… gripped in the wait

If you’re a lover of Instagram and happen to follow me, you’ll notice that I’m really into creating these word and scripture pictures. It’s become quite calming for me.
I created this one earlier this week and have been meaning to pour my heart out regarding where I’ve been over the past week but I haven’t had the time until now.
jj heller, your hands, jpeg
When the hubs and I first made the decision to adopt, I was excited. I was excited about the beauty of the entire process and the end result. We’re four months in, we’ve gained lots of information and experience, but it feels as if we are the same place. Even though I know we aren’t. A lot has happened, we’ve been blessed and I can see God working. I can see Him showing me that He is able to do even when it seems as if we’re at a standstill with no opportunities in sight.

Monday was slated to be a big day for us and that morning I felt a peace and pain I’ve never felt before. We rode to work together and I just prayed and cried. Thomas held my hand (as much as he could – I called shotgun!) and patted my knee, asking if I was okay the entire ride in. It was so strange to feel peace and pain simultaneously. The peace comes from knowing that I am finally in the place where I have given this entire situation completely to God and I am truly not worried about what will happen. The pain came from truly understanding what I’ve read about the sadness adoptive mamas feel when they meet their babies for the first time to take them home.

There will come a day (if we adopt a newbie), where we will meet our birth parents at the hospital and they will hand over their littles ones to us for good. For forever. In December, I thought that it would be one of the most amazing days of my life. Until Monday. Until I realized that this amazing day that I have been waiting so long for will be the same day that a birth mother/father/family has dreaded. While I’m filled with joy, they will be overwhelmed with sadness.

The realities of that day became so real and I believe that on that morning driving to work, I saw my position and place in this adoption, in the adoption of whatever child we are blessed with, through completely different lenses.

Originally, my goal was to move from a couple to a family of three, to do yet another act that God has done for us for another, and to give love and security to littles ones who needed it.

Now, I see it as a complete act of service that has nothing to me but everything with serving and supporting this birth family as best I can while I can and honoring this opportunity to serve my child.

I’d never even thought of parenting as an act of service. I saw it as the opportunity to teach who God is and show His character. Parenting in my mind was raising little images of God who would profess Christ to be their Savior and work dilligently in this world for Him. The connection between parenting and serving God and his people was never made until a few days ago.

These are the moments I am forever grateful for. These are the moments that I can totally see God saying, “I have something for you but you’ve gotta wait so that you can truly be gripped by this. Knowing, believing, feeling, and being passionate about this, will change you. It will make you a better person, a better parent, a better wife, a better witness. Please, my child, wait patiently and seek Me so that you will be gripped.”

My world feels as if it’s crumbled, my heart feels as if it’s been ripped to shreds, and my efforts and tears feel as if they’ve been for not. But I know that it hasn’t. My world has not crumbled, has it been shaken and disrupted? Yes. And, yes, I have cried and worked hard. Oh but how it’s allowed me to see that all of my efforts will not lead to any place God has not planned for me to go, and for that I am grateful.

My heart has been broken, it has been ripped apart, and I have to fervently battle it’s hardening. I trust and believe that God is using those tears and His grace to bind those shred and pieces together in order to recreate a heart that is more like His.  A heart that beats for Him, His children, and His will.

So in the meantime, Thomas and I are enjoying this experience and opportunity! I’m so grateful for the freedom that trusting God and allowing Him to bear your burdens brings.

We ordered these super cool wrist bands to spread the word and hopefully spark questions about adoption and infertility! We’re praying that through our story people will see God through us and seek Him more for themselves.

We are giving them away for FREE!!! If you’d like some, please email us at unashamedgrowth@gmail.com. Give us your address and how many bands you’d like!
I went absolutely nuts over them last night and we’re passing them out like crazy here at work and I have so many to mail today!
alaina and bracelets

“Shine you light amongst all men so that they will see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.”
Matthew 5:16

… here’s to painful moments of growth and the peaceful moments of recognition that through it all you are comforted and held in the hands of our Creator and Savior.



  1. imuwahen osula says

    I truly love your blog!!!!!! it has really inspired me! God bless 🙂

  2. I have been so blessed by your blogs. I know that they are in reference to your infertility but it touches so much more. I’m grateful that you are sharing your story and experience.

  3. I love the lyrics of those songs! They have been on my mind (and have gotten me through) the past few weeks. God really is there in the shaking, the breaking, and everything in between and that’s such a beautiful promise to hold on to.

    May He continue giving you faith and grace for the rest of your journey. God bless you!

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