To Families in the Wait…

I’m so happy to bring you some encouragement today from of the most lovely families.  If you’re waiting for your little one, don’t give up.  You never know what God has for you just right around the corner!
To Families in the Wait,
We waited 6 long years for our daughter to join our family. We have experienced the heartache of miscarriage and the disappointment of failed fertility treatments. On Labor Day weekend in 2018, we had a spiritual encounter with God and knew that his plan was for us to grow our family through adoption. We jumped head first into the process and began presenting to expectant parents in January 2019. We were presented over 30 times. Honestly, after hearing “She chose another family.” so many times, we eventually stopped counting. With each “no” we received, we leaned further into our faith. We knew that God led us down this path for a specific purpose and we owed it to him to stay faithful even in the hardest moments. We prayed over every situation and ultimately said “Yes” to presenting to ones that we never thought we would. We didn’t want to say “No” out of fear, but instead wanted to welcome whatever situation God had planned for our family. On October 4, 2019, we finally received the phone call that we had prayed for so many times. “She chose you!” Hearing those words instantly brought me to my knees and tears of joy flowed from my eyes! Just two weeks later, we traveled thousands of miles away from home to welcome our daughter into the world and into our family! Throughout our entire journey to becoming parents, God has always been faithful. There were many moments when we questioned whether we were on the right path, and in those moments we turned our eyes to God and He reassured us. Wherever your journey leads you, know that God is faithful and His plans for your life are far greater than what you could ever possibly plan for yourself. Don’t ever give up!

God’s Promises


I’m so thrilled to share this beautiful family’s story on the blog today.  It’s so full of hope and the glory of God.  I hope you are encouraged and your faith is renewed as you read.  Enjoy precious Zemma’s adoption story:

We serve an awesome God who is faithful and always keeps his promises. A God who has a plan for each of us and will direct us down that path if we just listen. A God whose timing is always perfect. Nearly a year ago, God spoke a promise directly to my heart, and He faithfully kept that promise. My husband, Travis, and I had decided we were ready to have another baby. Our plan was to have a baby when our son, Kaleb, was about 3. A couple of months prior to Kaleb’s third birthday, Travis had an accident while lifting weights that left him paralyzed from the hips down. We had to figure out what our “new normal” looked like after his accident and it took two years to really get back to the point where we felt like we were ready to grow our family. We started infertility treatments in April 2018. We were hopeful, but I had a feeling this was not the way we were going to have our baby. We had two unsuccessful rounds of IUI and got the news in August that more biological kids weren’t in our future. If we had received that news a few months earlier, I would have been absolutely devastated and frankly, really angry. But God had already prepared my heart to receive that news. In July, I was reading an infertility devotion. Travis and Kaleb were asleep and the house was quiet. During my quiet time with God, I heard the word “adoption” and it shook me to the core. I had heard the voice of God, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that adoption was in our future. From that instant, the path to our baby completely changed course.

I don’t know much but I do know when God speaks, I need to listen. So I prayed and researched. And researched. And prayed. I made spreadsheets of questions for potential agencies. I made an Adoption Pinterest board. I called and spoke to agencies. Nothing felt “right.” Then a google search, by no coincidence, took me to Christian Adoption Consultants’ website. I read their mission statement, and it lined up completely with what I was looking for. I was reading about the consultants and found one from Kentucky, my home state. I emailed Karalee the same email that I felt like I had typed out 50 times. She got right back with me. It didn’t take long to know I had found the person who was going to help us bring our baby home. We signed our contract with CAC on October 12, 2018 and started the home study and fundraising process! Karalee helped us find a home study agency, and we signed up that week. It took only a couple of days to get the application finished and back to them. Travis had the wonderful idea to make and sell wooden nativity blocks. The support from the community and our friends was overwhelming. We sold so many more than I ever imagined. On January 25, our home study was finalized, and we were officially a waiting family! I was going out of town to a Christian women’s conference that day where I had very limited cell service, so Karalee had Travis’s number in case she needed to get in touch with us. She sent us a case that very afternoon about an expectant mom who was due May 17 with a baby girl!  It was the second time she had been sent profiles and had been looking for a match for over a month already. We decided to present. Travis literally picked our profile book up directly from the printer and overnighted it to the agency. The expectant mother, Ashley, looked at our profile and decided she wanted to talk to us the next week. Travis came home early from work that day and we sat in his car in the parking lot of my office and spoke to Ashley. The conversation flowed easily and we were able to find common ground quickly. We waited all weekend (Travis much more patiently than me) and found out we were matched on Tuesday, February 12. It was a whirlwind to say the least. I feel compelled to add that I don’t think we are more blessed or better parents than anyone else who is waiting to be matched. God’s timing is awesome, mysterious, and unpredictable and it was God’s timing for it to work out that quickly. We continued to speak with Ashley when she could call us.  It was hard not hearing from her, especially if we were expecting her to call. I would start thinking that she had changed her mind but then remembered to keep the faith and that God had guided our path to this point and we just had to keep listening to Him.

