Friday, May 25, 2012

That time I felt like a real life mom...

We received an email recently that we haven't really shared with anyone. My immediate reaction to it wasn't at all what I imagined it would be, which has caused me to take a step back and mull it over a bit.

You see, the email was from our adoption agency worker. She was informing us that the agency in Florida where our first profile book is currently sitting recently showed our book to a birth mom. What didn't have me leaping off of my seat was the next portion of the email: "...she is undecided about whether she is going to go forward with an adoption plan or not. Should she decide to move forward and choose a family, I will be in contact with you!"

So many questions go through my mind: because she is so unsure, what if she chooses us, then last minute backs out? Because she is so undecided, maybe she recognizes that this baby is a precious little being, that needs his/her mama? Because we are not in this to be taking babies away from their perfectly capable mamas.

She is undecided. She is unsure if she wants to give her baby to a family she doesn't know to raise him/her forever. She doesn't know what to do.
How on earth can I possibly pray, with peace of mind, that this mama will choose to give her baby away, will choose US?

Here is the point that I realized I was a real life mom: I love this baby that may not even be ours SO MUCH, that if there is ANY chance that he/she can stay and be raised by his birth mom, I want that to happen. I am choosing this baby over our wants to have him/her here.

SO, might I ask that you will, instead of praying for us to adopt this specific baby, that maybe you will pray for peace and clarity to completely cover this mom faced with this horrifying decision? That whatever decision she makes is made with full knowledge and sureness?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Kid's views on race

Part 1:

Part 2:

Last year, CNN did a study on kids and race issues. I've linked to a couple of clips here. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on it, good or bad.

Growing up, I knew with out a doubt that my parents would not have any kind of issue if I would have had an African-American boyfriend or friend. Race was always openly talked about as not something that would ever be an issue in our family. That it was actually quite silly to think that it would be.
 Some of the kids in these clips are certain that their parents definitely would NOT have approved. One African-American teen even goes as far to talk about the 'standards' that are different for AA boys as opposed to AA girls. She mentioned that she felt there wasn't a problem with her bringing home a white boy, but if her brother brought home a white girl, it would be a totally different story.

I'm curious, all judgments aside, what were the standards in your family growing up? Was race openly talked about in your home, whether negatively or positively. If you are black, did you have many white friends? If you are white, did you have any black friends? I truly want to hear your thoughts, not the happy everyone is equal type answer, but what you truly feel in your gut. What you raise your kids to to believe. Do you talk about race in your home? Why or why not?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Break it down. For real.

My dear friend Angela, who along with her hubby and son, are another adoptive family working through our agency to bring their baby home. They have just started raising the funds for their 2nd adoption! She has been such an encouragement to me, as she's been here before, and believed in the process and our agency enough to do it all over again! :)
She recently laid out the costs associated with adoption as our agency breaks them down, for our specific program, and it got me thinkin': I've never shown you here what that looks like. So, here it is:


(Due prior to home study visit)

  • Application fee: $300
  • Agency fee: $2750
  • Domestic infant training course and seminar: $250
  • Adoption home study: $1500
  • Post-placement home study visits: $700 
  • = $5500 (paid)


(Due at time of placement with adoptive family. These are not CFA fees and are paid directly to the placing agency.)

  • African American or Biracial infants: $15,000-$30,000 (we have saved/raised $8000 of this so far!)


    (Estimates. Due as needed.)

    • 12 color copies of photo/profile books: $50 (was closer to $150)
    • Lodging and meals: $750
    • Airfare for two: $1600
    • = $2500 (paid $150)

    ESTIMATED GRAND TOTAL: $22,900- $37,900

    So, there it is. It's a lot of money. But every single penny is so worth the kiddo that we get to raise and bring into our family. We are so anxious to get the remaining money raised, are you with us? :)

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Oh Christmas tree...

    As I was going back through Christmas pictures today, I was struck by this one that was quickly snapped with my phone when I realized I never got a pretty picture of the girls sitting in front of the tree together:

    It was a hilarious little moment in time as prior to this picture, I got one of Sam grabbing her big sisters face and laying a big wet one on her (something TOTALLY out of character for her, as Sam refuses to be kissed or kiss anyone-EVER), so I got a couple of genuine grins out of this shot. But that's not what caught me off guard in this picture. It's this part of the picture that caused me to inhale quickly and smile:

    That bear, nestled into our tree, right above Liv's head? That was given to us by my grandma, my childrens great-grandma, for our someday-soon son. 

    While I was so busy feeling sad that we weren't able to celebrate Christmas with a new baby in our house, seeing this picture reminds me that God places everything perfectly in his time. Even a bear in a Christmas tree.

    I had visions of our three kiddos placed sweetly in front of the tree with their matching outfits this year, when instead I got a big sister squeezing the life out of little sis, who is wearing her 3-day-old OSU jersey that she refuses to take off, and a sweet reminder in the way of a perfectly placed stuffed bear ornament, that God cares about the little things, just as he cares about the bigger things.

