Oh hi there. Last time I wrote here was in May... 8 months ago in which we were in the season of Easter of the church calendar. Here we are now, right after another season of Advent. There is a lot of themes in Advent that are very relatable to me, after all it’s a season of waiting. I remember welcoming Advent the first year with such open arms and feeling like I really understood it more than ever. Second Advent in our waiting, I felt the comfort of a collective waiting. Here we are, third season of Advent waiting for the call and I feel a little over it.

The idea of darkness is one that sits really easily with me. It’s become comfortable almost. During this Advent, I found myself desperately wanting to shift to the light. Grasping to the idea that there is light in these dark days of waiting but to be honest, over 3 years of waiting, it’s hard to believe that. It’s been a heavy season lately in the wait, tears on the surface of most days and I really do dislike that part of the darkness. There isn’t anything wrong with crying and being sad of course, but I am so worn from it. We sang an old song set to new music at church one Sunday in Advent with the lyrics “silent as light”. I’ve always thought light as something big and bright, so this concept of light being quite changed that a little.

I have never done a “word for the year” before but I was finding myself more and more drawn to the word “light” to focus on in 2019. Then at the church I work at, for Epiphany Sunday our pastor of Spiritual Formation was teaching and she was passing out star words in the bulletins. From her Epiphany Sunday sermon:

"It doesn’t take much light to brighten our paths. It can be a small gesture or word or prayer that can lighten the darkest of times. And so, it is that we invite the light of the Christmas star into our own lives. Just as one very special star led the wise men to the revelation of Jesus as Messiah, we can invite God to lead our hearts closer to Christ in the year to come. We don’t celebrate the New Year as a holy holiday, but perhaps the story of the wise men allows us to do just that. The New Year is a fresh start- the opportunity to see clearly the path you are on, and to move forward toward Christ, with God’s guidance...Let your star be a word of encouragement or prayer or intention for the year to come. Keep this star with you. Place it somewhere that it can serve as a reminder or inspiration of Christ’s guiding light.”  

I asked Courtney, who gave the sermon, for a word. I was secretly thinking, “If my star word is the word ‘light’ then I should do this whole ‘word for the year’ thing”. My star word was not in fact the word “light”, but the word “promise”. Upon reading that word, I teared up at my desk. Apparently just as powerful even though it wasn’t the word I was expecting. Then the next day, Courtney was on the schedule to lead our Staff devotion which she asked us to pick a piece of art from a collection she laid out for us. “Choose the one that speaks truth to you today.”


This art now lives in my office right above my computer, along with my star word. The title of this art is “Festival of Lights”. I have said this in many ways before, but we have such amazing community of people with us in this waiting. When don’t believe the light will come or is near, this image speaks volumes. The days that feel terribly alone, it is a lie because this is an image of a sea of people who hold the light for us on days we just can’t. This has always been true in the wait.

I have gone from never doing a “word for the year” to having 2 words to focus on for 2019. For those of you who pray for us, maybe use these words as you do. I don't believe there is a greater power in these words of course. Having them though to help refocus my heart to things that are hard to believe a lot of days is a gift as the waiting continues.

Authoralisa windsor

I'm not sure I have ever called myself a reader, as much as I would like to be. However, there are authors who words I would say, have helped me navigate through life. While I have notebooks filled with their quotes, I don't tend to have them come to my mind as much as songs. All that to say, while other words have helped guide my life in many ways, songwriters probably play a larger part. One of them would have to be, Andrew Peterson. Him and Sandra McCracken rival for favorite singer/songwriter in my life.

Recently, I got to attend an Andrew Peterson concert. On the way to the show I told my friends last time I saw Andrew play I had told him I always cry at his shows. He told me he hopes that always happens. Andrew's lyrics have a very powerful effect on me, tends to say what words escape me. I had forgotten to put water proof mascara on the day of the concert but was ready for the tears just the same. Andrew had a full band with him so, I was take back at first at how upbeat and loud the songs were. What kinda Andrew Peterson show is this?! Andrew somehow read my mind and shared with the crowd that sorry if you came for the sad songs, we are in the season of Easter so we're going to sing Easter songs! I was a little annoyed I wasn't getting my sad songs because I want sad songs when I'm sad dang it!

