Celebrating Life on Mother’s Day

April 23, 2016 in Abortion, Adoption, Adversity, Depression, Fertility, Grief, Heavenly Mother, Lani, Loss, Motherhood, Pain, Parenting, Waiting

 

Image SourceMother’s Day can be really hard.

Hard because you want to be a mother, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Hard because you recently lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth.

Hard because you’re healing from an abortion.

Hard because you have been waiting to adopt for a very long time.

Hard because you weren’t able to have as many children as you wanted.

Hard because your mother passed away, and you miss her terribly.

Hard because you wish you could spend more time with your children.

Hard because you’re a single father without a partner.

Hard because you’re a single mother, and you’re tired of doing it alone.

Hard because you’re unable to be with your husband or wife because of military, work, or other reasons.

Hard because your stepchildren reject you.

Hard because your mother struggled to give you the love you needed.

Hard because you struggle yourself to be the mother you want to be.

Hard because your mother was brutally abusive.

Hard because your mother committed suicide.

Hard because you gave your heart and soul to raising your kids, and now you never hear from them.

Hard because you long to know your Mother in Heaven.

So hard.

It’s OK if you love Mother’s Day. It’s OK if you hate Mother’s Day. Your feelings about Mother’s Day are valid and real, and I want you to let yourself feel them. You don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to hide your tears. Because I believe Dr. Aletha Solter’s words about children are also true about adults:

No matter what the source of stress, children will not feel better until they have been allowed to cry and rage as much as needed (Tears and Tantrums, p. 12).

Sometimes we will cry and rage for years.

I can’t take away your pain. I won’t take away your pain. Your pain belongs to you. But I do want you to know that I celebrate you.

I have carried some heavy rocks in my backpack. One of the heaviest was labeled: no-will-to-live. It was so heavy that when it was gone I felt like I might float right up to cloud nine-hundred-and-nine from the relief of it. I never could have imagined how much joy and hope my future would hold. I thank God every day that I chose life. This Mother’s Day I have so much to celebrate.

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These words quoted in our most recent General Conference are brutally true:

Each one of us experiences dark days when our loved ones pass away, painful times when our health is lost, feelings of being forsaken when those we love seem to have abandoned us. These and other trials present us with the real test of our ability to endure. –Thomas S. Monson

I know you have carried, are carrying, and will carry some of your own heavy rocks. You too have known indescribable sorrows. You have dragged yourself, bloody and bruised, over piercing paths and menacing mountains.

But.

You are still here. You are still breathing. You have successfully endured. All of your days. And all of your nights. And you are still here.

That is why I celebrate you.

Yes, let’s celebrate mothers. Because there are some inspiring and remarkable mothers out there, and thank the Lord for those nurturing souls who heal humanity with their presence. Yes, let’s celebrate women. Because women give life in so many ways beyond what happens in the womb. But even if you don’t personally feel like celebrating anything on May 8th this year (and that is totally OK), I will still be celebrating you.

That’s what Mother’s Day will be for me this year… A celebration of the gift of life. A celebration of the ones who gave us this messy, brutal, exquisitely beautiful thing we’re living every day.

I will celebrate those who have had the courage to give life, and with an extra measure of compassion and awe I will also celebrate those who have had the courage to give life a chance. And to keep giving life a chance… day in and day out… even when those days are full of ache.

I am so glad your mother gave you the gift of life. I am so glad you exist. And every day that you choose to keep going is a gift to humanity and yourself.

On May 8th I’ll be holding you in my heart.

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Sale begins April 24th

Sale begins April 24th

30 Babies In Search Of A Willing Mother

January 30, 2015 in Felice, Jesus Christ, Uncategorized

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Recently, through fasting, I discovered some generational issues with deprivation. So, today I had a friend guide me in some therapeutic imagery journey, and as I was carried away in the spirit, Jesus Christ stepped in and healed all the “deprived” issues in one of my family lines. As I was finishing the journey I was taken unexpectedly to a garden, where there were about 30 babies (they hijacked my journey). I could feel their pain and sadness and it was more than I could bear. I called Jesus to come quickly and heal them!

