Archive for June 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Guest Post: He Gives Good Gifts

I'm so grateful to my fellow CAC adoptive mama, Linnea, for her eagerness to share about the journey to her daughter, Sylvia...a journey with the unexpected news of Mosaic Down Syndrome. I sobbed when I read this the first time; I was freshly reminded that I am beautifully, wondrously made in God's image, and He loves me more deeply than I can imagine because I am His daughter. I think this is one of the most stirring and beautiful pieces ever posted on this blog and I am honored to share it with you!

(Guest post by Linnea)

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through the adoption process is how to give up control. When we first thought about adopting, I imagined a healthy young teenager who found herself with an unplanned pregnancy and needed to choose a good home for her child. A baby would need a home. We wanted a baby. Win – win. We understood that if we were willing to set aside any one of the qualifiers in the most demanded “healthy, white, infant” category, there were many babies that needed homes. So, we started our home study and our search for the infant daughter of any race that we felt God had saved space for in a hearts and home.

Part of the adoption process typically involves agencies asking parents to look through a grocery list of issues that could be in play in a potential adoption situation. We were to sit in our living room and put check marks by what we were ok with our baby dealing with. Blindness, mental illness, Down syndrome, alcohol exposure, cocaine, smoking, conception through rape, history of heart disease, brittle bone disease, asthma, cerebral palsy, cleft palate…. The list goes on and on. We believe all life is sacred, and every child should be wanted. Does that mean we need to be ok with all this stuff? What are we signing up for? What are we requiring of the children we already have? If I had a biological child who had some special needs, I wouldn’t worry about whether or not I should “take them on.” But, we need to be wise, right?

After wrestling with each concern, we determined that we were open to anything correctable (cleft palate, minor birth defects, etc.) and we would discuss drug/alcohol exposure on a case by case basis, but we would avoid situations with lifelong disabilities at play. We reasoned that we should allow margin for unforeseen needs to arise instead of maxing ourselves out at the start.

We presented to a lot of expectant mothers. The process of presenting involves having a profile book (basically a family scrap book) shown as one of 2-15 options for an expectant mother to consider for her adoption plan. We were not chosen many times. I stopped counting in the teens. If there were so many babies that needed homes, why did I feel like we were competing for babies? At that time, God impressed on me that being an option that doesn’t get chosen in an adoption plan is a ministry in and of itself. I tried to rest in that, but, let’s be honest. I hated the wait. I felt rejected. I wanted a baby.

After 6 months of presenting and not being chosen, we learned of a new situation. There was a family history with some risks and some difficult circumstances throughout the pregnancy. At the time, I was studying Gideon and how God had asked him to drastically reduce the size of his army so it would be clear who was winning the victory. At that time, I felt like God was telling me to reduce some of the control I felt I needed over the circumstances surrounding a potential adoption situation. I needed to reduce my armies and let God fight for our baby. So, we presented and were matched!

We travelled to Florida to meet our expectant mother and get a peek at the baby through an ultrasound. It was a surreal and amazing experience. We were so excited! We came home and got everything ready. We chose a name.

Then, we got a call saying that our expectant mother had had a blood test which showed a very high possibility that the baby had Down syndrome. We could back out of the match with no penalty. We had not checked the box for Down syndrome.

But, we weren’t sitting in our living room with a grocery list of issues now. She wasn’t a hypothetical. I had her ultrasound picture in my Bible. She had a name. No. We were committed. She was already loved and so very wanted. I had been preparing for almost a year to breastfeed her. I sent this e-mail to our close family:

I'm not sure how all you are processing the possibility of a special needs grandchild/niece/nephew. But, I'm so grateful for your support through this process. And, I know she's got an army of people waiting to love on her. It's not long now.

Whatever her needs are, I just. want. her. Will having a special needs child be hard? Without a doubt. But, I'll know her and have her and they'll just be her needs, not a catalog of potential needs that I read on the internet. We'll study her and love her and figure out what she needs and use all our resources to help her. And, we'll get her - in our arms, at my breast. 
At the end of the day, we've got to trust God. We've asked him to bless us with another child 
Luke 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 
If she has Downs, we are not legally bound to adopt her. We could bail and get our money back. But we won't. I feel like God has impressed on me that doing that would be rejecting a huge blessing that He has for us. 
Do I feel a bit overwhelmed at times? yes. Inadequate? yes. Afraid? yes. But, it turns out that God's strength is made perfect in weakness. So, I get to anticipate His mighty work in our family, in me, in my other kids.
We trust him for His good gifts. We can't wait. 12 more days....

When Sylvia was born, she was perfect – just beautiful. She didn’t seem to have the classic physical markers for Down syndrome – no single crease in her hands, no extra skin at the nape of her neck, no wide space between her big toe and the others… But, wait. Her tiny pinky bent in a bit at the end. Her eyes… were they almond shaped? Was she a little “floppy”? I asked the doctor. They did some genetic testing. Two weeks later, we learned that Sylvia has mosaic Down syndrome.

Mosaic Down syndrome is a type of Down syndrome where some cells in the body have an extra 21st chromosome and some do not. Every type of body tissue may have a different percentage of affected cells, so there is really no way to predict what kind of impact the extra chromosomes will have on the growth and development of the child. All of the risks common to the Down syndrome diagnosis apply, but individuals with mDs often have a milder clinical presentation.

So… here we are a year later. Sylvia is such a joy. She’s a healthy, happy, vigorous little girl. She meets milestones on her own timeline. She rockets around on her belly in a very speedy army crawl. She climbs up to snuggle anyone who sits on the floor. She just started giving slobbery kisses. She’s got her own team of therapists, both professional and in the form of two big brothers and a big sister. We don’t know what the future holds for her, but we’re all in it together. And, I’m so thankful that we get to face the unknowns with her in our arms.

Give me a list of all her disabilities and challenges. I want to check “yes” for every last one.
For more information about domestic infant adoption, please contact me at

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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. 
For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at

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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. 
You can read more about David and Sarah's beautiful adoption story here . Please contact me at 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 for an application and information packet or to learn more!

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