Tuesday, June 12, 2018

last weekend.




“I remain confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Romans 8

“for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whose I formed for myself, that they might declare my praise.” Isaiah 43:21

We flew to AZ again last weekend. We were matched with a beautiful baby girl, already born, whose birth parents we talked with on the phone, whose picture we poured over, studying every detail of her sweet face and soft curls, while we booked flights in an instant, asked for maternity/paternity leave, and drove across the desert. In the end, she was taken into custody of the state with no hope of reunification with her birth parents. Pray that God would give her a quick path to permanency through a loving foster family. Pray for her birth parents and for a situation that looks like there is not a speck of light in, that God would break chains and pour His light. 

While we were there, we were also matched with a (third) situation with a baby being born that same day we arrived. In the end, they changed their minds from not wanting to see the baby to deciding to parent. Pray for this family and that their baby will be loved, cherished, celebrated.

As we were packing up to fly home yet again with an empty car seat, Jay said “God led the Israelites out of Egypt in an roundabout route so they would know war.” YES. Every second of this last weekend was SPIRITUAL WAR for two tiny newborn souls. We know war. We know God is good. Three failed matches has made God feel bigger. Praise be to Him. 


***Also, the desert is hot in the summer. 115 real temperature. And we drove through the Arizona side of the Joshua Tree forest. Special thanks to my mama for hoping on a plane in a split second to help us. 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

"Where'd all your money go?" and other FAQs


Since our failed adoption we’ve gotten these questions often in one form or another so we’d thought we’d write a post to clarify.

“What happened?": 

As most of ya’ll know, we are on adoption #2 and we were matched in September 2017 with a birth mama in Arizona. We flew out in October to meet her and go to her ultrasound, where we found out she was having a boy! We had lunch for several hours and learned a lot about her and her family. We seemed to really connect and she seemed really committed to her adoption plan. We flew home and continued to send letters to her every month to encourage her throughout her pregnancy. Meanwhile the Arizona agency filed in our gap. She had an excellent caseworker who we referred to as a “professional best friend” to birth mamas. She held our birth mama’s hand the entire way. The caseworker would take her to every appointment, found birth mama and her other children housing, and even let her borrow some books to keep her entertained as she complained of not being able to sleep at night. The care was personal. At one point we called to check in and they said the caseworker had taken birth mama to a dentist appointment. 

The story ends with us flying out to AZ for three weeks, waiting for baby boy to be born. We got to hang out with birth mama several times over these weeks and met with her caseworker several times. They seemed to have the strongest bond, with the caseworker knowing her food preferences. During one meeting with birth mama, she really opened up to us, telling us about some deep losses in her life and how she coped with them. She had asked us to name the baby and talked about a labor plan with us. The plan was that Sarah would be in the delivery room with birth mama and Jay would be in the waiting room, ready to help however she needed. 

Then Thursday happened.. (the most traumatic day of our lives). The day came for birth mama to be induced, we drove to the hospital, bags packed, flowers in hand, a basket of hospital gifts and hand written notes from our community group to birth mama. Our caseworker called and said birth mama had delivered the baby Tuesday but they weren’t aware of the whereabouts of the baby. 
The next two days were a blur of panic, denial, reasoning, and ultimately loss.
The best we know still is that she decided to parent due to pressure from someone else and refused all contact with the agency. 
We flew home Saturday with an empty car seat, broken trust, and a loss of about $12,000. 

It has taken me three months to be able to resound my heart with the Lords and say $12,000 and the prior 6 months of our emotional investment is not lost. 

While we did not get to parent him, we got to love him. 

And we got to love her.

We still believe her when she told us: “It was either abortion or ya’ll, so Thank you.” 

In the end she came up with a different plan. But for those early weeks when these were her thoughts and fears, we gave her hope. 

Ya’ll gave her hope, through your financial gifts allowing us to be able to be option for a birth mom which is our first motivation and our goal. 

Goal achieved.

“Where’d all your money go?”
So in short, nearly half of our fundraised money ($12,000) went to the agency to support our birth mom in every area possible from September until March. While in the end she did not chose us, she chose life for this baby. We want to thank you for giving this birth mama the support she needed to carry this baby past full term.

“How are you guys?”:
We are grieving. The TSA agent asking us about the empty car seat, the embroidered clothes we packed away, good intentioned friends asking “where’s the baby!?” It’s all been the most difficult thing we’ve ever experienced. We are meeting with a grief counselor to try to continue to align our grief with our faith in God’s goodness. But we do not feel done with adoption..

It cost Jesus an awful lot to make us a part of His family, so we can persevere a little longer. 

