91 days & grace stairs

I remember being in the last days of pregnancy with my oldest. Every day that passed was a day closer to his ‘due date’. I’m a prompt kind of girl. My dad taught me to be 5 minutes early or I am already 5 minutes late. My son’s due date came and went. I remember waking up the day after he was due and just deciding that he was basically never coming out so I just had to move on with life. I’d be pregnant forever and I would just have to deal with it. I know that sounds irrational, but if you know a pregnant woman who has gone over her “due date” – you know irrational is pretty normal. Well, two days later he arrived. And I became a mom.


He’s 8 now. And he is pretty much always on time. Prompt little guy like his momma.

I tell him all the time he gave me the greatest gift – he made me a mom.

Today marks day 91 of our approval letter wait. So many wait much longer, but so many also wait much less. We were told to expect it in 30-90 days. Day 91 feels in a small way like being overdue…like the ‘pregnancy’ will never end. It is crazy to think about how different the process is for our daughter. She has spent all but 3 days of her life in a little metal crib. She has no concept or idea of what her very near future holds. All she can see is the four white walls of her orphanage room. Her world is so very small right now. Not even in her wildest baby dreams could she fathom what is ahead.

She has no idea that her 8 year old brother begs God every night that He would bring his baby sister home.

She has no idea her 6 year old brother includes her in all the family portraits he draws.

She has no idea her 4 year old brother asks everyday if it is the day we get to go get his sister.

She has no idea that her big sister carries her picture and hugs her image on a computer screen.


She has no idea the heartache and longing her family feels.

She has no idea that she is so much a part of our family that we miss someone we’ve never met face to face.

She has no idea the huge void our whole family feels in her absence.

She has no idea her picture sits on our mantle and we stare at it all day. (I put a heart over her pic for this post)

We look at her picture and can’t comprehend that of all the families in the world, we would get to be hers. We are blessed beyond measure. The wait is so difficult. In the wait, I think about my girl and how small her view of the future is right now. She can’t see the ‘big picture’, she sees the metal bars of her crib. And I think about how I am so much like her. Right now all I can see is the wait and the distance between us. And yet, I know that no matter how hard I try I can’t even begin to comprehend the joy that awaits me in simply being her mom. I cannot wait.

I read a post by Ann Voskamp yesterday titled A Prayer for the BrokenHearted (click here to read it all). I kind of think the end she wrote just for me….

“And may that wind the brokenhearted daughter faces, may it fly her hair like a glory flag,

And may the hills that rise before her be but an exhilaration,

And may all her trials be but a trail,

all the stones on the way be but grace stairs to God.

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  • Andy - choked up just reading this. reading about your oldest son and then going through how all your kidos are eagerly awaiting the arrival of your sweet song as much as you are.

  • kay - teary eyed on a friday morning.. not what I expected for today, but i feel your pain in your wait. waiting and trying to get pregnant. its a deep hurt not knowing when you’ll finally get to meet that little one who i’m sure will change your life. prayers are with you during your struggle to wait another day.

  • Dawn - I’m sorry the wait is so “overdo”. Those last lines are beautiful, inspiring. Hang in there; before too long she will be in your arms and hear your voice!

  • Erica - Ah Ashley! I am 8 days overdue today. I am feeling exactly how you described. May both our waits be shortened by the grace of God!

  • Lisa Johnson - I am so sad for your wait. It’s simply not fair.
    But I rejoice in the love that awaits that precious baby girl.

  • MixedMolly - Beautiful words from both of you. Once day on earth will seem but a breath in eternity. May you continue to cling to God and His promises as He strengthens you in the waiting.

  • Kaytie - I can’t imagine how difficult this waiting period is for you. Lots of positive thoughts coming your way today, I hope your girl makes her way home to your soon. 🙂

  • Alice H - Waiting is so hard. I was 11 days late with my first daughter. I am having a hard time waiting for the day we all get to see your new daughter in your arms. Love this post and I love how your kids are so excited about their new baby sister too.

  • Aja - This wait is so hard! I can’t even imagine.. I love how your kiddos long for their sister. So precious. Praying your wait isn’t much longer!

  • Jenny Joy - Thank you for writing this all down. There will come a point in your new little one’s life in which she will want to know more about her beginnings. And during that time, you will have written words to prove to her how very much you loved her before you even met her. How she was your baby long before she stepped foot into your home. Your words are a gift… a love letter… straight to her heart. There is so much power in that. <3

  • Leslie - You have a gift with words, among other things. I love to see people live out their calling. I am praying for you and your family and hope a reunion is near.

  • Eva - You are sooo overdue. Praying your wait doesn’t get any longer.

