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Adoption Miracle – God’s Blessing In The Midst Of Struggle

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Earlier this year, in the Spring, an amazing family got the call that would change their lives, and bring joy to the journey of a family that had almost given up pursuing adoption due to many years of disappointment and “Almosts” that never happened. Find out how Paul & Mari’s family changed overnight when they least expected it. Mari shares their story:

“It has been such a long journey I am not even sure where to start.

Almost 10 years ago, I (Mari) had some health complications. After some time, we learned I had a hernia in my abdominal wall. After two surgeries to repair it, the doctor strongly suggested that I not go through another pregnancy. I had always hoped to have more than the 2 girls we had, so I started thinking about other means to add to our family. Mostly, it was just ideas and options for a while.

Then, 9 years ago, I felt impressed to look into foster care. As a family, we decided to help those kids by bringing them into our home. We knew we were just a temporary place for them to stay. However, if the chance came that they could stay with us forever, we would welcome that opportunity. There were definitely many ups and downs with our experiences as a foster family. After the first 3 or 4 years, we decided we would only do respite (babysit for other foster parents) as having the kids in our home for a long time, then watching them leave was too hard on our family. As of today, we have had over 15 different kids in our home. Some only for a few days, others for almost 2 years.

5 years ago, we decided we wanted to pursue adoption more, as I felt like there was more for our forever family. We did our home study and adoption certification through LDS Family Services (LDS FS). In the last 5 years, we have worked with several expectant mothers. One changed her mind at the hospital, others changed their mind before we got that far. Some were friends of friends, others found us on other adoption websites. We also submitted our profiles for many little ones from different agencies, who work with LDS FS. For the last several years, we have also been working with our foster care licensing agency to try to adopt out of foster care. We have submitted “family interest forms” to be the forever family for over a dozen cases. Nothing was working for us to find “our” little one.

This past April, we were up for our adoption renewal again. I told LDS FS that we were not going to renew. We felt like we had tried everything and maybe adoption wasn’t in the plans for our family after all. Maybe we just needed to enjoy the journey and take what we learned from it and move on. Our two daughters are getting older and it just felt like maybe it was time to move on. A few days later, our worker with LDS FS asked us if we would be interested in having our profile shown to an expectant mom of twins who was currently in Utah. I said sure. How many times has our profile be shown over the past five years – I don’t think I could even count that. Well, I was very surprised when she called us back and told us the expectant mom had chosen us for her little girls.

Now it was a big scramble to get everything put together. We needed to submit all of the paperwork for Mother Goose Adoptions, since this birth mother was with this agency. She was scheduled for an induction the end of the month. There were many things that took place during the month, working with Mother Goose, the birth mother, two trips to Utah (one to meet the birth mother and one at delivery), and juggling all of our daughters end of the school year activities. This opportunity eventually fell through and Paul and I drove home from Utah on a Wednesday very discouraged. I told Mother Goose we were done and we couldn’t put our family through that again. It was completely emotionally draining.
I’m really glad Deb (at Mother Goose) didn’t listen to me.

Deb sent me a message the following Monday asking if we were open to African American. I said something to the effect of “yeah, whatever”. I really didn’t want to deal with anything adoption related at the moment. Tuesday comes around and Deb starts texting me pictures of the sweetest little girl (born just 2 days before), telling me she wants to come to our family. Deb was with her back east and was trying to find a family for her. That night, at midnight, I sent the text to Deb that we wanted her in our family. I was a little nervous. We were emotionally drained and we don’t know many African American people, but everything felt like it totally fell into place for us to be in a place to even find out about her. I was still trying to figure out it if was really going to happen this time. I got up Wednesday morning and ordered her a car seat. That night at dinner, I told the girls I bought something on-line today. Sarah in her very sarcastic voice says, what a baby? I started laughing and told them about Isabelle. I was able to show them the pictures Deb had sent me. They were just a cautious as Paul and I were. Comments like, “Will this one really work out?” and “is it for real?” showed us they were just as hurt as we were by all the “almosts” we have had over the last several years (and they never knew about a lot of the contacts we had). It finally started to feel real when Deb showed up at our house on Saturday and handed the baby over to us. Granted, I only got to hold her for a few minutes before the girls and Paul took her. But we had some great bonding that night while everyone else was asleep.

