Wednesday, November 19, 2014

now, we are a family

Jarrod and Amanda brought their sweet daughter, Madison, home this summer. They have an amazing story of God's miracles and faithfulness to their family that you can read here. And earlier this month, they finalized Madison's adoption. Here's a glimpse from Amanda's eyes about the day Madison took their last name, and forever, officially, they became a family.

November 5, 2014 was a day like no other. We waited in the hallway for the bailiff to call us in before the judge. I could practically hear my own heart pounding with excitement - so loudly that it would resonate off those cold, brick, courthouse walls. This was it. After these few moments before a judge, the little girl that I held in my arms would be forever ours. There would be no more visits from a social worker or unexpected legal fees to pay. There would be no more paperwork or reason to worry that something could happen. She would take our name. Papers would be signed. The case would be closed.



The three months since Madison joined our family flew by. It felt like just a few days ago she was placed in my arms for the first time. I cried tears of joy at that moment - I had dreamed about it for so long. But now, the tears came again. This moment - this private moment between our family, an attorney and a judge in a Florida courtroom - was the beginning of our official lives as a family. The judge would legally declare, for the rest of time, what we all already knew to be true in our hearts: This little one was meant to be our daughter. God ordained the three of us a family long before we even knew she existed. And now, we are a family.



The bailiff swore us in and our attorney began to ask us a series of short yes or no questions regarding our adoption, the fees, our adoption license. They were short and simple. But then, in the form of one final question, the attorney asked a question embedded so deeply into my heart that I'll never forget the words. In the hustle of these moments, this significant question, would have been easy to miss. But, ithat moment, it felt as if no one else existed in the room but Jarrod, Madison, and myself.

"Do you understand that when the judge signs the order of adoption here today that Madison will now legally be yours as if she was born to you?"


The beauty of those words still make my heart skip a beat. We nodded our heads in response. The tears began to well up inside me while the judge placed his stamp of approval on the paperwork and handed it back to attorney. It was done. This adoption case was closed. In less than five minutes, we had gone from a couple caring for a precious little one, to a legally, binded-together family. I'll say it again: What we knew in our hearts to be true for so long, was now official. This little one was meant to be our daughter. God ordained the three of us a family long before we even knew she existed. And now, we are a family


Every step of the journey that led us to that moment has been an adventure. There were a lot of tears, a lot of questions, a lot of unknowns and difficult moments. But there was also celebrating, and trust, and hope. Hope that in the end this plan that was not our own, but divinely predetermined for us by a good and incredibly gracious God, would be worth it all. And indeed, every moment was. This little girl is worth every ounce of this journey and I'd do it all over again for her. 


When we began our adoption journey, I ended my first ever blog post with the below song. It was an anthem that got me through some of the deepest and toughest moments of this journey. So it's only fitting to end reflecting on this song once more.


A special thank you to Heather at Studio 25 Photography for giving of your time to come capture these precious images for us! We'd also like to thank my sweet Aunt Deb for accompanying us to the courthouse and rejoicing (& crying) with us during this time of celebration! Your support and love meant so very much!

For more of Jarrod and Amanda's story and this original post, see their blog, Adding to Us.


Monday, November 17, 2014

home

It was one year ago this past week that he left. Again. One year ago the kids and I watched as Jamy left our home and didn't come back for seven months.


There is so much that could be said to fill in the huge gaps of that statement. And I'm sure someday I'll share much more of the details. But for now it's enough to say that when sin creeps into a heart, it creeps into a marriage, and a family, and has devastating consequences. And we lived through that devastation for a long time.

It's hard to put words to what going through a separation that long meant for our family. Being a single mama, grieving with my kids the tremendous loss of a husband and daddy, and praying for my husband every day to remember his identity in Jesus.

The short version is that Jesus did a miracle in our family. Primarily he did a miracle in my husband's heart that changed the trajectory of our family.

One year ago I literally didn't know if Jamy would ever come home. I had to think through the very real possibility of what it would look like to be a family of three and the kind of home I could afford as a single mom. The reality of living in a run down apartment and figuring out how to do life without a husband and a daddy in our home.

And then, over months of heartbreak and hard work and Jesus changing hearts, Jamy came home. He came home over Father's Day weekend and since then God has been knitting our hearts together like never before. The amazing work that God has been doing didn't happen overnight and we're still in the process of healing and looking to him to be our hope. But Jamy has been fervently pursuing righteousness, our marriage, and our kids. He is a different man than the one that left our family a year ago. 

When he came home, we started to dream together again. God had been restoring our hearts and our family and our dreams as a couple.

We decided to buy a home. Almost five years ago when we moved to Kansas City, we left the first home we had purchased together. It turns out the timing couldn't have been worse. We left at the height of the economic downturn: our home took eighteen months to sell and we took an enormous loss. It had taken us years to get out from under the mess and now we thought that by Spring we would be in a space to finally buy again.

But in the quiet of one summer night, I admitted to Jamy that I didn't want to do one more holiday season in our rental home. In the past three years, Jamy has been gone for Thanksgiving and Christmas twice. This space held more hard memories then happy ones; more heartbreak than celebration. But looking at our bank account and our timeframe meant that we would do one more holiday in that same space and I prayed that God would redeem it. But I was dreading the fall, when the winter creeps in and always reminds me of my husband's cold heart and the devastation to our family.

