Thursday, February 23, 2017

i prayed for cancer

It was a selfish prayer. And an ignorant one.

But there was a time when I actually prayed I had breast cancer instead of going through hardship in our marriage. Maybe it was more a common thought that invaded my heart more than an actual prayer. But one that came up often.

It would be easier I thought. I could manage chemo and hospital stays. I could have something identifiable and easy to attack. It's easier to talk with kids about sick bodies than sick hearts. Mostly I thought it would be easier because people know what to do with cancer. Everyone knows someone who has wrestled through it: a friend or a family member. And you bake them casseroles and you take them to chemo and you watch their kids. Culture knows what to do with cancer. But culture doesn't know what to do with a broken marriage. Especially when the two people in the broken marriage don't want to give up. And the brokenness lasts awhile and the healing takes longer than everyone else has time for.

Please tell me I'm not the only one. That others like to try to pick and choose their suffering too. We tell ourselves THAT thing wouldn't be as bad, or as hard, or as painful. What would you rather? Infertility? Cancer? A broken marriage? A lost child? It's all crazy-making, isn't it? To pretend we could "handle" one form of suffering "better" or "easier." That we could bear up under the weight of THAT thing better than THIS thing.

Because the truth is we've all be touched by some kind of suffering. Suffering we never would have "picked" if we had some kind of choice in the matter. Brokenness we've walked through since we're walking in a broken world, wrecked by sin and the fall. And none of us had a chance to sign up for what we thought would be the easiest or could handle ahead of time.

It's easy to look around at other's lives, envious of their "lesser sufferings" or self-righteous that we're "doing so much better." But comparison can be deadly. It can create bitterness, anger, and resentment. It contends for contentment and joy in our hearts. 

Instead of pushing away from the pain we can lean into Jesus right in the midst of it. "I'm not a theologian or a scholar," Elizabeth Elliot once said, "but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence and the love of God." 

What if, in the midst of my suffering, I didn't ask for less of it, but more of God?

So, slowly, my prayer changed. Instead of asking for a different kind of suffering, or for the suffering to stop altogether, my prayers have dramatically shifted. Desperate for more of God right in the middle of things. Begging him to be near and enough. Focusing instead of changing my circumstances on the outside to changing me on the inside. Asking him to make me more like him in the midst of it all. 

I used to think God sent or allowed certain specific suffering to touch me because he needed to teach me a lesson. He was the "teacher" in the sky and I was the student on the ground. And the "lessons" would just keep coming until I finally passed the test. Although I think there can be seasons like that, I see God much differently now. More as a loving Father, heartbroken beside me as the suffering in the world impacts me and my family. Walking with me, holding me through it. 

I don't think I'll ever embrace or cherish the specific suffering I've walked through (or have yet to walk through). But I can cherish a sweet Savior who promises to walk with me. Who promises that he works all things for my good and His glory. And who promises that nothing ever happens outside of His sovereignty and care.

I don't have to pray for a different kind of suffering. I just have to pray for more of God in the midst of it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

adoption story: mark and jenni

I can't think of a better day to share this family love story. One of their first pictures as a family included them wearing shirts they had made: There is always hope...This became their watchword as they strove to become a family of three. Today Jenni shares their journey, and why she believes more than ever that holding onto hope is worth it.

Our adoption journey began officially in the fall of 2014 though adoption has always been a part to our hearts. 

We were home study approved in April of 2015. We waited until August 2015 to officially become a waiting family due to a family member being diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimers type. A common question in the adoption community is do you prepare the nursery during the wait or once the baby is in your family? We focused on preparing our home and nursery during these months. Decorating the nursery was God’s grace as we were also juggling the responsibilities of care giver. 

We were first matched in April of 2016 with a little boy. We knew once we were matched the risk increased. We also knew that if we shared our joy when we were matched that it was possible we would also have to share our pain. We ended up sharing our pain as this adoption ended in late May. 

To our surprise, we were matched for a second time shortly after on July 22, 2016. We went to doctor appointments.  We heard the heart beat. We found out the gender and just like when we were matched before we even named our baby. This is what's hard about this open adoption process. You have to prepare your heart for both joy and heartache. That means you have to believe while you are matched that the little person developing and growing truly is yours.

God has taught us through these experiences that you have to live in the moment because the moment is all you have.

For a waiting adoptive family this means...

