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Adoption Story: Corey and Brittany

I adored working with this sweet family and I'm excited to have Brittany sharing their story today!  Corey and Brittany got started with CAC last September and by mid-October they were sending off applications to our multiple agencies.  ONE month later they were presenting for the second time and would find out a week later that they had been CHOSEN!  Brittany shares more below...

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Our story began our eleventh grade year in high school. We fell in love from day one! We knew then we wanted a family. We got married in college, but we waited until we graduated to start our family. After a year of being married we began trying to conceive. After a year of negative pregnancy tests, I decided to go to the doctor to see what was going on, and found out I have PCOS. She referred me to an infertility specialist where we later found out that surgery and IVF were our only options to conceive. After lots of talk and lots of prayer, we decided that was not the route for us. We felt like God was pushing us towards adoption. I always had this feeling that God had this plan for me, but I never acted on. We always had an open heart to adopting, but it was always in the back of our minds to pursue later in life.  God kept pushing it forward-constantly.


We finally listened in November 2016 then we started with Christian Adoption Consultants and they walked us through every step of the way.  Each new part of adoption was nerve wracking - we went through home study and we had help from CAC, Leah, creating profiles. After we were approved, we began praying on what agencies felt right for us.

We had our first situation presented to us in October, and what felt like forever waiting on one brave expectant mom’s decision. On my birthday, we found out that we were not the match for this baby. I cannot lie and say that was not hard... because it was extremely hard. Prayer on top of more prayer got us through it. It was easy for us to say what is wrong with us? Or why not us? Were we not worthy? However, it wasn't God's plan, and I had to keep praying hard about that. It’s always hard to hear no, but especially hard when it's your dream. God has bigger plans and He was moving those mountains for us that we couldn’t see yet! God had other plans for us. That is something I take from this experience, trusting in God’s perfect plan, and learning I'm not in control He is!


A few weeks later, we were presented with another situation and we felt that we should put our yes on the table again. This time it felt different, there was no worrying- no stress- just peace! On the night, our profile was presented my husband and I saw a shooting star! We took this as a sign from Heaven to have faith. So we waited...

On November 11th, (11/11/16), I got the best call, we were MATCHED! Our beautiful baby boy was on his way.  The one who had been growing in our hearts for years!  We had 106 days to prepare for Cooper to come into our lives and every day was like a roller coaster. There is always that unknown with adoption where anything can happen at any moment. All that got us through that time was prayer and comfort from the friends and family around you. We were able to have all the fun that any other couple that conceived naturally gets to have. We had baby showers, we went crib and changing table shopping, and we were able to buy him clothes, toys, and so much... SO MUCH more!

The days flew by, up until the last three weeks of our son’s birth mother’s pregnancy, and then it went by so slow! We had to be ready to go at any moment. I just prayed hard every day that God would complete His plan in our lives and that He would use His love to cover the birth family and help them make their decision.  



On March 2 at 7:11 AM, I received a message that said, “He is here and he is perfect!”, then a picture of our beautiful boy!  Normally by 7:11, I have already left for work, but that day I was running behind. As soon as I got the message, I ran into the bathroom to my husband and showed him!  We began making phone calls to our jobs and family, and then we started packing up the car! We hit the road on our 7 1/2 hour trip to our son’s birth state. It felt like an eternity. When your baby is sitting in the hospital waiting to feel your love every minute felt like an hour. When we FINALLY arrived we went straight to the hospital.

The first time we met Cooper both families were in the room. I was so nervous that it was going to feel strange and awkward walking into room with people you don't know, never having met them before. But, God took all those emotions away when the doors opened. It didn't feel strange at all. It felt like walking into a room of family and that's what they are -  we are family. Our son’s birth family will forever be in our lives as our family. When I got to see and hold Cooper it felt like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and all my prayers have been answered.

Our hospital stay was a unique. Cooper stayed with his birth mother for three days after his birth. This also gave me some worries, but I knew God was in control and if He brought us this far, He would take care of it. I also reminded myself that this was her time with him and that we will have a lifetime with him.  The day we were released from the hospital was one of the most emotional days I have ever experienced. There were happy tears, sad tears, tears of relief, and tears of thanks to God. There are no words that can glorify God enough! When we brought Cooper back to our home away from home (our extended stay hotel room), my mom, dad, and my husband’s mom were waiting to see our gift. They were so excited to meet him! Our family was always so supportive of us growing our family through adoption.



