Surprise! We adopted a baby girl! (Our Adoption Story, Part 1)

Surprise! We adopted a baby girl!

It may seem like a huge surprise to some, but for me, it was a ten-year journey. Before I tell you how we got Baby M, let me tell you how we got there…

Way back in 2007, through some random events, God placed the desire to adopt on my heart. Now mind you, I didn’t meet Mr. Right until 2009… and we didn’t start dating until 2010. So before I met him, I knew that someday, with someone, I wanted to adopt.

And then I met Mr. Right, and after things got serious, we started talking about our hopes for a family, and I shared my desire to adopt. His response, “I’d love that too!”

And that was that.

Our question was never IF we were going to adopt… but WHEN. We decided to try for a biological child and see what God would do, and after many months of trying, and a high risk, difficult pregnancy, He gave us Wrenn. She was my miracle baby, my answer to many, many months of prayers.

Two years later, we decided to try for one more biological child, and we got pregnant almost immediately. What a wonderful surprise! And then, all too soon, we had a miscarriage and lost our precious Baby Truett.

I was almost 35, and my ticking biological clock was almost deafening. Should we try one more time for a biological child, or was this God telling us that now was the time for adoption? I felt like if we committed to adoption, we would be forever closing the door to a biological child, which seemed to have such forever consequences.

We decided to just pause and pray (and heal). And both of us came to the conclusion that it was time to adopt. Not right that minute… but that our next child would be through adoption.

Now we had a plan, but no timeline. Mr. Right wanted to wait a full year before we started the adoption process, so we could enjoy some peace and healing as a family. After a difficult few years of health problems, job changes, etc., we were finally enjoying some fun and easy times as a family. I wanted to adopt yesterday. It was one of those times that we decided to just pray separately and see what God did.

And God changed Mr. Right’s heart overnight. One day, a few months after we started praying about it, a friend at lunch casually mentioned that an adoption agency was low on adoptive parents. She knew that someday we wanted to adopt, and thought she’d simply pass the info along. We decided to give the agency a call (What could it hurt, right?), and after one conversation, Mr. Right was all in.

That was in January 2016.

 (more to come…)

My Epic Solo Roadtrip – The Backstory

I’m sitting in my condo with the balcony doors open wide so I can hear the sound of the waves crashing outside. The ocean is one of my favorite sounds in the whole world. It’s both relaxing and also a wonderful reminder of how powerful my God is. He made those waves. He made that ocean. And He is so much bigger and more powerful than anything He created.

Here’s how I got here:

About 18 months ago, I found myself. Really found myself. As weird as it sounds, I believe the catalyst was our miscarriage. It was so heartbreaking, but that tiny, unborn baby has brought me such healing and confidence and bravery. What a legacy.

I think it was the catalyst because for the first time in my life, I walked through grief – deep grief – in a healthy way. I gave myself space to hide away from the world for a whole month. I was really open about my self-care. I was frank when people would ask how I was doing and I would tell them, “I’m feeling pretty awful, so I’m going to hide away for a few weeks and mourn and heal, and then I will go back to living.

I also learned during that time, even more vividly than I already knew, that my God is a great comforter. And He can handle it when I lean into Him with my grief and my stress and my anxiety and my fears of the future and my insecurities and even my anger. He can handle it. He did handle it.

A month after our miscarriage, Mr. Right and I got our matching tattoos. He thinks that was a turning point in my life – where I just went for something big. A tattoo is not big to the average person, but to me, the ultimate rule follower, it was SO big. It was one of the first times in my life that I decided to do something and didn’t care a bit what other people thought. I did it for me.

As a life-long people pleaser and rule follower, the past 18 months have been so freeing. It’s like at the age of 34, I realized that the people around me love me and don’t care if I have a tattoo. Or pink hair (which came later). Or a perfect home, job, family, apperance… life.  And the ones who do care – well, I don’t really care anymore what they think. And not in a “I don’t love people and care about them” way. No, it was more of a “I’m going to put on my big girl panties and just be Bethe and not worry about what others think about me” way.

I finally felt free.

At age 34.

Now, 18 months later, just two weeks shy of 36, I am celebrating finding my voice. I’m celebrating the things that God has shown me about Himself. I’m celebrating my marriage to my husband – which is so far from perfect, but is also such a gift from God. I’m celebrating being a mom to a daughter who is a delight. And a hand-full.

But I’m not just a wife. Not just a mom. Not even just an employee. I’m not defined by those titles.

I’m just… Bethe.

