Actively Waiting

I’d like to start by thanking you all for your support and prayers so far. David just now used the word “endless” to describe the process thus far, and I chuckled, but I agree. It has felt at times like there would be no end to the paperwork and email correspondence back and forth between us and our social worker.

But as of last week, we are officially “active” with our agency! This means that they will begin approaching us with cases to consider. We will review cases as they come to us and based on the information provided, say whether or not we would like to be “presented” to the birth parents.

Our profile, along with several others, will then be presented to the birth mother (and father if he is in involved), and she will make a decision as to who she would like to parent her child. If she chooses us, we will be considered “matched”!

Without a pregnant belly to remind me, sometimes it’s easy to forget that I really am an expectant parent. Sometimes it feels as though I’m playing house. But now it’s finally starting to feel real. In a matter of months, the nursery we’ve prepared could be inhabited by a little one! Eek!

This is an exciting time for us, but it’s also a stressful one. I’ve spent a lot of sleepless nights recently obsessing over the dumbest of things. A few nights ago, I awoke from a dead sleep panicked about where I’m going to store the baby’s bottles. Haha.

As we move forward, we ask for continued prayers. Specifically, we’d like to ask you to pray that God gives us wisdom, clarity and guidance as we review the cases we are sent. We want to approach each situation lovingly and respectfully. We don’t want to be fearful or “too careful”, but we also want to be wise about the situations we are open to committing to. Above all, we want God to lead us to the baby and birth mama that He has already chosen for us.

From this point forward, we will likely share very few details for the sake of privacy, but we appreciate any and all prayers and encouragement through this time!

We are still actively fundraising, so if you’re interested in donating please don’t hesitate to contact us or give via our You Caring fundraising page.

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The Empty Nursery

When beginning the adoption process, one of the things I was most fearful of was the home study, afraid that no matter how great we thought we were, the social worker wouldn’t approve us. The fate of our parenthood  rested solely in the hands of a stranger, and that idea fanned the flames of my insecurities.

Being clueless about home studies, insecure, and a perfectionist, I needed to know what to expect. So I dedicated an entire “secret board” on Pinterest to adoption and tips for the home study. I looked for adoptive parent message boards and forums. I obsessively read everything I could get my hands on.
On one message board, a certain post caught my eye. A woman asked the question, “Should I have the baby’s room set up before the home study or not?
The majority of people answered that it wasn’t necessary to have a fully furnished nursery. The social worker only wants to see that you have adequate and appropriate space for the child. Then some people answered that they would never have a nursery ready for fear of seeming too desperate. Still others said that it would be far too painful to have their nursery complete and sitting empty. The comments that followed were the stories of so many childless women, sharing – some for the first time- their heartache and their sorrow, agreeing that there is nothing so painful as an empty nursery.

As I sat staring at my computer screen, I couldn’t help but feel as though I had just stared straight into the dark and bleeding heart of so many women struggling with infertility. We are afraid to seem too desperate for a child, afraid to face another day with empty arms, afraid that motherhood is a dream that will never come true. We are just… afraid.

David and I – mostly I – decided to go ahead and prep for baby as much as we can, because we want to be prepared when the day comes. So I made a baby registry on Amazon, and we have slowly been purchasing items for our nursery. We have all of the essentials – a crib, changing table, dresser, and a glider I got on Facebook marketplace for $50!
And when I sit in the nursery, as I so often do, I am not filled with sadness nor stricken by grief. Instead, my heart quickens with excitement and anticipation for what I know is coming.
I sit in the floor and I pray. I sit in the corner and imagine all of the memories we will make in that room. Our empty crib is not a bleeding heart for me, but I can see how it can be for so many others.

When I think of all of the women who try for years in vain to get pregnant, my heart breaks for them. I know many of them personally. Too many. Good, faithful Christian women whose deepest desire is to become a mother.

