July Adoptive Family :: The Ingleston Fam

Hey y’all! We are the Ingleston family and we are so glad to have you here in this space with us. Our life as a family has been one crazy, unexpected blessing after another and we’re so honored to share our story with you! Anyone who knows us knows that we’ve always been the ones to “go against the grain.” We are somewhat (super duper, if you ask my mama) impulsive and when we have an idea, we’re ready to make it happen. That has truly set the tone for everything we’ve walked through as a family!Christian and I (Haley) met on Facebook, shout out to Mark Zuckerberg, and then went on our first date in February of 2015. I had just gotten out of a pretty toxic relationship and after that night I decided I wasn’t as ready to date. I needed to take some time to focus on myself. But after a few months, I was ready to move on and start dating again. I quickly reached out to Christian (late May) and he promptly responded with “Hey, I’m actually seeing someone and don’t like to text other women out of respect for her”. He’s always been such a dang gentleman and man was I beating myself up after reading that text. Well, what God has for us can not be stopped because less than two weeks later I got a text from him saying he was single again and asked if I was too. Hallelujah! In June of 2015 we went on what we call our second first date, in October of 2015 we were engaged, and by March of 2017 we were married!

Remember how I said we were impulsive? During our engagement we casually discussed wanting to foster or adopt one day. We were both on the same page, but didn’t know exactly what we would do, when we would get started, or how we would make it happen.

We were young (23 and 24) and had each racked up our fair share of debt that we both brought into our marriage. We were living in a little 1,000 sqft starter home, and I had just started graduate school. 

Three weeks after we got married I saw an advertisement for training classes to become foster parents and four months after that we were licensed foster parents!!!! We didn’t waste any time. November of 2017, 8 months after our wedding, we welcomed our first baby boy through foster care. He was 2 days old and we brought him home from the hospital without a single thing. We didn’t even know his name but he completely stole our hearts. He made us mommy and daddy and changed us in the best of ways. Unfortunately I can’t share much about his story due to confidentiality agreements, but what I can share is that “the system” did him a disservice. After 6 months of raising him as our own and being told adoption was only a matter of time, he was abruptly removed from our home. Our hearts were broken, our world was shaken, and our faith was tested on a level I never imagined possible. We were so broken and hopeless and had no idea what our next steps would be. One night we were lying in bed having a conversation about whether or not we wanted to continue to foster. I was so afraid to go through that pain again and I kept begging Christian to consider domestic infant adoption. For whatever reason, we didn’t feel called to try to conceive but we knew we weren’t done growing our family. After a bit of research (holy expensive) Christian said he just didn’t feel that it was in the cards for us at that time and that God would have to drop something in our laps in order to consider that any time soon. But remember, what God has for us we can’t stop….

TWO DAYS LATER my aunt called. She had met a woman that was homeless and living in a car parked in the parking lot at her job. She had been spending some time talking to her taking her breakfast and one morning she noticed a little “bump”. She asked her if she was pregnant and she said “yes.” My aunt then asked how she could help, if she had any plans for the baby, etc. The woman told her she didn’t know what she was going to do. She was in a tough spot mentally, had no stable living, and there was drugs involved. My aunt told her that we were foster parents and asked if she wanted to talk to me on the phone. I thought this conversation would consist of me telling her how the baby would be sent to a foster home, she would be given a case plan, and how she could work to get the baby back in her custody. Five minutes into the phone call, she stopped me and said “I just want the baby to have a normal life with good parents, will you adopt it?” “YES, absolutely, we would be honored” I quickly replied, then said, “oh wait, I need to call my husband”. 

We had no idea how far along she was, if there had been prenatal care, or what the gender or race of the child would be. We didn’t have a home study sufficient for domestic adoption nor did we have a clue what the process would consist of. Nevertheless, we put our yes on the table and received the sweetest surprise in return. What we thought was about a 6-month bump happened to be an 8.5-month bump. There was zero prenatal care, extensive drug use, and many mental and physical health concerns. All of that combined resulted in some very scary conversations with doctors encouraging my husband and I to “rethink” our decision. Statistically speaking, IF this child was born alive, the quality of life would be less than ideal. But still we pushed forward, dropped to our knees, and had this mama and baby covered in more prayer than you could imagine. May 17, 2018, after 3 days by Mama P’s hospital bed, we welcomed a perfectly HEALTHY baby boy, Elijah Cade! For the two weeks awaiting his birth and the 3 days spent at the hospital, we had the opportunity to love on Mama P and learn a bit about her. Sadly, after that, she decided to go her separate ways meaning we now have a closed adoption with Elijah.At this time we were still active foster parents and had started working towards transitioning a legal risk placement of a 10mo and 2yo boy into our home in hopes of adopting them as well. Again, the system failed them and in July they were moved to another home where they were eventually adopted. After the journey we had experienced in foster care we made the difficult decision to let our license go and no longer foster.

