Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Adoption Story: Justin and Nicole

Like so many hopeful adoptive parents, Justin and Nicole had plans about how they would start their family. After they were surprised with infertility, they started down the road to adoption. But that didn't come without unexpected detours and roadblocks. Today Nicole shares their journey through adoption and to their son.

From the beginning, God had been preparing us for this journey and it is a God-written story. 

We had struggled with infertility for about three years before we started the adoption process. When we first started our journey, I thought I had it all planned out and knew exactly how everything was going to go. However, I was so wrong. When we started our home study, initially it went well but we were soon overwhelmed with all of the paperwork that went into it. When we eventually applied to the agency we had chosen, we were denied and I was devastated.  

After that speed bump, we discovered Susan and Christian Adoption Services. Susan was so helpful in explaining all of the details of adoption: everything from the profile to agencies and beyond. We got everything together and were ready by the end of January 2016 to be matched with an expectant mom. We started seeing possible situations from Susan; expectant parents looking for an adoptive family for their baby. We began to put our "yes" on the table, but only heard "no" in return. We presented to so many we eventually lost count. We could always reach out to Susan who was always encouraging and said the right words to help us keep moving forward. We started getting our nursery together to give us something to keep our minds busy during this time of waiting. 

Coming up on the end of 2016, we were discouraged because we hoped to have a baby in our arms before the end of the year. We started renewing our home study, and about the time we were finishing it we began to see situations from a new agency we were beginning to work with. But once again we heard a "no." 

Just two weeks later, we heard about another situation: an expectant mama who wanted to make an adoption plan for her baby. As we heard about her, this situation felt different. I knew this one was special because it was everything we wanted. A little boy, due in March. A healthy expectant mother who wanted a closed adoption. I immediately called Justin and we both agreed that we wanted to present to this mother. After a phone call with the expectant mom, we learned later that she chose us to raise her son. Words can't describe our feelings the moment we heard that first and final "yes": feelings of hope, relief, joy, happiness, and much more. It turns out all of those "no's" we had heard previously were just "not yets."

Just a few weeks later, almost a month to the day, we got a call that the expectant mom was having labor pains. She planned to head to the hospital in the morning, but a few hours later, Justin answered the phone and and all I heard was "8 pounds, 8 ounces, healthy and a head full of black hair." We were so excited; we called our families and let them know he was here, and started making travel plans as soon as we could. There were no more flights out that night so we we had to wait until morning.  

When we walked into the room and met “K” for the first time the next day, it was so humbling. We got to spend the day with her and we also met our son's birth father and biological sister. The next day we said our final goodbyes, and it was one of the hardest things to watch "K" hold her son and tell him goodbye. When she handed him back to me, she told me just by seeing us for a few days she knew he was going to be well taken care of and she was confident she had made the right decision. 

God wrote a perfect story, as He always does. He knew exactly what we needed and He answered our prayers for a healthy baby. We were even able to adopt debt-free with God's incredible provision for our family. Everything fell into place in Gods timing. He wrote this story from the beginning to the end and gave us the greatest blessing we could have ever received. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Rethinking a Failed Adoption

Failed adoption.

There aren't two other words that can strike as much fear and anxiety into the heart of hopeful adoptive parents. And the fact that these words are common with domestic infant adoption can be even more terrifying. Although these statistics are hard to track since there's not a common bureau collecting data, most professionals acknowledge the rates are as high as 40-60% of adoptions in the U.S. end in failures (although note that working with certain adoption professionals can significantly reduce these numbers).

When we talk about an adoption failing, it means that the adoption process was not completed. (A disrupted adoption notes when an adoption falls through after the child has been placed with the adoptive family and before finalization. A dissolution is when the legal relationship between an adoptive parent and child is severed after the adoption had been finalized.) There can be many reasons that an adoption fails, the most common being the expectant/birth parent(s) decide to parent. 