It seems so wrong. It seems so unfair. And no matter how loudly we cry out, God does not answer us with a pregnancy. We read the story of Hannah in the Bible. We read how she cried out to God and was given a child in return, and we are strengthened. We read of Abraham’s wife Sarah who gave birth at an age that the vast majority of us will never live to see. We read these miracles and we wonder, why not me? If only I pray hard enough. If only I do everything my doctor suggests.
If only, if only

I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I don’t have an answer at all. I asked God those questions too, especially right after David and I were married. People would innocently comment that babies were next for us, and when I shared about our inability to have children people would innocently say, “You never know. It could happen.” I could only smile and agree. Yes, yes it could.

And so my silent struggle began.
I knew in my heart that God was calling me to adoption. I had known it for years. But every month, I would wait with eager anticipation. And if I was a few days late, my heart would drop into my stomach and my imagination would run wild.
One time, I was over 30 days late, and though I was told at the age of 17 that I was close to menopause, and my period has never been regular, I stood on the “family planning” aisle at the pharmacy staring at pregnancy tests for 10 minutes before finally walking away empty handed.
After 60 days, I did go back and buy a test. You see, I had to know. And the next morning I experienced for the first time what so many women have experienced before me: The heartbreaking disappointment of a negative pregnancy test.

This same scenario has happened two more times in the 2 1/2 years David and I have been married. Each time, I have stared into the bathroom mirror, telling myself over and over that it would be negative, all the while hoping that it wasn’t.
But it was.

And that’s okay, because I am completely dedicated and in love with my call to adoption. God has been sowing the seed of adoption into my heart since I was 17 years old. And what my womb lacks in fertility, the soil of my heart more than makes up for. Jesus has nurtured those seeds planted so that I would be ready to embrace with joy the path set before me. I thank God for preparing me for this journey from a young age so that now I am able to face it with a heart that is whole and is held in Jesus’ hands.

But why are there so many good Christian couples who struggle to conceive or carry to term? I have pondered this for years, and my take-away is probably going to step on some toes. I do not want to offend anyone, I simply wish to share my thoughts.
James 1 tells us that “Religion our Father accepts as pure and faultless is to look after widows and orphans in their distress…”.
There are so many children in need of a home, in need of a family. But the majority of God’s people have turned a blind eye. And those who are unable to conceive often seek treatment and medical interventions of all kinds, exhausting resources and every other option, only turning to adoption as a last resort.

Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t judge couples who choose this route. Quite the opposite. Some of the most godly couples I know have sought medical intervention for infertility. Some of the most precious children I know were born as a result. I rejoice with them when pregnancy is achieved. I grieve with them when it is not.

But what if one of the reasons there are so many Christians struggling through this same trial is that we have failed to carry out his command? God is trying to wake us up from our slumber, from our pursuit of the American dream. God is trying to make us break out of this box of conventional thinking. He is trying to show us the sad reality that we have failed the poor and the broken, the orphan and the widow, and we have left them to be the responsibility of our government.

Now, I don’t believe that the loving God I serve made me unable to bear children. No, the sinful, broken world in which I live brought about my disease. I do believe that my loving God works all things to the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). He allows circumstances in our lives that either make or break us.  My loving, all knowing, all powerful God uses the good and especially the bad to further His kingdom.

So what if we, instead of seeking to further our own bloodlines, chose to further the kingdom God? What if we stepped up and took in the orphan? What if we opened our hearts and our homes to children we did not bear? What if we made ourselves available to the kids who need mentors, mothers and father figures to look up to? What if we stopped seeking what we think is best for us and instead began to seek after God’s heart? What if we prayed for God’s kingdom to come here on earth, and what if we were willing to do what it takes to make that happen?

I have felt the hurt of being told I will never bear children. But I have also felt the healing that comes from letting go of my desires and embracing whatever it is God has planned for me.

To the woman who is hurting, to the man who is aching at the thought of never having a son, to the couple that is struggling with the decisions that are ahead of you: You are not alone. Whatever you decide, there is no shame. There is no judgment here, only love. I pray that God will guard your heart during such a painful time as this. I pray that you are protected. I pray that your heart will become a fertile garden, ready to receive the seeds that God wants to sow in your life.

And above all, I pray for God’s kingdom to come.

