Saturday, June 27, 2015

We're Matched: The Story

Here's the story of how we were matched: 

On Wednesday, June 24th, we woke up to two emails that let us know that we were not chosen for two baby boys that were already born. We had been waiting on news from these two cases since Saturday and I was pretty weary with waiting. I keep two lists on my phone: one of cases we've seen/presented on and one of the current birthmothers who were seeing our profile. That morning the total number of cases we had seen stood at 33 and I deleted the last two birthmoms on our list. At the moment, we weren't presenting to any birthmoms. 

Over the weekend and beginning of the week, I was really struggling with how to deal with ALL the emotions that adoption brings. It wasn't that I was necessarily sad per say, but I felt a jumble of about 100 different emotions: sadness that we hadn't been matched yet, happiness for families who were, weariness of the journey/roller coaster of hope/disappointment,... We had finished painting the baby's room over the weekend and actually assembled the crib. Strangely the room gave me hope, not sadness, though I did close the door on Wednesday morning. 

Normally, on Wednesdays I babysit but this week I wasn't because M had had a tummy bug Sunday/Monday and we didn't want to risk spreading germs. She was feeling better on Wednesday and I decided that she'd be ok to go to the pool for a bit for H's swim lessons. My best friend and the girls' "Auntie" usually goes to the pool with us. We left a little early because I was taking a baby seat to a friend to borrow for her little guy who wasn't sleeping well. Just looking at that little empty seat tugged at my heartstrings, as I loaded it in the van. 

On the way to the pool, my phone rang. I usually try not to answer my phone while driving but I saw that it was our adoption consultant J. My first thought was that she was calling to encourage us after we hadn't been chosen for the other two babies. I almost didn't answer the phone! J called to say that we had mistakenly been told that one of the birthmoms we had chosen to present to a couple of weeks ago had chosen another family. Apparently, she hadn't chosen yet and now wanted to have a phone conference with us later that afternoon. I'm pretty sure I should have pulled over and that Auntie was afraid for her life because of my driving! 

I quickly called Kurt and made sure that he'd be available. We weren't sure if the birthmom was actually talking to other families or if she just wanted to talk with us alone. I was just so happy that I would actually be able to talk with her and to be able to tell her how much we cared for her and the baby, instead of just depending on our photo book. I'm pretty sure I could have swam a million laps at the pool with all the nervous energy I had! We left swim lessons around 5:05 and I needed to be home by 6:00 for the call. I have never been more prone to complain about traffic in our city as I was at that point! 

I made it home with time to spare, got the girls settled with a snack and a movie and pulled Kurt off a work phone call because I just knew that he'd keep talking till 6! We went over a few things that our consulting group had given us to help coach us on a phone call with a birth mom. Within a few minutes, the phone rang. There was a social worker on the call with us the entire time and she helped to break the ice a bit. The birthmom had such a sweet voice. She asked us a few questions about our children, our ages, and where we lived. We chatted about Utah, our honeymoon, and about our family. We laughed when she wanted to know how old I was because I "looked younger than her!" I assuered her I was 31:).  It was such a surreal conversation. I told her we were glad to be able to hear her voice and we were both able to express how much we wanted to grow our family and how much we did care about her and the baby--that we were praying for her! I asked her what she liked about our profile book and she said that she thought our family "looked so happy." We were able to share why we had wanted to adopt for a long time and about the fact that biological children were no longer a possibility for us.  The phone call was about 25 minutes long and we ended it by letting her know that if she thought of any more questions, we'd love to chat. 

What do you do after a phone call like that? What do you begin to do with the waiting that now commences? Well, I flew to the bathroom, got dressed, and went out with two wonderful gals! Ha! I had plans to go out with two dear friends to celebrate one friend's birthday and I was pretty thankful for such a distraction. Honestly, I thought we were in for another long wait. Even if she said "no", I felt this strange peace that at least we had been able to talk to her and share our hearts. Around 7:00pm, I got a text from K asking when I'd be home. He often texts me that when I am out, so I didn't really pay attention to it. We were eating dinner and doing what girls do best--talking, when my phone rang around 7:30pm. K was calling and though I didn't want to get my hopes up, I thought maybe he had "heard something." When I answered, I could hear the girls saying, "Roses are red, violets are blue, we each have a sister and now we're getting a brother too!" For a second, I was just plain confused/shocked/unsure of what I had heard. Kurt picked up the phone and said that he couldn't wait to tell me--the birth mom had chosen us as the forever family for her baby!! My friend D, started taking pictures during the phone conversation, so you can see how shocked and surprised I was. I think I sat through the rest of that dinner and ice cream in a daze. I didn't cry or scream, but I couldn't get this crazy grin off my face. I wanted to jump up and down. I wondered why the whole world hadn't broken out into song like a Disney movie?! 