He came and his light began to heal them all, but he wanted me to sit next to some of them and help with the healing. So I sat there and I understood that all of these babies were cast off babies from my line (going way back). Castaways is a term coined by Sarah Hinze for souls who are aborted or otherwise blocked from their entry into the world. Lani has written a lot about them and I have some experience with working with them and healing them. Many of these souls choose to keep these wounds and feelings of abandonment and memories of their first womb experience so that when (and if) they get another opportunity to come through the same or another mother, they can help alert the world to what is happening with these millions of souls.

Castaways are all over the place. There is one in almost every family.  The human family may have gotten messed up in the last few thousand years, but God is so merciful and can fix anything. And I have found imagery to be so powerful, especially when you understand that the imagination is more real than reality.

So I sat next to some of these children, I could feel their sweet love and their desire to come and one of them looked right into my eyes and asked me to find them all parents. One of them reminded me of Lena and how I had helped her find her parents through adoption. Her story is here.

I saw all these beautiful children and that they were healed and full of joy now and that they would not have some of the special needs that castaways usually have, because these children were healed. I got very happy for them and excited and so I agreed to help them find parents. And as anyone knows, agreements are important to be kept. So this is an invitation. If you want a bonus baby, let God know and ask if you can have one of these 30 or so that are hanging out in a beautiful garden waiting. Some of them still have work to do here. Some of them just need bodies and so won’t stay for long, which may be a happy or sad thing, depending on how you look at it….

This is such an exciting time to bringing children into the world and we now have more connection than ever before in this hastened age. In fact, at the retreat I taught January 3 in Salt Lake City I heard from 6 different people that their unborn child came to them and told them they we re there. Some of them had amazing experience with these spirits, who took away their fear, healed their pain. In fact, two awesome women recorded their experience and you can listen to it on this podcast. I absolutely adore this story and it’s fun to listen to the two sisters talk.

P.s. If you think you do have a castaway baby, they may need a lot of care and healing. Or if you are one, I have created this special healing journey for castaways that you can download here on my new podcast. It’s so new that I haven’t announced it yet. But I plan to be sharing lots more fun stuff about imagery and an occasional free journey. I might even get my lovely co-author Lani to co-host it with me. Lani has a great imagination. 🙂

 

The Messenger

December 3, 2014 in Adoption, Angels, Book, Depression, Dreams, Lani

sarahandmeFor many years, I have been fascinated by pre-birth experiences (PBEs). I have also had the privilege of sharing a heaven-sent friendship with Sarah Hinze, the expert on PBEs with decades of research. Her website explains PBEs in more detail:

In a typical prebirth experience (PBE), a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent, etc., receives communication from a child before she is born, or in many cases, before he was even conceived. These unborn children at times can warn, protect and enlighten us through the veil.

Most of my children appeared to me in dreams or visions before they were born. I have written about some of those experiences on my blog (see HERE, HERE). I cherish these glimpses from beyond the veil.

Last week I wrote a blogpost on my blog about an encounter with an “angel.” Angels have been on my mind a lot lately. So when I was at the dollar store today and saw a little book called Moments with Angels (by Robert Strand), I picked it up. Robert Strand is a pastor who has spent thirty years collecting inspirational stories like the ones in Moments With Angels. I’ve only read a few of the stories so far, but I’d say it was worth $1, especially after finding a pre-birth experience on p. 21. Definitely money well-spent. I instantly wanted to share the brief PBE/angel story here. Here’s an excerpt:

Yvonne (name changed) was 17, pregnant, penniless, and afraid. She was at her wits’ end not knowing what to do. . . . Nightly, she cried herself to sleep.

Then, one night an angel appeared to her in a dream. It said, “Don’t be afraid. Everything will be fine because you and your baby will be well taken care of.”

The angel pulled back the curtain and gave her a look into the future. Yvonne watched as her baby, healthy, strong, and beautiful was placed by the angel into the arms of a wonderful, caring, loving couple. The next scene showed the baby as a grown woman, mature and happy. The angel told her God was concerned about the baby and would work it all out for good for her as-yet-unborn child. Then the angel turned to Yvonne and touched her with a light that seemed to give off a warm glow that stayed with Yvonne in her heart.

