Friday, April 17, 2015

His Post

I know it's been a while, but I have Walter's blog post.  As I told you before, he was adopted.  When we first started dating, this excited me.  We had both ends of the spectrum, the birthmother and the adopted son.  I thought this made our relationship beautiful!!  He did not see it this way... at first.

Here is a little bit of his story:

My name is Walter Edward Juskiewicz III and my relevance to this story is a small part of a mighty plan.  Proverbs 3 5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."  This is very important because until you fully trust the Lord your God with all your heart you will be lost, Forsaken and living life without a purpose. I too am adopted and for years I never understood the sacrifice my birth mother gave for me to have life. All my childhood I believed I was abandoned or left behind. I had hate in my heart and never had a desire to admit she did anything morally correct, nor ethnically correct. I believed she gave up on me. 

Well years of hate piled my heart, and I learned to disguise my anger and carried this burden for years until one day I was saved and declared the Lord Jesus Christ as my one and true God. Abba father. Within a year of declaring my faith I found Kadie Ballentine and started a relationship on December 13, 2013.  Within a year of meeting my Savior he put a God fearing woman in my life who has a son, but letting God deciding her footsteps ( proverbs 3 5-6), I quickly learned the sacrifice involved in placing your flesh and blood for adoption. The amount of trust you have to have to believe God that you are making the right choice if He leads you to adoption. You see on May 10th 2014, I attended a birth-Mother's Day luncheon with Kadie, and quickly saw her love for her child. Not only did I see her love,  but I also saw God's glory, because there were so many woman present suffering from not following in Gods plan. Seeing Kadie able to lead and tell her story with such boldness and conviction, and seeing God work through her, for me, was nothing short of amazing. She has completely changed my mind and given me a new found respect for my birth mother. 

Without God using Kadie's story I would still have hate in my heart.
1st John 3:15 says, "Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." So one decision from a bold, beautiful, amazing God-fearing woman has changed my life for the better, but also has changed many other lives along the way. You see there is no task too big or too small for our God. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."  So no matter how puny you think your job is, there is glory in it for Christ.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


"I can't wait to see you!  It's been forever!"
"I can't wait either!  One of Terry's friends is here.  He saw your picture on Facebook and said you were pretty.  He wants to meet you."
"Umm... Okay.  Well I'm definitely not looking to meet anyone right now... So... yeah. But I still can't wait to see you.  I have to go to a dinner with my mom and Mrs. Pat and then I will head your way."
....After a great dinner with Mrs. Pat and my mom I head towards Amy's house, but on the way I call her to let her know....

HE answers the phone.
"Um hey, where's Amy?"
"She's in the bathroom.  She told me to answer if you called."
"Okay, well I am on my way, and I will be there in like 10 minutes."
"Yes ma'am.  I will tell her."  Yes ma'am?  What is that?
When I get there I go to the front door and knock, and HE answers the door.
"Uh, hey, where's Amy?"
"In her room.  You look nice."
"Thanks."  I barely responded as I whipped past him to visit with my dear friend who I had not seen in ages.
She and I talk and catch up on life-we have soo much to catch up on.  Walter decides to join our conversation.  Terry is in his own world so Walter decides to use the opportunity to get to know me.  I do my best to ignore him-or at least any part of him that is interested in me.

After a while it went from Amy and I talking to Walter and I talking... and talking...and talking.  When it was time to go he walked me to my car.  When I got home I sent a text to my friend Michelle telling her I had just met my future husband. 

Walter is the most amazing guy ever.  He treats me the way every girl should be treated.  He reminds me so much of my dad, which is a huge compliment.  He encourages me to stay close to Christ.  Because of the way that he loves me I finally understand (in a deeper way) why marriage is symbolic of Christ and the Church (even though we aren't married yet).  This allows me to realize in an even deeper way how much God loves me.  I am so thankful for him.  I cannot wait to be his wife and I am just amazed at how blessed I am to have him.

