Friday, November 8, 2013

Isaac Warren Henderson

Genesis 21: 6 “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

There are never more fervent prayers than when you pray for your children. This I know for sure. Whether you're praying for their health, their future, or their redemption; a prayer for one's child has something at its very core that is  deeply piercing and defined within the soul.

We are excited, and overwhelmingly blessed to announce the arrival and adoption of our son, Isaac. He was born on Sunday, November 3rd at 8:39 AM. He came into this world weighing 6.5 lbs and with a length of 17.5 inches. He is perfect in every way.

We have chosen not to share too many details of Isaac's adoption story, as that will be his own story to tell one day. We will  say, however, that we didn't have a lot of notice, and it has been a bit of a mad dash to prepare for the arrival or our treasured son. Looking back on the last few weeks, I can say that I wouldn't have it any other way. We have seen friends and family come together to love and support us in ways that amaze and encourage my spirit. An awesome shower was thrown for us at work, and an incredible virtual shower was put on by our sisters, and attended by many over the internets. To everyone who participated in any capacity whatsoever, please know that we are eternally grateful!

Unfortunately, we aren't home yet.

Shortly after Isaac was born, it was discovered that he had a blockage in his small intestine. Isaac had surgery on Wednesday, and is currently recovering in the NICU in a wonderful hospital in Plano. We have every confidence in the doctors here, and we have been so impressed! The recovery after this kind of surgery can be slow, so we may be here for awhile. We're praying that Isaac's insides heal quickly and start functioning properly soon, but we don't want to rush anything either.

Adam and I were thrust into the often worrisome aspect of parenting very quickly. I hadn't even held Isaac once before I was speaking to paramedics about his hospital transfer. Adam has been amazing. His strength in adversity is an incredible testament to his faith and character. He is an awesome daddy, and I know that he will lead our family well just as he always has.

We can't help but step into this chapter of parenting without thinking about our sweet Alex. I reflect so often on how much that experience taught me. I was tested and strengthened in so many ways while I lived in Jamaica. I grew so much as an individual and learned so much about myself. We will never forget our first born son, and Isaac will know about him and eventually join us as we pray for him and his life each day.

As I sit in this hospital waiting room thinking of my questions to ask the neonatologist when he makes his rounds, I can't help but smile. You see, in places like this I am finding that you sometimes have to advocate for your child, challenge decisions of doctors and nurses, ask questions, and be the squeaky wheel. Well, Isaac's big brother, Alex, taught me a thing or two about fighting like hell for someone. A lesson that has undeniably prepared me for the last few hard days.

I may never understand God's plan, but I do know that he makes beauty from ashes. And he has done just that for our family. God is good and redeeming in all things. We are so grateful.

In the same year that we experienced grief so thick it could span the Sahara, we have also felt an amount of joy so expansive that it could fill the oceans.

Isaac's name means laughter, and in scripture Isaac is the promised son of Abraham and Sarah. When they thought all was lost, God gave them their treasured son.

We held fast to God's promises. He never left us, just like he says.

Please join us in celebrating and praying for Isaac in his healing.

We'll share pictures soon, I promise.









Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy

Today is a day filled with mixed emotions. It is, what my fifth graders described, my golden birthday. It's the day that I turn the exact age of the date my birthday fell on. In other words, I'm twenty-seven on the twenty-seventh.

There are moments about today that will feel golden, I'm sure. However, my heart is heavy today. Today is Alex's first birthday. What I would give to hold him and hug him today. What it would mean to me to be the one that lit the lone candle on his birthday cake. How precious it would be to see a picture of how he's grown.

We hesitated about whether or not to post these. We decided that, in an attempt NOT to share our pain, but rather to share the immense joy that Alex brought into our lives, we would share some pictures of our boy as we celebrate his birthday and the time we spent with him.

We hope and pray these images will stay with your heart so that you might join us in praying for Alex all the days of his life.
To my forever birthday buddy. I miss you more than words.





