Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Most of the questions we've been asked since sharing our news have been really similar to what I got asked when I told people I was pregnant. That little parallel makes me smile. I thought I'd do a post today to go ahead and provide a few more details about the little (or not so little) bundle of joy we're expecting. I'm glad to share what we know, just keep in mind that there are still alot of unknowns at this time.

When? From what we understand, this process will take 12-18 months once we actually turn in our application. Ideally for our family, we'd like to complete the adoption and bring our child home around the time Gracie is 5 and Liam is 3. When we first decided to adopt in the next few years, we thought the process would take much longer. So for now, the plan is to turn in our application and get started towards the end of April, and kind of see what happens with the timing. We know God will provide us with the file of our little one when the timing is perfect.

Gender? We are leaving that up to someone else to decide. :) When I was pregnant with Liam, before we knew he was a boy, I went back and forth at least weekly on if I wanted a boy or a girl. I am super close to my sisters, so I think it would be wonderful for Gracie to have a sister. At the same time, I watch my sweet nephews play together, and see how much Jared looks up to his big brother even though they are adults now, and I think it would be awesome to have another little boy. Having one of each already, I think both little boys and little girls are amazing and I would be thrilled with another of either. But just to be clear, a common misconception with Chinese adoption is to automatically assume that we will be bringing home a girl. That is not  necessarily true, and it is actually probably more likely that we will be matched with a precious little boy.

Age? We are requesting a baby or toddler. We would like to be matched with a child under 2 years of age. One of the big reasons for that is because we have been advised (and strongly wish, ourselves) NOT to disrupt the birth order in our family. This means Gracie will always be our first born, Liam our second, and this new little one will be our third.

I know that many are wondering why we chose China and would like to know some more specifics on what it means to adopt a waiting child also. I will address that in another post when I feel more comfortable putting those thoughts into words. :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Beginning

I guess a good blog should start with a little bit of explanation and back story about why it exists. I'm not sure anyone will ever actually call this blog a "good" blog, but I'll try to my best to make it like one.

Our family is on a new journey, and I'd just like to share a little bit about that.

I have felt called to international adoption for as long as I can remember, really. Way back then, I didn't consider it a calling. It was just an interest. Later on in life, I realized it was one of my life's passions, and now I can look back and see that God placed certain interests on my heart to be used for this time in my life. I met Jared in 2005, during a time when my interest for helping displaced children and orphans was really growing and I was beginning to actually do something with that passion.

Jared too had a soft spot in his heart for these children, and life experiences had opened his heart very much to adoption, even though it was something he did not realize at the time. Truth be told, he hadn't really ever thought about it.

Well, God put the two of us together, and my chatter caused him to think about it. We discussed it quite a bit while we were dating and after our engagement, and agreed that some day we would adopt a child. In the meantime, we would continue to be involved through financial support.

We married in 2007, our daughter was born in 2009, and our son was born in 2012. During these years, we did alot of discussing and researching adoption, both international and domestic. But the timing was never right. In fact, shortly before I became pregnant with Grace, we decided to stop actively pursuing adoption and put it in on hold for later in life.We still talked about it sometimes, but we really did not intend to adopt for many years. During my pregnancy with Liam, I remember chats Jared and I had together, about how our next child would most likely come to us through adoption, but that it would be definitely after Liam and Gracie both were school age or even later.

So there we were, content and happy as a family of four. Knowing our family was not complete, but feeling sure it was complete for now. We spent most of 2012 living in Alabama, for Jared's job, and we loved that year. We had no idea God was using our experiences there to prepare us for moving our adoption timeline up. We came home to Ohio in October 2012, and BAM. I say "BAM" in capital letters like something actually hit us, because that is really how it felt. I began thinking more and more about international adoption and wanting to grow our family in that way sooner than later, but I didn't want to say anything to Jared, because I didn't want him to feel pressured and agree just to quiet his nagging wife. I say that partially in jest. I mainly mean that I felt I was just getting too emotionally involved and I wanted the timing to be right for our family, so I was waiting to see if Jared felt the same way. And he did. I can't begin to explain my shock when he told me he thought we should move forward.

The next few months were spent praying, researching countries, trying to listen to our hearts and our common sense at the same time, thinking about timelines, thinking about money, talking to people we trusted, and talking to agencies. If I'm very honest, I'll also admit that months were filled with alot of fear. I will talk about those fears in another post.

In an effort to fulfill what we truly believe to be God's plan for our lives, we feel compelled to begin pursuing a baby/toddler from the waiting child program in China. So this is our story of why/how we are on this journey. In the coming days and weeks, I hope to update this blog to fill our family and friends on more of the details, and we'll also use this blog to chronicle the steps we take to reach our little one. I welcome questions, so please ask away. :) And most importantly, please pray for our family. This is a big, lifechanging decision that affects our whole family!