I was having difficulty with today’s prompt until my farmer sent me his list.  He sends me his because he very much dislikes writing on the chalkboard…sometimes I make him do it just for fun.  I’m going to share his because I’m taking them for my own too in addition to a couple more.

1. renting our house

2.  office location

3.  bankruptcy

None of these ever would have been our first choices, especially that last one.  Not fun, but God’s mercy spoke volumes through the experience.  All of these shifted my own thinking as I was sort of stumped with the whole plan B idea.  Once I saw the wisdom of my farmer man, I knew what I would choose as the greatest plan B gift I have ever, ever received.  And in no way am I demeaning these gifts by calling them plan B’s.

IMG_7354     IMG_7386I have previously shared my hard eucharisteos which left our story with a 20 month old Riley Quin, 3 precious babes in Heaven, and fallopian tubes that had been destroyed.  If you have read any of my previous blogs, you know we have three amazing kids, which leaves two stories still untold.  Yup, these are two of my plan B’s!  From the time I was a kid, I knew that I wanted to adopt kids who needed homes.  Every Disney movie or Annie-type flick out there, convinced my heart that I would walk up to one of those orphanages some day and take them home.  So, in a way this is a disclaimer because the term “Plan B” means it’s not my first choice.  Thus, this gets jumbled in my head…I think way too much…I’ve been told.  Moving on.  Once I was married, I immediately wanted to get pregnant and start popping out those babies.  My sister already had 2, I was falling behind!  As the years went by and I was not getting pregnant, I told my husband that we needed to get moving on the adoption stuff.  He was quite irritating because his response was always, God will work this all out and tell us when it is time.  He had the audacity to state that it was just not God’s timing yet.  What did he know?  He really bugged me.  At one point, in a rather irritated tone, I asked him if he really thought God was just going to drop a baby on our doorstep.  I knew how long it can take for an adoption to go through and I was getting older by the day.  1999 roles around, and in February I am pregnant for Riley, pregnant again in 2000 and again in 2001.  Just prior to finding out I was pregnant for the third time, like literally the day before, I was in a Beth Moore Bible Study.  It was one of her earlier studies in which she was talking about their decision to adopt their son.  Now I had already taken more  recent studies of hers, so I knew that they no longer had this boy in their home and knew of her heart ache.  The entire time I was listening to her story I already knew the outcome and I felt as if God were asking me, “Do you trust me with this? It’s time to start looking into adoption seriously.”  It was so loud and strong within my heart that I called Parker from the parking lot and told him that God was telling me it was time to start this process.  His response was, “Okay, we’ll do it.”  Then I knew this was in fact God prompting us.  Well, the next day, the doctor office calls with a positive pregnancy test and told me the hormone levels were crazy high.  My sister had twins a few years before, so I immediately called her.  Ok God, I guess this means we put the adoption stuff on the shelf for a few months and see what happens next.  Well, within the next few weeks, we grieve the loss of our twins and I recover from surgery.  Immediately my mind goes right back to adopting, I guess this is where we call it Plan B?  Well intentioned friends told me that adopting would not replace the three we lost.  They said that I needed to grieve and give myself time.  But we both knew that this had nothing to do with replacing anybody…not even possible.  And if I waited until I was done grieving, well, it’s never done.  So we made phone calls and had meetings and got lots and lots of paperwork.  Financially we hit a big roadblock and felt we needed to just wait some more.  By now we are into the summer of 2002 and still waiting.  I had gotten news about a possible birth mother on the way to a meeting.  It was a planning meeting with a friend who was the pastor of a ministry in which we were involved.  Excited, I told him of the possibility and asked him to pray.  His response was, “Oh, I didn’t know you two wanted to adopt.”  Nothing came to fruition with this first birth mother, but very late on July 2, 2002, this pastor called us and said his mom just talked to her good friend whose nephew’s girlfriend is pregnant.  They were considering adoption and wanted a Christian home that would consider an open adoption.  They think she is about 9 months along.  Here’s the number of the birth father’s aunt.  Any guesses who that baby girl might be???  Grace Trinity Arin Joy was born July 31 at 4:40 p.m., we saw her for the first time in August, and officially took custody of her September 4, 2002.  So, no, God did not place her on our doorstep, but He did just call us.  I’m really glad my farmer is so very wise.

Part two to Plan B began with a birthday card for sweet Gracey in July of 2003.  Her birth mother let me know that although it was not intended, she was pregnant again.  I had no idea how all of this would play out, but I knew that God’s will would be done regardless of where the four of us would fit into it.  Ethan was born November 29, 2003.  We took custody of him February 24, 2004.  Ethan Garrett Lewis was home.

I want to note here that we do have an open adoption and have contact with their birth family.  They are full siblings and we have had the privilege to get to know some of the family members and I adore them.  God united us not only with two precious ones to raise but united our hearts with other people who love them dearly.

The Holy One gave us specific verses for each of them as we walked through this process, but the verse He brought to mind as I write on this Plan B prompt is a favorite of mine.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

You see, our Plan B’s are not Plan B’s.  If it’s happening, it’s His plan!  And His plans are to not harm you but to give you hope and a future.  That is why my farmer listed us renting instead of owning our home, an office location change that he never would have chosen but has been such a blessing, and going through bankruptcy.  These things were not on the Five Year plan, but I assure you we would not go back for anything.  The way in which we ended up adopting our loves was not how we planned it, but there isn’t one factor of our story that I would ever change, ever.  And through all of it, He has taught us, proven to us even (which He so does not have to do), that He is totally on the Throne, in charge, and amazingly Good!

“BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD; I WILL BE EXALTED AMONG THE NATIONS, I WILL BE EXALTED IN THE EARTH.”  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.  Psalms 46:10-11

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably  more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

Yup, I threw in the verses He gave us as we journeyed through each adoption.  I did so because I realized how much He encouraged us with these same truths as we journeyed through my farmer’s plan B’s.  Rest and trust Him, dear ones.  Count the eucharisteo, for “eucharisteo always precedes the miracle.” Ann Voskamp