I got to attend Time Out for Women right before we went to visit Bri and her family. There were some EXCELLENT speakers and Michael McLean was also there presenting the speakers and singing a bunch of his songs.
Let me back up about a year ago when Zach & I were first starting the adoption process, I was driving to work. I stated to pray about our decision to adopt and if it was really the path that we were to take. Right after I closed my prayer, a song came on the radio, it was Michael McLean's song, which I'm sure most of you are familiar with, if you are not, I'll post a YouTube video of it below.It's beautiful! It's called "From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours". It touched me deeply and I knew that it was an answer to my prayers, because really how often do you hear that song on the radio? Not much. It was a tender mercy and a beautiful answer to my prayer. Since then I have had a very special place in my heart for that song.
Okay it was just a few days before the conference that Bri had told us that we were for sure the couple that she wanted to raise her daughter. So at the beginning of this conference I was attending, on a whim I said a little prayer and asked Heavenly Father if Bri was truly an answer to our many years of praying. I started to feel extremely vulnerable again, and wondered if I could really handle another heart break. So I told Him that if at all possible I would like a little miracle. I needed a definite answer. I asked him to have Michael McLean sing that song sometime during the conference. Which I really didn't think was even a possibility, since the conference was not centered around adoption. Well the first day flew right on by. It was a great day. I went home and told Zach what I had done and how silly I was being. We laughed and forgot about it. The next day I went to part two of the conference and at the VERY VERY end, Michael's says you know... "I just feel like somebody out there needs to hear this song." And then he sang it. I will NEVER forget that moment. I couldn't believe the Lord would be so considerate of little me. I knew right then and there that He loves each one of us. And I knew my prayer had been heard. What a perfect little miracle to call my own.
Three years ago to the day, on a Sunday morning we got the call... we had been at church and as soon as we got home I saw that I had missed a call. I listened to my voice mail. It was Annette... she said I might want to call her! I knew immediately that it was Brooklyn on her way. I told Zach excitedly jumping up and down that I thought Bri was in labor... he didn't believe me. Well it was actually even better than that. I couldn't dial the numbers fast enough, we got a hold of Annette and she told us that Brooklyn was already here! Bri had her at 7:07 that morning. It was a complete surprise she was here 3 weeks early! Bri decided that she wanted to take Brooklyn home with her for a couple of days. I have to admit I worried that it would be too hard for her to sign the adoption papers after she had spent so much time with her. However I felt peace with her decision. I realized that she needed this time alone with her. I could never imagine denying her of this privilege. I didn't want to see a picture of Brooklyn, I wanted to see her in person for the first time. So we took the 8 hour drive. We met at Bri's house again. Her caseworker was already there with her. We knocked on the door and as it opened Bri's dad met us outside. All I could here were sobs from Bri. I was devastated. As much as I wanted to hold Brooklyn in my arms, I honestly didn't know if I could leave with Brooklyn and cause Bri so much pain and heart break. Monty asked us if we would come back in a half hour or so. We agreed. We grabbed some lunch and then headed back over. I wasn't sure what to expect. I never should have underestimated Bri's strength. She was able to sign the papers. As we waited in the living room, Bri came in holding Brooklyn. It was the first time we had ever seen her. Bri placed her in my arms and I cried. The spirit was stronger than I had ever in my life felt at one moment. I cried tears of joy and also tears of heartbreak for Bri & her family. It was such a bitter sweet yet beautiful moment. As I looked down at this perfect little girl my heart filled with love, a love only a mother knows. I wondered if she would ever know just how much love went into this one single moment that was all about her. As we said our final goodbyes I held Brooklyn between us and gave Brianna a hug. I couldn't let go of her. I asked her one last time if this is what she really wanted. Tearfully She said "Yes, just don't forget about me." I promised her we wouldn't. And I promise now today, that not a single day goes by that I don't send up a prayer for Bri & Shanna, or look at my beautiful children and see pieces of them. As we drove away, I told Zach how I ached for them. I didn't know how their hearts would ever heal. I will never forget what Zach said next. He said..."Holly, Heavenly Father will spend the night with them. He will be there when times are hard, just like He has been there for us." Those words were so comforting to me. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet Brooklyn. We love you more than words can express. You bring us such joy. You are silly and cute. You are a ray of sunshine. You are perfect. I love the way you dance and giggle around the house. I hope you never forget just how many people love and cherish you.