One Year of Adoption: Knowing and Loving a Son

August 7, 2014 and August 6, 2015

I walk out into the living room from our bedroom in the mountain condo. All three kids have jumbled together on the pull-out bed and couch even though the girls have a separate room to themselves to enjoy. They’ve all just woken up. Their eyes don’t swerve from the cartoons on the TV as I cross the room. Jacob is propped on his elbow with his head rested on Lexi’s bent knee.

I sit on the side of the bed and give Jacob a big hug and announce to the room, “Today is one year since we got Jac0b!” No one makes a move. I don’t think it’s that they don’t care, but that we’ve been celebrating every month on the 7th for 12 months straight.

I move out to the back deck in the cool air to watch the steady rain on the field behind us. I remember one year ago it was sunny and hot and we stand in front of a welcome sign on our garage with lots of hope and joy behind our smiles.  The gray rain I watch from the deck seems fit for the anniversary. It’s not that there is no joy or hope anymore. It’s just this is the year that I found God in the storm.


I heard Lysa TerKeurst talk about ministry yesterday and she said at some point, God will give you a blessing of growth, but a burden will come with it–it’s a two-edged sword. As she talks, I think of the verses that tell us when we are given much, much will be demanded.

Hannah Kallio teaches on her blog about blessing and how the orignial Hebrew word is a word picture of a rope being held between teeth and stretched and straightened.  The blessing is that we are straightened, but the burden is in the stretching. I say it with full meaning that this year has been a blessing.

I read journal entries and posts from this time last year and I was just so excited to take this journey and just to know my son. I didn’t realize the price of a relationship. It costs to build trust. It costs to know each other. It costs to be able to speak to each other without saying a word.

We paid a hefty price, particularly in the first 4 months last year. When my flesh wanted to run from the conflict, I had to learn how to stay and work through it. When my flesh wanted to give up or spew out, I had to learn how to die to that and press on. When emotions overtook me, I had to learn to take those to the Lord and let Him carry my burden. And I only did that with the help of Jesus Christ. I learned what the verse his power his made perfect in my weakness meant. Only through the working of the Holy Spirit and the words of God the Father did I find strength and hope.


But, oh, the blessing. I know my son now. I have earned his trust. I can speak to him without saying a word. I know what he likes to eat, what colors he likes, what he likes to wear, how he likes his pancakes, what scares him and what makes him laugh. He trusts me in the little things and the big things. He calls me Mommy and doesn’t stop when people are around.

I’ve learned that any relationship is built on a foundation of love, respect and trust. We have laid that groundwork this year.

More than that, my children have learned that this year. Where once there were tears and frustration, there is laughter and well, still frustration because, yeah, they’re siblings. They’ve learned what it looks like to follow in obedience even when sacrifice is required. They’ve learned that love is not always a feeling, but an action of faithfulness and service. But the fruit of that faithfulness is the feeling.


Personally, God has used this year to discipline me, to guide me, to break me, to love me. Most importantly, I look at this past year and see God has taught me to abide with Him. God can use all sorts of circumstances to bring us to our knees in dependence on him. For some it is cancer, others it is divorce, perhaps some it is financial ruin or grief. God chose adoption for me.

I would not trade a single tear, frustration or smile for the relationship I have built with Jesus this year. He has become my one and only. It is no longer Jesus and something else. No longer Jesus and perfection. No longer Jesus and fear. No longer Jesus and entertainment. No longer Jesus and good works. Just Jesus. He is sufficient for me.

I have fallen in love with his word, with his presence, with his ways. My faith is strong. He is enough and my all. I do not want to go anywhere where His spirit does not go with me. And he is so faithful, He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

So, today I indeed take a moment in the midst of the mundane and celebrate the blessing and burden of this year. I celebrate with a gift of knowing and loving my son and His Son more.

Feathers Season 2 Promo



Alright, y’all, Feathers is coming back! Stay tuned for August 11th for the next episode.

In this promo, I explain a bit about it being Season 2, how God totally worked out the timing this summer to take a break and I share a sneak peek of a few guests coming on this season.


One Year Since The Call



One year ago today I was working. It was the last day before the July 4th weekend. I was sitting on a conference call and I got a text from Scott that DSS had called. We’d been chosen as parents for a little boy.  I remember the rush of emotions that tried to spill out in tears. Joy. Anticipation. Fear. Panic. Elation. Relief. This was it! The day we’d waited for for years.

In the following days and weeks, I began to see God at work. How he’d planned this for a long time. While it’s been so very, very good, it also was the start of the hardest year of my life.

July 3rd, 2014 was the beginning of a rebirth.

