Thursday, February 23, 2017

Happy Adoption Day!

Tomorrow we finalize our adoption with Judah.

Tomorrow.  The day I thought would never come.  

In some ways it feels like the end of the book we started November 2015 when we finally said out loud to each other and our family, "we want to adopt".

In other ways it feels like the next chapter, a very important chapter, of our life.

Whatever it is, this has been a week of reflection for me.  I've reread several of the older blogs, mostly written before Judah joined our family last June.  It brings back waves of emotions.
Happy.  Sad.  Terrified.  Confused.  Angry.  Hopeful.  Jaded.  Ecstatic.  Fearful.  Worry.  Joy.

I also reflect on where I was then to where I am now.  This probably comes across over-dramatic, but I am a different person now than I was then.  I see how God molded me using experiences and lessons and hurt and hope.  The worries I had then seem silly in some ways.  But sometimes time has a way of doing that.

THEN: A Changing Family

Will we have enough money?
What will the timing look like?
Can I love this child like my biological children?
How will our other two kids respond? How will our family respond?
Will we say yes to the right situation? Will we miss it?
Will I be strong enough emotionally to finish this journey?

I see now how God provided what we needed when we needed it in one form or another financially.
The timing turned out crazy fast, but it is our story...I love it...and I wouldn't have it any other way.
The love for Judah is beyond what I can explain here.  Like each of my children, I wondered how I would be capable of more love, but then God brings a new level of love and you wonder why you ever doubted.
Judah's siblings adore him.  Like LOVE him.  They even share with him, which is a big deal.  I just wish it didn't include germs.
Our family.  It has been an emotion I didn't expect.  The joy to watch our family love Judah. Adore Judah.  He is so special.
Of course we didn't miss saying yes to this sweet child!
And strong enough, no.  With God...absolutely.

So all of that is where I "was",
but how in the world am I going to put into words where God took me?

NOW: A Changed Perspective

Things I didn't expect to happen that did.

I did not plan for God to open my eyes to more than a need to find a baby a home.
I mean that's all adoption is, right?

I wanted to ignore the hard of adoption.  Or maybe not ignore, I think I just didn't know.
I didn't understand the brokenness.  I wanted the sappy made up movie in my mind.  I wanted to make it light and fluffy and rainbows and happy endings.  Cute pictures of babies and smiling families.

But God opened up a new side.  A deeper understanding of this world.  And now that I understand more, I can never go back.

I recently read a quote by Jody Landers that stopped me in my tracks, because it bridges these two concepts, of both the BEAUTY and TRAGEDY of adoption.

"A child born to another woman calls me mommy.  The magnitude of that tragedy and depth of that privilege are not lost on me."

Would you do me a favor and read that quote one more time?

Gone are the concerns about if my finances would be enough, learning that for some birth mothers they are considering placing their child for adoption due to finances...all while I'm wondering what "sacrifices" I'll have to make to help pay for an adoption.

Gone are my concerns for timing of traveling to meet our child and how long I'd take off work and where our other two children would stay, when situations I read concerned timing of sentencing, homelessness, job loss and more that others were having to consider.

Gone are my thoughts of wondering if I can love an adopted child like my biological children, when a birth mother or birth family are considering if adoption is the best choice for their own flesh and blood.

Gone are my concerns on how it would affect my biological children replaced by thoughts of who is concerned for all those sweet children separated from siblings because of not enough homes willing to take an older child or sibling set.  Or how many children in both foster care and orphans without families are without a family tonight, because another family is too concerned of the "what ifs" for their biological children.

Gone are my concerns for how my family will respond, when I see others hurting, birth parents hurting... because they did not experience the love I had from my family growing up.  Instead they may have experienced abandonment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, poverty, homelessness, institutions, and more.  Yet I was so quick to judge before I knew.  Before I understood.  Who's to say I would be any different?  Any better? And who made me the judge of better anyways?  God forgive me.

Gone are my concerns for the "right situation"?  Can I just admit that if I knew everything at the beginning of our adoption, even the story of our sweet, precious baby boy and how he joined our family, that I might have run away?  I am so thankful God chose to keep things from me and share them as the time became right for my heart.  It was the right situation.  It was the perfect time.  And not because it was easy.  Not because it was flawless.  Not because it went as planned.  But because this is a beautiful, difficult, story of God taking the hurt in this world and using people, broken people like me I might add, and turning tragedy into beauty. 

