September Adoptive Family :: Ashley & Matt

Hey there! Thanks so much for following along here at Cheer To Plan A. We are honored to be able to share our story with you all! We got married pretty young 20 and 22. We had dated for years and had talked about having lots of kids including adopting later in life. Fast forward 10 years into marriage and we were still struggling to find our first pregnancy.

To make things more painful, Ashley had been working at a local crisis pregnancy center for the majority of those 10 years as a patient advocate helping young woman and men with unplanned pregnancies. While she loved helping others it became more difficult for her to work with and be surrounded by pregnant women every day.

We celebrated with friends and family as it seemed everyone around us was getting pregnant. With each passing year this became so difficult and at one point we even started to avoid baby showers and birthday parties for little ones. Honestly we felt like God had forgotten us. We had visited a fertility doctor and after some tests there was a small chance we could have biological babies with IVF. After lots of prayer and research we did not feel that was our road to parenthood. So we waited and waited and waited some more.

During this time of waiting, we moved to a city we loved, connected with our local church, and bought what we considered a home we could see our children growing up in. We thought we would soon fill these empty rooms with children. Nearly three years later we were still waiting. On a whim we sold the house and moved out of the city into a remote piece of large property in the wilderness where we rented a smaller but cozy home.

We had no idea what God had planned for us.

After settling into our new home for about a year we began feeling a stirring growing in both of us to do something more in order to step outside of the norm and seek God for direction and guidance on what to do with our intense desire to become parents.

Then some amazing things began to happen.

We were inspired by a book, a new message series by our pastor at church, and we started a small business with the intention of helping raise money and eventually save for the cost of adoption.

We now see how God had been preparing us for adoption all this time. Adoption was always God’s plan A for us we just didn’t realize it until now. Like many, we thought adoption sounded nice, but would come after we had biological babies.

We never felt released before to adopt or go through infertility treatments. We continued to wait on God which was the hardest and most rewarding thing we have ever done while all the while God was waiting on us. He was waiting for our place of surrender to him. Our hope in sharing our story is that it encourages you in the moments when you feel forgotten and discouraged because let me tell you we’ve been there and it stinks. Well, we are here to let you know God sees you, He hears you, and He loves you.

One of the biggest hurdles we saw with adoption was the expense. We didn’t have thousands upon thousands of dollars to pay for legal fees, adoption services, birth mother expenses, and the home study just to name a few. That’s when we had an idea of starting a business where we could sell handmade crafts and inspirational items in an online store. The idea was that this business would help us in saving for adoption. Before we officially launched the new business we asked some friends of ours out to lunch. We wanted to get their opinion on the business idea, layout and logo we had come up with. They agreed to meet later the following week for lunch but also mentioned they had been waiting for us to take them to lunch. ???

At lunch the next week we explained our situation. We had never discussed our infertility struggle or desire to adopt with them in the past. We also went over the business idea we came up with to accelerate our savings plan for the adoption. They had some great input and a couple tips we hadn’t thought of. They patiently waited until we were done but it was after that where they began to share their hearts. They told us they had been waiting for us to reach out to them and share our desire to adopt. This caught us completely off-guard as the subject had never come up. Next they told us God had placed in them a desire to help with adoption but they had not yet adopted any children. They told us that soon after we met years earlier they knew they would eventually be involved in helping us with an adoption. We are tearing up just writing about this because it’s a reminder of how God was orchestrating so many moving parts all around us when we had no idea. Next they shared how they had been waiting until it was the right time to share this with us and the time was now. They prefaced it with a respect for our desire to fundraise and that this was in no way trying to change any timetable but they continued and shared that God had already provided 100% of the entire adoption cost!!! WHAT! I don’t even remember what was said immediately after. I think we were both in shock.

This would be an amazing story of God’s miraculous provision and timing even if the story ended here but it doesn’t!!!

Shortly after this lunch meeting with our friends our pastor asked us to share our story and of God’s immediate provision on a Sunday morning. We agreed to share what God had done in belief that hearing about this could increase hope and faith for others even though we hadn’t even started the actual adoption process.

On Friday two days before we were scheduled to share at church our pastor received a Facebook message. It went something like this. “Pastor my 17 year old sister is pregnant and believes she is too young to parent and would like to choose adoption for her child. Do you know anyone in your church that is looking to adopt?” Our pastor was shocked at the timing. He quickly replied and said “not only do I know a couple ready to adopt but they are sharing this Sunday at church, come and I will introduce you all.” (Note: In 25 years of ministry our pastor had never received any phone call or message like this.)

We shared our story that Sunday. After service we met the young man who sent the Facebook message and scheduled to meet for lunch the next day.

