3 + 1 = four orrs

Our journey from a family of three to a family of four through the miracle of adoption.

A little step forward….a little step back

We heard from our agency this week regarding the mom who was looking at our book (and others from our agency).  She did not choose any of the families she looked at from our agency, primarily because she wants an African-American family for her baby. That’s tough to hear….that we aren’t the right family because of the color of our skin. On the other hand , I understand that is something that is important to her and the father and they need to find a family that meets their expectations and what they want in a family for their little one. It’s tough to understand where she is coming from and it’s even tougher to imagine what she is going through in choosing a family; she wants the best for her baby, she only gets a little glimpse of us (and other families) and thus she has to go with her instinct. We’ve prayed for her to have lots of wisdom over the last several weeks….apparently that wisdom was that there is a different family for her baby. What an honor it has been to get to be part of her life and part of this baby finding his forever family. As tough as it is to hear “no” we know that God has a baby (or babies if you ask Aviya) for us and God knows whether we are supposed to have a December baby….a spring baby….maybe even a summer baby and in God’s perfect timing we will know too.

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Here we go again!

We are very excited to share that on Tuesday Kyle received a call from E at our agency telling us about a mom who is choosing adoption for her baby and they’d like to show her our book. I’m so glad that I was super-busy at work and thus when I didn’t answer E’s call, she called Kyle. These are fun and exciting calls to get and I’m glad he got to get the initial info and then was able to share it with me! After all, how often is it that a potential daddy gets to know first about a child and tell the potential momma?  This mom has worked with the agency in Georgia for a few months, so we have known of her for a short time. We didn’t expect her to look at family albums for another month or so; therefore this call came as a bit of a surprise. She is due in December and everything we know about her & the pregnancy is fine; thus Kyle was happy to tell E that we’d love for her to learn more about us from our profile book. Oh, how I wish there was a different way for her to learn about us. While I’m proud of our book and think it reflects our family well, I want her to know what is on our hearts and so much of that we just can’t convey via pictures and words! We expect that she’ll be looking at books in the next week or so, but it is hard to know what to expect, she may need some time before deciding if she wants to get to know us (or any of the other families) more.

For me this is the hard part, waiting without a real timeline of when to expect an answer or more information of any kind. I suppose we know for certain that sometime between now and December we’ll know-right? In the meantime, we think of her and her baby often and will continue praying for them. It is our prayer that she is well supported and surrounded by people who can offer her wisdom, guidance and the support she needs. We pray that she knows God’s love and has an incredible peace as she works through the steps of choosing a family for the precious life she is nurturing inside her. We also pray that God will tell us about our baby soon (this is Aviya’s nightly prayer…except that she prays for the twin babies and then pauses, to wait for an answer). Please keep this particular mom and baby in your thoughts and prayers.

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Peace & Patience

Yes, of course our patience would be tested in this journey, but more than testing our patience we are amazed at the incredible sense of peace we have as we wait and with peace….comes great patience.  Where does this peace come from? This is peace that only God can give! We have such incredible peace as we wait; because we know that God is leading us on this journey, He knows exactly the child who is supposed to join our family and His timing is perfect. Thank God this isn’t about us, but is totally about Him and where he is leading our family.

Amazing adoption stories from dads:  http://www.allgodschildren.org

Here are two quotes from these dads that were things we could relate to so well:

“The more I handed it to God the more I realized that all of my reservations were based upon me providing answers and solutions to problems that had not yet arisen and that while I most definitely wasn’t capable of doing it I knew that God could.”

“We knew that we could have biological children yet God really continued to place on our hearts that we were to adopt and we were to do it now.”

That’s us, this journey is our faith in action, it involves answers that we don’t have and we (the planners, the ones who like to have control, the ones who like research and facts) are okay with not having these answers and are instead experiencing God’s incredible peace. As much as we are looking forward to knowing more about our baby (or babies if you ask Aviya) right here, surrounded by God’s peace is a great place to be.

What about….?

What happened to the mom in Ohio? Well, that is a good question, we don’t know. She chose to not continue having contact with the agency. We don’t know what that means really. She may have decided she needed some time, she may have decided adoption was not what was best for them, she may resurface and get back in touch with the agency as the baby’s arrival time gets closer (she’s due in the next month or so). Whatever it is that is going on in her heart and mind right now, there is a precious baby growing in her whom she loves and wants the best for. Our biggest prayer is that she is receiving the support she needs, we pray that regardless of  what choice she makes for her baby and her family, that she is loved and supported throughout the coming months. Please continue praying for her with us.

