Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Aliah's Adoption - God did this

I don’t really have the right words to express the significance this adoption.  Almost two years ago (Monday, August 3,2015) I drove over to Andrea’s house a picked up Aliah because she needed a short-term respite home for her - just a few days. I had done this before and the kiddos always went home. It seemed very normal, but I had absolutely no idea how God would use this child to completely change my life.  

The past two years have been difficult.  God was almost silent as He allowed us to walk through a very tough year where my faith was challenged and once it was whittled away by heart-breaking circumstances, it was barely a shadow of what I thought it was.  When you’re crying out and you get nothing, well, its...I’m not quite sure how to describe it.   When you’re heart is breaking and you know God could change it, but He doesn't, His sovereignty is no longer an intellectual debate - its a very difficult heart-wrenching reality. The silence, the turmoil, the “no” to every single prayer related this child was devastating.  After about 10 months of this, I remember getting mad and committing to not pray at all for the situation. I prayed for other things; her safety, her salvation, But nothing about the current situation. I was done.The way I saw it, God wasn’t listening, He wasn’t going to change anything, so I had to figure out how to go forward without the answers I had so fervently begged for. I was mad. I was faithless. I truly did not rise above spiritually.
My spiritual failure surprised me. You know when you think about bad things happening to you or your family and you see yourself spiritually strong, thriving despite the disaster all around you - well, that didn’t happen.  I’ve had a couple people say, “Oh Heather, you weren’t faithless.”  but I know in my heart that I truly was.  I know what things I uttered in my prayers. I know the anger that brewed in my mind when I tried to pray.  I know the reality of where my heart was.  It took me by surprise because I thought I was stronger spiritually.  But what I realized was that I had a ton of intellectual knowledge; good theology, a solid foundation - but when my life was blown up and all that knowledge had to be applied - it was incredibly difficult and isolating. I still don’t know how to reconcile some things honestly, but I don’t think we're supposed to make it all fit neatly and understand everything.  After all, God never told Job why he lost his children and all he owned, so why would He be obligated to tell me anything? I’ve had to learn to let loose ends be loose ends and bow to a God that is crushingly sovereign at times, and yet excessively gracious and kind.  It’s a dichotomy I simply don’t understand, but then again I will never understand a God as majestic, powerful and wise as He is. Its arrogant to think that I ever could.

I do know this, after a year of defeating struggle and consistent spiritual failures. I gave up. I literally stopped praying about the future of this child, stop thinking and dreaming, and began to look at each day as the only one that mattered.  I only had today and that wasn’t even guaranteed. So, I focused on the now, the today. Which was the only thing I had in this particular situation?

It was shortly after this God literally stepped in and changed everything.  I mean everything changed.  We went from turmoil and constant uncertainty to peace and stability.  It was so sudden that it was hard to adjust.I would walk into her room and have to remind myself she was going to be there - that she couldn’t be taken away. It was then that I was struck by the stark fact that I had utterly failed spiritually and yet God still reached down and gave us this child. Totally undeserved. The opposite of what I deserved actually.  Knowing that God had no reason to give us this child, and yet, doing it anyway - and doing it so suddenly, so quickly and so completely without our efforts, literally brings me to tears.  His grace is so excessive, so overflowing, so overwhelming that it can’t be overstated. My words really fail to express my heart actually.  Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise so that I could adequately express His limitless, indulgent grace.

It may seem odd, but my vision of God now is more blurred, less clear, but I think that’s good.  To think we understand the omnipotent all-powerful God of the universe is so arrogant.  He is not understandable. His ways aren’t ours. He is not us. He is completely sovereign. His mind is unknowable. I still don’t understand why some parents bury their child while God just gives us Aliah. Why do I receive such grace? Why am I so blessed? Why me? I don’t know. But I do know that He loves me. He may crush me. He may allow my heart to be broken. But He loves me. I now know that - not just intellectually, but deep within my heart, and I have a living reminder of this every day in my home.  Every time I look at our little Aliah I am reminded of my incredible shortcomings and struck by God’s grace which I’ll never deserve. So now, as we celebrate the truly miraculous adoption of Aliah Grace Ann, His praise is on my lips, His love fills my heart, and I am deeply humbled by my shortcomings and His excessive grace that He has poured out on me.  To God be the Glory great things He has done.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Here we are in court waiting on the judge.

The family came to celebrate with us!

When the judge sat down he said, "I don't know what you went through to get to this point, but its over."  He signed the adoption decree and she became ours forever.

I started crying.  

Filed and done!

Then, the judge let us see his dogs.  It was a hit!  

She loved the dogs!

Officially ours!

Our family.

The photographer told us all to look at Aliah:  Note Drew & Avery - still posing!  

My side of the family.

Mark's side of the family.

All of us.

My beautiful girls: Addison Hope, Avery Faith, Aliah Grace.

Is that a smile?

My handsome boys!

And, she's done.  Getting her blankie and going home!

Feeding Emmy goldfish.

Sharing goldfish with her cousins.

Grateful. To God be the Glory.

A big thank you to Allie Burns Photography for all the fantastic pictures!


  1. Congratulations!!! LOVE THIS story and this family! Happy to be a part of the story through my prayers for you and her during that time!

  2. Just remember, faith testing times can be faith strengthening times. God is always refining us through our toughest moment.