As Yvonne awoke the next morning she felt wonderful, loved, and that everything would be worked out for the best. On this same day she was introduced to a lady who told her about a support group/home for unwed mothers. The next day Yvonne found herself in attendance with this support group where she found healing. . . . Her choice was to give birth and place the child with a Christian adoption agency.

God is good.

I love Maggie’s Place, a local support home for pregnant women in need. I hope to be more involved in their mission as my children get older.

More stories like this one:

Saved from Suicide
Caleb-Colton
Ready to Receive
More stories collected by Sarah
Sarah’s soon-to-be-released book

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Cherie Burton Book Review

April 28, 2014 in Adoption, Adversity, Book reviews, Depression, Fertility, Grief, Lani, Loss, miscarriage, Personal Revelation, Virtual Book Tour, Waiting

150602_426562187424709_1846303491_nToday’s Virtual Book Tour post comes from Cherie Burton. Cherie is an amazing, powerful woman and mentor/coach of other strong women. Because of her family’s history with depression and suicide, she is passionate about helping others achieve health and emotional balance. Cherie was also Utah County’s Young Mother of the Year in 2011 and considers being a wife and mother her greatest calling.

I loved meeting Cherie last summer. After she contacted me to set up a meeting, I spent some time on her blog reading about the miraculous and beautiful adoption of her Elijah. It struck a strong chord with me for a number of reasons. One being that I began having spiritual experiences with my own unborn son (also named Elijah) almost as soon as my fourth baby was born. I felt his presence among my children often, I dreamed about him, I saw him in vision. Reading about Cherie finding her Elijah stirred my own heart’s assurance that my Elijah wasn’t a figment of my imagination.

I love Cherie’s post about The Gift of Giving Life. Here’s an excerpt:

the-gift-of-giving-life-book-review-1I read The Gift of Giving Life in 2012, shortly after the miraculous private adoption of our magnificent son, Eli. I wept with the women who detailed their experiences with loss, grief and divine compensation. I felt a rising empowerment, a blazing second witness that women are in a very real partnership with The Creator of All as they sacrifice and bear down and descend. And then nobly and beautifully ascend. The Atonement of Christ is demonstrated more mightily through the sacrificial practice of mothering than through any other practice on Earth.

The Gift of Giving Life is a book about power. Woven into each chapter are stories that affirm the massive spiritual powers of wisdom, love and creation embodied in the Feminine. I love that this book addresses so many women’s experiences, from so many walks of life, who have the same underlying belief: That God knows our hearts and our needs as women and will mold a perfect plan that, through birth and rebirth, will take our souls and bodies to heights and depths we could never before fathom. I have learned that it is not just the experience of giving birth physically that empowers a woman to call herself mother. It is the praying, the losing, the weeping, the waiting. The pouring of her heart and soul into a vision and promise that only she and her Creator can hold form for.

You can read the rest of Cherie’s beautiful post HERE.

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A Glimpse of Heaven

November 6, 2013 in Adoption, Angels, Attachment, Book reviews, Depression, Holy Ghost, Intuition, Lani, Miracles, Motherhood, Parenting, Personal Revelation, Zion

Glimpse_of_Heaven_Joanna_Oblander_coverBack in the summer of 2012, when I had pretty much hit rock bottom emotionally, I received a review copy of A Glimpse of Heaven by JoAnna Oblander in the mail. She and her publisher had contacted me a few weeks before asking if I would be willing to review the book on this blog. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. There I was, struggling to retain my will to live, and I opened up the book to read this on the very first page:

“At day’s end I sat on my bed overcome with convulsive tears. My will to live had been obliterated. . . . Holding onto life had proven itself too hard. . . . My emotional avalanche had battered me so severely that I was unwilling to consider giving life another chance. . . . I was done.”

As JoAnna drifted off to sleep, fully intending it to be her last night on earth, an angel appeared, pulled her spirit from her body, and took her to view heaven, more specifically her pre-mortal preparatory experiences and commitments. After all she saw and felt, she knew she could no longer follow through with her suicide. She would choose to keep fighting for her life. As she describes later in the book, “I, like all of God’s children, was a wreck worth salvaging” (p. 79).