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Isabelle is now 6 weeks old and we are so grateful for her! She is a huge blessing to us. She has been showered with gifts, hugs, kisses and cuddles. She is starting to smile now, and gives her biggest smiles to Paul whenever she see him. She loves to cuddle and snuggle with whoever will hold her, which all of us love! She has changed our world in an incredible way. She is our miracle.
Side note: her welcoming into our extended family and friends circle has been completely overwhelming. She is so loved by everyone, it has really touched my heart to see the love everyone close to us has for her.”

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What a joy it is to see families come together through the miracle of adoption! Contact us today to start your adoption journey.

Life Goes On – Danny and Shauna’s Adoption Story

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Shauna and Danny are the proud parents of a baby boy born this Spring. Shauna shares their story with Creating Christian Families.  This post is an exact copy of her blog post entry so please note that all credit for the content and the photographs is to Shauna. Thank you.

“Years ago now, Danny and I were driving around in the dark. We had just fallen in love a couple of months before. Late in the evening, I had picked him up from the restaurant where he was the chef, a night of dinner-service rush and camaraderie in the kitchen behind him. I had been writing all day, working on a proposal for the first book I wanted to write. Hours apart felt like days, and we were so happy to be in the car together, going home.

As we talked and talked, a song came on the radio turned low. “Wait,” Danny said, as he turned up the volume. Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace… We looked at each other and laughed. The Beatles. Of course. We both loved the Beatles. My yes tattoo was in some part inspired by the story of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono met. He has a drawing of John Lennon, the word imagine, and a tangerine tree tattooed on his arm. Our meeting felt like kismet, with a 1960s soundtrack. We were close to my apartment — now his apartment too — but we drove around the neighborhood in circles, wanting to finish the song. We sang loudly into the darkness, Danny slightly off-key. (I knew from the start that he couldn’t carry a tune and I didn’t care.) Somehow, in that spontaneous singing was all the hopes we had for our sudden new love: the marriage, the two kids we were so eager to meet, the goofy happiness. In that moment of singing Ob la Di Ob la Da was our future together.

Years passed, with many of those moments documented on this site. I wrote a book. Two weeks shy of turning 42, I gave birth to our daughter. She nearly died. She came back to life. We settled into being parents, happier than we had ever been in our lives. Danny left that restaurant. We wrote a cookbook. We moved to Vashon and started small-town life together. Danny started cooking at another restaurant. We wrote another cookbook. I wrote. Danny cooked. He left restaurant life. We took Lucy around the world on book tours and cooking classes tours and potluck gathering tours. We started a third cookbook. There were awards and setbacks, patches of writer’s block, ideas emerging that thrilled us both. Mostly, there were so many hilarious and moving moments with our daughter as she grew from small baby into joyful child that everything else seemed small in comparison. We have been happy, so happy.

And yet, there was this hole. Our family didn’t feel complete.

If we had not been able to have another child, we would have been grateful. But Danny and I both adore our siblings, who are some of our best friends. We both believe that siblings teach you what parents cannot: how to compromise, how to fight, how to defend each other, how to make up secret languages, how to make each other laugh. We wanted Lucy to have a sibling. It was beyond analysis, even though we spent months researching and talking and thinking about it. We wanted to welcome another child into our family.

Over three years ago, we began the process to adopt another child. We started by thinking about international adoption, but within the year realized it wasn’t the right path for us. The same with foster adopt, after lots of heartfelt conversations. We settled on an adoption agency for domestic, open adoption and started filling out mountains of paperwork. We sat through interviews, home studies, wrote 25-page autobiographies (each of us), got fingerprinted, did background checks, and asked many friends for letters of recommendations. We finished it all, triumphant, and turned it in. And then we waited, and waited, and waited, as the agency had no mothers to work with and dozens of waiting families growing ever more impatient. Over the course of a year, we saw only a clutch of profiles, none of them the right connection for us. We grew frustrated and tired, tried to stay hopeful, doubted the entire process, and nearly gave up. After more thought and research, and taking a leap of faith that the extra money we would have to spend would arrive somehow, we switched to working with another adoption agency more suited to us. And we started filling out that mountain of paperwork all over again.

