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Adoption has always made sense to me – if there are children who need homes and love, why shouldn’t we provide it to them? We have had a lot of people sprinkled in our lives over the years who have adopted. I was in love with a little girl who had been adopted from Asia when I was a teenager, and I’m not sure if that is what planted the idea in my heart, or if the idea of adoption had already been growing there at that point. We have many friends who foster, and it is hard not to fall in love with these children and watch as they prosper with their foster families.
It absolutely breaks my heart that there are children out there – children just as cute and tender-hearted as the biological children in my home, who need stability and a safe place to learn and grow.
There’s a quote that struck me recently- “There’s no such thing as other people’s children.”
Obviously, in the scope of our day to day decisions, we are each responsible for those living in our home, but in the larger scope of things, we could each have been the ones born into hard situations- I can easily picture myself or my children as the ones in trouble – and I would want someone to care for me. For me, adoption is the very beginning of caring for those in hard situations. For us, adoption means caring for the child, and also entering into a relationship with the birth mother, who has entrusted someone so precious to us.
We have been talking about adoption since we were dating, and have had the “is now the right time?” conversation after each child got close to one year old. It never felt like the right time. We knew that our youngest was the last child I was planning to birth, and I was able to enjoy her pregnancy and newborn days with that in mind. When she turned about 2, we started to get that feeling of wanting to add to our family again, and were desiring a little girl to balance out all the testosterone in our house. We had looked into some local options for adopting, and came away discouraged and unsure.
Then, things changed. Eric’s sister, who recently adopted, recommended us to our consultant, and the rest “is history.” From our first phone conversation with our consultant (had in the front seat of the RV on our road trip home) I was excited and had someone who answered all of my questions with grace and kindness. Within a month, we had everything started. It was the right time, finally.
A Little Bit About Us
We are military Christians, and with that there is something special about people in the community being open to adoption. I wonder if it is because we are familiar with travel and new places, or perhaps it is because we are adaptable, or perhaps it is because the military tells us to “hurry up and wait,” much like some of the adoption process requires! We have seen beautiful families bring little ones into their lives and prosper together through the hard things. The military is full of people learning to grow through adversity.
Eric and I met at a church potluck in a small military community in the middle of the desert. Eric was engaged at the time, and I was young and had my eye on other guys. We have an eight year age difference, so we weren’t really on each other’s radars at first. After Eric’s engagement broke off, through a series of God-coincidences, we ended up spending a lot of time together during the summer of 2007, which led to lots of conversations. I felt so drawn to Eric, I had a hard time breaking off conversations with him to leave church or whatever social function we were at. We had a lot of the same friends, and they encouraged me to “go for it!” when I expressed an interest in Eric. At their advice, I took Eric on a long walk and told him how I felt.
We dated for a year, were engaged for a year, and have now been married for 8 ½ years. Eric is a Religious Affairs NCO in the Army, working with the Active Guard Reserves, and is working on getting his MBA in Real Estate and is looking to focus on Real Estate business as a subsequent career after retirement. Eric joined the Army to pay for college but found job satisfaction and thrived in the environment, and has decided to stay until retirement. He loves his job because he feels like he is making an impact and helping support soldiers and solve problems.
We have three kids, each about 2 years apart, two boys and a girl. I’m a newbie writer, working on my first novel (with many more fighting for space in my head) and I edit for an organization that writes bible studies for women associated with the military, as well as for other novelists. This is a new passion for me that has followed behind many years of book consumption, and one that I am thankful to balance while staying at home with our kids and homeschooling.
For us, adoption means caring for the child, and also entering into a relationship with the birth mother, who has entrusted someone so precious to us.
MY HUSBAND, ERIC
I am so proud of the kind of man Eric is. He is confident and selfless, always putting me and the kids before himself. He doesn’t settle for a “good enough” life, but is always striving to be better. Eric is the most patient person I know. He is a hard worker and the people he works with like and respect him. He is very flexible and always willing to listen to other people’s opinions and be open to them.
