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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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Eric and Madlen's Adoption Story: Wait With Purpose

Photo Credit for all pictures: KG Photography
I got to know Eric and Madlen as a fellow adoptive family during their first adoption as a CAC couple. I was excited to watch God work His beautiful ways in their second adoption journey and let me tell you- the two processes could not have been any more different! Their second adoption was painfully slow, involved some serious heartbreak, and was just flat out a really difficult wait. But just like He always is, God was working even when we couldn't understand what He was doing. They refused to give up. They clung to the truth that He is faithful and they kept praying for Him to bring their baby to them. He is always, always, always faithful! And now this sweet family is a family of four.

Madlen shares, "We were matched Oct 17 and baby was born the 29. In God's perfect timing, my parents had just moved to our area a month before we got matched, so they were just 15 minutes away from us instead of 7 hours. My mom wasn't working, which made it possible for her to come with us when we traveled for our son's birth. She was able to watch our oldest while we spent time getting to know B's birth mom at the hospital. We really wanted our son, A, to be a part of the experience with us and he was able to do that because my parents had just relocated. It became just the perfect way for us to explain to him in more detail about his own adoption story! He finally started to understand the whole thing a lot better. He got to meet N before she went into labor and see that his little brother was in her belly. And he came into the room minutes after B was born! I got to spend some quality time with our son's birth mom; we cried, we laughed, we shared stories. It was hard and very emotional but also an amazing blessing! It was such a sweet time that I will treasure."

After their sweet son was born, Madlen shared these words with some fellow waiting CAC mamas. If you are waiting today, let it be an encouragement to your heart!

"It has been a very long and hard process! Many times I have questioned what God's plan was for our family. Were we meant to adopt again? Why was it taking so long? I have been angry, frustrated and sad. But God's timing is absolutely perfect! Our wait had a purpose all along although we couldn't see it.  Don't give up hope if you're waiting for your little one. Keep praying! Our baby is the best gift we could have received this Christmas. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve and we are just so amazed."
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Saying Yes To God This Christmas (guest post)

I'm excited to introduce you to this beautiful lady with a huge heart! I met Audra three years ago to talk about life and Christian Adoption Consultants. At that time she and her husband had one little girl and were praying for God to add to their family. It was such a privilege to watch God shape their faith and lives in their first adoption story. Now, three years later, their family has:

a 7 year old
a 2 year old
a 5 month old
and God has recently stirred their hearts to adopt their daughter's sibling due in February.

Yep. You read that right! This family has had their life radically turned upside down over the past three years. They know a thing or two about stepping out in faith to follow God's lead, even into the hard. Enjoy Audra's reflections this Christmas season on saying "yes" to God.

(Guest Post By Audra)

We have all heard the Christmas story, especially around this time of the year. The story of our savior born in a manger. Born on a silent night with angels singing in the background. Mary and Joseph looking peacefully down on their child who's is destine to save the world. It's told with such beauty and peace. What we don't hear is the difficulty that it took for everyone to get to that moment. The moment that was prophesied over, prayed over, and hoped for for years before. A moment that seemed too big to accomplish by such ordinary people. But it was accomplished and in that moment it was perfect and sacred.

An angel came to Mary and told her she would be with child. Not just any child but the Savior, Jesus. What a task.  One I can only imagine seemed unreachable and destine for failure.  She was betrothed to marry Jospeh, she was young and she was a women. So many things were against her accomplishing this moment. Mary could have said no, she could have had a normal life. But she didn't. She decided to have faith and trust that God would carry her through the tough times. Through the possibility of Joseph leaving her alone, through the many murderous attempts on her family and traveling with no place to stay when they reached their destination. Her son would be born in a stable, amongst animals and exposed.

The difficulty that it took for everyone to get to that moment could have prevented them from moving forward. But they didn't stop and they didn't let fear take over. They didn't allow uncertainty to keep them their destiny. They kept saying yes to God. Yes to hard times, yes to a different and crazy path, yes to love and yes to Jesus. Why? Because their their arms were open, stretched out to the sky, confessing their faith in God and his plan for their life. Whatever that may look like.

