We are excited to share our unfolding adoption story! This summer we traveled to meet the expectant mom we have been matched with! While our hearts hurt for this mom, we praise God for the heart he has given her and find comfort knowing he is clearly working in her life – and in knowing that we are playing the part God has called us to play in loving her, through giving her child a home.
This all happened so providentially, and we truly believe this could be the child God has for us. In order to move forward and bring our baby home, we need to raise a good chunk of money QUICKLY. If you feel led, please consider partnering with us to bring our baby home!
As you can see from this site, we are partnering with Adopt a Love Story, an amazing organization whose mission is to empower adoptive parents to tell their story through videos, blogs, and social media, and quickly and effectively raise money for their adoptions. If you feel led to help us take on the first urgent steps in our adoption process, we would greatly appreciate it (all donations made through this site are tax-deductible). Whatever support you feel led to give – whether financial help, encouraging texts and calls, or prayers – it is all SO appreciated. Regardless of whatever else you feel led to do, please join us in prayer: for this child, for the expectant mom, for this process to go smoothly, for finances to come through, and for us to follow God’s leading throughout. Thank you all so much for visiting this page and walking with us in this journey!
If you’re interested in reading more about why we feel called to adopt, we’ve included more of our story below. It give you a bigger picture of why we’re doing what we’re doing, our vision for our family, and what this money is helping us do. So, if you have the time, we’d love for you to read on.
Stephen and I had been dating only a few months when he came to visit me while I was studying abroad in Scotland. While at dinner in a quiet pub, I dropped the line on him that I didn’t want biological children and only wanted to adopt. At the time, Stephen was a bit shocked by this, as he hadn’t really considered adoption yet (and I wasn’t exactly tactful…), but over the next couple of years God grew and refined us both, and our hearts were aligned: while we hope for a biological child as well, we know God has called us to bring children into our home and to care for the hurting and vulnerable. And we are happy to announce that we are now adopting!
Our adoption story truly started when we were in D.C. Many of you know this part of our story, which is simply too long to tell here, but in short: we became close with a woman who was fighting addiction, and we were asked to foster her one-year-old son, who we’ve known and loved since the day he was born. Through many heartbreaking events, that adoption didn’t end up happening, but we are still very involved with her oldest son’s life (who is about to enter high school) and are forever grateful that God has given us a role in the lives of these two boys and their mother for several reasons:
- God’s call for us to foster and adopt became stronger as we saw firsthand the great need.
- Our own adoption into God’s family hit us in a new and deeper way.
- We were given a deeper understanding of the importance of and our need for diversity in our lives, and seeking experiences and relationships with people outside of our culture and ethnicity.
- Our desire to be intentional about having a diverse nuclear family increased.
- We gained a deeper understanding of the need to address the issues that cause broken families and communities, by building relationships with and loving people in those broken situations, partnering with the hurting to seek healing together.
- We learned firsthand that no matter the difficulty and possible heartbreak, it is always worth it to love.
Our boys in DC have our hearts forever, and will always be our first boys. We are so grateful for all they’ve taught us, and we know our story with them is not done. We can’t wait to see the amazing plans God has for them and the ways he allows us to be a part of them.
Our choice to adopt is our first choice, not a backup plan. We are not adopting because of medical reasons, as we hope to have biological children as well. We are adopting first simply because we feel led to do so now and have a sense of urgency that we haven’t had before. For us, adoption is part of our purpose here on earth, and we want to take the next few paragraphs to explain why we believe God has graciously given us this purpose, and why we feel that purpose so strongly.
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1 John 3:1
We want to adopt because through Christ, God has adopted us. When we were left out and alone, he brought us in. And just as made us His children and calls us His own, our adopted children will be just as much OURS as any biological children would be. Adoption is one of the ways we feel called to respond to God’s great love for us, and to show His love to our hurting world.
We are called in Scripture to share God’s heart for the hurting, the fatherless, the vulnerable. We have both always felt a pull toward loving the most vulnerable, and we know that as we’ve come to know our God more, he has increased His heart for the vulnerable in us as well. In the future, we believe this will lead us to foster care and perhaps more adoptions, but for now, we know God is calling us to show his love through domestic infant adoption.
We were both so blessed to grow up in incredibly supportive and loving families, in homes where we were shown God’s love and given every opportunity to live the life He created us to live. We yearn to provide this same home for children who don’t already have it.
A few more words from our hearts…
In the media, the term “pro-life” typically only refers to anti-abortion. But we’ve learned so much the past few years that being truly pro-life isn’t just being anti-abortion. It is about seeking life for children not just in the womb, but when they are out of it as well. It is about being pro-ALL life: caring for children living in poverty, walking with families in broken situations, seeking justice for those suffering under racial inequality and education inequality, and so much more…. and we feel that adoption is one of the ways we are called to support life, as well as help address many of these other pro-life issues.