We had the opportunity to meet with Ashley, her 13 month old daughter, and her mother about a month before the baby was due. We spent a couple of days getting to know each other and bonding. She was so open and honest. She even let me feel the baby kicking! Ashley is truly an incredible person. Her daughter fell asleep in my arms within an hour of us meeting and Ashley said she rarely let unfamiliar people hold her. It was a very special moment that I will always remember. We got to discuss her birth plan and what our open adoption would look like. Ashley and I had so much more in common than we ever realized. We also realized how much our stories lined up. We signed with CAC around the same time she found out she was expecting. She decided to make an adoption plan the exact day we started fundraising. There were so many places where our paths could have diverged and never crossed. But God led us to each other. God’s plans are perfect. I thank Him every day for bringing us together.

Travis and I spent the next month preparing for baby. We continued to speak with Ashley on the phone.  We found out during the last week of April that she was probably going to be induced May 3. We both cleared our work schedules starting May 1. We were going to drive down on May 1, clean the house we rented on Thursday, and be ready for whenever the induction was scheduled. We thought we might even have time to relax on the beach for a day or two. But again, God’s plans are better!  I was still at work on April 30 and got a text saying “Kaley, they are inducing me tonight!” After a moment of feeling completely overwhelmed, we kicked into high gear. We were home from work, packed, and on the road to Florida in record time! We drove all night and made it to the hospital about 3 hours before Ashley’s labor started. We had a little time to rest in the room the hospital so graciously provided for us, but I couldn’t sleep! Zemma was born in the early afternoon of May 1. Ashley let me be in the room for the birth and to cut the umbilical cord! I was completely overcome with emotion from the first second I saw Zemma. I knew that she was created to be my daughter. Ashley was so gracious and generous about sharing Zemma with us. She was open and reassuring, but I was honestly a nervous wreck. In hindsight, I am so glad that Ashley got that time to be with Zemma. She was discharged before us, so after a tearful and emotional goodbye, we were moved to the pediatric floor. It was on a higher floor than the post partum unit we had been staying on and the new room had a view of the city. Before we could even unload our bags from the cart, Travis called me over to the window. Right outside the hospital was a full and beautiful rainbow. Tears streamed down my face as I realized we finally officially had our baby girl and God was right there reminding us of his awesome power and faithfulness. God keeps His promises. And His plans are so much better than ours could ever be.


The Goal…

Just read this in a devotional and had to share!

Note to self:
The Father doesn’t give life directions in one big bundle because the goal is knowing Him, not the plan.

Louie Giglio

This just speaks to me, Mamas!  Easily, the lack of control and inability to plan was painfully hard for me when it came to adoption.  It was so tough not to know the answers to SO many questions – how long will we wait, where and when will the baby be born, will the expectant family want ongoing contact, how should we best prepare…and on and on and on.  Remembering that our goal in this life isn’t knowing or figuring out the plan, but knowing our God the best way we can – that’s freeing!