There are several reasons why our story is beautiful.  There's the way that he loves me.  There is also the fact that I wasn't looking for or wanting a relationship and he came out of nowhere.  When I was single and didn't want to be I would just roll my eyes when people said, "It will happen when you least expect it and when you aren't looking for it."  Now I tell all of my single friends the same thing... and then they roll their eyes at me.  

But the thing that I find most beautiful about our relationship is the fact that Walter was adopted. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Robbie Ballentine

My brother and I have a great relationship!  We have most of our lives but there have been times when we didn't.  Thankfully God has brought restoration to us and we get along great!  We still cut up and goof off and have nice long chats about life and God and just everything.  My brother and his wife just recently had a baby, and now I am an aunt!!  I am so excited!  And I am also glad God has brought me to a place where I can be a good influence, role model, and example to my sweet sweet little nephew.  I'm thankful they don't have to figure out how to tell me they don't really want me spending time with him because I make bad decisions.  I am thankful I get to be a huge part of his life!

Anyway, I am SO thankful for my amazing brother.  He's awesome!  Here's a little bit of his perspective of everything that happened with me.  Hope you enjoy his story!

Being a brother comes with a great deal of responsibilities. Although I am younger than my sister, I still think of myself as her “big brother”. Looking out for your sister is a must, it’s something most feel lead to do and most are born with natural instincts to do so. But the truth is it is not as easy as it seems….

Kadie and I have always had a great relationship growing up. We shared secrets, stayed up late as kids to see if we could see the morning sun, made up countless number of ridiculous games…the list could go on and on. But like most siblings, we had our moments as well. Arguing about which shows to watch, who gets the last ‘String Cheese’, or trying to figure out what would annoy your sibling the most. Kadie thought it was funny to stare at me in the car. It drove me nuts, especially on long road trips.

But like most brother/sister relationships, our time together began to fade as we grew older. College years are tough for anyone. Trying to find who you are and what you want to be, the nonstop studying, balancing work, school and friends- it’s all exhausting.

Around the time I found out that Kadie was pregnant, mine and her relationship was probably at an all-time low. Not because we didn’t like each other, but because neither one of us truly tried to invest in the other person’s life. I loved my sister so much but we weren’t connecting like we were accustomed to. This is a huge regret of mine. When we did talk, I was more interested in lecturing her on her lifestyle choices than showing her the true compassion and love she needed. It wasn’t that I was giving bad advice; it was more that she didn’t need anymore “advice”. She knew what was right or wrong and she knew what she was doing was not God’s standard for us.

When I found out the news that Kadie was pregnant, I was devastated. She had crossed the line. Not only had I thought she had ruined her life, but I also thought she put a burden on so many other people. I was heartbroken. I was devastated that this bad choice would define our family for the rest of our lives. Kadie would struggle to make ends meet for the rest of her life, while our new empty nesting parents would take on the burden to care for the baby whenever possible.

I felt ashamed for my parents and was heartbroken. I began blaming myself. Maybe this would not have happened if I would have been more available to Kadie. I wasn’t there to protect her like a big brother should have been. I blamed myself, and hated what we had become. But little did I know what God was about to do in my family’s life.

I never realized how God could use terrible situations and turn them into to good ones. It was truly a miracle to see what God was able to do. Not only did this serve as a wakeup call for Kadie and the rest of the Ballentine clan, but it was an answered prayer for another family. A family who’s dream was to adopt. A family who knew the process could take years or might never happen. It was a blessing. Maybe it wasn’t God’s plan in the beginning, but he used our blunder to create a beautiful ending. This is very encouraging to me as it shows how merciful God really is. It was also satisfying to me to know that He can use my past doings to create new and wonderful things. His omniscient ways are more than we can fathom and the way he used Kadie’s situation is a true testament to that. I’ve enjoyed watching Kadie grow from this situation and use her wisdom to help others in similar situations to make great choices as it pertains to adoption.