We believe God calls ALL people to represent his heart for adoption in some way, but that does not necessarily mean adopting a child yourself. When we came so close to becoming foster parents for our little buddy in DC, we were deeply moved by the willingness of so many people to provide for us whatever we needed (meals, moving help, offers to drive up and babysit, donations of cribs and diapers, etc.). When we saw hard things and received bad news, many of you were there to cry with us, help us search for solutions, and pray. I don’t know where we would have been emotionally, spiritually and practically during the past couple years without you all. In the short time we’ve been in Colorado, many of you here have already expressed similar hearts for us as you’ve heard about our calling. Whether through supporting families like us, mentoring a hurting child, walking with a struggling family, writing articles, advocating for adoption in some way….the call to care for the vulnerable is manifested in many different ways. So, we want to say THANK YOU to all of you for the examples you’ve been to us, and for all the ways you’ve supported us personally already. We are so thankful to have you as our family and community.
If you do feel led to support us financially in this season, you can do so on this site. You’ll be hearing more from us soon as we share updates on this journey of bringing our baby home. So much love to you all,
Blythe and Stephen
I’m a passionate person in general, and I tend to dive headfirst into whatever God leads me to do…including having FUN. (This is probably why I married the most hilarious, fun guy I could find). Stephen and I share a passion for adventure, exploring, trying new and different things, and in general just enjoying this life that God has given us. I work hard and play hard, and I love trail running, backpacking, climbing on anything I can, going off-trail into the woods where there isn’t a car or telephone pole or other person in site.
I love people, and really just want to make everyone feel loved. I feel like it hasn’t been a good day if I haven’t had some quality time with some good friends. I also love animals, and volunteer at our local animal shelter. A dream of mine is to rescue all the animals someday and start a ranch in the mountains where children who have experienced trauma can come and receive some awesome animal therapy… someday. 🙂 I’m also obsessed with reading, pretty much every genre (The Chronicles of Narnia have a particularly special place in my heart and walk with Christ). I also love reading, thinking and talking theology, as well as public policy, and am particularly passionate about the intersection of the two and the importance of talking about heavy issues frequently, with love and grace.
Thinking of the beauty, holiness and deep love of my Savior never ceases to make my heart race, and I am fueled by working for His Kingdom here on this earth, loving those around me, spending time in the holiness of His creation (and imagining Aslan is right around the corner behind the next Aspen tree).
I love making people laugh. Whether it’s by quoting a Jim Carrey movie or dancing like crazy at EVERY wedding I’ve been to, few things make me happier than making others laugh.. especially my wife. I love my job as an 8th grade math teacher, especially because I get to interact with middle schoolers at a pivotal time in their development, and I love the fact that I teach in a very diverse school, with students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Nothing confirmed to me more that I wanted to work with kids my whole life than working at a camp in western Pennsylvania for three consecutive summers, where I also met Blythe for the first time. Because we shared this experience, Blythe and I envision starting a summer camp for underprivileged kids somewhere in the mountains of Colorado!
I am obsessed with superheroes, and I can’t wait to share Saturday morning superhero cartoons with my son or daughter someday! I enjoy working out so much that I recently got certified as a personal trainer, and I hope to become a varsity track and field coach in the next few years. My favorite place ON EARTH is Sylvia Lake. My dad built a cabin on a small lake near the Adirondacks when I was little, and I spent every summer up there and in the surrounding woods with my brother and our dog Boomer until I went off to college. It holds a very special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to bring my kids up there every summer!
A new little superhero has joined the team – and the world is already better off 🙂
Dear friends and fam,
This will hopefully be our last update before baby 🙂 The little girl we’ve been matched with is due early September (but we’re aware she could realistically come any day now)!
We had the privilege of Skyping with birth mom a few weeks ago, and it was really wonderful. We are deeply moved by her heart, her selflessness, and her very clear caring and protective heart for her daughter. We continue to be humbled and blown away by this path we’re on – that God is allowing US to partner with this birth mom in this way, to enter into her life, to have the incredible honor of bringing her daughter into our family and adopting her as our child as well. The enormity of this, all the lives involved, all the different emotions and heartaches and brokenness and beauty – it all continues to humble us and bring us to our knees before our Savior.
