November is National Adoption Awareness Month. In the spirit of bringing awareness to adoption, our agency mission and the successes of families we serve — we hope to fill our blog with guest stories throughout this month. Chrysalis House, Inc. believes in the power of sharing experiences and in learning from the stories of others. We present this series, realizing the words might be the insight that an adoptive family, adoptee or birthparent is searching the internet for! Our sincerest thanks to the families who have put their lives into words.
We are still seeking & accepting submissions through the month of November! Please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please enjoy the story of a family’s: Domestic Adoption.
In the event you wish to discuss our Domestic Adoption program, please contact the office at 559.229.9862. ***********************************************
Our adoption journey began during our “staycation” in July 2013. My husband David and I were taking day trips to various places and our last trip was to Santa Cruz. We had a wonderful day and were enjoying our time just relaxing on the beach and wandering in and out of shops. Earlier in the week we had “met” a dog that we thought we might like to adopt so “adoption” was on our mind – just not the kind we are talking about today. About a month later, we did bring our darling Chloe doggy into our home. I love how God opens our mind to new possibilities using the most unusual keys. Chloe was the “key” that opened our minds and hearts to the idea of looking into adoption. As we drove home from our day in Santa Cruz, all of a sudden, I blurted out, “what about adoption?” My husband’s immediate response was, “what about it?” I then said, “what if this was God’s plan for us all along and we just have never gone there? We have danced around the idea, but had never really investigated it. What if this was His plan all along?” Now normally David would have replied that he was too tired to have such a thought-provoking conversation after a full day of fun in the sun, but the Spirit of God was at work in both of us at that moment, directing us to His calling to do something that we had never really thought of before. That is the way God works: By His Holy Spirit. He plants dreams in our hearts that we did not realize were even there. David said that he thought my logic made sense and because I love to research, he asked me to look for some local agencies. We agreed that we would pray about this, visit agencies and then we would know if adoption was for us or not. I began my search and we attended our first orientation a few weeks later at Chrysalis House. After the first orientation, we both knew the dream of adoption was planted in our hearts. God watered this seed and continued to grow it. We agreed to attend the other orientations I had learned about and visited about 4 different agencies in Fresno.
By early October, we were torn between two agencies. We were praying for clarity and wisdom. Our major dilemma in choosing between them was the type of adoption they offered. One offered “dual track” which allowed us to move towards fost/adopt and domestic at the same time, while the other only offered domestic. In my heart, I was somewhat scared of domestic and really did not believe that God would give us a newborn, but I wanted to be obedient and trust Him. I was in my late 40’s, have never been able to get pregnant, even with fertility treatment, so I just “assumed” a baby wasn’t in God’s plan for me. I figured a toddler would probably be where this would go. I have certainly repented for this lack of faith and trust since then. How could I forget that our God is a BIG God and can do whatever He wants? He did part the Red Sea and many other miracles that are even more close to home in my own life. Oh ye of little faith. I am so glad that God is patient with us. Around this time, a good friend who is adopting internationally from Haiti shared with me that her church was having an adoption event on a Sunday and asked us to attend. One thing I had been wishing existed was a place to hear all the agencies at one time in an open platform setting. “ask and you shall receive”
On Sunday October 13, 2013, we attended the adoption event and one of the booths that were set up was City Without Orphans. We learned that this is exactly what they do: work with churches to help educate people on adoption; allow adoptive families to share their stories; provide a Q&A answer session – all for free where you can visit one-on-one with representatives of various agencies. We attended the CWO event in Kingsburg on November 16, 2013. We heard amazing stories and were able to speak with speak with adoptive families and the representative of the agency we are with now. We spoke with Dr. Brandy of Chrysalis House and learned that we didn’t have to do everything at once and the first step was filling out an application with the initial fee. We could hold off on beginning the requirements to complete our home study until after the holidays.
We had both agreed we would not choose a race, sex or even a specific age, and would consider both forms of adoption and be open to ages 0 to 5. We, especially me, put fears aside and dove into the world of adoption. I am a very detail oriented person, a planner, one who wants to know every step of everything I do ahead of time. God had a great wake-up call for me, a beautiful way of reminding me that He is the One in control and details do not matter to Him. We are called to walk by faith, one step at a time. The apostle Peter started to sink into the water when he took his eyes off Jesus, but as long as he kept his eyes on Our Savior, he was fine. A great lesson.
We completed our application on November 23, 2013. I knew that November was adoption month, but I didn’t realize until we completed our application that this was actually National Adoption Day! That was pretty cool. One thing that Holy Spirit impressed on me from the beginning to was to let go of my fears and to NOT let money drive this adoption. Domestic obviously cost more than fost/adopt, but we just set that aside and trusted that God would take care of it. But again I reasoned: He wouldn’t take us down that path anyway, so it didn’t matter. Lol I don’t know where you are in your walk with God, but one thing I hope I can encourage you with is to TRUST HIM IN ALL THINGS! If He has given the dream of adoption to you and your spouse (need to be in agreement at the same time), He will put all the details together. He will put together the finances; He will bring the child you are to have in your family; He will help you get through the red tape. HE WILL DO IT! The very first thing we did was attend a Saturday parenting class at Chrysalis House.
