Lots of adoption updates for you tonight! It been a wild few weeks over here- spending a lot more time in our classroom getting ready for school, preparing and hosting the silent auction, and being ‘active’!
One quick snippet before jumping in- I just ordered the necklace I used for this blog post picture, as a gift for our future expectant mom. The triangle represents the adoption triad- the birth family, adoptive family, and child. I bought two- one for the birth mom and one for me (to eventually give to our child). If you are an adoptive family looking for a unique gift- head over to the Adopt Shoppe (website or Etsy). Jason’s wife (Jason from FAC) makes them along with other adorable faith centered items (not all adoption related)!
Now, first things first.
Week 21: It was a fun but busy week gathering all the items for our silent auction! We were amazed at the generosity of local businesses, friends, and family, and ended up having 55 items to auction off! The best part was the WIDE variety of things! We were clueless as to how well it would go. We knew that if we auctioned off everything at it’s starting bid we’d raise close to $1,000.
Well, our friends and family showed up in big ways and we were able to raise $3,368!! Unbelievable! It was a blast watching the friendly bidding wars and seeing our friends have some fun while also supporting us. We are SO thankful for all of you! The silent auction helped bring our Adoption Fund to $34,500!
Week 22: After a whirlwind auction weekend, it was nice to start the week at a slower pace. On Tuesday I had an introductory call with our adoption consultant, Natalie! It was a joy chatting with her as she explained the ins and outs of the ‘active’ period/matching process. I’ll verrrrrry briefly recap what we learned:
-FAC’s average match time is still 4.5 months.
-Most families, on average, see 40-60 cases (expectant mom profiles) before getting a ‘yes’ (a match).
-This means we will see about 10-15 cases a month.
-We read over each case and decide if we want to ‘present’ our profile.
-Each case includes expectant mom info- where she lives, her education, type of employment, her medical history, family history, her adoption plan desires, due date, gender of the baby (if known), etc…this is what helps us decided if we want to present.
-Our profile is then shown to the expectant moms we say ‘yes’ to along with 5-20 other profiles. If she would choose us, we would be matched.
Natalie assured us our profile book looks awesome, we are very open minded in regards to our preferences (which will help us see more cases) but our budget is on the low end (yes, $45,000 is low 😳) which we knew. 🙂 She said IF we ever got a generous donation or won the lottery (haha)- we can call her and increase our budget parameters ($50,000-$55,000) which would open us up to more cases. She was NOT pressuring us at all, just making us aware. We are already appreciating her honesty and openness about the process!
At this point we are not comfortable increasing our budget, and trust that God will either provide a case within our budget, or He’ll bless us with funds at the right time to increase our budget.
We are excited to be working with Natalie and as an adoptive mom herself, she has already been such an encouragement- emotionally and spiritually. She gave us a healthy reality check that it still could be winter before we’re matched.
Thursday was an exciting day as we saw our very FIRST case! I opened that email so quickly and my mouth DROPPED when I saw the expectant mom was in San Antonio. You guys!? San Antonio! We even have a ‘favorites’ page in our profile book where I list San Antonio as my favorite vacation spot. I could hardly believe it. Not only that, the cost for this case was literally a couple hundred dollars different than what we have in our adoption fund RIGHT now. It felt SO perfect. Oh- and did I mention- the due date was next week?!
I called Greg immediately (our answer had to be given by 3pm) and we both agreed we wanted to present to this mom. We knew we had to keep our expectations LOW, but there were so many things about this case that had us excited. We thought, maybe, just maybe….
Today we heard we were not chosen.
Oofta. It was a let down. We knew, being our first one, it would be insane if we matched. We were bummed but not surprised. As the day has gone on, we both feel SUCH peace about it.
It would’ve been SO fast. Selfishly, I’ve said all along, I really want to be able to start the school year and get at least a few weeks or months of school in. I would’ve hated to start the year with weeks of maternity leave. We also felt such peace knowing that this wasn’t our baby! How can we be sad about that?! This no, means we’re one step closer to our yes.
But you guys, moment of honesty- the next few weeks/months are going to be an emotional roller coaster! The amount of feelings we had in the past 36 hours is crazy. We’re hoping with each case and ‘not yet’ the roller coaster won’t be so high and low, but we’re bracing ourselves for the ride.
I was reflecting on the past year tonight and realized it’s only been 5 months, so far, that we’ve been on this journey. Some days it feels so much longer! I also reflected back to the dark/empty space I was in this past Fall/Winter and realized I’m so thankful for God’s mercies. Sometimes you don’t realize how far you’ve come until you look back. I remember crying almost daily December through February and feeling so stuck. To think about where I am now reaffirms God’s faithfulness.
If you are in a desert or dark place right now, please know there is hope on the other side. I am always here to listen, encourage, and pray for you. A few friends, colleagues, and family members come to mind when I think back to those months- they kept me going and loved me so well, whether they knew it or not. I know it’s hard to ask for help when you’re in that place- but I encourage you to be brave and ask- I (and others) are only a message away.
We are thrilled to be at this point in our journey, knowing our child could be born, literally, any day. We continue to pray fervently for our child, the mom carrying him/her, and all the people helping us get there. We never know what the future holds, but we know WHO holds the future!