Adoption is a beautiful thing; it is our God’s heart for all children to be in families. We know one of the main ways God is calling us to love and care for his children is through adoption – but we also know that though adoption can be a beautiful answer in a broken world, it DOES start in brokenness. It brings us so much joy to think about giving this child a home and loving her as OURS – but at the same time it also saddens us deeply that she is losing her birth mother, and won’t be growing up with her bio siblings (though we will do all we can to have them be a part of her life). We know we have so, so much to learn – how to love this child well, how to honor her identity and history and story, how to encourage and help her to be the woman God created her to be, how to honor her birth mother’s choice and her relationships with bio family, through our family culture and lifestyle, through our actions and words. We do not take any of this lightly.
It overwhelms us so much sometimes – how huge this all is, how many unknowns and how much uncertainty there is. There are still so many emotions and fears that try to invade my mind from everything that happened this past year, from how everything happened with Gabe (see previous update if you aren’t familiar with that part of our story)…
But here is the beauty of our Savior: in our weaknesses, He is made strong. He doesn’t ask us to know all the answers or have it all figured out; he doesn’t ask me to have all my emotions sorted and to know what it looks like to be the perfect adoptive parent. He doesnt tell us to wait until there is no risk of pain or sadness. He purposefully calls us to things we CANNOT do on our own; He asks us to follow him into uncertain places, to be open to loving even when hard or painful. And it is in this place where we come to know him deeper, and where His glory is often seen most clearly. And that is our prayer.
He doesn’t ask us to be ready -he just asks us to be willing. And he equips us to do the rest.
So, we sit here – roughly 4 weeks before we meet our potential daughter- humbled, with a healthy fear of becoming PARENTS (!!!), seeking to have open hearts to learn all God has to teach us through this birth mom, and this precious little life he’s asking us to bring into our family, honored more and more everyday that he has called us to this.
Our hearts continue to be moved every time we think about this birth mom, and we continue to be so committed to walking with hurting families and struggling parents, doing all we can to love and partner and support. And we continue to be so deeply moved by our birth mother’s request – that because, for various reasons that are not ours to tell, she cannot care for her child herself, she wanted to make sure we understood how important it is to her that we give this child our undivided love and attention. We assured her we have a lot of love and annoying mushiness we can’t wait to pour on this baby! 😉 (She also really liked that we’re into superheroes, so we promised her that her little girl would be fully immersed in superhero culture as well 🙂 )
Please join us in praying for this birth mom – praising God for her heart, asking him to comfort her in moments of sadness, asking him to give her strength. Praise Him for the way she loves all her children. Pray for continued provision for them. Pray that her heart would come to rest in the peace of knowing Him.
Pray for Baby Girl. As far as we know, everything looks healthy at this point, praise God! Pleases pray for continued health as she grows and develops. Pray she would know how loved she is by so many, even now. Pray for a safe remainder of the pregnancy and safe delivery, for birth mom and baby.
Please continue to pray for Gabe, and for his mom. We know God deeply loves His children, and we trust God’s plan and hand in their lives.
And pray for us – pray for peace as we prepare to head back down to Florida, for all the logistics, finances, everything that seems overwhelming and outside our control, to come together. Pray that if we are meant to love this mom and her child in this way, that birth mom would continue to walk this out. Pray for our hearts and minds as we’re in Florida, possibly re-living some painful things. Pray our hearts would dwell in his presence, that peace and joy would push out any anxiety or fear. Pray for us as we become PARENTS! We know we are called to adopt, and can’t wait to love so deeply whatever children God leads to us. We do pray this little one is the first.
There are a couple bureaucratic/paperwork things that have come up recently, outside our control. Things like this are hard. Please pray everything is processed and goes through in time for us to bring home baby as soon as possible. Our God overthrows kingdoms to defend his children, so we know a few pieces of paper won’t stand in the way. Pray we’d rest in this truth and not be anxious!
Please continue to pray for Stephen’s arm. There are some areas that are not healing as quickly as hoped. Pray for wisdom for his doctors and peace and healing for Stephen.
Finally, we do still have some money to raise. But we are close!! God has truly provided every step of the way, and we continue to be so blown away by all the ways, big and small, that we have seen him come through (too many to list here). And we know he will provide the remaining amount we need. Since ours is a multi-state adoption, it’s a pretty complicated, expensive process, especially with a few additional fees and travel expenses with this 2nd match. We don’t view any financial support given to us as a mere donation – we view it as a partnership. If anyone feels led to partner with us in our adoption – to be a part of the calling God has given us – or if you just want to talk more about what that means, why adoption costs so much, etc, please let us know. And of course, the link to give a tax-deductible donation is here on our site.
We also have other random ways you can partner with us and walk with us in this time, if you want something different than giving online: prayer, obviously, is the most important way (see prayer requests above). Continued hugs, thoughtful notes and texts, calls, etc all are SO appreciated for us relational people 🙂 Donating points toward our flights to FL or rental car while we’re there, joining the list to provide us meals when we get back, or a few other things like that are also great….give me a shout if you want to talk about any of those things.