After dropping my friend off, I was finally in the car alone on the way home. I just had to let out one giant, praise-worthy scream! How wonderful that God could take the grief of the morning and turn into into utter joy and thankfulness 12 hours later! How amazing that even when we thought we had no more possibilities, that He brought about such a surprise! How He must have smiled at my closing the door to the nursery that morning when He knew I would fling it open with joy later that night! 
After calling friends and family, K and I lay awake for a long time, talking about and praying for our SON! Yes, he no more belongs to us than our daughters do--they belong to God, but how precious that we are going to be able to parent this little boy and have a relationship with him. We prayed for our sweet birthmom, for her grieving heart, and we thanked God that she had chosen life when so many others would have chosen death for this baby. We pray that we can have some relationship with her--that we can share the eternal hope we have in Christ with her. 

This morning, I am writing on the other side of  two long days of figuring out how to pay our match fees and getting all of that taken care of. Even in the past two days, with our joy, we struggled when we realized our original loan wasn't going to work the way we'd thought (and our match fee was higher than we had anticipated) and we watch as God provided us with another opportunity for a loan that ended up being better than the first and working out perfectly. What a miracle! 

One of the best moments might be H's reaction when we told her that we are hopefully bringing home a baby BOY in August! Her eyes lit up and she said "Really, a brother?" I could see her little brain going through the months of the year, realizing that August comes after July, her birthday month, and that it was soon. M was originally adamant about still wanting a sister, but she came around after a few minutes and decided a brother would love her toys and her Jesse (from Toy Story) hat! She did say she wasn't giving him her Frozen room! Ha ha! 

How soon and how far away August 10th seems! Another beautiful little irony that God worked out is that this baby has the same due date that H had! We have a lot to do before our little one arrives! We have fundraising to complete, travel to Utah to figure out...but I know the most important thing we have to do is to pray for our baby and and to pray diligently for our birthmom and love on her as much as we can! Please keep our family, our birthmom, and our baby boy in your prayers. We also have a long way to go financially, so please pray for provision there. 

Psalm 139: 14
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.1
gWonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15  hMy frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in ithe depths of the earth.
16  Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your jbook were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a]and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29: 11-13

Thursday, June 25, 2015

We're MATCHED: Week 14

We got the phone call yesterday evening, saying we had been selected by a precious birthmother, whom we'd had a phone conference with a few hours before! We are over-the-moon excited that a baby BOY will be joining our family on or around August 10th! 

I will update the blog later with the full and wonderful story (to God be the glory!!!) but I wanted to post the news and share that we are in need of your prayers and help as we move forward. This adoption is right at the top of our price-range and, while we are thankful to have a few no-interest loans we can use right now, we have a long way to go to be able to pay for everything. We know that God will provide 100% for our needs and we are excited to see how He accomplishes, what in our eyes seems, such a daunting task. 

Here are a few ways you can help today: 

The "best" way to help is to make a tax-free donation to our Adopttogether account! This is a wonderful program where adopttogether can directly pay our adoption agency (we never handle the money) and you get a tax-free donation! Even if you can only donate a few dollars, it would be much appreciated in bringing our son home! Here is the link: 

Another way you can help is to purchase a t-shirt through our Bonfire Funds fundraiser. These shirts are the same ones we did in a previous fundraiser and we love them. The quality is great. If you are ordering a Ladies Fit shirt please order up a size. Otherwise, please order your normal size. They are true to size other than the Ladies Fit. The kids shirts seem to run a bit big, but kids grow!! We receive a portion of the funds from the t-shirt sales. 

To purchase use this link: 

More than anything we appreciate your prayers for us, our birth mother and our precious son! Thank you! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Week 13: We're Active

For me, it has been one of those antsy weeks when I feel totally geared up and wanting to "do" something. Usually, that manifests itself in some household project followed by not sleeping as well. The project this go around has been to paint what will be the nursery. I finished everything except near the ceiling, which I will leave to K, mainly because (a) I am afraid of heights and ladders make me dizzy (b) I am too messy of a painter to do that well! As for the not sleeping well, I did have some nights of tossing and turning, but nothing too drastic. Since I have the world's smallest bladder, I usually wake up, go to the bathroom, and then lie awake thinking of a million different things--adoption, paint colors, new sheets, what I'll cook for dinner...typical stuff, ya know?! 