And gone is the concern for MY ability to stay strong.  
2 Corinthians 12:9 "He said to me "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

And so like all good lessons, we have to decide what we will do with new information.

NEXT: Changed Lives

Like a good Sunday sermon, do I leave with some half-hearted "that was a good sermon, but I don't really want to apply it to my life...hey...where are we eating for lunch?"

Or do I take my daughter Charlotte's approach.
"Mom, I think that went well.  We need to adopt another child.  I want a sister.  Maybe we should have ten kids in our family.  Maybe we should buy a store instead of house so we can have more room for all the kids that need a family.  I will share my room.  I will share my toys."

Since bringing Judah home, I've had to spend a lot of time really asking what's next.  How do I let this be more than a good book and let it penetrate my life forever.

For me, I have to acknowledge these deep issues.
I have to accept the brokenness.
I have to remind myself I'm not asked to "fix it".
But that I can't ignore it either.

I have to recognize that along with a cute newborn baby, are birth parents that are often hurting.  Birth parents who may not have had the same privileges and love I've experienced.  And I have to love them too.  We may not be best friends.  We most likely won't make the same life decisions.  But, I have to examine my own heart.  And ask myself if I truly love like Jesus.  Or just when it benefits me.  And really, what kind of love is that anyway.

I have to acknowledge that there are many who would not place their child for adoption if they had the availability to provide for the child themselves.  Will I care enough to do anything about it?  For me, it looks as simple as selling Noonday jewelry which helps provide fair trade jobs.  It looks like supporting a ministry in Kenya where they are taking the hard road, the long road, the impacting road, of teaching four ladies a trade of sewing over the next year and supporting these women and their children until they are able to do so on their own.

I want to partner with families called to foster.  To love them.  To care enough to ask and ask again on how to help.  I want to see our amazing church family take even more steps in coming alongside those in the foster and adoption process.  I want to meet needs on the care portal to keep families together.  To give the mattress so that kids aren't sleeping on the floor.  And help buy uniforms so kids go to school feeling worthy.  To share with people that God sees their worth and I see their worth.  To not just say "go in peace, be warmed and filled" without really giving to any tangible need. 

My religion is not about works.  But what is my faith with no action?

Matthew 25:35-40
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’"

This blog is getting too long and I'm getting tired.
And this ending isn't supposed to be about anything I'm doing or not doing.

It's about how God used something that started with such a simple idea, and revealed a new light on Jesus and His Word.  There is something different in head knowledge and watching that something become heart knowledge.

I pray the molding will not stop here.

I pray in another year to read this blog and see how God continues to challenge my way of life.

I pray in another year, I look more like Jesus and less like my old self.

I pray that though God doesn't NEED me, that He would chose to USE me.
Messed up, called out, prideful, judgemental, stressed out, show just how
perfect, all knowing, humble, forgiving, patient and STRONG He is.

Thank you for sticking with us.  Thank you for reading this long blog.
Thank you for your friendship and support.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For we live by faith

I haven't written a blog in over a month now.

Partly because raising a newborn takes a lot of time on less than normal sleep.
(Although Judah is actually a great sleeper so maybe I've just been lazy.)

And partly because I have absolutely NO idea where to start or how to fully wrap my head around this beautiful story that God has written in our lives.

But at some point I must try.  So as I sit here now, I'm praying that I can do a small justice to our adoption process, the lessons we've learned, how our faith was stretched and to honor God's goodness and faithfulness in our lives.

A lot has happened since our last update. Judah has settled into his new home, his room has come together, and the other two kids are ALL about him. We had our first doctor's visit...and he is healthy and measures with a big head, just like the rest of our crew! I have seen his first smile and listened to his first baby coo's and we have had the pieces all fall into place with the legal and financial side of this journey.

We are still a bit of paperwork and a court date away from Judah being recognized fully as our son, although we know he is in our hearts already. We would appreciate the prayers while we wait, and look forward to celebrating with everyone who has journeyed with us when the process finally closes and we simply get to love and parent this beautiful child.

As I get closer to that moment, it has made me reflect on all that has happened. All God has done. All I have learned. All I have struggled with.

I think the phrase that best sums up the journey is actually a question.

