Adoptive Parents

I read something recently about how every now and then “our journey collides with someone who changes it all”.

It made me think about the past fews years that we’ve been blogging/reading blogs and how, for us, that “someone” has so often been a person on the other side of our computer screen. Someone that we may or may not ever even have the chance to meet in person- but man we wish we could, because reading what they wrote definitely changed our journey for the better.

The following post is a tender one, and we’re hoping to hear from lots of “someone’s” in the comments section today.

We started researching adoption a couple of years ago, and right away, we knew that it was definitely something we wanted to be a part of. My dad was adopted as an infant, and his adoptive parents, my Grandma Evelyn and Grandpa Richard, were….

Gosh.

I don’t even know that I can put into words how much I love and miss them.

I keep a picture of them on my nightstand and I find so much comfort in their smiles every day.

Fast forward to the summer of 2011. We were asked to film a pilot episode for HGTV. It wasn’t something we sought out- they just came a’knockin’, and we felt like we should at least try and give it a whirl. Unsure of what our future held, we put our adoption plans on a temporary hold so that we could figure out what the heck was going to happen with that whole ordeal first.

Long story short, our pilot episode didn’t turn into a TV series this year. Short story even shorter: WHEW! (We are so grateful to have had the opportunity, but we learned real quick that it wouldn’t have been the right fit for us in the long run.)

So here we are. Back to adoption square one.

We’re more eager than ever, but we’re also kind of unsure about where to start (again).

All we know is this:

We want to create a family with a little one, that for one reason or another, needs a mom and dad.

Just like my dad did when he was only 3 months old…

Just like “Firecracker’s” little sister did last week…

Just like Joy’s son Eli did…

Just like Shannan’s daughter Ruby did…

Just like the brothers Mike and Kerri adopted did…

Those folks have inspired us so much, and if our purpose for this life is to Love, and to grow in Love, we look forward to growing in it no matter where it finds us- just like they did.

Love has no boundaries, and neither do our adoption plans. So whether our journey collides with a gift right here at home in Alabama…

…or right here at home in the USA…

…or right here at home, on God’s great Earth…

…we look forward to the opportunity to continue our journey with a little someone who changes it all.

We do have a question for any adoptive or soon-to-be adoptive parents out there, though. How did you decide where to adopt from? There are so many children out there that need families, and we keep feeling led in so many different directions. Doors seem to open and close on us at every turn, which makes the whole process hard to even start. We’d love to hear about your experience if you’re up for sharing it.

PS- Speaking of blog-related journeys and collisions, I just had to include this comment a “someone” named Betsy left on a blog post of ours a while back:

Click the play button below to hear Peter tell his story:

Powerful, powerful stuff…thank you, Betsy. So grateful to have collided with you.

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Comments

  1. says

    We chose to adopt through our local government agency right in our home town. At the time, they placed newborns which was our preference at the time.

    7 (very long) years later, after resolving to just get on with life, a ring from the phone signalled a dramatic and exciting life change… we were chosen! 3 months later I was in a delivery room with a beautiful soul ready to relinquish the most precious gift imaginable, making our own dream come true! (We could have adopted much quicker if we had chosen an older child. My own personal preference was newborn)

    Our adoption is semi open, meaning, birthmom has contact with us and visa versa. We attempted a relationship with her however it didn’t work out. So we know where each other is and make the odd phone call on occasion to stay in touch.

    My son was born 1.5 hours away from our home. Adopting local was a wonderful experience and I’m glad for my son that his birthmom isn’t very far away should he desire to pick things up again when he’s of age.

    What would I do today if I were to adopt? I’m not sure. Expense would indeed play a massive part in my choice so I suppose I’d search locally first.

    All I know is, there’s a child out there waiting to be placed into your arms. God’s timing is perfect and it’s my belief He’s busy making the perfect selection for you. :)

  2. says

    I’m adoptive mom twice over. You can read my story here: http://www.simplyklassichome.com/p/my-adoption-story_18.html

    Adoption isn’t for sissies! (That’s what a lot of adoptive parents say). It’s hard. Plain and simple. But the rewards are multiplied infinity. It’s the hardest and greatest thing I’ve ever done, and ever will do. I chose to go through our local foster care system for a few reasons.

    1) Affordability. There is assistance for foster adoptive parents, including medical insurance for the children, until they are 18.
    2) Guarantee. With adoption, there are no real guarantees, but with the foster care system, you’ll eventually complete an adoption. Your choices and openness determine how long it can take, but you WILL get a child.
    3) History. I knew a family from my church growing up who were foster parents to children with medical issues. They are still fostering, 30 years later, and have adopted two children. I knew early on that foster was the road I wanted to go down.

    I know your blessing will come, and maybe not in the ways you’d expect, as you can read in my story. You will be amazing parents! Wishing you all the best!!

    • Suzanne says

      Our advice after experiencing adoption and the foster care system would be similar to Kristin’s. Another thing I think we did right was to adopt sibling groups; first adoption 7 mo old boy and 28 mo old girl, full-blooded siblings. This was the age of the children when they came to us for foster care; we completed the adoption about a year later, which, I’ve been told is lightening fast. Second adoption 2 years later; 2 brothers, 3 mo old and 23 mo old. And took about a year for the adoption to be final. I both instances the original plan was for the birth parents to re-gain custody. During that time I met and visited with the birth families many times, gaining an insight into their personalities and challenges. I have stories for my children when they want to hear them.

      The oldest in this group of 4 children who came to us through adoption is now 17. She is smart, respectful, delightful. She raises guide dogs through puppyhood until they are ready for their “professional” training at 18-24 months. I think she is willing to bond with this dog and let him go on to someone who really needs him is because of her foster/adoption experience. She plans to go to school to get her vet tech degree and is currently finishing high school and working in a vet clinic.

      All 3 of the boys are wonderful. It’s amazing how their personalities reflect those of our birth children. God has such a sense of humor! When these children were placed with us the only things we knew about them were their ages, sex, and first name and that the plan was for re-integration with their birth families.

      Our adoption experiences have been like roller coasters; big highs but low, lows. I remember being on the phone with the children’s social working and she was repeating that the children would go back to their birthmother and I was sobbing when I got off the phone. I just couldn’t imagine our family without them. I am so thankful to God that He guided us through this ride. If we would have played it safe we would have missed some of the best people in our lives.

      Take a chance on a child! We had a 3 day old infant placed with us who was born with problems due to prenatal drug exposure. We had her for 5 months before she was returned to her birth mother permanently. My heart was literally broken and it still hurts to think of her 12 years later. BUT I know she got a great start in nutrition and security and love. That will always be with her and she is worth it. It was a privilege to be her mother for those 5 months and I still pray for her. My husband was stoic through the experience, but over a year later he heard a country song about a little girl hiding in her room and finally being murdered by her mother, and he cried like a baby.

      Most people don’t understand this compulsion to adopt, but that was what it was for us and I believe it was God setting this desire in our hearts for very good reasons. I love each of my 7 children so much that my heart literally hurts just to look at them.

      We’ve had our share of challenges with our children. We’ve had to love them through some pretty difficult problems, but providing a safe, secure home and an entire family that loves each of them can be amazingly healing.

      We pray that your adoption journey will be beautiful and the Lord Jesus will be sufficient for all of your needs.

      <3 Suzanne

      • says

        Suzanne my husband and I have 3 bio children and feel called to adopt. After waiting almost 2 years for a newborn, we’ve jumped over to adopting from our foster care system. We will be fully done with training and ready to go next month. It’s so good to hear your good experience with the foster care system….we’ve heard so many bad stories. Thank you for sharing and please say a prayer for our family and the kiddos that the Lord still has yet to give us! Blessings, Jennifer

  3. Julia says

    My daughters, ages 15 and 12, came home at the respective ages of 10 and 18 months, and both were born in China (I’m also right here in “Bama”, just a little north of y’all.

    These are always long stories, but I’ll try and summarize. I came to international adoption simply because I was a wannabe single mom, and adopting a baby in the U.S. was not really an option available to me. I had never considered international adoption till a domestic adoption agency recommended one to me. It was Christmas time, and that agency invited me to a holiday party for their families. I ate dinner with a couple with two children from Korea, but again – not an option – Korea was not open to single parents. But they introduced me to a woman who had just received her referral from China and I was enchanted with everything she had to say about the program. Fast forward the next few months during my “I’m thinking about it” stage, and I started seeing Chinese babies with caucasian parents everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! Like, weird, fluky kind of stuff. I couldn’t walk by a park or go to church without having it happen.

    I was telling my mom about it while we were on our way to lunch one day. We sat down at the table and were chatting about options, when in walks a single white mom with her mom and adorable Chinese daughter. We must have stared at them all during lunch, and afterwards I was paying the bill and overheard my mom go over to them, introduce herself and in the most delightful manner possible said “We’re getting one of those”. It sounds so crass, but she was so incredibly sweet about it, no one took offense. The other mom and I became good friends while I started my paperwork, and 18 months later, I welcomed my first daughter home. :-)

    So my advice – look for the signs, they’re there. You just have to take the time to notice them.

  4. says

    I feel like I could write a book. It boils down to, God had a plan bigger than ours. We have three biological daughters. When we approached domestic adoption doors closed around us. We considered adopting from Uganda and again, doors closed. We were searching. Long story short, in an intense discussion about where God was leading us I said, “I just wish that I had a very clear answer. Where is the child that needs me?” We decided to pray for that clarity. The next morning I got a phone call from an agency in my home state that I had never heard of before. The agency saw that I had looked at a couple of kids on the rainbow kids website. He told me he had boys on his waiting list. He told me how many boys actually wait in China and asked if we would consider one. That started another very long journey and was the beginning of the answer to a prayer. You can read about the start http://www.stifffamily.com/2010/03/02/ready-set-go/. Looking back that post was nuts, just how I felt at the time. I can barely understand it. Wishing you many blessings on your journey. Praying for you.

  5. says

    Our youngest child came to our family through adoption. She was born in Guatemala. In some ways, our process was easy. In other ways, it was heart breaking. Our first child who was referred to us passed away from sids. Heart breaking loss, again for we had already experienced other pregnancy and infant losses. We didn’t have any idea that it would happen in the adoption process too.
    BUT, we did bring home a child – our daughter! Our process with her went smoothly and quickly too. There is a child at the end of the process. It is all soooo worth it!
    Prayers are with you as you start the process again. God has your child chosen for you and you chosen as parents for him or her. He will knit your family together in His way and in His time. It’s an amazing, amazing thing to be part of.

  6. says

    We adopted our son just over 5 years ago and it was quite the experience. The agency (based out of Minneapolis) typically places newborns, and at the time we were looking forward to being matched with a birthmom and experiencing the hospital experience with her. As we all know, things do not always go as planned, and when our call came, it was for a 7.5 month old. After some quick thoughts, we decided we were okay with his age and adopted an amazing little boy. We have been waiting to adopt #2 for 2.5 years now and there is no easy way to say it – the wait is hard. I actually just wrote about the wait on my blog a few days ago: (http://momsgonnasnap.blogspot.com/2012/09/still-waiting-to-adopt.html)

    Why did we choose to adopt locally? Honestly, we really explored both international and domestic adoption. In the end, the idea of welcoming a newborn while also giving a baby a new life of opportunity was the choice for us. His adoption is open, but we have had very little contact from his birthfamily. We send photos and letters a few times a year, as well as framed picture ornaments at Christmas time. He is a blessing and we are so thankful for adoption to allow us to build our family.

    Some of our friends have worked through the county/state system to adopt and the experience was great (and much less expensive) for them. The idea of foster to adopt was a little tricky for us, but certainly something we would consider if the right situation came along.

    There are pros and cons with all of the routes to adoption. I wish you peace as you consider your options and move forward. It truly is an amazing experience.

  7. says

    Layla and Kevin,
    I KNOW you will be blessed and learn so much from dear ones who comment on this heartfelt post.
    From my perspective, I didn’t know plans had gone on hold, I just assumed you weren’t sharing. Which is totally your perrogative.
    Along the way since you first mentioned adoption, I’ve prayed for you two. Prayed for God’s wisdom as He grows and forms your family. He knows. He knows best and He knows His plan.
    I don’t have children though I have dreamed of being a mom for the last 29 years. God knows. He cares.

    Some dear friends of mine in SC are smack in the middle of adopting a darling sibling set. Lord-willing things will be finalized soon.
    Anyway, I thought you might like to read some of their journey.

    http://joelandkitty.com/category/adoption-infertility/ – this link goes to their infertility/adoption posts – not a specific post

  8. says

    Awesome news!
    We are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Our choice came about over time. We had begun researching adoption a couple of years ago. We looked at foster care and domestic adoption as well. By coming into contact with certain agencies paired with other factors such as how long we have been married, we kept coming back to Ethiopia. The more we researched and learned, the more we fell in love with this country.

    Best wishes to you on your exciting journey!!!

  9. says

    Short version: Foster mom to two sisters (ages 3 yrs and 3 months). No plans to adopt but parents disappeared for over a year. When approached by social worker as to whether long-term foster care, legal guardianship or adoption, chose adoption because we had fallen in love with them. They are awesome girls.
    Best of luck to you.

  10. says

    I have to ditto whoever said Adoption is not for sissies!! It’s like you take your heart out of your chest and give it to the agency and say, “Okay, here you go, give it back when your done with a child please.”

    We searched the world over for our children, and we signed up with agencies and felt like we were “so close” to having that missing child come into our lives only to realize it was not to be so.

    Your heart knows…. you just have to listen to it and ask everyone for a referral to a good agency. Here is what I want to say, “Do not be afraid of the birthmom relationship.” It feels so odd in the beginning, meeting someone and knowing they are biologically connected to your child, something that you are not. Birthmothers are angels on the earth… they are the most unselfish of all the humans on the planet. Every night I give thanks for the birthmothers of my children, who gave me the ultimate gift of motherhood.

    I’m sure you know this… but flesh and DNA is such an earthly concept. You will meet your little one and when they look up at you, your souls will recognize each other. When my daughter was placed in my arms, I felt like that missing piece of my heart was found.

    On my blog, I talk about adoption a little bit, mostly in my annual birthday letters to my kids.

    For you and Kev, I will pray for you, because I trust in God that he will led you to your child.

  11. says

    While I don’t have any great words of wisdom or advice to share I feel compelled to still leave my comment. You are most certainly right about how life brings people in & out of our lives for a reason. I’ve been blogging for a couple years now. I am an avid reader of your blog & love every bit of your style. It is sometimes surreal how just when I need it most….you are writing about it & sharing a story that always seems to coincide with what life is throwing our direction. No matter what the topic. My husband & I have been trying on our own for several years now. My heart is beginning to open to the idea of adoption. We have not made any definite plans yet. We are just beginning to look into our options. I’ve been looking locally at foster/adoption options. It seems to be the most affordable choice. Although I would love nothing more than to have a newborn baby someday. I really just wanted to thank you for sharing your stories…all of them, even the more personal ones that pull at your heart strings. I feel blessed to have crossed your path. Even if it is only through the web. Wishing you all the luck & patience on your new journey.

  12. says

    Our road to adoption was a long one, and ultimately we didn’t make the decision about when/where/how we would adopt. God simply brought the right child to our family at the right time. Here are two links to the first part of our adoption story:
    http://theallensnewhome.blogspot.com/2009/03/third-day-on-3rd-day-of-3rd-month-our.html?m=0
    http://theallensnewhome.blogspot.com/2009/08/cda-call.html?m=0

    And another to our “happy ending”:
    http://www.theallensnewhome.blogspot.com/2009/09/anslies-story.html?m=1

    God knows your child and he has a plan for your family!

  13. Myna Copeland says

    I have no adoptive children, but my nephew and his wife adopted two children from Rwanda last year. They have two biological children and then they felt the Lord leading them to adopt. These precious children got one meal a day at the orphanage. The little girl was 5 years old and the little boy was about 2 1/2. The exact date of their births is unknown. It has been an adjustment, especially with a language barrier with the oldest child, but they are dealing with it. God will open a door for that special child for you, no matter if it is in the US or around the world.

  14. says

    So, so exciting. It’s wonderful to hear parts of your story! One of my best friends is going through the adoption process and they are adopting from Ethiopia (hopefully two boys, to come home to join their two biological children and make a family of 6!) I’ve seen her frustrations and joys through the process, but mostly, I’ve seen her heart and her love for a child that she doesn’t even know yet. I’ve seen how adoption is such a strong parallel with God’s redemption and heart for His children. She’s only written a few posts so far, but this is her blog: http://neesfamily.blogspot.com

    Hopefully it can be an encouragement to you along your journey! xoxo
    Michaela

  15. says

    My husband and I are in the process of completing the extensive and invasive paperwork to adopt and while the process isn’t easy, I greatly look forward to the day we get to bring home a child of our own. We’re choosing to adopt domestically, and hopefully locally. I think it’s a decision every single parent or couple have to make on their own. We like that with domestic adoption there’s the possibility that we can be there to see our child the day he or she is born, which is fairly common for the agency we’re using. I also fully admit that the process is trying and daunting and I think all the added steps that are required for international adoptions would add a lot of stress for me in an already stressful situation.

    Thanks for being open about your experience and I wish you the very best of luck in your journey.

  16. says

    Congrats! Making the decision to adopt at all is a huge step – and one you will never, ever regret. Where to find your child is a big question – you literally have the entire world to choose from. But here’s the thing: EVERYWHERE there is need. HUGE need. You CANNOT choose the wrong place. Pray. Talk. Pray and talk some more. Follow those nudges on your heart. Take a leap and head in the direction you feel called to. If it isn’t right, God will close that door and redirect you. Once, we had a son for three days – domestic, Caucasian. His adoption fell through, but got us committed to adoption and off the fence. Three times we began the process for China. Three times, my husband lost his job and we were forced to wait and start over – frustrating, but it served a purpose in clarifying our vision and strengthening our commitment to adopt. The fourth time, we decided we’d pursue our second choice – domestic, African-American (we are Caucasian). That was August; on March 8, our daughter came home. Four years later, we did it again. That’s not to say it wasn’t rough and there weren’t bumps (but those happen with bio kids, too). But it was a fantastic journey that I’m so very glad we got to be a part of. It was a much better plan than our original hopes of biological, planned kids, evenly spaced and well planned for. Even in the disappointments, we met such wonderful people and learned some amazing lessons. A quick synopsis of our adoption journey is here: http://twelvehats.blogspot.com/search/label/adoption. Feel free to drop a line, ask a question, whatever. Will enjoy seeing your journey unfold!

  17. says

    Hi Layla! I have been here since the beginning with you. I also did not know your adoption plans went on hold. We have three children and our youngest angel is adopted form China. Our older boys are biological. I can tell you that our daughter Kate was sent to us form God. I cannot imagine a more perfect fit for you family. The wait was interminable and emotional, the adjustment was tough but oh my…she completes our family. She is my heart and soul. Adoption IS hard but it is SO worth it. I don’t mean to sugar coat it but I think the difficult things in life are often the most meaningful things.

    I will pray that the Lord will led you both to the right adoption situation for your family. It is almost impossible to adopt a completely healthy child from China now the wait is like 8 years. But there are lots of special needs children available who need homes there. Many times the special need is very small and correctable. I wish you the best.

    Kim

  18. says

    OOPS…so embarrassed…Please excuse my typos….I meant she was a perfect fit for “our” family. I am laughing to myself cause it sound like I am trying to tell you my daughter is perfect for your family and I was not.

    You will find the perfect fit for your family….just pray about it.

  19. says

    Whew, made me cry. My cousin is in the process of raising m money for their adoption costs, and our good friends were adopted and their family always accepted us with open arms. My husband and I want to adopt, but I am physically unable to care for another baby, but we were blessed in between surgeries with a wonderful son. I will be praying that that special someone will come along in God’s time and is blessed to call you mom and dad.

  20. Tracey says

    My sister and her husband are foster parents here in MN. They adopted one little boy who was about 2 yrs old. Then they had two little brothers who REFUSED to leave so they adopted them too. They are now 16, 12, and 13. I love that my family grows through adoption. It’s so AWESOME!

  21. marisa says

    like others commenting here, our journey to adoption was long and hard; but in the end, God’s plan was sovereign. God’s plan is bigger, better and sees the past and the future and puts it all together in a better way than you can ever imagine. we adopted our son 14 months ago, through the foster care system. we talked about adoption for a few months, and we read a book that i would recommend: “Adopted for Life”, by Russell D. Moore. We decided to say yes to adoption, and a week later, our son was born. (and we are hoping to add siblings through adoption, as well!) i am hopeful for your family!! thanks for sharing!!

  22. says

    Hey guys! I’m so glad that you’re going to become a part of someone’s adoption story. My husband and I have six children. We adopted four and then God laughed and we had two biological girls. Two of our adopted children were at birth and two as older children. One was a private adoption and three were through the foster care system.
    If I had one piece of advise I could give you it would be to seek out an agency that covers a lot, but they don’t have to be big. We worked with our local Catholic Charities for all four adoptions. For a small agency they gave us all sorts of options, but ultimately it was God who decided who we were supposed to have. Two weeks after our homestudy (and we thought we were going to adopt through the foster system) our caseworker called and said they had a baby girl without a home. She would be a private adoption. How could we say no? Six months later we were chosen by a foster caseworker to pick up a baby boy born the previous day. The story gets more interesting with the next two.
    Feel free to look me up if you want to talk. I have a mom’s adoptive group that gets together once a month for dinner. Come to Erie, PA and eat with us! Anyone is welcome!

  23. says

    Hi,
    I don’t have a blog…just an avid blog reader/stalker! LOL
    We chose adoption after an illness stopped us from getting pregnant. Adoption is a beautiful, difficult, trying, and incredibly rewarding option. We heard about an agency in our state, used by some friends of friends. We really prayed about where to go…ultimately taking the first step by going to an information meeting. I cried the whole way through the meeting! That was it…we were in! This agency places children in two-parent, Christian homes. Most importantly the agency ministers to women and girls throughout the process- regardless of whether they place the baby with a couple or not. At that meeting- it just felt right. Through prayer, we felt led….and once there…we felt the answer. God bless you on this journey- just remember that God knows your baby- He’s preparing you, the child, and everyone involved for this union to happen. God delivers on his promises! Pray BIG!

  24. says

    For us, we decided to adopt when the earthquake in Haiti happened. I had been thinking about it before then but that’s when my husband got on board. So initially, we were thinking international but then our church started a new initiative and part of it was so that no orphans existed in our county. After that, we felt a deep urge to make a local difference. We are approved but still waiting as of now. The Lord will lead you to the right place, I’m sure of it.

  25. says

    Adoption is such a miracle! But like most people have already said, it can be SO HARD! We adopted in Guatemala because I love Spanish and used to be a high school Spanish teacher; plus, it was going to be quick…um, not quite. Nearly two years later, and after 3 months living in Guate, we were finally on our way home. Our daughter is so worth it! Adoption is an absolute miracle!

