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Adoption Story: John and Courtland

Courtland reached out to me last summer when she and her husband were in the early stages of researching adoption. We immediately connected over the fact that we both felt called to start our family through adoption. We spent time chatting about CAC and our services and just a few weeks later John and Courtland signed on with CAC. They finished their home study in record speed and in the meantime, I began working on their profile for them. A month later they were officially home study approved, and by the beginning of September they were sending off their applications to our multiple agencies to work on getting matched with an expectant mama. Less than 3 weeks later they decided to present their profile for the first time and within a few days they heard the wonderful news that they had been chosen by the expectant mama who was due in just a few short weeks! Courtland shares more of their story below:

Everyone has a different adoption story, but for both John and me this is not something we ever envisioned for our family. However, the Lord had different plans. The Lord started working on me two years ago and specifically placed transracial adoption on my heart. I tried to push the idea away, but the Lord was persistent. When I first told John that I thought we were called to adopt, he was weary at first. God worked on both of our hearts for two years and started forming a desire to adopt inside us.
The Lord taught us a lot through our journey. I am a planner and you cannot plan anything when you adopt. Nothing went according to “my plan”, but I learned that the God’s plan was so much sweeter than mine.

I never wanted to adopt
. In fact, when I first felt like the Lord was putting adoption on my heart, I wouldn’t even pray about it because I didn’t want to feel a calling to adopt. At this point, I cannot imagine having a child any other way. I told John the other day that I didn’t think I could love any other child the way I love Brazeal. I’m so glad the Lord’s plan was different from mine.

Not only did the Lord call us to adopt, he called us to do it for our first child. We learned quickly that it was a foreign concept to those around us that adoption can be Plan A. When you adopt, everyone immediately assumes you’re struggling with infertility. When we told people we were choosing adoption, a lot of people asked why we didn’t want our “own” kids first. For us, adoption was our Plan A!
God also worked in our hearts regarding our son’s birthmom. We originally feared Brazeal’s birth mother wanting to spend time with him at the hospital. Our hospital plan went so much different than originally planned. Looking back, John and I can both say that we know the Lord wanted us to spend time with his birth mother and to love on her like no one ever had before. We were her only “family” and her only support. We were able to encourage her, serve her, and even give her a devotion book. None of this would have happened if we didn’t spend time with her. I’m so glad the God’s plan was different from mine.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11


The Lord knew the baby he had for us all along. His plans are perfect. A lot of things along our journey didn’t go according to “our plan”, but the Lord’s plan was so much sweeter.


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

Adoption Story: Ryan and Sarah - Part TWO

Excited to share Part TWO of Ryan and Sarah's adoption story. If you missed Part ONE you can find it here.

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On the morning of November 29th I received an email about a mom due in less than two weeks with a baby boy. When I opened the email I immediately began to cry; remember how I said we had already chosen a name for the baby that we lost a few weeks prior?? The expectant mom in this new situation had the VERY.SAME.NAME! I emailed the agency back right away and put our YES on the table contingent on just one thing, I had to go tell Ryan first! I wish I could have snapped a photo of the look on his face when I told him about expectant mom “K”. His only words, “well did you say yes yet?”

The agency was to present profiles to mama K within a day or two so we anxiously awaited response. Much to our surprise we got an astonishing call from the agency that very same day. Mom K was being induced for medical reasons and would deliver within 24 hours! They were taking profiles to her immediately and would let us know ASAP if we were chosen. We were completely flabbergasted. We ran home in a state of hopeful optimism. We began to check flights, do laundry and other things to prepare but we kept mostly to ourselves about it and didn’t let ourselves begin to pack for the fear of being heartbroken again.

The news we had been praying for came early the next morning, she had chosen us! We booked a red eye for that night and ran frantically around the house; climbing in the attic to find any baby boy clothes we had, packing bags for all 5 (eeekkk FIVE OF US!), setting up babysitters, booking a rental car and a house to stay in for the trip. In the midst of the packing we learned baby had arrived, 7lbs 7oz and healthy (thank you Jesus!) And just like that…we were off!

The hours of overnight travel were some of the longest hours of my life. We landed in Florida early on the morning of Dec 2nd and headed straight from the airport to the hospital to finally meet Mama K and her boyfriend face to face. We got to the hospital as fast as we could but once we arrived I felt myself dragging my feet and finding almost any excuse to move a little slower. The thought of meeting this amazingly brave couple, and our SON, had me more nervous than I have ever felt in my life. The ride up the slow-moving elevator seemed to take forever even though it was only one floor. We checked in at reception and I could feel the knowing glances from the nurses; we took one last deep breath, knocked on her door and the moment was here.

