Archive for May, 2016

When God Writes Your Story

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I have been moved over and over, in my own life and in the stories of the precious families I have the honor of working with, with how much God is in the details of our lives.  And more than that.  How He knows so much better than we do.  I’m reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord, As the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Infertility can be overwhelming.  It can make us become so super focused on the end result of pregnancy that we forget what we’re really wishing for – parenthood.  Adoption can be like that, too.  We have in our heads an idea, an image of what adoption will look like, what our someday baby will look like.  I love more than anything watching God turn these ideas on their heads and lead us to something far greater than what we had imagined.

This beautiful couple, Adam and Amanda, got started with us in late January.  They were home study ready at the end of March and were ready to start applying with agencies in early April.  But…God was writing a different story for them.  While they were working on their home study, a baby boy was being born.  How amazing that while they were starting the process, the boy who was meant for them was already here.  They just didn’t know it yet.  Nothing was in order when they got the call about this 7 week old baby boy.  There was no crib ready, no car seat, no blankets washed and ready, not much medical history or information to go on, but they knew a baby boy was here and needed a family immediately.   Any concerns flew out the window, and of course they said YES.  Sometimes, we have to say yes.  It’s about taking that step of faith, relying on God to write the story.

It’s so encouraging to those of us who are in the wait.  We have no idea what God is doing behind the scenes.  Like Adam and Amanda, your someday baby could already be here.  When the wait feels so long and so difficult, remember that everything could change in an instant.  Our God is so big, and He is working on the most beautiful story for you.  This sweet little family had the most beautiful words to share about redemption: We are grateful for our Redeemer – the One who is redeeming time for this precious boy and redeeming our souls for the years of waiting.  Our God is the God of redemption, of healing, of grace.  There is difficulty in the wait, yes, but oh my goodness, He has something so beautiful ahead!

Welcome to the world, sweet Ari.  You are so very loved!

Ari

 

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Mike and Lindsay’s Open Adoption Story

I love sharing families’ stories from their own perspectives.  Our sweet Lindsay is waiting for ICPC clearance as we speak and wrote this beautiful tribute to their ongoing open adoption story.  Thank you for sharing your awesome heart, sweet friend! Praying for you to get to come home very soon!

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After nearly a decade of infertility struggles, our adoption journey began in June 2015. We were referred to Christian Adoption Consultants & Karalee specifically by a co-worker who had adopted twins two years prior. Our home study and profile were completed in October and we began applying to agencies right away. We presented to 3 birth mothers within the next couple of weeks, but were not selected. While each “no” was disappointing, we kept faith that the right match would come along.

On December 4, 2015, we had the opportunity to present to a young birth mother who had already reviewed several profiles, but had not yet found the right fit. After reviewing the case, it didn’t take us long to decide we wanted to be presented. Just a few short (long!) days later, and roughly 60 days after we began applying to agencies, we received the call that we had been eagerly anticipating. “J” had selected us!

The week before Christmas, we had the opportunity to speak to “J” over the phone for the first time. “J” shared with us that she was expecting a boy – we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Christmas gift! Over the next 4 months, we remained in close contact and did our utmost to support her from over 1,500 miles away. We shared jokes & milestones with each other, but also tears when some health concerns with baby were identified. Thanks to lots of prayers & excellent care by doctors, all of the baby’s health concerns remedied themselves as the pregnancy progressed.

As baby’s due date approached, we made the decision that I would drive the 24 hours to Florida from Nebraska a week prior to the due date, just in case baby boy decided to arrive early. I am now so grateful that we had the opportunity to spend so much time with “J” prior to delivery.

I arrived in Florida and met “J” for lunch the next afternoon. Since this was to be our first in-person meeting, I was excited & anxious all at the same time – talk about butterflies in the stomach! Of course, I needn’t have worried. We chatted over lunch like we had known each other for years and she invited me to her doctor appointment that Friday. There was a lot of emotion on both sides, but I will forever be grateful for this time we shared. Over the course of the week, I had so many mixed emotions: excitement, nervousness, sadness, elation. I also struggled with my feelings of excitement & happiness, which I felt were coming at the expense of another woman’s grief and sacrifice. “J” provided me so much support over our entire journey, as much as we supported her, and this week was no exception.

On Friday, April 22nd, I was able to share the incredible experience of hearing our baby’s heartbeat with the amazing woman bringing him in to the world. It was such an emotional and powerful moment that I was honored to have been invited to share in. The next day, Mike arrived in Florida, so “J” and I set off to pick him up from the airport. Seeing “J” and Mike meet & interact was amazing – their bond was so natural and instantaneous. We all laughed & joked together over lunch and on the car ride home.

On Sunday, we received a text from “J” that she thought she may need to go to the hospital later that afternoon. Within 2 hours of the initial text, we were checking into the hospital. Soon, the nurse told “J” that she was staying & they prepared to move her into a private room. This was it!

Over the course of the next 12 hours, “J” worked hard to bring this precious new life into the world & we did what we could to support her and help her be as comfortable as possible. Throughout the night, we held her hand, rubbed her back, and breathed through contractions. Ultimately, the doctor decided that an emergency c-section would be necessary, due to drops in the baby’s heart rate. They prepped “J” for the OR, as the rest of us waited in her room & prayed for the health & safety of both her and the baby. Roughly 20 minutes later, Quinn Michael entered the world. He was healthy and absolutely perfect! On the way to the nursery, they passed the waiting room & “J’s” mom asked the nurse to stop so that Mike & I could meet our son. There were lots of tears, hugs & congratulations going around – it was an absolutely perfect & incredible moment!

Once “J” was in recovery, Quinn was brought to her room so that she could be the first to hold him. The love in that room was evident and we will forever be grateful that “J” had that first moment with Quinn & that we were able to witness how much she loves him firsthand. Everything was just as it was supposed to be.

Over the next few days in the hospital, we shared  many moments with “J,” Quinn, and their family – everyone was so supportive and we forged bonds with Quinn’s birth family that will last a lifetime. We can’t wait to share these memories with our son as he grows, so that he can know just how much love & support surrounds him. Quinn was discharged on April 28th and since discharge we have made it a priority to spend quality time with “J” while we are still in Florida awaiting ICPC clearance.

When we initially made the decision to enter into an open adoption, we really didn’t know what to expect, but the experience has been far more than we could have ever hoped for. “J” is an incredible person with an amazing philosophy on life – so many times throughout this journey, we have been humbled and awed by her words & actions. She is just as much a part of our family as Quinn is and we are forever blessed to have her in our lives. This has been an experience we are blessed to have & we are so incredibly thankful for our beautiful birth mother and our little Quinn.