You can catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2.

So, this is the really cool part.

Despite everything, we still had hopes for a bigger family. We always had said we wanted three or four kids, and the older Chiquita grows the more we desire a sibling for her. She loves babies and other kids. I mean seriously loves them. No matter where we are, if she spots a baby, or even just a infant car seat, she has to get near and and peek in the stroller with her sweet little voice cooing, "Baby!"

All along in my journey I had struggled with contentment because I really longed to be pregnant again. I told myself I would have enjoyed my pregnancy more if I'd known it would be my only full-term experience. So I began to pray that the Lord would change my heart. That He would take that desire away if it wasn't His will.

And He did. Miraculously.

The desire for more children obviously didn't abate, but I started to feel the slight tug on my heart towards adoption. Never did I imagine that this would be the path that the Lord would take me down and neither did my husband. I just grew up thinking, I'll get pregnant as many times as I want and have as a big of a family as I want.

God started to show me that Had different plans for my family. Gradually, over a short period of time, He provided several divine appointments for us pointing us toward adoption. My husband was a little slower to be on board but He couldn't deny the way the Lord was speaking to us either.

Last spring, in short succession (and almost immediately after my fourth miscarriage) we were able to have the following "run-ins:"

  • February 2009: We went to a BBQ with family friends who I rarely see I was able to seriously talk to a friend I grew up with about his adoption, for the first time asking serious questions and getting real answers. His mom also told me a little about her 2 adoption experiences.

  • March 2009: David's older sister visited California from the mid-west with her kids and we were able to talk about her family's adoption on a deeper level (and hear about how her husband was slower to get onboard as well), and see her 2 boys (one biological, one adopted) interact together.

  • March 2009: On the way back from a weekend away with our family, we stopped by to visit a family that was vacationing in Southern California. It was my husband's high school youth pastor, his wife and their four kids (2 biological, 2 adopted). We hadn't seen this family since he co-married us almost six years ago. We heard a little of their adoption story and made plans to visit them in Oregon soon.

  • March 2009: Less than a week later, we went to David's little sister's wedding and we were sat next to his aunt, who we had never really talked in depth to about her 2 adoptions (1 domestic, 1 international). She shared their stories with us over dinner.

  • April 2009: We headed out for a road trip north, leaving after the wedding and driving to Oregon. We visited some college friends and then spent a few days with the family we had briefly seen a week before, and got to get deep with them about their journey (again being encouraged hearing that the husband was a little slower to get on board with the idea), and hear their amazing adoption story with their 2 African sons.

  • April 2009: A couple of weeks later we were camping at the beach with some friends and got to chatting with our "neighbors" across the way, only to find out their son was adopted. We were encouraged by another story and the love of another adoptive family.

Just typing these events out again blows my mind. We've had other little inspirations too, from reading blogs, to watching this (weird) movie, and this cute one, and more recently, getting paired up for a swap with this sweet adoptive family and getting to know another family in our church trying to adopt. There's not a doubt in our minds now that this is the path that the Lord wants our family on, and we are thankful and excited for it.

Our adoption story is just getting started and we can't wait to continue on this journey. We are so grateful for each one of the people mentioned above and what an encouragement they have been to us.

Read Part 4

Thanks also to every one reading and for your prayers. Stay tuned and tomorrow I'll give a little bit more info on where we are now in the process...

A Journey of Hope, Part 4

A Journey of Hope, Part 2