    As I sit and wonder why our adoption process isn't moving as quickly as I would like, He knows about the birth mom, and her story. He's got her story, and ours, lined up just perfectly to meet someday soon.

    While I'm having my pity party as a result of not being able to dress my kiddos in a hideously matched fashion, what is she doing? Maybe she's grieving. Maybe she went through Christmas knowing that the child she is carrying would not be a child she would raise. Maybe she went through Christmas wondering if she made the right choice in carrying the baby at all. 

    While I pout and stomp my foot at the fact that we haven't hit our goal financially for our adoption, I am reminded that God has my back. He's got this. And birth mom? He's got her back too. However she got to the place she's at- whatever decisions shes made to get to the point she's at now, I can rest assured that he is holding her hand, and ours, the entire way to our meeting place. And that brings me some peace. 

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Having a moment...

    Im having "a moment" over the fact that our 2 girl (or so we thought) guinea pigs just had babies together.
    Who WOULDN'T be caught off guard by finding wee piggies in the cage, when I have been through Jr. High health class, and darn that Mr. Gardner for telling us that you need a boy and a girl with very particular bits and pieces to create a living being! Because these pigs are living proof that it's just not the case. (I suppose the other option could be that I plugged my ears during that *embarrassing* part of class, and Petco sold us the wrong gender. Whatev.)

    Discovering that Miss Tasha was in fact a boy with very real boy pieces (ohmygoshgross), was one of the more horrifying moments in my life. Maybe it was thinking back to the hot pink barbie puffy vest he/she was often forced to wear by a certain 6-year-old girl, or the copious amounts of other barbie clothes he/she was shoved into, or the horror could just still be lingering from having that sweet gal at Critter Cabana show us how to tell the sex of our guinea pig- something by the way that I will never be able to erase from my poor, delicate mind. Excuse me while I dry heave one more time...
    Either way, it hasn't changed the way we feel about him/her, because he/she is still our piggy and we love him/her.

    (Oh Lordy- have I lost you yet??)

    This whole gender confusion episode has had me thinking about all the weird/crazy/HARD things we do for our kiddos. (Finding a guinea pigs private parts for the sake of our children TOTALLY tops the "weird things" column in my parenting life book. And I pray to sweet baby Jesus that it doesn't get weirder than this- my prude little heart can't take it!!)

    I'm thinking about specifically the HARD things parents do for their kiddos, or experience with them. I'm thinking of the friend that has a child who is allergic to everything under the sun, yet her faith remains unshaken. I'm thinking of the beautiful friend who is fighting for her girl with everything she has that was most recently diagnosed with autism and many food allergies. I'm thinking of the man I know that has to watch his daughter make life-altering poor choices in her adult life, but continues to love her through it.
    It has me thinking about the hard stuff-not the guinea pig privates stuff- but the HARD stuff I've recently worked through with my own daughter, and what kind of HARD stuff I will encounter with our someday-soon son. I, a white-as-you-get woman, and John, a whiter-than-rice man, will be raising a black son, in a not-so-tolerant world. We will deal with hard hard stuff. We know this, and we are as ready as we will ever be for it. We know that there will be times that I'm going to want to beat the snot out of some kid that used a racial slur aimed toward my son. I know that there will be times, regardless of the unconditional love that we will have for him, that he will feel out of place, with a white mommy and daddy and two white sisters. We know this. We expect this.
    The thing I adore about community, is that we are never EVER alone in the HARD stuff. I have full confidence in the fact that I could turn to nearly anyone in our beautiful, crazy village and be supported through that hard stuff. Adoption, and having children in general, is never a personal mission. It is something that can only be done when you are surrounded by people that genuinely love and care for you and are as excited about this new child as you are. You, my friends are a part of a crazy cool village. Get used to it. :)

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Another step closer!!

    It's official: We have now created and ordered photo books for our agency! This is the final step before we are 'matched' with a birth mom.
    We have been so amazed by the number of monetary gifts people have blessed us within this adoption journey. It is an incredible experience to see in tangible ways that so many people have got our backs. We have said from the beginning that we couldn't do this alone- emotionally or financially- and we are now stepping out, yet again, to ask: would you help?

    If any of you have felt led to contribute to this adoption, now is the perfect time to do that, and here's why: Our agency cannot begin showing our profile books to birth moms until the total amount of money is in place to complete the adoption. I (Abbie) have around 500 Facebook friends- if those 500 people were able to donate $26, do you know that we would meet our goal? How cool would that be??
    Thanks for being our go-to pals, our BFF's, our crazy-cool village. Thank you for your prayers and love- keep 'em coming!!

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Alisha Vernon: Adoption

    Whoa. It has been a crazy-long time since we've last updated this here blog. :) I've got a couple of update posts in the works, but for now I want to share this beautifully written post by our friend Alisha:

    Alisha is a Mom, wife, artist, and her passion for women, moms, and families really shines through her art. I can't wait for you to see her work. So, go. Click the link, buy her art, support our adoption! :)