Don't give up hope.

If you've read my book, Birthed, I believe you gleamed from the pages that no matter how many times Kevin and I got beat down in our fertility/ adoption journey, we never gave up hope to be parents. Never.

There were times when we wanted to-- for the pain of our broken hearts was just too much to bear.

There were times when for our mental health it would have been easier if we let the dream die.

There were times when we had to re-imagine what parenthood looked like for us.

But (and it's a huge but) we never could give up the hope that one day we'd meet a person that was meant to be in our family. Our family was not complete just the two of us. We had more love to give.

In this longing, sometimes Kevin held the hope banner for the two of us-- for I was just too exhausted. Other times, I held it for him when he was just so frustrated he didn't know what to do. But never, could either one of us say we weren't meant to be parents.  So we kept going. The next step. The next step. And the next.  For 8 years.

IMG_8362I ran across this quote this week and I couldn't help but savor it.

I've known my whole life I was meant to be a mother. And ever since I met Kevin, I knew he'd be the best father.

Yet so many times, if you are anything like me, when faced with a hard patch of life, you second guess your longings, your desires.

You say because something is hard then "It wasn't meant to be."  You stop trying to proactively live your dreams when the cost is great. You blame God for not giving you what you think we deserve. And you stop living.

All of this is normal because life can be oh, so brutal, my friends. It can kick us down in the deepest pits that we think we're never going to crawl out of! It can take from us all our strength, making us believe that we're simply finished. It can totally snatch away all of our comforts. It can.

But, hope-- it outlasts the worst of nights.

It buries itself deep in our hearts and won't let us go. It encourages us with teachers-- teachers that appear when we least expect. And it looks us in the eyes and says clearly: "Oh my dear, your longings aren't stupid. Believe!"

Hope is life's great calling, I believe.

I'm so thankful that when we were ready to give up last summer . . . to say that what we had was good enough . . . to say that we had so many blessings to count . . . why ask for more?

Encouraging voices showed up and told us to keep dreaming, keep longing and keep doing the work.

And we did it. We kept holding space in our lives and our home for a child. A child, young or older, a child of any nationality and or race, a child from anywhere really, that was meant to be in our family.

And this is the big news I have to tell you today: almost a month ago, a little girl from the US found us.

It will be a couple of months before everything is 100% final but all the most important steps have been completed. I am a mother of a daughter who lives in our house all day, every day, now.

A dear friend of mine in Kenya once told me along the journey this proverb: "When things are hard, don't worry. It means things will be easy soon."

So know this: when the time came for this girl to join our home, I was in awe of the speed in which it happened. All we had to do was hold on for the ride. Grace surprised us with its pace.

And when we knew it was official . . . that this great thing was really happening . . . Kevin and I felt so much joy (and still do). So much joy that we held each other tight and felt so much pride that we overcame what could have broken us. (It really could have!)

As for you, my friends, don't give up hope whatever your dreams are! Listen to your longings. Keep praying. Keep working. Keep believing and listening to those voices that say "You can."

One day everything will be known. It will.

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