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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Adoption Story: Adam and Lindsay

Adam and Lindsay's adoption story is one of patience, perseverance, and incredible faith. They walked through so much to ultimately bring their son home, at the most unexpected time and in the most unexpected way. I love the way Lindsay describes adoption, as grief and joy intertwined. Read more of their story as Lindsay shares the grief of the long journey and the joy of a son growing their family.

We had always talked about adoption and knew adoption would be part of our story, but we weren't sure when or how. After growing our family initially with two biological children (and a lot of trauma), we felt like adoption was the path that God was pointing us toward to complete our family. Lindsay's cousins had used Christian Adoption Consultants for their adoption a few years back and highly recommended them, so in November 2021 we had a call with Susan and decided to officially move forward.

The beginning was a flurry of activity - the home study, profile book, and loads of paperwork and applications. After that, we waited. We presented. And waited and presented some more. Finally, in May of 2023, we were matched with an expectant mom who was due to have a baby boy in just a few days! Ultimately, she decided to parent. While we were devastated, we also rejoiced that a family got to stay together (Isn't that adoption in a nutshell? Grief and joy intertwined). We continued to wait, and matched again in early July, this time with an already-born baby boy. Unfortunately, while we were at the airport, we got a call from the agency saying it was not going to happen. This was our lowest point - we weren't sure we could recover from a second failed match and questioned whether we misunderstood and if this was really the path for us.

We share this part of our story not to give other hopeful adoptive families doubts, but to give them hope. Because those challenges ultimately led us to our son! One week later, we got another call that we were chosen by a birth mom with a 7-month-old baby boy. We were guarding our hearts heavily, but made the journey to Utah to meet them. It was love at first sight and papers were signed the next day. It was such a whirlwind, but in the absolute best way.

Our son is the sweetest, happiest, most snuggly (and chunky!) baby in the world. We have bonded with each other in such an amazing way and we love him fiercely. We also love his birth mother and are forever grateful to her. Everything we've been through in growing our family has 100% been worth it - we couldn't love him more.

When we set out on this journey, we didn't picture a long wait; we didn't picture failed matches; and we didn't picture bringing home a baby who wasn't a newborn. But God had other plans, and we thank Him every day that he brought our son into our lives. We truly cannot imagine life without him - we were meant for each other.

The guidance, resources, and prayers from Susan and the CAC team were invaluable during our adoption journey. I don't know how we would have done it without them. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Adoption Story: Kyle and Jamie

Beautiful stories aren't often beautiful in the midst of them. They can be messy and hard and long. I love Kyle and Jamie's adoption story. But the middle of their story was full of waiting, unknowns, and a lot of "not yets" from God. Today Jamie shares their wait, their son, and God's answered prayers.

We started the adoption process in September of 2021. We became active on the waitlists in January of 2022. While we had hoped to match within the year, God had other plans. We waited for what felt like forever. After a while, the initial excitement and buzz began to wear off and we started disliking when people would ask for updates because we just didn't have any. We came to the point where we weren't sure if it was really going to happen for us. Adoption seemed like a far-off, unattainable dream. 

At the beginning of May 2023, I had just posted on Facebook that we had no updates and things were just moving slowly. The very next day, we got the situation about our son's birth mother. One week later, we matched with her and just six days after that, he was born. It was an insane whirlwind to end a very long, slow process. And looking back, a year and nine months isn't that long of a wait; it's just hard to remember that when you're in the middle of it and you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

As we reflected on our adoption process and God's providence through it all, we discovered something interesting. We counted back to nine months before he was born, and that period in our lives was actually a very difficult one for us. But all the while, he was growing in his birth mother's belly. There are so many things that God orchestrated behind the scenes without our knowledge. When we thought things weren't moving along, our son was there, growing strong. When we thought all hope was lost, we got the call the next day. 

It still hardly seems real, but what a testament of God's mighty hand working all things out even when we can't see it. 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Adoption Story: Josh and Alexys

Joshua and Alexys have an incredible story of God sovereignly putting their family together. After an unexpected cancer diagnosis to unforeseen barriers in starting their adoption journey, and then a long wait, they eventually found their son. Theirs is a story of waiting on God's perfect timing: which can sometimes feel unending and agonizing. But also a story of God's unwavering, steadfast faithfulness. 

It took me several days to try and think of what to include in telling our adoption story as I’m sure that if I included everything, I’d be writing a book. In light of trying to keep it shorter, I decided to tell of the major ways God moved for us and our son because, after all, all of the glory from our adoption story is His. 

