptive families meet and decide on their next steps. This is their literal day to day job and their work is important. In order for them to continue making these joyful connections in other people’s lives, they need to be paid! So, this is where the price really jumps up as opposed to meeting a birth mother on your own. It’s estimated that we’ll need at least $20,000 baseline for adoption through an agency or attorney.

With this in mind, we’re beginning the fundraising process. We have pretty good reason to believe that we’ll be approved to adopt and so it’s a good idea to begin gathering the money we’ll need in order to pay for the expenses associated with adopting a child. We’d like to be ready for a lengthy wait or for an unexpected and quick placement. This is why we’re beginning to ask for financial help even before having a completed home study. 

And so, would you consider helping us adopt our next child? We would be so blessed to receive from anyone that feels led to sow into this very special part of our lives. We have a set up an adoption fund through The Vineyard Church of Central Illinois. You can give in two ways. The first way is to write a check to The Vineyard Church in the amount you wish to donate. If you’d like it to be tax deductible, do NOT write our names on the check (or cash in an envelope). Instead, include a note with the check indicating where you’d like this money to go. You can hand the check directly to Putty or me, OR you can send it to the church at: 1500 N. Lincoln Ave, Urbana, IL 61801.

The other way to give is online. There will be a fee involved if giving this way, so part of your donation will go towards the credit card fees. The link to donate by card is:

Wrapping it Up…

Thank you so much to everyone that’s already been asking us how things are going with our adoption. It’s fun to finally talk about something that’s been on my heart for years! I’ve loved hearing your own stories of adoption and I look forward to continuing to connect with you through the blog or in person. Thank you all so much and please continue to pray with us that God will help us find the right match. Thank you!