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Adoption Story: Tyler and Lindsey

I'm honored to share Tyler and Lindsey's whirlwind adoption story with you today!  Like all adoption journeys, there were some unexpected twists and turns but none of it was a surprise to God.  He was at work and the story He was writing was beautiful! 

Lindsey shares more below...

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I can imagine our story starts out similar to others that choose the path of adoption; however, we could never have imagined that our story would end with God’s work written all over it. Adoption was never a last resort for us but instead something that we had talked about doing after we had 1 or 2 biological children. After several years of infertility, an ectopic pregnancy, and multiple rounds of IVF it was clear that God had other plans for us. 



It came highly recommended by a friend of ours to contact Christian Adoption Consultants which led us to Leah. She was a Godsend. From the very start, she was exactly what we needed to help guide and support us through this journey. Our adoption process was shorter than most but still not without the emotional roller coaster. There were so many details being worked out behind the scenes. We signed on with CAC in January 2019 and began our home study right away. Now anyone that knows me (Lindsey) knows that I’m not someone that likes deadlines; but April 1st kept sticking out in my mind. I was dead set that we needed to be home study ready by that date. We signed on with our first agency with the help of our consultant on March 29 and didn’t even have our profile books back yet. They told us they had an expectant momma and asked if we wanted to present our profile. We looked it over and without hesitation said yes! We didn’t want to get too excited because after all, it was our first time presenting. They presented to the expectant momma about a week later and we found out the next day that she had chosen us. We were flooded with emotions of joy, excitement, and shock that it happened so fast. The baby boy was due June 11. We started to prepare and get the nursery ready, but I never felt at ease over those next 3 weeks. I was so fearful that she would change her mind. Monday, May 13 we got that gut-wrenching phone call. I will never forget that day. The caseworker called to tell us that they were unable to locate the birth mom and they were considering this a failed adoption. My exact fears going into this process had happened. We were heartbroken and mad at God. Why? Why does everything have to be so dang hard? 


Those questions were unfair; God was working overtime behind the scenes and positioning us for a miracle. I can honestly say that was one of the hardest weeks of my life. Friday at 4:30 pm we got a call that a baby was born and wanted to know if we wanted to present. We, of course, said yes but didn’t want to get our hopes up. That Saturday afternoon we got the call that they had chosen us. We hopped on a plane Sunday morning and met the caseworker at a Starbucks to get our sweet baby boy. He was absolutely perfect in every way! God’s plans are always better than our own; it just took a long journey for us to stop questioning Him. 


While we get a lot of questions about our journey to our son one that we get most often is, “did you meet his birth parents?” Going in to this my husband and I were terrified to do an open adoption. Mainly because we had zero idea what that would look like. The answer to that question is, yes. We met them twice while in Arizona and were able to spend a good deal of time with them. I am beyond grateful for those moments. I will never forget Wade’s birth mom handing him to me with tears in her eyes knowing that she was making the right decision but entrusting a piece of her heart to a total stranger. I can’t say how our relationship with our son’s birth parents will look over the years; but I can say that they made one of the most selfless decisions that can ever be made. 

  

“A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” – Jody Landers


Congratulations, Tyler and Lindsey!  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: Garrett & Tessa

Our story began in 2016. We had just moved to another state and our boxes weren't even unpacked and there we are in disbelief that we were pregnant. The test said “yes” and soon after it sunk in that we were going to have a baby.

