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Saturday, November 19, 2016

She loved him too



A year ago today, we publicly shared this little face for the first time

With many fears, questions, and unknowns, we signed our first papers to say we were coming for this little boy



We started building his room and making a place in our home and family for this little stranger in a picture,



A year ago there was an ocean and thousands of miles separating us 

and the only thing I knew for certain was that even if it seemed impossible, and crazy, it was still right,.


On this day A year ago we could have never anticipated the many miracles this decision would bring.



I have wanted to compile the pieces of Noahs story from his birth mom for awhile now because its just too moving not to share, so today on national adoption day, what greater way to celebrate then sharing this story

Noah may have been an orphan for a time, but the mother who gave him life, loved him too, in a way that is hard for me to comprehend.

Here is her story,
a story that we will forever be grateful became part of our story.

When we were in the process of adopting Noah we were blessed to be given these two newborn pictures of our boy. (a true blessing to have since we don't have a single baby picture of Mia) We couldn't share them at the time, and I remember looking at these photos and wondering

 "what was his story?


Was his mother still thinking about her baby?

Would we ever know more to his story?"

In the majority of cases, as was the case with Mia, in international adoption such as this, the birth parents walk away from the child and are never heard from again once they sign their rights away and leave the baby at the orphanage.

A year ago as I would sit studying these pictures I could have never imagined how his story would unfold ...

or see all that was woven into this little boys life



and how one day we would be rewarded with the greatest gift we could have hoped for......

the gift of this little boy...

AND his story....


In the beginning, we often wondered why?
Why Kris didn't feel the same level of feelings pushing him towards this as I did?
Why were we heading down this path....again?
Why, no matter how hard I tried, could I not get these feelings for this little boy to go away?



Why now?
Why was there an urgency to get to this boy that was so real and so tangible?


 Little did we know last year that along this path we would find answers that we had never dreamed of

It was indeed a 3 part miracle,


A miracle for Noah,


A miracle for us,


and a miracle for her (his birth mom).

The way Noahs' story was orchestrated it was only fitting that the Lord needed another mother to answer the prayers of this mother in ukraine,


He needed me to feel what this mother on the other side of the world was feeling for her little boy,


He needed me to listen and act, teaching me lessons I could never have learned any other way,


He needed a father to learn lessons on faith that are hard to put into words, as he trusted and stepped up for this little boy,



He needed this mother in Ukraine to know that God exists, and that He does in fact hear our prayers...sometimes in a miraculous way.


The day we met his birth mom we witnessed full circle what months of whisperings were all about 



...they were undeniably for him. 



And because of him, we would all be changed forever.

Kris said to me after our first meeting with this birth mom "I just can't get over  this.... I'm not even a mom that carried a baby for 9 months and then gave birth, but as a parent , I just can't imagine what giving up a child would feel like and then walking away not knowing what would happen to them ....what going through those 10 months must have been like? What agony she must have been in...
I think the windows of heaven were opened just a little today as we saw a glimpse of how much love our Heavenly Father has for each of his children here on earth and how mindful he is to connect the prayer of a mother on one side of the earth to a willing mother on the other side."

 only God can orchestrate such miracles as this.


The result was a miraculous journey that was a witness and a testimony to everyone involved that God does care about each of his children, no matter their skin color, the language they speak, or where they live in the world. His love extends to the whole earth and transcends any and every kind of boundary that we as mortals tend to put up.


If you have not read these first two parts of the story you can find them at the links below... and they are a must read!

The first meeting with Noah's birth mom HERE


Second meeting HERE 

I have had this sweet woman on my mind a lot lately and have such a deep love for her and the gift she gave to our family and I wanted to share some more pieces of her story here...(with her permission)
these accounts are in her own words and having them is one of our most sacred and special gifts and we hold them dear to our hearts. We never shared them at the time because of their personal, sacred nature, but recently I have felt they should be shared....they should be documented in Noahs sweet story, as another testament that love makes miracles. And when I asked his birth mom if it was ok she said ".........of course I don't mind ...your blog is very interesting and it can help people to become kinder"

Noah's birth In her words....