Before this gets too fluffy, let me also say that we have been walking through something really hard this year. So very hard. Just three weeks ago I experienced one of the greatest traumas – one of my worst case scenarios – and it hurt. And so I did the thing I did after my miscarriage – I holed up at our house and told people I didn’t want to face the world. But that it was only temporary. That I’d be back. Because now I know that you can grieve now, or you can grieve later, but you WILL grieve. And so I leaned into the grief, and slept and slept and cried and got angry at my lot and had some very frank conversations with my Creator. And guess what… He can still handle it.

The details of the trauma doesn’t matter. In due time, I will share all the details with you (goodness… if you know me in “real life” you already know all of it… or at least, most of it). But the type of trauma doesn’t matter. It’s the way you overcome it. The way you trust your Savior with your hurt that matters. It’s the way you get back up and keep living that matters.

And so that’s why I’m here.

A week after my worst case scenario happened, Mr. Right and I were on a fancy date, celebrating life in the midst of heartache. And he hatched his idea for me to go on an epic solo road trip to visit my girlfriends. To see my girlfriend who moved to Orlando, and my other girlfriend who moved to Oxford, Mississippi. ­To stop and spend some time at the beach. To rest, and to heal, and to have special girl time with my friends. To just drive and drive and spend some alone time with my God and a good audio book. To find an adventure. To celebrate finding my voice.

And so two weeks later, I’m here. And now you know. I’m out here, driving 1500 miles alone over 7 days, to celebrate. To celebrate life. And freedom. And growth. And healing. To not be a wife or mom or employee or any other label I have given myself. To just be Bethe.

To feel free.

Today is my due date, but my arms are empty

We suffered a miscarriage over the summer. It was awful and painful and so very sad.  My husband and I mourned together, and then kept on going, because that’s what you do. God has given us tremendous grace and peace over the past few months.

We got tattoos to remember our baby. I think about him (or her) every single day. We hit what would have been the halfway point, and I thought about what my growing belly would have looked like. We would have had a gender reveal party, and I know little Wrenn would have been so excited about being a big sister. We would have prepared a nursery, and fretted over how Wrenn would adjust to a new baby. We would have planned ahead – I would have planned to be out on maternity leave and away from work, we would have cleared our schedules for the spring as we soaked up the wonderfulness and pure craziness of those first few weeks with a newborn in the house.

Our sweet Truett Lennon would have been due today, March 12. March should have been a month of celebration – of holding our new child and inhaling that sweet baby smell. We would be exhausted from lack of sleep and round-the-clock nursings and sitting around all day staring at our tiny wrinkled darling.

But he’s not here. My arms are empty. Our schedule hasn’t been cleared. We aren’t making adjustments and Wrenn isn’t a big sister. Instead, I’m left with a hope that I will one day see my precious child in heaven. Until then, I will grieve and thank  God for the comfort he provides me every day. Including today.

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Habakuk 3:17-19

A miscarriage – Halfway through what might have been

Right now I should have been halfway through my pregnancy with Baby Truett. I would already know his or her gender – we probably would have had a big party to do a proper reveal. We both felt it was a boy in our gut, but I’m usually wrong, so who knows.

Right about now I would be feeling those first flutters – kicks that feel more like gas bubbles and are my favorite thing about being pregnant. I would be getting a nice, round baby bump and shopping for fall maternity clothes and secretly mourning the fact that I wouldn’t get to indulge in any of the fall fashions in the window displays at our local mall.

Well, now I get to shop for “regular” fall clothes.

I should be well into my second trimester – those blissful middle months of more energy, less nausea, and finally looking pregnant instead of fat. We’d probably be preparing a nursery, arguing over colors and fretting about getting Wrenn out of her crib so she could pass it on to her baby brother or sister.

When we first found out about our miscarriage, a wise friend warned us that after our initial time of mourning, we would find ourselves grieving again at random times. Small triggers hiding around corners that catch you by surprise on a seemingly normal day. And she was right. It has been mostly smooth sailing through this thing called grief, and yet every once in awhile it surprises me and catches me off guard, and I get sad again as I think about what should have been, but what isn’t.

The meanest joke has been that I may not have a baby here in my arms, but I still had to walk through many of the same postpartum maladies I experienced with Wrenn. My hair fell out again, just like it did after I had Wrenn. It fell out in clumps and we found it all over our house, clinging to every dark shirt it could find. My sleek ponytail is back to having all sorts of stray baby hairs growing in where the longer ones fell out. I went through the same joint pain in my legs and feet that I had Wrenn – enough to be in a decent amount of pain every single day for months. Just like with Wrenn, the pain is now waning and will soon go dark – nothing I can’t live with, but still a cruel, daily reminder of the child I don’t have.

