Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Next Step

I'm going to cut the suspense and get straight to it. Nathan and I have decided to pursue adoption! I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm filled with hope, and I can't wait to get the process officially started! Okay, that being said, I'll back up and explain how this came about. Shortly after Poppy died, Nathan and I both began to think seriously about adoption. I think the idea came to us both separately, and we were excited to find a few days later that each of us had been considering the possibility. Let me give a quick side note and say that we had already felt led to adopt at some point in our lives—we just assumed it would be later on down the road after we had finished having children of our own. For many years now I have loved the concept of adoption and how it correlates with what God has done for us. I think it is such a beautiful picture of redemption and love, and I looked forward to being able to take one of these precious orphans into our family as our own. Originally, I had envisioned doing this by adopting internationally.

Moving back to present day, after Poppy’s loss and the subsequent knowledge that I would be unable to consider getting pregnant again for 18 months, we began to seriously pray about whether adoption was something that God had for us now as opposed to later. The answer we quickly came to was, YES! We both felt that this is exactly the path for us to begin exploring, and the only thing we wanted to know was whether to pursue international or domestic adoption.

My leaning and inclination had always been to adopt internationally. In fact, I can honestly say that domestic was not something I had ever considered before, but I wanted to make sure we covered all of the bases and went in the direction God had for us. In order to get all of the information, I set up an appointment with a Christian adoption agency called Bethany. As we eagerly anticipated this appointment, something unexpected began to take place in my heart: I slowly began to feel my desire shifting to adopt domestically. I really can’t explain why, but by the time we went to our appointment yesterday, while still open to both options, I knew that I felt my heart leaning strongly toward domestic adoption.

As we sat through the two-hour informative meeting, hearing the many details regarding both international and domestic adoption, I felt the calling toward domestic adoption confirmed in every way. It is unexpected, largely unexplained, and yet I’m thrilled about it. As the social worker explained the ins and outs of the domestic program, I felt everything in me completely at peace with going in this direction, and after discussing it with Nathan, we are agreed that this is the path we will pursue.

I’ll give you a quick summary of what this process will be like. We will go through a home study, and after that is complete and we are approved, we will be eligible to be put in the pool of available families. We will then create a profile, which is a picture scrapbook of our lives. We can include letters, pictures, and anything else we want to let the birth mothers know what our family is like. Then, whenever a birthmother comes to the agency, she is able to look through the available profiles and select the parents she wants for her child. It’s as simple as that. No waiting lists, no set timelines. The crazy thing is that means we could be chosen in one week, one year, or never. There is no way of knowing, but somehow, even that part of the process is exciting to me right now.

The biggest decision that still remains is whether to choose the Bethany adoption agency or to go with Life Choices, which is a local crisis pregnancy center. If you would pray with us and ask God to help us decide which course to pursue, we would greatly appreciate it! I can’t wait to be able to make this decision and move forward with the paperwork necessary to get this process moving. Last night as Nathan and I were considering how excited we are about the baby God has for us, we also thought about how thrilled Marianna is going to be to have a baby brother or sister. That thought makes me so happy. I continue to be amazed at how God is redeeming our tragedy for good. Now as we move forward with this thrilling, but somewhat daunting prospect of adoption, I know His faithfulness will continue.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Angie,

I've been follwing your journey since before Poppy's birth. You and your family have constantly been in my thoughts and prayers.

Today I celebrate with you in your decision - I think the idea of adoption is absolutely wonderful. It's truly amazing (yet no surprise!)the doors that are being opened for you through sweet Poppy Joy.

I have a few friends that recently have adopted (domestically), and it has been an experience they wouldn't trade for anything. I'm so excited for you, Nathan and Marianna!

Jennifer
jennifermorena@sbcglobal.net

Pea Pod Mommy said...

What an awesome decision. I have a good friend who has adopted and is in the process of adopting again. She blogs about it frequently. Check her out ....
http://www.kiddobeans.com/

I will be praying for your family!

Amy@Life Breaths Photography said...

Angie,
I'm so happy for you. As you know, adoption is my only choice when I get married (someday!) so it is very near and dear to my heart. I will be praying and keep us updated!

Amy

Shane and Devin said...

Angie,

I think this decision is wonderful. It is one that is very near and dear to my heart as well--in fact, at this very moment, I have a DVD and an informational packet on my desk from Shoahannah's Hope, which is an internationally and domestically based adoption "help" program--they provide much needed grants to families seeking funds to adopt (it was founded by Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth).

Though I have three wonderful and healthy biological children (boys, ages 4, 2, and almost 1) I have always had a strong desire to adopt, and am in prayer about it right now. I, like you, have always thought an international adoption would be the way I would go...but because of what you said, I know now that I may consider something I never would have. There is NO better picture of what God does for us than the act of adoption!

Thank you for this post, and I will be praying that God will bring your child to you in His perfect time!

