Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Jon and Melanie's Adoption Story: Lifting Their Hearts to God


“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts.”
- Elisabeth Elliot -

Every adoption involves waiting and waiting, however long it lasts, is never easy. There are so many different ways that people respond to the wait. Some focus on those around them, seeking to love the precious people already in their lives. Others get angry, placing blame on someone/anyone for why they are waiting, even blaming God. Still others want to give up or sadly, they do give up. And then there are those who wait with a lifted up heart, going to God about it, casting their cares on Him, refusing to give up unless He tells them to and seeking to trust Him while they wrestle through the waiting. Jon and Melanie's wait was so very difficult but I think that Elisabeth Elliot (quoted above) would have been proud as she watched them wait with open hands to the Lord.

This couple presented again and again to expectant mamas, so willing to say "yes" and so very ready to become parents. But they kept hearing "no" again and again. As a Mennonite family, they wondered if their faith wasn't connecting with the expectant mamas reading their profile. They wondered if they would ever be chosen. I thought my heart might crack as I walked alongside them, wishing with all that was in me that the expectant mamas reading their profile could see the incredibly kind, loving, and gentle hearts of this precious couple. They kept praying that God would fulfill their desire for a child. And then one day I got a call...an agency was looking for some very specific characteristics in an adoptive family and I wondered if this was exactly the situation for Jon and Melanie. I will never forget hearing what this expectant mama shared with the agency when she looked over their profile book, "I love Mennonites! I've been reading their things over and over. I think they are perfect!" The exact thing they feared might prevent them from being chosen was actually a huge part of what connected their son's birth mom's heart with theirs. Here is a little from Melanie about their journey:


"As I hold my son in my arms; I reflect back on our journey to him.  Nothing could have prepared us for how difficult the wait was, or for how much love for him and for his birth mom instantly overwhelmed us.  I spent many hours in our furnished nursery journaling, crying, and praying.  We had battled with infertility and years of medical treatment; yet were convinced we wanted to be parents. During the 15 months of having our profile book shown to birth moms, I sometimes wondered if I could present another time, or hear another no.  But my desire to be a mother was even stronger than the desire to quit. 

God taught me that He is a Good Father.  That His plans for me, and for the baby that became my son, were wonderful,  and so much different and better than I could have dreamed.  I learned that adoption is complex; and that it is possible to feel pain and pleasure simultaneously. So as I hold my son tightly, I hope that he grows up to know and believe that the arms of the mother who gave him life, those arms placed him into mine, and in that moment, love forged a bond that is unexplainable."
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Adoption Story: Dave and Amy's Twins

One of the extra sweet parts of adopting through Christian Adoption Consultants is the beautiful adoption community that is there waiting for you with other CAC families. As an adoptive mama myself, I still benefit greatly from that community that I became a part of over 5 years ago when we started our first adoption. Dave and Amy are two special parts of the CAC community and they have been an importance source of encouragement for many CAC families.

God has given this couple huge hearts filled with passion for adoption. They helped launch their church’s adoption, foster care, and orphan care ministry and they serve as the leaders of the ministry there. They also are a part of the CAC staff as Adoption Specialists who help spread the word about CAC and they do it with compassion for those walking through infertility and wise help for all those considering their adoption options. I feel so grateful to work alongside them and to call them my friends!

Somehow, their "congrats" blog post got put aside but I figure this is better late than never. I mean, who doesn't want to hear about TWINS?! When Dave and Amy got started on their second adoption we learned about an expectant mama due with twins. Dave and Amy's lives were already pretty crazy busy with the two little ones they had at home but they were filled with faith and excitement to put their "yes" on the table, ready to see what God would do. And what He did was connect the heart of that expectant mama with theirs and grow their family in ways they would have never dreamed! Amy shares about their second adoption:

"We are so thankful for Katie and CAC's part in growing our family.  Adoption is often an emotional roller-coaster and Katie was always there to point us back to Jesus.  I will never forgot the call from Katie when she said "Your family is about to get a lot bigger!" I started laughing in both shock and joy! It was only the beginning of many joyful moments and many surprises to come.  The twins ended up being born early at 34 weeks and we started out with some rough months of RSV and hospital stays.  