I love my sister dearly and I’m so glad things worked out for her and her adopted family. She stayed faithful and this situation has brought a change in me and the way I look at things. Thanks Kadie for staying true to what you believe and staying strong when things were at their toughest. I love you and am very proud of you! You have a bright future ahead of you!

Side Note: One of my biggest personal struggles with the whole situation was my outlook at the baby’s father. I despised him. Having to forgive him in my heart has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I was able to forgive Kadie because I loved her deeply and cherished our relationship. That was not the same for the father. It was a wound that I wasn’t sure would heal and he was the reason for my pain. As God has done many times in my life, he softened my heart. I was able to forgive the father for what he had done. I encourage anyone who struggles with forgiveness to ask God to soften their heart as well. Then end result is something that can’t be explained. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing and can bring you closer to your Heavenly Father!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Life Line Webinar

Tuesday, May 27, I participated in a Webinar held by LifeLine.  Below is the link to the video.  Just copy and paste it into your browser! Hope you enjoy!

P.S.-Deborah's story is also incredibly amazing!  It was a great joy meeting and hearing another birthmother's story and seeing God's amazing work!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Birth-Mother's Day

As I quickly mentioned in my last post I was asked to speak at the annual Birth-Mother's Day luncheon hosted by Lifeline this year.  Lifeline is an adoption agency and every year they do a luncheon for birth-mothers on the day before Mother's Day.  This event is a huge blessing.  It's nice to be remembered and honored as a birth-mother.  We are easily forgotten since we are not mothers in a traditional way.  

Here is what I said:

As a single woman whose life was nowhere near together in anyway I experienced a countless number of emotions when I found out I was pregnant. Fear, joy, shame, guilt, anxiety; the list goes on and on. But the 2 I want to focus on right now are anger and confusion. Although I had no right to be angry (I mean I did partake in the actions that cause pregnancy) I was so mad! I couldn't understand why this was happening!

There are women all over the world that long for the joy of having children and they are unable to. Then you have me-I didn't want to be pregnant; nor did I have anything to offer a child. I wasn't in a place where I could take care of a child. So why on Earth was I the one pregnant instead of a woman who wanted to be? The answer: because God knows what He is doing.

As difficult as adoption can be, it's also beautiful if you allow it to be. This experience has been the hardest, yet most rewarding experience of my life.

I didn't know what to do when I found out I was pregnant. I tried everything in my power to keep my child and raise him myself, but that clearly wasn't God's will. I remember about three months before I was due I was talking to my mom about how I felt like adoption was the right thing to do but I didn't know if I could do it this far in. She responded by saying, “If you disobey God you can't expect Him to honor that disobedience. No good can come from it and you be will doing yourself and your child a disservice if you walk in disobedience.” I knew what I had to do-but that doesn't change that fact that it was scary and sad and heartbreaking. Not only that, but how was I going to find the perfect family for MY CHILD in such a short time? God was faithful. After only ONE meeting with Brody's adoptive family we knew they were it!

We decided on an open adoption plan and when I had Brody he stayed in the hospital with me. Until this point I was handling everything pretty well. Then came the day for Brody to go home with his family and for me to go home alone. Oh how empty I felt! I know that every birth-mother in this room know that words cannot do justice to the pain and heartbreak you feel going home from the hospital without your child. Every morning when I woke up I longed for bedtime again so I could escape it all. It was hard.

About a week after I had Brody I went to dinner with an old friend. She gave me the GREATEST advice. She said, “I can't imagine what you must be going through-but don't glorify your problem more than you glorify God.” Wow! So much wisdom in one little statement. I decided to take her advice. Everyday I prayed the words, “God heal my heart and let me let you”. At first I'd pray it for hours at a time with tears streaming down my face until one day-about a month later-my prayer had changed to “God thank you for healing my heart!”

If you know from experience how hard placing your child with an adoptive family can be, then you can see that only the supernatural power of a very real God can bring that kind of healing that fast. I'm not a mommy, but I am a mother. I love my son completely, deeply, and unconditionally. I miss him and think about him every single day. And although there are days I feel the sting of not having him with me everyday, I don't hurt anymore. Truly-almost immediately God did a supernatural healing in my heart.

