Welcome to Friend Friday! Where do I begin with today's guest? She is one of a handful of women who loved me well when I moved to TN. Words can never express the gratitude and love and admiration I have for this precious sister in the Lord. I'm eternally grateful she knocked on my door 14 years ago. It is with great pleasure I introduce you to one of my modern day heroines, Boo Sellers.
So honored and blessed to share a glimpse of my story during this month when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. How humbling it is to be writing this on the 3rd day of November, which is “National Adoption Month”. God always uses these moments to remind me of His faithfulness & that He has a plan and a purpose for everything we go through. That nothing is wasted. Before I begin I want to thank my awesome God for allowing me to share with you what He has done in my life by trading my ashes for His beauty. He makes everything beautiful in His perfect way and timing even when we can’t see the whole scope of His work from beginning to end.
My story begins on the day that my birth mom, by faith, made the most courageous, selfless act of love and chose to give me life and place me for adoption. That has been 48 years ago. I do no know anything about my birth mom other than she was young and moved from Michigan to California to live with her aunt until I was born.
When I was six weeks old I became part of the family that God had handpicked for me because my parents, by faith, chose to follow the path laid out for them. My parents told me from the very beginning, even before I could fully comprehend, that I was adopted and how special I was because I had been chosen. I had a good life growing up with parents who loved me and three older brothers who loved me and spoiled me just a little bit. I grew up attending church and started attending a private Christian school when I was in 8th grade until I graduated. I was taught right from wrong. However, I began to make choices that went against everything that I had been taught.
One night when I was 15 I gave myself away sexually to a guy I had just met. Believe me, it was not the romantic first time that girls envision. After that night, I never talked to the guy again because he moved away to live with his dad in another state. Almost immediately the weight of guilt and the torment of shame started ridiculing me because in my heart I knew that it wasn’t right.
However, a few months later I found myself in another relationship. Honestly, I thought, “I am already ruined goods so what does it really matter?”. So again, I gave myself away sexually. However, the guilt and shame didn’t go away. It kept gnawing at me to the point that I felt that I was never going to be good enough. My mind was tormented with lies. I thought I didn’t have anyone I could talk to. Let’s face it, my parents thought I was a good girl and there was no way I could let them down.
At my lowest point when I was just so overwhelmed with shame and regret, I thought the only way out was to take my life. Surely that would put an end to this torment. I found a bottle of pain pills in the medicine cabinet and did not hesitate to take every.last.one.of.them. But, God had a different plan.
The guy I was seeing had called and I told him what I had done. He knew how to get in touch with my parents. The next thing I knew, my dad was there. He swept me up in his arms and rushed me to the hospital. They did several things while I was there. One thing they did was run a test…a pregnancy test. Well, it came back POSITIVE. I was pregnant. What a way to tell your mom and dad.
That night my parents and I met with my pastor. We all agreed that an abortion would be the solution to the “problem”. This was back in the day when these things just were not talked about as openly as they are now. The next day my parents made the necessary appointment and we were on our way to Memphis. I remember arriving to the house and going through the back doors. But, God had a different plan.
While I was having the initial exam before the “procedure to solve my problem”, the doctor discovered that I was 7 months pregnant. I was too far along to the have the abortion. I was confused. I was at a loss for words. I realized that I had gotten pregnant the very first time I had sex. Wait. What? We used protection. How could this happen?
On the ride home from Memphis, by faith, I told my mom and dad that I wanted to place this baby for adoption. Because, in my life I knew what it was like to be chosen, to be wanted, to be adopted, and to be loved unconditionally by my family. I wanted that for my child.
Even though all of this was progressing during the school year, no one ever knew that I was pregnant. I only gained 12 pounds and then we were out of school for the Summer.
On July 16, 1986 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I was allowed to hold him, rock him, change his diapers, and tell him that I loved him. I prayed that he would understand that I made the best decision for him. My mom was also able to be a part of this moment. We took pictures which I still carry with me. I am forever grateful that my adoption counselor suggested for me to do this. I cannot believe 31 years have passed.
After the birth I never talked about it, not even with my family. We all kept it a secret. So, once again I was being riddled with guilt, shame, and regret. I tried covering it up with alcohol, other relationships, work, and anything that would keep my mind occupied. I got married but it ended in divorce. Nothing was working for me to get rid of the pain and emptiness.
On of my friends suggested I go out on a blind date. So, she set it all up and we met in a nightclub. Let’s just say that is not the best place to meet your future spouse. In 1994, after about a year of dating, we got married. Oh, we thought we were living life to the fullest, however, we fought endlessly. Here I was, heading for divorce number two. But, God had a different plan.