This adoption is not all about me, but it has birthed something new in me. And while I think it birthed something new in a lot of us, it’s not my place to write about those.

So, let me tell you from my perspective. This has been the hardest, longest, most joyful-filled, frustrating, hair-falling-out, tears-rolling-down, happiest year of my life. This year we’ve been pressed down and shaken, busy forming both a new family and new individual inner beings. We have been wrapped in a cocoon, old things being transformed into new things.

I’ve been doing a study with IF:Equip on the beatitudes and my friend Hannah has shared so much wisdom about what it really means to be blessed.  She explains:

אשר, a Hebrew word that we translate “blessed” or “happy”, has at it’s core a picture of being held in the teeth, stretched, and straightened. Imagine what happens to a coiled rope if you pick it up, hold one end between your teeth and pull. All the kinks are straightened through pressure. That straightening under pressure is what Jesus meant when He said “blessed”.

We truly have been blessed.  God’s been working out my inner kinks through the pressure.

So today, on the anniversary of that beginning, it feels like another new beginning, the cocoon is opening and we’re beginning to see the fruits of all the labor. So much work is to be done, and yet I cannot help to stop and celebrate how far we’ve come–the absolute blessing he has placed in our lives.

Last night at dinner I announced that today was one year since our call. Lexi jumped out of her seat and ran over to Jac0b, who also jumped out of his seat to run away from Lexi. Lexi eventually caught him and gave him a big hug which he returned. Emma jumped up and did the same.

An hour later they were all fighting over virtual space on Minecraft.

That’s how this year has been. Moments of joy and frustration rolling one after another.

Today I celebrate God’s plans, God’s wisdom, God’s discipline, God’s love, God’s power, God’s authority. All and only through God has this been possible. God gets every single ounce of the glory. I could not have done this year without him. He’s so good.

But we also glory in our sufferings,

because we know that

suffering produces perseverance;

perseverance, character;

and character, hope.

Romans 5:3

Romans 5:3

Feathers #016 Flying Lessons with Amy J. Bennett [Podcast]


In this episode, I take a look back at our first 15 episodes and see what “flying lessons” we can gather about living a life of faith. I would love to hear in the comments what nuggets you have taken from Feathers on our journey so far.


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From the Episode

  • Six flying lessons:
    • Commit Your Ways to the Lord
    • Don’t Get Discouraged if it Doesn’t Make Sense
    • You’ll Experience Fear, but Be Courageous
    • You’ll Only Get the Next Step, but Take It
    • Success Is Only Measured by Obedience
    • God is Faithful


I would love to connect more with you guys about the episode. Leave a comment here or we can chat about the episode on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

If you get a chance, please rate and review the episode on iTunes.  This *really* helps iTunes find us and most of all, helps spread this message of faith and hope.


You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

Trust in the Lord with all your heard and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight Proverbs 3:6 

In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. Numbers 9:18-22

If we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:13






Psalm 37_56



Feathers #015 with Melanie Dorsey [Podcast]


In this episode, I chat with Melanie Dorsey.

Melanie is a graduate of Lee University and holds a B.A. degree in both Communications and Modern Foreign Languages and a minor in Bible. She is also a certified teacher. A featured soloist for many years, she considers it a joy to minister in song. More recently Melanie has discovered a new joy. Art! Just two years ago, on a whim, she picked up a paint brush and opened an Etsy Shop in which she sells acrylic and watercolor paintings. Who knew?!
Melanie is married to Dannie Dorsey and they live in Florida with their son, Avery – a student at the University of South Florida. Their daughter Audra is married to Sam and they live in NM. Their third child, Andrew, resides in Heaven now and they anxiously await their glorious reunion!


Melanie Dorsey shares how she first began painting in 2013 on a whim to stage a piece of furniture that she had given a makeover. She listed the piece for sale and knew staging would push the sale. It did but also had several inquiries over her simple bird painting.

Thus began her “career” in art!  She painted; she prayed. As she prayed and listened, the Lord began speaking here and there to her heart about something new He was leading her to and through.

What few people know is that her son, Andrew, was (IS) the artist in her family. Many of the supplies she began with were from his stash. Often tears flowed as she picked up a marker, a can of paint, a colored pencil or a waterproof pen – they were little reminders of her son and hints of a new promise from God.

Click to Listen

Listen and subscribe via iTunes Stitcher

Connect with Melanie

Connect with Melanie on her blogInstagram, or Facebook

Links from the Episode


I would love to connect more with you guys about the episode. Leave a comment here or we can chat about the episode on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

If you get a chance, please rate and review the episode on iTunes.  This *really* helps iTunes find us and most of all, helps spread this message of faith and hope.


You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4