Thursday, September 24, 2015


Come to Me, by Bethel  - <- click! this is a song that i listened to maybe 5 times every. single. day. driving to visitation. driving home from visitation. back and forth from court. moments of those ugly cries that happened randomly. His PROMISES are beautifully DECLARED in this. Listen to it.

No Longer Slaves --  click! --this came out later during our battle for JJ- but has pushed me forward. Listen to it if you haven't. You'll be brought to your knees.

So if you've been with us the past 4 years, or new to our journey... I want to begin by telling you how beyond grateful and thankful we are for each of you that we are humbled to call our village, our warriors,... our people.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 marked one of the most incredible days in our families life. Our boy we've had in our home on loan, fostering, for 659 days... 2 months shy of 2 years.... BECAME OURS FOREVER! These last several years have had such heights of joy coupled with learning such new depths of darkness and pain and hurt. Our story is not much different than our fellow foster/adoptive warriors- but The Lord heavily impressed upon my heart to write it out. If you don't know anything else about me other than I have a husband, 3 children, love foster care/adoption, and love Jesus... know that I love to write... not ever for fun or just because, only when the Lord does something so magnificent or even so small I don't want to forget. I hope that as you read these words you will be awed and captivated by this God we have the honor to call FATHER, the honor to serve, the honor to LOVE, and the honor to stand redeemed in His presence by the power of his GRACE!

February 2012 we felt the calling to adopt. So we chose international in hopes that that would protect us from the heartache of uncertainty. Later that month, before we fully announced it I went to a conference with Megan Luevano and Cori Kyle. During worship The Lord vividly showed me this tiny brown baby boy that I knew was our son. At the time of course I assumed it was a little boy from Colombia we would be adopting!

Then that August during another powerful time of worship at 1910 Church, we were next to some of our best friends, The Fickeys. The Lord brought me to my seat with command after command and spoke clearer than He EVER HAD before. I could barely breathe. He spoke some really hard things for me to hear. He spoke very specific things to begin praying over the child we would be adopting but also for the child The Fickeys would be adopting. Then He very very very clearly showed me an image of this tiny brown baby boy with lots and lots and lots of super dark hair. Once again I assumed it was our Colombian son.

A little over a year into the process,  the country chose to deny us then close down to any American who was not a Colombian National. Heartache doesn't even describe the feelings Aaron and I experienced. This idea I had made up in my head was shattered. Not to mention the money that was lost. Talk about a great reminder that things of this world are fleeting and our only constant is our Lord. I had come in contact with a woman through preschool who I thought at the time was.... one of those "crazy foster moms" .... I could NEVER do that I thought. And my bio kids... goodness I didn't think they could handle it either. Well little did I know The Lord knit her into my path months before He knew I would need her.

After this, we still knew adoption was in our future but we were angry, and broken, and didn't know where to go from our devastation. Our devastation led to healing. And what the enemy intended to slow us down began to fuel our fire and fight even harder.
One night during worship and ministry a dear friend, Brandi came and spoke some incredibly POWERFUL words to me that only the holy spirit could have impressed on her to speak to me. Part of it made sense and the other I didn't understand specifically at that time.

Fast forward one week and remember that crazy foster mom I mentioned earlier? She has become one of my dearest, and most treasured friends. Jennifer Smith spoke wisdom and direction and helped get our feet moving again and to not sit in our disappointment. We had released OUR plans. We had finally deleted from our minds this made up gold bow that people put on adoption. It's beautiful yes, but its brutally hard. And we aren't saints. Or doing anything amazing for "these kids"... they are doing amazing things to us. We didn't become licensed to foster to get the perfect child, we got licensed to foster to gift our family to a child in need and be willing to lay our emotions on the line so the innocent child did not have to.