In the room she and I barely said hello before we wrapped each other in a hug while the guys shared introductions and a handshake. Baby was down in the NICU so we had a chance to get to know the parents without distraction. The conversation seemed to flow like we had known each other for years. The two of them individually and their relationship had an almost eerie similarity to Ryan and I. These two people had such a love for this little boy and it was clear that they had an understanding of how beautiful of a gift adoption is. They went out of their way to assure us that their hearts were in it 100%. They revealed to us that they had originally planned to cut ties and have a closed adoption, but once they read our profile and now met us face to face they felt it was a match made directly by Gods hand and they felt at ease knowing that they could leave the line of communication open with us. We spent a bit more time talking with them about the pregnancy, their life, and their dreams for the future. We left her room to allow her to rest a bit and headed down to the NICU to meet our son.

We picked up the phone to get buzzed into the NICU; when they answer, you are supposed to tell them what baby you are there to see. Once inside we went through the required 3-minute hand scrub before you visit a baby in the NICU. Down the hall and around the corner we walked into the large room where the babies were being taken care of. Immediately you are hit with all the sounds, smells, and sights of a NICU. Beeps, buzzes, alarms, billie lights, heart monitors, and the unforgettable sterile smell that comes along with this place. I’ve seen/heard/smelled all of this dozens of times before photographing babies in the NICU but there is something completely different when it’s YOUR baby there.

In the NICU there were 9 full bays with an additional 3 babies in mobile isolettes because they were so busy that day. There were 2 other sets of parents in the room at the time, which meant there were 10 babies that could potentially be our little man. The nurse walked us to a crowded corner of the room to meet him. They were performing an echocardiogram on him when we walked up, he seemed so tiny connected to all the monitors. With the echo going on we couldn’t pick him up or touch him initially but that didn’t matter. Our love for him was instant. He didn’t grow in my stomach, but the moment we saw him there was no mistaking it, he was ours FOREVER! 
This adoption process has been a truly God driven experience. We have had immense struggles with our ability to trust God and his timing. We have felt hopeful, fearful, joyful, and terrified all at the same time. We’ve always heard people say that God doesn’t make mistakes, that he is working hardest when you are at your lowest. But we have never seen it manifest in our own lives as much as we have in the last two months. We were completely heartbroken and begging God for any kind of sign, for him to show us his reasoning for taking away the daughter we thought we were supposed to have. All I can say is that when God answers…he answers in big ways. There have been an incredible amount of ‘coincidences’ with Corbin’s adoption that can only be described as Gods work. 
 It all began with the name, we had chosen the name “K” for the little girl we were supposed to adopt and Corbin’s birth mom has the SAME name.
Next comes his birthday, our son Caden was born on Ryan’s grandpa’s birthday. Corbin was born on Dec 1st, MY grandfather’s birthday.

All through life my favorite number has been the number 7. I was #7 throughout all my years of high school sports, we were married on the 7th of Aug. Then comes Corbin, born at 7lbs 7oz and his hospital ID number was 777.

The last one I'll share for now is a name game. Our NICU nurse’s name was Amie, same as my sister, our first lawyers name is Brian, same as my brother, and our second lawyers name is Michael, same as Ryan’s dad.
Those really were just a few examples. We keep saying that the stars aligned for us to have Corbin. It seemed like every day of the trip God showed up in another grand way as to say ‘See I told you so!’ We have both always believed in God, and truthfully would have said we had a very strong relationship with him. However; needless to say, after this trip we feel a much stronger faith in him. We know that he is always watching over us, that he has answered our prayers before we even know what to pray for, and that when we doubt him and it feels like he has forgotten us is when he is doing his biggest work!

Adoption is big, Adoption is hard, Adoption is messy, Adoption is beautiful, Adoption is God’s work, Adoption is WORTH IT.


Corbins NICU Stay from Sarah Farrell on Vimeo.