  • You buy baby boy clothes but leave the tags on them this time. That way you are preparing for your baby but you are also guarding your heart and saving finances for the next time you need to buy baby clothes.
  • This also means you go ahead and schedule announcement pictures  for the match and a  fresh 48 photo session for when he arrives. You understand though that they may have to be rescheduled.
  • This means you keep the car seat base in the car and continue to add to the nursery. You order a bringing home outfit with baby's name knowing that you may have to end up selling it.
  • This means you prepare for this little person while also preparing for the possibility of a loss. While we have never been pregnant, we have lost two babies. It's different than a miscarriage but it's also similar. We had plans, hopes and dreams for both of these babies and for our family. 

I don't know that I can adequately share the heartache we experienced in words. I do know that it was our community that held us together. In the months ahead we had opportunities for a match but turned them down. How we had envisioned our adoption journey was not our experience. God had to do some repair work on our hearts. It was in these months that we contacted Susan and began to work with Christian Adoption Consultants. She and the adoptive community that she leads were a God send for us. Susan provided a wealth of information, encouragement and was a sounding board that helped us through some of our darkest days. 

We got a call on December 12, 2016 with prospective match for a baby due January 7, 2016. We met for dinner and were officially matched. We attended two doctor appointments with the expectant parents, established some rapport, and were there for labor and delivery. 

Our daughter was born and placed in our family on January 11, 2017. It is a day that we will never forget.  We were already in love with her but once we laid eyes on her our love instantly grew. 

God had saved us to be her parents. 
She was the one we had been waiting for. 
The one we prayed for. 
The one we had dreamt of. 
The one that we had always hoped for.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

adoption story: reed and suzanne

Sometimes the joy isn't just how the story ends. It can be found throughout the journey. What started out with grief God met with joy. What began as despair God met with hope. Reed and Suzanne's story to parenthood didn't go as planned, but some of the best stories don't. When we give our lives over for God to be the author, He can write some amazing stories. Reed and Suz found this to be true for their family...

We have the best ending to our story…the best! But it’s not only the sweet sweet ending that brings tears to my eyes, but the tender way God brought us through this journey to this unbelievable “ending.”

Our plan was always to have a biological child and then adopt. We had no idea the roller coaster of trying to have a biological child would be for us. Every month having hope, then losing hope, then starting again, while all around us it seemed like no one else was having a hard time getting pregnant. Then, after starting fertility treatments, it almost seemed like the hope was higher and therefore the loss was greater every month. It was isolating, it was painful…it was grief. That’s when God started changing me and changing my husband. We had to wrestle through the hard together and trust God’s ultimate plan for us to be bigger and better than we can think up for ourselves. I also started experiencing God as the comforter. I don’t know how many times I’d be driving home from the fertility clinic or laying in bed at night with my heart literally hurting, and, for the first time in my life, instead of feeling anger, doubt, and blame in my hurt, I felt the comfort of God’s arms around me and the assurance that this heartache was for a purpose. God grew my trust in Him and relationship with Him in ways that couldn’t have been done otherwise. 

In the midst of our fertility treatments, we both had the idea to start the adoption process. We knew we wanted to do it and we figured we would’ve started by then anyway. We felt like God was moving us in that direction. I heard of Christian Adoption Consultants and Susan through a friend and so I gave her a call to see if this was the path we wanted to take. We had such peace and excitement after talking with Susan and knew this was what we were supposed to be doing and when we were supposed to be doing it. It was amazing how drastically my heart changed towards our infertility. This was our purpose and we were on our journey to find our baby! Unlike the unknown of trying to have a biological child, we knew there was a baby at the end of this journey, regardless of how long it might take. Finally, I had hope again. 

