Blessed Beyond Measure

What an incredibly blessed life I have been given. I am not deserving but very thankful. I grew up in a family of 5.........an awesome mother and father, an older sister and younger brother. I was loved, taken very good care of, never wanted for anything that I needed and was raised in the Catholic church. Did I mention how loved I was? I was able to attend the college of my choice (UT of course) and although my parents were always teaching us important life lessons, the value of a dollar, how to be a responsible person etc. I really was very spoiled in that I did not have to work to go to school or travel to Europe or any of my other fun ventures.

My family is my world and they have molded me into the person I am (for better or worse:)). In college, I met the most amazing man..........he was SO good looking, smart, fun, and I met him just before he graduated.........just in the nick of time. We married a few years later, moved from Memphis, to Knoxville and finally back to Murfreesboro. We began our family in 1996 with our precious daughter Brooke, then Cole and finally Caroline. Russ and I both felt for several years after Caroline was born that we were done having children and that our family was a family of 5.

An event in my life that I have not forgotten was in 2000 just after I had Cole and was still home on maternity leave. I was watching an Oprah show on adoption and it did more than just grab my heart. I remember a very specific moment when I said out loud to myself....a child has been born in my heart and I knew that it would be a child brought to our family by adoption. However, I pushed this thought out of my mind and into the very back of my heart.

In 2006 I was feeling a tug to adopt and felt like it was coming up a lot in my life. At that point I wasn't sure if it was just that it had been three years since Caroline was born and every three years I had a child since 1996. So once again after a very brief conversation with Russ I pushed away the thought and tucked it back into the back of my heart.

In 2006 the Lord began changing my life to where even I was amazed. I moved my children from the Shelbyville school system to a private school on the north side of Murfreesboro called Providence Christian Academy. You really have to have known me to realize what a monumental step this was for me and the beginning of a lot of changes for my family. In 2008 I decided to become a stay at home mom....I had worked since Brooke was 8 months old and had a very fulfilling career life. The change brought a lot of new people into my world and some very, very dear friends. Change is always bitter sweet and this change in my life certainly was also.

One of my "new" friends was Tracy Jones and yes she had adopted a very sweet little girl from China....Mary Margaret. Tracy and I would discuss adoption, orphans, etc. often and she certainly watered my adoption seed that was planted so long ago.

Most importantly in everything that I will ever post is that the past few years have been a tremendous time of spiritual growth for me. Although always a Christian I began developing a very personal relationship with Jesus which enabled me to see the path he was laying out before me. The people God brought into my life have blessed me so much and I will forever be grateful to them (Missy Price Leonard, and Chris and Cathy Ownby.......thank you and I love you all).

In the fall of 2008 I began struggling with why God had blessed me so abundantly. I knew I was not deserving and could not figure out why I had been so "lucky". Of course, I now understand that no one is deserving of all God has done and continues to do for us but really I am just SO blessed. And then finally it hit me..............God blesses us so that we may bless! Wow, why had it taken me almost 40 years to figure that out. So I began my pursuit of figuring out my spiritual gift and how I could be a blessing in order to honor God. Anyone who knows me knows my love of children..........and it is pretty obvious that I gravitated to that immediately. But what did that mean for me..........what was I to do?

Through praying, talking and soul searching it became evident to me that we (bless Russ' heart for getting stuck with me) were to adopt. I didn't know where, how, when etc and boy was I anxious about filling Russ in on this little idea of mine...............trust me that is a post within itself.

Be a blessing!

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