And This Is Who I Am…

DSC_0163I expected my twenties to include diaper changes and breastfeeding. Like anyone whose pump had been primed for parenting, I assumed that “trying” to have children meant conceiving children.

A few long years later, I was ushered into motherhood through the back door.

A dream that we had to adopt, birthed when we were young and had eyes full of great expectations for our life, happened in a way we didn’t quite anticipate.

But like any move of God, it was better than we ever imagined.

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So. I am a mother of five whose birth canal bridged the expanse between the United States and Africa. Former-orphan Ethiopians, Meskerem and Asnake became Eden and Caleb. And then, from Uganda: Hope and Lily Joy wear their names in our home. The Hagerty line now includes Africans who are my living, breathing reminders of the faithfulness of Jesus. And after 12 years of asking, we welcomed a biological son in October of 2013, named Bo.

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I have been a follower of this Man, actively, since a cold, snowy night at a Young Life camp brought with it a message of hope for my 15 year-old soul.

After being a wife and mother, I am a writer. (My first book is being released in October 2014 through Zondervan – Every Bitter Thing is Sweet: Tasting The Goodness of God in All Things)

It was after almost a decade of Christian life when I was introduced to pain and perplexity and, ultimately, intimacy with Jesus. God met me and moved me when life stopped working for me. And out of the overflow, came my writing.

As the runner said, I write, because when I do, “I feel His pleasure.” And I’m honored to share what comes out of that exchange, here.

My life has been filled with detours and it’s in the re-routing that I’m finding that He gets bigger and I get smaller. I hope and pray this is clear in my writing.

As my husband says, in regards to growing our family, “we’ve only just begun.”

To that I respond: Amen. May it be so over every part of my life.

[I absolutely treasure your stories. I love the memorials coming my way. What’s being erected over your lives is fuel in mine: He is good. With a life of four-being-restored and two of us not too far ahead of them, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to respond to every email, message and comment. Though the demands under my roof may not allow much time to respond to these, please know I am honored by what you’ve sent me and the time you took to tell me your story. They are gifts to me.

You can contact me by emailing: sara(at)everybitterthingissweet.com. Though I may not be able to respond to every email, I am so blessed by each one.]

Comments
47 Responses to “And This Is Who I Am…”
  1. Jamie says:

    OK, I have to admit that I definitely do feel like I am reading your diary. This is WAY more than I share with my husband and this probably does not shock you since we all know that I am not the emotional, touchy feely friend :) . That said, I LOVE that you guys did this. I cant stop reading and re-reading it. I have spent Luke’s whole nap time engulfed in your blog!!! I am SO excited for you – You guys inspire me. Luke CAN NOT WAIT for his new friends to arrive!!!!

  2. Julie says:

    Wow. I am continually amazed at your sensitivity to God’s soft voice, leading you daily deeper into his heart. I pray for blessings on your journey, and rejoice for two young girls in Ethiopia who are months away from being enveloped in God’s love, displayed through their two amazing parents. Chris and I talk of you often, and will continue to pray – now for the four of you.

  3. Christy says:

    Hey Nate and Sara! It’s been a long time…I’ve heard about your desire to adopt from Ethiopia and wanted to add ourselves to the list. We’re considering adopting a little girl though haven’t started the process yet. Thanks for the blog and encouragement!

  4. Hi from the Howlett family. Just found your blog on the IAN blot site….and we LOVE it! Can’t wait until your season of “pause” comes to an end and we can journey along with you.

    We are a family of 5 now–we brought our daughter home four short months ago. Our children have come in a variety of ways….but this adoption, and our experience in Ethiopia, have been the most beautiful and the most shattering.

    In Christ,
    the Howletts
    http://www.thehowletts5.blogspot.com

  5. Heidi says:

    So glad to have run into Nate at Sam’s Club today! I enjoyed hearing the high points of your adoption story, and now reading more of the details here. I will definitely keep you and the children in my thoughts and prayers. As I told Nate, they are landing buttered-side up, finding their home with you. Look forward to good news and to meeting them “sooner than soon”!!!
    Best,
    Heidi Johnson

  6. Uncle Bill says:

    Congratulations!!!!
    We can’t wait to meet your wonderful little angels!! Please get settled back into life and then when you plan a trip up to see your Mom and Dad, take an extra day or two and spend them with us. Perhaps we can have our grandchildren her at the same time.
    Its wonderful here at the lake!!