I also wanted to share a beautiful song written and performed by a dear family friend, Kristen Chiu. She wrote this song after I posted the blog about losing Alex. It took me awhile to listen to it, but when I did I was so moved. I will cherish this song always.










The moment we met you. The best day of my life to date.









Please enjoy this beautiful, heartfelt song written and performed by Kristen Chiu. 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chosen Marathon 2013


Adam here -

It’s that time again!  We are training for and running in the Chosen Marathon for adoption in New Braunfels, TX.  We didn’t know if we would create a team again this year but decided to jump in and make it happen.  Most of you remember that we did the race last year to get support for our adoption.  The funds raised as well as the non-financial support (prayers, awareness) were tremendous and helped to offset the cost of the adoption last year and we thank everyone that helped us in that event.  We truly could not have made it through without all the support we received.

2013 Chosen Marathon is on October 26th in New Braunfels, TX.  The event allows adopting families to raise awareness and funds for their adoption by building a team for the race.  Also, there is an option for the non-runner to support a team and not run.

The race has three events: Full Marathon 26.2 miles, Half Marathon 13.1 miles, and kids fun run 1 mile.  Also, as stated above, there is an option in the registration page to be a ‘sleepwalker’.  This gives people the opportunity to support a team without attending the race


The best support we can ask for is prayer and encouragement throughout the process.  When people ask me how Katti and I get through the tough emotional journey that is adoption, I tell them that it is not just the two of us.  God, our family, friends, and countless others - The prayer and encouragement we have received from everyone listed above has picked us up, pushed us along, and kept us on our feet.  Again we ask for this support.  If you would like to support financially, you can sign up for the race either as a participant or sleepwalker or donate directly to our team, Baby Steps.

Thanks again for your support both in the past year as well as upcoming.  Without the overwhelming support we have received we would not be where we are today.  Thanks you – Much Love!

Adam & Kate 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baby Steps: Begin Again









"We are never more alive to life than when it hurts--never more aware of  both our powerlessness to save ourselves and of the possibility of a power beyond ourselves to save us and heal us if we can only open ourselves up to it." -Frederick Buechner

I heard this quote at church on Sunday and felt the words resonate deep in my bones. I hadn't been back to our church since I came home from Jamaica at the end of April. The reason may seem odd, but odd as it seems I suppose I'll share anyway.

 I knew it would be difficult to view the steps that serve as an altar at the front of the sanctuary.

I'd spent quite a bit of time knelt on those steps praying for Alex before he came into our lives. I reminiced back on those steps many times as I held Alex in my arms and said prayers of thanksgiving while I was in Jamaica.

I wasn't sure how I would react to seeing those steps again after everything that transpired. I'll be honest and say that I didn't hear much of the message at church on Sunday. I sat and starred at those steps and had a heart to heart with God. I can honestly say that I've had many of those the last few months.

All that to say, Adam and I are doing well. We serve a mighty God who is redeeming in ALL things. As hard as it is for me to believe, God loves Alex more than we do and has a plan for his life. Our role in his life was a part of that plan I have no doubt. We will always play a role in his life in some way, even if it's perpetual prayer warriors storming the floodgates of heaven with prayers over Alex for provision, protection, nurture, and love.

I would be lying if I said that it hasn't been hard. It would be a complete untruth to say that there haven't been tears, anger, and emotions so raw I didn't even know I had the capacity to feel them.

I opted to stay silent online for awhile because I wanted to grieve in my own way privately. My silence was for that aforementioned reason, as well as the fact that I had no words. I've been a mute author.

A lot has happened since I wrote last.

 Adam and I got the unexpected  blessing to travel back to Jamaica in June and spend five days with Alex. Even now as I reflect on those days I feel nothing but overwhelming happiness and joy. We got the distinct privilege of parenting like there was no tomorrow. Those five days were perfect. We melted into the moments and savored every second.

We said goodbye to Alex together, and came back home. I think we personified bittersweet that day.

Adam and I also spent quality time with many friends and family over the summer. We are grateful for the blessing of healing laughter and the indescribable feeling of community.

