As many of you know, Ben and I have been walking the road of “unique family planning” through adoption 🙂 This past Sunday, many people brought awareness for adoption/foster care through #orphansunday. Our church, Mission Community Church, highlighted an incredible ministry within our church walls, called “Esther’s Hope.” It’s a wonderful support and encouragement for families wanting to adopt or in the adoption process, as well as supporting families in the foster care system. Our hearts have been pulled in so many directions concerning orphans. Yes, we are adopting from Ethiopia and we could not be more excited to receive our little one. The process will take another 2 years, at the least. The waiting is difficult and at times you forget that there is a child on the other side of all the hoops you jump through. You get discouraged. Your heart aches. You see a little one from Ethiopia and burst into tears (yes, this happened to me in the middle of a restaurant!)
When Ben and I started dating, we discussed adoption as an option for us, whether or not we would have issues with getting pregnant. It’s always been apart of our hearts. Orphans have my heart. They have Ben’s heart. We did have issues getting pregnant. 2 failed IVF cycles, a miscarriage…and now we are here. We both had to search our hearts to make sure we weren’t approaching adoption as a consolation prize. We couldn’t make that next step until our heart’s ache was to adopt. And now it’s our ache. It’s been our ache since we started the process of adopting a little one from Ethiopia. We believe it is the greatest gift…not to give to a child, but to give to ourselves…to see and experience the redemption of Him calling us His own. When we look at the face of that child, to remember the grace and mercy that He extends to us daily, will change our lives every single day. Yes, we will change a child’s life, but this child’s life will change so many. We waited and chose him/her…just as Christ did for us. He chose us. He sacrificed for our salvation…to be named HIS…forever, and I am so grateful.
Ben and I have experienced heartbreak and disappointment. It seems as though we get glimpses of our future and then that hope disappears with a disappointment. It’s been hard to see the bright side of things (which usually comes very natural to both of us). We had and have to choose daily to remember that He has good things in store for us. He has blessed us more than we could ever imagine and we are so grateful. Learning to trust God with your family before you even have one is a challenge, and we are walking in it daily. Sometimes, we have victory and other days we feel defeated, but He is still good. He is still faithful, He is still ours and we are His.
A month or so ago, we received a phone call from lawyer (friend of a friend) about a private adoption. In just 24 hours we found out about a baby boy due March 5, skyped with the birth mother, prayed, cried and 2 days later signed papers to be this sweet baby boy’s parents. We didn’t want to announce it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or anything really. The subject is so tender for us. There are fears, natural fears with adoption. There are people’s opinion and personal stories of heartbreak, that cloud our thoughts. But there is also this thought…He has provided what He’s promised to us. All of this could fall apart and if so, we got to pray for a precious little boy that will stay in our hearts forever. BUT, this could be wonderful and work out perfectly. That is our heart’s desire and what we believe will come to pass. We count ourselves honored to be chosen to be his parents. We are thrilled, excited, and nervous to be first time parents. 🙂
We are asking that you pray for our little one. We have named him Benjamin Pierce. He will go by Pierce. His name is the combination of the men in the Kilgore/Merrick heritage. He will grow strong and brave. He will know he is loved and cherished everyday. He will change this world through the love he extends daily and He will be the apple of His eye. It is our privilege to share this joy with you. We celebrate his life and his mother’s. We thank God daily for women like her, who choose to give life to their child and hope to parents like us. We are the luckiest. He is faithful.
Thank you for your prayers. We covet them…keep them coming!! Thank you for your encouragement throughout the years. So many of you have held our hand through tears and questions…through the frustrations and pain. We are so grateful for each of you. We ask that you continue to pray. We love you.
The Lord provides in such mysterious ways! We are more than thrilled for you and Ben, Noelle. You will be wonderful, godly parents to this precious one. You are blessed to have him and he is blessed to have you as parents. Our hearts and prayers are with you. Praying everything goes without a hitch. Pete and Pat Holcombe
Praying for you, Ben, and your sweet baby boy! God is so good!
Love you so much, dear friend. We have a unique bond in more ways than one and our struggle to conceive only solidified what has been a very long and meaningful relationship. I am overjoyed for you and Ben at the prospect of this little boy being all yours. You have both been shaped for a moment like this and through all the pain and disappointment, this little light has always flickered in the distance. Now, you are closer than ever and I wait on bated breath with you for this sweet baby to find his home. We will continue to pray for you and Ben and all that God has in store. I love you so dearly and I am so proud to call you a friend. AKP
Wow! I’ll hold you guys up in prayer; before, during, and after. Beautiful news. We miss worshipping with you guys!
Congratulations! We are praying for your family as you travel along on this new journey. God is so good all the time. Thank you for sharing with us and allowing us to travel with you. God bless y’all.
I’m so excited for you guys! But I think I’m even more excited for those precious children of yours. Adoption is a gift, for everyone. You’re in my prayers Noelle and Ben.
I am sooo excited for you!! Praise to Jehovah Jireh!! Adoption is near n dear to us, as Alisha n John just finished their home study! Thank you for sharing with us! We will be praying for you and this precious Chosen Baby!
Such amazing news!!! My cup runneth over with happiness for you, Ben, and this sweet baby boy!! God is SO good!!! You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers! 🙂
Hi Noel!! I think of you all the time and pray for you and Ben. You know we have been through the pain of fertility and have a foster baby boy in our home right now that we are praying becomes our forever baby. It is a totally different “family planning” road, but God’s plans are so amazing. You and Ben will be fabulous parents and I know God has parenthood in your future, I am praying diligently for what this looks like for both of you. I am sad I missed you at Halley’s celebrations, our foster baby has been ill. Stay safe in Arizona and know we are praying for you back on the “homefront”……Amanda Hudson
I have tears of joy streaming down my face as I read your story! Praying for God’s courage to sustain you as you wait and peace as you trust the journey! I’m so very happy for you guys and little Pierce. He will be loved so greatly!!! What an incredible story of God’s love for you and your little guy. We will continue to pray!
Noelle & Ben, this is Heather Thompson. Noelle, I met you at your store and I went to Highschool with Ben but he graduated with my friend Annette a year before me. Anyways, at your store that day, you and I talked about you, both of our fertility stories, and we also talked about your amazing worship music that I was listening to ALL THE TIME. Anyways, I don’t have FB but my mom does (Janis Dickey) and so I sent you a friend request and a message on FB telling you that I would be praying for you and I have been…fervently praying for you and Ben and for you to have the desires of your hearts, like He says in His word. What is so weird though is that I never get on FB, but I did tonight and found this amazing God filled post by you about the wonderful baby news. I am thanking Him for answered prayers right now for you guys. I am thrilled to hear about such a blessing, you both deserve it so much. God is truly great, but there’s more… I have recently been sick and have had surgery just yesterday, it was unexpected and I have been scared so I have been listening to “Healing” every night to ease me. I just had to tell you that while I am praying for you and now this wonderful gift from God, He has been using your music to ease and comfort my heart for healing. So, thank you Ben and Noelle, and thank you to Our Father also. Prayers are and will be flowing out for Benjamin Pierce and you and Ben and all your family. God is so good! love, Heather T