I’m freaking out here!

Ever want something really bad and then suddenly feel terrified you might get it?

I felt that way about marriage.

Loved my man. Loved our love. Couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle…

But then I wondered:

What if my quirky bedhead hair isn’t nearly as cute as I think it is?

What if we run into rough spots and in the process run each other over?


Or when my baby girl Samantha came into the world. I couldn’t wait to see her, touch her, cuddle her close.

But then I wondered:

What if she looks at me, and then looks to heaven: “This is the best you could give me, God? Seriously?”

And then I pictured ten years down the line as she sits in front of a therapist.

“So my mother dropped me on my head… shudder…and now I’ll never become the NASA engineer I was born to become.”


I had a similar thing happen just yesterday.

We got great news . Fabulous news, really. Our boys made it out of IBESR in Haiti. In miraculous time. That means their case files are on to the next step in the adoption.

Best case scenario, we could have them home in nine months.

I was reading on the adoption forum and other parents in the same position were praising God and celebrating with multiple explanation points.

Meanwhile I spent a sleepless night freaking out.

It suddenly became so real. How will we manage our three Haitian children and our little baby girl? How will I cuddle them all? Meet their needs? Help them with the hurt they will carry? How will I not manage to do something utterly stupid… like drop someone on his or her head?

I felt so little and the future felt so big.

I asked God to help me. I asked him to give me perspective. I asked him to make me a better woman than the sniffly mess I was in the moment.

He was so kind.

As the morning wore on, I felt like He whispered something specific to my heart. It wasn’t something I would typically think, so I felt more certain it was from my God.

Loving these children will bring you to life…

I pondered that. I sat in it. Life. Loving and serving these beautiful gifts will bring me to life.

I  won’t do it perfectly. I will say something stupid or do something foolish. Prayerfully I won’t drop anyone on his or her head… but I very well might make a mess out of their brussel sprouts or goof up their snowman with my supposed creative genius.

It will be difficult. Messy. Painful.

But here’s where I missed something. In my desire to prepare my heart for my children, I’ve focused a lot on the difficult aspects of parenting: adoption issues, attachment and trauma. Specifically for our Haitian kids, I’ve thought in terms of strategies, techniques – how we can best serve them. I’ve thought about learning the Haitian language and how to cook Haitian food. I’ve broken down parenting into strategy and tactics.

All of that is good. But I forgot how much I will LOVE individual moments with them:

Snuggling them close after bath time

Making snow angels in the winter

Playing Marco Polo as we splash in the rec center pool

Getting flour-covered as we bake Christmas cookies

Making them laugh as I act my utterly goofy self during story time

Playing, laughing, sharing, living…. Loving.

Left on my own, I may enter old age focusing on my creaky knees and growing wrinkles. And I think that’s what God was trying to tell me.

Loving these children will bring our family to life.

Because that’s what love does for every single one of us. As messy, painful, goofy, broken as we all are… loving others changes us. Makes us better. Bigger. Stronger. Littler. Humbler. Weaker.

More beautiful than ever.

We may not get everything right, but these beautiful children will know that their slightly crazy parents think the world of them. They’ll know we would move heaven and earth to see them grow to joyful adulthood. They’ll know we spend hours on our knees asking God to protect, love, comfort and strengthen them.

They’ll know that even if we don’t do things perfectly, we’ll give it all we have. We’ll educate ourselves and get resources and be diligent – but we will also do our best not to forget the joy of simply doing life together…

And then maybe life will come. For each and every one of us.




Wilna and Lovence




Savannah Grace

Disclaimer: I have never – nor do I ever plan on dropping a child on his or her head. Simply added that for dramatic effect.

Just in case anyone was worried.

16 thoughts on “I’m freaking out here!

  1. God is so good. He spoke to you and met your need. And the rest of us get to be blessed too! So excited that things are moving with the adoption! All your little ones are beautiful.

  2. Beautiful, Elsa. Thank you for sharing. You know in scripture “life” is thought of as nourishment or support so it seems your thoughts are completely valid! These children will bring nourishment to your entire family. No worries as you just have been filled with an over abundance of butterflies right now. They are in your stomach, head, and heart but remember butterflies are beautiful creatures!!! Praying for you all on this incredible journey!!!

  3. So glad you and Brian are on this journey, can’t think of two other people who have enough love overflowing to shower those children. Blessings.

  4. You can do this. Along the way the Lord will bring others to help and love you through and love your kids through the rough spots. You go into this with your eyes wide open but more than that you and Brian have your hearts wide open. You will be blessed immensely so you can in turn bless your children. And who knows, one day I might just show up at your door to help. In the meantime you know the prayers go up from Florida.

    I was just telling our DC group last night that you are my hero. Yes mam I did tell them that! ♫♪♫♪ Did you ever know that your my hero…… ♫♪♫♪ LOL. Love you and I’m here for ya!

    • Linda, I will be taking you up on your wisdom. I was just thinking of you the other day, thinking I need to learn more from my dear friend! Thank you for your kind words and your support. I love you, Linda!

  5. I’m laughing at how good God is. Just yesterday I found out that the foster baby I’ve had for 9 mo. will most likely be available for me to adopt. I started worrying about being a single Mom, on the ugly side of 40 (heard someone say that recently and thought so funny), and similar things to what you were saying.. Then got your email this morn, and felt so encouraged by the thought of this precious little one bringing life to my family. And he has so much already. What a joy he has been to me and my kids. Elsa, not sure if you remember me, but I emailed you last yr. about how much I enjoy your segments of DC. Your kids are beautiful. I appreciate how you share your real life self.

  6. How beautiful Elsa. I know you and Brian both have enough faith and God has enough grace. You WILL NOT fail these children. God knows you have enough love for all or them, that’s why he’s entrusting them to you. How blessed you are! Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Dear Elsa,  My eyes are still damp from reading your latest blog.  God is entrusting you and your family with these precious Haitian children in addition to your existing family and I’m sure the reality sometimes gives you pause.  But there is no doubt in my mind that he has chosen well and that you all will be sufficient to the challenges ahead because of His grace.    Wilna is such a beautiful child – I know you, and I couldn’t agree more, feel that it is imperative that she be adopted as well as the boys.  If there is anything I can do to aid in the process just let me know.   I’m so glad that Brian is safely back in Colorado. I am already praying for your safe journey in a few weeks.   In His Love,  Nat


  8. Elsa, reading the comments from your friends – well I couldn’t add any more encouragement to their loving thoughts. But I also want to relate what you are feeling when facing your future with these children to what we may face in our lives. It’s like any task that God gives us worth doing – it’s always bigger than we feel we can handle. Your words, on how you are honestly dealing with your feelings, can relate to each and every one of us. We are all hoping, waiting, learning, trusting that God is able. I can see that you believe that He is able to finish the work He started in your heart, Brian’s and those 4 little ones. Even when it’s daunting. You may not feel you have all the skill set, patience or wisdom, at hand for this BHAG (remember the Big Hairy Audacious Goal?) but God put the love in your heart to start it all. He’ll provide all the rest. Even for your children. Thank God, yes, even for our children – even when we don’t see it. We can trust His amazing love for them. Thanks Elsa – keep those letters coming! You bring delight and hope with the kind of perspective that strengthens so many, even during our hopeful “Wait.”

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