At the time, I wasn’t reading or writing much at all. But JoAnna’s story pulled me in. She had been where I was. She had inhabited those awful depths of despair. And she had lived to tell of a better day. Perhaps I would too. Though I was initially drawn into JoAnna’s story, and despite the book being very short, it has taken me over a year to finally finish A Glimpse of Heaven and feel ready to post this review.

A Glimpse of Heaven covers more than just JoAnna’s brief visit to heaven. It also contains other powerful spiritual experiences, including several pre-birth experiences with her soon-to-be children. If you’ve been following me for awhile you know that I adore pre-birth experiences. So I loved reading about JoAnna’s.

One of the things that struck me as I read the book was just how much JoAnna and I have in common. It was so validating to read about her search to find the son she had been told through the voice of the Spirit to find. In the years she spent searching, she was given more and more information through personal revelation about this son, including his name and the name of the young girl she would find him with. I myself have also been given specific details about a son I have yet to bear. Sometimes I can’t help wondering if I’m making it all up, but at the same time the things I have been taught through the Spirit about my son feel very much real. The connection I feel to him is real. Reading JoAnna’s specific spiritual guidance about her future son felt like another witness from God that I’m not crazy. Mothers really can be given specific details about the children who will be coming to their families.

Another piece of JoAnna’s journey that struck me was her family’s struggle with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Here’s a brief summary of the condition:

“Reactive attachment disorder develops because the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t met and loving, caring attachments with others are never established. This may permanently change the child’s growing brain, hurting the ability to establish future relationships” (Source).

After adopting two orphans from Russia, JoAnna’s family learned first-hand what RAD was and how painful it can be for those who are dealing with it. Many children who have experienced neglect and/or abandonment in their infancy or early childhood later struggle with RAD. Joanna’s adopted children were among them. She said:

“If there is one lesson I have walked away with after having lived with children with RAD, it is that we must make sure that the infants and toddlers of our world receive the love and nurturing they need. Our children are priceless, and we must not take our responsibility for them lightly” (p. 75).

It breaks my heart to think of all the children out there in the world who do not have loving caregivers. Mothers have so much power! Loving mothers are key to the normal development of children’s brains. Zion, the pure in heart, will never be built without loving mothers to protect those pure hearts in their infancy. We are literally molding the future of humanity. That is no small thing.

I’m grateful A Glimpse of Heaven appeared in my life when it did. Though I found the structure and organization of the book somewhat scattered, it has many treasures to enjoy in its 111 pages. It would appeal to women struggling with depression, women waiting for future children, women seeking to adopt, those with chronic health difficulties seeking relief, and those who enjoy near-death experience accounts. You can read more about JoAnna and A Glimpse of Heaven on her website HERE.

Adoption: It Really is About Love {Giveaway}!

November 7, 2012 in Adoption, Giveaways, Guest Post

Did you know that November is National Adoption Awareness Month? Well, it is. In celebration I am pleased to introduce author Shari Guess, whose new children’s book “Once Upon a Baby: A Tale of Adoption” has just been published. Shari has been good enough to share with us her own adoption story and is giving away a copy of her book and a $25 Amazon gift card, so make sure you enter!

I’m so excited to share a little about my adoption journey with The Gift of Giving Life!

We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s about Love” spoken regarding the spiritual principles of adoption and I have been one of the lucky ones who has found out how true this really is!

I received a call on September 4, 2002 that would change the life of my husband and I forever. A young woman had chosen us to be the adoptive parents of her unborn son who was born just six days later. As you can imagine, there was a whirlwind of emotions surrounding these events and in many ways, I feel that this story should really be coming from her as I have never technically had the gift of giving life given to me. I feel instead that my husband and I were blessed to bring a life of happiness centered upon gospel teachings to the special spirit this incredible woman bore. Together we all brought him a life, and what came of her untimely circumstance has brought something more beautiful than either of us could imagine into our lives. This fact was spoken to by Elder Russell M. Nelson in the in the October 2011 General Conference when he stated, “Some of us are the literal seed of Abraham; others are gathered into his family by adoption. The Lord makes no distinction. Together we receive these promised blessings—if we seek the Lord and obey His commandments.”