The next time I hear someone say to a couple who cannot have children, “Oh, you can just adopt!” I will refrain from smacking him. Gently, however, I might say, “There’s no easy fix in that option, believe me.” Making a plan for adoption has been the most conscious, thoughtful process Danny and I have ever undergone. People get pregnant without planning it nearly every day. No one ever adopts mindlessly.

At times, I wondered if it was all worth it, this process of hoping and waiting and writing big checks. There were terrible moments when I thought we should give up. I’m not the kind to give up, but it was just so hard, all this uncertainty. Our friends who adopted their children all said the same: “Stay patient. When you meet your child, you’ll know that all these almost-chances and waiting were worth it. It was all the path to meet your child.”

They were right.

blog pic 1Last week, on March 19th, we met our son.

We are over the moon. We are amazed with this little guy, a sweet and patient boy who barely cries. He’s making shapes in the air as he learns to use his arms, dancing in his sleep at my feet as I write this. The gratitude we feel for this little peanut is enormous.

And gratitude for his mother. Our son was born of an amazing woman, kind and strong, who has become like family to us. She chose us to be his family back in January, and we have been writing back and forth ever since, getting to know each other through our words. I’ve never been more grateful for my words, for my ease with writing them, all these years later. It is the most unexpected relationship of our lives.

Her story, and his birth story, are not ours to tell. For years, I have been open with the stories of our life, sometimes too open. This one, however, is private. In the last year, and especially these last two months, as we prepared and hoped for his arrival, Danny and I have been feeling the need to share less, to be more quiet. As we left the hospital with him in his car seat, Danny turned to me and said, “Well, our DNA is different now.” This has all changed us in ways we won’t be able to articulate for a long time.

I will say this, however. When I first heard about open adoption — the mother chooses the family by looking at family books and letters, then communication and learning to trust each other, then a child who moves from one mother to another, and in some cases, letters and meetings in the following years — I was scared. I wanted to be the mother, the only mother. I didn’t want the complexity and ambiguity of it all. But a good friend of ours told me something that changed our minds. She also didn’t want to try open adoption at first. And then she realized this: it’s all about having a story for your child. “Your birth mother loves you, and she realized she couldn’t take care of you the way she wanted you to be cared for. She made the hardest decision she has ever made, for your sake. And she chose us to be your family.”

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This is what we’ll be telling our son. This is why we decided to enter into open adoption with open hearts and full commitment. Because of him. And because of her.

We wanted a second child. And oh, what a fine little baby he is. I can’t wait to watch him grow up. Lucy is besotted with him, in three-minute spurts. She hugs him and touches him and talks about how cute he is. “I’m your big sister!” she tells him every time. And then she goes off to dance or draw again. Babies are supremely boring when you are five.

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We wanted this child. We longed for him. But what we didn’t know is how moved we would be by the relationship we have with his mother, whom we will always honor in his life. We wanted a child and we found more family.

There are all kinds of ways to make a family in this world. But really, I think you just make them, in any shape, with love.

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Oh, and the little guy’s name is Desmond Jeremiah Ahern.

Jeremiah is in honor of Danny’s dad, with whom we are staying in Arizona (and his mother) while we wait for the paperwork to clear so we can climb on a plane home. His name is Jerry and he always wanted someone in the family to be named Jeremiah. When we wrote to this little guy’s mom about the reason for this name, she was moved. When she found out this was a boy, she wrote to us, “It looks like we’ll all have the chance to honor Danny’s dad.”

Desmond is in honor of Desmond Tutu, one of our favorite people in the world, for his fierce work with social justice and forgiveness. Desmond is a good Irish name, to go with the Ahern. But mostly, we named him after that Beatles song we sang together in the darkness so many years ago. We listen to the Beatles in our house every Sunday morning. Whenever Lucy hears Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds on the radio, she shouts, “That’s my song!” We can’t have the second kid feel left out. He has to have his own Beatles song too.

