Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Adoption Story: Mark and Jenni

I can't think of a better day to share this family love story. One of their first pictures as a family included them wearing shirts they had made: There is always hope...This became their watchword as they strove to become a family of three. Today Jenni shares their journey, and why she believes more than ever that holding onto hope is worth it.

Our adoption journey began officially in the fall of 2014 though adoption has always been a part to our hearts. 

We were home study approved in April of 2015. We waited until August 2015 to officially become a waiting family due to a family member being diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimers type. A common question in the adoption community is do you prepare the nursery during the wait or once the baby is in your family? We focused on preparing our home and nursery during these months. Decorating the nursery was God’s grace as we were also juggling the responsibilities of care giver. 

We were first matched in April of 2016 with a little boy. We knew once we were matched the risk increased. We also knew that if we shared our joy when we were matched that it was possible we would also have to share our pain. We ended up sharing our pain as this adoption ended in late May. 

To our surprise, we were matched for a second time shortly after on July 22, 2016. We went to doctor appointments.  We heard the heart beat. We found out the gender and just like when we were matched before we even named our baby. This is what's hard about this open adoption process. You have to prepare your heart for both joy and heartache. That means you have to believe while you are matched that the little person developing and growing truly is yours.

God has taught us through these experiences that you have to live in the moment because the moment is all you have.

For a waiting adoptive family this means...

  • You buy baby boy clothes but leave the tags on them this time. That way you are preparing for your baby but you are also guarding your heart and saving finances for the next time you need to buy baby clothes.
  • This also means you go ahead and schedule announcement pictures  for the match and a  fresh 48 photo session for when he arrives. You understand though that they may have to be rescheduled.
  • This means you keep the car seat base in the car and continue to add to the nursery. You order a bringing home outfit with baby's name knowing that you may have to end up selling it.
  • This means you prepare for this little person while also preparing for the possibility of a loss. While we have never been pregnant, we have lost two babies. It's different than a miscarriage but it's also similar. We had plans, hopes and dreams for both of these babies and for our family. 

I don't know that I can adequately share the heartache we experienced in words. I do know that it was our community that held us together. In the months ahead we had opportunities for a match but turned them down. How we had envisioned our adoption journey was not our experience. God had to do some repair work on our hearts. It was in these months that we contacted Susan and began to work with Christian Adoption Consultants. She and the adoptive community that she leads were a God send for us. Susan provided a wealth of information, encouragement and was a sounding board that helped us through some of our darkest days. 

We got a call on December 12, 2016 with prospective match for a baby due January 7, 2016. We met for dinner and were officially matched. We attended two doctor appointments with the expectant parents, established some rapport, and were there for labor and delivery. 

Our daughter was born and placed in our family on January 11, 2017. It is a day that we will never forget.  We were already in love with her but once we laid eyes on her our love instantly grew. 

God had saved us to be her parents. 
She was the one we had been waiting for. 
The one we prayed for. 
The one we had dreamt of. 
The one that we had always hoped for.

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