On January 25, 2014, we felt like we finally began working on our adoption. We met some wonderful people at this event that have become good friends. One thing I would encourage anyone going through adoption to do is attend the support groups and social events available to you. We have made some amazing friends by attending these gatherings and were so encouraged listening to other people’s stories. Other adoptive families are valuable resources of information, encouragement and support. We began our home study and did one requirement at a time. As we were moving along in the process, my husband David got laid off from work. We were shocked; this came out of nowhere, but on March 7, 2014, his entire department was eliminated. We put our faith and trust in God and both agreed and knew in our hearts that we were not to stop this adoption journey. We continued on with our home study. He had received a severance package and we made sacrifices and were able to set it aside. Through one miracle after another, his company hired him back – the only one of the entire division that returned.
As of March 27, 2014, David was back to work. One friend told me that they felt impressed by Holy Spirit that this adoption journey would be fast. Other friends would share they felt God was bringing a newborn. One evening at my women’s Bible study group as we were all praying about the adoption, a close friend had a vision of me holding a dark skinned newborn with lots of hair. I can’t say I outright rejected all of these words, but I set them aside and just said, “we’ll see. God will do whatever He is going to do – in His time and in His way.”
On Memorial Day weekend, late May of 2014, we decided to tackle the project of “making room” for another person to live in our home. We moved around some furniture, cleaned out some closets and drawers and thought we could finish the rest of our study by mid-summer. My husband David had a trip scheduled to go visit family in his home state of Kansas in a couple of weeks and we figured we would wait until after the trip to finalize and then be ready to “wait”. We had NO IDEA what God had in mind. And the truth is NONE OF US EVER DO. He may give us impressions, visions, even dreams and words of encouragement, but He is the only one who knows all the details and how things will work. We generally see his hand in the tapestry He has created when we look backwards, not ahead.
On May 27, 2014, we received a call from Stephanie. The conversation went something like this, “Are you open to a newborn, Hispanic male?” We looked at each other and said, “well yeah”. Then we were told that they had received an emergency call from a hospital as a birth mother wanted to make a closed plan of adoption. We then realized this was THE CALL! The one everyone dreams of, prays for and hopes for from the day they fill out their adoption application. We went to the hospital the next day to meet and take home our son – we named him Julian. God gave us a newborn; a sweet healthy baby boy that needed a family; a family who will raise Him to know that Jesus is his best friend; to provide him with loving, caring parents and extended family and a stable home. But a newborn baby at “my age”!! I can’t imagine a life without our son Julian. I never knew that every “first” would be a moment to treasure and write about and laugh about and think about and take a million pictures of. And all those dreams and visions and words: they were confirmed with a scripture that Holy Spirit impressed upon my dad the day Julian was born. Unbeknown to us, around4:00 AM on May 27, a baby boy was coming into the world that would become our son, my parents’ first grandchild. Around 4-5 AM, my dad woke up with Genesis 15:5 on his mind and it wouldn’t leave his head until he finally looked it up later in the day: He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” God continues to remind me that He works out all the details.
About a month or so after Julian came home, I was looking through books where I keep my writings. Some are dreams, articles and letters I have written over the years. I came across a dream that I had written down and my understanding/interpretation of it at the time. In real life, David and I were trying to have a baby (going through fertility treatment) so this dream must have occurred anytime from late 2010 to February or March 2011 at the latest. In the dream we are both standing at the kitchen counter and I was opening the mail. There was a “statement” for charges for the birth of a baby, but we knew it wasn’t our baby (in the biological sense). The statement had two items in bold: September 27. Since we were going through fertility treatment, I wrongly assumed someday we were going to have a baby in September. We never had a biological child and I forgot about this dream until I ran across it in this book. I confirmed with our social worker that Julian was conceived in September. He was born on the date “27”. Again, looking backwards, it all makes sense and we can see God’s hand in this journey. Looking ahead and at what I thought I knew, I had it completely wrong. Isaiah 55:8-9 in the NET Bible says, “for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.” We are excited to be able to finalize, God-willing, by end of this year. Bible study friends obtained a gently used carrier and stroller. Strangers donated clothes and other items. Clients, friends and family purchased him basic necessities. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
If you take away anything from our story, I pray it is this: trust God. 1 Thessalonians 5:24says, “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” If God gave you the dream for adoption and it is your calling, He will work out all the details. He still continues to show us both throughout numerous situations that He does not care about our methods, plans or schemes. He is the Creator of all things and truly is in control. We only need to surrender our will, our fears, our desires. He will step in and handle everything and give us such a peace. David and I know that our adoption journey is not over. We don’t know the details and we don’t have to know them. This God-story – Julian’s story – has only just been begun.