Faith or fear?

Can we follow this desire that God has placed on our hearts or will it be too hard?
Faith or fear?

But I just had childcare figured out and how will a newborn change that?
Faith or fear?

I don't know if we can afford this.
Faith or fear?

What if the process takes forever?  Do I have the endurance for this?
Faith or fear?

What if we never get a "yes"?
Faith or fear?

Can we afford another child's expenses?
Faith or fear?

How will our family and friends respond?
Faith or fear?

Can I love another baby like my biological baby?
Faith or fear?

Can I love a birth mother well despite her life choices?
Faith or fear?

What about genetics vs upbringing?
Faith or fear?

What if the baby grows up and wishes it wasn't us.
Faith or fear?

As a wife, mommy, daughter, friend and co-worker, my tendencies in life tend to sway towards fear.  You can ask my husband or close friends about my "worst case scenario" mindset.  It might actually be entertaining to hear.  It's not my favorite attribute of myself.  But it is something God has taught me about so much these past 9 months.

I have the choice to look at each day and decide if I will live in fear or walk in faith.  I have had to evaluate my view of how big my God is instead of trying to figure out how big I think I am.

I still have fears.  Some adoption related.  Some just life related.  And I can't say that I have it figured out or that I have arrived.

But I can say this.

That if I wouldn't have put my fears aside for the above questions (and many more), then I wouldn't have received precious Judah.  He is beautiful and oh so sweet.  And when I look at him, I know he was always supposed to be with us.  He was meant to be baby Brumley #3.

And to walk in fear alone...
To say no to continuing because of that fear...

means I would have missed that.

“For we live by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It Can All Change in 24 Hours

Oh how life can change in just twenty-four hours!

It was a typical Monday morning.

Early morning wake-up time.
Back home with family.
Ready for work.
Out the door.
Morning patients.
Quick lunch and coffee run.

I'm in line at Starbucks when Cody calls me.

"Do you have a minute?"

"Uh yeah sure, why?"

"Because I just got a call from a local attorney about a baby boy...."

Silent on the other end....

"And he's already here.  He's three weeks old.  They want to send us more information because the birth family has seen our profile book and want us to adopt this baby."

More silence on my end.

"So...what do you want me to tell her? Babe.  Are you there?"

"Uh yeah, I'm here.  Just give me a minute.  I'll call you back in a few."

When you start the adoption process, you know that there's really no way of knowing how God is going to write your story.  But for some silly reason I still had thoughts on the way it would most likely go.  Including knowing all the birth parent and baby info possible on the front in, being matched, waiting months for delivery...time to prepare my house and my heart.

As I drove back to work I literally started laughing.  This wasn't at all like I'd planned, but I had enough confidence to say YES to the next step.

I called Cody back to say "okay, I'm in...what's next?"

"Can we be at the attorney's office at 3:30?"

"3:30 today?"

It's 1:30...I have more patients to see.  I say yes and frantically rush to get through all I can and get out the door.

A couple of hours later, we meet with the sweet birth mother of a young boy and another dear lady who has helped care for him his first three weeks of life.

I don't remember all of the conversation from there.  I know there were questions about why we wanted to adopt, parenting techniques, our love for God.

Then the lady said something I'll never forget....

We picked you because of your faith and we loved that Cody is a pastor!

(Remember the blog a few weeks ago about how we had considered changing our book and then had a clear calling not to?  The thing we had wondered might be pushing people away from us was how open we were about our faith and that Cody was a pastor!  Thank you God for the little confirmations!)

As we wrapped up our time together, the birth mother asked me if I'd like to hold this little boy. Of course I said yes!

We left to another room with the little boy for the attorney to talk to precious birth family.

She came in to confirm that we were chosen to raise this little boy.  We cried.  We prayed over him.  Then the hard part...

"Birth mother would like one more night with this little guy.  But if you're willing...can you come back tomorrow at noon to take him home?"

We graciously said yes!  We called our family to fill them in on this sudden turn of events, and we stopped at Target to buy the essentials because we were NOT prepared for this!

Diapers, wipes, blankets, burp clothes, formula, bottles, pajamas...and we're good!

(While we were there, we messaged the attorney to see what kind of formula the little guy liked.  However, we didn't get a response so we just grabbed one of the FIFTY options and headed home.  She messaged back an hour later with a picture of the formula that had worked great so far.  Guess which one it was?  Thank you God!")

