Monday, November 7, 2016

National Adoption Month: The ABCs of Adoption: A-E

In honor of National Adoption Month, thousands of members of the adoption triad are sharing their adoption stories on social media. Throughout the month of November, I'll be using "The ABCs of Adoption" as a guide to help me share my heart on adoption topics. Ashley Mitchell of BigToughGirl ministries came up with this cool way to share about adoption this month. Search #btgadoption on Instagram for more beautiful, honest, inspiring & raw adoption stories. 

-----------

A is for...Adoption Announcement! 


On April 14, 2014 (our 2nd wedding anniversary), Cary & I announced we were adopting. I still remember all the emotions that flooded my heart when I pressed share & then closed my computer for the next couple of hours. Cary & I took a minute to pray over our new journey & hoped the news would be well received by our family & friends. 

In our announcement, we shared about our infertility diagnosis & the pain we had been walking through quietly for a year & half as we tried unsuccessfully to conceive. We shared about the newfound hope & peace the Lord had given us when He put adoption on our hearts. We shared about the compassion we had for the birth mother who would carry our child & the love that was blooming in our hearts for the baby the Lord was calling us to. 

At first, it was scary to put our story out there. Sharing our pain, disappointments, hopes & dreams left our hearts vulnerable...but through sharing we received the most amazing gift...the support, encouragement & prayers of many! God used the announcement of our adoption journey to start to healing our hearts & redeeming our pain in ways we could never have imagined. 

2.5 years later, we are still open about our journey because we know what it's like to start this adventure feeling alone & overwhelmed, searching for answers. We share so that others will see the redemptive beauty in adoption, find hope & community in the midst of infertility, see the incredible joy that comes from choosing life & find guidance for how to navigate the crazy process of adoption. We've seen the Lord take our story & use it for His glory...that's all we could ever hope for! So blessed by the incredible online community I've found here over the past few years. Thanks for encouraging, supporting & praying for our family through all the ups & downs...truly means the world! 

B is for…Boy 


My sweet boy! 
It's still surreal sometimes to me that I have a 6 month old son! The Lord gave us an urgency to prepare for another baby & although our hearts were ready, we never dreamed our second adoption would happen so quickly! Such an unexpected, beautiful, amazing, blessed, whirlwind experience for sure! Noah is such a blessing & answer to many prayers. We cannot imagine our lives without him! Incredibly thankful for his life & the gift of being his mom.

Whenever we started preparing to adopt again, Cary & I had no preference for gender, but in our hearts we both felt like our next little one was going to be a boy. I'll never forget hearing about Noah's birth mom for the first time. The only information we were told by the ministry director before we sent our profile book to his birth mom was that she was due "soon" with a "baby boy". Our hearts said YES without hesitation & then we pulled an all nighter making our new profile book because we literally weren't even far enough into the adoption process to have an updated profile book when we heard about this situation! God's plans are SO COOL! He truly moved mountains, tore up timelines & surpassed expectations when He led us to Noah.  

We prayed for his birth mother then sent our book off not knowing when it would presented to her or when we would hear back. The Lord gave us incredible peace over the next week as we waited for news...like the kind of crazy amazing peace that only comes from the Holy Spirit. 
The night before we found out Noah's birth mom chose us, Cary & I were sitting on our couch when he said, "I think she's already chosen us but they just haven't let us know. I just have this feeling that she chose us. I know she did!" God was moving & preparing our hearts! The next morning we received a phone call & heard the most beautiful words, "She chose you! Congrats, in one month you're going to be parents to a baby boy." Such a surreal moment...cue the tears, joy & a bit of panic as we realized how much we had to prepare in one short month!

C is for…Cost 


Domestic infant adoption & international adoption usually come with a staggering cost. Domestic adoption is complex & there are many fees (home study expenses, consultant fees, agency/attorney fees, legal fees, birth mother expenses, travel expenses, etc) that add up. The numbers are super overwhelming & discouraging at first (especially if you've already spent thousands on fertility doctors & treatments), but my advice is if you feel like the God has put this particular avenue of adoption on our heart, do not let the cost discourage you from moving forward! 
There are so many really cool ways to fundraise, as well as adoption grants & loans you can apply for. You'll probably have to get creative, put yourself out there & make many sacrifices, but I can testify that it's all SO beyond worth it! Love this quote, "If the cause is worthy, the cost is irrelevant" So true! God funds what He favors & we know His heart is to see children in families. 

A few ideas for adoption fundraising: puzzle fundraiser, social media auctions, design & sell t-shirts (highly recommend using Bonfire Funds), set up a gofundme or youcaring account for donations (You'd be surprised how many people will just want to give! Still so amazed & thankful for all the kind & generous people who donated to our adoption funds!), sell crafts & handmade products, do raffles, garage sales, etc. 

Speaking of the cost of adoption...our friend Lena is adding another precious baby with Down syndrome from Bulgaria to her family. You can support Lena's adoption journey by donating directly to her (more info on heartofgraceadoption.com
or by buying something from our Etsy shop! We are donating 50% of our shop proceeds to her growing family! Shop is open until midnight on Wednesday November 9th, so check it out ASAP. Etsy shop link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/theadventuresofbabyk

D is for…Delivery Room


I had a really hard time finding the words for this topic because it's so raw, emotional & sacred. 
Both Izzy & Noah's birth moms wanted us to be in the delivery room with them which meant the world to us. Nothing could have prepared us for how incredibly bittersweet both births would be. Our delivery room experiences were really different (Noah was born via c-section), but they were both incredibly beautiful, heart-breaking, emotional & amazing...all at the same time. 

Our emotions were all over the place as we held each other tight with wide eyed excitement, anticipation, awe, fear...all of these intense feelings were swirling around inside as we tried to keep calm & steady so we could be fully present to take it in & be supportive for each birth mom. And let me just say...our kids have amazing, strong & loving birth mothers. Witnessing their pain, bravery & sacrificial love in the delivery room changed us forever & gave us deep admiration, love & gratitude for them both. There's nothing quite like seeing your baby for the first time after so much waiting, dreaming & hoping...we are so honored & grateful to have been invited to participate in those sacred experiences. 

D is also for Dad because Cary is the most loving, amazing, hands on, patient daddy in the world. Our babies light up when he's around & it makes my heart so happy! 

E is for…Expectations 


You have expectations, lists, timelines & plans of how your adoption journey will unfold… I'm here to tell you to go ahead & rip em all up & throw them out the window! 
I'm a like to be prepared for any situation, obsess over how everything will play out type of girl...I had to learn this lesson the hard way y'all! 

The adoption process is a wild ride with many unknowns & uncertainties...it will break you, stretch your faith & help you grow in every way imaginable. Adoption is unpredictable but God's love for us is not! God is not surprised by the wait, the situations that don't work out, the disappointments or the changes of plans. He is with you through it all! Be flexible, be open...surrender your heart to Him & let Him lead. In the end, you'll see that His plans were truly best all along! 

-----------
I'll continue sharing my heart on all things adoption this month here on our blog & also on our adoption Instagram: @theadventuresofbabyk 
Please feel free to share our story with anyone who needs advice & encouragement as they consider adoption! 

Feeling so blessed by our incredible community of love & support,
Tyler  

No comments:

Post a Comment