WHY ME?!

Last night while I was on my drive home I received a call from a young lady who was distraught.  She was pregnant!  She has no help!  She wanted an abortion but couldn’t afford it!  Her life is in a mess!  She feels alone!  The father is physically abusive!  She’s angry!  She sees no hope!  The question of the two hour call was WHY ME?!  The anguish she felt flowed violently off her tongue and pierced my heart.

The short answer to that question is sin.  The story of this young lady is a common conversation with ladies I work with.  The messiness of life.  Dreams, hopes, aspirations that seem to not play out in the reality of life as we imagined in our minds.  Then the time comes we are face to face with deciding what our next step is, for her, will she parent OR will she make an adoption life plan?

But, haven’t we all been this young lady?  Maybe not in an unplanned pregnancy, but rather life in general.  Be it through devastating loss, broken families, shattered relationships, financial ruin, natural disasters, sickness, human injustices, and, well………we can fill in the blank with many life circumstances.  So how do we move forward?

ANSWER: Submitting to Christ and his Lordship in our lives.  In James 4, we are faced with the hard reality of our sinful flesh, kind of a tongue lashing about our sinfulness as James doesn’t mince words or thoughts about sin and our separation from Christ, but he gives a clear directive in verse 7 which states “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

We live in a fallen world.  From the moment that sin entered the world we all have suffered from our sinful nature and sin around us.  I struggle with my flesh on a daily basis.  Sometimes the heartache and pain I’ve face has been so overwhelming, and not necessarily a direct cause of my own sin but sin around me.  As I was listening to this sweet girl spill her life story, I couldn’t but help reflect on those times when I’ve asked that very question…..Why Me Lord?

As a child of God, when I am faced with difficulties, my goal is to look at the promises in God’s word and cling tightly to his grace.  Sometimes I have to step back and count my blessings.  Look at all the ways God has worked his sovereign tapestry in my life.  When I look at the underside, it looks so messy, but what the finished product produces is a beautiful piece of art that His hands sewed together in my life.  By the way, needles hurt!  But they are essential in repairing what is ripped and torn.

For the young lady I spoke about earlier, God could be doing the work of grace through showing his love and grace through the tapestry of adoption.  My prayer for her is that she would come to know His love in a personal way and follow His sovereign plan for her life.  For me, when life is difficult and I am questioning God, may I remember who I am in comparison to who He is!

1 Peter 5:10

What has been your response in the midst of a “Why Me?” moment?

If you find yourself in an unplanned pregnancy situation and you want to talk about if adoption is right for you, I’d love to speak with you.

ABBA Adoption: 501-776-2566

www.abbaadoption.com

BLOWING SNOT BUBBLES

Snot bubble

I know….ewww…..gross!  But seriously!  Have you ever found yourself so grieved, crying uncontrollably that you felt as you could fill a pool of sorrows from the pain and tears that you find yourself trying to breathe and looking for a Kleenex?  You know, because you have a giant snot bubble protruding!  Then there are the tears of joy!  Something you have prayed earnestly for!  Something so grand and awesome, you are in awe of how God answered your prayers in such a big way!  And for certain, there is abundant rejoicing and the occasional…..you guessed it, snot bubble!  Or how about being with a group of friends and you are laughing so hard you can’t catch your breath, the tears are flowing like the waterfall over a cliff, you’re bent over because your stomach is literally getting a workout (crossfit style, of-course), and here it comes…..a snot bubble!

I have been in each of those situations, yes I know, TMI!  Today, I was going through some books in my office, kinda doing a reorganization and came across a scrapbook that I put together depicting the first couple years of ABBA Adoption.  As I was flipping through the book I was faced with back to back adoptions where snot bubbles made it in the pictures.  I think where this journey of life has taken me these days, this really stood out to me.  One of anguish yet peace and the other of joy and thankfulness.  Both, an answered prayer.

PICTURE 1 This is a young lady who found herself in a crisis pregnancy.  Never thought she would ever be faced with making such hard decisions at such a young age.  Reflecting to the “what if I hadn’t” in life, yet faced with the reality of her actions.  But she is strong!  She is selfless!  She decides that this child is worth having a life.  Her bravery and fearlessness to choose what she feels is best for this precious baby hurts to the core of her being yet she has peace in knowing she is providing for this baby through her life plan of adoption.

