Tag Archives: adoption

Right here, Right NOW

11 Apr

That’s how you feel after the home study is finished- you want the child RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Recently, He-wood and I were part of a panel of adoptive parents with an audience of prospective adoptive parents. Sharing the journey of adoption is hard but necessary. God has been so faithful to us throughout the whole journey and we know he will continue because in all honesty it doesn’t end when we finalize the adoption.

One of the questions we got and we’ve heard before is what do I do to prepare. My heart sinks because 90% of what you would do to prepare while you are carrying a child or your wife is carrying a child is the exact same as for an adopted child. You have certain things you will always need to do. Obviously you need to get supplies- car seats, sleeping arrangements, supplies to feed whether its a toddler or a baby they need these things. I stockpiled diapers because I knew we were set on an infant. If you are getting an older child maybe buy a gift card once a month to a shoe place or clothing store so they can help influence the clothing choices once they are in your care. A pediatrician is needed along with childcare if both parents will be working. If one is planning to stay home after the child comes then maybe start living off one income and saving the other for finances of the adoption.

Things that are adoption specific- maintaining an active status with the adoption agency and keeping paperwork up to date. Finding an adoption attorney- someone who specializes in this an understands the laws. Note about pediatricians- if at all possible find one that is pro-adoption and consider the race of the child. We were blessed with a practice where the two main doctors we always see one is an adoptive mom herself the other is African American which is key to helping our transracial family. If you have an older child- particularly of a different race- consider where they will get their hair done. I am looking forward to Wee-Wood 3 having a great relationship with a barber- Lord and budget willing. Speaking of budget- adoption can be costly. Ask your HR rep if there is adoption assistance. Have a Both Hands project like we did to raise funds. Sell stuff, garage sell, make stuff to sell…etc to help you afford adoption. Also explore the tax laws on adoption tax benefits since they change from year to year.

Another aspect is education- while you may not be reading “What to Expect While You are Expecting” doesn’t mean reading should be crossed off your list. Grab books, blogs, etc about how to educate yourself on the many different facets of adoption. Help your family understand how to be part of the process and allow them to know how to answer questions people ask. People will ask the grandparents crazy things just like you.

Prayer and Patience- You can never pray too much for the birth parents of your child. I can do a post on open verses closed adoptions later but lets just say we grieve (and know our child will too) that right now I cannot tell Wee-wood 3 what his birthmom looks like. What his birthfather’s favorite sport is…does he even like sports? What would make them proud of him? I pray she chooses to have openness one day. Also pray for their safety and support during this tough time. While it’s a very happy time for you it’s one of the hardest decisions they have ever made.

There is so much to be done and this child is just coming into your family in a different way,  but preparation is still so similar. I’m a firm believer that whether you are walking out of a hospital with a biological baby or out of an adoption agency with an adoptive child you are never fully going to be prepared…but I think that’s God’s plan. If we were fully prepared we wouldn’t NEED him.

Advertisements

Should old acquaintances be forgotten, And never brought to mind?

31 Dec

This morning I was reading John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

The book by Beth Moore talked about that as a child of Christ if part of me has died, in time it would produce many seeds. 

This sparked me to think about the things of the last year. January was pretty rocky…we were living 80miles from He-woods work, about to move, kids were on and off sick, and then we met a birthmom, 3 weeks later cared for her child for 38ish hours then she decided to parent. The rest of 2012 was pretty crazy, trips to see family, a big move, terrible trouble with the renters in our house, and adding our precious We-wood 3!

However, we had a choice about We-wood 3. You see back in January we had the option of not continuing the adoption process. It was hurtful…just as hurtful as our miscarriage before We-wood 1. We choose to continue, we chose not to be bitter and to let the seed that God had planted in our hearts many years prior to grow. We could’ve uprooted that seed and said God I’ve been hurt too much but we didn’t. We tended to the garden, prepared the soil some more, and slowly watered that seed. It was a frustrating seed to grow, slow to grow and at times painful and full of tears. Certainly not lacking in fears either of how the fruit would turn out. 

So for a “resolution” for 2013 I’m going to try to have fertile soil and nourish the seeds that God wants to grow. I will try and not rip those seeds out as weeds when I am frustrated and hurt. I will try my best to not grow bitter to what 2013 throws at me. 

 

When love takes you in everything changes, A miracle starts with the beat of a heart

20 Sep

Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song about adoption entitled When Love Takes You In. While the lyrics are good it misses the fact that adoption while part of God’s plan isn’t without hurt. It isn’t without grief. My heart is burdened for Wee-wood 3’s birth mom. She has chosen a closed adoption but my earnest prayer is that her heart would change and she would want to at least have a semi-open adoption. We sense grief for Wee-wood 3 that while he’s not old enough to ask questions one day I’m sure he will ask what was my birth mom like, what did her voice sound like, why did she chose this for me and many other questions. You see it’s not just the birth mom that experiences hurt and grief through the process, but all involved. It also hurts us that we cannot share with her about Jesus. She may be a Christian but as of right now we will never know. 

