Friday, January 29, 2016

adoption story: ryan and kelly

When I met Ryan and Kelly for the first time in a busy coffee shop, I was immediately struck by their hearts for adoption, their strong faith, and their unwavering commitment to follow God's call for their family. I especially loved watching as they faithfully prayed for every expectant mama they heard about. Today Kelly shares the story of their adoption, their family, and God's faithfulness.

When we felt God calling us to adopt in the summer of 2013, some friends of ours were adopting through Christian Adoption Consultants. After our research, we felt that it would somehow be less expensive to pursue adoption with a local adoption agency. We finished our home study in about 4 months and then waited. And waited. And waited. We did not hear anything from the agency. Not a single word. We would check in with them about once a month to ask if our profile was being seen or if they were currently working with any expectant mothers. After roughly a year of our monthly check-ins, we were ever so kindly told that it would most likely take a very long time or a miracle for our family to be matched with one of their expectant mothers. We are a slightly older couple with three biological children and most of their expectant mothers were choosing young childless couples.  The agency in no way deceived us or gave us false hope; we just didn't realize the limited amount of expectant mothers that the agency would be working with.



After talking with our friends who had signed up with CAC now a year before, we decided to meet with Susan face to face so we could get a grasp on what their organization was all about. We shared our hearts for adoption over some coffee and we realized we were so sad that we did not choose to work with CAC from the beginning. Once we had the facts, we soon realized that using a local adoption agency was in no way less expensive than working with CAC. Because our home study was current, there was really nothing for us to wait on and we began receiving situations to consider the very next night after signing up with CAC. What a difference from hearing nothing from the agency to having expectant parents and an unborn baby to pray for!

We received information about many expectant mothers during our time of waiting to be matched. We felt so honored to be able to be made aware of these situations and to pray for these women and their unborn babies. Such a privilege! We were presented to many expectant mothers and we were matched with an expectant couple after about 3 months with CAC. That couple ultimately decided to parent this little girl. We were heartbroken, of course, but we love the fact that the little girl was prayed for so fervently before she was born and we will continue to pray for her and her parents.  

We decided to start seeing situations again fairly soon after our failed match. We were made aware of many situations. Some we asked to be presented to and some we did not, but we prayed for them all. We heard several no's during this second time of waiting.  Not knowing what God is doing in our lives behind the scenes is always so hard, but we continued to pray for these women and babies, knowing that was our role for now in this world of adoption. And Susan was always there to remind us that God is in control when we were in the trenches.

We were matched again about 3 months later, this time with a little boy. We were able to build a wonderful relationship with the expectant mom and her family over the course of the pregnancy. We were thrilled when she asked us to be in the delivery room with her. After sitting in a hotel room for 2 weeks after false contractions, our little Griffin Jude made his appearance on our 16th wedding anniversary.  We spent the next two days in the hospital with the birth mother and built such a special bond with her.



It's so awesome to see how God has written this story in our lives. He really has been in every single detail. We don't feel that our time with the local agency was wasted time, as it was all part of God's plan to bring us together with Griffin. But if you are having any doubts at all about signing up with CAC, please take our advice and just do it!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

in their own words: baby booties and answered prayers

You've heard Tadd and Andrea's story. How their "rainbow baby" came to them. This week they celebrate their daughter being theirs for five months and Andrea shared this story of Clara's little baby shoes, shoes they had long before five months ago...


5 months old! This girl has stolen my heart 1000%. She is the answer to many many many prayers. 


When Tadd and I first got married, we bought a pair of baby booties, and faithfully prayed over them every night, for a precious child of our own. Tragedy struck multiple times. One loss, then another. Two sweet babies in Heaven. 

Our hearts began to grow weary in our pursuit to fulfill our God given desires for a family of our own. But we continued to faithfully pray over those baby booties. 6 years into our marriage, tragedy struck yet again, with the loss of our Cameron Lee. 

My heart began to give up. When we got home from the hospital...home without our sweet boy... Tadd pulled out the baby booties we had so faithfully prayed over all those years. My heart was too weary, and I told him to put them away. That we must have misunderstood God's calling on our lives to be parents. 

But Tadd's determination just grew stronger, and there in our room, as he held those tiny little baby booties, he called out to God and rebuked Satan from destroying our lives. He prayed and cried over those precious booties. Then he handed them to me, and simply said "whatever it takes...don't give up on your dreams. Whatever it takes...I won't let you give up." 