There are certain safeguards you can take to lower the risk of a failed adoption. Working with ethical agencies and attorneys and ensuring all of the legal steps to an adoption are taken are critical steps. One of the most critical safeguards is to make sure the expectant/birth parents have access to care and counseling, both pre-birth and long after. This allows an expectant/birth parent to have the time, education, and support needed to truly make the best decision for them and their baby (whether that's to parent or make an adoption plan). Partnering with an adoption professional can help you do all you can to ensure a safer, lower risk adoption.

But even if you do everything possible to reduce the risk of an adoption failure, ultimately the human heart is fickle and there are no guarantees in adoption. A mother and father not only have an ability to change their mind; they have the right to decide if they want to parent and decide what they feel is best for their child.

So what if you've done all you can to protect yourself and you still face a failed adoption?

Rethink the idea of failure

Sometimes a shift in perspective changes everything. Adoption is about finding parents for babies, not the other way around. Most hopeful adoptive parents desperately want to help where there's a need. Of course they want to be parents, but more than that, they want to provide an option to a birth family and a loving home to a child. 

Adoption is an incredibly unique space for a hopeful adoptive family to offer their time, resources, and love to a birth family in need. They are a resource for expectant families if they choose to sign a termination of parental rights and lovingly place their child into another families arms. When the focus is on being a resource: a safe space where the expectant family can feel confident about the possibility of entrusting a hopeful couple with their child, the perspective shifts. There's no ownership, but open-handedness. There's an acknowledgment that everyone is here for the good of this expectant family and baby, that plans can sometimes change, and that ultimately the expectant/birth family has the right to decide what that is. What if we shifted our perspective so much that sometimes, instead of a failed adoption, we thought of is as a successful decision to parent? 

At the heart of adoption is an open-handed decision to love big, love well, and love without reserve or selfishness. We talk about this often in terms of a birth mother making the courageous decision to make an adoption plan for her child. But I think there are times when hopeful adoptive families can be just as courageous to love a mother (and father) considering adoption, regardless of the outcome.

Rethink the grieving process

There's no doubt that going though a failed placement is a tremendous loss. It's a heartbreaking experience that often comes without any warning and can be devastating. In many ways, a failed adoption can feel like the death of a dream (of that particular child to be a part of your family). There's often confusion, unanswered questions, and very rarely any closure. This kind of grief is termed "ambiguous loss" and can can be incredibly difficult to work through. A failed adoption can leave you searching for answers which can delay the grieving process. 

While many friends and family can understand other losses (like infertility, death, or a terminal diagnosis), it's rare to find others in your support system who can truly empathize with what you're going through. Grief can take on many unique forms; so giving yourself the grace and the space to heal is important. Take the time to grieve like you would any significant loss. Don't discount it and do what you need to care for your heart (and your spouse's). Be patient as you think about possible next steps on your adoption journey.

Rethink what you know about happy endings

Happy endings don't write themselves like a typical fairy tale in adoption. In the end, it was inevitable that someone would leave the hospital brokenhearted. Whether it's a brokenhearted birth mother who made an adoption plan, or a hopeful adoptive family when she decided to parent, adoption in it's fullness isn't without hardship. In adoption there is no lack of the tension of loss and gain; bitter and sweet. 

Maybe in the end, nothing failed. Maybe you were meant to love and care for that birth mama and that baby for that season; over those months and in that hospital room. Maybe you were meant to pray over that expectant family and plead with God for their health and welfare. Maybe you were meant wrap them both in love in that sacred space and show up when no one else did. Maybe, in the end, you were a part of the story of a beautiful family, just not the way you imagined it.

Maybe, God is doing something so much bigger than you can see at this moment.

In the end, adoption is never without risks. When we put our "yes" on the table, unreservedly, it is fraught with unknowns. It's easy, especially after walking through a failed adoption, to want to snatch that "yes" right up, or give God your list of requirements before placing it down again. But loving big, selflessly, and unconditionally is not just a way to step into adoption, it's a way to live out the gospel.

