Monthly Archives: February 2014

What about the Adoption?

carnivalWHAT ABOUT ADOPTION?

We are now 4 months pregnant with twins. In this time, many have asked, “What about the adoption?”

Allow me to catch you up on the Rosty family saga:

In the summer of 2013, we sensed God’s leading to start a family. In obedience, we pursued both pregnancy and adoption at the same time. We had faith that God would lead us each step of the way and make his plans clear (FYI, this was definitely not what we expected, but they were still His plans!). I was in the middle of getting my health in order. I saw a naturopath to deal with long-standing food allergies that I did not want to have when I got pregnant. At the same time, we looked into a preliminary phase of adoption from South Africa, which wasn’t an available program at the time (for the agency we were interested in).

Suddenly, in the beginning of October, a program opened, we got in, and began filling out paperwork. From there, things went surprisingly quickly and smoothly to adopt a small child from South Africa. Each step of the adoption was so clear, and repeatedly confirmed. (Read more about our adoption story here.) We were almost finished with our home-study paperwork by the end of November… for those who don’t know much about the home study for adoption, this is lightning fast. At that point, we were so sure that adoption was God’s plan to grow our family.

Then BOOM: pregnant. We were surprised, yes, but excited. I honestly thought it would take my body at least a year to get my hormones, allergies, and new eating habits in line to conceive. In fact, it was only a few months.

Still, in my head and heart, I kept saying “this is doable.” We can have a baby and adopt within a year of each other. It will be insta-family. “We wont be having twins,” I mused, “but we will be twice blessed.”

Then BOOM! actual TWINS! I was brought to my knees when I grasped what God was doing. Every step of this journey toward building a family has been “doable” for me. I was overwhelmed yes, but I kept reminding myself, “I got this.”

Unfortunately my attitude was one of self-sufficiency. When we learned about the twins, I understood at last that I can not handle any of this. I couldn’t all along, but the Holy Spirit revealed my ignorance when I saw that second heartbeat on the ultrasound.

How it all makes sense:

About a year ago, I asked God to “wow” me. I was in a place in my walk with Him which was steady and beautiful, but not full of wonder or desperation. God did not bring in a big moment of awe for me that day, as I had expected. I didn’t have an emotional response in worship, an aha moment about my future or my identity, or even a moment to witness an outright miracle, per-say.

But as I look back over this year, I see God was preparing me for this moment:

  • He taught me how to fail gracefully. How to relax and “have breakfast” because He has finished all the work.
  • His spirit blossomed in me an attitude of love, instead of a spirit of fear, from which I am able to produce good fruit (I guess that was literal).
  • He disciplined me to build practical habits, like consistent Bible study and a Fantastic Morning Routine.
  • He renewed my mind and opened my perspective to the beauty of family-making as a reflection of Him: through both pregnancy and adoption.
  • God pushed me past my procrastinating-tendencies and allowed me to finish writing a book! (I have yet to hear back from the publishers, but it is another on-going lesson in trust).

And now, here I am:

Adoption Fundraising Concert
October 2013 Adoption Fundraising Concert

Two pieces of paper away from a finished adoption home-study… (the process slowed down quite a bit with a pregnancy on the way)…

18 weeks Pregnant with twins…

Feeling like a very blessed future mama of 3…

Never been more grateful in my life for the gift God has given me in Shane…

A jumbled bundle of failures, faith and freckles…

and yes, completely WOW-ed!

So, the answer to your questions is this:

“Yes, we are still going to adopt.”

We asked God to lead us, and this is what He gave us. Call it unconventional, label it illogical, but we are going to obey his calling, and HAPPILY I might add, until He closes the door or sees it through to His glory. Our families and our adoption agency support this decision. It might take a little bit longer, but within the next 2 years, we should have all 3 of our precious kids in tow.

There are days I ask what the heck is God thinking. It’s going to be a carnival, for sure. But it brings me back to that place where I remember I was never supposed to be self-sufficient. The impossible tasks are the ones God has planned for me, in order to ever increase my faith and reliance on HIM!

So I am begging for His help. Seeking him constantly. Desperate for his spirit to be with me. Overwhelmed by his grace to lead me to this place. To choose me.

