Monday, July 15, 2013

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

I have struggled with whether or not to share this part of our journey so publicly.  However, I want to correctly portray the journey to adoption, and I want to give God the glory for how He is teaching us new things as we walk this road.

A few weeks ago Clay and I went on a choir tour with the youth choir from our church.  On the second day of the trip, we received a phone call letting us know that a baby boy had been born that morning and we were asked to pray about whether or not we wanted to adopt this baby.  We had only a few hours to pray through this, but it was clear as we prayed and talked and cried [and prayed and cried and talked] that we were to proceed in adopting this baby.  

We couldn't believe it.  THE phone call had happened.  It was exactly like how I had expected it to feel, but it was nothing like I could have ever imagined.  This was the only trip of our crazy student ministry summer that I was going on.  I had jokingly said to Clay just a few days before we left, "What would we do if we get 'the call' while we're gone on choir tour?" 

The call came while we were stopped for lunch at a mall somewhere on the road to Florida.  We had to switch vehicles around so that Clay and I could at least be in the same vehicle so that we could talk through our decision and wait for our agency to call us back to tell us what we needed to do next. (Keep in mind we were traveling with 145 other people so we were having to be discreet in all of this - yeah, my mascara running, tear streaked face was completely not a big deal at all!)  All this while driving further and further away from home - the mother's heart in me was slowly aching as each mile rolled on. 

A few hours later, while still driving down the road, Clay's phone rang again.  It had seemed like the last phone call we received was days ago, but it had only been a few hours.  There in a church van huddled over a cell phone, we listened together as we were told more about this precious baby boy.  So much information was given, and my heart was becoming completely overwhelmed.  This was our baby, our son, and we were about to become parents.  We told our case worker that we were sure that this was our son, and we were ready to proceed with this adoption.  She then calmly explained that there were some complications.  

My heart and mind were racing as she explained the situation more fully.  In our state, birthparents legally have a 10-day revocation period after the birth of the baby in which they can file to disrupt their adoption plans.  One of the blessings of adopting here in our home state is that here they are given the chance to waive 5 of the 10 days if they so choose.  This was not the case with this baby; the birthparents had signed the adoption papers but wanted the full 10 day period.  

Thus we entered the longest 10 days of my life.  Our agency's owner (one of the wisest and most discerning women I've ever known) sensed a red-flag in this situation and asked us to trust her as we walked through the next 10 days.  She said that while the birthparents had signed the papers, she was feeling in her spirit that we needed to proceed with caution.  She asked us to continue on with our trip, and if she felt we needed to be home, she would let us know.  The baby was still in the hospital but when he was released, she was going to place him in temporary care through the agency.  (We just so happened to know the family that would have our little guy - what a blessing!)

There was nothing we could do but to wait.  We couldn't see him yet;  we couldn't hold him.  And so we continued on.  The week was a blur to me.  I was an emotional basket case on the inside but tried so hard to act sane on the outside.  I maybe half-way succeeded in that endeavor.  Every. Single. Concert. was a cry-fest for me.  And that's ok because God was so near to me in those moments as I literally clung to Him and was forced to trust Him like I never have before.  I was literally blown away by my husband as he was able to lead well and to preach the Word with complete abandon all the while juggling his own emotions but also caring for and loving me as well.  It was a week we will never forget.

The day after we got the phone call, we received our first picture of baby boy.  I never expected to see our child for the first time in this way, but it was such a special intimate moment for Clay and I in the midst of chaos.  We were with our students at a trampoline arena.  It is literally a trampoline wall and floor.  There in the arena, with hundreds of jumping screaming teenagers all around us, we huddled together trying to be discreet as we peered at a phone and just stared at his picture.  We couldn't talk much but just looked at each other in awe as we saw this precious, little perfect boy.  A moment I will always remember. 