Piece By Piece Puzzle fundraiser

***Update! You have claimed over $4,000 in puzzle pieces! We are so excited!

David and I are doing a fundraiser right now on Facebook to help with the cost of our adoption. I know that not everyone has Facebook, so I’d like to share it with you here as well. 
To help with the cost of our adoption, I designed a 252 piece puzzle that will be assembled, framed and hung in our future child’s nursery. We are asking you to “sponsor” a piece (or several pieces!) of the puzzle. 

We will write your name on the back of the piece/pieces that you sponsor so that our child will always know who helped bring him or her into our family. 
Instead of selling each piece for a set amount, we’ve decided the way this will work is that each piece will be “numbered” 1, 2, 3, 4…..all the way to 252, and each piece will cost the numerical value that it is assigned. So piece #1 will cost $1, piece #10 will cost $10, piece #150 will cost $150….and so on. 
Once a piece has sold, we will cross that value off the list. In the end, if we sell every piece, we will have raised over $31,000!!! (Which is exactly how far we are from our overall fundraising goal!)
The person who sponsors the $1 piece is no less important than the person who sponsors the $100 one or the $252 one. In the end, it takes every piece for the puzzle to be complete. 
I have been praying about this fundraiser for several weeks. I am excited to share this opportunity with you and I hope that you will come alongside us to help build our family piece by piece. 

***To claim your piece, please choose from the photo of the remaining numbers and comment on this post with the  number you’d like to sponsor and your method of payment (PayPal or mail). At the end of each day, I will delete and repost the picture after I have erased the numbers claimed for that day. Hopefully this will minimize confusion about which pieces are still available to be sponsored. 

***Payment information: We are offering two ways to pay. You can pay via PayPal, sending the amount to dsiler82@gmail.com

OR

You can mail the amount to our address 

18 Sullivan Dr. 

Granby, CT 06035

Obviously, if you are able to pay in person that is also another option. 

Any questions can be emailed to ambersue2248@gmail.com.

Transparency

Last time I posted, I spoke of the cost of adoption. I have mentioned several times my internal struggle while coming to the decision to pursue infant adoption. My goal was to inform friends and family of the reasons why adoption is so costly.

I have had this blog for a while and have a small group of readers who are mostly friends. I don’t expect strangers to come across my posts, but as I’ve been posting and tagging about adopting, strangers have found me. My hope and purpose in tagging my posts was that people would find encouragement or good information. What I’ve seen happen instead is that internet trolls have already came in to pick apart my life, my motives, and my integrity. I’ve had multiple comments (on our fundraising page and on this blog) that have questioned or made cruel assumptions about me and David.

These rude comments hinted at the fact that if it is truly God’s will for us to adopt an infant, surely He will provide that money some other way than us begging for it. They also questioned if adoption is really what we are using the money for. The most recent one told me it was distasteful to begin my last blog talking about how I don’t like spending money, only to post a link so that others could spend theirs on my behalf. 
It’s painful. I won’t lie. These comments, however ludicrous​ I believe them to be, still open wounds that have hardly had time to heal. My insecurities have come to the surface and I question everything again. With these accusations I feel like my character is being questioned.

I’ve been transparent in my feelings. I don’t like asking for money. I thought I made that clear. 

What I guess I didn’t make clear is that David works full time as a minister, making less in one year than it will cost us to adopt. I am working two part time jobs. We just moved to an area where cost of living is quite high, because God called us here. And we are so happy to be here. 

Every cent I make goes straight into savings. We are couponing, reworking our budget, being intentional about every dollar we spend. Could we do a better job? Sure. Of course we could. Sometimes we spend money on frivolous things like a date night or a tower fan for our non air conditioned house. *gasp* 

Every decision we make, we make with adoption and funding our adoption in mind. For instance, we recently considered getting a puppy. We love dogs, and it has been hard for us to not have one right now. We thought it would be nice to train the dog before we had kids in the house. But after careful consideration, we realized it would not be a good financial decision, no matter how much we want a dog. We’d rather have a child. 

Yeah, I hate spending money. But that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to spend it. For this I’ll give every penny I have. To hold a child in my arms and to have him call me Mommy, I would do absolutely anything.

So to the strangers who read my blog: Welcome. I hope you can find something meaningful or inspirational here. But if you cant- if you only feel the need to comment unnecessary hateful things – just keep your thoughts to yourself. You don’t know me or my struggles. You don’t know the wounds you’ve reopened. Next time consider that you might not be informed of all the facts and really it’s none of your business anyway. 

