I testified in court for the first time today. Laying my left hand on the Bible, raising my right hand, and facing the judge, I swore that what I was about to say would be the truth. I sat nervously in the witness box inside a small but full courtroom. The attorney knew my father, also a lawyer, and made him co-counsel at the last minute. The questions came, easy at first

State your full name for the record

How long have you been married?

Then they became a bit more emotional.

What is the relationship like between Anna and your husband?

Before I could choke out a word, in perfect timing, the baby girl we were there to adopt looked into her soon to be father’s eyes, smiled, and let out a sound that most people would swear (we were in a courtroom, after all) sounded like “Da-Da.”

The question wasn’t so hard after all. All anyone had to do was glance over at those two to know they were a match made in Heaven.

Our attorney asked more questions – wanting to make sure that we were sure we wanted to adopt this little girl. He said, “You can divorce your husband but you can never divorce your daughter.” For the record, I wouldn’t dream of divorcing either.

Over 5 years ago, Nick and I made the decision to adopt after much prayer and a clear calling that this is what the Lord wanted us to do. In February of 2014 we began the process. That was 3 years and 9 months ago, but who’s counting?

I won’t lie. Adoption is hard. Everything about the process is tougher than you know unless you’ve been through it yourself. Earning my PhD was far easier and took less time. Of course, that degree can’t even begin to compare with my daughter, and the joy I have over becoming her mom. It’s like nothing I have experienced before.

I sit here with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat, and a heart swelling with gratitude to all those who prayed with me, cried with me, supported me…but most of all, to my sweet Lord who blessed my beyond my wildest dreams and who has made it more clear than ever before how much He loves me. For He has allowed me to be a part of an ashes to beauty story. You see, adoption is a place where joy and sorrow meet, and I do not take the responsibility or the privilege lightly. It’s not for the faint of heart. In fact, if you’re considering adopting, don’t. Unless, that is, you know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what you are called to. It is a high calling. A hard calling. A holy calling. And one of the greatest callings of my life.

The adoption decree ends with these words: It is so ordered.  Thank-you, God. Thank-you.

(Anna Jean’s shirt says “I was worth the wait.” Yes you were, baby girl. You most certainly were.”