"Today is his 10-month birthday. He was born the 26th of May. When I was giving birth to him, it was very interesting. He was born C-section. I saw him, the doctor put music on his telephone, very good music. I laid there and was waiting for my baby, (tears) but then it happened and the doctors didn’t let me see my baby. Then he came up to me and said that my baby is not an ordinary baby. I rang up my husband and told him. He came up to me and said that we could not take him in our family and his parents were against Noah. They said me not to come to his home.  It was very difficult time for me because I was very alone, very very sad. I didn’t want leave. My eyes were full of tears. I am sorry for this. I didn’t want leave, but I have an elder son. He needs mother and I knew that I must leave for him. I am sorry. And then I want to tell you that I didn’t want, what could I do. Because if I take Noah I would go to a small town to my father and I would have to take my eldest son with me. In this way he wouldn’t have father. But he loves me and he loves his father. And I didn’t know what to do. And I had no flat, it was my husband’s flat. And then people in this building told me then that maybe good people wanted to take Noah in their family. And I became very glad and since then I was waiting for you every day....waiting every day. I asked God to help Noah, not to help me, to help Noah and I know that if I take him I will not be able to give him a life as you can." 



Kris and I gave a presentation to a church group a few weeks ago on "overcoming fear with faith " and as we were preparing for that talk, we were brought to tears many times remembering the journey to Noah and the story behind his birth mother.
The day we said goodbye to Noah's birth mom for the last time, I handed her a sign that said "Faith makes things possible " and she asked "What is faith?" I said "Faith is what got us here.....its believing in something we may not see or something we may not have all the answers to."

Imagine the kind of faith this woman must have had to walk away from her son and pray that someone would come for him, not actually knowing if that would be the case, not actually knowing what would ever become of her son....only knowing she had to leave him


Birth mom: I want to say, I don’t think about me. I don’t have to think about me. I have to think about his life. I know that he will be happy with you. 
                  Us-Thank you. 
Birth mom: not for me but for him. I must think about his life.

and then for 10 months she prayed every day for someone to come save her baby....

Birth mom-- he lived here 10 months without parents. He was alone. (everyone crying). I did not, I could not go here because I don’t want to get used to him. I was waiting for you every day, every day. And God helped me and helped Noah. I don’t wish any people to feel as I feel. All of this time I felt as an old woman at that time. My heart was ill. My soul was ill and ached. It’s very difficult, very very difficult. I am sorry for my tears.
                                  he now is your baby, not mine. He’s your baby. 
                                                 And you will always be his mom. 


and her faith weaved its threads into ours and together we all witnessed a miracle in this little boys life.
A miracle preceded by fear and built upon faith.

Birth mom (as she held him) ...Good boy, good boy. Why are you taking in your family such children as Noah? Why are you doing this? Because you believe in God?
Us-Yes we believe in God. Our daughter Bree has Down Syndrome. Kecia gave birth to Bree. So its not new to us. Its not scary to us. Its happy to us.
Birth mom: But it is difficult?
                 Us- Yes sometimes, but it is very rewarding.


One of our most sacred possessions is this letter that Noah's birth mom gave us while we were in Ukraine. Kris had already gone home and she wanted to express her feelings to both of us so she wrote us this letter....and as Kris and I read it together, each on different sides of the world, we wept and felt a spirit we had never felt that strong. 

She began by saying; 
"you know it was very hard for me to see my baby last Saturday. And at the same time I was so happy to see him; especially in your hands. I walked in the park after our meeting and thought, Our Lord is so kind for me and Noah!! I was so happy, but later that night I realized how an awful thing I had made in my life when I left him in the hospital alone, I realized how wonderful of a gift from our Lord I had lost. My other son came up to me for several times, wiped my eyes and said; mommy, don’t cry, please. I love you very much. I love him very much too but I was not able to explain him why I was crying.

