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 of you!

  1. The Green Family
  2. The Ferguson Family
  3. The Frederick Family
  4. The Wright Family
  5. The Marchant Family 
  6. The Voss Family
  7. The Reddick Family
  8. The Vibert Family 
  9. The Cater Family
  10. The Jordan Family
  11. The Dorough Family
  12. The Carolino Family 
  13. The Schapps Family
  14. The Russell Family
  15. The Higley Family
  16. The Halterman Family
  17. The Kirk Family
  18. The Exsted Family
  19. The Barley Family 
  20. The Reese Family
  21. The Lacy Family
  22. The Lucas Family 
  23. The Barnett Family
  24. The Bakke Family 
  25. The Melaniphy Family
  26. The Ezzell Family 
  27. The Carden Family
  28. The Ross Family
  29. The Douglass Family
  30. The Yilk Family
  31. The Gardner Family 

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 April of 2011, when on a cold, winter-like day here in Northern Ohio, I had the great idea to sneak over to my boss’s house and borrow his hot tub. You see, in our VERY small town (under 200 people at this time of the year), it’s not uncommon to find yourself in others’ homes. Everyone is very welcoming, and most share the “my house is your house” mentality. So, when a group of guys a few years younger than me (Austin being one of them) also showed up to borrow the hot tub, we all had to laugh at the irony of the whole ordeal. That, my friends, is how I officially met my husband – on a cold winter day, in our boss’s hot tub.

 

This small community of ours would continue to (and still does) play a huge role in our relationship. Over the years, our friendship grew. We spent our college years working together at the same little family run business – Austin as the Kitchen Manager, and me as the store manager – all the while, both dating different people, but always remaining friends. So in the summer of 2013 when Austin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he told me about it. The type of cancer he had was pretty uncommon for someone his age to develop and, because of its aggressive nature, had to be removed surgically. Austin bounced back quickly – taking a few weeks to recover from the procedure and then returning to daily life as normal. Thankfully, the surgery had prevented any further spread, and he didn’t have to undergo any chemo or radiation therapy.

Our second favorite question is, “Where did you go on your first date”. This one usually solicits an awkward exchange of eye contact as we attempt to figure it out. We still haven’t figured out the perfect answer, but our favorite option is the night Austin asked me out for drinks after a long day of work. A few drinks in, I specifically remember him trying to flirt with me. I stopped mid-conversation, turned to him, and said, “You know that I will never, ever date you, right?”. This has quickly become our favorite joke – we never “officially” dated each other. Austin never “officially” asked me to be his girlfriend. We just fell in love somewhere along the way and were married less than a year later.

Our journey to adoption has always felt quite different than most. We knew from the very beginning that we would never be able to conceive a child naturally, so there was no “trying” period. We had our first talk about adoption at a community baseball game less than a month after telling him that I’d never date him. Not 6 months later, we were consulting with a fertility clinic to find out what our options would be once we were married. We never had to deal with the heartbreak that comes with learning that you are infertile after months or years of trying without success – we just knew.

What we were not prepared for was the journey that would follow. We were elated when we found out that we were pregnant with a little girl after our first round of IVF. And, we were devastated when we found out that her heart was no longer beating. The disappointment of not being able to conceive naturally felt like nothing compared to the pain of losing our daughter.

For months, I was so angry with God. I had begged and prayed and pleaded for a miracle, but none came. He couldn’t give us back our baby girl. But in June, He called us back to church. In a single hour, my heart was changed. That entire church service, it felt like our pastor was speaking directly to us. He said, “You cannot resist the Lord’s calling for you. You may have an image of what your life is supposed to look like, but you are not in control. God has a plan for you. It may scare you, and it may not be the same plan you had for yourself, but when you start to listen to His calling, He will guide you and protect you”. To this day, I cannot describe the feeling I felt when we left church that day. It was like a weight had been lifted. The world had brightened. And, for the first time in months, we knew what we needed to do.

