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

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CAC Father’s Day Discount

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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)

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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

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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

 

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.

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!

 

Happy New Year!

Here we are – a little more than a week into the new year.  The list of resolutions and goals is long.  Some have already fallen by the wayside (oh, 6:00 am exercise class, it’s not you, it’s me) and some are so important that you know they have to be priorities (Bible study with fellow women of God, spending more time “unplugged”) We all have lots of goals for 2016!

But what if you did more than run a 5K this year? Or lost 10 pounds? Or got that promotion? Is adopting a child one of your goals for this year?  Is God putting that dream on your heart?


If you’re like most families, the reasons why this might be impossible immediately fly through your thoughts: I don’t even know where we would start! I don’t know one other family who has adopted! And the cost; adoption is so expensive!  As the mama of two kiddos via adoption, I completely understand these thoughts, but I also know, from personal experience that when God puts adoption on your heart, it’s for a reason!

 For us, in our own adoptions, and for so many other families, this is where a consultant can be invaluable! Christian Adoption Consultants can come beside you to guide you on your adoption journey. We can equip you with the education and resources you need to make your dream of adoption become a reality.


If adoption is one of your goals for 2016, Christian Adoption Consultants wants to help you get started by offering a $100 discount. Any new families who sign up between January 11th and 15th will receive $100 off of our full service consulting packages. (This discount does not apply to our self serve consulting package, returning families, or special needs consulting packages).

Want to get started or get an info packet?  Click here.
What if you have more questions?  Click here.

Email me at karalee@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information about Christian Adoption Consultants or to talk more about adoption, in general.  I’d be so happy to answer any question you might have!

Let’s Celebrate Adoption! (part two)

I can’t even get over the beauty of these stories.  They are precious and sacred, and I’m so honored to even get to read them.  I’m overwhelmed, this morning, by what adoption is to me.  I feel so incredibly blessed by the path my own life has taken through the adoption of my own children.  Adoption truly is beauty through the ashes, it’s the ultimate redemption.  There is pain from all sides, yes.  And to ignore that or to brush it aside is doing all of us a disservice.  BUT, the joy that comes through that pain…the absolute privilege it is to walk the path of adoption alongside our children’s first mamas, alongside our own communities, and as advocates and warriors for our children…there just isn’t anything better.  My heart is overflowing with love and astonishment that I get to do this every single day.  Thank you for sharing these amazing stories.  The first is from a sweet family whose precious girl is about to be ONE!.  I love getting to watch these babies turn into beautiful little people!  The second is a little reflection from a family currently in the wait.  And the third is from an awesome family who adopted their daughter five years ago (oh my goodness, how the time FLIES!)  Enjoy!

fischersWritten on November 9, 2015 in honor of World Adoption Day.
Last year, on this day, we had just returned home from Florida where we had met our expectant birth mom and the babe she carried, whom we hoped would be ours. Even then, before we had “officially” become adoptive parents, the adoption process had made the deepest and most profound imprint on our hearts. I sit here today, with our 10.5 month old adoptive daughter, and I cannot put into words how much deeper and more profound that impact is today.

Adoption is hard. It’s heartbreaking. It’s expensive. It’s scary. It’s vulnerable. But it is so much more than those things. It’s redemptive. It’s rewarding. It’s eye-opening. It’s heart-opening. It’s soul-opening. It’s beautiful. I will always be so honored God chose us to adopt our precious, sweet Esme. I will always love, cherish and respect her birth mother who chose us to be her forever family. I will always advocate for those who are willing to step out and pursue adoption because each and every child deserves a loving forever family, and I long to live in a world where there are no more orphans! Let’s all get on board.

Adoption Photo ShootThrough what we’ve learned in the waiting stage of our journey, adoption is not just about our desire to be parents and a means to an end. It’s the bigger picture of showing God’s love to everyone who comes across our path in the process, no matter what happens. We think that adoption is a gift that is freely given, just like God has done for us. There will be pain and loss in it, but also so much love and joy to go around, as two families grow bonded together through this child. We look forward to what God has in store for us in the years to come!

 Family Fall 2015

I am so grateful for the role that you played in helping us navigate this adoption journey. When we came to CAC, our hearts were broken from two painful failed adoption attempts with a private attorney. Needless to say, when we found our way to you, we were fragile and quite anxious about what the next road in our journey would look like.
We cannot thank you enough for your compassion, your wisdom and your insight. We were blessed to be in the delivery room when our miracle was born and have been amazed at the young girl she has become. Our daughter is five-years-old now and is the light of our lives. She lives with such a sense of joy and adventure and has inspired us to do the same. My heart swells just knowing how God chose her to be our daughter and how he placed such love in our birth mother’s heart to choose adoption.
For those of you who are on the journey to adoption, I pray that God will give you a peace in preparing your heart for the child He has chosen for you. The adoption process is one of many obstacles, challenges, risk, vulnerability and oftentimes, heartbreak, but I promise you, it will all be worth it when you hold your precious miracle in your arms for the first time. God is so good!
-The Wyatt Family

As I said at the start of my last post, I can’t even get through the uploading of these stories without tears.  Thank you, beautiful, beautiful people for sharing this with me.  For letting me be part of your journey.  Love to you and your precious families!