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Adoption Story: Joel and Lori

As Christ followers, God's word teaches us that this life will not be free of hardships. In fact, trials in this life are an expectation for believers. The beauty of trials is they develop in us a longing for heaven. They shift our eyes off of our wordly affections and remind us to keep our focus on eternity. I've learned so much from Joel and Lori as I've watched them rely on the Lord as they navigated unexpected trials and devastating loss. While their story is unique and tragic, it is also incredibly beautiful. It's a story of a family who set aside their agenda to follow His. What an honor it is to have them share today about their precious son, Caleb, and all that his life taught their family.   

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Lori and I had both been looking for a way where we could both serve God together. We were each involved with different things, but we felt we were always serving God separately. So in 2016, we made the decision to adopt. We thought this would be a great way for us to serve God as a family. Looking back on that decision, it brought us closer together than we could have ever imagined.

My two biggest fears when we felt God calling us to adopt were that 1) a birth mom would choose to parent at the last minute and 2) that we would have a sick child.

On December 20th, 2017, fear #1 came true. The expectant mom that we had been matched with 4 months earlier, went into labor, so Lori and I jumped on a plane and flew to Florida as quickly as possible. We were sitting in our rental car a few blocks away from the hospital when my phone rang. It was the adoption agency telling us that the birth mom had chosen to parent and that we needed to fly back to Houston. The child we had been dreaming about was gone. We felt betrayed and were completely devastated.

We were matched again in January with an expectant mom who was due in May 2018. Hope was alive again and we were confident that this sweet boy was ours. On February 20th, 2018, fear #2 came true. Our son, Caleb, was born on 2/2/2018, at just 23 weeks. He weighed 1 pound 5 ounces and was 11 inches long. Due to his prematurity and the infection surrounding him in the womb, he was, as the doctor said, “not born alive.” The doctors performed chest compressions to revive Caleb. He fought hard for 18 days, but eventually his body started shutting down. He had a disease in his intestines. His kidneys stopped working. The doctor’s performed surgery on Caleb on February 19th where they removed six inches of his bowels. Six inches on a child that was only 11 inches long. Hours after the surgery, it became clear that Caleb was not going to survive. They unplugged his tubes and let Lori hold him for the last few hours of his life. He passed away in Lori’s arms. The son we had been dreaming about was gone.

My two biggest fears came true in a two month timespan. This is not what I was expecting from our adoption journey. My expectations were to bring home a beautiful baby boy that would be loved and cared for in a Christian home. My expectations were to watch Caleb grow into a loving brother that would adore his two sisters. My expectations were that Caleb would grow up to be a caring husband that would love his wife and eventually have children of his own. These expectations were not met. Naturally, as you go through an experience like this, so many different thoughts go through your head. I went from sadness to anger to confusion over and over again. 
 
For years, I knew God was calling us to adopt, but I ran from it. I used every excuse in the book, but the excuse I used the most was the cost. Adoption was too expensive. We couldn’t afford it. However, through friends, family, and people we had never met, God provided the funds we needed. He will provide for you, too! God knew there was a little boy about to be born who would need a family to love him for just 18 days. We were that family. The pain can be unbearable at times, but even in the pain, it is such an honor to be Caleb’s parents. To show him that his life had meaning, and he was and is worth every ounce of grief we still feel. 

We committed to Caleb long before he was born, and we were even more committed to him after he was born. We committed to love Caleb for as many days as God allowed, and we would make sure that Caleb knew he was wanted and loved by his family. I flew back to Houston to care for our girls and Lori stayed in Florida to care for Caleb. Lori sat next to Caleb for 18 days. She changed his diapers and sang him songs. She prayed over him and told him about his sisters. She held him as he breathed his last breath and watched him as his soul left his body and into the loving arms of Jesus. So what has God taught me through Caleb?
He made me a better husband.

He made me a better father.

He brought me closer to God.

He made me understand that the Christian life isn’t about me.

He has changed my outlook on what is important in life.

He has helped me stop striving for a perfect life.

He has helped me better understand the miracle of eternity and everlasting life.

