Thank you so much to everyone who reached out to me or commented on my last post – “Our Adoption Journey – Part 1“. Seeing your overwhelming support and encouragement was so amazing! I feel very confident in our decision to adopt and that this is the Lord’s plan for us. We are so thankful for those who are on the sidelines supporting and praying for us!
Since my last post, we have made some progress moving forward. Our home study approval had been on hold for weeks, which was so frustrating! Since Drew and I had lived in California in the last five years, we had to get a complete background check through their state as well. Due to COVID, the California government is basically shut down, so this was taking a long time. All I’m going to say is, I’m glad we live in Texas! 😉 (Can I get an amen?!) We finished all of the paperwork (which is a LOT!), and all of the requirements in Texas, but we were waiting on one document from California for us to be complete.
With our hands tied, there wasn’t really anything for us to do for a long time. In order to move on to the next step of presenting our adoption profile book to expectant moms, our home study approval had to be in. There wasn’t really a next step to take for a quite a while. It crossed my mind that I would like to get some new family photos taken, so when we do present our book we have nice, current photos to put in it, but I never acted on that desire because again- who knew how long we’d be waiting?
A couple weeks ago I was driving with Isla to Target (my favorite place 😍) and we were listening to Air-1 on the radio, a popular Christian station. A popular segment of theirs is “59 seconds of hope”, and that day’s talked about Mark 11:24 –
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
They talked about how important it is to believe and thank God for those blessings you are waiting for before you get them. Thanking God after you receive something is gratitude, but thanking God before you receive something is faith. This whole journey towards adoption has been a huge step out in faith so I definitely resonated with this, but this helped me see that same idea towards the different steps along the way as well.
For whatever reason that really struck me and hit me hard in that moment. I prayed out loud and did exactly as Air-1 described, thanking God for his provision over this adoption and that He would help us forward, and we would be able to move on with our homestudy. I totally felt the Holy Spirit in that moment!
Prior to this, I had been asking God what the next right step would be, and I hadn’t really come up with an answer. Randomly I thought of the family pictures idea, and it had just so happened that I had seen a photographer I really liked and she had spots available for the coming weekend. I went ahead and booked the appointment and busied myself finding cute, coordinating outfits for us. I figured, “we can always get these done now and I can hold onto them as long as I need to.” This was something I could take action on and do while we were waiting for bigger pieces of the journey to fall into place.
Guys… this is where God comes in to show off… 😊 😊 I got home from shopping for our outfits and began taking everything out of the shopping bags to show Drew what I had bought, and Drew decided to email our social worker just one more time to see if we had gotten the document we needed from California back. (Bless her, she has had to PUT UP with us blowing her up! 😂). Probably five minutes later he ran in and shouted “We got it!” 😃
It’s almost as if He was saying – “You do your part, I’ll take care of the rest”. I couldn’t believe it!!! The moment we had been waiting for was finally here, as soon as we took the action that was in front of us. It had seemed so small at the time, like who cares if I get photos done or when I book it? But this little incidence reminded me yet again that once you step out in faith, God will never let you down. I am blown away, and I know this is only the beginning of the works that God will do in this journey!
The pictures turned out GREAT by the way! 😉 Here’s a few of my favorites! There was some bribing with M&M’s involved… I’m not above that! 😂
Another new development in our adoption journey is despite not having the home study approval until very recently, I have had the opportunity to have a conversation with an expectant mama outside of the agency we’re currently working with. I won’t share any of the details to respect her privacy and situation, but I will tell you I am so, so blown away by the strength and selflessness that expectant moms and birth moms have. This is something that I had known all along, but having a chance to talk to someone truly in this position made it really sink in and hit me in a different way. It’s like knowing something intellectually, but when you see it first hand it hits you emotionally. These women are AMAZING!
Whoever our child’s birth mom ends up being, the process will look similar. We will be informed of an expectant mama and the baby she’s carrying, and we will choose if we would like to present our profile book to her in hope of parenting her baby. She will then choose a family for her child out of the families that have presented to her.
This conversation I had the honor of having was so eye-opening to me on an emotional level. The fact that someone who doesn’t know me personally, and has not yet met me, will look at photos of our family and a letter we’ve written to her and choose ME as their unborn child’s mother, is the biggest honor and blessing we could be given. Can you imagine her strength and the sacrifice? What a GIFT they are giving their child (their life), and the expense of their own heart! And can you think of a bigger honor than to be chosen? It makes me tear up and gives me the chills just typing it!
I have heard other adoptive parents say that at the beginning of their journey they thought they would be the one’s giving to a child in need, when in reality they were the ones who were given the biggest gift of all. This is how I am beginning to feel myself, even though we haven’t reached the finish line quite yet!
Now that we have our photos, and our home study approval, we can begin presenting to expectant mamas! While I knew the expense that adoption entailed, I was surprised to learn that very shortly after being matched your first payment is due. Depending on the case specifics, this could be a big chunk of money! Something that I have heard other waiting families do to help offset the cost, but struggled with the idea myself was to conduct fundraisers.
One of the things I pride myself fiercely on is being independent and self sufficient. That’s the Marine Corps coming out in me! I had a lot of fear about this for some reason! My fear in this was that others would think – “Well you chose the expensive route to adoption… You could have adopted through foster care, where it’s free.” Or “Why would you go down this route knowingly not having all of the funds in place from the get go?” We of course have been saving and will continue to do so, and have money set aside for this, but are still relying on God to bring all the pieces together to where financially we are set to bring our baby home.
In talking to folks since we announced our decision to adopt, I’ve noticed there has been a lot of confusion over the cost of adoption. Our adoption consultant agency we’re working with informs waiting families to expect the cost of adoption to be $25-50,0000. 😱 I know…. shocking right?!
A big factor in the variance in cost is what point in the pregnancy the expectant mama decided to place her baby for adoption. If she decides to place the baby early on, the cost is greater. The agency she is working with assumes all of her costs from that point forward. Things like her medical costs, counseling, attorney fees; even her rent and other expenses are paid for by the agency. Then, when a family decides to adopt her baby, the cost is then inherited by us. There is still more like our flights, lodging during ICPC, finalization and court costs, and many more factors that go into this, but this is just a small glimpse to help broaden your understanding!
Ultimately, after discussion and prayer we’ve decided that we can’t let the “What If” of other people’s opinions keep us from moving forward. After all, fear is a liar! I know the people that truly love us will continue to do so, and not think those negative thoughts, and that’s all that really matters anyway! We will be launching some fundraisers to support our adoption journey, and more will be announced very soon!
I just want to give a huge thank you to those who are following our adoption journey and supporting us! This has been such an exciting time in our lives, but also hugely unnerving! We appreciate any prayers, and can’t wait to update with more details as our story unfolds.