Hope it brings you some peace and comfort wherever you are in the adoption process! 🙂

“For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord…


I have the most beautiful story to share with you today.  I’ve been blessed and privileged  to walk with this family through adoption twice – their precious R more than two years ago and now beautiful baby I. Theirs is a story of God’s promises and the way He orchestrates incredible journeys in our lives, even when we can’t see it.  It’s an incredible reminder that His timing, not ours, is always best. In the words of the precious mama who so generously shared her adoption story for the blog today, “God is so incredibly good and He will make a way, just lean onto His promises.” Here is her story:

“It Takes a Village” and God provides it.

Jeremiah 29:11

It’s incredible to look back on our adoptions and see how divinely orchestrated they have been.  Connections that led to our girls’ adoptions were made on a baseball field in the 1970’s.  My father-in-law and his last roommate, Jerry, attended a 40 year reunion at Disney.  Through small talk, Jerry learned that we were in ‘the wait’ in the adoption process and Jerry just so happened to run an agency! “Have them fill out our application” was the message he sent our way.  Home study approved, we began the daunting process of completing application packets and asking Karalee (our incredibly sweet and generous CAC consultant) every imaginable question.

After giving and getting a few no’s, my husband got a call from Jerry about a baby girl who had been born that very day.  She had the sweetest face I could imagine!  Baby R made me a mom for the first time.  Fast forward two years, when we found ourselves at a crossroads between uprooting our lives to move west or pursuing another adoption.  After seeking counsel from Karalee and praying, we felt God was calling us to adoption again.  We did not feel the pressure to be placed right away; we were completely content in God’s timing.

Right before our home study was finalized, we were matched with a baby boy due right smack in the middle of the holidays, and we were elated.  We started to develop a bond with both expectant parents and spent hours discussing his name and planning for family visits.  I purchased a gift, a scroll necklace with the name they chose for him imprinted on it and a keepsake box for our updates.  Then, while visiting with my closest friend, my phone rang, and I was told his family decided to parent him.  My heart sank, my mind was flooded with thoughts of having to explain our failed match, and I wondered what to do with the necklace and keepsake box while mourning the loss of this baby I already loved but never knew.

Trusting God’s plan and leaning on his strength, I sent the necklace along with a card expressing our love and support to this sweet baby boy’s parents, completely understanding NONE of this journey is about me.  I called and texted Karalee for support and encouragement for the month following our failed match.  Because we still thought about him and love his parents, on Baby Boy’s due date, I reached out to the agency and asked if he was born; he was.  However, in the same breath the agency worker asked for clarification on our home-study and said, “I am with an expectant mom now and she is due in two days!”  We immediately sprang into action!  The next day, though, we heard that her due date was adjusted to five weeks out and my heart fell. I was instantly thrown into feelings of uncertainty and anxiousness.  Deciding to put those thoughts out of my mind and rest in God’s promises, we went day by day preparing and praying for Baby Girl.

We have built a precious relationship in our adoption with our first daughter’s birth mom, had started and cherished that bond with the expectant mom of the baby boy we had matched with, but we learned having contact and creating a bond was NOT an option with this expectant mom and that devastated me.  I wondered how she would ever know how much we love and admire her, how she’d ever know how this incredibly difficult decision will bless our lives and who her precious miracle girl will grow up to be.   We felt it was important to respect her wishes and we trust that God gave us this babe for a reason, but it is still incredibly difficult.

When we got the call that our expectant mom would be induced, we flew across the country to be there.  We sat for 12 hours in a borrowed car, walked around shops and tried to keep busy while anxiously awaiting a call that would let us know her baby girl was born.  As we walked into the mall down the hill from the hospital, we saw the most beautiful double rainbow and felt yet another reassurance of God’s promises.  Finally, at 6:00 pm, we got the call, our daughter was here.


God knew the children he had destined for us.  The origins of our family started with relationships formed in the 1970’s. He knew, back then, what our family would be and simply needed us to open the door for Him to move.  God is so incredibly good, and He will make a way, just lean into His promises.  The adoption journey is not without feelings of loss and sadness and it can look different than you think it will, but adoption is a uniquely perfect display of Christ’s love for us and how He adopted us into His family. And His ways and His timing are always better than what we could imagine for ourselves.


