Daniel: “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT
I always imagined I would have children, but in my mind that meant biologically. I know several people who were adopted or have adopted, and always thought it was a very noble calling to provide a loving and nurturing home for a child whose biological parents were not in a position to do so. I just never felt pulled to it myself. As Kristin and I got more serious in our relationship and started talking about our future we both agreed that children would be a part of it. She shared with me that she has always wanted to adopt from a young age. The more we talked, the more comfortable I became with the idea, until ultimately it became part of our life plan.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
The idea of adoption was further reinforced a couple years ago when we first started looking for answers as to why, after almost 5 years, we had not been successful in having a child. A couple days after learning that I had factors that were limiting our chances of pregnancy the lead pastor of our church (who has adopted all 3 of their children) posted his story about how he came to welcome adoption as a means to start his family. He highlighted the idea that a man and a woman’s role in creating a new life is to provide the home for the spirit of the person to live, but God ultimately places the spirit in that home. I have faith that God is ultimately in control and working for our good, I also believe that He could place the spirit of the child I am meant to parent in the body of a child I did not physically create.
I read this in the middle of a Jimmy John’s while eating my lunch and literally broke down in tears. My child(ren), the one(s) God has planned for me to parent, is(are) out there! Our job now is to take the necessary steps to put ourselves in a position for us to welcome that child (or children) into our hearts and our home. Aside from our relationships with Jesus and each other, nothing is more important to us at this point than becoming parents and having the opportunity to share our faith, love, and lives with our future child(ren)!
Kristin: When I was 17 years old, there was a 7-year-old little boy in the foster care system that I met through my mom’s best friend, who is a foster parent. I had met many foster kids through my mom’s friend before, but this little boy spoke to my heart. He would get so excited to see me and he would wrap his little arms around my neck and hug me so tight. I wanted to adopt him! I knew logically that that could not work, as I was still in high school. However, that little boy left a lasting impression on my heart. I still think of him and pray that he is doing well and has found happiness in life.
Ever since, I have thought I would adopt one day. Now, my plans of adoption are further confirmed by our experience with infertility and the failed attempts with IVF. Beyond all of that, I have complete peace and overwhelming joy about our plans to build our family through adoption.
I believe that peace and joy come from God. “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” – James 1:17 NLT
I believe that God has been guiding me to adoption all along and that I feel that peace now because I am following the path he has chosen for me. I am so excited to see our adoption story unfold. I know that God has great things planned for our family!
What Brought You Together?
We met in August, 2008 through mutual friends. They learned that we both had degrees in Psychology, so naturally we need to meet! We started off slowly and were both shy the first couple of times we went out. We still laugh about the fact that we both individually went to our friends who set us up and told them “He/She doesn’t say anything!” In my (Daniel’s) defense, this was my first “real” relationship, and I had no idea what I was doing! Fortunately this didn’t last long and we started hanging out together more and more. My friends would tell Kristin that I must really like her, because I didn’t spend that much time talking to ANYONE.
Despite the slow start we decided to become “official.” Daniel was finishing his last semester of graduate school in Greeley, CO and we would spend time together over the weekends and during breaks from school. Our relationship grew quickly and we both knew that we were falling in love, and had found something special in the other. We got engaged on August 5, 2011 (Daniel’s 26th birthday) and were married on June 23, 2012 at Fox Run Park in Blackforest, CO. We bought our house in Fountain, CO in September 2014 and have loved living there ever since.
We do life together very well and work as a team in all situations. On New Year’s Day, 2014 we decided as a couple to simply “do better” in all aspects of life. Part of this decision was to start attending church together. We started going to a small church that a friend was pastoring and both accepted Jesus and our Lord and Savior shortly thereafter – and we have never looked back!
Our marriage is strong and rooted in our faith and relationship with Jesus. We support each other and complement each other in a way neither of us knew was possible. Where one is weak, the other is strong. When one is down, the other lifts them up. One of our greatest strengths as a couple is the level of mutual respect we hold for one another. We know it is cliché, but neither of us can imagine doing life with anyone else!