Still, we did not feel called to try to conceive; yet again, we knew we were not done.

October 2018 we announced that we would love to adopt (domestically) again. We had heard when pursuing domestic infant adoption that it was a long hard journey and this is why we decided to get started so quickly. We thought we would probably be blessed with another by the time Elijah was 2 years old or somewhere around that time. To much surprise, we were contacted by our attorney in February of 2019 and told that a mama was interested in getting to know our family. February 26, 2019 we were officially “matched” and on March 26, 2019 we welcomed our precious baby girl, Ava Jaymes. Her first mama helped us name her, loved on her alone in the hospital for the first 24 hours, and is still very involved in our lives. We have a beautiful open adoption with Mama A and are so grateful God gave us the courage to press forward despite all of the reasons why we shouldn’t. 

 

It may not have been the timeline we saw for our lives, but it’s so much greater. Having babies 10 months apart is challenging, no doubt. There are more diapers than I can count, someone’s always crying, and it takes an hour to get out the door, but when I look at the way Ava Jaymes looks up to Elijah or how he thinks kissing her head and giving her her paci is the greatest thing ever, I forget about the sleepless nights and long, hard days. They’re going to be the best of friends and we feel so honored and privileged to be entrusted with their sweet little lives. We really are living the dream!

Love,

The Ingleston Fam

*Be sure to head over to Instagram for all other updates and ways to support this sweet family!

June Adoptive Fam :: the Ceravolo Fam

Hi y’all! We are Paul & Morgan and we are so grateful you are here to learn about our family.
I’ll take ya back to the beginning… we met in 2009 at a mutual friends wedding and it was love at first sight.
We met in June, were in engaged in November and married the following October.
We both come from large families, both of us have 4 siblings. So we knew we wanted a large family and started pretty soon after we married to start a family. We learned early on that growing our family was going to take longer and be more difficult that we had ever imaged. We suffered with infertility and Morgan has endometriosis which can cause extreme pain and other issues, infertility being one of them. After 2 surgeries and multiple tests over the course of a couple years without success, we began to seek the Lord more on what He was calling us to.
Growing up I ( Morgan )had always wanted to adopt, my childhood best friend was adopted and I just assumed that would be part of my story at some point, I just assumed we would have biological children first and then adopt. But God, He knows so much better and even through the pain and unknown He has walked with us every step and I am forever grateful for this life. We started the process to adopt in 2015 and brought out son, Beckham, home that same year and oh what a joy and blessing that was and forever will be.
When Beckham was about 2 years old we felt to urge to grow our family once more. We naturally still had the desire for biological children as well as knowing we wanted to adopt again. We sought the Lord for a while on which path, and decided to try fertility treatments for the first time. After 2 unsuccessful IUI treatments we were broken hearted and turned to the Lord about what to do next.
We knew and KNOW that God has called our family to adopt and we have since decided to give up all extra efforts to conceive outside of a natural miracle from God. We know God has called us to adopt, we feel it is a calling and our true purpose in life, and what a high and honorable calling it is! We believe we will always desire and would love a pregnancy if that would be in God’s plan for our lives.
But at the end of the day we are so blessed and content in where He has us. That brings us to today, we are once again adopting and are officially home study approved and waiting to be matched!! We are so grateful for Kailey and Cheers To Plan A for creating this platform for adoptive families. Adoption is so beautiful and also so hard, in many aspects, financially being one. When we are given a space to allow us to share our story and this community to rally around and support us, I can’t put into words what that means.
We are so grateful to be the June Adoptive Family and are so thankful y’all have taken the time to learn more about our little family and support us through this process.
Blessings!
Paul, Morgan & Beckham 🙂
Don’t forget to head on over to Instagram to support the this awesome fam all month long!

April Adoptive fam :: The Edwards Fam

Hi everyone! We are Ryan and Bethany Edwards. We started the process of an infant domestic adoption in December 2017. We have currently been “active” for seven months, which means we could get matched any day! You are invited to walk alongside us in this journey, because we know that it is only with the support and prayer of those around us that we will ultimately call a baby our own. They say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” but it also takes a village to adopt one.
 