  • Karen - Under the Sycamore is in my Google Reader (filed at the top of my “Bestest” folder!) and every time I see a new post from you my heart leaps. Your family is on my mind and in my heart every day. I hope you know what a gift you have, to not only put your thoughts into words so beautifully, but to have the gift of mindfulness and thoughtfulness as you nurture these little souls God blessed you with. I was overdue with my first and you’re right, it feels like you’ll be pregnant forever! But it’s your last ‘pregnancy’ so cherish it. Cherish that bittersweet longing you feel for her, because you may never feel it again. I hope and pray news comes swiftly to you. xxx

  • Anna Joy - Waiting is so hard. So so hard. I too have to wait for something but it is not nearly as desperate as waiting for your daughter. Please know that your journey is so encouraging to me (and to all!) who read. Praying for your family!

  • Marie - My heart goes to you and your family as you wait…I totally understand the longing (although mine is of the pregnant kind, due in 2 days). I know that this little one will be so very lucky to become a part of your family and thank you for your posts that always bring a little something to my day. xoxo

  • bonnie - praying you through the wait…Gods timing is perfect. This (even the wait) is all part of the life he has already written for you and your family. He’s got the whole world in his hands. Your kids, all of them, are so blessed to have parents who love with such huge hearts.

  • Lori - Will be praying for your family. God has the perfect timing and the hard part is waiting. Hold on the Him. Excited for your family.

  • Kara M - Praying you get your call TODAY! Have fun at the Orphan Run tomorrow. Be sure to pick up a “Proud to be an Adoptive Family” back bib!!

  • N - Beautiful post. Waiting is hard. But someday (very soon, hopefully!) you will forget all about how hard this wait is when you finally get to hold this little one in your arms.

  • Jenny - beautiful post….she will be home soon. hang in there. 🙂

  • Kelsey R - Ashley, this is so precious. God is so Awesome, isn’t he? I can’t wait to hear about when you will be with your daughter and your family can be whole again!

  • Venusia - Wow ! So good post, it makes me cry ! It makes my refocus and hope on the future. And also think of how or view of eternity is small. How Jesus is waiting for our arrival and how wonderful is gonna be the reunion ! Wow, Jesus is waiting for us, as you are for your Song !

  • kaite - Ashley I am so sorry! I know exactly how you are feeling- the wait for my sister was unbearable. The day we got our referral and her picture was one of the greatest days of my life! Five and a half years later she is the light of my life and I so look forward to the day when you write about that fabulous phone call you WILL receive!!!

  • Cory - My heart aches for you & your family. The Lord is doing a huge work through all of this. Thank you for sharing your journey & your heart!

  • Lori - beautiful.grace stairs.

  • Beth - So beautifully written. I do know that painful wait and I pray it doesn’t have to be much longer for you. Hugs!!!

  • amy jupin - oh sister-friend, to say i understand your aching is an understatement.
    we are sooo there.
    but somehow i find comfort and solace in your words.
    reading this post, reading ann’s post, her beautiful poetry, it is so healing.
    we will get there.
    i pray each and every day for you and song.
    i pray for those sweet little faces with the broken little smiles and i cry out to our Lord to hear my prayers.
    i am anxiously awaiting the day i hop over to your blog and finally see photos of your family–whole and complete.
    love and cherish you!!

  • Nikki - You made me cry again. I want your daughter to come home to your family so badly. Hurry up LOA!!

  • Emily - Oh, soon! I hope it happens so soon! I hope that as you read these comments, the mail man knocks on your door and hands you that letter. I’m going to use my jedi mind tricks to help make it happen 😉

  • LindaJ - Wow that was beautiful. I totally understand. We adopted the first of our 4 children. The heartache and the waiting is tremendous. This post brought tears to my eyes. Remember the Lord is with you and all things come in His time. I hope it happens soon for you! I think you know you have a lot of people hoping and praying for you.

  • Amanda - prayed this verse for you today:
    For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
    He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful SONGs.
    (Zepheniah 3:17 NLT)

  • maggie - just a beautiful post~ I love when you can actually feel someones heart thru their writing. You do that so eloquently. Your “Song” will be worth the wait, all in due time…Keep up your strength and rest up. She will be here before you know it. <3

  • staceyb - None but the Hungry Heart devotional for today made me think of you in this waiting…http://hungryheartdevotional.wordpress.com/

  • Jessica R - Smiffle sniffle. I am all weepy over here. Sad for your girl and her metal crib and her little world, and no mama or daddy. Thrilled for what lies ahead for her. Aching for you to be able to go get your hands on her!

  • becky - just beautiful!

  • Martina - “Not even in her wildest baby dreams could she fathom what is ahead.” I don’t know the theology or psychology of it, but wouldn’t it be cool to ask God to give her dreams about her new family and new life so that you and your home feels perfectly familiar to her when she gets home? Maybe, like a dream come true!