God wants to do so much more through an adoption than "get a couple a baby." Adoption is about restoration and redemption. Sometimes it unfolds the way we anticipate. But more often, God is writing a story that includes plot twists we didn't see coming; faith we never thought would stretch us, love we didn't think would almost break us, and a front row seat to God's goodness and faithfulness. In the end He promises that all things work for our good and His glory. 

Keep moving forward. Keep loving big. Keep walking in faith. God promises when we do it's always worth it.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 
- Ephesians 3: 20-21

Want to read more about how God can work through the brokenness of failed adoptions? Here's a few families stories that might encourage your heart:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Adoption Myths and Assumptions

We could never have an open adoption; we don't want to confuse our child or have the birth mother take them back!

Adoption is too expensive - how can someone 'buy a baby' for that much? It's like a black market!

Is there really a need for adoptive families in the U.S.? We heard there aren't enough babies to go around and we're not even infertile...

These are just a few of the comments I hear often from people who find out I work as an adoption consultant or from hopeful adoptive parents.

When it comes to the subject of domestic adoption, there are a lot of misunderstandings on the topic. Some stem from how adoption used to work in the U.S. (with primarily closed adoptions that were stigmatized), how some adoptions today are mishandled or unethical, or news and media that portray adoption a certain (often misinformed) way. But I've found that most of the myths and wrong assumptions people have about adoption are simply because they don't know better and need some insight and education.

If I'm honest, I probably believed a lot of these myths and shared these assumptions until I began working in adoption: as a birth parent counselor, an adoptive parent case manager, social worker, and adoption consultant and director. And after working with birth and adoptive families for years, I've learned a lot (and am still learning).

Today I wanted to break down some of the most common adoption myths and assumptions and offer some insight from my experience working in adoption. As in everything else, education is the best way to address what we assume we know or unknowingly and subconsciously learn from outdated practices or ill-portrayed media. Knowledge is power and that's especially true when it comes to learning about adoption.

WHERE the need is

Myth: There's a line of families waiting to adopt domestically and not enough babies available for adoption. 
Truth: There is a great need for adoptive families, specifically for babies who are minorities and substance exposed/affected.

Most adoptive families have the experience of working with a small, local agency. Very often these agencies do a handful of adoptions a year but do many more home studies for families. This often equates to a longer wait (1.5 to 3 years) for families to be matched with an expectant mom. It also means they sometimes limit the families they work with. But there are agencies (that might not be local to a hopeful adoptive family) that serve many more expectant families and are looking for hopeful adoptive families because they don't have enough locally. 

In addition, while it's true that there are a lot of families waiting to adopt infants who match their family portraits and they feel like come with guaranteed health, there are a number of children who desperately need adoptive families to say "yes." There are children every day who end up in foster care because there was not an adoptive family willing or available to open their home. Several years ago this need was overwhelmingly with children of color, specifically African American. Today, the need is for families open to children who were exposed to substances prenatally. 

So the need is absolutely there, but very often an adoptive family simply needs to connect the dots (or work with a professional who can help them make those connections) to find how and where they can meet the need.

WHY adoption is costly

Myth: Adoption expenses are unnecessary and exorbitant.
Truth: Adoption expenses are essential to ensure an adoption happens legally, ethically, and all parties in the adoption triad are cared for.

Adoption is expensive. Although adoption costs can be across the board from $25,000-$50,000, the average domestic agency adoption costs $43,239 (Source: Adoption: By The Numbers). These expenses include agency fees, birth parent care, medical expenses (if insurance isn't involved), and legal fees. Of course there are adoption professionals out there who do take advantage of some of these fees, but working with ethical professionals ensures adoptions expenses are used for the right purposes and that an adoptive family avoids the common financial pitfalls.

The good news is that financing an adoption isn't impossible. I've walked with hundreds of families who never had that amount in their bank account but were able to finance their adoption with a little creativity and hard work. And were you to ask any of them, now they they have their child in their arms if it was worth it, they wouldn't hesitate to say they would do it again in a heartbeat.

