Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It Takes a Village…

 I'm writing this short post with tears in my eyes & a heart full of gratitude. 
It's been less than 6 months since Cary & announced, "We're Adopting!" Something incredible has happened in these past few months. Our family has continuously been encouraged, prayed for & supported by so many amazing people. We have been blessed beyond measure by friends, family & strangers. 
Y'all, so far, we've raised almost $19,000…! Wow! Our blog has over 31,000 views…this blows our mind! God has been on the move :) 
Cary & I had no idea our journey would involve so many people. We are so thankful for each person who has contributed to our adoption, whether it be by prayers, encouraging words, donations, or by simply sharing our story & fundraisers…each person involved has touched our lives in an amazing way. Baby K is a blessed baby to be loved & prayed for by so many.

I've heard this quote a few times, but lately it's taken on a whole new meaning for me. We couldn't bring home Baby K without the help of so many. The generosity we've been shown has touched our hearts in a profound way. I just wanted to write this little post thanking everyone for all of the incredible support. Y'all are amazing. We are forever grateful :) 

 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

~Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, September 22, 2014

FAQ: 6 months in

Back in April, when we first announced our adoption, we wrote a FAQ post to help people better understand our adoption journey. I decided now was a good time for an updated FAQ post, since we are now about 6 months into this process.
If you are new to our journey, click here to read our first FAQ post.

We are currently pursuing domestic adoption & will be adopting an infant.

Where are you in the process?
As I said, we about about 6 months into this process. We have completed our home study, adoption profile book & about 63% of our fundraising. We are now waiting to be matched with a baby and are praying that our baby will be born sometime between December & February. January sounds perfect to me, but we will see what the Lord has in store for our family. ;) 

How does the process of "being matched" work?
Well, first of all you should know that up until this point into the process, we have been working with adoption consultants. To learn more about our consultants & their role in our adoption, visit their website: http://www.faithfuladoptionconsultants.com
Our consultants are doing much of the leg work for us as far as trying to find birth mother situations that match with us. When our consultants are notified of a birth mother who is a potential match (meaning the birth mother fits the criteria that we are comfortable with), our consultants forward the information about the situation onto us. It is then up to us to decide if we feel like this birth mother & baby could be a good match for us. If we decide to move forward with the situation, our profile book (see first FAQ post to read more about the profile book) will be sent on to that birth mother. It is then up to the birth mother to make the decision if she feels like we are the right parents for her child. She may have other books in her possession & choose another couple to parent her baby. If this happens, our consultants move on from this situation to continue the search for our baby! If however, the birthmother does choose us, then there will most likely be a phone interview set up. After we have a conversation, we should have some kind of assurance that we have been matched & that this birth mother is carrying our baby. Once we have been matched, we will start working with a specific agency & move into a new stage of our adoption. We are both excited & anxious about almost being to this point in our journey.

Here is a picture page from our profile book! 

Have you started receiving birth mother situations yet?
We have received a couple of birth mother situations so far. After careful consideration & prayer, we decided against presenting our book to either of the birth mothers. These types of decisions are extremely difficult to make. So much goes into the decisions. There are intense emotions, hard & honest conversations & lots of other factors that help us decide whether or not to show our book to a mother. Unfortunately, one of these major factors is our budget. Adoption is expensive & it is clear to us now that we are going to be spending more than we originally planned. We know God is faithful & He has been providing abundantly through our fundraising. Our hearts are so grateful. 
We have yet to send our profile book out to a birth mother, but are hoping God will bring us the right mother & baby soon. We are praying for the peace of God to be present in our hearts during this crazy time!

What will your relationship with the birth mother be like post match & post placement?
Cary & I are praying that we will be able to have an open relationship with Baby K's birth mother. We believe that an open relationship can be very beneficial to all involved. I am planning to write a post on what open adoption is sometime soon. I will explain our decision to pursue open adoption as well as our heart for our birth mother & our plans for talking to our child about adoption. In the meantime, we would love prayers for a healthy, loving & positive relationship with our birth mother. We are praying to have an immediate connection with her that can grow into a lifelong friendship & relationship. We know this might not be possible, but it is the desire of our hearts to have this type of relationship with Baby K's birth mother. We believe that God is able to do more than we could even dream of when love & prayer is involved. 

So what happens after you are matched with a birth mother?
Hopefully, we will have a couple of months after being matched before the baby arrives. The time will vary depending on the situation of course & that will greatly determine how everything goes down. We are hoping to have some time to get to know Baby K's birth mother, whether that be by phone interviews, email or hopefully even meeting in person. I am really hoping this will be possible & look forward to learning all I can about our birth mother & her pregnancy. After going so long without any details, it will be a huge relief to finally be able to know something about precious Baby K. Being matched will also allow us to know a due date. This is huge because we can start planning for the arrival of Baby K. We will be able to set a date for our baby shower, which I am ecstatic about! We should know which state, city & hopefully what hospital Baby K will be born at. This will allow us to start researching hotels, potential plane flights, & hospital adoption protocol. As well as have conversations with our birth mother about how she envisions the hospital experience & come up with a plan together. We are hoping that I will be able to nurse Baby K, so that will take some intense prep work. Being matched & knowing a possible due date will allow us to do so much. We are praying & would love for you to join us, that God's perfect timing would unfold. There are so many factors involved in this process & we are really hoping to be able to have time to prepare for this crazy, amazing, beautiful miracle that is about to come bursting into our lives.