Devin in Illinois

p.s.--WOW--what a GREAT new topic to blog about! :-)

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Angie-

SO EXCITED for you guys and just know that we will definitely be in prayer for you both about this decision. The Lord seems to be leading, and you are following with all you are... bless you for being so atune to Him!

Love and prayers,
Kenzie

julie said...

Jeff and I could not be more excited for you! I can not wait to see what the Lord is going to do in this. We are praying!

Tina said...

Oh, bless you, bless you, bless you!! I have already started praying. And my eyes filled with tears, thinking about a God so loving and wise who will guide you to pick the right agency, already knowing that precious little one that He has for you!

Jen in Al said...

How truly beautiful the picture of adoption is!! i know that before the foundation of the world your family was chosen for this! i will be praying for the Lord's continuing guidance and comfort and for the little one already chosen for you.
blessings,
jen in al

Anonymous said...

I think that is wonderful that you have come to this decision! My best friend is adopted and I have always been intrigues by it! It takes a special family-and I truly believe that you are a special family!
This might seem like a crazy side note, but I thought of you today when I went to Chicos (clothing) and they have a beacutiful new shirt for spring with poppies on it! I could see you wearing it and I have never even met you! You are on my mind often though! Praying in Franklin, TN!

Braden & Mason said...

Hi, I've never met you guys, but I somehow come across your blog around the beginning of Oct. and have been following it ever since. Your story is truly amazing and a blessing every time I come to this blog (which is everyday). I had never even heard of the Trisomy 18 disorder until I came across your blog. I would just like you to know that I have been praying for you guys for some time now and continue to pray everday. I to, like many others on here, celebrate with you in your decision about adoption and want you to know that I'm praying daily for all 3 of ya'll!!! Your family is precious and I just want you to know that I to am praying daily here in Louisiana!!!

Mandy said...

I'm so happy that you are heeding God's word! Congratulations! I will continue to pray for you, Nathan, and Marianna!

Rebecca said...

How exciting! I will pray. Have I said how excited I am? :)

cyn said...

So excited for you in that decision. My husband works for an adoption agency so we have BIG hearts for adoptive children and their forever families. Can't wait to follow along this part of your journey. Your heart has been a blessing to me and I appreciate you sharing your story.

Brea said...

I wanted to say hello...I found your blog from my sister. We recently adopted from Bethany Christian Services in Nashville, TN but our baby was placed through the Memphis, TN office. Please let me know if you have any questions and check out our blog to see our newest addition. Adoption is an amazing journey...we are SO blessed to bring our daughter home less than 5 months after the same meeting you just sat through!

Alison said...

Hi Angie,

I am the sister of Brea...I have been following your blog for a while now...Watching you heal from your loss of Sweet Poppy. When I read your blog entry today, I immediately picked up the phone and called my sister to tell her about your decision to adopt. We are all loving our sweet addition to our family...Adoption is a huge blessing. One that even myself failed to understand how beautiful it can be. God bless you and your family and thank you for the impact you have made on my life through your story!

Alison

Anonymous said...

I have been following along our your journey for months and have found my way back to Him because of your Poppy Joy. As an adopted daughter and adoptive mother I think your decision is wonderful!!
Blessings,
Heidi in CT.

Mandy said...

Wow. So glad to hear this good news. I think you are doing such a wonderful thing for a child. My best friend just adopted domestically 2 weeks ago and what a blessing this sweet baby has been to their family. Keep us posted and know we are praying for you.

Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.com

JKMeeks said...

Angie-
I follow your story- along with many others on the increfible journey- and your faith and strength amaze me. I am the Director of Public Awarness for an adoption agency and believe it is the greatest joy one can expierence. One thing I think is so awesome about your choice is that the "Birthmother" that will give you the greatest blessing of your life (along Poppy and Marianna) will be expierencing feelings of grief and joy just as you have and you will be able to relate like no other adoptive mother can to her! You felt such grief (and still do) loosing Poppy Joy, but you felt an amazing peace knowing she was in the arms of someone who loved her so much! This is the exact way this birthmother will feel. I think that is such a testimony to God working in your families lives. Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you or if you would like to see another agency just for comparison sake I would love to visit with you about your amazing choice! CONGRATULATIONS AND MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY!

Laurie said...

I love this Angie and Nathan, you KNOW I love this and I love your hearts for the child He is preparing for you. You are going to be so blessed through this journey and I am so excited to walk with you in this and pray for Gods perfect plan. I am so blessed to read how excited and happy you are. God is so wonderful.

Love you so much, Laurie in Ca.

jennyb said...

Wow!!! That is so exciting. Some of our very dear friends recently (ok, almost two years ago, but in my world of three young children it might as well have been yesterday :-) adopted a precious little boy through an adoption agency in Texas, and I was blessed with the opportunity to support my friends through the process. I feel like I practically went through it myself!!! Our friends cannot even remember what life was like before their son came into their lives. I just get chills when I think of the same thing happening for you and Nathan! While adoption is a wild ride at times, the end result will most certainly be worth the journey. God is faithful, and I know He will bless you abundantly through this decision. Marianna will be so excited!
Praying for you all,
Jenny B

Grammy said...

