Monday, July 29, 2019

Adoption Story: Evan and Theresa

Eleven months after starting their adoption journey. Eight months after their home study was ready. Six weeks after starting with Christian Adoption Consultants. This sweet little boy made a family of two a family of three. Today Theresa shares what those months, weeks, and days held for them as they waited for their son.

We had always considered adoption, and in August 2018 after an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage just three months apart, we began our adoption journey. We selected a local agency and reached out to them. They had two orientations each year and one was the following week, so we signed up and attended. Two weeks later we had our home study application completed, and we were home study approved and joined their waiting list in November 2018.

We were on our local agency’s waiting list for six months before we reached out to our caseworker to discuss what options there might be to allow us to see more situations. She mentioned Christian Adoption Consultants as an option to try and make a connection sooner. We did some research and decided that Christian Adoption Consultants was a great fit for us in our journey to start a family.

At the beginning of June 2019 we signed up with Susan. She guided us through the details of each situation we showed interest in, and she was so great to work with! We were both surprised and excited that we were sent situations right away and were able to start presenting to expectant parents. It finally felt like things were moving. We were active with several agencies in just weeks.

At the end of June we were sent two situations in one day, and we knew we wanted to present to one. One was for a boy and one was for a girl, both due in August. After reviewing the information, we felt called to the baby boy situation and asked to be presented. From the interested families the agency would choose six families to show to the birth parents. We got an email a few days later that we were one of the six!

We had only been seeing situations for less than a month, but we knew to expect the wait to be at least several days for an expectant family to make a decision. Although we had waited for over six months already, this several day wait was by far the hardest. This was only the second situation we presented to, so we didn’t want to get our hopes up. However, we both had such a good feeling about it. We shared with some of our closest friends that we had presented to a baby boy situation due in August. Then we tried to busy ourselves doing other things during the wait, such as packing a diaper bag in case a situation would arise when we would have to grab it and go.

We were waiting over the July 4th holiday, and by then it had been six days with no word about the baby boy situation. We started to think the expectant parents chose someone else. However, on July 5th, we got a call from Florida while we were driving to get groceries. The birth family had chosen us and (surprise!) the baby had just been born minutes prior at 33.5 weeks. Tears filled our eyes.

In an instant we went from a family of two to a family of three. That day was a blur; we rushed home, packed our bags, and booked a flight for early the next morning. It was such an emotional day, and with a long list of things to do before we left, there was no time for sleep. At least we knew one thing – the diaper bag was packed! Three of our best friends were at our house past midnight helping us do tasks like taking out the garbage and scanning paperwork. We had no idea what to expect when we got to Florida or how long we would be there. We didn’t know what the baby looked like or if there were any complications. We were on our way to Florida, hoping and praying for the best for our son.

We arrived in Florida in the early afternoon and met our attorney and the birth parents for the first time at the hospital. Then, we got to see our boy! The following day we all finalized paperwork, and we were finally able to hold him. He was in the NICU for 17 days, and we spent every single day (and many nights) there with him, holding him, and comforting him. We celebrated some milestones such as the first day he ate by bottle. We were anxious to get back home and start our lives as a family.

Discharge day was an extremely happy day for us! After that, we needed to stay in Florida for a few days waiting for ICPC to go through, so we hired a photographer to take newborn and family photos of us on the beach. What a great memory from the city he was born in! We also shared a wonderful lunch with his birth parents. Their love for him was so humbling and amazing. We know our son will benefit greatly from knowing his birth parents as he grows and we are grateful for a shared love between our two families.

On our 20th day in Florida, we got the call that we could go home. We spent the day packing and cleaning. We booked a flight out for early the next morning and prepared to take a less than three-week-old infant on his first plane ride.

Now we see that everything was timed perfectly. It was difficult to see that in the wait, but we are glad we continued on, even in heartbreak. Every path and step in the process led here – to our family. We are so grateful for the opportunity to raise this spectacular human and are thankful that we are together and home. He is every part of our lives now, and we are so glad we chose Christian Adoption Consultants. Without them we never would have found each other.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Adoption Story: Josh and Autumn

So often we want to rush to the end of the story. The one with the happy ending with full hearts and full hands. But sometimes what God does in the midst of the wait is every bit as important as the outcome.

Josh and Autumn found that to be true in their own story. The story began hearing they would never have children...

When Josh and I were planning our life together, we knew it would be a difficult road to having children. He was told long before we were married he wasnʼt able to have kids. We dreamed of our wedding, life together, and adoption from the very beginning. However, this was our first experience that Godʼs plan is never what we have pictured. I remember everything about the day that I found out I was pregnant with our very first baby. I was shocked and instantly in love with this tiny baby in a way I never knew could be possible. We were fortunate again with our second. We were quite content with our one boy and one girl family for so long. 

Then one day, our kids started talking about a “baby brother or sister.” This got me thinking about babies as well! We tried for a third, but this time it wasnʼt happening as easily as before. Then our doctor started suggesting medicines as time passed. We went home and knew that we already came to love the idea of adoption long ago. So we decided to start fostering. I had been having strong feelings to foster and seemed to be meeting so many people with ties to foster care. We were certified to foster to adopt in February of 2017. We had three short placements but nothing long term had worked out. In our county the system tries to keep the kids in their community of origin which meant that unless we were closer to the city, we werenʼt likely to be chosen for long term placements.

