October Baby

All I can say is...powerful

Kevin and I are not movie-goers at all, but occasionally we make an exception.

October Baby was the exception.

If you have not heard of the movie, it was released this past weekend (I think!) to limited theaters and is a story that really just hits way too close to home. 

I have never cried at a movie like I did at this one.

You see I have three October Babies...this movie relates to two of them...my oldest and my youngest.  

The movie is about a young woman who discovers that she is adopted and that her birth mother tried to abort her.  Only she survived.  The movie is the story of how she discovers this and the road to forgiveness she travels.

Some of you know me personally.  Some of you don't.  Some of you know my history.  Many of you don't.

When I was 16 I discovered that I was pregnant with a baby due in October.  I was faced with the question of what to do.  I praise God, that even in my rebellious state at that time, He had given me the strength of conviction that abortion was never an option and that He had given me loving, supportive, forgiving parents who stood by me in my decision to keep my baby.

My first October baby was born on the 20th of the month with head full of dark brown hair after the most torturous labor I have ever endured.  He ended up being 9lbs 2oz!

I have never for a minute regretted my decision.

My heart aches for those who have not had the support or the love that I had.

The movie's main character, Hannah, was an October baby.  Her birthdate was October 7.  

Our youngest...our sweet, little Lily was born October 7.

Thousands of miles from here another woman made a desperate decision...I believe motivated by love...to give this sweet little girl a chance at a full life.  She chose to place her in the care of an orphanage...to give her a chance to be adopted.

Ten and a half months later, we would bring Lily into our family.  Our longed-for Lily is the fulfillment of a promise the Lord had given me many years before that we would adopt a little girl and her name would be Lily Rose.  She is a heart's longing fulfilled.  

The main character in the movie struggles with the feelings of being unwanted and rejected by her birth mother.  Her adoptive parents love her immensely and she never doubts this and it is portrayed clearly in the movie...yet she still has these emotions.

As Kevin and I sat in tears in our car after the movie, our hearts ached as we were reminded...again...that even though we love Lily so much and we know God loves her immensely and planned for her to be with us...even before she was born...she may still wrestle with  these very same emotions.  In truth, I can't imagine her not on some level. 

Knowing that our precious Lily could hurt so deeply and that we can't fix that for her...just hurts.

I don't know how long October Baby will last in movie theaters, but I have no doubt that on those who watch it, it will have a lasting impact.  

In Him,


The Call

We had been waiting for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance)...the next step in our adoption process.  Once the LOA came we could pretty safely assume we'd be traveling in around 3 months.

We were on day 97 of our wait for LOA.

And there was a message on our answering machine to call our agency!

At first I was sure that our LOA had arrived!  But then I started thinking about it...

Usually that kind of info, as exciting as it is for us, comes in an email.

And the phone message didn't say anything about LOA.

What could it be?  

I was getting a little worried, but remained hopeful.

So when I finally connected with our agency by phone,  I said something like..."So, is our LOA here?"

Only to hear, "No, Mandy, I don't have good news."

And in the seconds that followed, I realized I was in the middle of a phone call that no one ever wants to get.  One I would never forget.  One in which I could do nothing but sob and sob and sob.

The sweet lady from the Waiting Child department of our agency said, "Mandy, Luke died."  And then she explained that they had received news that he had been fine on Christmas and then fell ill and died the next day.  She said they had waited to call us so that they could verify the information and ensure that there was no mix-up.  She said there had not been.

I remember her saying over and over "I am so sorry" as I just sat and cried.  

The only words I remember uttering were Job's...the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

I barely remember calling Kevin and telling him.  He immediately left work.

I spent the next hour by myself in my bedroom before the Lord.

Then I told my parents who were visiting.   They had been slated to leave a day or two earlier, but as God is sovereign, He had them stay longer.

That evening Kevin gathered all of the kids to tell them.  Even as I type this I cry.  I think that was as hard as receiving the phone call.  How do you sit your children down and tell them news that you know will break their hearts?

Yet, there was a presence, peace, and shreds of joy that only believers in Christ can know in that moment as we grieved together.  Everyone cried tears of love for Luke...as we each realized that Luke was with our God and King, our Abba...and that he is whole.  We grieved as a family as we each processed the reality that we would not be bringing Luke to our house, that we would not hold Luke's hand, we would not get to talk with him, laugh with him, get to teach him our family games and jokes.  We would not get to have our son and brother with us...yet.  One day we will be with him.  

It was such a gift for me personally to see my oldest son cry openly over the brother he so wanted and for us all to pray to God together.  The blessing of believing grandparents to help hold hurting hearts and speak Truth when neither Kevin nor I could speak goes beyond what I can type.

I must say this has been the hardest post for me to type yet, but as I reflect on that day, I rejoice in how much healing I see the Lord has done in these last 2 months.  I rejoice that even the hardest of days are only days...and that the Lord brings growth from the storms, He brings beauty from ashes, He teaches so much from the hurts.  

As my devotion this morning said...Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity...When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior. The very tabernacle of God was covered with badgers’ skins and goats’ hair; one would not think there would be any glory there. The Shekinah of God was manifest under that kind of covering. May God open our eyes to see Him, whether in temptations, trials, dangers, or misfortunes. 

In Him,



Emma gave my blog a facelift today.

She's constantly tweaking hers and decided mine could use some updating, too.  Especially after I said something about liking how wide the text area was on hers.

So what do you think?

In a day or two I will continue posting about Luke's home-going and my seizure and what the Lord has been showing us.  But for now, I wanted to say I am still here; and even though the blog may give the impression that I am in a continual state of tears, God has been so good and life continues and God's comfort is real. 

Don't get me wrong...there are still tears.  But there have been days of joy...and an answer to years of prayer that I'll share soon. 

So to get a more balanced perspective on our lives...go see Emma's blog!

In Him,