We found out when they were about a month old that one twin, Ezra was deaf.  This led to many tests and appointments to see if there was anything else going on.  Eventually we were told Ezra has Usher Syndrome type 1d which affects hearing, vision, and the vestibular system (making things like sitting and walking very hard). Now we knew Ezra was deaf and vision will deteriorate, possibly leading to blindness. So this began a whole new life for our  family filled with doctor visits and therapies.  A shock to us and somewhat overwhelming.  

Through it all we had a peace that God had placed these two precious boys in our family and He would give us what we needed to parent them.  Yes some days I need to be reminded of this but God seems to use His people at just the right moment to help remind me (so many of these reminders come from our CAC extended family).  See this news was all a surprise to us but God has been preparing us and placing people in our lives as resources and support literally our entire lives. We are blessed to have both these precious boys in our family and they are teaching us how to trust God's peace and strength on a daily basis."

(To check a couple other beautiful stories of my families who have brought home twins, read here and here.)
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For more information about Christian Adoption Consultants, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Adoption Update: Our Daughter, Keziah

There is so much to say...so, so much to attempt to convey about the heartbreaking and breathtaking beauty of adoption. But for today, we invite you to rejoice along with us in the gift of our daughter, Keziah Lamia (KEZ-ee-uh Luh-mee-uh). The name "Keziah" comes from the book of Job in the Bible; Keziah was one Job's daughters during the time of restoration and renewal God brought about in his life-a reminder of God's redeeming love. Lamia is the beautiful middle name that her brave birth mom chose for her. We pray that Keziah's life is marked by the selfless love of of her birth mom as well as the unchanging love of our Heavenly Father.

Our sweet girl was born on Thursday morning and we left the hospital with her on Friday evening. She is teeny (5lbs 13oz). She is beautiful. She is so very loved!

We thank God for the gift of her life and we thank Him for each of you who have prayed for us, supported us, and encouraged us all along the way!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Adoption Story: Andrew and Ashlee's Open Heart

One of the most essential ingredients in any adoption journey is humility. Andrew and Ashlee walked out their adoption with humble hearts-wanting to learn, wanting to grow, and wanting to follow God's direction for their family. They asked me thoughtful, wise questions as I served as their adoption consultant. But more importantly, they humbly went to the Lord with their questions and sought to follow His direction throughout their adoption journey. Ashlee shares some of what God did in their hearts as they surrendered their own plans to follow where He led:


I'll be honest, when we started our journey we were not comfortable with the idea of an open relationship with H's birth parents - like, at all. We were uneducated and really just ignorant to what an open adoption really looked like and had only heard the "scary birth mom" rumors. But after choosing to at least be open to well, being Open, we begin to really seek God's guidance in this area. The more we read and talked with other adoptive families about it the more we saw God's heart and his desire to weave together families and build connections out of potentially broken situations. And we remembered that this child is ultimately God's - not ours - and He is certainly more protective of her than we could ever be. So we began to fall in love with the idea of embracing another mother and truly showing her compassion and acceptance and love. And not only that, but being able to demonstrate this to our boys and H as well.

This picture is a painting I made for H's birth mama... I remember crying as I made it for her because I knew how far we had come in really caring about her and truly trusting God in our relationship. She said it's hanging in her living room and she reads it everyday. That makes my heart smile.  We are in no way experts regarding Open Adoption and in fact, are treading on very unfamiliar territory, just taking it one day at a time. As the weeks, months and years go by I'm sure our relationship with H's birth parents will ebb and flow but one thing is for sure... She will know them and will always be able and encouraged to reach out to them.

Andrew and Ashlee got started with CAC in September of last year, began seeing adoption situations in February, and were matched in March. Their daughter was born in June, just 10 months after they had started with CAC. Reflecting on their journey as a CAC family, Ashlee shares,

Because it's just so true that you don't know what you don't know. And the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don't know." For this reason - and so many more - we are forever grateful that we were put in touch with Katie at CAC. A friend who had adopted the year before recommended I call her and so I did. My husband and I knew we wanted to adopt, but were still in prayer if it was the right time. I had my list of questions ready for Katie and she was so encouraging, non-pressuring, and full of honesty. I remember hanging up the phone feeling so peaceful and reassured that God would give us clear guidance on this journey.