When I (Bethany) was eighteen, I was diagnosed with a hormonal abnormality that causes infertility. I had never really thought about adoption; in fact, I hadn’t ever really thought about being a mother before. After grieving the loss of my fertility with close family and friends, I began to think about the implications for my future. I researched the orphan crisis around the world and across the country. I learned that if one family out of every three churches in America adopted a child, there would be no more children in need of families in the United States (Hartford Institute for Religious Research). The more I learned, the more my heart broke for orphans. I couldn’t stand that there are children who think that they aren’t wanted, aren’t loved, aren’t worth it. And as I began to mature, the Lord unveiled another concept: that I myself am adopted (Eph. 1:5-7). So unworthy, so dirty, so poor, so disabled, so sinful… and He picked me. And I wasn’t a “last resort.” He chose me first and chose me forever.
I decided that I wanted to marry someone who wanted to adopt – and not just because I wanted to adopt, but because HE wanted to. On one of our first dates, Ryan told me about a family he met as a camp counselor at Sky Ranch. The family consisted of multiple adopted children, several with special needs. It was through this and similar experiences that he felt the Lord placing adoption on his heart. He shared this with me before he knew that I had any thoughts on adoption. We didn’t know a lot back then, but we knew we each felt a calling. All Christians are instructed to care for the orphan (Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 82:3-4; James 1:27), but Ryan and I are called to adopt the orphan. Individually, and now years later, as one.
 
After we got engaged, Ryan and I visited a doctor who specializes in my specific diagnosis. To our enormous surprise, she informed us that I had been misdiagnosed six years prior. She had no reason to believe that we would have any trouble conceiving. God used an infertility misdiagnosis to open my eyes and heart to my adoption as His child and His desire for me and Ryan to bring an orphan into our home. This new medical news did not change that.
 
Three years ago, we got married. Since then, we’ve been through new jobs, two moves, our first house purchase, two puppies, graduate school, church partnership, ministry leadership, and more laughter than I could have possibly imagined. When we decided that it was time to grow our family, there was no question in our minds that we would pursue an adoption.
 Although our adoption story may not be typical, it has given us a platform to tell our friends and family about the beauty and joy of adoption. We love sharing our story and showing others that adopting a child doesn’t have to be the last resort on the journey toward parenthood. We have already been blessed and encouraged by the adoption community and are excited to be lifelong friends with other families who share the desire to care for the orphan.
 
For an even more intimate picture into our adoption journey, you can head over to my blog at www.EdwardsExpanding.com. You can also check out a video of our story here!
 
Love,
Ryan and Bethany Edwards

March Adoptive Fam:: The Zimmer Fam

Hello friends!!! We are Andrew & Casey Zimmer. We most recently welcomed our son Jude this past February!!! We are overjoyed that we were chosen to share our journey to parenthood with you.  Please read on.

Andrew and I met as freshman in college and began dating in 2007. We were married in 2011 right after graduating. While were dating, we had discussed our mutual desire to have children.  This included having children naturally as well as traditional adoption. We shared a love to be parents and always felt this calling.

[We are engaged October 2010]

 

[Wedded bliss, marrying my best friend June 2011]

In my mind I would get through grad school, Andrew would be working at a good job, we’d buy a house, I’d work for a year, and we would start having kids after that.  I had it all figured out, seemingly.  

Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Andrew had a difficult time finding work while I completed grad school to be a speech-language pathologist. He had a communications degree, making it unclear what he was qualified for.  As my graduation approached, Andrew investigated Master’s programs in hopes of having better success with finding stable work.  I graduated May 2013 and we moved to Boone, NC about 2 months later. So we packed our things, and tearfully said goodbye, and moved 8 hours away.  This was scary and exciting at the same time since we knew no one and would be near more of God’s beautiful creation. I had not secured a job before the move.  We quickly found it difficult for me to find work due to the location and differences in state licensure laws. The pressure was on for me to find work, due to still having to complete a 9-month fellowship.  I prayed and happened to job search in my hometown of Columbus, IN. With no prospects in NC, I went for the interview and got the job. Against our better judgments, I moved back to Columbus, IN and stayed with my parents around March 2014.  

[Ahhh, living 30 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway was magical, North Carolina 2014]