I immediately reflected to how I felt a few times in my life with the most recent losing my dad.  As I had the privilege to sit and hold my dad as he took his last final breath, the pain was so unbearable!  I sobbed till I was choking!  I hated he was no longer with me.  No more watching sports with my dad.  Spending time grilling together was over.  Our long talks on the back porch by the pool would be no more!  As much as I was in agony, I was also at peace that my dad would no longer have to suffer in this fallen world.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” ~ Psalm 147.3

PICTURE 2 I’ll never forget speaking with this sweet couple for the very first time.  The husband was a bit cautious………really I am putting it mildly……..he was skeptical because ABBA Adoption was a new adoption agency (I however wasn’t new to adoption work).  Adoption is very expensive and they lived in a different state.  He put on such a hard manly front and his poor sweet wife was taken aback thinking he had offended me.  Actually, he never bothered me, he was being the leader of his home and wanted to ensure his wife wasn’t going to get hurt.  Nevertheless, the hard shell broke, I gained his trust, and they signed on with ABBA Adoption as one of our first families.  He took the risk!  They matched with a birth mother and looked forward with nervous anticipation as the birth of the baby approached.  The birth mother wanted the baby placed in the daddy’s hands first (she also knew he was a teddy bear).  I truly don’t think I have ever seen a man cry so hard!  He was in awe!  He was thanking the Lord for the gift of life through adoption and the opportunity that he and his wife had to show the love of Christ to a lady who needed to see grace in her own life.  I have to say, this snot bubble picture is one of my absolute favorites!  Every time I gaze at this picture I am reminded of how God breaks through the hard shell of our sinful hearts and does such an amazing work of sanctification in our lives when we will just release and trust him.  AND THEN…….I giggle!  I unequivocally LOVE this picture!

In my own life I have been faced with trials, fears, and uncertainties.  I have prayed BIG things.  I have relinquished control and gave it all to the Lord.  He has answered prayers in ways I have never anticipated.  Everything from making provisions to giving me the desires of my heart!

“You sent Your good Spirit to instruct them.  You did not withhold Your manna from them, and providing water to quench their thirst.” ~ Nehemiah 9.20

PICTURE 3 This is a mental picture!  It’s the times with friends and family.  It’s those moments when your kids/husband say or do something so insanely funny, you’re rolling on the floor with tears.  The time you’re hanging with friends and the laughter becomes uncontrollable, your stomach is hurting, you can’t breathe, you make eye contact….and it just intensifies, and then yes, the snot bubble comes and the tears are flowing and you just need to pull it together to get through the rest of the story.  I love these moments in life!  They are precious pictures engraved in the heart.

“Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs.  Then the nations said “The Lord has done spectacular things for them.” The Lord has done spectacular things for us.  We are overjoyed” ~ Psalm 126.2-3

What’s your snot bubble moment?

To learn more about adoption services, visit ABBA Adoption at www.abbaadoption.com

CHOOSING LIFE SAVED MORE THAN THE BABY’S……..

A Birth Mother’s Story

I’ll never forget the day I met her.  I received an urgent call into my office.  She had been at one of the local pregnancy resource centers and they had called me with a desperate plea to meet with her.  On the surface, her story wasn’t much different than what we see with women in unplanned pregnancies and crisis situations.  She was pregnant, alone, confused, troubled, depressed, hungry, lonely, had a lot of anxiety, and contemplating what she was going to do about her pregnancy.  She was a hot mess!  And I just wanted to love on her!  I was very happy to learn that she and I had an immediate connection……our love for a good latte’!   In my mind, much of life’s bonding can take place over a good cup of coffee and the distress of life can be handled over a dose of knee time before a loving caring Father.  My job was to simply listen to her, hear her and pray for her.  Why was she was considering abortion?  Why was life as she knew it in such a mess?  Hear her cry for how lonely she was!  Listen intently as to why she saw no light at the end of her tunnel! And……PRAY!  Pray without ceasing as she unleashed her filthy laundry basket of life!

How often do we miss what is really right before our eyes because we don’t listen, we don’t hear, we don’t pray with intention?!  I know I am very guilty of it!  Sometimes we get into the habit of just checking off our list and moving on to the next thing.  Even in ministry we can be anxious to complete our task and feel a sense of accomplishment without realizing we missed God in a big way.  I am so thankful that the Lord had my spirit quietened on this day.  I’m so thankful that on this day, this lady had my undivided attention and as I was listening and hearing and praying, God was at work!  On this day I celebrated as I sat and cried with this broken, lost, scared, and frightened lady as she came to the conclusion to choose life for her child!  She chose adoption!  You could see the relief that overcame within her as she now had a plan and someone to walk along with her!

What I didn’t fully understand up until that moment was she had a plan…..a dark secret……an end to her despair!  She wanted to give up on life, not just the baby’s, hers also!  But now she saw hope!  Now she had peace!  A hope and peace that only comes from God!

All of life’s answers didn’t come complete over that one (or two) cups(s) of coffee that day, but it was the beginning of a painfully beautiful journey that this birth mother would begin to conquer.  It was a day that a wonderful friendship ignited.  There were many valleys along the way that she struggled with, yet there were many celebrations and milestones of life!  I will never forget the day she had her sweet baby girl and placed her into the arms of her forever family and we all celebrated two lives that were saved that day.