Special thanks to Katie Boser Photography for the gorgeous photo of sweet baby I.

November is National Adoption Month!

One of my very favorite things to celebrate!  My family was built on adoption, and I’ve had the privilege of working to help bring families together for more than 10 years now.  The privilege and blessing of that isn’t lost on me, and I thank God every single day for it.

I remember reading that if just 6% of the world’s Christians would adopt, we would have no more adoptable children in the world.  That is staggering to me.  I think so many people are overwhelmed by adoption – how can we afford it, where do we start?  And sometimes that fear keeps us from listening to God’s voice telling us to move.  Reminding us of His command in James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

Adoption is hard, yes.  It’s emotional and difficult and expensive and not perfect.  There is grief and there is turmoil.  It stems from loss. But there is the lesson of ultimate redemption. There is love beyond imagination.  It’s a beautiful, miraculous thing.

Part of what we do at Christian Adoption Consultants is help walk families through the more difficult and overwhelming parts.  We help families fund raise, find grants/loans, we work with highly ethical agencies who use best practices.  Part of my job is help make the process easier!  I’d love to talk to you about adoption in general and about what we do at CAC!  Email me at

The Home Study Process

So many families I work with are SO nervous about the home study process – what to expect, how many forms to fill out (a lot!!), what will the social worker be looking for, are they judging us, can we fail?  It’s a very, very important piece of the adoption process, and while it’s important to be prepared and to take the process seriously, it’s definitely nothing to fear!

I conduct home studies in my home state, and I absolutely love doing it. I love helping families through this part of the process, and there’s nothing better than visiting a family for a post-placement visit and meeting the child they prayed, longed, and waited for. Baby snuggles never, ever get old!

But, I remember the anxiety and nerves that I felt when we first started the adoption process for our first child. I remember our own social worker coming to walk through our house for the first time, and she said, “Don’t worry – I’m not going to walk around with a white glove and touch all the furniture.  I’m just making sure bodies don’t fall out of the closets when I open them.”  We laughed, took a deep breath, and were able to relax.  The home study process is so important.  It’s the social worker’s job to be sure that your home is suitable for a child and that you are prepared to parent and ready to adopt.

I remember, as well, with our first adoption saying things like, “Most parents don’t have to answer these personal questions – they just get pregnant,” or “everyone should have to go through these steps before becoming parents!”  Now that I perform home studies and now that I’m a mom, I completely get it.  The social worker’s job is to protect the child who may be placed with you.  He or she needs to be sure your home is safe because he or she is the representative of your future child.  When I was able to take the focus off of myself and my nerves and remember that it was all about the child and not about me, everything clicked.

Yes, you will be asked personal questions.  You’ll turn over bank statements and tax records and you’ll have to have in-depth conversations about your infertility struggles or your parenting philosophies, your marriage and if you’ve struggled in your marriage, how you plan to discipline and what your childhood was like.  But you will learn SO much about yourself and about your spouse.  You will go into parenthood prepared (as much as possible!) to parent a child who may look different from you. You’ll become more educated about trans-racial adoption, you’ll learn about different drug exposures, you’ll be challenged to stretch and grow, and you”ll receive so much support each step of the way.

I always ask during my home studies, “Do you believe the home study process is necessary?  Why or why not?”  I had a family last week respond, “YES!  We’ve learned so much about parenting that we never would have considered.  We didn’t think about needing different soaps and lotions for a child of a different race.  We didn’t think about creating a lifebook to document his/her journey.  We hadn’t considered buying children’s books about adoption and how we would talk about the adoption in our child’s life.”  The home study is for the child, absolutely, but it’s also for you!

I promise that you’ll get so much out of talking through the adoption process, but more importantly from talking through the way you’ll handle situations like having people say, “How much did your daughter cost?” or “What’s her real mom like?” You can never be too prepared and the home study will help you be ready for things like this.  It will help you understand “positive adoption language” and why we say “made an adoption plan” and not “gave up for adoption.”  It will help you be ready not only with a verbal response to invasive questions but it will help you learn that your child is watching your reaction, so your non-verbal responses are just as, if not more, important than your words. I truly believe I’m a better, more equipped parent because of the home study process.

