Holiness not happiness


Six months ago the Lord began knitting and weaving the desire of adoption into my heart.  This is not a new theme just one that has been covered by years of fear like an overgrown garden.  The seed of adoption was planted in my heart the moment I was old enough to understand my grandmothers story.  She was sent to an orphanage at age 6.  She was never adopted.  Her most vivid memories as a child wouldn’t be ones with her parents singing her songs before bedtime or watching those expansive southern sunsets on her porch without a care in the world.  Her memories are institutional ones where she was one of the many discarded and displaced children who bonded to strangers and had unrealized hopes being adopted.  She grew to become a small framed gentle woman whose voice was never raised and whose heart always had a song.  Her Bible, which always laid open on the kitchen table, revealed a life utterly sealed to her adoptive father, Jesus Christ.

I started to feel like I was lost in a house of mirrors where every turn reflected adoption.  Out of the blue, I had friends call and text me, asking me if I was pregnant or adopting because they had a vivid dream about me with child.  I would be driving down the road listening to talk radio with guests sharing stories of adoption; people I would meet would somehow start sharing that either they were adopted, or were adopting so finally I said, “Ok, Lord, clearly You are bringing my heart back to the door of adoption but you can’t just move me…You need to bring Ben to this place.”

This past January, Ben and I started an amazing Young Marrieds Life Group.  In our private session, I asked the ladies to start praying for us that God would bring us together on this and that it would be clearly Him.  God placed a verse in my heart that week which has become an anchor, “YOU will keep him in perfect peace whose mind stays on You, because he trust You.  Trust in the Lord forever for in, YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” Is 26.3-4 February 10th I found out that I was 6 weeks pregnant!  For those of you who know our story with fertility you will rejoice at what a miracle this is!!  Honestly, my whole world was shaken; here I was thinking God was moving my heart towards adoption but may-be He was just letting me know He wasn’t done growing our family!  I surprised Ben with the news on Valentine’s Day.  To say that we were shocked is an understatement…we are TOO old to start all over!  We cried deep and heavy tears of gratitude to the Lord and our trepidation turned into sheer delight.  Two weeks later we miscarried.  “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.” Ps 91:4

Ben drove home the day I miscarried, entered our bedroom and tearfully said, “I’ve been praying all the way home.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.  We need to adopt.  God’s not done with our family.  If we were so willing to start over for our own child how could we not do this for someone who needs us?”  God works in mysterious ways, for sure, people.  “Honey, I feel like we need to move quickly because we need to be ready.”  He states.  We cried.  We prayed.  We shared with the girls and asked them to pray too.  We moved forward.

God-size story:

One week later we had our application into an agency and we started the process rolling.  We spoke with so many people about their stories and tried to get a firm handle on how this goes.  The day after we completed our application I went to the grocery store to pick up food for Life Group dinner and I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time.  We stopped in the cosmetics aisle and chatted for a while.  She was sharing with me that she just returned from attending her son’s birthday…she placed him for adoption last year.  I asked how she was doing and if she’s had healing and she shared how God has been so faithful to her and He is brining all these adoptive people into her life!  In fact, she at the grocery store picking up some things for a young girl she was going to dinner with that night who was pregnant and wanted to talk about adoption.  I got chills.  In my head I’m asking God, “Should I say something?!  Is that weird?”  Finally I sputtered, “I know this might sound weird but Ben and I literally filled out our application to become adoptive parents yesterday!”  She asked if I could text her a picture and a small blurb about our family and said that if it comes up in conversation she’ll share about us.  I finished shopping, jumped in my car and called Ben. “Your never gonna believe what just happened to me at the grocery store!” I said.

A week later, on March 7th we were on our way to have dinner with my friend and our prospective birth mother.  She was beautiful, bubbly, and very pregnant.  By “very” I mean 8 months pregnant, with a baby boy, and due April 12th.  We were stunned.  We hadn’t started anything!!  We had an incredible 3 ½ hour dinner and got back into the car with our “perfect peace”.  We started a journey that can only be described as Gods movement.  Within days, we had a lawyer, a case worker and a home study started.  God sent us a notary, the day we needed one, we set a record for our case worker…3 weeks for a completed home study!  God was growing our faith in ways that are hard to communicate.  He answered prayer after prayer, except one: she hadn’t officially chosen us.

Four days before her due date, she made her decision.  Us.  It was real and so was the reality that we haven’t had a newborn in our home in EIGHT years!  After one monster trip to Target we had enough to get by.  This was our God story!  Truly, truly remarkable.  There was a flurry of legal work to do and then…

She went dark.


Ben and I both felt it.  It was like walking out of a hot shower into an air conditioned room.  We prayed.  We reached out.  We waited.