After much prayer and hearing from God, it was time to start growing our family in May 2014.  We began trying to conceive naturally and estimated it would take a few months to get pregnant.  This was a difficult task considering we lived 8 hours away from each other.  I timed my ovulation and Andrew did a lot of driving. By June 2015, I began going to the OB/GYN to begin some preliminary testing since we had been trying to get pregnant for a year without any success.  I went through a battery of tests, which indicated no contraindications to my fertility health. Now it was Andrew’s turn. He began with a few routine measures and quickly started going to an Urologist. The Urologist completed tests and found his sperm count and quality to be abnormally low.  He started medications. I started a new job at a hospital and we moved to Richmond, IN. Andrew continued to be unemployed following getting his Master’s degree. After being on the medication for some time, tests were repeated and showed little improvements for Andrew’s fertility. Andrew underwent an invasive surgery in January 2016.  After a period of months healing, Andrew goes back on the same medication. He continues to be unemployed. We find our “church home.” We get involved in the young adult small group in March 2016, and finish the Sermon on the Mount study with them. Our next study is a marriage book by Francis Chan. This timing is perfect. We go to our first fertility doctor appointment in July 2016.  Things don’t look that great and the doctor cannot recommend IVF. He delivers this crushing blow: THERE IS LESS THAN A 1% CHANCE THAT YOU WILL HAVE BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN.  How do you swallow and process that?  Remember the “plan” we had early on?

Isaiah 43:2-3a “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

So, we had to have some options, right?  What about Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth, and other women in the Bible?  The Lord provided the way for them to have children, against all odds. What do we do?  Pray and trust that the Lord will grant us children in His timing.

We know that without a doubt that God can give us a biological child.  For now, God answered in a different way. The Lord laid adoption on our hearts.  

Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba Father!”

God adopted all of us and He is our forever family once we confess belief in Christ and turn from our sinful destruction.  Andrew and I quickly begin looking at the process of adoption. We knew adoption was expensive, but didn’t know it was that expensive.  We also come across embryo adoption during this time. Embryo adoption is where families who have gone through IVF have remaining embryos leftover.  They are done building their families and have decided to continue paying for them to be frozen. Families donate their embryos to adoption agencies and are a part of the selection process to help other families build their family.  Once you are matched with a family, the embryos are shipped to your fertility clinic. From there, the woman’s body is prepped with medication. When her cycle has been timed, the embryos are thawed and are inserted into her uterus. The frozen embryo transfer is an outpatient procedure.  The woman then goes home and waits 2 weeks to test for pregnancy. Though the woman carries the child, it is not biologically related to her. The beauty is that this soul is given a chance at life. It is essentially adoption from birth. There are hundreds of thousands of embryos waiting in freezers in the United States alone.  The decision for us came through lots of prayer, tears, and consideration of our finances. We moved forward with an embryo adoption agency in March 2017. Throughout this process, we were very private about our infertility journey. Only a handful of people knew about our struggles.

The paperwork flood begins.  After 10 months of part time work and continued job searching, Andrew started a job at a university in March 2017.  This was a huge answer to prayer. We were now both working full-time, which further demonstrated God’s faithfulness.  

The embryo adoption process is very similar to traditional adoption.  There’s a ton of paperwork, a home study, and it’s very invasive. It often left me bitter and resentful.  No prospective parents had to go through this to deem whether they were fit to be parents. God reminded me over and over again of His goodness. By mid June our home study was completed.  All of our paperwork, reports, and profile books were sent off in July 2017 by God’s grace. We began being much more transparent with our faith family about our infertility journey during this time.  So many people have since come forward with their own stories or shared about families who have been blessed through adoption. We experienced sacred moments of prayer, laying of hands, and an outpouring of love. Our faith family certainly surrounded us and ministered to us during this time.

[Getting creative with our announcement]

By January 2018 we completed the matching phase of our adoption.  We are now the proud owners of 10 embryos thanks to a generous family.  

[Awaiting frozen embryo transfer May 2018]

I eventually started medications to prepare my body, which took roughly 2.5 months.  The procedure itself has a 40% success rate. Our fertility clinic has a policy where they only insert 1 embryo at a time for the procedure.  In late May, I go in for the frozen embryo transfer procedure. One embryo is thawed, looks great, and is transferred. We go home and try to relax.  On June 1st, we receive THE PHONE CALL; blood work confirms it, WE ARE PREGNANT!!!!!

[Our little blastocyst- roughly 5-6 days old]

 

 

[Announcing our pregnancy joy!]

 

[Freezing for maternity photos. We can’t wait to meet you and figure out if you are a boy or girl]

 

[Welcome to the world Jude, the little embryo that could, our miracle boy]

 

[We love you so much! You will never know how loved for and prayed over you have been throughout this process. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME]

We are still pinching ourselves and cannot believe our little man is here.  This boy is fearfully, wonderfully, and beautifully made by God. He has brought so much joy and love to our little family.  His timing is best. We welcome any and all questions you may have concerning embryo adoption. Adoption from birth rocks!!!!!!

Thank you for reading!!! We appreciate all your support!!!!!!

Love,

The Zimmer Family

PS. head over to Instagram to follow along on all our fundraising adventures this month!