I was so excited to start the journey into parenthood because I always wanted to be like my Dad. The hope was someday I would mean as much to my daughter or son as my own Dad meant to us. He is my hero and the best man at my wedding. I aspire to carry myself just like him. I was also as thrilled to see Tessa become a mother as well. I remember stories we both had about how our moms were so special to us and I loved daydreaming about Tes doing that for our kids.
All of a sudden, weeks later, shockingly we weren’t pregnant. We would then walk through multiple miscarriages in the months to come.  It was devastating, but we've learned through it all that God has a purpose in the pain of life. Through all we've walked through, we have learned to cling to Him and He is the only reason we're still going. In life, you'll find pure heartache but don't lose hope because there's pure joy as well. In August we started the adoption process and were excited to grow our family.  On April 15, our Scottie Jean was born and our lives were forever changed. When we got the call from her birth mom that Scottie was born, we drove through the night to see her. The next day, we were told the birth parents needed more time. We wanted to give them space so we drove back home without her. It was the hardest thing we've had to do, but we kept telling ourselves God has a plan. Truth be told, there were moments of weakness and frustration. But, in the end, we truly believed He was in control. A week later, we got a call. Her birth parents had signed the papers and we were overwhelmed with joy. 
We adore our daughter and adoption has changed our lives and our definition of family. Adoption taught us patience and even when we felt pushed to the brink, we trusted God's perfect plan. We see the ripple effects of adoption and share our story so that it might encourage others

Our adoption story would not be possible without Leah and Christian Adoption Consultants. The process is a lot and can be overwhelming but with CAC it was not. Leah's organization, eagerness to help and support was a Godsend. Simply put, Leah provided clarity with the paperwork, our heartache and our joy. We can't thank her enough!

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

Adoption Story: Paul and Shana

I instantly liked Paul and Shana on our first phone call together and knew they were going to be such a sweet couple to work with.  They got started with Christian Adoption Consultants in the spring of 2017.  They began working on their home study while we designed their adoption profile.  By fall, they had wrapped up their home study and were ready to begin applying to agencies.  They put their yes on the table several times and nine months after their home study was approved, they heard the wonderful news that their family had been chosen!  Shana shares more about their journey below...

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Adoption was something we had contemplated during the several years we were battling infertility. Our faith was tested during this long and difficult time. Against all odds, we were ultimately blessed with our first son. We still wanted another child but did not want to go down that path again. Adoption made us nervous for so many other reasons. We had so many questions: what if we did not match, what if the birth parents change their mind, what about all the paperwork, who will help us along the way, how much will it cost?

Very close friends of ours had recently adopted their son with the help of Christian Adoption Consultants and highly recommended them. That was the last push we needed to take the next steps. We emailed CAC the next day, and Leah contacted us shortly after. From the moment we first spoke we knew she was a perfect match for us. She was so kind, supportive, understanding, and knowledgeable. 


Leah was there supporting and praying with us every step of the way. From the beginning stages of getting home study approved, to presenting to expectant parents, hearing the “no’s”, celebrating the “yes”, to bringing our son home, she was right there with us. I don’t think we could have done this without her.

We presented many times before we matched. Leah would kindly remind us each time that it was not God’s plan, and our baby was still out there. After a few very difficult “no’s” we decided to take a different approach. Instead of mourning the “no’s” we choose to celebrate each baby’s match and pray for that child, birth mom, and the new family that finally got their “yes.” It really helped us stay positive during these difficult times. We knew our time would come, just not when. We rejoiced after nine long months of waiting, we finally got our “yes!” We were so nervous to talk to our son's birth mom, but when we did we could not have been happier. This was God’s plan for us. 


Something we were particularly nervous about were all of the unknowns surrounding the relationship we would have with birth mom. The precious few days we got to spend with her and our son in the hospital were such an amazing and beautiful experience. We have difficulty putting those moments into words. Even as we write this, months later, we both get choked up thinking about how wonderful our relationship is developing with her, and how blessed we are to have both our son and her in our lives. Although the road was bumpy, we put our trust in the Lord. In the end, everything we questioned and worried about worked out as He planned.  



Going through this process together as a family has strengthened our faith in God and our love for each other. It was amazing during the months that we were going through our journey how the messages each week in church seemed like they were meant for just for us, with reminders of patience, strength, and trust in His plan. We are all closer now and happier than ever, with each day being more of a blessing than the last.