God bless.

The Cost of Adoption

I discussed in my previous post my hesitancy to pursue infant adoption because of how much it would cost us. I HATE spending money. David can tell you that he is the one who spends all our money, because I simply don’t buy things. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a mom who was always very cautious and conscious about spending, but I just have a hard time dishing out money for anything. I’ll be completely transparent and tell you that I’ve been in need of some new underwear for almost a year but keep wearing the old, falling apart ones because I don’t want to spend the money.

So I choke when I think about the amount of money we are about to spend on adoption.

The average domestic infant adoption costs between 30 and 50 THOUSAND dollars. We expect to spend close to $45,000 before ours is all said and done. So where does all that money go?! Am I literally buying a baby????

In response to my own curiosity and the questions from friends and family, I’d like to break down the costs associated with infant adoption so that you’ll have a better idea where all this money is going and so you can make an informed decision on whether you’d like to donate to our fundraising efforts.

So far we have spent very little. Our adoption agency (Faithful Adoption Consultants) is not a “placement agency”. Instead we pay them a small fee and they network with many different placement agencies around the country to find a match for us. For this reason, we will be matched with a birth mother rather quickly (hopefully!). Their average “wait” is 4 months before a match! If you know anything about adoption, you’ll know that is amazing. FAC charges a $3,500 flat fee for a one year contract. They are walking us through every step of the journey and have already been so helpful.

Costs vary widely based on many different variables, which is why it is hard to determine exactly how much we will spend on our infant adoption.

The following numbers have been compiled from different agency costs lists, but my main source was The Spruce.

Home studies can cost anywhere between $700 and $2,500. I’m not sure what our cost will be.

Agency fees vary between placement agencies, but the costs all seem to average out in the end. As far as I can tell, much of the money you pay to the agencies goes toward legal fees and counseling services provided to the birth mother.
Together with legal fees, this can equal out to about $20,000 – 25,000.

In many cases adoptive parents are required to pay for basic living expenses for the birth mother. This amount could be anything from $500 to $12,000.

We will also be required to pay for any medical costs associated with the birth. If the birth mother does not have insurance or qualify for medicaid, or if her insurance does not cover all of the hospital bills, we could be looking at another $10,000+ depending on the difficulty of the birth.

We will be required to travel to the hospital when the baby is born and stay within that state until we are given legal permission to leave. That could take up to three weeks, but often times does not take that long. So travel is an additional expense, and depending on the length of stay may cost us up to $5,000.

There are also small fees and things we must purchase along the way. We are working on our adoption profile book, which will be used to present us to prospective birth mothers. There are costs associated with making and printing copies of that as well.

So it all adds up. And it’s a lot! But a thing that I’ve been pondering is truly how little it is compared to the cost of my own adoption. Easter brought to mind the gruesome way in which Jesus died for my sins so that I could become a child of God. The payment He made so that I could be adopted into God’s family was so much more than $45,000. It was His life. He gave everything willingly. And so I willingly save my pennies and shamelessly beg for you to help!

Keeping in mind that we need proof of funds before we can be matched – and a match can come very quickly- we are asking you to please consider donating to our adoption fund. And please share our story so that others can consider giving too!

You can give online here  or you can mail donations to
David and Amber Siler
18 Sullivan Drive
Granby, CT 06035

Including our t-shirt fundraiser and the jewelry fundraiser that my cousin did for us, we have raised almost $10,000. I am so thankful for those of you who are praying for us and I ask that you continue to pray as we enter into the home study portion of this journey.

What questions or comments do you have? I’d love to hear from you!

The Story So Far – Part 3

This is the third and final installment of our story so far. If you haven’t yet, check out parts 1&2 before reading.

When thinking about and discussing adoption, both David and I felt strongly that we would adopt within the United States. There are so many children within our own borders without families. The numbers and statistics are staggering.