Shortly after that first conversation, we were confident that CAC was part of that tangible guidance. Besides the incredibly helpful resources they provided, Katie was always there for us, ready with an answer, or an encouraging word, and most importantly, perspective, as we took one step in front of the other for the next several months. Her experience and wisdom was pivotal in our conversations surrounding open adoption, meeting our daughter's birth parents for the first time and what an ongoing relationship with them might look like, handling the intimate details of our daughter's birth, and truly trusting God with everything.

Our journey, in hindsight, was nothing we expected but everything we prayed for. It challenged every belief that we had and we are truly different people then we were at the start. We know without a doubt that God put Katie and CAC in our lives for such a time as this, and we are forever humbled and grateful.

God is good and He is faithful. Our daughter is the perfect caboose for our family of six.
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For more information about domestic infant adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Adoption Story: Cody and Becky's Son

Cody and Becky started with me at CAC in November of last year. They had two adorable little girls and had been praying for a son. In March their home study was finished and I had their beautiful profile book ready to go so they began receiving adoption situations. About a month later, an agency contacted CAC to let us know about a baby boy due soon; the agency was only open to an adoptive family from their state. That "just happened" to be where Cody and Becky lived so I quickly got in touch with them. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, they were matched and only about a month later their son was born. Like with most adoptions, there were some ups and downs, but with every phone call, email, and text I had with Cody and Becky they were filled with trust in the Lord and a love for one another. It's pretty obvious that this little guy is fiercely loved!

They just recently finalized their adoption and Becky wrote these words to share about their journey:

"Our experience with CAC was exceptionally pleasant and the adoptive parent packet was very easy to follow along by. (Especially with Katie in our corner leading, directing and helping with any questions or concerns we had!) I have highly recommended CAC to anyone who has asked for a place to start when thinking of adoption!"

"Adoption is one of the most heart tugging, happy, heartbreaking... every emotion you can imagine at times, but most rewarding, loving things that any person can do! Whichever emotion comes up at the time is worth everything! If for even a second the idea of adoption comes to mind or heart, never ignore it. Take the leap of faith and explore the best feeling you can ever have in your heart! It has been one of the best things we have ever done and can never imagine not having "all the feels" adoption gives!"

**Professional photos courtesy of Snapshots of a Memory by Danielle
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mark and Tracy's Adoption Story: God Wasn't Finished

Goodness, this is a story that MUST be told regardless of the fact that I'm posting it late. (I had this ready about a year ago and somehow, it accidentally never got posted. Oops!) I know you'll agree it's a must-read as soon as you see it. This couple had completely given up hope on ever adopting, but God...

Professional photos by Times to Treasure Photography.
Mark and Tracy got started with Christian Adoption Consultants on June 2014. It took a while for them to get going with their home study but in December of 2014 they were ready and began to present their profile to expectant mamas. They had one disappointing "no" after another. My heart was breaking for them and they were growing so weary. They finally decided they couldn't do it any more and told me not to send them any further adoption situations. They just couldn’t bear to hear another “No.” What they weren’t aware of was that a particular agency had simply fallen in love with them and was bound and determined to help this couple become parents no matter what!

One day, that agency called me about a certain expectant mom they were working with who they thought would absolutely LOVE Mark and Tracy. But I knew their hearts were so tender and they would be further crushed if they heard another “no" so I explained that to the agency. We decided the best approach (though unusual) would be for the agency to show Mark and Tracy’s profile to the expectant mama without talking to them about it. That way, if she didn't choose them, they wouldn't have to experience more heartbreak. Tracy recounts the story below:

Every story has three things. It has a character, who wants something and has to go through adversity or difficulty to get it.

Mark and I are the characters in this story and journey called adoption. We started on this journey with, what we thought was a, realistic view on how quickly we could adopt a baby. We heard stories of people being home study approved and holding their newborn within three months. Well that was not realistic for us. We know now every adoption story is different and every adoption story is its own unique journey.

We had one NO after another. I stopped counting after 11...

We prayed and fell in love with each of the expectant moms we presented to and their precious babies they were carrying. Time after time, God was saying “NO."

I took it as, “No. You are not good enough."

My heart broke every time we got an email back saying, "The birth mom connected to another couple.” I was so angry that I cried myself to sleep many many nights because I thought God was shutting these doors and not opening any.

