Not only an adoptive mama and more than a CrossFit Wife!

The Three In-between

Before Trice and after Lakelyn, we actually lost three babies...all through the adoption process. That’s the thing with adoption–it’s a constant roller coaster of emotions. You are either incredibly happy and excited for the next step or you're super low and don’t want to continue in the process. I wanted to share this with you...not only because it's a part of our story, but for the mere fact that those babies will forever be prayed for. One baby in particular will forever be a part of my heart. 

I also wanted to share this part of our story because I don’t know who is reading this. I don't know where you are in your adoption or fertility journey and I want you to know that if God has placed adoption and motherhood on your heart–it’s for a reason. And that reason alone is worth the matter the hurdles and struggles along the way. 

The first baby we were matched with was matched through a lawyer. Our family was on vacation when we received the phone call...and we cried and cried. I can't imagine what the people around us on the beach were thinking of us that day. I won't go into too much detail about this sweet baby but I will share that the birthmom chose a different family right before the baby was born. It was painful. BUT we know this IS where this baby belongs. As much as I wanted another baby, I had to lean not my understanding but his (God's). Looking back from where we sit now (not just because of Trice), it makes perfect sense.

The story surrounding our match with the second baby was very difficult. The birth mom was younger and asked Rich and I for a large amount of money. After our attorney explained to us that what she had done was illegal and shared what we could do for her...she sent me a horrific email and told us she was keeping the baby after all. This was so hard for us because she had explained throughout her entire pregnancy why she had no desire to keep the baby. A few months later, the Department of Child Services called and asked if we had been in contact with her...because she had abandoned the baby. They were looking for her hoping we had spoken to her (we hadn't). It was so difficult knowing that it cold have all been avoided...that sweet baby had been through so much.  

The third baby is what set me over the absolute edge. This birthmom and dad had already signed papers stating that we would be the parents of this baby. We had the hospital room papers filled out for our stay. The birth mom had given us all of her ultrasound pictures...and in my heart, I knew this was my son. Our hearts were ready for him. But in the state of Tennessee, the papers don't really matter until the baby is born (although, they're a huge step in the right direction).  

With adoption, like with Lakelyn, I knew what could happen. I knew that at any moment, the birth mom could change her mind even though all of the steps in the right direction had taken place. I even went as far as asking my sister to do a reveal party. 

As an adoptive mom, you don’t get to do all the “mom things” that happen during pregnancy–I don’t get to find out the gender of my baby at the doctor's office, have the gender reveal parties, or tell my family the big news. I just wanted for one night to be “that mom.” I knew the risk going into it. I also knew that after all the heartbreak, if something did happen, we were finished. I wanted to make the best and most out of every single opportunity I had with this baby. So, with just family and very close friends, I had THE BEST gender reveal party! 

It’s a boy. 

I’ve never been more anxious in my life. As the weeks went by, we anxiously prepared our hearts for our son. We picked out his name and  began the wait. Even had Lakelyn's 'Big Sister' Pictures taken. Late St Patrick’s day evening, we received a phone call. The birth mom's water broke 5 weeks early and they were going to try and stop her labor. They asked that we would prepare by packing his bag. We were NUTS! We had the car seat in the car. We washed his blankets and his coming home gown. And the next morning, our incredible lawyer began filling out the paperwork for Vanderbilt knowing he would be transferred (as a preemie).

We started making arrangements for Lakelyn since we didn’t know what the next few days would hold. Boy, we sure didn't. The next phone call had me on my knees...we found out that she had delivered and decided to keep the baby. I literally couldn't breathe. My heart felt like it had stopped. It was a pain I can hardly describe, even now. As the days passed, we began taking the car seat out of the car and unpacking his things (which wasn’t a lot–being an adoptive mom, you know not to purchase everything for the child until they are truly HOME). And everyone you know just looks at you with sad eyes. Even still, right now I’m crying. I’m not mad at that birth mom, I’m heartbroken. There is a huge, huge difference. There was never any anger in my heart towards her...just the pain of feeling like someone had taken my son straight from my arms. 

I spent the next 3 weeks crying. Every. Single. Day. But guys...let me tell you how amazing God is. He was preparing us. Yes, that little boy will ALWAYS be prayed for by us because our hearts were so ready for him to be ours and the Lord brought him to US for some reason. That baby and his birth mom needed us and our prayers and they will ALWAYS have them. But he wasn’t our son. 

