Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8 ... Full Circle

This is a story of coming full circle ... a story that God has woven through generations of a family. A family created through blood lines and through the grace of adoption. A story of HIS love and faithfulness and timing.

His story ... that just happens to include us.

It begins on a small farm in Iowa. The land of my people :-)

On March 8, 1879 a baby girl was born. She was named Hattie May Horning. Hattie lived a long life - but a hard one. Farm life back in the day was tough. But she grew up there and then married a farmer - Charles Eli Straight. However, he was not in the best of health, so she did a good deal of the farming work, on top of bearing children, teaching school and running the house.

One of the children that she bore was Cecil Lee Straight ... known as Lee. Now, Lee grew up as a farmer and married a farmer's daughter too - Lois Alice Nickle. Lee and Lois eventually left the small Iowa farm town and moved to Colorado. And had three children in the process.

One of the children that Lois bore was Helen Jean ... known as Jeanie. Jeanie became the mother (both through birth and marriage) of six children and eventually landed in the great Southwest with her husband Alvin Harry.

One of the children that Jeanie bore was ... ME!

And, from childhood, all I ever dreamed of was becoming a wife and mama. These were the only positions that I aspired to. (Unless you count the years that I wanted to be a country music super star. but THAT is another story...) And, when I was in High School I took one of those classes where you "get married and have a family". It was then that I chose the name for my future daughter ... Hattie Grace. Grace from my daddy's mama and Hattie after my great grandmother ... that small town, Iowa farm girl, born clear back in 1879.

But marriage and motherhood were not to be ... at least not the way I planned it. I did NOT marry the boy I crushed on all through high school. I did not marry the guy that was my BFF through my Jr and Sr. years of school. And I did not meet a prince charming as I left my graduation ceremony. And, by the time I went to my ten year class reunion, I was bumming hard and it was all I could do to place my trust in His sovereignty. In fact, I hate to admit it, there were times that I doubted and was angry. But, for the most part - and more and more through the years - I believed that He would provide.

When I turned thirty years old I began to pray for Him to take the desire away ... IF it was not to be. I even told myself - and anyone who would listen - that I did NOT have the desire. I lied. And, eventually, because He did not take away that desire, I began to trust and claim the promise that I WOULD have my Hattie Grace. But, that was ALSO the time in which my health issues began. Issues that would determine whether or not I could bear a child. And, within two years, it became increasingly - and then undoubtedly - clear that I would NOT bear a child.

Please note that I did not say I wouldn't HAVE a child ... just that I would not BEAR a child. This is a GINORMOUS statement. One that I did not understand for quite a while myself.

So, I had a little chat with God and let Him know that I still trusted HIM for her.

At thirty two years old, the health issues had reached a climactic point and a choice was set before me. It had become evident that the various surgeries, procedures and medications that I had spent two years trying, in an attempt to save my ability to BEAR a child, had not been effective. And, not only were they ineffective in their intended purpose, but they had served to make the "issue" worse. Basically leaving me sick and tired and ... barren.

Ouch.

And, yet, that desire was still there.

And I had a little chat with God and told Him that I trusted HIM for her.

So, it was with great turmoil, and even greater trust, that I made the choice to have THE surgery. The one I had avoided for so long. The one that would make my dream MY way an absolute impossibility. I took that step knowing that HE was bigger than my broken "parts" and knowing that HE was faithful to fulfill every promise that He has EVER made.

Even mine.

At the age of thirty four, part one of my dream came true ... when I married the man of my dreams. And, together we began to work toward the dream of parenthood. He had two children from a previous marriage, and I DO love those boys as my own, but they were all but grown when I got here. And, well, Hubby wanted more kids and I wanted babies, so ...

We became foster parents in 2004. Now, I knew that children would be coming and going through our house. I also knew that I was still trusting God for my Hattie Grace. I did not just want to give the name away, I wanted to KNOW who to give the name to. I wanted to know who was MY daughter. And, so, I told God that HE would have to tell me when it was her.

And I trusted.

On August 16, 2004 we met with a family whose 16 year old daughter had run away - leaving her infant baby behind. They were looking for someone to adopt that baby. And, there in the mall food court they placed that baby in my arms. And, there in that mall food court, I heard the Spirit of God whisper into my heart "THIS is your Hattie Grace".

And I cried.

To make the story more interesting, legal issues came up and we had to walk away from that sweet baby girl. For a while. Nearly three months.

But God.

It was on an October afternoon that I got the call that Baby I (original birth name omitted) had been taken into state custody. Thus began a series of God orchestrated phone calls and circumstances in which people, who were not supposed to tell me a thing, basically spilled the whole story. And, within hours, we knew that she would be coming to live with US.

We had to wait through the weekend, but on Nov. 2, 2004 she came. A car pulled up in front of our house and that sweet, beautiful state worker handed us a baby girl ... THE baby girl. Our Hattie Grace.

Now, it was not easy - her mother came back into the picture, the family got ugly and threatening, and it took over 18months, but eventually, the state severed the rights of her biological family and the process of making her our child LEGALLY began.

We knew that the process could take a very long time. But there were circumstances - one of which was our oldest son preparing to join the National Guard - that led us to ask for the process to be expedited. And, so it happened that, what should have taken MONTHS, ended up happening in weeks and we were called one day with the our adoption date.

And that date was, to this war torn heart, a healing balm. And proof that He is faithful.

Faithful indeed. In all things.

And, on March 8, 2006 ... 127 years, to the day, after the birth of Hattie May Horning ... Baby I became Hattie Grace B.

And God brought the dreams and love of a family full circle.

Because He is Just.THAT.Good.

Amen.

7 of ya left some love:

The Bug said...

Oh what a GREAT story! I'm so glad you have your Hattie Grace...

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

That was an awesome story, thank you for trusting God and thank you for sharing your story.
I am glad that you have Hattie Grace
Carol

j said...

That is such a beautiful story. I've heard pieces of it before, but hearing it again is just as endearing. You can't hear it and NOT see God's hand written all over it...over every desire filled and every detail planned. I love how God even orchestrated exact dates to match to bring your family, your hopes, and your dreams full circle. What amazing love and faithfulness.

bebe said...

What a beautiful way you have of writing! A beautiful story, told in a way that just pulls at your heart.

Cheryl said...

I have chills....
What an amazing story and what a testimony it will be to your Hattie Grace that God's plan always prevails.

Jeremiah 29:11

HisTreasuredPossession said...

i love love LOVE this story and it makes me LOVE our GOD even more. So glad you wrote it down.

"But God..." always.

xoxo,
rachel

sidny said...

I randomly stumbled on your blog by clicking "next blog," and I'm glad I did. I read this story and got all misty-eyed. I, too, think that my life's purpose is to be a wife and mommy. And, here I am, at twenty-seven years old, knowing I still have time, but getting increasingly nervous about the whole thing. I have no husband - no real prospects at this point either - and my biggest fear in the entire world is that by the time I meet someone and get married, something will happen and I will not be able to bear children. Not that I have any legitimate reason to think this - it's just my worst fear. I trust that I will have a child in some way, but I just really selfishly want AT LEAST one biological baby of my own. But maybe that's just not in the cards for me. I don't know.

Anyway, reading your story was inspiring. And made me hopeful, that things will all work out for me as well.