3 weeks after we were licensed we finally got the call. We had received several other calls for children, to which my wonderful group of girlfriends prayed with me over, but for another reason the CPS caseworker chose different families. Tuesday afternoon we were told we were chosen and had to get to the hospital to pick up a 5 day old baby boy who was going to be legally free in 2 weeks with absolutely no health problems ((( PAUSE FOR A SECOND HERE-  if you're in this foster world, or know anything about it... I mean, that alone should've been a red flag hahaha! Not sure if there's any such case out there like that. And when you're told something and come to find out there's no truth to the details they gave you about the child or children you are taking in... give GRACE. GRACE y'all. These caseworkers are over worked and sometimes don't have the time to get right details. Or sometimes don't care to bc all they know is that child needs out of where they are now. Okay, rant done.))) While we frantically got our girls to grandparents houses I remember talking to Katie telling her I somehow felt peaceful about this craziness happening... except for the fact that my house was a crazy horrible DISASTER. So you know what she did? She and her mom and my friends snuck in while we were picking up baby boy and CLEANED OUR HOUSE. And stocked it with all things baby for us. I don't know who I am in this world that the LORD would give me such dear friends to serve in ways like they have served us...

ONE OF THE COOLEST PARTS IS COMING UP so stay with me. We rush to get Faith and Ava from school. Aarons response was probably my favorite... when I called to tell him we were chosen and we had to go like RIGHT NOW, he said "oh my gosh! oh my gosh!:-) .... Oh my goodness I think I'm going to throw up". It comes on like a ton of bricks when what we've prayed for for years comes to be. We got to the hospital and no one knew what was going on. We got there at 5pm and didn't leave until close to 11. When they finally brought him into a tiny storage closet they had us in, he was BEAUTIFULLY tan, super tiny, and had a HEAD FULL OF DARK HAIR! Oh Lord how sweet and faithful you are. We came to find out there were some health concerns to which lots of further testing would be needed so when they went to get the Pediatrician to talk us through it all she had already left because it was so late. So they got her on the phone and it was one of Aaron's oldest brother, Brandon's, best friends WIFE who we've known for a very long time!!!!!! She had been the one caring for our little guy. Talk about another gift from God. She has been a treasure as well. We left the hospital after being shoved all kinds of papers, nurses in and out, trying to hold it together while staring at this baby who is absolutely beautiful, and trying to comprehend what all is happening coupled with trying to follow Dr. Toms info about baby boy's testings. She was so gracious to call us on the way home to reassure us to fear not, to NOT google anything (my favorite haha), and to just love..  because that's what he needed right now.

From here on out you all have journeyed with us through my posts and prayer requests these past 2 years. What looked to be an easy adoption case turned into one of the most difficult the court had seen. Not because bio parents were trying to recover and fight... but because of details that are far more complicated than I can share. Just know most cases are hoped to be finalized within 10-12 months. Ours took 21.

Remember those words I wrote about that my dear friend Brandi spoke to me? Boy did they ever come to be. 2.5 years later. They spoke healing into the next set of circumstances that were set before us.
All of these details recorded and written are simply for God's glory to be seen. In no way could man have orchestrated this the way it all played out. In our current bible study right now our teacher just challenged us to fight to get to a place where the only question left is "WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO GET THERE?"- what will it take to get to a place where only God's glory is a possible explanation?
A journey like this I tell ya. The details from the moment we were called, to September 22 all seem to be clear now. Looking back at what Jesus has done for you more clearly prepares us to bravely trust in HIS FAITHFULNESS in what's to come. Nothing has strengthened our prayer life, our family, our marriage, our value of church family, and faith more that this heart wrenching journey.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4:18

Now unto Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine... Ephesians 3:20

The Lord will fight for you... you only need be still. Exodus 14:14

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 

The Lord God is my strength, my source of courage, my invincible army;

He has made my feet, steady and sure, like deers’ feet
And makes me walk forward with spiritual confidence on my high places of challenge and responsibility. Habakkuk 3:19

To those of you considering fostering or adopting my answer is yes. Fearful that you can't handle it emotionally? Good, because you can't- but God can. Afraid that your biological children can't handle it? They're stronger than you think-... pray about it with them. It will teach them the love of Jesus and the gospel and sacrificial living far greater than anything else you try. Every family is different, yes. But I believe every family can help in some way. Don't want to be on the front line with the children? Trust me, there are many other areas you can serve.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Q & A

Hey friends, so it's been a very, very long time since an update.  Over the past year I honestly have felt like I've kind of been in survival mode between all the emotions, paperwork, doc visits, specialist appts,  court appts, visitations, and oh yes, adding an infant into our home while learning this court system of ours.