Overall, our process was pretty fast in getting matched, but there were plenty of “no’s” in there that made it seem like an eternity. I quickly found out that there is still loss and grief in the matching process just like there was in our infertility. It was early November and we had just had two situations in a matter of two weeks that we were presented for. We were so hopeful for both and ultimately weren’t chosen to parent those babies. My emotions had been yanked in every direction in a very short amount of time and my heart hurt. I was feeling so hopeless. After finding out we weren’t chosen for the last situation, I prayed to God telling Him I was at the bottom and I needed hope. One hour later we were emailed a situation about a baby girl. I think we loved some part of every situation we were sent, but there was something different about this one. We immediately responded that we wanted to be presented. I felt a different kind of peace with this one. The next day, I read a Facebook post by a couple different friends who both were either matched or brought their baby’s home that day. That was the day our profile was being presented to the expectant mom. Perhaps clich├ęs, but I felt that was God encouraging and reassuring me. Something made me start praying differently that day too. It seemed like God wanted to me pray specifically for what I wanted. So I did. I told him I wanted this to be our baby. Yes, I still wanted the baby He had in mind for our family and the perfect timing, but I asked that THIS would be that baby and THIS would be that time. It took two weeks of long, hard waiting. Then, on World Adoption Day, we got the call that expectant mom had chosen us to be baby girls' parents! I had such confidence in God’s presence in this, and yet still was blown away that it was actually happening. We found out just in time to let our families know for Thanksgiving. Finally, we could celebrate having a baby with our families. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we got a call we’ll never forget. The expectant mom had taken off and they hadn’t been able to get ahold of her. They told us she had most likely changed her mind. There it was again…loss and grief. The agency asked if we wanted to start being presented for different situations. For whatever reason, it didn’t seem right to give up just yet. We said we wanted to wait through early the next week and see if she didn’t come back. I was confused. I asked God specifically that this was our baby and He answered clearly that it was. Didn’t He? That was a long five days to wait, but the next Tuesday we got another call saying the expectant mom was back in contact, was so sorry for any stress she might have caused, and still wanted us to parent if we still would be willing to! That experience really opened the communication, and, oddly, trust between us and the expectant mom. We were able to talk more about what made her leave and why this was so difficult for her and then were able to support her and pray for her better because of that. We loved her more and appreciated more how hard this has to be for her. Again, God used hard to bring good. 

A few weeks later we were headed to meet the expectant mom and then be there for the delivery of baby girl. We met her for dinner the day before induction. There was an instant connection and we had a great dinner getting to know each other. God definitely works in the details. In conversation, we found out she lives just 45 minutes from my family in Ohio. My high school played her high school in sports! What are the chances? There were plenty of other “coincidences” that made everyone involved more confident this was God’s doing.

The next day we waited to hear it was time to head to the hospital. What a feeling when we heard, “You need to leave now…baby is coming!”  We got to the hospital just in time to see baby girl be born. What a slew of emotions. (My husband had maybe too many emotions combined with sights and sounds and almost passed out. The Nurses got a good laugh out of that). I think the term sweetly broken describes it best. I loved that baby girl as soon as I saw her. She was a gift I never could have imagined. But I was broken as I looked over at her birth mom having just given birth to this baby she carried and loved for nine months and couldn’t even hold her because it would be too hard. While she didn’t want to hold baby girl herself, she did want to see me hold her and bond with her. It was such a sweet moment with my husband and I holding baby girl and introducing her to her birth mom. She asked her name and I remember I could hardly get it out. How special to finally be able to not just have her in my arms, but give her a name. Not only that, but we used birth mom’s name as her middle name, which was so important to us. We told birth mom that baby girl will always know her first momma and how much she loved her. One of the sweetest moments was the next morning when birth mom came to the nursery for all of us to do pictures and say our goodbyes. Before she left we all held hands and prayed over our baby girl. What a blessing for sweet baby to be prayed over by both her moms and her dad before she’s even a day old. She is undoubtedly LOVED. Her birth mom was so brave. She kept congratulating us on our daughter. I was a mess and she kept telling me not to cry. Needless to say, not how I imagined it going!

While we were anxious to get home, our time spent waiting out ICPC was sweet. We stayed in an Airbnb with the nicest family upstairs who took such good care of us and spoiled us. Another way God worked in the details to care for us. I had a chance one day to go for a run around a lake near where we were staying. I kept having to stop and get control of myself. The outcome of our baby girl is more that we could have ever asked or imagined. But when I thought about all that led up to this...the infertility, waiting, no’s, unknowns…and I remembered God’s sweet sweet presence during that time and how He changed us and taught us, I was overwhelmed. 

Early on I had to wrestle with if I truly believed God is good. Yes, I did and do believe that. Then I had to wrestle with if I believed He was good to ME. Again, yes, I felt and saw His goodness to ME. Now I wonder WHY He is so good to me? We're blown away by God's goodness...and not just because of this outcome. We saw His goodness throughout the last few years in the hard and the hurt, and THAT makes us dance in His goodness of this greater than we could ever hope for outcome. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

adoption story: brian and anne

Every good book, movie, or story has a beginning, middle, and end. Adoption is a story that has a beginning and somewhat of a middle, but a series of twists that never truly conclude the story; they just keep the story going. The story never really ends. Brian and Anne's first few chapters read like this...

