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!)