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***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I'd love to chat! Feel free to email me at leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!***

Adoption Story: Kyle and Bri

I'm thrilled to share Kyle and Bri's adoption story today on my blog!  Their adoption journey was full of surprises!  Some of those surprises were heartbreaking and confusing.  During the middle of their adoption journey they found out they were pregnant.  They were overjoyed!  A few weeks later they received the devastating news that they had miscarried.  I know they wrestled with God and wondered what He was up to?  While some of the surprises in their journey were heartbreaking and confusing, God had a HUGE surprise in store that none of us were expecting.  I will never forget when Bri shared their match with me, she said "My due date for the baby we recently miscarried was the end of November as well.  A month I thought would bring pain and revisited grief will now be marked with life and expectant hope." Bri shares more of their story below...

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We believe adoption is an incredible picture of God’s love for us and a picture of the cost He paid to make us a part of His family. Looking back over the past year and our adoption journey, it’s cool to look at moments that felt so confusing or painful and now see how they led to something so amazing, our precious son. As we faced the heartbreak and hopelessness of infertility and a miscarriage, we believe God was working in our hearts and preparing us for the story ahead.

God taught us so much throughout the process. It required daily surrender to the Lord’s plans and not allowing fear or doubt to guide my heart. Waiting is so hard. Feeling totally out of control is even harder. Hearing “no” is difficult, it’s hard not to take it personally or feel like something is wrong with you. It was in these places that brought personal and spiritual growth for us individually and in our marriage.

We received a phone call from an attorney in mid-June, totally out of the blue and unexpected. He told us of an expectant mom and her baby boy that was due in November. She opted to allow the attorney to choose an adoptive family for her as this decision seemed much too overwhelming for her. The attorney looked over the list of profiles in hand and chose us to be the adoptive parents, if we chose to say yes. As we looked over her information, everything about it seemed right. Honestly, after looking at previous situations and presenting to a handful of other cases, we always wondered what the “right one” would feel or look like. It’s so easy to overthink the process and look for things written in the sky. That obviously did not happen for us but there was a peace and confidence with this situation that we just knew this was to be our son. We took time to process and pray, and quickly gave our “YES”. And then began the long wait. 


On September 4 we received a call that A (our son's birthmom) was admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor at just 29 weeks of pregnancy. The doctors worked hard at stopping the contractions and from many states away, we prayed hard. This cycle of frequent hospital admissions would continue to repeat itself for the remainder of the pregnancy. We had most of our bags packed and phone within reach at all times. By the grace of God, our son Oliver made it full-term, in fact just a few days short of 40 weeks! We will never forget the moment we saw him for the first time. Instant love, joy, and overwhelming healing from the years of grief. 

One of our biggest answered prayers was the opportunity to meet and develop a relationship with Oliver’s birth mom for the first time in the hospital. The moments we were able to spend with her were sweet, emotional, and will forever be cherished. We have stayed in contact with her since returning home and are so excited to continue to grow our relationship. She is so special to us and her bravery and selflessness shown in her decision is something we respect incredibly.


Leah was amazing and a strong support system throughout our adoption journey. She was very quick to respond to my e-mails, answer any and all questions we had and was able to identify with the many emotions felt during the adoption process. She reminded us countless times that God was in control, that He had the right child already planned for our family, and that all the “no’s” were leading us to our “yes”.

Our hope and prayer is that Oliver’s life and our adoption story would make much of God. That it would speak of His goodness in the midst of brokenness and hopelessness, and that it would display His faithfulness in even the smallest details of this story.
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Congratulations Kyle and Bri!  It was such an honor to walk your family through this process!  

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

Adoption Story: Austin and Melissa 2.0

Can I let you in on a little consultant insider secret? I genuinely love the adoptive families I work with and through the emotional roller coaster of adoption, I get to watch intimate details of their story unfold. We start the process as strangers and by the time their adoption is over, I consider them friends. We often email multiple times a week and when their little one is home I celebrate BIG! But, selfishly, I miss our frequent chats and emails. So, when a family comes back for a second adoption and I get to walk alongside them again, it is such a blessing!  

