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Finding Our Rhythm

When we first started our adoption journey, we just knew we were "prepared" for parenthood!! I had been a nanny for over six years, we had Godsons we adored, we had read so very much, we owned our own home, we both had wonderful jobs, we prepared the nursery and all of those other things we thought we needed, we had prayed and prayed, and finally, we just needed God to send us that sweet expectant mama who was carrying our child! Or so we thought...

We had several opportunities come up within our five months of waiting, but it wasn't until a cold February morning that we woke up to find THE email waiting for us! After the last situation, we didn't want to get too invested. What if she didn't like us or what if she changed her mind? Turns out, she loved us and we loved her—it was a match made in heaven! We walked this road our expectant mama for two months. We were getting attached to her, getting attached to this unborn baby, and all at the same time trying to remind ourselves that she could decide to parent and leave us empty-handed. Unlike a pregnancy where you prepare and you know what will happen in the end, with adoption you prepare and have no idea what should or will happen in the end.

Those two months were chaotic. There was no planning anything, including our son's arrival because of the unknown. We were first told one due date, then that date got pushed back two more weeks, and then he was here! He came completely unexpected, four weeks earlier than the due date we were given. Thankfully, he was completely healthy and full term.

The initial legal process went as planned, leaving the hospital went as planned, but then there was the wait to finalize the interstate adoption. Who prepares you to spend your first couple of days in a hotel room with an infant? What about all those gadgets you bought because you thought you needed them those first few days that you had to leave at home? What about those first sleepless nights without the swing or the oh so amazing Baby Brezza formula maker?

Then, there was that amazing woman you met. The one who you grew to admire, who you had talked to for months, and who had decided to bless your family with this miracle. She was an intricate part of your life and the life you now held in your hands, but you now no longer communicate due to the arrangements made to protect everyone involved. Who warned you about this heartbreak? Truly, adoption is an unpredictable, yet inexplicably beautiful process that can be quite the roller coaster. It is in this roller coaster, however, that we were given the most amazing gift that was not only worth the wait but also worth the initial heartbreak.

Life with this sweet baby has been amazing, and we are blessed by him every day, but it has not been the easiest. He was diagnosed with a heart condition at only 12 days old. The medicine he was given caused him to have silent reflux, in turn causing an excessive amount of stomach pain. Once we figured out he had reflux, it took us some time to figure out which one medication was the best for him. We were completely ready for the sleepless nights, but no one tells you how to handle a heart rate of 250 in this new tiny life you are now responsible for!

Every day when we wake up to this super sweet face, we thank God for him and then pinch ourselves to make sure we aren't still dreaming! It is through this exact process that we realized we were not prepared for parenthood or even adoption like we thought we were. But thankfully, God has walked us through it every step of the way and prepared us to be parents because truly, when in life are you ever prepared for such a huge life change? So, those days where he cried excessively, we leaned on chocolate, Coke Zero, coffee, one another, and oh did we pray! Now that we have figured this little guy out and he only wakes up for one feeding during the night, we still lean into the same things. As we navigate through this crazy, beautiful adventure called parenthood, we find our rhythm and pray that through each stage of our son’s life, we will be present, willing, and able to lead his precious heart in the way that God has ordained us to.

 

Sweet parents who are waiting on that call, text, or email, know that it is so worth it. This baby is so worth loving. This baby is so worth the heartache. Moreover, you were created with the desire to be a parent. This desire is preparation enough. You will never be more prepared that you are in the moment that you realize God’s plan for your family includes adoption. After all, He doesn’t call the prepared, He prepares the called.

 

*Post contributed by former client, Tonya Taylor

Preparing for Motherhood

My husband, Charlie, and I are in the "waiting to be matched" phase of adoption after trying to get pregnant for five years. I really want to be a mom. I’ve taken several rounds of medication, I’ve stuck needles in my stomach, I’ve tracked my cycles, and I’ve even gained weight to achieve a “more suitable” body for pregnancy. Many tests have been ran, we’ve had an adoption profile at our local Crisis Pregnancy Center, and we’ve talked to several adoption agencies before landing at Quiver Full. More importantly, we have prayed a LOT of prayers. The list could go on for days, but you get the idea.

You’d think by now that I’d say I am prepared to be a mom, but I’m honestly not. There are so. many. things. that you are expected to know the answer to even though you don’t know the child you are answering them for. Just to name a few: breast milk or formula, co-sleeping or no, daycare or stay-at-home, immunizations or no, spankings or no spankings, cloth diapers or convenience. For those of us in the adoption world, you need to think through if you want to have baby showers, set up a nursery, and pick out names before you match or wait until after. I’m barely tapping the surface, and I legitimately got overwhelmed even typing those out.

After years of hoping and waiting, I still imagine bringing home our baby and thinking, “so... what do we do now?” Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done some reading and I have served a fair share of days in the church nursery, but I mean, are people really ever ready to be parents?

When I was eighteen, I got super sick. I was eventually diagnosed with a severe case of mono that shut down my immune system and led to a whole host of problems including my personal favorite, jaundice. So not only did I feel horrible, I was yellow. It wasn't the best way to end my senior year of high school. Anyway, unbeknownst to me at the time, the doctors told my parents that they suspected I had leukemia. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, but Jesus used that to really get some things straight with my mom. I was dedicated as a baby in front of the whole church with my sweet, white dress and my proud parents. We’ve got pictures and a little Bible to prove it. But, that day when my mom heard a scary (and thankfully incorrect) diagnosis, she remembered that dedication. She realized that I didn’t belong to her. She raised me every second of my life and I even share her DNA, but I wasn’t hers. When my parents dedicated me to Jesus, they were recognizing that they were stewards of me, but they were not owners. This meant that as long as we're on this earth together, they will do their best to raise me, train me, and prepare me to be the woman that God wants me to be, but ultimately they acknowledge God’s sovereignty over my life and trust His plan for me. I don’t belong to them, I belong to Him. In that uncomfortable hospital chair, she had to decide if she actually meant what she said when they dedicated me seventeen years earlier.