Did we sleep last night?  Some.  Mainly tossed and turned and prayed.  I told God over and over that I felt a peace about this and that if it was His plan that all doors would be wide open.  If not, that the birth mother would change her mind.  We woke up a little less crazy than when we went to bed, but overall at peace with the day. 


This was all earlier today.  It seems like a week of time has passed and it all happened in 24 hours!

We went back today at 11:30.

We left at 2:00.


We are happy to introduce you to our son JUDAH CHASE ADAM BRUMLEY.
(His name has a story in itself that we may share one day.)

We can't wait to share our joy with each of you.  At some point we will share more.  There are parts of his story that will stay with just us, so please know that there are some details that we just won't share.

But can I just say Praise God for His Answered Prayer in His Timing?!!!

Psalm 139:13-16
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfly and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

God has ordained sweet Judah's days.  He knew this was our son long before we did.  He establishes our steps and lines things up in His timing. 

And we are forever grateful. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Empty Room

There's a room in my house that I don't go in to.  A room where the door stays closed hoping that I won't be reminded as often that we are still waiting to fill it.  To try to ignore the fact that it's empty.

When we finalized our home study, we emptied out the guest room, sold the guest bed, moved the crib into it, and cleaned out the closet.  We wanted to be ready.  We had heard the stories of some who had a fast placement.  We heard the stories of being "matched" with the first situation.  I wanted this to be our story.  I wanted to be ready.  I mean after all, this was the desire of our heart and something we know makes God happy, so why shouldn't it be a quick process? 

For six months now, I've ignored that the room is even part of our house.  Because I want to ignore the fact that a part of me feels empty too.  Because it stinks to let my heart even go there.

With each "no" I hope that the process will get easier...that I'll get less attached...that it won't hurt as much.  But of course, the opposite has happened.  And my attitude has resulted in negativity in my life, and sadly in my view of God.

I know all the right phrases. 

"That wasn't our baby." 
"God's not done yet."
"God has different plans." 
"God is faithful."
"Your baby is coming."

But it doesn't heal my angered heart.  Am I allowed to say that?  That I'm angry with God?

Sometimes I hurt and sometimes I'm flat out mad.
Why does it have to take time if there are babies needing a home and we have a home with an empty room and a desire to have a baby join our family?
Why did I feel like we should present to that situation if the answer was going to be a no?
What's wrong with us that some families get picked right away and we are six months in and don't feel a single step closer?

A week ago I was preparing a Sunday School lesson for our 11th and 12th grade girls at church.  I was reading in Romans and a verse jumped out to me that I needed to be reminded of, but didn't want to be reminded of.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope.
Am I joyful?  Nope. 

Be patient in affliction.
Am I patient?  More like the opposite.

Be faithful in prayer.
Am I praying?  Only with frustrated words and an angry heart.

This....this is my answer?  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer?
That doesn't sound like what I want to do at all.  I want to pray with good intention.  And I want God to answer.  I want things to happen in my timing.
I want things to happen my way.
My will, not God's.

On Tuesday, the morning after our last no, I woke up in a bad mood.  I was talking to God on my drive to work and sharing all of my angry thoughts and the song "Thy Will" came on the radio.

I heard it with fresh ears and I didn't like what I heard because it was so close to what I was feeling and it hurt.  I didn't want to cry because I'm too angry to cry.  I say out loud that I'm okay all the time.  I tell myself and others that we are doing fine with this wait.  I want it to be true and I feel like my tears betray that desire to be okay.  I'm going to type out the lyrics below because it does a better job than I can at explaining where I'm at right now.  When the song got to the bridge with the words, "I know you see me.  I know you hear me, Lord.  Your plans are for me.  Goodness you have in store" I had to acknowledge again that God is good, that He is present and that He cares.  That He's not the distant God I've made him in my mind over the past few months.  He's not an uncaring, distant figure, hanging out somewhere in a rocking chair watching my life unfold without any input or care.

But He is present.
He sees me.
He hears me.
He has a plan for me.
And He has goodness in store.