    This time around, we are adopting domestically, working with a local attorney. I just can’t bear to be separated from my kids for the 2-8 weeks required in international adoptions. So now we wait for another precious miracle here in the US.

    Wishing you guys the very best as you move forward on this wonderful journey. God will tug your heart strings in just the right direction. I’m so excited for you!!!! =)

    I’ve written about our adoption process on my blog if you want to read details:
    http:3sonsplus1.blogspot.com

  26. says

    I have been reading for quite a long time and had just been thinking that I wondered where you were in the adoption process these days. I have been praying for your journey. Adoption has been on my heart since I was a young girl, and thankfully my husbands as well. We are still waiting on God’s timing, but we were so excited because after years of praying we got our first check towards our adoption fund. It felt so wonderful. I am praying for you all as you figure out which route you want to take. It’s funny, we started off thinking China would be where our child would be from, but then God lead us to Ethiopia. As time has gone on we have found ourselves so open to any child…HIV, special needs, we know God has the child in mind for us just as He does for you. It is so hard to “choose” a place because there are so many children needing homes, but I believe you’ll be lead to the right place for you! So excited for you both!

  27. says

    So in love with this. I’m proud of you for sharing your heart in this way. As you know, I have never doubted your future – never, ever. I can’t wait to see it all come full circle. xoxo

  28. says

    Last year my boyfriend and I traveled throughout SE Asia for a few months and volunteered at a community orphanage in The Philippines. The church my boyfriend’s parents belong to near San Francisco had donated money to the community to repair a creek retaining wall that had been washed away in a flood, destroying their community. I remember holding one of the babies (who crave being held BTW) and tears came to my eyes. I knew that one day I would be back to adopt one of them. Here is the link to my post about our visit there. http://nellyandkellyseetheworld.blogspot.com/2011/05/philippines-part-2.html

    If you have any interest in adopting from SE Asia, please look into this orphanage. The children are so well taken care and it is such a heartwarming and beautiful place. Here is the link to the birthing center/orphanage on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/helpintlmin

  29. krista f says

    Both our boys are from Florida ;) We live in the midwest…we decided to go the domestic route simply bc we have been praying for the ending of abortion in our nation for a long time and felt like this was a tiny way we could put those prayers to action. Two years ago when we finished our homestudy, we hired a consultant (which i highly recommend) who gets calls from all over the US…and one week later we were matched…and 2 weeks later our son was born!! Then 7 months later his birth mom told us she was pregnant again…and we got to adopt that baby too!! Woohoo! We are gearing up for our next one as soon as we move. Seriously, adoption is AMAZING and God provided every penny- we had no savings whatsoever- and we are debt free after two adoptions in two years. Crazy cool stories!!
    I wrote a little about our adoptions on my blog: kristajoyfarrell.wordpress.com under the adoption category if you ever feel like reading. We have an awesome birth mom with an open adoption but since we don’t live close we don’t do visits…except when our 2nd was born of course :)
    I’ll be praying for you guys- that you’ll see a clear path for what’s right for you guys!! So exciting!!!
    ps. LOVE your blog and I’ve never commented. Just a mystery reader. ha

  30. says

    The first time I adopted, I chose to do foster-adoption through the US Foster Care System. I was single at the time. I had a lot of single friends who had chosen to parent. I wondered if adoption was a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But, mostly, I didn’t see a young, single woman facing an unplanned pregnancy choosing a young, single woman to parent her child. And, I thought I could make a difference in a child’s life. I was very naive. I had said I would take children up to the age of 7. Both children I took into my home were 7. The first child, a legal risk adoption (her father’s parental rights had not been terminated) was reunified with her father after being in my home for 18 months. I adopted the second child. She has fetal alcohol syndrome, severe and persistent mental illness and, as an adult, has become addicted. I have learned that children that enter your home through adoption are wounded. I simply couldn’t parent or love away brain damage, a family history of mental illness and years of abuse and neglect. But, I will tell you… I love that girl still. She is courageous, exasperating, loving, tender and prone to bad behavior all in one. She is my life’s best teacher and I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Then, I adopted from Haiti. As much as I love my oldest daughter, I don’t want to transition another young person with FASD to adulthood. It is a difficult process with little services. It drains me and I am not yet 50. I couldn’t even imagine facing that in my 60’s. So, we chose a country with a low incidence of fetal alcohol syndrome. I chose Haiti because, at the time (pre-Earthquake), Haiti was NOT a sending country. There was no need to make the children of Haiti into a commodity. I chose an agency that worked with NewLife Link because the director of that orphanage has been doing adoptions for a long, long time. He believes in openness in adoption. We were able to meet our kids moms and find out why they were placing them. Their pictures hang in my children’s room. I know what they dream of for their children.

    And, God led me to my kids…

    • gina says

      My mom was adopted. My grandparents were angels! I have known you through your blog for a year and a half. When you mentioned you would be a part of Compassion, my first thought was BABY! I couldn’t imagine Layla holding a baby in a Peruvian orphanage and being able to leave without one! I replied on Julie’s comment because I agree with her account that there could be very large challenges with some foster care adoptions and some special needs children from other countries compared to just an economic need or a healthy teenage unwanted pregnancy. All children are worthy of a good home and I have no doubt you will give any baby a very good home. But, you have to decide if you are ready to take on the heroism needed in some cases, sometimes unforeseen. I know God will lead you in the right direction. Local churches do have networks with the foster care system. Private adoption is also available and there may even be a reader who knows of a mother who has chosen to find adoptive parents for her unborn baby. Your blog can reach so many. It may be a tool for finding your child. If someone is pregnant and they choose you to adopt, I think social services or an attorney could provide help. I used to work in a hospital and a nurse had no trouble adopting a newborn from a teenager who was giving up there baby for adoption. You blog is an excellent resource. I would also volunteer at an agency that provides help to teenage moms as a way to network and get a feel for the way the system works.

  31. says

    I am not an adoptive parent and I guess in some ways I was adopted….by my stepfather. Completely different I know, however, he took me as his own. He was the first man I ever loved and loved my mom so much that I knew what to look for when choosing my own husband. I am so excited for you all to share your heart and soul with a wee one. You will be in my prayers as God leads you to and thru the journey he has planned!

  32. Lori says

    We’ve enjoyed foster care and adoption through foster care immensely. It’s not nearly as glamorous or “hollywood” as adoption from overseas, but there is a huge need for these little ones, right here under our noses! Blessings from Him throughout your Journey – because He already knows the plans that He has for you….

  33. Sarah says

    We adopted our two children domestically through American Adoptions, Inc. We chose to adopt domestically because we preferred a newborn. American was great to work with and they do lots of adoptions each year (they have lots of info website). We live in the midwest and initially pursued adopting locally, but we do not live in an adoption friendly state and would have had to wait years. All this being said adoption is not for the faint of heart!! Keep us posted!!

  34. says

    Yea for adoption!!! We adopted our son (now 4) from Ethiopia in 2008 and are hopefully going to finalize the adoption of our daughter (15 months) through domestic foster care this month. My husband and I felt very strongly that adoption would be how we grew our family and at first we didn’t know which avenue to pursue. I have always felt drawn to Africa and when we learned of an adoption agency that operated out of Ethiopia we couldn’t fill out the paperwork fast enough :) Our experience was very positive and I actually went back to ET the next year to teach a a vet school there for a month. When our son was 3 we were ready to pursue the adoption of our second child, but since our first adoption, the wait time was significantly longer and the cost was about 10K more so we decided to try “foster to adopt” (which is FREE). Again we were blessed and were placed with a 3 month old baby girl. We have had her for a year now and should have her adopted this month. Both experiences were very much the same as far as paperwork is concerned but obviously with foster to adopt we were able to get her really quickly. I love talking about adoption and would love to answer any questions you may have. We hope to adopt again in a few years. We have a blended inter-racial and international family and it ROCKS!

  35. says

    What an exciting journey for you two. I’ll look forward to hearing the things you share as you move forward, and will be keeping you in my prayers!

  36. says

    I’m going to try and get through this without shedding tears….reading this makes me feel like I’m back in that conference room with you Layla after the photo session at Haven. :-) It was so wonderful talking with you and hearing from your heart and sharing from my own! There are so many different roads you could choose to go down that I know ii feels completely overwhelming, huh? For us, it was about wanting to have the experience of having a newborn even if it was only one time. I think that is a pivotal decision and narrows down options quickly. Our choice led to domestic adoption and the beautiful journey we went on to adopt our precious boy (who’s now 9). The complex, bittersweet relationship that occurs between adoptive parents and birth parents is impossible to put into words, but we have used it as an opportunity to speak the truth of God’s love into their lives every chance we’ve had. We were amazed that we were then able to adopt another infant a few years later (our sweet girl) and feel beyond blessed to be their parents. I told you that day in Atlanta that people will tell you that children are a gift from God and that is true…but when you are literally GIFTED your children it takes on an entirely different meaning! :-) We always just prayed that God would make things very clear to us, and even though sometimes we were in the “fog” right down to the last minute, He always made it so evident that His hand was guiding the process all long. I will be praying that this will be true for you and that you will march down this adoption road with confidence in the ONE who knows exactly how your family will grow and which precious child will be blessed to call you mommy and daddy!
    Vanessa

  37. says

    So happy to hear this. We adopted from foster care…twice in a year! I highly recommend foster care as a route and my heart has grown tremendously through this process towards older child adoption. Meanwhile, I am trying to help waiting kids (being fostered by a friend) find a forever family. Composing a blog now!

  38. says

    We are currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. I have had a heart for the fatherless for many years but it took my husband a while to come around (we have two biological sons, ages 14 and 19). After years of bringing it up and his sharing that he didn’t have the same conviction(s), I decided that I must do SOMETHING, even though, obviously, I couldn’t adopt without him (and that was okay). In the midst of all of this, God began to pierce my heart for the people of Africa. I even said to him once, rather randomly, “I hear Africa calling…do you?”. Through a series of really random acquaintances and meetings, people who were adopting, had adopted or who were doing some sort of ministry in Ethiopia kept crossing my path. In July of 2011, my sister and I went on a 10-day trip with the organization, Ordinary Hero, to Ethiopia and were completely wrecked and changed there. In the meantime, God had been working on my husband’s heart and he was ready to proceed with adoption. We are currently waiting (not-so-patiently) for the referral of a daughter.

  39. says

    We have 3 beautiful daughters all adopted from China. Our adoption journey took many different twists and turns. By chance we ran across an article in the Business section about a new company that had just opened that specialized in adoptions from China only. In 1996 China was wide open to adoption and the process was not extremely intimidating. It was completely on a wing and a prayer that we handed over fees, and scrambled madly around to gather lots of documents and sent them off with an agency who had no track record…yet. I had never felt so at peace with a decision. We were in their 2nd group ever to travel. Everything happened with absolute blind faith, that God would provide, that the agency would be honest and do their part, that our travel to China would be a safe journey. And it was, and we returned 2 more times even through the changes in the process and longer wait times. Adoption is such a huge blessing, for everyone, but most of the time I think so little about my girls being adopted. They are just MY girls! God’s blessing on you all as you continue on your journey! I’ll be praying for you and eagerly looking forward to the referral photos and all the other news when you decide you are ready to share!

  40. Melissa Cable says

    How exciting. I am walking through with many friends on the same road as you, and used to be an adoption social worker at Bethany Christian Services. Here are my thoughts, but honestly truly, all your pro, con, $ lists, can be thrown out the window because God can call you to any option out there.
    1) Domestic Adoption through the state- This is the foster/adopt thing. It is the cheapest route, and there is much need. But this can be the longest most emotional road as kids/babies can come and go. They give the parents whose kids are taken away a lot of chances to get them back. So they may be with you for a year and then go back to their parents. And kids in this option obviously have had a rough road of neglect/drug use, etc.
    2)Domestic adoption- newborn. This is the option where a pregnant woman chooses you as their adoptive family. This can be done through a private agency like Bethany (my role) or through and attorney that can be a bit pricier and less hand holding for the pregnant girl. There is a wait, could be long could be short, it all depends when a girl “chooses” you. It could happen 2 weeks after your paper work is in or 2 years. And there is the heartache of a birthmom choosing you but then changing her mind upon birth, which definitely happens, but if you have a good agency they can shield you from a lot of that. I made a lot of last minute calls, never telling them they were chosen because it was touch and go, but hey come get your newborn baby. There is high demand for Caucasian newborns and not as many women placing, so you will possibly wait, and it is more expensive.
    3) International adoption- This is what my last work was till I had my kids. Huge need, lots of paperwork and waiting, but it is guaranteed. These children are in orphanages and there is no changing of minds or in an out of your home. That emotional waiting game is not as gut wrenching as the above can. But the frustrations in working with other govts, the amount of paperwork, the traveling, and the expense can be just as difficult. And particurly with older children, you will deal with similar emotional and transitional issues as state domestic adoptions. The younger most likely the less issues at home. Jen Hatmaker has an excellent article on this. But the need is so so heavy internationally. And if you have a certain age or gender in mind or on your heart, that can help you steer towards a certain country. People like China and Guatemala because the children are younger.
    Ok so that was a lot, probably what you could have found in any old adopting for dummies book. In incredible calling! Hard, but incredible!

  41. says

    Congrats on the journey you are about to begin! Our daughter who is now 10 was adopted as a baby from Georgia, USA. We were living in Vancouver, BC at the time (now in Toronto) and there was a really active group called ACAN (African-Canadian Adoption Network) where many of the parents were using an agency in Georgia and adopting African-American babies as the process was fairly quick at the time. It really didn’t matter to us where our baby was born – we just wanted a family. Wishing you a happy journey!

  42. Kelly S says

    My husband and I have adopted three children from three different countries–Ukraine, China, and Guatemala. There were various reasons why we chose to adopt from each particular country, but we made the choice to adopt internationally because we felt that it was more “final” than a domestic adoption. Over the years we have met other families that have adopted children in all kinds of circumstances. My advice is to research each option and then make your decision based on what feels right for you.

    My biggest piece of advice to you is to make sure, no matter what adoption route you choose, that you have someone outside your family that can represent you during the adoption process, such as an adoption agency or attorney. Any adoption process requires tons of paperwork, dealings with state, federal, and/or international governments, and negotiation. Adoption is an extremely emotional process and you want to be able to make informed decisions, which can be difficult when you are waiting for your child.

    I know that in other posts people have told you that God will lead you in the right direction during your adoption journey. Many people told me this too as we were beginning our first adoption. Believe it.

    Here is a link to our older son’s adoption video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrTg_TAdRSg

    Good luck!

  43. Anita says

    We felt lead to adopt domestically, at least for our first child (ended up being childREN). We did a lot of researching local agencies, looking for one that really, really helped birthmothers (didn’t just ‘take’ their baby and leave the birthparent behind with no support system). We found one that valued birth moms, and even better, as a Christian agency, showed them the love of Christ. After that, it all went very, very fast. We were willing to adopt a child of any race, which is not all the common. The wait time is very short, if you are not looking for a specific gender or race. In 2.5 years we’ve adopted three incredible newborns–one hispanic/ African American, one caucasian/hispanic, and one African American. We love them all to pieces, even though life is insanely busy with three under three!

    Anyhow, my advice would be to pray about it all, and never move ahead with anything unless both you and your husband are in FULL agreement and at peace with the decision. When the baby/babies come and life gets a little insane, you can’t look at your spouse and say/ have them say “This was a bad idea, I told you so!” :-)

    That’s my two cents! We think adoption is awesome, and an incredible blessing!!!

  44. Amy says

    I’m a single mom and I adopted my daughter from China’s special needs program. As a single woman, my options were limited. I knew people who had adopted from China and I met all of their requirements, so I went with that program.

    Don’t be afraid of the special needs label. In China something as simple as a birthmark can result in a special needs designation. There are many very minor needs represented in these children. My daughter’s need is very minor and only requires monitoring by a doctor once a year. No one outside of my immediate family even knows she has this condition and it doesn’t affect her life in any way.

    She is a total blessing and I wish I could adopt again! Maybe someday I will. Good luck with your decision!

  45. Emjay says

    We are currently in the process of being approved to become a foster family. My dad was a foster child, and we’ve always felt the pull to foster. We are unsure if that will eventually lead to adoption and are on board with the idea of reuniting birth families if that is what is right for the child (it worked in my dad’s family), even though we know it can be heartbreaking.
    I’ve talked with many families that adopted in many different manners, some domestic and some abroad. The only harsh story I’ve heard came from a birth mom that chose open adoption (due to her age) and the adoptive parents eventually cut off contact. Every other story was full of heartbreak at times, but eventual bliss. I don’t think there is a wrong choice. Research and listen to your heart.

  46. Jen says

    We adopted our son from Russia. I teach fourth grade and that year I year I had an internationally adopted student from China. It never crossed our mind to adopt internationally until we met her, but once we met her we just knew.

    We looked into a few countries and just knew. My father inlay had just died and we decided we were going to do what made us happy- having NO CLUE HOW we would pay for it. The biggest sign before we met our son that it was meant to be was when my father in-laws life insurance was $25k more than my other inlay thought it should be AND he had 200,000 miles and Marriot points. What a wonderful, bittersweet surprise. Our son was born the Summer he died. You can read about our journey here:
    http://russianbabyadventure.blogspot.com/

    We are now trying to adopt domestic. we are waiting and waiting fmor someone to choose us. Unfortunately this time it is about money. I don’t think people understand hoe expensive adoption is. Keep your fingers crossed we are picked soon!

  47. says

    We adopted our first child through AGCI Ethiopia- and decided to go that route after seeing the statistics about Ethiopia and the need for adoption. We went the infant route because we are young and felt that was what God had for us.

    Now we are considering domestic adoption for our next child. The reasons are many: cost (our first adoption was expensive but God provided!), less time (our 1st adoption took 2+ years), and the possibility of knowing more information about the birth family. Although we know a tiny bit about our son’s history, we ache to have been able to sit down and talk to his birth mama and to know more about his heritage.

    Ultimately, go with what is tugging your heart the most. There isn’t a right or wrong path; adoption is needed EVERYWHERE and you can justify any country/program! Go with what makes your heart stir and what gives you hope!

  48. Jen says

    And here is us now. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Erik-and-Jen-A-Loving-Family-Hoping-to-Adopt-Please-Pass-Along/256834024360642?ref=hl

    God bless you on your journey. It’s not an easy one, but I wouldn’t go back and do it any other way. Families are created biologically and spiritually.

    Honestly we adopted internationally the first time because I wanted to be the only mom. I flet comfort in knowing his birthmother was so far away. Now that I realize how much he’s mine, Ive done research onour son’s birthmothr for him. Open relationships with a birthmother (which most domestic adoptions require) are scary, but i know understand that Jo matter what we will be mom and dad….even if we send pictures and letters. Now that I’m on the other side, I’ve tried to send pictures to Russia. :) she gave us such a gift- I will forever be grateful.

    If you have any questions, feelmfree to write. Best of luck on your journey. Have faith. It will happen.

    I leave you with one last lnk:
    http://www.graduallytogod.com/Blog.html?entry=this-is-a-story-about7

  49. says

    i adopted almost 9 years ago….from guatemala – i had originally thought i would adopt from china but they are very strict on single people adopting – my social worker pushed hard for russia but i did a lot of research and there is a lot of fetal alcohol syndrome and that isn’t the case in guatemala – annie was in foster care vs an orphanage and travel wasn’t that far (i went 3 times) all adoption is hard no matter what – i had 2 other adoptions fall through – but the benefits are amazing and blessings abundant – guatemala is up and down these days but i have friends who’ve adopted from china, ethiopia, guatemala and of course the states so if you need an ear we’re all happy to help!!

  50. says

    We adopted 16 children through various ways. I have a very out of date blog that skims over our adoption journey. If you have any particular questions I will be glad to try to help you.

  51. Morgan says

    Well, you’ve got me bawling over here, Layla! This post really touched me. You see, I was “adopted” by my step-mother who loved and raised me as her own since I was 2, and on the receiving end, I can tell you there is nothing more precious and miraculous one person can do for another. I’m so excited for all the joy coming you and Kevin’s way. Congratulations!!!

  52. Stephanie says

    We didn’t decide; God did. I read books and did research on the diiferent types of adoption. I read a great book called “Small Town Big Miracle” by Bishop W.C. Martin. He is a pastor in a small Texas town where they adopted dozens of foster children. The stories in that book touched my heart like no other but I was convinced we couldn’t be foster parents…there was no way I could let a child go. I knew in my heart I would love them too much and it would tear me apart. I was later told that is what would make me a good foster parent.. Then a “chance” meeting with an adoptive parent who introduced us to her social worker. I visited her foster-adoption agency in December 2010 and we completed the application process and training by the following February 2011. We signed up to be foster-adoptive parents which meant we’d take a child who was ready for adoption but still in the foster system.

    Then we received a call a few weeks later asking us if we’d take three…one was 4, the other was 3 and the third was due to be born any day!! We prayed and said yes! My husband wanted a child that was 2 years 9 months and potty trained (he was pretty specific). I wanted a baby. God gave us both! Eighteen months later and we are weeks away from the finalization of the adoption. We couldn’t be happier and we have the blessing of three children. Call us crazy but we’d do it again! My husband once asked me this, “If God told you today He would give you natural born children but you’d have to give up these three, what would you say?” My reply without hesitation, “I don’t need natural children. I already have three perfect ones.”

    Pray and let God lead you. His timing is perfect and He knows the where and when. He will provide you with strength, guidance, perseverance, wisdom, grace and the finances necessary to grow your family. There is a child or children that are meant to be yours. Just pray, believe and have faith. James 1:27

  53. says

    I am a terrible blogger, but you can read some of our story on our blog. We recently adopted two girls from Congo, ages 5 and 7. From the call to adopt to forever in our arms was 3 years. We did not know where God called us to adopt from just that He called us to adopt. Over time God made it clear to us the who what when and where of it all. He changed our hearts and our lives in ways I could never have expected. If you would like more info please email me. By the way, I am originally from AL. My in-laws live in Montgomery, and we have some common friends.

  54. says

    So exciting to read about your adoption process… it’s one of the reasons I’ve been following your blog! My husband and I are officially waiting – paperwork and homestudy done – for domestic infant adoption. It was not a fast decision or process for us, but if there is one thing that I have been learning through this, it’s that God’s timing is perfect. Even though we haven’t reached the “end” of our journey yet, when I would get frustrated at the process (Hurry up and Wait!) I would remind myself again that the timing is in God’s hands and He has the perfect little one for our family!
    Prayers for you as you make all these decisions!

