Glad Surrender – Luster Adoption

Carrie Luster
Carrie Luster Brandon, Mississippi

The Glad Surrender – our Adoption Story and testimony of His (Jesus) faithfulness, His plan, His timing, His strength, His grace, His steadfastness, His love, His purpose, His comfort, His hope, Him choosing us, His Story! Surrender THE word that God has continuously laid before us over and over for the past four-plus years.  This word was burned into our minds and hearts last September (the middle of our IUI journey and after a long week of the Lord shouting Adoption in our ears. I shared with a close friend on a walk that week that I felt God calling us to adoption but didn’t know what that looked like with the fertility treatments; that friend faithfully prayed for us the week) on Sunday morning, September 16th while Pastor Chad was preaching on Surrender.  I remember standing backstage, getting ready to go back out with praise team for the response time, and the Holy Spirit spoke so audibly to me that it was as if He was physically talking to me. During the sermon the Spirit pierced my soul and spirit, dividing the two (Hebrews: 4:12), for His plan and purpose… 

“You can’t simply say your obedient to him and Not do what He says. When you call him Lord and tell Him no that doesn’t really work, does it? When we say No Lord, that is an oxymoron, I’m not going to what you who are in control who and are in charge says, I’m going to do whatever you say, Lord, YES! We must surrender our all to him and not just some of us, parts of us, or pieces of the puzzle that comprise us, not just giving 10% of us and us choosing the other 90%.

We surrender our all to Him because everything He does for us is for our good and His glory. Faith says we surrender our lives to God, because, we Know He sustains us. He provides for us EVERYTHING we need. Faith, believing what we cannot see causes us to surrender ourselves to Him entirely because we know He is the one that keeps us moving. 

I’ll go wherever you say go and I’ll do whatever you say “do”, I don’t know what I’m saying yes to, but I will go.”

 

In what was one of the most freeing moments, because of my glad surrender, I prayed to the Lord “whatever you want to do, pregnancy, no pregnancy, adoption, it’s ALL yours, we’re raising our hands in surrender”. As pastor Chad shared and reminded us that Abraham said “Yes” to going to the Land the Lord would show him; he didn’t give parameters for what land he preferred and the Lord’s calling. There is no place in scripture for us to be able to go to the Lord and say, “here’s my parameters for my obedience to your Lordship”, the Gospel says we surrender our lives to God because He died for us. If Jesus had placed parameters on His own surrender and said, “anything but death”, we would be in a heap of trouble.  Instead, He humbled Himself and said, “not my will but your will be done” – paraphrased from Pastor Chad’s Surrender Sermon. This is our prayer as we walk this exciting road!  

 

 

 

Ephesians 4:1-5 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Before time began our story was written and we pray that you will partner with us on our great adventure!  His story is unfolding one page at a time!

 

In 2013 we began the journey of praying and trying for another child. And two years after trying with medication we received the exciting news that we were expecting! Throughout a long 4 weeks following our exciting news, we hopped on a roller coaster of highs and lows, good numbers, not so great numbers, and then more tests trying to figure out what was going on.  July 20th, 2019, we found out our pregnancy was Ectopic, and I couldn’t leave the hospital without surgery. But even in this, God was present, and His hand of protection was on me.  In fact, Jimmy was supposed to be out of town working and at the last minute, his project was postponed.  God is in the details!

Fast forward almost a year and a half later of trying, fertility doctor #1, medications, shots, and IUI we found out that our October 2018 round of IUI took! We went in immediately for labs and praise the Lord, they looked GREAT! Two weeks later we repeated labs and again ALL of my numbers had exceeded the numbers that our doctor was aiming for. The first ultrasound showed a healthy baby and a good heart rate (a smidge low), but the doctor wasn’t concerned and wanted us to come back a week later to make sure it was in range. A week later we went back and found that the baby had grown and was right on target for growth and the heart rate was well above where it needed to be. We breathed a sigh of relief all while praising Him for a good report.

The day after Christmas I woke up not feeling well and had some concerning symptoms, so we went in to check everything out. During the ultrasound, we found out that our baby was gone. Being wheeled back to surgery again was almost more than we could bear at that moment. But He was present in that quiet hospital and reminding us that He had/has a plan and His plan is perfect!

February of 2019, we went to Fertility Doctor #2 and did the ENTIRE gamut of tests, on both of us. With each test that we passed, I breathed a sigh of relief and well, maybe a little pride that all was going to be just fine. Then in March 2019, we found out that I was not good candidate for any more fertility treatments. In that brief moment, I felt broken.  But our faithful Jesus quickly reminded me that He made me, and I was not broken.  That this was His plan unfolding. His Jeremiah 29:11 plan for our family.