So, so many of you have already done so much for us, and been such an amazing supportive community – near and far – throughout the past year as we’ve walked through this adoption process. We are so grateful for you. Words can’t adequately express.
Blythe and Steve
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made…
Hi everyone- a couple quick updates from our last post a few months ago:
It’s been a hard season, honestly. We are still processing losing Gabe, the brokenness that is inherent in so much of adoption, the injustice we witnessed and experienced personally – toward Gabe, toward his mom, toward us. But we’ve been learning in new ways what it looks like daily to go to the Cross, and give our powerful, holy God all this pain and anger. There will not be an answer all of a sudden one day for WHY things happen the way they do; we will not wake up one day with a magical sense of understanding about everything, or with a sense of being ok with how the world is. Things are broken and painful – but our God is greater, and is working all things for glory and for good. We’ve come to believe on a deeper level the power and goodness of our God, and we KNOW deep in our souls that he continues to work his redemptive purposes in the world around us, fighting back the darkness, fiercely defending and working on behalf of the vulnerable and hurting.
We continue to be thankful for this truth, and CLING to it, especially on the days we just feel WEARY. We remember the heart of our God, the character of our Savior, and the true REST that comes from walking closely with him, trusting in his power over ourselves. We cling to these words:
Are you tired? Worn out?…Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11, The Message)
We find true rest as we walk out our calling WITH our Savior, learning the unforced rhythms of grace. We’re learning to truly trust and find peace in the fact that he does not lay anything heavy on us – he fights for us, he equips us. We can live freely and lightly, even while walking through the hard things, because in him there is rest. We can trust that HE will fight for his children, he will equip us to do the small part he has called us to do, HE will do more than we can ask or imagine. We can rest by walking with him, trusting his redemptive power at work in our story, in Gabe’s, and in all the broken areas of our world.
As we’ve been learning to abide more closely with our Savior in this season, we’ve been so encouraged as we’ve felt God affirming and deepening our calling, our deep desire to adopt children into our home, even while we’re still working through a lot of unanswered questions and hard realities. We’re so thankful for the ways our God has encouraged us in the moments we’ve most needed it the beauty of adoption, the redemption that is at the very heart of it – despite the brokenness present in the process, and all the potential for heartbreak, it is truly such a beautiful, holy thing that God has allowed us to be a part of. And we are so grateful. Where there is brokenness, we are able to bring his healing and hope. We continue to ask God daily to make us willing to love as he first loved us, no matter the risk or sometimes heartache.
The past few months have included moments of sadness, anger, crying out, weeping….and moments of gladness and joy and deep peace as we’ve learned to walk closer with our Savior, rest in him, feel what he feels in deeper ways, and trust him for all that we cannot control or see. And there is SO MUCH. But as one of our pastors reminded us recently, our God purposefully calls us to things we CANNOT DO on our own. He asks us to follow him to places we cannot go, to be willing to do things that we KNOW we cannot complete solely within ourselves. And we have felt the truth of this continually throughout this process- spiritually, emotionally, financially, we CANNOT do this. We just can’t. Some days, we let ourselves forget that this is a beautiful thing. God calls us to these things precisely because we cannot do them, and it is through recognizing this truth that we are brought to a deeper dependence on him, a deeper intimacy with him, are able to truly REST, are able to feel true freedom, and witness his immense glory and power as we watch him work wonders. We have already seen his hand at work in so many ways throughout this process, and KNOW we will continue to – we’ve seen him provide miracles for our finances, seen him equip us emotionally and spiritually to handle things we could not walk through on our own, seen him divinely connect us to crazy little connections that have reminded us he is truly leading us in this journey.
We KNOW we are called to adopt, to bring children into our home throughout our lives. God has ALWAYS equipped us to do what he has called us to do. On the hard days, we remind each other that, of course, we cannot walk out this calling on our own – all our God asks is that we be WILLING, and have FAITH that he will move in power. So we continue to ask him to give us deeper faith in this season, to be willing to do whatever he asks of us, to love with abandon the children he calls us to love, asking him to make us more faithful disciples and more like him through every step of this journey.
NOW, exciting update: one of the really joyful parts of the past couple weeks was finding out that the new baby we were matched with is a little GIRL! We are so, so excited! We can’t wait to dress her in all the superhero things, all the cute leggings and headbands/matching wraps with mommy, and tell her endlessly what a loved, valued, strong, powerful woman and daughter of God she is.