He has made me realize how short our time on earth really is.

He has helped me better understand the sanctity of life.

He has helped me to better cope with this broken world. 


After our experience with Caleb, our lives have changed dramatically. Lori and I knew that God was not done with us, and that Caleb would not be the end of our story. It is because of Caleb’s life that we now realize how easy it is to love a child who is not biologically ours. It is because of Caleb that our hearts and minds have been opened and made aware of the need to love kids who are not born with the same opportunities that we were given. Because of Caleb, we have recently started working as house parents with an organization called Boys and Girls Country. If it weren’t for Caleb, we never would have pursued something like this, but that’s how God works. Even in the depths of our sorrow, He was still leading, guiding, and preparing us for what was next. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t talk or think about Caleb. Our daughters talk about him all the time and they each sleep with one of his blankets, so they can remember him.

As you pursue adoption or wait for the phone call that will change your life saying you’ve been matched, you will have many fears and face many uncertainties. We urge you to push through those fears and trust God to work out all of the details. Our story is unique and tragic, but God has carried us through and we are beginning to see the light again. Things don’t seem as dark as they once did. Whatever story God has written for you through adoption, you can rest assured that He is faithful to complete it!

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As Lori so beautifully said "...at the end of the day, there was a little boy who needed a family to love him for 18 days. For reasons we will probably never know or understand, God chose us to be that family. Oh how I have a deep longing for Heaven. To feel no more pain, hurt, or sadness. To see our Caleb whole and healthy and to have this heavy burden lifted from my shoulders. That day will come, but until then, there is a child out there who needs you to stand in the gap for them. To advocate on their behalf and to show them that they are worthy to be loved, despite their brokenness. It is scary to trade a life of comfort and familiarity for one of uncertainty and brokenness. Despite what we've been through with Caleb, I stand here to say that it is worth it."

Thank you Joel and Lori for sharing your story!  What a beautiful reminder it is that love is never wasted!  


Adoption Story: Matt and Kerry

Matt and Kerry are such a sweet couple, and I knew after talking with Kerry over the phone that I was going to enjoy walking them through this process.  They got started with Christian Adoption Consultants last summer, and as they worked on their home study, we created their custom profile book for them.  A few short months later they were home study approved and began walking forward in faith as they presented their profile to potential adoption situations.  This spring on Matt's birthday they heard about a precious baby boy who had been born several weeks early.  A few days later that little guy's brave birthmama chose them and they were traveling to meet their new son.  Kerry shares more of their story below. 

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Matt and I have prayed for a child for 4 years, and after 3 years we knew God was calling us to adopt. We began our adoption journey in August of 2017. We were referred to Leah with CAC by a friend also going through the adoption process. After speaking with her, I knew we needed a consultant through this process, so we interviewed a few others, but it was obvious CAC was the place for us. We were home study approved by October and began seeing birth mother situations. 


We presented to probably 8 situations throughout our journey, and every no was tough but Leah was always there to remind us it is all in God’s plan. We were presented Duke’s information on Matt’s birthday in April. He was born at 30 weeks and was almost 2 weeks old. We immediately knew we wanted his birth mother to see our profile, but then we didn’t say another word about it. By this time, we knew not to get our hopes up. Two days later we got the amazing phone call that we were chosen to parent our little angel. The moment we met Duke we knew why all the other times were no…Duke was meant to be our son. 


We arrived at the NICU and got to hold Duke for a few hours, then we were very lucky to get a room in the Ronald McDonald House. The next day we got to meet his birth mother. We were so nervous, but the time we spent with her was priceless. There is nothing like getting to see how much your child is loved by their first family. We then spent our days with Duke while he learned to eat from a bottle and worked on gaining weight. 


While we were in the NICU we got a call from Leah that another CAC family was at the same hospital and RMDH. It was so nice to meet and spend time with another family going through the exact same thing, and we became fast friends. Although we were supposed to be in NICU for 2 months, our little guy is a fighter and we were out in 2 weeks! Now we are home and are amazed by Duke every day. 