       The next day when I was going home after work I sat on the bench without any strength, looked up into the sky and pleaded; dear God, forgive me please. Be merciful to me. Help me with my heartache, please. And its hard to believe but I heard a voice in my heart that said; why don’t you hear me, everything in your life will be ok. And a second later I felt so much blessing in my soul, that I can’t find right words to tell you how good it was in my heart. I realized again that I made the right choice, not for me but for Noah’s life.
      
A few months ago I brought some diapers to the orphanage and decided to have a look at my baby. He was so little and was sleeping all the time. I was allowed to hold him in my arms and even to kiss him. My heart was so ache, it was so hard to leave him there. After that visit I was crying all week long (it was good I had a holiday then). But all the time I was sure that one day kind people would come to him and he would have parents. And this day has come!!! I remember I noticed how brightly the sun began to shine after I found out you had come, how fresh the air had become after that news. I prayed God that you would like my baby. But I didn’t even imagine you would have so much love in your hearts. Its true it is a fairytale for my dear baby. And what is the interesting, since I have met you my life began to change. I can smile again. I become kindlier to people, I feel more love in my heart, I believe in God more than earlier and I want to do good deeds, and already have a few ideas about it. I don’t know how I will be able to do all that I want but now I know that if you ask God about something he answers your praying as good as you can imagine. Sometimes it seems to me Noah is an angel that was sent by God to teach people to love."

"A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me. "
–Jody Landers-
...........................................................................................................................................................

Through the last year we have learned that we can never know what the future holds, but we can know when we are being asked to overcome our fears and step out in faith… and we can begin by taking one simple step forward in faith…..and then another. 
Heavenly Father sent us to earth to learn and grow and to find our way back home to him. 
He sent us to test our faith. To give us opportunites to trust him.
“Faith does not change god’s will, it empowers us to trust gods’ will.”


And as we live our lives in a manner that allows us to be guided and led by the spirit of the Lord, even when those promptings and those new paths are scary, we can overcome our fears through faith. 
And we can experience an enlightening that is beyond the veil, an enlightening that grants the kind of peace that can only come through excercising and acting upon faith. 

And sometimes, although not always, at the end of such paths, the heavens open and you can see clearly. 


A year ago when we started our journey to Noah, it was hard, and many times we felt the Lord wrap his arms around us and say “I know this is hard, but your son needs you to do this….I need you to do this……don't retreat when the pressure mounts" 


and at every turn that things got tough, and I would begin to doubt my faith and doubt this path, the image of these deep, dark eyes on this heavenly little boy came flooding to my mind 



and i would hear these words ..."He will grant sufficient strength when you take a leap of faith" 

Our Heavenly Father has a divine plan for us all and we had sacred moments witnessing that truth in Ukraine. Witnessing miracles that only our Heavenly Father could orchestrate, but he needed us to play our part in this plan. He needed us to find Noah and this sweet birth mom. And we all needed to find each other.


Having a connection to this sweet lady is one of our greatest blessings. We get to communicate with her through messages online and she gets to see Noah and see him grow and thrive. And her husband also sees Noahs' pictures and through his wife he has shared his gratitude to us as well. They can finally feel peace.
Any time I receive a message from her I cry and I am overcome with gratitude for this addition to my life.

Oh What we would have missed out on had we let fear change our path a year ago!


As we have reflected back to this time last year when we were in such turmoil trying to decipher these feelings and trying to decide if we should add this little boy to our family , we have relived those difficult days where we almost walked away. Last year at this time I spent Many days in tears and with every fiber of my being asking myself 
"how can i do this? how can i say yes? 



....but yet how can I say no? How can I walk away?" 


I have told his birth mom that I know now that SHE was the reason I couldn't walk away last year, ...

She was the reason I felt an unexplainable pull towards this little boy that could not be quieted....

