Thursday, October 30

Lessons Learned...

Socrates taught his students, "An unexamined life is not worth living."

I have heard it said that "A life worth living is a life worth recording"

To be able to share our sorrow and now our joy through this blog has been such a blessing to me because I am able to write down at least in part the miracle of it all. I am able to 'examine' the details and know that Samuel is nothing short of a blessing from God. As I consider the magnitude of how everything came together so perfectly, I am constantly uttering a prayer of thanksgiving.

I also am recording my thoughts and prayers of praise in my journal and Bible so I will have these moments to treasure and reflect back on during my next period of 'waiting' whenever that may come. I tend to forget easily and by recording my journey of the past 30 days, I will reminded everytime I open my Bible.

'Examining' and 'recording' during times of blessing increases my awareness of God's Goodness and demands that I give thanks for it all.

Wednesday, October 29

Praising God for lessons learned...

I've been thinking a lot this week about my journey. My journey of infertility. My journey of loss - two babies who are now in heaven. My journey of waiting on the Lord.

What do I do now with my journey? How has it impacted and changed me? Does the gift of Samuel now mean that my journey is over? Do I transition from three years of waiting to...non-waiting in the blink of an eye?

I have so many emotions and thoughts to think through and process.

One thing I know for sure...
My journey of waiting was not wasted. It changed me forever and I am forever grateful. It brought me to my knees before the Lord - I could not control my conception (even though I tried!) - and I had to rely in total dependence on the God of the universe.

Through my journey of loss and waiting I know that God used me and I know today that He is continuing to use me. I am currently communicating with various women via e-mail who are still waiting or have suffered the loss of little ones in their womb. My heart aches for them and I identify with every emotion. My hope and prayer is that God would use my experiences to encourage them on their journey.

This quote speaks perfectly to that:
"Our sufferings may be hard to bear, but they teach us lessons which, in turn, equip us to help others."
- Billy Graham

Today I'm curious to know: what have your sufferings taught you? How has your life journey changed you? What lessons have you learned that allow you to help others?

It's good to reflect and ponder the challenges, suffering, and miracles of life.

Let's share with one another and praise God for it all.

Tuesday, October 28

Counting Our Blessings!

5 months ago, we welcomed little Jonathan into our family...and here he is with his NEW cousin, Samuel! If a picture is worth 10,000 words and since I have been speechless the last 2 weeks, I will let this photo do the talking.

Samuel, we all love you!

"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

Psalms 100

Monday, October 27

A daddy's love...via text messages

Ryan left for France on Saturday. From across the ocean he counted down the minutes until the consent to adopt was final today....these are the text messages I received:

oct 26 1:08 pm
approaching 24 hours

oct 27, 6:59 am
7 hours and counting

oct 27, 11:01 am
3 hours. any word?

oct 27, 11:58 am
two hours!

oct 27, 12:59 pm
Any word from Judy? 1 hour to go! Call when you can.

oct 27, 1:41 pm
19 mins

oct 27, 1:57 pm
3 mins. everyone i am with is waiting to hear.

oct 27, 2:01 pm
time up. what's the word?

Clearly, Ryan is quite ecstatic to be a dad. The word is that the consent to adopt from the birth mom was final at 2 p.m. today.

P r a i s e G o d.

Friday, October 24

Perfectly worded

This week I saw the following things written on two separate cards. The words touched my heart in a powerful way....

The first was a baby card that said: "Miracles are worth the wait."

I couldn't agree more.

The second was:

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him..." Lamentations 3:25

He is SO good.

I am SO thankful that we waited.

I pray that if you are in a waiting season that your heart would be encouraged today. God knows. He has a plan. And His plan is definitely worth waiting for.

Thursday, October 23

And Waiting...

"Waiting on the Lord" is not without activity.

Stacy shared yesterday how she and Ryan did not want their infertility to 'define' their marriage or this time in their lives. I was touched when they shared this at a church service, thinking how wise of them to identify a trap that many people find themselves in when waiting. It becomes all about themselves or all about their problem. People who 'wait' often pull everyone who will listen into their pain and their waiting period becomes a time of re-hashing the problem.

Stacy and Ryan deliberately chose not to do this.

It was an eye-opener to me as I saw them continue on with their lives reaching out to others and sharing their pain with just a few close friends who supported them in prayer and love.

