Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Day Redeemed

January 26th, 2013. The day that would have been my baby shower. It's a day I had looked forward to for over five years. I remember laying awake at all hours of the night, feeling my daughter move inside me, imagining what my baby shower would be like. I would stand up in front of all my friends and family, all big and round, and share about the miracle God had performed. I would listen to my mother and mother in law talk about their joy and excitement at being first time grandmas. I would open gifts of tiny outfits and sweet story books and everyone would make oohing and awing noises. 

January 26th, 2013 was a lot different than I had imagined. Instead of celebrating the imminent arrival of our first born, I spent the day at the beach healing and reflecting on God's decision to take our daughter home. I didn't wear makeup that day because I figured I would be crying a lot, but now that I think back, I don't think I cried once. 
Smiling. Who would have thought?
God redeemed the day for me.

I am blessed with some wonderful women in my life. Strong, compassionate, loving women. On the day I would have celebrated a baby, a new life, instead I celebrated the life God had blessed me with. My own. My mother, my friend Pam (my BSF leader at the time), and my friend Audrey took me to the beach.
Audrey decided to climb a tree. Why not!?

It's hard now to describe the day. It was so perfectly calm and beautiful that it almost doesn't feel real. We enjoyed amazing weather, beautiful and delicious food, laughter, reflection on God's grace, and His overwhelmingly perfect timing. It was a day filled with soft soothing memories that I will hold in my heart forever. 

Isn't that just like God's grace? To redeem a day that seems irredeemable.  
(UPDATE: Read the comments to see my mother's view of this beautiful January day.)

Me and my mom. Redeemed.
Our adoption shower will be another redeeming day. Instead of being the only one to feel this child move, I imagine placing our first child to live on this earth into the arms of the people I love. Watching their faces as they look into the small face of a living breathing miracle. Hearing these women speak soft and soothing words to the child we have waited so long to meet. If there is a woman in attendance at our adoption celebration who has never seen a miracle, she will not leave in the same sad state. So much hope. So much excitement. 

Blessing tree and diaper cake made for my cousin's shower.
I don't want to get too ahead of myself and plan the whole celebration now, before we're even matched. Anticipation can be fun. I want to savor and enjoy the planning process. There are a few things I've already decided on though. Awhile ago I hosted a baby shower for my cousin and we had a blessing tree. I took a tree branch and cut tag ornaments out on my Cricut. Everyone wrote words of encouragement to the new mom and prayers for her sweet daughter on the tags and then hung them on the tree. At the end of the party we took all the tags and put them in a little album for my cousin to take home. I loved this idea when I did it for her and I can't wait to read all the beautiful things my friends and family write on our special day. I'm also pretty set on a Dr. Seuss theme. The first baby item I bought when we started the adoption process was a Cat In The Hat onesie. I also really like diaper cakes. No particular reason. Just think they're really cute. I've made a few over the years for friends (there's a picture of one I made in this post too) and I look forward to having one of my own. Other than that, I just look forward to sharing this amazing, wonderful, joyful day with the people I love. It will feel like a giant collective exhale of relief and peace in our family.


  1. I will always remember that day, Kristen. I wrote this then. (Can I write this much in and still call it a "comment"?) Momma

    A few months back we thought we would have a baby shower today, but we were put on another path. Pam, Kristen’s Bible Study Fellowship leader, thoughtfully suggested a trip to the beach. Pam, Audrey, Kristen and I left this morning around 11:00 o’clock.
    It was raining when we got on the freeway. None of us had a whit of concern about that. I think we knew it would be a perfect day. Guess what? It was.
    We were slightly late in getting started. Perhaps that’s why we were not involved in the car accident we slowly passed as we made our way to our designation.
    We drove out of the inland rain and into thick fog on the Pacific Coast Highway. We parked the car and enjoyed a lovely walk down to the beach.
    The fog immediately lifted. No kidding.
    We gave our name to the hostess at the restaurant where we lunched and used our relatively short wait to walk down the beach where we saw dolphins swimming remarkably close to the shore, pelicans dive bombing, and sunlight breaking through magnificent blue-gray clouds.
    Though we told the hostess we would take any available table, we were seated on the deck where we had the best view of the ocean.
    Our luscious lunches were served on Fiestaware. I adore Fiestaware.
    Our three course meal included beignets drizzled with chocolate, accompanied by delectable, rich vanilla ice cream shot through with bits of real vanilla. I’ve never had beignets before. Must NOT learn how to make them for myself. Dangerous.
    We began our walk back up the hill to the car, only to be met by the tram that took us to our parking place in mere moments. Nice.
    The tram driver was utterly hilarious. He had everyone laughing out loud by the time we got to the top of the hill.
    We ended up parking for free when it ordinarily would have cost $15.00.
    The sunset was spectacular.
    The clouds parted and a brilliant moon lit up the sky.
    Good conversation, prayer, and laughter were woven throughout the entire day. Pam and Audrey are smart, authentic, kind women and I am grateful that my daughter is blessed with their friendship. Gratitude for them fills my heart.
    “As He tells the stories of our lives, we need to come to grips with the fact that God loves cliffhangers. The application that we should draw from this is that we should love cliffhangers too – even though we are the ones hanging from the cliff.” Douglas Wilson

    We are learning. Meanwhile, praise God from whom all blessings flow.

    1. I remember reading this. A great description of that day. It really was a good day. Thank you!

  2. I like your idea for a blessing tree. *A* and I hosted Thanksgiving last year for the first time, inviting my family to spend a few days with us. I had the idea of doing a centerpiece Thanksgiving tree, where I did branches in a vase (filled with pine cones) and cut out leaves in fall colors. Everyone picked as many leaves as they wanted to and wrote what they were thankful for. It was a good, reflective experience that will probably become a tradition. Having a "blessing" tree is the same thing, but wishing for the future. Nice :)

    1. That's an awesome idea! I suppose you could use this for pretty much any kind of party.

  3. Just so you know, I cried as I read this entry. They weren't sad tears; they were tears of joy and remembrance and anticipation and gratefulness. That was such an incredible, amazing day and God's fingerprints were all over it. I am humbled to have been used by the Almighty and to have been included on this page. I, too, will forever have sweet memories of a divinely appointed day. I'd like to add one thing to your mom's comments, though, and that's the fireworks we witnessed in Riverside on the drive home that night. Who, but the Lord, could have topped off our outing in such a spectacular way?

    1. Thank you for being my friend, Pam. I am so grateful for your support. I agree, the fireworks were a nice cherry on top :).

  4. Hi there!
    So glad I found your blog! My husband and I just started the adoption process. I am so excited to follow your journey. Your honesty and transparency is refreshing :) Much love to you and you are in my prayers.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and support! Congratulations on starting your journey!


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