Do you want to be involved in positively impacting adoption?

Please take a look at http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/, the adoption tax credit has been hugely beneficial (and I suspect has played a part in many children being placed with their forever families). The tax credit will expire (yet again) the end of this year, if it does what remains is a minimal, very limited credit, that few families would qualify for. You can help! This site best explains the credit, history and the impact it could have if it ends, it also tells how you can help. There is now a bill in congress (HR 4373) that will make the credit permanent, you can help by contacting your congressman/woman and asking them to cosponsor this bill. If you live near us, email our congresswoman, Jaime Herrera Beutler . For many families the biggest “but” about adoption is the cost, helping with the cost can mean more children find forever families.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers!

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Waiting, waiting, waiting

We were warned by many in the adoption community and had read that often (okay almost always in some way) adoption is one of those adventures that is filled with “hurry up and wait”. That is no joke!

I feel like our call about the mom in Ohio was forever ago, like we’ve been waiting to hear her decision forever, yet on the other hand it feels so recent (it’s been two weeks). If it feels like that to me, I can only imagine what she is experiencing. I can’t begin to fathom what she is experiencing and to make such a tremendously huge decision. Yes, we know we are/will be an awesome family to whoever the little one God has to join our family, but she has no concrete way of knowing that. She’s trying to get a glimpse of who we are from a dozen pages of pictures and some carefully written words. She’s trusting the agency she’s working with, who is trusting our agency to have thoroughly checked us out and verified in any and every possible way that we are loving, stable, caring and “good” people. There is a lot of faith involved on her part, that everyone is being honest, genuine and that everyone ultimately has this little one’s life in their best interests. Wow, and we thought we were moving forward on faith! The more I think about it and the further we get into this process the more I realize how small we are in this adventure; this is so much bigger than us or even than the child God has for us (it’s comforting to know that He already knows who that little one is, what his/her story is and how we’ll be connected).

I talked to our case worker today (yes, I about had a heart attack when I saw her name on my caller ID), she didn’t have much to share, but she had received an update email from the other agency with a little more info and just keeping in touch (that’s good!):

Mom had her first prenatal appointment, they confirmed that her due date is Mid-July (based on dates), they are working on scheduling her ultrasound for soon and provided baby cooperates she will find out the baby’s gender at the ultrasound. The birth father now supports the adoption plan (woohooo!). She is still considering which adoptive family is right for her little one.

It’s not much, but contact and reaffirmation of several things is good! The more interactions the agency has with a parent the better. It means they are building a relationship with her and are able to offer her as much support as she needs. As tough as it is to wait, I’m glad she is taking all the time she needs to make this decision and feel confident about it. I’m VERY glad to hear that birth father is now supportive of the plan to adopt, not because legally it matters (at least not in their state), but because it means she has his support, or at least agreement and that she doesn’t have to worry about whether he’s going to try to encourage her to make a different choice. I’m also glad she had her first prenatal appointment and has started getting medical care that can identify any problems and offer her the medical support she needs.  I want her to feel cared for and loved throughout this process, I want her to be respected for the brave and selfless choice she is making and I trust, pray and hope that she is getting that from the agency and healthcare providers she is working with.

Regardless of whether this is our baby or not, I hope this mom can sense how many prayers and positive thoughts are happening on her behalf and for her little one. Please keep thinking of and praying for her and this baby, their health, that they are being treated well, for wisdom and confidence in this decision of the right family for her baby, and for patience and wisdom for us.

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Wowsers, already?!

I received a call this afternoon from our case manager at our adoption agency. She received a call today from one of the agencies that they’ve been talking about developing a partnership with, but have not yet done so. It’s an agency in Ohio (ironically where our agency has an office also). They have a birth mom that they’ve recently started working with who they are working to match with the right family, she is about 20-22 weeks pregnant. We meet her main concerns/requests in choosing a family for her child and there are no concerning factors to her health or history that are known thus far. We have agreed to have our family album shown to her this week…yes we are frantically working on finalizing it tonight, so we can send it to our agency, to share with the agency in Ohio, who will use the link to show our information to this mom. Please pray, pray for wisdom and guidance for this awesome mom, and pray for patience for us. Whether this is a “trial run” that gets our album done, or the real thing and this is the momma of the precious little one who is meant to be ours, we know God’s hand is at work.

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