For those of you who missed my testimony Friday night at Marlie's celebration, here is my notes. Enjoy and God bless!!
Good evening and thank you for joining us. I’m so excited you chose to spend your evening celebration with us. We have been on quite a journey to get here, but we gathered here tonight, not only to celebrate the adoption of our daughter, but to worship the Father for the gift he has given us. Would you please bow your heads with me?
Would you please welcome my friends as we start this evening out with a song of praise?
I again am so thankful for all of you who have prayed with us and supported us through this journey. A few years ago we met here to have a benefit concert. We were sure of this path God had put us on, but had no idea what was in store.
Recently God prompted me to have another concert, but a one of celebration. I pleaded with God, why? He said because I want you to finish your story. I have not had you come all this way to keep it to yourself. I want you to share with everyone your journey I have set you on and most of all; tell them that all the promises I made you I have provided. So with that said, won’t you lend me you ear and open your hearts as we travel in the past as I share with you, our journey to our daughter?
Hebrews 12:1 says
“Therefore, since we are all surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily eantangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
While searching God’s heart I was now starting seeing things through his eyes.
The things that break his heart were now breaking mine. I saw mother-less and father-less children with his eyes, not with my own. I knew that God that was boldly asking us to adopt another child.
This is where God asked us to put on our running shoes for the preparation of a marathon that was about to take place. We began with a walk.
We looked at a lot of adoption agencies and even researched about adoption agencies overseas. The idea of it looked exciting and like a great adventure, but the money was what was stopping us from taking this adventure, it seemed like a large amount we just could not fit in the budget. So we felt God asking us to have a benefit concert here at First Baptist, you remember, many of you were here. That was an awesome evening .The dvd’s and cd’s have been shared to many who have come across our paths.
We kept searching agencies but were not feeling directed, so we started out by filling out an application with the lighthouse. We filled out the paper work paid the application fee and were on the “waiting list”. During this waiting period Jamie and I talked about looking into the dfs system, if we became foster parents it would cost less to adopt and we would ONLY adopt, we did not want babies living in our home, only to know they were going back to a bad home life. So with prayer and guidance we signed up for the classes. We started them not know what we were getting into, but in James 1 it says “to be joyful when you face trials, that testing our faith builds endurance “well maybe we are ready for a slow jog? Every time we would start a new class they would go around the room and ask, so are you here to foster, or foster to adopt, we ALWAYS said to adopt ONLY. The classes were over they sent us a certificate that we were now official foster parents for the state of Mo. Jamie and I also took extra classes to be professional parents, so if you ever need advice we are professional’s, we even have a certificate on the fridge to remind us….LOL
We had a phone call from the Lighthouse asking if our profile could be shown to a birth mom who was giving up her baby for adoption, she was a teenager and wanted us to have her baby girl. As time went by we heard the mom was changing her mind and maybe wanted to keep her baby. She got to her 7th month in pregnancy and no longer wanted us to adopt her, but wanted to keep her little girl. Jamie and I felt “sore”, kind of like after a hard workout, there was pain, but knew it was good for us. Again we found in scripture in
1 peter “that perseverance will bring character and integrity.”
This is where God showed up and smacked me in the face, I was attending the women of faith event at sprint center with a group of ladies, we always have a great time there, tears and laughter….. and for me a revelation. I felt God talking to me the whole weekend; he was telling me to stay on his path and to “be still”
So on Saturday of this event Steven Curtis Chapman got up and spoke to us, he talked about mom’s but most of all this day he spoke of foster parents, knew they were changing the world one little heart beat at a time, he got up and sang this song. I began to cry, knowing God was telling me to go and prepare a home for these babies. I went home and shared with Jamie what had happened, I told him, I think we are suppose to foster these babies. I told him we needed to empty the guest bedroom put up Mason’s old crib and make it a nursery. This was on Saturday, by Sunday night I had painted the room and the stripes on the wall the same colors that were at the women of faith event. Jamie came home from work on Sunday and without me reminding him or hounding him about it he got the crib out started wiping it off and put it together. Now this in itself is God’s work….LOL
Our small group that evening gave us a foster parent shower, we received a few clothing items, and some diapers and wipes, I went right home and put them all away, it was perfect we were ready.
We had once again stepped back on the treadmill. That next day I was at work when I got a phone call from the division of family services, they needed a emergency placement for a 3 month old little boy, I called Jamie confirmed we were ready to do this and said yes. Franklin came into our home that evening at 10 pm, he was dirty and had a gown on that was so small that it was making his legs bunch up around his waist. The social worker told us a baby had died in this home a few days prior and until the investigation was over we would have him. My mother instincts took over immediately I told Jamie to go rum him a bath, I did not care that is was now 10:30, this baby was going to be clean and with a full belly before I would lay him down for the night. It took 2 baths to get him clean and allow a brush through his hair; he drank 2 bottles before his eyes could just no longer stay open, I think I held him for 30 minutes while he just slept. Franklyn lived with us for 5 months before the case was closed and he was allowed to go back to live with his mother. Franklyn was an awesome baby; his smile could light up the room. Many people asked if we would adopt him if became available and I always answered no, I don’t think he is ours was my response. Lots of surprised faces, but Jamie and I had confirmation that Franklyn was there for just a short time, that God had told us this was a marathon, not just a sprint.