For more on this topic: The Cost of Adoption

WHEN a family should start the process

Myth: A family needs to have everything in order, especially their finances, before beginning the adoption process.
Truth: There are resources available to help families, starting in the very beginning, to help a family begin their adoption.

It's common that families believe they have to have everything figured out before beginning their adoption journey. While there's wisdom in having a plan, I've found that a lot of families can get paralyzed simply with the amount of decisions there are to be made in adoption. Where will we get the home study? How do we feel about open adoption? What about becoming a transracial family? How will we come up with the costs? How do we find a good attorney? The questions can seem endless.

The good news is adoptive families don't have to have all of the answers to begin the process of adopting. The even better news? They don't have to go it alone. There's a limit to the amount of "googling" and information seeking that can be done on the front end and without knowing how to filter what's helpful or not. Finding an adoption professional to help guide them and a community to support them is key to a successful adoption. Once that's in place, a hopeful adoptive family can confidently move forward, knowing they have the resources at hand they need to adopt.

For more on this topic: The Steps to Adoption

WHAT to consider with the complexities of adoption

Myth: Adoption is a happy ending for everyone.
Truth: Adoption is a complex mix of joy and challenges.

There's an assumption that adoption looks a little like a fairy tale; with nothing but smiles, sweet stories, and "happily ever afters." But adoption always begins with brokenness. The reality is that if sin and brokenness weren't a part of our world, adoption wouldn't be either; birth families would always be in a position to parent their children.

Adoption doesn't just begin with brokenness; it can be woven throughout. There's a child living outside their biological family, possibly outside their ethnic culture. There's a birth family who continues a life without that child. The impact of the grief and infertility doesn't go away simply because a family was grown through adoption. This doesn't mean that God doesn't meet us in our brokenness and can't redeem it, but being aware of the tension that this reality creates is so valuable when considering all that's involved in adoption.

For more on this topic: The Unexpected Journey of Adoption

WHO the birth family is

Myth: All birth families fit a common stereotype.
Truth: Birth families come from all walks of life and are just as unique as the hopeful adoptive families on the other side.

There truly isn't a specific box that all expectant and birth families fit into. In my work as a birth parent counselor, I've worked with birth parents who were young teens and grandmothers (truly). Mothers who were attending college and unemployed. Women who were expecting their first child, for others it was their eighth. Women who were single, married, lesbian, blue collar, professional...the list goes on.

But they always share one thing in common. Every single mother has a desperate, selfless, and sacrificial love for their child. Each one has made the courageous choice to do what they feel is best for their child, despite a tremendous desire for that to be to parent their child themselves. I've never met a birth mother who didn't have a tremendous love for their baby.

HOW openness really works

Myth: Open (and semi-open) adoption will harm and confuse the child and allows for ambiguity in parental roles.
Truth: Open (and semi-open) adoption has been found to be best for all parties in the adoption triad (the child, birth family, and adoptive family).

It's common that there is fear surrounding open adoption (for both the birth family and the adoptive family), but it's often based on the misunderstanding that open adoption looks like coparenting. Instead, open adoption simply allows for some level of ongoing communication and relationship with between the birth and adoptive family. Instead of threatening the adoptive family, this relationship offers more people to love the child, first hand answers and clarity about the child's adoption story, and assurances that adoption was in the best interest for the child. A recent longitudinal study showed support for open adoption and ongoing relationships and benefits for both birth families and adoptees, even into adolescence and adulthood.

The reality is that openness is both beautiful and challenging; a lot like many other important and valuable relationships in our lives. Some level of openness can offer tremendous benefits: a birth family can have the assurance that they made the right decision. An adoptee can know first hand about that decision and have critical information about their identify. And in addition to having key medical and social information for their child, and adoptive family can help build an incredibly valuable relationship for the entire adoption triad.

This has been just a few common myths and assumptions people have surrounding adoption. Do you have any you would add?