But mostly, we realized after we chose it, that it’s the perfect name for this boy, this longed-for boy, this worth-the-wait, this-product-of-goofy-happy-filled-with-love-singing boy. This boy who completes our family and has already brought us so much joy in only 8 days.

Life goes on.”

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Thank you to Shauna for sharing their story. Full credit for this post goes to Shauna. See her original post on her blog.

 

 

 

 

Adoption Joy Through Adoption Heartbreak – Sheldon and Amber’s Story

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“We are thankful to God for his blessing to us.”

There are many sweet and beautiful children that have come home through domestic adoption.  In many ways domestic adoption is relatively quick and painless as far as adoptions go, but we all know that there are also many twists and turns that can occur, and those traversing the road of domestic adoption do need to prepare as best as possible for those twists and turns. No two adoptions are the same, so one family’s story may be somewhat different from another’s.

During the course of a little over a year Sheldon and Amber, one of our amazing adoptive couples went through much heartbreak on their domestic adoption journey. As you read their story you will wonder why this heartbreak happened to them. Why they had to go through not just one, but two failed adoption matches before their precious and sweet bay girl finally came to their family.

Experience the sadness and disappointment as you read Sheldon and Amber’s story here, and celebrate their immense joy as their baby girl comes into their arms. Glean some wisdom, insight and inspiration from them as they share how despite the sadness, they are grateful for their broken journey, because God was able to show His faithfulness and share with Sheldon and Amber the beautiful tapestry of their lives He is weaving:

“In April 2013 we started our adoption journey. Our Home Study was completed and profiles ready to go.  We signed up with an agency in Utah and had a rocky road in the matching process.  We were matched with a birthmother in July but she changed her mind about us and was matched with another family.  This was devastating and made us question what was wrong with us. Our case worker kept telling us there was a baby out there for us, but we had our doubts.

In August of 2013 our social worker (Tom) left the agency and we were soon forgotten within the agency. We became discouraged with the agency and decided to sign up with a private attorney who told us he would have something for us in a month or so. Meanwhile “Tom” called us and told us he had started a new agency and asked if we were interested in a profile presentation. We said yes. The birth mother eventually changed her mind about adoption.

November 2013 we are very discouraged with our choice in agency and private attorney. We contacted “Tom” and he suggested getting ahold of Deb with Mother Goose Adoptions in Arizona. He told us they were a good agency and had lots of successful placements. We filled out our paperwork and submitted it the week before Thanksgiving.

December 2013 we were officially approved to be presented with Mother Goose/Creating Christian Families. We presented on seven cases that month.  We knew our home study was going to expire in March and decided that if we weren’t matched before then we would not renew.

January 3, 2014 we got an email saying we were matched with a birth mother due on March 12. We were very excited that we were finally chosen. We went to work updating our home study and clearances. We even decided to decorate the room for the baby boy. We knew there was no way she would change her mind.

In February we were getting closer to the birth, and we also had a vacation planned and went to Disney World.  We received a phone call from the private attorney telling us he had a match for us, but we told him we were matched and were just waiting for the birth. The last day of our vacation things started to unravel with the match. Our birth mother stopped communicating with us and the only information received was through the agency. We suspected something was up and had Mother Goose start digging for some answers.

On March 3 we got “the call” from Deb. Our birth mother had been scamming us and at least another couple from California. All she wanted was money. She didn’t plan on placing and a lot of the information we had on her was a lie.  Our hearts were crushed, and sadness and disbelief took over.  How could this happen to us? Why did God want us to suffer through this pain? Were we really meant to parent another child? Could we afford to continue on after losing money on this? We prayed to our Lord and Savior and we got our answer: “Continue on, there is a child for you!” People kept telling us to continue on, that there was a baby out there for us. Friends and family prayed for us but the hurt was still there. Everyone kept saying there is a baby that needs you but we just didn’t want the hurt again.

March 19, 2014 Deb called and said the attorney we had worked with on the failed match had contacted her with a possible baby and wanted to know if we were interested. Of course we were interested, because we had presented on a few other cases but nothing came from them. We were presented to the birth family and then waited to hear.