He started to tell the story behind the song "All Shall Be Well" and I love hearing stories behind songs I have been listening to for years. Grateful for an old familiar song, suddenly I teared up. Suprised to find myself emotional at not even one of my favorite Andrew Peterson songs, nor a sad one!

"There's a light in the darkness

There's an end to the night..."

He repeated these lines, as to make sure I heard it. Once to get my attention and the next for my heart.

"And the night can be so long, so long
You think you'll never get up again
But listen now, it's a mighty cloud of
Witnesses around you—they say
"Hold on, just hold on
Hold on to the end
And all shall be well""

I was just in tears and it was so good for me to hear because while it's comforting to have sad songs met me where I am, I need Easter songs to remind myself that there hope. And our cloud of witnesses hope for us on the days the night is just too long. 

As another Mother's Day approaches, I have been asked by friends how I'm doing with it. Not great. It's terribly hard to not focus on what I am not that day. However, dear friends this week have told me how great of a community Mom I am to their kids and those words mean more than they know. I dream of the time when Mother’s Day becomes redeemed and I have many more of them with a child than not. However, I hope I never forget these Mother’s Days because there is always someone who will be where I am today. It can be so lonely to be the only nonMother in your friend group. I know I’m not the only one or the last. So maybe, like with my cancer journey, this part of my story can be helpful to others someday too. 

Not that Mother’s Day is a church holiday, but it’s intersting that it’s in the church calendar of Easter. This is a season of celebration! Spring is here! All things are new! I’m learning to lean into those Easter songs, which doesn’t take away my saddness, just helps hold joy and sorrow in the same hand.  


Baby Windsor got a rocker this week.  

Authoralisa windsor


It’s 2018. I want to believe this is the year. I believed that same statement at the start of 2017. My hope is like a well-worn, favorite shirt. A bit tattered, not as crisp as when I first got it. The fact that I still want to put it on, to wear hope, feels like the hardest move somedays. I’d rather just fold it up and tuck it away. Somehow it feels easier to not hope. I won’t be let down if I don’t think today will be the day.

I thought, maybe when I’m with my parents in California for Christmas, we’ll get the call – cause how fun would that be to have my parents in the same room when we get the news we’ve been waiting to hear for so many years? On my birthday, I thought, maybe we’ll get the call because that’s all I really want for my birthday. Instead there was no call and I sit with the thought I never picture myself as turning 36, childless.

See why it’s hard for me to wear hope often? This is why I am so glad for my community. I know, I am a broken record, but it’s the most beautiful hopeful thing I have in this season of waiting. Friends who ask me to be with their daughter for her Sunday morning nap and bring her to church. In thanking me, they refer to me as her community Mom (and I cry). Or other dear friends who ask Jason and I to be godparents to their children. Such a humbling request and honor to be asked. So days that are too hard to put on hope, friends come along side us to help us put it on or to wear it for us. We feel like we hit the jack pot when it comes to “our people”.

Friends at church recently baptized their daughter. The tradition is for each parent to speak words over their child. As I listened to them, I realized when our time comes, I will not be able to say words. I’ll just be crying, with joy, that I would be in that position. Believing that will be me someday, is hope. I have to give myself grace on the days I find hope just too hard. I googled the definition of hope “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” Maybe I do have hope more than I think I do.

Authoralisa windsor

"The journey towards God can have moments of excitement, joy and even rest, but it's unlikely that the journey will ever be easy. Easy is standing still. Easy is doing nothing. Moving forward always requires energy, determination, and letting go - and these are not easy things."  (A Labyrinth Year by Richard Kautz) 

At the start of our Staff meetings at my new job, one of us leads the rest in a time of meditation. A few weeks ago, this quote was read and it helped me realize something about waiting I could never find the words for. I have shared here before that forward moving things (painting the nursery, getting a crib, etc) helps because most days it feels like nothing is happening. It's been months of people asking us "Is there any update?" and we say "No, just waiting. Any day... for 26 months now." which is a reminder of no forward moment. So when I heard this idea of moving forward taking energy, determination and letting go and the fact that those things are not easy, brought me great comfort. Sometimes, I am just so worn down by the waiting that I do not have the energy to do things that feel forward moving and that's okay. 