  55. says

    Wow Layla ~ I know Peter. Love Peter. I traveled to Peru with Peter in August. I am absolutely green that you are going and cannot wait to hear what you think about it! Just had to say how amazing Peter is. He likes to stay on time and we liked to linger and love longer ;) (“Get on the Bus, Karin! Just get on the bus!” LOL), but what a true man of God and an amazing story he continues to weave in this man! Thank you for sharing him with the world!

  56. says

    Hey there, I’m so excited to read this blog post. I had wondered if you guys were still in the adoption process. We are at the finish of our adoption process. We are adopting through our state’s foster system. It is a long road and very different than many other adoptions. I’m sure there are pros and cons compared to others..however, we’ve only been through this one. We knew we wanted to adopt and both had seen kids go through the foster care system for years with no “forever family”. We felt called to this cause. I’ll be praying for God to show you right where your child(ren) is!

  57. Gloria says

    Layla, My father-in-law was also adopted. I have a huge heart for that as well, but no experience. However, our church home in NC has a great adoption ministry with mothers experienced in international adoption. My good friend, Jena, adopted two kiddos from Uganda a couple years ago and loves to help others on their mission. I’d love to get you in touch with them if you would like.

  58. says

    Oh, wow! I don’t have any advice for you, but adoption had been on my heart so much lately. Watching/reading along with Ashley Ann has given me so much perspective and (I hope) understanding about what it’s like to adopt internationally. I also have friends in real life who have adopted or are adopting right now. Their stories are so different.

    One family was in the very final step of adopting from Africa (after a VERY long process), and a family member came forward to claim the children, thus ending the adoption plans. The adoptive family was heartbroken, but they have such a great outlook and trust that God is orchestrating the future of their family (and the future of those children who are no longer orphans).

    Another family I know had adopted a baby boy from Korea, and then got a call from their agency letting them know that he had a baby sister, and asked if they would like to adopt her too! They did, and she got to come home a few weeks ago! Another completely amazing part of their story is that the adoptive mom’s sister and her husband were trying to adopt from Africa, but things weren’t working out, so they switched to Korea, and ended up adopting a little boy who had been cared for by the same foster mom as my friend’s little boy! When they went to get him in Korea, she got to tell the foster mom (through a translator) that the two boys would be cousins! Gives me goosebumps. :)

    I will pray for you and Kevin as you begin this exciting journey!

  59. Sherrie says

    You have already received so many great comment, but as our experiences have been so special to me I thought I would share.

    We have adopted three children through foster care. Our oldest son came into our home at two years old, a year later we were blessed to have a brother (2.5 years old) and sister (10 months) join our family. (To be honest we were not planning on this second addition so soon, but when we received the call we felt so good about it). Our oldest was adopted eighteen months later. The brother and sister returned to there biological parent after we had them in our home… A few months later they came back into foster care and our home. We were able to adopt them a year later.

    Several years later we had a liitle boy placed with us from the foster care system. He was a newborn child and we picked Jim up at the hospital… Within a very short period of time it became apparent that the parents would not be able to care for him, and the grandparents indicated they would not be interested in taking on the care… So we looked forward to adopting him. However, after nine months the grandparents changed there mind, and just before his first birthday the state decided to remove him from our home and place him with his grandparents to be adopted by them.

    Heavenly Father in his tender and all wise care saw fit to bless us with a miracle. We were blessed with our first biological son… After eleven years of trying. He knew that this baby would ease the loss of the other. The past two years have been a delight. All of our children have blessed our lives (even if for a short time). I believe we will enjoy the blessing of more children in our future and know Heavenly Father opens the door when the timing is right. Good luck to you!

  60. denise says

    i would be glad to answer an questions on adopting from Korea privately. We have a bio son and adopted our two younger children from Korea. My husband was born and raised in Korea and I also lived there for 4 years so you could say in some ways although paperwork wise we did an “international adoption” in many ways we feel that it was more of a “domestic adoption” especially in my husband’s case of being born and raised in the same country we adopted our younger kids from. Some countries such as Korea keep better medical records. In Korea, the kids live with foster parents instead of in an orphanage until their international paperwork for adoption is completed. Boys are more widely available to adopt in Korea than girls. You will find many people who choose to domestically adopt which is great too!!! But in our case, for us adopting from Korea was the more “domestic adoption” way to go because of the ethnic makeup/ experience of our particular family. Best wishes!

  61. says

    A couple in our church were watching tv one night, and they saw a commercial showing children in a third world country that need support. As they watched the commercial one of the children caught their attention. They were overcome with the feeling that they should try and find our more about this child. They felt, somehow, that this child would become part of their family. And the crazy fabulous part is that he did. All because of one commercial and a “feeling”.
    That’s the beauty of it. It will happen exactly when it’s meant to happen. And it will be equally fabulous. And I look forward to being just as excited for you guys!!! :)

  62. says

    You can read about our journey to adoption at http://www.stepbysteptojack.blogspot.com. As a young girl I knew I wanted to adopt, even before I realized I had many medical conditions that would only allow me to carry one child as far as 26 weeks. We became foster parents and the first little baby we brought home from the hospital was a little asian boy with tetralogy of fallot (and Down syndrome). We were in love with that little guy but he was chosen for another family. Eight years later, in June of this year, we brought home a little boy from China…who had tetralogy of fallot. God planned it all along, but He chose to guide us …step by step. Jack is 2 1/2, funny, mischievious but so ready to love and be loved. It feels like we have had him since birth. Would we got back and adopt another…YES! We’re praying about it. Trust you feel the Lord’s guidance. Remember, He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Praying for you. Jennifer

  63. says

    We were lucky enough to adopt a baby girl in our home country, she was 10 days old when we brought her home :-) I count my blessings everyday that I am a Mummy to a beautiful 9 year old girl. We were open to inter country adoption also . This time around with a new partner we are looking at surrogacy as well as adoption, either in New Zealand or inter country. Good luck with your journey, it will happen when it is right to happen. Take care – Rachael xo

  64. says

    Oh you make me cry girl! Though I have not adopted, I am surrounded by those who have …my brother in law and his wife adopted two children in the US (you can see the wedding of my neice on my blog.) My sister adopted from Russia. They went to pick up two, but only one was allowed to leave. Heartbreakingly, the other one (an infant) was too sick to leave. I teach precious adopted children in my class – one family has adopted 3. You and Kevin are in my prayers for these plans that God has for you. If I can provide you any information from any of these folks just say the word and I will get it for you.
    Blessings.
    Kelly

  65. says

    Hi Layla and Kevin —

    Kudos to you my web friends! I am the unbelievably fortunate mother of two beautiful girls adopted from China. Chloe is 17 and Sophie is 13 now. Chloe was five months old when we adopted her and Sophie was eight months old. I could not have been more thrilled to be their mother and am blessed for each of their biological parents who were most likely forced to give these beautiful babies up for adoption. China had a one child policy, hence the numbers of baby girls who were available were so large, we decided to go to China to become parents. It’s truly amazing how we are all so inter-connected — often through the kindness or tough decisions of strangers among us. Another unexpected miracle happened and after dropping off our application to our agency for our second adoption — I found out I was pregnant that evening. I had had several miscarriages and was not overly hopeful, however, nine months later, my son Noah was born — right between the two adoptions. We live in Concord, MA — not the most diverse populations, but together “we are the world.” When they were four years old and younger (they’re 22 months apart), people would stop me in the street to ask me if they were all mine. Proudly, I responded — “absolutely they are.” The wonderful thing about adoption is that EVERYONE wins — you will as a couple and certainly your child will be so blessed. I’m more than happy to speak with you both about my adoption journey. Congratulations — as I was told at my first meeting at the agency we used — no matter what you’ve been through before — this will end in success!

    Can’t wait to hear your progress!

  66. says

    Oh, Layla!!! My head is still spinning & our hearts are bursting w/ joy because….we got THE CALL on Friday to adopt 2 precious brothers in Ethiopia (4 years old & 5 months old)!!! We haven’t gone all the way public just yet…we have a fun video we are going to post on our blog later this week. :) but I just want to encourage you that this is a beautiful journey whatever direction you go!!!!

  67. says

    This post brings tears of joy to my eyes. I was adopted and it makes me remember not that I was “given up” but I was placed in a loving home where I was wanted so very much.

    I pray your child will soon be in your arms.

  68. says

    Pray Pray Pray….and then pray some more :)

    For us, picking an agency & deciding what “type” of adoption to go for kind of happened at the same time. We have 2 bio kids & were ok with not having an infant, and I have always felt drawn towards international adoption. We started researching agencies pretty heavily – unfortunately there is corruption in the world of international adoption, so picking an agency is SUPER IMPORTANT! You want to make sure you are involved with an ETHICAL agency!!!! At the same time we were picking our agency, we were researching countries – some we could exclude right away because of certain qualifications we didn’t meet. Our top choice for an agency ended up having the program we wanted (Ethiopia), and it has been a perfect match!
    There are also yahoo groups and facebook groups that review agencies & share experiences.
    I could go on forever about adoption :)
    Best of luck & prayers on your journey!

  69. Kristin says

    We started the adoption process this summer. We at first thought we’d try to do a private adoption (which would mean we’d have to find a birth mother ourselves) but that proved to be very difficult and too stressful for us . So now we’re working with an adoption agency. The process is still very difficult because it is taking so much time to go from step to step and we’re tired of waiting for our little one! It is also difficult emotionally, but we know we need to hang in there and wait for God’s blessing.

    Looking forward to hearing your updates!

  70. melinda says

    We are a family of adoption. . . we’ve been on a road filled with blessings and many road bumps. Our oldest arrived to our home as a three-year-old through the foster care system. At the time we had also fostered one infant that had been returned to his birth family . We gave him a loving, Christian home for that short time. Our hearts were broken to see him leave. Thirteen years later we still pray for him. He has a special ornament on our Christmas tree that goes front and center and is always hung with tears and prayers. Our daughter arrived as a ward of the state which meant her family ties were permanently severed (due to abuse and neglect). This became an easier adoption process for us but over the years, the early history of abuse, has made some days difficult for our daughter. She’s now a beautiful, smart teen. She has overcome so much and has the prayers and support of so many. Just know that in doing this work we can love and care deeply. Broken children who have come through broken family situations may have a more difficult time accepting, showing, and feeling that love. Reactive Attachment Disorder is real. It’s hard. But, there’s no greater gift than to continue to show Jesus’ unconditional love for us through our love to our children – broken or not. Take the steps to walk this journey. God will guide your way. It may not be easy. But there will be no greater joy than to be in Heaven and to one day meet our children also walking through those gates – and like us, no longer broken by the sin of this world.

  71. says

    Layla and Kevin~ I’ve heard many times that adoptive parents are a special breed!! Welcome to the party! The first blog entry I read at The Lettered Cottage was your adoption update a couple of years ago. I’ve been praying for you ever since. I was lucky enough to take your photography class at The Haven Conference with my husband and we fully enjoyed every second of it. Not only was it informative but the three of you were just precious!

    After having four boys, the Lord led us to adopt two girls from Kazakhstan. I had never even heard of the country but God has a way of leading you exactly where He wants you to go. And now we have two beautiful daughters. Life is hard sometimes and wonderful other times. In both circumstances, we thank God for the blessings He added to our family. We see a side of our boys that we would have never seen had we not adopted. A sweet, tender, protective side for their sisters.

    If you’d like to, we kept a journal so we could talk to our boys when we were in KZ. Visit if you’d like http://www.callouie.com/~tlouie.

    Good luck on your adoption journey. May your journey be short and enjoyable to your child!

    Love, Linda

  72. says

    Hey Sweet Layla!

    First of all- yay for finding a church home that feels like “home”! We love the Schmidt’s, so glad you have connected there! :)

    Second- yay for adoption! Will be praying for your journey in the coming months. The options are endless BUT God will show you what is right for YOUR family- and it may look different than everyone else’s!

    Since we talked a year and a half ago- we added a foster baby, our J-man- who is now ten months old. An 18 year old young man we are legal guardians of, and FINALLY we have a referral of a baby boy from Congo who we hope to bring home in December. It’s never how I thought my family would be woven together- but the design God has made has blown me away. So much greater and beautiful than I could have pictured.

    Excited to see the family that God is going to knit together for y’all!

  73. Jessica says

    My husband and I both have always wanted to be foster parents. After having our biological children, we felt God leading us to get licensed. We just wanted to help…to help these children from the hard places, to help a child see that they are lovable, that they deserve a family. Shortly after we got our license, we took in a baby girl. After just two weeks in our home we became her adoptive home, and now are just waiting to finalize, praise God! We know our story is not the norm…foster care and adoption from foster care are never easy. But we knew from the beginning that this is where we were supposed to be, trusting God, and saying yes to His call.
    Our baby girl’s story is an easy, joy-filled one. We have a few stories that aren’t quite so easy. But we focus on the good. We focus on the goal…to serve God. It’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time, but we will say yes as long as He asks us to.

    I wish you both the best as you make your decisions, and will say a prayer for you as you begin your journey anew! Congratulations, and good luck!!!

  74. Rachel says

    My grandmother fostered over 70 children throughout her ‘career’. She adopted the baby of one of her longtimers (when she became an adult). Because of her, there is a family of 4 children, whose lives became a wee bit better. My Grandma was 62 when she adopted this infant. WHEW!!!!!! Now that’s dedication!

    My parents fostered as well. I think fostering just provides SO MUCH in a time of immediate need. Please examine this as an alternative.

  75. Andee says

    We adopted our daughter almost 14 years ago. We worked with a facilitator out of CA while living in GA (our daughter was born in OR). A facilitator is different from working with an agency mainly in the manner of getting prospective birthparents. We were in a magazine they send out to various planned parenthood locations, doctor’s offices, etc… Our birthmother actually saw the magazine as she was in the waiting room to get an abortion. A couple of months later and after talking to us and a few other couples she called me to say she wanted us to raise her baby. It was an incredible experience but so hard! We were matched in late August and my daughter was born in mid November. In that time we talked to her B/M on the phone weekly and were kept up to date on all of her medical visits. We have an open adoption although we have not heard from her B/M in the last 12 years. It is nice to know her and be able to share with my daughter things about her B/M.

    We worked with Lifetime Adoption. Mardie Caldwell is great! We have had about 10 friends work with them as well and the babies have been born all over the US. That is another difference working with a facilitator – it opens you up to the whole country instead of a local area. Our adoption (from signing up to birth) was 11 months. Some of our friends went much faster and others slower. It is all in what the B/M is looking for in a family.

    May God bless you with a child soon. Adoption is a decision you will never regret!

  76. says

    A childhood friend of mine adopted a gorgeous little boy from Africa last year, to add to their family that already included two biological children. She has a great blog that explains their journey to adoption (and since!) that you may find helpful: casselljourneytoafrica.blogspot.com

    Good luck to you! Being a mom is a challenging but wonderful experience, no matter how motherhood comes to you.

  77. SJ says

    Blessings to you!! I am not including my bloggy name on here because adoption is not something that I speak of on my blog. I was adopted into the most Godly and loving that could have ever been provided for me. My parents went through the Gladney Center in Texas (they were not from there but it is a great center that they used).

    I just wanted to speak to you as an adult that was adopted as an infant. If you adopt domestically please choose in a way that your child will be “protected.” That is one thing that Gladney provides. I do not want to go into too many details and ramble on. Lets just say that the birth mother is less than desirable and Gladney has gone above and beyond to protect me and my family. PTL that the only contact she has been able to make is actually through Gladney and their services. They have a great system in place to protect everyone involved and I can only imagine how horrid things would be for me and my hubby and kiddos if they were not fighting for me.

    Whatever you decide – I commend you!!! My hubby and I are in the process of preparing to foster and cannot wait!!!

    Blessings on your journey!!

    Sj

  78. says

    Hi Layla & Kevin,

    I’m not an adoptive mom (or any kind of mom…except to puppies), but I wanted to share the story of our nieces. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law have been foster parents for about 4 years. They’ve had over 25 children in their home in that time (I’ve completely lost count), some for over a year, some for just a few days. Each of those kids has made an impact on our family.

    Almost 2 years ago, during family dinner, 2 little girls we dropped off at my sister-in-law’s house for a short visit. Breanna, the big sister, was 7 years old and Brooklyn, the little sister, was only 11 months. Both girls cried for days, missing their mom, who had been in and out of their lives for the last year. Brooklyn wouldn’t let anyone hold her, and Breanna couldn’t sit still without cuddling someone. Unfortunately, this situation isn’t terribly different from any other foster placement my in-laws have dealt with.

    My brother- and sister-in-law weren’t looking to adopt. They have 2 biological children, and just wanted to proivde a safe, loving home to kids who need it on their journey. But, Bre & Brook touched their hearts and quickly became a part of our family. Last week, we found out that they will be adopted into our family, so they will “officially” become our nieces. As far as we’re concerned, they’ve been members of the family since that family dinner 2 years ago. But it’s really nice to know they’ll always have a safe home and a big loving family.

    My point in this long, rambling story is that love tends to find you. This is true for children, spouses & friends. It happens sometimes when you least expect it, and often when you aren’t looking for it. Wherever you decide to adopt from, the child will be blessed to have you both as parents!

    Best wishes to you both! I can’t wait to read about your journey!!

  79. Kristie says

    We are parents to two grown sons. We are in our upper forties. We are (as of last week) officially registered with CARA, the agency that oversees adoptions in India. We’ve always know that we would like to have another child or children but the years flew by and before we knew it, we found ourselves closer to fifty and ready to commit. Kind of like a now or never feeling. We have supported an organization that cares for orphans in India for several years so when we decided to jump in with our eyes wide open, India was the logical choice. Our home study is written for one, up to two female siblings ages 2-6. I have no idea how long our process will take (estimates are around 18 months) but we are excited to bring home our daughter or daughters. Our hearts are already full of love for someone we’ve never met!

  80. Eileen says

    We just knew we had a daughter in China. The fact that adoption caught our hearts was surprising. We already had 3 biological children and felt “done”. But both of us felt strongly that there was someone else who should come to our family and that it should be through adoption. We adopted our amazing little girl 6 years ago and brought her brother home from China 18 months ago.

    What I do know for sure is that there’s not a “right” way to do things. It just comes down to what feels right for you.

  81. jen says

    Congratulations on your decision , it is an amazing chocie and will hopefully, ultimately bring you much joy. Although, I am glad you recognize it is a journey, full of unexpected twists, turns including frustration, disappointment and joy.

    As a therapist and adoption professional I would urge you to first contact a local adoption professional. And if you have a chocie, I would contact several and interview them to find someone you feel extremely comfortable with. They should be able to guide you through the entire process. Sometimes you can have one professional who will help you explore all three types of adoption-state adoptions through the foster care system, private domestic and private international. This is necessary, because foster care and adoption policies are determined by state code. Thus, although the federal govt has attempted to standardize some international adoption issues, ultimately it is your state law that determines a great deal of the who, what, when, where, why and how of adoption. This is true for all three types of adoption. For example, I work in a bistate area, the two states could not be more dramatically different. Couples who can adopt from one would be unable in another; couples can adopt thru the foster care system from one state within 6months to a year after removal from their parental home, whereas the other state can attempt reunification for up to 14 yrs and one state only recognizes private domestic adoptions that occur within the state. With international and domestic private adoption there are other variables in play- age, health, finances, profession, heritage. It truely can be overwhelming, hence the need for a professional to guide you. But rather than openly focus on all areas, first use your professional to help gather info on the chocies that are available to you and then begin to narrow it down.

  82. Olivia says

    No matter what choice you make, you will be saving a life and I know you’ll both make fabulous parents! I can’t wait to follow along for the adventure.

  83. says

    This is so exciting Layla and Kevin! When I entered blogland last summer, I remember reading a few adoption articles you wrote and was sharing the joy of adoption with my college roomate. She was, at this time last year, in the beginning stages of adopting a little boy from China. Well, I am happy to say, after 2 trips to China and alot of leg work, she brought him home early this summer :) The cutest toddler year old who lived in an orphanage. If you are interested in her contact information inbox me at jessica (at) fourgenerationsoneroof (dot) com. She considered many countries and being a world traveller herself and being in the Peace Corp , she is very familiar with this stuff!!! She worked with a phenomenal agency right here in Boston (she lives in NC) and she is a wealth of information. I’m sure she would love to talk/help or whatever you need :) Good luck and looking forward to hearing more about it! PS. My other college roomate also adopted from CT 2 years ago ( the state she lives in) a little boy as well ( from birth) . So if you are interested in US adoption ect. I know she could also help you!

  84. Melissa says

    HI Layla and Kevin!

    My nextdoor neighbor and his father are lawyers. They specialize in adoptions. In fact they have won awards. They are the nicest people you could ever speak with! They can give you the ins and outs of adoptioning along with pros and cons on where to adopt from! It is a process that can be very complicated! If you would like for me to put you in touch with them…I am more than happy to do so!

    GOOOD LUCK!!

    Melissa Leedy

  85. Katrina says

    Wow today’s topic of adoption really hits home for me. My husband and I have been trying to conceive with fertility treatments for almost two years now. Reading all of these wonderful stories have really opened my eyes and heart on considering adoption. Thank you all so much!

  86. Suzan says

    When my husband and I decided to start thinking about a family, we didn’t feel a strong need to have biological kiddos, so we started to think/pray about foster care and adoption. Just last week, we finalized the adoption of our son. He is 18 mths old and has been with us as our foster son since he was one day old. It has been an amazing faith building journey and we can’t wait to do it again! We plan on going back on the foster care “list” in about 6 months. There is too much to say in a comments section, but please feel free to email if you have more specific questions/concerns regarding foster care and adoption through the foster care system.

  87. Terry says

    We have 2 daughters through adoption. They are both from China. As another comment said, there are signs to show you your path. My husband and I were “thinking” about the possibility of adoption. We were guided on our journey initially by an artical in our Church bulliten. It was all about International Adoption in China. Well, that was our sign. The next day we went to a local agency and started our paperwork. Our first daughter was received in China at 11 months old, in 2001. Our second daughter was received in China at 2 years old, in 2007. Our children are what make us complete. You will find your way! Good luck!