Here, my friends...is proof of the power of prayer. Here is testament that God still creates beauty from ashes. If ever you've had doubts of the faithfulness of our loving Savior...look into the eyes of this precious child, knowing full well that He makes all things beautiful...IN HIS TIME.




Monday, January 25, 2016

whatever is true

I don't know about you, but I love hearing stories of hard times and triumph. Full of redemption and glory and happy endings. We like to revel in the stories after the hard stuff has been wrapped up in a neat package with a pretty bow. 

This is not one of those posts.

Instead, this will be one from the trenches. In the midst of the hard stuff before I'm on the other side or knowing how the story will turn out.


In the thick of all of this, if I'm honest, there is simply pure exhaustion. Often in the midst of crisis and tragedy life has to go on: you have to show up to work, drive the kids to school, put dinner on the table. Life isn't empathic when it comes to stopping for things to "get better; " it just keeps going. And the simple longevity of a hard space can lend to feelings of isolation, fear, and pain.

It's a dangerous place for a heart. And perfect soil for these feelings to settle in and begin to grow. To begin to believe the lies that I am alone, that this will never end, and even that God is distant. I can't get away (even for a moment) that my reality right now is just plain difficult.

But there is a truer reality. It's more real than my feelings. More real than even the circumstances I'm walking through. And when I get lost and overwhelmed with what is around me, I can rest on this: nothing happens to me outside of God's sweet love and care for me. 

Putting my experiences and feelings through this filter changes everything. I've been literally living in Romans 8 recently. It's one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible, full of who God is and who He says I am. How He is constantly close and that nothing can separate me from His undying love.

The essence of anxiety is failing to trust God's care for us. Not believing that everything that happens to us is for our good and His glory. Paul admonished us to think on "whatever is true" in Philippians as a direct response when anxiety creeps into our lives and into our hearts. When I believe the gospel, that God is always for me and nothing that happens to me is outside of his sovereign control and perfect love, I can rest. 

So, here I am, smack in the middle of a hard and exhausting space. But I know the end of the story. I know the reality truer than even what I can see around me. 

He has promised to someday make all the sad things untrue. And this makes all the difference.


Friday, January 22, 2016

adoption story: matt and kristin

As an adoption consultant, my favorite part of my job is watching a family be created.

Adoption had always been on Matt and Kristin's heart. And when they decided to grow their family through adoption, they called Christian Adoption Consultants. 


Their home study was ready in April and I began sending them possible situations that might be a good fit. After receiving a few over several months, they were presented to an expectant mama who wanted to make an adoption plan for her baby. It had been just three months and they were chosen, with a baby arriving in December!


The next few months were full of baby preparations and developing a relationship with their expectant mother. They were able to meet with her once and made plans to go to a doctors office with her again in November. 

And in circumstances that only God could have planned, when Kristin was in town visiting in November, their sweet son decided to make an early surprise appearance. Kristin was able to see his birth and help welcome him into the world.


Congrats Matt and Kristin. It's been a joy to watch your journey to parenthood!



Thursday, January 14, 2016

adoption story: barry and jennifer

Jennifer describes their journey to becoming parents as "quite the ride." That's no understatement. 

Barry and Jennifer had a 15 year journey: those years included disappointment, heartache and heartbreak, and many "no's" along the way.


When Barry and Jennifer began with Christian Adoption Consultants in January last year, they were hopeful. And now they were surrounded by families who were in the wait with them. Other adoptive families with Christian Adoption Consultants who were right there with them, or just a bit farther down the road of their adoption.

Thank goodness we had amazing people in the group...  We were able to commiserate together and be excited for each other when it finally happened.  That is where I found CAC to be the most helpful; by bringing people like us together for the common goal of building our families.  I had only known one family that had adopted so it was so helpful to talk to other people in the same place as we were. 
Within a few months their home study was complete but the waiting just seemed to continue. They applied to agencies and were presented to multiple expectant mothers during that time.

Of course, CAC was also helpful that it put us in touch with other agencies...we would have never known about them without CAC.

It was during that time of wait, unknown to them, a little girl was born, states away. They wouldn't hear of her or know her story until months later. Until they received an email in September with the title "4mo Baby Girl." As it turns out, that email changed everything.

There was a little girl whose parents felt too young and unprepared to care for and had come to the agonizing decision of making an adoption plan. And they decided Barry and Jennifer would be the perfect adoptive parents. So within days of receiving that email, Barry and Jennifer were meeting their daughter for the first time.


Surprisingly the roller coaster didn't end there. There was still several weeks full of unknowns, hardship, and struggle. Questions if it would all work out. Doubts if the story would have a happy ending.