 

February Adoptive Family:: The Fazenbaker Family

Hey, y’all! We are Kelley and Nathaniel Fazenbaker. We are so excited and thankful to be able to share our story. Thank you for following along!

After being married for a couple of years, Nate and I decided in September 2015 we were ready to grow our family. We both knew it could potentially take up to a year for things to happen, so we tried our best to just see where the year would take us and enjoy what could probably be the last several months with just the two of us. We both always dreamed of being parents, and after having several conversations about it, we realized we both feared that we may not be able to. Throughout 2016, we grew closer through our excitement, frustrations, and disappointment. God was preparing us for something even bigger than we could imagine…

In January 2017, while waiting on test results, we began discussing adoption. Even though it had been placed on my heart and had been something I was looking into more and more, Nate was the first one to say, “Maybe this is what we’re meant to do. If we are unable to have biological children, we can become parents through adoption.” Goodness gracious, I could have squeezed him to pieces in that moment! We decided to move forward with our adoption journey before receiving our final test results, knowing we may potentially revisit fertility treatments in the future.

We signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants and began working with our amazing consultant, Leah, on February 1, 2017. Later that month, we received the devastating news that biological children would not be a possibility for us. However, we had such an overwhelming peace about growing our family through adoption, so we dove into completing our home study and became active in May 2017.

Although our wait has been pretty long so far, I truly believe God has done amazing things through it. We made the choice to grow our relationship with each other and with Christ. We joined a wonderful church family a couple of months after going active, and they have been a huge support for us! However, I began struggling with severe anxiety and depression in the fall of 2017. It was a very hard season for me as the weight of everything began hitting me. It seemed like everyone around me was becoming pregnant and growing their families left and right, even accidentally. Those moments were so hard for me and while I had faith that God was in control of our story, I became very frustrated. It took a few deep conversations with friends and some courage to find the help I needed to push through it. That’s not to say I am completely healed from it or overcame those feelings, because there are many days I still struggle. But I believe God has worked on us so much these past two years, and because of it, we will be better parents than we ever would have been before.

We are incredibly thankful for this journey and this community. Our family and friends have been so loving and supportive, and I have met some of my closest friends through the online adoption community. I can lean on them, vent to them, and trust them with all of my thoughts and feelings. We pray for each other constantly. We are so anxious and excited to meet and love the expectant parents and children God has chosen for our family.

Again, thank you for following along, and we appreciate your prayers and support!

Love,

The Fazenbaker Family

PS. remember all the fun is happening over on Instagram!

January Adoptive Family:: The Warren Family

My husband, Kyle, and I met in 2006 in college. We dated and became engaged in 2009.
We had our dream wedding in front of family, friends and God in 2010. Kyle and I have
always wanted to expand our family to include children. We both come from family oriented
backgrounds. We enjoy traveling with our families, going on road trips together and
spending nights at home together. We have gone through many ups and downs throughout
our journey to expand our family.

Beginning in March 2013, Kyle and I decided that it was time to expand our family. After alittle over of year of trying on our own with no success we sought medical advice. We spent
the Summer of 2014 having numerous fertility tests ran which were unable to diagnose the
cause of our infertility. We then expanded our search to a larger hospital which began to
target the cause. In September 2014, we were referred to a nationally renowned fertility
specialist in another larger city. This increased our drive time to our doctor which meant that
we had to take more time off work in order to make it to our appointments. We investigated
the cause of our infertility. We were also referred to another specialist in that same large city
for Kyle’s fertility needs. Kyle had an invasive surgery completed in March 2015. This
surgery kept Kyle out of work for a month but we were still optimistic of our chances to
expand our family.


In the May 2015, we completed our first round of IVF using hormone shots to increase my
egg development. After the retrieval, two embryos were transferred. Following the wait
period and learning to administer intramuscular injections which were used to increase our
success rate, we learned that our first attempt of IVF failed. We were heartbroken but knew
that we had to try again. So we once again met with our fertility specialist who had a plan of
action. This plan was to increase my hormone intake and to add another more potent
hormone. This would increase our success rate. So we began the IVF process again. We
transferred two embryos this time. After the wait period, we finally got the phone call. We
heard those words, “Sara, you are pregnant!!” The tears quickly ran down my face. I didn’t believe my doctor. I responded with, “Are you sure?” She said, “Yes!” We had promised
one another we would not tell anyone. But the news was too overwhelming not to share. We
quickly called our sets of parents and shared the news. Then came the second blood test a
few days later, the phone call that evening was not the same. We were no longer pregnant. As tears once again flowed, my doctor explained that we had been pregnant but it was
called a chemical pregnancy, which meant that the embryo wasn’t strong enough to
continue to grow. We were devastated and didn’t know what to do. We began to take more
time to ourselves, to go on more trips and finally decided to sell our first home together. We
wanted to expand but wanted to take a break from the medical talk, heartbreak, physical
strain of the hormones and injections, mental strain of the medical jargon and the emotional
strain of the up and down emotions.

