Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hunter adopted a brother.

It's been months since I've updated our blog. I blame it on the fact that we brought home an infant who has kept us very busy. We have been 'adopting' our new son into our family, our customs, our life and definitely into our love. MalaKai is nine months now and brings joy and giggles to us on a daily basis. 

Today is one of those really busy days. 
The kind of busy day that there is no time to write a blog. 
Life happened so beautifully today though and I MUST tell the story. For in years to come it will need to be remembered.

My husband left this morning on a very early flight and I was alone in bed. About 5am rolled around and my nine year old son, Hunter came running frantically into my bedroom. He was shaky and crying. I immediately scooped him into bed with me and proceeded to grill him with  EVERY possible question about what could be wrong. 

"Did you have a bad dream?" "Are you sick?" "Does your tummy hurt?" "How can I pray for you?" Every answer was, "No." How could I possibly be wrong about EVERY one of my questions? 

In my deliriously tired state I remembered that I have learned that my when my son has something emotional going on he will keep it inside until he is ready to let it out so I gave up my interrogation and tried to sleep. (Oh precious sleep that I don't get much of with my little Kai) 

All morning Hunter would toss and turn and cry a little. Still no answer. What seemed like 5 minutes later.... 6:30am  rolled around and Kai let us know that it was time for our family to start the day. 

Hunter and I started getting his bottle ready and he let me know that he was ready to let "it" out. 
"Okay," he said. "It's a really embarrassing thing." To which I assure him every time that I have plenty of embarrassing moments and he can tell me anything. I wait quietly. He makes me guess at his cryptic words and I finally get it out of him as he collapses into my arms and cries, 

"I want more time with Kai!!" 

Through his crocodile tears and snot bubbles he tells me how much he is missing him while he is away at school. He doesn't want him to grow up so fast. He starts asking how long it is until Malakai turns one year old and then sobs again. He asks if I've captured pictures of Kai doing things that he keeps missing and on and on. 

I'm holding him and my sweatshirt is becoming increasingly wet from tears and has now become a tissue that is full of snot. Silently, I begin praising God and thanking Him for giving my son a brother. A brother he prayed so fervently for. A brother that Hunter has most definitely ADOPTED into his heart. A brother that Hunter will pray for, spend time with, pour into, teach, and sometimes torment. He knows now so beautifully what it is to have brotherly love. A love that you can't explain to someone. A special place in your heart for your brothers and sisters. (Your blood siblings, your adopted siblings, your siblings in JESUS!)

Oh how beautifully God orchestrated family! He showed us these earthly relationships to give us glimpses of love. The kind of heart wrenching, shaky, feverish, undeniably passionate and straining love. The kind of love that you don't want to miss anything because you adore that person so much. I watched Hunter's heart ache and stretch with love for hours this morning and I know Malakai is feeling it.

I believe God is showing Hunter, love on a whole new level and when all is said and done it will be just a very small insight into Father's extravagant love for him.

Oh, God that you would show us your amazing love today. That you are feverishly shaky, overly passionate, and extravagantly in love with us. You adopted us into your family and you don't EVER want to miss one moment that you could have with us. I love you, Father and I don't want to miss out on ANY amount of love from you or love that I can give you. I am zealous for you. I am passionate about you. I am crazy in love you, Jesus. 


The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The day we came home.

The NICU at Parker Adventist Hospital was our home for two weeks. It had its ups and downs. We disliked being away from Hunter and having to be away from our beds but I have to admit that it was wonderful getting to be near so many nurses and doctors and to learn how to have an infant once again. Babies are wonderful and mysterious little packages that delight and scare us all at once. Dave and I knew that the first two weeks of Malakai's life were very important for us to get to know him. We made sure to be at the NICU for at least 5 out of his 8 feedings in a 24 hour period. We changed his diapers, gave him baths, dressed him, talked to him, did some skin to skin time and basically, just stared at him as often as possible. We had several nurses that we absolutely LOVED and they will be a part of Kai's life story forever. Our first nurse was with us 11 out of the 15 days that we were there and we fell in love with her. Danielle taught us patience with Kai and general care more than any other nurse did. She is one of the sweetest people that I have ever met. Pam was only our nurse two times but she was the one that got us comfortable with feeding Kai the most. Her techniques were priceless. Vanessa was our night nurse 4-5 times and there isn't anybody else that I would have felt more comfortable leaving our son with during those long night hours. I have to say that I came home with wisdom, knowledge, patience and peace because of the staff at Parker!
Danielle with Kai right after he was born!
Dave and I want to thank everyone who prayed for us and for Malakai while we were at the hospital. We know that it's because of all of you that we actually got to come home so early! Last Sunday the 20th they were telling me that Kai was doing so well that it might be a week before we were home. I was hopeful but I knew things could change and we could still be there until the middle of February. Dave and I worked patiently and hard as we learned to read Kai's cues for feeding and we got better and better. Wednesday the 30th we came in for his regular feeding and the Doctor announced that we would get to go home the next day. I couldn't believe my ears!!! We all rejoiced once again!