All of our conversations about adoption over the years had led us here. We jumped head first into the adoption process and signed up to work with Christian Adoption Consultants. Three months later, our home study was approved. We poured our souls into our profile books and mailed them to as many agencies as we could. And now, we wait and pray for the baby that God has planned for us to arrive in our arms.

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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 a shop with the items you are looking for.

I love that I can support adoption, mamas working from home, and support women working to improve their life/their family’s life, and the list goes on and on.

If there is an (*) beside the shop, I have personally shopped there. All the other shops were recommended to me by friends on Instagram. Happy shopping, friends!

 

CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES for Mommies & Babes

New Every Morning Shop – beautiful prayer bracelets and more.

Duke’s Darling Designs – customized shirts, mugs, hats, tumblers, ornaments, candy jars and MORE!

Truth & Gold – tees for the whole family with messages full of truth!

Three Sisters Handmade – vintage inspired hand tied hair bows.

Honey and Hal – handmade, vintage inspired out of Mobile, AL.

Stylin Sophie – Stylinsophie is an online children’s boutique based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Little Foot Clothing Co – a hip and modern children’s clothing brand.

As The Dear Handmades – accessories for mamas and babes

Turban for Tots – tons and tons of options for headbands, scarves, bows, and even headbands for mommies! {Evie has some and loves them!}

CheekyCheekyBaby – Nicole {the owner} is absolutely precious! She has made a good bit of Evie’s custom onesies. She creates onesies, precious and super soft leggings, adorable shoes. So yeah, just go check it all out.

 

SUPPORTS ADOPTION & ORPHAN CARE

Natalie Brenner Shop – “win, win: support adoption + wear awesome shirts + have pretty prints”

Theresa’s Crochet Shop – Theresa creates precious hats + animals + crochet patterns.

The Knotted Nest – prints + nest necklaces + nest bracelets + more!

Little Lettering Shop – hand letter creations supporting adoptions, go check out my sweet friend’s shop.

*High Street Littles – Evie has mutliple onesies and a precious hand stamped blanket with her name on it. All proceeds from Naomi’s shop go to support their THIRD adoption. Go check out all their products for your babes!

WilderEveLittles – super cute mocs for littles, plus paci clips, and headbands! Evie loves her two mocs from you, Ms. Jana 🙂 Also, if you are an adoptive family and would like to partner with raising funds, make sure to contact her!

Hazel and Holly – modern, unique and comfortable baby clothes & accessories // All proceeds from the shop go towards an adoption fundraiser.

 

JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

*Swankaroo – THE CUTEST purses, pouches, and backpacks for littles!

The Priceless Collection – women are purchased with coins every night & sold into sex trafficking. We turn these coins into jewelry to set them free {donating 25%}

The Adopt Shoppe – words from the owner, Kate – “I started The Adopt Shoppe out of necessity. My husband, Jason, is a church planter and I am a stay-at-home mom. So we didn’t have money to adopt. Like no money at all. Before I started making things, I looked all over the internet. I wanted to make something different and authentic, as well as uplifting and inspiring to bless women everywhere.”

* Stamps Of Grace – Jessica, the owner, creates beautiful hand stamped jewelry.

APRONS

Towns Carlson – Towns is a precious friend of mine and creates very unique aprons that would be the perfect gift for your mom, aunt or grandmother!

 

BABE THINGS

*Dwell Darlings – the softest loveys and blankets for you little loves.

SwellForever – Brooke, the founder of SwellForever is so passionate about her work. I personally purchased a ForeverBlanket from her. I love love love the personalized tag that I was able to write to Evie. We use the super soft and cozy blanket all the time. This gift is one that lasts and is so special to the one that receives it.

MIXTURE OF GOODIES

The Knotted Nest – prints + nest necklaces + nest bracelets + more!

Jumping Jack Apparel – graphic tees + headbands + art for you & your little {all goodies inspired by the owners son, Jack.}

Little Warrior Nika – wow – just read Nika’s story & you’re gonna want to do that NOW! what an amazing little girl & what a calling the Lord has on her life. go support their shop and help her continue to get the medical care she needs.