An hour after our appointment, Jimmy flew out of town for work for the next week. Due to the time difference and his work schedule we didn’t get to talk much and barely sent test messages due to reception. We both spent that week diligently praying. When Jimmy returned home and while sitting in the Kroger parking lot eating lunch, we both looked at each other, and at almost the same time said, “God is calling us to adoption”.  Soooo many times, He has done this for us in our marriage. He has spoken to us unifying and affirming us in what He was telling, directing, and leading us to. From this moment, a peace that cannot be explained other than given by Him came over us!  It’s the peace that ONLY comes with you FULLY surrender to His calling!

We continued praying and over and over again He confirmed this decision by being in the word, prayer, the counsel of others, and circumstances.

As the months progressed in 2018 we began hearing Him whisper “Adoption”. Through the summer (beginning fertility testing) and into the fall, the fertility treatments, the pregnancy, and the loss He was LOUDLY and CLEARLY telling us that Adoption was what he was emphatically calling us too. I, at first, dug in my heels and started that tug of war with God. Coming up with all kinds of fleshly doubt and trying to look, reason, and plan with my human mind; how SILLY of me! I was running AHEAD of the Holy Spirit and not allowing Him to lead, and what a miserable place that is. Thankfully He is full of grace, patience, and is long-suffering.

Because of the great adventure, He is taking us on, we have met and been able to be a part of people’s lives in ways we could never imagine and oh how sweet it has been. He has shown himself in unimaginable ways, in such personal ways. While loss hurts there is peace in trusting His plan that just doesn’t compare and we WANT HIS plan.

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”. HE is a PROMISE KEEPER! And, He brings beauty from ashes.

We continue to wait on the LORD, watching each page come to life as He writes our family’s story, and all too eager to flip forward to the pages where we bring our child home. We are so thankful to our friends, family, and even those we don’t know that have prayed for, encouraged and supported us. We invite you to continue your support and encouragement in a few ways:

1.    Prayer: Pray for the birth mom/family and our son or daughter.  That God would continue to protect and keep healthy our child(ren), and that he would meet our spiritual, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs as we walk through our adoption adventure.

2.  Letters of Encouragement: As silly as it may sound, your words of encouragement and prayer mean so much to us. We have a box that we’re putting all of your letters in, in our home, we read them often, and want to look back on them and read them to our son or daughter one day to remind all of us of God’s faithfulness and care he provides through friends and family. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing!

3.  Financial Support: Financial Support: Adoption is expensive and the estimated cost to bring our son or daughter home is around $45,000-$50,000 (not including travel expenses).  I know it seems like a lot and some ask "where does it all go?".  Below is a small breakdown of where the money goes and ask you can see, the majority of the funds go to the birth mom. 

·      Medical care (labs, appointments, labor/delivery, postpartum follow up),

·      Temporary Living Expenses (if/as needed),

·      Travel (if needed)

·      Maternity Expenses (clothing, prenatal vitamins, other non-medical pregnancy-related needs)

·      Adoption Related Legal Fees,

·      Counseling Pre/Post Delivery (as long as she needs it).

 

The cost of adoption is a lot and we have been awarded a $7,000 matching grant from the Colonial Heights Baptist Church Adoption Fund, administered by Lifesong for Orphans.

 

This matching grant means that every dollar donated to our adoption fund up to $7,000.00 will be DOUBLED!  

 

This was a huge answer to prayer, and we invite you to participate in our story through by a tax-deductible donation! We are trusting Him for the provision and are looking forward to seeing His hands and feet at work! 

 

WE cannot EVER Thank you all enough. We love each of you dearly and each of you has and are blessing us MORE than you will ever know! We also look forward to gaining new friends/family on this journey! And, we cannot wait to celebrate with you all when we bring Baby Luster home!

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jimmy, Carrie, and Olivia Luster

 

 Financial Support Information

 

CHECKS:

 ·Make checks payable to: “Lifesong For Orphans”

 ·Memo Line: “Luster, James and Carrie 8652”. 

   This ensures your donation gets applied to our account.

 

 ·Mail Checks: Lifesong For Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744

 

ONLINE DONATIONS:

 · Click DONATE NOW above!

 


STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Luster 08652”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.

