Monday, September 22, 2008

The Beginning Of Our Journey

The following is a letter that went out to some of our friends and family tonight...unfortunately, I don't have everyone's email address that keeps up with us through the blog, so I thought I would post the same letter here as well.  =)

Dear Family and Friends,

I don’t know how to start this letter other than to preface it by saying this is not a letter written out of sadness. Rather, a letter written out of hope…a letter about God’s perfect plans…and our very long journey to realizing those.

Ben and I have recently found out that we are not going to be able to have children naturally. To many of you this may come as a shock, and we sincerely apologize that most of you are just now finding this out.  But please try to understand… It’s not that we haven’t wanted the prayer and support of our precious friends and extended family, or that we don’t trust enough to allow you all in to our lives. It was a personal decision which we felt very strongly about that allowed our family to have some private time to truly seek God’s will and direction for our lives. And, without knowing any details, many of you have been praying for us just the same - for that we are truly grateful. Your prayers have been felt on many occasions, and (unknowing to you) have given us strength when we thought we had none left.

Looking back, we see many blessings and many times that God was holding our hand through this entire process. I am not going to lie and say that any of this has been easy, or that our decision was made without any period of grieving, because it most certainly has not been that way. We’ve had to come to terms with the fact that the picture we had painted in our heads of what our family will look like is not our reality. God has a different plan…a different picture. It’s amazing how He molds our lives, our hopes, and our dreams into something completely unexpected yet completely wonderful.

Now, on to the second part of our news… (And, to what may come as shock #2 to you)… We know that there are many options out there in regards to our next steps in starting a family – many of those have been wonderful choices for some of our friends. However, we feel God’s direct call on our life to ADOPT, and we are very excited about this!

Obviously, there were many hours of prayer, research, and consultations that went in to this decision. And the outcome of all that is, not only do we feel called to adopt, but we feel called to a very specific adoption path – one that we know is a much longer road both emotionally and financially. We have chosen to do a private domestic (United States) adoption of a newborn infant - an infant we bring directly home from the hospital after birth. Our ideal situation is to be paired with a birthmother during her pregnancy that is not able to care for a child due to young age or insufficient support. As I said, definitely a long road ahead, but it’s a road that fills us with hope and excitement for the future.

A quote that I recently read sums up our experience perfectly… “The process of adopting a child takes more courage than you think you have; offers more self-knowledge than you think you want; and reassembles your characteristics into someone familiar, but changed. It is an incredible journey through a rich landscape of hard truths.”

Fortunately, God could not have placed us in a better network of family and friends to help us through this process. We are forever grateful for you. The main reason for this letter is that we are asking for your prayers in the requests below, and know that you will faithfully join us in this journey ahead.

1. Pray for the baby that God has prepared to place with our family.
a. 1 Samuel 1:27 – I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord.
b. Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I set you apart.

2. Pray for the birthmother – for her strength and for her health. We give praise for her completely selfless decision.
a. Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
b. Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. Pray for our strength as we begin this long process…that we continue to trust and seek after His will.
a. Jeremiah 29:11 - I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; to give you a hope and a future.
b. Isaiah 55: 8-9 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

4. Spread the word. Please forward this email to as many friends and family that you have who will join us in prayer.

We will be updating everyone on our adoption journey through our blog (http://holpeterson.blogspot.com), so please be sure to check in there for regular updates.

And with that, we’ll leave you with the words to a song that have spoken peace over our house many times as we are trusting God and slowly learning how to fly... 

We love you all very much, 
Holly & Ben Peterson


Too many times,
You’ve heard the same old lines.
Too many smiles,
Try to tell you that it’s alright.
But they never know what to say,
To completely convince your fears all away.

Night brings the dark
To blanket your breaking heart.
Each distant star
Reminds you of how small you are.
But in that quiet place,
Come the words of a Father and his healing embrace…

And he says,
“Take my hand, I’ll carry your load.
I know you can’t face this world on your own.
And though this place seems hard, I know,
I want you to see that I’ve not let you go.
You’re soaring with me because you’re under my wing.
I’m showing you how to fly.”

Like tarnished silver,
Like a candle that’s burning low,
Life makes us weary,
And battles leave us wounded and cold.
In the moment where hope seems to end,
He comes to our side, and he whispers again…

“Child, take my hand, I’ll carry your load.
I know you can’t face this world on your own.
And though this place seems hard, I know,
I want you to see that I’ve not let you go.
You’re soaring with me because you’re under my wing.
I’m showing you how to fly.”


“Those who hope in the Lord receive fresh strength; they spread their wings and soar like eagles…” Is. 40:31

21 comments:

kelly said...

holly - i saw your "announcement" to read your blog on facebook. i know this must have been a really tough journey for you & your hubby. it sounds like God has truly spoken to you, & that's so exciting! blessings to you guys as you start your family!! i know you will be a wonderful mama!!!

Emily said...

