Adoption Update - We've Been CHOSEN!

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WE’VE BEEN CHOSEN!

The most wonderful expectant mom has chosen us to raise her daughter and we are so GRATEFUL.

When I originally wrote this post, I had every intention of giving a little update on what it’s like to be a certified/waiting family. I talked about the process, how we’d wait while our agency presents our profile book to expectant moms, and how eventually we’d get a call that an expectant mom wanted to meet us. Little did I know, that within days we’d get that exact call! It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks and God is blowing our minds at every turn.

So although this update is a bit different than I had originally planned, (in the most WONDERFUL way!), I think an update is still in order! In an effort to protect and respect the expectant mom’s privacy, we won’t be sharing all the details, but I can’t help but tell you a little bit about what God is doing.

It’s only been ONE month since we became an active/certified family. I can’t even believe how quickly everything is happening. I want to share more details on each of these milestones in the future, but for now, here’s a general overview of our adoption timeline:

April 11th - We attended our first official info meeting about adoption and submitted our initial application to Bethany that night.

August 29th - Four months later we completed our home study and officially became a waiting/certified family.

September 14th - Two weeks later, we got an email about a specific situation, and after lots of prayer, decided to say yes to being shown. 

September 21st - One week after that, we got the call! The expectant mom wanted to meet us!

September 27th - A few days later we got to meet the expectant mom and her family. It went better than we ever could have imagined! We got the official news later that day that we’d been chosen - baby girl due January 4th, 2019!

We’ve traced the timeline backwards and figured out that baby girl must have been conceived around the same time we went to our first adoption meeting. God has been growing her in our hearts at the very same time that she’s been growing in her mama’s belly! (See what I mean?! God’s blowing our minds).

I keep telling people that God is REDEEMER. If I had to pick one character quality that he’s revealing to us through this process it’s exactly that. He’s showing us that He cares about the details. Every, single, tiny one of them. And He’s using them to weave together a greater story than we could ever know.

Are there a lot of unknowns? YES. Aren’t there always in life? And especially with adoption. But Kent and I have complete peace and trust in our Savior. We can’t plan out the future and have no control over what’s to come. But we serve a God who can and is.

Adoption is teaching us more about Jesus heart when He instructs us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” DAILY. That’s a right now, right here, hour by hour provision. So, “What happens now?” We wait. We pray. We build relationship with this expectant mom and watch baby girl grow and grow. We live with open hands and thankful hearts, trusting that God’s plans are good and His timing is perfect.

Daily bread. Here we go. One grateful bite at a time. 

We're Certified!

We are officially certified!!

Every last paper, every last training, every last interview and meeting and photo and line of text are turned in, checked off, in place, done...FINISHED!

What a undertaking it has been.

This whole process started back in April, when we attended our first meeting at Bethany Christian Services and decided to say an emphatic, "YES!" to all God was calling us to through adoption. And now, four months later, here we are - certified. No more background checks or trainings. No more DMV reports or doctor sign offs. No more home study interviews or required reading. Just one, wide open future, waiting to see how God's plan unfolds in our lives. 

And not only that...we're FULLY FUNDED.

You guys, this is where I start crying.

If there was anything we questioned about this decision or worried about along the way, it was fundraising. Adoption is incredibly expensive and so we knew early on that there was no way we'd be able to do this on our own. And we HATE asking for help. Especially, given that so many people in our community had, just one year prior, given so generously to help us pay for our medical bills after Titus passed away. We felt so uncertain and guilty about asking for help again. Ironically though, it was also our grief this last year that taught us the value of asking for help and the importance of allowing people to give it (our little Ty guy is in all the details, isn't he?).

I'll never forget the advice my sister Jaci gave me last year when I was struggling with needing so much help, "Hannah, don't un-invite people to your grief." I didn't realize that by not accepting help when I needed it most, I was effectively telling people that they couldn't walk this road alongside me. And that was the opposite of what I wanted! Similarly, with our adoption, we decided that not asking for help would be essentially uninviting people to our celebration and joy! 

So we asked for help, and in one month flat, we raised the full $29,950 we needed.

Every. Single. Penny. Given so sacrificially to support our family and shower this child with love and acceptance (even before we know who they are...that blows my mind!). I am completely at a loss. Astounded by the generosity and kindness of our community and the power of God to provide!

So will you raise a glass and celebrate with us??