Although this is a fundraising platform, our #1 goal in sharing our story so publicly is not to raise money. There are so many people in our lives who regularly check in with us to see how things are going, and we saw this as a great opportunity to share our journey with those who are interested, and provide updates as things are unfolding.
If you feel led to donate to our cause it will be considered an incredible blessing, and your investment into our lives will be appreciated in ways that words could never fully express. If not, we appreciate your interest in our lives, and if you are a fellow believer we simply ask that you keep us in prayer. We pray together every night for God’s will to be done in our lives, and for patience and peace as we wait. Thank you for taking the time to check out our story – be well and God bless!
My name is Kristin! I am a happy, optimistic person by nature and I love to laugh! I feel so blessed to be doing this thing they call life with my best friend and soulmate, Daniel!
I am a Colorado Springs native, and I love Colorado. I grew up in the Springs with my family consisting of my mom, dad, and my younger brother. I have two nephews, one niece, and one Godson. I love being an Auntie and a Godmother.
I attended Air Academy High School and graduated in 2002. After that, I attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for my undergraduate studies, where I earned my B.S. in Psychology. Since then I have worked as a paraprofessional in a Significant Support Needs classroom, have worked with developmentally disabled adults, pursued my Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Services, and now work in public school system as a School Counselor for the past five years. I love working with students and helping them deal with life struggles and social emotional issues that they face.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, camping, being in the sun, doings crafts, decorating, DIY projects, cake decorating with my mom, working in our yard, planning events, and caring for our chickens! I always say that my house is my favorite toy, because I love doing little updates and projects inside and out. I am very involved with our church, Rock Family Church-South Campus, volunteering with the preschoolers on Sundays and more and more with decorating for special events.
I dream of putting my crafting, decorating, and cake talents to good use for my children one day. I dream of birthday parties and cakes, and helping them to re-decorate their bedrooms as they grow and change their interests. I dream of themed sleepovers with their friends where I will make them cute snacks that fit the theme Just thinking of these things gives me so much joy!
Hello! My name is Daniel and I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO. I enjoy the “simple things” in life and believe in the goodness in people. I come from a family of four and am blessed to have been raised by two loving parents who have been married for 47 years and continue to be my greatest model of kindness, love, and generosity.
I graduated from Wasson High School in 2003 and I received my my B.A. in Psychology from Colorado State University – Pueblo. From there I attended graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado where I earned my Ed.S. (Educational Specialist) degree in School Psychology. I am in my 10th year of working as a School Psychologist in the public school setting where I advocate for students with special education needs and ensure that their rights are upheld and they have access to everything they need to be successful in school and beyond.
Through my work I frequently see what I’ve termed the “dark side” of education. The sad reality is that many children do not have parents who are loving, nurturing, or even present, and I see the unfortunate effects of this on a daily basis. I love kids and enjoy seeing them learn, grow, and succeed. I believe that my experience in the school setting will be helpful in raising my own children.
In my free time I enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, ATVing, spending time with family, building things, and doing DIY project around my house. I am a lifelong Broncos fan and enjoy watching games with my dad. I met the love of my life, Kristin, at the age of 23, and I can honestly say I am a better man because of her. She is the most thoughtful, loving, and genuine person I know, and I mean it when I say she is God’s gift to me. We are both very active in our local church and have an amazing church family.
I am also blessed by a strong network of friends, many of which I have known for close to 20 years. My mom is one of twelve children and dad is one of nine and I was raised to be very family oriented. My childhood memories are full of time spent with aunts, uncles, and cousins at various family functions, and I look forward to sharing this type of upbringing with my future child(ren).
We have some big news to share…
We are officially MATCHED with an expectant mother and baby boy on the East Coast!!! Words can’t describe how excited and blessed we are by this news! Our journey to be parents has spanned the past 7.5 years, and to see God’s hand at work in the current situation is truly incredible. Baby boy is due in April; however, there are some complications that we need prayer for. Out of respect for everyone’s privacy we don’t want to give too many specifics, but the nature of what is going on increases the risk for premature birth and a potentially lengthy stay in the NICU once he is delivered (depending on how early he comes). As such, we are basically on “stand by” to hop a plane out to where they are at any moment in the event they need to deliver quickly. Unfortunately it is not something that can be planned, so we are making as many preparations as we can at this point. God is good and we are standing in faith that He has the situation figured out, even though many aspects are out of anyone’s control. Our prayers are that she is able to stay pregnant as long as possible, for a safe and healthy delivery (for momma and baby), and for favor in the logistics of traveling out of state and needing to stay there for several weeks while medical and legal issues are resolved.