"Waiting on the Lord" can be a defining spiritual exercise. Not easy, but very life-changing when the time is used to listen for God's leading.

Learning contentment is a by-product of 'waiting' as well. Contentment doesn't come from getting what I comes from waiting on the Lord to show me His perfect plan.

This week, as I wait on the Lord for Samuel to become 'ours', I must focus my attention on what is true, delight in what God has provided up to now and give thanks that we have this opportunity to love Samuel each day.

Wednesday, October 22

While I'm Waiting

Pastor John Fuller says, "Be assured of this, if you are not in it right now, God will call all of us to waiting periods in our lives."

What do we do with our waiting periods?

We can become...

angry. jealous. hardened. depressed. frustrated. bitter.

Or we can...

love. serve. believe. worship. give. care. trust. grow.

It's our choice.

Sometimes I've made the wrong choice. But thankfully I recognized my choices and asked the Lord to clean me out of anything that was not of Him.

In the Spring of 2006 Ryan told our church family that we would not be defined by waiting. We would be defined by service. Ryan and I were participating in a service project when we got the call about Samuel. Isn't God good?

A friend shared this song with me recently. It is one of the one most powerful songs I've ever heard. The lyrics tell us exactly what we should do with our wait.

LISTEN to the words.

Tuesday, October 21


Does waiting get any easier the older I get? I mean, I've waited quite abit in my life...

...for boyfriends to call

...zits to clear up

...a job offer to come through

...a sick child to recover

...a relationship to heal

...a biopsy report

and on and on, I've waited. Now our family is waiting for precious Samuel to be 'officially' adopted into our family and I wonder if I have learned anything from my years of waiting.

C.S. Lewis expresses my inner thoughts so well,

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."

My periods of waiting have taught me one thing:

LOOK BACK...not forward. As I look forward, I tend to worry and play the 'what if' game. When I discipline myself to LOOK BACK, I see how God has blessed me all along my journey...not with painful blessings, but indeed blessings!

This week, I can't help but LOOK BACK and remember how Samuel entered into our lives and trust that God will continue to do the best for us.

Monday, October 20


Today we are waiting...

Waiting to get our pre-adoptive custody order. Waiting for the 10-day period to go by so the consent to adopt from the birth mom will be final. Waiting for the 30 days that need to pass for the birth dad's rights to be relinquished.

It is hard to wait, but this waiting is different than the waiting I've done in my past.

It is hopeful waiting.

It is also a shorter waiting period compared to the three years we have waited on the Lord to grow our family.

But is waiting.

During my three-year season of waiting I came across this poem. It spoke directly to the hurt, pain and longing that comes with waiting. It challenged me and encouraged me in my waiting. It reminded me that my wait wasn't worthless. My wait wasn't wasted. My wait was part of God's plan for me to truly know Him.

Whatever kind of waiting you are facing today - hopeful waiting, sad waiting, discouraged waiting, painful waiting, anxious waiting - my desire is that this poem speaks to your heart to remind you that it's worth the wait:

The Wait Poem
by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to Wait?"
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still “WAIT.”

Thursday, October 16

Answered prayer?

It has been such a delight to hear the many many stories of people who have prayed for Ryan and I during the past few years....through the miscarriages, through the infertility, through the heartache and longing.

Just this week I got an e-mail from a friend's mother-in-law who told me she prayed for Ryan and I on Sept. 20 of this year. She wrote in her journal asking God to give us a baby by Sept. 20, 2009. She thought that meant we would have to get pregnant in the next few months because how could we possibly get a baby that quickly if we hadn't started the adoption process?

I also heard that a friend of both my and Ryan's parents has had her small group praying for us for a long time. We have never met this small group and probably never will.

I have four women from my church who I consider mighty prayer warriors who have lifted up Ryan and I and our desire for a baby for many months.

My mother-in-law meets regularly with a few other women to pray for one another's children. I know they have faithfully prayed for Ryan and I for years.

We have friends who fasted and prayed for us after we had our second miscarriage.

These are just a few of the examples of how others have interceded on our behalf and how God responded to those prayers with a miracle.

