Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Wait Begins!

A major milestone has been reached:

As of today, we are officially in the "waiting" phase of the adoption process!

(Big exhale!) Simply being able to wait never sounded so good.

As we've written about in numerous past blog entries, the past year has seen us tackle huge amounts of paperwork, background checks, and home study meetings. During that time, as people would naturally ask us if we are expecting to get a call to adopt a baby any day, our response was always a resounding "No...we're not at that stage yet."

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been working on a massive eight-page family profile that pretty much describes everything about who we are, our daily lives, our home, our jobs, and yes...our dog. (Massive thanks to our friend, Chris H. who did most of the program-based work of actually creating it according to our vision). This profile, which was submitted to our agency yesterday, will now be shown to multiple pregnant birth-parents, who will view them in order to determine who they would like to meet as potential matches to adopt their baby once he or she is born.

To set the record straight about one thing, this will not be some ten-year sob story waiting game like the media wants you to believe, so please get that nonsense out of your mind if you happen to be thinking it. As we've all been reminded of lately, adoption stories in the news are almost all negative and magnify the few situations gone wrong rather than laud the vast majority of healthy, successful adoptive placements. So while we don't think it'll be tomorrow, it shouldn't be too long.

So, after all the grunt work we've done over the past year, it's a relief to finally answer the million dollar question: Yes, we are now eligible to get a phone call from our agency, at any time, that a birth-parent would like to meet us for a potential adoptive placement! :)

My man-cave is about to turn into a nursery...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Essence of Community

Two of our most recent fundraising endeavors have come to a close and what a success they proved to be.

In early February, we began a massive baby bottle fundraiser in which willing participants each took an empty baby bottle provided by us and filled it up with change (or any currency they wished) and returned it to us a month later.

When we began this project, we estimated that we'd possibly bring in around $1,000.

Hopefully.

Probably more like $800.

Maybe.

As of today, with a few bottles still trickling in, we've officially raised $2,800 through our baby bottle project!!

I know...we still can't believe it either.

We're still completely blown away by the community support we've received. We didn't know that this would spread like wildfire, but by the grace of God, it did. We are so grateful to all of you who gave so generously to our adoption fund through this project that it's just too hard to really put into words.

However, one contribution in particular must be pointed out:

I was sitting down at church one Sunday, several weeks back, shortly after we launched the baby bottle fundraiser. A young, seven-year-old girl named Tahnayja came up to me. She had found a dime on her way to church and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Somewhere along the way, she had heard that we are adopting a baby, and while she didn't fully grasp what that meant, she understood that it's an expensive process. She came up to me and thrust out her hand with the dime in it. I asked, "What's this for?" She replied, "For your baby!" I thankfully received the small coin from her hand and put it into my pocket, fighting to maintain composure.

It was one of the most touching gifts we'd ever been given.

I couldn't help but relate this scenario to Luke 21, in which "Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, 'Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'"

I don't mean for this to minimize -- in ANY way -- the generosity shown to us by all who have contributed to our adoption fund, but what had compelled this little girl to give away her newfound prize to us? To a seven-year-old, ten cents can mean you're only a few more dimes away from a piece of candy. In a very real and tangible way, it truly felt as though this little girl had somehow "put in more than all of them."

***

On March 28th, we held our benefit brunch at Ida Mae's Bruncherie, a wonderful family-owned restaurant. THANK YOU to all of you who came out to support us, even though I'm sure the draw of eating great food didn't require us to twist your arms. The place was packed for most of the day so we ended up going from table to table to express our gratitude to all who came. We had a bunch of surprise attenders, which was awesome. Overall, it felt a little like our wedding day, as we wanted to make sure we spent at least a few minutes with everyone who showed up. Special thanks to Heather, Stew, Jeff, and Jeanie who drove considerable distances just to participate in our fundraiser. You have no idea how much it meant to us. We made about $200 at Ida Mae's that day and are unbelievably grateful to the restaurant's owner, Mary Kate, for being willing to partner with us in this effort. Ida Mae's is a wonderful restaurant that serves great food and employs wonderful people -- so hey, you should support them and eat there as often as you can!

Some pics from the Ida Mae's brunch
(sorry if we unintentionally missed you!)