Two pink lines and six years later...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two pink lines and six years later.  Today is Deanna's 6th birthday.  It's hard to summarize the past six years in just a few words. Amazing. Difficult. Wonderful. Sad. Exciting. Empty. Fulfilling. Satisfying. Bittersweet.  It's been a roller coaster of emotion since I began this open adoption journey six years ago.

On July 11, 2005, I didn't really know what to expect in terms of what our open adoption would be like; there were so many uncertainties and unknowns.  I only knew two things for sure: 1) It would be incredibly difficult for me to deal with the fact that I wouldn't be raising my daughter and 2) I would never be the same after what I had gone through at 18.

And I was so right.

To say that I had a difficult time coping with the loss of Deanna would be the understatement of the year. There were days where I didn't want to live and I didn't know how I was going to make it through. And I was forever changed by what I had gone through. But these truths don't change the fact that I still believe I made the right decision for my daughter. Six years later, I can happily say that I am at peace with myself and with my decision.  I absolutely adore Deanna's parents and extended family, and I wouldn't change the past for anything.  I have been forever changed because of what I've gone through...but I mean that in the best way possible. What God has done in my life these past few years is nothing short of amazing.  He has taken an impossible and heartbreaking situation and used it for His good.  "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace"  Ephesians 1:7

The Purpose Driven Connection is a website and blog by Rick Warren, (author of The Purpose Driven Life). Warren writes a Daily Hope called: "A Mission You Need to Accept."  Here's my favorite snippet:

"God has a purpose for the hurts you’ve gone through. He wants you to use them to help others –Who better to help someone struggling with alcoholism than someone who has fought that battle? Who better to help someone with a special needs child than a parent with a special needs child? Who better to support someone in the middle of a failing marriage than someone who experienced the pain of a marriage that fell apart? Who better to offer hope to a child who feels unworthy in school than someone who grew up feeling unworthy in school?

God wants to use the very things you are most embarrassed or ashamed of to encourage other people. While we think we encourage other people with our strength, it’s often those things we want to keep hidden that speak to them. They can relate and find hope when they see how God has brought you through those times of trial and used you in spite of your weaknesses.

What will be your life mission? Your life mission is telling other how Jesus helped you overcome the challenges of your life. The good news of the Gospel is as simple as letting people know salvation is a free gift; that you don’t have to earn your way to heaven. It’s telling people how God wants them to live forever with him and that everything they’ve ever done wrong can be erased by God’s grace."

Everything you have ever done wrong can be erased by God's grace.  What a powerful and hope-filled message! 

It's so hard for me to believe that Deanna is six-years-old.  I honestly can't believe how quickly time has flown by.  It's so easy to get caught up in the past; wondering why things happened the way they did and revisiting the dreaded "what ifs."  I know because I did it for years.  But today is a brand new day, and being at peace with my decision means that I am finally able to move forward with my life.  Not looking back, but also not forgetting where I've been.  When you take a step back to look at the big picture and realize that God has a bigger (and better) plan for your life, it's so much easier to accept and move past whatever it is that you've been through.  Today is July 11, 2011, and I know two things for sure...

1) God is good all the time and 2) All the time, God is good. 

Happy birthday Miss Deanna Marie!

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

Rambunctious little babe playing at the beach.  What a life!

It is well with my soul