Fast-forward three months later and I fall more in love with my boy every day. Each moment of parenthood is full of love and learning. There is so much to take in, and it flies by. I hold him a little bit longer… kiss him a little too much… and stare at him for hours. God has blessed us more than we ever deserve, and we pray that we can raise our son for His Glory!

Considering adoption? I would love to chat with you! Shoot me an email - leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Adoption Story: Mitchell and Susie

I'm humbled that God has given me a front row seat at watching Him bring families together through adoption.  While I never know how a family's adoption journey will unfold, I've learned He has a better plan than we could imagine, and He can be trusted!  After my first phone call with Mitchell and Susie, I knew I was going to love working with their family.  I enjoyed getting to know them even more as I created their family profile and I was sure this fun-loving family was going to match quickly.  What expectant mom wouldn't adore them?!  With each "not yet" they heard, I found myself stumped as to why they had not been chosen yet.  In the end, it all made perfect sense when they were matched with their son's birthmom.  It just so happened that their son's birthmom delivered at a hospital less than a mile from my house and I was able to visit them at the hospital and snuggle their precious baby boy.  Such a treat!!  

Today Susie shares their family's story and all that God taught them along the way...

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Like many adoption stories, ours begins with infertility. Because we were married a little later in life, at 30 and 31, we started trying to have kids fairly early in our marriage, and after about a year of trying with no success, we started talking to doctors, and found out we wouldn’t be able to have kids the traditional way. I remember sitting in a urologist’s office in South Carolina when we were told the chances of us naturally conceiving were somewhere around 0%, and that simpler reproductive technologies probably weren’t going to work either. So, IVF was our only choice. We jumped in with both feet into the IVF process, and after our second transfer, we found out we were pregnant with our daughter. When she turned one, we began trying again, and over the course of the next year and a half, we had five more IVF transfers. Three of those ended in miscarriages, and we were devastated. We asked so many questions of God during the next two years of trying to have another child - were we not good enough parents to our daughter? What did we do wrong? Did I have too much caffeine one day? Did I not eat the right foods? Did we not pray hard enough? Was it because I hadn’t relied on God enough in my past that He was trying to “teach me a lesson?” (Probably, but not in the bitter way I was thinking it.) 



Around January or February 2016, we felt like we’d reached the end of the road with the medical interventions in the fertility process. Our doctor was encouraging us to try again - he said that I was perfectly healthy and that another try couldn’t hurt. We walked out of that last appointment and my husband said to me, “I really wish he would have mercy on us and tell us just to stop.” We decided to take time to pray and read our Bibles and figure out what to do next - embryo adoption? Traditional adoption? Pray for a miracle?

Finally, after mourning the loss of the dream of a second biological child, and setting aside the false pride of biology (“we” created our amazing daughter!), and after so much prayer, we sat down and talked and realized we felt clearly God’s call on our lives to adopt. We both felt He was saying, I DO want to grow your family, it’s just not going to be easy, or how you planned. It’s going to be hard, but so, so much better than you ever dreamed.



So, we had our first yes on the table - we were going to adopt domestically. From there, things took us on a journey that could only be God’s plan. As humans, we love to control things, but something I read during this journey said that the lie of adoption, and all of life, is that we are in control. But the beauty of adoption and life is that God is in perfect control and completely trustworthy.

I looked back at my emails just to be sure, but we finally decided to adopt around March 2016, and we contacted Christian Adoption Consultants in early April… which turned out to be just about the exact time our son was conceived. Isn’t God amazing? While we were mired in despair and praying about next steps, desperately desiring a second child, God was already answering our prayer! The truth here really is better than fiction - because when God is the author, He always writes the best stories.

We again jumped in with both feet and had an home study approving us to adopt by June 2016, and sent off applications to agencies at the beginning of July last year. Basically, at that point, all the “doing” was done, so that sense of control (that lie of control) was gone again. There were still choices being made, but they were not ours to make, really. We could choose the expectant moms we wanted to be presented to, but we couldn’t decide whether we were going to be chosen. We presented to 10 or 12 expectant moms, and kept hearing no. Cue the doubts again - God, why are you calling us to do this if you’re not going to answer our prayers? Is this some cruel joke? But when you ask God to do something for you, He often instead wants to do something IN you, and I think that was what was happening in the wait. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says, “I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.” So true - I needed to (and need to) learn that again, that I need to be able to wait. I don’t always need to have the next 20 steps planned out before I start. I simply can't trust in things turning out the way I planned, but I can trust in a good God who is faithful. In a God who is kind. In a God who is never slow in keeping his promises. 