 On Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 4:00pm we brought Kai home.

We were waiting out in the hallway for our special moment!!!

Walking out of the Birth Place at Parker Adventist.

Friday, January 11, 2013


He is here.

6 weeks early.

Born January 9th, 2013 at 9:26am 5.46lbs and 18.5". 
  Malakai Hatcher Powers. We lovingly refer to him as "Kai".


He is in the NICU and is termed a "preemie". 
He is doing so good though and we are in love with him! 

We have a long road ahead of us and we don't know how long we will be at the hospital but we are praying and working on his strength daily. 

Friends and Family have been asking what we need right now. Mostly what we need is prayer and if you would like to help with gift cards or meals or anything else you can contact my Mom, Jeanie Rhoades. Her email address is:

Please pray for:
-Malakai to eat well on the bottle, to keep his temperature by himself and for his little brain to develop normally!
-Dave and I to have moments of great communication and to enjoy this crazy time. Our sleep!!
-The adoption papers to all go through smoothly and for financial stability during this time so we can pay what needs to be paid medically and just for our normal bills.
-Hunter as a big brother to love this time (he is SO excited) and to have peace while his Mom and Dad are busy and while we have to be away from home for awhile. 
-The birth mom, Nicole and her family. This is a very hard time for her and she is our hero. Please pray over her emotions. Pray that Jesus would love on her like He has never loved on her before!

***I'm working on writing his birth story and my last 52 hours here at the hospital. You will get to hear all the fun and wonderful stories very soon.

Right now we invite you to "Kai" with us. 
Kai means REJOICE.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


December 3, 2012- I received a phone call from our case worker at Hope's Promise. My heart skipped a beat because I had an idea about why she might be calling first thing on a Monday morning.  

She said, "Tara, a birth mom has CHOSEN your family." I knew it. I just KNEW it.

Yes, it has happened. We have been chosen. That is one of the most beautiful words of adoption, Chosen. We are chosen and then we get to choose this young girl and her child. 

We had the absolute honor and privilege of meeting our birth mom and her Father yesterday evening. 12/12/12. <---Yes, I am one of THOSE people who get to say that something AMAZING happened to them on that very cool date.

I was so nervous. 
  • I had butterflies from my waking moment. 
  • I counted the hours all day of the longest day of my life. 
  • I'm pretty sure I changed clothes 10 times. 
  • We got there 30 minutes early. 
  • We re-parked the car 3 times making sure that it wouldn't be awkward if they got there and pulled up right next to us. 
  • Walking into the place I was breathing like they teach you in pregnancy classes. He, hoo. He, hoo. 
Then it happened....She walked in and I gave her a hug and all my anxiety slipped away. Peace, easy conversation, laughter, and good food filled the rest of the night. We were "officially matched." 

We are pleased to announce that we will be adopting a baby boy in February 2013.

This story is definitely so different from the last one and we are at the beginning of yet another adventure. We are waiting to see how it will unfold. We anticipate that God has matched us with this sweet girl and her family for His purpose.
I cannot wait to share more as we get to know them. I love how Jesus cares for us and how His timing is perfectly perfect. I'm so full of joy for He has chosen us!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Home Study #2

 How is it possible it's already been a year?

-Home Study completed in December 2011.
-One year later, 633 more dollars, and 1- two hour interview next week and we will have updated our Home study for December 2012.

 It will all be worth it, very VERY VERY soon.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thank and You

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I have been writing a thank-you letter to all of you. I have started this letter over at least four times.  Why is this so difficult to write? Maybe it is because I don't think those two words, "thank" and "you" can sum up the gratitude in my heart toward our community right now. Your messages, letters, scriptures, comments and prayers have been so encouraging to us.