  88. says

    Layla and Kevin,
    I have been blog stalking you for a long time, while never leaving a comment until now. A year before my husband and I started fostering, I was reading your posts about adoption, praying and waiting to see how God was going to use you two in the life(lives) of his little one(s).
    Now, we are in the process of adopting our first foster placement, 4 month old who “needed a mom and a dad.” He was very sick from drug exposure when he was born. He has overcome so much that now he is a healthy and active 15-month boy that has helped create this little family.
    In July, we welcomed our second little placement. He is a 3-month cooing and crying machine, and he has made me a busy momma! His future is unknown to us. It has been amazing seeing God work in our hearts as we pray for him and his bio parents during this time of uncertainty. We would love to adopt him if it comes to that, however, it is ultimately out of our hands.
    This used to terrify me. The unknown. The decision being out of our hands. Until I realized it never really was in ours to begin with. Any adoption with any country or any agency could go awry at any moment. In fostering you realize from day one “God, you’re in control of this little one’s future.” “You’re also in control of our hearts.” There may be heartache along the way, but there is a sweet feeling knowing the heartache will come by helping “the least of these.”
    Fostering isn’t something I grew up with. However, our pastor and his wife have been fostering for the last 7 years and have had over 9 placements. They are now in the process of adopting their third child through the foster care system. It isn’t as pretty as going through an agency. However, I love the fact that they have kissed, prayed, and taken care of babies that needed to be loved and had no where else to go, even if it was for only a little while. Seeing their tears as a child left, God restoring and rejuvenating, and them welcoming another child in, opened our eyes that it was possible. (I also love watching their older children (4-6), who were also in foster care, love on these babies who come and go through their home. I think it teaches them something about compassion, uncertainty, selflessness, and what makes a family. That is my hope for our little guy as well.) Yes, the road would be tough, but we’re not alone. And neither are you!
    I love reading all of the comments, all of the different yet beautiful stories. Remember that your story will be different too. It will be the story God has already written for you two. I will continue to pray for wisdom and discernment as you walk this journey of adoption. It seems to always be bumpy, but worth it.

  89. Abbey says

    I am a 31 year old who is in youth ministry. I have had a passion for orphans since my 1st mission trip to Brazil in 1998. Since then, I have traveled all over the world giving my time to orphanages and trying to figure out what to do with my passion. My husband and I tried to have our own kids, but our journey to start a family led to 2 years of visiting the fertility specialist and painful procedures. Every time we underwent one of these procedures, the same answer came every time, you can’t have kids. Broken hearted, God brought me back to my passion for orphans. At first, I thought that international adoption was for us. I started researching, and I was discouraged about the time table and all the hoops that we had to go through.

    I thought we had hit another dead end, but I started hearing about foster care and the enormous ministy that we had here in our city, Wichita, KS. I made a call and we got involved in respite care. A few months into it, we met a baby girl who needed care. We are not her foster parents, but helped out babysitting her. We knew that her story would eventually get to adoption and we started the process of becoming foster parents. The journey is stressful and frustrating, but we kept the image of this little girl in our minds. Our home was inspected, we were inspected, everything was inspected and we are now foster parents! The little girl we babysit is now up for adoption and we are now awaiting the adoption homestudy and hope to adopt her in the next few months. (Her foster parents, while called to foster, do not want to adopt).

    Adoption is hard and scary and can be completely frustrating, but it is also worth every hardship. We have not been “chosen” yet, but God has led us and has opened doors every step of the way. Sometimes when it seems like the door has been slammed shut, God props it back open.

    We may still adopt overseas, you never know, but what I do know is that there are hundereds of kids where you live who desperately need a home, who need a family. The process is frustrating, but once you are licensed, the calls don’t stop.

    I hope you find clarity and that you follow where God is leading. Adoption and foster care is probably the most rewarding thing we have ever done!

  90. Vara B says

    What a wonderful journey you are embarking on!

    I have been volunteering with my local crisis pregnancy resource center for about 6 years now and what a wonderful place to find children who need homes. The goal for the preg centers is to save baby’s lives from abortion and bring the parents to Christ. Often times the mothers opt not to abort but can’t parent themselves for whatever reason. Our support team works with the mothers in making an adoption plan and coordinates with a local attorney.

    Just “Google” crisis pregnancy centers in Alabama and a list will help you get started. Most centers do not advertise this service as they are not agencies, but will guide you where to go and help you navigate the waters.

    May the Lord bless your journey!

  91. Deb says

    Dear Layla and Kevin,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite some time but have never left a comment until now. I felt compelled to share a resource with you as you embark on your amazing journey of adoption. A good friend’s daughter and son-in-law adopted their beautiful son from Ethiopia through a non-profit Christian ministry called “Lifesong for Orphans” (www.lifesongfororphans.org). It’s astounding to learn on their website that there are over 143 million orphans worldwide! If you are interested in international adoption I would be happy to share the link to the family’s blog which details their personal experience. Thank you for sharing from your heart. You will be wonderful parents! I look forward to seeing where God leads you on your journey!

  92. Denae says

    I have no magical words of wisdom for you. While researching adoption 5 years ago, I was told repeatedly “you will just know”. How? I wanted concrete answers and logical reasoning. What I learned is that logic and reasoning do not seem to play a big part in the adoption process. You have to completely relinquish control and follow your heart. And we did, and we have a beautiful, amazing, crazy, and wild 3 year old boy from Ethiopia. We would not trade the experience for anything in the world.

    We are now talking of adding to our family again, so we are back trying to decide where/how/what/when? And I’m anxious and nauseous and frightened, but in the end an answer will show itself to us, and we will start this roller coaster all over again. Best of luck to you in your journey!

  93. denise says

    i have asked the same question of someone much older and wiser than myself and was told to search with your heart not your eye, look for the child that no one else will choose, dont get caught up on adopting a baby–they will always be your child, but only a baby for a very, short time.

  94. debbie r says

    Layla, My niece Kim ended up unable to have children and she became a foster parent. She now has her own daughter Kailyn. My niece Michelle has adopted a cousin of ours actually, Cayden and has almost finished classes to be a foster single mom to get two other children who she met at her job. She is a youth coordinator. One is a little girl named..Layla and her little brother. She is about four and he is two. She fell in love with them and wants them to have a stable home. The thing that connects all these children and many more is that their parents are drug users. Layla’s mom died of a drug overdose. There are so many of them like them. Yes, its a risk you take being a foster parent and falling in love with the children and then the parents getting them back. With both the adopted children in the family this is what happened, back and forth but the parents can’t stay off of the pills and end up losing their children. My niece Kim has two little girls right now that have come back and forth to her. We adore both of them. They think of us as family. They are used to us thank goodness so their little hearts aren’t broken too much when they come back to us. I say us because we love them so much and at one point we all helped out to care for them. There are so many of them and some are already up for adoption. There was another little girl, about nine who has a small brother also, and all she wants is for someone to adopt her. Michelle had her and Layla for a day and we all hung out together. It was soooo pitiful. her parents were on drugs and they went hungry.Another little girl and boy go to daycare where my niece works and they are from Alabama. Their brother was left in a vehicle i believe and died. The parents were arrested.Their aunt is trying to take care of them but having a hard time of it.. Just the most heartbreaking stories. So what i am telling you all this for is that maybe you should consider something like this. There is so many of them because of the pill addiction its shocking. Little children just wanting someone to love them and be part of a real family. I am sure thee are some right there in your own town with their own heartbreak waiting for someone to come love them. I wish you and Kevin the best and i believe that you will be wonderful parents to which ever child, or children, you bring home and call your own.

  95. says

    What a lovely post and sentiment. I am an adoptive mom of a 1-year old boy, and I wish you as much happiness as we have found on our adoption journey. We went the local, private route. It was primarily because we wanted to be involved in the process–we could put in the time to make connections and share our wishes to adopt with the community, and the right child would find us. We thought just waiting without being able to do anything would be hard for us. We would also be able to meet our child’s birthparents and know from talking to them that placing with us was what they wanted in their hearts. We would then be able to share more with our child about his adoption because we would have been involved in the process. It worked out just right for us, and we couldn’t be happier.
    There are no wrong answers here–happy families are grown in all sorts of ways. Best of luck–you are doing the right thing to reach out to others for support.

  96. Elizabeth says

    I’m a single mom by choice and was blessed to have my daughter myself at 41. I just wanted to wish you much luck, strength and blessings on your journey to create your family.

  97. Sarah says

    We adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia, the process took 3 years & was difficult but completely worth it. There are pro’s & con’s to international & domestic, we prayed over it & asked for wisdom from God b/c like you said, the need is great. When we began researching Ethiopia the need was so overwhelming (5 million orphans just in that country) & the poverty so overwhelming. Of course children everywhere need a home, but I think God makes it clear what path to choose and gives you a peace once you decide – international can take longer and be a little more expensive, you miss out on some time with them initially but you also don’t have to deal with a mom changing her mind last minute (rare if that happens) or meeting with the birth mom through the years. Our girl was abandoned, as is most orphans in Ethiopia, brought to an orphanage and would end up on the street or not make it until their 5th b-day. These were things to consider. Finding an agency is important as well. Feel free to email me with any questions (we just brought home our daughter in April of this year so it’s very fresh on my mind). So glad you are doing this – it’s worth every tear & struggle.

  98. Laura says

    We have five adopted children. It would take a book to tell you our story but when we started our journey, my goal at the time was to adopt an infant. I had suffered 4 miscarriages. One of the miscarriages was twins so we lost 5 babies altogether. We just wanted a baby. I started researching local agencies and called one that didn’t have a year or two year wait. That’s the one we went with. We ended up with a 27 day old baby in less than a year. When he was 2, we did it again. Different agency but same social worker. We just kind of followed her. This time we adopted an 18 day old baby girl. Our social worker sent us a letter in the mail saying that she was going to start working with an international agency in Ukraine. We didn’t end up using her again but her letter got us looking into Ukraine. 4 years after that second adoption we headed to Ukraine. We cam home with two 14 month old baby boys. When those boys were 5 years old we got a call. There was a baby not born yet and she would need a family when she was born. For many reasons there were other families wanting to adopt who turned her down. We know the real reason was that God had planned all along for her to be in our family. We brought her home when she was 24 hours old. It is unbelievable that with waiting lists the way they are we ended up with five babies. We lost five babies, two of which were twins, and God gave us five babies, two of which were the same age. Our story is full of miracles and God’s love. I guess all I can say is pray and ask God to show you the way to go. He will bring the right child or children to you.

  99. Sandy says

    I wish you luck in your journey! My adopted children are now 30 and 26 years old respectively. Heath was 13 days old when we picked him up from one of the hospitals in our county, and Virginia was only three days old when we brought her home. You are doing the right thing by letting people know you are interested in adoption. And you can reach a MUCH broader audience than I could 30+ years ago! But it was by being open about our desire to adopt that ultimately led to the greatest miracles of our lives. And, believe it or not, when Virginia was six weeks old, another person contacted us about ANOTHER possibility. That “possibility” was adopted by two dear college friends. We have all been blessed by these wonderful children, and I pray you will be, too.

    Another time, I will have to tell you about Virginia meeting her birth mother a few years ago. The story will warm your heart!

  100. Heather A says

    I did not want to adopt.
    My husband and I tried to get pregnant for close to four years and by the end of that dreadfully grueling process (infertility and the things we crazy humans do to try and get a baby in our tummy) I was a wreck and certainly not up for an exhausting adoptive procedure. I didn’t think I could do it – or even wanted to. “How can I love someone who is not my flesh and blood? I pleaded with my husband. And he sat up, looked at me straight on and said the words that changed my life. “Heather. I love you, and you are NOT my flesh and blood.”
    That was it. Since we wanted a baby *yesterday* and we also had no clue what we were doing, we reached out to an adoption coordinator {http://www.adoptioninfosvcs.com/} in Atlanta where we live. Within, I kid you not, 9 months, we were flying to California to meet our newborn baby boy.
    God laughed and about a year later, I was pregnant.
    We have an 11 year old adopted boy, a biological 9 year old girl and we adopted again in 2006 and have a boy who just started Kindergarten. Our family is, complete.
    I will pray for you all!

  101. Abby K says

    My husband and I are in the process of adoption. We spent a lot of time praying and researching the options for where to start. For many reasons we found that domestic adoption was the right way for us. It seems to all depend on what your specific priorities and needs are and most importantly where God is leading you. For us having a shared culture, being able to foster to adopt, and having a more complete medical history for our child were important to us. There is a wonderful site calls AdoptUsKids.org that I would highly recommend as a wonderful resource site on domestic adoption. There is a wonderful full length video on the US foster/adoption system the site that is fantastic! So much has changed legally in favor of the adoptive parent in the past few years and that helped us have more confidence in the domestic system. I hope your journey to adopt is a wonderful one!

  102. Abby says

    We just submitted our application on Saturday to begin an Ethiopian adoption. We’ve talked about adoption since before we were married 10 years ago, have since had 2 sons, and now are ready to expand our family again. My only sister was adopted domestically at 4 days old, so it’s near to my heart. We also believe adoption is God’s design–in our need, He grafted us into His family–and we hope to graft another in need into our family–for His glory.

  103. says

    I had been wondering when this topic (the one that really got me hooked to the blog) would come back… but I didn’t dare to ask. I have no word of wisdom for you… but I’m looking forward to reading your story, as adoption has always been on my mind…

  104. Carie says

    Layla & Kevin,
    Congratulations!
    We adopted our amazing daughter almost 12 years ago when she was born. We attended a RESOLVE meeting in our area about adoption. Various agencies were there speaking about domestic adoptions, international, foster care…you name it someone was there from every area to give a presentation and speak about it.
    We really connected with a lady from a domestic adoption agency that was 2 hours away from us. She was an attorney who did private adoptions but then started an agency. She was an advocate for birthmothers and let the birthmothers see every profile. They didn’t narrow anyone down by religion, or how long they’d been on a waiting list. They believed connections are made and the birthmother should see everyone available to her. It was 9 months from the time we signed up with them to till the day we brought our daughter home. It was magic!
    I have to say THE BEST THING I DID was remove myself from any one situation. When I realized that OUR child was going to come to us when SHE was ready. I believe we all are set on a course like you mentioned to touch each others lives. When I figured out that she needed to be here when the experiences were going to line up with what was right for her life. I was able to hold my arms open wide and wait for her to arrive. Patience is something you learn as a parent. I was learning patience. I was learning to say to this little one out in the universe “It’s ok. Mommy & Daddy are here for you now and you can come as soon as you are ready. It is safe & everything will be ok. We are ready when you are.” I then began to prepare a nursery and buy items for a little one….I wasn’t getting them ready for a particular situation I was getting them ready for our child. Somedays I closed the door to the nursery and some days I sat inside and dreamt about what it would feel like to finally hold her. Now that she is here, I can’t imagine another person to connect with our family. I feel so honored to have been chosen to be her mother. She is amazing!
    Enjoy the ride :D

    • Cindy says

      So powerful! I finally get it! God has shown me His grace and compassion by giving His Son to die for my sins. I can surely give other forgiveness and show them compassion because it is what God would want me to do and because it is the right thing to do. I didn’t have to earn it from God. There could be no way I could earn such a gift from God. And what is better yet, He gave ti to me know ing couldn’t earn and because He wanted to …… WOW!

  105. says

    i adopted my daughter from China in 2004, when she was 11 months old. I KNEW I wanted to adopt from China since I was 8 or 9…. NO, really!! I always wanted to adopt & was way too scared to birth a baby, so it all worked out! I used GWCA out of TX (even though I don’t even live close to TX!) and was thrilled with them. My daughter is the absolute joy of my life, she is the BEST decision I ever made!! It was an amazing trip, and an amazing experience and now… an amazing life. The love I have for my daughter is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. Best wishes on your journey!!

  106. Leah says

    Love your blog! I have had the joy of being able to witness my brother and sister-in-law adopt, and it has been such an incredible joy to see how much their lttle boy has blessed them and my family. On a more serious note, today many friends and family are starting a novena ( a multiple-day prayer) for a couple we know trying to adopt a baby boy out of state. What started as a smooth adoption, has become complicated, and they may lose this little boy they have been fostering for over 3 months. So please pray for them whoever read this because they and this precious baby really need prayers for both God’s will and peace and strength! Thanks and will be praying you!

  107. says

    I think of choosing where/how to adopt as following the yellow brick road. I don’t know how we chose Korea. I know that we looked at domestic adoption, foster care adoption, and many different countries. I would have told you when I was 15 I wanted to adopt from China. I would have told you two months before we started the adoption process that I didn’t want to adopt. As we were discussing the options Korea just felt right and kept coming up. It just felt right. I know, not helpful, huh?

    I guess it came down to a few things. It’s a program I believe in. It’s a culture I find interesting and can be proud to adopt and help him be proud of and learn about. But in the end, our heart led us to where we were meant to be. And yours will too. We’ve been home just a short time and we think we are the luckiest people alive.

    Pray, listen, follow your heart. You’ll find the right path.

  108. Tiffany H. says

    I do not have any adoption wisdom to share with you other than to keep your faith. I’ve had friends that have gone through the process and they all say it’s the wildest roller coaster ride you’ll ever go on, but so very worth all the ups and downs in the end. I wish you and Kevin all the best during this journey; I will pray for you two. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  109. says

    I was wondering if you would update us on your adoptions plans! My husband and I are just getting started on domestic adoption. We believe we are supposed to adopt from Foster Care and start our required classes and homestudy in November. My advice to you is to attend informational meetings held by adoption agencies. You get the opportunity to ask questions and figure out what the best option for your family. We ended up choosing Foster Care adoption for two reasons…it is the most affordable route…and has the greatest need (especially when considering sibling groups). I felt like now would be the easiest time to adopt older children. We could always adopt or have an infant later when it could be more financially feasible…and then the children would be in birth order (not sure that really matters :))

    I believe God will show you the way. It is amazing the freedom you will feel if you just let God direct each step. We had no idea we would end up here. Who knows…we may get pregnant or have someone we know ask us to adopt a relative of theirs. :)

    One more recommendation….tell everyone you know! :) You never know who may have a connection with a child or baby that needs a home! I’m going to be updating my blog soon to get the word out for my family too :).

  110. amy says

    we adopted internationally when it was still relatively “easy”. lots of years later & lots of gov’t regs later my heart breaks for kids who languish because it’s become so complicated. we still receive e-mails from our agency & there are many kids in china who need homes. your process will move more quickly if you’re willing to accept a “special needs” child. wish you could meet my “special needs” child. he’s exceptionally smart & quite the athlete. don’t be scared off by labels that may be placed on the children but be realistic at the same time. pray for the LORD’s guidance–he’ll show you where your children are.

  111. Layla says

    Just wanted to add a comment here to let y’all know how much we appreciate you sharing your experiences with us! SO much love throughout this thread! THANK YOU!

  112. says

    Reece’s Rainbow. It is an advocacy group for children who might otherwise have the chance to be adopted. Most of the children listed are in Eastern Europe (Ukraine and Russia). We brought our beautiful daughter, Paisley, home from Russia on Christmas Eve. We would have never found her if it had not been for Reece’s Rainbow. Best of Luck, Renee http://www.reecesrainbow.org

  113. says

    Hi Layla –

    This past July my sons and I celebrated our 10th Gotcha Day. In July 2002 two little boys captured my heart and changed my life forever. Adoption was a natural journey for me as I was adopted at birth. But when the time came to choose a direction I felt called to become a foster parent. Fostering isn’t for the weak of heart – it was challanging, frustrating, rewarding, wonderful…all at the same time. I wouldn’t change the past 10 years for anything!!!

    The direction you two choose will be filled with ups and downs but when you hug your forever child for the first time…yup…it will all be worth it!

    I’m very excited to follow your journey to parenthood. May you find yourself surrounded by loving supportive people.

    Steph

  114. Jenn says

    Hey there …
    I’m not considering adoption right now and have never adopted, but I am a social worker and have worked in a private foster care agency for 7 years. As some of your readers have said, adopting through the foster care system can be difficult and a lengthy process, but it is worth it in the end. I have witnessed many adoptions and worked with so many children awaiting adoption – the joy is tremendous! It’s my favorite part of my job – seeing “forever families” join together. If you have any questions about foster-to-adopting, feel free to e-mail me!

    P.S. Love your blog ;)

  115. says

    Oh my. Adoption. It is my heart. I think I was preparing my entire life to be an adoptive mom. And now. My heart for adoption lives and grows right here in our home….via China. We have 3 precious little ones who are now 9, 8 and 3 who look at us through almond eyes. My heart just can not even contain the love I feel for these children. We decided to adopt from Ch!na after I watched an episode of Oprah featuring Lisa Ling. They talked about the babies in The Dying Rooms in Shanghai, Ch!na. My heart shattered. These babies in Shanghai had just been left to die. I could not stop thinking about adopting from Ch!na. I watched Lisa Ling’s NatGeo documentary about “The Lost Girls” of Ch!na. My husband and I decided to adopt the most precious 19 month old girl we had ever seen. She was listed with Children’s House International. It took us 9 months from the day we said, ‘YES!!” to the day we were on a plane heading for Beij!ng! She was 28 months old when they brought her into the room dressed in a puffy pink coat and snow pants. I fed her Cheerios and she was a happy girl! She never looked back. A year and a half later we returned to Gu!lin to adopt another itty bitty girl from the same orphanage. She was not so easily swayed with a handful of Cheerios….but she did love the baby doll we brought her and she still, 5 years later sleeps with her Mei Mei doll every night. She was 39 months old and so tiny that the words “frail and fragile” often came to mind. We thought our family was complete with 6 children until this past year when the cutest little boy ever….EVER….showed up on my computer screen. I knew he was our son the minute I saw him. We brought him home in February of this year. He is 3, and he is funny and kind and sweet and loving and such a joy. He giggles and says, “Don’t chickle me!” when he wants to be tickled. I think we just might be finished now because, you see, our sweet, funny 3 year old boy is from Shangha!…..from the very orphanage I heard about on Oprah that drew me into wanting to adopt from Ch!na. So, why did we adopt from Ch!na? I think because we just knew we were suppose to. It all made perfect sense. It will to you too when you make the decision. Hang on tight…it’s a ride you will never forget! :)

  116. says

    The best advice we got was “tell everyone you know that you want to adopt.” We did a home study first, not affiliated with an agency, and were getting ready to call agencies when a friend who works at a hospital called us in the middle of the night to say “there is a young mom who just gave birth to a healthy baby girl and she is interested in an open adoption and I told her about you guys.” We met our daughter and her birthmom within hours and the next day, checked into the hospital with her and brought her home the following day.

    Years ago, I used to be very involved in a fabulous organization called the American Adoption Congress ( I am an adoptee as well as my daughter). I heard Adam Pertman (author of Adoption Nation) speak and an audience member asked him “why are so many people going overseas to adopt when there are children in our country who desperately need parents and families?” and I’ll never forget Adam’s answer… “You go where your heart calls you”

    I thank God every day for our precious daughter, her courageous birthmother and for our community of friends and family who supported us through a long, rough fertility road.

    Many, many blessings to you on your journey to parenthood….

  117. says

    I was so excited to see the title of this post with the word “Adoptive” in it. It’s great to hear where you are in the process again.