And that I've been saying with my lips that it's about God's will, but my heart is still desiring my own will.
And just so you know, it stinks to write my feelings out like this.  To read them.  To admit to them.  But this is where I've been and I promised I'd share the process.  I hope that maybe in some way there may be someone else in a similar spot in their journey.  Where you are waiting on the Lord and it just stinks right now.  That maybe you needed to be reminded of this too.

If so, please listen to my new favorite song.

Thy Will by Hillary Scott and The Scott Family

I'm so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don't wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I've got is hurt and these four words
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you're good
But this don't feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It's hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you're God
And I am not
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store
So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Because God is Awesome

No new news in terms of situations.  No families we are currently presenting to.

But that doesn't mean that we aren't seeing God answer prayers and reminding us that He is in this.

A couple of weeks ago, Cody and I had been talking about changing up our profile book.  This is the book that the expectant mother and family looks at when deciding which family they would like to place their baby with for adoption.  After we got a few "no's", it made us question what is wrong with us?

Should we put in more action pictures?  Do we look like a fun family?  Are we coming across as loving?

What could we change to make us more appealing to the birth families?

We had discussed this with each other, but hadn't shared it with others.

I had also been praying that God would send me an encouragement of some sort to remind me that He is with us.  Because let's face it, I was just feeling a little down.

On May 4th, we were pulling out of the church parking lot and I noticed a new Facebook message on my phone from a friend who knew nothing of our thoughts on changing our profile book.

Hey Breanna - I'm sharing a video with you from a mom who attends our MOPS group.  Her story is so hard and so beautiful all at the same time and I hope it will give you hope as you continue through your adoption journey.

I talked to her yesterday and was telling her about you.  Se asked if you had presented your book yet and I told her several times.  She said "I know she (you) may be feeling like you've done something wrong, that maybe there is something in your book that needs to be changed."   But she wanted me to tell you "not to change a thing, because the thing you think you should change might be the one thing that connects with the mother that God has been preparing for your family."  I don't know if you've struggled with those thoughts at all, but if so I hope her testimony will give hope.

I'm praying for your journey.

Seriously, how awesome is that?!

I am writing this blog partly to journal our story and partly as a hope that it is an encouragement to others that God answers prayers.  He is not a distant grandpa hanging out in a rocking chair watching our lives pass by like we watch a movie.  He is ever present and ever faithful to finish the plan He has started for us.  I read this verse this morning and thought the timing was perfect to wrap up this blog post.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Testing of Faith

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord."
James 1:2-7

I have a love/hate relationship with the book of James.  It is such a challenge to me personally each time I read its pages. When we began the adoption journey, the biggest "trial" we could see in front of us was MONEY. I want to share how God has been using this overwhelming hurdle to grow our faith and show His goodness. Let's start at the beginning, which wasn't pretty...

"God, I'd be willing to adopt, but you know we can't.  You know our bank account and we don't have that kind of money.  It would take us years to save up even close to that amount.  So I think this tug at my heart has been a mistake that you didn't mean to send, because surely you can't be asking me to do this.  I know that we've had thoughts of adoption for a while now, but that was probably just based off emotions.  Because based off logic, it just doesn't make sense.  Thanks but no thanks."

I'm so grateful God is patient with me.  That He doesn't give up on me the first, second, or numerous other time that I just don't "get it".  That as I went back to God's word to read James 1:27 where it talks about looking after orphans as a pure and faultless religion, I had to read through the beginning of the chapter again and read about trials and the testing of faith.

How I had wished we could skip the in between and go straight from trial to God's outcome.

But, as we have moved through the in between in our adoption journey, I've changed my mind on that statement.

Because to skip the wait, would skip seeing God's provision along the way.

When Cody and I finally said our yes out loud to each other in November 2015, we had a savings account that was minimal and a credit card with a balance on it!  I hate credit cards and kept asking myself how we had let ourselves let the credit card get ahead of us.  We knew we didn't want to start behind so we began to work hard at saving to pay it off.  We felt strongly that we had to give our all and our best and that God would do the rest.  Thank you God for the extra discipline and extra money.

That was great and all, but then we were looking at a $600 home study cost and $2,000 consultant cost before we could really even get started.  At this point, we began to look around our home and sell some things for extra money.  We also used Christmas money and bonuses and soon we were getting closer and closer.  We took out an interest-free (for a year) credit card and had planned to put the rest of the consultant cost on it, when we had a generous gift card given and suddenly my eyes were opened to the fact that God was multiplying our efforts.  I knew then that it would take a sacrifice on our part, but that God would come through.