“What’s next for you guys”: 
Our profile is open and active, however the agency wishes to match us with a birth mama who is later in her pregnancy. While this feels like a loss, because we were so excited to share in the pregnancy of our last birth mama and get to know her, it makes sense to guard our hearts and we know God can make instant lifelong connections happen. 

We are active with the AZ agency as well as the KY home study agency. Our next birth mama could be from AZ or really anywhere else in America. 

It could be tomorrow or it could be six months. 

In order to be able to adopt again, we need to raise an additional $12,000 to be able to match again with a birth mother.

Thanks to generous gifts already donated, Grants from Lifesong/South Tulsa Baptist Church, ShowHope, JCC foundation, and Families Outreach, and most recently yard sale with Tabby Parrott, Book Sale with Kristen Werle, and Painting Auction with Tram Colwin… 
As of today we are about $4,500 away from being completely done fundraising once again.

Our giving link is active and all gifts are tax deductible:



Thank you again for loving us. Loving the birth mom. Loving her baby boy. 
and Trusting God with us. 

We could not do this without you. 

J, S, & J. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter


"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted...upon Him was the chastisement that brought US peace, and with His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:4-5
Here in the "grief-iest" time, nothing makes sense right now except for these verses. I will never know why God planned that we do not have a newborn this Easter, his matching suspenders and bowtie bought by auntie still folded. I feel stuck in the "Saturday" trying to make sense of what has happened, like the followers of Jesus must have after seeing God's son die. (This wasn't supposed to happen?!?) But holding to the promises of God and trusting Him to be true because Easter promises that it is WHEN not IF, He will bring a beautiful redemption to all that is broken.

Friday, March 23, 2018

The three of us flew home last Saturday.



The three of us flew home last Saturday.
After waiting three weeks for birth mom to deliver, we drove to the hospital to meet her on the day she was to be induced, to find out she'd had the baby and taken him home the day before. There were no warning signs and we had such a genuine relationship over the last 7 months, getting to hang out several times over the last couple of weeks. We may never know what suddenly changed.
One of the verses we picked out for baby boy's life, the very morning before everything would fall apart, is: "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3 We are clinging to this in the midst of the tidal waves of grief.
Our goal with adoption was always to be an option for a birth mom's choice, of course we wish it would have ended differently. I hesitate to post this, thinking maybe I'll just take a break from social media until we have a better, happier part of the story to share. Because the last thing I'd want to do is to discourage someone from considering adoption. But this is it. The pit. The risk of adoption we knowingly stepped into, not thinking it would happen to us. Thankfully we know the joy that adoption brings also and I can honestly say the joy adoption has brought us (having Jeremiah and our relationship with his birth mom) is so much more than this current suffering. Thank you for all who have sacrificed and prayed with us and for us.
If you'd like to help us, our fundraising page is back up and all gifts are tax deductible: https://mystory.lifesongfororphans.org/…/bringing-home-ari…/

Saturday, February 10, 2018

THIS.


48 hours documentary by The Archibald Project.

This!! This is a lot of what our life will look like in just a few weeks!
This documentary vividly captures the simultaneous joy and grief of adoption.

Except:
 -Our birth mama will have 72 hours to sign her rights, due to AZ state law.
-We will be in the hospital during her labor and delivery (LORD WILLING, depending on our flight and when she goes into labor! EEK! PRAY FOR US!) but will be staying with birth mama and in the nursery area with baby.
-Obviously every birth mamas story is different and this birth mom's story is not our birth mama's story. But there is no courage/bravery/strength this side of heaven like a birth mom making an adoption decision for her child.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

littlest to biggest

He been asking about baby bro at least ten times a day, and when I ask if he's my baby he says "NO! BIG!" And then i fake cry, and sometimes sneak in a real tear. And he laughs. But is there anything that can really prepare his heart (and mine) as he goes from littlest to biggest? 💙





💙b



but

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Nesting for number 2!

We spent the last day of 2017 preparing for 2018!  (we party hard).

Our boys will be room sharing forev. even in college. So our home is a little over 900sq feet. Yay small living! but I would be lying if I didn't say that I had a tiny panic attack about adding another child with all the gear in this space. Thankfully Jere has had some practice sharing his room as I've been nannying the last 8 months and I often make them nap in the same room. When his toddler friend protests her nap, he covers his ears with his hands and falls asleep. Here's to hoping this continues.
And as we started pulling out baby gear and assembling the crib, Jeremiah started associating them with the photo on the wall of baby bro's birth mama. It's amazing to see what his mind comprehends. He asks about baby bro every day.
We can't wait to watch their relationship grow!


     "Love grows best in smaller houses with fewer walls to separate.       Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can't help but communicate.
        And if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss. 
              Love grows best in tiny houses just like this."