The Graves Family

On November 14th, 2008 I received deeply unwanted titles – Infertile. Barren. In an instant life changed with barely a moment to catch my breath. A young, dreaming woman – barely 27 years old. “I’m not old enough” I thought, “this cannot be happening”. I quietly sobbed, rushed in to my second ectopic surgery in exactly 6 months. Not time enough to kiss my 1 year old son or husband. Not old enough to say goodbye to my second child killed at the hand of another ectopic pregnancy rupture. “No, I’m not old enough to say I can’t conceive a child” I pleaded. There are so many details I remember in both deaths of my unborn wee ones. I keenly remember the ache in my heart to be in control – the strong grasping for facts, busily watching clinical numbers, reading research, clinging to professionals opinions and even basking in others perception of our journey. No one knew what to say to us. It was awkward. Church wasn’t the same. Family wasn’t the same. All of life seemed to change that day. {infertility, loss of life, barren}

February 2009 we received a life changing call. We never thought beginning the adoption process could so quickly culminate in the addition of a forever family member. Not even three months had passed since my womb was silenced and we were already answering a miracle call. We were chosen by beautiful, brave young parents to parent their little girl. New things began happening all around us. I keenly remember the ache for surety that she would really be ours – listening intently to everything the young mom said, reading in to every detail of the young dad, watching my email incessantly, paranoid I’d miss calls, hanging on every word of the adoption professionals, grasping to understand the land of lawyers and being confused at the reactions of worry of many around us. No one knew what to say to us – how to prepare us for what could happen. It was awkward. Nonetheless, On March 21st, 2009 our beautiful smiling daughter was born to the most courageous and beautiful people I have ever met in my life. Her parents really did choose us to parent their daughter. Sacrifice has lead to a much larger, unique looking family. What an amazing gift! {adoption}

August 2012 we accepted a phone call offer that would create waves of faith in our home. After navigating a failed adoption in the beginning of 2012 we felt the Lord was leading us into foster care. Skeptical and timid we entered. The accepted phone call was linked to a dark, curly haired fireball of a toddler. Over these months of having her within our clutch we’ve fallen in love with her, something you’re warned not to do. Parenting topics I never thought i’d be involved in, rescuing her from things I never thought anyone would try to eat, introducing her taste buds to things I formerly thought every kid loved … and yet love has grown rampant in all of us. As I interact with my foster daughter, watching her bound around our home and play with the kids, I grasp for life to be as I desire – for her to be ours forever. I wrestle, love equals risk? Oh Lord, what bumpy, foul-smelling, beautiful, risky journey are we on here? {failed adoption, foster care}

Something within my heart this Christmas season has felt oh so familiar to me. For a while now the thoughts running through my head seem an eerie repeat of days of old, not about to put my finger on it. Then, while wiping down a crumb littered counter, it hits me, a gentle chastise that brings truth. I am so easily tossed around. I trust in facts, numbers, emails, interactions, professionals, dreams, talents and relationships. All the while my Maker is saying to me: “Leah, all of those will change. They will rise and they will fall. They will fail you, I promise you.<-

The chide comforts me, it does. Everything around me spins, especially during the Christmas season. I don’t know about you, but my aches and hopes feel larger during the holidays. Probably why there’s such comfort in the chiding, like a soothing balm on my wounded soul. Yes, Lord, let the Truth rise in my heart, please.

Malachi 3:6 “I am the Lord and I do not change.”

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie. He is not a man, that he should change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Darling sisters, I know the Lord finds us swimming around in our wounds, hopes, fears and dreams. He knows you. He created you. He has a plan for you and your family. I’m sure of it. Press in to The One who’s numbers don’t change, who’s words will always be the same for you, who isn’t eluded by status or money, who is the Author of each of our families stories. Period.