Monday, December 21, 2015

Fundraising and Savings Update #5 Plus a Goal Change

We have good news and bad news vis-a-vis fundraising / savings. The good news is that we have now raised $11,947.67  and saved $9,640.62 (having two jobs really helps) for a grand total of $21,588.29. Thank you! We are definitely on pace to meet our original goal of $24,180.

The bad news is that we have to adjust our original goal to a higher amount. Right before we submitted our application to our placement agency (St. Joseph's), we learned through conversation with the director that we really should be anticipating around $35,000 total for all the adoption costs, given the latest trends in birthparent expenses and fees paid to the adoption professionals in whatever state the child is born. (Our agency networks with a number of agencies in different states.) We decided we were going to still go with this placement agency because even with these additional fees it is still comparable nationally to other agencies. Hence, our goal has risen from $24,180 to $34,180 (see our adoption costs page here).

This is discouraging, but we know the Lord will provide as He has done in the past through your donations, our jobs, etc. This is just another test of how much we trust the Lord and another sacrifice to enlarge our hearts with love for our child. We also are going to apply for adoption grants in the new year and work our tails off at saving through being extra frugal.

So we pray with confident hope that God will help make this dream of motherhood, fatherhood, and above all a loving home for a child in desperate need come true. This is our prayer, our miracle we pray for this Christmas season. If you think of it, then please remember us in your prayers.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Our First Roller-Coaster Ride with a Possible Adoption Situation

It probably is cliché to say that trying to adopt is an emotional roller coaster ride....lots of ups and downs, exhilaration and terror, disappointments and fast-moving decisions to be made.

n.b. we actually both love real-life roller-coasters!

This past week or so, we experienced our first taste of the adoption roller-coaster. (Spoiler alert - because we don't want to get anyone's hopes up - this doesn't end in us adopting.)

Now that we're home study approved, we're in the process of applying to the agency we'll work with to connect us with adoption situations (St. Joseph's in Kansas City). But a few days before we planned to send in our application, we got an email from our home study agency in Maryland about a potential adoption situation. A mom was thinking about placing her toddler son in an adoptive home, and were any of the "waiting families" interested?

We got that email Thursday December 3rd and had until Monday December 7th to say yes or no to having our profile shown. Thursday night we scrambled to get our profile done - just in case - and we also spoke confidentially to an adoptive family we know, asking their advice. (They had adopted a toddler - this was something we really hadn't looked into.) Bethany asked about toddler adoption in a Facebook group with adoptive parents and got some great advice. And we prayed a lot!! This felt like a really momentous thing, the first time we would have our profile book shown, the first time we'd have a chance at being chosen, maybe even becoming part of our child's story of how he/she came into our family...there's just no way to completely stop your mind from wandering, from thinking "this might be IT....."

It's crazy how fast everything moves too! Thursday to Monday is not that long a time to make a decision that could potentially change our lives forever. So we decided to say "yes" and ask the agency to show our profile. Making that decision was terrifying and exhilarating all at once! At the core, it felt like a "yes" to life. A "yes" to the possibility of welcoming a little one into our home, even with so many question marks about what it would be like. Not seeing the entirety of the road ahead, we felt comfortable and at peace with saying yes to this step. it turns out, the mom got more counseling from our agency over the weekend, changed her mind, and we got an email Monday night saying that she decided she did really want to keep parenting. The agency is going to connect her with whatever supports they can to make that possible.

Not gonna lie: we're disappointed. It would have been amazing to have our very first adoption possibility turn into an actual adoption. And of course we are so excited to be parents!! While trying to stay grounded and in the present moment, we did daydream about little feet running around our home, a little child to read to and love, and so on. And we could not help but think about our first Christmas with a precious child bopping around, wide-eyed at the wonder of life. Those dreams will have to wait a bit longer and it is so hard, especially around Christmas.

At the same time, throughout the weekend we had been praying for God's will to be done and for the best situation to happen for this mom and her little boy. We hope and pray this is it! At the least, this little guy won't have to go through being separated from his mom - even when that ends with a fantastic new adoptive family, it's still a loss for the child and his first mom/parents. So we pray for blessings upon this family and we believe that this situation was brought into our lives so we can intercede for this mother and child, both of whom are going through very difficult circumstances this Christmas.

Whew. The roller coaster is real. This was a very vivid first taste of the ups and downs in adoption - getting hopes up, trying to stay detached from a particular situation, praying for the best outcome for everyone, whether or not that means us adopting right now. We know we're so early in the process, and of course have no way of knowing how many more "rides" we'll be on. Please keep praying and thank you for your support!