I'm praying for you both on this journey. Can't wait to meet the little one God blessed your family with!

kelly said...

oh, ps: this is kelly garrett harp :)

Barbara Hepler said...

Some little baby is out there waiting to be born, and boy, is it going to be blessed!!!

Love you guys!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Holly! You and Ben are going to be such awesome parents! I'm so excited for you! I will be praying for you daily as you start this process. I truly think it is the best gift you can give a child (my mom was adopted) and I know God chose you two for a reason!

Love you both!
Misty Robertson

Steph Watson said...

Holly girl,
I just recently discovered your blog and was particularly interested to read this one. Be assured of my prayers and support. I have several friends who have been on a similar journey and have decided to adopt. Exciting times. I look forward to reading your updates. You and Ben will be wonderful parents. By the way, love the title of your blogspot and the song. Katherine Barnes actually assists on the worship team at our church. Love her heart as shared through her music.

Heather D said...

Holly, I am sitting here sobbing as I read your post. While my heart breaks over the valley you have walked through, I am overwhelmed by your grace. I hope you know how much of a comfort that just even this post will bring to others. I am so proud of your courage, strength and FAITH! I am praying with you, sweet, sweet friend. I cannot wait to give you a huge hug next time I see you...I am SO amazed.

TJ said...

Im THRILLED for you and Ben! I will be praying for yall and your journey to adopt a sweet child. What amazing parents you will be!!

Amanda said...

What an amazing post. Just wanted to say that I can intimately understand where you're at on all accounts and that I'll be praying for your family, including the ones to come.

martha said...

Holly (and Ben)-I found your blog via Heather and believe me, I am PRAYING fervently for you! Chad and I have been with potential birthmoms as houseparents at a maternity home so praying for the birthmom and your baby too...what a wonderful and amazing time. Be strong and hopeful!!
Shelly

Rebecca said...

Holly and Ben! I was so excited to find your blog and am so excited for you both! I have always thought you were both amazing and I will be praying for you both as you start this blessed adventure and calling. For a long time, God has also given me a desire and calling to adopt at some point. I am looking forward to living this part of your life with you guys through this blog. I know you will both be such awesome parents! Love you both, Rebecca "Brown" Durrett.

The Crawford Family said...

I got your letter today in an email, and I want you to know that Adam and I will be praying with you through this journey. Adoption is such a special, special gift. What a blessing you and Ben will be to a precious child. Thank you for sharing your news and allowing us to be a part of the journey.

Donnine said...

Holly,

This was one of the best emails I have ever received. I am so in awe of you as you and Ben travel this journey. You are such a model for so many couples and you are handling this in such a healthy way with a such honesty and transparency. Let this be an important lesson for all to see how to turn toward others and God in unknown times. I sooo appreciate you and we absolutely will be by you and Ben to support your family toward this next chapter.

Hugs,
Donnine

thedansbys said...

Praise God! I will be praying for you all! Love, Amelia

Kelli said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us! I never knew of your exact struggles with having a child but I have felt compelled to pray for you in this area for some time. I am sorry for the pain you have experienced but am thankful for the work God is doing in your lives. We will continue to pray for you guys and are excited about the amazing little life God is going to bless you with! -Kelli Jones

Becky said...

Holly,
Matt and I both will be praying for you and for Ben along your journey. What an incredible journey to tell! I know that we both just met you and the rest of our community group but we would love to help in any way we can! You guys will be terrific parents and you are a wonderful inspiration to the rest of us to remember to accept God's plan for us, no matter how different it is from the original path we chose for ourselves. Can't wait to hear more!!

Becky and Matt Ketcherside

Anonymous said...

Holly and Ben,

I'm overwhelmed with emotions of grieving with you and sheer excitement of the future. I've been praying for you guys for awhile but I didn't know your exact struggles. I'll definitely want to talk to you and read through your journey as Joel and I are still planning on adopting one day. Thank you for sharing your heart. Jenny Sawyer

Diane said...

I will be praying!!! Lots of love to you and Ben!

Meggan and Trent said...

Holly, I saw your post on facebook to check out your blog. I am so glad that I did...I will be praying for you guys on this exciting journey!

samantha said...

My sister Donnine e-mailed me the link to your blog. I just wanted to say that so many things that you said were very inspiring to me during my own journey to parenthood. I really appreciate your candidness as we all learn from one another. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your husband.

Samantha

Kylie said...

Hi Holly- I found your blog through Amanda Christian's. I wanted to first of all, tell you that I will be praying for your baby to be placed with you soon and for everything to fall into place as it should. Secondly, do you remember Melissa Corley? Now McKenzie- She was our age, a Chi O that transferred... anyway, we go to the same church now and she and her husband just adopted a newborn exactly a year ago. If you were at all interested in talking with her as someone who has recently walked the road, I'm sure I can get her email and everything. Just let me know- kylielindseyhiggins@gmail.com
Love,
Kylie (Lindsey) Higgins