I heard Beth Moore say that just because you haven't seen an answer to your prayer doesn't mean it hasn't already been answered....maybe it just hasn't come to fruition yet. It is quite possible that three years ago when I prayed for a baby, and when so many others prayed as well, God answered our prayers immediately.

But we didn't see the answer to that prayer until now.

I believe He waited so that He would receive the glory and honor.

I hope each and every one of you are rejoicing with us because if you prayed, this is YOUR miracle too.

Be encouraged friends: God hears your prayers.

Wednesday, October 15

God already knew

Dear Mrs. Herweyer,

Last fall, October 2007, I met with your daughter Heidi at Caribou Coffee. We talked about life...struggles...challenges of waiting on the Lord and trusting in His timing and plan for our lives.

At the time Heidi and I were both trying to conceive and we shared our hearts with one another. It was a very impactful conversation for me.

What specifically spoke to me was when Heidi referenced something you told her. Throughout the past year I have recalled it often.

You told Heidi that God already knew the due date of her future baby. Whether that would be her own due date or the due date of another woman, God already knew.

I've thought about that often. I've contemplated the wisdom of God. The plan that was already in place. I wondered when my due date would come.

My first due date was Feb. 4, 2007. My second due date was April 20, 2009.

Yet neither one of those due dates were ultimately part of God's perfect plan.

That very same day that Heidi and I met for coffee, she went home and took a pregnancy test. She found out she was expecting Claire.

This week I thought once again about that conversation between Heidi and I and the wisdom you shared with her.

God knew Heidi's due date would be June 10, 2008. He knew little miss Claire Weber would be born into this world at 11:10 a.m., 7 lbs, 9 oz.

God knew Samantha's due date would be October 3, 2008. He knew little mr. Samuel May would be born into this world at 2:10 p.m., 6 lbs, 12 oz.

God already knew. Heidi and I just needed people to come alongside us and remind us that He had a plan already in place.

Whatever the future holds, God already knows.

And I can rest in that truth today.

Tuesday, October 14

No fear in miracles

Thank you to everyone who prayed for the home study yesterday....we think it went well. We're just happy to be done with that portion of the adoption process. We still have paperwork to complete but we're getting closer.

As the days go by, I find myself having moments of deep fear. The 'what ifs' start pouring in...what if the birth mom wants Samuel back? What if the dad finds out? What if there is some legal glitch we've overlooked? What if we don't get to keep him and love him forever?

What if....

I shared my fear with a friend last week and she wisely responded, "Stacy, there is no fear in a miracle."

Those were exactly the words I needed to hear. Samuel is a miracle....his mom could have aborted him, he could have been born premature with fetal alcohol syndrome or other health issues, he could have gone to another family.

But he is healthy. He is alive. He is ours. He is a living miracle.

So today I'm reminding myself there is no fear in miracles. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

Are you waiting on God for your miracle? Are you living in fear about what ifs in your future?

Let's commit the future, and all of our unkowns, to a known God.

Monday, October 13

Homemakers in real life

Barb and I have been writing on this blog for about 1 1/2 years. I was in Homemakers for 7 years. We studied. We read books. We memorized scripture. We shared recipes. We talked about our homes and how to live intentionally each day. We encouraged one another in our homemaking roles.

Today I feel like so much of what I have learned and put into practice in my home is being critiqued by the outside world.

At 1 p.m. a gal from the adoption agency is coming to see our home and finish our home study (which means asking lots of questions about our marriage, life, parents, work, relationships, parenting, etc).

Will I remember what I've been taught? Will I be able to articulate what I know? Will she understand that no words can adequately describe our desire to be parents to Samuel? Will she notice the time and energy we've put into 'building' our home?

Please pray for the adoption paperwork I need to finish prior to 1 p.m. today and for our appt from 1-3.

It's exciting and yet nerve wracking to take what I learned in the 'homemakers classroom' and apply it to real life today. I am so thankful for the training I've had for the past 7 years.

Let's hope we pass the test!

Friday, October 10

Home Improvement...

Every Friday on this blog, we try to challenge our readers with a 'home improvement' tip or new idea to try. This week, how about being mindful of miracles in your life...and also keep Ryan and Stacy in your prayers.

Wednesday they took Samuel to the pediatrician and received a good report on his health.

Thursday they met with a woman who is doing a 'home-study' on Ryan and Stacy and the extended family.

