Thursday, September 12, 2013

This is who we are...

We are, obviously, very excited about adopting our little boy in four weeks (yikes! that's fast!!). We have been working feverishly to get his room ready, find clothes to put him in, etc. Our families and friends have been working over-time to get baby showers together so we will have everything we need! It has been such a blessing to see how everyone has rallied around us and prayed for us and supported us since we found out we will be adopting him. 

 I couldn't help buying these precious little shoes! They are sitting on a shelf in his room, just waiting for his precious little baby feet to fill them!
Austin has never dressed a baby by himself before, so we went over the basics of how to support their necks/heads, getting the onesie on, diapering them, and  what to look for with diaper rash, color of poo, etc. Thankfully, Austin's mom had kept his cabbage patch doll from HIS childhood so he could practice on him... Yes, I did say it was AUSTIN's doll. hahaha. Please mock him.

In the midst of all of our excitement, we have equal amounts of pain and fear entering our world. The fear is simple: everything is unknown. When people get pregnant and have a child in the "natural way", there are very certain expectations that come with the whole process. You know you will be in the hospital while you and the baby recover. You know you and your husband will meet your new baby together. Once you leave the hospital, the baby is fully yours, and you go home as a fully complete family. And the list goes on... Now, I know, there are complications that can arise in natural childbirth as well, and those things are still out of our control, but most often, we know what to expect in those situations! With adoption, especially an open adoption, the waters are a little more muddy. There is not a clear-cut plan or procedure that you can follow. For example, we know that the birthmother will get time alone with the baby after he is born. We will get time with him also, but it will all be split somehow. I will get to be in the operating room as the baby is born, but Austin won't get to meet him until later. Although we don't foresee this happening, there is always a possibility that the birthmother can change her mind if she wants. There is a possibility that we will leave the hospital without a baby. We don't know when we will be able to take the baby home - not because of health reasons, but because of legal reasons. Once we leave the hospital, there is no structure or frame of reference for how our relationship with the birthmother will go, and the baby is not officially "ours" until our court date months later. We know that fear is never from the Lord. We know that if something "goes wrong", it is ultimately in God's perfect plan. We know that He has guided us to this point, and He will guide us for the rest of our lives. However, it is still scary! It is emotional! It is uncertain! 

The pain goes much deeper. It is difficult to explain, and I probably wouldn't have understood it had I not experienced it. We feel two conflicting, yet fully formed, emotions simultaneously. We feel excitement because we are having a baby, but we feel pain because of how we are getting him. We love adoption, and we believe it is such a beautiful thing that mirrors our relationship with God. But, as it was so beautifully explained in this article, adoption also involves a great deal of suffering. I recommend for everyone to read this article. It did wonders for my heart! We feel pain for the birthmother. We have already formed such a sweet bond with her, and we hate that she will suffer during this process and afterwards. We feel pain for our baby. We know that this is not the ideal or perfect way for him to enter this world, and there was a lot of pain and suffering that led to his adoption, and we know that he will always have a longing for the life he never had a chance to have. We can't even wrap our minds or hearts around the moment when we leave the hospital with the baby and the birthmother will still be recovering there. I am already feeling the heartbreak that comes with receiving our blessing with joy while she hurts in the next room. The article above speaks of our own adoption as sons and daughters of God. There was so much suffering that had to take place in order to save us from the life that was not God's best for us. Jesus had to die in order for God, the Father, to adopt us as His children. We know God has orchestrated and ordained for this child to be in our home and to enter our home through adoption. We know that He can identify with our suffering. We also know that He is the greatest comforter. We believe He will comfort the birthmother of our child. We believe that He will bless her abundantly for loving her child enough to place him in the best home for him. We know that He will create a beautiful and loving relationship between our child and her for the rest of their lives because of what she sacrificed for him. In order to receive the blessings that come with adoption, there must first be sacrifice, then suffering, then joy. God is good. He loves His children, and He will carry us all through, all the while increasing our joy. 