    Sara, I have a hard for me reading your beautiful entries. You make your old uncle cry. ITs amazing to see the love of life, God and family in what you write. Its easy to see that it comes from your heart and ite pure!

    Congrats again and please let us know that you can stop in for a visit?!?!

    Love, Uncle Bill & Aunt Pam Lacure

  7. Heather Engel says:

    Hi Sara and Nate,

    Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you two!

    Love,
    Heather

  8. Shawna Koehl says:

    Hello Sara and Nate -

    My mom passed your great news along to me. Congrats on your two children. It’s been a long journey for you two, and you both seem like two very deserving people. And your children are very lucky :)

    Shawna

  9. Hi Sara and Nate-

    My friend Kim Breining passed us your blog address and I have to say, your story is inspiring and reassuring.
    We have been on a domestic adoption journey for 2 + years now and may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after having gone through 2 failed matches. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so great to hear that God is working in other’s lives. Congratulations on your new family additions!

    Sincerely,
    Maria and Scott

  10. Michelle says:

    It’s me again… I just couldn’t help but reply once more as I looked at your adoption timeline. Isn’t God amazing… Bethany was born November 2004! God had such amazing plans for our two families. It reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11.

  11. juliannegross says:

    Hey ya’ll! so fun to read about you all and see the recent pics – they’re great! they spill forth joy – thanks! would LOVE to all hang out together and play together sometime, we’ll see how the Lord brings all of us together! Are ya’ll coming to Onething? Just curious, I know there’s a group from Richmond coming [and crashing on our floor!] Oh, FYI, we’re not going to Ch’ville this Christmas, we are spending it together as a family here in KC esp. now that Michael is older… I miss you! Much love, Julie Gross :0)

  12. I saw your adoption timeline – we are so hoping to get our referral in the next month. I hope we can do the same and receive our daughter in the next few months. God knows the timing…so just have to trust it.

  13. Nancy says:

    Hello! Chris Park suggested I check out your blog… We are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. (Actually, close to travel! Yikes!)

    Enjoyed your blog — my daughter Camille is reading it now!

    • Sara says:

      Congratulations Nancy (and Camille)! Bet you can’t believe it’s finally here?!

      Ethiopians are such beautifully hospitable people … you will love your time there.

      i’m jealous!

      Sara

  14. Camille says:

    You guessed it, I’m the daughter. In fact we’re leaving in just a few days and got our shots yesterday. Your kids are really cute! God bless you!

  15. Hey Sara & Nate, I’m a friend of Elizabeth’s from TJ. My husband and I adopted our son domestically but are interested in Ethiopia and would love any input/advice/recommendations on adoption agencies, etc that you’d be able to pass along!!! Thanks! -Sarah

  16. Jennifer says:

    Hi,
    I came across your site and would LOVE the opportunity to talk to you about adoption. My husband and I like in KC, MO. What agency did you go through and who did your home study? If you could shoot me an email, I’d really appreciate it! Thanks! Jennifer

  17. sarah says:

    I came across your blog on my tag reader and am excited to add it to my blog reader and keep up with your process. my husband an i are currently certified to adopt through the state of missouri but still trying to figure out where exactly God will use us in loving on orphans. i grew up as a missionary kid in kenya so africa has a special place in my heart. congrats on your kids and i’m sure God will be just as faithful in this next venture of yours.

  18. Hello Nate & Sara! I have been thinking a lot about you lately, and I thought I would say hi! I just read a few of your blog posts, and I think you should write a book. Really.

    I don’t think I have current contact information for you all — would it be possible to get your email?

    Hugs!