As excited as we are for this incredible blessing, the realities of our world dictate that our financial needs have also drastically changed. Our original budgeting for this endeavor did not include the complexities of an out-of-state adoption or potential medical needs, such as:
-Emergency airfare to get there (current prices are between $500-$600 each, one way)
-Lodging, food, and transportation while there (realistically anywhere from 4-10 weeks)
-Short notice airfare to return home (we anticipate similar rates to get home as to get there. We will not have much notice of when we have permission to cross state lines with our son as we will be at the mercy of the government agencies in both states to process the proper paperwork).
Compounding all of this is the reality that a majority of our paid leave was used during our last round of IVF, so a large majority of the time we will be able to take under FMLA will be docked from our income on a per diem basis. We are running through every scenario and contingency we can think of, but the logistics of not being able to plan for any of these factors are proving to be quite daunting. Again, we are fully trusting that God will provide for our family some way some how! We are so thankful to everyone who has contributed to this cause thus far. It is very humbling to realize the enormity of financial resources needed in the world of adoption, and how quickly they can multiply. We truly appreciate every prayer that has been and will continue to be offered on our behalf, and we appreciate any consideration for additional contributions now more than ever.
The Florez Fam
On June 4th we got some really great news – after 2 ½ months of background checks, prayer, paperwork, meetings, prayer, fees, interviews, questionnaires, and more prayer our homestudy was officially approved!!! This is a huge step in moving forward as it is pretty much the biggest requirement in the adoption process. The two most common questions we’ve gotten as we have shared this news are “What happens now?“ and “Do you know how long you will have to wait?”
What happens now: We will be providing several copies of a profile book we have been working on throughout our homestudy. It is basically a picture book that is used to show different aspects of our lives to expectant parents. Each family that is “active” with the agency (homestudy approved and in the waiting pool) has a book profiling their family as well, and when a woman decides to make an adoption plan and place their child for adoption they are given a stack of books to look at and decide which family they want to meet. Once you are selected the caseworker coordinates a “match meeting” where we will meet with the expectant parent and the caseworker. Hope’s Promise believes there is power in breaking bread together, so these match meetings take place over a meal. At that point both parties (the prospective adoptive family and the expectant parent) decide individually if they think it is a good fit. If it is then you move forward together all the way through the birth of the child. If not then the process starts over for both parties. The agency encourages the expectant parents to select 2 or 3 families to ensure they are able to find one they are comfortable with.
How long will we have to wait: The reality is that there is absolutely no way to know. There have been families that have only waited 1-2 weeks, and there are families who have to wait 2-3 years. It all depends on how long it takes for you to be chosen by an expectant parent. We get a lot of questions about this aspect of the adoption, but underlying our decision to embark on this adventure is our faith that God is in control of our family’s destiny. We are standing in belief that however long it takes is the amount of time necessary for the child God has in store for us to join us. We find peace in knowing that He is never early and He is never late, and our family will only grow exactly when and how it is supposed to!
As Kristin alluded to earlier this month the nursery room is complete! We’ve been working hard on getting everything ready and wanted to have it done so we could include it in our profile book. Kristin has done an amazing job planning every little detail, and we are excited to have a space in our home waiting to be filled! Check out the attached pictures!