    My husband and I just started the home study process back in March. We hope to finish by the end of this month…. we have been moving a little slow. We are going through Lifeline Children’s Services, a Christian adoption agency here in Birmingham (I’m not sure if they have an office in Montgomery) and have been pleased with the process so far. Back in January we didn’t know where we would be adopting from. Except that it would be international. We have felt God calling us to international adoption for a long time. We started narrowing it down by first looking at the countries Lifeline works with. Next, we crossed off all the ones we didn’t meet age or marriage requirements for. My husband and I are both under 30 and have been married for five years. We started sensing that God was leading us to a country in Latin America. Having gone on several mission trips to this area our hearts already have a special place for these people. After narrowing it down we were eligible for either Peru or Colombia. Our biological daughter is only 10 months right now and we plan to keep the birth order. So we decided on Colombia since because of our age we are eligible for the youngest children (0-35 months). We expectantly look forward to meeting our child sometime in the next year!
    The best advice I can give you in deciding where to adopt from is first prayer and second deciding on an agency. Your agency will have a list of countries that they work with and fact on each one. They all vary as far as: the average age of the child, time in country, and length of process. I look forward to seeing how God uses you in the adoption process. I’ll be praying for y’all.

  118. says

    We started out as domestic–someone we knew. We then decided to go the foster care route when that adoption failed (mom decided to parent 2 wks before delivery). We tried for years this way but got nowhere. Out of the blue, the uncle of the baby we could only love from afar called because he and his GF were pregnant. She had her tubes tied and still became pregnant. God is great. I truly believe that our little Logan was a great gift from God–delivered to us in a not-so-conventional way. We are hoping to adopt again soon–come on baby Palmer #2!!!! :):);)

  119. Erin says

    Good luck on your adoption journey! I write this as I snuggle with my 8 week old son who my husband and I adopted from a private agency in Utah. We chose Utah as it is a state with short waiting periods and some of the best adoption laws, where the birth mother can relinquish anytime after 24 hours. My husband and I were able to be in the delivery room and welcome our son into the world with his beautiful birth mother. I will never forget the experience and I thank God every day for our miracle baby and the joy that he has brought into our lives. We cannot wait to adopt again!

  120. says

    First of all, yeah! The world needs more people to step up and step out in faith and adopt! My heart breaks for so many children all over the world. My husband and I chose to adopt twice from China. Why China? It just felt right, so we dove in. Now, 6 years later, I have completely fallen in love with China and know it was the place our hearts were all along. Blessings in your journey, wherever it may take you.

  121. says

    I’m an adoptive Mama with two darling children from China. Like many of the comments the story is long and winding and we just followed the path that God had for us. Every time we deviated a major heartache and roadblock was in store for us. We were older parents looking to be first time parents – ie many US agencies wouldn’t even list us. We were the poster family for what could go wrong in foster to adopt. We waited a long time on China. Our hearts were set on being parents so we set back and waited and waited and waited just a bit more. We now have a beautiful 3-1/2 yr old daughter (adopted at 7 months) and a handsome, special 8 yr (adopted at 6 1/2) old BOY – I know a boy from China. God has a sense of humor for a Mama that was going to raise two girls. Our son is Deaf – he has blessed our family. Long story short WE didn’t decide. We prayed about it and listened. We were lead to our two children. We are parenting a child with needs we thought we’d never ask for. Enjoy the journey. Listen to your heart. Everyone will have an opinion – trust yourself! You’ve taken many leaps of faith before – this is just another one of those leaps! Good luck!

  122. Carrie McChesney says

    Oh My! Adoption has blessed our lives more than we could possibly share. We started down the path to adoption, thinking we would adopt internationally (we had done a mission trip to Uganda in 2008). We thought for sure, a needy child from another country was how we would grow our family. (I couldn’t have children due to early menopause at age 27). We researched a gazillion agencies and settled on Bethany Christian Services (bethany.org). After our very first seminar with them, we knew we were to adopt domestically and help a child here in our own country, which for some reason never had crossed our minds. In February of 2010 we were officially on the wait list, and by March we were picked, and by April, we welcomed our baby boy Jadon into this world. I even got to cut the cord! Our birthmom was amazing, and we still have an open adoption relationship with her. Its been so incredibley wonderful. This year we went back on the waitlist, and in May we were selected again. Our fabulous birth parents have been awesome this whole journey, and as it stands, she is scheduled to be induced tomorrow morning! (wed, Sept. 12th). So while you are reading this we are packing up the car, driving 3 hrs south to the hospital to welcome our second son into the world, and start another fabulous relationship with a family who is making an amazingly hard, sacrificial decision, and blessing us with baby number 2! Now that we have adopted, and done so domestically, we see the amazing need for adoptive families here in our own back yard. That said, there is still a change a uganda kiddo will enter our home one day! :) Praying blessing, peace, and God’s hand on you both as you walk this journey. And if there is a Bethany agency in your area, we highly recommend them. They have been wonderful! God Bless!

  123. Michelle says

    We adopted our beautiful daughter who is now 11 after years of unexplained secondary infertility. I was in the same boat that you were .There are so many children who need a forever home. What we did was contact a local adoption agency and went to a info night. We knew that international adoption was for us. We had a short list of wants. Shortest wait and youngest that we could get the child. We requested an infant to 2 years old. Then trusted that God would lead the right child to us. Our wait was not that long. It took a total of 10 month from the time we turned in our application to being matched. We were told it could be a year or longer to be matched. Our daughter is the light of our family. We adopted from South Korea . She was matched with us at 2 months and arrived in my arms just shy of 7 months old. We liked that our agency had all the steps planned out and we knew what was to come next in each step. There were no surprises except when we would be matched. :) We also liked that the program had been in place for years. So there was no questions of the program would close while we were waiting. It was the best thing we ever did. :) I wish you luck and happiness on your journey to your perfect child.

  124. says

    So many beautiful collisions in this life, Layla ~ God Bless you both on your journey to grow your family. And what ever lucky little one finds his or her way to The Lettered Cottage, they are already loved and will find a whole new world of love, too.
    xo Heidi

  125. says

    I have been wondering what was happening in your adoption process! I’m so excited for you guys and can’t wait to follow along as you find your little one!

  126. Livinglessmom says

    Thank you for sharing Peter’s story. My husband and I attended the Master’s College and we adopted two children from Uganda! We love hearing great stories that connect with our own experience.

    Several years into our marriage my husband and I decided that we were going to adopt but we were not yet ready to begin that process, we just new it would be down the road one day and from somewhere. Several years later we had a biological child and after that we decided we were going to pursue adoption but we didn’t know from where. We ran into some friends that were in the process of adopting from Uganda and it peaked my curiosity. I began reading about Uganda, researching it, learning about the invisible children in Uganda, the LRA, the poverty, the starvation, etc. As my husband and I prayed, we felt the Lord had put it on our hearts to adopt from Uganda. We started the process to adopt 2 children, 2 years later and one more biological child later, we brought home a 2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old. They have now been home over 4 years and we have been greatly blessed. We are thrilled to have a family that God uniquely put together. Going from 1 child to 4 within 6 months was a crazy, crazy, journey but God has richly blessed us!

  127. susan says

    When i was 27 i adopted the daughter G-D meant for me to have …. She blessed my life beyond belief and has brought me nothing but joy….. She has also given me 4 , 4! , awesome grandchildren ….. Adoption gave me a family, and I couldnt be more blessed ….

  128. Erica says

    My husband and I have 4 biological children: 14, 12, 6, and 5. He is an active duty Marine and that leaves me to parent as a single Mom a lot. We counted our blessings to have such amazing children, but were definitely a “complete” family . Last summer, our church youth were going on a mission trip to the Philippines to work in an orphanage. My daughter and I signed up to go. We saw it as a great way to share God’s love, but my husband and I also hoped that seeing how good, we as Americans, have it, our daughter could see that she should be thankful for what she had and knock out the complaining or feeling of entitlements that many kids today have before it really started. I was going as a chaperone, and more honestly, to help my daughter with some of the more difficult things she might see… orphans, extreme poverty, illnesses, etc. It was very clear by the end of our time there, that God’s plans were much bigger that just a 10 day trip. Simply knowing that there are orphans in the world and praying for them, pales in comparison when you look into their eyes and know their names. Sharing His love with ” the least of these” is our hearts desire, and we are now awaiting dossier approval and our referral for a new child or children that God has already picked to become part of our family. I pray that your heart will go where God is leading you, and that your story will be one that inspires others. There is a video online called ”
    Indifference” by Eric Ludy, and on days when i feel like maybe I am taking on more that I can handle, it helps to to see things more clearly, and reminds me that NO, this is right were we are supposed to be! Good luck to you, I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

  129. says

    Hi Layla-
    We’ve chatted before on adoption issues. In fact the post I wrote about you can still be found at: http://konuchfamily.blogspot.com
    Also, at this link, it describes part of our adoption deciding process: http://konuchfamily.blogspot.com/2009/07/magazine-is-mine-do-they-have-copies-in.html
    When we started our process, we were open to any child, any where. We didn’t need a newborn experience, and were looking at toddlers to 5 years. When we found our daughter in China, she was 4, by the time we got her home she was 5.
    I will tell you this, we have been very, very blessed. She has fit into our lives perfectly, as if her head was touched by the hand of God. There have been no attachment or “older child” issues. I know this is not the case for everyone, but for us it has been wonderful.
    I am excited for you and Kevin. Try to remain open. If you read our adoption blog from the beginning, you can see that we actually thought we were going to adopt from different areas of the world. China was originally not even on our radar screen. But that is where God sent us, and we all feel incredibly blessed! Love, Donna K.

  130. says

    I came over from Funky Junk to read this post. I haven’t read all of the comments (Wow! you got some wonderful encouragement), so I don’t know if you’ve had comments from those who are adopted. I assume your Dad had wonderful adoptive parents. I did too. Adoptions are more open now than they were when I was a child, so I have no idea who my biological parents are, but I am sure they could never have been as wonderful as the two people I consider parents. My biological sister was adopted with me (the orphanage wouldn’t allow us to be separated). I was 3 years old, and for 60 years, I’ve counted my blessings that God found the perfect parents for me and my sister. It is so easy for a biological parent to take their children for granted. I don’t think an adoptive parent ever takes their child for granted. An adoptive parent not only holds a heart full of love, but a heart full of gratitude. I didn’t intend to go on this long, but I do want you to know that I was blessed by adoption, and after reading your post, I know that any child you and your husband adopt will also be blessed by adoption. Wishing you the best! laurie

  131. says

    I am the adopted child. I was adopted at birth. I feel grateful everyday for the parents I had and all that they gave me. I don’t really feel adopted. My parents are my parents and I belong to them. However it happened that those two were chosen to be my parents….I don’t know but it was perfect. It will happen for you too. It is meant to be. I was adopted through the Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio Tx which is still an active adoption agency. The Gladney Center in Fort Worth Tx is also awesome. I have friends who adopted by first fostering newborns removed from their parents but eventually rights were terminated and they were allowed to adopt. No matter what route you take, you’ll be blessed with a child who just needs to be loved and taken care of and it will be all you dreamed about. Much luck.

  132. says

    We are in the process of pre-adoptive placement. WE are adopting a 12 year old girl out of the foster care system in VA. This was a no brainer. we would not have to travel to meet someone. (we have a family at home already) and the state of VA gives a grant to all families adopting special needs children and older children from the Foster Care System. We sat back, got approved, (this is harder than you think) and PRAYED. God showed us that we needed to open our original parameters from 0-5 all the way up to 0-18. within one year we are new parents. ! We now have our two 21 year olds, our kindergartner and NOW we have a beautiful TWEEN! :) easy. hard. scary. terrific. FAITH filled adventure! if you have more questions contact me! :) I would love to share our journey with you!

  133. Fred says

    I’m glad that your heart is open to adoption. But you should know that especially international adoption is wrought with corruption, mostly in the form of bribery, and especially bribery to birth parents. Before you adopt, I believe it’s important to read some of the adult adoptee blogs out there. A simple google search will bring you to a different world and a different perspective. I am an adoptive father and a foster father of a total of five children. Our story has been very hard, but also wonderful. But you should know that a very large portion of international adoption is about supplying eager families in the united states with babies from third world countries. Documents can be forged, babies taken, birth moms bribed. It is far from uncommon. It is common.

    Before you adopt you should read “Finding Fernanda”. It is eye opening.

  134. Lucy says

    I love you guys! I love your heart for photography, beauty (interior design/decorating), and adoption! My DH and I are 1 year and 9 months into our adoption, and are eagerly anticipating being matched…let’s just say, sooner, rather than later:) Blessings to you both!

  135. Jen says

    We are just getting ready to finalize our 3rd adoption. We choose to foster/adopt. We looked at several different options and had started to work with an agency for international adoption but it just didn’t feel right. After much prayer, we agreed that we wanted to help children right in our own community that needed loving homes. Foster to adopt is very difficult as other previous post have mentioned. We adopted our boys 4 years ago and 3years ago their sister was born and she was placed with us returned to the parents for 4 months but then came back and is a month away from her adoption. We have been blessed beyond words with these children and wish you luck in your journey.

  136. Dawn says

    We have 3 biological children and one we adopted from China. When we decided to adopt, we researched all our options, and just kept going back to China. We were open to anything, but everytime we read something or we felt like we were being pulled in that direction.

    My advice is to do the research, find the options you qualify for, can afford, and then see which one keeps pulling you in.

  137. says

    Wow, this was an encouraging post for me, as an adoptive mom. It is wonderful to hear of others willing to take a little one into their home and call him/her their own.
    We chose to adopt internationally because we feel like America has the most to offer an individual as far as a future goes.
    As Christians, we wanted to choose a country where the gospel was not prevalant. We chose our adoption agency first, Dillon International, (a reputable agency is a must) and then chose from the countries they were working with.
    In the end, we believe it was God’s sovereignty that led us to India and ultimately, to our little boy.
    Adoption is an amazing experience and I so wish more would get to experience it.
    And by the way, we have since started an adoption ministry that offers grants to families going through the process. You can read more about that here: http://www.sparrowministries.com
    God bless you on your journey!
    Sara

  138. Jeanine says

    This is so exciting! You are about to begin the adventure of a lifetime, and I hope and pray that God will bless you greatly! We have three biological sons, and then adopted our daughter when our youngest son was 10. It was definitely the hardest, yet best thing that we’ve ever done.
    I would encourage you to pray for clarity and then trust God to show you the direction that you should go. In our case, he gave us a heart for southeast Asia at least 10 years before we actually adopted. He did so by opening our eyes to the child trafficking that happens in that area of the world, and the thought just broke our hearts. We ended up going to Vietnam, because at the time, our local adoption agency had a program there, and an adoption only took a few months to complete. Still, it wasn’t easy, but our beautiful daughter is now 12 years old, and we thank God for her every day.
    I would also encourage you to consider adopting a child that doesn’t have other parents waiting in line for them, because so many children (143 million) go to bed every night with no one to tuck them is or read them a bedtime story or comfort them if they wake up in the middle of the night, scared. Just make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

  139. Paula J says

    I have never adopted a child: I’m speaking from the perspective of someone that is on an adoption journey via the “sidelines” – my in-laws are in the process of an international adoption.

    What I have learned from their experience? Adoption is NOT for the faint at heart!! Another important lesson: God will meet every need possible in His timing!

    The reason I feel led to share what little I know about adopting with you is because your post landed in my inbox the exact same day that my in-laws received their first travel date. They started their adoption journey a little over a year ago. They were “paper work pregnant” for a LONG time. They waited for what seemed like an eternity just to find out when they could travel the 1st of 3 required trips. I think it’s amazing that their travel date (that really should have occurred weeks ago) was the same day as your request for everyone to share “how do you know where” adoption info…

    My in-laws have 2 biological children – they will be adopting a special needs child. God calls special people to adopt a child that has special needs. The organization that advocates for these children is Reese’s Rainbow. Please visit their website if you want to prayerfully explore this type of adoption.

  140. Christy says

    We had three bio kids and then God called us to adopt. We just knew in our hearts that our son was in Africa. We researched programs for adoption in Africa and Ethiopia was the program that we felt best fit our desires.
    I think the best way to determine where from is to explore all your options… foster to adopt, private infant adoption, african american infant adoption, international adoption (ethiopia, uganda, russia, haiti).
    I know you will choose what is right and meant for your family!! Email me if you ever have any questions!!
    Christy

  141. says

    Hi Layla! What an awesome post to read! We are an adoptive family – our two 2 year olds are adopted. They are four months apart in age and we brought them into our family when they were 9 weeks and 9 months old. We have seven children total, and have such passion for adoption, and love to talk to others about it. Here our some things I’ve written on adoption over at my blog:

    My Adoption Page: http://thescarletpaisley.blogspot.com/p/adoption.html

    Adoption Posts (since I switched over to my new blog last winter…): http://thescarletpaisley.blogspot.com/search/label/adoption

    We’ve done two different types of adoptions: one word-of-mouth adoption (tell everyone you know that you want to adopt, then hope someone knows someone! and someone did!) then one foster-adoption… God specifically lead us to these kinds of adoptions when the time came – they were situations we never saw ourselves in, but are so thankful for God’s leading and faithfulness! God Bless you as you take this step. ~ Amanda

  142. Megan says

    Well, I have not adopted a child, but I am the child who was adopted.
    It’s funny how your children are already pre-desitined to be yours and have a way of finding you, even if you do not carry them in your tummy. My adoptive parents tried for years to have a baby and were unable, they put out the word to our huge family (this was back in ’86) and somehow my mom’s cousin’s husband (attorney) had a client who owned a business who had an employee with a daughter who was giving her daughter up for adoption. That was ME!!!! In the weird world of things, I was desitined to be my parents child and I can only think that God and desitny had every thing to do with how I ended up in the arms of my mom and dad.

    At the age of 24, I found my birthmother, I had a closed adoption, and she and I along with a half sister who is a year younger than me, have all formed an amazing bond. She has been an awesome addition to my life and has given me a whole new world of enlightenment and what it means to be a selfless, whole, giving kind of person.

    I would never change the way I was brought to my family, and in many ways it has been the greatest gift in my life to say I was able to have such an amazing family (adoptive and birth family) to share my life with. My adoptive mom is one of my best friends and knows that she is nothing less that a true mother and I was meant to be hers, no matter how I was delivered to her arms.

    Good luck and many blessings to you on your travels of finding your little one. Some journeys are longer and broader than others,

    =)
    Megan

  143. jennifer says

    How beautiful that so many responded with messages of hope and courage. I am posting to share with you a friend’s blog. They’re adopting a son from Uganda and she’s sharing her experience:

    http://sequinstocheerios.blogspot.com/

    I’m sure that you have more than enough to read, but her words are so beautifully crafted and you can really see into her heart.

    All of the best to you as you begin your journey.

  144. says

    I love that you want to adopt! It is such a blessed experience….I call it the ultimate encounter with God, because he so wrapped in every detail of it, from the start and until the day you die…I have 2 adopted children from Guatemala, A boy and a girl, Then, 2 nieces that we have legal guardianship of, and then we had a surprise baby. We have hispanic people in our family already, so Guatemala seemed a good fit for us, but again it was God who led us there, as he will lead you to the exact child, he has waiting for you….One of our children is special needs. I can tell you that, she is the biggest blessing to our life. Don’t let the propect of special needs scare you, should God lead you that way too. I love all these children in the fiercest possible way and could not imagine life with out one of them, and I thank God everyday that He chose this family for us. His ways are higher! and His love never fails! God Bless you on your journey! Praying for you!

  145. Steph says

    My husband and I adopted our two little girls 7 years ago from Russia. They are biological siblings (people always ask me if they are REAL sisters which drives me bonkers…. nope they are pretend ones…ha!) The girls were 4 and 2 at the time and it was the best decisions we have ever made. It was an awesome experience and I am thankful each day that I look at my now 11 and 9 yr old daughters they are mine. I am a firm believer adoption is not a decision you will ever regret. Our story even involved me getting in a car accident after our 1st trip to Russia and having major surgery on my arm 4 days prior to our trip to go back and pick them up. Ok, I will stop now because I could go on forEVER : )

  146. Lisa R says

    Hi Layla. Congratulations on making the decision to adopt!

    Adoption can be very difficult and complicated, but also very rewarding. I see a lot of people here just “prayed” and “felt” their way thru, but we were much more practical. I think it should be said that whatever you decide is “ok”. Don’t feel guilty if you only want a baby, or can’t handle extensive special needs. You can only handle what you can handle, and that’s ok.

    Do you want an infant? Are you open to other races? Does your community offer much diversity (it’s often difficult for children to be the only non-white family member or classmate)? If you adopt from another country, you may want to offer your child native language classes and things like that. Are they available? Are there countries you have an interest in or connection to? Are you open to children that were cared for in orphanages (which can be quite harmful to children, but can be gratifying–and on the other hand, exhausting– for you to heal them)? As a previous poster said, be careful about warnings about corruption in poor countries where American adoption dollars tempt people to do unspeakable things. What about your budget? It’s a sad fact that $$ plays a part in family building.

    We adopted a son from Guatemala (20 months at homecoming) age 6, had a biological son age 4, and adopted a daughter from Korea (9 months at homecoming) now 2. I have the most perfect, awesome family. I couldn’t be prouder of all my kids. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  147. KAREN says

    Leila,
    I have left you a message through your contact. I am a retired social worker with an Alabama adoption agency and can give you some specific things to consider before you contact an agency as well as insight about the process from the agency perspective. These will help you sort out your feelings and your situation which is different for each couple. For instance, home study expectations, fingerprinting, Open Adoption, Interstate Compact, etc.There are more things to consider that you might realize. Please check your contact messages.

  148. says

    Wow, that is SUCH exciting news! I know you both will make wonderful parents!

    As soon as I read your post, I remembered a post I read from Jen Hatmaker, not sure if you’ve heard of her. She is the author of a book entitled, “7” and a pastor’s wife in a unique and thriving church plant in Austin, TX – an area known as a “graveyard for church planters”. She wrote a blog post about her adoptive experience one year later, reflecting on several different stages she and her husband went through after bringing two new, older children into their family. It is raw, emotional and encouraging – with a dash of cynical humor thrown in for good measure. In other words, it’s written in a style that only Jen can write! Here is the link: http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2012/08/21/the-truth-about-adoption-one-year-later

    Though we’ve never adopted, I’m a mom of twin nine-year-old boys. This is what I’ve learned about parenting (though I still have MUCH to learn): 1) show up (in other words, be there – spend lots of time with your child); 2) lavish your child with love and encouragement; 3) use common sense and 4) be the parent (set the boundaries; be fair, but be consistent) and always show love:) I would add to that the most important thing…teach them to know, love and serve God. Parenting is tough, but it is a beautiful and sweet reward in and of itself.

    I do hope this encourages you as you start your journey!!

