Wednesday, March 03, 2010

To the Least of These

If desire and readiness directly affected a woman's fertility, how different would our lives be?

If it had depended on desire and readiness, I don't know when we would have had Jackson. We were never "trying." When we stopped attempting to prevent pregnancy, we had just been through the most painful trial of our marriage. To be honest with you, we needed something good to happen. We weren't dying for a baby and we weren't the type of people who already had all the parenting skills. I figured we'd probably never be "ready," so why not go ahead? It would probably take a while anyway.

Ten months later we had a son.

Meanwhile, one of my best friends, Christine, was in the market for a new car. She and her husband, Zach, decided to purchase a Volvo station wagon. They had only been married for a couple of years and didn't have any kids yet. They were still in the cool couple phase. So why on earth were they getting a Volvo? And a station wagon at that? Of course no one would have asked because it was clear that they were very excited about the car (which was indeed cool as far as family cars go). They had bought it in anticipation of starting their family soon. I still remember the happy look on Christine's face when she explained that decision to me. If desire and readiness were the determining factors of fertility, Christine would have maxed out that car and upgraded to a minivan in no time at all.

Several years later, Zach and Christine discovered that God's plan was to build their family through adoption. In His faithfulness, God had already given them a vision and desire for adoption. They had been visiting Christine's sister in Africa when the desire was conceived in their hearts. What they didn't know was that their parenting journey would begin that way.

My precious friend, who would have been thrilled with a honeymoon baby while the rest of us carefully strategized against it, has waited patiently while the rest of us went on to have baby number one and then baby number two. She has hosted our baby showers, she has gifted our children with beautiful and thoughtful presents, she has held them in their hospital rooms, she has photographed them, and she has loved them like an aunt. In fact, when we celebrated Christine's 30th birthday, all of our children wore t-shirts to the party that said, "Aunt Fitine is my BFF." ("Fitine" because that's how Addison Habermehl said it and it stuck.) Christine simply loves children. She was meant to be a mother.

I do not have any answers as to why the one who wanted it most had to wait the longest. But I do know one thing - the child who is placed in her arms forever will be very blessed. And I trust that when this whole story unfolds it will be a beautiful one that they would not trade for anything.

My friends and I have eagerly anticipated our opportunity to celebrate and throw a baby shower, to give beautiful presents, to take pictures holding that little bundle, and to teach him or her to call us Aunt Michelle, Aunt Kay Kay, and Aunt Manda. To the praise of our Father, that time has finally come. A birth mother has chosen Christine and Zach to parent her baby. The due date is later this spring. We are all beside ourselves with joy. A shower date is on the calendar and we can finally love on our friend and celebrate her journey toward motherhood as we have longed to do.

Part of our joy is to now help Zach and Christine raise the funds they need to make this adoption possible. We are selling t-shirts to help meet the goal. Yeah! Who doesn't love a new t-shirt? Will you help us bring their new baby M home?

The cost is $25 (includes shipping)
-We will take t-shirt orders for the next two weeks and then place the whole order at once. This will help us be as efficient with the funds as possible.
-The t-shirts say "To the least of these." They are heather gray with turquoise and clear ink.
-Available in adult sizes S-XXL
-Look on the left side bar to purchase a t-shirt and/or make a donation. You can also purchase your shirt from Christine's blog.




Matthew 25:34-40
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


Thank you for being a part of this story.

Aunt Michelle, Christine, Aunt Kay Kay, and Aunt Manda in August of 2008.

52 comments:

AKat said...

Aw, Amanda, I have the chills. I am rejoicing with you aunties!
Super cute shirts, too!!!
(I'll be ordering one s-o-o-n.)

Marla Taviano said...

I ask God that a lot. Why do some women have to wait so long, Lord? I know He knows, but it's so hard.

Praying for Zach and Christine! And buying a shirt next week!!

Amy Prikazsky said...

Such a sweet post! I'm so excited for your friend!

amy
www.theprikazskys.com

Mandi said...

Amanda, these are such sweet words for your friend Christine and I am sure she is touched by your love and friendship. I know from my own experience just how important it is to have sweet friends celebrate with you when God chooses to grow your family through adoption. My heart will fill with joy each time I wear this shirt and think about God placing a precious baby in Christine's loving arms.

Kiki said...

What a great friend you are. This totally made me tear up. Going to buy that t-shirt now.

Amanda said...

Thank you, friends! This means so much to me!

Holly said...

I just got chills and completely verklempt. We will help. Let me see which size Chris and Noah want (they are our t-shirt lovers).

I understand this road...yes. And I am still amazed at what God has done. Selah.

Living4Him said...

Glad to support your friend....we, too, are adoptive parents, so yeah!!

The Johnsons said...

This is probably one of my favorite posts you've written. What special friendships! I'm touched. How could we not support?!