This will be the last of our retroactive updates, but we thought it was an important part of the journey, so we wanted to share. As we mentioned in our last update, we had been doing a lot of praying and exploration to determine if we were going to be pursuing foster-to-adopt or traditional adoption. The first two foster agencies we talked to were pretty blunt about the fact that foster care’s primary focus is reunification – which we knew – but they made it clear that adoptions were far and few between. We had heard that many agencies will discourage adoption because foster families are hard to come by and they invest a lot of resources into training and licensing each family, which is understandable. I guess it was just different to hear it/see it in practice. Some were more willing than others to discuss what it would look like should we be in a position to adopt. The third agency we met with seemed much more willing to work with us based on our ultimate goal of adoption and gave us a lot more information about the different tracts foster children are placed on – or as they call them, permanency goals. We had actually made up our minds to move forward with this agency, but had already set up a meeting with Hope’s Promise, and we wanted to be thorough in our exploration before making a final decision. I actually said to Kristin as we were driving to that meeting “they are going to have to have something pretty compelling to change my mind.” As it turns out, they did. We decided that going this route was much more in line with our current goals, despite the cost, and completely shifted gears to traditional infant adoption.
Fast forward about a week and a half. We were getting ready for bed and Kristin got a Facebook message from some friends in Albuquerque – who we don’t really talk to very much – asking if they could call us. We got on the phone with them and they shared that we had been on their hearts, and although they didn’t really know where we were in the journey to become parents, they were made aware of a baby that had been born the night before who was going to be placed up for adoption. They wanted to know if we were interested. It was hard to believe what we were hearing, but we emphatically told them YES!
The next 3 days are best described as a whirlwind. We didn’t have a clue what the adoption process looked like, other than some details that were shared in our first meeting with Hope’s Promise – but it was pretty limited. Add to that the complication of it being an interstate adoption, we had a LOT to learn and not a lot of time to do it. We quickly learned that Colorado is an “agency state” meaning that the only way to legally adopt a child is to work through an accredited adoption agency. Things are a little different in New Mexico, so we were on the verge of retaining a lawyer down there to help facilitate. In the meantime we still hadn’t even applied to an agency, so I was on the phone a lot the next day figuring out everything that needed to be done on our end. Hope’s Promise was incredibly helpful through the process and worked with us to get our application submitted and approved by the next day. Long story short, we found out about a week later that birth mom decided to keep the baby. Although this was disappointing to a certain extent, our prayer the entire time was not that we would end up with him, but that he would end up where God meant for him to be. The last thing we would want, regardless of how our adoption takes place, is for the birth parents to make a decision that they later regret and have to live with for the rest of their lives. In the end, the worst case scenario was that we were already accepted and working with the agency we planned to work with anyway – so even the worst case scenario was still a positive outcome. In retrospect it was a blessing of sorts, because there is no telling how long we would have waited to submit our application, second guessed our decision, etc, etc. We had been praying for guidance and for God to put people in our path that would lead us to the route and agency we were meant to work with, and we are trusting that our prayers have been answered.
You hear a lot of people talk about how stressful the process is, and though I wouldn’t say it has been a walk in the park, by and large our experience has been very positive. Our current case worker is extremely helpful and accommodating, and we are taking it all one step at a time. We are very close to getting all of the paperwork/medical exams/financial records/etc completed for our home study, and once this is done we will start interviews with a case worker and will also have a home inspection completed. After our home study is approved we will pay the first big installment of our fee schedule, and at that time will become “active”. This means that we will be in the pool of other potential adoptive families for this agency and could be selected at any time. We will have created a profile book that is meant to give birth parents as an insight into our lives, including who we are, our home, and our families. These books are shown to birth parents, and they decide who they would like to meet and/or get more information about. We are getting close, and as that reality sets in we are also getting excited. There will likely be a period of waiting – months, if not years – but we are working our way down the right path, and our hearts grow more prepared to receive each step of the way.
(On a side note, you may have noticed our progress bar recently made a significant leap forward, to the tune of $5,000. This is because it is also designed to reflect our own contribution to the adoption. It is now more accurately showing what we’ve already paid out and what we’ve been able to put aside over the past couple months. We will continue to update as we are able to raise funds and set more aside. Our first payment will be a little over $10,000, so we are closing in, but still have some work to do! The good news is that once our home study is approved we can start applying for various grants, which we are believing will help with the next fee of $12,000 which will be due upon placement.)
Thanks for tuning in!
