...And just like that, we are "ACTIVE"!  

Forgive me, this blog post is slightly delayed, considering we actually became active on Aug. 4th, but I have had so much on my heart that I wanted to share, I just needed time to organize all my thoughts and get them recorded here for you. 

We are so excited to finally be active.  This is a HUGE milestone in our adoption journey.  Being active means we are now reviewing potential birthmom situations and deciding who we would like to present our profile to.  If we say yes to a birthmom, she then has the opportunity to select us from a group of potential adoptive families. If she chooses us as adoptive parents for her child, a match happens and we then can celebrate knowing that baby is our child and begin preparing for their arrival and homecoming. 

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I have so many feelings over this milestone, it's been hard for me to put it all into words... Yet, here I am trying. So bear with me if this gets a little bit wordy, and a little bit mushy. #allthefeels

From the moment we decided to start a family, God began using the struggles we faced with infertility to ground us, give us a foundation and something to push for. We're no strangers to wanting something so badly you'll do whatever it takes... At the same time, longing for a child and not being able to conceive taught us that our joy isn't found in life or circumstances, but rather in God. There's been a lot of wondering the ifs, the when, the hows... Now, as we're several steps into our adoption process - we're noticing how these questions keep coming up, but we're finding a stronger faith in God and His provision each time. 

The day we decided to begin our adoption process, we found ourselves wondering the ifs, the when, the how..  We didn’t know what  adoption would look like for us - foster care, domestic adoption, international adoption… We didn’t know where the funds would come from or how the process would go. There was so much to research to do, so many options and the information was simply overwhelming.  We prayed hard, began sacrificing and saving, put in long hours, and made lots of calls to friends who’ve done this before us.  

Something I haven't shared yet is found between the lines of the mounds of paperwork and scheduled meetings I talked about several weeks ago.  We knew there would be a lot of paperwork but we didn't know about the incredibly HUGE decisions we were making with each piece of paper we completed.  In addition to devoting hours, evenings, and weekends to compiling years of financial data, getting birth certificates, insurances, employment verifications, pet records, medical evaluations, reference letters, and having our fingerprints done electronically at UPS, done in ink at the Sherrif’s station, we also got our records checked at the police station, had FBI, TBI, DCS and Sex Offender Registry checks run on us, met with our social worker multiple times, tracked down the fire marshall to inspect our home, hung new smoke detectors, installed child locks, described our marriage, wrote autobiographies, and then began answering the really tough questions...

Do we want an open adoption or semi open adoption?  Do we want contact with the birth family? What situations are we willing to accept?  Do we want a boy or a girl? What about twins?  What if the birth mother hasn’t received prenatal care?  What if the baby has been exposed to drugs, alcohol or cigarettes?  What is our parenting plan?  What is something happens to both of us and we aren’t able to parent - where will our child go?  What if the birth father can’t be found or the baby is the result of a rape?  What ethnicity are we open to? How far are we will to travel to find our baby?  Can we get time off work to stay out of state if necessary to pick up our child?  Do we understand we could potentially lose money if a birth mom changes her mind and decides to parent her child after we’ve been matched?

Talk about mind numbing… in the midst of being overwhelmed with paperwork and processes, these were the hard questions that we didn’t know how to answer yet were forced to face. So many ifs, whens and hows... Adoption isn’t as easy y’all.

About midway through these questions, we found out E's company lost their contract in our area and his employment was officially terminated.  WHOA, REALLY? JUST LIKE THAT?!  Yes.  The moment we found out, we were flooded with when, how?   After a few tense weeks, we are happy to report that God prevailed and while not an ideal situation, E is able to stay on at his job with the new company coming in even though it means forfeiting some pay and several great benefits.

Now, that we are active, we have found this new turn of events immediately came with it’s own set of ifs, when and how questions.  Within two days of becoming active, we received and reviewed three separate birthmom situations and had to decide if we wanted to present our profile to these precious mamas.  This process overwhelmed me and broke my heart as I read through these stories of mamas who are seeking families for their children. Instead of feeling disheartened about less than ideal situations or drug exposures, it is an eye opening opportunity to celebrate these women for choosing life, for offering a family hope and for the opportunity they have to be exposed to the Gospel through the Christian agencies and adoption process. We want to love them, pray for them, and want what’s best for each of them.  So in each situation, we find ourselves asking ifs, whens and hows. 

We also have to be prepared financially for things to happen quickly.  We are only 1/3 funded and we're seeing situations that cost upwards of $43,000 - $45,000  (after the $5,580 we've already spent!). That's crazy, especially when we desire to be debt free in our adoption. So once more, we're sitting here asking ourselves WHEN AND HOW?  But we know God is in control and He has called us to this journey so He will provide. 