There was one day I came home and there was a pacifier on our driveway that was blue and said "little prince." Well I took it as a sign thinking the next little boy is ours! Once again that was not the case. Katie (our consultant) later told us, “You can't think of anything as a sign in adoption" and it is so true.

Well, we reached a point where we had had it!!  We were angry and sad and every emotion in between. After numerous NO's we stopped presenting. I told Katie we are going to work with DCS and we were going to adopt older kids. We thought that would have been easier and quicker which, once again, was not the case.

God what do you want from us?!?!  Why are we not good enough to be parents?!?!  Our anger and plea's were desperate for God to answer our prayers of having a family.

Our story finally took a turn for what we thought was the better when we got a call from one of our best friends who knew about a sweet baby girl fighting for her life and needing a family. We didn't care what kind of health problems she would possibly have, we wanted to save baby M. As time went on, her health declined and she fought a hard fight and at 4 months old heaven gained an angel.

Our hearts were shredded. I mean destroyed. Why did God allow this to happen to an innocent child?!??  She will always be a part of our life and family and story.

One week to the day we found about M, our lives literally changed forever. In the lowest of lows in my life I get a text from Katie saying,“Hey, I need to talk to you and Mark, please call me tonight.” I got home and told him, "Katie wants us to call her." We both looked at each other and said, “She is going to try to get us back in the game and present again. NOPE!"... Like I said we were done.  So we reluctantly dialed the number and we put her on speaker phone.  The first words out of her mouth….."YOU GUYS ARE MATCHED”!?!?!  At the same time we both said, "WHAT?!?! " We thought it was a cruel joke and she had the wrong couple!  We had not presented to an expectant mom in like 4 months. How was this possible?!?! As it sunk in of what she was saying I lost it. (In Mark's words I ugly cried. I mean the cry where you can't catch your breath!) October 20th at 5 pm will be a memory forever etched in my mind as one of the best days of my life. I would not have wanted this any other way. With us not knowing, they were presenting our profile. We got to be surprised! I feel as though this is the feeling you would have when you take the test and see the positive sign of being pregnant. The crazy JOY and EXCITEMENT we had-there are no words. Mark could not stop laughing!

It was all worth it. The struggle the anger the pain it was all worth it. God was not telling us “No,” he really was telling us "Not yet.  I have something greater!"  And boy, did he!


We have been blessed with a birth mom that leaves me speechless!  She is an amazingly incredible woman that wanted a better life for her baby boy than what she could give and provide. She is a beautiful soul with dreams. She will never know what kind of gift she has given Mark and I. She and her two little girls have become family for us.  We love them with the love of God.

January 19, 2016 at 12:49pm we welcomed our son into this world. God heard our hearts desire to be parents and he answered our prayers. We are so in love with this sweet child God blessed us with.

1 Samuel 1:27
For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me the desires of my heart.
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For more information about domestic adoption, contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bryan and Laura's Adoption Story: Joy Mixed With Pain

Wrestling with the complexities of emotion in adoption is difficult. There is this immense joy in being a mother to a precious child while being ever mindful of the sacrifice and sorrow of the first mama who made it possible. In adoption, pain is always mixed with beauty and that's definitely the case for adoptive mamas considering the loss that their child's birth parents experience.

Laura knows this complexity well. She's been journaling some letters/thoughts to her daughter's birth mom throughout their adoption journey about the joy mixed with pain. Bryan and Laura started with me at Christian Adoption Consultants in February, were home study ready in May, and were matched in August. I have loved watching them become parents but even more than that, I have loved watching the love that they have for their daughter's birth mom. Grab some tissues as you get a glimpse into the heart of an adoptive mama.

(Photo credit for all photos: Jessica Thompson)


To My Daughter's Mother (by Laura)

July 22
Today, I opened my e-mail and saw your face for the first time, and my soul just knew. I saw your smile, and your eyes, and read your story and my heart raced. There was no question of a doubt that God had sent you to me. When I had just lost faith, when I didn’t want to hear another no, there you are, waiting. I hope you feel the same, that you know in your heart we are meant to be a family. Every wrong turn and every no have led me to this moment.

