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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Haven

Annie and Jeremy signed on with CAC feeling defeated from their long journey of waiting. Throughout their journey with me, I witnessed first hand Annie and Jeremy's heart for open adoption. I appreciated that they saw adoption as not only as a way to build their family with a baby but also building their family with the birth family. God used this heart posture to connect Annie and Jeremy with an expectant mother who was making an adoption plan and wanted it to be very open. I'll let Annie tell the rest of the story:

Our adoption story is like so many others you hear, but also totally different and unique to us. In 2016 we were blessed to adopt our oldest daughter. It was very quick and our relationship with her birth mom remains open and has been an amazing experience. When we started the journey to adopt again we knew it would be different and take longer, but we had no idea of the journey ahead of us. Almost 4 years has passed since we began our journey to grow our family again. In that time we had 3 heartbreaking disrupted adoptions. Several times we almost gave up completely. Each time we were ready to give up and be done, God would whisper "not yet." And so we waited and waited on the Lord. How grateful we are for a God who knows us personally and guides our journey!

We were contacted by an amazing expectant mom and were able to start building a relationship with her. Now as our newest daughter, Haven, sleeps in our arms I can see how God was working behind the scenes.  It was a long road to grow our family again, but Haven and the relationship we have with her birth family is worth every curve and bump in the road. 

We are so grateful for His sight and for the love and support we received along the way. We have loved working with Meg and she has been such an amazing support and cheerleader for our journey. We have felt her prayers for us and our family and she understood our journey in ways others around us didn't.

Monday, February 15, 2021

William

It was seven years ago is when I first felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to trust him in a way I never knew was possible. He planted the thought of adoption on my heart. I was completely caught off guard! I had been married for two years, was pregnant with my 2nd child, and never even thought of it before much less had a conversation with Blake about it. I kept the nudge in my heart for another year before I spoke it to life to my sister and a friend who had already adopted two children. I remember feeling unworthy of the calling from the Spirit and like it was an impossible task. 

Fast forward four years later after countless conversations with Blake, many tears, prayers and an immense amount of trust in God - we reached out to our first agency to apply for adoption. We were doing it and I couldn’t believe it! 


However, our family did experience quite a few road blocks that just didn’t stop coming. We suffered an immense loss around this time causing us to put a hold on everything until we could make it back to stable ground emotionally for us and our three kiddos. All the huge doubts came flooding in again. We clung on to the truth that the God of the mountains is the same God of the valleys.


We ended up loosing a little money and leaving that agency only to be led to Meg at Christian Adoption Consultants one year ago. It felt like a huge risk to us to go with a consultant considering the additional cost, but it also felt so right and on purpose that we were led to her. 


Seven months after completing our home study, here we are with our precious William. We’re cooped up waiting on ICPC approval and I keep pinching myself that IT REALLY HAPPENED! 


Although there were so many road blocks, no’s, disappointments, and tears along the way it was worth every ounce to continue to persevere. The glory of God is radiating out of William’s story in just the 5 days we have known him and it is more than I could ever fathom. His sovereignty is coming to light and we truly are humbled to be a part of it. We can’t wait to see His plans for William's future! 


In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Luca

When I first chatted with Linsey over the phone in January of 2020, she explained that their family didn't feel complete even though they already had five biological children. As with many large families who are thinking about adoption, Linsey was wondering if they would ever be chosen. Despite this doubt, Linsey and Tony decided to sign on and they hit the ground running with the home study and profile creation! 

March came and suddenly all of our worlds stopped due to COVID. It seemed like all the odds were being stacked against Linsey and Tony as their home study was being postponed. Thankfully, many home study providers began doing virtual interviews in order to keep families moving along in the process. Although it did take a little longer, they were finally home study approved in June!

In September, a special case came through that had a lot of unknowns so the agency was having trouble finding a family for this precious unborn baby. My heart was blown away when Linsey and Tony decided to put their "yes" on the table. Because they said yes, this baby was now given a family. 

Exactly a year after they signed on with CAC, their baby boy was born and his story is already filled with God's faithfulness and provision. 


I asked Linsey what she would want to share about the journey to their son, Luca, and she stated, "When you have 5 biological kids and then plan to adopt, people tend to look at you weird. Regardless, we knew without a doubt that adoption was meant for us, and with the help and guidance of CAC and our consultant Meg, we welcomed the most beautiful baby boy into our family. Little did we know how perfectly he would fit in, but it should really come as no surprise. He was in God’s perfect design for our family all along. Looking back at all of the painstaking paperwork, endless applications, interviews, background checks and home studies...they were just all stepping stones that led us closer to finding our little Luca. The beautiful baby boy that’s everything we never knew we needed."

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Zion

In our adoption journey, God taught us about His sovereignty and trustworthiness. We could trust him to bring to our family the baby that He chose, in the right timing. When we felt situations were "perfect" or within what we hoped and then heard that our family was not chosen, it was disheartening. But over time, God used the wait to bring us to a place where we genuinely felt at peace with each "not yet" because we knew that He was still at work writing our story. God showed us His mercy in so many ways- people checking in or encouragement from Scripture at just the right time when we felt we could hardly stay steadfast in patience. Meg encouraged us and we knew she was praying for us as we waited. She answered all of our questions and offered guidance that was so crucial to help us move forward with decisions we made in our adoption journey. We really appreciated how she advocated for us and reassured us in countless ways. 