We sought solace in the hill country sitting by the river hand in hand, just the two of us.

We promised each other that no matter how bad the searing pain of losing Alex got we wouldn't stop talking to God or to one another.

Our hearts are healing, and we're preparing for our next step.

Alex will undoubtedly be a part of our lives forever. I still think about him and pray for him every single day. I know I will always do that. He is a part of us and always will be.

Among the many many things I learned while living in Jamaica, I learned that Adam and I love being parents. As I mentioned in a blog I posted while I was on the island, being a mommy far exceeded my dreams and hopes for the experience.

We truly loved every minute of it. Some days were hard and uncertain, but every day also brought a sense of joy that I can't truly define.

Adam and I have spent a lot of time lately in prayer and in seeking wisdom from family, friends, and mentors. After careful consideration, it is with great excitement and joy that I announce that we are pursuing a domestic adoption with our agency here in Texas.

We're uncertain of a timeline, and we know that nothing in this life is without the risk of pain. We also know that when you love hard sometimes you hurt hard, but we also believe that God is good and that sentiment continues to reign above all else in our hearts and minds.

I will end this update with a petition for prayers and encouragement. I'm not sure where we'd be if it weren't for the outpouring of love and prayers from friends, family, and even strangers.

It would be a falsehood to claim no sense of vulnerability in this step, but we're moving forward in faith.

Towards the end of church on Sunday I approached those altar steps. I came forward not with a sense of anger, sadness, or guilt, but rather with a sense of humility, gratitude, and hope. I knelt down,  bowed my head, clenched Adam's hand, and silently thanked God for what is to come.














Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mommy for a Moment

Before we ever began this journey we started clinging to Proverbs 13:12 which says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life.” It is important that everyone knows that our Hope is still in Christ, and we praise Him for a longing fulfilled, even if it was just for a moment.

Yesterday I went to a meeting that was called by Alex’s birth father. This was odd to me because he never showed an ounce of interest in communicating or connecting with us or Alex since we’d been caring for our son on the island. He didn’t mention what the meeting was about, but for some reason I had a pit in my stomach. I prayed and prayed. I prayed so hard I thought my tears would turn to blood.

I am brokenhearted to say that Alex’s birth father informed me that he had changed his mind, and would be taking Alex with him that day.

What happened next is a blur of the worst minutes of my life. I just remembered saying, “Why?” and “Please don’t do this.” We had been caring for Alex longer than he had. He gave no reason, or even eye contact for that matter.

Did he know that Alex loves the DaVinci Baby Einstein video, or that he doesn’t like peaches, but loves bananas? What about the fact that his favorite blanket needs to be tucked under his right arm and up against his right cheek in order for him to fall asleep? There is no way he knows that the best way to make Alex laugh is to play peek-a-boo or blow bubbles.

No, he knows nothing like that. Nor did he ask. He just took my son and began walking down the road. Alex was crying uncontrollably, as was I.

It feels like a kidnapping. It feels so, so wrong.

There is nothing we can do about it to fight it in courts, there is no legal document that states exactly how ours he is in our hearts.

I flew home yesterday. I spent the first half of the flight with the intention of googling procedures that take away memories. I just wanted to forget everything so the pain would stop.

Then, I spent the second half of the plane ride in grateful desperation for the memories and experiences that my son brought to my life. He taught me so much about compassion, selflessness, and the love of a mother.

Before the birth father took him from me I held him tight against my lips and prayed over him. I prayed that God would hold him close, and guard his steps. I prayed strength, grace, and favor over his life. I promised him that I would pray for him every day until the day that I died.

And I will.

The hardest part is that I will always wonder and long to know how he is doing. Is he well fed? Is he well nurtured? It doesn’t seem to me that anyone can ever love him as much as we do.

I don’t know if I ever blogged this fact, but Alex and I share the same birthday.

I will never have another birthday when I don’t reflect on the fact that my son is another year older.

How desperately I will long in that moment to see him! To see how he’s grown. I can’t tell you how many days in Jamaica I would sit and watch him play and just imagine who he would become.