I had the pleasure of working with Austin and Melissa for their first adoption back in 2017. When I saw their name pop up in my email and read that they were eager to start the process again, I was thrilled! I adored working with them on their journey to their daughter, Milli, and couldn't wait to be a part of their next adoption. They had some fears that they might not be chosen since their daughter was young. Would any expectant mom choose them? I reassured them that if they felt led to start the process again then God was at work and He had a plan for their family. They officially got started with CAC in July and just three months later heard the wonderful news that they were matched and expecting another precious little girl. In similar fashion to their first adoption, they flew across the country in a hurry to meet their beautiful daughter! Melissa shares more of their story below...

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Our daughter Milli turned one in March of 2018 and about the same time, our hearts were feeling called to adopt again. Austin and I started talking about how we wanted to approach our second adoption. Did we want to try something more local to try and save expenses? Did we want to go with the same route as Milli - something that worked and we were comfortable with? After some research, we knew we wanted to sign back up with Leah and CAC. It was so comforting to be back with someone we trusted and who cared just as much about our family as we did. 



We started with updating our home study and became an active family with CAC at the beginning of July. When you have already adopted once, some parts of the process are much less daunting because you have already been there. We were so comfortable with our social worker and updating our home study, comfortable with updating our profile and knowing how the general process of adoption worked. We'd done this before. It should be much easier this time around. But, fear started creeping in pretty easily. One of our fears was that we had already blessed with a very young daughter, will any expectant parent want to choose us? How long will the waiting process be with one child already? 


Leah was such a blessing to us during this time of uncertainty in the waiting process. She prayed a lot for us. With Milli's adoption, we only were an active family for two months. Once two months hit our second time around, second-guessing and fear started creeping in... the fear of our dreams not coming true, our family not growing as we prayed so deeply for. But Leah was there for us, she kept reassuring us that God had child in mind for us. I can't remember exactly how many times we presented our second time around. I do remember the complexity of some of the situations and how knowledgeable and reassuring Leah was during those times. One phrase that always stuck with me while deciding to present or not is, "God will not let you miss your child." Adoption can be scary, with so many uncertainties, and we felt out of our "comfort zone" many times. I know we could not have done this without Leah's support and experience. 

 

On October 31, 2018 our second beautiful daughter Elli Isabella-Mae was born. What a beautiful little peanut she was and what a wild and crazy ride it was bringing her into our family. 


We were chosen by her beautiful birth parents in mid-October with her due date around Thanksgiving. The weekend before Halloween, we traveled to Florida to meet her birth father and mother. What a blessing it was to meet both birth parents. We spent the weekend learning about their lives and how they became the people they are. We spent time at the beach and learned what they planned on naming Elli when she was born. They wanted to name her Isabella. As the four of us talked and walked along the beach, we stumbled upon a name written in the sand -- "Isabel". We were in complete shock as the beach is very large and the chances of us walking upon that name could only mean it was a sign from God. It was a beautiful moment that I will never forget. That moment gave us all a little sigh of relief, and I knew right away that Isabella needed to be part of sweet Elli's name.


We returned home on a Sunday and three days later on Halloween little Elli was born. Once again we dropped everything and in complete chaos made it to meet our sweet Elli for the first time. One thing my sweet daughters have taught me is you can travel half way across the country in a day with little to no planning! We may not have been able to be there for her birth, or have the most perfect outfit to take her first pictures in, but what we do have are memories to last a lifetime. 


Adoption is hard, messy, but so so worth it. Adoption made our family and we feel so blessed. I would not change one single thing about our journey, not even the infertility, the debt, the anxiety, or the sleepless nights because our daughters are our life. They have changed us into better people than we were before. We have extended birth family that we love with all our hearts, and we have been given the gift to be parents to these two beautiful girls. 


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

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

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