How Can I? | adoption vs. {more} bio kids

This is a subject that has plagued my heart for several months. My soul aches as I weed through my thoughts and desires about it. So far, the Lord has been silent with me on the topic…and Ben has encouraged me to write about it.

Yes, we have 4 children. But we have never thought that our family is yet complete. There are some of you that think we’re crazy, and others who understand. I used to be the former. It’s interesting how God changes one’s heart, isn’t it? Ok so here’s my dilemma, and truthfully I’m not quite sure how to put it into words so it makes sense to anyone aside from Ben and I.

So please bear with me.

I’m nearly 32. Not too old, yet not so young anymore either. Ben will be 41 in a few weeks. If we are to have more children biologically, now is the time. And I want that…oh how I want that. There is such a miracle in the months that span from making the baby, to the moment they come into this world. I love it. And I hate it.

I miss the feeling of the movements of the baby, first like a gentle flutter of butterfly wings, then later the rough movements of a baby large enough that there is little room to spare. Spending nights on my left side so blood and nutrients can best reach them while I sleep in hopes to gain enough energy to have a successful next day. And the nausea. The throwing up. The medication {that helped only barely}.

But then the baby is born, so sweet and tiny. Little sleep is had, but is easily worth it as I gaze upon the child that looks a little like me. A little like him. Just looking into that face, I’ve already forgotten the horrible 10 month long bout of morning sickness that is included with each of my pregnancies. ¬† What a blessing.

What a miracle. But… How can I? How can I bring forth another child from my own body when I know…and I have seen…so many children without parents, without food, love, and a future and are just waiting. Waiting. Waiting for what? Me? You? Or for no one to come rescue them and to have the misfortune to be in an orphanage {such as Imani’s} where the children are sick and malnourished.

They may age out…and if they do, then what? They live on the streets? They beg? They live a life of trouble? The whole cycle likely just begins again.

Please please PLEASE don’t think I’m judging ANYONE who has their own baby biologically. In absolutely NO way am I intending that. For goodness sake, we have two little blonde boys that are the perfect combination of Ben and I. This is our own struggle and conviction, I don’t place it on you. God has given you passions and burdens. This is ours.

There are so many ways to help the poor and the fatherless even without bringing a child home into your family. World Vision {it’s been so amazing to see our kids get involved}, Compassion International, & A Glimmer of Hope {look to my sidebar. this is where our heart lies} are all incredible examples.

But for us. For our family, the Lord has placed the beautiful burden of doing more than that. We are to bring these children without hope, without families, in to join ours in the most amazing tie. Just like God has adopted us as His children, Ben and I are to do the same.

That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Of course we would begin the process then. Today! Why not? Hold on, let me call our agency and have them put us on the list. Wait. No. The knowledge and acceptance of what God has asked us to do, doesn’t change the fact that my heart bursts every time I see a newborn baby. My eyes well up whenever I hear their precious infant cries. It doesn’t matter if we’re in the grocery store, park, or wherever.

I want a baby. I want to be pregnant. Hands down. I do.

…and so does everyone else. The huge waiting lists that you hear about {in Ethiopia anyway} are for babies. Even more specifically, for baby girls. Families often wait years for one.

But what of the older kids, like Ezekiel? They wait and wait.

Again…for what? For whom? So I ask you {really I’m asking You, Father}, if we do adopt again…how do I now justify a baby? Change my heart. Please. Take from me the desire to have another child ourselves. Take away my want to become pregnant. Instead, give me immense desire and passion to become a mother to one who has none.

But a baby, Lord? May I have a baby? A little one who still has that sweet baby scent and infant cry? But I feel selfish. Someone will always take the baby. But will they take the older child? Will we? We have before and I have a feeling we will again. But this time, Lord. I want another baby.

Please Lord, reveal yourself to me. To both Ben and I. Help us know Your plan for our family. Just because we’re doing something good, doesn’t mean it’s Your Will for us. Just like David sought to bring the Ark into Jerusalem for Your Glory, it was not what You wanted. It was good…but it was not BEST¬†{2 Samuel 6}. You had other plans.

What is Your best for us, God? We want only Your best. Please remove Your silence. Speak to me as You have done so many times in the past.