One of the harder parts of the past couple weeks has been finding out some less than ideal things about the clinic and doctors our birth mom has been seeing. There is too much to go into here, but basically we found out the doctor at the clinic she’s been going to wasn’t giving her the care she should have, and didn’t do what he should have to confirm due date and baby’s health, which resulted in him being off by a couple months on the due date. Baby is actually due September 10th. We are praying and trusting baby’s health is fine and not affected by any lack of care, and ask that you please join us in this prayer. The good news is that birth mom is seeing a better doctor now, everything appears healthy for both birth mom and baby, and we now have an accurate due date. Birth mom is now seeing a high-risk doctor, because this is a high-risk pregnancy (which we also were unaware of….but apparently it’s only high-risk because one of birth mom’s previous children came 8 weeks early).
Though we’re disappointed we’ll have to wait still longer to meet this child, we are so thankful for baby’s health, and for God’s continued reminder of his presence with us in this season. We’re also so thankful for birth mom’s selfless desires and actions. We continue to be humbled, pushed and refined so much throughout this process as we’re brought to our knees over and over, reminded how little control we have, and how desperately we need the power and redemption of our Savior. We’re thankful for this constant reminder – and we are also so thankful for YOU. We literally could not walk this calling alone, and it is through YOU so often that we see God’s supernatural provision and presence. So thank you for journeying with us in all the ways that you are. And please join us in continuing to pray for little Gabe, for his mom, and in REJOICING with us over this little girl and her selfless birth mom. We can’t wait to introduce you all to her 🙂
Stephen and Blythe
Many of you already know what’s been going on with us, but we wanted to post an official update: It’s with heavy hearts we share that the baby we were matched with last July (we were going to name him Gabriel) was born mid-January (about a week early). We got on the earliest flight we could and rushed to the hospital to get our son. Unfortunately, for many different reasons, the birth mom changed her mind last minute. This was obviously heartbreaking – though we were aware this was always a possibility, our situation seemed so certain…the director of our agency was close with this birth mom and told us she has never been more sure a mom would go through with it, and we had a good relationship with the mom and saw ourselves how sure she was, how committed she was to her decision.
As our agency director said to us at one point, it seemed to be a perfect storm of events that led mom to change her mind: an early delivery at a different hospital than was planned, some unethical behavior on the part of some hospital staff, pressure from staff and family and friends, emotions and mental issues causing mom to experience a lot of stress and agony. We weren’t able to get to the hospital right away and birth mom had more time to bond with baby…..there were a lot of different reasons, but ultimately, it just seems that Gabriel was not meant to be our son.
So much about this situation continues to be so hard – the unfairness and injustice we experienced at the hospital, the agonizing situation our current adoption laws put our birth mom in, our sadness at her situation, her mental state, the anger and frustration of knowing there is literally nothing we can do at this point for Gabe. It was so, so hard to hear our birth mom saying, even as we were leaving to fly home, that she knows she can’t care well for this child, yet decided to keep him anyway.
But we know we live in a broken world. What we think is best does not always happen; we cannot control situations; we cannot make everything as it should be. Yet we continue to be comforted, continue to have hope – despite all the heartbreaking realities we see and have experienced the past couple months – because we KNOW we serve a God who is greater than all the brokenness, who is at work even now to bring healing and redemption, who (as CS Lewis put it so well) is on the move. One day He will make all things new, and there will be no more unjust institutions, hurting children, broken families. But until then, He has promised He is present with us now, working with us and through us to push back this darkness bit by bit. So we take heart in our Savior, and have hope.
Though there are still tears, though we don’t fully understand why things turned out this way, though we are still processing through a good amount of anger, sadness, and frustration, we rest at the foot of the Cross, taking comfort in a Savior who cries with us, who rages against injustice with us, who is kind, who is good. We know our God’s heart is for the most vulnerable, and so we are also comforted knowing He is intervening even now on Gabe’s behalf. Gabe was never “ours” to begin with – He is our Savior’s, no matter who his earthly parents are. So we hold him up with open hands, thanking God for the role we’ve been able to play in his life. We know it is not an accident that we were matched with him so early, and have been praying for him for 7 months -along with so many of you. We know these prayers will not return void, and believe God put him in our paths for a reason. He’ll have a place in our hearts forever, and we ask that you join us in continuing to remember him and pray for him. Though our hearts are still saddened that he is not with us, we are so thankful that we were able to hold him for a little while, pray for him for so long, and that we are able to continue to love and pray for him from afar.
Please continue to pray for Gabe’s mom as well. Our hope and prayer at this point is that through her interactions with us and through this whole experience, she would see Christ and come to know His redeeming love and power. And we pray that keeping little Gabe would be the catalyst she needs to be the mom we believe she desires to be for all 3 of her children.