I know the Christmas season is long over, but like Mary, I am choosing to treasure all these things, pondering them in my heart. (Luke 2:19)

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Twins-in-Progress: Week 17

We are 4 months and 1 week into this pregnancy. Almost half-way there! February 16-22 was an incredible week of encouragement for Shane and me. In honor of it, I am going to post our Bump-progress update a little differently. The “Lullaby of the week” is without a doubt In the Secret of His Presence, a beautiful hymn written by Ellen Goreh, a native of India, in 1883. I personally like this version by Sandra McCracken. The lyrics narrate the story of our week quite well:

In the secret of His presence how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons which I learn at Jesus’ side!

Bump progress: So we forgot to take an official pump picture… AGAIN!

"screamer"

I am learning SO much about pregnancy and babies, it is astounding. This week, our babies are approximately the size of salsa jars (Tacos anyone?). They are also starting to put some fat on their bones. This encourages me since the last ultrasound reveal such skeletal creatures. Yes, I understand that God is putting their bones together piece by piece…it is incredible! It’s also a little creepy when they look like the “Screamer”.

whovian mama

So, I am pumped that our babies are developing some adipose tissue, which only serves as another reason for this “whovian” to don the Timelord shirt.

I also learned they are practicing the grasping motor skill. Shane and I have been praying for their souls to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18)

Earthly cares can never vex me, neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me, to the secret place I go.

Answered prayers: A long standing prayer of Shane’s (we are talking years) was answered. God provided a godly man for a prominent position in a specific arena of Shane’s life. In addition, God gave us the fortitude to face the challenge of Shane’s truck breaking down. We were definitely tempted to worry about finances, especially with a house and the twins on the way. After praying about it, God renewed our faith in His sovereignty. We have confidence He will provide for all of our needs, or teach us gently to do without!

When my soul is faint and thirsty, ’neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter, and a fresh and crystal spring;

Sleep: My sleep routine is toss, turn, doze, wake up to my stuffy nose whining, pee while I’m awake, crash back into bed, repeat…. Despite this chaotic routine, God has provided me with ample rest and energy to enjoy each day He gives me.

And my Savior rests beside me, as we hold communion sweet:
If I tried, I could not utter what He says when thus we meet.

Movement: FINALLY! My soul has been longing for this moment for many weeks.

On Sunday morning, I felt a beautiful little kick from the kid on the left. It was a faint feeling, but unmistakable when it happened again 15 minutes later on the same side (unless the twins are already switching places on me). Later in the week I felt a similar feeling on the right.

I really have to be still and “listening” to the feeling in my tummy to sense it though. It reminds me to also be still to listen to the “quickening” of the Holy Spirit, that I might enjoy community with Him.

Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens! and my drooping soul He cheers:

Encouraging truth: Many of you know I have had intense fears about making it to term and delivering these babies safely. This week, I had a wonderful dream. It may sound a bit fantastical, but for me it was very real and encouraging.

In my dream, Jesus delivered our babies- a boy and a girl- safely. It was painful, but I was completely at peace knowing I was in the hands of my Lord and Savior. A sense of calm washed over me like waves in reminder that Jesus has the power to heal and restore everything after the delivery. I woke up so refreshed. It was a clear and resounding reminder that I AM, in fact, in the hands of my savior and Jesus does have the power to heal whatever may happen. He is in control of the delivery of these babies, because He will be guiding my body and the doctors to his glory. I truly feel a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders.

Do you think He ne’er reproves me? What a false Friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see,

Lessons Learned: In circumstances of great pressure, humanity often falls into old habits, whether for good or bad. This week, God revealed how my own selfishness and pride take over when I feel stressed. I tend to withdraw into a hole of my bed-covers and iPhone, watching pointless movie previews or scrolling through Facebook for hours. Unknowingly, it shapes my thoughts and behavior for the rest of the day (and not in a good way). I KNOW God has better plans for the time He has given me. I am grateful that He doesn’t “leave me” in my sin.

Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward;

Food Cravings: I realized this week that all my food aversions are gone (except the ones I hated before I was pregnant… like cream cheese: YUCK!) Those first few months were difficult to eat anything… almost NOTHING was appetizing. Of course, I made myself eat… I have 2 people depending on my intake, appetite or no appetite. Now, I could blink in the direction of food and the “womb service” kicks in, making me salivate like a great-Dane.