We can't wait to see all that God accomplishes through building our family! We are excited; we are joyful; and we are resting on the promises of God. Thanks for all of your support, encouragement, and prayers through this!

Countdown to baby boy: 4 weeks, 1 day

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Well, that was FAST!!! - We got "THE CALL"!!!

What a whirlwind!!!! I don't even know how to describe my emotions over the last 72 hours!

On September 3rd, we got a call from Special Delivery (our agency), and we were asked to come in to the office to discuss a "situation". Cue personal freak-out. I called my prayer warriors and asked for peace, wisdom, discernment, calm emotions, guarded hearts, and for the Lord's presence. Boy howdy did the Lord answer!! At the meeting, we were told about a potential birth mother (the first and only one to see our profile letter and photo album), and we found out that she is expecting to have a scheduled c-section on OCTOBER 11th!!! Yes, of THIS year!!! She wanted to meet us immediately because she wants us to be involved in the doctor's appointments and everything else that happens from now until the birth... OH MY GOSH!!!!

So, the night of the 3rd, our home group and other really close friends had already scheduled to throw us a "necessities shower", so we would be ready in case we got a call soon... What AMAZING timing!!!  We were able to ask for prayer for the situation that night, and it was such a great time of rejoicing, knowing that God was moving!

We met with the potential birth mother last night, the night of the 4th, and we all really meshed well! It was, of course, a little awkward... I mean, let's be honest... We were all nervous, and there are so many emotions involved in this whole process... But it could not have been a better match, in my opinion! She shares our goofy sense of humor, and we actually laughed through most of the meeting! It was so apparent that God was present in that room. We were able to get to know each other in a light-hearted way, during a very heavy-hearted moment. I don't want to disclose too many details about her or the situation at this time, but all in all, we are so grateful for so many things about her

The plan was for us all to go home, think about the meeting, pray about the potential of a match, and let the representatives from Special Delivery know in the morning. We ended up letting them know our answer last night! We just KNEW this is IT!! Last night was a little agonizing. haha. We could barely sleep, waiting to hear if we were about to become parents!! This morning around 11am, I got a text from Cindy (the director of the agency) saying that WE ARE MATCHED!!!!

WE ARE GOING TO BE PARENTS!!!!!!!!  Our hearts are so full, and we are both at peace, knowing that God has carried us specifically to this place!!!

The crazy facts:
- We were only approved to adopt 4 weeks ago yesterday. (this is the fastest adoption I have ever heard of)
- We have been praying  boldly that God would bring us a match before the end of the year (He answered that more quickly than we anticipated!)
- We have been praying that she would be out of high school (she is older, mature, steady, and has no doubts about what she is doing)
- We prayed that she would "know" when she saw our letter that we are the ones she should choose (she did)
- I prayed that I would feel a connection to her and immediately know that we could become friends and have a strong relationship with each other through an open adoption (I can absolutely see this!) 
- We have been feeling confident that our baby would be a boy (he is!)
- We prayed that we would be able to be involved in the pregnancy/birth process (she wants us to be involved in all appointments and in the room during the c-section)
- I have been praying for God to provide breast milk at least for a month to aid in the health of the baby (she wants to provide breast milk - her idea)

Through all of these things, we have experienced SO much confirmation that we are exactly where The Lord wants us. I truly believe that He has led us to this specific point at this specific time in order to give us this specific baby!! Wow. I'm overwhelmed!! To think, if we hadn't been so exhausted by infertility and hadn't been obedient in going to the agency introduction class in April (even before we were sure we were going to adopt - we felt a little crazy going to that class), we would not be getting this baby. It just shows God's leading and His plan even more incredible. I love being able to look back and see Him moving, when we had NO idea He was even moving.

Thank you all for your prayers, concerns, patience, understanding, listening ears eyes, and encouragement. I love you all! :)

I'll keep you updated as things progress!

Count down to baby boy: 5 weeks, 1 day