Our adoption journey started out a little differently than most but in other ways the same as many stories we’ve heard. We knew we wanted a family someday and adoption had been part of that conversation ever since we were teenagers. Our original plan was to have a biological child or two and then adopt last because we knew how expensive it could be. We figured when we were ready for our last child, we’d be older and be more financially able to afford an adoption. My health took a very unexpected turn and I ended up having thyroid cancer. We were told to wait a year before trying for a family to make sure that every little ounce of radiation had left my body. We decided we’d wait the year and then talk about starting our family at that time if we were ready by then. Two months after my “all clear” scan, God met us in an unexpected place: as we were painting our kitchen and dining room. I had asked Josh if adoption had been on his heart and mind lately, and through that conversation we knew without a doubt that the Holy Spirit was prompting our souls, asking us to adopt first, not last, as we had intended. I remember ending that conversation with Josh by saying, “Are we, like, actually doing this? Like DOING, doing this?” To which he replied, “I think so?!” 

It felt like forever for us to get started and we had been turned down by the very first agency we applied to because they wanted me to wait to be three years cancer free. We knew God wanted us to do this immediately but we also know that His “start immediately” could’ve meant something different than our “start immediately.” We were VERY discouraged to hear “no” but we knew God wanted us to do this.  We sought out other agencies in our local area and they all required us to be older which would have made us wait another 3-5 years to even begin. At this point, we were lost, frustrated, confused, and a little angry at God. Why did He prompt us so strongly, only then to not make a way for us to actually go through with it? We found out about Christian Adoption Consultants and were eventually connected to Susan! We felt such peace adopting with the help of CAC. Adopting locally just wasn’t going to be part of our story and the only reason we even began looking locally was because we knew it was cheaper and that we’d be able to go home and not have to wait for ICPC.  What we thought was the smarter move was actually quite the opposite considering our son was born thousands of miles from our home! God knew what state we needed to adopt through and ours just wasn’t it. 

We ended up signing on with several different agencies in several different states. We were ecstatic to receive our first case but quickly became numb to hearing all of the “no’s.” We presented to many different types of cases: boys, girls, twins, and even a 5-year-old boy and his 2-month-old sister. We were told “not yet” a total of 62 times. We knew that every “not yet” got us one step closer to our “yes,” but that didn’t take the pain away from not having a child in our arms when we were so ready for one. We were open and ready for whatever child God would have for us, and finally, after 2 years and 5 months, our lives were forever changed. 

We were going about our normal Friday night and had begun heating up leftover tacos for a late dinner. I heard my phone start to ring and saw it was an unknown number from one of the states we were waiting in. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing when you see that sort of number on your caller ID, you just answer it! My belly felt full of butterflies and I started to shake with anticipation as the caller said the expectant mom we had presented to about a week ago had picked us. Time stood still, tears welled up in my eyes and I popped around the corner saying, “Josh! We’ve been matched!” to which he had about the same reaction as I did. We hadn’t felt immediately drawn to the case when we read it. We had asked if there were any red flags and after hearing “no,” we took that same leap of faith that we had taken 62 other times and said, “God, if this is the baby meant to be in our family, then let it be so, and if it’s not, shut the door”.... AND finally, the door remained WIDE open. We had three months until his due date and a lot of fundraising to finish doing to make this adoption happen. 

Upon being matched, we needed an additional $16,000 in under 48 hours and God showed up in a miraculous way. He provided it through many generous givers and through one woman in particular who gave us a check for almost $12,000. She said she had always wanted to give extravagantly, she felt confirmation from God to give to us, and she loved supporting what we were trying to do. We had only spoken to this woman twice before; she hardly knew us! We continued to fundraise for the remaining amount but felt God telling us to stop. To us, doing nothing felt wrong and counterintuitive. We had another $17,000 that we’d owe in just two and a half short months so we thought, “Why on Earth would we just sit still?!” We remembered back to the very beginning of our journey and felt that the Holy Spirit was inviting us to trust Him. To trust Him when we wouldn’t end up adopting locally, to trust Him with every. single. “no,” and to trust Him with the timing and to trust Him with the finances. Affording an adoption was our biggest fear back when He called us to do this and He was asking us to trust. He came through and provided fully for the first portion so why would He not come through with the second portion? We fought off fear and lies from the Enemy every day and finally let go. We didn’t fundraise anymore and many people questioned our decision. Even we questioned it some days! It seemed silly but we had to not lean on our own understanding and let God do the work He set out to do. He asked us to adopt, but He didn’t ask us to figure everything else out on our own!