She was praying so fervently for his mother and father to come rescue him


                           and I can now say I know thats what I was feeling last year


                I was not only feeling this little boy calling to me, but I was feeling her


I was feeling another mothers love


a love that would forever change us all as it connected us to this precious soul 




and as Noahs story came full circle Kris said "I can't believe I almost stood in the way of this miracle, that I almost let fear win....we almost missed out on a miracle we could have never seen coming"

A miracle is what seems impossible but happens anyway.
It seemed impossible for us to travel this road 



It seemed impossible to come up with the means and the way to get to him in a timely manner 
It seemed impossible to understand how something.....someone.... was calling us to action 

It seemed impossible to this little boys birth mom that God would really be able to hear her prayers and that those prayers would be answered 

It seemed impossible that at some points of the timeline where the birth mom was literally pleading with God for this boy's life to be saved , I was simultaneously overcome with emotion bringing me to tears and feeling chills come over my body .....I had no idea at the time that what I was feeling were her pleas, knowing that our Savior was speaking to me and that there was an urgency to follow in faith 



even small details as this as she shared how she felt she should learn english last summer...are more then a mere coincidence but rather another thread leading us to each other.
"I want to speak to you in english, in the language of Noah, because if you remember I told you that I started to learn english every day in the summer of 2015, because I knew that one day I will meet good parents for my son" 


"My dear favorite Kecia and Kris! Every day I live with the feeling that I have got you in my life. I never cease to thank God for what he has heard my prayers and sent you to my boy! I want to cry from what I understand, how the Lord is merciful to me, though I do not deserve. I go to church and pray for you and for all of our children. I am very grateful to you! I would not be able to do here in Ukraine for Noah all that you do for him!"

Message from his birth mom last week....

"My dear kecia, I think about you and your family. every evening when I go to bed I remember Noah, almost every evening I look at his pictures on Facebook, I often cry and my soul hurts, I feel so bad for leaving my son. and that will last the rest of my life. But, my dear Kecia, do not worry about it because in half an hour later I wipe the tears away when I see how Noah is smiling, I see that he is very happy, it even seemed to me that he already feels your love to him and he feels his love to you. A few days ago my husband and me was looking at NOahs pictures and I said "I could not imagine what I would have done and how I would have lived if this people have not appeared in my life. We were lucky and I feel that God helped us" My husband agreed with me. I am no longer angry with him for what he is then forced me to do. He was right then, because we could not for Noah do everything the same as you do for him. Good attitude of the surrounding people, excellent conditions of life for all children regardless of their features and of course very much love is very important. I see how Noah is happy and it is everything I need. You are the best parents I have ever seen before and I love you very much. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!"

We have all been forever changed by the story of this woman

This woman who loved our boy too.








Monday, May 30, 2016

One is fun

This is more then just a room full of people 
Where Noah was born ...This goes against everything people believe about Down syndrome 
That this many people could instantly love and support a child with Down syndrome 

On his birthday a year ago, when he entered this world, 

he was welcomed with tears, fear, and a general consensus that he was worthless of life outside an orphanage. 
Except God had a different plan for this boy 
And this sight right here 
A house FULL of people who love and believe in this little boy 
Is just the beginning of that plan that was set into motion one year ago 
Noah's birth mother knew Noah had no future like this in her country 

As I watched Noah literally swarmed by all his cousins and friends as he was opening gifts my heart was extremely full. 
And I am so grateful for the immense love this little boy has in his life now 
Here this little boys path changed so drastically from alone, afraid and shut away
To celebrated, loved and content with happiness 
He has no idea what today means
He has no idea that today's celebration was more then just cake, 




ice cream, Or balloons 
and gifts,

... Today was a miracle 
A miracle that we found our way to him , 
and could have him home in time to celebrate his first birthday with his family ,
 instead of alone in an orphanage 

 he is now beginning the life he so deserves 
Last week as I spent 8 days with him in the hospital I couldn't stop thinking of what if all these health problems had hit him just a few months sooner ? While he was in an orphanage? If they had, he would not have had the care he needed and I am so thankful for the lords guiding hand in the timing of this process to allow him to be home to be cared for me celebrated 

He has A life where he is loved 
A life where he is celebrated 
(Noah's ark style of course)























A life where people believe in him and his abilities 
A life where he can thrive 
A life where he belongs 

Happy first birthday little man! We love you!