Due date came and went.  After several calls from our lawyer we learned that the birth father had no intention of ever putting his son up for adoption.  “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind stays on YOU, because he trusts You…”  Is 26:3  We knew at that moment no matter what, this baby couldn’t be ours.  However, we saw what God had been doing so we had to trust Him forward.  Ben felt like he needed to talk with the birth father so he could explain that we weren’t here to take his son.  From that single phone call our God story shifted.  We thought God was bringing us a baby boy but instead He brought us two adults who desperately need Him.

We were jolted out of bed at 6.30 am on Thursday, April 14th by a phone call from the birth father.  He frantically puffed that the birth mother was in labor at the hospital and said that she wanted us there.  We got Sophie off to school (Bella was at Outdoor Ed) then headed to the hospital.  God connected Ben with the birth father and he was able to encourage him in the Lord, listen, support, and challenge him.  I spent the day with the birth mom and her family.  My friend who introduced us was there too and we were able to watch the birth of Joshua Daniel come into this world at 7:20 pm.  By 9:00 we left the hospital, exhausted.  Ben and I hardly spoke.  It was all too much for the simplicity of words.

The next day we went back to the hospital to check on them and get some baby snuggles.  The girls came with us and we were able to love on this little one we had all prayed for.  Then the birth mom asked everyone to leave the room so she could talk with me alone.  She wanted to keep the baby.  “I know.” I said.  “A baby’s first and right place is to be with his mother.”  We talked and cried.  Then we left…just the four of us.

The past 24 hours I’ve been numb.  It wasn’t just the loss of this baby, as we have known all along that this could happen.  What I couldn’t reconcile was God.  For the last month and a half we have been watching God show off.  He has been leading us down this road with a testimony of one miracle after another for what?  His story falls short if there isn’t an adoption.  Why would He do that?  A God story isn’t supposed to end that way.

We went on a bike ride this afternoon and through my fog, I heard my children; they were laughing, chattering, and happy.  They began to heal my heart as I was reminded of all I DO have.  A truth that God has been in the process of revealing to me, that I desperately needed to implement, is faith is believing the truth of God when we can’t see how it’s going to playout.  Anyone can “believe” when it’s going their way but true faith appears when we can’t see how it ends.  How do you have faith?  You rely on what you KNOW to be true about God.

Here’s what I know: 

My God is a faithful God.  Lam 3:21-25 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

I can trust in Him.  Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and never lean on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

He is my refuge.  Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.  Psalm 144:2 He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge.

I will be thankful and I will rejoice.  Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.  I Thes 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Where I am now:

God is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness.  When you know God and His ways then you are compelled to trust Him. This IS His story…I can’t stop half way and question why He brought me here when perhaps “here” is not His destination.  My job is to keep my mind on Him and obey.  That is all.  He WILL supply all that I need when I need it.  My prayer is grow deeper and to be found faithful for His glory.  So we are still on His adoption road…boots are on and we’re walkin’.  Pray for us…


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  • Xinia Tobias - April 17, 2016 - 6:52 am

    Thank you for sharing your powerful testimony of trust, faith and obedience to God.You are an inspiration!
    Know that I will be praying for you and Ben.
    It was a privileged to met you and your family!

    Xinia TobiasReplyCancel

    • Marianne - April 17, 2016 - 5:09 pm

      Ohhhh thank you! Your prayers are the best resource for my soul!ReplyCancel

  • Lynne - April 17, 2016 - 9:18 am

    We both go to CHCC but we haven’t met. Your story rings a bell for me in that while I was in nursing school, which God had clearly directed in many ways, I got a big cancer diagnosis. It seemed like a huge crater on my well-lighted road. BUT now I’m a few years past that and on more than one occasion God got me around obstacles in a way that I never dreamed. And flooded me with blessings I would never have received without that crater in my road. I am so sorry this happened, but I know, based on the faith so evident in your story, that you will go through the hurt with God’s comfort and watch for Him to work this out. The hurt is hard and needs to be worked through, but I know God has a beautiful way to redeem this. Praying for you. ❤️ReplyCancel

    • Marianne - April 17, 2016 - 5:11 pm

      Sweet words of truth…thank you Lynne! Beauty for ashes and a testimony of God’s faithfulness helps us encourage one another on race! Thank you so much for reaching out and hopefully we can meet in person to give each other a {{HUG}}.ReplyCancel

  • Robyn - April 17, 2016 - 10:17 am

    The journey of adoption is full of heartache, challenge, direction and life changes. It is also full of hope, strength, growth and joy. Just hearing how you and Ben are handling this tells me you will be great adoptive parents. Seek God and he will lead you. Read up… there are many amazing books to help guide you through this amazing journey. (It doesn’t end when the adoption is done!) It is a new world and we are a tight knit group that understands, loves and supports each other. If you need an ear I am here!! 💗ReplyCancel

    • Marianne - April 17, 2016 - 5:13 pm

      THANK YOU! You are right in every way…the best news is that we both KNOW that this is the road for us that God has placed in our heart so whatever comes our way has been approved and directed by Him. I just might bend your ear… XO thank you!!ReplyCancel

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