I think my relationship with God goes through stages like that. There are seasons when I just don’t “crave” the things of God, like reading the Bible, praying, or meeting with other Christians. I must remember to keep up the “intake” in those seasons of a low spiritual appetite. Not just for my spiritual health, but also for others. How sweet is the season when I begin to truly crave those moments with Jesus again.

And whene’er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face.

Later in the week, I had a terrible dream (the dreams are really gearing up this week). Shane and I both worked quickly in prayer and breathing exercises to calm my emotions down, so as not to pump needless traumatic emotions into my babies. I have so much reassurance knowing I can trust my great God and the husband he has given me. In those moments, I do recall all the faithfulness of Jesus.

My Lullaby of the week poses a question: “would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?” It is not a secret, but those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus do treasure it deeply in our hearts. I have written more about my experience in becoming a Christ-follower here. My prayer is that you would not miss an opportunity to know the truth of peace and assurance that Jesus brings when you surrender to Him.

We should find out the genders of our babies soon! I will keep you posted, hopefully with a little more punctuality. In the meantime, take a look around the blog and leave a comment about how God is impacting your life!

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Audacious Obedience

audacious obedience

Ever feel like God has called you to do something that doesn’t make sense?

  • Purity in your romantic relationships
  • Going on a missions trip
  • Staying in-state for college to avoid debt
  • Waiting (enough said)
  • Spending time with Jesus with a busy schedule
  • Respecting your parents
  • Refusing to date a man or woman who doesn’t follow Christ
  • Tithing

The Israelites had a problem with a few of these. Here is what God said of them: ” ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord. Malachi 1:13

However, God still spoke amazing words of promise to these people through the prophet Malachi. In fact, Malachi’s prophecy was the last bit of instruction God’s people could depend on for 400 years till Jesus came.

If you feel you God has brought you into an unfair or illogical situation, I suggest you read the book of Malachi. It is very short, and simply put.

God says, “Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” (Mal 2:1). The next 3 chapters describe how God’s people must honor him: in their money, relationships, marriages, treatment of others, and their worship. He calls them to obedience in these areas then says:

“If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Malachi 3:10-12

Whatever you are facing, God challenges you to TEST HIM. Obey in that area, and see if He will not bless your

  • Pure relationships
  • Christ-first time management
  • God-honoring financial choices
  • Devoted pursuit of Jesus

Make no mistake, this is not a prosperity-Gospel. We are not attempting to manipulate God to give us stuff or make us rich. This is about honoring God for HIS honor and glory, and trusting that He knows what’s best for us… even when it doesn’t feel good or make sense to people around us.

Make the choice to live in audacious trust and obedience to our faithful God. And please let me know how you are doing it! (Comment below.)

*Thanks to my lovely friend Kristen for the inspiring picture.

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Twins-in-Progress: Week 15-16

Weeks 15-16 were a blur! I didn’t get a chance to sit down and write an update or take a photo for week 15. Some highlights include babies the size of Oranges (and they feel even bigger in my belly), I bought a birthing ball… which Mr. Darcy hates, and I am now experiencing nose-bleeds, congestion, and headaches. But taking it all in stride! Now on to the week 16 update:

week 1616 Weeks: February 9-15

How far along? Our sweet babies have enjoyed 4 months of life thus far. We celebrated their “Sweet 16” (weeks, of course). In 2030, we will be celebrating their actual Sweet-Sixteen, so you have 16 years and 5 months to enjoy driving on Rosty-twins-free roads. You’re welcome for figuring that out for you.

Babies are the size of: Avocados 

Weight gain: 4 lbs up! (3 more lbs and I will be back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Then it will probably be steady gaining from there.)

Maternity clothes:. Whelp, I can’t wear pre-preggo leggings anymore. They put too much pressure on my bladder. Time for some shopping!

Sleep: Spending my sleepless nights blogging more often…

Exercise: I did poorly these past 2 weeks. But I still fit in some squats and stretches while I brush my teeth.

Best moment this week:. Making a pledge to our babies at a marriage conference. The pledge was about promising future generations that Shane and I will lead a legacy of covenant marriage, selfless love, and consistent pursuit of Jesus. I was so happy thinking about it all, my eyes gushed with happy water.

Miss Anything? Sub-sandwiches.

Movement: I haven’t felt anything yet, but at our OB appointment, the baby on the left kicked the doppler while we were listening for heartbeats. We heard the distinct “woosh” from the rest of the heart beat sounds.