For more Adoption Resources, Tutorials, and Adoption Stories: click here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Adoption Story: Colin and Kendal

This sweet family of three was built by adoption. But if you had asked Colin and Kendal just a few years ago if they dreamed about their family story, they wouldn't have imagined this kind of beginning. Today Kendal shares how an unexpected and heartbreaking diagnosis led them to their daughter.

Over four years ago, we received some information that changed our world – that we have less than a 2% chance of naturally conceiving a child. As a young, married couple with hopes of a full family, an infertility diagnosis immediately caused those dreams to come crashing down. At a loss on what to do next, we remained in a mixed state of shock, depression, sadness, and overall limbo for two years. However, after encouragement and support from close friends and family, we reached out to Susan and Christian Adoption Consultants in June 2016, ready to begin our adoption journey! After learning more about adoption, working with her to get our family profile book put together, and completing our homestudy, we started receiving and presenting to situations and began the long wait.

After a tiresome day of work on a random Tuesday in late November 2017, Susan’s name popped up on Kendal’s cellphone and she gave us the news we were waiting years for – that an expectant mother chose us as the adoptive parents for her baby! Those crashed-down dreams of parenthood were alive again and coming true! And on March 9, 2018, we experienced the immense joy that can come from holding your baby in your arms; our daughter – Caitlin Rose!

While adoption wasn’t something we talked much about prior to our infertility diagnosis, it’s clear to us now that it was God’s plan all along. We had to go through all the “junk” of infertility, discouragement, and waiting in order to get to a point of surrender to God and His perfect plan. We likely never would have come to the decision to adopt if our life had gone as we had planned. But how grateful we are now! Caitlin is our perfect match and we cannot imagine our life without her. 

We’ve learned many things through this process. How to be patient and wait on God. How family is much more than biology; our love for Caitlin is beyond anything that we could have imagined and how she entered our family does not change our love for her. And we’ve learned how much love you can have for your child’s birth parents. Birth moms – and birth dads – make selfless decisions to ensure that their baby has the best life possible. They sacrifice their role and trust us with the responsibility instead. Adoption is messy and hard, but it is beautiful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Repost: What To Expect When She's Not Expecting

With Father's Day around the corner, I wanted to share Colin's post again from a man's view of walking through infertility. (Also, stay tuned for an exciting update from their family later on the blog!)

Colin and Kendal are in the midst of their adoption journey and have chosen to share their experience and story at Finding Our Arrows, praying it will also encourage others. Today Colin shares transparently about how their struggle with infertility has impacted him as a husband and how he's learned to support his wife through it as well. I'm thrilled to share a man's perspective of infertility, grief, and hope.