We got home from the trip on day 5 of our wait.  Things seemed to be going well, but our agency still wanted to proceed with caution.  We had told a few friends and our families and they literally became the body of Christ to us.  Their faithfulness to us physically and in prayer taught me more about how to love others than ever before in my life.  This baby boy was prayed for more than I could ever imagine.  I could not wait to tell him the stories of how loved he was even when we could not see him.

It was such an odd time - not knowing how to feel in those days.  On the one hand, we were ecstatic.  We were thrilled.  We could not wait to hold this boy and love him and to parent him.  On the other, we were trying so hard to be cautious, not knowing if it was wise to be excited.  So instead, we were forced to lay it at the feet of the One who held the entire situation.  I prayed, "Your will be done." more than I ever have before.

The last day of the revocation period was a Monday so we spent the weekend getting things ready to have a baby in our home.  We were trying to be cautious, but also wanted to be wise in the case that our world might completely change in a few days.  We cleared out the room for our nursery, some dear friends painted the room, a crib was bought and put together, family came and deep cleaned our house with us, and friends gathered together baby things so we were prepared for that day.  It was a weekend I will always cherish, as we spent hours laughing, crying and praying for this little one.

Monday came.  We had made it to the last day.  We had until 4:30 to wait to see if the birthparents would file for disruption of the adoption.  After that, he was coming to our home.  He was ours forever.

I woke up that morning singing "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand."  It was in my heart and my mind all day.  In fact, after I woke up singing the song, I texted the lyrics to all my prayer warriors.  I took a shower and then grabbed my cell phone to listen to Pandora while I got ready for the big day.  The first song that was played on my station was that very song.  Oh how intimate our Father is to us...intimate to the smallest detail.  I was peaceful.  I was ready for the day to be over.

Three hours before the revocation period was up, we received word that the birthparents had changed their mind.  The adoption was not going through.  He was not going to be our son.  Clay called me and told me the news while I was with some dear friends eating lunch.  They had been so sweet to try and distract me for those moments, and when I received the call they were silently able to know what to do.  Even in those moments, God was carrying me and sustaining me.

I went to the church to meet Clay in his office.  I hadn't cried at all from the restaurant to the church.  Once I saw him, I feel into his arms and wept.  Not tears of sadness for our loss, but for this precious baby.  I was so ready to mother him, even though I had never held him.  I was so ready to raise him up and teach him of Jesus so that he might one day know Him and serve Him.

A few days before that Monday, my sister-in-law and I were on the phone talking about the entire situation.  She asked me how I was doing with it all.  I answered her, "I'm fine.  I know I will be fine regardless of what happens on Monday.  The God I serve is the same today as He will be on Monday, and His plan is the same today as it will be on Monday."  I don't know where that assurance came from, but God was laying a foundation upon which I would have to stand.  This is the truth of our situation.  God's plan was not interrupted on that day.  I find such comfort in that fact.  He is truly sovereign, reigning over our lives and having set that plan in place long before we were in existence.

I share all this not for you to feel sorry for us.  Yes, we experienced heartache.  Yes, we were saddened deeply by this loss.  But I want you to read this and understand that God is still in control.  We absolutely believe that truth, no matter how much we longed for this baby to be in our family.  God's  presence and comfort to us since that day have been immeasurably rich.  His loving arms have surrounded us and His daily grace has sustained us.  I have learned that He is trustworthy all the time, no matter how bleak our situation seems.  I have learned that He is faithful even when we feel like giving up.  I have learned that His plan is secure and I am to walk by faith and not by sight.  And I have learned that He is a loving Father who is intimately involved in the lives of His children.

Be encouraged today that God is not surprised when life throws you a curve-ball.  He is still the same.  And that is a comfort to me.  His provision - the daily grace He provides for you to make it through each day - is sure.  It will not fail.  For our hope comes not from this world nor what it can give you, but from Christ's atoning work alone.  HE is our hope.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand


  1. Thank you for sharing this piece of your story. It means so much to hear both the good and the not-so-good parts for those of us who are also on an adoption journey. I love your spirit and your faith, it's very encouraging! All in God's time.

  2. His working in and through you is beautiful Stace. Just beautiful.