So less than six weeks after our yes, we were out of debt (thankfully it was a small amount), had paid for a home study, and had paid our consultant fee.  And can I just say that we NEVER just happen to have a few thousand dollars around.  We don't even have a few hundred dollars.  Our paychecks are predetermined and we have a budget.  Yet somehow we had extra money we hadn't expected.  And we were ready to get started.  My faith was growing slowly.

We received the information packet from our consultant with more details than I knew what to do with.  I skimmed the info for the financial page.  I had thought domestic adoption cost around $25,000.  I don't remember now where I came up with the number.  I think I read it somewhere.  But then I read in our packet the range was anywhere from $25,000-$45,000!

I wonder if God smiled at me as I wanted to take another step back and run and hide.  In my planning of how "we" were going to do this, I had thought that the $25,000 would be a huge stretch and maybe impossible, and now a BIGGER number?

But we pressed forward.  We decided it was time to share with our friends.  It was humbling to say the least because I knew at some point, I might have to consider "fundraising".

Does that word give anyone else an uneasy feeling or just me?  Coming from the girl who hated selling girl scout cookies! (But at the same time I buy from anyone who comes to my door to sell anything because I feel for them and the fact that they are making an effort to raise funds.  Don't take advantage of my inability to say no.)  ;)

This is so not in my comfort zone God.

We continued to pray.  We prayed on how we could raise funds.  We prayed about if we should ask for help.  We prayed we could save with our own money.  We prayed for a good tax return.  We prayed through the ideas on "How to Adopt Without Debt".  We prayed for the wisdom it talked about in James 1:5-6.

And slowly, God changed my fear to faith because I was finally willing to follow him even if I only knew one step at a time. We were willing to borrow, raise or sell whatever it took to bring home our baby.

What better opportunity to walk by faith, than to take the step God is asking you to take without knowing the next step after that?  Do I have any other type A people in the group?  Yet, this faith that I long for is available for me and God is asking me to just trust Him.

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

So this is the part of the blog where I know I'm going to do an injustice to all God has done for us.  This is the part where I wish I could sit across from you with a cup of coffee and tell you how He came through beyond our biggest hopes.  But instead I will attempt to give it words here and probably re-write this section 10 times over.  Each thing listed has a full story of its own.  But if I wrote it all down you probably wouldn't have time to read it all in one setting, so here we go.

We designed a shirt with a verse we were passionate about with a hope of selling 75.  We had 125 t-shirts ordered.  Several paid even more than we were asking.  We've been told stories about opportunities for our friends to share their faith and answer questions when wearing the t-shirt.  It makes us happy to see our friends and family in t-shirts that mean so much to us.

We had a garage sale where we had a goal of making $500.  We made $1,300! Charlotte made a sign that we put up showing we were doing this to save money for our adoption.  It was another opportunity to share with neighbors and strangers the desire God has placed on our heart to adopt.  My favorite story of the day was a complete stranger paying over $100 more for her items and just said "you guys are doing a good thing".  I was in complete shock and didn't even get her name.  As she drove away, her little girl waved to us out the window with the biggest smile.  I wish I could tell them how much it meant to us.

We had considered a Noonday fundraiser but because we had just sold t-shirts, I had told my friend, Tracy who is a Noonday Ambassador that I didn't think the timing was right.  A week or two later, another friend, Julie, called and said that "out of the blue" she had a call from a Noonday Ambassador asking if she'd like to host a party and that the proceeds could go toward an adoption and Julie thought of us!  With Julie offering to host, I didn't want to say no, but felt bad that I would be using a different Noonday Ambassador other than Tracy only to realize that Tracy was Julie's friend too.  It's neat to see God's plan unfold.  We had work friends and church friends come and not only support our adoption, but also artisan entrepreneurs in some of the world's most vulnerable communities.

My sister offered to have a Thirty One party for us in Stilwell.  We had several ladies attend and again Cody and I shared about adoption and our journey.  Above the cost raised from the party sales, we had over $200 given in cash offered with prayers and hugs.

We shared the story of a quilt made for us HERE. What we didn't share was that the highest bidder paid MORE than their highest bid AND another family who did not win the auction still gave the highest amount they had bid just to support our efforts.  Talk about tears!