One of the ways God encouraged us during the waiting time was through the financial support of our friends and family. I feel like it’s important to mention this, because this was the part of the process we dreaded most, if I’m being honest. We were so prideful and wanted to do it on our own, but we just were not going to be able to. We got good counsel from friends who called us out on our pride, and told us that we needed to be humble about this and that we would be denying the ability for others to participate in the joy of adoption if we did not seek support. Once we made the “ask,” people told us that they had wanted to help us during our fertility struggles but didn’t know how, and this gave them a tangible way to support us. I can tell you many stories of gifts that had me literally lying on the floor in humble adoration of the goodness of God and the generosity of our friends and family, but suffice it to say people gave so generously, that we were given way more than we even thought to ask for (isn’t that the way God is?), and while we used much of our savings, we did not have to go into debt to pursue adoption, which was such a huge blessing.

Everyone told us all along that when we got our “yes,” all of our “no’s” would make sense, and they were so right. In early January, we got a request to have a call with a mom we’d been presented to who was expecting a little boy, and we ended up having a call with her on January 5. We felt such peace from the first time we talked with our son’s mother. We were able to pray with her, laugh with her over similarities in our families, and even cry a little on that first call. The next morning, January 6, we found out we had matched with her! She was due January 27, so I planned to go shopping for some boy things the next weekend. Again - God surprised us with a plan much different than ours, and the following Thursday, one week after we first spoke with her, she called me at work to tell me she was having contractions. That night was a blur of packing, getting a last minute flight, but one moment that stands out was getting a text from a friend telling me to come over to borrow some newborn boy items. I drove over there late that evening and she and her husband prayed with me, giving me some calm in the midst of a whirlwind.



God was so faithful in all of the details of our son’s birth and arrival. I landed in Florida on the afternoon of Friday January 13, and I was able to spend about 24 hours with our son’s birth mom in the labor and delivery room. That was such a special time. She asked us to be in the delivery room for his birth, and my husband, who had driven down, walked into the hospital room at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, and our son was born 14 minutes later at 12:24. Our son’s birth mom asked me to cut the umbilical cord. It was seriously the best experience. We cannot say enough about how amazing she was through this whole process. Because it was a small hospital, and because they were very adoption-friendly, they set us up in a room that day, and our birth mother allowed our son to room in with us the entire time we were at the hospital. Before she was released from the hospital, she even had her pastor come and pray over our son with all of us, and her parents. It just was an unbelievable experience.

There’s so much more I could say, but I’ll try to wrap it up! I’ve been asked what it feels like to be a part of an adoption. There is great sorrow in the process of adoption (both in what God did for us and in the adoption of children here on Earth). It involves lots of brokenness on all sides - physical, emotional, spiritual. But, there is also GREAT JOY. Joy in having a son, joy in being a son. Yes, there is much heartache in the path of adoption, but the outcome is so, so good. It is worth it all! Thank you for taking the time to listen to a little piece of my story today. And since your story is likely very different from mine, I pray that you might feel encouraged wherever you are today - and in whatever present sufferings you might be experiencing.

I wanted to close with some of my favorite verses during this time, which kept coming up over and over in a way that couldn't be coincidental. I certainly will not say I always “rejoiced in our sufferings,” but in any event, I did find them encouraging, and hopefully you will too. It’s Romans 5:3-5, which says:

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.



We hoped and prayed for God to grow our family and He did. Hope did not disappoint us. I know it won’t disappoint you.


If you are interested in learning more about domestic adoption email me at leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Adoption Story: Drew and Delaney

Drew and Delaney got started with CAC this past November. Three months into the matching process, they found themselves anxiously waiting to hear if they had been chosen for a situation they were presenting to. While they were waiting to hear of the expectant mom’s decision, we heard about another potential adoption opportunity. This new situation was also a great fit for their family, and Delaney later confided in me that as soon as she read through the situation, she just knew it was their baby. They honored their commitment to other expectant mom they were presenting to and trusted God’s plan. If it was their little one, God would work out the details even if they had already missed the deadline for the second situation. What looked like a possible missed opportunity, was in fact the perfect situation God has planned for them all along! Delaney shares all the details.