Your prayers were heard by a living God! We are hoping in Him and on the edge of our seats in expectancy to see what He will continue to do through this crazy adoption story.
  Ps. We are back up on the agency website and our profile is being shown once again. No matter what happens, I really like being obedient. Don't you?

We love you,
Dave, Tara & Hunter Powers

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A story.

I have been absent.

In my absence a story has been unfolding. A story that I couldn't tell because of the intricacies and the people that were involved.

It is now my story to tell.

Just like every story there is more than one side. In this one, there are more like 52 sides. All I can write about is my journey through the last 5 months.

My particular part of our story begins May 9, 2012.  This day is a special one for me because it is my birthday. I received an email from an unknown person so I opened it and I couldn't believe the contents of this email. It was from a young woman and she opened up to me about her life in a way that was brutally honest and beautifully written. She knew Dave and I because she had seen us lead worship before. The last line of her letter to me said, "would you two pray and consider adopting our baby?"

I read that line over and over and yes, I wept. Could this possibly be the child that I had prayed and longed for? I was willing to dig and find out more for sure. I found out details of the story that made it difficult for me to believe that this could possibly be the right story to jump into for our family. This couple was married and loved Jesus. All we had learned up to this point was that it was better for babies to stay with their God-given families if at all possible. We were in the adoption process to care for an unwanted child or love a baby that couldn't be taken care of by their birth family. This was an entirely new thought for us -  to become involved with a couple who could care for and love their child. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more and decided to meet this couple. We thought we at least owed it to them to meet them and love on them a little.

We met them at the end of May and heard their story and we cared for and loved them right away. They were hurting and we offered some of our strength. We felt that God said to walk with them because so many people had hurt them and turned their backs on them due to their decision to give their child for adoption.

I remember telling God that I would support them even if there was no child in it for us. I meant it in my heart of hearts but I thought that surely God wouldn't have me get so involved if there wasn't a child arriving in my life. They officially chose us to be the parents for their baby and so we started forming relationship with them. June through September consisted of doctor appointments, family meetings, dinners, decisions, praying, preparing etc. I was able to go to the appointment with the ultrasound and we found out that it was a girl. What a precious and exciting day that was for me! My heart had so longed for a girl. I went into preparation mode with getting the nursery ready and buying girly things.

All the while we knew to remain hopeful in the Lord and not to get too excited because they could always choose to keep her. Talk about the weirdest feeling ever. Prepare but don't get too excited? Ha! It was a balancing act with my emotions. God was always there though, reassuring that He wanted us right where we were and so we kept on moving forward.

There have been so many painful moments in the last 5 months that I can't even recount. This young couples’ families were hurting because they wanted this child, this heir, their legacy to remain in the family. I had complete understanding and compassion on the grandparents and all people involved. My heart ached for them and I shed many tears over their family. I felt like they must blame us for all this pain. I just kept telling myself that this wasn't my decision and I was following Jesus the best that I could.

We felt God had asked us to support this couple.
Support-To bear or hold up; serve as a foundation for. To sustain or withstand without giving way.

Were there days that I wanted to give way? YES! I KNOW there were times that I was not a good foundation for them. I think God covered all of our weaknesses though. He is so good like that.

As I am able, perhaps I will share more of the in-between story (between May and October).  I know God will give me more understanding, and maybe it will help others in the adoption process in the future.

On Monday, October 1, 2012 our case worker called us to come to the hospital because our birth mom was in labor. My stomach was filled with butterflies and anxiousness. I would cry and then laugh. I had prepared for a child to come home, for a dream to be fulfilled, for the joy of a baby's cry and coos in my home once again. Not only me, but my husband and my son, my parents, my siblings, and my friends had prayed and awaited this moment.

When we arrived, I was so fearful to see the family. I didn't want to cause pain or anxiety in them. I didn't know what to say or how to explain that all I had wanted was to be obedient, support their children but also to fulfill a dream and a hope in me. I definitely didn't want my dreams or selfishness to cause pain to others. All I can say is that the Lord was in that hospital waiting room. There was peace, laughter and unity. How could that happen in such an intense environment? The answer is Jesus.