Today, the birthmom will sign papers that will start the clock ticking towards final approval (about Oct 28).

Ryan and Stacy will get finger-printed today and then spend the weekend filling out paperwork.

On Monday, the 'home-study' lady will visit their home. All week and through the weekend, friends and family have been at their house painting and fixing up the baby's room. Note the posting on Sept 30th...there was no shortage of work to be done!

Thanks to all of you who have prayed along with us this week. Make this weekend a time to rejoice and count your own blessings!

Thursday, October 9

Asked of God; heard by God

"What are you going to name him?" the birth mom asked us Saturday...literally hours after meeting her.

Ryan and I looked at each other. We had a few names in the back of our minds but we weren't sure. Twice we had dreamed of baby names and now we actually had the opportunity to name a baby - our baby!

I went to the nurses station and they gave me a couple baby books, one of which was titled "Baby Naming for Dummies" and one titled "100,000 baby names." Are you kidding me? 100,000 baby names? I was so overhwlemed by this task....not to mention I could hardly comprehend the events of the day were actually occurring.

Ryan and I made a list of names. I crossed lots of them out. We talked. Sounded them out. Wondered how they would work with our last name - May. We wanted a name with meaning.

When we got home from the hospital Saturday night I looked up 1 Samuel in my bible. You can read the first chapter here.

The story of Hannah has been incredibly impactful in my life the past two years. Friends have prayed that the Lord would 'remember me.' For months I 'poured out my soul to the Lord in great anguish and grief.'

I wrote a series of postings from this summer dealing with the bitterness in my heart from my infertility and miscarriages. Verse 10 challenged me to take my bitterness to the Lord: In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.

I had prayed this very prayer from Hannah's mouth:
And she made a vow, saying, "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a SON, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life..."

Saturday night the verse that jumped out to me was 1 Samuel 1:20: So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him."

There was no question what his name should be. I felt very strongly and so did Ryan that his name should be Samuel Lee (Lee is his birth mom's middle name).

In Hebrew the meaning of the name Samuel is: asked of God; heard by God.

We prayed. We wept. We hurt. We questioned. We doubted.

Verse 27 says: "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him."

We asked. God heard.

Wednesday, October 8


The miracles continued into the next day... (Read Monday and Tuesday's posting)

Ryan and Stacy returned to the hospital and were allowed to feed the baby, change him and sit in the nursery throughout the day.

They kept us updated by phone:

"Everything is going great. The little guy sleeps well and takes to the bottle just fine. This all seems like a dream."

"The birthmom said we could give the baby a name"!!

Ryan and Stacy returned to the hospital on Monday:

"The baby is getting circumcised today and we are filling out papers for his release."

"The birthmom returned with a gift for the baby...a blanket that was hand-made by her grandmother. She signed the necessary papers to allow us to take him HOME!"

"A friend stopped by with a car seat. He was certified to install it, so he put it in our car and we now have a baby car seat in the back seat of our car...can you believe it?!"

At 3:30, Ryan and Stacy left the hospital...with a baby. In 48 hours, their lives were changed forever. Do you believe in miracles?

Tuesday, October 7

Living a miracle

There are no words this morning that can express the emotion in my heart. Ryan and I are living a miracle friends.

Barb or I will post again soon with more of this amazing story, but for now...a precious picture of this sweet gift from God.

Monday, October 6

Do You Believe In Miracles?

My husband and I were in Nevada this past week. On Saturday morning, about 9:00 his cell phone rang. It was our son, Ryan, calling from Minneapolis.

"Please pray for Stacy and me. We have been out picking up trash in Northeast Mpls for a community project. It is 11:00am in Mpls and we just received a phone call from a friend who knows of a 19 year old girl who delivered a baby boy yesterday. She is looking for someone to adopt him, and we are going to meet her at 1:30 this afternoon. She wants to meet us and perhaps consider us to be the baby's parents!"

That was the essence of our conversation. Stacy called about 1:00 Mpls time as they were driving to the hospital.

"Please keep praying. We don't know what will really happen at 1:30, but just pray that we have wisdom and empathy for this mom we are meeting."

My husband and I were fit to be tied. We only had 2 short conversations, and we spent the rest of the time in prayer. I lost track of time, but about 2 hours later, we got a third phone call.

