Working on our profile

We are nearing the end of our paperwork. At least I hope. ūüôā Tomorrow we mail out a packet which will retain us with Kirsh & Kirsh. Hallelujah! The final thing we need to work on is our letter to the birth mom which will include our family profile. Our goal is to have it done by the end of next week. This profile will be looked at by birth moms and they will use our profile to select us to be parents to their child. We feel like it’s our most important document that we have worked on so far. I started writing it awhile ago, bits and pieces here and there. But, I struggle. What do you say to a woman who is choosing to give you the greatest gift? A gift of sacrifice and love? Needless to say my heart is heavy. Last week I googled birthmom blogs. I was curious about them and was hoping that some kept a blog so I could get a small glimpse of their emotions. What I found were women who were raw; healing; and those who would forever process the decision to give part of themselves away. I found myself coming to terms with my own ignorance of the day our baby will be born and we are handed him/her. It will be our greatest joy to hold them, yet there will be a woman leaving the hospital empty handed and with an empty heart. I had never really thought about it until just a few weeks ago. We go home with a family yet she goes home with grief and pain. The Lord continues to lay on my heart how much she needs our prayers. Not just during her pregnancy but for a lifetime afterwards. Oh, how I pray that through this storm, she will find Jesus. The ultimate Healer. Comforter. Father. I have no idea where God is leading us, but I do know our birth mom will be just as much a gift as our baby. We will be gaining 2 people in our family not just 1. Will you join us in praying for her? We continue to meditate on our verse for 2012: “Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:7 We pray you are having a wonderful summer so far. We are having a blast:) XOXO

Advertisements

God’s Ways Are Higher

If there is anything I have come to know and believe wholeheartedly it is this truth. Isaiah 55:9 says:For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” God sees the big picture and knows full well that the path He has me on and you on is better than anything we could each imagine. Sometimes it’s so hard to understand, isn’t it? Last week, I thought I was pregnant. I was more than confident, actually. The thought was all-consuming. Before I took a pregnancy test, I texted a¬†few people close to me¬†and asked them to pray that no matter what, there wouldn’t be any disappointment. ¬†Thankfully, the test was negative. No, that wasn’t a type-o; I DID say thankfully. ūüôā I can’t say there wasn’t ANY¬†disappointment. Right afterwards, I ate Milk Duds and ice cream for dinner. But after that, I was so happy. So happy that tears came to my eyes, even right now as¬†I write this. If I became pregnant, our adoption would have to be put on hold. And that thought brought sadness to Adam and I as we talked about “what if”. Even though physically there isn’t a baby growing, there is one growing in both of our hearts. The idea of that baby being lost brought so much more sadness to us than the negative sign on a pregnancy test. I am overjoyed that we still have our baby, the baby God has designed perfectly for us. Sometimes we feel like he/she is so close, other days it feels so far away. But we continue to trust. I continue to be amazed at how God works; the way He allows His plans to overtake our own and how He changes our mindset. If you had told me months ago that I would be excited to see a negative sign on a pregnancy test, I wouldn’t have believed you. Wow, God is so good. “…My ways are higher than your ways …”
I am so grateful for the blessing of adoption and that this is the way God has designed our family to be created. I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect.