So I'm going to copy this idea that a dear friend of mine did. It seems to be the best way to answer all of the questions broadly so we don't have to answer a million individually. So we're going to the good ol Q&A. I chose the top questions we've been asked - so hopefully this will give some more insight to this process ya'll have prayed us through and just to the foster/adopt process itself.

Q: When did you get him?
A: We got the call and had 2 hours to get to the hospital. We brought him home when he was 5 days old.

Q: Do you know the birth parents?
A: Yep. Not super well, but yes. 

Q: Why was he removed?
A:  So, that's a personal question and forgive me for not answering it fully. Just know if the state steps in- there are reasons. Don't always assume the worst and make the bio parents out to be bad people. We have no room to judge ever, especially when we don't know the full story. And as of now- Aaron and I are the only ones who need to know the full story :-)

AND a tip for those surrounded by families beginning this journey-don't pry, ask a bunch, or assume you know anything about why the child was removed- you don't need to know.. just love on the foster fam and the child. THE END. Compassion should be given, not earned- because EVERYONE has a "rest of the story" that we don't know. 

Q: Why does this process take so long?
A: It can definitely make you angry wondering why- but the reality is... the state tries to do anything and everything to reunify birth families. So- the state gives 10-18 ish months for the bio parent's to work their plan given by the Dept (aka CPS). Some bio parents relinquish rights, some are terminated, some are reunified.

Q: How come some people are able to adopt so quickly?
A: Every case is different. Some bio parents fight, some don't. Some cases have simple details, others have crazy ones. Some can adopt after a seven months and some it takes over 2 years. So there's no real answer unless you want to sit down and verbally chat for a couple of hours. :-)

Q: Why did you hire an attorney?
A:  Well, unfortunately this case got to be incredibly complex. And the state is incredibly overworked so sometimes we as foster parents have to pay someone to have a voice for US in the courtroom and to bring light to the tiny details that could determine the course of a child's life. The state did not give us one. We hired her. 

Q: Why did it take so long for the judge to realize y'all were a good family?
A:  SO,  during the trial, or any hearing, we are not spoken of. Like, at all. The Department notes to the judge that we are a "safe and loving foster to adopt placement and the child is doing well". That's about it. Trial was focused on the bio parents to see if they did their plan and could appropriately care for "the child". 

Q: Why so long until adoption? 
A: Usually the court requires a 6 month waiting period, which doesn't apply to our case because we've had him in our home longer than 6 mos. And after parental right termination, there is a waiting period (90 days) for other family members to the third degree to come forward. So adoption could have happened in Feb or March, but bio mom made an appeal. If she requests it, her attorney has to file it. No decision should change, but we are looking at about another 6-ish months for the new court to get to the case, review it, and decide if bio mom received a fair trial or not. THEN we can proceed with adoption.

And my personal favorite....
Q: How do you handle bringing a child into your home when you don't know if they'll be able to stay? Won't you get too attached? 
A: Absolutely you get too attached. That's the whole point. To show children what true love is. What family is. How valued they are. That they are WORTH falling in love with. Christ loves and adopted us. So we love. As far as "handling" the unknown... You can't. You don't handle- I went crazy, I broke, I got to the end of me, and finally decided to truly let go and let God (corny, yes, but oh so true). God intervened, God overcame, God empowered and God handles.
Then you either move towards adoption with joy on one side knowing it means brokeness on the other, or you very difficultly, kiss that baby and send them on to where the judge decides is best and rejoice that family is kept together.

Nothing allowed me to see God MORE and release my grip MORE and yield MORE than this. You walk blind. You die to self daily. You hurt daily. You see injustice daily. You lean on Jesus daily. You trust that if God is for you then victory has been had even though we don't understand the way it happens sometimes. You question. And sometimes, okay maybe a lot, you get down right angry. You cry your ugly cry. You pray. And you carry on.