On March 31, 2014 we were officially matched and waited for doctor’s appointment for a due date. We found out that the due date was the end of May.  Praise God, we were matched four weeks to the day that our last one failed.

May 20, 2014 our beautiful baby girl was born.  We couldn’t believe it happened. God is so good. We are so thankful to everyone who helped with this adoption.

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This precious girl was worth the wait!

  • We are thankful our old social worker left the first agency we were with.
  • We are thankful the private attorney didn’t follow through with his promises.
  • We are thankful to learn about Deb and Creating Christian Families.
  • We are thankful to the birthmother who scammed us. What? Did I just say that? Yes. Without her we would never had renewed our home study or met our attorney.
  • We are thankful to our attorney who thought of us when this case came up.
  • We are thankful to the social worker, who did most of the work.
  • We are thankful to God for his blessing to us.

Our one piece of advice is this: trust in God’s plan. It may be difficult, it may cause heart break, it may cost money, but your child is out there and once you hold them nothing else matters.

God had a very complex puzzle but now all the pieces fit together and the end result is a portrait of a happy family holding a very beautiful baby girl.”

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“God had a very complex puzzle but now all the pieces fit together and the end result is a portrait of a happy family holding a very beautiful baby girl.”

 

And to close, all we can say is simply “Amen!”

5 FAQs for Parents Considering Adopting A Baby Through Domestic Adoption

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There are MANY questions parents have as they consider adopting a baby through domestic adoption.  Here are 5 FAQs families ask us at Creating Christian Families, in addition to the Full FAQ Page on our website:

 

1) Can anyone adopt?

No. Each state has its own rules and requirements about who can adopt. Also, the rules are different for foster care/foster-adopt and private adoption.

Generally you must be mature, stable, financially secure, free of communicable diseases, free of a criminal or child abuse history and have a life expectancy that would allow you to raise the child to adulthood. You don’t need to be rich, you don’t have to own your own home, and you don’t have to be perfectly healthy. Many disabled people adopt and make wonderful parents.

 

2) How do I find out if I can adopt?

Contact an agency licensed in your area and inquire about the requirements for a home study.

 

3) How long does it take to adopt?

That figure is hard to predict and is dependent upon many factors: what race of child you are open to, what issues or exposures you are open to, what your budget is, etc. Obviously, the more you are open to, the more opportunities there will be to adopt. However, most families will adopt within 12 months.

 

4) What does it cost to adopt?

The cost can vary from nothing, if you are adopting from the state, to a high of $80,000 in some international or embryo adoption programs. You will need to research agencies carefully and decide which best fits your needs. You are paying for services on the case, not buying a child.

 

5) What does closed, semi-open and open adoption mean?

Closed adoption means that you know nothing about the birth family and they know nothing about you. There is no contact at all. Semi-open adoption means that you and the birth family get to know each other during the pregnancy. You often talk on the phone, email or even visit and attend medical appointments. You may also spend the few days at the hospital caring for the baby together, but after placement, all contact goes through an intermediary, typically the agency. This is the most common type of adoption. In an open adoption, the birth family and adoptive family stay in communication directly after birth. This contact may be nothing more than an occasional email or Facebook exchange, or it may include periodic visits. Open adoptions are built on trust (like any relationship) and many birth families and adoptive families find they like each other so much that they often end up with an adoption far more open than originally planned.

 

These FAQs are specifically in relation to the agencies and attorneys we work with at Creating Christian Families, including our sister placement adoption agency, Mother Goose Adoptions.

“Stork Drop” – Two Crazy Adoption Words That Changed Our Lives

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Jason Wright remembers his family’s “Stork Drop” from 4 years ago this week:

“Stork Drop” – two crazy adoption words that changed our lives.  Four years ago this week. Where did the last four years go?  I could have gotten a degree in that time frame!  (Well, I didn’t get a degree, but I must have a PhD in “Adoption Parenting” by now surely. With all the crazy paperwork, the learning, the figuring out, the emotional and physical ups and downs of adoption I definitely feel like I have a wealth of knowledge and greater understanding).