There is so much left unanswered for our little man but I pray we raise him well, be an advocate for adoption, and always be prayerful that his birth mom would change her mind about the closed adoption. 

I’ve been waiting a long time for the moment to come…

11 Sep

Umm…yeah, so the last 6 days have been an absolute whirlwind to say the least!  This time last week She-wood and I were recovering from the end of the previous week when we had prayed really hard and felt God telling us to pass an opportunity for our adoption profile to be shown to a birthmother.  We were broken.  We were questioning God about the timing of this whole thing (adoption, that is).  We were wondering what God was trying to teach us through this two year long process.  We had come to the conclusion during the incidents of the previous week that we had to quit trying to force God’s hand into giving us a child.  Rather it was God who was the one in control, not us trying to help God understand what we needed.  (You know in writing that even now I realize how dumb that sounds, but walk with me for a minute as I let you inside our hearts for a minute.)

We had begun to become so impatient with this process.  We thought to ourselves, “God we have done everything that needs to be done.  What are You waiting on?”  How arrogant!  To think that we were waiting on God to get His act together and make this adoption happen.  I honestly believe that God has been waiting on us to get to the point spiritually where we were at a point that we are fully relying on Him and His provision.  For so long we have been hustling to do everything in our power to make this adoption move, but in actuality God has had a plan for us in place since before the foundations of the earth were laid and He is working out that plan.

Little did we know last Monday that our lives would be changed in less than a week.  We received a call Wednesday that there was a child for us.  A little boy who was, at that time, 6 days old, and that the at risk period to terminate maternal rights would be over at 5pm yesterday.  We were elated, scared, excited, and expectant!  We got to meet the little bugger on Friday.  It was surreal!  Holding this little boy in my arms that didn’t even weigh 6 pounds.  Trying my best to guard my heart from becoming too attached, knowing that there was the possibility that the birthmother could change her mind in the next three days.  But already, in my heart, falling in love with this perfect little guy.

We left the adoption agency office Friday afternoon, and I’m pretty sure that She-wood and I actually floated to the car.  Could this really be happening?  Were we really going to become a family of 5 in just three short days?  Would we be able to maintain our sanity for the weekend?  Would I have a stress ulcer when I woke up on Sunday from wondering about all of it?

Well, as of 5pm Monday September 10, 2012, we are now He-wood, She-wood, Wee-wood 1, Wee-wood 2, AND Wee-wood 3!!!!! God is so good!  After all of the paperwork, all of the classes, all of the doctors appointments, all of the fingerprints and background checks, and after all the waiting we were actually driving home with a little boy in our back seat.  And he is our son!

There have been times over the past 2 years that I have wondered if we had made the correct choice.   There were times when I had to question what God was doing.  There were times when I wondering if all of this was really worth it.  But this morning at about 5:15am as I sat there staring into the eyes of this perfect little boy and he smiled at me, any question of worth that I had was answered by God with a resounding, “YES, it was more than worth the past 2 years.  Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

I now have a better understanding of Romans 8:28.  “God works everything for the good of those who are called by His name, according to His purposes.”  That in no way means that everything is always going to be fun.  The past 2 years of waiting have been very difficult at times.  But it does mean that God will work everything in the end to His glory, and that is the good that I seek. His glory.

Don’t stop believing…

26 Jun

Over the past coupe of weeks I think that I have come to somewhat of a revelation.  It really isn’t anything that has not been completely true since eternity past, but it is something that I have become cognizant of recently.  I love the book of Habakkuk in the Bible!  It is such a rich book.  I encourage you to go read it, but read it carefully and with a good, scholarly commentary close by.  I have had Habakkuk 2:3 rolling around in my head constantly for the past couple of weeks.  I wasn’t really sure why at first.  I mean, I know that it is one of She-Wood’s favorite verses, but it just seemingly randomly crossed my thoughts about 2 weeks ago and has been there ever since.  Here’s what Habakkuk 2:2-3 says,

“And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

Man those are strong words directly from God!  Now I understand that in context, these words are directed at Israel during a time of rebellion.  However, there is incredible insight that I can glean from these words about the character of God.  In the New American Commentary on Micah, Nahum Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, Waylon Bailey writes this concerning Habakkuk 2:3,

“Impatience is the normal human response to God’s promise to answer his people.  God warned the prophet to wait on the prophecy.  The answer of God would surely come, but the prophet should write down the message because from the prophet’s point of view the prophecy might seem slow…God had already decided upon a solution and would reveal it according to his timetable, but God was not indebted to any human to reveal the answer before he chose to.  Habakkuk, like all of us, was living ‘between the times,’ between the promise and the fulfillment” (pg. 323).