We were out celebrating my birthday on a Sunday after church and we had about two weeks left until the little man's due date. I received a call from our case manager reporting he had been born the previous day, but because of a whirlwind of circumstances, she waited until then to let us know. We packed that night and flew out the next morning. We had shared our story on our social media pages prompting people to give if they felt led and that’s the extent of our “fundraising.” We got done signing and were finally led back to his bassinet. Time stood still and we were in awe as we studied every detail of his face, learned what his cry sounded like, did some skin-to-skin, and just stared at him for hours. I could write a whole other book about how beautiful he was, the joy of knowing that THIS was the face we had dreamed and prayed about, and the eventual relief we’d feel when his birth parents would sign their consents after waiting an extra day to sleep on their decision. I find myself wanting to go on and on about Asher, how perfect he was and still is, and his tremendous strength as he worked through what he needed to in the NICU to be discharged after 16 days instead of the months it normally takes other babies, but I want to make sure my words and your attention remain on the one who orchestrated this entire story: God, our Father. 

God went on and provided every single cent we needed for the remaining payment of $17,000 while we snuggled our sweet baby in the hospital, in addition to the additional funds for a rental car and hotel stay for three weeks while we remained out there waiting for him to be discharged and for ICPC to clear, the last minute flights to and from, and attorney fees.

In the midst of waiting, we definitely wanted to be matched sooner, we wanted all of the money to be there so we didn’t need to stress, we wanted the pain to go away, and so many more things; but, my encouragement to you would be to stop, and trust. Let go and let God…

If we had adopted in our timing, we would’ve missed our son by years. If we had adopted locally, we would’ve missed our son by thousands of miles. If we had fundraised how we wanted to and the way friends did their adoption fundraisers, we wouldn’t have come anywhere close to raising enough money and would’ve had to take out a loan. God’s hand was in our story from start to finish, even during the waiting times when we didn’t think anything was going on. He had a plan, He had a story, and He had the perfect way to bring Asher into our family. His story is much greater than something we could’ve written and we can’t wait to tell Asher one day how much he is loved, valued, cared for, and fought for by not only us but by his Heavenly Father who led us straight to him. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

CAC's New Embryo Adoption Program

I'm thrilled to announce CAC is offering a brand new service. In addition to our Domestic Infant Adoption Program, we are now walking with couples adopting embryos.

Did you know there are more than one million embryos currently in frozen storage in the U.S. alone 

In response to these babies needing homes, Christian Adoption Consultants has launched an Embryo Adoption Program as a life-affirming solution.

What is Embryo Adoption?

Embryo adoption is the term most often used when describing the legal process of adopting donated embryos that have been frozen during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Embryo adoption allows the adoptive parents to carry their baby through pregnancy and give birth to their adopted child. (If you have embryos in storage and would like to know more, visit CAC’s Embryo Donation Program page.)

Why are adoptive families needed?

For over 50 years, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproduction technologies have helped build many families. However, the success of these programs has created a surplus of frozen embryos. When a couple goes through the IVF process, there are often remaining embryos. Those embryos are stored for future use, destroyed, donated to science, or can be donated to an adoptive family. 

How can working with an Adoption Consultant help?

Our Embryo Adoption Consulting Program offers all-inclusive consulting and adoption support services. Your personal CAC Adoption Consultant will advise you through your adoption journey from start to finish: including finding a reputable home study agency and prepping for the process, creating a unique and creative profile and donor letter, selecting an embryo adoption program and clinic, information to finance your adoption, and advising you through the donor match and openness agreements. We can advise you through the process of adoption and serve as your “adoption coach,” saving you time and money.

Why choose Christian Adoption Consultants?

As one of the oldest, largest, and most experienced consulting teams, Christian Adoption Consultants can offer a lot of added benefits. We've helped with over 3,700 adoptions and have a support team of 20+ adoption professionals. We place a high value on all voices of the adoption constellation and our staff includes birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adoptees. CAC is founded on Christian principles and standards, and we believe in ethical adoption practices and the highest level of care for all parties in the adoption triad.

Want to learn more?

I would love to help! Feel free to email me at susan@christianadoptionconsultants.com and I'll get you more details to see if our Embryo Adoption Program is a good fit for you! 

(And as always, if you're interested in how I can help with Domestic Infant Adoption, I'm happy to send you information on that as well. Just let me know which program you're interested in learning more about!)

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Adoption Story: Sam and Angela

The journey to parenthood is unique to every couple. For Sam and Angela, it was a seven year wait to becoming parents and a family of three. Today Angela shares the heartbreak and joys of finding their way to their son.

“Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:24

In March of 2021, we had already been trying for a family for five years. In our prayers and petition before the Lord, we were moved to explore adoption. Right when we started acknowledging adoption as an option, we started hearing from friends and family who were all tied to adoption! A friend of ours introduced us to Christian Adoption Consultants and spoke highly of the vetting process for the adoption agencies, the integrity of the organization, and the consultants’ advocacy for their clients. We reached out and connected with Susan. 

Soon after, I became pregnant for the first time, so pursuing adoption took a backseat. Fast forward to November: we went through a whirlwind of personal events–including two miscarriages. At the lowest point in our journey to growing our family, we were once again connected with Susan! This time around, we made the choice to move forward with a phone call with Susan. After our phone call, we were filled with a sense of life and peace. Sam and I looked at each other and knew we were being called to adopt. 

We quickly got to work – filling out paperwork, working on our profile book, starting our home study process, and sharing the exciting news with our friends and family. By March of 2022, we were home study approved and active with multiple agencies. During that first month, we received so many cases. At that pace, we were sure we’d be matched in no time! However, as the months went on, the cases started coming in much more slowly. 

After nine months of waiting, we expected a "not yet" every time we presented. We were questioning if there was something about us that the expecting moms didn’t like. Pregnancy announcements were becoming more difficult to receive. And our initial excitement was quickly dimming. We decided to pick ourselves out of the lull by planning a trip to visit my family overseas. We spent weeks looking online for the best flight deals and the best time to go. However, every time we found a good deal, something would hold us back from purchasing tickets. One night, I found myself asking God why it was so difficult to buy tickets? What was holding us back? 

A few days later, on December 8, 2022, we received an email about an expecting mom who was due in January. The expecting mom listed very specific criteria of what she was looking for in a family and we met every single one! We quickly decided to present, but ran into some technical difficulties with our background checks expiring soon. We shared with Susan that this case felt so different from all the other ones, and she reassured us she was advocating for us. A week later, we heard from the agency that the details had been worked out and the expecting mom wanted to have a phone call with us. 

I was a ball of nerves before the phone call. What if she didn’t like the way we talked? What if she changes her mind at the last minute? But the second we got on the phone with her, the nerves fell away. Our conversation with her flowed so easily. At the end of that conversation, she told us our favorite sentence of 2022, “Would you guys like to become parents to this baby?” 

I still remember the quiet moment of utter disbelief followed by the squeals of excitement and tears. This was it! We were finally becoming parents! We had two weeks to get everything ready. We packed our car with some baby essentials and headed down to Florida. Through a church friend, we were connected with a fellow believer who took us in and treated us like family. While we were down in Florida, she lodged us and fed us – no questions asked. We now lovingly call her “Granny Judy.”

(Baby’s first time at the beach with Granny Judy)

When we arrived at the hospital, we met up with the expecting mom in person for the first time. It still felt so surreal at that point. The hospital staff moved quickly, and within two hours, I was in scrubs and inside with her. I had envisioned how the delivery would be, but I was not prepared for the flood of emotions. As we held him in those first few moments, everything felt so unbelievable. 

(Our first selfie!)

However, we were still withholding our excitement, because we knew birth mom had 48 hours to change her mind. Those 48 hours were just as nerve wracking as the wait up until that point. But through all our education concerning adoption, we knew it was essential for mama to spend time with her baby. So as difficult as it was, we made sure to take him to his birth mom whenever she wanted to see him. Two days later, our attorney arrived and went to the birth mom’s room to sign the adoption paperwork. It felt like the longest wait. After a while, our attorney came into our room, smiled, and said she signed the papers. We were free to leave the hospital with our son! That was the first time we felt true relief in our entire adoption journey. Later on, his birth mom shared with us that she was grateful for those 48 hours with us. She felt like that time she had with him and us in the hospital helped her realize that she was making the right decision. 

After 7 years of waiting, struggling, doubting, praying, and petitioning, we were parents. In the beginning of our adoption journey, we thought becoming parents through adoption depended on how hard working we were. If we could apply to enough agencies, present the best profile, or write a good enough letter to the birth mom, we’d be parents in no time. However, through our 10 months of waiting to be matched, we realized that becoming parents through adoption requires our absolute dependence on God who is the Faithful One. If you are on this journey, know it's okay and normal to question and doubt, but also be reassured this is not where the Lord wants to leave you. Because He is the One who has called us to adoption, He is also the faithful One who will complete it. 

(The glasses are not real–just cute!)