Recently we were given the opportunity to say yes to something difficult and quite crazy in some eyes. Were were asked to adopt the biological sibling of our second daughter, who also became part of our family through adoption. We also have a 7 year old and a 5 month old.  So you can see where our hesitation may come from. We had the chance to say no and we know that no one would have look down on us for that. We could have said no and had a normal and good life, a life serving our God. But we didn't want a normal life. We wanted and desired a life that requires us to solely depend on God and not ourselves. We want to say yes in faith when He asks us to step out.

So we said YES, a shaking yes but an obedient yes. Yes to Gods plan and ours. Yes to His Glory. Yes to this child. Yes to love on our precious Birth Mom. Yes to our daughter. Yes to crazy. Yes to the unknown and yes to help.

Saying yes to God and his plan doesn't mean life will be easy. Life in general isn't easy, it's very hard. Having faith doesn't mean an absence of doubt just as courage doesn't mean an absence of fear.  Its what you do with that doubt and fear that matters. Give it God and let him lead you.  The Bible is compiled of stories that we've all have heard growing up. These famous and heroic stories came from hard work, trials, crazy gestures, uncertainty, grief, sadness and bravery. The result-an amazing story that brings glory to the most high King.  I hope and pray our story will show others that mountains can be moved with just a mustard size seed of faith. We just need to believe.

(If you'd like to support and pray for Adam and Audra in their journey or read details about their "yes," you can do that here on Audra's blog.)
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For more information about Christian Adoption Consultants and domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Voices of Birth Parents And Adoptees: Jasmin's Story

I'm so thankful for the birth moms and adoptees who have been bravely sharing their stories here in this space. This particular post featuring the thoughts of a birth mom (Jasmin) feels really special to me because I was the adoption consultant for the family who adopted Jasmin's daughter. Watching the adoptive family connect with Jasmin so quickly from their very first conversation and hearing them talk about how much they loved her and cared for her was really beautiful to watch. But it's even MORE beautiful to now hear from Jasmin about her love for them as well!

(This picture captures the gift of open adoption so beautifully, doesn't it?)

Q and A With Jasmin

What do you wish everyone knew about being a birth mom?
"To me being a birth mom is a wonderful blessing knowing that I was able to birth out a wonderful gift to bless family with. In my situation being a birth mom is not bad at all. I see it as God chose me to bless a family and to also gain a family as well."

What do you think is helpful about open adoption?
"Open adoption let's you still be able to watch your child grow, you get to see how they're doing and also stay in communication with the adoptive family and more."

What is one of the hardest parts of adoption? What has helped you get through the toughest parts?
"The hardest part about doing adoption is not having my family, a few of my friends (who I thought were my friends ) not support my decision to give my child a better home/life than I could give her.  It truly broke my heart to see them quick to judge and not believe in what they constantly preach about daily. For instance 'picturing themselves in someone else shoes if they were in that same situation.' What helped me get through those tough times was praying to God, talking/seeing my social worker/adoption agency, meeting the adoptive family I chose, and having my truly close friends by my side. Without them I would've been reckless. My social worker talked/texted me daily giving me encouraging words (she is like my second mom). My close friends stood by my decision throughout this whole process either they liked it or not they were there. Most of all speaking/seeing the most precious family. They really made my day because they understood my situation and why I chose to do adoption without judging me at all."

What is one of the best parts? What is your relationship like with your child's adoptive family?
"The best part about adoption is getting to speak/meet the adoptive family I chose. I remember my social worker telling me that they wanted to talk to me soon and that they were very excited. During that Sunday evening after work they called me. That moment was breathtaking and filled with excitement because for a moment it felt like I was being adopted too (lol). Just by talking with them that first night really really assured me that they were the family for my child. My relationship with my child's adoptive family is amazing. I see them as my second family-more like a family I never had. We check up on each other, even if we're busy; we always find time to see how the other is doing. I love them so dearly and I thank God for blessing them into my life each and everyday. They mean so much to me in every special way...I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!"

Thank you so much, Jasmin, for your sharing your story with us! Your are a brave and loving mama and we're grateful for your thoughts.


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