 

PRINTS, STATIONARY, BOOKS & DEVOTIONALS

*In Due Time Devotional – 60 day devotional written by one of my precious friends, Caroline. Go grab this devotional and join Caroline as she shares pieces of her own story, including both loss and longing.

Rooted Ink – a sweet friend of mine and her sisters started this shop where they have created prayer journals. I own one and LOVE it. They also offer super cute prints. /// They will also work with families who are needing to raise funds for adoption.

Lotes Love Notes – Mary Cam is my cousin by marriage and is Towns’s sis 🙂 She is the creator of all the watercolor stationary and beautiful prints. She’s so talented and an absolute delight to be around!

Joyful Papery – Emily, the owner, is a personal friend of mine and has the most gracious and beautiful heart. she is majorly talented and a love her creations // go check our her site for beautifully made prints, coffee mugs, greeting cards, word wall hangings and more

 

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Thanks so much for checking all of these shops out. If you have another shop you would like to share, PLEASE email me {CheersToPlanA@gmail.com} or share in the comments but make sure to put the link to the shop.

Much much love!

KB

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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 the limits and I guess I’ve always thought he was handsome, funny and the whole package. I also loved the challenge of (trying) to keep him out of trouble (the innocent kind of course- the kind where he tells a joke in the middle of a serious meeting, but there really is no stopping that).

We began dating in late December 2009 and the excitement has continued ever since. We got engaged on July 1st (Canada Day for trivia peeps) 2011 and married 9 months later on April 21st 2012.  After several years of wonderful memories as a couple, we decided we were having too much fun for just two people to enjoy. So, we started talking about growing the fam.

I remember early on when J.D. asked me how many kids I wanted and when I said 3 he loved that idea but insisted that he wanted to try and have them VERY close together, after discussing HOW close together, the math didn’t work ladies!  He basically wanted them to overlap.  Then he REALLY caught my attention by saying ‘I figure we could have one then adopt one and then see where to go from there.’ ‘Adoption?…’ I replied with a tug at a heart string of adoption since I was young. ‘I don’t know why, but I always thought I would’ he replied having no influence (other than the Lord’s) of adoption in his life. I cried. Then we cried. Then off we were. After a year of nada in the biological kiddo trying, followed by two years of fertility doctors saying ‘we’re not sure why it’s not happening (believe you me they ran enough tests to find out… kidding but not kidding). We tried IUI several times to no avail, when the doctors basically shrugged their shoulders and said ‘We can always do IVF.’ We realized our plan may not be the same as we had thought years earlier.  

The idea of IVF never felt right to us.  My body really didn’t like IUI to begin with.  I ended up in the ER 2x in one week with a complicated migraine, unable to see and forgetfulness and confusion where they thought I was having a stroke, to a ruptured massive ovarian cyst that kept me literally on the floor.  So even more drugs just didn’t feel right.  Before every next big step in our journey we had committed to pray before we made a decision.  This time we knew prayer was our next step.  We felt that God was telling us to take a pause and to “Be still” while He worked.   It was quite beautiful that God place all of this at the time of 21 days of prayer in our church. We faithfully prayed over what God had in store for us as our next step, whether it be IVF, adoption, or to pause and continue be still.  It was Day 9 of prayer and J.D. and I started our morning like every other, listening to the devotional and then going in different directions to pray.  I like to go outside and sit on the floor and he stays near his seat.  On the walk back to J.D. the song “Good Good Father” came on, you see, this song had played almost every time I was worried or feeling stuck.  We like to think, that “Good Good Father” was like a “God wink” as if He was telling us “relax my children, I’ve got this.”   I continued my walk back to and J.D. gave me a huge hug while the song was still playing and excitedly asked me to look at his Bible.  He was pointing to Mark 9:36.

He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them. Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.

I can’t find the words to describe the peace that came over me in that moment. I cried, J.D. cried and while others were continuing to sing “Good Good Father” in the auditorium around us we knew that God had just told us our next step, and that we would have Him to walk with us through the entire process.   

