Sunday, April 17, 2022

What a Difference a Year Makes.....

 On January 11th 2021, our first daughter was born and placed in our arms. I start that sentence in that way because our second daughter was born December 19th 2021. WHAT?!?! 2021 was a year of blessings that cannot be measured for my wife and I. We went into the year expecting to start our family but we did not think that before the new year we would be the parents of two biological sisters born less than 12 months apart. Our family went from two to four in the blink of an eye and the last year has been an adjustment to the dream we always wanted to come true. A dream that has equated to a lot less sleep but a lot more love than I could ever have imagined.

So here is a quick rundown of the last year. 7:01PM January 11th 2021, yes the same day as my last post, we get a call that our birth mother is in labor. We race to meet her at the hospital and our daughters was born at 7:21PM. I held her in my arms about an hour later for the first time and she has had my heart every since. After spending three months on leave bonding and loving on her we started to settle into our new normal of daycare, work, weekends, and life. In April or May we had been told that our birth mother had contacted the agency for assistance stating she was pregnant but was planning on parenting at that time, so we just set it in the back of our mind and went on with our new normal. Jump to September and we get a call from our adoption counselor and she lets us know not only was our daughters birth mother pregnant and due in December but she wants to place with us so her kiddos can grow up together. We spend the next few months on edge getting things ready and early in the morning on December 2019 we receive a series of calls that our second daughter was born that morning. We met her the next day and have been with her ever since.

We always wanted multiple kids but had felt so blessed to have even one, that it is still hard to wrap my head around the fact our family was built in the matter of 11 months. Life from no kids to two kids in less than a year is an adjustment but the greatest gift God could have ever given us. We hope to be done at two.......but if 2021 has taught us anything, we are not the ones in the driver seat!

Monday, January 11, 2021

We Have a MATCH!!!

December 18th, 2020 will be a day that is inscribed in the history books for this family. That is the day I received a call from our adoption counselor informing us that we have been picked and matched with a potential birth mother and father. I was at work, actually in the office, for the first time in two months when it happened and I could not get out of there fast enough to come home and hug my wife. The news is life-changing and feels like a culmination of almost 9 years of trying to grow our family. We still have potentially a couple of weeks before she is born but we are optimistic and trusting that God's plan is unfolding in front of us. 

We cannot wait to bring our daughter home and I can only imagine this is what every prospective parent, via adoption or birth, feels like leading up to the day. Not knowing if she will come today, tomorrow, or two weeks from now is nerve-racking but also the highest level of excitement I have had in my life. I pray to God every day that this is His will and we will be bringing our daughter home soon. A friend told me a couple weeks back that trusting in God and having faith is not always something that can be worked towards. Sometimes it just has to be gifted to you by God and all I have to do is open my hands and my heart to accept that gift. I have stopped working towards having that faith and trust and have decided to open myself to it, and boy does it feel good. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Long time no post

It has been almost two months since posting and this one will likely be fairly short. No news is boring news. Our agency has seen no movement since the crazy couple of weeks in October and we are just waiting like hundreds of other families across the country and across the world to be matched and meet our future child.

When we first started waiting I thought to myself how can I ever fall back into normal daily routines knowing we could get a call and be parents any day. That is like asking a husband to act like nothing is happening when his wife is due with a baby within hours. Well, I must say it took almost six months of waiting but I have settled into life as normal again. Things look a little different, we are still buying things here and there for the nursery and building up our baby war chest. People are not going to be too happy when they want to buy stuff off our registry and we already have it all. I still don't use the sleep awake option on my phone as it silences my notifications and by golly, I'm not going to miss that phone call when it comes. 

I am very blessed and grateful for the life I have but it is hard to buy another ornament this year with just two people on it. When will the year come that we have three to go on that ornament, or four, or five?   

Monday, October 19, 2020

Days Where the Sun Never Rises

I have never understood depression and probably still don't, as it is something I have personally never felt like I have dealt with. I have always been the optimist, the positive one, the problem solver. It is just over the last few weeks that my lack of control over the situation has come into full focus and feelings of hopelessness, anger, and fear started to set it in. Usually, I am able to logically convince myself of the acceptability and even goodness of a tough situation. We have only been waiting four months in the pool, we have all the resources we need to finalize, we are where God wants us to be....etc. What I am finding though is that it just feels like the sun never rises on my days. No matter what good happens, no matter what positivity I can bring, doesn't change the feeling of darkness that covers my days recently.

I don't think I have ever stopped over the last eight years to really evaluate how different my journey is. How much of a challenge it is, and how different the end result will look than what my original dreams were. Trying naturally, moved to testing, moved to trying unnaturally, moved to loss, moved to mourning, moved to adoption. The one constant was always movement, the one thing that feels so different over the last four months is this freezing of the movement. Instead of doing another test, trying another treatment, taking another class, filing another paper, we are left to just wait. It feels like the pause button has been pressed and I have no control over when the story will resume. 