Allow me to be quiet & still before You as I wait. Dissuade us from going ahead of Your plans, with ours.



{take joy}


| note |

photos #1, 2, 3 are taken from my fantastically talented friend Nikki at Moxie Photo Studio.

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32 Responses to How Can I? | adoption vs. {more} bio kids

  1. Siiri Jul 11th, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I love you. Your heart is wonderful, your goal is inspirational, your actions are admirable. Just know that while you are working through this, this is also working through you….in other words, your dilemma has exposed so many others to options and opportunities that they might not otherwise come to know. That in itself is a gift that you are giving to complete strangers, and is truly a ripple effect.

    • hugspunches Jul 11th, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Thanks for the huge compliment, Siiri. I’m a big fan of being real…whether that looks pretty or not. Love ya, girl

  2. Meggs Jul 13th, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Ahhh, Teresa-I love reading your posts. SUCH an inspiration and so much love and thought behind each one! We will be praying for you that you and Ben can find peace in whatever God chooses for you all!!! ((HUGS))

    • hugspunches Jul 13th, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      aw meggs, every time i think of you a smile comes across my face as i think about our two {tiiiiiny} little girls and all their cute photos at the guest house. sure wish we all lived closer. love ya, friend. thanks for your encouragement, it means a lot. xo

  3. Lydia Bonner Jul 13th, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Teresa, you have had the courage, honesty, and humility to say what I believe many of us struggle with ourselves! I have the same worries that you mention as I think about our future with children- it seems so selfish to want your own when so many are in need of all we have to offer! Thank you for sharing your prayer for all of our benefit! praying for you and your big decisions!

    • hugspunches Jul 13th, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi sweet Lydia, thanks for your encouragement. Isn’t it interesting what God places on each of our hearts and how everyone’s calling is so different? Though ours is a bit chaotic {and sometimes downright exhausting}, He gives us a passion and a fire to do what we were designed for. For us it’s a multi-cultural home, reaching out to the poor and fatherless. If that’s the burden He’s placing on your family…GO FOR IT!

      Not that it’ll always be easy, but He’ll bless you {sometimes quietly} the whole way through.

  4. Jenn Dinges Jul 13th, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi Teresa,
    My husband and I went to Gordon with Ben. I follow your amazing blog and I find you very inspirational as a mom and woman of God. I just wanted to add that I once heard an analogy that compared God’s work to a garden. When you plant one, you wait eagerly for the end result of all that hard work. Sometimes it feels as if nothing is happening but things are changing underground and flourishing where you can’t yet see them. I often feel that’s how God works too. I would tell you to wait on the Lord because he is working and prepping things that you can’t yet see. He’s given you a desire in your heart for a reason. He’s just not done prepping yet. But I believe things are happening “underground” and He will reveal it to you in His perfect timing. :)

    • hugspunches Jul 13th, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Jenn, you are such a blessing. Thanks for introducing yourself and sharing that with me…it honestly left a lump in my throat. You are so right, there is so much that needs to grow {and often grow deeply} before anything happens that we can physically see.

      Thank you for following our blog, I hope you re-subscribe now that I’ve moved it over to the .net and away from blogger. I’d love to keep in touch!

  5. Jen Jul 13th, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Just found your blog through a friend. As a bio mom and adoptive mom, I have struggled with this issue. I COULD have more babies, but I am now ok with closing that door. I COULD adopt a young child, but we are also closing that door. Seeing the need for older child adoption and now parenting two adopted children, I see how I was made to do this. Praying you will find peace in your decision too, whatever it may be.

    • hugspunches Jul 13th, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      Jen, thanks so much for introducing yourself and for sharing some of your story. You’re SO right. I COULD do so many things in my life…but it’s only those we are SUPPOSED to do, those things we are CALLED to do and which both fill us and allow us to be used for God’s good purpose.

      I’m glad you’re following us! Your blog is fantastic, what an amazing story your family has as well.

  6. Rachel Jul 14th, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    Hi there, Teresa :) Thank you so much for baring your soul through this beautiful post. Your words are a gift, and they have touched me. After suffering two concurrent miscarriages, I am left in a bit of dark, and empty place right now. But, your words have provided light, and your desire to continue to nurture, to mother, have inspired me on my journey for more children. Thank you for that, new friend. :) Sending my most heartfelt prayers that God will give peace to your restless heart and mind.