The beautifully hard road of adoption

This past week I have been reading through the book “Orphanology”, written by my brother and sister-in-law’s friend Tony Merida. Tony and his wife Kim have adopted 5 kids: 4 from the Ukraine and 1 from Ethiopia. I was blessed to meet these precious kids 2 years ago when I was in New Orleans. My favorite part of the book? Opening it up to see the signatures of each of these sweet children…such a vivid reminder of their changed lives.
One of the stories Tony mentions has really challenged me. A couple gave their adoption experience~ it was challenging and hard. A true roller coaster. But then they equated it to the suffering that Jesus endured to adopt us into His family. He gave His LIFE to make us His sons and daughters. Shouldn’t it be a joy, then, to endure suffering to adopt a little one into our family?
This thought has resonated with me the past few days. Jesus didn’t quit because the road was hard. He knew the pain and agony He was going to experience, yet He loved me and you so much that He finished the course. He endured ridicule, betrayal, and physical pain..because of His great love for US!
I think of Jesus’ walk up to Calvary. His final moments on earth. That walk must have seemed like it¬†was taking¬†forever. There have been days when Adam and I have felt like that…will we make it to the end? Then I think of the man on the side of the road that carried Jesus’ cross for Him because He was struggling. The heavy burden of the cross became overwhelming. That man is each of you~ You have carried our cross for us on so many days. I have saved every text, e-mail, voicemail, card that you have sent us. Adam and I are blessed by each of you. The road Jesus travelled for me to become His daughter¬†was hard, painful, yet beautiful. This is the same for our baby.
As I reflect on what Jesus endured to adopt me, the love I have for this baby is overflowing. What a joy it is to press on for the fatherless and to bring “the lonely into families.” (Psalm 68:6)
Have you been adopted by God? Adam and I have..and would love to tell you how He can be your Father. He is waiting for you and continues to fight for you. His deepest desire is to finalize your adoption.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy
and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us
to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ,
in accordance with His pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1:4-5

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called the children of God!And that is what we are! 1John 3:1

Homestudy finally approved!

We finally found out from Carol, our social worker, that our homestudy has been submitted and approved! I’m not sure who was more excited, Adam and I or our social worker:) It took a year to get it done and out of the way..we are so thankful!
Now we are looking for a placement agency. Carol recommended that we look outside of Massachusetts since we are requesting a Caucasian infant. She recommended 2 attorneys in Indiana that specialize in adoption placements and adoption law. I spoke to them this past week and really liked them. He was very upfront which I loved. We don’t want anything sugar coated for us at this point.¬†We just want¬†the real deal. Altho, he wasn’t thrilled that we are Pats fans..ha:) He said we could only work with them if we burned our¬†Brady jerseys and wore Indy shirts. At first I¬†said “Fat chance” but said¬†that we are willing to do anything at this point if it meant moving¬†us along faster. ūüôā¬†There is one more place we are going to look into, but are leaning towards the firm in Indiana.
We also can now start looking into applying for grants and scholarships. There are so many fabulous agencies out there who are looking to help offset the costs of adoption. The main one we are looking into is¬†Show Hope (www.showhope.org) founded by Steven Curtis Chapman. Him and his wife’s ministry is amazing!
Next steps: we need to get FBI fingerprinted and work on our adoption profiles to submit to our placement agency. Our profile is our biography and will be shown to expectant moms who are deciding to make an adoption plan for their baby. We believe that the right woman will see our story and all of our lives will change. We continue to pray for her.
Tomorrow, we are getting pictures taken for our profile by our dear friend, Terri who is also an adoptive mother.
We continue to put our faith in God’s timing and His sovereignty. He is faithful, bottom line, and we trust in that. Thanks for checking in on us:)

Two Paths

When Adam and I decided to change our focus to domestic adoption, I started to think about the new possibilities and the new people God would put on our path. The way God brings people into our lives is amazing, isn’t it? We have seen Him work in pretty awesome ways in our own lives and we don’t doubt that this will be any different.
A couple of nights after we made our decision, I started thinking about this certain young woman. This young woman who will be making the ultimate sacrifice of love which will allow us to become a mom and dad. My heart was heavy for her. Not knowing these thoughts, my sister-in-law brought her up in a recent conversation and said “Your paths are about to cross.”¬†Who knows where she is right now, but she is heading down a path that will bring her into crisis. Yet, the result of her crisis will become our greatest joy. As we sit here waiting, she is searching, wandering. How I wish I could tell her that we are on the other side waiting and there is hope. Kind of like how God is speaking to us right now. He knows the end of this story; we just need to trust. There is hope. Our stories are so similar. I’m starting a journal for her and am planning on giving it to her when we meet. My prayer is that through her own struggles and pain, the result will end in her finding contentment in Jesus, just as I have found.
Adam and I have shifted focus in not just praying for this baby but also for its’ other mom. Will you pray for us as we continue on in deciding how we can reach out to her, whenever our paths are meant to cross?

