June Adoptive Fam :: Christopher & Kelsey

Hi, Yall! We are Christopher and Kelsey. Our journey to grow our family has been filled with many twists turns and a whole lot of faith. When we began dating almost 10 years ago, we talked about a big family that included adoption. Chris jokes that I am lucky I did scare him away when on our 4th date, I just randomly blurted out “Hey, would you ever be open to adopting?” The timing hasn’t been what we expected, but it was something that we have always felt a calling towards, way before I ever knew what we would encounter during our journey.

In the spring of 2014, we found out we were pregnant. I was so sick and as much as I disliked my growing relationship with bathrooms everywhere, I always held on to something my doctor said the first time I complained about my constant state nausea “Look at it as a sign that your body is telling you your pregnant”! We spent the summer trying to hide my growing belly at the beach and making big plans for Christmas babies to join our family. On September 16th, after an emergency surgery, we were left with empty arms and broken hearts. I felt like a cruel joke had been played on me as I remain sick for well over a month after the loss of our babies. I remember telling my doctor that he had lied to me, and that now it was just a constant reminder that I was no longer pregnant.

With no true answers and lots of this was a 1 in 100 chance; we were encouraged to try again. We quickly became pregnant again and experienced miscarriages at 12 and 13 weeks. At this point, after lots of prayers and feeling the calling to adopt sooner placed in our hearts, we started the process. We began the paperwork and home study process in the summer of 2015 and were awaiting family by August.

In the fall, I found out I was pregnant after going to the doctor for what I thought was a stomach bug that just wouldn’t go away. This didn’t deter our adoption plans; we were fully ready to remain an active family. The idea of welcome two little ones into our family was a dream comes true. In February, at 17 weeks pregnant, that dream came crashing down, when God gained a beautiful baby girl into His arms instead of ours. At this time, we pursued more medical answers and were advised that my body had taken too many tolls that were now affecting my organs. It was strongly recommended that we not become pregnant again. I struggled a lot during this time. Not over not having the ability to carry a biological baby to term, but with the lack of control, I felt in growing our family.

Up until that point, I had still felt like I was doing something during our “wait”. Now, just being a waiting family, I had a rude awakening in my trust of God’s timing! During this time, I grew so much as a person, but even more in my faith and trust in our Lord. After not being chosen to parent 98 times, we finally got our first yes in January of 2017. We were ecstatic, not only were we matched, but baby boy was being born as we spoke! We quickly bought plane tickets to Georgia, booked a hotel and started packing. After 12 days, our birth mama decided to parent. The weeks that followed were ugly. We will always support our birth mama in her decision to parent, but the lies from our consultant and adoption agency just piled and piled up. Our hearts were left shattered and our trust broken. How do we move past this, it wasn’t just a failed adoption but so much more?

With lots of support from friends and family, we took a huge leap of faith to try again and because active again. Trusting the Lord had us in this entire journey and we just had to hold on for the ride He had in mind for us. A few weeks later we matched again, and again we experienced a failed adoption. Making the decision to continue at this time was hard. We watched many cases come into our inbox, which we just couldn’t pull the trigger on for various reasons, some very legitimate and others more out of fear. The thought of losing more of our life savings, the possibility of more heartbreak and not to mention just the drain all the losses had taken on both us made is almost crazy to even consider trying again. In all honesty, I was ready to call it quits, for the time being, I just need a break from it all, but Chris wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. And then something I will forever say was such a God thing happened, I got a message from a complete stranger that asked if she could talk and pray with us. This amazing soul from literally entirely across the county (Maryland to California) picked up the phone and spent almost an hour and a half offering advice, but mostly listening and praying with me. I got off that call and knew I wasn’t ready to give up. I had a renewed spirit in our calling to adoption.

In fall of 2017, we completely switched gears and became an active family with our caseworker that had completed our home study three years prior. It has turned out to be the best decision possible for our family. If you had asked me in the beginning how we felt about never knowing when we were being presented or matched, much less the idea of a stork drop baby- I think I would have laughed at you and told you no way! In May 2018, the Mighty Families by Adoption organization blessed us as their Spring Grant Awarded Family. While this helped tremendously in getting us closer to whole after all we had lost in our failed adoptions, more than anything it helped heal our hearts toward the adoption community. Some really unprofessional and downright mean things have been said about and to our family and to have others in the community rally behind us and validate that our story mattered -that is something I will be forever grateful for.

It is amazing how much the wait has grown us a couple and individuals. That wait that I thought would swallow my heart whole, it is now just part of everyday life. Those timing questions I had for God, they have turned into trust and joy in this season. Our interactions with first mamas lessened the fear of an open adoption and have grown our hearts for them. This isn’t the journey we every expected, but we are thankful for the growth and lessons we have experienced along the way.

