We decided to adopt in 2014. We had a brand new baby that we had prayed for for five years straight. I had imagined that his soft strawberry blond hair and sparkly eyes would fill the void I had felt for those years, but instead it opened up a wider than ever gap. I knew that he was not the culmination of the many steps to get there… he was a starting point of something new.
Six months after his birth, a kitchen full of adoption paperwork and a momma exhausted from staying up all night fretting over the finances, we learned we were expecting another. We are, after all, Catholic. 😉 Concurrent pregnancies and adoptions were not allowed, so I half mourned that we had to pause and half was grateful for a chance to get ahead of the money and paperwork curve. I spent the entire pregnancy sewing Maggie dolls. I waddled into the post office the day before my induction to mail the last orders before meeting my sweet bald little man.
My first session after E’s arrival was five days later. I cut dolls when I was awake with him at night, sewed them when I was awake with him at 4:00 am. I knew I was going to crash. hard. I just hoped that when it happened, our girl was home.
Winter warmed up, days got longer, Easter was approaching. At the time, I shared that Easter is an emotional time for me. I lost my first pregnancy over Easter weekend. I had prayed for a miracle all weekend, had challenged God on His abilities. When He brought my child home anyway, I felt betrayed. It took years to understand the beautiful gifts that deep loss brought, and even longer still to trust in His plan. Holy week is full of pain and grief and ultimately redemption and for one painful year, it felt so real and close and perfectly illustrated in life. In 2016, I looked to God for direction for how to make the most of Lent. I knew that I didn’t want to give up Chocolate. I wanted to do something bigger, through Him, that allowed Him to tell whatever story He was using us for.
I stitched up a little tee for my boys and listed it for sale. Ten sold instantly. They were cute little sayings hand cut and stitched on my dining room table. Labor intensive and time consuming, but as a chick who specializes in biting off more than I can chew, I was elated. I felt God laying it on my heart to try to sell $100 per day for Lent and speaking into my heart that our child would come in 2016. I began to talk about the Hig family hat trick: babies in 2014, 2015 and 2016. I just knew that this was our time for joy. I used the time at the sewing machine to talk to Him and day by day, supernatural peace took over. His plan would unfold in His time, He told me. Trust me.
I would insist that I did trust Him. Every day that we crushed our goal, which is still unbelievable to me, I knew that He was fulfilling His promise to me… or what I perceived to be His promise. At the end of lent, we had raised over $4000 (say what?!) and the overage was just enough to purchase materials for a tee shirt business. I branded them Magnolia tees, started a website, and soon was busier than I imagined. I was approaching the crash period, so tired that I would just sob in the shower, but 2016 was more than half way over and I just knew that our kiddo was coming home. Tick tock. Just a few more months left.
December 31, 2016 was not a great day for me. I was so confused. Why on Earth I think I am entitled to Him answering to me is beyond me, but I absolutely felt forgotten and betrayed, like the Easter so many years before. I trusted you, I said. You promised me, I said.
I started 2017 needing a breather. I knew that I could not keep up the pace of two side businesses, my normal business and a family of nine. We pulled out the adoption cash and put it in a lock box and willed ourselves to forget about it while we discerned God’s calling for us. I closed my tee shirt website. I put the doll pattern away. We became foster parents. We stopped talking about adoption.
I forgot until recently that I had tearfully told my husband that I needed a year to recover from back to back pregnancies and a broken heart.
Almost exactly one year later, we saw our son. And this time there was no stretching to make parts fit… it was an easy yes, in large part because in our cabinet sat all of the money we needed to say yes. We didn’t even ask many questions… we just knew he was the one we were waiting for. (God really orchestrated an elaborate dance to get us to that yes, but that is another story for another day)
It wasn’t until we had already committed that his birth date registered. Summer of 2016. While I was sewing all of those tees anticipating the arrival of our child, his mother also was anticipating the arrival of hers. When I was angry and tearful at being forgotten, she was experiencing a loss that I cannot begin to understand. I would hope that some of my tears in the shower every day were for her. I hope that my heart knew that she needed me to shed them for her, for our son, even though I was blinded by my own selfishness to know.
2016 did bring us a child. We just didn’t know it yet, and it was not at all who we thought it would be. And it taught me in the deepest way that surpasses human understanding to TRUST. In Him. Always. His plan is greater than our own.
So here we are… Lent… 2018. Sewing bunnies. Full circle. SO BLESSED.
Closing with this unbelievable bunny update: $960 so far. NINE HUNDRED and SIXTY DOLLARS. I cannot even. Nope. Nothing else to say. Except thank you