Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Adoption Story: Lynn and Alisa (again!)

One of the hardest parts of the adoption process for hopeful adoptive families can be knowing when to present to an expectant family. With Christian Adoption Consultants, families see possible situations often. This means they are reading through the social and medical history of an expectant family who is considering adoption for their child. Hopeful adoptive parents then have a chance to think and pray through if they would like to be presented and have the expectant family look at their profile, in hopes that the mother will choose a family she would like to raise her child. 

But how do families know when to present? When Lynn and Alisa decided they wanted to add to their family again through adoption, they wrestled with this question. (You can read about their first journey here!) Today Alisa beautifully shares how they wrestled with "knowing when," and ultimately trusted God to bring them to the right baby, at the right time, in the best way for their family.

God will never let you miss your baby. This reminder from our adoption consultant, Susan, often encouraged us when we were pouring over expectant family situations. When we started the adoption process in May of 2018, we decided to present to whatever situations came our way, trusting God to slam the door shut with a “No” if it was not the child He intended for our family. We also had to trust that He would not let us choose the “wrong” situation when we had two or more situations to consider at one time and had the difficult decision of choosing which one to present to. These ended up being the hardest decisions throughout our adoption journey. How were we to know which precious baby God had planned for our family? How were we to know if our family was the family the expectant mom was looking for? What if we presented to Situation A and the family in Situation B would have chosen us had we presented to them? We had to trust that God would direct our “Yes” even as He directed their “No”.

In January 2019, we presented to a baby born situation (our 16th yes!) that we were comfortable with but didn’t really expect to match with due to expectant family preferences. A couple days later we were waiting to hear an answer back when our dream situation from another agency was sent to us:  baby was due in just three weeks (just long enough to prepare but not so long to wait and worry), travel/ICPC time with a February due date fit nicely into our farm work schedule, baby was a girl (we really weren’t gender specific, but thought, since we already had been blessed with a sweet son through adoption, a girl would round out our family), and most exciting, we fit the expectant family’s preferences very well and shared many interests! I remember thinking so this is how people feel when they see a situation and know it is the one for them! There was only one problem: we were not yet free to present since we were still waiting to hear an answer from the previous situation. Writing a letter to the expectant family in this new situation was easy; in the past, we had struggled with what to say in those letters, but this time the words just flowed from my pen. That done, we waited for our update on the current situation which was sure to come any minute. And waited…and waited…  Finally, after the deadline to present to our “dream situation” had passed, we heard from the previous situation, “I’m sorry, the parents have chosen another family.” Just in case we could slip our profile in, we checked with the other agency. Another “I’m sorry, they have already narrowed it down to a couple families…but we’ll be sending out more situations this week. Let us know if you want to present to any of them!”

True to their word, we received a couple situations the next day from that agency, in addition to one from another agency. That evening, we read through the situations, discussed them without coming to any conclusions, prayed that God would direct our decision, and hoped an answer would be clear in the morning. None seemed as “perfect” as the one we recently had to pass up, and we were weary of the emotional stress of deciding which situation to present to. We discussed just taking a break for a while, but God didn’t allow that. For reasons that we couldn’t define at the time, we presented to one of those situations which happened to have a five month match time – way longer than either of us wanted to deal with. It wasn’t an unmistakable this is it; it was more like if this is our baby, God will direct her to choose us – and we’ll deal with the long wait because this is where God wants us. That decision made, we went on with our busy day. Late that afternoon I had a strange number call my phone. I briefly considered that it might be from the agency, but thought it too soon for the expectant family to have made a decision. I answered the call…it was the match coordinator saying “Congratulations!  The expectant family has chosen you!!!”  

I’ll be honest – five months is a long time to wait and wonder if this match will end up in a sweet addition to your family! But the time wasn’t wasted. We had five months before baby was born to lift up the expectant family in prayer and learn to know them through phone visits. We had time to travel to meet the expectant mother, who had invited us to attend an ultrasound appointment with her – an amazing experience and totally unselfish of her to share that with us. We had time to prepare to be gone for an extended time during one of our busiest farming seasons. We had time to try to prepare our two year old son for the change that would be coming to our family. Slowly, the five months passed and we were blessed to spend time with expectant family again before the birth. And then…

We didn’t even try to hold back the tears as Lloyd’s birth mom, with heartbreaking love, placed her precious son in our arms, whispering to him, “Meet your Mommy and Daddy!” Our long-awaited sweet baby boy was here – a perfect addition to our family (by the way, we are so thankful that we have two boys)!

God will never let you miss your baby. Had we been free to pick and choose in our own limited understanding, we would not have been available to present to Lloyd’s birthparents. Looking back at how this journey all unfolded, we can say that God was truly directing each step with perfect timing so He could bless us with the child that was perfect for our family.  

For more information on presenting your profile, check out Knowing When To Say Yes In Adoption. Want more information on working with an adoption consultant? Click here for more!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Adoption Story: Charles and Ryan

Sometimes timing is everything. When a family starts on the adoption journey, it can sometimes feel like the they're spinning their wheels and nothing is happening. It's easy to think the home study paperwork and the wait will be never ending when you can't see all God is doing on the other side.

Charles and Ryan started with Christian Adoption Consultants on October 18, 2018. Five months later, on February 18, 2019, they were home study ready. And July 18, 2019 their son was born. Nine months to the day that they started their journey. Baby Samuel's story is a testament that God is always working His perfect timing, even when we can't see it.

Wow, we have tried to type these words so many different times, they all seem to fail us. Our family has been so deeply blessed to welcome our second son into our home. 

God has been so evident in all the details. Our sons' birth mom had decided she would like a completely closed adoption. Although we longed to have a relationship with her, we of course accepted her decision. We began praying that we could someday build a relationship with her so she would know our tremendous love for her son and for her. Unexpectedly, God provided so many opportunities for our families to bond during out time at the hospital - such an answer to prayer!

We are in awe of this little man and how much he has impacted us. His arrival grew our hearts more than we could have ever imagined and watching him and our first born bond has been the most incredible journey so far. We are equipping ourselves for some of the potential hard times ahead that can come with any adoption, but right now, we are resting peacefully in God's grace coming to fruition through our sweet Samuel. 

We feel so thankful to Susan and everyone at Christian Adoption Consultants for their hard work and faithfulness through this journey. God used them in huge ways to bring our family together! 

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