A few other babies came in and out of our home for a short time, always leaving with adoptive families, God was laying out our path and we were just running along the side of him. Proverbs 11:14 says” lack of guidance leads to defeat, but victory can be obtained through a wise counsel.”
We did some respite care for people too, but one little girl stole my heart her name was Journie Unique Price. Journie was a premature baby girl who had many medical problems. She came to stay with us a few times before, but the last time she came to stay she was given a Do Not Resituate. She was using every ounce of energy just to breath, man she was sweet and now when I think about her, I miss those chubby cheeks and her hot pink toe nails, something about bath time was our favorite, for a moment I got to free her of take all her tubes and wires . After a bath we would just snuggle. On September 27th I was holding her outside on the deck. I saw a beautiful butterfly land as I was praying, God its ok you can take her; I will be ok. For I know you can free her of all her tubes and wires forever. It was when I whispered to Journie “it’s ok baby girl, Jesus will be there to hold you” that then she drew her last breath here in the flesh. During her funeral the pastor said something that sticks with me when I think of Journie, he said it was Jesus who had the Journey, how Unique it was and in the end it is Jesus who paid the price so that we all could be free.
Shortly after we got another phone call from the lighthouse about a 14 year girl who was pregnant and wanted us to adopt her baby; we set up a date to meet this mother. The meeting went well and of course Mason stole her heart.
From the moment we walked out that door my heart yearned for this teenage girl. I wrote her notes and sent her little gifts, told her I was praying for her. When we would hear news about the baby and her health I would always be thinking of this mother. I taught women’s bible study at this time and was always sharing my thoughts about this mother. The night we got the call that she was in labor I was so excited, I prayed and asked God to just guide us through this, knowing what her body was going through at such a young age. I felt the Lord telling me to buy her a watch, to tell her everything is in God’s timing.
During all this we got a call from dfs asking us to take a drug bi-racial baby girl, I told them that with the adoption day so close that we could not, but I had a friend she could call and ask. With no doubt my friends the Paulsen’s took this baby girl.
We went the next morning to visit “our” baby, as beautiful as she was my attention was on this mother, she seemed happy that we were there, she wanted us to hold the baby whole time, she wanted us to have the gifts she had been given, “after all she is yours” she said, what an adult thing to say at such a young age. Our court date was 48 hours later.
The next day was Mason’s field trip with his class and I was a parent helping with this outing. On the way to the fieldtrip I got a call from the lighthouse, I could not hear due to kids on the bus, so I texted Jamie told him to call them and my heart immediately began to pound, like I had already ran a marathon, like something was wrong I could sense it, all the way to the location I fought back tears, faking the emotions til I heard the final word. I was telling Jamie that if this was not going through I was done, I would not pursue anymore adoptions, and that my heart would be too broken. I got the call after the trip that I knew in my heart the whole day, the birth mom had NOT changed her mind, but a relative had convinced her she would regret giving her baby up. So less than 24 hours before calling her ours, we were saying goodbye. Jamie and I had to pack up and get out; it was already raining in our hearts, now it was raining outside. We looked into just going to St.Louis or even to the Omaha zoo, forecast…rain and rain. Most of the phone calls I got that day I ignored, I know all of you meant well, but to tell you the truth it hurt too much keep talking about it, I did not recognize the next number that called ,but I answered it anyways, it was my friend Melissa, she asked what she could do, I told her the story and that we were just trying to escape for right now but all the weather was not helping us decide where to go, she put me on hold and came back with another person on the line, this person was a travel agent. Melissa told her to send 3 to wherever it was warm and sunny; the travel agent said “oh course, when we are going?” Melissa said “today”. The agent was shocked and said umm ok let me see what I can do. How about Clearwater Fl, “great Melissa said” when does there flight leave?, in 3 hours. I don’t say Melissa’s name to give her the credit, because she boldly told me God had asked her to do this and she was being obedient, so thank you Melissa for being obedient and thank you God for sending her to us.
While we were in FL we visited an aquarium, this aquarium takes ocean animals that have been hurt, they keep them there and nurse them back to health and set them free, but if they are not able to go back to the wild they put them in tanks for people to come learn about them, we arrived very early one day when I noticed a lady working with a dolphin. I was intrigued by this dolphin; she looked like she was smiling. There was a man who worked there and told me to come on past the black rope, this rope is to keep guest at a distance from the animals, but he had asked me to come across it, he told me this story of this dolphin who was caught in a net and her tail was unable to be saved, they call her “winter” she has a prosthetic tail to help her swim, most of the time she swims without it, but what brought tears to my eyes , is when he said “yep amazing when life throws you off a path how you can still get right back up and keep on going” We came home refreshed and once again, ready to finish out this race. I prayed that night, Lord even in this storm I will chose your way, for I know your way is better than mine. We came home from that trip “healed” by the Holy Spirit. We now know that we were showing this young mother God’s love.