Trice is our son. 

I received an email from an agency I’d been with for YEARS about a little boy. This was a Sunday (all applications have to be in by Wednesday). I felt the Lord pushing me to move forward. But Rich of course was telling me no. In his defense, it had been a horrific 8 months and in the last month, I had been a mess. But, just like with Lakelyn, when the Lord says "Go," I’m going, haha! 

So I printed off the packet, filled out the form, (we were already homestudy approved) and stormed into CrossFit Mayhem with the papers in my hands and tears in my eyes and told him he could sign it or I would forge it. I know, I know, it was a little aggressive and a tad crazy. The truth is.. all moms are. But in response to my grand entrance, my amazing husband kissed me and grabbed the pen. I went home and the only thing I had to finish in the packet was the letter to the birthmom. Talk about difficult. In the adoption post, she was looking for someone “preferably with no kids.” Obviously, I decided to apply anyways, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind that we weren’t what she was looking for. 

However God kept telling me "Go." As I sat at my kitchen counter with the papers sprawled everywhere, I just cried. I cried and I prayed for the words to express to a complete stranger. I had no idea what she wanted to hear or who she was looking for other than a family with no children...and that definitely wasn’t us.

I started three or four letters, crumpled them up. After throwing them away, I walked outside and felt like I couldn't catch my breath. I sat on my porch for a minute and just asked God for the right words to say..."Lord is this really the right thing to do or am I acting out of my desire and desperation to be a mama?"

I remember being able to talk to Lakelyn's birth mom so naturally, but this was different...I hadn’t met her. I walked back inside and the first thing I wrote was about Lakelyn–our love for her and our family of 3. Because that’s what we are. I was very specific to not mention CrossFit in any way because it’s not relevant...that’s not OUR life. We had to send 3 pictures, 2 were family and one was just of Lake. I rushed to the post office and overnighted the package. The next day, I received an email that there were 19 applicants for this sweet boy. I told Rich, “See. There is no way.” We were the youngest couple among the 19 but surprisingly, not the only one with another child. We were told that a decision would be made by noon. And at noon, we were told we were top 5 out of 19. Keep in mind, NO ONE knew we had applied (besides my sister, duh. Haha). I couldn’t handle letting everyone down again if it didn't work out so Rich and I decided to keep this process just between us. And I was about to explode. 

One of the hardest things about being an adoptive mom is you can never truly show your emotions because you never know the outcome. At any moment, something can change that is completely out of your control. 

At 5:00 p.m. we received an email that she couldn’t decide and was taking all 19 applicants home and that we should expect to hear something tomorrow. I felt my heart breaking again. Except this time, I wasn’t just praying for myself and my husband and that birthmom. There were 19 other families on this email. We had been through this heartbreak (not that it made it any easier). But I vividly remember sitting there reading the email in tears for every one of us waiting; how real the pain felt and thinking about this sweet eight-day-old baby boy was who was about to be so loved by one of us families anxiously waiting for a "yes."
That "yes" came that night, not the next day. At 9 p.m. both of our phones went off at the exact same time as we were cleaning up the house from a surprise party, house full. The text read “this is ___ you have been chosen for the baby boy. How fast can you get to Jacksonville.”

I ran to the bedroom and completely lost it. 

I’ll share more of our story about meeting Trice in the next post but I wanted to share this part of our journey for all of you starting, waiting, or anyone anywhere in between on their adoption or fertility journey. God does have a plan for your exact story...your baby that will complete your family. Don't lose hope. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your heart and your trials that got you to where you are today! It stirred up in me memories of our 2 failed adoptions and it is a pain that is so hard to describe. We now have 2 children through adoption , a boy and a girl. The "no's" from God all make sense now! I love hearing all of the details from others who adopted. Such a special way of becoming a parent!

  2. What a beautiful testimony full of such much inspiration for those who have had a difficult time building their families. While my hubby and I have four biological children plus one in heaven, we know that our family isn't complete yet and can't wait to adopt one day. I can hear the immense amount of hope and Faith in the Lord all throughout your post and it is beautiful. Thank you for sharing and keep blogging!


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