But in the end, a judge declared her forever a part of their family.


Now we can see that it all led to OUR perfect child. The child that God knew was going to be ours.  All the years of infertility and hearing "no," was all so we could hear "yes" for our beautiful girl. 

Was the experience easy? Absolutely not. Was it worth it?  Without a doubt.  I just have to look at this goofy girl's smile and all the sadness and fear wash away.  


I am seriously thankful for what CAC has made possible.

Friday, January 8, 2016

new year adoption discount

By now we're several weeks into the new year; several weeks into resolutions and goals and dreams. There are lists full of healthy activities, Bible reading plans, and quitting bad habits on 2016 "to do" lists in journals and calendars.

But what if you did more than run a 5K this year? Or lost 10 pounds? Or got that promotion? What if you changed the life of a child and the makeup of your family?

What if one of your goals is to adopt in 2016?



If you're like most families, the reasons why this might be impossible immediately fly through your thoughts: I don't even know where we would start! I don't know one other family who has adopted! And the cost, adoption is so expensive!

That's where we come in. Christian Adoption Consultants can come beside you to guide you on your adoption journey. We can equip you with the education and resources you need to make your dream of adoption become a reality. Because how you achieve your goals is just as important as if you do. 

If adoption is one of your goals for 2016, Christian Adoption Consultants wants to help you get started by offering a $100 discount. Any new families who sign up between January 11th and 15th will receive $100 off of our full service consulting packages. (This discount does not apply to our self serve consulting package, returning families, or special needs consulting packages).

Let's make 2016 the year you open your home to a child through adoption!

Want more info on Christian Adoption Consultants?  Click here.
What does it mean to hire an adoption consultant?  Click here.
Want to get started or get an info packet?  Click here.
What if you have more questions?  Click here.

Have friends who are thinking about adoption? Make sure you share this post! 

Email me at susan@christianadoptionconsultants.com for an application and information packet.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

adoption story: richard and kimberly

I met Richard and Kimberly over coffee in February. They were in town and had been praying about adoption and if it was the next step on their journey towards parenthood. It took me just moments to see their faith in God, their dedication to each other, and their excitement about what the future held.

Days later they decided to partner with Christian Adoption Consultants and start the adoption process. It was less than two months later their home study was ready and they began the wait to be matched with an expectant mother.



During the next few months of wait, I loved getting updates from Kimberly. I loved the honestly they contained of the ache of the wait. But they were always full of hope, an unswerving trust in God, and acknowledging all of the ways God was working. Kimberly was quick to highlight all of the prayers God was answering while she trusted he was answering prayers behind the scenes as well.

Here's a message I received from Kimberly in the fall...
It's been a hard several weeks for Richard and I and presenting...at times we've questioned if we were doing the right thing, or heard God right, or if we would ever be matched. Last week was especially hard, I cried, a lot.
Thank you for reminding me that, "God will not let us miss our baby." I don't know why this process happens so quickly for some, and is so hard and difficult for others...only God knows, and I must be okay with that and trust that He is Good, He has a plan, and He sees it all.
We aren't going to give up. No matter how scary it seems at times, or hopeless we might feel. Choosing to lean in to Jesus and trust Him with our future, and with building our family.Yesterday though...out of the blue, we received some fantastic news!!! One of the grants we applied for back in June called us, aanndddd....they are blessing us with a $3,500 grant towards our adoption!!!! I totally cried! It was the "God wink" we so needed, just letting us know that He is still in control and He is still working...even when it doesn't feel or look like it...He is always up to something.
And that's exactly what was happening. Because just weeks later they were matched with an expectant mother. Then, thirteen days later, their daughter was born.


It wasn't until they were home, as a family of three, that a friend pointed out the amazing timing. From the day I met Richard and Kimberly for coffee to the day their daughter was born? Nine months.

Kimberly just wrote me these sweet words the other day...
...you were always so encouraging and reminding me, that even when it got hard, was quiet...and felt like nothing was happening, God was always working. I feel like our story says that. In so many ways God showed Himself faithful to us. He proved over and over that He was working, even when we couldn't see it. Whether it was getting emails or phone calls about the grants, breastmilk from a friend, or...the biggest phone call of all...hearing that we were chosen (complete and wonderful shock and surprise!)...and baby was due in just a few days! God proved that He had a plan, He had purpose, He knew exactly what we needed and that He truly cared about our deepest, sometimes unspoken, cries and desires of our hearts. 


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