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“We have had the joy of loving our sweet baby girl over these last four years.”

We have had the joy of loving our sweet baby girl over these last four years, and each birthday we celebrate now only the blessing of her life, but we remember with immense gratitude and respect the woman who gave our precious Joanna life, and we know she is imagining her blowing out those 4 candles!

So, rewind back 4 years and here’s our story of adoption craziness:  Dawn and I had been dreaming and planning on bringing home a sweet girl from Ethiopia through international adoption, and unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control our adoption fell through.  Heartbroken and devastated are words that only scratch the surface of what we were going through at the time. Despite our grieving and loss, we knew God still would redeem this situation somehow, and would restore our broken hearts. When Joanna did then come into our lives she didn’t ‘fix’ us, God did that, but He gave us this gift to meet the desire we had to love a baby.

About 3 months after losing our referral for international adoption we heard through the blog realm about using an adoption consultant to receive placement of a baby through domestic adoption. Within hours of connecting to our consultant on a Friday we heard about multiple “Stork Drop” situations, where babies were born with no family to take them yet in place. One of them was Joanna.  I believe God led us to her through some discernment. She was born the following Tuesday night. We talked with Deb at Mother Goose Adoptions (Creating Christian Families‘ sister company), and got some details. Wednesday afternoon we called Deb and said we would be thrilled to be Joanna’s mommy and daddy! Then our clock started ticking very rapidly.

We had to wire funds to the agency, book airline tickets, make child care arrangements, find hotels, sign MOUNTAINS of paperwork, scan and email more documents than you can shake a stick at, get baby clothes, diapers, buy a car seat, and all within 12 hours. 6:00am Thursday Dawn was on a flight from Lake Charles, Louisiana to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and shortly after lunch was holding our girl!  I flew up the next day and was blown away with the preciousness of our daughter!  The moment I walked through the hotel doors Dawn placed her in my arms, and I’ve never been able to let go since!

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“I flew up the next day and was blown away with the preciousness of our daughter!”

Somehow the emotional crazy, the stress, the tiredness, the “stuff” all faded away, and was lost as I stared at her cute baby girl face!  We got loving on Joanna, and enjoyed taking her precious birth mom out for dinner that night. It was a brief time together, but so glad we talked, shared, and shared our obvious love for this baby.

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With Joanna’s birth mom at our hotel.

Saturday morning I’m pretty sure we did wear out the carpet in our hotel room as we waited for mom to sign the legal paperwork. We got the call that she had signed. Relief! Joy! I don’t exactly remember what we did that night to celebrate, but we did surprise a few people via phone call and Skype that there was a new baby girl in the family!  I think we did go to Target and buy some pink baby stuff – you have to do that right?!

And so the journey of our lives with our special “Stork Drop” began, all covered in pink, hair bows and soft curls.  God has blessed us with Joanna every day, and this cute bundle who curled up on my chest and moved with me with each breath I took, is now such a big girl, although she still treasures and needs mommy and daddy cuddles.

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Joanna loves anything “The Little Mermaid” – what better way to celebrate being 4?

Remembering this week four years ago brings me many smiles, and I am so grateful, and so incredibly blessed. So grateful for Mother Goose, and for Deb….for her heart for our family, for the birth moms she cares so faithfully for, and all because of precious babies like Joanna who make her hard job so worth it!

We’d love for you to be encouraged by our own adoption journey of nine amazing children at our blog:  “Are These Kids All Yours?” or to read more about our domestic adoption journey from four years ago with Joanna.”

Katie’s Adoption Story – A single mom’s perspective

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Katie is one of our special adoptive moms who shares her story with us.  Katie shares her unique perspectives as a single mom choosing to adopt:

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“I couldn’t wait to kiss, hug and tell him how much I loved him.”

“As a person embarks on milestone birthdays they think about what they want to do to remember that special birthday.  I knew for my 30th I wanted to get the one thing that I had always wanted, a baby.  I looked at my options and since I was single I knew adoption was the best choice for me.