Susan, my son’s birth mother might have sought more to council the Lord than to be counseled by him in the early days of her pregnancy. She had initially decided that she was going to be a single parent. She shared “I’d always wanted to be a mother. This was not the ideal arrangement, but with help from my family, I’d be able to provide for this child; never would a mother love her child more. I’d waited for this; my friends called me mother, I was born to be a mom. I went to the Lord and told him so. I wanted him to agree. I said unless I got an absolute, no wiggle room, answer that this baby was not to be mine, I would keep him.” What followed this challenge to the Lord was that a month before his birth an incredibly personal spiritual experience spoke to her heart and told her this child was meant for another family. They could give him what she couldn’t, but believed in with all her heart- an eternal family.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs… The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The biblical prophet Isaiah also affirmed this when he stated in Isaiah 54:13 “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Susan said of those first precious days with her son, “I held him close and breathed in every bit of him I could. I tried to blaze into my memory that time and memories of him. It was certainly bittersweet. I knew I would miss him, but I was completely confident in my decision. I held him close and marveled at the innocence of him. I sang to him and told him I loved him, but I knew his mom would love him more. I felt sad, but was fully committed to the path I had chosen.”

Susan became willing to follow the counsel of the Lord and his prophets. She turned to the Lord in faith, knowing that He could make something beautiful of her experience despite her pain. She used that point as a starting point, and continued to make right choices. The more we watched this amazing woman progress, the more we wanted to know her-and wanted our son to know her. What became of that decision almost ten years ago is not only a son that has been given the gift of an eternal family, but we feel that our family has increased. Today we enjoy an extremely open relationship with Susan. We have all had our testimonies strengthened on both sides. We have learned about sacrifice and charity and through it all have been able to see the hand of God in every particular. We see his love in all things, so you see…it is about love! My son is close to Susan and her actions have set a true example to him about something she unselfishly believed so strongly in: choosing the right. His little testimony is so strong!

Susan says, “I wish I could tell you that it was easy, knowing that he was taken care of, that Heavenly Father approved of this choice, that he had a better life there than I could have given him in so many ways. It wasn’t. As with most things in life, it was a process. There were times that making it was all I could do, but these times grew further apart. The nights got easier. It’s been a blessing to be able to stay part of his life. Our relationship has grown and redefined itself through the years. The repentance process was a joy. The atonement of our Savior became a real force in my life for comfort and healing.”

Because of Susan’s gift my husband and I have experienced the joys of seeing a child embrace all that life has to offer, along with choosing to take upon himself the blessings that will bring him life eternal. Some days I even forget that I have not given birth. We all know that this was truly part of God’s plan for our son. Because of his birth and circumstances, more was made with all of us than we could have each made on our own. President Dieter F. Uctdorf said it perfectly when he said, “When we look at the foundational principles of the plan of happiness, the plan of salvation, we can recognize and appreciate in its plainness and simplicity the elegance and beauty of our Heavenly Father’s wisdom. Then, turning our ways to His ways is the beginning of our wisdom.”

It was important for all of us to share with our son that he arrived in his earthly family by divine design. It wasn’t just by chance or accident. I longed for a book I could sit down and read to him that would share my testimony of this belief. To my surprise, I couldn’t find one. What was born from that experience was the writing of my book “Once Upon A Baby: A Tale of Adoption.” It is written for an LDS audience and follows the story of the adopted child from the Pre-existence to his family’s home on earth, their sealing in the temple and then on into eternity. I am hoping that it will be readily received in the LDS adoption community. As you can tell, the story has a special place in my heart. I hope that it might find one in yours.

For more information, or to order a copy of “Once Upon A Baby: A Tale of Adoption” see the official website at www.OnceUponABabyBook.com . I also share about adoption with an LDS perspective on the Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/OnceUponABabyBook and on Twitter: @OnceUponABabyBk.
Come join us!

