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!

Let’s Celebrate Adoption!

November is one of my favorite months of the year.  I love the fall, I love the anticipation of the holidays, and I absolutely love celebrating adoption.  I asked, and you’ve answered: how has adoption changed you?  What has it meant to you?  I can’t thank you enough for your willingness to be so open with your hearts!  I love the different perspectives – families still in the wait, families getting ready to start their second (or fourth!!) adoption, families just home with their first precious baby.  Open adoptions.  Trans-racial adoptions.  Every story is so beautiful, and I can’t get through any of these responses without crying! 🙂 So, here is the first of this series – in the words of the families themselves.

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“We don’t yet know this child that has already turned our world upside down. We don’t even know when we will get to meet our baby, we hope it is soon! But my goodness has God already used this precious child in such a mighty way! Not a day passes that the five of us don’t think about adoption and what it will mean in our lives when we finally move from “adopting” to “adopted”! It has pushed us as a family to really appreciate what family is and how important it is. It’s pushed us as believers to see God’s heart for the weak and lonely. It has pushed us as individuals to consider others need and to see how we are called to be God’s hands, feet and heart for those in need. So even though we haven’t adopted yet, adoption has changed us already. ”

The Jones Family

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“Adoption has changed our lives in an amazing and really, all-encompassing way.  The process itself was so sanctifying- challenging and hard and beautiful- all at once.  Clinging to Christ through it all refined us and prepared our hearts to better love our birth mom, and to celebrate the adoption of our little girl all the more!  We know Jesus more intimately as a result of adopting- we see the grace and redemption of hard situations in adoption, just as our own adoption to become sons and daughters of God through Christ’s death and resurrection.  Elena’s life is a daily reminder of that beautiful grace, and her life is such a treasure in our home.  She is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us, His care and the fulfillment of so many desires of our hearts.  God is a God of adoption, of love and pursuing. He pursues us and our process of adopting Elena was just a small mirror of that pursuit.  She is six months old and we are still processing all the ways that this journey has shaped our hearts and lives.  We praise God for calling us to this and for blessing us with her life. ”

Jeremy and Kate

“This is in Francesco’s baby book…Adoption is love. The love that led us to you, our baby. The love that your birth mother bestowed upon us. The love we feel for her. The love we all have for you. Such an absolute abundance of love. Adoption is how you came to us.  Adoption is your how. It is how we found each other. Adoption is love.

Ali, mom to Francesco

I’m so excited to bring you more stories like this throughout the month!  My heart could just explode from all the love.

Congratulations, Taylor and Emily!

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Oh my goodness, this gorgeous family!  This family has been such a blessing to work with, and I’ve been so excited to share their story!  Emily and Taylor contacted CAC and were so excited to get started with the adoption process in mid-April of this year.  They were home study ready and applying with agencies at the beginning of June and by the end of the month, they were matched!!  By August, just two months after finishing their home study, their precious baby girl was in their arms. Taylor and Emily were special to work with, not just because their adoption happened quickly, but because they were such a testimony to God’s calling on our lives.  They are young, and we had conversations where we talked about their age, but never once was there ever a question that they were ready and committed to the adoption process.  God called them to this. He put the most intense desire in their hearts for adoption, and I was privileged to watch Him work.  He made the funds fall into place in a very short period of time, he brought them a birth mom who has become family to them.

I have families contact me often wondering if they are “too” something – too young, too old, too many kids…and there are also the “not enoughs” – not enough money, not enough time to raise the money, not enough knowledge on the process – there is just no such thing as too much or as not enough when it comes to the great God we serve.  When he calls us to this beautiful miracle that is adoption, He will show up and He will make a way.  I have to share some of Emily’s beautiful words with you:

She is the most precious gift we could EVER imagine and we are SO in love! Soaking in every minute of it all!! This adoption has been an absolutely beautiful picture that has taught me so much about the overwhelming, beyond our own comprehension, way that God loves us, displayed through the love that we have for our daughter, as well as the birth mom who I have been keeping in contact with almost every day since we left Florida!  We are just blown away by God’s crazy but perfect timing in everything! We are taking it all in, one day at a time, basking in His grace and mercies that are new EVERY day!

Welcome to the world, precious girl!  And congratulations to your beautiful family!