At the CAFO summit we attended in 2015 (see last blog), my eyes and my heart were opened to the idea of adopting waiting children out of foster care.  As I said, the statistics were staggering. I’m not going to go into the specifics, but the heartbreaking number of children in foster care and the bleak outcome for most of their situations stirred my heart. Both David and I walked away from that weekend knowing that we one day wanted to be foster parents.

One of the very encouraging things I learned that weekend was that adopting waiting children out of foster care is extremely affordable – free even! In some cases the state even pays for the child’s college tuition. Because the cost of adoption scared me, I was so drawn to the idea of adopting out of foster care. That isn’t the only reason I felt drawn, but I’ll admit it was a huge part of it.

There was this part of me that was SO afraid of the cost of adopting an infant that I wanted to completely drop that idea and instead pursue adoption through foster care. But I knew that it was God who placed the desire in my heart for a baby. Since I was 17, I have had dreams that I was holding a baby in my arms.

In the state of Alabama, they have a rule that you cannot adopt until you’ve been married for three years. Well, David and I felt that we were ready to start the process long before that deadline! We just celebrated our 2nd anniversary in February, so we would still be waiting if we were still living in Alabama.

God brought us to Connecticut with perfect timing. As we unpacked and got settled into our new home and new community, I started to feel a tug on my heart. I started to hear a whisper that now was the time. And for some reason I ignored it. People would ask if we were planning on starting a family, and we would always answer yes, that we were planning to adopt. But I didn’t take any real steps in that direction. I made excuses as to why I hadn’t: I was too busy, still looking for a job, etc.

In January our church held 21 days of prayer. And during one of the services, those in attendance prayed over us and over our future child. It was such a powerful moment for me as I felt God wrap his arms around me and tell me that I had all the support I needed. Don’t be afraid. Now is the time.

But it wasn’t until February, during one of our small group meetings that I made the decision to start pursuing adoption. We are studying through the book of James using video lessons from Francis Chan. He was talking through James 1:19-27. The bulk of the lesson was focusing on being slow to speak and slow to become angry. Our discussion seemed to be centered around struggling to control our tongues and to be patient with others. But during the entire meeting, I was stuck on the last verse:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…

Why, after knowing that we wanted to adopt and after waiting to be in a place that we could start the process, was avoiding it? Why was I running from my calling?!

The same day, I saw a video online of a young couple meeting their adopted infant in the hospital for the first time. I cried uncontrollably. The video had been posted by an adoption consulting agency out of Georgia, and after looking into them a little further, I decided to reach out. And now we are officially starting the process with that agency, Faithful Adoption Consultants.

I will tell you, I struggled with our decision to pursue domestic infant adoption. I felt completely selfish for wanting a baby after hearing the stories and statistics of children in foster care. I wrestled to the point of making myself sick. And then every time I thought I was okay with the idea of raising and spending the money, someone would tell me or David a story of how they know people who adopted infants out of foster care; babies that they brought home from the hospital and ended up adopting. Yes…that does happen, but there is no guarantee that it will. You cannot become a foster parent and specify that you are only open to taking infants. And even then, there is no guarantee that you’ll have the opportunity to adopt them.

But again, I let these stories impact me and I let myself slip into the mindset that my desire for an infant was selfish. Oh, how I struggled with this. I cried. I beat myself up. Why should I ask others to help me fund a $45,000 adoption?

After a lot of tears cried in guilt, I prayed for guidance. “God please show me what to do. And if we are not supposed to to have a baby, please take away this desire that I have for one.”

After my pleas to God were met with even more dreams of me holding a baby in my arms, I sought the advice of family and friends. During one conversation, after I’d shared my feelings and poured out my heart, my friend said to me, “Amber…I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think you should feel guilty about wanting a baby. After all, we are asking women to please not have abortions. We ask them to consider life and adoption for their babies. Well, who is going to adopt their babies?”

It was that conversation that settled it in my heart. David and I will adopt a baby whose brave birth mother chooses life. I have peace now that we are making the right decision, even though the cost is still daunting.

This morning we received from FAC the checklist of things to be completed before we can become active clients waiting to be matched. It’s a lot, but I’m driven and excited to start working through everything. I also have a phone conversation scheduled with them on Friday to ask questions and talk through some things.