We started working on our marriage. We knew something was missing. We thought that a baby would fill the void, so we began the journey of trying to get pregnant. Nothing. Nothing was happening. After two years of trying I thought God was punishing me for all the things that I had done. I didn’t want anything to do with God at all. But, God had a different plan.
Something began to happen, and it was prompting me (& Mike) to make some changes. On September 1, 2002, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart and He helped me realize that I needed a Savior. That Jesus died for my sins. As I surrendered my life to Jesus I felt the weight lift off my shoulders because I had been forgiven, redeemed, and ADOPTED by a Holy God. God never gave up on me.
Mike and I still had a longing in our hearts to start a family. My doctor suggested that I have exploratory surgery to see what could be hindering us. After much prayer and counsel, we went through with the surgery only to discover that my ovaries and fallopian tubes were covered in scar tissue. Even though I had never been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, my doctor explained that this kind of scarring is typical with the contraction of an STD called chlamydia. You can have it and never know it until later in life when it causes infertility in women. So, the choice I made to have sex outside of God’s boundaries of marriage literally scarred me for life.
I had extensive surgery to clean up the scar tissue in hopes that it would allow Mike & me to have a little “mini me” running through the house. But, God had a different plan. I did get pregnant twice. Both times they were ectopic pregnancies. The second one landed me in the hospital having emergency surgery to remove my fallopian tube and also to be told that the scarring was back and that medically speaking I would not be able to conceive.
Mike and I felt the tugging in our hearts to open up our home and lives to fostering. God allowed us to foster two sweet boys. They were brothers. The youngest we brought home from the hospital with the intention of adopting. But that fell through. Little did we know that this was all in preparation for what God had in store for us.
One Sunday morning at church (September 9, 2007, to be exact, LOL), a young lady wanted to talk to me. It was during a revival so I thought that she wanted to talk about salvation. We met after the services. What I was expecting and what actually occurred was, to say the least, unimaginable.
April was pregnant. Someone had told her that I had placed a baby for adoption and she wanted to talk about that. I also shared with her that I am adopted. April shared that God had spared her from going through an abortion. She knew in her heart that God had revealed to her that she was carrying someone else’s blessing but did not know where or how to begin with the whole adoption process. She had been praying for God to show her.
Our conversation led from one thing to another. April wanted to know about mine & Mike’s story. She knew that we had two boys we were fostering. So, I was very open about our walk down the road of infertility, about the 2 precious babies we had lost, and about how God knew our heart’s desire to be parents. I shared that Mike & I knew that God wanted us to be still, keep praying, and to expect Him to answer in His way and in His time. Then time stood still for a moment. April looked at me and said, “You and Mike are the answer to my prayer”.
That was totally unexpected. How in the world would this work with us going to church together? April’s mom & brother were going to church with us as well. So many questions! At first, Mike was a little reserved about moving forward. However, we all met with our pastor and talked about everything. There were a couple of mountains along the path, but God leveled them as if they were just a grain of sand.
By faith, we walked through the days, weeks, and months ahead with a peace that passes all human understanding. Even though our humanness told us it wasn’t possible, we knew that our God is big and that He is the master of making the impossible possible. He invites all of us on a “faith by ___________” journey. Having faith doesn’t mean we have all the answers. It simply means trusting God even if He doesn’t move that mountain or part that sea. He is the same God from the beginning of time throughout eternity. His ways, His thoughts, and His plans are far loftier than ours. He is the only One who knows what tomorrow will bring & there is not a place you will go that He hasn’t already been preparing the path for you to travel.
After 11 years of praying…after 11 years of questioning…after 11 years of waiting (I wouldn’t say that I was exactly patient all the time)…after 11 years of God’s perfect timing and preparing our hearts, I held the most precious redhead for the first time. I remember getting the call from April at 2:00 in the morning that the moment had arrived and that she would meet us at the hospital. There were so many things that transpired as I stayed by April’s side in the delivery room awaiting his arrival. It was such a special time between the two of us. Then, just like that at 3:32pm on March 29, 2008 we welcomed Brady Obadiah Samuel Sellers into our family.
Every day I get to enjoy life because my birth mom chose to give me life and place me for adoption. Every day I get to enjoy knowing that in God’s mercy, kindness, and grace He allowed me to give life to my son and place him for adoption. Every day Mike & I get to spend time with the cutest redhead who totally, completely, without a doubt loves life (well, except when he as to vacuum the house, lol) because April chose life for him and allowed us to adopt him.
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” ~ Ephesians 3:20