I know the adoption process can be confusing, and our situation was especially rare and confusing because of several different factors, so even though we won’t go into it all here, please feel free to reach out with any specific questions about the process. We don’t want to give anyone a bad view of adoption – we live in a broken world, and there are things about our adoption laws and processes that need to be reformed, personal prejudices, selfishness and hurt in people’s hearts, and random things that happen beyond anyone’s control, because that’s our world. But adoption is a beautiful, wonderful thing amidst all of this. It is at the heart of the Gospel, and one of the clearest ways we see God’s redemptive love at work in our hurting world. Despite the risk of hurt and so many unknowns, we know more than ever that this is our calling for our family – we know it is one of the main ways God has called us to help bring healing and hope to broken situations and families. We are continually blown away, still, every time we think of the great honor to which God has called us: just as He adopted us into His family when we were left out and alone, we are able to reflect His love to others by bringing children without a home into our family. Adoption begins in brokenness; in a perfect world, there would be no broken families, no hurting children, no need for adoption. But because we live in a fallen world, brokenness is everywhere. But what a beautiful, holy, redeeming thing, that we are able to reflect God’s healing, loving, just heart by bringing children into our home, just as God brought us into His.
So though this season is painful in many ways, God has gently been reminding us of His deep love for his children and for us, and of His kindness, His mercy, His beautiful redemptive plan that is unfolding even now in this painful season. What an honor it is to walk with our God, and to be able to partner with Him in this small way. We know that following our Savior, that opening our hearts to Him and His call, is never easy. But it is so, so worth it. What an honor it is to allow our hearts to break for Gabe and his mom the way our Father’s does; what a joy it is to see more of His face in our suffering and sadness; what a holy thing it is to be stretched and grown and made more like him in this time.
Practically, where things are in our adoption process: We continue to grieve Gabe, while also praying about how God is asking us to move forward – it can be hard to know how to live this out in the day to day. As we mentioned in our last email, our agency has a couple other babies who still need families, and after praying a lot about it, we told our agency we are open to a baby due in July. And a couple weeks ago, we found out that we have been officially matched with this baby! We are so excited, but at the same time are continuing to process through the past couple months, and want to give ourselves the space to do that. It’s so hard to officially move on from Gabe – that’s the way this process works, and we want to focus on the hope and excitement that comes with this new baby – but it’s hard. It’s also easy to be fearful of all the things that could go wrong with this match as well, all the things outside our control…but this is the nature of adoption (and parenthood, I’m told….) -giving up control again and again to our Father and trusting His ways that are higher than ours, his good purposes to come to pass. We know He is at work writing a beautiful story, and we know even the painful chapters will be so, so worth it. Please keep all this in your prayers – we have many moments where it can be hard to remember these truths:
Please pray that we would continue down this path with open hands, that we would grow in faithfulness, willing to do whatever He asks of us no matter the risk. Pray we would grow in wisdom and discernment, courage and humility. Pray that we would grow into more loving, trusting, fierce servants, and better parents, when the time comes. Please pray for our hearts as we open ourselves to this other baby, that we would learn what it looks like to remember Gabe but also be excited about another. Pray we would love fully and completely, without fear. Pray that if this new baby is meant to be our child, God would move all the pieces into place.
Finally: we are still raising the final payment due to our agency, and we continue to welcome your partnership financially, in faith, as we wait for our child. Continued prayers, hugs, texts and calls, laughter and fellowship, are all very needed and appreciated as well 🙂
We pray you’ve been able to see the hope, redemption, and kindness of our good, good Father, as we have, despite the sad parts of our story. We are so thankful for the ways you all have loved us and walked with us through this season, and we can’t wait to celebrate and rejoice with you as well when that time comes.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
It’s crazy to think that this time next year, we will have an almost 1-yr old! Our little guy is due in about a month, and we can’t wait to meet him. This time of year – specifically the season of Advent – is my favorite, so I’ve been making sure to pause and reflect amidst all the craziness of preparing to become parents. This is such a holy, hopeful season: We celebrate the birth of our Savior, his first coming. And we eagerly look forward to his 2nd coming as well – Advent reminds us that we are living in the “already and not yet.” Christ has already come and given us new life, He is at work in us and through us and among us even now, making all things new. But all things are not completely new YET – there is still so much brokenness and pain all around us….but Advent reminds us of the deep HOPE we have that he IS coming again, to bind up all wounds and finally make ALL things new. HE is the answer to the darkness we see all around us.
