Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Guest Post: A New Perspective This Father's Day


This week, in honor of Christian Adoption Consultant's Father's Day Discount, I'm featuring some guest posts from CAC dads. There is something so powerful about hearing from the heart of a father! I have loved working with Will and his wife, Candice, from day one. Right away, it was so evident to me that they have hearts full of love for Jesus and a desire to follow how Him however He leads in their adoption journey. Will, thank you for sharing some reflections with us as you approach this Father's Day!

Photo Cred: Brittany Lynn

As I approach Father’s Day this year I find myself with a new perspective that I didn’t have before starting down the road of adoption. My wife Candice and I have a beautiful three year old boy, Liam, that we have been blessed with biologically, but we are new to this world adoption and all that this incredible journey entails. While we had always talked about wanting to adopt someday, even before having Liam, the reality of the process is so different than what I personally thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, this is one of the most exciting times in our lives. We have been overwhelmed by our friends and family and how they have rallied around us and amazed by the unexpected ways that God has blessed us. But as we travel this path that God is taking us down, we try to be as open and honest with those around us about all aspects of this journey. 

I’ll just come out and say it. Adoption is hard! While it is in my opinion one of the most beautiful decisions you can make, the road for us has been one that has been dotted with tearful nights, unexpected detours, difficult decisions and moments of heartbreak. It is in these hardships however that I believe God uses us to tell His story of love for the world. I truly believe that being transparent about the pain, anxiety, sacrifice, and hardship doesn't lessen the beauty of adoption; it increases it! 

Looking to the cross I am reminded that Christ had to come to earth, live as a man, take on the sins of the world, be separated from His Father, suffer and die on the cross to adopt us into our heavenly family for eternity. Without that suffering and sacrifice the victory and display of the depth of His love would not have been nearly as great. Even Christ asked His Father to take the cup from Him if there were any other way - but that was not in God's perfect story of salvation for the world. A sacrifice had to be made. I believe that if we were not aware of how great His cost was for us, we would not truly grasp how deep His love for us is. To me, it is through this sometimes painful road of adoption that I believe we are given the opportunity to reflect His perfect love for us by pursuing our future child (or children) regardless of the difficulties that stand in our way. 

I love my savior knowing that I was a sacrifice, it brings me to my knees, draws me close to Him, and gives me strength and peace to know that he desires to take my burdens as His own. As a Christian we are called to love sacrificially - and I count myself blessed to be able to do that through adoption. I look forward to the day that I get to tell my child (or children) how Candice and I sought them out, fought through difficulties, and wouldn’t let anything get in our way because we desired them more than anything in the world. I pray that they will know without a shadow of a doubt the depth of our love by the we showed for them before we even knew who they were. I can’t wait to tell them that the love we have for them was first shown to us as God’s adopted children. Approaching this Father’s Day, my understanding of the love that the Heavenly Father has for us is so much deeper than ever before and I am so thankful that Candice and I have been given the opportunity to reflect His love with the world around us as we pursue adoption. 
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Guest Post: A Dad's Letter to His Daughter's Birthmom


In honor of Christian Adoption Consultant's Father's Day discount, I am grateful to be sharing some guest posts from adoptive dads. When I asked David if he'd like to share a letter to his daughter's birth mom here he quickly answered, "I'm tearing up just thinking about it!" (Oh the love of a father for his child...and to think God loves us even more than this!)  Thank you, David, for sharing your heart for your daughter's birth mama with us!

Photo Credit: Katie Rugg
(From David to Tilly's Birthmom)

Dear “A,”

There are so many things to say, and yet I find myself at a loss for words.  So I guess I’ll start from the beginning.

I had always dreamed of having a daughter.  For whatever reason, I always wanted to have a little “daddy’s girl.”  Early on in our marriage, Sarah and I talked about having three kids.  Our first two kids were boys.  I am crazy about those dudes.  They have brought plenty of challenges as I have learned how to navigate being a dad, but they have also provided an unimaginable amount of joy in my life.  If we had an all-boy family, I would have been delighted.