  • In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
  • Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
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Raised to date by 15 people
 of  $47,650
Campaign Ended

My Story

The Glad Surrender – our Adoption Story and testimony of His (Jesus) faithfulness, His plan, His timing, His strength, His grace, His steadfastness, His love, His purpose, His comfort, His hope, Him choosing us, His Story! Surrender THE word that God has continuously laid before us over and over for the past four-plus years.  This word was burned into our minds and hearts last September (the middle of our IUI journey and after a long week of the Lord shouting Adoption in our ears. I shared with a close friend on a walk that week that I felt God calling us to adoption but didn’t know what that looked like with the fertility treatments; that friend faithfully prayed for us the week) on Sunday morning, September 16th while Pastor Chad was preaching on Surrender.  I remember standing backstage, getting ready to go back out with praise team for the response time, and the Holy Spirit spoke so audibly to me that it was as if He was physically talking to me. During the sermon the Spirit pierced my soul and spirit, dividing the two (Hebrews: 4:12), for His plan and purpose… 

“You can’t simply say your obedient to him and Not do what He says. When you call him Lord and tell Him no that doesn’t really work, does it? When we say No Lord, that is an oxymoron, I’m not going to what you who are in control who and are in charge says, I’m going to do whatever you say, Lord, YES! We must surrender our all to him and not just some of us, parts of us, or pieces of the puzzle that comprise us, not just giving 10% of us and us choosing the other 90%.

We surrender our all to Him because everything He does for us is for our good and His glory. Faith says we surrender our lives to God, because, we Know He sustains us. He provides for us EVERYTHING we need. Faith, believing what we cannot see causes us to surrender ourselves to Him entirely because we know He is the one that keeps us moving. 

I’ll go wherever you say go and I’ll do whatever you say “do”, I don’t know what I’m saying yes to, but I will go.”

 

In what was one of the most freeing moments, because of my glad surrender, I prayed to the Lord “whatever you want to do, pregnancy, no pregnancy, adoption, it’s ALL yours, we’re raising our hands in surrender”. As pastor Chad shared and reminded us that Abraham said “Yes” to going to the Land the Lord would show him; he didn’t give parameters for what land he preferred and the Lord’s calling. There is no place in scripture for us to be able to go to the Lord and say, “here’s my parameters for my obedience to your Lordship”, the Gospel says we surrender our lives to God because He died for us. If Jesus had placed parameters on His own surrender and said, “anything but death”, we would be in a heap of trouble.  Instead, He humbled Himself and said, “not my will but your will be done” – paraphrased from Pastor Chad’s Surrender Sermon. This is our prayer as we walk this exciting road!  

 

 

 

Ephesians 4:1-5 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Before time began our story was written and we pray that you will partner with us on our great adventure!  His story is unfolding one page at a time!

 

In 2013 we began the journey of praying and trying for another child. And two years after trying with medication we received the exciting news that we were expecting! Throughout a long 4 weeks following our exciting news, we hopped on a roller coaster of highs and lows, good numbers, not so great numbers, and then more tests trying to figure out what was going on.  July 20th, 2019, we found out our pregnancy was Ectopic, and I couldn’t leave the hospital without surgery. But even in this, God was present, and His hand of protection was on me.  In fact, Jimmy was supposed to be out of town working and at the last minute, his project was postponed.  God is in the details!

Fast forward almost a year and a half later of trying, fertility doctor #1, medications, shots, and IUI we found out that our October 2018 round of IUI took! We went in immediately for labs and praise the Lord, they looked GREAT! Two weeks later we repeated labs and again ALL of my numbers had exceeded the numbers that our doctor was aiming for. The first ultrasound showed a healthy baby and a good heart rate (a smidge low), but the doctor wasn’t concerned and wanted us to come back a week later to make sure it was in range. A week later we went back and found that the baby had grown and was right on target for growth and the heart rate was well above where it needed to be. We breathed a sigh of relief all while praising Him for a good report.

The day after Christmas I woke up not feeling well and had some concerning symptoms, so we went in to check everything out. During the ultrasound, we found out that our baby was gone. Being wheeled back to surgery again was almost more than we could bear at that moment. But He was present in that quiet hospital and reminding us that He had/has a plan and His plan is perfect!

February of 2019, we went to Fertility Doctor #2 and did the ENTIRE gamut of tests, on both of us. With each test that we passed, I breathed a sigh of relief and well, maybe a little pride that all was going to be just fine. Then in March 2019, we found out that I was not good candidate for any more fertility treatments. In that brief moment, I felt broken.  But our faithful Jesus quickly reminded me that He made me, and I was not broken.  That this was His plan unfolding. His Jeremiah 29:11 plan for our family.