Our story began by contacting Susan. Working with Christian Adoption Consultants and Susan has been great, she has been a valuable asset and wonderful encouragement as we have progressed through this adoption journey. Susan answers questions and gave so much guidance to us. She reminded us to not lose heart when we heard the “no’s.” Everyone who found out we were working with Susan raved about her...she is just that amazing!

When our home study was complete, that was an end to one part in bringing our little baby home. Then comes the hard part. The middle that pulls at every single emotion you have...showing your profiles to expectant families. Every single time we showed to an expectant family, I felt like this was the one. We just kept hearing “no.” For six months, “no” after “no.” It was hard. Really hard. It's during this time who you will find out who is truly supportive of your adoption journey. It’s really hard to be patient when you hear these whirlwind stories of adoption happening so quickly. Were we ever going to get picked? Was something wrong with us? Did we hear you wrong about adoption? Was God even hearing us? I heard this part of the process being equated to a storm. The process of getting matched is like a storm where you are thrown all over the place. It’s hard to see the calm after the storm while you’re in it. It’s hard to see the rainbow at the end when you feel like the storm will never be over.

In October 2016, the storm quieted for us. As I was getting ready to leave for work, I saw a call from a Florida number I didn’t know. We had matched! A baby boy due in January 2017. A baby boy whose due date was nine months from the date on our home study.  It felt so surreal. It honestly felt like an out of body experience. In the middle of November, we flew down for Florida to meet the expectant family. As we discussed things over lunch, the topic of names came up. We wanted the expectant family's input on names. They wanted us to choose his name. We really only had one name, and it happened to be the same as the one the expectant family had. Cue the goosebumps. It was then that we knew we had gained family in Florida. On December 30th, 2016 I heard my phone ring again. I wasn’t even looking at it and we both knew. Two weeks early, expectant mom was in labor and baby was coming now. We threw everything we could possibly think of in suitcases to fly to Florida.

Our birth family has been awesome. They chose adoption which takes more courage and strength than it took us going through all the paperwork and waiting. They have been real with us about life. They have been incredibly gracious to us. They have poured out their hearts. They have reaffirmed us as adoptive parents. They have shown us what the rainbow after the storm can look like. Above all else, they have become part of our family...part of our story. We have a puzzle in our little one's room. It was a completely blank white puzzle when we started and slowly but surely it has become filled with names of the people that have been part of his story. A story that hasn’t ended, a beautiful story that is continually being written.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

your ICPC survival guide

For many adoptive families today, they using a multi-agency approach and adopting outside of their home state. This means they travel out of state to take custody of their baby as part of their adoption journey. When this happens, families need to follow the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), a statutory agreement between all fifty states that governs the placement of children from one state to another. While all of the required paperwork is gathered and ensures the laws of both stated have been observed in the adoption process, the new family has to wait to cross state lines and travel back home. 

The ICPC process takes and average of  7 to 10 business days before a family obtains approval to return home with their newly adopted baby. Practically, this means a family has to maneuver all the challenges of a newborn paired with being away from home and all things familiar.

So how do you survive the ICPC wait? Here's a round up of some of my favorite tips:

Find the right housing

  • I've found that extended stay hotels, suites, or rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo are a great fit for adoptive families staying more than a few days. This gives you space to spread out and can be much more comfortable to bring your newborn "home" to for those first days together.
  • Check out this closed Facebook group, Domestic Adoption Housing Connections. It's a platform that connects families across the U.S. who want to help each other out and offer their home, a rental, or a vacation home to families waiting out ICPC or a long NICU stay.
  • Remember to look for important extras: things like a washer/dryer or laundry service (don't forget quarters!), a kitchenette with a fridge and microwave, free hot breakfast, etc. These things can be life savers.
  • Let the staff know you're there for your adoption. I've been amazed how many companies have blessed adoptive families with deep discounts, offered sweet gifts for the baby, and given free upgrades to help a family celebrate!