Daniel and Kristin
Admittedly, this is a long post – but we’re covering about 6 ½ years – so bare with us 😊 We’ve shared some of the details of our journey as they were unfolding, and a lot of people know our story – or at least bits and pieces of it – but we wanted to share a little bit about our quest to become parents on a larger scale now that we have this platform to do so. Since the day we were married we have planned on starting a family. After almost 5 years of infertility (May 2017) we decided it was time to find out if there was something preventing this from happening. About a month after starting that process we learned that we both have factors that make our chances of having a child biologically somewhere around 1%. Upon receiving this news we immediately decided to explore adoption rather than fertility treatment. We met with the wife of our lead pastor, who has a lot of experience in the world of adoption, and got the advice to explore all options and listen for God to give us guidance. Ultimately we decided to put adoption plans on hold at that time and pursue IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), but we have always intended to return back to adoption regardless of whether or not the IVF was successful.
For those who aren’t familiar with the IVF process, I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say it is an INTENSE course of tests, injections, follow-ups, injections, tests, lifestyle changes, injections, more tests, etc…You get the picture. We went through one egg retrieval which resulted in eight eggs that all fertilized. Of these eight, five made it to the blastocyst stage of development (the first milestone of development beyond fertilization). We also opted to do an additional layer of genetic testing to determine which of those embryos would be viable. Essentially they are able to retrieve 2 or 3 cells from what will become the placenta, and from that they are usually able to tell if the embryo has the correct number of chromosomes and the sex. Of the five we started with only one was found to be chromosomally normal, and one they were not able to get enough information on from the cells they biopsied, so it could have gone either way. In the world of IVF they call the process of implanting the fertilized embryo a Frozen Embryo Transfer (lovely, right??). We transferred the one we had the most information on first (October 2017), and were elated when 2 weeks later we found out Kristin was PREGNANT! Our dreams were coming true! We knew from the genetic testing that it was a boy, and we held a gender reveal party for our families. Unfortunately that celebration was short lived and we learned of the first miscarriage a week or two later. Given the options of having the last embryo thawed, tested, and re-frozen – which poses a risk to embryo – or just transferring it with the information we had, we chose to take a chance, knowing that there was a possibility it was not viable to begin with. It took almost a year exactly for everything to be in place to do the second transfer in October 2018. Once again we got the news that Kristin was pregnant, but we opted to be a little more cautious in sharing the news this time around. Just after Thanksgiving we learned of the second miscarriage, at which time we decided to wait until the new year before making any decisions about what to do next. We knew we weren’t interested in going through the IVF process again, and that we were going to adopt, but we weren’t sure which route we were going to take.
After New Years (2019) we started exploring foster-to-adopt vs traditional adoption. We also made a resolution to pray together every night for guidance, strength, patience, favor, wisdom, and peace, among other things. We met with 3 different foster agencies and 2 adoptions agencies. Each option has it’s pros and cons, and the cost difference is astronomical. Having already put upwards of $20,000 into IVF, the idea of putting another $25-30k into an adoption is daunting. On the other hand, talk to anyone who has gone the foster route and they will tell you “be ready to have your hearts broken”. We’ve heard that phrase from at least 3 different sources. The truth is that we’ve already had our hearts broken along this road – twice – and at this point in our lives we’re simply not in the market for another heartbreak. Additionally, you have zero control over the process through the foster care system, and the ultimate goal is always reunification. Which is great! Really. We both have hearts for providing a safe and loving home for children whose parents are not in the position to do so. Our work in the school system routinely involves us in these types of cases, and we believe we will someday be able to help out in this way. But at this point we still want the experience of raising a child from birth and having the experiences that parents get when they start their family. Our hearts are still very much open to foster care and we agree that it is in our future – and prayerfully we will adopt through that avenue as well. While we believe that all things are possible through God, we are now fully dedicated to pursuing adoption as the primary means for starting our family – and hey, if we end up pregnant during the process, we will consider our prayers answered two-fold! We are excited to have this direction and clear path, even though it is at times a very emotional and stressful process. We believe that God is in control of our family’s destiny and we are trusting Him that He will provide us the child that is meant to be ours. We believe that not only does God provide us with the things we desire, but He also places specific desires in our hearts. Our truest heart’s desire is to be parents, and we trust that our faith will be rewarded with the opportunity to raise a child and give them a loving and nurturing home where they feel our love and commitment every day of their lives.