Eric has a quiet, playful presence that draws children in. Even before we had our children, somehow the kids always flocked to him. He listens to them, and lets them climb on him without batting an eye. Our kids make him laugh all the time and that is one of my favorite things to hear. Eric helps me to see the humor in the insanity of parenting.
Eric is a soldier in the Army. We feel like his position is family-friendly. He gets plenty of time off, including four-day weekends and most holidays. Since he doesn’t work by the house, he is flexible to come home if I need him or he can take time for appointments as needed. We love that his job has benefits specific to adoption. He will have paternity leave when our baby comes home.
MY WIFE, ADRIENNE
Adrienne is a strong woman. She is very creative and has a natural eye for design and beauty. Adrienne has a strong desire to care for those who are in need and she works to meet those needs in any way she can. She has an open mind to new concepts and ideas, yet is grounded in practical truth. She is driven by her interests, incredibly smart, and totally authentic. She is my better half and I am so thankful for her.
Adrienne loves her kids with a passion. She will fiercely protect them, yet encourage them to explore their world. Her goal is to provide the fullest, healthiest life that she can possibly give them. She has spent countless hours studying nutrition and psychological needs to understand how she can give them her best. Adrienne is nurturing, loving and caring. She takes time to lead the kids in craft time and poetry and tea time. She is so good at explaining things in a way the kids understand.
Adrienne is a full-time mother. She spends her days with our children and after they go to bed, she writes and edits books.
We got the phone call today that an expectant mama chose us to parent her baby!
Baby Girl due July 2nd! <3
Please keep the expectant mama, her baby and our family in your prayers as we move forward.
We are using a multi-agency approach through Christian Adoption Consultants, so what this means is that we have applied to multiple adoption agencies, and they send us expectant mom “situations”. If we feel like the situation could be a match for our family, we submit our profile and it gets added to a stack for her to look through. If she chooses us, then we would be considered officically “matched”! And then we would continue to fundraise as we wait for the due date to approach.
As of today, we are presenting our profile to someone for the first time. It’s a very weird feeling, trying to hang out in between excitement and reserving our feelings, as well as carrying a kind of heavy sorrow for the situation that seems to just linger. We have both said we don’t feel like we will get “picked” this time. I’m not sure if it is because it seems unlikely that we would get picked on our first “presenting” or if it is because this isn’t The One. Either way, I’m happy to be getting our feet wet in this phase of the process.
We are still actively fundraising and anticipating the little one God has for our family. We have submitted a lot of grant paperwork in the last month or so, and we are waiting to hear back. We got an email from one that said they are planning to review our packet in January, so you can be in prayer with us about that!
The kids are very excited to meet their sister sometime soon, and love learning about all things human body in the meantime.
We are so excited! We received our approved homestudy in the mail today! Never has a piece of paper looked so beautiful. And… I’m a writer. I like paper.
Now we are in the throes of finishing our grant applications and we have two upcoming fundraisers in the month of November — one a local event with baked goods and face painting, and the other an online auction.
We are working with Christian Adoption Consultants, and they do a multi-agency approach, so as we get funds raised we will begin applying to agencies and working towards matching. Because matching can happen rather quickly with this approach, we are waiting to apply to agencies until we are closer to $10-15k. This feels like a lofty goal, and yet it is still not even half of the funds we will need to raise by the end of this adoption process.
We are trusting God and praying for the generosity of the grant committees and those involved in our fundraising efforts, as well as any independent donations we receive.
We know this is where God wants us right now, and we are being stretched in a different way than pregnancy — and we love it.
Homestudy- almost finished!
We are waiting on the paperwork for the home study to be finished any day! Right now it is in the finalization stage- all the right people have to sign off on it before they pass it back to us.
No one really takes you seriously re: the adoption until you have the homestudy document in hand. After that, we’ll be able to apply for grants and start the process of applying to agencies.