Cheers to officially becoming a fully-funded, ACTIVE FAMILY!

Cheers to YOU for supporting us and praying for us - accepting our invitation to walk this road together.

And most of all, cheers to moving forward - one step at a time - toward the future and the hope God has for us! 

Now grab a seat with that glass and enjoy our adoption video :)

Our agency gives every family the option to create an online profile through their website. This is a place where expectant parents can browse through information about waiting families. We created a video as part of our online profile in hopes that it will allow expectant parents to get to know us better and understand our heart behind adoption. Take a look!

We're ADOPTING!

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You guys! We've got some big news...we're ADOPTING!

I can't even write this blog post without MAJOR tears because, oh my goodness, we serve such a BIG God. And Kent and I would not be where we are without His leading in our lives. 

For those of you who haven't been following our story, here's a little background:

On March 18, 2017 our son Titus was born. Our excitement and joy quickly disappeared when we realized he wasn't breathing, and after extensive measures to resuscitate him, he never regained consciousness. We said hello and goodbye to our precious little boy all in a matter of minutes. 

Throughout the journey of grief this last year, one of the things that kept tugging at our hearts was, "What are we going to do with all this baby stuff?" We hated that all of our son's brand new things were going to waste and we knew God wanted to redeem them from symbols of loss to symbols of hope. It was then that God put adoption on our hearts. We feel so strongly that our firstborn son's inheritance was always meant for an adopted child.

Losing Titus has also given us an enormous empathy for birth parents because we feel like birth parents ourselves - placing our son in Jesus care, not being able to raise him, but knowing that he's whole and happy and has everything he needs up in heaven. We're walking the line of sorrow and joy on a daily basis and understand the tension of holding grief and hope together in one hand. We know what a courageous choice it is to entrust your child to someone else. And so it is with great appreciation and anticipation that we've decided to start the adoption process.

The same God that's adopted us into his eternal family has pressed adoption upon our hearts; that is the God we seek to emulate in loving our children, however they come to us and however long they are with us. He's given us hope so that we can share that hope in the middle of brokenness and loss. And so that we can love without limits - any child he places in our family.

We already have so many stories of God's faithfulness and encouragement every step of the way. It's as if He and Titus are up in heaven jumping up and down, cheering us on saying, "Yes! Yes! We're so excited you're doing this! Keep going!" 

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I know you probably have so many questions - so we've tried to answer the big one's below. 

What Kind of Adoption? 

We've decided to move forward with Domestic Infant Adoption. This means we'll be adopting a baby locally in California. What's unique about this kind of adoption is that most likely we will have the opportunity to walk alongside an expectant mama, which is one the the things we're most looking forward to! 

Who are We Adopting Through?

We're adopting through a national private Christian agency called Bethany Christian Services. We've been blown away by their expertise, love, care, and Christ-centered focus. We're more than confident in their leadership throughout this process. 

How Long Does the Process Take? 

On average it takes about two years, but it could be much shorter or much longer. We're ready to trust in God's perfect timing. 

How Much Does it Cost?

The whole process through Bethany costs $29,950. That's an overwhelming number when you look at it as a whole, but thankfully it's not all due at once. Our friends and family have already been so incredibly generous and we have only $8,000 left to raise!

Where are We at in the Process?

Kent and I are currently in the middle of our Home Study.

A Home Study is a review of us, our family, and our home environment to determine whether our family and home would be suitable for a child. This requires 4 meetings with our social worker (which started on June 15th!)

Once we are Home Study approved, we'll officially be "on the list" and Bethany's pregnancy counselors will be able to start showing our profile to expectant mothers. 

What about Biological Children?

We would love to have more biological children! Unlike many families who choose to adopt, we are not experiencing infertility. In fact, we hope and pray for another biological child some day and feel strongly that experiencing another pregnancy will be an integral part of our healing. But right now, we feel God’s leading to grow our family through adoption.

How Can You Support Us?

In PRAYER! Please start praying now for the expectant parent(s) that might come across our profile; pray that God specifically starts preparing our birth mama's heart right now and that He would give her comfort and so much clarity about her decision. And lastly, for us! For our hearts to be patient as we wait on God's timing and that His Name would be glorified through us and through this process.  

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We're so excited for all God is going to do through this process. Thank you so much for your love and support of our little family. It's hard to put into words how grateful we truly are. 

Now, without further ado...let's bring baby H home!!