We're officially in the season of Advent. Advent is SO my season right? Waiting? Oh, I got it. Not to say as I enter into my third Advent season of waiting for "the call" I don't have anything to learn because I always do. I just find tears always on the surface because waiting is a word used a lot this time of year. And what are we all waiting for? A baby. (I know our baby isn't the Son of God but still a baby) On days where I have the energy, I let myself fully feel the weariness and the sorrow I deeply feel all of the time. Waiting with hope and expectant hearts takes a lot of energy. A season of a collective waiting is what we need to stay forward moving. Our community constantly makes it known that they are in the waiting with us, but Advent has that special something to it.

To return to the mediation time that grabbed my heart's attention so much, we spent some time in silence then all took turns lighting a candle. Holding our hearts to the light. Then we closed in a prayer, which I will close this update with: "God of light, God of hope, be with us on this day."

Authoralisa windsor

Two years. Two years of offically waiting for a birth mother to choose us. Two years of waiting for our phones to ring with news.

I remember October 2015, excited but know we'd wait a while. Living life as a waiting family is one of the strangest experiences. Where "expecting" a baby, but no due date. You wonder a lot if there's something more you can do to get picked. Or is there something you should add to your lifebook to be more appealing to birth families. People tell you stories about they're friends, who are also in the adoption process, just got picked. You know they're saying it to encourage you but your left wondering, why them and not us? Not making big life decisions because you could get the call "any day". We've been waiting for our "any day"  for two years.

We have waited for things before. We know what waiting means. Somehow, this has been so different. We busy ourselves with forward moving things, but we're running out of books to read and things to do for the nursey. No matter how busy we are or things we do, we can not get the thought of what we are waiting for out our of minds. As the waiting has grown into years, it just gets harder because the reminder of what we long for is everywhere.

I want to believe in this idea that since we have been waiting this long that it HAS to be any day now. Right? Here we are, way past the "average" wait time. We've done an online profile and opened up to some surrounding states. I'm not sure how to hope, but I sing songs that remind me to. Somedays my heart fully believes, other days I sing these words to remind my doubtful heart (hence the  repetitiveness) that they are true:

I will say unto my God, my strength,

“How is it you have forgotten me?
O how long? O how long?”

Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him 

Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him
Put your trust in God,

I will yet give thanks to him

My help, my God

I spent a day away at a prayer retreat center where I spotted this statue right away. I put off going to pray by it, not because it's Mary and Baby Jesus, but because it's a women with a baby. Not something I thought I'd be seeing in this place. At the end of my time there, I sat right in front of this statue. I called my eyes and prayed for Baby Windsor and our birth mother. I asked God why it is taking so long. And then with my eyes still closed, I felt the sun come out from the clouds and shine it's light on my face. I'm never alone, I'm always being held in the light. 

I spent a day away at a prayer retreat center where I spotted this statue right away. I put off going to pray by it, not because it's Mary and Baby Jesus, but because it's a women with a baby. Not something I thought I'd be seeing in this place. At the end of my time there, I sat right in front of this statue. I called my eyes and prayed for Baby Windsor and our birth mother. I asked God why it is taking so long. And then with my eyes still closed, I felt the sun come out from the clouds and shine it's light on my face. I'm never alone, I'm always being held in the light. 

Authoralisa windsor

"Faith is a way of waiting—never quite knowing, never quite hearing or seeing, because in the darkness we are all but a little lost. There is doubt hard on the heels of every belief, fear hard on the heels of every hope, and many holy things lie in ruins because the world has ruined them and we have ruined them. But faith waits even so, delivered at least from that final despair which gives up waiting altogether because it sees nothing left worth waiting for.”

- Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark

I've started to write this update many times, and I cry every time so I put it off. The tears don't seem to be going anywhere, so I press on, with a very honest update. Waiting is a weary business. Here we are, 23 months into waiting for our baby and these days, it feels like it just will never happen. With that 2 years of officially waiting being next month, it's hard to believe.

What I do believe in is Emmanuel, which mean God with us. Emmanuel shows up in the friend who hands you her baby cause she knows baby cuddles is therapy. Emmanuel is in the prayer you didn't request because our people don't forget us. Emmanuel is the texts from friends hoping for us. Emmanuel is our parents being excited when we find it hard to be. Emmanuel holds our empty arms close to him always.

We wait and wait and wait. We have no choice but to do so. Wish I had something that felt forward moving instead of stuck in this limbo. Life feels like it's on hold. Even with having a nursey ready, it doesnt feel forward moving, it feels normal for it to be empty. I don't know why we are still waiting. I have my theories and guesses, but none of them are helpful or actually give answers. I struggle with feeling left out because I'm not a Mom. I worry we'll be super old parents. I have a hard time fighting the feeling of any of any this being fair. 

I hold to the promise that I read on so many adoption blogs (and a onesies a friend gave us): worth the wait. I can not wait (ha) for the day when I know that feeling to be true.

Authoralisa windsor

Our 6 months of waiting photo has 6 BIG baby items in it...high chair, doorway jumper, hippo walker, swing, exersaucer and a crib mattress. Everything was given to us by generous friends which simply blows us away (my Mom called it a mini-shower). Its hard to not think when walking into the guest room that a baby will soon be living in there! Other than its not set up at all, but these items give so much hope for "soon" to feel not so far away. I worried items like these would be a constant reminder of what we didn't have, but they haven't at all, just a reminder of hope that is not too far off.  

Last week I was in Jamaica for our youth groups 3rd trip to the Jamaican Deaf Village. Each year my love for this trip deepens because of the people and experiences we get to be a part of. The first year I went on this trip I was in a really hard place when it came to babies. I was a week shy of my last treatment for breast cancer (still had my port in!) and we visited a Children's Home. I wasn't nervous about anything else on the trip, other than I just didn't know how I'd respond to holding babies who needed a home when all I wanted was for a baby to be in our home. It was hard that year for sure, I remember those feelings like they were yesterday. Im thankful that these days, holding babies is like therapy to me and I just love it. No sadness that came with it just a few years ago. 

While in Jamaica I was talking with some of the missionaries there who asked how the adoption process was going. I told them that we're close to 6 months of waiting and they asked how long do you expect to wait? I told them a year and a half. In that moment, it clicked for me that a year and a half was April 2017. That there is a high chance I could not be on the trip to Jamaica next year, which I verbally processed out loud to them. There has only been one trip I didn't fully get to be a part of since starting my job over 8 years ago, and it was the summer of 2013 because of treatment. It broke my heart to watch all those vans drive away without me being on one of them. I got to be there for the last few days but it wasn't the same. When I explained to the missionaries that it would be really hard for me to not come next year, the wife said, you won't have as hard of a time not coming with a baby to hold at home. I know she is right, its a harder feeling to reconcile with at the moment. Also crazy to think about that at this point on... we are hopefully less than a year away!

A few days ago, something crazy good happened. We hit the $20k mark in fundraising! Currently we have $20,774 raised... thats only $4,226 left! And all of that has come from our super generous and loving community, which we can not thank you all enough for being our biggest cheerleaders through prayer and giving towards our adoption fund. Before we ever started this process, the biggest fear was having enough money to make it happen. Sharing this fear a dear friend told us "You guys could raise that, no problem. People love you." Which we know that our community loves us so much, even before any of this. Giving of your money to support our adoption, I wish I had the right words to tell you guys how much it means to us. Please know it means so much and each donation, no matter how much, brings hope to our hearts. So from every inch of our hearts, thank you guys for coming along in this long journey with us. Hoping with and for us has us in such an encouraging place. 



Authoralisa windsor