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Drew and I decided early in our relationship that we wanted to pursue adoption as our way of growing a family. We had discussed beginning the process in the fall of 2017, but driving home from a trip last fall (2016), I told Drew that I felt like we needed to begin the process then. We found a home study agency and began the paperwork. Shortly after that we began speaking with our consultant, Leah, at Christian Adoption Consultants. We officially signed with them in November and were home study ready in the middle of December. We wanted God to be in control of our story so we left most of our preferences open and up to him. We received our first situation right after the holidays were over, and over the next few months, we would receive many more situations. We presented our profile to several expectant mothers, but weren't chosen by them. It was discouraging, but as Leah reminded us, God wouldn't let us miss the baby He had planned for our family. The last week of March we were presenting to an expectant mother when we received a situation from another agency. We weren't able to say we wanted to present because we hadn't heard a decision from the other expectant mother. We heard a decision late on the last Tuesday of March that the expectant mother had not chosen us. I quickly sent the other agency an email and said we would like to present if we still could. She let me know that they had already showed the expectant mom profiles, but that they would take ours to her that Thursday! We found out late Friday afternoon, that mama "A" had chosen us to parent the baby she was carrying. After about 4 weeks of waiting, Emersyn Ava was born. She was lovingly placed in our arms a few days later.



Through our adoption journey, God taught us that He is in all the details! He placed it on our heart to start the process way sooner than we had planned, but if we had waited, we wouldn't have our Emersyn now. When filling out our paperwork, we felt that God wanted us to set our budget relatively low for domestic adoption, we knew it wouldn't be likely, but hoped anyways. Our match with mama "A" fell $1000 below our budget. I told my mom in January that I really felt that we would match through a particular agency that we had just received a situation from, and we didn't see any more situations from them until our match with them. We felt that God wanted us to put that we were open to either gender, but we had been praying for a girl and really felt that our baby was a girl. Our match was unknown gender until birth, but God blessed us with a beautiful baby girl. God writes the best stories, friends! He won't let you miss the baby and first family that he has picked to join your family! I also wanted to say that when God is writing His stories and you are following him, Satan won't be far behind trying to discourage you. We had many obstacles from the time we arrived in our daughter’s birth state to try to prevent us from giving God the glory, but we gave them all to God in prayer.



We have began building a relationship with mama "A" and even though we had our fears about an open adoption, we are so thankful that we chose to present and that we will be able to tell Emersyn about her for years to come! She made the most selfless decision to place her daughter for adoption, and we are so thankful she chose us to parent her.

Friends, please know that whatever you are going through now, wherever you are in the process, it will be worth all of the stress and all of the different emotions once you are holding the baby God has planned for your family!

And goodness gracious did God have a little beauty planned for this sweet couple! It’s not often that I get to meet the couples I work with in person, so quite possibly my favorite part of working with Drew and Delaney was getting to hug their necks and hold their gorgeous baby girl while they were waiting out ICPC nearby! Nothing sweeter than snuggling the little love you’ve been praying for since the day the adoptive family started their journey!  You can follow Drew and Delaney's journey on their blog - http://adventurestobabyd.blogspot.com/

Considering adoption?  I would love to chat with you!  Shoot me an email -  leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Adoption Story: Tony and Heidi

Every adoption story involves waiting, and Tony and Heidi’s adoption journey had more waiting than any of us initially anticipated.   They decided to pursue adoption after a family conversation with their kids about giving back to their community.  During the conversation, their son Ryan said, “We should adopt some kids.”  This planted a seed, and Tony later felt the Lord confirming His desire for them to grow their family through adoption.  They started the process with a local agency and after a year of waiting, the local agency closed their domestic program.  Discouraged, they began researching other options and connected with Christian Adoption Consultants.  I began working on their family profile while they worked on their home study.  Through many disappointing “not yets” and months waiting, they remained so full of faith and hope.  And then, in His perfect timing, the right situation crossed their path… Every closed door had a purpose – to lead them to their son.  Heidi shares more about all God taught them through the process below.