We are so thankful for Leah and CAC. She was there every step of the way to answer every silly question I had.


Congratulations, Matt and Kerry!  I loved watching your story unfold!

Considering adoption? I would love to chat with you more about working with Christian Adoption Consultants! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Adoption Story: Kyle and Haley

Today Kyle and Haley are sharing their journey to their precious baby girl. Like most adoptions, their journey took some unexpected turns. Looking back it's clear that while those turns felt unexpected to us, they were all a part of God's perfect plan for their family.  I will never forget when their adoption caseworker forwarded over the potential adoption situation. As soon as I read through it, I thought of Kyle and Haley and what a perfect fit it would be for them. Sure enough the expectant mom fell in love with them and just a few days later their daughter was in their arms! Haley shares their story below.

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Kyle and I started our adoption journey in June of 2017. After we made the decision to adopt, I started researching it as much as I could. I would search different adoption hashtags on instagram and read the stories that I found through doing that. While I was looking I kept seeing several people talk about Christian Adoption Consultants and Leah! After talking on the phone with Leah, we knew that we wanted to be working with her. Adoption can be very overwhelming and we were so new to the process we didn’t even know where to begin. Right from the start Leah provided us with so much information that helped us get started. The information packet that CAC provides is incredible. The day Leah sent it to us I read almost every word just so I could start to better understand the process we were beginning!

After all the paperwork and home study was complete, we were officially a waiting family in September. I remember the day we had everything turned in and Leah sent us our first situation to look at! I was so excited and anxious. After a couple weeks we presented to a situation for the first time. We were so hopeful and felt very good about that situation, so when we were not selected we were devastated. The waiting part of adoption is brutal. After about 4 months of applying and waiting, we were chosen by an expectant mother! We were absolutely thrilled! We spent the next month preparing and waiting to meet our baby. Long story short, ultimately this placement fell through at the last minute. It was very unexpected and left us feeling confused and hopeless. After our placement fell through I took some time off of work to try and process what had happened so we could move forward. The first couple weeks were so difficult, but eventually we returned to our normal routines and went on with life.

About 2 months passed before we saw another situation we felt like we should present our profile to. We decided to present our profile on Friday, but we had family in town visiting us so we tried not to think about whether or not we would be picked too much! Monday around lunch time, we got a call that the expectant mother had chosen us! We now had 2 weeks to get ready to bring our baby home! Later that evening we got a second call from our agency. The case worker introduced herself, and then asked me how I felt about everything happening so fast. I said 2 weeks is quick, but were so excited and were going to make it work. She replied and told me that the birth mother was having some health issues, so they were going to do a c-section that night!! We needed to be on a plane ASAP! After the shock wore off, we quickly got to work packing/getting ready and we were on the first flight the next morning!

Sage was born on Monday night around 11:30 PM and we made it to the hospital around 7:30 AM the next day. We spent the next several days snuggling Sage and spending time getting to know her birth mother. We were very nervous about meeting Sage’s birth mother since the previous mother we had been matched with changed her mind at the last minute. Because everything happened so quickly, seeing her at the hospital was the first time we ever spoke with her. It went much better than we expected, and we enjoyed the time we spent with her.

After about a week and a half we got to travel back home with Sage. Sage took her first plane ride at 8 days old, and did great! Since coming home Sage has met so many friends and family who love her so much. Adoption can be a challenging process, but we cannot imagine life without our little Sage. She gets cuter and cuter everyday and is such a blessing in our life! We love her so much!

Could she be any cuter?!! Congrats Kyle and Haley!

If you've been considering adoption I would love to chat with you more about working with CAC! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Adoption Story: Eric and Becky

Sweet Charlotte is a little miracle and her story is one you don't want to miss!  Just three short months after their home study was approved, Eric and Becky received the news that they were matched with an expectant mother. Over the next few months they would spend time getting to know their daughter's birthmom as they waited on the arrival of their precious baby girl. Becky shares more of their story below. 
 