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

Hi Amanda I am Carol I am single but I will be getting my t-Shirt ordered next week sometime so we need to pay for shipping as well or how does that work? I will remember a child being placed in there arms wach time I wear it.
Love ya
Carol

Lindsee said...

Amanda, you are such a sweet friend and she is blessed to have the 3 of you celebrating this new life. I feel like I keep telling you this, but this is probably one of my favorite posts you've written. It touches some of the tender places of my heart because of the different "things" I am waiting on. I understand it on a different spectrum!

Definitely going to buy a shirt.

Thanks for sharing this story and journey with us!

Rachel said...

I need another t-shirt like a need a hole in the head, but I was thrilled to give a donation and help in some small way. Keep us posted on how much money you girls are able to raise!

Would that every woman had friends like "Fitine" does...

Alana said...

what amazing friends Christine has been blessed with...getting a shirt!

Heather said...

Ordered one! I was adopted myself and we have the desire to add to our family one day through adoption because of it. The financial part of it scares me to pieces!

Praying for them as they walk this road!

Roo and Wren's Mama said...

Adoption is a wonderful thing! We adopted our first daughter almost 2 years ago - and I am still IN AWE of God's amazing blessing and providence. Adoption is such a blessing for all involved - a happy home for a child, a fulfilled longing for parents, and a positive choice for a birthmother.
Now I'm off to click over to see Christine's blog. So excited for them!

The Barfuss Family said...

So cute! I am happy to order one and celebrate with you!

Heather said...

Gonna order mine later tonight! Awesome! I never imagined I would struggle with infertility and once you do, it changes you forever. It is a heartbreak that God alone can heal and carry you through. But He is good to do that...and more. Bless your sweet heart for celebrating and helping in this way!

Kristi said...

Amanda, this post makes me so ashamed of myself. I found out I was pregnant a few weeks ago and I cannot accept it. We have 2 already and were the perfect family of 4. I hate that I feel this way but I cant seem to just get over it and be happy. This is so hard to even admit. I wonder why God wanted this for me. I am going to remember this post and it is going to help me see this as a blessing. I mean DUH it's a baby! I am going to ask God to bless your friend beyond her imagination! Sorry for using your blog as my confessional!

Amy said...

Thanks for putting this on your blog and letting us know how we can be a part of this! Buying one now!

Deidre said...

How exciting for them! For all of you! I love the shirt and love the 'cause' more. I'm ordering ...

Leslie Lauren said...

What a wonderful idea! I'm teary-eyed reading this!! Will try and work with our budget this week to see if we can help. The shirts are tres chic, by the way~ big kudos to the designer!

I will pray for this awesome couple!!! :)

Ivy said...

Amanda,
this completely brought tears to my eyes. what a precious love you have for your friend, it is truly beautiful. i will definately be getting one of the t-shirts. praying so hard for their hearts and the heart of the birth mother.

even though i am only 21, i am the "mother" of my group of friends, even the older ones. its just my personality and heart. so i definately resonate with your friend's story:)

Katie said...

Amanda, thank you for this wonderful post. I'm a lurker but wanted you to know how moved by Christine and Zach's story. Just ordered my t-shirt!

christine said...

Hey everyone! Do I have the best friends or what?!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your support is overwhelming and such an encouagement! Oh if I could just hug each one of you..... Thank you!

Love. Christine (and Zach)

Taylor said...

That is so amazing!! What wonderful friends she has!! I will definitely be purchasing one of those tshirts this Friday on payday!!

Karen said...

TOTALLY unrelated, but I'm wondering why your profile pic doesn't include Annabeth??

lavonda said...

Amanda, I don't need a tee shirt, but was so very happy to make a donation for them. Her story touched my heart. See, I had no problem getting pregnant, it was the staying pregnant that I had trouble with. I completely related to you sharing about your friend... that was me too, throwing the showers and holding the babies and taking the pictures (then crying myself to sleep because I wanted a baby in my own arms so desperately). Today, I have a precious son and daughter asleep upstairs as I type, and 5 babies in Heaven I can't wait to hug one day.

I do hope you'll share more as their precious one arrives! :) I'm so excited for her!

lara said...

Awesome story! I love to hear of God blessing and moving in the hearts of His children. My circle of friends just celebrated a similar miracle. Close friends finished their home study on a Monday and by the following Monday their precious baby boy was born and now they are a family. And he looks just like them! Blessings upon Blessings!

Sarah said...

What a precious post. I am happy for Christine and her husband. Their story gives me hope that this is still possible for me. God is able! :)

Tara G. said...

What a precious group you are!! Praying for them!!

Rusty and Jennifer said...

I just have to tell you that I have tears streaming down my face right now. As an "Aunt Fitine" myself, I have to tell you that this is the most beautiful tribute to your friend. I promise that she will treasure your words for a lifetime. She is lucky to have such wonderful friends that support her in such an amazing way!

Karen Campbell said...