Our Chick-fil-A fundraiser was a huge success.  Besides the financial outcome, we felt so loved and supported from all who gave up their Thursday night to join us.  I know that many had to drive across town.  I know it's not always the easiest thing to do as a parent with young kids on a school night.  I know many came for a second dinner.  It meant so much.  A young gentleman stopped at our table to ask about who we were and why we were there.  He said, "there's something different about you guys, like a light that shines."  We were happy to say that the "light" in us is not of us but because of Jesus.  When we received the total of the fundraiser, the lady also told us that someone had offered to match what we made, doubling our funds!  We do not know who it was, but another blessing above and beyond our hopes for the fundraiser. 

I could go on and on about stories.... the older gentleman who passed us a donation check for the second time, the church member's generous donation with their employer who would match that, the young mother who sent a card and some money because God had led her to give, old friends, new friends and complete strangers who see the value in the life of an unborn child and have supported us with hugs, encouragement, money and prayers.

You know what else I love? 

That during the wait...
During the trial...
During the perseverance...

We are growing to be more like Christ and more dependent on Christ.


I know from the stories of others that one day sweet baby Brumley #3 may go through their own trials in life with questions of their adoption and quite possibly questions of self worth...

And I will pull up this blog along with other records of the countless stories of God's provision and say...

You are worth it.

God saw your worth from the very beginning and so did we.

All of us.

And I will share these stories.

So thank you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I Need Thee Every Hour

It's a good day to write a blog.

It has been a while since we've given an update other than a sentence or two here and there.  The third mom we presented to was due any day when we agreed to present.  Before she was able to make a decision on an adoptive family, she had her baby girl.  She wanted some time to make a decision and wanted the birth father's input.  He was out of town.  So we were in a state of this could be our baby....and knew we would hear any day....we may go pick up our baby girl tomorrow...this could be it...

It's weird wondering if you should buy diapers yet, try to keep up with the laundry in case you need to pack fast, and make childcare plans all while not knowing if the birth family would choose us.  There was a week wait before the father made it home and then three more days in a row of "you will hear today", followed by a "never mind, you will hear tomorrow".  It was a very, VERY long Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

In the meantime, we received another situation on a baby due in July.  It was one we were willing to present to, so we sent our info and asked them to have it on hold in case we received a "no" from the first situation.

After three days of nothing, we got two no's in one day.

And that came at the end of a very hard week for other reasons that were not adoption related.  This blog isn't the place to share that and this isn't a blog to make you feel sorry for us.

Far from it.

The point is, we were in prayer constantly.

Going to God saying, we need you.

We need you to get through these hard situations.  We need you to remind us we are called to adopt.  We need you to take our burdens and our heavy hearts.  We need you to fill us up so we can minister to others.  We need you to remind us that you know all of our days, not just today.  We need you to remind us that your timing is perfect.  We need the reminder that our obedience is enough.  We need you to help us just get up and face this day, and the next.

We need you.

Have you had one of those weeks when you couldn't turn on the TV or unwind from your normal work day, because your heart was so burdened for yourself and others that you just needed God? An ache that comes from a hurting world?

I love the hymn I Need Thee Every Hour.  I always have.  And lately, I've been singing it every day, multiple times a day.  Why?  Because it's true.

And after the smoke cleared and we came up for a deep breath, instead of feeling exhausted and angry, I felt joy...

BECAUSE I knew we were smack dab in the middle of doing what we were called to do and TOTALLY dependent on the One who will make it happen.

I know how to try to do life on my own.  I know how to live an "easy" life independent of God all while singing "I Need Thee Every Hour" just because I like the sound of it.

But to live a life where I mean it?  Now that's an exciting place to be.

Deuteronomy 13:4
Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone.  
Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

From here we continue to wait on another situation.  The process takes time no matter how badly I want to speed things up.  Some weeks we don't see any situations at all.  And then if we do present, it can take weeks to hear our answer.  On a good month, that typically gives us a chance to see one situation, present and wait for an answer.  We know we will likely go through some more no's too.  But what a glorious day it will be when we get our YES!

Until then...I will continue to say, pray and sing this song.  And instead of sharing my own alone-in-my-car or in-the-shower version, you should listen to Selah's.  It's my favorite and a lot more enjoyable for your ears!