Precious Angie and Nathan:
I was overwhelmed to tears when you first told me about wanting to adopt.
How wonderful! I'll be with you all the way through prayer. God has just the right little boy or girl for you.

You knowhow much I love you!

Grammy

Devin said...

How absolutely wonderful! I'll pray as well.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your story and praying for you for several months now. We also adopted through Bethany 9 1/2 years ago and had such a great experience. Just a thought. In your last post you mentioned that you had considered adopting "after you had finished having children of your own". Know that this adopted child will be very much "your own"! In His Grace, Laurie

KrazyMom said...

I was so excited to read your post! My husband and I are currently seeking domestic adoption as well. You are doing the right thing by opening your heart and listening for the Lord to lead you. He will direct you to the right agency! We were torn between two different agencies as well and after attending a meeting back in October, the Lord spoke very loudly and clearly to me...there was no denying where He intended for us to be! Best Wishes and welcome to the journey of domestic adoption!!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck as you travel on this new and exciting journey! Can't wait to see the updates! :)

NICU RN from UNC

Rhondi said...

What a great decision...and what a joy. We will be praying for your family in the decision-making process...
Rhondi Cissell
Franklin, TN

Jena Baker said...

Angie--I am thrilled for you. My brother and sister are both adopted. I have a special place in my heart for families who have adopted and want to adopt. I will pray that the process goes smoothly as God leads you to your precious child.

jena baker

Kara said...

I love this new decision! God bless you, Nathan, and Marianna as you go on this journey! I have lots of friends and family who are adopted or are adopting! What a blessing and picture of God adopting us! I will continue to pray for you all!

Kara
sahm22boys.blogspot.com

Judy said...

OH How exciting!!! I am on my 3 child that we adopted (the last child isn't offical yet on paper but in our heart it is a done deal).
I have had 2 bio kids (plus lost 2 pregancies). I am glad I got to experience having children both ways. You know that exciting you feel when you find out you are pregnant...for me, I was just as excited when I got my phone calls telling me that they had a child(ren) for me. My sister and I have a joke about how the children I adopted were my easiest pregnancies. For the first 2 children we had a week to get ready for the kids and this last time we had 5 days. I did in 5 days what people take 9 months to do...AND I LOVED IT!!!
We did our adoptions through the state child social service agency. It was the right fit for us. I know that God will lead you to the right place too.
I 100% believe that my adopted kids were chosen for me by God just like my bio kids...the only difference is He used a different carrier for them. If you ask my adopted children where they were born they will tell you "in Mommy's heart".
Congratulations : )

Just Me said...

May God bless you on this journey.

Last week, I submitted paperwork to become a licensed foster parent. It looks to be a 4-6 month process for that, which I suppose will give me LOTS of time to pray about this decision, and what being licensed will really mean for me.

How exciting! Good luck!

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Sweet Angie,
I love hearing excitement and hope in your sweet voice. I will pray for the right timing and that it will be simple and quick - as you deserve this so much.
Thank you for lifting us up in prayer - we feel it. I continue to pray for you daily - you are such a gift to me.
I love you,
Kim

Emily said...

Hey girl.

I'll be praying for you. Matt is adopted, so adoption has always been heavy on our hearts, too. We are definitely praying and believing our child will come to us via adoption someday, too, in God's time. I'm still praying for your healing as you wade through this grief and try to process all you have gone through. I am praying, too, for the family that your child will come to you from and trusting the Lord to lead you as faithfully as He always has. What a beautiful heart you have. Thank you for sharing it with us. :)

The Lenda's said...

Angie-
I am so excited to hear that God is leading you and your husband in this direction. Praying that God continues to lead you every step along this new and exciting path. Praying that your heart continues to heal.
Rachel in PA

Anonymous said...

Angie and all just know you all are prayed over and God has a plan and we are so excited for you all.

Cynthia said...

Angie,

I've never posted but have read and prayed for a couple of months. I'm so excited about your adoption decision. We have 2 birth children and 6 through the miracle of adoption. We are so blessed. Birth is not the better way to have a child...just different. You know?

I'll be here in Alabam praying for you!!!

stephanie garcia said...

We have been blessed to adopt three beautiful children through domestic, transracial adoption ... if I can ever be a listening ear or answer any question for you, please let me know!

GOD bless ...

Kristi said...

Congratulations on your decision. As the mom of amazing, beautiful incredible twin girls -- who joined our family through the miracle of adoption -- I can tell you that your about to embark on an amazing journey!

Melody said...

I am so glad to hear that yall have made this decision. Adoption has always been on my mind as pregnancy is obviously not the easiest road for me :) Hope things will progress quickly and you will have another bouncing baby in your home soon.

Love,
Melody