Part of the services we offer at Christian Adoption Consultants is help with finding a good, reputable home study agency.  It’s such an important part of the journey, and it’s so important that you find a good agency and social worker to perform the study.  We work with home study agencies in every single state, and we can help you find a low-cost, efficient agency to perform your home study and help you through this part of the journey.

Yes, I felt SO nervous before I met our social worker for the first time.  But, she taught me so much about myself and about adoption, and eleven years and three adoptions later, we’re still in touch.   The home study is your first active step towards your child!  Embrace it!  Get excited about preparing for your little one, making your home ready for a baby – consider it part of the “nesting” phase for adoptive parents.  And remember, ask as many questions as you need to and never hesitate to reach out to us at CAC for more support!

Why Use an Adoption Consultant?

IMG_6366Most often, when people decide to adopt, they assume the only way to do it is to sign with a local agency and sit on a waiting list. I know because that is what I assumed. We contacted a local adoption agency and were told the waiting list for a baby was 3 years. After battling infertility, I couldn’t imagine waiting another three years to be a mom. So, I started doing some research and found Christian Adoption Consultants. Here are a few of the facts that convinced me using a consultant was the way to go:

1. I was confused and overwhelmed! 🙂 There is so much information and so many different agencies out there and every single state has different laws. How do you know which to choose? CAC has strong relationships with reputable, ethical agencies. We work only with licensed, trustworthy agencies with whom we have developed personal relationships. For me, it was a great comfort and relief to be able to put our adoption in the hands of experts who were working as advocates for my husband and me.

2. You will not sit on a waiting list for years. Being submitted to multiple agencies lets you be shown to various situations at a time. I know in our situation, we completed our home study at the end of September and our daughter was born April 2. That is less than six months from start to finish! Our second and third adoptions were even faster!

3. CAC consultants are knowledgeable about state laws and avoid situations that may not be in the best interest of all parties involved.  We also walk families through every bit of each situation that comes our way.  Families are able to read through lots of details about a specific case, talk with their consultant about the case, pray over each one, and make a decision that is best for them. This sort of protection and guidance was a major plus for me. The agencies we worth with prioritize expectant mom counseling and work to be sure an adoption plan is the best choice for her, as well.  It’s so important to us that expectant parents are treated with dignity, respect, and with the love and compassion they deserve.
4. CAC offers a great deal of guidance and advice financially. Adopting is expensive, I know.  When we adopted our first baby, my husband and I were both teachers.  Adoption cost more than I made in a single year, and that was incredibly overwhelming at the time.  Beyond just agency costs, there are legal fees, home study costs, travel expenses, etc. Part of our consulting benefits include providing our couples with knowledge of a variety of resources such as grants, low interest loans, creative financing advice, and more. In addition to the knowledge provided, we will do everything we can to help you make wise financial decisions.

Adopting can be overwhelming; believe me, I know! But, as a consultant, my job is to walk you through every part of the process, to pray alongside you, and to help make the process as simple as possible. For more information and some insight from adoptive mamas in their  own words, visit a previous post called, “Heart Wisdom from Mamas.” You can also visit, “Why Take This Path,” for a beautiful blog written directly from a CAC family regarding why they chose a consultant. You can also contact me directly anytime at

Josh and Bethany’s Story

I have the most gorgeous post for you today.  Bethany and Josh have an incredible family and were a true joy not just to work with but to get to know.   They were so faithful and so open to God’s voice during their process.  I have no better words than Bethany’s, so enjoy the grace, wisdom, and beauty below:

In the first few weeks of our relationship Josh and I discussed what we wanted in life. We knew we wanted children and we both wanted to adopt. We envisioned us having a large family and being busy well into our years raising our children, a mix of biological and adopted. We married 8 months after our first date. We just knew God had set us apart for one another.