    • hugspunches Jul 15th, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      Oh my sweet new friend, I read your comment with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I could only imagine the confusion and grief you must have within your spirit. I’m humbled that God used my post to speak to you and pray that He continues to open your eyes and heart to what He has in store for you. His good and perfect plan is exactly that. Good. Perfect. Trust in that. No one said life was going to be easy or painless. But He has a plan, a place to take you through this pain and to the other side.

      I saw a quote literally just a second ago. Resonate on this for a moment.

      It was found, written on a wall during the Holocaust:

      “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.
      I believe in love even when I cannot feel it.
      I believe in God even when He is silent”

      Lord Jesus, give Rachel the peace and comfort of knowing that her sweet little ones are resting in Your arms. Allow her heart to soften as You show she and her family what’s next. And that there really is a next. Where there is darkness, please shine Your light. Where there is emptiness, please fill her. Draw she and her husband ever to Your side. Let this strengthen them. I do not know the best words to pray. I think a perfect prayer in this great loss, doesn’t even exist. But you know the sighs of our hearts. Hear mine Lord. Hear hers. You are so Good and Faithful. Show this to Rachel now, Father. Amen

      Love ya, friend. I’ll continue to pray for your sweet family.


  7. B Jul 20th, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    As I am sitting here with my adopted daughter eating delicious snacks dipped in peanut butter I am reading your blog for the first time. Hello…And on our first encounter I have tears. My personal journey with adoption is something I would never change even if God gave me a choice for my own biological child. I know whatever you decide, God will smile upon you and that child will be the one and always has been the one to belong to you.-B

    • hugspunches Jul 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      yes yes yes! Isn’t God good??? I’m so excited that 1) you’re here! Thanks for introducing yourself…I’m always curious how people find us! and 2) that you listened to God’s voice in adopting. What a blessing you are to your peanut butter eating daughter. Hugs to you both, may God bless you and your family.

  8. Laura Panfilio Jul 31st, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Hi Teresa,
    Loving your blog! Thanks for sharing your heart! My heart has wrestled with many of these questions as well. Love seeing your story unfold and excited to follow your journey. Encouraged that the Lord is working in both our hearts and certainly the hearts of many of your readers! Xo

    • hugspunches Aug 2nd, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      Hi Laura! Thanks so much for your encouragement…the Lord is so good. I’ll pray for your sweet family too, that He brings to light exactly what He wants in your future. Not just what is GOOD for you guys, but what is BEST!

  9. Kevin Aug 7th, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    Great sharing! My wife had this page up on the computer… I read it and now feel moved to respond. Your honesty is inspired. I find it interesting that you want the Lord to take away the desire to have more of your own biological children so that adoption will be easier or at least a more clear sign… and I don’t think that this could ever be the case. You have so beautifully articulated the feelings and emotions of both options as parents and I don’t think that they will ever change. Love is a choice and an action that requires our participation each day. Children, husbands, wives, friends, and enemies will all present those opportunities for us to love them and some will just be easier than others. I pray that God gives you the wisdom and clarity you are looking for so that you can make a decision with confidence and peace in your heart.

  10. kristen Oct 3rd, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Hi Teresa! I’m here via Jones Design and just have to say that I appreciate so much the feelings that you have articulated here! We also have four children – 3 bio and 1 adopted – and like you feel like we’re not finished yet. I thought I was fine closing the door on the pregnancy route and now I’m really mourning it. I’m aching to be pregnant, give birth, nurse that newborn – the whole deal! Our daughter was born in China and I think my husband and I both thought that our next adoption would be a preschool age Chinese boy (and most likely that will be the case), but now my mind is racing with thoughts of domestic adoption…..bringing the baby home from the hospital and getting to still have the newborn experience. We too are praying it through (and honestly, probably know the answer already). Praying that the Lord provides clarity for you and then sets your heart to follow that path with abandon! Blessings on your gang!

    • hugs & punches Oct 3rd, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Kristen, thanks for checking us out! Emily was so gracious to have featured me as one of her Success Stories {though I’m still SUCH a work in progress}! Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. Wow, it’s hard isn’t it? Your heart feeling one thing so strongly…yet feeling something else so fully, as well? Sigh. There’s no “right” answer {which is good and bad!}. It sounds like you know what the Lord is calling you to do, many blessings on you and your sweet family. I hope you’ll be back!