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We met our baby girl 24 hours after she was born, cried with each other when she was transferred to the NICU, and then a few hours later cried with her birth mom as she signed the papers allowing us to parent this little miracle. I can't even describe the conflict of emotions that we were all in at that stage - fear for the future weeks, excitement at having a new little girl, thankfulness for the dedication and determination of her birthmom to give life to this little one in spite of the struggles in her life, and hope in knowing that God always has a plan of redemption for his people.

Over the next 3 weeks, Eric and I had the most faith building time in our years together, and God held us up over and over again. At one week, we found our baby girl had a major heart defect, likely to need surgery at 6 months of age, IF she would be able to continue to grow adequately up until that point. At 12 days, we sent our older children home several states away to continue in school. Even though we sent them with wonderful friends, and they were loved by family at home while we were away, there were tears in my eyes and questions in my heart as I waved goodbye to them at the airport, not knowing an exact date to tell them that we would be able to be together again as a family. And then, over the next few weeks, we watched as God healed the body of our brave little girl.
We had to be set up with a Cardiologist before we could leave the NICU, because they were so concerned that she would fall ill before we would be able to get her in to be seen. When we went to the doctor at home she reiterated the seriousness of her defect and the need for surgery.  We started Charlotte on Lasix, a medicine to keep the fluid from building up in her lungs and causing heart failure, and monthly shots of medicine to prevent her from getting sick. If she were to get ill, it could be very, very serious for her because of her weak heart. 

Then we went for her 2 month check up. Cue up the miracles! The doctor came in and checked her and was amazed that she was gaining weight normally! I will also just add that she excelled at it...we called her Chub-a-lub by this time! Then she sent us to repeat the ultrasound of the heart, and the technician was confused, because she had been told that this was a large defect, but she really had a hard time finding what they were talking about! And when the doctor checked the ultrasound, she confirmed it. God had miraculously healed the heart of our little girl! I was floored! We were able to stop medications and cancel surgery!

As I look back at our journey, a couple things stand out to me. Going back to the beginning of the process when we were deciding what type of baby we would consider, we weren't looking to get any particular type of baby, but we also both work full time (I'm a Family doctor and Eric is a college professor). We had said that we didn't want any major health problems for the simple fact that we didn't feel we had the ability to deal with those complications, since we both work full time and have two other kiddos. But God had a bigger plan for us! So I would encourage those starting in the process to open your mind and heart and seriously pray to God about each situation. It never does end up being what you expect, for better or for worse. But when God joins families together, He does it to show His greatness and love, and He will provide whatever you need.

Someone told me after we brought Charlotte home, "How wonderful for this little girl that you chose her! Where would she be without you!?!?" And my response was "God still has a plan for this little girl, whether we were here or not." But it reminds me of Esther 4:14 "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for [God's people] will arise from another place, but you and your family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?" Now my family would not have perished without Charlotte, but WOW what we would have missed out on! And what an honor that God has brought us to a position to offer love and support to this particular birthmom and child.
Christian Adoption Consultants was vital in facilitating this to happen, and I can't thank Leah enough for her prayer, support, and encouragement at each step of the way. My mind is boggled by the number of people that God sent to encourage us along this way, and Leah's work in preparing and prayer and support is truly priceless!

If you've been considering adoption I would love to chat with you more about working with CAC! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

When Adoption Becomes an Ultimate Thing


Adoption isn’t for the faint at heart.  I’ve heard it said dozens of times, but it wasn’t until we were in the thick of our adoption journey that I realized how difficult the process would truly be.  It’s so easy to let adoption overtake your every thought and action and become an idol in your heart.  Hours upon hours are spent filling out paperwork, fundraising, applying to agencies, presenting to potential adoption situations and then waiting.  The desire to grow our families through adoption is a good desire.  God’s word teaches us that adoption and parenthood are wonderful things worth pursuing.  But, what happens when adoption becomes the ultimate thing?

God created us to have a deep longing in our souls.  Because of the fall, we are prone to fill that deep longing with anything other than Him.  And while those other things may not be inherently bad, Paul Tripp put it perfectly when he said “The desire for even a good thing becomes a bad thing when that desire becomes a ruling thing."