Since our update last week, we presented to two birthmoms whose babies had already been born. One of those mothers really wanted a very diverse family for her child, so we can understand why she didn't choose us. The other birthmom changed her mind after deciding to present based on a religious specification--she decided wants an LDS family for her baby. I've had her on my mind a lot today, as K did a bit of missions work to LDS in the past. My heart is heavy for her, as I pray she will truly seek Christ and that her baby will have an opportunity to hear the gospel when he grows older. 
Two other birthmoms have our book right now and we are praying that they are able to make the best decision for their babies. 

Today, I was reading an adoption story where the adoptive mom mentioned that she found such purpose in waiting for a match because she was able to pray for each of the birthmoms that they presented to, and even though they didn't match with these moms, that God had clearly called her to pray for them and that mama and baby needed her prayers. Even though we are anxious to be matched, I too have found a joy and a deeper understand of the desperate reality that many of these birthmoms are living through in being able to pray for them and their little ones. Each situation tugs at my heart in a different way, but all make me strongly desire to not only become an adoptive mom but to also do something to help these women--prayer, service, donations....I'm not sure what that will look like but I am praying that God will reveal a way that He can use me to aid these women in their hour of desperation. I am also extremely hopeful that we will be able to form a relationship with our birthmom and show her God's love. If adoption is about anything, it's love. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weeks 11 and 12: We're Active!

Week 11: I missed posting last week because we had an impromptu visit to STL for K's job. Since the girls didn't start swim lessons until this week and they have those for the rest of June, we decided to take the opportunity to visit family there! 

While we were out of town we were able to get our new profile book done and get a final copy. It looks fabulous and we were very pleased with the results! Other than finishing our book, we had a pretty quiet week adoption-wise. We heard one "no" from a case that we'd found out about the Saturday before we left (which never gets easier to hear) but otherwise we had no new presentations on the table the entire week we were there. 

In a way, it felt like we were able to take a breather and almost start again with a new book--and new hope. We haven't been waiting long in comparison to other couples and we are not blind to that fact, but I am sure any adoptive parent would say that no matter how long the wait, it was very hard to bare and yet 100% worth it! We don't know how long of a wait we have to be matched or to have our precious baby in our arms, but we know it will be worth the wait! 

While we were in STL, we were able to spend lots of time with family. We had a busy week celebrating M's birthday with family. She helped grandma make a special birthday cake and had fun blowing out the candles again! We also had lots of fun with cousins and we were able to go to the Zoo and have a special girl's cousins night. 

While the girls were busy with cousins, I was able to spend time with two of my best girl friends and it was so refreshing to be able to go out for some "mommy time" with them! 

Here are some photos from our trip: 

 M didn't want to take her eyes off the seals! 

This might be my favorite photo of the girls! M, of course, had a rock in her shoe and missed it! 

Week 12: We started out the week with swim lessons for M and she is loving it! She has the same teacher she adored last year and this year is not at all shy! H will start lessons during the next two week session but she's enjoying going to the pool every day. I have to admit that I am already kinda tired of going every day! Ha ha! 
Adoption-wise, we have three new precious birth moms to present our new book to this week. One of those moms has a little one who is already born. The other babies are due later in July/August. We should hear back from these by the end of the week/early next week. It's so much harder for me to wait for an answer after reading the birthmom/baby info and saying "yes" to presenting. I know there is a real possibility that one of these birthmoms will choose us and that is exciting but it's heart wrenching to wait and to know that "no" is a very real possibility too. At this point, I think "no" seems to be the answer we almost expect to hear. However, we have a new book and, of course, bigger than books or anything else is God's plan and how it is unfolding according to His purpose, in His time. 
Please pray for these birthmoms. They have chosen life for their sweet babies and are in the process of making one of the most difficult decisions they may ever face. They are so brave and selfless. Please pray for the little ones--for health. for their futures with their forever families. Please pray for us--for patience, peace, and the ability to love our birthmom in a big way when the time comes. 

Today, I overheard the girls talking about "our new baby". H was diligently trying to convince M that a brother would be the best. She was selling it by saying that they'd have a "boy room" in our house with lots of boy toys (now these girls play with bugs, trains, trucks, and cars too!). M wasn't having that and was adamant about needing a "little sister". It was so funny to hear them talking, but it also brought tears to my eyes too. They have so much love to give as sisters and they are anxiously waiting for "their baby" to come home too! As much as my arms ache to hold our next precious little one, I know theirs are aching to wrap around their new brother or sister as well. I guess it never occurred to me that they might be also feeling the anxiety of waiting and the unknown right now--in their own childlike ways. Please pray for H and M, as they prepare for a new sibling and for their precious hearts as they wait too! 

Thank you for praying for us.