  149. says

    One of my daughters adopted three siblings. It began when she was working at a crisis care facility. Here’s a quote from a blog post where she talks about adoption: ” I always knew I’d be a mother. The desire has always been there; although back then I wanted ten kids because I had ten beautiful names picked out :) This dream came to be in an amazing way because God didn’t give us biological kids. Instead, He led our hearts into adopting three amazing kids – handpicked for us, like wildflowers God carefully removed from the side of the road and neatly arranged in a vase in our home. My oldest child said to me once: “do you think since God knew we would be your kids someday, He gave us traits like you and dad?” And He did. Because they are like us in so many ways – they even look like us! I’ve learned through adoption that when the desire comes from God, but it doesn’t seem to coming true, He may be planning to fulfill that desire in a way other than what you expect. I look for that now. When my heart has a desire, I try to be open to a rearrangement of the fulfillment of that desire.” http://www.rachellohrman.com/2012/01/childhood-dreams-come-true-and-my-word.html
    Layla, when God gives someone the desire to adopt, he also provides the child (ren). ~Blessings coming your way!

  150. Lesley says

    We had always though adoption was an option for us, even before we found out it was our only option to create our family. So making the decision to start the process was pretty easy. We adopted our two kids locally. We knew there was a need for parents of children in our own community (Toronto, Ontario), but many adoptive parents by-pass the route because the majority of the children available through Children’s Aid are considered “special needs” adoptions. I put the quotes because in our case that just meant our children were a sibling pair and one of them was over the age of 5; nothing needy about that, though they certainly are special to us.

    The kids were 3 and 5 when they came into our lives, we were open to older children as we had been very involved in the lives our nieces as well as many other friends’ children from birth, and felt we had a sense of what those years were like and didn’t need to have that time with kids to develop the bond of parenthood. Quite frankly, if I was being given the option, I was happy to skip that first 3-6 months often referred to as the fourth trimester. I did put one stipulation that I wanted to be the one to take my kids to their first day of school. Just something that I held as important. In the end our daugher had already started schooh the Fall that we met and adopted them, but my husband reminded me that there is a first day of school every year, and I haven’t missed one since.

  151. says

    Hi Kevin and Layla,
    Fourteen years ago, we had our son through IVF after several years of struggling with infertility. A couple years later, we decided to adopt rather than try IVF again. We decided to adopt from Russia but when we found out all that was involved, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it. Least of which would be making 2 trips to Russia and having to leave our son at home. But my heart wouldn’t let me give up. I kept feeling that our family was not complete and I couldn’t get rid of the nagging feeling (God is good at that nagging stuff) that we were meant to do this. So we dug in our heels and brought our beautiful daughter home when she was 15 months old. She is now 10 years old and she brings an amazing amount of joy and life into our lives. She made our family complete.
    Good luck with your journey ~ I just know there is a child (children) out there waiting for you.

  152. says

    It looks like you have a lot of advice to digest. I hope everything works out for you, as I think you’d make awesome parents (just a sense I have from reading your blog over the past couple years). Our son wasn’t adopted, but I have friends who have adopted 5 kids, 3 boys from Canada and 2 girls from overseas. Although they couldn’t have their biological family, I don’t sense they feel like they missed out. It’s a true blessing to them!

  153. says

    Hi Layla and Kevin! Thanks so much for sharing this heart felt post and passion for adoption. What a journey adoption is and how exciting to see how God can bring families together!! I just wanted to let you know that i am the Adoption Services Manager at Loving Shepherd Ministries. We offer free services to families considering adoption. We help families understand which programs they are eligible to adopt from, provide extensive information on each program, answer any questions or concerns and provide research on agencies for each program a family may be interested in pursuing for adoption. I have helped over 5,000 families in the past 9 years. Please visit our website if you’d like to learn more or if i can help in anyway….thanks so much!! Jen

  154. Cindy says

    Adoption can be a blessing. But remember this; the person you adopt will be known as an adopted person forever and needs to know from the start. I know because my husband is adopted and it has created problems for him. He had some health problems that could not be resolved satisfactorily because his medical/family history was unknown. His records were sealed and he didn’t even have a birth certificate for 42 years. Luckily we were able to find his birthmother and she answered some questions but the birthfather denies it and refuses to provide any information. Many foreign born adopted people have no medical history and develop medical problems. Also, please remember that you do not OWN the child; your purpose is to guide and help the child grow into a loving, caring person. If you love someone you should set them free!

  155. says

    I already left my story, but I wanted to leave a few more thoughts. If you are considering International Adoption, please check Ethica’s Country Pages to see if there are questionable adoption practices in the country you choose. I have known people waiting for years to bring home children when countries close because of ethics violations. Be aware that many powerful groups that work with and for children’s rights, such as UNICEF, are very anti-adoption and are in country making international adoption more difficult.

    If you adopt domestically, I would have a discussion now about how open you want your adoption to be. Some people are willing to share annual updates through an agency. But, mothers are increasingly looking for parents who will have a fully disclosed adoption (they know your email, phone number address and, depending on how the relationship develops, may show up at the child’s birthday party or to a family holiday).

    Last, race is an issue in adoption. I don’t know the racial climate of the area you live in… but if you are willing to adopt a non-white child, your adoption process won’t take as long. And, some agencies even charge less. :o(

    • says

      I wanted to validate the UNICEF comment. We were caught in Guatemala when they closed adoptions. UNICEF was a huge influence in that closure. They are also targeting other countries.

      • says

        But, there have been alot of irregularities, reports of stolen children, etc. out of Guatemala. Do your homework on the country and proceed with eyes wide open. Ethica is a good sight because they are for changes in adoption policy rather than anti-adoption.

        When I started our adoption in Haiti, adoptions were taking 6-9 months. UNICEF worked with the Haitian government to “fix” adoptions there. Since we were caught in the middle of the “fix,” our adoption to 30 months to finalize. Our son, who was 5 months at the time of referral was nearly 3 years old. He lived institutionalized for 3 years! Pre-Earthquake, adoptions were taking 18-24 months. Now, Haiti has entered the Hague Convention and new adoptions are not even being considered until the country meets the Hague criteria.

  156. says

    My husband was adopted domestically and we knew before we were married that we’d adopt some day. We just had our 20 yr anniversary and we got home from China last December with our five year old special needs daughter. We chose China because it is a predictable and fairly easy process for the special needs program. The special needs range from very minor to life threatening/major. Our daughter miraculously ended up not having a special need. She had grown out of it a year before we adopted her (childhood epilepsy)! We also have 3 older girls and we didn’t want to take years to complete the process as we wanted them all to have as much time togther as possible before the older ones moved out of the house. Our entire process took less than nine months. It has been a beautiful journey and such a huge blessing. I can’t wait til we’re able to start the process for #5!

    Love, love, love your blog, by the way. One of the few that I actually check frequently. I went to Southern Accents in Cullman while visiting my folks in AL. Loved it!

    Kelly

  157. says

    You guys such awesome people and you’re going to be even more awesome parents. This is going to be such an exciting journey. Best of of luck and we will definitely keep you in our prayers. Please keep us posted with any updates :)

  158. says

    We PRAYED – God lead and we followed. That is the short of it. As you probably know, just like anything ‘big’ in life there were a lot more twists and turns than I can write in this comment section. But wanted to mention the way I found your blog was through Joy’s blog a LONG time ago :) MANY blessings, on your journey.

  159. Tiffany says

    Love your blog!

    Thought you might enjoy reading about this family! Good luck to you and Kevin – everything will work out according to Plan.

    Best Regards,

    Tiffany Harris
    Santa Barbara, CA

  160. Tess says

    After researching Christian adoption agencies for quite a while, we decided to go with “House of Ruth”. It is a ministry out of Calvary Chapel in Downey, California. Their goal is to help the birth mom make the best decision; they are not trying to get her to put the child up for adoption. They were more affordable than international adoption (something very much on our hearts) and were spiritually on the same page as us. After putting in our file we were chosen about 8 months later. One month after that, our precious son, Ezekiel, was born. I was in the operating room with our birth mom; cut my sons umbilical cord, and was the first to hold him. He is such and amazing gift! Seven months later I gave birth to his little brother…but that’s another story!
    God Bless you guys in whatever path you choose.
    Tess

  161. says

    I am so excited to read this post! :) As an adoptive parent, I once had all the same questions you have. There are no simple answers though. We originally went with China (eight years ago) because we felt that’s where the need was (at that time). We have adopted three times:
    1) China – non special needs / 11 month old
    2) Vietnam – non special needs / 11 month old
    3) China – special needs – repaired club foot / 3 year old
    We just returned home with our newest daughter last Friday. Feel free to check out my blog and ask questions if you have any! Good luck with this journey! It will be a blessing to you!

  162. says

    we are hoping to adopt soon…or at least start the process soon. i am really praying for my husband to be ready and lead us on this journey. through discussion we have decided on usa (anywhere but our home state) or uganda. uganda because 4-5 families in our church have adopted from the same orphanage there and it would hopefully re-connect the child to some friends they had in uganda. so many exciting changes are coming your way!!

  163. says

    We adopted our son in 2011! It is the most amazing journey! It deepened our understanding and love for Jesus Christ and it grew our marriage! It’s certainly not all easy but its well worth every trial and triumph in the end! You can read our full story here: http://mommynprogress.blogspot.com/2011_01_01_archive.html

    We plan (if the Lord allows) to adopt again at some point!! We used an adoption consultant (Faithful Adoption Consultants) instead of going directly through an agency and it was well worth every extra penny to have someone navigating you through the process, someone praying for you each step of the way and encouraging you in your journey!

    Enjoy the journey!!

  164. says

    Hi Layla!
    I have been reading your blog for just a few months and now I think I know why God lead me to reading. I am an adoptive mom of a precious baby boy who is almost 2 years old and jumping in head first to adopt number 2 and possibly 3.
    I truly believe the only way you know what program to go with is really to follow where the Lord is leading. We have been on the most incredible journey and seen God move in ways we wouldn’t have had we not chosen to adopt. Our process took 7 years (2 failed international, 1 domestic), but it was worth it! You can read all about our journey on our blog (and see our precious little one). We are WELL versed on both international and domestic adoption, so please feel free to ask questions.
    Many blessings to you both!
    heather

  165. Janet says

    Layla and Kevin,
    Thank you for sharing with us your desire to adopt. My husband and I have 2 children who came to us an infants through domestic adoption. Like you mentioned, we also had doors open and close along the way. It is truly a journey. We were led to our children through 2 different families in our church. We used a different agency for each adoption, both of which were great experiences. Looking back we can see how God’s plan beautifully unfolded in His perfect timing. From the financial aspect to the agencies we used, we can see that He led us through it all the way. We had our struggles, but hopefully learned and grew from it. The end result is so worth it! (I’m in your area. Feel free to email me if I can help in any way.)

  166. Kay says

    God bless you for wanting to adopt. I just wanted to let you know about one option that I never hear people speak of. Foster parenting. You can become a foster parent first and then adopt the youngster(s) if their biological parents’ rights have been terminated. It’s a great idea and virtually free.
    I wish you well. I know it’s hard to be patient when you want something so bad. God will bless you.

  167. Ellen says

    My husband and I have 8 children; 4 by birth and 4 by adoption. We know God worked all things together, so that we ended up with exactly the children he had planned for us. Each of our adoption journeys involved twists and turns that at the time were painful, but ultimately led us to our child. We experienced birth moms who opted to parent rather than go through with their adoption plan, a foreign country who halted their adoption program just as we were paper-ready; we switched adoption facilitators in mid-process, etc. etc. One of our sons actually came to us because the first family his birth mom chose said the holidays were too busy a time to take a newborn. The 2nd time through the family profiles we were chosen. Oh, how grateful we are that we didn’t miss out on our son! He is 18 now and has been such a gift to our family.

    I would encourage you to research various agencies and adoption programs. Our experience was that God did open and close doors and made it very clear which route would lead to our child. We just “knew” when we’d made the right connection.

    God gave us 2 African American sons, adopted domestically at birth. They are now 21 and 18. We then adopted 2 daughters from Haiti. They came home at 6 months and 23 months and are now 14 and 13.

    Last year God brought a 3rd Haitian child into our lives. We had heard about this child’s need for a new adoptive family and prayed God would provide just the right family for him. Eventually God made it clear that WE were the family He was asking to make room for this child. He’s been with us for 15 months and just this week we celebrated his 14th birthday.

    We naively thought this adoption would be quick and inexpensive and so much easier emotionally, considering he’s already living with us. But, as others have said, adoption is not for sissies and this situation has its own complications and hurdles. We will press on. Experience has taught us that no matter what we go through, our children are worth it!

    God already knows exactly who He has planned for you and Kevin. Just pray, walk through open doors and be open to where He leads!

  168. says

    Aww, I started crying when I saw you mention Firecracker and Little One. I’ve been following that journey faithfully for months and can’t wait to do the same with you guys! As I’ve done with them, I’ll be praying for you guys and thanking God for the wonderful gift you’ll be giving (and getting from!) your own special little someone. I’m always struck by the fact that God chose to use the image of adoption to describe his relationship with us. What a beautiful, beautiful thing!

  169. Deb says

    We adopted our son from Vietnam in 2006. A year later we applied to adopt from Vietnam again, only to have the country shut down to adoptions (they are still closed). This summer we decided to move forward and we are adopting from China. We are doing a special needs adoption and are requesting a child with cleft lip/palate.
    The journey at times has been difficult, but I know God has been faithfully guiding us this whole time. The thing I always know is that we are not going to miss getting the child God has planned for us…any delay or change in plans only sets us up to be matched with our child at the perfect time.
    Have you read the book Adopted for Life? That book is a must read! It is the only book I have found that captured exactly how I felt about adoption.
    Praying for you!

  170. says

    Here is how we were led to open adoption, by way of a domestic infant program. We are in the process to adopt again through the same avenue…

  171. Tessa says

    Adoption has completed our family in ways we never could have planned or imagined. There are so many children of all ages who are waiting right in our own cities. Our little guy came to us through foster care at one month old. We never know if a foster placement will turn into an adoption, but this we do know, we can provide a place of love, acceptance, and security even if just for a little while for a child that could make a lifelong difference to them and to us. We get to keep one and to love many more! Best wishes in your journey.

  172. Jane says

    We adopted from Ethiopia 5 years ago. Our son is now in 2nd Grade.

    How we chose Ethiopia: It’s where our son was. I get asked that all the time, and that is really the only answer I can think of. We were open to domestic, international, whatever. But every single time I researched all I kept coming back to was Ethiopia. I would have dreams about Ethiopia. I would meet families from Ethiopia or with kids from Ethiopia, etc. It was everywhere. And I just knew that’s where we were supposed to go.

    My advice: People will say there are no guarantees in adoption. This is true. But there are no guarantees in life. I am both a biological and adoptive parent, and one is not harder than the other. Even a pregnancy is not a guarantee for a healthy child. Even the perfect gene mix between yourself and your husband is not a guarantee for the perfect child. 99.9% of the time I feel like bio and adoptive parenting is the same. I feel the same about my kids. I’m just as tired, awed, amazed, overcome, impressed, in love with all my kids. Here’s how the two can be different. When my biological child is throwing a fit related to being hungry, I don’t need to worry that it’s related to long term fears over food insecurity (downright starvation) suffered as an infant. If my biological kids says he hates me (as 3 year-olds are wont to do from time to time) I feel awful, but I don’t worry about detachment disorders etc. That said, with my bio kids I still worry. I still don’t have all the answers. Bio kid, adoptive kid, it might be slightly different questions I am asking myself, but it still questions and often just as hard ones. We adopted our son knowing he’d face lifelong learning issues. This has been true. What we didn’t know is he would have an amazing attitude, crazy work-ethic and be tireless in his pursuit of learning. Yeah he struggles but he’s doing great in school, and his attitude will carry him far in life. Contrast that with our bio son whose in the gifted program and will do or say anything to get out of the smallest amount of work and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to change this negative behavior. So even though one I took care of myself during pregnancy, did all the early learning, stuff you are supposed to do… guess which kid I spend more hours worrying about school/future stuff? It’s funny the way life works. So just dive in. Be realistic about what you can take on, and besides that know that even with a biological kid you just never really know what you are getting until they are here and you are living it.

    Go for open adoption if you can… even if it is uncomfortable… even if it terrifies you. We are blessed to know our son’s relatives. It is amazing to know about his life before he was with us (even the not so great stuff). But more importantly it has meant so much to my son. The older he gets the more questions he has, and I am so thankful we have answers for him (age appropriately, sharing slightly more in depth as he gets older).

    Trans-racial adoption is wonderful… but be committed to it… and be honest if you can handle it. Your child of color will face a different reality than you outside your doors and away from your family. If think I am playing the race card, or preparing our child for racism that no longer exists in a post-Obama US… well wait until your child comes home from kindergarten having been called the n-word. I can share a lot of statistics to back up my point (and there is a lot of great reading out there of firsthand accounts from trans-racial adoptees). But the reality is it’s different out there for him then it ever was more me. And yet somehow I have to prepare him for that world I’ve never experienced. Be honest about how you can handle that. I’m not perfect, but I am learning.

  173. Amy says

    We started our journey by going to an adoption workshop through a homestudy agency. We knew we were going to adopt, but we had no idea where we would be going. We prayed about it a lot and my husband and I both felt that God was leading us to China. At that time we thought that if we were adopting from China that we would be adopting a baby girl. We quickly learned that there were many boys available for adoption from China as well. Many of these little boys have special needs, something else we weren’t very familiar with. We decided we were going to be open to adopting a child with special needs. China requires adoptive parents to be 30 years old and I was only 29 so we had to wait a few months. A few days before my 30th birthday we got the call that they had a file of a little boy for us to look at. This precious boy was a little over a year old and had a repaired cleft lip and palate. He was our son! We knew it instantly! We adopted him in 2007. We went back for another little boy in 2009 and then again in 2011 for another little boy. We have 4 wonderful boys (our oldest is biological). Adoption has changed our lives and we are so thankful for all the blessings God has given us. Special needs adoption from China usually takes under a year.

  174. says

    I’m the second oldest of 11 kids, 6 of whom were adopted! My parents run an international adoption agency and have a passion for uniting children with loving families. A few of my siblings have since gone on to work for them in some capacity or another, and I have been privileged to be able to escort babies home from Russia and India. I love that my family has been impacted by adoption and, in turn, impacts the world through adoption.

    I currently put together Family Profile books for families wanting to introduce themselves to birth mothers. Layla, I’d be honored if you wanted to use my services (for free!) to have me put a book together for you and Kevin! You can use it for both domestic and international adoption: whichever you chose, and you can take it to your agency of choice. All rights become yours. You may not remember me, but you did a decorating consultation for me a few years ago! Look back at my blog (search Layla) and hopefully it will jog your memory. Anyway, check out my adoption profile website to see what I’m talking about, and let me know if you would be interested in this gift: http://www.designedforadoption.com/Design_Examples.html

  175. Liz says

    After struggling for almost years trying to get AND stay pregnant (that’s its own story), we found an adoption attorney we liked and felt comfortable with. We were “listed” with him for 3 years and no matches. To make a very long story as short as possible. We tried IVF once more. Got pregnant with twins, lost one at 12 weeks. Held our breath for the entire pregnancy, with rejoices when major milestones were met and all was well with my baby girl and myself. 11 days before I was induced we received a call from our adoption attorney. Picked for a little boy born that morning. Drove from Nor Cal to So Cal, met our son just before midnight, came home the next day. The weirdest part for me…the birthmother was shown our profile by mistake.

    My son, at age 4.5, says he and his sister are twins. We are very open that he is adopted. He’s always heard the word and the simple explanation I currently give to them both.

    Never believed in fate before, but both my children were meant for our family.

    Best of luck to you, it’s an amazing experience.

  176. says

    Adoption was always something I planned on. I told my husband while we were still dating that it was something I wanted to do. The way I was it working out was having a couple biological children, the adopting. Life changed those plans. Our biological daughter was born with heart issues and lived for just two days. The next year we had two miscarriages. All we wanted to do was be parents so we decided to adopt. Two and a half years after the death of our daughter we brought our now 9 year old home. We now have three children (9, 6 and 3 years old) through domestic adoption. My main reason for going with domestic the first time was that I wanted a newborn. I had missed all those newborn moments with my daughter. After that we were able to adopt two more children from our own state. We are so thankful that adoption let us have a family. It is such an incredible gift! Good luck with your own adoption journey. It is worth it!!!!

  177. Suzanne says

    My advice – take one step at a time and thank God for closed doors in the mean time. Partnering with a trusted agency is a great way to get the ball rolling. For us, that was the hardest decision (i.e. we had to take a s-t-e-p). The rest was a natural flow of God’s leading. God will awaken areas of your heart, heal hurts, reveal hidden dreams or notions that never fully developed and weave together something beautiful!

    We adopted from China. The plight of the orphan resonates the loudest with us. So, that, we think is a great starting place. Where is the need that you perceive greatest? How does it marry with your life story thus far? God presented us with the option of China or Ukraine. We simply chose China for a few “logical” reasons in our minds, but the overwhelming nudge came from remembering how my Southern, fishing, timber-cruising, tender-hearted Daddy was spurred to do something for a little girl in China. He became a sponsor. He died a few years later and then in 10 more years, when we began our adoption journey, we chose to carry on his legacy by choosing China. So, for us it’s personal and I think it will be for you, too.

    My husband believes that getting involved in missions will touch your heart and change your future. So, that is also a great place to start. James 1:27

    Blessings to you along your journey and thank God for the answer because He already holds it (like a friend shared with me once).

    Suzanne

  178. jennifer says

    I had always had the desire to adopt a child, even before I got married. I didn’t know if that would happen after I got married; I figured I would get pregnant and our family would grow. When we found out that was not possible I knew it was God’s way of giving me a child and having the wonderful experience of adopting.
    We called several local agencies and attorneys and asked many questions. We wanted to adopt a newborn. We used an adoption attorney and an agency that works with adoptive parents. We had contact with our child’s birth mother once we were matched with her. We talked weekly until our child’s birth. We spent a couple of days with her before the birth (we live different states) and were in the room when our son was born. At the time the contact we had seemed to make it more difficult at times, but I am so glad that I had that contact with her. We formed a personal relationship with real meaning to who she is and who I am. Our son is 18 months old now and I can’t imagine a greater love or my life without him. I know God chose him to be my son.
    You will know what is the right choice for you when it presents itself. I wish you all the best and will pray for y’all on this journey.

    Jennifer

  179. says

    Wow! There are a lot of comments about adoption! I LOVE it! I LOVE adoption. I was where you were about a year ago. We literally explored every avenue and finally found one that stuck and a son that we love ferociously. It’s like we had to try everything else because we were waiting for our son. I love that everyone is passionate about the way they adopted. I honestly don’t know if we would go this route again because I think many routes are great but we used an adoption consultant who introduced us to an agency and our kiddo. It moved a lot faster than just a traditional agency. We had a heart for orphans and we ended up adopting a newborn from a neighboring state. I can’t wait to hear more about this and see a cute little kiddos room.

  180. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Layla and Kev:
    I cried my way thru a few of these and had to stop reading. Such powerful stories. When the time is right — that baby/child will be yours. Remember, you are working in Gods’ time, not yours.

