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.

Fireplace Makeover
The Box

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!

Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!!

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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)

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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

  22. 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….

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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…

  29. 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.

  30. 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’.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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!

  34. 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. :)

  35. 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!!

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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!

  41. 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?

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

  44. 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

  45. 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!

  46. 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.