And then God, in his extravagant grace to our family, opened up opportunities for it to be wise for us to begin looking at homes. When we started looking we had no idea how amazing his timing would be. We looked at nine homes. The ninth one we looked at we knew was meant to be ours. It was listed on a Monday morning and by that night our offer was accepted. In less than a month we had moved in.

And in God's crazy goodness, we moved in the same week last year that Jamy left. 

This year instead of watching my husband drive away, I'm watching him pull in the driveway and get tackled by the kids who are eager that Daddy is home from a day at work. This year, instead of sitting alone at night, I'm cuddling on the couch with him in front of the fire and talking about what God is doing in our hearts and lives. This year, instead of making dinner for three of us, the four of us are cooking in the kitchen and dancing to the radio.


So this space in much more than a new house for our family. This is the space where we will call home. This is the space that we will fill with new, beautiful memories. This is the space where we continue to heal and God will continue to redeem and restore. This is the space where we will celebrate miracles. Incredible miracles God has already done and many more I'm sure he has in store for us.

Only God could take a devastating anniversary for our family and turn in into an all-out celebration of his extravagant grace and kindness to our family.

Only God could make this house our home. For all four of us.


Monday, November 10, 2014

adoption story: beau and cassie

Beau and Cassie were eager to start a family and have children of their own. After much thought and prayers, they embraced the idea of loving and nurturing a child through adoption and felt like adoption was God's perfect plan for them to create a family.


They started with Christian Adoption Consultants just after Christmas last year. In April they were home study ready and just weeks later were matched with a beautiful woman expecting to deliver a boy in the fall. 

All of the years of waiting 

All of the tears on the journey

All of the moments of doubt and uncertainty

They all became small the moment they met their son for the first time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

celebrating fall {part 2}

After seeing all those sweet fall faces yesterday, I wanted to share more. Today, they are all dressed up for Halloween!  Each of these babies are a part of our family at Christian Adoption Consultants. Enjoy!

Lucy (13 months)

Angesom (7) and Elsie (2 months)

Aubrey (1 year)

Caroline (4 months)

Emery (2 months)

Gracelynn (6 months)

Isaac (1 year)

Margaret (2 months)

Nolan (8 months)

Norah (2 years)

Olivia (5 months)

Olivia (1 year)

Olivia (2 months)

Madison (4 months)

Sarai (6 weeks)


Teddy (10 months)

Xavier (16 months)


And just a reminder!

Christian Adoption Consultants is offering a 10% discount on all it's full service domestic consulting packages in honor of National Adoption Month. Any new families who sign on during that window will receive 10% off the full service package. (This discount does not apply to the Do It Yourself Program and may not be combined with any other discounts). We only offer discounts like this a few times a year - don't miss out!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

celebrating fall

One of the incredible perks in my work as an adoption consultant is the joy of watching sweet babies grow up in amazing families. My favorite mail is the adoption announcements and admittedly my favorite social media feeds are ones filled with these sweet faces. So this month, I thought I would share them with you.

Eoin (6 months)

Angesom (7) and Elsie (2 months)

Aubrey (1 year)

Braxton (10 months)

Braydon (4) and Aria (8 months)

Caroline (4 months)

Emery (9 weeks)

Ezra and Eliza (5 months)

Gracelynn (6 months)

Jay (3 years) and Bennett (6 months)

Madi (3 months)

Olivia (1 year)

And just a reminder!

Christian Adoption Consultants is offering a 10% discount on all it's full service domestic consulting packages in honor of National Adoption Month. Any new families who sign on during that window will receive 10% off the full service package. (This discount does not apply to the Do It Yourself Program and may not be combined with any other discounts). We only offer discounts like this a few times a year - don't miss out!


Monday, November 3, 2014

rerun: beyond orphan sunday

Yesterday was Orphan Sunday celebrating the cause of the fatherless.

A time to remember global orphan care
A time to celebrate adoption
A time to honor foster care
A time for the least of these

God did not leave us as orphans and has called us to partner with him to "defend the cause of the fatherless." (Isaiah 1:17)

But adoption goes past holding back tears from a touching video.

Caring for the fatherless is more than dropping in a few extra bills in the offering plate once a year.

Changing the life of a child takes more than that.  Adoption takes real steps, real risks, and real investment.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families." (Psalm 68:5-6)

Is God setting the lonely in your family?

If you've considered international or domestic infant adoption, check out our services at Christian Adoption Consultants.

This is Norah, a result of her parents taking the first step...

We are pleased to offer a 10% discount on our full service domestic consulting packages. Any new families who begin will receive 10% off the full service package. (This discount does not apply to the Do It Yourself Program and may not be combined with any other discounts). 

This discount applies to all applications received by November 7th.


For an information packet, please email me at susan@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Thursday, October 30, 2014

adoption story: cory and kelly

Cory and Kelly know about adoption. They adopted their first son and Kelly works in the field.

But that doesn't make the task of adoption any less daunting. Adding to your family, even if you've done it before and happen to be an adoption professional, is just as emotional and exciting.

And that was exactly the story God had in store for this family; an emotional and exciting adoption journey with some unexpected twists and turns, unexpected delays, and ultimately, unexpected blessings.


Two sweet boys who know the joy of being wanted, sought after, and unconditionally loved. And two parents who are blessed by their joyful presence in their lives and family.




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