We’ve felt called to talk about our story from the beginning to share the good parts, the not-so-good parts and the beautiful parts in between. So, feel free to ask away.  We don’t want fear to hold anyone back.  

Since we have begun our adoption journey we have found that our friends and family are the best support system that God has orchestrated. We like to call it our Village- and we believe what they say It Takes a Village so we are so grateful that every single one of you are a part of it. We couldn’t do this without our Vibert Village.  

We love that adoption was in both of our plans before we even seriously thought about growing our family, but we are so thankful that God has shown us that adoption was God’s plan A for our story.

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Please go follow along with Cheers To Plan A on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with ways to support the Viberts for the month of November!

As always, thanks to each of you for supporting the families every single month! We couldn’t do it without you guys!

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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 and the other as a bi-vocational family pastor. We were living out in a small, country town in a house that was owned by the church. Our plans were to knock out school for the both of us, find really good jobs, buy a house, and then start a family.

Wrong. I had been having several headaches while at school and had been just feeling really yuck for several days. The nursing student in me, at the time, started diagnosing, but then the realist in me started denying the diagnoses. I thought “what the heck,” I’d take a pregnancy test and just mark it off of my list of possibilities. I went into CVS, very ashamedly (as if I had done something wrong), and got two pregnancy tests. When I got back to our house, I went ahead and took one of the tests. While I was waiting, I was thinking back to my last period and then adding it all my symptoms. I began to feel like I was going to vomit.

Positive.

No way.

I can’t be.

Took the second one.

Positive again.

I immediately started crying and screaming…. “God, I’m going to have to give this baby to my sister!”

I had no concern about anything accept for what this was going to do to my sister. I began pleading and asking God for this to not be real. I was 22 years old, just married, still in school, broke, and had a sister who desperately longed to be pregnant. Nothing could shake the fact that my sister was going to be heartbroken. I knew she would still love me, but I knew this would tear her insides apart.

After taking three more pregnancy tests when Nathan got home, and throwing up several more times, we needed to prepare ourselves. We couldn’t get past the idea of us having a child. Even Nathan kept bringing up how much of a struggle this was going to be for my sister. I had to tell someone and there was no question that the person I would tell would be my mom. We were at lunch at Olive Garden and I started acting all weird and finally just blurted out that I was pregnant. Shock. Then immediately, I told her about Kailey. I just did not know what I was going to do. Since my mom is the best ever, she immediately turned it back to the fact that I was the one that was pregnant and how much of a blessing this is and that Kailey would be ok, eventually.

I scheduled an appointment with my OB/GYN to confirm the pregnancy and have an ultrasound. Nathan had to be in New Orleans for school so my mom went with me to hold my hand and tell me to breathe. I figured I was maybe 4-5 weeks along and we wouldn’t be able to see anything…wrong, yet again. I was 9 weeks and 5 days and the little one inside of me had the strongest heartbeat. It all became real. There was no mistake. All the feels and emotions became just as real. I was going to have to tell my sister. Ready for one of the worst ideas I have ever had? I’ll tell Kailey over lunch, in a public place. That way she’ll be mildly distracted.

Dumbest idea ever. My mom, Kailey, and myself went to Panera in Auburn and grabbed lunch. Towards the end of lunch I told Kailey I had something to show her. I pulled out my freshly printed ultrasounds pics (ya know, the ones every mom is so excited about getting) and handed them to K. Of course, she was like “no way!” trying to act all happy/surprised…and then immediately started to cry, hysterically. Worst. Sister. Ever. We all began crying and had to leave. Kailey told us before she left that she was really upset but she’ll be ok. She didn’t come over immediately to my parents’ house but eventually showed up later. The whole time she wasn’t there, I just knew she would never be ok. I did not realize it until I became pregnant, but being pregnant is a BIG deal.

Not everyone gets to be pregnant. Many, like my sister, pray hard and dream of the day that they can carry a child. And here I am, wishing I wasn’t pregnant. How do you deal with those thoughts and emotions? After we all hugged it out and knew that we would get through this, I became intentional with my words and thoughts about pregnancy. I began to see how this affected my sister and knew that she can’t be the only one.