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THROUGH OUR ADOPTION PROCESS, WE LEARNED THAT ALL WE NEEDED WAS HIM! We came to a point in our 3 year journey when we could honestly say, "Lord, we don't know why it's taking so long. But, we know that if we never end up adopting, You are enough for us!" We learned to trust God's timing, attention to detail, provision, and perfect adoption plan for our family. Our adoption didn't happen when or how we expected, yet we knew as long as we were trusting and aligned with Him, we would be on an adventure that would bring Him glory and honor! It was a wild and crazy ride! 


We also learned how focused we were on our family and the "rainbows and unicorns" of adoption. We realized we needed to focus more on the Mom/family that would be making the hardest decision of their life, placing a child with our family to love, raise, and trust that we would stay connected and fulfill our promises to them. We never realized how God was softening our hearts until we met "B" where we saw firsthand what it looked and felt like to place a child in the arms of another family to raise and then leave with empty hands and an empty womb. Being truly ready to love a birth mom well was a journey of maturing, realizing the heart-wrenching side of adoption and how it wasn't all about us.


IF WE COULD GIVE WORDS OF WISDOM TO ANOTHER ADOPTION FAMILY IT WOULD BE... Fasten your seat belts and hang on! Whether your adoption happens in days or years, it's going to be wild! Don't give up even though you'll be tempted. Trust your gut and your CAC consultant! So many times we were tempted to take the easy road by considering situations with less-than-reputable agencies or presenting to situations that had red flags, but Leah was always gracious and honest with us to stay faithful to what we felt the Lord was desiring for us. We were on quite the roller coaster... so hopeful when we received a situation that we wanted to present to, anxiously waited for the call, crushed with each "Expectant Mom chose another family. I'm so sorry!" As each disappointment subsided, we were filled with the hopeful excitement that the next situation could be "the one." Two years later, we presented to "B", talked with her on the phone, were chosen by her the same day and three weeks later held the most perfect little boy in our arms! I had given myself permission to let our love for our adopted child grow over time. I "ugly cried" as I realized how long and hard the wait had been! The first moment I saw him, I was totally and completely in love with him! It was also such a joy to see our big kids falling in love with our little guy, too!!
 

Also, we want others to know that adoption comes out of loss, heartbreak, and hope. There is no hope without the loss and heartbreak. There cannot be loss and heartbreak without the promise of hope. So often adoptive parents are so focused on themselves and the idea of what another woman can give them, instead of slipping into her shoes and grieving with her, crying with her, fulfilling promises to her, and choosing everyday to remember her as your silent partner in daily loving the child that connects you both.

We ADORE our son's first mom!! She is smart and articulate, beautiful and thoughtful, and loves this boy we both call son with every fiber of her being! She and I are the same age, and after talking to her on the phone (before she chose us), I remember thinking she was someone I could sit on the other end of a sofa with and talk to for hours! We have an open relationship with her, send pictures and videos weekly through text, update letters and pictures through the mail monthly. We are looking forward to seeing her this fall and at least once yearly for many, many years to come! I can honestly say I am excited to see her hold "B" again and meet her family!



IT WAS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD THAT WE FOUND CAC.  Our experience with Leah and CAC was nothing short of wonderful and amazing! We came to CAC when the Christian adoption agency we had been with for a year stopped doing domestic adoptions and gave us the option of starting over with an international adoption or closing our file with them. But, they wouldn't release our home study so we could start over with another agency. We felt defeated, powerless, and stuck.

CAC’s executive director Malcolm tried everything he could to help us get our home study - that went on for days! In the end we still didn't have our home study, but I had confidence in CAC that they would help us through our process with professionalism and grace. I wish we had started with CAC the first day of our adoption journey! They were like a breath of fresh air after a rainy day!


Leah was with us every step of the way! She helped us emotionally heal from our wasted first year with the previous agency. She crafted our family profile book, found a social worker in our state that would do our second home study and release it to us, encouraged us to stay the course and keep praying about our adoption, even supported us as we moved across the country and had to get yet another home study! In short, she continued to point us back to Jesus, to the stirring we felt and reminded us that our "perfect yes" would come in God's perfect timing. And it did!! 


Congratulations, Tony and Heidi! It was truly an honor to walk through this process with you and glean all He was teaching you (and me) about His faithfulness to complete what He starts in our hearts!  

Considering adoption?  I would love to chat with you more about working with CAC! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!
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