We then found Susan with Christian Adoption Consultants in July of 2018 and decided to go down the path of infant domestic adoption. She was so helpful in guiding us through our adoption process. I was so grateful for her knowledge and her perspective in all of our experiences. Our profile book also came out just perfect because of all the work she put into it. We were home study ready in two months. (We had been through a rigorous home study with foster care which allowed us to expedite the process a bit.) We saw our first “situation” in late September; an expectant mom looking for an adoptive family for her baby. We finally saw a situation that felt right in November and decided to present our profile. We were nervous for days and I remember praying and hoping this would be our baby. This happened several times that we heard "not yet" and I found myself praying for one of the stories of “we matched and had a baby in three weeks with CAC!” This was the second time we learned of Godʼs plans not being as we pictured. I thought for sure weʼd be holding our baby girl by Christmas. The wait was so hard during the holidays and I prayed often to have a baby sometime through the holiday season.

In late October we got a call from our foster agency. They had two baby girls that needed a home; ages one year and two months. It was another short term placement and would only be for the weekend. I said yes and didnʼt think much more about it since we had calls often asking about our availability but often didn't end up as a placement in our home. This time, to my surprise, we got a call back that they would be to our house in twenty minutes. I sent my husband out for all the things that baby girls would need for the few short days they would be with us. It turns out they were a part of our family for nine months. We fell in love with these sweet babies as we continued to pursue domestic infant adoption. It was during this time that we experienced two failed adoptions, but being able to love on and care for these beautiful girls was a gift in the midst of it all. In March we received the news that they would be going home with their biological family in June. 

It was Spring now, and we had been on the journey to grow our family through adoption for two years. First through fostering, then through domestic adoption but we seemed to be at a dead end. But an unexpected email in late May changed everything.

An agency through CAC contacted us about a baby boy, born just three days earlier. It was a complete surprise since we hadn't heard from this agency for months and were focused on getting the girls back home soon. After much prayer, we decided to present and held our breath, wondering about God's plan for our family. We didnʼt hear anything that evening and we expected they wanted to get someone out to him fast since he had been all alone. I went to bed thinking that it was just another “not yet.” But the next day, to my surprise, we got the call that we had been chosen. 

From that moment everything seemed to fall into place. We rushed to pick up this little baby who would become our son. It all seemed surreal and seeing him for the first time felt so right. This little boy we had been praying for for years, not just as a couple but as a family, was finally here. It's hard to explain the moment you hold your child for the first time and realize all of the hard things leading up to it were worth it.

Not only did everything fall into place, but everything seemed to make sense. Becoming a foster family two years ago. Signing up with Christian Adoption Consultants. Providing a home for those precious girls in the midst of it. Looking back we could see all of the steps it took for us to get to this moment.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Adoption Story: Travis and Angela (again!)

I first met Travis and Angela in 2016. We were in the back of a little coffee shop when they told me their dreams of having children. It was just a few months later when they welcomed their first son home. And today, Angela shares the story of how they doubled their joy, and their love, as they welcomed a second son into their family.

In January, 2018, we started discussing growing our family and pursuing our second adoption. Renewing our home study went lightning quick and things started so fast at the very beginning. During our first adoption, we matched within just three months of being home study complete. We took a different route this time and Susan updated our profile. We were praying to be able to adopt from the same group as our first adoption since we had such an amazing experience.

This time around, the wait was much longer and we had to remind ourselves over and over it was all in God's perfect timing. There was even a time when an expectant mother was deciding between us and another family. She chose the other children and it was the hardest “not yet” we had gone through. At this point a full year had come and gone but we trusted that God knew exactly what He was doing.

In January, we knew we needed to renew our home study so we started that process. The day we met with our social worker we heard about a baby boy who had just been born. As we read about him and all of the information, our hearts were so drawn to this little boy already. But there were so many unknowns that terrified us as well. He was born prematurely and there was a lot of medical records to pore over; most of which we didn't understand in the beginning.

As we talked with our social worker, reviewing the information and anxious about all of the unknowns, she helped us think through all of the details. As one point she looked at me and pointedly asked, "What is stopping you in this situation? What is your deal breaker?" At that point we certainly didn't understand all of the overwhelming medical records and didn't know what the future held for this little boy. Could we go the distance...what if we lost him right away...are some of these issues so significant that they could be terminal...?  We reached our to our pediatrician in an effort to better understand all of the possibilities.

Through tears we knew our answer. We knew that even with all of the unknowns that we needed to say "yes" to this baby. On January 22, we found out that we were chosen to parent this precious little boy. When we made it to the hospital where our son was waiting for us. In the coming days we saw miracles unfold. With the help of a wonderful nursing team, speech pathologist, and occupational and physical therapy, what was supposed to be weeks in the hospital turned out to be ten days. God’s perfect timing and a healthy little boy. 

Throughout our entire journey, we could see God’s hands everywhere. 

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