If you are 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: Ryan and Sarah - Part ONE

The theme that resounds throughout Ryan and Sarah's adoption story is that God's timing is perfect!  Sarah did such a beautiful job sharing their story that I decided to break it up into two parts.  I know you will fall in love with this sweet family as much as I have!
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Our adoption story is much more then we planned; more difficult, more emotional, more faith strengthening, and more rewarding then we could have EVER imagined it would be.  It begins way back when Ryan and I were dating.  When I first told Ryan that I had always been interested in the idea of adopting one day after having a few biological kids, I thought for sure he would run for the hills and tell me I was crazy, but to my surprise he agreed!  He said he had always thought about it as well! Fast forward a few years… we were married and had two beautiful kids and the idea of adoption came ROARING back into our minds. 

I started researching some options and trying to see if it would even be possible for us, then on our 5th wedding anniversary (Aug 2015) I discovered Christian Adoption Consultants and printed off as much info as I could!  After a few more months of soul searching and fact finding we signed with CAC on my birthday, February 10, 2016 and we were introduced to our consultant Leah.

After signing in February, we dove head first into the home study process.  Our first home study visit went so smoothly; our home study agent was so welcoming and she just fueled the fire within us and we were so excited to potentially be ‘home study ready’ within just a few short weeks.  But then…a few short weeks turned into a few more, and a few more.  We eventually learned that our agents husband had passed away and we would be transferred to another agent.  There was a large portion of that time where we weren’t hearing updates regularly and it was so heavy on my heart.  I spent a multitude of days just asking God why he wasn’t allowing this to progress faster when I wanted it SO badly.  I felt like everywhere I turned people were having new babies or announcing pregnancies and my heart just ached.  I was ready for a baby right then and there (or so I thought) but it was totally out of my hands and I felt so hopeless.  We had a second home visit with the new agent in mid-July and we finally got the call that our home study was complete and we were ready to begin seeing expectant mother situations on August 8, 2016. 

In the weeks following home study approval, we saw about a dozen situations but none seemed to be quite the right fit for our family.  Then at the end of September (almost exactly a month after being approved) we learned of an expectant mom in Florida due with a little girl at the end of November and we decided to present.  We put our big “Yes” on the table and waited to hear word from the agency.  A few days later we heard that the mom loved our profile and wanted to talk with us.  We set up a phone call with her and it went great!  The following day we learned she had chosen us and we were officially matched!  The first situation we presented to and we were chosen!!!  I wish that I could portray to you the immeasurable joy we felt in that moment when we heard ‘You’ve been chosen!’ It was like all the hard work was finally paying off; we were going to be parents again!! 

We began the preparations for our daughter to come home, we even picked a name for her!  We kept in contact with our expectant mom throughout the remainder of October and then on Nov 1st we got “The Call”.  She had delivered the baby a month early, on Halloween!  We frantically left work, packed our bags, and booked the next flight out!  We were running completely on joy, excitement, nerves, and adrenaline at this point.

While loading the car to head to the airport the agency called again and our world came to a screeching halt.  The birthfather decided he wanted to parent.  There are no words to explain just how crushing those words felt.  It was almost like those scenes in the movies where the world is all moving around you but you are just stuck in place, unable to think, unable to move, unable to breathe.  Ryan describes it best to this day…it felt as though we lost our child in the delivery room. 


The days that followed were some of the most painful of our lives.  We struggled to understand God's plan, we questioned what he was doing and WHY he was doing it.  We were angry, we were hurt, we were sad, but we reminded ourselves about the reasons we were here.  We reminded ourselves of all the babies we had been reading about.  We knew that what was meant to be would be and that God already knew what our baby looked like and when he/she would enter our lives so we decided to push forward and open ourselves to seeing more situations.
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Ryan and Sarah's story is far from over.  Little did they know in just a few short weeks their baby would be in their arms... God had a beautiful plan and I will share it all tomorrow on my blog.  For now here's a sneak peek:

If you are 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: Brett and Shea

Shea and I were connected through a mutual friend in October 2015.  Shea just happened to be visiting a friend near where I live and we met up for breakfast to chat about adoption.  The next week they submitted their application to CAC and began working on their home study.  Shea shares more of their story below.


We started working with Leah in November, but God’s calling us to adoption began long before that. He gave me a heart for adoption when I was in high school and I knew it was something I would do “someday”. It took my husband, Brett, a while longer to come around to it, but I am so thankful for our church and community being one that really fosters adoption and the Lord really used that to whisper the calling into Brett’s heart as well.

