WE ARE MATCHED!

We are so incredibly excited to share that we have been matched with an expectant mama &  baby!

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GENDER UNKNOWN |  DUE MAY 04, 2018

When our consultant shared the wonderful news last night that we were matched with one of the two mamas who had viewed our profile book this week, my heart immediately swelled with joy. I'm pretty much sat there saying "oh my gosh, yes!" repeatedly.  You see, a match means that this expectant mama looked through our book, along with the books of other families who also presented to her, and chose us to parent her child after birth.  This is an important step in the adoption process because it means we are committing to that expectant mama and she is committing to us. We will no longer present to any other expectant moms.  In addition, we are now connected with a placement agency and know an approximate total of our adoption cost. Lastly, it also means that if the expectant mama wishes, we get to begin building a relationship with her and getting to know each other as we all await baby's arrival.

Today, less than 24 hours later, we had our first video chat with the expectant Mama who chose us because she wanted to "meet us". And you guys, she's so sweet and she shared her heart for us and the experience she wants us to have concerning the adoption!

She's so brave and so amazing. I already have a fierce love for her and that precious baby. We, in turn, got to share with her how much we want her to be a part of our family. We know that she is going to experience a huge loss and that's something we are very familiar with.  We want to support and honor her and we asked her to let us know how we can do that. The call was everything I imagined it would be and MORE.  There are so many intricate details to adoption and so many varied emotions for both sides.  But we know LOVE, especially the love given by our God, is all that's needed to fill any void. 

We are honored to say that she has invited us to come meet her in person and do a mini gender reveal party.  My heart swells with how thoughtful that is, because that's something we totally would have missed out on otherwise.  We cannot wait to meet her and give her a hug!

For this evening, I'm going to wrap up this post but I will be back soon, sharing about our renewed fundraising goals (you guys, we're literally HALFWAY THERE and we only have three months left!), sharing updates and more about our adoption journey and answering any questions you may have.  We love you all, we ask you to continue to pray for us, for our expectant mama and this sweet baby!

 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. (1 Pet. 1-6 NLT)

Hello friends and loved ones.  It is with heavy hearts that I write this post today... Over the Thanksgiving holiday of 2017, we were elated to find out we were expecting our second child.  A natural conception without fertility medications and something we weren't even planning for happened. It was truly a miracle from the Lord!  I won't go into great detail, but the following weeks were covered in prayers, worries and hopes and dreams.  We were so excited to have the possibility of two little ones in the upcoming year - one by adoption and one by birth. 

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God blessed me with the opportunity to carry our sweet little one for seven weeks. Unfortunately, on the day our pregnancy turned seven weeks, we found it was an ectopic pregnancy after two days of testing and lab work. We did get to see our baby's heartbeat on the screen as the doctor told us that it wasn't a viable pregnancy and was threatening my life. She prescribed a Methotrexate treatment that was administered that day to terminate the pregnancy.  I can't even begin to put into words the pain and tears that flowed that day. However, as I sat in the oncology office chair, the Scripture below was engraved on the wooden arm rest of the chair and I found so much comfort that afternoon in those words...

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9

The following day, my right Fallopian tube where the pregnancy had embedded ruptured and I was rushed into the ER for an emergency life saving surgery.  We see God's hand in that day in many ways as my doctor was the doctor on call that weekend and able to perform my surgery. In addition, God gave us the wisdom to go the ER, with me heavily bleeding internally and unknowingly only hours from passing away.  What I thought was going to be a laparoscopic surgery ended up being a full incision with a 6 week recovery. I had a blood transfusion, had my right tube removed, was monitored in the hospital for several days and then spent the next six weeks recovering and allowing my heart to process everything that happened in yet another loss. It was truly a whirlwind and I can hardly believe how much has happened in two short months.

Looking back on this ordeal, I was so blessed by a wonderful husband who stood by my side and cared for me in every single moment. This trial surely brought us closer together.  In addition, we as a couple, were surrounded by loved ones who took care of us, prayed for us and provided for us.  We are so grateful to every single one of you who took the time to call, check in, text, message, comment, send gifts, and even send donations to our adoption fund over the holiday season. 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
— 1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT

Through every step of the last two months, I prayed for nothing more than God’s will to be done and His peace for our hearts. I wasn't once afraid, though perhaps I have been discouraged. I still don’t understand why this happened and I’m fully aware that I may never will. Many have asked us if we were going to put the adoption on hold, but our answer is no because that journey is separate from our infertility journey. I know deep in my heart God has called us to walk both of these journeys simultaneously and I can’t imagine a better, more fitting scripture for either than 1 Peter 1.6-7. My hope is that He will use our story to encourage others and to lift His name high, even when we feel defeated and broken. Be strong, be courageous - He is with you in whatever you’re facing and He has a plan to prosper you too. Thank you all for your prayers and love. Please continue to lift us up, specifically that God will lead us to the right birth family and baby, that the finances can be raised in full so we won’t have any adoption debt and can enjoy a wonderful, renewed life with our adopted little one - SOON!

 

 

...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. 

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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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