I spent some hard and lonely days just dreaming of how sweet Christmas mornings would be when we finally got him home, or scanning Pinterest for themes for his first birthday.

I believed and I prayed! I claimed the promise of a longing fulfilled in Jesus name.

Now, I find myself lying in the pieces of what might’ve been. The extent of my broken heart appears to be irreparable. I gave up my life to become a mommy.

I arrived home yesterday evening to be with Adam. His shock and grief is a mirror image of mine. We sat in our living room surrounded by the same loud silence that reminded us of why we longed for baby giggles and footsteps.

We need your prayers. We have no idea where to go from here. I suggested we move or take a trip? He essentially reminded me that our hearts go with us wherever we go.

I have no idea where God is in all of this, but we will not be destroyed. Our faith is shaken, but it will not be moved. I know that He is close to the broken hearted, which means that He must be closer than ever to us now.

I’m not even sure how to ask you to pray, but please do.

I will not regret one single second of loving my son, or the sacrifices I made to be able to do so. I pray that the love we feel for him is sewn into his heart so that he will carry it with him forever.

We thank you, family and friends, for walking this journey with us. We have no idea where it will lead, and we will take time to grieve this loss. We will move forward one step at a time, and one day at a time.

Just like we’ve always said…Baby Steps.

Thank you for loving us.

Katti & Adam

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Journeying...


I haven't been feeling much like myself lately. Could it be that I've recently added the HUGE new title of momma to my existence? Could it be that I'm living in a completely different country than I was a month and a half ago? Maybe it's that I'm still grieving the the sudden losses of my father and step-father. It could possibly be that I haven't been in a classroom since the end of December. Either way, the reason is neither here nor there, but I'm journeying back.

I'm not journeying back to Texas yet, but hopefully I'll be journeying that direction soon as well. I'm journeying back to myself. I prayed this morning about what that might look like. I felt like the Lord was telling me to do the things I used to. He said that I needed to rediscover my favorite things such as writing, reading, painting, exercising, & playing my ukulele.

Let it be known that I am so grateful for most of the changes. I am thankful that God has brought me to a place that is teaching me how to slow down and gain perspective.

I don't have a ton of time between Alex's naps, feedings, diaper changes, and play time, but I figure I can use the time I have to start my journey.

As most of you know, my preferred form of exercise is running, however, that isn't exactly an option here. I decided to remedy this fact by doing my Pilates DVD. I'm grateful that I thought to pack it whilst hastily jamming things into my suitcase to come to JA. It's the advanced ab work out, and it kicked my bootay. It's only 20 minutes, but I felt exhausted afterwords.

In the afternoon, after Alex's bath and a walk around our complex, I decided to paint. Thanks, Mom, for sending me the acrylic paint set. I sat at the little table next to the window and painted a picture of the tree you see at the beginning of this post. I certainly don't claim to be an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but painting is so relaxing to me. I decided to name the painting after one of my favorite worship songs, "With a Single Prayer, You Restore My Soul." I felt like that's what the Lord did for me, He restored my soul today.

I'm currently learning a song on my uke that I promised myself years ago I would learn so that I could sing it to our little one. It seems to me to be the perfect lullaby. It'll take some time, and I'm excited to get it down. The lyrics are more pertinent now than they ever have been.



One of the main things I learned today on my journey back to myself is that I've profoundly changed in the past month and half. I'll never be exactly who I was before, and I'm completely okay with that.








Saturday, February 2, 2013

It is well...



You know as humans when we're looking forward to something we tend to build up mountains of unrealistic expectations regarding said thing? I mean, we daydream about it and obsess about what life will be like after finally obtaining that experience, person, or item?

Well, over the past few years I have thought a lot about what life would be like when I became a momma. I've played it over thousands of times in my mind. I've thought of tummy time, walks in the park, mixing bottles, Baby Einstein etc.

I'd built some expectations for this event in my life. What I can say about where I'm at now is that I am blessed beyond belief and amazed at the Lord's wonderful works.