All I can say is that is exactly where I have been lately.  As you probably know, She-Wood and I are in the process of adopting.  We have been in the process for 16 months now.  It seems at times like it will never actually happen.  I have felt at a couple different points over the last couple of months like we will never get a little boy to be a part of our family.  But then last Monday we get a call from our social worker that there is a birthmother who they were going to be showing profiles to.  The only thing was that the child she was making an adoption plan for was a 17 month old little girl. (We have been in the process to get a newborn little boy.)  We were faced with a big decision.  After a lot of prayer, both on our part and the part of many others, we decided to let our profile be shown.  We don’t want the decision process of what child God has for us to be in our hands.  We want God to decide that for us.  Anyways, the profile was shown on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, we were not chosen, and yet again we are still waiting.

It was after this time of not being chosen again that I began to realize why Habakkuk 2:3 had been rolling around in my mind for the past 2 weeks.  God was preparing me for the rejection of not being chosen before I was even aware that there was a possibility we could be chosen.  You see, I have come to realize that God already knows and has already chosen the perfect child for us in His amazing foresight and sovereignty.  Just like Bailey said in his commentary, God already has the solution to our situation picked out and decided, but he in no way whatsoever is obligated to reveal that to me or She-Wood.  And I am okay with that.  This is where faith comes into play.  I know that God has called us to adopt.  I know that he has lead us through these trials that we have faced over the past 16 months in order to prepare and strengthen us for something that he has planned in the future.  And just as James says in James 1:12, if I am able to remain steadfast under these trials, then I will receive the crown of life that God has promised to me.

I am greatly encouraged by the words of God in Habakkuk 2:2-3 and James 1:12!  I know that God will continue to see us through this adoption journey, and He will be magnified, honored, and lifter high through the whole process and in the end. I won’t stop believing that God is in control, and that he will come through on his promise.

All the day long, I won’t be shaken by drought or storm

26 Mar

I’m trying not to be shaken by the whole adoption process. It’s been long…yes I knew that. It’s been full of tears. Tear of sadness when we lost our income and thought we were going to have to put a hold on the adoption. Tears of joy when we got a loan for the amount of the adoption (wonder about the progress of that since we didn’t adopt immediately). Tears of sadness when our hearts were crushed after a birth mom chose to parent the child I cared for for 36hours. Yes she carried him for 9months but being lied to hurts…

Right now its tears of frustration. I can’t imagine how it feels to have infertility problems. But right now I feel kinda like we have infertility problems…we are waiting on something we can’t control. Something we can’t fix! It’s also frustrating to have people not call you back or answer your emails. It’s hard to encourage others to being their process when you feel like this…given time I too will heal from these scars but in the meantime I will keep emailing and calling those whom we are paying lots of money to walk us through this process because I feel like I am dragging them and begging them to do the next step for us. 

It’s all about love love love love love…

14 Feb

Being that it is Valentine’s Day I can’t help but think of the many things that I love.

I love my Savior!  Jesus is amazing when you think about Him.  (Who am I kidding, He is amazing all the time!)  I am totally blown away when I consider the love that was poured out for me at the cross.  To see the intersection of God’s holy hatred for sin and His unfailing love for sinners is altogether captivating, terrifying, and uplifting at the same time.  I love that I can approach Him at anytime that I need Him.  I can approach Him even when I don’t have a request.  I can approach Him when I simply want to be near Him.  God is breathtaking in His scope and unbelievable in His immanence!  I love you Jesus.

I love my wife!  God has blessed me with such an amazing wife!  I love She-wood completely.  She is my helpmate, my best friend, my support, and my partner.  I cannot imagine life without her.  We have been through so much together in almost 12 years of dating (including almost 7 years of marriage).  She makes me a better man.  The way we are able to glorify God together with our relationship, the way we manage our family, and the ministry we do together is a blessing for me to experience.  God is so good to let me enjoy her, and I do truly enjoy my wife.  Everything about her gives me joy from the way she tucks her bangs behind her ear to watching her teach our children.  I love my wife.

I love my kids!  Wee-wood 1 and Wee-wood 2 are the craziest kids I have ever met, but they are a constant source of fun and love.  I never knew that having kids could be both one of the most frustrating and fulfilling things in my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that having children is a huge God-given responsibility.  I love that Wee-wood 1 looks to me as her buddy!  The amount of emotion that wells up in me just thinking about that is great.  She loves me, and I am so grateful for that.  The way that Wee-wood 2 loves to cuddle and snuggle with me makes my day!  She is one of the most affectionate people I have ever met.  I cannot help but think of the little boy that God has for us as we are in the process of adopting.  I don’t even  know the little boy yet, but I know I will love him.  I so look forward to meeting the little man that God has for us.  Oh God you know that desire of my heart to meet him soon. I love my kids.

I love my church!  God has led us through a crazy past year in our lives both vocationally and ministerially.  However, looking back on the past year, it is blatantly obvious that God was guiding ever step in His amazing sovereignty to get us to where we are today.  I love the friendships we have built here and the minister that is taking place.  I love the heart of the rest of the staff for a proper mix evangelism and social justice.  I love that the people here love us and support us in many different ways.  I love that God has led us here.  I love my church.

What do you love?  Please let us know how God has blessed you and what you love today.