  19. Gwynn says:

    Sara, I don’t remember what made me think to finally search for you and Nate on facebook this morning but I did and I came to your blog from his profile. After reading as much as I can (as quickly as possible since I am at work, oops!) I have realized just how much I am missing without you in my life anymore. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts and updating myself on your life. Just as I always remembered it being, I find your thoughts and life inspiring me to want to walk even closer with God. I am so happy for you and Nate and your two beautiful children. I am only sorry that it has been so long since I have seen you both and now we are so far apart! I hope to see you some day in the not too distant future and I hope I get to meet your new additions!
    Much love to you and Nate!

    • Sara says:

      Gwynn,

      So good to hear from you! As you may have seen we have recently moved, so the likelihood of us bumping into you at Arch’s is slim :(

      If you’re ever out in Kansas City, look us up!

  20. michelle Outman says:

    Hi Sara,

    remember us? We are coming to KC for the week of Thanksgiving. We would love to meet you and Nate and see your precious children again. You know this would be an answer to many prayers for my Paeton. Please email me and let me know if we can meet up next week. joutman@charter.net

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  21. Kay Heikes says:

    Hey, Sara
    We live in Olathe which is about 20 minutes or so from you. We have 3 bio boys and an almost 2 year old daughter from Ethiopia. I really enjoy your blog and spiritual sensitivity. Would you ever be interested in meeting? I would love for my daughter to meet your kids.
    Blessings,
    Kay Heikes

  22. Jerusha says:

    Hi! Saw your post on We Are Grafted In…touched me deeply. We are in the process of adopting a special needs child from China–hope to receive a referral very soon. And we too live in Kansas City!
    Blessings,
    Jerusha

  23. David Rupert says:

    Sara…could you drop me a note?

    David Rupert, Editor, High Calling Newsletter

  24. Gabrielle says:

    Hi! I found your blog a few days ago and really enjoyed reading your adoption story, as my parents and I are in the process of potentially adopting out of the US. I remember reading something about Jon Thurlow’s Christmas CD in one of your posts and thinking “what if she was around the IHOP community? Nah….that’d just be too weird.” Turns out, you ARE around the IHOP community. Over the last several months, the Lord has really been wrecking my heart on the issue of adoption, and so much of what you’ve written about has been almost verbatim what I’ve prayed or felt. I am only 15, so I’m afraid I can’t relate too well to your experiences in mothering, but I would love to get to meet up with you around IHOP sometime and just talk about adoption and how to maintain an unoffended heart in that painful place of waiting. It might be weird for me to ask, since you don’t really know me, but if you would be at all interested in talking to a teenager for a little while, I’d love it if you’d send me an email.

    Thank you!
    -Gabrielle

  25. Future Adoptive Mom in Ontario says:

    Hello…
    First I want to thank you for taking so much time to share your life and adoption journey with us! So far, God’s plan for our life has not included biological children, and we’ve been feeling called to adopt a child internationally. We don’t personally know any other adoptive families or adoptees, so it’s somewhat of a scary journey to set out on!
    We are still in the process of deciding where to adopt from, and have been thinking a lot about Ethiopia. My husband has some reservations, and I am not sure what to think… I have done a ton of reading, and I’ve read over and over again how important it is to have friends that are also from bi-racial families, especially that of the same birth country as your own child. I am afraid of our child growing up without this type of connection and having trouble “fitting in” in our almost completely caucasian circle of family, friends and church circle.
    There is a family that I know of who adopted 6 children from different countries, and most of them ended up moving away from home to find spouses and friends of their own background and race……
    I’m sorry for the length of this note! Are my fears founded, or is this a far-fetched idea that is making us hesitate to adopt from Ethiopia?
    Feel free to email me if you have the time – I would love to hear back from you!

    • Sara says:

      Future adoptive mom,

      Thank you for leaving your comment! Would love to sit on this and send a more thoughtful response in a day or two after I’ve had some time to pray. I will email you directly.

      Sara

  26. Angela Miles says:

    Sara,

    I have been thinking about you and your beautiful family since we moved from Va. Your family is in our prayers for health and happiness, and I hope to keep in better touch. I am looking forward to taking some quiet moments to catch up on your blog and learn all the blessings of your family.

    Angela

    • Sara says:

      Hello old friend …thank you for finding me and saying hello!! You have such a thoughtful heart, Angela.

