Our Adoption Photo Shoot

A few months ago, I emailed a young lady at my church who’s photography captivated me. I proposed the idea of a non-maternity, adoption themed, photo shoot inspired by photos I stumbled across on Pinterest. Well, she LOVED the idea! Not only that, but she had a heart for adoption as well. Her family started an orphanage in Haiti, and her little sister had been adopted from there. It took a few months to finally get around to doing the photos, but when we did, she literally recreated exactly what I had imagined them to be. I am excited to share some of them with you here!

Photos by Elisabeth Huijskens of Newsong Photography.

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I am really excited the way these turned out. I wanted the simplicity of an open field, and it was close to sunset so the lighting was absolutely perfect!

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Ephesians 1:5 says that “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” (NLT)

James 1:27 says “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (KJV)

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John 14:18 says, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.”

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We had a lot of fun with this shoot! Hope you enjoyed the photos. I promise to have a real blog post soon to update what is going on with us!

Be blessed.
Kelly

 

 

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a sudden change of plans.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

We all have plans. We plan out our lives so precisely, down to every detail. Who we will marry. Where we will live. What kind of car we will drive. Where we will work. How many children we will have. Our plans become our focus in life. They are what drive us in life. But will things always go the way we plan? “Of course they will,” you answer. “They’re my plans, right? I worked hard toward them. I deserve them. There’s no reason things shouldn’t go according to how I planned, because I’m in control!”

Wrong. Skip a turn. Do not pass go.

Like most people, I had my life planned out.
1. Have a full time job: check.
2. Meet and marry the man of my dreams: check.
3. Buy a home: check
4. Have a dog: check, check, check (Yes, one dog mysteriously multiplied into three. I’m still trying to figure that out. When I do, I will write about it).
5. Have children:

….Not everything goes according to plan.

In case you are wondering where this is headed, go back to number 5. Look closely to the right. You will see an empty space. Those were my plans. They were my dreams, my hopes, and desires. Why shouldn’t I have that? It’s not like I am asking for a billion dollars in my bank account. All I’m asking for is a little human or two to love, and who will love me. Is that too much to ask?

When we began trying to start a family, I was not expecting, nor was I prepared for what the future already had in store for us. Even when we were told that our chance of conceiving was less than 2%, I stayed positive and still held on to faith that we would defy those odds. I guess you could say I was in denial. After all, infertility happens to other people… it would never happen to me. And GOD is greater than those doctors! I’ll prove them wrong!

Daily, I prayed for God to change the situation, grant a miracle, and make me a mother. I had faith that He would.  So, I continued to plan and dream. I imagined what our children would look like. In my mind, my children had olive skin and dark hair with blonde facets that shimmered in the sun. They had blue eyes. They were beautiful. They even had names. I planned on how I would tell my husband the big news that we were finally expecting. How I would announce it to my parents and grandmother that they would be welcoming their first grandchild and great-grandchild into the world. I searched for midwives in my area that assisted in home births, so that when I was ready, I knew who to call. It was all planned out. I was just waiting for it to happen, holding onto a verse from Psalms the Lord showed me:

He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.
Psalm 113:9

I had several people tell me that infertility was God’s way of saying I am not supposed to be a mother. That I should accept it and move on.

Excuse me? Who are you to tell me what God’s will is for my life? That I am not meant to be a mother? Did God tell you this? Because last I spoke to Him about it, He promised me a child.

Often I would get asked, “Why don’t you just adopt?”
Just. Adopt.
Just
adopt?

As if just adopting would solve all my problems. As if just adopting would magically replace what I never had to begin with. As if just adopting was an easy fix. Just another trip to the grocery store. “Hey honey, let’s go to the baby store and buy ourselves a baby! I wonder if they have any red-head girls in stock today?”

The word adoption left a sour taste in my mouth. I cringed every time I heard it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I was against adoption, because I wasn’t. I actually wanted to adopt since I was young. But on my  terms. And these were my terms: Have children. Adopt children. There was no “this” or “that”. I wanted both. I would have both, because it was my plan.

MY plan…

What about God’s plans? What if your plans don’t align to His? What if He’s telling you to give up on your plans, because He has something better planned? What then? Do you just say “Okay God, sounds good!” and turn your back on your dreams, and never glance back? It’s not an easy task.

I went to bed one evening, with that sour taste in my mouth. I will never consider adoption until I’ve used up every possible resource to have my own child. Even then, I may never consider it. It will never ever replace the void inside my womb.

Out of nowhere, the next morning, I woke up realizing that I had spent so much time planning and dreaming about having a family, focusing on the unimportant things, that I failed to realize that it’s not blood that forms a family. Rather, love is what creates a family. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, adoption was no longer a “replacement”, or “consolation prize”. Adoption became a very beautiful act of love. A way to have a real family. I had a sense of peace about it. But there was still that struggle. It goes something like this:

God: So, this whole “baby” thing… I want you to adopt.
Kelly: Sure, God. You know I want to adopt too. But put a child inside me first. And then we’ll talk about this adoption thing.
God: I’m not going to do that.
Kelly: C’mon, God! Please! I know you can do it. Give me a child. You promised!!
God: I did promise that. I am going to give you a child. I want you to adopt.
Kelly: Can’t I have both? Please?
God: No. Adopt.
Kelly: But what about my PLANS?? I had my life all figured out, and you come along and change it??
God: I have something better in mind.
Kelly: But God….
God: Don’t argue with Me.
Kelly: But…
God: Trust Me. Ok?

It is an ongoing conversation. I know it’s not a conversation I’ll even win. God always has the last word. So why do I still want to kick and scream like a child to get my way? Maybe that’s because, in a way, I am a child. I am God’s child. God’s adopted child.

In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.
Ephesians 1:5

I am not His daughter because he had to have me. I am His daughter because He wanted me. He chose me. If God adopted me into His family out of love, shouldn’t I be willing to do the same?

Since God is my Father, surely, like any parent, He knows what is best for His child, even when His child can’t see the big picture. But as children, we need to learn to trust that our parent knows what’s in our best interests, even when we don’t like it. Even when we don’t understand.

I may not know exactly why He planned it this way. I may never know why. But He does. I may no longer have the slightest clue what my future children will look like. But He does. And that’s what matters.

Before closing, I’d like to briefly retouch on Psalm 113:9:

He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.

Just in writing this post, something was revealed to me about the promise God gave me in that verse. It doesn’t say that the barren woman (some translations use “childless”) ever became pregnant.  It only says that she was given children. And maybe…. just maybe, they were adopted.