Monday, October 13, 2008

Children ...

When Bryan and I were dating, he painted me this picture and gave it to me for Christmas.
He addressed/signed it using our nicknames! I forgot about this. The fascination of early love; don’t we do the cutest funniest things sometimes.

I had put the painting up, storing it until I could decide where to put it. It has not hung on any wall since we moved to the OKC metro 6 years ago. When Bryan painted the picture in 1995, it was suppose to represent the children we wanted once we married and made it through college. I had wanted 2 children and in 1995 I had 1 boy name and 1 girl name picked out.

I took this painting out during the week I was reorganizing and cleaning closets a few weeks back. This picture struck me in a whole different new way than its original meaning. Although it may sound strange to some or maybe I am making more out of the painting than necessary but I relate this painting now to the 2 tubal pregnancies I had and the 2 children I never saw born. I thought it so neat that 13 years ago a painting was made by my future husband with two children and now today could represent the path of our journey over the past 1-½ years. It was also neat to see the relative closeness in size of the children. Had I carried each to term they would have been very close in age and size!! Instead of making me sad, I felt like my heart leaped inside. It was comforting to see the painting in this way. When I pulled it off the shelf and realized all of this I thanked God for this moment of comfort He gave me through this painting!! It was soothing.

I shared this with Bryan and then hung the painting in our bedroom on the wall of my side of the bed. I see it everyday. I have to admit, since I’ve hung it, it has not always had that comforting feeling it had when I took it off the shelf but I am determined to beat any sadness or darkness that may creep into my emotions and mind. It is staying on the wall!

I think some of our family and friends may be getting anxious and wondering when we are going to adopt or what we are going to do. The truth is, we don’t know. We just don’t know. It is unbelievable how many things you have to work out and think about and consider. There is so much unknown. At times we feel we are just going to go forward and begin the process right now even though we do not know “the process” and then at other times we do not quite have a peace of mind or sense God’s direction.

I have periodically been reading on this book which is a great resource for adoptive families. Steven Curtis Chapman and Focus on the Family recommended it
I know my God is not the author of confusion so we wait until this cloud passes. In March 2008 I felt I wanted a Caucasian infant. Bryan has felt maybe we should try for a 10-12 month old. But at other times he has said he doesn’t care. Recently I have been exposed to a little girl adopted from China and then a bi-racial little girl adopted as an infant. This is a relative of Bryan's who was adopted. She is beautiful and absolutely precious, so polite and very well mannered. I met her a week ago. Both have touched my heart because you see immediately the beauty of adoption in them and their parents. I love that!

So you see we just don’t know and we wait for God’s direction. There have been specific times when Bryan and I had to make big decisions and we just waited. Waited for God and the peace that He brings in clarity. At these times God has rewarded us beyond our expectations!!

At church I facilitate a ladies bible study on Sunday nights. Right now we are doing Jennifer Rothschild’s Walking by Faith and we are on our 3rd week. This is such an appropriate and timely study for me to be doing as I wait on God for direction in my family. I am grateful for God’s sovereignty and perfect timing.

I am making this study a priority each day so if I do not blog everyday or post on your blog everyday, please do not give up on me. I’ve made a rule for myself: No blogging until I have done the day’s homework.

I apologize for such a long post but I had a lot to get in.

p.s. I am still called "Babydoll" or "Babs". Bryan is not called Chickabee (he has a different name now) !!! :)


petrii said...

Julie, What a beautiful picture. Your husband is very talented. I love the new meaning God has given you for this painting.

I have read "Lessons I Learned in the Dark" and it was GREAT. I haven't done any of her studies though, you'll need to let us know what you think when you've completed it.

Have a Blessed week dear one,


Jennifer said...

Thanks so much for sharing the painting and the story behind it. Your husband did a wonderful job on the painting. I love the details :)
Can't wait to hear how things go!

Kristen said...

I love the picture and that it represents something so special to you! Isn't God amazing?!!
I'll be praying for clarity for both you and Brian as you face the possibility of adoption.
I just read in my quiet time last night that God may not hurry, but He's never late. It's so true and brought some serious peace last night!

Melissa said...

I love the painting Brian did! He's so good!! I will be praying for you to hear what God is saying about it all...i think you're smart to "just wait" :) i'm sad OU lost too, I wish they would have beat Texas!!

Jenna said...

Julie, thank you so much for sharing this. The picture is amazing and your words touched me so much. I will definitely be praying for you as ya'll walk through this uncertain time.