Later that same evening (about 12:30am) We received a phone call.
Long story short we were invited to the hospital to meet the family that evening. The lunch date for the next day couldn’t wait as the 17 year old birth mom had gone into labor Sunday evening and was already at the hospital. We got dressed rushed out of the house and were at the hospital in less than an hour. We met with the family then we were introduced to the birth mother. A couple hours later when the Doctor was alone with the birth mother she was asked if she
wanted anyone to cut the umbilical cord. Without hesitation she said she wanted Matt to do it. At 6:23 that morning Matt cut the umbilical cord of our first born daughter, Lily Rose. We were even able to fill out the birth certificate and when we left the hospital two days later we left as a family of 3!

Needless to say being Lily’s parents has been the most incredible blessing of our lives! She has filled our lives with more joy and love than we could have imagined. All those years of waiting and heartache melted away as soon as she joined our family!

When Lily turned 2 we felt God was telling us it was time to again look towards adoption to grow our family. We then met with one adoption facilitator and visited one law office when we got another call. We thought could this really happen this quickly again. We had not even signed up or began a birth mother search but here we were being told that nobody else in their system fit what this birth mother was looking for.

Just a couple days later we sat down at a coffee shop with a pregnant young lady who explained why she had chosen adoption for her child and that she was choosing us as the baby’s adoptive parents!

We began the adoption process with this new birth mom and that included paying for most of her living expenses including housing, as she had no source of income and was growing increasingly pregnant. She was pregnant through Christmas and we even visited her and dropped off Christmas gifts for her and her family. Several months pass when we received the most devastating phone call. It was from someone who lived in birth mom’s town (a couple hours drive for us) and they had absolute gut wrenching news. Long story short they basically were calling to inform us that birth mom was no longer pregnant.

At first we wanted to deny it. Surely this person is mistaken, this can’t be true. However, after a couple of attempted phone calls and texts to birth mom were not returned as they normally were we knew something wasn’t right. Weeks later we had a short conversation with her and there were still more questions than answers. She had no plans to continue with the adoption. We can’t describe the feeling of this type of loss but it rocked us. We had recently finished the nursery including new baby furniture, crib, and décor as we were anticipating a delivery date any day and for the first time were given several months to prepare for baby’s arrival. We had even picked out a name as we had ultrasound photos and been told we were having a baby boy. We still haven’t seen the entire picture and we still aren’t totally sure why we went through this terrible loss but something exciting came from this situation.

We have a good friend who has adopted all four of her children. After walking through this failed adoption with us she was really thinking back to one of her birth moms and some of the similar struggles she faced through the process as we did with this birth mom. After a couple years without any contact she searched out and sent a Facebook message to this previous birth mother. She just wanted to thank her for following through with her initial decision to choose adoption as she had just seen how not all birth moms follow through with their decision. It was mid-way through this conversation when the birth mom decided to tell her something. She said, “I’m pregnant.” She followed up with something to the effect of, I don’t want to have an abortion I want to choose adoption. What incredible timing! What if our friend never reached out to her? What if we hadn’t had a failed adoption?

Our friend tried to wait at least a couple of days to give us time to recover from our loss but she couldn’t wait long. She called us up and shared the incredible news. While our friend was no longer adopting she did have a special un-describable love for this unborn child and wanted only the best family for this new baby. We hung up the phone and the next day decided this opportunity wasn’t just a coincidence and just a week or two later we were all on a quick flight to meet birth mom.

That was almost 5 months ago. We’ve been communicating with and helping birth mom out financially ever since. We’ve made multiple visits including two ultrasounds thanks to a local pregnancy clinic in her area. She is aware of our failed adoption and has on more than one occasion helped ease our fear and anxiety by explaining how she would never change her mind.  As of today September 1, 2017 we are just about 6 weeks away from our new baby’s due date. We are beyond excited!!

Thanks for taking the time to read our story. We know God’s story for us is not finished. We went from wondering if God had forgotten us to being completely and overwhelmingly blessed. We now realize how much he truly cares for his children and is constantly working on our behalf. If he can do it for us he can do it for you!!

We hope hearing our struggles, failures, and miracles can help someone who may find themselves in a place they never imagined being.

We truly appreciate all the prayers and support we’ve received from friends, family, fellow adoptive parents, and even strangers. If you’ve ever thought of adoption one thing we can tell you is that if God wants you to adopt he will provide and take you through all your greatest fears and setbacks. Only 3% of all couples who consider adoption ever follow through. Let’s raise that number one adoption at a time whether you help another adoptive couple…or maybe God might just be speaking to you about adoption.

So much love!!

Matt, Ashley, Lily & Baby B Coming soon

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