What are the risks involved in this process?
The biggest risk that we run is that the birth mother will change her mind about placing her baby with us. She could change her mind about us as parents for her baby & choose another couple instead. Or she could change her mind about placing her child for adoption & instead choose to parent the baby herself. These situations are not terribly uncommon. If either of this situations happen, it will, of course, be absolutely devastating. However, if this does happen...we believe that it'd be God's way of telling us that wasn't our baby… I cannot imagine going through those situations, but I do know it is a possibility. It is hard to fight the fear that rises up inside of me when I think about facing thee scenarios but I know that God is in control & He would carry us through it. If we do experience a failed match, we run the risk of losing some of the money we have to pay upfront. Most of the time when we receive a situation, we will be given the estimated up front monetary risk factor. We take that into consideration & as always ask God to rule over the situation. There are also the normal risks that come with having a baby, so we would love for your prayers over our birth mother & precious Baby K.

What are you most excited about?
Favorite question! :) There are SO many things we are looking forward to! We cannot wait to get the call that we have been matched. We cannot wait to meet Baby K's birth mother & hug her! We absolutely positively cannot wait to meet our baby. I can't even think about the moment I get to hold Baby K without crying. This is what I am most excited about. We cannot wait to take Baby K home & get to know him/her. We cannot wait to share our bundle of joy with family, friends & with all of the amazing people who helped bring him/her home to us.

Hope this post gave you some insight into where we are in this long, complex & exciting journey to bringing home Baby K. Obviously, you can see this process is a very emotional one. Every step of the way, Cary & I have had to make big decisions together. We know even bigger decisions will continue to come as we enter into parenthood. Every decision we have made so far has been covered in prayer & given over to God. Even so, doubt still creeps in sometimes... Did we make the right decision about this situation or that family health history? Is our budget going to be high enough? Why aren't we hearing about more birth mothers? The quote below stuck out to me & spoke to our situation. 

This journey is so much about faith. It's about walking daily with the Father & trusting Him even when we cannot see what's ahead. It's about trusting that He is good & that He has heard our prayers & He knows our hearts. We will stand firm in how we have decided He has guided us & continue to wait on His timing. We will also continue to listen for His voice & direction from His spirit. We would love your continued prayers as this isn't easy for us, especially me! I'm really thankful for everyone who has been praying for us throughout this journey. Please continue to pray for wisdom, discernment, patience & peace as we are itching to be matched with Baby K. Pray that we would continue to place our confidence in His plan so that our hearts will experience true peace during this time of waiting.

Just for fun, here are some of my favorite Baby K hashtags:

Thanks for following along in our journey! 
It's such a blessing to have people walking this road beside us! Your prayers are cherished :) 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Updates, Our Scentsy Fundraiser & Prayer Requests!

Hey y'all! We've been busy lately!

This past week, we had our friend Allie come up to Canada to visit! We had an amazing time! It was wonderful to put our adoption fundraising on hold for a little bit & enjoy quality time with our awesome friend. It's always so special to have friends & family come up to visit us during the football season. 

Fundraising Updates: 

Our t-shirt fundraiser ended & was a success! We raised around $1,300 & had 60 people support us by buying a shirt/making a donation. Huge thanks to everyone who took part in this fundraiser! Cary & I are grateful! Can't wait for the shirts to come in the mail! 

Our fundraising is 59% complete!!! 
So far, we have raised $16,602 through our Closet Sale, Etsy Shop Sales, Puzzle & T-Shirt Fundraiser! We are incredibly thankful for every person who has been a part of our fundraising efforts so far!

We have a few ways for people to continue to be involved in our fundraising. Our puzzle fundraiser is still underway, we have 61 puzzle pieces remaining! If you want to donate to our adoption through our puzzle fundraiser, check out this post for more information: Puzzle Fundraiser  We will post updated pictures soon showing our puzzle progress! :) 

Announcing Our Scentsy Fundraiser: 

We are excited about launching this new fundraiser! Our friend Sarah has set up a fundraiser for us through her Scentsy shop. Scentsy is company that sells wickless candles and scents, as well as a bath, body and laundry line! When you order products under "Fundraiser for Baby K" party, we will receive the commission for the sale. This is a cool way to support us and also enjoy something in return! Scentsy products would make great gifts! This fundraiser will last 2 weeks. Check out this link to shop now & support our Scentsy fundraiser: 

Prayer Requests: 

As of this week, we have officially started receiving information about birth mother situations from our consultants. We would love your prayers as we enter into this new stage in our adoption process. This is a very emotional time for us, as we are making big decisions about presenting our profile book to birth mothers. We are praying for God's discernment, peace & wisdom to guide us through this process.   
Please continue to keep Baby K & birth mother in your prayers. Please join us in praying that we would be matched soon & to be able to establish a great relationship with Baby K's birth mom. We are praying for God's protection & love to surround our birth mother & child. Please pray for the health of Baby K & birth mother. We are asking God to give our birth mother courage, strength & hope as she walks through her own journey with adoption.  
We would love continued prayer over our fundraising & finances. We appreciate prayers that God would continue to bring in money for our adoption. Prayers that we would be creative & diligent in our fundraising & prayers we would also be wise & frugal in our spending. 

Thanks so much for following our journey! 

"Wait on the Lord. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the Lord!"
~Psalm 27:14