God teaches us in His word that Jesus will satisfy our deepest desires.  What His word doesn’t promise us is everything we desire.  The good, good news of the Gospel is that God does not withhold good from us – He has already given us everything we need through Christ’s work on the cross.  In this season of waiting, maybe He is challenging you to pursue the true desire of your heart – more of Him.  Only when He rules the throne of our hearts will we feel truly satisfied.

When we replace Jesus with growing our families (or marriage, success, the list of idols goes on), it can be evident in our behaviors and the posture of our hearts.  It breeds jealously, anger, and hopelessness.  I can remember seasons where I would cringe when another adoptive family matched.  Why them and not us?  Tim Keller said that idols enslave us and produce in us a drivenness since we must have whatever that idol is.  Adoptive mamas have a special grit about them.  And while I think going after the things God has placed on our hearts is wonderful, let us not become so consumed with the process that the drivenness in our hearts steers us away from our Savior.  When He is the desire of our hearts, our response turns from anger and jealousy to that of contentment, peace, and joy.

Our circumstances will never fully satisfy us.  While a baby in your arms will momentarily satisfy your heart, the longing for something else will eventually creep back in.  Only in our nearness to Him will we feel truly satisfied.

Maybe you’re in a season like I found myself where you are realizing that adoption has been put on a pedestal it was never meant to be on.  Fix your eyes back on the Lord, sweet sister.  Repent and focus your energy on abiding in Him.  When our focus is on Him and not what we hope He will give us, all those things we’ve been putting in His place will fall back into their right order.

All seasons of waiting are hard.  I never want to diminish what a struggle it is.  Let’s be reminded in this difficult season that our hope isn’t in that future child.  While the desire for a family is a good desire, our ultimate desire in this season (and every season) should be finding our everything in Him, whether it ends with a baby in our arms or not.

Adoption Story: Philip and Hope

God writes the best stories! They are often woven with heartache, hope, and redemption. Unexpected turns and twists. Ones we would never choose on our own, but when we step back and look at what God has done, we’re amazed by His faithfulness.  In the midst of the roller coaster of the wait, what Philip and Hope didn't know was that an expectant mom had come across their profile and was hopeful they would be the parents for her baby boy.  Just a few days after finding out the news they were hopping on a plane to meet their son. Today Hope shares their beautiful adoption story…

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Henry’s story takes root very early in our lives, before we even had a clue. God is beyond good. He knows and cares more about us than we could ever realize.

Before we were even married or together, Philip and I have always looked forward to starting a family. We love children! So when we finally got married, it was an easy decision to say we wanted to have children almost immediately. People never assume that they will be the ones who cannot conceive. Each month was a roller coaster of highs and lows; we went from hoping for the best followed by being disappointed with, what we thought was, the worst. Fast forward to about two and a half years into this journey… we had seen multiple doctors, had lots of tests, and went through trials with no positive answers. We always had a heart for adoption, but, like most everyone else, we made “our plan” to have biological children first and then consider adopting after. God let us try our plan, and He patiently waited until our hearts, mostly my heart, had softened and relinquished the control I thought I had over it all.



Just days after a rather disappointing appointment with a fertility specialist, I felt at my lowest and asked God why it had come to this point, with very little options left and no hope. And in that moment, God gave me absolute peace. Peace that allowed me to instantly let go of the things I thought I would mourn for a long time. Peace that lifted me up in extreme excitement knowing that I had been looking for my child in the wrong place. I was given the hope that he or she was still on its way; I just needed to redirect my idea of how, where, and when we would receive this child. Philip had reached that point of peace before me, and we were ready to dive in to adoption that same evening. And so we did! Within days, we had spoken with Leah and were signed up!

For the first time in a long time, we had this overwhelming sense of being on the right path. Little did we know, our son was already conceived. I worked quickly through the initial parts of the adoption process, and we were soon ready to receive situations. In hindsight, the entire process was rather quick, especially compared to our years of trying to conceive. But during the time of receiving situations, it felt like eternity. We presented to a couple of situations and were not chosen. That was much harder than I thought it would be. But, just as Leah always encouraged me, God did not let us miss the child He had planned for our family. The other situations were just not meant for us. But rather, we were meant to know about them and pray for those babies, birth parents, and adoptive parents.