Know what to pack
  • Make sure to pack some of the basics, like blankets, sleepers and onesies, burp cloths, diapers, etc.
  • But here's a few lifesavers from some adoptive families that have experience with hotel living with a newborn:
    • A safe sleep space for baby is a must. Some favorites are a moses basket, pack 'n play, or rock 'n play.
    • Baby wrap to wear your baby (might be easier than a stroller to travel with and promotes great bonding!)
    • Medela Quick Clean Mico-Steam Bags can make bottle sterilization a breeze in a hotel room with a microwave.
  • The good news? Since this is a domestic infant adoption, there is sure to be a Target close by to stock up on anything you may have forgotten or run out of!

Make the most of your time

  • Inevitably you will have a lot of down time. Pack cozy clothes, some games to play together, books and magazines to read, or save the Netflix show you've been wanting to binge on!
  • Take the opportunity to journal your child's birth and adoption story! Before the demands of life take over when you get back home, this is a great chance to record all of those precious details while they're fresh. On a related note, you could also write Thank You cards for gifts or to friends and family who have supported you on your journey.
  • Why not have your newborn pictures taken during this time? Find a local photographer and schedule a photo shoot. A great resource is Red Thread Sessions, an organization that connects professional photographers with adoptive families and offers discounted or even free photoshoots.
  • Take advantage of your travel. Chances are you're in a place you've never visited. Check out the local attractions and become a tourist. Head to the beach as a new family, visit friends or family who might be nearby, or find the best local coffee shop or restaurant. Go on an adventure as a new family!

In the end, one of the most helpful things you can do to survive the ICPC wait is to reframe your attitude. Let's face it. Being away from home and friends and family, especially for days on end, can be hard. And being trapped in a hotel room with and infant can make you stir-crazy. Waiting for paperwork to go through and the unknown of when you can return home can be frustrating. It can be tempting to see ICPC as a barrier to getting home and starting your life together as a new family. BUT, this is the long-awaited time you have prayed for waited for. Your baby is finally in your arms, you have added a little one to your family, and you can celebrate. 

This time can be a sweet "babymoon." Although of course you are eager to return home and introduce your baby to friends and family, ICPC can be a gift. When else will you get the opportunity where your only job (without the regular responsibilities of life) is to love on and bond with your precious baby? Enjoy it and soak up every moment. 

You've survived the adoption process. Surely the ICPC wait will be a breeze!

Want more practical help on your adoption journey? Think about hiring an adoption consultant!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

so you want to hire an adoption consultant?

So you've already decided it's well worth it to hire an adoption consultant to walk with you during your adoption journey. You've heard about Christian Adoption Consultants and maybe heard a few recommendations. Maybe you've even got a clear picture of the bird's eye view of adoption and your road map.

But what now?

Here's a few of our most popular questions about our services answered:

When should we start working with a consultant?
Families start with us at all points in their adoption journey; families who are home study ready and have been waiting a long time to be matched. If you're at the very beginning, this is the BEST time to start! This way we can give you tips and referrals on choosing the right home study provider that works well with the multi-agency approach. And while you're working on your home study, we can be working together to complete your profile and review which agencies you will want to apply to. That way, once your home study is done, you're essentially ready to be matched!

What if we don't know what our preferences are yet?
That's why we're here! It can feel a little overwhelming to think through your openness to different races, situations, and the kind of relationship you might want to share with your child's birth family. Your application is just a starting place and you can change/update your preferences at any time. Our services include resources, education, and support to find the best fit for your family.

Do we need to have our entire adoption budget in the bank?
Nope. In fact, it's rare that families have all of that money already tucked away in a savings account just waiting to adopt. Much more often, the decision to adopt and jump in feels more like a leap of faith that a calculated next step that makes sense when you look at your bank statement. Some families only have what's needed to start with CAC. Keep in mind that a large part of our services are creative financing ideas that include information on the adoption tax credit, available adoption grants and loans, and fundraising ideas that might be a good fit for your family. 

Which package is right for us?
We offer a handful of different packages to fit each hopeful adoptive family's unique needs for their adoption. Here's a brief rundown to find the right one for you:
  • Consulting, Profile, and Agency Paperwork Preparation Package - includes our consulting services (confidential Adoptive Parent Packet, an initial phone conference, email support for eighteen months) as well as professional creation of your family profile and completion of applications to the adoption agencies on our list. This is a great fit for families who would like help with organizing and preparing agency applications. 
  • Consulting and Profile Package - this is our most popular package as it includes our consulting services for eighteen months as well as professional creation of your family profile. 
  • Consulting Package Only - includes only our consulting services for eighteen months. This package is a great fit for families who have a graphic design background and can easily create their own professional profile rather than utilizing our profile services. 
  • Profile Service - This service includes the layout, creative design, picture selection, and written narrative of your profile. Families will receive a pdf copy of the profile and will be responsible for printing copies as well as mailing the profile to the appropriate agencies. 
  • Profile Review Service - We highly recommend this service to families choosing not to have us create their family profile. (Your family profile is a highly important, essential part of your adoption journey and it is to your benefit to have a profile that is professional and accurately communicates who you are as a family.) This service includes advice and feedback on your profile, suggestions and direction on design and layout, narrative, and pictures. 