In the same way we knew God had called us to adopt. It was inevitable but we weren’t sure how He would bring it about. We ended up very quickly adding our first three children, life was full and busy but we still knew we would adopt. The time finally came 2011 that we felt the push to start moving forward. After some research we chose foster adoption. Early in 2012 we began classes and home study paperwork. Shortly after becoming Foster-care certified we were placed with a precious newborn baby girl. She stole our hearts but after four months we had to hand her back into an unstable situation. It was the hardest time of our lives. Then over the coming years we had to watch that situation crumble, unable to prevent it. We knew after that God was moving us forward & out of foster adoption.

In 2013 we made efforts to have another child but learned it wouldn’t be an option for us any longer. We grieved. We were confused, broken and still knew God had another child for us. I think until this point in our lives we hadn’t really had to fight hard for things. God used our adoption journey to grow us spiritually. We had to learn to trust Him and not the circumstances. We learned to not only hear His voice but To cling to His word. Slowly as 2014 moved forward we began to feel an urgency to get started on this ever present desire to adopt. We knew we wanted to adopt an infant, it became apparent Domestic adoption would be the path for us. It took a leap of faith to dive in because of the expense. It seemed impossible but also we knew we had to follow the call. So in October of 2014, we announced that we were adopting and began to fundraise.

Fast forward to March of 2015, we contacted Christian Adoption Consultants and were connected with Karalee Alvey. She helped us find an agency, encouraged us as we continued to raise funds and eventually she even got to do our home study visits! She was a ray of light in the overwhelming process.

By October of 2015 we were finally home study ready and began applying to situations. Straight out of the gate we felt moved to apply to a situation with an already born baby girl who had special needs. We weren’t chosen but we new then that our hearts were prepared for more special medical needs than we originally thought. We updated our homestudy. A couple weeks later there was another little girl with major medical concerns and we wholeheartedly pursued her but again we weren’t chosen. There were a few other situations that didn’t work out and in December we were already feeling a bit hopeless and broken. After ten or so “not chosen” emails we heard about a tiny baby girl with Down syndrome waiting for a family in Florida. All of a sudden we knew. We were called to adopt a baby with Down syndrome. Our souls were so hopeful and sure that this was our girl! We updated our home study again and waited to hear that we had been chosen only to find out again we weren’t. That time it hurt worse. It felt personal. It felt like God had forgotten us or like we weren’t hearing Him right. Maybe this wasn’t what He wanted for us. But there was always an undeniable push to keep moving forward. So we did. We knew, knew, knew that we would adopt a baby with Down syndrome at this point. Our spirits would thrill in a unexplainable way every time the situation came through with a baby who had Down syndrome. There was one family that we spoke to and they came so close to choosing us. It was so strange to feel so sure and so unfulfilled at the same time. Looking back it makes so much sense but in the moment we felt so alone. We were so scared and so desperate. Some thirty plus situations later we were gearing up for another week and received a little email from Karalee.

“Hey guys!

Where do you all stand with presentations right now?  ”

“Russian baby boy born about a week ago”

“Baby is still in hospital but is projected to get out in a week or two.”

Just the highlights.

We jumped. No hesitation. It was a whirlwind of emails and phone calls.

Tuesday our profile was given to the birth parents. Wednesday we knew the lawyer would be speaking with them about us. We sat on our patio trying to soak up the idea that we might find out any moment that we were chosen when my cell phone rang. I answered thinking she would be telling us their decision but instead she said ” I have the birth parents right here, they want to speak with you and Josh”

I will endlessly be grateful for the grace God poured out on me in this moment. There was no time for me to think and over think. I won’t tell the details of that conversation other than that my heart fell in love with them and it broke for them. I could hear the love they had for their son.

We weren’t sure after the phone call. They spoke to us like we were chosen. But no one officially said so. We went about our day hopeful but unsure. After phone calls were getting serious we finally just asked if this was it! Are we chosen? We were sitting in a waiting room. People around us could here these conversations about the legal stuff and when to travel and finally…”yes! You guys are it! You are exactly who they want.”

Those words. Our son. All of a sudden it was just how fast can we get to our son. I couldn’t bear the thought of him in the hospital without us.