In the summer of 2016, we decided to start investigating Artificial Insemination with a donor.
After searching this avenue as well, we found that it wasn’t the right way for us to go. We
decided that the idea of the actual pregnancy wasn’t what was important to us. Having a
healthy baby and expanding our family was what was important to us.

We continued to hear of friends adopting babies and began to pray about God’s plan for us. We sold our home and found our new home. It was much larger and ready for an expanded family. It also had a backyard for our dogs and the perfect location for a swing for our future family. We began to have talks about what was next. Kyle said that he felt led toward adoption. I agreed. We decided to get advice from our friends who had been through it. Then we started investigating agencies that would be the right fit for us.

As we started our adoption journey, we have seen God’s light shine on us. We have found
an agency which meets our needs and we feel like family. We completed our initial
homestudy in the Summer of 2017. Then we began working with our agency on our parent
profile book. Our nursery is complete and we pray every day for our little one. Each day, we
both feel God throughout this process was leading us to adoption. We have a wonderful
church family which we found after moving to our new home. We became connected with
our church when we started the adoption journey. There are so many friends of ours
through church who have been through similar situations. We feel the love of God and
prayers from our family and friends daily. Through it all we have become stronger together
with a lot of prayer and family support.

Please continue to pray for our journey!
Love,
Kyle & Sara Warren
#FindingBabyWarren

December Adoptive Family :: The Jordan Family

Hi! We are Blake, Jessica & Ivy! We are living proof that high school sweethearts still exist! We met when Blake was a senior and I {Jessica} was a sophomore in 2002  Blake went on to play college baseball and study Sports Management while I went to college to study Marketing. Our love for one another continued to grow over that 5 year time period and in 2007, Blake proposed to me just 2 months before my college graduation. Over the next year and a half, we planned our wedding and finally said “I Do” in 2009.

Since then our love for one another has continued to grow along with our desire to grow our family. We began trying for a healthy pregnancy on our own in 2010. After a year and no luck, we began seeking answers to our infertility. Over the next two years, we saw several specialists and underwent testing and ultimately were told that we had 0% chance of conceiving without IVF. At that point, we took a step back and prayed that the Lord would show up in a big way. Over the next year we were still unable to conceive and ultimately chose to move forward with a round of IVF in August of 2013.  Just a few short weeks later we learned that it was successful and that we were expecting twins. Unfortunately, over the next 5 months we lost one in October and the other in January.

Over the next few months, we began to pray that the Lord would reveal to us how and if we should grow our family. In September of 2014, God opened our ears and our hearts to pursue adoption. We quickly worked through our home study requirements and became active with an incredible attorney in SC. The years of unanswered prayers and lack of understanding all came to fruition in December when our precious daughter was born and we were chosen by her Birth Mom. We will never forget the moment our attorney called to tell us and that she was already here! On December 22, 2014 we arrived at the hospital and became her parents!

We knew that we would likely adopt again after Ivy was born and began the process in October of 2017. We finished our homestudy in December only to find out in January we were going to be moving for Blake’s job. We went active with our agency in March and worked throughout the summer to get all of our documents updated for our new home. We know that wherever our daughter’s future sibling may be, he or she is worth and wait. We can’t wait to see how the Lord writes this chapter in our family’s story!

Thanks for following along! We are incredibly thankful for our community that has supported us though financial support, prayers and encouragement! We are only about 20% away from our initial fundraising goal and can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to provide this month.

with love,

The Jordans

PS. head over to Instagram to follow along on all our fundraising adventures this month!

 

November Adoptive Family:: The Douglas Family

We are Brian and Heather, and together, with our new daughter, Remi, we make up Team Douglas! We got married on a chilly day in September 2014, after about a year of dating and engagement. As part of the pre-marriage discussions, adoption was always talked about as a way that we wanted to grow our family. Heather had a desire to adopt since she was a teenager, and Brian has two sisters who were adopted, so he had gotten to experience the blessing of adoption in his own family.

The questions about kids came pretty much right after the honeymoon, and Heather always answered that she envisioned starting a family 3–5 years into marriage. Well, a couple years in, and we both felt ready! We decided to try for a biological kiddo first since we weren’t getting any younger, and planned to adopt our second or third kid. Well, as He often does, God had different plans, and after about six months of trying to get pregnant moved both our hearts to seek adoption as Plan A for creating our family.