Laura said...

Oh, Julie! What a great post and a beautiful painting. I had no idea you had two tubal pregnancies. I had one before I had Alise. It was one of the most trying times in my life, so in a way, I understand what you went through. Hang in there. I am praying for you!

Kelly said...

I can't believe Bryan painted that for you!!! How amazing and how sweet. I think it really is the children you lost. What a neat reminder to always remember them and hold them close to your heart!
I'm praying for you on the adoption road. I know there are so many decisions but I know God will lead you to the right one and the perfect child.

Faith said...

Julie, I love this beautiful illustration and the way God spoke to you through it.

I would like to read "Lessons I Learned in the Dark", because I'm right there with you, waiting on God's direction for our family.

I am praying that God would clearly direct your path and show you and Bryan the way in which you are to walk. I know He has big things in store for your family and I can't wait to see His perfect plan revealed. Be encouraged today! Love and hugs, Faith

Weeksie50 said...

What a beautiful painting..
I am sorry for your losses..
I loved the meaning that God has given you for this painting.. It is bittersweet but beautiful all wrapped up in one emotion..

Kimberly said...

You always knew God worked in mysterious ways. He used an instrument of love from the past to help you find peace. What a blessing. I named all the little ones I lost. Even though, I don't really talk about them much, they are in my heart everyday. Even lost blessings are a blessing. Luke Gabriel 4/9/02;Christopher Paul 10/10/02; Maria Mercedes 2/6/05. God is using this time to prepare your heart and reward your faithfulness. In the fullness of his time there will be children who cares what color God paints them.


jennifer said...

Julie, you are such an inspiration to me. I loved the story of the painting. Your faith is a great example. I know God is going to bless you in his timing.

Jennifer Davis

valerie said...

I love the picture Bryan painted. How special!

I think you're very wise to be still and know that He is God. God will direct you and Bryan and will give you wisdom.

I know that God will give you both a perfect peace about this huge decision. I'm so proud of you and I just know God has such wonderful plans ahead. I can't wait to witness the great things He has in store.

Enjoy your Bible study. It sounds like a great one!


Megan L Hutchings said...

Julie, what a beautiful picture and I had no idea that Bryan was/is so talented ;). I think it says a lot about your faith that you have hung the picture up and you will see it everyday. I look forward to reading about what great things God has in store for your picture!!!

Heather said...

I loved reading this, Julie! The painting is amazing and what a sweet story of your husband painting that!
Waiting on God is so very difficult, but I have learned (and am learning) that it is the process of waiting where we learn the most. I am praying for you.

Linda said...

I will pray for you in this area. That God will give you a clear answer on when to move and when to wait. I understand the loss. I have had two tubal pregnancies myself, resulting in the loss of one of my tubes.

valerie said... regards to your question about the nachos at the game....I sure did want some, but I had just eaten a cheeseburger & fries on the way to the game and I thought my hubbie would think I was a p-i-g if I got some. I do love nachos at those kind of events! Next time for sure!!!
It was a lot of fun. I hope y'all can go sometime. Dan's company is really giving and I felt so blessed that we got such good tickets and for free! God is good to us!

ocean mommy said...

JULIE! I have tear running down my face! That painting is simply beautiful. For quite sometime, I've wanted to do something to honor the two babies we have in Heaven, but just haven't figured out how. This painting just sparked an idea.

And the Jennifer Rothschild study is AWESOME! I LOVED it.


Jessica said...

You have a very talented hubby!! Wow!!!

Mandi said...

I found your blog through Kelly's. The painting is gorgeous and I love the story behind it!
I completely understand waiting on God to direct your steps. My husband and I did our share of waiting on God to lead us in how He wanted to grow our family.
We are going through the process of adopting through the foster care system. We have a beautiful baby boy that has been with us since he was 3 days old...he is now 8 months old and we are still waiting! God has been so faithful to us and we are believing him for this adoption. I just said a prayer for you!

The Hickman's said...

What a sweet post! You are in my prayer journal and I'm constantly praying for you and Brian. I am so glad that God is giving you comfort and encouragment. I will be praying for clear answers and a peace on decisions you two are making. I know that God is going to bless you for your faithfulness!

Leigh Ann said...

What a gorgeous painting, Julie! I have a special place in my heart for adoption. My sister adopted from China almost 8 years ago, and my niece is beautiful, smart, and so sweet. The moment my sister told me they were adopting, she was already in my heart. She acts just like my sister, too. It is so neat!