The meaning of Advent is driven even deeper for us this year, as we are also waiting for the arrival of our son. There is so much uncertainty surrounding adoption…But in this season, God reminds us to wait patiently, expectantly. To trust that He is on the move, that He brings healing and hope to broken situations. That in trusting him with our lives and our baby’s life, we can have true peace. He reminds us of the very reason he sent Christ in the first place – so that we might come to know him, and be adopted into HIS family. So that we, who were once left out, might be called children of God! It is truly such a miraculous, amazing, joyous thing that we celebrate! THIS is at the root of our passion and calling to adopt- as he has first adopted us into his own family, we adopt others into our own. The very thing we are waiting expectantly to do in a few weeks is at the heart of what we are celebrating this Christmas. The weight of what God has done for us, and the purposefulness of his timing of the adoption of our own son, does not escape us. We are so thankful for how He works.
We pray YOU also feel the peace and joy of Christ this season, and like us are filled with hope as you look at what He has done and is doing all around us – and as we look forward to the day he will return and once and for all make all things new.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5)
Friends, family, and friends we have yet to meet,
This Thanksgiving, Stephen and I are thankful for A LOT.
We are thankful for YOU. Thank you for all the ways you have supported us over the past few months, as we’ve rushed to get papers in order and raise money and prepare to bring our little one home – there has been/is SO much to do, and a lot of days have been discouraging and overwhelming. There have been many days where we (ok, mostly me…) have questioned if we can do this. And I am not being dramatic when I say this – in almost every one of my dark, down moments, one of you has texted, or called, or sent us a letter or package, or made a very needed donation right that day, or given an encouraging word in an email or in person…God has truly reminded us of his deep love, his sovereignty, his beautiful purpose for our family, through YOU all most days. We are so, so thankful for this amazing community we have, near and far. This Thanksgiving, we are thanking God for you.
We are thankful for our BABY! As most of you know, our adoption has happened MUCH quicker than we were expecting. There have been plenty of anxious moments. But God has made it clear to us that we are supposed to pursue this baby, and we are so, so grateful that God chose US to care for this little life. That we get to be his parents. That we get to enter into a broken situation, and be God’s hands and feet for healing. That through adoption, we get to show in a physical way the reconciling, redemptive love of Christ. That as we were first brought in from our broken situation and adopted into God’s family, we can bring children into our family. A broken family is never something God desires, but we believe one of the most tangible ways we can live out his Gospel is in the midst of such brokenness. And we believe God is calling us in this specific situation, with this specific birth mom and child, to be his agents of reconciliation and redemption – helping bring healing to birth mom by providing a home for her son, and by making this baby our own, as God made us His own. We know there will be questions, and likely pain as our son processes through his story down the road – and we trust God will equip us to walk with him through it all. We are so, so excited to be his parents – to love him and hold him and care for this precious life God has asked us to steward. The great honor and weight of this calling does not escape us.
We are thankful for our baby’s birth mom (we’ll call her “J”). As most of you know, we had the opportunity to fly down to FL in July to meet J. We were deeply moved by her selflessness and clear desire to do what is best for her son. It was so humbling. She has had some really heartbreaking experiences, and our hearts went out to her…we so badly want to love her and help HER, but as Stephen reminded me, we ARE loving her and breaking cycles through loving her SON. He is our calling. Through our experiences in DC, and just through the calling God has given us, we are really passionate about birth families, about helping to provide healing and hope and preventing the issues that lead to broken families in the first place. One of the reasons we decided to go with this specific agency in FL is because they work really closely with birth moms, and make sure deeper needs are met and issues are addressed (So we are also very thankful for our agency, and how wonderful they’ve been to us and especially J!). It is easy to look around at our world and be so discouraged – and it can be especially discouraging to see the broken families right in our midst, with parents who are sometimes actively making decisions that are not best for their children. We have seen that firsthand, as I’m sure many of you have, and it’s heartbreaking. BUT – be encouraged with us by J, and SO MANY like her. There are so, so many mothers (and fathers) who truly desire what is best for their children and know, in some cases and for a variety of reasons, that they cannot care for their child. So make the selfless decision to pursue adoption. I think a lot of times the selfless love of these birth parents is overlooked. So today, we are thanking God especially for J, and for how clearly He is working in her life. To have been through what she’s been through, and still have the kindness, selflessness, and hope that she has, is truly such a ray of light and encouragement for us. So join us in thanking God for J,and for all those like her. And please join us in praying for her as well – for her health and safety, for her continued selfless state of mind and heart, for her continued strength and resilience, and that she would come to know the full life her Maker has for her.
We are thankful for our country. We’re not going to lie – and many of you know this from talking to us – it’s been a rough post-election few weeks for us. Our hearts are saddened and truly burdened by the state of our country – the anger and division and darkness in so much of our culture, including in the Church. The injustice and brokenness in so many places. The hurt and confusion and lack of empathy all around. What the current state of our culture and our Church means for our son and so many others. BUT – even while our hearts are still heavy, while there is much to continue to process and pray through, while we must continue to earnestly cry out and seek His face harder than ever, we are thankful.