What if we already have a home study?
No problem! We'll just dive straight in to helping you with the multi-agency approach, consulting services, and help with your profile if needed. This won't impact which package you choose.

What if we already have a profile?
I would love to take a peek! Some families come to us with great profiles, others find that with our Profile Review Service they can receive some helpful insights, feedback, and tips to make it even better.

What happens once we send in our application?
As soon as we receive your application, once we review and approve it and process your payment, we'll send over a welcome packet and next steps with all you need to get started!

Still have more questions?
No problem. Shoot me an email and I'm happy to answer your questions (or we can set up a time to chat over the phone)! This is a huge decision and I'd love to walk you through your options and work with you to find the right fit for your adoption.

Ready to finally dive in?
Simply fill out this application and email it to me! We'll get you started on what's sure to be one of the most exciting, life-changing, and important journeys of your life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

dear mamas in waiting

I've talked to a handful of hopeful adoptive mamas this week already about the wait. It's hard and easily tests patience and faith. But I love the gift that the wait can be. 

There's no doubt that most hopeful adoptive mama's hardest space is the wait to be matched. Once the home study paperwork is complete, the applications filled out, and the nursery decorated, there's the inevitable wait to be matched with an expectant family.

But there's a dramatic difference between pregnancy and waiting to be matched as an adoptive mama. With no belly gradually growing and not even a due date in sight, the wait can be long and hard. With no end in sight and nothing to do but wait, how do you bide your time? How do you hold your heart? How do you stay hopeful?

I've shared before about truth to cling to in the wait and what to do while you wait. But today I want to share the incredibly unique position you hold in this space.

Right now, chances are you are waiting in anticipation for an email or phone call with a new situation. A description of an expectant mama and the little one she is carrying. It includes sacred details of her personal life: a bit of her story, her interests and background, the details of the birth father, even her hopes and dreams for her child.

Although these include basic facts and statistics, what's contained in this information goes far beyond information. It also gives a glimpse into actual lives. A mother and father in a hard place. A baby with a future that is uncertain. Three lives that will be forever changed in the coming days. And others that will be changed as well; there are grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and possibly a future adoptive family involved.

When these phone calls or emails come, you are given insights into personal stories. There are details shared in each situation that this expectant mama might not have shared with anyone else.

What if God has called you not just to adopt a baby, but to pray for each of these women (and men and babies)?

What if your ministry isn't just as a mother someday, but as a prayer warrior today?

What if God has blessed you with an incredibly unique position to pray for this mama, and father, and baby in a way no one else on earth can in these moments?

It would be easy to waste the wait on impatience, grumbling, and angst, spending your time focusing on the baby that is not yet in your arms. But your fervent prayers can have a reach beyond this moment. I love that God doesn't waste these spaces when it seems like nothing important is happening. That in the wait, your time, your energy, and your prayers can have eternal impact. 

Here's some ways you can pray:
  • Pray for peace for the expectant mama. Pray that God would meet her where she is and provide comfort and protection.
  • Pray for wisdom for the expectant mom she makes a decision about what is best for her and her baby and considers parenting and adoption. 
  • Pray for the father: that he would be an honored as a part of the decision-making process and offer support where he can. 
  • Pray for the pregnancy and the baby: that the baby would be healthy and the expectant mom would get quality medical care.
  • Pray for others to surround the expectant parents with encouragement and love; friends, family, and professionals who would honor their decisions and offer tangible means of support and care.
  • Pray that through all of this, God would work all things for their good and His glory.

Someday, when the wait is over and you're snuggling a sweet baby, what a gift to be able to look back and think of all the ways you came alongside other women (and men) to pray for them and their babies. And to know that maybe, another hopeful adoptive mama was doing the same for the little one who would someday be in your arms as well.

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