Women of Courage: Cari’s Adoption Story

Brave. It lives inside you, dear one. Will you share it? Read Cari's Brave Adoption Story for inspiration today!

I’m honored to have my dear friend Cari of Dugans In Cahoots here today sharing the first story for the Women of Courage series. Her adoption story is unfolding, and it is just beautiful to witness. Please join me in welcoming sweet Cari to this space. And thank you, Cari, for sharing your brave.

Whenever we step out to do something that seems impossible, daring, or risky…onlookers label you as being brave. They assume that you must have mustered an incredible amount of courage, and that you are always strong, and fearless.

My definition of bravery is quite the opposite:

Being brave, is stepping out despite our weaknesses, despite our fears, and despite the obstacles that hover over you. You can be brave, and be weak all at the same time. You can crumble and cry, and still be brave.

Just recently our family made the decision to add another little one through adoption. More specifically, domestic adoption. It is a messy process, filled with loss and gain. Joy, and indescribable pain.

For me, one of the scariest part about this process is being so vulnerable about my feelings surrounding our decision with friends, family, and the rest of the world.

Because for me, to share my heart on the matter, is a little like ripping my heart out of my chest and serving it on a platter for others to view, to critique, to comment on, and to judge. It’s not easy for me to completely convey the massive amount of emotions that are constantly swirling around within me.

Because as soon as I looked at my husband and whispered, “Yes, I’m in. Let’s do this.” I gave my heart away. Not just to the process of adoption, but to our future little one, and her ( or his ) birth parents.

My heart is wide open, broken, and too far gone to ever go back.

I’m in love. I am in waiting. And that can be a bit scary. Especially when there is no due date. There is no end to our story, and that I am not the author, just a humble character in a much bigger picture.

I feel weak when I compare the bottom line of our bank account to the estimated $30-40k we will owe in legal fees the second we finally hold our little one in our arms.

I feel weak when I think of another beautiful mother, and courageous father placing that precious bundle in our arms, along with a piece of themselves. Their loss is unthinkable.

I feel weak when I think of our future son or daughter’s heartache in losing a piece of them. Their loss in unbearable.

I feel weak when I begin to count all of my parenting inadequacies and shortcomings.

I feel weak when I think of all of the unknowns. All of the logistics. All of the red tape. All of the emotions that are stronger than I am.

Friends, I feel weak because I AM weak.

But I feel brave because there is one who goes before me. Just recently a friend texted me this verse from Isaiah 45:2-3 NLT:

“ I will go before you and level the mountains. I will smash down the gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness- secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”

This verse brings me to my knees, and has been what I have been clinging to as we sort out finances, as we lay awake at night wondering and dreaming of our little one, as we feel heartbroken for two precious parents who ARE the definition of brave.

I have already cried an ocean of tears for them and for our little lamb. There are so many circumstances out of our control. Out of our ability to plan and to prepare. Out of our scope of understanding, and beyond our ability to dictate. Out of our ability to heal.

Isn’t it true that when God calls us to something, it is tempting to list all of the reasons why we can’t , why we shouldn’t, why we aren’t enough, and why He should just ask someone else? (And believe me, I have 40 thousand reasons why to say no.)

But He didn’t ask anyone else. He asked us.

Us, who feel inadequate.

Us, who feel unprepared.

Us, who feel weak.

All He wants is our yes, and our heart.

We gave Him both. And are just waiting to for Him to do the rest…

To follow our story as it is being written, please visit: www.dugansincahoots.com

If you feel led to contribute to our adoption fund, you can do so here: http://www.gofundme.com/sqygxs

But above all, if you would, please pray that in our adoption, His name will be known and written all over our story. That everyone will know that even though we are weak. He is strong. And because of that we all can be Brave.

Thank you . Thank you . Thank you.

cari dugan bioCari Dugan is a lifestyle photographer and writer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She writes candidly about everyday life and experiences on being a wife and a mother on her blog Dugans in Cahoots (www.dugansincahoots.com ) You can also keep up with her on Instagram ( @cariduganphotography ) Her husband, and three children make life what it is – A Beautiful Mess.

To submit your own story of what brave means to you, please email me at wmpsalm139 {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Shannon Thompson

Lifting you all up in prayers.
Love conquers all things <3

Erica - Let Why Lead

Beautiful, Cari! I LOVE how you’ve pointed out how weak and brave are all wrapped up in one.