We have been able to raise almost $10,000 so far, which is amazing, but it is still just a drop in the bucket. We will be applying for some grants and doing many fundraisers I’m sure in the next several months. I ask you all to please be in prayer for us as we wade through the mounds of paperwork involved and as we try to come up with the remaining funds.

Speaking of funds, my next post will be about the costs associated with adoption. I know many of you have questions as to where this money is going and why it costs so much, so stay tuned!

Any questions or comments are welcome!

The Story So Far – Part 2 (David’s Story)

Amber and I have had a relationship that is very different than most.  From the time we met, we were extremely honest with each other and had pretty in depth conversations about our past, our present, and the goals of our future.  We even talked about marriage and children as early as our first or second date.

Growing up I always questioned whether or not I would be able to have children due to my cancer treatments, but I never worried much about it, because I felt that if I couldn’t, I would adopt a child.  No matter what, I always knew that I wanted to be a father, and I knew that whether my children came biologically or through adoption they would still be my children.  I even saved all of my old GI Joes and collected old Disney movies and cartoons that I watched as a kid, in hopes that one day I could share them with my own kids. It was very exciting for me to find out that Amber wanted children as much as I did, and it was refreshing that she was also open to having children through adoption.

A few months after our wedding we had the opportunity to attend a CAFO (Christian Alliance for Orphans) summit in Nashville, where we were able to hear stories from people who had adopted, fostered children, and even people who had been adopted themselves.  This conference greatly increased my passion for adoption and opened both my eyes and Amber’s to the world of foster care.

There is one story from CAFO that I will never forget.  One of the keynote speakers named Aaron Blake had worked as a guidance counselor at a local high school.  All of his kids had graduated and moved forward into adulthood, but one day a star football player who lived in a local foster home was told he was going to have to move again to a different home across the country. This student came to Aaron and pleaded with him to find a way for him to stay. Aaron Blake and his wife decided to take the student into their home and become his foster parents.  As time went on, they brought in five other foster children on the team who were told they were moving to a new home.  Whenever a new teen came in, Aaron told them, “You are my son. This is your home, and everything in it is yours”.  
The guys didn’t always listen or do what they knew they were supposed to do, especially a young man named Diego Fuller.  One day Diego was goofing off and accidentally set the house on fire and burned up almost half of the house.  The next morning Aaron walked down the stairs and Diego was standing by the door with his bags packed and he asked, “So where am I going now?”
Aaron  said, “What do you mean?”
Diego then replied that he had burned down half the house! He knew that he was going to get kicked out for what he did.
Aaron Blake grabbed him and gave him a big hug and said, “You’re not going anywhere.  You are my son.  It does not matter what you do or what you say.  You are my son and this is your family.”

That story really spoke to me and my passion for adoption grew.  When Amber and I adopt our child, no matter the gender, no matter what race they are, it will be our child. It will be the child that we will raise together, and we will always be able to say, “You are my child. It doesn’t matter what you do or say.  We are your family.”

– David

The Story So Far – Part 1

I was 16 when I began to consider the effect that the chemo might have on my ability to conceive or carry a baby to term. I had been diagnosed with ovarian failure due to the toxic chemicals used to treat and eventually cure  me of leukemia. There was a chance that my ovaries may recover, but there was a chance that they might not.

Over the next 10 years, I heard different stories from different doctors. Most were unconcerned about the state of my fertility simply because I was unmarried and not looking to start a family.

By the time I met David I had already decided in my heart that I wanted to adopt, even if I could miraculously have biological children. And as early as our second date, David and I discussed children and adoption. He was also unsure about his ability to have children due to the effects of chemo and radiation he had as a child.

As strange as it might sound, this was such a comfort to me. For so long I had feared that my medical history and the lasting effects of cancer treatment on my body would somehow disqualify me from being loved by another person. I feared that my brokenness would be a deal breaker and that my hopes for a house full of adopted little ones would scare men away.

When David came into my life, I felt something different than fear. I felt affirmation. I knew for sure that I was called to become a parent through adoption. I am not the broken one. I am not broken at all. God only has a different plan for me than what I originally thought.