But then we started talking about adoption, and my heart skipped a beat thinking I might actually have a little girl.  I will never forget the call from our consultant, Katie Fenska, when she said, “Ready for a miracle?  There is a little girl in Florida that needs a family!”  It might have seemed chaotic and it might have made you uneasy, but God had a plan for that little girl that you birthed. 

I will never forget finally pulling up to that hospital.  And never will I ever forget laying eyes on our daughter. I felt the exact same connection laying eyes on her as I did watching my boys being delivered.  It was truly love at first sight.  In that moment, my world was changed.

Several hours later, we got to meet you for the first time.  Sarah and I were nervous.  I can only imagine what was going on in your head.  I won’t pretend to imagine or put to words how you were feeling in a hurricane of emotion, but you locked eyes on me, and said, “This baby is going to have a daddy and brothers to protect her.”  I will never forget that.  That was one of the reasons you were so at peace with our profile book.  You wanted that for her.  What you didn’t know is that this daddy had longed for a daughter to protect.


Everyday, we get the chance to wake up to her massive smile and saucer-like eyes.  Everyday, her little laugh is spread to one or more of our family members.  Everyday is a reminder that you chose life for her.  You chose us to raise her.  She may not have the exact same color skin as we do, but she is one of us.  Everyday, we are reminded of the gift that you gave when you bravely chose life for her. To say "thank you" seems ugly as a means of gratitude for the priceless gift of the daughter that I longed for. 

We always had the name, “Tilly Pearl” picked out, but as we prayed about it, we wanted to honor you.  We added the middle name you wanted for this little girl.  Her official birth certificate reads, “Tilly Pearl Evelee.”  

God knew what he was doing to forever interweave our lives.  He knew exactly the right family for this little girl.  He knew that this dad longed for a daughter.  He knew I needed Tilly. 
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You can read more about David and Sarah's beautiful adoption story here . Please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information about domestic adoption!

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Father's Day CAC Discount


As Father's Day approaches, I can't help but think of how the Lord is bringing families together every day through adoption.



I am so grateful to get to be a small part of building families through adoption, to see children placed with their forever moms and forever dads. At Christian Adoption Consultants, we are inspired by the message in the New Testament that states we are adopted into God's family as believers.  That we are his children, and he is our Abba Father.

God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Romans 8:15 (MSG)


In honor of all of our CAC dads, we are offering one of our rare specials to help make the cost of adoption a bit more attainable. We are happy to be sharing 10% off all of our top packages, from June 13-17th.  (Special note: this does not apply to our DIY package).

If adoption has been on your heart, and you aren't sure where to begin, I would love to chat with you more! For a glimpse of other family's stories and fathers who took the step to adopt, click here.

Want more info on Christian Adoption Consultants?  Click here.
What does it mean to hire an adoption consultant?  Click here.
Want to get started or get an info packet?  Click here.

Have friends who are thinking about adoption? Make sure you share this post!

Email me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com for an application and information packet or to learn more!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Adoption Expectations That Make You, Not Break You


Expectations. They can kind of make us or break us, can't they? As I've walked with many people through their adoption journeys, I've seen families crushed by unrealistic expectations and I've seen families beautifully hope in God as they've surrendered their expectations to Him. So what does it look like to have reasonable expectations during your adoption and specifically as you work with an adoption consultant at Christian Adoption Consultants? What does it look like for adoption expectations to "make you" rather than "break you?"


1) Remember who is in control.
Sometimes we can trick ourselves into thinking that we can make things happen if we just try hard enough or if others try hard enough on our behalf. But the reality is, in all of life, but especially in adoption, we are not in control. You cannot make an expectant mother choose you. You cannot make a child be placed with you. There is no escaping the reality that we are not ultimately in control of our adoption stories-God is. And that’s really hard but also really freeing because He sees the whole picture long before we do.

2) Remember, God's timing isn't perfectly predictable.
Working with an adoption consultant has many benefits (you can read more about that here). But working with an adoption consultant does not mean you're guaranteed a perfectly easy, lightening fast adoption. Average wait time at CAC once you’ve applied to multiple agencies is 6-10 months to match. That’s the average so that also means you could match sooner or you could match later. If you’re one of the families who is matched before that 6 month time, that’s a wonderful thing! Everyone wants to be that fast whirlwind story, but most adoptions don’t happen that way. If you’re more in that 6-10 month range, take heart-that’s the experience for the majority of CAC families. If it takes longer than 10 months to match with an expectant mom, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, or that you aren't meant to adopt, or that you are doomed! Your wait is still going to be absolutely worth it when your baby is in your arms, no matter how long it takes.