Food cravings: I’ve been living on popcorn.

Anything making you queasy or sick:. I unknowingly ate a slightly rotten banana. That did not go over well. These kids demand top-notch womb service.

Gender prediction: An old-wives-tale predicts that if the mother carries high, it’s a girl. If her belly is low, it’s a boy. With two, I just feel full… ALL THE TIME! It’s like my bladder is full of pee, but I’m actually just full of people. And my tummy is just kind of in the middle…. So that’s a point for one of each!

Labor Signs/prep:. Doing my best to squash my fears and my pride by renewing my mind with the Word of God! I was SO grateful for a conversation with our doctor this week. I asked her about her preference/standard procedure regarding inducing mothers of twins before the due date. She said “absolutely not! We are going to let those kids cook as long as possible.” So as long as my body and their bodies stay healthy, we could be looking at a 41 & 1/2 week journey with these kiddos. I was so relieved to know she is not eager to induce without a legitimate medical reason.

Symptoms: Feeling full, occasional heartburn, congestion.

Mood: Emotional but so excited to be in this stage of life! (I never thought I’d say that, by the way.)

Lullaby of the week: The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra. I can’t wait to sing this sweet swinging-song to our babies… and since they can hear my voice now, I’ve been singing to them more often already!

Truth I’m dwelling on: I have been a little disheartened about my clothing situation. I don’t always feel “cute-preggo”. I really wanted to champion the “wear your pre-preggo clothes” through most of the pregnancy. At 4 months with twins, I am realizing that is an unrealistic expectation. 

Still, I don’t feel comfortable in my clothes, so I end up trying 3 different outfits before I feel and look confident in my skin each day. The memory verse this week in my pregnancy devotion book (Waiting in Wonder, which I highly recommend), is Colossians 3:12:

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

This verse reminds me that there are far more important “fashion statement” to worry about than a cute pregnancy wardrobe. The journal prompt for this day was: Why do you think the qualities mentioned in Colossians 3:12 are especially important for mothers to evidence to their children?

I wrote:

When we remember we are chosen, loved, and pursued by God, we won’t demand that need to be filled from others-our children (or even husbands). Then, we can have a Christ-like selflessness that stems from that satisfaction in Christ. Our kids will receive mercy from us, as we have from Christ. By putting on these holy clothes, I can be a positive example to these kids. With the right focus, I can give them, and me, room to grow in that undeserved grace.

Looking forward to: Discovering the gender of our babies (and then picking out nursery/baby stuff for them).

Thank you for reading and praying for our growing family!
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Gender Predictions

gender reveal

The time has come! We have 2 weeks before we discover the gender of our twin babies-a-brewin’. How can I stand the wait time? I’ve compiled 10 completely worthless (but still fascinating) gender predictions for our twins:

1. Dry hands test: Dry hands=boy. Soft hands=girl…

I have had very dry hands (and feet) so perhaps we have 2 boys?!

2. Upset stomach test: an extremely upset stomach=girl. Less upset=boy.

I have had a horrible appetite, but I haven’t vomited=another point for the boys.

3. Sleep Position: Left=boy, right=girl…

I switch back and forth, so one of each maybe?

3. Cravings: citrus/sweet=girl. Salt=boy…

I have been craving pineapple, and strawberries. Anything sour really. Also, at last my love for chocolate and other sweet things has returned! However, initially it was all salt cravings= another point for one of each!

4. Acne test: Acne=girl. Clear face=boy…

My face tells me we are having girls.

5. Clumsy test: Clumsy=boy. Graceful=girl…

My track record says I was destined to have boys all along.

6. Mama’s face shape: Full face=girl. Thin face=boy…

Thus far my face has actually thinned out (probably with some of the weight loss). Another point for BOYS.

pendulum test

7. Chinese Gender predictor: you just have to take the test online or find a Chinese gender prediction chart:

Another point for Boys!

8. Pendulum test: Circle=girls. Back and forth=boys…

I did this a few times, 4 out of five it went back and forth. Once it circled around my belly. Another point for Both!

9. Evens and odds: If my age and year of conception are both odd/even, it is a girl. If they are different, it’s a boy.

I was 25 when we conceived in 2013. One point for girls!