She wasn’t the only one. There are so many, heartbreakingly, too many woman who deal with infertility. They long for the one thing I didn’t want right at that moment of my life. What could I do? Not complain. Yeah, pregnancy was not my cup of tea. I puked my guts out with both of my pregnancies until about 20 weeks. I was dilated early on in pregnancy with both of my kiddos and was uncomfortable. But I would not gripe about that to those who I knew would do anything to be in my place. I also began to retract those questions to friends and acquaintances. You know, the ones like “Hey, isn’t it about time for y’all to have some kids?” OR “So is she/he your only one? Don’t y’all want more?” Those tear and rip some waiting mothers to pieces.

So, to complete my pregnancy story, Brooklyn Chase Farris was born on May 7, 2012 at 5:42pm, two days before my last final of my semester. Which is totally fitting because I prayed almost everyday that she would be born after May 9th (her due date was May 21st). God just really showed me what was up during this season of my life. He showed me that HE had plans for Nathan and me. He showed me how to love my sister better. He showed me that my words, and other peoples’ words, could have a huge impact on someone’s heart. This all led me to become more sensitive and aware of the women around me who might have the same struggles as my sister.

My sister and I shared things when we were growing up BUT, by far, killin’ this whole motherhood thing together has been the best.

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We would love to hear if you have experienced something related to our story or if you need prayer.

Leave a comment or touch base on social media.

IG // Facebook 

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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 excitement to ourselves and we immediately shared the news with our parents, siblings and a few close friends.  I remember going to get my first set of blood work drawn at my OB’s office at around 5 weeks, excited that it was my turn to experience this miracle.  We were so thrilled as this was the next big step in our lives and everything seemed to be falling into place accordingly.  The same day I had my blood work completed was the night we spent six hours in the ER because we were experiencing a chemical pregnancy.  We spent the next few days working up the nerve to inform those who knew that we, in fact, would not be welcoming a sweet baby like we thought. I felt many emotions; sadness, anger, embarrassment and grief – just to name a few. It took us a while to grieve this loss and muster the strength to try again, but almost 6 months later, we felt ready.
We found that we were pregnant again almost a year to the date. We were ecstatic.  This is what we had dreamed and prayed for, but there were a lot of nerves.  We were very cautious due to our previous loss, but after my OB confirmed that my levels were rising, we felt a little bit of ease.  At 8 weeks we had an ultrasound and were able to see our little baby’s heartbeat on the monitor.  Although it didn’t look exactly like a baby yet, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  The more time that passed was a little more weight off our shoulders and the farther we got from 5 weeks, the better we felt.
In October of 2016, we had plans to travel to Disney World with our friends. It was a trip that was planned prior to finding out about our pregnancy and we scheduled our 13 week appointment a few days before leaving.  We were looking forward to being able to not only see our baby’s heartbeat again, but to hear it for the first time.  Our wait time took longer than expected and unfortunately, my husband had a very important work meeting to get to.  I assured him that it was fine if he left and that he would make it to the next appointment.
After they took me back and put the doppler on my belly:
silence.
It took the doctor what seemed like an eternity to determine that there was no heartbeat.  I was alone and was so numb that I couldn’t come up with what words to say. The blob that was hard to previously make out, couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a baby.
He immediately began talking about next steps.  The next few days were a whirlwind of surgery and carrying on with our vacation.  We made the difficult decision to carry on with our plans and felt that it would be nice to get away from our lives at home and deal with our loss elsewhere.  It was helpful to be away from the additional stresses of life, but made it that much harder to settle back into our lives with the knowledge that my womb was empty and we had to find a way to move forward.  The biggest step included God and trusting that His timing is perfect, even though it was not our original plan.  He knows best and we needed to lean on Him to guide us forward.
After another year, we decided to meet with a fertility doctor to determine the cause of our miscarriages and struggle to carry the pregnancies to term.  After months of blood work, various tests and non-invasive fertility drugs, we were told that our best bet of having a successful pregnancy was through IVF.  Prior to this information, we felt a strong calling towards adoption and decided that if we were faced with IVF as the next step, we would pursue adoption instead.
This strong pull was something I like to think of as God’s way of guiding us to the path we were are supposed to be on.  In May of this year, after much praying, we decided to officially take the first step in our adoption journey and signed with Christian Adoption Consultants. We are just finishing up our home study and will be a waiting family before we know it.
Although we came to the decision to adopt by way of infertility, we know that this is what we were called to do and feel confident that God knows our baby and everything will fall into place in His perfect timing.
Our hope is that as we share our story, it will provide a small sense of healing for others who have walked a similar path.  We want other women, couples, and families to know that you are not alone and that God will guide you to where you are meant to be.
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If you would like to donate to support Matt & Kaylin click here. It will take you straight to their donation website. You can follow along on their journey to their baby on IG.
As we journey through this month of raising funds for the Barnett family; please make sure to lift them up in prayer. Also, please pray for all unborn babies, mothers choosing how to best care for their babes, and for every relationship involved.
Thank you again for caring and supporting this family, the ones before, and the ones to come.