**As a side note, one of the large variables to your wait time is how open you are in your adoption preferences (gender, ethnicity, drug or alcohol use, level of openness, etc) but even that doesn’t ultimately determine anything because at the end of the day, it’s all about God’s timing. There is no way for you or me to perfectly predict when He will bring your child to you.

3) Remember, exposure to more adoption situations doesn't mean presenting your profile each week.
If you work with a consultant, you'll be taking a multi-agency approach and that providers greater exposure to available adoptive situations which can cut down the wait time considerably. That doesn’t mean our families see a situation every day or every week. On the flip side, there may be weeks when our families see multiple situations. When someone takes a typical approach to adoption and only works with one agency, it's not uncommon to wait 2-3 years to be matched, sometimes barely presenting your profile much at all during those years. (This is not the case with everyone, but it's common for many who stick with just one agency.) Families working with CAC are in a great position since they are typically seeing many more situations than they would be if they were just with one agency.

4) Remember, your consultant is on your team!
This probably sounds ridiculous to even point out but it's still important to remember! Just like you can't make your baby come to you, I can't either. What I can do is pray, and guide, and support and educate you but I cannot tell you what to do in any given situation and I cannot bring your child to you! My heart as a consultant is for my families. I carry them on my heart. I pray for them, I cry for them and with them, and my heart breaks as theirs does. But I can't make someone's adoption happen-only God can bring them their child.

5) Remember, God is working in your wait.
Waiting is not purposeless! Press hard into the Lord during your wait. Waiting is so hard but it’s not worthless. God is in the wait. He wants to draw you to Himself and help you trust in Him. He wants to show you His love and His grace. He wants to increase your heart of love for the women in crisis pregnancies. He wants to lift your gaze away from yourself to Him. God is using the wait to bring your child to you and He is using the wait to bring you more to His throne of grace. He is able to give you all the help that you need during your wait.

I've got to be honest with you though-none of this completely diminishes the hard of waiting in adoption. But fighting to remember these things can help your heart. Waiting doesn't have to break you-it can make you! It can make you more and more into His image.
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

God's Relentless Pursuit: Adoption Guest Post


Watching God do incredible things through CJ and Andrea's adoption back in 2014 when they were working with Christian Adoption Consultants was an amazing privilege. They are family who deeply loves God, deeply loves one another, and deeply loves adoption. I asked Andrea if she would share some reflections on adoption for the blog today and I'm so glad she was eager to do so. Enjoy!


My husband and I never planned on adoption. Some people are born knowing. Some people know at a young age. Some people know early in their family planning that adoption will be a part of it. This was not us. We had one child. Then two. Then three. And they were perfect and wonderful and beautiful, and they completed our family.   

But God thought not. God whispered in my ear within a few months of #3 making her grand entrance. And after I ignored that whisper, he yelled it loudly. So my husband and I prayed. For over two years, we prayed. And through many lame excuses and a whole lot of doubt, God pursued us relentlessly until we gave him our yes. 

In the adoption process, there can be a lot of fear; so many unknowns. And so much that was out of our control. So we wanted to control what we could, and that meant a closed adoption. Neat and tidy. I think God face-palmed in that moment and sighed. What an amazing opportunity to pour out the love of Christ, and we rejected it. But He worked on us and in us, and by the time we were filling out the paperwork, we were on board with whatever situation God sent our way. And He gave us Levi and his beautiful birth mama. 

We have a semi-open adoption. We have met her once, but once was enough for us to love her. We communicate only via the agency. And I think it is crazy that we ever thought we wanted a closed adoption because our hearts long for more. What a gift she placed in our arms. And, with a few years of parenting under her belt, she knew how her heart would break. When we walked away with Levi, my heart broke for hers. In those moments, my emotion was not wrapped up in the sweet child God had given us, but in the sweet sacrifice that she had made. I was filled to overflowing with a love for her, basically a stranger, who was now and will forever be entangled in our lives. 