About four months into receiving situations, we decided to present to another expectant mother. We submitted our paperwork and profile like normal and waited. A few days later, I got an email that a different expectant mother had seen our family profile on the agency’s website and said she would like us to parent her baby—just like that! This came as a wonderful surprise, but also brought many confusing emotions. First, after so many previous “no’s,” we had started to wonder why no one thought we would be good parents for their child (that is a lie from Satan, by the way). And now, a mother had chosen us! Plus, she chose us first, before we even knew about her or the baby! Overjoyed by this news, disappointment still lingered afterwards. Since we had just presented to another situation, we could not say yes to this one. While we would have surely been so happy with the original situation if we had been chosen, this new one just felt right. How could we say no to someone who was offering us the blessing of parenting her child? But the reality was we were going to have to say no. I was heartbroken. I remember sitting in our kitchen sobbing. Philip is always more level headed than I am and can accept things the way they come. But this time, you could tell it didn’t sit right with him either.

In desperation, I emailed Leah about this. I asked if there was any way we could see if the first mother had chosen anyone yet, or if there was an idea when that would be decided. At this point, we believed she had already had the profiles. Leah asked that agency and got back to us quickly with the news that the mother had not come in to pick up the profiles yet, so technically we had not presented to her yet. The agency was going to remove our name from the list of families for her and we were clear to say yes to this new mother. The way that worked out was ONLY God’s doing. He was trying to show us, yet again, that nothing is impossible with Him. Nothing is the end with Him. And just like that, we could say yes to this little boy!


The information we received about this expectant mother and baby boy was what we had been looking for all along. It all felt like the perfect fit. The email first came on a Tuesday night. By the following Friday October 20th, the match was official. Our little boy was due November 18th. We could hardly believe we only had 4 short weeks to prepare for this little guy. So much needed to be done!! So much money needed to be raised! But it was with pure excitement that we moved forward awaiting his arrival. We didn’t tell our families until two days later on October 22nd. The following day at work we told our coworkers and friends. That same day, I got a call from the agency saying Henry had been born and we could come and get him. Though 4 weeks early, he was healthy and ready for us! I think time stopped for a little, and I could not comprehend what I had just heard. He had been born the previous day, on October 22nd, while we celebrated the news with our families. The next 24 hours were a blur. Leaving work knowing I wouldn’t be back for 3 months, packing, running to the store to buy preemie clothes and baby items, the bank, booking flights, etc. By Tuesday at 2pm we were there, in the hospital lobby, waiting for the caseworker to take us to meet our son. What a crazy feeling. We were first emailed about this child on a Tuesday evening, and exactly one week later, we were in the hospital about to meet him. God knew we had waited long enough in our quest for our child, and so he sped things along, and thank goodness He did! When we were finally able to go to the NICU and meet our baby boy, we experienced the most indescribable moment. He was just handed to us- this precious, tiny, baby boy. Our Henry Philip. We had waited for this child for so long—for years and years. And when we held him for the first time, I remember his tiny, little forehead wrinkled up as he opened his eyes to see his parents for the first time. It was as if he was saying, ‘I have been waiting for you, too.’ I can never ever thank God enough for those precious initial moments.

During our journey of fundraising, trying to prepare, and waiting so impatiently, God showed me that adoption is much more than this miracle of having a child. We were blessed beyond belief by people’s generosity, kind words, and prayers. We had the privilege of hearing others’ adoption stories, whether they had adopted or had been adopted. We saw just how kind and selfless people can be, even people you don’t know very well, or at all. God had His mighty hand in all of this. And my eyes were opened to that along the way. He softened the hardness in my heart that I didn’t realize I had. He opened my eyes to the needs around me and challenged me to be more generous and giving. If it weren’t for the generosity of others, our story would be much different. I just cannot get past the ways people gave to us - items, money, prayers, a condo to stay in and a car to drive while in FL, secret stashes of cash for food and traveling expenses, words of encouragement to carry our hearts, and much more! While we were in Florida, completely unsure of how the rest of our money would be raised, family and friends took care of it for us at home. Baby items were sent to our house and money was being raised while we snuggled our little bundle of joy. Blessing and after blessing.