Brody is a cherished blessing to his family and that comforts my heart. As I said before adoption is a beautiful thing. It paints a picture of Christ's love-for He has chosen us and adopted us as His children. Through my adoption story I have gained an understanding of what it means to not only be a believer, but to be a cherished child of God. Through this journey of healing I have experienced the hands-on and active work of my loving Savior. By personally knowing the love a mother has for her child I now better realize the love Christ has for me and therefore my trust, faith, honor, respect, intimacy, and love for Him has grown immensely and continues to do so. He steadies my heart no matter how bad or how hard a situation is. And because of His faithfulness and love, He has won my heart.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Agape-My Faith Family

So Sunday was Mothers Day.  On Saturday I went to a Birth-Mothers Day luncheon, which I was asked to speak at.  Don't worry, a post about that is definitely coming soon.  It was a great day, and a big blessing.  However, Mothers Day was also a blessing.

At church they had all the children come to the front and they asked all the mothers to stand or raise their hands.  They told the children to give a rose to all the moms.  Since none of the children have ever seen me with a child, I would have confused them if I would have stood up.  I felt a little awkward so I just stayed seated.  I was looking around as all the moms were getting their roses... and the next thing I knew, our worship leader brought me a rose and gave me a hug.  Several women came over and hugged me and gave me lots of encouragement.  Even my pastor came over and gave me an uplifting word.  

I am so blessed!  I was overwhelmed and just started crying.  Not out of sadness, but out of awe.  The way people love at my church is amazing and comforting and real.  I was overwhelmed by a feeling of love.  Through my faith family Christ was loving on me and it was unexpected.  It was great to be recognized as a mother on Mothers Day.  It was great to be loved on by my fellow church members.  It was just a huge blessing.  Thank you guys so much!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Adoption and My Spirit

This situation has played a huge role on my spiritual life.  In the best ways!  Here are some of the ways:

1. Walk-The-Walk

I've always proclaimed to have faith and trust in Christ.  Saying it and doing it are two different things.  This was not the first time I've had to actually back-up my words with actions, but it was definitely one of toughest; and somehow, the easiest.  I trust that I don't have to worry about Brody because I know He is with the family God wants him with.  I don't have to worry about his salvation or well-being; his health or his happiness.  I know that the Lord is watching over Him.  I can trust Christ more than any other human-being, especially myself.  He knows what He is doing and He is in control.  Therefore, Brody is in the best hands.

2. God is a Hands-On God

Again, it's something I've always known but now I've experienced it in a way I never have before.  God CARES about our situations.  Sometimes things don't go the way we think they should, and sometimes bad things happen.  But that doesn't mean that we are alone or that He doesn't understand what we are going through.  He is active in our lives and situations.  He is constantly revealing Himself in every situation we face-we just have to be willing to see it.  God orchestrates everything for our good and His glory.  Nothing He does is by accident and nothing we do or face surprises Him.  That should comfort us!

3.   Holy Father

I wrote a blog-post entitled "God The Father" where I talked about how until now it has always been difficult for me to see God as a Father.  But He is our Father!  We are the children of God as believers.  How refreshing is that?  I can go before my Lord and Savior as my loving Father.  I've always felt like it was disrespectful to be that comfortable with Him.  But I respect my earthly father, so it's not.  That honor and reverence for Him will always be there, but I'm not scared to approach Him.  I'm excited to approach Him.  It's such a refreshing feeling and I am certain that Christ also rejoices in my recent revelation of another role He plays in my life.  

There are so many other ways this whole situation has impacted me spiritually.  These are just some of the highlights.  Our God is an awesome God.  Our God is an intentional God.  Our God is involved in our lives.  Our God loves us so deeply and intimately we can't even begin to fully fathom it.  I am so thankful for how He has worked in my life!