And I gained weight. I’m totally blaming that on the pregnancy and not on the fact that I may have eaten one too many rich meals with Mr. Right as we tried to find fun ways to spend our time over these past few months. Either way, my pants BARELY button. It’s just one more way to feel a little less than I did before this happened.

I share this, not for your sympathy, but because nobody told me that my hair would fall out or that my joints would hurt after losing my child. Only one person warned me of the way this grief would manifest itself – in waves, hiding in unexpected places, ready to catch me by surprise. And so, I apply my life’s motto of “Me, too” to this experience as well. Ladies, may our transparency be a blessing to other women who join our club after us. You’re not alone. You’re normal.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in ALL our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

That one time Mr. Right and I got matching tattoos

{Gulp} This is the post where I admit to my mother that I got a tattoo.

I should start by telling you that I don’t even have my ears double pierced. I never pierced my nose or my belly button. I’ve never been in major trouble. I am the chief of all rule followers. I don’t have a rebellious bone in my body. I am a conformist.

Now that I got that off my chest, let me tell you how it happened.

Last month was simply lousy. Hard, and sad, and exhausting. We were no longer in that wear your stretchy pants, binge on ice cream and watch Seinfeld re-runs all night phase. But we still needed some FUN. We needed to laugh and escape from reality and make some special memories as a couple. So Mr. Right surprised me with the news that he had booked us a house through Air BNB, made dinner reservations, and coordinated child care with his parents.



Mr. Right found us the absolute cutest duplex in the Museum District in Fort Worth, just 15 minutes from our house. I started the weekend by checking in and going straight down for a nap (my favorite luxury in the whole wide world), while Mr. Right got a massage. Then we got dressed up and went for dinner at American Food & Beverage. I highly recommend the Chorizo Scotch Eggs and the House Made Ricotta. It could have been my whole meal (but of course I also got the fried chicken because, well, I’m fun like that).

PicMonkey Collage

At dinner I casually mentioned that I had been thinking about getting a tattoo in honor of the baby we lost last month. I had been wanting to have something tangible to remember him or her by. We had already agreed to give him a name (because the thought of a nameless baby breaks my heart), but I needed something more. Something to mark the experience.

Mr. Right totally called my bluff. “Let’s go tonight!” he said.

I was thinking more along the lines of maybe in five years or forty years or probably never. But whatever. I got so nervous thinking about it that I ran to the bathroom and got sick. You know, because I’m so good at being a rebel and stuff.


But I did it. We left the restaurant and went to a tattoo parlor in Fort Worth and got MATCHING TATTOOS. Me. This girl.

Let’s just say that I’m probably the least cool person who has ever set foot in that tattoo parlor. And the most square. And I’m pretty sure we made their night with all my questions like “What’s the smallest tattoo I can get?” and “How thin can you make it? No… thinner…”

Let’s also say that my new tattoo is VERY small, and VERY hidden. It’s never going to see the light of day.

Mr. Right and I both got our baby’s initials. It’s so special to me and means that I will have my baby on my being until the day I die. He (or she) will be with me forever.  I feel like we took a very sad experience and created a really happy memory. Together. Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

Mr. Right and I haven’t laughed this much in years. We giggled through dinner, through the whole tattoo experience, the rest of the night, and woke up still laughing about it. I mean, come on – WE HAVE MATCHING TATTOOS! That’s just funny.

After that, we slept late, went to brunch, and were back home by lunchtime, snuggling our kiddo. And still laughing.

{Oh – and not to worry… I went ahead and called my mom and told her about the tattoo so she wouldn’t read about it in a blog post. Because I’m a rebel, but not THAT much of a rebel.}

How to love and care for a mom after a miscarriage

With rejoicing

I’ve watched loved ones walk through extreme grief, so I felt like I had a pretty good idea of how to show love to someone walking through it. But you always gain a better understanding once you walk through it on your own. This isn’t one of those posts where I tell you all the things you need to avoid saying, or not do, so as not to upset your friend. Because really, I knew that people around me were trying their best to show me love. And I understood.

But we all want to love people well. Based on my own experience with having a miscarriage, here are some ways to love on a mom after a miscarriage:

1. Tell her you love her, but don’t expect anything in return.

Walking through grief can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning as waves of emotions toss you around. As soon as I told friends and family, the calls and texts started to flood in. And I couldn’t bear to talk to anybody. Not a one. But just having them reach out to me in my time of personal crisis helped me to feel supported. Knowing I was prayed for got me through those fits of tears. It reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

Give her room to be a lousy friend. She’ll come back when she’s ready.