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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 want anything, I think it’s just that he is satisfied with what he already has been given. His birthday is coming up and he will be the BIG 33! Evie and I wanted to bless him with something out of the ordinary. Something special. Something that he wouldn’t normally ask for. A wooden Jord Watch was the perfect choice.

The even more awesome news is that if you are reading this, you have a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD website. One person will win, but everyone who enters will receive a code worth $25 once the contest ends. <—- best news ever! Enter to win here!

It is truly the perfect birthday gift, anniversary gift, or a just-because-I-love-you-gift.

You can order a watch like Dru’s here.

You can shop women’s watches here or men’s watches here.

This post is sponsored by Jord, but all thoughts are from my heart to yours.

  Luxury Wooden Watch

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

Support the Boddorf family here !

August Adoptive Family :: Lauren & Jason

Our Plan B is God’s Plan A – This phrase has been our motto while we have traveled through our adoption journey. I am humbled to be able to share our story with you.

February 2016 my husband, Jason, and I became pregnant. Although we were not planning for our sweet little one, we were more than prepared in our lives for this next step. I was apprehensive as I was diagnosed with Lupus Anticoagulant. It is nothing related to Lupus, but it is an antibody found in blood that can cause pregnancy complications. I had known miscarriage would be in my future based on this diagnoses. Little was known about how life would or could be with this antibody, however.

Our first appointment at eight weeks, we hear the heartbeat and see the baby. We were more than ecstatic to be able to see a tiny human moving around in ME! ME! We were referred for a consult to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist (high risk OB) because of the Lupus Anticoagulant. It was a reassuring meeting at twelve weeks. Since I had not had a miscarriage or a still birth prior there was no need for me to be monitored as high risk.

At my sixteen week appointment my OB placed the doppler on my belly and moved it around. A few seconds passed, no heartbeat. My cheery regular OB stated that it may be difficult to hear the heartbeat as the baby may be moving.  A minute had passed, which felt like an eternity and still no heartbeat. We were moved to a room that supplied an ultrasound machine. My doctor squirted the gel on my belly and started with the probe moving it around. She was quiet, I was quiet, my husband was quiet holding my hand. The doctor confirmed our worst fear, there was no heartbeat. Baby was still.

I made it home, unable to comprehend what was happening. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t speak. My baby was no longer alive and I was carrying he or she inside me. My surgery was completed and I woke up with an empty womb.  I would be dishonest if I told you I wasn’t angry. I can tell you I completed the five stages of grief in a continuous circle. I leaned on God more than ever to allow me to make it through the darkest of times. And in those dark moments when I spoke to Him my tears would dry, my sniffles would stop and I felt peace.

We received the pathology results from our sweet little one. We were having a boy and there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. We do not have an explanation for our loss other than it may have been related to Lupus Anticoagulant, but little was explained.