At the beginning of 2013 I started to plan when I was going to start the adoption process. I talked with some friends who had adopted, did some research on the internet and did a lot of reflecting on the life I had and how I wanted it going forward.  I was to turn 30 in April so I knew I had to get moving with the process. I talked with a social worker and she referred me to a facilitator, Gloria Hawk.   Gloria referred me to Deb and Mother Goose Adoptions/Creating Christian families, where I was vested with them by July.

I was so excited anytime I would get a birthmother situation. I would read through each one closely, but in many of them I was forced to stop reading when I found the birth mom was only interested in traditional families. This was the part I struggled with the most during the adoption process, but I understood and respected each birth mom and their requests/requirements.  I knew my day would come, I just had to stay positive.  I can say through most of the process I was positive, but I wont lie there were days when I wanted to give up.

For those that I was interested and where the birth mom didn’t have any special requirements, I would ask to be presented to the birth mom and get so excited, but when nothing happened I would get disappointed. One day I just decided I wasn’t going to get wrapped up in it, I would just go with the flow so my emotions would not go all over the place.

Towards the end of 2013 exciting things were happing in my family.  My brother got engaged in November and my mom retired at the end of December.  On New Year ’s Day my mom and I went shopping.  Around 2:00pm we were shopping in Nordstrom and I had gotten an email from Mother Goose saying there was a Stork Drop for a healthy baby boy that was born earlier that day.  I emailed and asked for my profile to be presented to the birth mom.  I mentioned it to my mom and didn’t think much about it after that.  Later that evening, I was sitting at home, it was starting to snow and I was thinking about how I was not excited to go back to work after the long holiday break.  I was watching The Big Bang Theory and about 8:30pm I got a phone call from Deb saying that the birth mom had picked me! I was so excited I didn’t know what to do. I got in my car and drove to my parents and ran in the house and told them they were going to be grandparents.  It was the greatest feeling in the world to share my joy with them.  In the meantime Deb had sent me some pictures and I remember thinking oh my goodness what a beautiful boy and he is mine.  I couldn’t wait to kiss, hug and tell him how much I loved him.

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“I remember thinking oh my goodness what a beautiful boy and he is mine.”

A couple days later my mom and I got on a plane and headed to AZ.  When I picked him up, I was so excited to be a mom and couldn’t wait to spend every minute of every day with him.  He was my life now and the greatest gift of all.  Words can’t describe the feeling.

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Later the next week I had lunch with the birth mom.  It was so nice to meet and chat with her.  She was a lovely young woman and I couldn’t thank her enough for the amazing gift she had given me.  She saw something in me that other birth mom’s hadn’t and I’m so very thankful for that.  She has made me the happiest person on this earth.

Many people had told me when I started the adoption process that it would take a long time to be matched since I was single.  I never believed them because I knew that I had what it took to be a great mom.  It’s all about being positive and believing in yourself. I had to have faith that someone else would see this in me.  I am so grateful for the entire experience and I have never felt so blessed.  Everyone says my son is so lucky to have me as a mom and I say no we are so lucky and blessed to have each other.”

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“He was my life now and the greatest gift of all.”

Many thanks to Katie for sharing her heart! We pray this is an encouragement to you, especially if you are a single mom in the adoption process.

Amazing Adoption Journey – Deke & Su’s Memorial Day “Stork Drop”

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One of our special couples, Deke and Su signed up with our agency last Fall, and after being presented many times to birth moms they finally received a special surprise – a “Stork Drop” of a beautiful newborn baby boy – right on Memorial Day Weekend!  Deke shares their story:

Our sweet boy at 3 days old

Our story started again late August of 2012 with shopping for school supplies. Su and I had previously talked about adoption and the conversation had really concluded in it wasn’t time yet for a number of reasons. Then while shopping with our daughter for 1st grade school supplies she restarted the conversation. Water bottles are a big deal at her school and Su was letting her pick out whatever water bottle she wanted. Our daughter was taking a long time to pick out the water bottle and finally she inquired into the cost of the different bottles and showed a lot of concern on which was the more expensive.  After a couple of questions from Su it came down to our daughter wanting to try to save some money on the purchase of the water bottle to help in adopting a brother.  She commented on how every other kid in her small class at school had a sibling and she wanted one too for a number of reasons.