We were married in 2009 and began trying to build our family a year later in 2010. After years of trying, 3 IUI cycles and an IVF pregnancy that ended in the loss of our first babies in December 2014, we knew that that it was time to trust God to grow our family first through adoption. When we walked through fertility treatments and the miscarriage, the Lord was faithful in that He gave me eyes to see a picture of the love of a parent as it should reflect His love for us - to see God’s love and feeling of loss in the sacrifice of His son for me and for you in such a new and overwhelming way.  It was that loss that would ultimately help give me a mother’s eyes for our son’s birthmother-a tiny glimpse of the weight of her loss. What seemed like a painfully long journey then, God so graciously used in His perfect timing to bring us our first born son, Zachary.

Meeting Zac for the first time at 3:30am!

We reached out to multiple agencies in the summer of 2015, all of which did not feel like a good fit for our family. A mutual friend of Leah’s from our church had talked about using a consultant, so I reached out to Leah in October. We began the home study process in November, and received our home study approval in the mail on January 16, 2016. We started presenting our profile book to multiple agencies on January 31st.  I posted this on February 3rd, the day we received our first no:

Today I feel like God has given me new eyes to see a tiny glimpse of the rejection Jesus experienced on the cross - all for us - and I am so thankful for God’s sovereignty and grace to let these glimpses encourage me instead of drown me with doubt. So although parts of today felt like a big drop in this roller coaster, the cross has been magnified even bigger and God’s love even greater. I am so thankful for our consultant Leah and the way she makes herself readily available to be used by the Lord. Tonight, she said, “sometimes your purpose is to stand in the gap for these women in prayer.” How beautiful that we get the unique opportunity to pray for so many women by name. Also, as I think about our first “no”, I am reminded that it is someone else’s yes! Therefore, I cannot help but be full of joy for another family. When you know how rejection and waiting feels, it makes anyone’s acceptance and yes so sweet!

We received an email about an expectant mom, K, making an adoption plan in March, but at the time we were waiting to hear back from another mom so were unable to present to K. However, in April, we were still not matched with a mom, and we received an email saying K was still looking for parents. I immediately knew it was because she was carrying our baby… K received our profile book on April 20, we had a phone call with her on April 26th, and two days later we found out that K had chosen us to parent her sweet baby (gender unknown at this time). We found out a week later that it was a BOY (Long story short, I had dreamed in January before we started presenting to moms that we were matched with a beautiful baby boy…The Lord’s provision is so beautiful!).

We spent time with K, Zac’s birthmom, the weekend of Father’s Day and our time together was perfect. Zachary was born on July 2nd and our lives were forever changed when we got to meet him at 3:30 am on July 3rd. The provision and faithfulness of the Lord were magnified. This was OUR son, and we were given the opportunity to be HIS parents. How beautiful! 

Some ask what was the biggest surprise or thing you least expected in your adoption story… I think nothing can prepare you for the day you watch a mom lovingly say good-bye to your son, to whom she gave birth. The weight of that moment, above any circumstances that may have led to her decision, the love and sacrifice she made that day will never go unnoticed or forgotten! 


Today Brett and Shea will finalize Zac's adoption and he will be declared by a judge forever their son. December used to be the month that signified the loss of their little ones, but today the month of December has been redeemed and holds a whole new significance for their family!

You can read more of Zac's birth story, their month long stay in the NICU, and follow their updates at http://walkingwiththewatsons.blogspot.com/

If you are considering adoption, I would love to chat with you more about working with CAC!  Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information! 

Christmas Cuteness Overload

It's no secret that Christmas is my favorite holiday.  I adore all things Christmas!  One of my most favorite things is opening my mailbox to find Christmas cards from families I've helped adopt.  What a gift these precious babies are and what an absolute JOY it is to reflect on God's faithfulness in each one of their family's stories.  Thought I would share some of the sweetness with you all.  You're welcome!











Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!







Adoption Story: Chris and Lizzy

Back in August I had an adoption situation cross my desk. As soon as I read through it I just knew I had the perfect family for this expectant mama – Chris and Lizzy. They fit all of the specific criteria the expectant mama had in mind when choosing an adoptive family for her little one. I forwarded the situation over to them and they agreed they would like to have their profile presented. When my husband walked through the door later that evening, I shared with him that I read through an adoption situation earlier and had this crazy gut feeling that Chris and Lizzy would be chosen. 