This sweet friend of mine continued in her journey of hard times and many celebrations.  She has been able to pour into other women with similar struggles.  The Lord gave her to me as a special friend!  A friendship I deeply cherish.  I can’t think of her or see her without thanking the Lord for His grace in her life and allowing me on that special day to be available to LISTEN, HEAR AND PRAY!Saving One Life

A Fresh Start…….FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDS, ADOPTION, AND ALL THINGS PRO-LIFE

Family is More Than Blood
Family is More Than Blood

So here we go!  We begin a new chapter!  (BTW…..this will be a little long) This launch has been one that I have agonized over!  Seriously, it’s pretty sickening how much anxiety I have had over the new website and now launching the new blog!  I want more than anything to bring glory to God in everything that I do, and I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, that is information for those that don’t know this about me.  About 15 months ago I sat on a journey that I feel I have definitely felt the laboring pains.  Our website was on such an old format and desperately needed updating.  Our blog went without any attention for more than a year because of constant technical difficulties, not to mention the 500+ spam emails I would get a day, who wants that?!.  I even started a personal blog with many articles that I had in progress because of things the Lord would lay upon my heart and would not complete, it just didn’t feel right separating myself from the ministry that I have been called to.  Let’s be real, my life and ministry are so tightly knitted together and for goodness sakes, I need as much simplicity in my overly busy life!

So what to expect…..the title says it all and here is a taste of what is to come!  So join me with your favorite cup of tea or coffee, because if you know me at all, you know I always have one or the other in my hand!  Just an FYI…..I am sipping on a wonderful aroma of coffee and Irish Cream creamer……I know you can just smell it!  Yummy!

FAITH: Nothing is more important to me than my faith.  It is what guides my life, my family, and my ministry.  In Hebrews 11, Paul gives us a picture of great men of God who displayed what it means to live out your faith in action.  Hebrews 11 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” But then calls out these patriarchs and starts each one off with “By faith”, how I want that to be the mark of my life!

In my ministry I think what faith an adoptive family has to come to ABBA Adoption and trust that this is where the Lord has lead them to grow their family through adoption.  I often can be heard saying to any family or group that adoption is “A walk of faith”.  An adoptive couple walks trusting in the Lord’s plan without having the tangible laid before them, with many unknowns they will have to embrace.

I also think of a birth mother.  The faith she has to have to be courageous and not only choose life for her baby, but make an adoption life plan where she is trusting in a family to provide all the things she can’t, for whatever reason at this time in her life.

FAMILY: What a gift from the Lord!  My family consist of myself, my husband Chris, seven children we have been blessed with along with a wonderful son-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren.  Four of our children came into our life through adoption!  What an extra special gift they are!

In the world we live in, families are facing overwhelming battles.  For an adoptive couple, family plays a big role in being supportive of this journey.  Having a family that bathes that couple in prayer is vital, but it doesn’t stop there!  We will address at a later time the importance of that on-going support between husband and wife as well as extended family that is necessary in life and in adoption particularly.

For a birth mom family matters can be extremely complicated and broken.  Often times my staff and I become that source of support to her.  My heart often breaks over the breakdown of the family structure and how this is generational and how this affects the lives of these ladies.

FRIENDS: One thing that I am known for is my “get-togethers”.  I love being surrounded by my family and friends.  They are the life-blood of prayer and community for me.

Friendships play a huge support role for adoptive families and birth moms.  We need to make it a point to build healthy friendship communities around us.  Investing in each other’s life is such a blessing!

ADOPTION and PRO-LIFE: In my own personal life, I know what it means to be adopted.  I had a wonderful earthly father who adopted me and took me as his own!  It is a special gift!  It is something I am extremely grateful for, although I can say with absolute certainty, I probably have not always displayed my gratefulness, you know, because the teen years do happen!.

My greatest adoption happened when my heavenly father adopted me into His family when I put my faith and trust in Him.  Many of you may know my life and ministry scripture which ABBA Adoption was birth from,  Romans 8:15-17 states “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”

As stated before, my husband Chris and I have been blessed with four children through adoption.  We know firsthand the gifts that have been given to us and yet we also know the ups and downs that can arise.

For a woman that is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an adoption life plan is an important consideration and can be a huge blessing in her life, an adoptive couple’s life, but most importantly the life of a child.  Let me be very clear where I stand, a woman, no matter her background, situation, or circumstances is a HERO!  Any woman that is faced with an unplanned pregnancy and has the courage to choose life for her unborn baby is highly rated in my books!  The pressures of the world makes it far too easy to end the life of that child, but when she can step outside of her own desires and put that child first and then place that baby into the arms of a family and trust them to give that baby love, security, safety and a chance at a better life than she is presently capable of, it calls for a celebration and a giving of thanks to the Lord every time, because it is truly a miracle right before our eyes………THE MIRACLE OF ADOPTION!

As I wrap this up, and you know…..my coffee cup is empty, I ask that you be in prayer for me.  Please let me know what you want to hear from me on.  We will cover all topics!  Pray that I will honor God with my words and by that He will be able to work in the lives we come into contact with on a daily basis.  Pray for my staff.  Pray that we are always intentional to share the love of Christ with all those we come into contact with.

If you want me to speak at your event, you can email me at:

kandi@abbaadoption.com