"The birth mom signed a release for Stacy and me to handle the decisions about this new baby boy. We both have hospital bracelets on, identifying us as the baby's care-giver and Stacy is feeding the baby right now. The birth mom signed the papers and she went home!"

Less than a month ago, Stacy and Ryan experienced their second miscarriage and our family has been struggling to know how to make sense of it...and then we got the phone call. This is the most fun posting I will ever write because it is nothing short of a miracle. The miracle continues, come back tomorrow to read more...

Friday, October 3

From this?!

Currently my dryer is not working (unless I don't mind the greasy black marks it leaves on clothing) so I'm putting my clothesline to good use.

I don't mind it really....although it does take a lot longer to hang clothes on the line rather than toss them in the dryer. And I wonder how moms with a bundle of kids at their feet could possibly find time to hang clothing for their entire family (many moms do that!).

As I was hanging my clothes this week I got to thinking: this is a far cry from my relaxing days on the beach last week.

But there is actually something soothing about hanging clothes out to dry. It brings me a sense of peace. I can't really explain it.

Would I love a new dryer? Absolutely.

I'll get one before our Minnesota winter really sets in.

Until then, I'm hanging my clothes, reminding myself to be thankful for the privilege of caring for my home.

For Home Improvement this weekend stop yourself just once, in the midst of caring for your home....and be thankful.

Chloe update

Thank you for your prayers!

Chloe's health has improved! The doctors said her second set of x-rays looked great - no more bowel issues and no surgery needed. What an ANSWER to prayer.

She is still having eating challenges - gagging and vomiting up her food so please continue to pray for that. She has gained 2 oz due to an IV but she needs to learn how to eat on her own. As soon as she can eat regularly, and she starts gaining more weight, she can go home.

My friends have waited so long to be parents - pray with me that they can go home soon to begin parenting Chloe at home and celebrating her life!

Thursday, October 2

Baby Chloe

Hi friends,
It isn't often that I post a prayer request (in fact, I'm not sure I ever have) but tonight's the exception. I just returned home from the local Children's Hospital and Baby Chloe needs some prayer!

My dear friend Jeri Anne and I have both had a long journey to motherhood and have become close friends during the past two years. Many of you may have read the Mother's Day letter I wrote to Jeri Anne in May to honor her love and care of foster children.

Yesterday at 1:11 p.m. Jeri Anne got to hold her baby girl, Chloe Johannah, after she was delivered by an amazing 16-year-old girl named Elsa.

Chloe is precious, beautiful and an absolute miracle from God! Her names means blossom of God's grace.

However, it was discovered today that Chloe is having eating problems and has some possible obstruction in her bowel. She was airlifted to the Children's Hospital where she is currently. We will find out in the morning if she needs surgery for her bowel.

We are PRAISING GOD for the life of this sweet baby girl, and the miracle she is to Jeri Anne and her family. We are also PETITIONING God for her healing and a quick recovery.

Please pray with me dear friends and readers for Chloe's health, protection and for God to work miraculously in this situation. Pray that Jeri Anne and her husband can rejoice in the miracle of Chloe's birth and take her home very soon.

Thank you!

Wednesday, October 1

Home is where.....

The cat is?

See that lump on the edge of my bed?

That's Jersey.

She is my four-legged, furry cat.

You see yesterday I didn't get out of bed until noon. I slept in after our long two days of travel and then I spent time reading, writing, and listening to my ipod.

During the couple hours I spent awake in bed, I found great comfort in Jersey's presence.

First she settled on my lap for awhile and then she crawled under the covers where she purred and kept me warm.

To be honest, I was very nervous about coming home yesterday. I was worried about the emotions and anxieties that would greet me as I walked through the door. I was fearful that the feelings I had left in MN 10 days before would come flooding back.

But instead walking through the door, seeing my sweet Jersey meowing like crazy, sitting in my comfortable furniture, sleeping in my was all very soothing to my heart.

At home I can be me. I can laugh. I can sing. I can be sad. I can cry. I can sleep until noon or wake at dawn.

Being a Homemaker isn't an easy job. Creating homes of comfort, rest, peace, nourishment, growth, can be quite overwhelming at times.

But this week I'm reminded: it's so worth it.

"Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence. It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule." ~Frederick W. Robertson