Thank you for posting this! You are such a wonderful writer Amanda! This post made me cry and it brought some healing to my heart. My husband and I have been struggling with trying to begin a family for a few years now. I have geat hope in my heart but it has been so hard to wait. Congrats to Christine and her husband!! So excited for them! I will buy a shirt!

Amanda said...

You guys are blowing us away. Thank you for the incredible support!

Sue said...

Amanda,
What a sweet friend you are to Christine. I loved reading this post. Ordered the shirt!!! Done deal!

Bama Belle said...

What a wonderful way for the "aunties" to have a part in helping your precious friend. The shirts are super cute and such a great idea!!

Spicy Magnolia said...

Hearing part of the phone conversation between my friend, her husband, and the adoption agency telling this precious couple they had been chosen by a birth mom to raise her little girl, still sends chills up and down my spine. I was forever changed; I'd seen the miracle of adoption played out before my very eyes. It's an honor to help your friend.

Kristy said...

I ordered one for me and one for my daughter...I was not smart enough to figure out how to do it at the same time so it was two separate transactions but I am hoping you will notice the same shipping address and combine the order to save on shipping cost for you...and I hope you generate lots of funds!

In Him,
Kristy
Princeton NC

melanie said...

awesome shirt, i am so excited to buy one. i hope the Lord blesses Christine with a ton of money from these t-shirt sales... this is a great idea!

Fran said...

Yep...buying a shirt!!! This is awesome!Rejoicing with you all.

Hugs and prayers,
Fran

Siesta OC said...

Thank you for this post Amanda. I was just thinking this today. My friend FB'd today that she was going to go pick up her "children" (cats) from the vet. And because I have known that she has done many invitro with no outcome of motherhood, my heart broke. I am not married and have no kids, so I can't imagine. I am thrilled for Christine and Zach - I would love for some pics and randomity of this baby shower. And don't forget to clue us in on the name!

Siesta OC

Bobbie said...

Amanda, you're amazing! This is an awesome opportunity for us to help someone special in an endeavor that will bless Christine and Zach and their families! We'll be donating! I'm sure God has something very special in mind for them!

Keep us posted!

Ginger said...

This is beautiful!

Lauren said...

I loved reading this. I haven't kept up with Zach and Christine for several years and didn't know all of this, but as I sit here and look at my newborn daughter, it all seems even that much sweeter. Thanks for posting it.

connorcolesmom said...

What wonderful news!!!
I have a friend in a similar situation.
She and her husband are HS sweethearts and have tried everything to get pregnant.
5 yrs later I think they are ready to take the adoption step as well

I am thrilled for Christine and I love the T-shirts
I would love one :)
Thanks so much

Have a great weekend sweet Amanda!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow, Christine has waited a long time...praise Him, she is going to have a little one!:)

katiegfromtennessee

Plain Ryn said...

Read the post, cried and got the t-shirt! I walked the infertility and adoption road and honestly can't say that I did it asking God's opinion. Prayed for what "I" wanted. However, He blessed me in spite of my selfishness. LONG story there... So happy for Christine and her hubby. This shirt will remind me of them and of His unfailing goodness. Thanks for sharing.

debra said...

Definitely going to buy one or some. Reading the scripts just now made me cry. I am such a weird place emotionally and those words from Christ are exactly what I needed to hear.

I posted on fb. And will post on blog (if that is okay) during the week when there is more traffic.

Love your heart, Aunt Manda.

Kristen {RAGE against the MINIVAN} said...

Love this. Like Christine, we watched as our friends had their first and second babies, and wondered why. We also chose adoption, and never looked back! Five years later, we have a house full of kids. Thanks for advocating and honoring your friend and her adoption!

Moose Mama said...

What a joy to partner with you for Zach and Christine!

I know the pain and sadness of fertility issues and multiple miscarriages...It's my honor to help this couple by buying a t-shirt.

You are a good bunch of friends!

Melana

Michele Helms said...

I hope that you guys have GREAT success with this! How exciting for the whole crew!

Christy said...

I have a dear friend who had been not preventing pregnancy for the first 5 years of their marriage, she was only 24 when adoption had been placed STRONGLY on their hearts. After 2 different possible adoption options fell apart (the first one the mom changed her mind and decided to keep the baby and the 2nd was they were going to adopt 2 siblings from Africa and another family was chosen instead of them) then GOD showed his ultimate plan for them....to adopt FIVE siblings from Ethiopia! It was not an easy process (mostly the adoption agency they went through) but GOD guided them and brought their children home to them!! A year after the adoption my sweet friend discovered much to their surprise they were expecting their first biological child. Their precious son was born last month...so in the matter of 2 years they became parents of 6 beautiful, GOD planned children!!! Having 6 children in such a short time was not in their plans, but it was always in GOD's! Praying for amazing blessings for your sweet friend, as he's blessed mine!

The Reardon's said...

You are an amazing group of girls. I love you all and thanks for posting this about the journey Z & C are on. xoxo