Tuesday, November 15, 2016

National Adoption Month: The ABCs of Adoption: F-J

  • In honor of National Adoption Month, 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. Click here to read my first post, The ABCs of Adoption: A-E. 

    F is for…Family

    This is my family...my everything! We were brought together by adoption. Love, commitment & sacrifice made us a family. When I look back at our journey to bring Izzy & Noah home, I see God's grace written over every twist & turn. I see the Lord's goodness & His redemptive LOVE. I am a blessed & grateful momma! 

    F is also forFaithful Adoption Consultants 
    In 2014, we set out to adopt for the first time. We began researching adoption agencies & were immediately overwhelmed. After days of research, we still felt lost... How we were going to make such a big decision? A few days later, by God's grace, we were introduced to a great couple who took the time to share their experience & heart for adoption with us. I remember hanging. on. every. word. & feeling my heart swell. For the first time in our journey to become parents, I suddenly felt so much less alone & deeply encouraged! Through this connection, we were recommended to FAC. After that conversation & a little more research & prayer, we felt confirmation from the Lord that using Faithful Adoption Consultants was the right choice for us. We signed on with FAC in April 2014, started our Homestudy the same week, starting fundraising like crazy & became active in August. On November 25th, 2014 (2 days before my 25th b-day) we received THE phone call that all couples in the adoption process long for...we were matched with a baby girl due in February of 2015! Getting the news was one of the happiest & most surreal moments of my life! The next 2.5 months leading up to Isabel's birth were filled with many ups & downs...we had days of joy & celebration & also days of fear, doubt, devastation & frustration as we walked out some hard realities that often come with adoption. God used that time to strengthen our faith, challenge us to truly trust Him & to extend love & grace in a whole new way. Through it all, our consultant Jessica was only a phone call or email away to offer counsel, advice & prayer. Finally, on February 12th, 2015, the most perfect baby girl we'd ever seen, our Isabel Grace, was born. It was truly love at first sight for us! 

  • Just seeing her beautiful face for the first time made every single difficult part of our journey fade away & redeemed all of our pain & waiting. So incredibly thankful that the Lord led us to Faithful Adoption Consultants. We love their hearts, we love that they treat their job as a ministry, we love the way their encourage their clients to love birth families big & well. If you're searching for direction in your adoption journey as far as choosing an agency or consultant, we highly recommend considering FAC. 

G is forGrief 

Adoption is complex. It's emotional. It's hard. As much beauty, love & hope come with adoption (especially on our end as parents blessed with our precious children), we HAVE to acknowledge that adoption is born from a place of loss, brokenness & grief. I don't know how our children are going to feel about their adoption stories. I don't know how much they will struggle with feelings of loss & grief. I don't know to what extent they will question their value & identity as they grow up to understand what adoption means to them personally. As much as it hurts my heart to think of them hurting (I literally have tears rolling off my face right now just thinking about it), I know that loving them fully & deeply means giving them the complete freedom to process, feel & grieve as they need. I pray daily for the strength I'll need to put myself & my feelings aside as my precious children begin to explore who they are, where they come from & what that all means. It's hard as a mother to know that my love won't always be enough, but I think it's important to recognize that it won't always be & accept that now, before their questions & processing start. I pray for grace to answer their questions with tenderness, honesty & love. I pray that by having parents who are willing to recognize their loss, foster open adoptions/connections with birth family + culture & help give them every resource they need to find the answers to the deepest & most desperate questions of their hearts, our children will be able find healing & wholeness. I pray everyday for God to give us the grace, strength & love to raise these sweet babies to know how deeply they are loved & cherished by Him, by us & by their birth families.

    H is for...Hug 

    The first image that came to my mind when I thought of H words + adoption was Izzy's birth mom & I reaching out to embrace each other in a long hug the first time we met. That beautiful moment is forever etched into my memory as a moment of God's incredible grace. Grace in God's provision for me as a young woman longing for her first child, grace for "C" in having the option of adoption when faced with an unplanned pregnancy & grace for our precious Isabel Grace's future...grace on grace on grace for our beautiful girl who God created so intentionally & perfectly for LIFE!!! As we hugged, we clung to each other & God knit our momma hearts together in love for our girl + His purposes & glory. 

  • I is for...Infertility & Insomnia 

    The Lord used infertility to bring our precious babies into our family through adoption. He has used infertility + adoption to completely turn our lives upside down & increase our faith tremendously. Our perspective about our infertility diagnosis has changed SO much since we received it in late 2013. When we were first diagnosed, our dreams were shattered, our hope was crushed. We couldn't fathom how two healthy young adults in our mid 20s could BOTH be diagnosed with infertility. We've struggled a lot with big questions & hurts over the last few years. Looking back now, we see purpose & beauty in the way our journey played out & have so much hope for the future of our family. Most days I'm now able to honestly pray, "Lord, if infertility is a part of your continued will & plan for us, give me the faith & perspective to embrace it with joy & peace." I don't know if our journey with infertility is a temporary or a long-lasting one...but what I DO know is that our God has nothing but love & wants HIS BEST for us, His beloved children. 

    I is also forInsomnia 
    Y'all, the struggle is real! When we were going through the process of adoption (both the first & second time, but especially the first), I had MANY sleepless nights. In fact, I had more sleepless nights than decent nights of sleep. I was up many nights praying, planning, hoping, dreaming, crying & working on everything adoption related. It was during those sleepless nights of longing & praying that God not only increased my love & desire for our future children but also put deep compassionate in my heart for the birth mommas of our precious babies. 
    So shoutout to all you mommas-in-waiting currently dealing with insomnia...I feel you! Be encouraged that this is part of your journey & growth...part of your labor of love for your sweet child. One day you'll look back on these nights with a strange fondness because you'll finally be able to see that in your hours of sleeplessness & desperate longing, God was with you, wiping every tear & hearing every cry of your heart... 

  • Even when you couldn't see it, He was answering prayers & moving in ways you could have never imaged He is so good friend! Be encouraged! And for goodness sakes, try to get some rest!
J is for…Joy!

Keeping it simple by letting this photo speak for itself… 
Joy, so much joy! 

Hope y'all are enjoying reading along this month as I share our story! Search #btgadoption on Instagram for more beautiful, honest, inspiring & raw adoption stories.
With love, Tyler 

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