Adoption isn’t easy y’all. It’s overwhelming, it’s stressful, it's expensive and it’s a series of unknown ifs, whens, and hows.  Yet every, single, step of the way, God has shown us just how beautiful it truly is.  Adoption is finding hope in God’s plan for a family, it’s the excitement of what is to come in midst of the mess of paperwork, it’s leaning on Him for guidance in answering the tough questions, it’s watching Him work in the lives of others as they open their hearts to us, support us and love on us. It’s learning how to say yes when faced with a world of unknowns, it’s changing our outlooks on how we view others, it’s following in obedience wherever God leads and no matter the cost…. It’s rewarding, it’s incredible, it’s soul filling… And we have only just begun our journey….

We want to say thank you to the many friends and family who’ve supported us and donated towards our adoption fund so far. Your love and contributions are appreciated more than we can ever express. Our hearts are continually touched by your generosity.  We are so thankful God has used you and we are grateful you’ll be a part of our child’s life.  

We really hope we'll have more wonderful news to share VERY SOON but until then, we love you guys (and if you made it to this point, PROPS TO YOU for reading every. last. word.  LOL!)

 

 

Envelope Fundraiser Kickoff...

OUR HOME STUDY IS COMPLETE!

We are so excited to share that our home study is done, y'all!  At this time, we are now 99% of the way done with our clearances and paperwork before we can become "Active".  We have one more clearance/fingerprinting process to go through for the state of Texas and we hope that will be complete soon.  

In addition, our printed profile books have also arrived. We absolutely love how they turned out and we hope that any birth mamas who look through our book feel not only our love for her, but God's love as well as we celebrate her choice in choosing life for her child. 

Our next step and current goal is to get our financing in place and have 100% of our funds available in a short amount of time, in case things progress quickly.  As many of you know, we have a budget of $38,000 and we are applying for grants and a loan in addition to dutifully scrimping and saving. We have already saved $5,000 on our own and paid for all our costs up to this point with that savings in addition to the $900 we raised through our garage sale and $200 in online donations from three dear friends.

Many of you have asked if you could help in some small way and we now have a really great opportunity for you to get involved and become a part of our little "village'.  But first, we want to share something from our hearts... Please know that we don’t take this lightly. To be asking you to contribute and sacrifice, we feel a great responsibility to honor you in the way we are spending our money. We are pretty thrifty as it is but we are being even more thoughtful about the dollars being spent every day. We are also allotting every dollar that is given, or raised, to go directly into a checking account that is STRICTLY for our adoption expenses. Anyway, we know we are asking a lot, but we are stepping out in faith believing that God will provide and we are humbled and honored by those of you who want to join us in this journey.  With that being said, we hope you'll consider praying about, and for, our envelope fundraiser!

We are super excited about this fundraiser because we have heard from so many other adoptive families that it works and it's a great way for many people to become involved.  With this fundraiser, we have the potential to raise over 2/3 of our financial goal! That's huge, you guys!  We have been diligently praying about the fundraiser since it's conception and we are so excited to kick it off! Visit the link below for all the details...

We Have Been Approved! What is next and what we are up to right now...

Hi everyone! We are so excited to share that we have been approved with the consultation company we chose to walk us through the adoption process. 

Over the last month, the Mr. has worked countless hours in overtime, we've been dutifully saving, selling donated items online and I've opened an online store.  We are already a little over halfway towards our first goal of $3,500.

A few of you have asked us some questions that I thought I would address here, in case others of you had the same questions...

Why did you choose a consultation company and what do they do?

After months of research and talking with many, many agencies around the country, we chose to use a Christian consultation company out of Georgia.  This company is run and administered by multiple women/families who've adopted themselves.  They're going to walk us through the entire process. We pay them a one time fee and they will help open our doors to placement agencies all over the country reducing our wait time from years to possibly just months. This is opposed to us choosing one agency who may only work with 1-5 birth mothers a year and have a list of 20+ waiting families.

Have you set up a GoFundMe page?

We have not. The reason behind that is because GoFundMe collects around 9% of the donations made. That's expensive. 

So at this point, we are accepting donations through the donate button on our website (this is only a 2.9% fee) and accepting donations of items made to us for the purpose of us selling them in a garage sale or online. If you'd like to make a personal donation by check, you can contact us for our mailing address.

What is next?

Now, we move towards our homestudy! We will hire a company who will complete this service for us.  In addition, we are going to begin heavily fundraising and starting to fill out grant applications that we hope to turn in after our homestudy is approved. 

As always, we will continue to ask for you prayers and support.  We are so appreciative of each and every one of you. If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment below or contact us.  Love you all!

 

 

 

 

WE ARE ADOPTING!

Many of you know and have shared in our infertility struggle. When our miscarriage happened last year, I really struggled with why it happened. Now, with adoption so heavy on my heart, I realize that had we not lost our child, we may never have opened our hearts to the possibility of adoption. God has really worked in our lives and opened doors for us that we never expected, like the ability for me to work from home... He has been so good and so faithful to us.

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