      Will find you on facebook :)

  27. MamaGee says:

    What a truely beautiful and inspiring piece of writing. God bless you richly :)

  28. heather says:

    sara,

    i just have to tell you how much i enjoy reading about everything going on with ya’lls growing family. I can’t wait for the day to meet eden and caleb and all of the blessings to come!! Just wanted to say HI and let you know how much i love reflecting on your wise words….

    heather

  29. Kathleen says:

    Hi Sara,
    I know your life will be very busy and full of adjustments for a while with the arrival of your newest ones. My husband and I are in the process of adopting our sweet almost 8 year old daughter from Ethiopia. Your blog has been such an encouragement to me as my heart is so hungry for her to come home. I think we may be “neighbors” and I am always looking for ways to bring a little bit of Ethiopia closer to our home here. If you feel led, I would love to hear from you. (I know this may seem a little weird………..or not.) Kathleen

    • Sara says:

      Kathleen -

      Thank you for your comment. And congratulations on your adoption — wow, an 8 year old girl?! I would love to connect eventually! We will likely be in “go” mode with our adoption for the next few months …but please feel free to email me come the fall: sarahagerty(a)gmail.com

      Warmly,
      Sara

      • Kathleen says:

        I will drop a note your way later on after you have had some time as family. Maybe we will know when our court day is by then. We already have 2 boys and 2 girls and they are desperate to have their sister home. Enjoy. Kathleen

  30. Kimmie says:

    what a beautiful testimony~He indeed is faithful.

    Kimmie
    mama to 8 *with one on the way (thru adoption)
    one homemade and 7 adopted

  31. Betty Stevens says:

    I am overwhelmed with how our Lord Jesus has worked with your beautiful family. God is so good. Betty

  32. Debi B says:

    Congratulations!!! I have been reading about your story through Mandie’s blog. I love seeing how God has brought you all together. We used to live in the KC area (Lenexa) and loved the strong adoption support community there! Have you ever heard of The Orphan Justice Center? Such a great encouragement to our hearts while we were there. BLESSINGS!!!!!!!

  33. Christina J says:

    Sara,

    Your blog has been a great encouragement to me, though it is often hard to get through a single entry without crying, especially because I also am ‘infertile’. I, too, expected that when we went off birth control, I would be a young mother any month now. A year and a half later, it’s starting to look like even the doctors can’t help (short of doing things like insemination, which I am not comfortable with right now). I heard through Kelly Tarr (we go to the same church) that you were able to at least get regular cycles through diet changes. Could you perhaps share with me some of the changes you made? With the possibility that the medical help door may be closing soon, I’m hoping to at least find a way to live normally, even if it is without children.

    Keep adoring Christ. There is no other way or hope, except in Him!

  34. Krystal says:

    Hi Sara, Thank you so much for your blog. My husband and I began praying about adoption last summer and in December began the application process to find our child in Uganda. Last summer your blog was one of the first “hits” I found when I googled Uganda adoption. I was really excited to share it with my husband. He was moved by your words and videos. It wasn’t until a few months later, and another visit to your blog, that I realized that we live in the same city! A friend of mine (Ashley–adopting two from Haiti, four bio…) met you recently at your church and I told her I so wished I could talk to you. So, here I am..I thought I’d try to at least talk with you via email. Our process is still in the early phase…but it would be great to talk with someone who has adopted from Uganda. If you have time, please email me. Thanks.

  35. Heather Radzinski says:

    Sara – I can’t believe I just found this. It’s so amazing! May God continue to give you the strength for this day and vision and hope for tomorrow!

    Lots of Love!

  36. Madeline says:

    This really touched me tonight! Thank you.
    Madeline

  37. Ambra says:

    Wow. What a wonderful site to come across. I am fighting a battle for my son and legal websites and meetings with attorneys are at war with the faith I have in God and the love I have for him and my son. I know that I am in his life as his mother for a reason and sometimes it does feel like I am alone in that knowledge. Thank you for pouring out your heart. It has touched mine and I feel renewed.

  38. Maria says:

    I am a Young Life leader in Northern VA, your blog and your story is SO inspiring! So amazing to hear how God works.

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