Also, today the author is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card + a copy of Once Upon a Baby  (Book available to US & Canada only).  To enter please do at least one of the things in the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway will close on  11/30/12.  Best of luck!

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One Family, Different Paths by Kara

February 20, 2012 in Adoption, Guest Post

Today’s birth story comes for Kara. I met Kara few years ago. We were standing in line for lunch at the restaurant on the bottom floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial building and somehow I mentioned the book project I was working on. She shared her story with me and I asked her if she would be willing to send in her story for our book. Due to space we weren’t able to put it in the book but I wanted to make sure her story was shared. I think it is a beautiful reminder that God is ultimately the one who opens or closes the womb and that he knows when and how each of his precious children need to come to the earth.

         After struggling with infertility my husband and I were able to adopt a beautiful little girl. When I watched my eldest daughter Brooklyn being born I was in awe that a woman could carry a child for nine months and then allow herself to place the infant in someone else’s arms. With our second daughter, Ashlyn, I watched in awe as not just a woman, but a whole family, placed an infant in my arms.

Before Ashlyn’s birth I had a powerful experience. My oldest daughter Brooklyn was two weeks old and she was refusing to sleep. My husband was away on business and so I was solo on that night’s battle.  As I sat in a chair with my infant laying on my lap I plead with Heavenly Father to inspire me on how to get her to settle down and go sleep. Immediately after my prayer Brooklyn stopped crying and smiled. She looked over my right shoulder and then over my left and then she then proceeded to cry again. At that moment I was blessed with the inspiration to know that she saw my second daughter, whom we were waiting to be born, and that she also saw a third person waiting to come into our family. From then on I knew that we were meant to have three children, but I had no idea how they were going to get to our family. I always kept that thought in my head and was constantly looking for inspirations on how it was going to happen.

Little did I know that my third daughter would come to us, through my body and not through a birth mother.  Most people I come across, even strangers, tell me that they see this all the time—that since I had adopted I was relaxed enough to get pregnant. I have a different version of the story.

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         When going through the process of “finding” Ashlyn to adopt we encountered many spiritual and divinely guided experiences. When we met her birth mother and her family it felt like I had known them for years. The welcome and love they gave us was incredible and it testified to me that this woman’s unborn daughter was mine to raise. After spending a lot of time with the birth mother she and I formed a relationship that few women have the privilege of experiencing– we are bonded in a way that only she and I can understand.

After she had given birth she had hoped to transfer Ashlyn into our care immediately but State law required her to keep the baby for three days before placing her with her new family. When the third day came we expected to meet her but instead we found her Mom. She was sitting in a chair holding our tiny baby girl and crying. I saw the pain in her eyes in knowing that she had to say goodbye to this child not knowing if she would ever see her again. As I walked towards her and sat down next to her  I couldn’t help but share tears with her. We and I had shared the moment of Ashlyn’s birth together, as well as the birth of the motherhood companionship that had formed between me and her daughter– one that could never be broken. I knew the blessing of Ashlyn coming into ours lives, yet understood the heartache and hardship of a family letting her go. Now, after carrying and birthing my own child I have a better understanding of what these women did for me and my daughters.

Once, when I was feeling quite discouraged and overwhelmed with my three little active girls I asked for a blessing. My husband asked a close friend to give the blessing since he felt too close to the situation. After they prayed together in a separate room they laid their hands on my head and gave me one of the most intense blessing I’d ever received. The strongest thing said, and that I still hold onto today, was that I was friends and sisters with my daughters in the pre-existence. In that moment the Spirit testified to me that regardless of how my three beautiful daughters came into my life, we had been together in the Spirit world since the beginning of time.

If I had been able to get pregnant when I wanted to then Brooklyn and Ashlyn would never have come to our family and their birth families wouldn’t have gone through the growth that they did. I know that all of my children were meant to be with me but had to come different ways. Yes, I have fears of teasing, arguing and harsh words between my daughters regarding their adoptions and biological births but I hope they will eventually come to understand the process just as I have. I know this is how the Lord’s plan has worked for us and after all is said and done I know that that our lives are in the care of God’s hands.