July 20, 2010


I’ve been hesitant to post anything about adoption since we came home. Mostly, because I can’t quite wrap my brain and heart around what’s going on.  I would best describe it as being broken

Mr. Deem has been away training for the past couple weeks.  I’ve found myself on more than one occasion crying out to God, “WHY on earth did I want this life?!! WHY did you let me do this? Why five kids? Why did you let us join the military? Why adoption? What was I thinking? I’m a FOOL...because it obviously isn’t working!!
Grant has had some major regression in potty training. I’ve cleaned up more potty accidents than I can count during the past 5 days. Honestly, the yuckiness doesn’t bother me all that much…it’s the laundry. I’m tired of, “just making it,” I want to be successful at my job! So, between the messes,  being on an anaconda-like budget, and being a single-mom right now; I've been pretty low. 

Then, during our bottle time, Reagan started pushing me away again. Not in big fits of anger or fear…but in that uncomfortable way a child who’s not your own, pushes you away. “OK lady, you’re nice and all…but that’s enough. I’ve gotta be on my way now.”  And, that hurts. Because...I want her for my own. And, yet I realize that none of my children are my own. That's the beauty and the pain of having children.

So, on top of the bitterness and anger I had for just being home with the kids, I was 
adding, “Why doesn’t she like me yet!? Why doesn’t she trust me?” You can see how it progresses. And, you can probably see how foolish it is of me to demand love and affection from a toddler who has only known me for two months. Alas! Emotions cloud logic again.
So!  The past week has been rough. I’ve been whining a lot to God about why I can’t seem to overcome my selfish personality, and why He let me take on this life in the first place! 
  Last night Reagan woke up screaming and terrified. I ran in and tried to comfort her. She very deliberately pushed me away and avoided all eye contact. She only was soothed by my placing her on the floor. It breaks my heart when she does that! Makes me feel like crap. I feel like she has been abandoned so many times, that just being left alone is comforting to her. I believe she had a night terror. And, that I may not have been the person she was hoping to walk through the door. Who knows? But, she cried for over 30 minutes. Eventually, I joined her. Finally, the crying woke Ked up, and Ked started singing, “Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star.” She's so sweet. That seemed to lighten the mood. And, eventually Reagan let me hold her and was fine as long as she didn’t look at me. Then she asked to be put in her crib, and I tucked her in and left the room.

I went to bed determined to ask God for help. I was in over my head and drowning in my own strength. So I prayed. And, whined. And finally opened the Bible…to wherever it fell open. You know—one of those, “OK God…TELL ME!” moments. So, my Bible opened to Romans 8. The chapter was split down the middle on two pages. Verses 1-14 were on the first page. I poured over and over them. Paul talks about not living according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. The flesh is dead because of sin; the Spirit is alive because of righteousness! I felt like God was telling me I had been relating to our daughter in a very, "fleshy" way. I wanted to have the rewards of this relationship. I wanted the cuddles. I wanted her trust. I didn’t care necessarily about what she’d been through…I expected her to trust me. Today.  And, when I didn’t feel loving , compassionate, or connected to her—I tried to “fake it ‘till I felt it.” Which is great advice. And, in general, I believe we are required to treat others with respect no matter what! But, God was calling me to something more. He was calling me to trust Him. And, even more, to trust Him with miracles. To delight in her as a miracle of His grace and supplication in our lives! He was calling me to STOP, “just getting by,” and reach for something deeper, and more meaningful. Something that was IMPOSSIBLE in my own strength. And would only happen through Him.
I felt exhausted just getting through those first few verses. THEN I started the next page:
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery,  leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:15-16
That’s when I started weeping.

How is it that my bible opened to a verse that dealt specifically with adoption? Oh how my Father has loved me. Though I fail over and over again! Though sometimes my sin, selfishness and ugliness is more than I can bare. How He loves and cares for His children! ALL His children. For Me. For Reagan. For you! 

I only wish that I had called out, “Abba! Father!” a little sooner.

Reagan ended up waking up again about an hour later. She signed, "potty," and we sat in the bathroom for about 30 minutes. She didn't go potty, but we played and my heart was changed. I kept thinking about delighting in her, enjoying this moment, and letting the Holy Spirit be more than I was, or ever could be. Reagan slept in my bed after we were done. And, she slept as far away from me as she could. I usually hurt and fume over her putting distance between us. But last night, I gave it away

We both slept like babies.


  1. Oh, Sarah. Tears came to my eyes as I read this post and when I came to the part about your opening your bible and the verses you read, I felt the Spirit tingling in me. God is so good! He truly doesn't give us more than we can handle.

    My son is not very affectionate. I have to give him a lot of space, but every now and then he'll come up to me and say he loves me. It happened yesterday and I was floored. I asked him why he said that to me and he said that God had told him to. I thanked him for obeying God. It made me feel so good! I'm learning to be content with the crumbs.

    You are so loved by our creator! He has you in the palm of your hand. He is growing you through this process. You are so blessed to be able to stay home with your kids. Blessed to be able to have so many kids. I would love two more kids, but God hasn't seen fit to bless us yet. I try not to envy those who have more. I've always wanted to adopt but my husband isn't on board. Unless God changes our situation, I'm determined to be content with what he has given me. As you know, our happiness is dictated by our attitude. I'm praying God will continue to fill you with the contentment and strength you need to get through each day, each hour if necessary. Here is a great big hug coming your way!

    God Bless You!!!

  2. You are an amazing woman, Sarah, & once again, I find myself wishing you weren't on the other side of the country! More than this, though, you & I serve a big God!! Praise Him for His daily grace in our lives!!

  3. Thank you guys. Even though adoption has a lot of heartache, it is good to remember that some kids DO just need more space. And, that really, as Keith Green says, "Just keep doing your best. Pray that it's blessed. Jesus takes care of the rest!"

    Cheesemakin' Mamma: I really had to give adoption to God. After a few years of talking, nagging, guilting, about it--and husband never feeling OK with it. It was only when I finally started really giving it God, that Mr. Deem said, "Hey! Let's do it!" Not that YOU haven't...but just that God's timing sometimes isn't as soon as we want. But perfect.


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