The Longing for One on 11.11.11…

Back in the day… my late 20’s. 🙂 Bob and I remember clearly all the discussions surrounding wanting a family. I remember thinking it was like most things at that stage of life. You set your mind to it, you worked hard and then the goal will be fulfilled. I really did think that way and hard work in school, job interviews and many other categories really did prove my theory right. We had the world by the tail to some degree and we were loving being married but knew we wanted kids in order to begin what felt like the next chapter of our lives together. Fast forward two plus years and we were not getting pregnant. Everything health wise checked out fine for both of us and we began to sink into a deep funk about the possibility that biological children were not in our cards. It was a tough and very lonely time. We began to attend a support group for those struggling with fertility issues. It was a good next step and boy am I glad we did. What happened throughout the few weeks we attended the class changed our hearts. You see we watched people go through terrible pain and grief about not having their own biological child. Some couples had strived for many years and still were without children. We left, I believe the second meeting and a giant conversation just exploded from our mouths as the car doors closed. We both quickly announced that we did not want to spend the next years of our lives lamenting not having biological children. We smiled at one another and then the words that I am certain God was birthing in our hearts flowed from both our mouths . I would love to adopt a child. The relief was palpable. Since bio children was not happening for us we would begin to open our hearts and minds to the miracle of adoption. We had no idea at that time what adoption would mean for us and looking back we had no clear picture as to when.  I just love giving you that background because it is a part of the story that I feel compelled to celebrate today.  Here is why…

This guy… our precious son, turns 11 today. Yes indeed he is 11 on 11. 11. 11. It is a big deal and we are gonna party tonight with a family celebration.

Within months of our shared adoption epiphany back in 1999 we finally became pregnant with our first child. Our Hayden was born and we were over the moon and so ready after having waited for so long to enter the parenting arena. It was a magical and very funny day that I will never forget and Hayden was a glowing little angel {not kidding} with silver spun hair and perfect skin. He has been blessing us and those his life touches every since.



So here is the cool thing… two more boys, our second and third sons, came quickly and easily into our lives and left us with very full hands. You have seen the mom’s like me with three boys under four in the grocery store. You try not to stare or judge but you find yourself wondering what was she thinking. Yep we could turn heads back then and especially as the tantrum phases began. We often looked crazy and felt a little crazed too. But still in the back of my mind I would think about that idea of having a child by way of adoption. Owen was only one year old when I began to research adoption. I was clueless but knew it was a path I had to explore. On and on the story goes until we get to this little one who made her way into our family through international adoption.

She is a little heartbreaker and so similar to my biological kids that those who know us well just chuckle. God does not make mistakes. His timing is perfect and His ability to teach us through example is simple awesome. My deep desire to parent a child was answered and through that longing the idea of loving another child by way of adoption was born.

Take it one step further and I know that our journey to Ava has brought us closer to loving more children than we could have ever imagined 11 years ago. We are on a simply awesome journey and now I sit back { well I try anyway } and wait to see what miracle will happen next. One longing birthed a dream and that dream fulfilled created a fire inside that drives me to work hard for the 163 million children who wait for hope and a future. Now that is something to celebrate on this day, 11.11.11!

Peace and Grace,



4 thoughts on “The Longing for One on 11.11.11…”

  1. Beautiful on so many levels!!
    First thing this morning Brett said, “Today is Hayden’s birthday and his 11 on 11-11-11!”
    Love how God let’s us see his love and care and guiding in our lives.
    Your words bring glory to Him!
    Happy Birthday Hayden!! Enjoy your special day with your special family!
    Love to you all!

  2. Melanie,

    I’m new to your blog, but saw the link at Russ and Heather Nordstrom’s blog. Their names may be familiar to you because, like you, they have also adopted through AGC from Hannah’s Hope, The Nordstroms are dear, dear friends.

    I just read your post about Hayden’s birthday and was touched by your family’s story. Although our story details are different, our years of infertility also contributed to the growth in my husband and me a passion for the fatherless.

    When we tried to begin our family, no solution was found by our doctors to our barrenness, despite our fervent pursuit of pregnancy. Despite the chilling prognosis, childlessness just was NOT an option. Thankfully, our good God opened both our hearts to adopting. We were deeply blessed, and after nearly seven years of infertility, a domestic adoption allowed us to become the parents of a beautiful newborn we called Anna. God then miraculously intervened, and we gave birth to twins 15 months later. We were never able to have any more biological children; the Lord opened my womb just that once.

    For years, we were content with our family. But, about a decade ago, the Lord began to nudge us to look into adopting an older child from Russia. Over the past ten years, we’ve ended up adding three trios of older Russian kiddos to our family, and all nine of them are doing beautifully. That first adoption of Anna made adoption seem doable; it took away at least some of the fear that adopting can stir up.

    There is a part of me that still wishes I could have experienced pregnancy more than once, but I’m grateful to God for our infertility. Our barrenness was (and is) part of something the Lord is doing that is so much bigger than my husband and me becoming parents. Praise God!

    May the Lord richly bless the six of you!

    PS. Your photos are stunning!

    1. WOW Denise: I abso;utely love you story and clearly I need to visit your blog! So do you really have 12 kids? That is simply amazing and clearly God had a bigger plan than you could have ever imagined as is often the case and totally the case for our family. I do understand your desire to have had another pregnancy but again what a blessing that was in store for all of you through adoption. Adoption truly rocks and has changed us to the core. Sometimes in our 20s we are blinded a bit by our selfish love and our desire to just follow what feels liek the noraml plan when everyone else is doing it. I pray for more hearts to be changed by God, which obviously means tough stuff and that He might continue to make adoption a perfect choice for many. I pray also for adoption to become easier and for those in it who have hoirrible intentions to continue to be outed. You are a blessing to the world with your hope and heart. Thanks so much for reading, writing and praying. We are all on this crazy raod of life together!
      Peace and Grace,

  3. Melanie,

    Thanks for your kind response to my comment. Your mention of selfish love being a motivation for parenting struck a cord. As I peer back through the cracks of time, I see a young woman who’s burning desire to be a mom was mostly about how children would make me feel.

    God has used His call on our lives to adopt broken kiddos to “unself” my parenting. The process is still a work in progress, but a lot of good “death” has occurred. There’s now less of me and more of Him, and nothing could make me a better mom than being molded into His son’s image. As painful as our infertility was, I thank God for it regularly now. He is so good.

    Grace and peace to you, too,

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