For Su and I think this grabbed our attention and we started to have the adoption conversation again.  The conversation progressed into a home study and contacting our friends Dawn & Jason Wright who serve as adoption consultants with Christian Adoption Consultants.  It was great to have people who had been through adoption and we had trust in.  We registered with about 5 agencies and continued to pray and seek God’s guidance through the entire process. We were viewing profiles and asking to be presented by the end of September 2012. It was hard sometimes to read about multiple opportunities and to try and discern which situation was the best for us.

We presented from September through April of 2013 over 23 times and seemed like many more. There were some presentations that were really exciting and a couple of times we thought we were pretty close to being matched, those were probably the toughest when the birthmother either decided to parent or just dropped off the map.  As the spring of 2013 approached we felt more and more pressure because of our positions in camp and retreat ministry.  The summer is a really crazy time for us and through conversation Su & I both decided that adopting during the summer probably wouldn’t be a situation that we felt would be optimal.  The number of opportunities started to decrease as spring approached, May arrived and our staff reported for summer training. We sighed and felt like our opportunity to present was past.  On Memorial Day 2013 about 10am an opportunity for a “stork drop” came through the email. Su and I talked about it and decided that this would be the one last time we would present before summer camp really started.

I was teaching a lifeguarding class at the time and about 1pm our daughter came into my class to let me know that she was going to be a big sister. We were MATCHED and it was a little boy. We had sought pre-approval for a loan from the bank and had some in our savings account so it all started to happen. The bank was closed on Memorial Day so first thing Tuesday morning Su, our daughter and one of our summer staff prepared to pick-up our new son. Su and I finished signing paperwork at the bank and they were off. After about 6 hours of driving they arrived and checked into the hotel. Su wasn’t able to go meet our new son until Wednesday. This particular situation was a closed adoption so when she arrived at the previously scheduled time at the hospital Wednesday morning she had to wait in the car for a little bit as the attorney finished working with the birth mother.

Wednesday afternoon Su was able to take our new son back to the hotel.  The baby, our daughter, Su and the nanny spent the next few days getting to know one another and waiting for paperwork to process.

Su snuggling with our newborn son, and big sister adoring him

“It was so good through the weekend to bond with our little guy and to thank God numerous times for all the blessings he was pouring out on us.”

“Our daughter has grown to have a deep sisterly love for her brother and tries at every opportunity to snuggle him and help in any way she can.”

I was able to finish up teaching my lifeguarding class and went out to meet the rest of the family on Friday. It was so good through the weekend to bond with our little guy and to thank God numerous times for all the blessings he was pouring out on us.

Sunday came all too quickly and I had to return to start the first week of summer camp for the summer. Our daughter, the nanny and I left late Sunday morning and came back to Iowa. Su and the baby had to stay until paperwork cleared in the birth state and in Iowa. It was hard to leave them waiting and I think it was hard for Su to see us leave and return to camp without her.  We were praying that things would be processed quickly and she could return. Our prayers were answered and Monday afternoon things cleared the birth state and she was cleared to enter Iowa. Su got back late Monday evening and the family was fully together and HOME.

In the weeks that followed our daughter has grown to have a deep sisterly love for her brother and tries at every opportunity to snuggle him and help in any way she can. Su and I have continually been blessed by this happy little bundle of joy and have found the groove of having an infant in the house.

Our little guy at 3 months

Our precious new son is for the most part a really easy going very happy little guy. He loves to smile and work the people around him for attention.  His hair frequently draws comments as his sister loves to spike it up.  At just past 4.5 months he loves to eat, is enjoying sweet potatoes and chews on everything. The journey was long and at times very frustrating, but we know that God placed with us our special son and brother. His adoption was finalized September 19th.

Deke and Su’s story is an example that there may be many times an adoptive couple may ‘present’ to birth moms, and just like their story the timing was crazy, but it is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and his perfect timing as He brings families together through the miracle of adoption!

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