We told the kids. We announced to all of our family. We packed our bags and Thursday night we sat in the van in the driveway as a family of five for the last time and we prayed.

Friday, about 16 hours later, we arrived at our destination. Saturday would be our placement day. We took the kids to the beach. We settled in to our temporary home. Our friend/sister in law flew down to help with the big Kid’s during placement in case that was needed. We didn’t know for sure if we would get to meet the birth parents or how placement would happen. Saturday we took the kids to the beach again to kill some time. I remember being in the beach, it was so calm that day and just feeling a peace.

Time passed and we hadn’t heard from the lawyer so we were a bit concerned. Finally around noon we got a call saying they were being discharged from the hospital and heading to the office. We headed home to wait.

It was such a slow wait. We stayed excited and at peace for the most part but as it began to get late we had to face the reality that things could still go very differently than we were hoping. But honestly the Lord just covered us in his Grace because I don’t know how we weren’t in a panic by 5pm!

Then this text came saying they were done and headed to the house. They sent a couple pictures.  We saw him for the first time. We were so excited. So anxious to meet him, hold him.

The car pulled up and until that point I assumed we would wait inside and let her bring him to us but I couldn’t stand it. With no shoes on I rushed to the car door. All I could think was that I had to get to him. I didn’t want our son to have another moment without us. I got to the door and there he was!

I felt the same amazement as I have with all my babies at how tiny he was, how perfect and beautiful. We got him out of the car in a borrowed car seat and got him inside. We headed to the living room and as quickly as was humanly possible to remove a tiny human from a big bulky car seat I did. Oh my goodness he was tiny and so warm. He was just perfect. He was perfect. He was perfect. That’s all my head could think. Of course everyone wanted a chance to hold him. He was here and he was in our arms and he was perfect. It all felt so surreal.

And suddenly every struggle, every penny, every no and every heart broken cry to the Lord made sense. He had David Ruslan Jones perfectly chosen to place in our family. It’s taken me a year to even touch the surface of processing our adoption. David feels as much apart of me as any of my three biological children. Some days I grieve that he wasn’t born from my womb because I sometimes forget that he wasn’t. Lots of days I cannot fathom the loss his birth family has suffered in not knowing him. I feel so thankful to them and proud of them for fighting to do what they felt best for him…even when it hurt them. I grieve for David that he won’t know his birth family. I pray constantly that these things will change. That our closed adoption may become at least semi open. I pray for healing in his birth parents and in him and even in Josh and I.

But most days we are just utterly happy and completely in love. Blissfully living everyday in awe of this amazing little boy we get to call our son. We marvel at his strength and his tenacity. We are blown away by God’s perfect plan for him and for us as a family.

We were able to head home just shy of two weeks. We finalized the adoption in October of 2016. It was beautiful.

David will be 17 months soon! He is amazing. Though he has had many medical complications he somehow overcomes and continues to blast through his milestones. We are so proud of him. He is loved by two families. One in the shadows and one as clearly as the sun shines. Our lives have been so full and blessed by his precious life. We are daily praising God for the plan he set forth in our family. We will forever be grateful to his birth parents.

Heart Wisdom from Mamas

I have the loveliest post for you today!  So many of my very favorite mamas via adoption  have volunteered to open their hearts to help support those of you who are still “in the wait.” Here is some encouragement to help you get through the days when waiting is the hardest:



“Try to keep an open heart and open mind.  Looking back, I can’t imagine not having an open adoption. The bond I was able to form with our daughter’s birth mom is indescribable. The hurt, love, and compassion I felt for her was just as strong as the love I had for my new little girl. Not only did we get a daughter in this process, we got a whole new birth family that we still are in touch with 4.5 years later. So, if it any point throughout this process you don’t feel like you are strong enough, I promise you, you are… you got this mama!” -Brittany


To those considering adoption: God didn’t tell us to adopt by writing it on the wall- it was gentle whispers and softened hearts.  One thing I came to realize is that it’s hard to go wrong in choosing adoption. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” God’s heart beats for adoption.
To those waiting: we had many fears along the way but we didn’t have to face them all at once. As we trusted God, that he was leading us down this path, he helped us to overcome each fear as it came up. The first time we got a “no” after presenting, a social worker encouraged us saying, “No one can get the baby that God intends for your family”. To witness a woman placing her baby, not because she wants to, but because she is making a sacrifice to give her child a better life is very humbling.” -Courtney