  • jdzjane - Our time is not God’s time. Something I myself am learning too. We have been waiting over a year for the house that the Lord promised us. Its been hard to wait patiently, but it is something that the Lord commands us to do. I see the Lord working through your blog daily – in how you see the beauty in all things around you – through every day of your wait. This wait isn’t just for you – but for your readers too – to be proof that there is a God – that he sent His Son for them – that he cares for them as much as he cares for you and your family and your precious soon to be daughter. Be patient – God’s time is not our time. His time is never too late and never too early – its the right time – every time! Let Him be the one to get the Glory for this – lean on Him – let Him be your strength.

    And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:15

    Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 12:12

    I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry Psalms 40:1

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh my. That is absolutely wonderful!

  • Katie - Beautifully written- understanding the overdue feeling for sure. May God cultivate and keep you both until He unites you.:)

  • Alisha - Your daughter has no idea how much she’s loved right now… but she will. Very very soon. As I read this post, all I could think about was that one day she’s going to read these words you’ve written and her heart will burst trying to comprehend how much she is treasured, wanted, and LOVED. Bless you, Campbells!

  • Tracy A - What an endearing post Ashley. Overdue…I know it well, both my boys were. It doesn’t make the wait any easier knowing that, however. I’ll pray, that just like your oldest son, your LOA will come in 2 days time. HE can do it…and I pray he does…

  • marie - I think Ann wrote that just for you too….
    You are all in my prayers.

  • giozi - Happy birthday to your boy. And soon soon you are going to have your baby too 😀

  • Bethany - We’re in the waiting stages of our adoption as well…sending prayers your way!

  • Val Rocha - I just want to thank you for sharing this much of your heart with us… it filled my own. Thank you.

  • Gracie@kitchentableart - http://wrightfamilymusic.bandcamp.com/track/richly-loved

    I just wanted to share this with you. It is a husband and wife that I am close with here at home. They having been trying to get pregnant for a while now. They just made the decision to start the adoption process and wrote this song in their decision making process.

  • Suzanne - Beautiful. Soon your song will be coming home!!

  • Kristina - Reading this bring tears to my eyes and sadness in my heart. I always knew that I would have trouble becoming pregnant and after fertility struggles over the past couple of years, I’m now sitting on my last “attempt” and afraid to do it. I’m afraid that it will be bad news again, I’m afraid that I won’t be a parent and I’m afraid that I’ll be right there where you are… waiting for an acceptance letter that one day that baby will be ours. I enjoy your honesty and your point of view. It helps me understand what is out there and I appreciate it.

  • Jeannette Swan - This is my prayer focus for the run tomorrow. Praying and believing with you that your daughter will be home very soon!

  • linnea - What a beautiful post! each day i come to your blog thinking ” this is the day” & someday i will be happily suprised!

  • heather - i love your grateful heart.

  • pinksuedeshoe - Tears sprang to my eyes as I read each of your children’s way of dealing with this wait. Your family is so sweet. Even though I’m sure right now (or you know sooner or later) there will be ridiculous light saber fights and arguements over books/legos/toys/mud/dirt/sticks, which every family has. But the little bits of sweetness that you share on this blog are so tender hearted. I hope that I can raise children who feel for others just like yours do. Praying the wait for this baby is just 2 days “overdue”.

  • kara miller - the wait is tough, but boy is that little girl ever so blessed to have you guys waiting on her.
    the love, prayers and excitement that your children express just show the blessings you bestow on them as their mother.
    They are blessed with patience, love, acceptance, understanding, faith and the list holds much more.
    Just being able to witness this through your blog is a blessing to me.
    Praying that your number is under 100!!!! 🙂

  • Kate - What a blessed little girl to have your purely love family to unite with soon, and what a blessed family to have such a little one with a story already to love. I am praying for you all always, and cannot wait to open a new post from you that says “here is our daughter!” Love, peace, and calm.

  • nicolei - that ann voskamp, she gets us everytime, doesn’t she. grace stairs.

  • Anna@agoodhome - Someday your youngest will get to read these words and be so blessed by knowing how much you loved her before she even met you. Some of our best friends adopted both of their children, the oldest of whom they started the process of adopting almost 2 yrs before she was even born. They finally brought her home from Russia when she was just over a year old, and I know the wait was grueling. What a beautiful gift you’ll both be able to give your kids when they’re old enough to understand: love from before they even entered the world! God is good.

  • Rosalind - Hang in there…I know what the overdue wait feels like, the best thing is you KNOW it won’t last forever – when the time is right. I am reading Ann’s book thanks to you too. Taking it slowly and savouring it all.