2. Share your own story.

If you’ve had a miscarriage, share your story of how you grieved. One of my friends texted me almost every day and would tell me the things that she grieved over. Many were the exact same things I was crying over. I wondered if my baby was a boy or a girl. I was heartbroken that he didn’t have a name (so I gave him a name). I longed to hold him in my arms. I missed the feeling that my body was carrying life. I began to dread what would happen next March when my due date comes and goes.

Sharing your story gives your friend the freedom to share hers. Don’t share the sugar-coated version, but be real. And listen. You might become a safe person to confide in.

3. Acknowledge the loss, but don’t worry about what you say.

My favorite response was from someone at work who just hugged me and said, “It sucks.” Because you know what? IT ROYALLY SUCKS. So just say it like it is. I didn’t need to hear words of wisdom or have someone make it better. I just needed to hear people say they loved me and they loved my baby and then give me room to put on my tough face to get through the outing. I didn’t want to cry on any shoulders in public. But a quick acknowledgement and a “How are you doing?” helped my heart. Because it was still a big deal to me. The biggest deal.

4. Pray. Pray. Pray.

When you’re hurting the most, sometimes it’s hard to know what to pray for. There just aren’t enough words. Or energy. Or tears. And that’s the time when you need other people to pray on your behalf – to know that you’re surrounded by people passionately crying out to God for you. So pray for your friend who is hurting, then shoot her a quick text message or drop her a note in the mail and let her know what you prayed.

Friends who have experienced a miscarriage – what other ways were you loved and cared for? I’d love to hear from you!


We had a miscarriage

I found out I was pregnant on Mr. Right’s birthday. It was something we had been hoping for, but still, it was such a wonderful surprise. I wrapped this and gave it to him as a birthday present.

baby announcement - Wright

He was so happy! We ended up telling our families that night, because we were SO excited. And also because we knew that we were already at a very high risk for miscarriage and needed our prayer warriors. I had some complications during the first trimester of my first pregnancy and at one point, my doctor told me that the odds were stacked against Wrenn, but through a miracle from God, Wrenn beat those odds.

I was having those same complications with this second pregnancy, so the doctor pulled me in for some testing. It took a week of monitoring my hormone levels, with many long waits between test results. Oh, how I hate the waiting for test results.

I got the news one week after I found out I was pregnant, that we had an indeed lost our precious baby. By that time, I already knew that in my gut, although I was still clinging to the hope that I was wrong. All of those pregnancy symptoms were gone, and my soul just knew that our precious baby was no longer with me.

I’ve had friends and family members who have lost a baby. When I started to share our news with those around us, I was amazed at how many people have been carrying that same secret around. That same pain. I feel like I have joined a club that I didn’t want to be a member of. A club where I will meet my child for the first time in heaven instead of here on earth.

This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.


Grief is a strange thing. I only knew I was pregnant for a week, so I only had those hopes and dreams of what my child would be like for such a short time. Just seven days. Other than a tiny bit of nausea, I never felt this baby.  And yet, when I found out he was gone, it was devastating. It was a life lost. A future gone. A part of our family that would be missing forever. The emotions have hit me in waves. I am totally fine, and then the grief hits me and I cry and cry and cry. One minute my heart is so heavy, and the next I am experiencing joy. Regular joy. I’m fine. And then not fine. And then fine… back and forth. Back and forth.

I took off a few days from work and decided to just be. To experience the grief, to give myself margin to feel and to mourn. I didn’t want to be around people, to spend the energy talking about regular things when MY BABY HAD JUST DIED. My friends and family were so wonderful to both of us, sending us flowers and chocolates and calling and texting and saying so many prayers on our behalf. I was too sad to respond to most of them, but they were so special to me. I spent about two weeks quilting and gardening and playing with Wrenn, taking long naps and crying in my car and avoiding people whenever possible.


Here is what I know:

1. God is still good.  He was good when he did a miracle and saved Wrenn despite the odds, and he is still good, even though this precious child passed. My God is sovereign, and just, and loves my babies more than I do. I will continue to praise him even on days that my heart hurts. Please know that, my friends.

2. We’re going to be okay. Things are already better. It has been a month now, and I honestly feel like my old self again. Most of the time. That awful cloak of sadness seems lighter. I have been warned that it will hit me at weird times, but for today, I feel better than I did yesterday. I know that one day I will get to hold my child in heaven, to introduce him to Wrenn and my other future kiddos and smother him in kisses.


In the meantime, I wanted to share my story with you, my dear readers, because the stories others have shared with me have been so comforting. Many people choose not to speak of a miscarriage,  and I completely understand. But I also have always found that the most comforting words to hear are, “Me too.” Those words bring me hope – that God can redeem hurt and loss by giving me a “Me too” when someone else is hurting. To be able to empathize with their pain and let them know that they will be okay.

So here I am… me too.