I’m sorry, what? “There is less than a 2% chance you can naturally conceive a child.” No, no, you must be mistaken. This must be some cruel joke; after all, it is April Fool’s Day.  “Less than a 2% chance.” But we followed the plan – we both graduated college, I finished law school and passed the bar…we even recently started building a house! Now it is time to start building our family, too! All of our friends are pregnant – surely this is wrong! But the doctor wasn’t wrong. And on that day, April 1, 2014, our lives were turned upside down. 
For those husbands whose families are struggling with infertility and adoption, trying to cope with the heartache, and searching for what to do next all while attempting to faithfully lead their families through such a trying time. Guys, this post is for you. Trust me, I understand and can empathize with the challenges and struggles you are facing; with the feelings of doubt, anger, and confusion. And because of that, I wanted to share with you a few lessons God has taught me through our journey. I’m no expert, but these are just a few of the thoughts and perspectives I’ve gained from our experience thus far.
My first encouragement is men, if your wife is struggling with infertility, make sure you allow time to grieve. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”  Kendal and I received our infertility diagnosis in April 2014. At the same time, we were in the process of building our first home, so questions of wall color, furniture placement, and landscaping filled our minds. After closing on our home that June, our life settled down a bit. So, during a summer evening walk, and just a few months after receiving our tragic diagnosis, I brought up to Kendal the idea of adoption.  My comments were met with silence.
You see (spoiler alert), men and women think differently. Men are fixers and problem solvers.  In my mind, infertility + wanting a family = adoption.  This logically made sense to me.  But I missed the mourning and grieving part. Kendal wasn’t ready. She was still working and processing what such a diagnosis really meant. And I jumped waaaaaaay ahead of her, unrealistically expecting her to be on the same page as me. So men, take the time to grieve and mourn with your wife. And trust me, we did and still continue to do so, both together and individually. I still struggle with this, but I’m learning to stop, slow down, and just wait for her. We both wanted a family, and obviously both came to the decision of adoption, but take time to mourn and grieve with your spouse. Cry with her, hug her, love her. While adoption may be in your future, and perhaps it is God’s plan for you, it is ok to take the time to be sad. 
Secondly, realize that just because you made a plan, that doesn’t mean God has to fit Himself into it.  Proverbs 16:9 says “A man makes a plan in his heart, but God directs his path.” Kendal and I met while we were in college (Geaux Tigers!) and were engaged in December 2009. I was in law school at the time, so we weren’t “ready” for kids. But once I finished and passed the bar in 2012, we wanted to add to the two of us. We thought we were ready – it was just “time” to have children.  All our friends were pregnant and asking us when we would have children. They spoke as if it were a guaranteed outcome. But it just wasn’t happening for us. God wasn’t fitting Himself into our timeline – into what we thought we wanted and when we wanted it.
For two people who like plans, schedules, and being in control, this is a tough one to learn. God isn’t restricted to what our feeble minds can imagine, but just as He told the prophet Habakkuk, He is “doing a work…that you would not believe if told.” So, just remember, it is ok to not have the answers. Believe me, I know the pain of waiting and wanting a child and feeling so lonely when all your friends are pregnant and something just isn’t right.  But God is in control. The Proverbs writer puts it like this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” 
Lastly, above all else, and while it may be difficult to see at the moment, these struggles are just light and momentary. I know that sounds like nonsense while you are enduring your trials, but that is how the apostle Paul describes them in 2 Corinthians 4:17 when he writes “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” In other words, Paul, writing with eternity in view, weighs his present trials against future glory and discovers his trials are actually working for him. So when your world seems to fall around you, when you and your wife are devastated by terrible news, remember that these experiences are paled in comparison with what is to come. And that is something to take hope in – your light and momentary struggles are producing something much better for you! And that is eternal rest with our Father in Heaven. 
I hope this post is helpful to you. Believe me, infertility and adoption isn’t just something you “get over” and move on from. But these are just a few of the many lessons I’ve learned which I hope will encourage you during your time of struggle. 

To follow along with Colin and Kendal's story, you can find their blog at Finding Our Arrows.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Viral Adoption Situations (and what the real story is)

Our world has been impacted dramatically with the internet and particularly social media. Information, networking, and advice is literally at our fingertips and as close as our laptop or cell phone.

Photo Credit

The adoption world is no exception. There are groups specifically for hopeful adoptive families for support, encouragement, and advice. You can access agency information and reviews, blogs and articles on the vast array of adoption topics, and even advertise as a potential adoptive family to expectant families.

Instead of heading to the library for information, you can search google in seconds. And rather than attending a local support group, you can join any number of groups online to connect with others on the same journey. Just like anything online, the information is a mixed bag. But how do you know if the information you're getting is accurate or the best available?

The danger of viral situations

One of the biggest dangers I've seen in the last few years popping up often is viral adoption situations. These are situations, often posted by an agency, attorney, or adoption professional (I use that term very loosely) of an expectant family who need to be matched with an adoptive family (or a child/children available for adoption). In my experience, in general if you've come across an adoption situation online, there are often significant red flags. The information shared is minimal and the post is shared with thousands of people (sometimes even more).

