Thursday, February 12, 2015

The beginning of our Journey

I started this blog to journal the entire process of our adoption.  Me (Sarah) and my husband Mike have been married for 14 years.  We have 5 wonderful kids -  Laney (13), Chloe (11), Elijah (9), Isaac (7), and Jett (5).
Michael and I have always talked about adoption since even before we were married.  I guess it has always been on our minds and in our hearts for the last 14 years.  We also wanted biological children.  We've done that 5 times, and it's been amazing...knowing your child is growing inside of you, feeling the squirms and the kicks, and just watching your belly grow...there's nothing like it.
Mike has told me that when we were first married, we both came to an agreement that we wanted 6 kids.  I don't remember the conversation, but it sounds like me, so I'll go with it.  After our 5th was born, I thought, well...we're close.  Maybe that 6th just isn't in the cards for us.  But God.
He started stirring our hearts for adoption again a few years after Jett was born.   Mike and I talked about it and we both felt like it was something we wanted to do, but we agreed to wait.  He had just started taking classes to earn his degree in electrical engineering, and we were planning a move to Florida after he was done.  We decided that it would be easier for us to just wait until he was done with school, and after we had moved.  But that's the doesn't really matter what's easier for us.  What's easier for us is not what Christ has called us to.  He hasn't called us to an easy life.  He's called us to a life of sacrifice, a life of serving, and a life of taking care of those who can't care for themselves.  A life that shows people His love and His grace and mercy. 

So here we are a couple of years later...

We're finally taking the plunge.  We've been talking about it for a while and now we're here.  The story behind it is this:

My heart has always had a special place for people with special needs - Down Syndrome, to be specific. I've visited homes for people with special needs...working with them, playing games with them, sharing meals, and just loving them. The desire to adopt a child with Down Syndrome has been in my heart since then.  Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago...  Mike and I attended a concert here in KC, called Winter Jam. If you're not familiar with it, it's a concert featuring well known Christian rock bands. As it was completely sold out, and there was no assigned seating, Mike and I had to sit about 10 rows apart - I had Laney and Isaac with me and he had Chloe. During the concert, they feature the adoption organization Holt International. The speaker was sharing his life story, about the life he had lived in foster care, and how he and his wife had adopted one of their daughters through Holt. I didn't have to listen hard when I heard God tell me that it was time. It wouldn't have been any more clear had it been on the jumbo tron. I turned around in my seat to see if I could make eye contact with Mike. I couldn't see him, but was hoping that he was hearing the same thing. We got home that night/morning around 12:30am and after we got the kids to bed, Mike called me into our bedroom. I walked in and saw him standing there with tears in his eyes. His first words were "Sarah, it's time to adopt." He told me how he heard God's calling, the same as I did, and that we shouldn't wait any longer. It was time. We were adding another child to our family and we knew it was to be a child with Down Syndrome. We both knew. We both heard it and we both felt it. We prayed together that night and just asked God to lead us, to open doors for us, and for guidance as we start this journey. I woke up the next morning and checked our bank account, as I was hoping to see our tax refund in there. I saw that there was a deposit that was a few thousand less than what it should be. I started thinking that the IRS had screwed us over, until I checked and found that it was a refund from something completely different. Something we were totally not expecting. I called my good friend, who has adopted 6 times and told her the whole story. The first thing she told me was that she was getting goose bumps, the second was that the amount that had just been dumped into our bank account unexpectedly was the amount we would need for our home study. I think we got an answer.

We logged on to Holt's website and started looking through the waiting child photo listings.  There were three little girls that we had our eye on.  Something inside me kept going back to one in particular.  I can't explain it, but I just felt something drawing me to her.  We requested more information on her...she's a sweet, 2 year old girl from China, who has Down Syndrome. We received her information, went over all of it, including her medical records and her history, and have chosen to move forward with this amazing little girl. We've been told that no other family is looking at her file right now. They told me to send in a couple of different things and once I did, they would send our info to China and hold her for our family.  I'm done with that and from what I understand, we need to fill out one more form after we receive it from Holt, then they will send it to China and we will get the word that she's waiting for our family.

That's where we are right now.  I had a meeting with the KC Holt director this past Monday, Feb. 2nd, and she went over a ton of stuff with me.  Mike of course wanted to be there but he had to work, so we decided I should go to get things rolling.  There's just so much, it's so overwhelming.  There was just no way that I would have been able to remember everything and repeat it to Mike, so she told us she would meet with him at a later date.

We have so far to go.  We are just now at the beginning, and while I know that this is going to be a long, drawn out, emotional process, I know it will all be worth it in the end. The next thing on the to do list is to get started on our home study.  After (and a little during) that, we will complete our dossier, then wait for immigration.  After that, it's a waiting game.  That's going to be the hardest part of this whole process.  The waiting.

We know that whatever happens, it's God's doing.  He has been so faithful through this whole process and we don't want to take one tiny step without Him.  We want to do his will and everything according to His plan.  We want every part of this to be to His praise and His glory. 

We're coming for you, baby girl!

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