  11. Katie {at} Cardigan Way Oct 3rd, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Kristen…this is beautiful. Thank you for the reminder that it’s not just the moms and dads that are waiting…children are, too! I found you through JDC – I’m a fellow blog-classer – and felt like I just had to meet a new friend. I can’t wait to follow your story!

  12. Amy Oct 4th, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    God gives us desires as humans. Have your baby when God provides one. Maybe I’m too matter-of-fact right now, because I am pregnant, and after surviving life-threatening conditions, I am so grateful for _this_ condition. This is a precious gift from God, who longs to bless us with all spiritual blessings.

    • hugs & punches Oct 4th, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      thanks so much for your comment, yes I totally agree that children are a precious gift from God…but I’m not really sure what you mean by “have your baby when God provides one.”

      Provides a child to be adopted? Provides me with a pregnancy? I love my children with all my heart…biological & adopted. I have just seen the extreme need of those who don’t have parents who love them and have the potential to be pushed out onto the streets {as children!!!} and others in a situation like our baby girl, who almost died at 5 months because of malnutrition {even the orphanage didn’t have enough formula to keep her healthy}. We’re all given such different burdens and passions – I just feel like I have a mixture of both.

      I’m so excited that you’re pregnant, though you’ve suffered life-threatening conditions. I see from your email address that it {in part at least} had to do with a stroke. Praise God that He has given you the blessing of returned health so you may not only conceive – but carry your pregnancy. May the Lord bless you and your little one…congratulations. : )

  13. Dear Lillie Oct 4th, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

    This post is absolutely one of the most touching I’ve ever read because it’s so near and dear to my own heart and although we have not yet adopted (we’ve started the process twice) it is something that I know we will do in the future! You put into words the feelings I have had so many times and the ones I know I will have again when the time comes to add to our family!

    • hugs & punches Oct 8th, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      Hi Jennifer! How fun that you’ve found my blog-I’ve been a follower of yours for awhile now. Every time I see a post of your home, I want to buy you a plane ticket and send you to my house to put your magic touch on it. Breathtaking…you truly have a gift!

      Thanks for your sweet words about my post{s}. If you end up starting the process of adoption again and have ANY questions, feel free and message me! We’re a complete and total open book about it ALL. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the I’m too embarrassed to ask but I’m curious type of questions are TOTALLY fine! ; )

      BTW, I’m LOVING your “Joy to the World” pillows {gorgeous}…would you let me know if you make any “happy birthday Jesus” products at all? Not sure what you have up your sleeve as the holidays approach but I’m doing a giveaway in December with that theme. Seems to be a REALLY hard thing to find {unless it’s suuuuuper cheesy}. Either way, I’d love to buy some for our house! God bless and have a fantastic Monday! . teresa .

  14. Logan @ LifeforDessert Oct 8th, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Found you via Jones Design Co and just had to comment and say I SO get it! We’ve been praying about adoption for years and I know we’ll do it at some point, but I really want to have just one more too. I’ve miscarried 4, with 2 in the past 9 months and there’s some part of me that refuses to let the enemy win my spirit of trust in the Lord through pregnancy. I have 2 healthy, happy, handful-wonderful little boys, but I’m 34 and already considered high risk these days. My days of pregnancy are coming to an end and I’m just not ready to give it up when I have 4 babies who haven’t made it here yet. My prayer has been so similar to yours. I KNOW that I KNOW though that our God is good. I wish I could have coffee with you. I think it’d be great!
    So over you, as I pray over myself….
    Sweet Jesus who knows the desires of our heart of hearts, make us more like you. Make our hearts burn for the things that you want our hearts to burn for, and Papa we ask that you will give us the desires of our own hearts…especially as some of those burnings are things we know you put there. Father I ask for clarity of mind as we pray and listen for your voice, and for your grace to cover us in the areas where we feel confusion. You are a God of peace and order and you do not author confusion, so we command the words of the enemy in the backs of our minds to silence in the name of Jesus. Just as you adopt us Father, I pray that adopted or biological, we pass on to our children the spirit of adoption into the family of the King of Kings. You are mighty and good papa God and we trust you….with all of it. Amen!