An hour after our appointment, Jimmy flew out of town for work for the next week. Due to the time difference and his work schedule we didn’t get to talk much and barely sent test messages due to reception. We both spent that week diligently praying. When Jimmy returned home and while sitting in the Kroger parking lot eating lunch, we both looked at each other, and at almost the same time said, “God is calling us to adoption”.  Soooo many times, He has done this for us in our marriage. He has spoken to us unifying and affirming us in what He was telling, directing, and leading us to. From this moment, a peace that cannot be explained other than given by Him came over us!  It’s the peace that ONLY comes with you FULLY surrender to His calling!

We continued praying and over and over again He confirmed this decision by being in the word, prayer, the counsel of others, and circumstances.

As the months progressed in 2018 we began hearing Him whisper “Adoption”. Through the summer (beginning fertility testing) and into the fall, the fertility treatments, the pregnancy, and the loss He was LOUDLY and CLEARLY telling us that Adoption was what he was emphatically calling us too. I, at first, dug in my heels and started that tug of war with God. Coming up with all kinds of fleshly doubt and trying to look, reason, and plan with my human mind; how SILLY of me! I was running AHEAD of the Holy Spirit and not allowing Him to lead, and what a miserable place that is. Thankfully He is full of grace, patience, and is long-suffering.

Because of the great adventure, He is taking us on, we have met and been able to be a part of people’s lives in ways we could never imagine and oh how sweet it has been. He has shown himself in unimaginable ways, in such personal ways. While loss hurts there is peace in trusting His plan that just doesn’t compare and we WANT HIS plan.

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”. HE is a PROMISE KEEPER! And, He brings beauty from ashes.

We continue to wait on the LORD, watching each page come to life as He writes our family’s story, and all too eager to flip forward to the pages where we bring our child home. We are so thankful to our friends, family, and even those we don’t know that have prayed for, encouraged and supported us. We invite you to continue your support and encouragement in a few ways:

1.    Prayer: Pray for the birth mom/family and our son or daughter.  That God would continue to protect and keep healthy our child(ren), and that he would meet our spiritual, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs as we walk through our adoption adventure.

2.  Letters of Encouragement: As silly as it may sound, your words of encouragement and prayer mean so much to us. We have a box that we’re putting all of your letters in, in our home, we read them often, and want to look back on them and read them to our son or daughter one day to remind all of us of God’s faithfulness and care he provides through friends and family. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing!

3.  Financial Support: Financial Support: Adoption is expensive and the estimated cost to bring our son or daughter home is around $45,000-$50,000 (not including travel expenses).  I know it seems like a lot and some ask "where does it all go?".  Below is a small breakdown of where the money goes and ask you can see, the majority of the funds go to the birth mom. 

·      Medical care (labs, appointments, labor/delivery, postpartum follow up),

·      Temporary Living Expenses (if/as needed),

·      Travel (if needed)

·      Maternity Expenses (clothing, prenatal vitamins, other non-medical pregnancy-related needs)

·      Adoption Related Legal Fees,

·      Counseling Pre/Post Delivery (as long as she needs it).

 

The cost of adoption is a lot and we have been awarded a $7,000 matching grant from the Colonial Heights Baptist Church Adoption Fund, administered by Lifesong for Orphans.

 

This matching grant means that every dollar donated to our adoption fund up to $7,000.00 will be DOUBLED!  

 

This was a huge answer to prayer, and we invite you to participate in our story through by a tax-deductible donation! We are trusting Him for the provision and are looking forward to seeing His hands and feet at work! 

 

WE cannot EVER Thank you all enough. We love each of you dearly and each of you has and are blessing us MORE than you will ever know! We also look forward to gaining new friends/family on this journey! And, we cannot wait to celebrate with you all when we bring Baby Luster home!

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Jimmy, Carrie, and Olivia Luster

 

 Financial Support Information

 

CHECKS:

 ·Make checks payable to: “Lifesong For Orphans”

 ·Memo Line: “Luster, James and Carrie 8652”. 

   This ensures your donation gets applied to our account.

 

 ·Mail Checks: Lifesong For Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744

 

ONLINE DONATIONS:

 · Click DONATE NOW above!

 


STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Luster 08652”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.

Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.

  • In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
  • Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
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“May God bless this entire adoption process as He leads you to your forever child”

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