Now, I did not exactly include poopy diapers, midnight feedings, or fussy tummies into my mommyhood daydreams, but I've taken everything mostly everything in stride with gratitude thus far. 

Something truly beautiful occurs when your expectations match up with reality. I will say that in so many ways reality has far exceeded what my expectations ever were. When Alex smiles up at me with his big brown eyes, when he's sleeping peacefully on my chest, or when he discovers something new about the world around him, I am reminded that God's plan far surpasses anything I could ever plan for myself, and His peace really does surpass understanding.

We haven't started off parenthood in a typical way. I feel blessed  to have learned how to be a mother in a simple and pure form. No bottle warmers, diaper genies, bumbo seats, or a perfectly coordinated nursery. Those were things that always infiltrated my daydreams of having our little one.  Not to say those items aren't important or nice, maybe just not as necessary as I once thought. (I have since acquired a Bumbo and I love it! Thanks Rach!)

 I began motherhood with our son, some items of necessity, and a whole lot of love and thankfulness.

I'm still here in Jamaica settled into a new apartment. We do not have a clear timeline as to how long we will be here, but we're praying fervently to come home as a family of three as soon as possible.

We've hit some unexpected hurdles, but they're nothing the Lord can't see us through. He is in control. He has brought us this far, and we're learning to trust Him to work it out.

I apologize for not blogging lately, I've been attempting to locate a new kind of balance. I'll be be better, I promise.

We're coveting your prayers. 

I have always attempted to pray as specifically as possible, so here are a few specific prayers requests.

  • A major prayer of thanksgiving for ALL the Lord has done!
  • Blessings for YWAM Jamaica for being friends, prayer warriors, and all together awesome stewards of God's love and grace.
  • Safety for Adam as he travels back and forth from Texas to JA.
  • The CDA to approve our license quickly.
  • That we have no problems obtaining necessary documents for Alex to immigrate.
  • That I will feel safe and protected while I'm here on my own. (I'm such a chicken.)
  • Alex to continue to grow healthy and strong.
We are so grateful for you dear friends and family for the unyielding love and support. This isn't easy, but as the Bible says in James 1: 2-3, we are counting it all as joy.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

We will persevere and continue to love our boy. We are continuing with our long time motto and moving forward with baby steps. 

I am learning so much about trust and patience. 

I titled this post for two reasons. I am so grateful to have eternal life in Christ Jesus. It is in fact well with my soul from an eternal standpoint.

All expectations aside, there is also something settled deep within my soul here on this earth. I am a mom, and I am so grateful.

It is well. It is very well.


Monday, January 7, 2013

A blog I Never Posted...

***I wrote this blog right after decorating for Christmas and before my Dad passed away. It's been sitting in my drafts for a while now and I just opened it back up. I thought I'd share. It's amazing how the Lord is constantly working in and with the desires of our hearts. I'll be moving to my more permanent residence here in Jamaica tomorrow. This will allow me more consistent wifi access. Things are going great. Baby H has a name now. It is Alexander, and he'll go by Alex. My dad had no brothers or sons, and my maiden name, as some of you know, is Alexander. I thought this was a great way to honor my Dad. The name Alexander means helper, and defender of mankind. I'm very excited to see what God has in store for this sweet boy. Great things, I'm certain. 





I wasn't going to do it, but then I decided to. After that, I decided not to.

Then I went ahead and did it anyway.


What is it that I did, then didn't do, then ultimately did, you ask?

Well, I hung a stocking for our baby.

 It felt a bit silly at first, then it felt a bit sad. By the end of my tumultuous over analysis, it felt perfectly appropriate.

I hung that stocking with faith and expectancy. Not that I'm expecting to be a momma before Christmas, but I am believing that it will happen exactly when it's supposed to.

As David said in scripture, "I've pitched my tent in the land of hope." Amen.

Last week, Adam and I put up all of our Christmas decorations. They consist of a hodgepodge of handed down items given to me by various family members. We have several of our own handmade childhood ornaments on our tree.

