Wednesday, February 19, 2014

in their own words: why we chose an adoption consultant

The adoption process is all about choices.
Choosing to say, “Yes,” many times while not quite knowing what you’re fully committing yourself to can be difficult.
It’s a true testament of faith and trust.
And it’s scary.


Which is exactly why we chose to work with an adoption consultant, Susan.
A lot of people ask us what exactly she does.
Ummmm… everything!
In all honesty, though, she’s been our biggest advocate.
Our biggest cheerleader.
Susan was there with us from day one; she helped us find a social worker to help us become home study certified (legally OK to adopt in Iowa); she supported us by recommending resources for creative fundraisers to help afford the adoption process; she created our profile where birth mommas could read all about us; she helped us apply to reputable agencies in states that are “safe states” (states with clear-cut adoption laws); she called us when Olivia’s birth momma chose us and asked, “What do you need?” all the while offering prayers, encouragement and support along the way.
Susan is a consultant with Christian Adoption Consultants (CAC).
CAC is not an agency.
Instead, CAC consultants work with agencies.
I consider consultants like Susan to be the liaison between agencies/birth parents and adoptive parents.
While we were busy doing our thing filling out mounds of paperwork, Susan was networking and checking in on situations with agencies and adoptive families across the country.
I’ll never forget the email we received from her in August:
“There’s a baby that’s going to be born tomorrow, and it appears the birth mother has taken great care of herself. Do you want to overnight your profile to Texas?”
“YES!” we replied.
Leaving the hospital with our daughter!

And the rest is a blurry, amazing whirlwind.
Chris and I have had coffee with many families since bringing Olivia home.
We’ve made new friends talking about our family’s adoption journey.
And we simply love talking about how Susan and CAC played such an important role.
[Note: Erika + Josh are our dear friends who signed on with Susan shortly after we brought Olivia home, and 5-months later -- they have their SON! Seriously! Read Susan's blog for more on their story.]
In an overwhelming process we thought we’d get lost in, we had the greatest navigator.
I say this because I want others to be hopeful.
Adoption is confusing.
It’s overwhelming.
And so scary.
But if you have an advocate along your side like Susan, it’s a blessing.
If you’re one of those people — or your friends or family members are some of those couples who are confused in this adoption process — here’s my email:srussell@kwwl.com
Or just skip me and contact Susan directly: susan@christianadoptionconsultants.com
-Shelley
Disclaimer: I get *no* kickback or incentive for sharing our experience with CAC. I truly mean every word when I say signing on with Susan and CAC was the best first choice we made in this adoption process. I believe if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have Olivia. And then all y’all wouldn't get to swoon over pictures our gorgeous daughter.
You can find Shelley's original post here and read more of their adoption journey.

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