Finally Final

Following the birth in August of the third baby welcomed to our family via adoption, I’m so reflective about the adoption process from not just a professional standpoint as an adoption consultant, but from a personal one.  As I reflect on different parts of the adoption process, I have a few families who would like to share stories with you about their adoption finalization.  Finalization happens weeks to months after a child is placed in your home.  After post-placement visits and legal filings – it’s the moment a judge declares what you’ve known in your heart since the second you met your little one – he or she is your child.  They are the same legally, emotionally, spiritually as a child born to you biologically.  Enjoy a few beautiful  reflections from some of my Christian Adoption Consultants families and friends:

We’re in WI and finalized here. My husband and I both had to testify which was really moving and I cried. My brother was our attorney and my parents came to court with us. It was amazing. -Emily
Emily’s gorgeous guest post about their adoption journey can be found here.  Don’t miss it – it’s extraordinarily beautiful.

em

Ours was over the phone but my dad was a notary and was able to swear us in, which was very special. I let out a huge breathe that I didn’t even realize I was holding for the 90 some days since she had been born. It was such a special day. – Brittany
For her family’s beautiful adoption story, click here.

reynolds

Ours was over a Web conference so we could see a court representative (not the judge). It was 9am in FL and 8am in NE. We went to a place that specializes in Web conferences and they had the information for the court to connect to them. We walked in, a notary swore us in, a friend was there to photograph the finalization for us, we answered the judges questions and it was over. I’m sure that it was over in 10 minutes. We all went to breakfast afterwards! The twins were born 10.28.13, NICU and ICPC for a month, home on 11.28.13, Finalization on 7.2.14. – Karen and Joe
To read more of Karen and Joe’s journey to their babies, click here.

morrow

We live in WI and our finalization took place in UT. We were fortunate that the lawyer set it up that he represented us and we didn’t have to travel. I honestly kinda wish we would’ve been there now as it would’ve been amazing to hear the judge say Hannah was ours. But we knew the time of the finalization hearing and it was only 10 min or so later that we got the call and the lawyer said “Congrats!! It’s a girl!” I’ll never forget getting off the phone and Mark and I hugging with Hannah squished between us. That was July 3, 2012 and we had a huge party on the Fourth of July to celebrate. The Fourth of July will always be extra celebrating for us. -Tammy

Ours was over the phone, too, at our insurance agent’s office.  It was nice to have it officially official and our attorney sent a nice photo to us if our judge holding our son’s photo in the court room. We just did a dinner out at a local restaurant with immediate family that night to celebrate!
We also went to Build A Bear and created a teddy bear to commemorate the day. The bear has 3 hearts – 2 for us as Q’s parents and his biological family and 1 for him in a different pattern. The bear now wears the outfit that Q wore during the finalization hearing! – Lindsay

linds

Save

Advertisements

Congratulations, sweet family!

I have the most beautiful little girl to show you today!  Look at this face!! I can’t even.

dsc_5539e1

What a perfect time to share a little bit from this family’s heart.  November is National Adoption Month – one of my very favorite things to celebrate!  We asked them three questions about their own adoption experience, and here are their responses:

How has adoption impacted your family in a special way?
It has been so special to watch our 3 boys fall in love with their new baby sister in the same way they would if she was biological.  It is a beautiful picture of how God lovingly adopts us into his family.  It brings new meaning to that whole concept.
What would you tell someone considering the adoption process?
Do it!  Maybe adoption isn’t for everyone, but I believe it is for more than are doing it.  In James 1:27 it says, “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  We had many fears, but God helped us to work through each fear as it came along.
How do you feel about your child’s birth parents?
We were terrified to meet them but had a very special time with them.  We were moved and humbled by the sacrifice of the birth mom.  She clearly loved her baby but wanted the best for her.  She didn’t want her baby to suffer for poor decisions she had made.  We respect her so much and hope to stay in contact with her.
We’ll continue to share special stories straight from our families throughout the month.  Make sure you’re following us on Facebook for daily updates! And visit our website here anytime for more information about our services.  You can also contact me directly anytime at karalee@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Guest Post: Dear Mommy-in-Waiting

I’m beyond thrilled to feature the most beautiful Mama, Beth, on the blog today.  She and her sweet husband, Craig, are CAC clients, but way more than that, they are close friends.  Her message is a perfect one for those of you in the wait.  Enjoy!! 🙂

Dear Mommy-in-Waiting,

Our stories have their differences- the people, circumstances, and time are unique to us both- but, my, how they run parallel.  My story may be a just few chapters ahead, but we share the same subject: the love for a child.  As I write this with my six-week-old, Isaac, nestled to my chest, you are on my heart too.