August 16
My head is still spinning, and I’m sure yours is too. I cannot wait to hear your voice, to learn about your hopes and dreams for your child. I will probably cry on the phone, and be awkward, so I apologize. I love you and this baby more than you will ever know, and more than I can ever put into words.

August 17
I heard your voice for the first time today, and yet it felt like we had always known each other. Everything you hope and wish for your daughter (yes, it’s a girl) I wish for too. You told me that you always wanted her to know she is loved, and promise that she will. My job as her mother will be to ensure she knows how much you love her every day. My heart was breaking at the end of the phone call because you realized the reality of the decision you had made. I was at a loss for words because I cannot fathom the bravery or courage you have to have to make the decision to place your child in the arms of someone else. I can’t wait to meet you and hug you and welcome you to be part of our family.

September 5
Meeting you was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I was able to see first hand your wonderful heart, your loving smile, and gather stories that I can tell our daughter for her entire life. You seemed at peace with your decision, even though I was a nervous wreck and sweating all over. I was glad to learn that you also love tacos and dogs. When you slid those ultrasound photos to me, it was like you were handing me a secret. Something so precious, worth protecting, and an amazing gift. You let me keep them. I was once again blown away by your selflessness, and your willingness to include us in your pregnancy since we are on the outside looking in. Thank you.

September 17
When you woke up today, did you think your life would change forever? I know I didn’t. With moving due dates, and the craziness of life, I didn’t think she would come today. My heart stopped the second I saw your number, and I knew. What you didn’t know, though, is when you gave birth to that little girl, you gave birth to two mothers. The magnitude of that will never be lost on me. The second I get to the hospital, I’m going to give you the biggest hug of your life. If I could pour the love I have for your into your heart, I would.

September 18-19
I saw you holding your baby today, and my heart broke. I didn’t want to take her from you. I have no right to that precious little girl. She is all yours, your little miracle, yet you gave her to me willingly and smiled. You called her mine. I can’t imagine how your heart must have broken at that moment. The sadness and bittersweet moment took my breath away, and so did she. She was beautiful, fierce, and perfect, just like you. The time we spent in the hospital, watching terrible TV, eating terrible food and playing cards was nothing short of sacred. It was the creation of something new entirely. A relationship that was more meaningful and stronger than anything I had felt before. You told me it was a God thing, you finding us, and I cried because I had said the same thing a month before. All was as I pictured it. We told you her name, something I hadn’t dared to whisper aloud, because she wasn’t mine to name. Your face lit up, her name is a perfect combination of ours, and a living tribute to her first mother. Then came the time for you to leave, and I wept, and we held each other. You told me that you didn’t think she would want you in her life, and I about crumbled. I told you that our daughter will always need you, and I meant it. You have keys to who she is that I do not. You are part of the puzzle that makes up her story and tells her who she is. I promised to tell her you loved her everyday and I intend to keep that promise. When you left, I went to visit your daughter in the NICU, and I held her tight and whispered over and over that she was loved, and that she was loved by you.

The Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas)
I thought about you today, as I do most days, but today was particularly hard. The past three months have made me happier than I could ever imagine, but each wonderful moment with E, means a wonderful moment you didn’t have. The profound realization of what you have loss haunts me at times. It’s overwhelming, and the guilt that surrounds my happiness is powerful. I wish it wasn’t like this, not because I don’t love our daughter, but because I don’t wish this pain on you. If only there wasn’t so much brokenness in adoption, and if only my love for her and you could heal the loss you’ve felt.

December 27th
2016 has been my favorite of all years. It’s the year I became a mother and grew my family, which includes you. I can’t help but think of the juxtaposition of all of it. If I had to guess 2016 was not your favorite year, but rather a year of loss, and hard decisions. But, it was also a year of love for both of us. Love for our daughter, and love for each other. 2016 has taught both of us to be selfless, brave, and courageous. 2016 has taught me gratitude, restored my hope in people, and reaffirmed my faith in God’s plan. I hope that it has done that for you as well. I also hope that 2016 has taught you trust and that you know how loved you are by E, B, and me. There are no words to convey my gratitude and admiration for you. You and E are the biggest blessings to ever come into my life, and I would go through every no a thousand times over to meet you and raise this sweet baby of ours. You are always there, in my thoughts, in her bedtime stories, in her smile, in her eyes, in our prayers, and in our hearts.


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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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