In a lot of ways, I am not prepared to be a mama. Our future nursery is an empty room with a few boxes that I still haven’t unpacked from when we moved in a few months ago. However, I have decided to dedicate my children to the Lord before they even exist. The only way I know how to really prepare to be a mom is to acknowledge that the role of a good mother is to be a really, really great steward. Realizing that I am not in control, and surrendering everything (even my future children) to God is the most freeing posture I have ever had. This means that even when we are matched, that baby is not ours. From the minute we are matched, God is allowing us to steward that baby and it may only be for a few months, or it may be for the rest of our lives.

* Post contributed by current client, Amy Bagwell

You can follow along with Charlie and Amy as they continue their adoption journey by clicking here! https://www.facebook.com/charlieandamyadopt/

How Do I Explain Adoption to My Young Child?

We began our adoption journey a little more than six months ago, when our biological son Moses was three and a half years old. A couple months into the process, our social worker came over for our final in-person home study visit (the very last step to complete our home study with the state). The doorbell rang and I welcomed Sandy in. Moses came running down the stairs from his room with arms open to give her a big hug and blurted out, "I'm so excited to meet my new brother or sister, Miss Sandy!" Spencer and I about died laughing.

My husband and I spent nearly two years trying to conceive before deciding to pursue adoption. Throughout this time, Moses would frequently ask about being a brother. It broke our hearts that we couldn’t make him one. We went through countless infertility treatments over the course of eight months or so, and after our final failed treatment, we decided to discontinue the medical interventions and open our mind to what God had put on our hearts long ago—adoption.

When we realized that we would not actually be able to physically bring a sibling into the world for Moses, we began to think about the ways that we could explain adoption to him. Because he is so young and his heart is still fragile, this was very important to us. The way that we described adoption to Moses at this moment would forever shape the way that he viewed his brother or sister in the future. Would he think of them differently because things didn’t happen the conventional way that he’s seen in other families? Would he think this baby is less special because it was adopted? We never wanted any of these things to happen, so we knew it was super important that we shape this in light of God’s love.

It became time to fill Moses in on what was happening in our hearts and in our family, and honestly we simplified adoption to its fundamental root. We are adopting because we feel like it’s what God has called us to in this season of life. Although this may be a trying experience at times, we are confident that He will fulfill the promise He has already spoken over us. So, we simply told Moses that God was bringing him a brother or sister and that he was finally going to be a big brother. This may seem simple and overrated, but it’s what is going to happen! When he’s so young, simple is best. After all, it didn’t take long for him to begin telling anyone who would listen! His excitement has truly filled our family with even more joy than we could ever imagine.

We are currently waiting to be matched with an expectant mom. The wait is so hard on all of us, but we know that God is writing a better story than we ever could. He continues to stretch our faith and deepen our expectations of what is yet to come. Moses is going to be an amazing big brother someday, and I can’t wait to hear him tell the story of how God answered his prayers and finally made him a brother.

What are some ways that you’ve explained adoption to your children, especially younger ones? Are there any helpful resources that you’ve looked to, books you’ve read them, or Scripture you’ve looked to for guidance? Let us know in the comment section of this post!

 

* Post contributed by current client, Emily Monson

You can follow along with Spencer, Emily, and Moses as they continue their adoption journey, by clicking here!

Finding Purpose in Failure

Finding Purpose in Failure

The adoption journey is never an easy one, no matter what happens along the way.  Someone’s heart will break. There will be many tears shed. There is anxiety around every corner. However, every single second that you are experiencing the pain, doubt, and fear that come along with the process, know there is a purpose behind it all. God has a beautiful path for you to follow to your son or daughter—you just have to trust it.

The Beauty of Open Adoption

The Beauty of Open Adoption

Can we talk about open adoption for a few minutes? More often than not, when I mention to someone that we have an open adoption with our son, Oliver’s, birth mom, I am met with a look of complete fear staring back at me. Whether I am talking to a hopeful adoptive couple, one of my family members, friends, or just a random stranger, as I begin to explain our relationship with our birth mom people look at me like there is an actual UFO hovering above my head. I am not that crazy, people! Most of the time it boils down to the fact that these people don’t really understand how open adoption works and what it looks like on a day-to-day basis. If this is you sweet friend, it is completely ok. I would love to help you replace your fears with the reality of what open adoption looks like—if you will meet me here with an open mind...

One Step Closer

One Step Closer

Our adoption journey started as many others do.  A year of trying to get pregnant, a visit to the fertility specialist, multiple procedures, a miscarriage, the decision to stop trying, taking some time for ourselves.  Then, the inevitable happened...we still desperately wanted to become parents.  So, we began another chapter in our lives, this time determined that God had big plans in store for us...

Waiting On The Rain

Sometimes I feel so silly as I prepare for our future baby. We are putting up a crib, buying things, doing fundraisers- all because we believe in God's promise to give us a child. I've compared this to feeling like Noah building the ark. He believed in God's promise of the coming flood and, in faith, he wanted to be ready. Were there times when he looked at this huge boat on dry land and thought, "What am I doing?" Or, as he shuffled his animals onboard two by two, did he say, "Please, God, help me to understand your plan." Or did he just keep faithfully working, knowing that God follows through on His promises? This nursery is our ark. Every diaper, every bib, every tiny sock is a sign of our faithfulness. We believe that God has hand selected a baby just for us. So, here we are, friends. Just waiting on the rain. 

*Post contributed by previous client, Jessica Donnahoo.