Around Christmas, as 2020 neared its end, we spent time reflecting on our journey, and were so thankful for all God had taught us throughout the waiting. Our faith was strengthened, we had grown in knowledge (through spending time learning about adopting a child with special needs, transracial adoption, and openness), and our two older children were learning about trusting God too. Still, we wondered, "How much longer will we be waiting?"  

Little did we know that just days later, on New Year's Day 2021, our son was born. On January 2, we got a call in the afternoon that there was a baby boy waiting for us in Florida. We hopped on a plane and flew to meet him in the hospital.  We could have never dreamed of the beauty of God's plan and the way He led us to our son. Our sweet boy is an absolute miracle, and we are thankful beyond words to be his chosen parents. 


Monday, November 23, 2020

Expectant Mother Letter


When you decide to present your profile to an expectant mother who is making an adoption plan, it's always a good idea to include a personal letter to her. Some agencies require it, but may not give much instruction on what that letter should include. I recommend having a template saved so that it's ready to personalize for each situation. 

Introduction
Address her by name and include the father if he will be involved in the decision making process. Introduce your family with first name(s) only. Acknowledge the courage and selfless love it takes to make an adoption plan.

Summary of Your Story 
Explain why you are growing your family through adoption. This should be a short paragraph since your story is explained thoroughly in the profile book. 

Commonalities and Promises
This is the paragraph that will look different in each letter. After you read through the situation and what an expectant mother desires in a family for her baby, pick a couple items that you connect with her on. For example, if she wants a family who is adventurous then you could write about some of the favorite places your family has traveled to and plan to travel to. If she wants a family who has a dog, then you could write about the pets that you have in your home and what they are like around children.

You will also want to include the promises you will keep to her with visits and communication. It's vital that these be true promises and not just words on a page. If you do not intend to make an annual visit then absolutely do not write that you will! 

Closing
Thank her for taking the time to review your profile book and for considering your family for her baby. Close the letter with a 'Sincerely' or 'Love' and sign your first name(s). 

A few other tips:
  • Handwritten is best (if you have legible handwriting).
  • Get a box of blank cards and write the letter in the card for a personal touch. 
  • If you absolutely have to type it, include a photo in the letter of whatever commonality you have written about. For example, if you wrote about your dog then include a cute photo of him/her. 

+ If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me at meg@christianadoptionconsultants.com +

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Methadone Prenatal Exposure


Adoption stems from brokenness. It's not something a mother chooses for her baby because she is in an ideal situation or environment. Because of this, there are cases where we see prenatal substance exposure. If a pregnant mother is struggling with addiction to heroin, oxycodone, or any other opioid then the safest treatment option is methadone through a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), methadone is safe for pregnant women combating opioid addiction. MAT has been used to treat pregnant women since the 1970s. In 1998, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) established MAT programs as the best practice treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorders.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in a medically supervised program can lead to minor NAS symptoms for a newborn, but it is far less severe than to be born with the withdrawal symptoms of heroin. Symptoms of NAS can include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness (sleepiness), poor feeding, irritability, sweating, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea. 

But what about the long term? There have been studies, including one that followed children up to age 3, that do not find differences in development among children who were exposed to methadone during pregnancy and those who were not. Some other studies on methadone and opioids as a general group have found more problems with learning and behavior in children exposed to opioids for a long period of time during pregnancy.

Is methadone treatment symptom free for the baby? No, but it is the best option compared to symptoms if the mother continues to use heroin or oxycodone. Although it can illicit fear for hopeful adoptive parents when we read through what could happen to a newborn who has been exposed, we must remember God's sovereignty over all of it. He is the ultimate healer, protector, and peace giver.


+ If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me at meg@christianadoptionconsultants.com +


Resources:

Friday, July 17, 2020

Hudson

Not all families start with Christian Adoption Consultants from the beginning of the adoption journey. In fact, many sign on with us after they are home study ready and have been waiting a long time doing the traditional route. 

When Ashley reached out to me back in January, she was weary. She, along with her husband, had just walked with a mother who chose to parent. The wait had been long already, but she had heard great things about Christian Adoption Consultants. A couple weeks later, I was honored to walk alongside Ashley and Bryan as their consultant. They hit the ground running with applying to agencies and presenting their profile multiple times. 

In early June, I sent an email to Ashley just checking in on how their hearts were doing and she replied, "Very impatiently waiting!" Little did any of us know that the very next day they would be traveling a few hours away to meet the baby they'd been longing for. Hudson was born on June 4th and his birth mother chose Ashley and Bryan along with their two children to be his forever family. 


Ashley and Bryan's family has been blessed through adoption twice and although that means their family was built from brokenness, they are honored to show the beauty that God can make out of broken.