All day my mind and heart swelled with gratefulness for two special women. Two women I don’t know very well at all. Two women who have given me the most precious of precious gifts. Two women who I consider to be amongst the bravest of women. These thoughts and feelings made this Mother’s Day different from all the others.
In 2003 I gave birth to and buried my firstborn, Dax Chandler Harrison. I remember the ache of my arms when I returned home from the hospital with no baby to hold. I remember curling into a ball in the bed at night because the pain was so great I felt sick. I remember the unending tears on my cheek at any given moment. I remember replaying the events of my pregnancy, Dax’s arrival and Dax’s burial in my mind day after day.
During our pregnancy we discovered that the chances of us having healthy children was very slim. After all of this there was great pain and sadness on Mother’s Day. For years I tried to sit through the church service on Mother’s Day only to find myself running out the back of the worship center sobbing. It was just too hard to stay.
It’s with BOLDNESS that I declare GOD IS SO GOOD. Because of God’s comfort, peace, and love, as well as the devotion and tenderness of my husband, healing came. It didn’t come over night, but it came piece by piece.
God has a plan.
Eventually I was able to celebrate with other friends and set my feelings aside. It’s not that I ever got over Dax, but with God’s help I was able to put on a genuine smiling face and love on those around me. My husband and I began taking opportunities to share our story. To this day, God still uses our journey and allows us the privilege to walk alongside couples who are hurting.
John Mark and I began seeking out means for growing our family. The Lord had planted in our hearts the longing to parent. We desired to raise children to love God with all their heart, soul and mind and to be difference makers in the world. We knew there were children who needed a family, a home and stability. John Mark and I also knew God was calling us to adoption—calling us to step out and allow Him to build our family.
God has a plan.
In 2007 we learned about an adoption agency in our area. As the Lord directed us we began looking into the process of adoption and after our informational meeting we turned in the first packet of paperwork.
The adoption process from the first paper signed to our profile book made was about nine months. It’s a long, soul searching experience. Once our profile book was made the waiting period began.
What were we waiting for? We were waiting to be selected. The last piece of the adoption journey is to turn in a profile book. It’s a book that tells about the adoptive family or couple. John Mark and I worked on our book a lot. We wanted to authentically tell about us as individuals, as a couple, what we like to do for fun, how we met and hobbies we had. Birth mothers seeking to place a child for adoption look through these profile books to select a family for their child.
Unfortunately there is no set time for the waiting period. It can take as short as a month or up to two years. We simply had to wait for our social worker to call with the news we had been selected.
God has a plan.
No adoption experience is the same. With Cade we completed our paperwork in nine months and waited three weeks. (That was fast!) With Mia, we completed our paperwork in ten months, and about three months in we were selected. But the birth mom then changed her mind and decided to keep her baby. Although we were sad for us, we were very happy for this child. After waiting an entire year, we received the call that we had once again been selected.
The waiting time can be trying on many levels. While waiting, we continually wondered if our profile book was being shown. At times we got impatient and considered walking away from the adoption process. Occasionally we would call our social worker to simply remind her that we were still waiting.
God has a plan.
In September of 2008 Cade Jordan Harrison came home and in September of 2015 Mia Ann Harrison came home. There are not enough words to express the joy and fullness I experienced the first time I held each child. John Mark and I are crazy about our kids. We could not imagine loving anyone more than we love them.
Cade is now a smart, funny and Jesus-loving seven-year-old. He prayed for a sibling and could not be more proud to be Mia’s big brother. I hope he never forgets when he got to meet Mia for the first time. Thankfully we have it on video.
Mia is almost 8 months. She absolutely loves her brother. She is growing every day, loves to watch our dog run, loves to stroll and should be crawling any day now. The world of pink and hair bows has been an adjustment, but I’m getting there.
In Jeremiah 29:11 the Lord says, “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
When I think of my children, I put their names in this verse. The Lord says:
“I know the plans I have for DAX…”
“I know the plans I have for CADE…”
“I know the plans I have for MIA…”
God has a plan for each of my children. Dax was given complete healing and his story has impacted many lives. Cade and Mia’s stories are in the making, and I can’t wait to see all God has in store for them.
Cade and Mia have very different adoption stories, but one thing is the same: their birth moms are my heroes. Because those two women chose life, I am able to be a mom. Mother’s Day looks brighter now than it used to, but this year the Lord took me deeper. I’m so amazed that the Lord led these two women to choose me to be “mom.”
About five years ago my husband and I were asked to share our story together. This video is a testimony of God’s mighty hand at work.
Ladies, the only way I got through Dax’s death was because Jesus mended my heart. If you have experienced the loss of a child or you are unable to have children, please don’t walk that road alone. It is a long, dark, lonely road that will keep you in a pit of grief. I am not a counselor but I would be happy to be a listening ear and pray with you.
For those of you who are considering adoption, I am happy to answer questions you may have. There are so many children who need a loving home. Adoption is an exciting, faith building journey.
No matter your story, motherhood has its ups and downs. I’m so thankful we can lean on each other.
Please leave your thoughts and comments below. Do you have an adoption story you’d like to share? Has God walked with you through your own unique journey to motherhood? We would love to hear part of your story below!