Mommy-in-Waiting is a temporary title and one day your child will be snuggled against you and that baby-sized hole in your heart will be filled!  But until then, there’s the wait.  I remember, not that long ago, well-meaning people telling me to get sleep while I could.  Nice thoughts, yes, but the only thing I longed for was the child that would keep me up in the middle of the night.  Oh, how I couldn’t wait for it!  And your sleepless nights, they are coming too with your sweet one!

It can feel like there is nothing kind about the waiting stage in the adoption journey, but know that it will pass.  I can say this now, because my feet were standing right in your shoes a short time ago.  And it is worth it!  It is worth it, because there is a child who also waits to call you Mommy!  Today is just a snapshot of your adoption journey.  You might feel like you aren’t moving forward, but you are!  Know that in the end, your motionless snapshots will create a beautiful story of the love for your child and your wait, which seems so significant now, will be out-shined by your sweet one.

Many days, the only thing that got me through the wait was my relationship with Jesus! There’s nothing quite like the frustrations and worries during this stage of the adoption journey that plant you right on your knees.  It was through scripture, music, and prayer that I kept my hope (and my sanity).  I encourage you to find peace in Jesus.  It doesn’t mean that you are going to have perfect days- I surely didn’t and my sweet, patient hubby would agree- but it’s such a relief that there is an open invitation to turn everything over to Him.

You may be familiar with Philippians 4:6-7, but I know I still need to be reminded of its message.  The Apostle Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The excitement you have for the day when you will hold your little one is part of being a Mommy-in-Waiting, but don’t let the frustrations and worries of the wait steal your excitement and cause you anxiety.  You are invited to experience the amazing peace Paul bids us to take.  It’s ours to experience when we give our anxieties to Jesus, and as many times throughout your day as we need it!

As someone looking out for you on the other side of the wait, I know you can make it through!  Remember, it’s worth it!  And when the waiting gets hard or on days when it’s even harder, talk to your Savior Jesus Christ.  He is waiting Himself to listen and provide you with peace.

In love,

Beth

 

For more support from fellow adoptive mamas, visit this lovely post written directly from their hearts.

CAC Father’s Day Discount

dads
 

As Father’s Day approaches, I can’t help but think of how the Lord is bringing families together everyday through adoption.

I am so grateful to get to be a small part of building families through adoption, to see children placed with their forever moms and forever dads. At Christian Adoption Consultants, we are inspired by the message in the New Testament that states we are adopted into God’s family as believers.  That we are his children, and he is our Abba Father.

God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Romans 8:15 (MSG)

IMG_7836

In honor of all of our CAC dads, we are offering one of our rare specials to help make the cost of adoption a bit more attainable. We are happy to be sharing 10% off all of our top packages, from June 13-17th.  (Special note: this does not apply to our DIY package).

If adoption has been on your heart, and you aren’t sure where to begin, I would love to chat with you more!

Want more info on Christian Adoption Consultants?  Click here.
What does it mean to hire an adoption consultant?  Click here.
Want to get started or get an info packet?  Click here.
What if you have more questions?  Click here.

Have friends who are thinking about adoption? Make sure you share this post! 

Email me at karalee@christianadoptionconsultants.com for an application and information packet.

When God Writes Your Story

bocik1

 

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 CAC 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

 

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!

quinn

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.

For more about openness in domestic adoption, click here.  I’d love to talk with you more about my personal and professional experience with open adoption, as well.  Contact me anytime at karalee@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Congratulations, Bethany and Colin!

There are stories that stick with me for always, and Bethany and Colin’s story is absolutely one of those.  When they came to CAC, they had been waiting for a child for seven years.  I know many of you have been there.  I know that was me before adoption.  When you want something, pray for it, agonize over it, for that long, there are dark moments, for sure, when it feels like it may never happen.  But, as believers, we know that God has something more for us.  Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  This family lived that out.

Colin and Bethany came to CAC in late October, after months of feeling discouraged while pursuing parental placement adoption without an agency.  In November and December, they were presented to three expectant moms.  Those babies didn’t end up being theirs, but Colin and Bethany’s attitudes and their spirits for adoption were so clearly from God. I would often find myself being lifted up and encouraged in my faith after talking with Bethany.  Isn’t it amazing, as believers, how we sharpen each other and hold each other up in community?  I love that so much about this adoption work.  Colin and Bethany stretched out of their comfort zone, opened themselves up completely to God’s will, sought information and education about things they didn’t know or understand.  They were true, true examples of God’s love and what He wishes for us through adoption – our adoption into His family and our adoption of His little miracles here on Earth.

They matched with their amazing birth family in January, less than three months after joining our CAC family, and within days, they held hands with their beautiful daughter’s birth family as they welcomed not just their daughter, but her first parents into their family.  They poured love over their daughter’s birth parents, giving of themselves, protecting and showing true compassion for them every step of the way.  It has been a true honor to watch this little family come to be.

Welcome to the world, Keira Jocelyn!  You couldn’t be more loved!

For more information about using an adoption consultant, click here.  For another beautiful domestic adoption story, visit this link.