Because I am the eternal optimist, while I feel the darkness, I refuse to end this on such a negative point. I have to believe that God is redeeming the struggles of the past eight years. I have to believe that the beauty and light I will see in the future will overshadow the darkness of today. I will believe these things. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Baby 911!!!

While we did not get placed this last month it has had some exciting moments. We had what we call a Baby 911 moment for the first time. This is the code my wife and I use to get the others attention and it goes like this. 
1. One of us gets a call, email, text, or smoke signal that there is a potential birth mother and we have some kind of action to take.
2. That person texts the other one “Baby 911”
3. That person then immediately calls the other one excited and blabbering in a way that the other person cannot understand.

A couple weeks ago our agency had a hospital call, or stork drop as some call them, regarding a birth mother who was thinking about placing. They emailed the entire waiting pool regardless of couple preferences due to the immediate need for information on who wanted to be shown. The placement was a healthy baby boy but with high legal risks for many reasons. My wife saw email before me, Baby 911d me and we put our hat in the ring that evening, knowing we wouldn’t hear anything till the next day. I was on pins and needles all morning and even had to tell my boss what was going on after snapping at him a couple of times for no good reason, as a side note he is extremely supportive of our adoption plan and completely understood.

 Needless to say we were not picked but it did make things very real all the sudden. You can academically know that the day is going to come but there is nothing like being thrust into a situation where you may be a parent the very next day to drive it home. The excitement was amazing and I know one of these days that call will be for our child. One of these days God will point that birth mother to us. One of these days I will become a dad. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Flashback Saturday....and not in a good way

 I know the last posts have transitioned into a positive and honest discussion about the adoption process. Today is a very different date, today marks one year since we lost our Ellie only 14 weeks into her life growing in my wife's belly. Today is a somber day but one I hope to make it through. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her, there is not a day where I have some visceral reaction to something on TV, in the news, or said by someone. In those moments the day comes back just like it was yesterday. This week has been harder than most and the devil has been placing things in my life and way to make me fearful of what my future may be in regards to building my family. 

When I see a baby I think, Ellie would be six months old now. I would have spent a few weeks off bonding but would have been back at work for 4 months by now. Life would have gone on, I just would have had a sweet baby girl to come home to every day. OK the reminiscing of things stops now because that is not what is and it was never what was meant to be. One of the hardest parts about trusting God is letting him answer your prayers at the best time, in the best place, and in the best way. I will not accept that God made this happen but what I will embrace is that God takes all things and redeems them and works them to build a more beautiful future. This is not in the abstract either, this is in the reality of today and tomorrow. God is building me and my wife and our future family in a way that I cant see today but that will blow my mind in the way it will serve the kingdom of God. 

To pray is easy. To believe is easy. To trust is not. I want my prayers to be answered in a certain way, but guess what, that makes no sense. I pray for God's kingdom to come. I pray for Gods WILL to be done. I pray for my own acceptance of that will and my own trust that the will of God and what he is building will better serve Him, me, and the kingdom.

I will always remember and love my Ellie that never got to feel the sunshine on her face or breath a fresh mountain breeze. I have trust that the pain I have felt from her loss has already been used to build my compassion, my patience, my love for others, and how my future will be shaped forever.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

8-10 Placements A YEAR?!?!

 We are now two months in and if anyone is reading this has gone through the adoption process they are probably saying, "hold tight, there's a lot more waiting to go". I would be lying if I didn't think we were going to be one of those miracle stories that got placed in a few weeks or a month after going active. The reality is starting to set in that the rose-colored glasses I was wearing are starting to clear. Speaking with our adoption counselor this week we found out that they do 8-10 placements a year, a statistic we did not gather in our naivete at the beginning of the process. There average 18-month wait makes more sense now know this as they keep about 20 people in their pool at any given time. Looking through their annual reports though, the place between 30 and 40 babies a year, which explains why our counselor is very knowledgable about transitioning to their designated adoption program. I am still very happy we chose the agency we did and feel strongly that God pointed us to them for the right reasons. I will say though it does not change the fact that the positivity and hope are getting harder to hold onto.

So what does this mean next? I figure we have two options. One, trudge along as is and let the agency do all the work. Two, we actively market ourselves and be much more aggressive in finding our own birth mother. I know the choice I have made and the choice I am trying to get my wife on board with. We have since paid and listed ourselves with one matching service and I am constantly looking for other services that are are lower cost and ethical to do the same. It still amazes me how much of an "Industry" adoption is, there are always people able and willing to take your money. The goal on this end is to help sort through the good and the bad to find the ones that focus on the expectant mothers as much as they care about the expectant adoptive parents.

In the end, I trust in God to help guide us through this. One of the best gifts given to us through faith is discernment.  God will help guide me if I am willing to open my ears to listen. God will build my family to something more beautiful than I can imagine. 

What a Difference a Year Makes.....

 On January 11th 2021, our first daughter was born and placed in our arms. I start that sentence in that way because our second daughter was...