    At 64, I have long since told everyone I was a foster child. Matter of fact, I just got back from California, where I visited my 2 foster moms and 2 of my precious foster sisters.

    Have to checked into taking in a foster child? There are alot of them out there, who need good homes.

    Now that I am settled back in my own home……..I’ve been reading your missed posts and tearing up while reading. Girlfriend…….you have a wonderful way with words. I hope someday we see a book by Layla on our shelves. My love to you………………Ter’e P.S. Of course, I would still follow that HGTV dream. We’d all love to see you and Kev doin your thang!!!!!! :-)

  181. Shannon says

    After our daughter passed away when she was 15 months old, we started looking into adoption. My husband had lunch with a client who adopted through a local private agency. We loved everything about the agency and it just felt right. We waited 10 months for our son Jackson. We brought him home when he was 9 days old and he’s had our heart ever since. That was 4 years after our daughter passed away and he’ll be two next month. We are waiting to adopt again. We wanted to do domestic adoption because there are children everywhere that need loving families. And we knew we would not be able to afford to travel overseas. We’ve had friends adopt through the foster care system, who have adopted overseas and domestically. All the situations were different, but the love is exactly the same. Adoption is a long process, but you have to be faithful at all turns. Blessings on your journey!

  182. Dana says

    I always watch for updates about adoption because that was the reason I first found you. We live in Alberta, Canada and chose to pursue our adoption journey with both our provincial public system the first year and added a private agency the second year. Although you can never put a price tag on your family, it was important to us to not be in debt when starting our family. As well, quite a few of the international programs available to our province were not accepting applications or had very high income requirements. 1.5 years later we recieved three placements in less than 8 months, all through Children Services. We have 3 children under five, one that the adoption has been officially granted. We hope to finalize the others throught the foster-to-adopt program. It remains a rollercoaster. Many trials and blessings. We wish you the best!

  183. says

    My parents took in two teenage boys from the inner city of our small town when I was in high school, taking our family of 7 to a family of 9.
    Neither of the boys’ mothers could keep them any longer. Because of the age of both of the boys and the complexity of the situations my parents never officially adopted them, but have put them through private school and college. One of the boys(age 15) had never used real silverware before and could read but not really write. The other(16) had never had a bed of his own and was tested as mentally disabled (which we discovered was from a lack of stimulation, not a lack of ability).

    Fast forward seven years and a lot of studying and tutoring later: One graduated with a computer science degree last year and the other is in business school currently. Because they wanted to give back, both spent two summers as camp counselors for needy kids.

    The process was not alwasy easy but we are truly a blended family. See our picture here. http://thedomesticlady.com/my-family-there-are-a-lot-of-us/

  184. Laura says

    We’re the proud parents of three beautiful children adopted domestically from right here in Alabama. If you’re interested, I can give you the info on the agency we used. We adopted out of birth order, with the now baby of the family coming home first and then about a year and a half later we had the opportunity to adopt her older half-brother and sister as well. Adoption is not for the faint of heart, as I’m sure you know. Have you met with a social worker who specializes in adoption issues? They might be able to help you think through your options and the type of adoption or placement that would be best for your family. The agency we used required this and it was very beneficial.

  185. says

    I hesitate to write – you already have so many comments on this that I am sure your head is spinning! But, I can’t resist. I am still in the adoption “wait” and only so many people can tolerate me blathering on about the same topic for years on end!

    I had difficulty deciding on where to adopt from and it took about 18 months to make an official decision. I initially started on an Ethiopia program waitlist, but never felt like it was the one. I eventually had to let this option go because I just wasn’t feeling comfortable with it. But, I did learn a bit more about what I DID want: (1) a small, transparent program – they seem to have less issues with corruption and (2) one agency to deal with – with Ethiopia I had to have both a provincial agency and a facilitator agency. I also wanted to have some sort of “heart” connection to the country and played around with the ideas of Honduras, the Congo and Haiti before setting them aside – they just didn’t feel right.

    Finally, when I was feeling like I was just going to have to make a random choice, I called up my preferred agency and asked if they had anything new in the works. And they did! As soon as I heard about the Lesotho program (having wondered why it wasn’t an option in the past, with a 30% HIV infection rate), I knew it was the one for me and I signed up the next day :) Things are MUCH slower than anticipated, but I still know it is the right country for me – snow topped mountains, horses and peach trees all in Africa!

    And, if this plan doesn’t work out, I know it will lead me somewhere else. My first choice is to adopt from Africa because it is important to me to give a home to a child who doesn’t have any other options. However, the bottom line is that I am a mom in need of a child and someday, somewhere, I will find a little boy or girl in need of a mom too :)

  186. Emily says

    I just wanted to take a second to wish you the best in your journey! My two older brothers and I are biological children, and we have three younger sisters who are adopted from China. My three sisters are a joy and a blessing to me every day. My relationship with them is really special, and I can’t imagine our family being complete without them. Our family is big, and it is loud, and we all look different, but we are blessed to have each other. There are beautiful children in need of a home all over the world, and wherever you choose, your family will be amazing. Good luck!

  187. AnaLisa says

    Uganda! We are headed over there very soon to pick up our son!! Email me if you have questions or want to follow our journey. Can’t wait!!!

  188. Sara says

    We have two beautiful adopted children who were both born in the town we live in. We adopted through Bethany Christian Services. Our experience with Bethany has been amazing! We have open relationships with both birth moms and their mothers too. It has been quite a journey and we are so blessed!
    One thing we really liked about Bethany was that adoption was really a byproduct of what their real mission was – to help children. They counsel lots and lots of women, give financial assistance and do many other things, all in the name of making a child’s life better. Sometimes that means adoption, sometimes it doesn’t.
    Our waiting process wasn’t very long at all for either of our children. But it can be. Through domestic adoption, you create a profile of your family and Bethany shows it to potential birth moms (and dads) who would be a good fit. This is based on the criteria you lay out and the criteria the birth moms choose as well. Then they basically pick you. You meet and go from there.
    When we first considered adoption, I was totally against having an open adoption. Now, I can’t imagine our lives any other way. We are so blessed to come along side these women who have made such a selfless decision to give their children a chance at life. Their choice gave us a family! And we are so blessed by our unique family!

  189. says

    Dear Layla and Kevin,
    I have been wondering what was going on with your adoption! I just wanted to share with you that I/we have three adopted children… our son is from Florida, one daughter from Kazakhstan and one daughter from Latvia. All three adoptions were very different. I also want to let you know that my husband and I are advocates for an orphan hosting program, “Project One Forty Three,” and are part of a team that brings orphans over twice a year to stay in homes. 80% of these children end up finding forever families!
    Adoption is one of the most intimate encounters with God you will have… and one of the most precious privileges we could ever have.
    I’d love to be a resource for you or help in any way I can. You can get some information on how hosting works at http://www.projectonefortythree.com. You can also email me at [email protected] if you want to chat about it. I know God will lead you guys right to the path He has prepared for you… and it will be so exciting to watch unfold.
    Hugs. Dawn

  190. Jodi says

    We traveled to South Korea to pick up our 17 month old son this past May after two years of paperwork, delays, etc. We had always known we would adopt but figured we would do it through the foster system after having one or two biological children. After three years of miscarriages and unexplained infertility (despite every surgery and treatment possible) AND a failed domestic adoption, we decided on Korea because of it’s relative stability, health of their children (excellent medical care through the government), and the relatively short waiting period (as opposed to six years for China, for example). We really just wanted to have a child after all of our disappointments and heartache, so this was the best choice for us and we couldn’t be happier. For future children, we will probably explore foster adoption or domestic adoption again since the desperate feeling of JUST WANTING A FAMILY NOW has tempered with the addition of our son.

  191. says

    Hi Kev & Layla!

    Short Answer: God led us to a domestic adoption.
    Long Answer: We started an international adoption and met lots of road blocks. We had completely ruled out a domestic adoption because of fear. We knew of people who had adopted domestically, but we were scared about the legal aspects, birth mom/birth dad stuff. Every state has different adopiion laws and frankly, it was overwhelming to think of starting over.
    BUT
    I had an acquaintance whose blog I read now and then. She used an adoption consultant. I’d never heard of one, but after reading about it, talking with one, I knew it was what we needed. Financial advise, agency recommendations, adoption friendly states, how to love a birth mom, what to say (?!?!) when you’re matched, and prayer- she prayed for us. It was awesome. It took 5 months from the time we signed with our consultant till we were holding our love in our arms.
    http://www.christianadoptionconsultants.com/

    And, we’re adopting again! :)
    We’re following your journey and can’t wait to hear an update.

  192. Eugenie says

    This is such a personal, tender decision. We decided to adopt through the foster system. I was a social worker, then teacher (which turned out to be one and the same!), and knew the need for families right in my own city.

    We thought private adoption was the only avenue we were comfortable with. Then, our close friends adopted through the foster system. We watched their beautiful family come together and knew we were going that route too.

    Our daughter is a miracle, our adoption a blessing. We’re fostering another baby right now and daily praying to adopt our next miracle.

    I hope you have small arms hugging you before you know it. Once you do, it will feel like they were always wrapped around you.

  193. Tricia says

    My daughter and son-in-law are adopting a “special needs” little boy from China. His “special need” isn’t very significant, but some of her friends have adopted children from the same orphanage with severe health issues. You can go to her blog and journey with them through the jungle of paper, and the winding river of emotions! The blog is saylorpartyofsix.blogspot.com.

    God bless!!!

  194. Beth says

    So many lovely comments about the adoption and foster journey! However you become parents, it is truly a miracle.

    For us it was China. It was just where our daughter was. I read in the comments from one parent her 11 month old was adopted in 2004 from Great Wall. We became a family in 4/2004 to our Anhui angel who was 10 months to the day. We used CCAI who also works with Haiti. You will know what is the right path for you. You just will.

    My husband is a project manager and created a project timeline to keep us on track. After all the infertility and multiple surgeries and giving up my will for His, I just could not spear head one more thing. God truly cleared all obstacles. It was tough but what treasures are not worth the refining process to get them?
    If you have already been given this advice, I am sorry. I didn’t see it but I didn’t read all 200+ comments. If you could read any book, the one I would make sure you have in your adoption library is Empowered to Connect by Karyn Purvis. Also, go to Irving Bible Church’s Tapestry website http://tapestryministry.org. I’ve been blessed to meet the Monroes in person. They have adopted domestically and internationally. The Tapestry website is a wealth of great information.

    So excited for you both!!

    MUCH LOVE!!!!
    Beth

  195. says

    My husband & I were called by God to adopt when we struggled with infertility. That was just the initial calling though…now our hearts are completely turned toward adoption! We adopted our first daughter from birth in March 2010, from South Carolina. We are currently waiting to adopt our 2nd child, also a domestic adoption. I can’t really say just how we came to decide on domestic adoption rather than international; I guess God just laid that on our hearts so that we didn’t really struggle with that decision.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have adoption related questions or need any resources. I live here in your town so I’m easy to find! Love following your site; and love that you’ve opened up to share about your heart for adoption. It truly is an awesome experience!

  196. says

    For me, it happened when I was 14. God laid it on my heart to adopt from China. 1 month after my 30th birthday, my husband and I were in our agency’s office filling out paperwork. 13 months later… on October 19, 2011, my daughter was home. During that time, we also got licensed as foster parents and now have two 2 year olds in our home. If that wasn’t enough, we’re starting the process to adopt again from China over the Christmas holiday. My daughter needs a little sister :)

    As others have said, adoption is a magical experience. Hard, yes. But magical. Every time that I look at my daughter I’m reminded of China. Strange – but now I somewhat consider myself Chinese-American.

    There’s a lot of argument over domestic vs international adoption. In the end, it doesn’t matter where you go. A child gets a family and a family gets a child. That’s all that matters. Good luck with your decision!

  197. says

    Our seven kiddos are from China, simply because that is where God led us. So thankful we knew from the beginning as it would have been extremely difficult to choose. Heck, it took us months and months to choose a name, I’m not sure we could have ever decided on a country!
    If you’d like to read more about our family: http://nihaoyall.com
    and if you’d like to read more about special needs adoption from China: http://nohandsbutours.com
    Blessings on your journey!

  198. says

    That was such a wonderful video. I want my children (ages 5 9 11) to watch it. What they (we) have in America needs to be remembered daily with greatfulness. Thank you for sharing and I know God has great things in store for you and Kevin. (jer. 29:11 – ,my favorite)

  199. Melissa says

    I would say just pick an avenue and walk down it. The door will open or close and you continue either way.

    We first choose a country overseas that ended up closing adoptions and then we went through the foster care system. Any child that needs a family has a history of trauma and each child is so unique in how they deal with it, it doesn’t matter where they come from.

    When we were first in the process and reading about others’ experiences, we were told about how hard it could be and how rewarding it was as well. The “hard” part I assumed was in the waiting, the paperwork, the attachment process, the closed doors. Our “hard” part, however, is in dealing with a child whose behaviors are fairly severe, who we do not know if we can continue to parent or not, and the grief we feel for the “easier” life we had and knew how to live (sounds selfish til you’re in it). There are amazing stories out there and there are difficult stories out there. For us, we wish someone would’ve told us about the possibility of it being so hard in this way. Not because we would’ve changed our minds about adopting, but that we were more prepared for this possibility. God very often does not call us to an easy life. Ours isn’t anymore. But all children deserve to be loved and to have a family. All children. And so we will walk down this road, trusting the Lord, doing all we can for our son, being committed to him, and praying for his precious little heart to be healed. Even when we don’t have anything else left to give and don’t really like being around him.

    I hope you get a little snuggly bundle of pure joy, but know that if God brings to you one who needs far more than you feel you can ever give, you are not alone. I don’t want to sound negative at all, but we went through a time where we felt so alone and isolated because everyone else had fairy-tale stories and no one shared the “hard.” It is a reality, there’s adoption books out there saying, “‘Love is not enough,” for a reason, and it is not bad to be honest.

    Books/videos from Karyn Purvis are wonderful. The book, “Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child” is great for ANY adoption. And “The Whole-Brain Child” is a highly helpful book as well.

    May God bless your journey and may it be a wonderful one!

  200. Sandy says

    You will be led to the child. Even if it doesn’t feel like it when you are choosing your path, you will look back at the miracle that occured to make this happen. Listen to the nudgings when you are quiet, the peace or lack of when you speak to agencies and the energy you have to pursue different options. You will know. Enjoy the process. I went through it once, got twins then ended up with 2 biological kids so we were never able to repeat the process.

  201. Mindy says

    We are fostering to adopt, and the Lord led us here through very practical, rational avenues, but it was still very much His orchestration of circumstances. The door was closed for having another biological child (we have 1), and our hearts were being drawn towards adoption. We have many friends who struggle with infertility, and are hoping to adopt domestically. I felt like it would be “stealing” a child from one of them to try to adopt domestically. (I know that’s not true, but still what I felt.) Not to mention it would take us YEARS to save up the money for either a foreign or domestic adoption. We heard of a huge need in our area for foster parents, due to an explosion of infants born to mothers addicted to prescription meds. Adopting through the foster care system is extremely low cost. It also took a lot of risk out of it, because we knew we would have at least 6 months to get to know the child before adoption proceedings would begin. So we took the plunge and called DCS. (If you want an infant, it’s best to go through the state, not an agency.) And here we are! Adopting through the foster care system is not a guarantee, and it’s definitely an adventure, but so worth it!

  202. says

    So happy for you both! You will never be the same. My husband and I have four sons. We adopted a little girl from China in May, 2006. Our handsome, funny, smart, loving 17 year old son passed away 12 days after we brought her home. He was trying to rescue a friend who had fallen during a hike. She has helped our entire family in our grief. She is just the most fun-loving, happy go lucky little girl. How did we know where to go? We just felt that China was where we would find our daughter. It is hard to explain. My brother and his wife felt the same way about adopting their little girl from India, and we have very close friends who’ve adopted from Guatemala and Ethiopia. I think maybe it is good to look at the reality of time frames in various places around the world, or domestically. But ultimately, I believe you will be led to your child. The best to both of you!

  203. Cindy Barr says

    I myself was adopted and have always wanted (needed) to adopt. I have wonderful parents who I love dearly and who provided me with an incredible life. I wanted to do the same. I kinda thought we would adopt domestically an AA child, boy or girl. But Heavenly Father had a child chosen for us already and she was waiting for us in China. (An amazing experience I won’t get into :o) So we started the process. The only problem was I soon got pregnant and so put our adoption on hold. Unfortunately I have a hard time staying pregnant and have lost 7 babies all in the 2nd trimester. So after I miscarried I waited a year and decided I was ready to start the process again. Well yep, same story, became pregnant paused the adoption and went on to miscarry 20 weeks later. That was it, about a year later we started again the process and I was not going to stop for anything. So when I became pregnant shortly after, I thought, “I will probably lose this one too” (I do not say that lightly, Each of my losses were increible hard!) But I knew I was going to go through the adoption procss anyway. We met many challenges and many road blocks. I recall one day after another roadblock, I turned to my husband and said, “That’s it, I’m done”! But as soon as the word were out of my mouth, it was like I heard a voice saying “you cannot give up on me, I am waiting for you. So we pressed on. A year later we traveled to China and brought home our baby girl (well she was 11 months) but she was ours! Oh, yeah, about that pregnancy, I ended up going to term and I now have 2 girls only 2 months apart in age, one beautiful black haired, brown eyed sweetie and a blond haired, fair skin, blue eyed beauty. I know our daughter was meant to be with us, to be a part of our family. I pray for comfort fo her birth mother often. I also pray that I am being the kind of mom she would want for her precious little girl. Was this process a pain, yes. Hard, yes emotionally, but worth it, you bet!!! I feel that if you are blessed with the desire to adopt, the Lord has placed that desire in your heart. Don’t give up!!!

  204. says

    Hi Layla, adoption is a crazy wonderful ride….and the hardest thing I’ve EVER done….but I’ll tell ya what our sweet Lucy was and is worth every bit of it. Lucy was born in Ethiopia, and lost both her parents by 2 months old. Through Gladney Center for Adoption, we were matched up with her, and she’s now the bubbly sparkly addition to our family of 5. Now she’s 3, and loves to hear all about how mommy and daddy came all the way to Ethiopia to bring her home, because she didn’t have a family. God has blessed us so much, and we’ve learned SO much about his faithfulness and love for US in the process. Hang on for the ride!

  205. missy says

    Oh guys!! What a great post. I have a friend, who has been a friend since childhood, who has always known that she wanted to be a mother. She has a master’s degree is early childhood education and even has her own daycare center. She actually sold it and BOUGHT IT BACK because she missed her kids so much! It took her many years to convince her husband that it was time to start trying to have a baby and then she couldn’t get pregnant. It was heartbreaking. Then, after she had turned 40, one of our other friends called her one night. This friend was a nurse and had met a woman who was raising her granddaughter. The little girl’s mother had been murdered by the little girl’s father, in front of the little girl. The grandmother was getting old and decided it would be best for someone else to raise the girl. My childless friend got a call in the middle of the night and a few hours later she had a three year-old daughter. Just like that they are all living ‘happily-ever-after’. You just never know how God will work. I know this story won’t give you any pointers in your own journey, but I thought it was special enough to share with you guys.

  206. Trudy says

    We were set in one direction and kept searching. Finally when we heard about Fost/Adopt it was like the golden gates were open and angels were singing. We knew it was our journey. Whew, it was a LONG process for us 2 years before adoption finalization but God was with us at every step. Now our twins are 4 and we are together forever. God will be your guide – ask Him to do what you can not do on your own. He will set your path.

  207. Annie says

    My husband and I went down a different path. We adopted embryos! A lot of people have not heard about it. Due to the fact that I am in my 40’s, years of trying to get pregnant just didn’t happen. Instead of getting a donor egg, we went with donor embryo. The cost is about 25% of donor egg. Our first 2 attempts at IVF with donor embryos were not successful. On the the third try I got pregnant but lost it at 8 week. I am now thrilled to say I am 16 weeks pregnant with our donor baby. It’s like adopting at a VERY early age. (These embryos come from couples who have gone through IVF and have completed their families or for an array of reasons have “left-over” embryos that they donated to the fertility clinic.

    We looked into many options for adopting and this was the way we chose to build our family.

  208. Love says

    Thank you for sharing your story with us! My husband and I were also overwhelmed with the decisions…we just wanted to share our love with a child. All of the comments are correct in that God will lead you on your path through adoption…do look and listen for signs. My husband and I are neighbors with you in North MS. Our son was a blessing to us through domestic adoption. We were guided by a loving agency that was very real with us. Our son is 13 months old. We were present with him the day after he was born. We were able to meet his birth parents and spend time with his birth mother. I will happily share any other information with you privately. The process isn’t without challenges , but I can’t express to you in words the happiness that awaits you. I wish you the very best!

  209. Erin says

    I am currently looking at your blog for the first time holding my 2 week old adoptive daughter. There is so much to tell you about how we chose our agency. Find a support group near you, my husband and I went to one and it was great. We were able to ask questions from couples that adopted domestcally & internationally. Our criteria for an agency was one that offered extensive counseling to the birth parents, one that did not price based on ethnicity (yes there are some out there that do that), and was a Christian based agency. It took us a few months tou do he paperwork and we waited 15 months for our little girl. Please email me thereis so much more to write including suggested reading.

  210. says

    Love, love, love this. My husband and I adopted a little girl after having three biological boys. Our sweet muffin was four when we brought her home from Russia. We sought out a special needs adoption (Katie has Down syndrome) and chose Russia because we were specifically looking to adopt a child with Ds. She is amazing. She is exactly what our hearts needed, but we didn’t know it. I cannot imagine our lives without her, and she makes me a better person and a better mama every single day. I am so excited for you to find your little one!

  211. says

    Hi Kevin and Layla,

    We are in the process of adopting a little guy from Russia. We found him through reccesrainbow.org. Reece’s Rainbow is a placement agency for children with special needs. Mostly Down syndrome, but also cerebral palsey and HIV+ children. There are hundreds of pictures of children just waiting for a mommy and daddy and they are cutie patooties for sure! These children have a limited amount of time as they are put into mental institutions around the age of five if they are not adopted. We just got back from our first visit with our son in June and look forward to going back in the next month or so. You can check out our journey at http://www.Farleykids.blogspot.com.

    Danielle

  212. says

    Kev and Layla…My sister and I left you today, knowing we left a Divine Appointment that we definitely had not planned…This was unlike our adoptive story…a Divine Appointment we definitely did not plan…There are joys, heartaches, joys, and a journey of unconditional love…A journey that will be only yours, yet shared by many…You were a loving encouragement to us today….May God richly Bless you along the way….