Driving to work this morning, I was thanking God for the sunshine and all the beauty I saw around me. I thought then of the beauty of marriage; how God placed David and I together to be an example to the world, a living picture of how Christ loves the Church and how the Church should reciprocate that love with honorable service to and respect for God. I thanked God for the privilege of being part of that beautiful picture, and I asked Him for wisdom and grace in our portrayal of His perfect love.

Then I began to think of what an honor it is to not only be a living picture of God’s love through marriage, but also to have the opportunity to be a picture of God’s love through adoption. I am in awe that God had chosen David and I for this journey. We will have the unique honor of providing a home and a loving family to a child who might not otherwise have those things. I know that I was, in essence, an orphan before God called me to be part of His family. And now I am a daughter of the King of Kings.

I can think of no better use for my life than to try to live up to the honor God has bestowed on me to be a wife and (future) mother.

“…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” – Ephesians 4:1

And so, we are adopting. I wrote a post a couple of months before David and I got married entitled Adoption. If you haven’t already, I urge you to check it out!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our story, told by a special “guest blogger”….DAVID!

Baby Steps

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Everyone has probably noticed by now from the many fundraising posts on my Facebook page that we have begun the process of adoption. A part of me – I’ll admit a HUGE part of me – wanted to keep it a secret, even from our families. I am a private person in general. I remember the exhaustion of having to repeatedly answer the same questions from well meaning, loving people regarding my cancer journey. When announcing our plans to adopt, I had to prepare myself for the same with this journey.

But there is also the loss of the element of surprise, the one I wanted to experience when I announced to friends and family that we had been matched. For me, that is the equivalent of surprising people with a pregnancy announcement. I always looked forward to the way I would tell my parents….my friends. And with this journey publicized, it will be much less of a surprise. The joy of the announcement will be just as real though. And that I know.

In reality, I always knew that we would have to open our story up to the public, if for no other reason than to ask for help. Financially, yes. But there is something so much more helpful about having a community supporting us in every way. Lifting us up in prayer. Protecting our sanity (lol). Encouraging us. Reminding us of God’s faithfulness. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support that we have already experienced, even at the very beginning of this process.

That being said, I’ve felt God telling me to open up and be transparent throughout our adoption journey. I want to share with you all of the things that have led us to this point. I am well aware that my posts can become rather lengthy sometimes, so my plan is to share our story so far in several posts over the next few days/ weeks. I’ll also include some general facts about domestic infant adoption and try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. And if any of you have questions that you’d like answered or are curious about anything, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll follow our story!

Rough Drafts

From the time I learned my alphabet and could begin to form words, I was a writer. I vividly remember an instance during one of my family’s cross-country moves:

The space under the hotel room desk was the perfect size for little five-year old me. I crawled under with my notebook and pencil and began to write (and even illustrate!) my first full story: Basko and Boppy. It’s a wonderfully nonsensical story of two cars who were brothers. It is complete with rudimentary one-syllable rhyming like “frog” and “log”. It is a story I hold dear to this day, because I see it as the birth of my love for storytelling.

Writing is an intense process for me. I used to hold my pens and pencils so tightly that my hand would cramp up. I still find myself doing this sometimes, and I have the writing callus to prove it. While most of the world prefers to “write” using keyboards, I almost always put pen to paper before transferring it to type script. I like to look at my rough drafts, words crossed out and arrows indicating where phrases or paragraphs should move. There is something so freeing and so beautiful about seeing the work of my hand.

I ususally even keep these rough drafts of the things I pen. I have the “evolution” of most of the songs I’ve written in different notebooks. It’s intriguing to look back and see my thought process and how much I have grown in my ideas and my abilities. It shows me how far I’ve come.

I’ve learned that it takes a lot of refining to produce anything worth sharing. It takes rewording, spell correcting and even removing full paragraphs of text. The writing process can be painstaking – which is probably why it is taking me so long to finish the book I’m writing.

But just as I work hard to write and refine the stories I share, God has been working in my heart to refine me. He knows all of me. He has seen the rough drafts of me and has worked tirelessly in my life to make me into the person I need to be. He doesn’t look at me and see all the scribbles and arrows, He sees my potential. He doesn’t see the crumpled and scattered pages of my life, he sees the beautifully bound finished product.

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”