After two adoptions in the past four years I can honestly say that I’m still learning. I’m not quite on the “other side” yet but I have been taught one lesson through adoption over and over….And that is that hard does not equal bad. Hard does not equal lack of faith. Hard does not mean that God is not working. There is so much beauty and grace in the hard but you have to hold on because you can’t see it until there’s room to look back. There is so much beauty. It’s there in the wait and in the disappointments and it will take your breath away when you hold it in your arms.” -Tabitha


Take a deep breath and surrender ALL expectations to God. We agonized over the process, how it would look, what it would be like, the no’s we got, the no’s we gave. Expanding our preferences when we realized God would never give us the ‘wrong’ baby. The expectations of what the hospital would be like….it is human nature to set expectations and fill in all of unknowns with the ideal. It will never be perfect BUT the process is imperfectly beautiful. It doesn’t matter how much notice you have in your match, or whether you have a third party at the hospital…nothing can prepare your heart. Be open minded and keep an open heart.” -Carli


I think I over analyzed too much – which is really just a waste of time, and for me it just distracted me from God’s plan. I worried that birth mothers wouldn’t like us, or like our profile but wouldn’t like us after meeting us. God’s plan is real, it’s the best thing ever, and all we have to do is wait for His timing.” -Heather


Know that God’s got this, even when it’s so hard not to give up. There were times in the seven and a half years of waiting, infertility treatment, and miscarriages when we doubted God’s love and timing. But then “boom” it all happened in one incredible week! God meticulously planned out every detail surrounding our daughter’s whirlwind adoption. It made everything we went through make sense. I would also say be prepared for the mix of emotions at placement and as you grow your relationship with your child’s birth family. Adoption is both joy and loss wrapped up together for everyone involved. It has taught me so much about love, compassion, flexibility, and overcoming the fear of the unknown.” -Bethany


I’ll just throw in my old saying: adoption is so, so, so hard until one day it’s not. We’ve adopted twice and had extraordinarily different experiences with each one, but they both ended the same way: a precious, perfect baby at great expense to another woman. It is a crazy mix of conflicting and confusing emotions until one day you are home and your son or daughter is just your son or daughter. Adoption heals broken things, broken places, and broken people.  God is good and because adoption heals and because every time, in every case, it is so, so hard until it is not.” -Katherine


I think the biggest lessons through both of our adoptions were (1) checking my control freak nature at the door (God is in charge) (2) recognizing that no two situations or paths are the same (3) taking other people’s advice and commentary as their attempt to help not hurt (even though their words often hurt) (4) admitting to yourself how far you can push yourself emotionally (we all have limits) and (5) accepting that it’s not a matter of IF you will be a parent, but a matter of WHEN! -Jennifer

Not until I surrendered my desires to God and said “not my will but yours” did things begin to fall into action. He opened my eyes and heart throughout the years preparing me for the children he had planned for my family all along…When we did hear our yes, it was worth every moment of waiting.  I can look back through my life and praise God for his perfect timing.” -Ashley

I love every word these amazing mamas shared from their beautiful hearts.  Adoption is so hard, until it’s not. And it’s worth every single second. It’s about giving up our own timelines and our own control and trusting God’s timing.  It’s the ultimate in redemption – beauty from ashes.  Our kids’ birth moms are absolute heroes, and the relationships we get to build with them are truly one of life’s great gifts.  Thank you, all who shared.  I pray if you’re reading and currently waiting that you know you’re held in your fellow adoptive mamas’ hearts and prayers. If you’d like more information about domestic adoption, contact me at


Little Firecrackers

Hope you enjoyed a beautiful and fun 4th!  I loved seeing so many sweet babies decked out in their patriotic finest, so I thought I’d compile a group to share here.  Enjoy these little miracles celebrating America’s independence. 🙂