Monday, February 13, 2023

Adoption Story: Kevin and Kaylee

So often in adoption, once the paperwork is complete, the home study done, and the applications turned in, it can feel like nothing is happening. Like the adoption journey has come to an abrupt halt as you wait to be chosen and matched with an expectant family. The silence can be deafening and the lack of movement paralyzing. But so often, God is working behind the scenes, maybe even across the country, preparing all of the details in His perfect timing. Kevin and Kaylee know about the agonizing wait. And they also know about God amazing faithfulness.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word I put my hope." Psalm 130:5

Ever since I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to become a mom. Whenever asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer was always “a mommy!” And after marrying my college sweetheart, we were both so excited to start our family. Years of infertility and multiple miscarriages were definitely not an expected part of the plan. We felt an incredibly deep sadness, and were worried we would never become parents. Then a good friend told us about Susan at Christian Adoption Consultants, and encouraged us to reach out. 

We started our adoption journey in January of 2022. While adoption wasn’t part of our original plan, we felt like this was what God wanted us to do. We started the process full of hope and excitement. By May of 2022, paperwork was done and we were officially on waitlists. Checking our phones constantly, we waited with anticipation. 

The excitement slowly started to drift as we heard nothing for months. Why weren’t we hearing anything? Was something wrong? Were our names really on the waitlists? Susan continued to encourage us to stay hopeful and trust God’s plan. Some days, it was easy to do. Others, we were full of doubt. 

When we finally started hearing from the agencies, it was an emotional rollercoaster. A moment of hope and excitement would quickly be diminished by another “no.” It’s so hard to be so vulnerable and put yourself out there only to be told “they picked someone else.” After a handful of “no’s” and our paperwork expiration dates creeping up, we truly felt like we might be at the end of our adoption road. We felt extremely defeated, frustrated, and hopeless. 

Then in January of 2023, almost exactly a year after we first talked to Susan, we got a phone call. 
We were matched on a Monday night and our precious girl was born two days later. We truly felt like we were living in a dream. It was a whirlwind of emotions; joy, excitement, nervousness, fear of another possible “no.” But all fears washed away as we held her and started to bond with her incredible birth parents. 

We are in total awe of God’s faithfulness. He knew all along that this was our daughter. Through all of the “not yets,” the tears, the worries… our daughter was growing and preparing for her entrance into the world. The road to get here was HARD. But now holding this amazing gift in our arms, it was absolutely worth it. 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Adoption Story: Travis and Wendy

A ten year journey to parenthood. Reading and praying through dozens of situations. Until finally, they had their son in their arms. Read Travis and Wendy's story of their adoption journey, their faith, and their family...

Adoption has made us parents, FINALLY! After 10 years of trying multiple options, our journey turned towards adoption and led us to our beautiful baby boy. Adoption has always been in the plan after children of our own, but God had other plans.

We started our journey in January of 2020. We presented thirty times until we heard a "yes" and were matched in June of 2022 with a baby girl. After getting to know the expecting mom, getting our nursery finished, and bags packed, waiting for "the" call to travel, we saw pictures of who we thought was our baby girl on social media. The mom had cut ties with the agency and our adoption was considered disrupted. While this mom had chosen to parent,  it was heartbreaking news for us. We didn't know if we would be able to continue emotionally or financially.

After a bit of heavy grieving, praying, and discussing our next steps, we decided to go active and try again. We applied to grants and started fundraising again, not knowing how we would recover. We were very guarded of the chance of hearing another 'no' or experiencing more disappointment. We decided to put everything in God's hands, knowing it would happen when the time was right.

Fast forward to October 2022 when we got a call saying a baby boy was born and the agency wanted to know if we would like to present. We didn't know a whole lot, but the little bit we knew, we felt right about jumping in. The next day, the agency asked if we could have a conference call with the birth mom as she had some questions for us. We were nervous, but so excited. After 30 seconds on the call, the only question the birth mom had for us was if we wanted to go pick up our son in Florida. "YES!" was the only word we could get out. We were over the moon excited and so emotional. We packed our bags, booked our flights from Minnesota, and went to meet our son. We were finally parents and so grateful to the sweetest birth mom for her courageous decision. We met and had lunch with her while discussing our goals for our open adoption and for our son. We have kept in contact with her and can't wait to continue getting to know her and visit in the future.

With the help and guidance of Susan, and resources from Christian Adoption Consultants, we felt more prepared for what to expect and answers to any questions we had. Susan helped us create a beautiful profile book that explains our story and who we are. We can't thank her and CAC enough for all their guidance! 

We have learned through our experience adoption is tough, but SO worth it. Giving up wouldn't have gotten us our perfect son or the chance at being parents. 

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