Now this little foster baby that the Paulsen got was now in their care and we would do respite for them from time to time, when they would go out of town or when he daughter had her baby.
Here s what I wrote on my blog may 16th 2010. We also got to foster Leila this weekend, she is so sweet. She is the baby that dfs called us to take a few months back and we passed her onto Kay and Mike, thinking that we would be getting our own child soon. Anyways, it was awesome having her here, and I got to dress her up in a cute dress for church and of course not without a cute flower in her hair around her head band, Jamie says she is alot like him right now, follicle challenged...lolAt the end of lunch I was kissing Leila goodbye and Kay asked if we would keep Leila for 4-6 weeks starting in June? I looked at Jamie and he said "sure"Kay is going to have foot surgery and will be down for awhile (keep her in your prayers)so we will get to have her a lot of this summer. I told Jamie the hardest thing for me lately was to walk into the baby room and open the closet and see all those cute girl outfits I had, and no one to put them on. I have this tiny swimsuit that has a puffy pineapple on it.Well God already knew that Leila would be here and she wears the size of all those cute outfits.Sammie came and gave her a kiss on the forehead today and said, "can't we just keep her?"I said, "I hope so"So pray for Leila, her future with us and the Paulsen's is unsure, but God knows, so we can stand on that promise.I say all this to let you know, that through the rain and darkness there is happiness. God is in the small stuff too ya know?The other night when it stormed, Mason called me into his room and said "mommy I'm scared, what if it floods?"I asked him what Jesus said about the flood. He said "he promised it would never flood again and he sends a rainbow to remind us of that promise"I promise all you believers out there, I see a rainbow, It is merciful and just, rest on His promise and he will sing praises over you. Good night and God Bless
We were to get her the day we came back from vacation. We were driving back when I got a call from Kay, our phones where cutting in and out, but could hear Kay was crying, what’s wrong I asked? She had been praying and knows that God has told her to ask us to keep her full time. You see if you have a foster baby in your home for more than 15 months and they come up for adoption you get preference, if they are not in your home, your name may or may not go in the pot to be picked as her adoptive family.
Some have asked, well how did she get that nickname…Peanut?, well we noticed her head was misshaped , big in the back, small in the front, kinda like a “peanut”.
Another post from me on May 26th 2010
WE were asked today to take on a foster baby full time (this is a sweet foster baby that we love)She was suppose to be coming really for the summer so her foster mom could recover from foot surgery, but after a teary phone call, her and her husband have felt lead to ask us to take her.This little one is not up for adoption, she is still in foster care, and so that means her future to us is a big question mark??This scares Jamie and I," what if she stays for a year, then we have to give her back?""What if she stays 6 months and they pick another family to adopt her??"These are fears of ours, and I know I could rack my brain with these questions, but really if I'm thinking of her only, she needs us now, I will always remember what God has told me..." love them and teach them to bond" we cannot say no because of a fear can we??What if we would have said no to Mason because they told us he had fetal alcohol syndrome, look what we would have missed?
Last night we had a meeting with alot of the people that are involved in our adoption concert.It went great! I can't believe we are running this race, and praising our savior the whole way through.I think it is by no mistake that Jamie and I have been running lately. (Jamie can run alot farther than me),weird to think he was the man who weighed 355lbs, is now a better runner than I.This is a verse that God gave me at WBS one morning,Hebrews 12:1Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensnares us, and RUN the race that lies before us.All I can say after that is AMENHave a blessed weekend :) may 23rd
There have been some amazing God things happen with her, despite all her drug and alcohol exposure she has been doing great. She also has hydrocephalous which is water on the brain, the dr at children’s mercy have released her from her checkups at this time, saying she is progressing normally. We have had many court trials where mom was angry and fighting the system saying she wanted her children back, all I could do was pray for her. I prayed that her mom would get well, I prayed that her mom would see the best for her daughter, well God answered that prayer at a meeting we had with the mother and a mediator. On this day Jamie and I were so nervous. This was a meeting without a judge or lawyers; this was just us, her and the mediator. I was shocked to hear the change in her voice, she was thankful for us and knew that we had come to love her daughter; she gave permission that day to let us adopt her little girl. The mother then asked” can I hug the foster mom?, I said of course and could not get out of my chair fast enough to embrace this women who had made a choice that was going to affect all of our lives. While we hugged she asked me to protect her little girl and to tell her that her mommy loves her so much, I said I promise.
We got a phone call that we would be adopting her sometime in November, but that soon changed, our lawyer called back and said the date had been changed, to what? I said. Dec 22nd 2011 10 am. For those who don’t know we adopted Mason on dec 24th 2003 at 10am, so
Marlie Claire McCain who was born on Jan 28th 2010,and was adopted on Dec 22nd, 2011
You see this race has been a test of faith, it is being sure of what we had hoped for, but did not see.
1 Corinthians 9:24 says
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
The Prize my friends is everlasting life with our Heavenly Father, he is in love with you and he wants you to seek him. So put on your running shoes, you never know when God will ask you to go for a run.