 Chris and Lizzy had just wrapped up their home study the week prior, but there was one big piece of the puzzle missing… their profile was not finished yet! Unable to shake the feeling that this was their little one, I cleared my evening schedule and spent the next several hours finishing their profile so that they would have enough time to get it printed and overnighted to the agency.

I wasn’t surprised when we got the email from the agency that they had been chosen! Lizzy shares more of their story below:

Prior to meeting and marrying my husband, adoption was always one of the ways I had envisioned growing my family. When we were married, my husband wanted to start the process prior to having biological children. I was not ready then and wanted to attempt to have biological children first. Like many other stories, we were not able to due to an unexplained infertility diagnosis.

Even though I had always been adamant about wanting to adopt, taking the first step into the process was more difficult than I had ever anticipated. This fear just took over me and doubts started to flood my mind. What about the birth mother? How am I just going to walk away with her baby? Do I really want an open adoption? How ethical are these agencies and adoption entities? Why does it cost so much?

I initially contacted Leah at CAC in July 2015. Leah responded to my questions and gave me information on the services provided and the multi-agency approach. This was great, but I just couldn't get over the fear and doubt in my mind. I consistently prayed for God to enlighten my path and for me to surrender all these fears. I just could not get myself to take the first step, and then I thought maybe this isn't truly for us.

I may have given up momentarily, but God is always faithful and he continued to put the desire and pull in my heart until it was so strong I could not ignore it any longer, it was time to obey and truly step out in faith.

In March 2016, we signed up with CAC and were home study approved by August. We were just in the process of finalizing our profile book so we could apply to agencies when Leah presented us with a situation regarding a baby boy due in October, which she believed we would be great for our family. We read it and right away wanted to present. We had two days to finalize our profile book and print it locally (not very fancy) and overnight it. Leah was so amazing she worked through the night to complete our book so we could send it in time. 

Two weeks later we heard back that V wanted to talk with us over the phone. This was the most nervous I think I have ever been, but once it started, I was truly overwhelmed at how incredibly sweet, loving, and brave she was and she broke the news to us that she had chosen us! We kept in touch weekly and took a road trip to meet her, the birthfather, and their daughter. It went so well I felt as if we were out with extended family. We had such a great connection - I instantly loved her!

The day Mateus was born we made it hours after his delivery, but I was able to spend the night not only bonding with my son, but also with V. The day consent was signed I was happy, but I was sad at the same time because her loss was our gain. We had to stay in the hospital a couple more weeks and I never would have imagined how much I would miss V, even though we keep in touch by phone.

Adoption can be hard, but it’s truly beautiful and filled with love. I learned what God can do when we step out in faith and surrender, no matter our circumstances and the limitations we put on ourselves. Our story is one truly only orchestrated by him!


Meet handsome little Mateus: 


God’s timing is perfect and I couldn’t be happier for your family! Congratulations Chris and Lizzy!

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

Adoption Story: Luke and Melissa

Last fall Luke and Melissa got started on a journey they had been considering and praying about for years.  They felt the Lord was calling them to expand their family.  Not only did he expand their family, but their faith through the process.

Like many families who are considering adoption, they wondered how they would afford their adoption.  They stepped out in faith and trusted God to provide.  The Lord truly blessed their fundraising efforts over the coming months and provided in incredible ways through their friends, family, and even strangers.

In June, I forwarded them a situation of baby girl who was due in just a few short weeks and they decided to present their profile for the first time.  A few days later they were thrilled to find out they were chosen!  Melissa shares more about what this journey has taught them below...

More than anything, throughout the journey of adoption, God was teaching (and re-teaching) us that He is good and that He can be trusted. Whether it was trusting Him in the home study, trusting Him in the fundraising, trusting Him in the match, or trusting Him once we met our daughter: God was reminding us that there is no mountain too big for him to move. Our pastor once said that difficulty has a way of, "focusing your gaze and broadening your perspective," and the adoption process proved this statement to be true.

Throughout the process CAC stood beside us and counseled us along the way. Without Leah's wisdom and guidance, I am not sure what we would have done. To say that we are different is an understatement. God used the process to expand our faith and our family, and now our prayer is that he will continue to use the experience to expand our influence as we advocate for adoption and for families who God is calling to take the journey that we took.

Meet their precious daughter, Gabby
She has two big brothers who adore her!

Congratulations Luke and Melissa!  What an honor it was to watch God provide for your every need when you stepped out in faith!

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