So we signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants in January 2018, and started the long process of the home study and fundraising. After a few months, our home study was complete, and we were a waiting family.

Around 9:45pm on May 14, after presenting to just two different expectant mamas, we got the call that we had been chosen by a mother in Arizona who was due in October. We were surprised to have been matched so early in the process, and were also a bit shocked by how early in the pregnancy we were matched. We were prepared for a “stork drop” or some other speedy scenario, so to have five months before the baby was even due felt so strange!

Of course, it turned out to be a huge blessing because in July we had the opportunity to go to Arizona to meet the expectant mother, and after a few hours over coffee, knew that God was totally in our match. She was incredible, and we enjoyed writing letters and praying for her specifically over the next couple months.

We headed down to Arizona for a second time at the beginning of September, as mama predicted her labor would go early and fast, and she wanted us to be there for it. After a grueling week and a half of waiting in the Arizona heat, we got the call that mama was in labor, and we got to meet our beautiful daughter at 12:32pm on September 17.

Being there for labor and delivery was an amazing experience, and the weeks we spent in Arizona after the birth, though long, were a gift to get to know Remi’s birth family better. Since being back (just a month!), we’ve loved exchanging texts with Remi’s “tummy mommy” as well as sharing photos via Facebook and celebrating her birthday with her. We cannot wait to see how our relationship continues to unfold and how Remi will get to be loved on by her first family as she grows!

So we got our baby girl just four days after our fourth wedding anniversary… we’d say that’s as close to 3–5 years as you can get! 🙂 And our journey to parenthood was nine months… just instead of morning sickness and stretch marks and labor it was marked by paperwork and fundraising and labor of a different kind. We’re so grateful that this is how God saw fit to write our family’s story. We can’t imagine our family without Remi and her first family, and although adoption is fraught with brokenness and pain, it also holds so much redemption, hope, and sacrificial love.

Thanks for letting us share a bit of our story, and make sure to follow along on Instagram as we fundraise this month! We’re so grateful for the ways God has provided financially and otherwise on this journey, and we’re excited to see Him continue to do so!

Love,

The Douglas Fam

PS. if you would like to read more of our story, check out our blog!

October Adoptive Family :: The Sorenson Family

Hey! We are Aaron and Kristin Sorenson. We are the parents to two little kiddos through adoption, Jonas (2.5 years) and Lany ((Lane-y) 3 months)!

When I (Kristin) grew up, my neighbors had grown their family through adoption. Seeing their family’s openness to adoption was how the Lord first opened my eyes to adoption. When our neighbors adopted their second child, a little girl from China, I was so excited and loved to spend time with her. After this, I can’t remember a time not wanting to adopt when I grew up! I imagined my future with kiddos from different countries, from the US and around the world, and that was just my vision.

When my husband and I got married 6 years ago we weren’t sure how we wanted to grow our family initially. We discussed what we’d “like to do first” (which is funny now!): biological children, adopting domestically or fostering to adopt. At the time we didn’t qualify for any out of country adoptions as we had not been married a year yet! ☺  My husband never was opposed to adopting, initially however, he didn’t have the same heart as I did for it. So we pursued pregnancy in hopes of growing our family that way first. A year and a half later, I was diagnosed with PCOS, which is a fairly common disorder that can cause infertility and was the reason I had been unable to get pregnant naturally. I was not overcome with sorrow at this diagnosis, only because of the vision I had as a child and still had as an adult…. that I wanted to grow my family through adoption…. that’s where my heart was. I wanted to be there for a child that needed a home.

I (Aaron) agreed with this. Hearing the news that Kristin had PCOS was for sure not what we were hoping for but for us it confirmed that adoption was the route to pursue to grow our family. We didn’t really know where to start but thankfully knew another family that had adopted and we followed their path (quite literally as we used the same consultant and funny enough matched through the same agency as them!). We started the adoption process early 2015 and became active with an adoption consultant in October 2015. After that we experienced a number of failed matches. We felt discouraged and heartbroken, wondering if we would ever become parents. I remember when the first failed match occurred, I thought, “No way… I’ve heard of this happening but this can’t be our story.” We were left heartbroken again and again.

We read scripture to bring us courage and really clung to this verse: “I would have lost heart, unless I believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13. It’s the verse we have on a letterboard in our house, a reminder that we don’t need to lose heart, we will see God’s goodness.

On May 4th, 2016 I (Kristin) got a call that a boy had been born the day before, and that we were matched with him. He was our son! Tears of joy. I’m getting choked up just typing that. I’ll never forget the swell of my heart and rise of emotions. We couldn’t wait to fly to Florida to meet him!