The labor lasted a long time and so we waited. The birth mom went through so much and I was astounded by her strength. Finally, 7:04 pm this baby girl showed up and graced the world with her presence. She was 7lbs, 14oz and 22 inches long with a head full of black hair. The hospital had a room prepared for us (the adoptive family) and around 11pm on October 1st they brought this beautiful and anticipated little one into our room and told us how to be her care takers. It wasn't official yet, that we would be her parents, as the birth family needed rest before a final decision, but we gladly took this time with baby-girl and soaked her up.

I swept her up into my arms immediately and only put her down in her bassinet twice in 16 hours.  We got to be her care takers until 3pm the next day, which was October 2, 2012.  We sang over her, prayed for her, changed her diapers, fed her and just basically stared at her often. It was a difficult and beautiful time. It was VERY hard not knowing the final decision, but we kept calling on the grace of God and He kept giving it.   At 3:15 pm we took her to the birth family's room so they could spend some time with her and they could have visitors meet this new beauty. We left and we waited. We waited for what felt like years but was only a few hours.

Our case worker came in to tell us where the birth family was at in the process of deciding and that they were having some questions in their hearts about what was right.  They couldn't make a decision.  

They kept the baby that night and we went to sleep with so many questions in our minds and in our hearts. The next morning, October 3, 2012, I awoke and I immediately knew that the thing gnawing at my heart the most was, NOT KNOWING the outcome. I was going to be okay either way. If they knew they could keep this little girl and love her then I would be COMPLETELY good with that or if they were ready to give her to us knowing that we were the best choice for her, then I was definitely ready. I just needed to have an answer.

That answer wouldn't come until 8:00pm that night. The crazy thing was the answer dropped in our hearts before they even called us over. We knew that if there was a question in their minds and hearts and there was some desire to parent on their side that we most definitely WOULD NOT take her home.  We were ready to adopt a child that wasn't wanted or couldn't be taken care of and this was no longer the case.

Dave and I took our car seat and walked down the long hallway to the room that held three very important people in our lives. I didn't know how emotional I was going to be but I was so emotional that I couldn't say a word, which for those of you who know me, you know that is rare. We gifted them the car seat and then my husband, the most spectacular, sensitive, honorable and loving man I have ever known, began blessing them as parents and telling them that we support them and will continue to do so, while I stood there blubbering away.

I was astonished at his grace and leadership in such a crazy and painful moment. He prayed over the three of them and then they spoke to us.

They kept apologizing and thanking us for all the support.  I hurt in my heart for them knowing how difficult that was for them to tell us.  We hugged them and said goodbye to the baby and exited the room. I felt as if my legs would give out on me and wanted to run and scream and cry.  

I didn't feel like I was leaving “my child” at the hospital like I thought I would, but I was leaving a dream. 5 months of time, energy, finances, preparation, tears, excitement.  There was a death to a piece of my heart; working so hard for something and now we are back to…nothing.

Why did I get into this in the first place? Was it just to support this couple? Is it enough to know that I had a part to play in their lives and in their choice to keep the baby? Can I possibly enter into another adoption story ever again? What do I do with the baby swing sitting in my living room? How can I stop crying every time I walk past the nursery made up for a little girl? How many days, weeks, months, years will it take to grieve this? How can I support my husband’s grief when it doesn't look at all like mine? How do I tell my almost 8 year old that we didn't bring his sister home with us? When will my heart be okay to continue pursuing this dream of loving a child and bringing them up in the Lord?
These are just a few questions I have racing through my mind but I know that this is NOT the end of our journey.....

Father, I bless this baby girl that YOU knew and formed in the womb. I thank you that you love her more than anyone and that she belongs to You!  "The Lord's" is written on her tiny hands. I bless her with a full life and lots of love all the days of her life.

Father, I bless the birth parents with grace to raise Your child. Give them the strength and peace to parent on the good days and the bad. I bless them with your presence in their home, in their bodies, and in their family.

Father, I bless my wonderful husband with time with you, seeking Your face and hearing Your voice. I bless him with dreams and more dreams and visions that are fulfilled. I bless him as a Daddy and his dream to have more children with me.

Father, I bless my son. I bless his mind, his heart, and his spirit to know You truly and fully. I bless him with understanding that YOU ARE GOOD no matter the circumstances. I bless him to trust You in everything even when he sees his mommy cry.