  213. says

    we always knew we would adopt, in that we both come from families with many successful adoptions – we just never knew when it would work into our family. after two beautiful children and when my baby girl was just six months old i was diagnosed with cancer and long story short, we can no longer have children (it’s funny how God prepares our hearts all along the way). anyhoo, during radiation i was really trying to figure out where life was heading for our little family and struggled with how our children were going to find their way to our family now that we weren’t able to bring them here ourselves…and after lots of prayers (my husband thought i was crazy for even thinking about this at the time) i got a really strong answer to my prayers that my children would find their way to us, we just had to choose. we chose ethiopia – because it was what my heart/God told me was right. so, there is our story – we are open to twins/siblings/single from ethiopia – and we are that family that always said, “why would someone adopt internationally when we have so many children in need of families here?!” and then i was forced into a situation where i had to answer this question – and it is this…He knows where our children are, and we just have to follow his lead. it’s scary and i hate being a cliche (ethiopia/angelina/blah/blah/blah), but the spirit is the spirit. i hope you have your answer and whatever the answer is – you follow it with all you heart.

  214. Carolyn says

    We didn’t decide. God decided for us. We both knew that our hearts were more for domestic adoptions than interanational but we ended up giving up even that (long story) and God brought us our children. One via private adoption, one via Children’s services because we had done respite care for this child of ours and he bonded to us so rules were bent a bit to allow him to become forever ours. We remained licensed after than and now are fostering a baby girl and it looks like she may become ours forever as well. Love, love the family that God has given us.

  215. Ana Warner says

    Our adoption journey wasn’t too long. God put this desire in my heart to adopt a little girl. We already had 3 boys, our oldest was eleven and we also have twin boys that were 9. The problem was our twins have autism and our life is not “easy”. My husband thought I was out of my mind but I continued to pray for God’s guidance. We got in touch with our old church back in the Seattle area (we live a couple hours from there now) and with a lot of prayers decide to use Antioch Adoptions. They believe that adoptions is part of God’s plan and should be free! Yes, adoption of kids that are in foster care in the state of Washington though Antioch Adoptions is free. We had our classes and started praying for our daughter and her birth parents. A year after that I met our sweet daughter! She was 18 months old and we all fell in love with her. Today she is a busy 6 year old First grader and we can’t even think of a life without her. Adoption is the most beautiful act of love!

  216. says

    Hey Layla and Kevin,

    My husband, Jason and I felt much the way you seem to when we stared our own adoption journey. Actually, it wasn’t our journey at all, rather God’s. J and I started looking into adoption nearly 10 years ago. We always planned to adopt an orphan from another country. At every turn something happened to derail our plans. Finally, we decided to consider domestic adoption. Within days it became apparent we were pursuing ‘our’ adoption plan rather than listening to God’s voice. The very week we decided to try out the domestic route we were contacted by a family acquaintance who wanted us to adopt her unborn daughter. That was January 2012. We brought our daughter home May 30, 2012. Looking back, everything about this child and our journey to her is ‘right’. She has always been ours and we have always been hers. She was even born in my home town! It can be hard to quiet our minds and heats and control our eagerness but He will lay out that path, the right path, for you. We’ll be praying for your family as you Journey to your little one.

    xoxo,
    Wendi Hauser

  217. says

    Thank you for your transparent post. We too are in the same place you are. We were going through the adoption process and then had to put it on hold as we got pregnant at 39 years old! So, here we are a year later and wondering which way to go in regards to timing and where.
    Following your journey….Amanda

  218. celeste meehan says

    after many infertility treatments and eight miscarriages, then several adoptions that fell through at the last moment, we adopted our son. my husband had one stipulation: the child had to be born in the US. he didn’t care about the child’s ethnicity – he just didn’t want to deal with a foreign government’s laws and regulations on top of what the US required of us. we were fortunate enough, that after six years of working with an agency in NY not too far from our home, we were able to bring home our son four days after birth. a few years later we were to begin the process again, but my mother was diagnosed with non-operable cancer and was dying. we put adoption on hold. then, the signs appeared to me all in one day – thoughts about talking with a friend of a friend about their foreign adoption experiences. seeing an asian family with a little girl, and realizing that our daughter would be chinese. seeing a post in our church bulletin from a mom who had adopted from china and just wanted to get the word out about how to go about it. then i had to figure out how to tell my husband – the one who didn’t want to deal with a foreign govt – about the day i’d had! as soon as i did, he knew, too. i never thought God would send signs to me – that was for other, more “special” people. God’s goodness is never outdone…

  219. says

    We have just sent in our papers for our home study. We have two biological children 9 and 11 and are trying to adopt another 11 year old and possible 15 year old. The children are from Ukraine and in an orphanage that we have been going to for many years and serving. My husband goes twice a year. We prayed for a long time because since we are adopting older children, we thought of adopting from the U.S. Since we already had relationships established, we felt God was leading us to Ukraine.

    A lot depends on your time frame. Africa and China have long processes and may take a couple of years. Latvia is actually a great country to adopt from because they allow you to become a foster parent to the child while your paperwork is in process and then you only end up with like 2 weeks in country to finalize. Ukraine and Russia may take up to 9 months–which is what we are planning. There are 147 million or so orphans so I know God will lead you……

    Father to the Fatherless and defender of widows is God in His holy habitation. Ps 68:5

    I am starting an adoption website that should be up and running in the next few weeks. It will be http://www.project25forty.org.
    Another wonderful resource is LifeSongfororphans.org This is the nonprofit we work with in Ukraine. They are also in many other countries. What is great about them is 100% of donation goes to the mission field. They are tremondous, Godly people. Check them out. And thank you for your obedience to God.

  220. Melissa says

    My husband and are have officially decided we want to adopt, but we are still a year out from starting. (he is in college and we will be moving to wherever his long term job is next year) But i love that you are starting this journey.
    Can I make a request to some of these post-adoptive parents?
    Do yall have some books that you recommend? I know this is what we have decided; but i feel like I need to learn more, study more and read more. At least until we can get ‘state specific’.

  221. Lisa says

    Hope you have looked to adopt through your state as well. I work with the Dept. of Children and Famlies in my state, and each has a an adoption resource area. My roommate from college adopted through her state agency of CT and adopted a baby girl, who is now five years! Hope you are blessed soon. Good luck.

  222. Leslie says

    Hello,
    forgive my broken English but I am French. My husband and I started the long journey of adoption (minimum 5 years in France). I do not know how it happens to you but here it is very hard.
    I have long thought that I would not know the joy of maternitée, thank you god, life benis us, and that twice.
    I just wanted to tell you what’s is across the world, there is one more person who has high hopes for you. That life offers you great happiness.
    cordially
    Leslie

  223. Robbie says

    We chose to adopt from Russia for several reasons. Our agency (The Gladney Center in Fort Worth, TX) handled both domestic and international adoptions. As my husband and I were both in our early 40’s at that time, we knew we would have just one child. We did not want to deal with the birth-mom scenario. Some might consider it selfish, but that was important to us. At that time, our agency dealt with China, Russia, and Guatamala. We knew we wanted a boy – so that pushed us towards Russia and Guatamala. For some reason, our hearts led us towards Russia. We had no idea or concept of what would be involved – but it was oh so worth it!! God led us to the most amazing child ever! We first met him at 14 months and brought him home at 16 months. He is now 8 years old and the joy of our life. Absolutely so worth every painstaking minute spent filling out the tons of paperwork, etc. God gave us the perfect match for our family!

  224. Eileen says

    Our son was 20 months old when we traveled to South America to welcome him into our family. He was already talking and walking and had his own ideas about who was in charge! Five years later, we returned to welcome our newborn daughter. Both are young adults now, smart, beautiful, funny, hardworking, successful, gracious, kind and strong.

    Adoption gave us everything that mattered. The pure joy of watching them grow up compares to nothing else. No material thing on earth matters as much as being a part of their lives.

    Best wishes and fervent prayers for you as you embark on this wonderful journey!

    • Alicia says

      Hi Layla & Kevin,

      My husband and I are in the adoption process right now for our first child. We also really struggled with where in the world do we adopt? I mean, there’s this whole world in which we can pursue an adoption and where. do. we. start?! We actually had some friends tell us about Taiwan, and after research and some prayer, we have been pursuing our adoption there.

      The road hasn’t been easy though. Taiwan just changed their adoption laws which makes it harder to adopt, but not impossible. We’re on the waiting list since February at an orphanage that is run by missionaries which is sooooooo exciting! We hope and pray to hear any day now that we’ve been matched! When we are matched, we will have an infant and hopefully complete the adoption with in 4-6 months.

      Stay strong friend! The journey is hard. The wait is painful. But our God is faithful. It helps to talk about it with friends and people who are in the midst of it or have experienced it. :)

  225. annie says

    I am not an adoptive parent, but I worked in the field for 7 years. I am a HUGE fan of domestic foster care adoption. I think something that often scares folks from foster care adoption is the misunderstanding that a birth parent can return to get an adopted child – but they can’t. Once your child is adopted, he or she is YOUR child! Check out the Heart Gallery – it is an ongoing adoption recruitment program for foster youth throughout the nation – the major difference is that all the kids featured are already “legally free” (so their parents’ rights have legally been terminated in a court and they are ready for a “forever family” asap). I know Alabama has a Heart Gallery (http://www.heartgalleryalabama.com/children/individual.php), but so do most other states. :) http://www.heartgalleryofamerica.org/Galleries/default.asp

    I will be thinking of y’all!!

  226. DiAnne Hone says

    Adoption; Beautiful.I had two mothers!
    The one who gave me my life
    and the other gave me all the rest.
    I am a Butterbox baby survivor and i also have a beautiful adopted daughter and then after loosing 5 babies God gave me my youngest daughter. I am not a writer only a |Grandmother who lives in Nova Scotia. Follow your dreams and adopt your baby

  227. DiAnne Hone says

    Remember one thing, If those first 19 years of your childs life were happy years and a deep parent child relationship formed like it should have. Those years full of memories for the birth mother are gone.
    No one can take those memories from you and the child. Finding my birth mother let me know my roots and let me know that I did not look like her. Not all reunions are like you see on TV.I waited 10 years before my birth mother would see me. If I had not had a great relationship and love for my second mother who had raised me I know I would have had a very difficult time with the second rejection from my birth mother.There are a lot of things to think about.Some people are very cruel,People would say to me ,Which baby is yours? They both are my babiesThe oldest today , has her degree in Nursing and the youngest a Degree in Medical Lab Technology.My adopted daughter, met her birth mother when she was 19 and has not wanted to meet her again. She found out she had a sister and brother.If you want to find out about the Butter box babies and The Ideal Maturnity Home, go to Google. God Bless you all and thanks for letting me tell my story DiAnne H

  228. says

    After a couple of near-misses with domestic adoption we opted to follow the lead of some friends and adopt from Russia. We liked the idea that there’s never any chance that one of the parents can reclaim the child. And honestly, we liked the idea that a Russian child might bear at least some slight resemblance to us – thinking that being an adoptive child is hard enough without looking completely dissimilar to your parents.

    I can say with absolute conviction that God put us on this Earth to be parents to this little boy. The process was very long and put our faith to the test many times – and this is only clear in hindsight – but we had to wait because God just didn’t yet have our little guy ready for us.

    Our son couldn’t be any more like us – a perfect blend of the two of us. He is, in every way imaginable, -our- child. He has my wife’s temperament, love of organization, and outgoing personality; he has my love of music, tender heart and boundless imagination. He gives our lives meaning that we would never
    have known otherwise.

    I guess this is all my way of saying – you’re making a terrific choice!

    And don’t sweat the “other Mom” thing. Even at 6, our son is well aware that he came from one Mom’s tummy and another Mom’s heart. He proudly proclaims, “I’m from Moscow!” Aside from the circumstances that led to his placement in an orphanage, we’ve never shielded him from his origin so it’s not a sore topic at all.

  229. Charis says

    Hi

    Im a 27 year old adopted kid. I just want to tell you what its like being one of those kids.

    I was adopted when I was 6 weeks old and it was a closed adoption, meaning that my birth mother couldnt contact me and I couldnt contact her unless she had registered on an adoption register and they would contact me – and I would have a choice to put my name on that list and they would give us details.

    The twist is that I was adopted to the same family as my half brother (same mum, differant dad) and he had a completely differant adoption. He was adopted when he was 6 weeks old and lived with another family who adopted him – they broke up and the court system deemed that he would stay with foster parents (my adoptive parents) until the court reached a decision. The father of the family still wanted to keep my brother and the court deemed that it wasnt in my brothers favour to stay with him. The court then awarded custody to my adoptive parents. For my brother – this experience later on in life proved to be emotional hell in which he has taken years (10 +) to deal with.

    I also have another brother who is adopted and he has a closed adoption also – he has absolute no inkling to find his birth parents whatsover and has not once ever gone in search for his birth parents.

    Because I went to live with my half brother (which is somewhat of a fluke as I was born on the opposite side of the country to where my parents were living – the adoption agency were kind enough to track if I had any siblings and the government department called my parents to see if they were willing) they had just thrown out all there baby gear as we are all 3 years apart.

    We have always known we were adopted – since very young. For me that was great – for my half brother, not so great and for my eldest brother – the best.

    My half brother has always felt lost since we have known we were adopted, he did go through a rough patch in his late teenage years and he always thought something was missing (ya know – life incomplete?) and he went in search for his birth mother and didn’t tell me. He found her and was in contact (and still didnt tell me). Needless to say – I was pissed. My adoptive parents are kind loving, supporting, providing parents. I have no qualms in saying that my adoptive parents are the best parents. But actually finding our birth parents proved to be hell.

    Our birth mother gave birth to 5 children. One passed away at birth – then my half brother, myself and then she gave birth to twins and kept them. Her family didnt know that they had either my half brother and myself. She kept the adoption and both pregancies a secret.

    The emotional impact of her giving us up and keeping the twins affected my brother greatly. We went through – were we not good enough? why? etc… I have now a relationship with the twins, but no relationship with her. My choice that way.

    I have no idea who my birth father and my half brother is on track to find his first adoptive parents. He is always on the search.

    I just want you to realise that adoption will be a long process, but in the end regardless of how long it takes – its just worth it.

    I hate to think of what my life would have been like without someone taking the chance on me – and accepting me from such a young age. It takes guts . The reason I told you my story was to know that the adoption road will not always be easy or raising kids and there will always be affects of adoption good and bad. I hope you are successful.

  230. says

    Hi. I was on your blog looking at your beautiful mantel because we are making one this weekend and I saw the word adoption. I couldn’t pass up reading your posts. My husband and I had 2 biological children and when the time came for number 3 he said he wanted to adopt. I prayed about it and knew that was Gods plan for our family. As far as who to use, we didn’t have a lot of upfront cash at the time so I avoided agencies. I was networking with local attorneys and Catholic Charities and found a lawyer several hours away who a friend recommended. I called each contact weekly to remain at the top of the minds. We wanted a daughter but we didn’t care about race and after praying about it, we also didn’t care about rap, drug abuse, or any other family medical issues. We just decided to jump in wearing nothing but faith. God chose this for our family and he would provide what was right regardless of all the scary stuff. One day, 3 weeks after finishing our home study, I called one of the lawyers to say hi and check on birth mom situations and it turned out she had a situation on her desk. It was an open adoption and I said yes immediately. After talking to my husband he said no because this particular situation was very expensive. I called back to say don’t send our profile book but it was too late. That mother picked us and secretly the law office tried to change her mind because they didn’t think we could afford that situation. She refused to change her mind and insisted we were the ones. 2 weeks later we got the call and God provided the way he always does. It was a very open adoption prior to my daughters birth and it changed my life for-ever experiencing something so powerful with another mom, she was raising another daughter. I have never felt Gods presence more than during that time. Now our daughter is a bubbly energetic 2.5 year old and fits perfectly into our lives. I’m aware of her adoption in my mind but she is my biological child in my heart. I was also able to nurse her! I talk a little about it on my blog. It’s was pretty simple to do and the bonding experience was amazing! A friend who didn’t have any children prior to adopting was also able to produce milk. http://www.sewgrown.blogspot.com. I’ll be praying for your adoption!

  231. Keslie Down says

    Hi Layla-

    I have so loved following your adoption journey and know what an emotional roller coaster it can be. Less than a year after our wedding, I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at the age of 26. After a thousand medical appointments, it was determined that I was going through early menopause. There was nothing that could be done. The doctor sent us home with a packet of pamphlets entitled “Alternative Paths to Parenthood.” I suppose that’s how fertility clinics say goodbye.

    At first, we felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to define our path–International? Private? Open? Closed? We weighed our options, attended meetings, read books, poured over blogs and forums, determined to have an answer for those who hovered, dying to ask the question that most newlyweds have to endure–“When are you going to have a baby?” It was too hard, too new, too raw NOT to have an answer, or to share the whole truth, which seemed impossible to accept.

    Once we decided upon a plan, the emergency of it all lifted and the reality set in: we weren’t ready to be parents–biological or adoptive–and so we tucked our well-informed plan away. It’s been seven years. And sure, we pull it down from the shelf every now and again, look at it, dream about it, talk about it… but we always fold it up and put it back. We don’t really know what comes next.

    I have so many questions for you and the adoptive families out there, sharing in your experience. How do you know when it’s time to move forward with adoption? Or, is it possible that the dream–that window of hope and opportunity–can pass you by? Is there a point where it just becomes too late in your life, your marriage, your healing process?

    There was a time when I could not envision a life without a child, and now… Well, I just don’t know. How did you come to recognize that the time was right?

  232. Barbara says

    I started crying as I read these wonderful stories. We are looking at adoption in eastern Oregon. I have researched extensively & costs are really high. If anybody has some tips, please share.

  233. Karen says

    I just wanted to leave a quick note of encouragement to you as you continue this amazing journey to your forever child. I’m an adoptive mama, too … we chose domestic adoption and our son, Asher, was born in 2011. The journey can be long and painful…but with so much joy in the smallest moments of progress. I love to see you celebrating those moments here. We used Bethany Christian Services for our adoption process…and one of the best things about their process was the classes they required we take early on in our homestudy. My biggest take-away was the recommendation of the book “Adoption is a Family Affair”. We read it together as a couple and also gave copies to our extended family. Through this book, our families were able to better understand our journey, better understand adoption (which can sometimes be met with hurtful comments and ignorant assumptions) and helped them grasp the importance of “adoption-friendly” language so that we could feel confident that our son would never hear things like “your birthmom gave you up for adoption” or “your real mom such-and-such.” I strongly urge you to check this out — even though your adoption story will look different than ours being internationally based…I think a lot of the content will still apply.
    I wanted to also pass along a great blog that you should check out – it’s by my friend, Maggie and she’s an incredible mama with beautiful, wise, thought-provoking thoughts on her daughter, adoption, and the openness she has with her daughter’s birthmom. (Actually she posted 2-3 posts about my story earlier this year as we met some legal challenges in the adoption of our son) I hope you’ll check it out – I know you’ll love it. http://www.apairofpinkshoes.com
    Blessings and Joy to you on this amazing journey!

  234. Heather Stoffregen Gosen says

    Layla, reading your blog on adoption brings me back to over 9 years ago when my husband and I decided to become foster parents for the state of Minnesota. Precious children would enter our home and stay for a few days. We cared and loved on these children, as they did not choose to come to a strangers home. We taught our toddler daughter how to embrace others. For over a year we fostered several children. Although we cared deeply for each we never felt that permanent connection- until one day when we received a call to take an infant boy that need a temporary home so his parents could decide if they we’re fit to be parents. This little boy was to stay for one weekend and return “home” . That weekend changed many lives. Ours, this boys parents and extended family and most of all his. That little boy never left our home after that’ weekend. A year later we signed the final piece of paper that officially declared him our son.

    Layla, those parents chose my husband and I to be his parents. We have had the honor to raise the most caring, thoughtful and creative boy . Our son was the perfect addition and we knew the minute we met him. It’s an amazing feeling and you will know- it warms you from the inside and your heart feels like it is going to explode.

    Congratulations on your adoption- your life will be forever blessed and your future sweet P will be ally one ever dreamed and more.

    Warmly
    Heather

  235. Lil' Darlin' Interiors says

    We decided to adopt through the Foster Care System. We always knew that we wanted to adopt but also knew that financially with 2 biological children of our own that the cost was too much.
    We started the process in August of 2011 and got our first placement, a beautiful 6 day old little girl on 9/22/2011. She was precious. The process was long and very emotional. On March 4,2012 we got the call saying that she was being placed back with her biological mom. My heart was broken. I always knew that it was a possibility but did not want to think that it would ever be a reality for me. You definitely still go through a mourning process and I told my husband that I didn’t think I could ever do this again. He assured me that God had a “GREATER” plan than mine and she was put with us to allow her mom to heal and make a better life for herself.
    Fast forward only 2 months to May 23,2012 and I get the phone call to start this emotional roller coaster again. This time it was for a sweet little boy (initially a boy was what he hoped for since we already have 2 girls) that was born drug addicted and the parents had no desire to keep him. May 24th we picked up our sweet boy from the hospital at just 22 days old. He was perfect in every way.
    We took him for a visit to see his bio mom at 5 weeks and then again at 6 weeks, which was when we got to meet her face to face. She seemed so lost and broken and it made me so sad for her. She looked and me and I will never forget what she said, “When you brought his diaper bag fully packed last week, I knew he was yours and not mine.” A huge rush of emotions came over me. The joy that I felt knowing that with time this little man was mine forever and the sadness knowing that she was going to have to grieve the loss of a child.
    On June 29th of 2012 we got a call asking if we would take the twin 3 year hold 1/2 brothers of our little man. Knowing that we could not split the siblings, we said yes. This was only supposed to be temporary and was not part of my plan. However this must have been another part of God’s “GREATER” plan. We got these adorable twin 3 year old boys on June 30th, dirty and fraile. The hardly spoke at all but called us Mommy and Daddy from the first time they saw us. The journey with “our” twins was much longer. Their bio mom wanted to regain custody but just couldn’t get it together.
    On June 18, 2013 we got to adopt our little man and on November 16, 2013 we will adopt our adorable and crazy twin boys.
    I had the plan for 3 children, my 2 girls that were born in my tummy and my one little man that was born in my heart. I got blessed with 3 little men being born in my heart instead.
    Good luck on your journey and I hope that you are richly blessed by what God has planned for you!

  236. Charlotte says

    I live in NY and do interim care for the Spence-Chapin Adoption Agency in New York City. What that means is sometimes a woman goes into a local hospital and while in labor she will tell the nurses she cannot parent the baby. They then get the social worker and that person contacts the agency. Because Spence doesn’t know the mom, they will call me to pick up the baby at discharge. In NY the birth parent has 30 days to change her mind. During that time the social worker gets the medical history and show the mom people who are waiting to adopt. She then chooses parents, then there is a meeting scheduled. After the 30 days the baby is placed.
    They sometimes have direct placements but that happens when they know the mom and she picks the parents before she delivers.
    I have had 44 newborns so far. I love doing this. You can look them up online at Spence-Chapin.org. Good luck to you.

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