A Tribute to a Friend

I would be remiss if I failed to mention a sweet friend, a sister really. It's actually a little funny how alike we are! Our relationship began as members of the same church, grew to photographer of our engagement and wedding, to friend, to kindred spirit. I love Angela for so many reasons, but the reason she requires mention here, now, is because of our shared journey of infertility and adoption. One of the funny things about adoption are those rare occasions when the children look just like their adoptive parents, which is the case with Angela. Her son looks just like her and her daughter looks just like Joe, her husband, their dad. Since Scott and I were fairly new to the church, we had no idea they were adopted until one day, she mentioned their 'mom' and I stopped her to ask what she meant. She shared their whole, beautiful story and instantly our friendship deepened. She was, and still is, one of our biggest supports in this journey, but I don't know if she'll ever really understand how much her life, her example, her story, impacted me in such a powerful way. As I was worried I'd be less of a woman, or missing out on true motherhood if I never got pregnant, here was a woman, showing me how very wrong I was. She was a woman who absolutely loved her children she had spent years praying for. Almost every other woman I knew who struggled to get pregnant, finally had success. While they did understand the hurt and disappointment of infertility, they now had that bump- that baby. She did not. She had never conceived, making her the only example of a woman who moved forward with adoption, knowing she may never have her own, and she was ok. I know God used her at this time to show me, the world will not end if you quit trying. His plans are far greater than our own. Seeing that Angela was no less of a mom, or woman, without a biological child, brought a peace to my heart and helped get me to the point of surrender. I love her and Joe, I love her kids and I love that she loves us. God will use us, even when we think no one is watching, and I love that He used her to show me this truth. Angela shared this with me a few years ago. It is such a beautifully written description of adoption, I hope you take the time to read it.

By: Diane Armitage

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place; you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait - and wait - and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!"

After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, but we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."

"By BOAT?!" you ask. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea, rather than by air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip.

Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea, rather than by air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy."

You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.

So, this Thanksgiving, as I have just written about the moment I finally let go of MY dreams and gave myself over to GOD's plan, I want to tell my friend, Angela, I am thankful for you. You are a wonderful example of a loving and devoted mom and I'm so glad God brought you and I together when He did.