I can't wait to hang ornaments made by Baby H.

I love the holiday season. This year will be unique, and certainly sad. There will be two significant voids at our Christmas table this year. One void who had been at that table for years and years, and one who has never graced the table with their presence. My stepfather, Chuck, and our sweet child.

The absence of someone that you have a rolodex of memories with is difficult. It's hard, and we'll need lots of prayers.

The absence of someone that you long so desperately to make memories with is something I've never felt before. We're in uncharted territory. It's the whole missing someone you don't know phenomenon that has become a constant lingering on my heart.

I'm convinced that God has already made us parents, we just don't have our baby yet.

We haven't heard anything from Jamaica. I'm planning to call and check on our status next week.

Until then, we wait prayerfully.

We have been so uplifted by the prayers, comments, encouragement, and support. There are a lot of things we have felt on this journey, but one thing we have never felt is unloved.








Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Joy Comes in the Morning...




I haven't blogged lately.  I've been intentionally technologically distant. My brain has been processing things my fingers weren't ready to type.  My family experienced another tragic loss. My dad died suddenly. This left most of my family shocked and swirling in one of the worst cases of deja vu anyone could imagine.

Funeral, family, casseroles, sadness, questions, flowers, small talk, mingling...

Not again. No, this is not happening.

That was the majority of my thought process during the duration of the last month.

My dad took his own life. He did this for reasons I will never understand. I've realized an unavoidable truth that I will have questions at the age of 26 that I will still have at 96.

The Friday morning before we went back home after my father's funeral I caught a headline of the Connecticut tragedy and my heart sank. I still cannot speak much regarding my thoughts and feelings on this matter because it makes me physically nauseous.

Needless to say there were some hard moments.

Our family went through the motions at Christmas. We worshipped at the Christmas Eve service, Adam even played his guitar and did great. We opened gifts and shared meals, all the while feeling an indescribable void.

Little did I know, the same year that I would lose both of my dads, my husband would become one.

You read that right.

We've identified a child in Jamaica. It's a little boy and he's 3 months old. He's beautiful and perfect in every way!! We will be leaving for Jamaica on Thursday (yes, tomorrow!) to begin caring for him. Adam will stay for awhile, but then he will need to return home to work. I will stay in Jamaica while the courts are processing the adoption. We don't have a clear timeline on how long this process will be, but we will do whatever it takes.

We are still reeling in the amazing blessings and provision that the Lord has provided. I feel like I've been living in the book of Acts for the last few days. Amazing people who have given resources, encouragement, blankies, hugs, prayers, etc. These people are personifying the early church without thinking twice, and I am forever grateful.

We're not releasing too much information at the moment, mainly because the adoption is not finalized and we're not on the island yet. However, I wanted to let everyone know the latest news. We have walked this journey step by step with so many of you. You've laughed with us, cried with us, ran with us, and so much more.

Now is the time to CELEBRATE WITH US!

Please continue to be in prayer for a smooth and expeditious process while we're there, pray for us as we have to be separated so soon after becoming a family, pray for safe travels, please pray for healthy attachment and bonding to occur as we begin caring for our boy. We're also continuing to pray for our child's birth mom. We both had the opportunity to speak with her. I told her that my gratitude to her will be eternal. She made a selfless decision that is directly related to the deep love and commitment she has for our child. This decision will forever make me a Momma. This decision will make us a family.

Adam and I (finally!) got to go on our long awaited shopping trip to Target. I soon realized I have little to no self control as it pertains to adorable little boys clothes.

Oh, this child is so incredibly loved and I pray that he can feel it although we're oceans apart. I can't wait to be there and meet my son. I can't wait to hold him! Oh, that moment will be so overwhelming. Praise God for going ahead of us and leveling the mountains! (Isaiah 45:2)

We serve a mighty God. Adam and I are so blessed.

*This trip is not without risk, nothing in the adoption world is. We are stepping forth in faith believing that God will complete what he has started.