    • hugs & punches Oct 12th, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      thank you thank you thank you for praying over the both of us!!! You’re right…our hearts are similarly tied. We would have a fantastic coffee date, for sure. May God bless you and your family as He continues to show you that He has a purpose for the desires of your heart and will do amazing things through you and your story. xo

  15. Lani Oct 18th, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    My husband and I went through this very same struggle. We now have 6 children, 5 bio and 1 adopted and are hoping to adopt more. May God give you amazing clarity and peace as you settle into His plan for you….great blessings are in store!

    We chose to stop our ability to have bio children to make room for more adoption to happen…but sometimes I still long for another baby in my arms…I ache with you.

    • hugs & punches Oct 19th, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Lani, it’s amazing how many of us DO struggle with it! I’ve actually been overwhelmed by how God has used that post to speak to other moms, letting them know they’re not alone in how they {we!} are feeling about it. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Sure hope you’ll be back : ) – Teresa

  16. Jamie Mar 11th, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    We are considering adoption and are having a hard time with it being our will or God’s. We a have three bio-kids girl(9), boy (8) and girl (2.5). We feel complete with that but…just recently God has showed me many images of children that need a home. I think deep down I always knew that I would adopt but I’ve always had my plate so full I just kept pushing it off. It is so scary to go out of your confort zone and take that leap of faith. There is no doubt that we have the love to share but it’s still scary. I want to do God’s will and have been praying like crazy for a clear answer. My husband is amazing and completely on board. My kids are thrilled. I guess I just worry about the unknown. Any advise to help with this would be greatly appreciated.
    P.S. I look at your family and see ours down to the blond hair and bald husband. HA! Thank you for being so real and sharing your story.

    • hugs & punches Mar 14th, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Jamie! Do n.o.t feel bad that you’re scared! The unknown IS scary!! …but it’s also thrilling. Sounds like you have spent a lot of time praying and talking it through with your family. Just continue to pray that the Lord gives you a peace and comfort about it if it’s indeed what He has for you. Go slow, if needed. Start researching agencies and different countries that you may be interested in adopting from. Look into what your state requires and maybe talk with a social worker. There’s no rush, just go as you feel led.

      Ben and my saying has become, “Just because God has called us to do it – it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.” In fact, things that God call us to do often AREN’T easy! But He’s called YOU to do it because He KNOWS you can handle it.

      We’re now in the middle of adopting a 13 year old boy from Ethiopia. The thought of adopting a teenager completely terrifies me!!! But I know with my whole being that this is what God has planned for us. And if HE’S planning it, I know He will be with us through it. It’s not like our Father says, “Awesome! You got him home! …ok well, good luck…” He won’t leave my side just like He won’t leave yours.

      It’s not easy. It’s not always peaches and cream. But is it worth it?

      …yes. A thousand times over, yes.

  17. Shari Dec 28th, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    Wow! Long story short, we adopted from CCI also and I guess I stumbled onto you blog somehow through the yahoo group? Anyway, I remember Ezekiel from when I was in Ethiopia in December of 2010. I’m not sure when you brought home Imani but I remember your picture hanging on that wall in her heart breaking orphanage. I visited both with Kristi Johnson and Kelly Putty taking pictures for Sue while I waited to meet the child that ended up not becoming my daughter. We were one of those few families where the mother changed her mind. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog and how wonderful it is to see Ezekiel growing up. He was the most loving child!

    • hugs & punches Dec 30th, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Shari, how sweet it is to hear from you!!! I love getting messages from families our kids knew while in the orphanage!

      My heart is so sad to hear your story though. I hear from time to time that happens. Sigh. So sad that it had to happen to you.

      BUT God bless that momma. I pray she made the right decision for herself and her sweet little daughter. I cannot imagine having to go through the decision of giving a child up. Makes my heart ache at the thought of it. What a blessing it is however that the Lord brought you to her…I’m sure they now have you and your family as Prayer Warriors. Perhaps that’s why God led you to her in the first place, knowing in the end, that’s what this mother/daughter would need most of all.

      So thankful you found our blog. Keep in touch!! xo

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