Four weeks post surgery I developed left side pain. Excruciating side pain. Long story short I had bilateral occlusive pulmonary emboli, which means both my lungs were filled with blood clots. I was placed on an injection of heparin known as Lovenox once a day for a duration of six months. My new norm was a once a day injection and chest pain. My clots had blocked blood and oxygen flow inside my lungs. Parts of my lungs had died. I was told lung function may return, it may not. Although lungs are known to regenerate, the oxygen and blood were blocked for so long I most likely have permanent damage and scar tissue.

Fast forward to another four weeks. I was back in the hospital with severe side pain, shortness of breath and unable to sleep lying down due to the pain. They found more clots. I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid Syndrome. So in the most simplest definition, my immune system is attacking itself. Auto means “self”, so literally my body is attacking itself, including my unborn babies. I will have to inject a blood thinner every twelve hours for the remainder of my life.  My diagnoses is not who I am, it is just part of my story.

But HE is good! Because I am here, able to share our story with you!

October 2016 we became pregnant again! This time planned. Due to my circumstances we were high risk. I had an appointment every week with an ultrasound. Jason was at every appointment with me. Week sixteen I knew something was wrong. I was heading into my appointment and Jason was terribly ill with the flu. I would not make him come into the appointment with me, but I was terrified. I had the ultrasound tech always tell me before I opened my eyes if there was a heartbeat at every appointment.

My eyes were shut and I asked the tech if we had a heartbeat and she quickly responded that there was. I opened my eyes with relief and stared at the large flat screen in front of me. Baby did not have heartbeat and baby was still. I was flooded with emotions and sobbed immediately. WHY did this happen again? We did everything right! I did everything so very right!  We lost Holden Grace January 3, 2017.

“He gives me new strength. he guides me in the right paths, as he has promised. Even if I go through the deepest darkness I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Psalm 23:3-5

My high risk OB could not tell me what went wrong. Her response was maybe it was “too soon”. She did not explain what the future would hold or how we would have handled the pregnancy differently. I realized at that moment she did not know what to do with me or my condition. I threw myself into research. I have a 30% change of carrying a baby to term and there is the potential risk to me. With the levels of severity associated with Antiphospholipid Syndrome I have the highest tier.

My heart could not handle another loss. I knew it was time to move forward. Through the heartache and heartbreak, adoption gently nudged in my mind. Almost immediately I knew adoption was exactly what was meant for our family. I wouldn’t be honest if I said Jason was as committed as I was initially, but we prayed. And we prayed. AND WE PRAYED SOME MORE!

Adoption is exactly where we are meant to be. I have never felt so much peace with a decision and can only thank HIM for guiding us. With that peace we dove right into the adoption process. I found so many adoptive and waiting families on Instagram. One particular adoptive mama wrote a blog detailing each and every step. Because of her, we signed with Christian Adoption Consultants and began our home study. Thank you to her for her shinning light! I was apprehensive about our home study approval. Would the court not deem me as a fit mother because of my autoimmune condition?

And you know what? God is good! We are home study approved and have been a waiting family since May! My husband and I are immeasurably blessed and waiting for our rainbow. I know HE will bring a perfect baby into our arms. Through the grace of God Our Plan B is HIS Plan A and “we are filled with joy” Psalm 126:3.

We would love any support, prayers and shares of our story! If our story can help one woman, one couple, one family to find peace through the storm it would be an absolute honor.

To financially support Lauren & Jason click here. 

**More opportunities to support Lauren & Jason coming soon here.

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take courage my heart

This song is undoing me these days and putting me back together. I am constantly listening to it when my thoughts seem to get out of control. Turn it up and let the words cover your heart, mind, and body. {lyrics below}

Slow down, take time
Breath in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget
His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory
And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep, Your promise to me
That I will rise, in Your victory!

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
And hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfold
He’s never failing
He’s never failing

So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
And hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfold
He’s never failing
He’s never failing!

He’s in the waiting…

{lyrics by: Kristene DiMarco}