A recent adoption situation that went viral was shared 3.7 million times. The business who shared the post admitted they had thousands of responses, couldn't keep up, and were backlogged for phone calls of people interested in signing up with their business for weeks to come. It's worth noting that these situations can easily become marketing strategies. Also worth noting: any reputable and ethical agency or attorney will already have contacts with adoptive families who are home study ready to be matched. (I want to note however, there are unique circumstances where sharing a situation online might be very appropriate: specifically when there is a little one with special needs who needs a specific family to step in to provide care. In these cases it often makes sense for adoption professionals to get the word out to find the perfect family to care for the child.)

So, how do you protect yourself?

First, make sure you're working with the right people. Anyone can pass on situations they've heard about, but do they know the agency or attorney working with the expectant/birth family? Adoption professionals with years of experience can help you spot red flags, ask the right questions, and protect you from risky situations.

Second, make sure the expectant family is working with the right people. What agency/attorney is the expectant/birth family working with? Are they reputable and ethical?  Are they offering them care and counseling (both pre and post birth)? Ensuring the expectant/birth family has access to services is critical not just for a successful adoption, but an ethical one.

Finally, be cautious when stepping into situations. Do you have all of the information necessary to know you want to present to the situation? Do you have access to important medical/social history? Also, beware of hidden fees: is there a fee associated with presenting? Ensuring you have all of this information allows you to be fully informed and prepared.

Curious about where to start or how to get help on your adoption journey? Christian Adoption Consultants can walk with you! We are a team of adoption professionals who work to serve hopeful adoptive families as they navigate the complexities in adoption. Our team is made up of adoptive families and social workers with decades of experiences. We have experience serving as case managers, birth parent counselors, and even agency directors with knowledge regarding state laws, how adoption agencies operate, and years of relationship building with agencies and attorneys across the country. With this, Christian Adoption Consultants can speak from a place of experience and authority in the adoption field and has helped hundreds of families successfully adopt. 


Thursday, May 24, 2018

In Their Own Words: Adoption Wasn't Our Plan B

Brian and Heather started their adoption journey the beginning of this year. I've had the privilege of walking with them in their hopes to become parents in 2018. They were recently matched with an expectant mama and are anticipating welcoming a little one this fall. I love her heart as she so graciously shares God's very good idea for growing their family. 

I think most people view adoption as plan B… you know, that thing you do once all else fails. And for some people, maybe that is why they adopt, which isn’t wrong! God has different journeys for each of us, and for some, adoption might start out as a plan B (but I’m pretty convinced it usually turns out to be so much more than that!). But adoption as plan B has never been the case for us.

Adoption wasn’t the “next best thing” or our “second choice.” Both Brian and I have had adoption on our hearts since long before we met each other, and we’ve always planned to grow our family through adoption. True, we decided to adopt now, rather than later, in part due to not getting pregnant as quickly as expected. But once we started talking about the idea of adopting now, instead of waiting until a few years down the road, the thought of not adopting was really disappointing. We longed to adopt!

Adoption is hard and beautiful and heart-breaking and breath-taking. It’s probably a lot like pregnancy in some regards, but also completely different in others. There are aspects that are messy and awkward, and others that bring me to tears because they’re so wonderful. And we haven’t even adopted yet! I can only imagine all the emotions I’ll feel come Fall when we get the call that our expectant mama is in labor. 

What I do know is that we want this baby, with every fiber of our beings. We long to hold him or her in our arms, we picture how they will roll their eyes at Brian’s dad jokes one day, we feel fiercely protective of them. We have all of the same feelings that any expecting parent has (I imagine). And we’re so grateful for how our friends and family have already begun to celebrate this precious life with us. We know Baby Douglas is loved, and that them coming into our family is no mistake, but rather, the sovereign hand of God at work.

God knew we would be starting our family through adoption. This isn’t a surprise to Him. It was His idea! And His plans are perfect. So adoption isn’t second best for us, rather it’s God’s first best. We feel so lucky that He chose us to pursue adoption as this point in our lives, and I bet we’ll feel even more lucky once that babe is in our arms!

For Heather's original post and to follow their adoption journey, find her blog at Love, Team Douglas.

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