Monday, July 16, 2012

The Story of Hannah's Dream Adoptions

Only God could have written this story...

When we moved from Michigan in 2009, I had left a job in Grand Rapids that I could have retired from. I worked at a prenatal clinic for the under-served as a social worker facilitating group prenatal care, teaching as a lactation counselor, and case managing women needing some extra help. I loved it. When we moved to KC, I took a job as a social worker that just wasn't a good fit. Good agency. Good people. Just not for me.

Several months after our move, I got an email randomly about a man starting an adoption agency needing a social worker. It was this guy"Do you know where IHOP is?" he says so we could meet for an interview. Prior to this, I thought IHOP was where you ate pancakes. Turns out we met here instead. And Randy tells me his story, his passion for adoption, and how broken the system is. And instead of whining about the system and telling others to fix it, he tells me he wants to change it by stepping into it and fixing it himself. While he's talking, I can feel my heart resonating with his vision. And I tell him my story. I can tell there's a connect, but at one point he says, "So I'm not even sure why I asked you to meet me. To be honest, I need someone with a Master's degree." (That is not on my resume.) I tell him I know a guy...

Jamy thinks I'm crazy. "Uh, who did you meet with again?" After meeting with some random man I come home and want to quit my job with a salary and benefits and step into a brand new agency with no promises. "You just have to meet him. I'm telling you, Jamy, God is in this." So the next day Jamy and I meet with Randy and we were hired. Jamy as the Social Work Supervisor and me as the social worker. (Yep, Jamy is the boss inside and outside our house.)  
*Note this is the extremely abridged version as God did about a dozen miracles to make this happen.

This is baby Bethany.  She was the first Hannah's Dream baby.
She and her family hold a special place in our hearts.

And it worked. We stepped into a broken field; one where adoption is about making money, using birth parents, and taking advantage of adoptive families and created an agency the way we thought it should work. Hannah's Dream Adoption's worked to further the cause of adoption and life by providing compassionate care for birth and adoptive families. We worked to create a culture of life and set the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). Because in America, over 4,000 babies are aborted every day. If our prayers are answered and Roe vs. Wade is overturned tomorrow, we'll have 4,000 babies who are still unwanted and need homes. As a church, we need to answer that call and tell the world that we want the babies. But we didn't just want to care for the babies. We wanted to serve and care for the birth families as well. Tell them their lives are precious and valuable. Honor them by giving them choices and a voice and support.

Richy, Jess, and their family just after Tristan was adopted.

So for the past three and a half years I've had the insane privilege of doing something that makes my heart come alive. I've worked as the social worker for Hannah's Dream Adoptions. I've written home studies for adoptive families, counseled birth families, and consulted with families nationwide. And I've loved every minute of it. I've spent countless hours in families homes hearing their stories, how God has called them to adopt, and watched as they've welcomed children into their homes. I've sipped hundreds of cups of coffee across the tables from birth mamas; listening and counseling and crying and laughing. I've coached at bedsides at the hospital praying and encouraging and weeping.  

And now the journey is coming to a close. Hannah's Dream has been operating on such a low budget that it's become unfeasible now to continue. So come the end of the summer, we're ensuring that our families get the best ongoing care from another fantastic agency and closing our doors.

Most of the team at a Zoe Foundation Banquet in 2010
 Me, Tracie, Jamy, Angela, & the Chief - Randy
 (we're missing JoAnna and Mitch)

And it's hard. A team was created at Hannah's Dream that is unmatched. We have labored together, prayed together, laughed together, and "done life" together for years now. They've become family to me.  

But in the three and a half years Hannah's Dream Adoptions was in existence, dozens of families were created. Dozens of babies were rescued. Dozens of birth mamas know they are loved and honored for the incredible sacrifice they have made. Dozens of families now have an extra chair at their dining room table.

And in the past three and a half years, I've been changed too. God has wrecked my heart in ways I didn't know it could be, showed me passions I didn't know I had, and created relationships of eternal weight that I didn't know were possible in this lifetime.

Andy, Becky, and their sweet baby Roland.
The last Hannah's Dream baby.

Not pictured here are hundreds of pictures I'll have forever etched in my heart. Sitting around a conference table with lots of laughter and prayers with a team I was proud to walk beside. Beautiful birth mothers sipping their tea across from me sharing their heart and their tears. Adoptive families sitting on the leather sofa in my office recounting how they were called to adopt a baby. Labor and delivery rooms filled with prayers and tears and laughter. And visiting precious babies in their new homes who know the amazing love of two families.  

It's been worth it.

And now...I'm on to something new


  1. What am amazing journey, huh? So you will be with CAC now? Details necessary in the next post.


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