“And we know that God causes everything
to work together for the good
of those who love God
 and are called according to His purpose for them.
Romans 8:28ÔĽŅ

Changes

It’s been awhile since I had given an update. Over the last 2 weeks, things have changed quite a bit. 2 weeks ago, we received an e-mail from our agency in North Carolina stating that the Moldovan government is still dragging its’ feet with changing and revising adoption laws. Currently there are 4 families in our agency who have been in limbo for a year and the social workers are working hard to get them moving. Unfortunately, they aren’t even going to be looked at til May. Which means we still could not begin the paperwork we need to. Our program director has also said that it appears that the youngest children available will be 5 year olds and we had given a range of 2-4. She said we are looking at at least another 1 1/2 year wait. After much discussion and prayer, we feel God has closed this door for right now. This decision has been so hard to make. With it, has come alot of anger, sadness, and guilt. In our kitchen, I have a collage of pictures from our past trips and as I look at those pictures, I see Hope/Noah and I wonder if we are turning our back¬†on a baby in Moldova. I know in reality that isn’t true, but the feeling is still real. I am angry at Mother’s Day and pregnancies and paperwork.
I share all of this to say, that despite all of that, God is faithful. I was writing that short statement out this morning and it reminded me greatly¬†that YES, the Lord has been so faithful to us! I see His fingerprints over the last year in so many areas.¬†I¬†was tempted to sit and think of how much we wasted this last year and the Lord has reminded me this morning that this year was a gift, really. A year for growing our marriage, growing us as individuals and growing in our knowledge of who the Lord is to us. God’s timing is never a waste. How thankful I am for the way He is active even in waiting periods. Adam and I trust Him; we believe in His promises to us; and we believe that His way is perfect.
Our plan is to move forward with a domestic adoption. We are praying for an infant and are so excited to see where God leads. My friend Noelle was saying how exciting it is to think that Hope/Noah are so close to us! Yes!:) Wherever this baby is, we love it so much already…we can’t wait to see their cute face:)
The wait seems to still be long, between 1-2 years, but who knows, it could be shorter.

Our verse for 2012:
“Be still in the presence of the Lord
and wait patiently for Him to act.” Psalm 37:7

Please continue to pray for us. We covet and treasure your prayers! We love you.

Hope/Noah’s first Christmas..in our hearts:)

As we celebrated this Christmas, we did it with anticipation that it was our last one with just the two of us. We received the most precious gift from my brother Scott and sister-in-law Dana (or, sister-in-love, as Dana says.) They gave us a beautiful hope chest filled with gifts for Hope/Noah. I loved seeing the little dress for Hope and Spider Man pajamas for Noah. They also gave us the Jesus Storybook Bible with audio CD’s to help them learn English faster. We just can’t wait to read to them and share with them Jesus’ love. And we can’t wait to read our book “Orphanology” by Tony Merida, who is friends with Scott and Dana. Tony and his wife Kim adopted 4 children from the Ukraine and one boy from Ethiopia. We loved opening up the book and seeing their children’s precious names written in the front cover…a reminder of the redemption of adoption.
These¬†were our first baby gifts and they¬†served as a great reminder to us that there is a precious child on the other side of our paperwork, there is someone waiting for us despite all the delays, and God’s perfect plan will be revealed in His timing. I can’t begin to describe how encouraging this gift was to us!

We pray you had a blessed Christmas with your family and friends. I know Adam and I enjoyed every moment with our family and are looking forward to the year ahead!