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be sure to go over to Instagram to learn the ways you can support The Freeman Family the whole month of June.

May Adoptive Family :: The Exsted Fam!

We are Mike and Cassandra. We live in the Midwest, along with our three biological children. This year, we are celebrating ten years of marriage! Five years ago, if you were flipping through the pages of my Bible, you would land on a page, where written in the margins, the word adopt would jump out at you! As husband and wife, we knew it would always be a “yes” to growing our family through adoption, we were just unsure of the when.
Rewind to four years ago, on September 30th, 2013 we welcomed our third child, a son. Those first 6 weeks were met with blissful, hazy, sleepless nights. At 8 week postpartum, my world would be engulfed with the deep and dark, my face often stained with tears. A few close friends stepped in and started fighting for me, they suggested I see my primary doctor. The floodgates opened, because I knew the answer that would be stamped on my folder…postpartum depression and anxiety. It wasn’t the “label” that I was fearful of, it was the hopes and dreams that I felt I lost along the way. For the next 3 months, families would take us into their homes during the day, caring for my children, as I tried to crawl out of the hole that swallowed me. I would slowly begin to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” It was an ebb and flow of 2 1/2 long years, one step forward, two steps back. I was slowly gaining the tools and the courage that I needed to put my life back together.
During this time, I let the dream of adopting slip through my hands. I even went as far as, selling all of our baby items. I knew that physically and emotionally, I was biologically done having children. Yet, there was still that little whisper that would tug at my heart. My family did not feel complete, what about the call to  care for the orphans and the widows?! I would often bring up adoption to my husband throughout the year, he seemed distant to the idea, and I would let it go. Last summer I brought up adoption again, this time the answer was different. With a tender and changed heart, he said “Yes” and we began to fill out paperwork.
September 2017, we turned in everything we needed to begin our adoption journey. Its humbling to see such great gifts along the way. We are relying fully on God to fund this adoption! Our homestudy was completed on February 26th, 2018. We are now an official, waiting to be matched family! We have already experienced one failed match, and we are currently waiting for a couple to decide what family will fit best. Each time we walk away, with more trust in our hearts, and feeling incredibly honored to walk alongside each story presented. Adoption is more than just opening up our hearts and home to a child. It’s the greatest picture of the Gospel! God has adopted us into his family as sons and daughters. We in return, have the honor to welcome a child in the very same way. It shouts and proclaims loudly, a beautiful redemption song! This is our beauty from ashes!
Love,
Mike & Cassandra
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be sure to go over to Instagram to learn about the ways you can support this family the whole month of May.

April Adoptive Family :: Beth & Matt

Matt and I met 10 years ago when we sat down in a church pew during his first month of college. We were friends for a year and dated for 3 years before we were married in the same church where our love story began.  Two years after we were … [Continue reading]

celebrating adoption & 31 years of life

hello friends. Kailey here. I am 31 years old today & I am celebrating by sharing 31 families that are raising funds for their adoption. Please consider donating! Make sure to comment below which family you donated to. So much love for each … [Continue reading]

December Adoptive Family :: Kari & Austin

Over the years, one of our favorite questions to answer is, “How did you two meet”. Almost instantly, we have been known to bust out into laughter, both knowing the answer to this questions will earn more than a few awkward glances. Flashback to … [Continue reading]

2017 Small Shops Christmas Guide

It's time for our 3rd annual #ShopSmallChristmasGuide ... and everyone said, YAY!!! Please consider doing some {or ALL} of your shopping here from this list.  If you are looking for something specific email me & I'll do my best to help you locate … [Continue reading]

November Adoptive Family :: Ashley & J.D.

What an adventure it’s been these last 16 years. I say 16 years and not 8 years, which we’ve been together, because that was when J.D. got in trouble in our 11th grade English class for talking to me too much. Yep, J.D. has always been one to push … [Continue reading]

the first words out of my mouth {a chapter from my sister’s story}

Nathan and I had been married for 6 months that September. I was starting my first semester of Nursing School at Troy-Montgomery, and Nathan was starting his last year of seminary school. Nathan worked two jobs, one full-time at his family’s business … [Continue reading]

October Adoptive Family ::: Matt & Kaylin

My husband, Matt, and I got married in April of 2014 and began trying to grow our family about year later.  We got pregnant in August of 2015 and were excited for what the future held. Even though we had just found out, we could not keep the … [Continue reading]

a gift for my husband & for you.

My husband, Dru, is the first person to say he doesn't want anything or need anything. Always. Without fail. I can tell you his words full of humility and grace before they even come out of his mouth. I do not think it's because he doesn't … [Continue reading]