When I think about our adoption, I do not see our perfect little family blessing a baby in need, but rather a strong, courageous woman blessing a family in need. Because, though we didn't see it at the time, we needed Levi. We have learned more from him than he will likely ever learn from us. And for that, we are eternally grateful. 
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Adoption Guest Post: Don't Waste the Wait


No one likes to wait. It's frustrating and it's stretching and it's just plain hard. Right now Will and Candice are in the thick of that really difficult part of the adoption journey-they are waiting for an expectant mama to choose them. I'm honored to be walking with them as their adoption consultant at Christian Adoption Consultants and I'm so glad I get to share Candice's heart with you today!



Guest Post by Candice: Don't Waste The Wait. 

In the process
In the waiting
You're making melodies over me
And your presence 
Is the promise
For I am a pilgrim on a journey
~Shepherd (Bethel Music)

In all honesty, the adoption wait has been a little harder on me than I thought it would be. After dealing with fertility issues before and after our son, Liam, I thought I had this waiting thing down. "No biggie, I've done this many times before..." I was wrong.

As I sit here, I think of all the times I've just repeated Psalm 13 in my head: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?" And sometimes, on hard days, I still do. But as look back over the past couple of years, I see how Jesus has worked on my heart, how He has changed my desires and tuned my heart to His. Honestly, none of that would have happened without this wait, as He drew me near and as I leaned into Him. I don't want to waste this wait because, let's be real, none of this is really about me. God is using this for His glory...yes, even this wait.

Listen, He really does meet us in it all. Sometimes I'm tempted to get bitter and compare my situation with those around me. Everywhere I look, people are growing their families with ease. But then I'm reminded that Jesus knows me better than anyone else, better than I know myself. He knows what He is doing, and working behind the scenes even if I doubt it sometimes. There have been times when I have felt so forgotten only to immediately hear Him whisper, "I see you...I know you."

Our awesome adoption consultant, Katie, reminded me that I don't have to feel bad when weary days creep up. She told me, "It's okay to be weary. God knows that some days we will feel like that and so that's why He made a point to speak to that in His Word. Keep clinging to Him!"

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

And she's right, all I can keep doing is clinging to Him.  In fact, I'm sure that's exactly where He wants me.

"Be joyful in hope..."  Romans 12:12
Image Credit: Lauren Carns


Thanks for sharing your heart with us, Candice! It's so beautiful to see Him working in you during the wait! (You can follow Candice's blog over here.)
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Matt and Jacque's Adoption Story: Trusting His Heart


This sweet family has been built through the gift of adoption. They have learned that in the mysterious ups and downs of the process when you can't see what God's doing, you have to trust His heart. Matt and Jacque adopted their oldest son from Ethiopia several years ago and last March they contacted me at Christian Adoption Consultants about beginning a domestic adoption. They were quickly matched with a baby due Christmas Day. But their Christmas wasn't spent welcoming the baby they were waiting for. Instead, a very difficult situation ended in the expectant mom they were matched with choosing to parent.



A failed adoption is a heartbreaking experience to walk through and it can make a family want to quit the entire process. But when I talked with Jacque several days after Christmas she confidently said to me, "We're not giving up on adoption." They knew there was One holding their story in His hands and that He was not finished.



Less than a month later, they heard about a local situation...a baby boy was due very soon and needed a family. After walking through such devastating loss, deciding to put your heart out there on the line again is not an easy decision. I talked with Jacque for quite a while about the situation. We prayed and I hung up the phone unsure of how God would lead them. Later that day I got a text from Jacque:

"We just talked through it and prayed through it like crazy. Once we talked about it we realized the only thing holding us back was fear and we didn't want to look back and regret not doing it because we were fearful."




So they bravely moved forward and they are oh so glad that they did! This sweet guy was born at the end of January and so dearly loved. When they couldn't trace God's hand, they knew His heart was for them. Now we see that kindness so vividly displayed in the life of this little boy! Congratulations, Matt and Jacque!

**Photo credits: Breigh Allen
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For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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