This was the weekend, exactly one year ago, when Matt, one-year-old Lila Rose, and I made the four hour drive to meet our son for the first time.
I cannot explain to you the range of emotions I felt that day, with fear overshadowing the excitement that had been building until just two days before...
I felt different. I knew something was off.
I sent Matt to the store for a box of pregnancy tests, just in case, because I knew if that was the source of my churning stomach and nausea, that everything would be different.
The little boy called "JT" that we had grown attached to over the past several months through pictures and videos would likely not join our family if the pregnancy test was positive, because it would be more than we could handle.
I took the first test and saw the faintest line.
It can't be, I thought, my heart racing and my legs turning into jello as I sat alone in the bathroom with the door locked.
One more test - a digital one - will show me the words, "not pregnant," and we can move on with life as we had planned at that time.
I took the test, praying that it would not be positive.
Time seemed to stand still - then the words popped up: Pregnant: 1-2 weeks.
I couldn't breathe.
How was I going to tell Matt?
This was more than we could handle.
I sat the test down next to him, not even able to say the words, as tears streamed down my cheeks.
What were we going to do? Were we going to make the trip to meet JT that weekend? Could we allow our hearts to stay open to his adoptive placement with this unexpected news?
We decided to not make a sudden decision - giving ourselves time to talk it out, pray over it, and beg the Lord for direction.
Our four hour drive felt like it would never end. I stared out the window through each passing town, looking at minivans and family-hauling SUVs passing by and wondering if those moms ever felt the panic I was feeling about motherhood in that moment.
When we walked in the door of JT's foster home, his foster mom handed him to us and said, "Here's new mommy and new daddy, JT."
The weight of what those words meant was more than we could handle.
Two more months would pass before the legal hoops had been cleared to move JT into a permanent home.
We were at the top of the list and still had the option of telling his social worker we had changed our minds. But we knew our hearts were committed to being the forever parents this little boy needed, even though it felt overwhelming.
On the day James was brought to our home, we got a crash course in his daily care regimen.
There was acid reflux medicine, an inhaler, a nebulizer, cans of special formula, and James was wearing a helmet to help correct a problem with his skull.
Two hours after arriving with our 11-month-old son, a suitcase, box of his favorite toys, and box of medicine, James's foster mom he had been with since birth, and his social worker, were gone.
"God never gives you more than you can handle!"
That's the message we heard from countless well-wishers in those first weeks and months to follow the addition of James to our family, along with my obvious growing belly.
Three children under the age of two, and two full-time working parents felt like too much.
At the grocery store, "God never gives you more than you can handle!"
At the doctor's office, "God never gives you more than you can handle."
At daycare, "God never gives you more than you can handle."
Even at church, "God never gives you more than you can handle."
But we did - and do - have more than we can handle, and I believe that's exactly how God planned it.
It's when we are weakest that God's strength is even more evident.
It's through our shortcomings that God's power takes over.
It's through our fear that we run to God for peace.
It's when we are weak that He is strong.
It's when we can't handle the weight of life that God promises his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Y'all...the past year has been TOUGH.
We've had dozens of specialist appointments and therapies for James that have taken us back and forth between New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette.
We've gone through the roller coaster of getting to know a child who came to us as a stranger and the work that goes into creating a trusting bond between parent and child.
We've done our best to let Lila Rose know how special she is and that she is the best big sister a kid could have.
And we've added Adeline to our family, a precious, cherished baby I truly cannot imagine not having in our lives today.
There's a framed Bible verse in Adeline's room that I stop and read every day.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time." Ecclesiastes 3:11
Everything includes the messy, the unexpected, the challenges, the tears, the "more than you can handle."
Take heart if you are feeling like God has given you more than you can handle.
He is right there with you and promises he will draw near to you when you draw near to him.
The narrative being written is one of beauty that might not be seen today, but it will emerge.
Our hands our full, but our hearts are overflowing.
What a blessing to have more than we can handle.