This is our boy – Jonas. Our little joy bomb and Elmo lover. How did this little 5-pound baby become a 33-pound chunky 2-year-old? We can’t imagine our lives without him.  We would go through all the pain and loss a million times if it meant him in our family and us with him!

When Jonas was a year old we decided we’d like to try to adopt again. This time we decided to go directly through the agency that our consultant matched us with for Jonas’ adoption. We completed a new home study and a few months later we found out we’d be moving to Sweden for a few months for my husband’s job. We were SO excited for the opportunity, as we wanted to go, but also were a bit nervous knowing that we’d be putting our adoption on hold and knew we’d see many opportunities to adopt where we’d have to say “no”. When we were in Sweden we had someone give us a word they believed was from God: “There’s a package on the way.” I wanted to assume this meant a baby was on the way, but when our first adoption held some failed matches etc., I didn’t want to be too hopeful for this adoption to go so smoothly. When we returned to the United States from Sweden we kept thinking about that word and wondering if it would come to in fact be a baby…Was there a baby somewhere growing that would join our family? Yes, in fact there was! Mother’s Day weekend we got the call that we were matched with a little girl due in July, in believe it or not, Florida. Again!! ☺ We were ecstatic and overjoyed at this wonderful news and joyfully shared with our family about the hope of a little girl joining our family! Our daughter Lany was born July 12th, 2018 and she is such a little peanut. Her features are so delicate and petite and the noises and coos she’s starting to make are so soft and sweet. I feel like that is something already so distinct in her demeanor. We are so honored to be a part of her family and so very grateful God allowed us to grow our family through adoption again.

About 2 weeks before this little girl was due, I got an email from Kailey from Cheers to Plan A Adoption that we had been chosen to be the featured family in October and we would be the first featured family that already would have the child with us in our home! We are so thankful for this opportunity to be featured and have been so blessed by it already.   

Adoption is something so complex. Just as our children are so different, their stories are so different, their families are so different, their adoptions are so different….the list goes on! We won’t claim to be experts in adoption, on how to go about it or how to talk about it, but we will say that we feel so completely humbled and HONORED that their birth families and our Father God would allow us to be weaved into their stories. What an incredible, magnificent gift that definitely isn’t lost on us.  

We pray where you are in your journey that as God’s word says…. You wouldn’t lose heart, remembering that you WILL see God’s goodness. Praise Him for that.

Thank you so much for reading our story. Please be sure to hop over to Instagram and follow as we fundraise this month!

Love,

The Sorenson Family

September Adoptive Family :: The Houk Family

We are Kenn and Kari – the Houk family! Kenn and I were introduced in 2015 through a mutual friend and hit it off instantly. Nine months after the day we met, we exchanged wedding vows in front of the Lord, friends and family. The day was beautiful, but our marriage has been even sweeter. One of our greatest desires as a couple was to start a family. We knew that God wanted us to raise a family and disciple our children to love Jesus and others, so we began trying to get pregnant. Looking back, I think we truly believed that it would be easy and would happen quickly.

It took a few months for us to really begin to wonder whether something was wrong. After a year of trying, we decided to make an appointment with a few doctors and things began to unfold for us.  Though it would not be impossible for us to get pregnant, it may require some medical intervention. This news shattered me. I just didn’t understand why God would give me this great desire to be a mother, only to slam on the brakes immediately. But we are learning that God loves to take brokenness and make it beautiful.  He doesn’t just give us what we desire, but He goes far beyond that. He stretches us and teaches our hearts to fear and trust in Him and His work alone. We believe that in His goodness, God called us to pursue Baby Houk through domestic infant adoption.

Because God writes AMAZING stories and does immeasurably more than all that we can ask or even imagine, we were matched with an expectant mother very quickly. We received the call on August 15 and spoke with her a few days afterward.  She is due with a baby boy on December 11, and we are so excited for what lies ahead! This woman has shared her story with us and invited us to be a part of it. She has taught us a lot so far about God’s sovereignty over His children’s lives.

We believe that by pursuing our baby through adoption, it will be about so much more than Kenn and I growing our family. Adoption is a beautiful example of how God can bring hope into a hopeless situation! Though not comparable, our situation and the expectant mother’s situation are both difficult paths to walk through. But God has great plans to work in them, and we can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

We are so grateful to be the September family of the month because we covet the prayers of our brothers and sisters! This journey has stretched us emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Thank you for taking the time to learn about our family!

Love,

The Houk Family

PS. Don’t forgot to over on to INSTAGRAM where all the fundraising and sharing happens!!