Our time with Henry in the NICU, relaxing in Florida, and coming home was like a dream come true. God put him in our hearts a long time ago, we just had to be patient. And everything we have been through in our lives and in our marriage led us to this moment of meeting him and knowing such a new and overwhelming love. We thank God every day for our little sweetheart and for the loving decision his birth parents made.


Just one adoption is so powerful; it affects many people, many hearts, many lives. Henry’s story has changed and blessed more than just Philip and I. We feel privileged to call him our son!

Congratulations Philip and Hope!!  It was so much fun watching God grow your family through adoption!

If you've been considering adoption I would love to chat with you more about working with Christian Adoption Consultants! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

Adoption Story: Ethan and Danielle

A few weeks ago, I sat on my sofa with Danielle and her husband Ethan.  Their precious baby girl in their arms and in the background you could hear our girls giggling while they played dress up together.  A few months earlier, we were all strangers.  Now friends breaking bread around my kitchen table and swooning over their precious baby girl.  Adoption brought our families together, and it was genuinely such a pleasure to work with them.  As the months passed, I would grow to love their resilient, optimistic spirits and open hearts for whatever God had planned for them.  It was such a treat for me to meet them in person when their daughter was born at a hospital nearby.

God had a beautiful redemption story He was writing for their family.  Danielle shares all the details below...

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I saw a friend of mine go through her adoption journey during the first year of my struggle with secondary infertility. Something in my heart leapt every single time I saw her post on social media or listened to her talk openly about her story. I tucked that feeling away and trudged on through our secondary infertility journey.

My husband and I conceived our now four year old daughter after our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. We wrote the miscarriage off as a fluke and didn’t consider once that this could have been an indication of any fertility issues. I carried our daughter to a whopping 42 weeks without one issue and our hearts were so full of joy. It was when she was about a year old my husband and I considered the possibility of adding a second child to our family. We thought surely we would become pregnant instantly as we had with our first two pregnancies. The first month, I did not get the positive test I had hoped for. I was so upset. Did I do something wrong? Maybe I just had my dates off. Surely next month. After 3, 6, 9, even 12 months went by, I knew something was wrong. My doctor was hesitant to diagnose my then 23 year old self with any kind of fertility problem and told us to keep trying. By the time we had tried nearly 18 months, my heart was broken. I walked around feeling like a shell of who I really was. My heart ached so desperately for another child. Didn’t God see me? Didn’t He know the desire of my heart? I often shook my fist at him thinking I knew best and was angered that my plan didn’t seem to be His plan. 
We welcomed the new year in 2017 with crushed spirits. I told my husband over dinner one evening that I simply couldn’t bear another month of trying to conceive. He agreed that this had stolen our joy for too long. We had always chatted briefly about adoption and certainly had huge hearts for adoption throughout our lives, however, it was always a “Plan B” option. If we couldn’t give birth to biological children, maybe we would adopt. But that night – my husband and I began unpacking that we both truly felt the Lord calling us to adoption over pursuing any fertility treatments. It was really amazing at that night at dinner how the two of us just felt peace wash over us and felt our hearts had aligned without either one of us knowing it about adoption.

I reached out to my friend I mentioned earlier who I had just witnessed her adoption journey and she told us about CAC. We scoped out local adoption agencies and a variety of other agencies and consulting groups across the US. None of them gave us a special feeling, and, sadly, the local agencies we visited even left us feeling defeated. I remember leaving one agency in particular doubting if we were even called to adopt. It was days after that meeting that we reached out to CAC by email and Leah replied back to us. We had a call with her and just felt immediately connected to her. Her passion for adoption and love for her clients showed instantly and we just knew we wanted to take our journey alongside her! We signed on in January 2017 and were home study approved on April 1st 2017.