We are thankful to live in a country where we can speak our minds, where we can push and work for change, where we can engage and listen to those who are different from us. Having friends who recently experienced firsthand the corruption in another country as they tried desperately to adopt their babies and bring them home, we are thanking God with renewed vigor for the (mostly) functioning laws and processes we do have in place in our country. Though imperfect, though there will always be change to seek and injustice to correct this side of heaven, we are thankful for the American spirit that has always embraced change and growth, and the American values of freedom, justice, diversity, excellence, character….So we look to these now, thanking God that he has blessed us already with so much richness here that we so often take for granted, and committing ourselves even more fervently to the American cause of true justice and liberty. We truly believe God has placed us in this country at this time, with our adoption happening right now for a reason. We know He is sovereign over all, and truly believe He wants to use His followers to help bring about needed change within the Church, in our culture, and in our country. We are so, so thankful for all God has given us through being Americans, and we are more passionately committed than ever to doing our part, to helping move our country forward, to helping it reflect as closely as it can this side of heaven what a truly just, equal, redemptive society can look like. For our son, for our family, for so many others we love, and because we love our country – this is our prayer and our renewed commitment this Thanksgiving.
Finally, and most of all, we are thankful for our Savior. He has been showing me more of his deep kindness and glory these past few months. He is a God of power and might and justice – and He is also kind to us. I see his hand in so many little ways, giving me little reminders that he is indeed near to us. He has provided for us in so many huge practical ways the past few years, and especially these past few months. And he also reminds us how deeply he loves us through so many little things as well. There are moments I feel his breath on the wind, hear his still, small voice reminding me that he is near, walking right beside me in moments of joy and excitement, and in moments of anxiety and sadness. There are days I really miss the little boy we had to let go of in DC, and moments my sadness and fear for him is so intense it literally takes my breath away. But in so many of those moments, God will bring a picture into my mind, so clear, of Him holding this little boy in his arms as he sleeps, or walking just behind him as he runs around in daycare. Or I’ll actually get a text from someone telling me they were praying for him that day because God brought him to their minds as well. Our Savior is kind, and knows even the littlest ways we need comfort. And in this season, as we look forward to bringing our baby home, he will somehow fill me with the deepest peace in moments of anxiety; He will give me a snapshot picture of our future with our son; He will give me words to express my fears and emotion to my husband or close friends and will give them the exact words needed to speak truth in that moment. He has opened random doors in our favor throughout our adoption process, provided for little things that so easily could have gone wrong or taken longer….He is near to us, and we are so thankful.
And his GLORY – we serve a very real God, the same God who overthrows kings and kingdoms, who makes the earth shake with his voice and who breathed the stars into existence. This same God took on human form, gave his life for us, and adopts us into his own family. Through following him, we can KNOW him, as a father, as a friend. We can walk closely with him, daily. The miracle and mystery of this has been blowing my mind more and more lately….the holiness and glory of my God is so vast, so deep….he is magic and beauty, and he walks with me. He cares for my son, more than I could ever imagine. He formed him. He knows his name already. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of His immense glory and at the same time, His immense, personal love for us. It has filled me with a greater sense of peace, of purpose, of wonder and joy through this whole process. None of this is an accident. None of this can fall apart – His plan for this child’s whole life is orchestrated already, even while he is still in the womb. The God of glory holds everything in his hands, and it will all come together according to his plans. Nothing will stand in the way of the vision he has for our family No matter the unknowns, no matter the financial barrier or logistical issue, no matter how hard it is, even if the vision is different than what we think – God’s desires for us and for this child will come to pass. I am so thankful for this great, glorious, kind God we serve.
And once more, we just have to say – we are so, so thankful for all of YOU. Just from you – family, friends, and kind individuals we haven’t yet even met – we have raised HALF of what we need. We are continually moved by this, and truly cannot wait for our son to meet all of you 🙂 There’s still more we need to raise, and we’ll provide more details on that later. For now, on this week of Thanksgiving, we just wanted to say THANKS.
Please know you all are in our thoughts and prayers often – please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is any specific way we can be supporting you and praying for you right now.
That’s about all for now! We pray that you all have a blessed, joy-filled Thanksgiving – that you would experience the deep kindness and love of our God, that you would see his glory and majesty all around you, that despite what might be going on in your lives and in our world right now, His redemptive power would be so evident. We pray his true peace would surround you, your families, and your communities this Thanksgiving,
Blythe (and Stephen)
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God.”
(Psalm 68:4-6, 33-34)