Father, I bless the extended family of this precious couple. I bless them with closeness and unity with one another like never before. I bless them with open and real communication with each other and with You. I bless them with joy during such a time of celebration.

Father, I bless our case worker. I bless her with your presence in her growing family. I bless her with the strength to do what you have called her to do and to be who you made her to be.

Father, I bless my family and friends. I bless them to have understanding, wisdom, and strength for each other and for us during this time. I bless them and their families to be strong and in love with You more than they ever have been.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Show Hope.

Do you ever have one of those days that you just NEED to go to the mailbox because something absolutely important and crazy might have arrived and you HAVE to see it right away? This very thing happened to me on Monday, May 21 2012. 
Dave, Hunter and I were having our Sabbath and majorly processing through some pretty heavy stuff.
We were in the car on the way home from lunch and I sincerely felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go to the mailbox. I couldn't think right away why I would feel that so strongly but then I thought about an application I had filled out and mailed 3 months prior. I had mailed our application to receive a grant from Show Hope. Show Hope is Steven Curtis Chapman's non-profit that helps, advocates and fights for adoption and children! ( Well, of course I kind of shrugged it off as probably just an insane thought in my head but promptly told Dave to please drive by the mailbox. It was crazy as I looked in the mailbox and the top letter was actually from Show Hope! Then you have that moment afterward that you say, "Yeah, I KNEW that was the Lord!" Ha! Tara of so little faith. I looked at it and immediately it felt like a letter of denying us funds to help with adoption. That was my assumption anyway. I quickly tore it open and scanned the letter quickly. My eyes fell on a number and it was a number that I had NEVER expected to see or even dreamed about. $6000.00. $6000 dollars?? WHAT?! I started freaking out a little and told Dave and Hunter. The letter stated that Show Hope would be granting us SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS! We drove home screaming in the car and when we pulled into the driveway we ran out of the car and into the garage and did a happy dance. When I say that we did a happy dance, I mean we REALLY did a happy dance. We held hands and spun in circles giggling and praising God together. One of those times that you wish you had a photographer traveling around with you and capturing some of your purest moments. I'm always too caught up in living life that I forget to photograph stuff. (still wondering if that is really such a bad thing?;)) We were experiencing a joy in our heavenly Father that we won't forget. In fact, He keeps telling me to, "Remember!" 
As I write this, I remember. I remember His faithfulness is to ALL generations and His love endures forever!

Psalm 40:10
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.
Psalm 115:1
Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adoption Training.

We were able to attend an adoption training in Castle Rock, CO in April. It was emotional, realistic, hard, so good, and just what we needed. The State of Colorado has adoption training as a mandatory thing for people (like us) who are adopting. As I sat in the chair over the weekend though, I kept telling Dave that I thought EVERY person who is going to be a parent and bring a child into their home should be taking this training. It was enlightening.
Here were some of the highlights for me:
  • We got to attend the training with Dave's parents. It was so good to have the grandparents of our child attend something like this with us. They were engaged and ready to learn right along with us! I think they learned a few new things as well. The conversations between the sessions with them were some of my favorite parts of the weekend!
  • It was so lovely to meet other people who are in this process. We met couples who have adopted already, are just beginning the process and couples in the "waiting game" with us. So refreshing to know that you are not alone. 
  • The director of our agency, Hopes Promise was the main speaker. Her name is Paula Freeman and she was the most eloquent, passionate, Jesus loving, knowledgeable woman concerning adoption. I wanted her to keep speaking so I could soak up what she had to say. She gets the Father's Heart for adoption and just to be in the room with her helped me to catch it too! 
  • We received more information than my brain could handle at times. (Legal stuff, newborn care, attachment issues, adoption stories, understanding birth families, financial information, etc.)
  • The conversations that were stirred between us and our parents in between sessions were so good and God used them to bring to light some things in me that He is working on. Yes, God is working on me, not just FOR me! Here I am, sitting in a training to adopt a child and God uses it to do some heart work on me!!!Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. His plans involve so many people, so many details and they are always plans of LOVE! He astonishes me at every turn. He is the perfect author and I love Him!
Am I fully trained for what lies ahead with our adoption? Not even close....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Diaper training.


I taught our little man how to change a diaper today. He was so gentle and did a great job. He will be a wonderful big brother! Another day closer...