10. Heart Beat: Less than 150=boy, more than 150=girl.

Our first ultrasound the heartbeats were 181 and 185. Big point for girls!

The most recent doppler test (at 16 weeks) said we had a 150 and a 140… so maybe these kids have settled down and are trying to tell us they are one of each?

Based on these silly tests we have:

5 points for boys

3 points for girls

4 points for one of each.

But who knows what God has in store for us. Shane still thinks we are having two BOYS. I have no clue anymore.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

Cast your vote by commenting below with your gender prediction for our twin babies, due July 26, 2014. Or vote on my Facebook page!

We will let you know the sexes after our gender-reveal party, hosted by our incredible sisters on March 1st.

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Twins-in-Progress: Week 14

Week 14 was another breeze! On one hand I am ready for it all to slow down so I can enjoy it! On the other hand, I want to meet these beautiful people in my tummy so bad, it just can’t go fast enough!

14 Weeks: January 26- February 1

14 weeks

How far along? 14 weeks (3 months, 2 week)

Babies are the size of: Sweet Georgia Peaches

Weight gain: 0

Maternity clothes:. This cold weather is killing me. I just want to wear a dress to be comfy, but its too cold to wear without leggings… it just dawned on me that I should invest in pregnancy leggings! Anyone have a good brand they like?

Sleep: I am starting to wake up around 2 or 3am and stay wide awake till about 6 or so. I haven’t worked up the gumption to use this time for anything productive, but at the rate this nightly hiatus keeps coming, I might have to start a new project!

Exercise: Water aerobics is marvelous, but this weather is keeping me indoors and under covers as much as possible. I would love to have above freezing weather for a little bit (and less ice to slip on!). I will probably make it to the gym a few more times a week.

Best moment this week:. Growing in my relationship with God, surrendering my fears to Him.

Miss Anything? Sleeping through the night. My days not being dominated by my bladder or my growling tummy. Oh well, I know I’ll soon be adding two gorgeous and needy babies to the list of what dominates my day. I’m getting used to it.

Movement: Still no :(.

Food cravings: Cake. Donuts. and more Pineapple. If it pops up on my Facebook feed, I want it. I did indulge in a cupcake, and it did not taste as good as I was craving. So I’m curbing the indulgences of sugary-foods and sticking to a big bowl of pineapple this week. (PS, maybe the food-cravings test of last week was wrong, with all this sugar cravings, perhaps we are having two sweet girls?)

Anything making you queasy or sick:. I am getting heart burn a lot more often.

Gender prediction: The Chinese Gender predictor says we are having: boys. But who knows. All along, Shane has said BOYS, but this week he admitted he feels God softening his heart to little girls. I just can’t wait to find out!

Labor Signs/prep:. The birthing class was immensely helpful to address fears and misconceptions about labor and delivery. This week, I have worked through a lot of fears. God even led me to repent of my pride about having a natural birth. He is so gracious to me, even when I take a good thing too far. We are still working toward a natural birth for these babies, but I am much more relaxed about however God will bring these babies into my arms! Praise God!

Symptoms: If I didn’t have to pee every 20 minutes, I might forget I am pregnant. I tend to over-do it in the beginning of the week, and by Thursday I am exhausted. Still trying to find that balance.

Mood: Anticipatory!

Lullaby of the week: Small Bump by Ed Sheeran (Yes, the same guy who sang “I see Fire” at the end of the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug). These lyrics are adorable:

You are my one, and only
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb
And hold me tight

You’re just a small bump I know
You’ll grow into your skin
With a smile like hers
And a dimple beneath your chin

Finger nails the size of a half grain of rice
And eyelids closed ’till soon opened wide a small bump
In four months you’ll open your eyes

And I’ll hold you tightly
And tell you nothing but truth

*I will warn you. This song is beautiful, but it ends on a sad note. The baby sung about in this song is “torn from life” and the couple does not know why. For me, this doesn’t change the sweetness of the song. But it does remind me of how precious these lives are; it keeps me praying for those who have lost.

Truth I’m dwelling on: A bald eagle flew right over our backyard this week. It reminded me of Isaiah 40:31…

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Confessing my fears, repenting of prideful sin, and truly resting in the truth of God’s love for me… it is truly incredible how God keeps growing me every week… just like our twins inside.

Looking forward to: Telling these little ones about my dear Savior, Jesus Christ!

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