After becoming home study approved, we had so many emotions knowing a situation could come at any time. We got one the day after signing on and I remember thinking “THIS IS IT!” I got my hopes up way too high and that first “no” was crushing. Leah provided such kind and gentle support during this time and reminded us about guarding our hearts in this process and how this would all make sense when our baby was in our arms. It was her understanding and compassion that made those “no’s” so much easier. Over those next few months, we saw tons of situations – sometimes even 2-3 a week. We kept thinking something would happen quickly. However, after hearing dozens of “no’s” we became a little discouraged by the end of summer. It was September 2017 and I remember crying out to the Lord how desperately I wanted this baby home for the holidays. The holidays were always a difficult time as I would unpack our daughter’s old Halloween costumes, the tiny stocking we bought for our future baby, and things of that sort. We had hoped for the last two years that our year would end with a baby in our home to use those things. I feared 2017 would be another year we would end with broken hearts and empty arms. It was in my desperation that I felt the Lord press into my soul a reminder that he is a FAITHFUL God. Over and over again, I felt Him reminding me that He was not just faithful if He provided us a baby. He was faithful through every single moment of my life – every single joy and every single sorrow. He was faithful through our infertility and through our adoption wait. His faithfulness was NOT conditional on us receiving another child into our home or not. That really sat with me and I stirred over it often; reminding myself of how good He had been to me. That made the wait easier and really helped to renew my spirit.

October 1st we hit our 6 month mark of waiting and honestly, we just took time to enjoy the fall. We spent our weekends doing fun activities as a family and enjoyed celebrating my husband and sister’s birthdays. It was actually the day before my sister’s birthday we received a situation of a baby that had been due the week prior (on my husband’s birthday!) that would be born likely over the upcoming weekend. We put our “yes” on the table and continued on with the weekend. We had so much fun going to a birthday dinner for my sister and crossing a few things off our fall bucket list. We didn’t even have a clue what was about to happen to our lives!
We got the call on Monday that a baby girl had been born and that her birth mother would be reviewing profile books that afternoon. We went about our day as usual – grocery shopping, cleaning the house, and spending a day off school with my daughter. We sat down to watch a movie that afternoon and my phone rang. I froze. Was this THE CALL?! Sure enough – it was an attorney from one of CAC’s agencies letting us know we had been chosen to parent a beautiful 2 day old baby girl and we could head to Florida right away to get her! My husband and I – in a whirlwind – called our family, booked flights, packed like crazy, and hopped on the first available flight the next morning at 5am. We met our daughter, who we named Arden Mae, on Tuesday, October 24th and our whole process suddenly made sense. We looked down at her and tears just fell as we processed that she was what God had for us all along. All those days of doubt – anger – frustration – confusion – fear …. He knew EXACTLY what He was doing. We truly believe that our “Plan B” was God’s “Plan A” for our lives all along – we just had to take a step out in faith and trust Him.

Now that we are on the other side of the “valley” so to speak – we can see everything that God was doing behind the scenes. We make sense of our infertility, which we know without a doubt God used in our lives to show us that adoption was what He had in store for us. We make sense of all the painful “no’s”, which we know now were babies that were meant for other families and that our sweet Arden was always meant for us. Every day that we spent heartbroken we now know were days God drew us closer to Him and made us depend on Him for strength. And now, we shout from the “mountain top” His faithfulness to us for giving us our daughter – who we waited patiently for for so very long.
To anyone about to embark on their adoption journey, my biggest piece of advice is to TRUST. Trust the Lord. Trust the process. Trust your heart when you review each situation. And wholeheartedly believe that the Lord is directing your every step. With Him, there are no mistakes – there is no missing your baby – there is no decision to be made, for He has already made a way and written this baby into your family long ago. When you see the face of that sweet baby, you will know this to be true. Hold on to His promises and trust Him, for it is only in that that you will experience peace on this crazy journey!
Congratulations, Ethan, Danielle, and big sis Emersyn!  I'm grateful God crossed our paths and I couldn't be happier for your sweet family!

Considering adoption? I would love to chat with you more about working with Christian Adoption Consultants! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com


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