The real life journey is just beginning as we grow as a family, but I have to reiterate HOW much each of you that have prayed us through this, mean to us. YOU guys are purely amazing.
-AAB and MKB

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2 Corinthians 2:12

These precious little feet have been with us for 4 1/2 months and I must say that his joyful spirit (yes even as a baby) has our family completely captivated and in love. All fear of the unknown goes out the window and to the pit with one glimpse into his dark brown eyes. 

We've had lots of truthful information be brought into the light about his case, yet not a ton of movement.. which is just the system and the way it goes some times. There's a check in with the judge in June, which we've been told nothing major should come to play here, and then trial set for October... this is where the judge will decide to reunify or to terminate and move for adoption. With that info put out there, I also want to mention that this little guy has some strong women advocating for him. Our CASA worker, CPS CM, and his attorney are fighting like the dickens to get him to stay with us. Aaron and I have more info on his case and bio parents than we ever expected to have, and we are feeling completely overwhelmed in a blessed way so we can not only know his story should we be able to adopt.. but also we know his bio parent's and some of their specific needs that we can petition in prayer before our Lord. It's a funny thing how what we thought would be frustration or anger towards the bio parents that has completely turned to compassion. Being surrounded by so much abuse and oppression and addiction and bad choices and cycles of bad choices continuing on from generation to generation and to see some of these helpless babies and children be stuck in this can {insert honest.. & hopefully judgement free comment here} honestly create an anger inside. An anger that can cause a person to turn from trying to change it because it's "too much to deal with and I don't want to subject myself to being around that and vulnerable to a system that does not always make the right decision and bring justice"...  During a coffee date at Freedom Cup with a fellow (veteran) foster mom she and I were talking about this anger and that this anger towards these problems and this system is inside because I'm pretty sure The Lord is angry about it too. The Lord does not will for an adult or a child to be stuck in the cycle of all those things I listed above.. in darkness. But the difference is that us, who believe in Christ Jesus, have a hope that moves us to action to stand against the cycles of darkness.. stand up and say "I will not let this continue to happen on MY WATCH". 

With that backing I hope I have softened some hearts just as The Lord continually softens Aaron and I's.. Lots of info has been brought to our attention and those advocating for JJ are trying to push the courts to bring a decision QUICKER than in October. I know each of my posts usually end with asking for prayer, but I can tell you that without the support each of you have given us and with out these prayers strengthening us and encouraging us and protecting us... I'm not sure how our mental state would be right now! ha! So again I will humbly ask that you will shout out a quick yet BOLD prayer if you can to move the mountains and paperwork needed... and hearts to be changed and saved and for The Lord to finish what HE has already started. One of these days (when we are not bound legally to silence!) I would love to share some of the amazing stories...

Grateful for each of you that have journeyed along side us for the past 2 1/2 years... 
The Spirit keeps reminding me of this and speaking this to me whenever my mind and eyes and heart begin to wonder away from looking to HIM.. 
But thanks be to GOD, who ALWAYS leads us as captives in Christ's TRIUMPHAL procession...
2 Corinthians 2:12 

and another I have be clearly told to memorize... 

NOW.. unto HIM... WHO IS ABLE... to  do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to HIS POWER that is at work within us, to HIM be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout ALL GENERATIONS, for ever and ever! AMEN.
Ephesians 3:20-21 
It's up to US to believe that HE can do these things we ask Him to do... whether or not he will is up to Him. -Priscilla Shire

Friday, January 3, 2014

Exodus 14:14

The LORD will fight for YOU. You need only to be STILL. ~Exodus 14:14 ... thank you Moses. We needed this.

So I know it's been a pretty long time since the last post. And the last post wasn't necessarily the most joyful. Aaron and I have been waiting to post anything until we really had an update and had a clear path. So the good news? We're updating which means we've had lots of progress!

After Colombia closed (yes unfortunately after they denied us, and all the other families in our agency, they closed their doors to Americans completely wanting to adopt children under 6yrs old), we took a step back and tried to figure out exactly where our next steps should be. Another unfortunate reality is that with so many shut downs and slow downs, and 3-5 yr waiting periods and countries not allowing families with their own bio kids already and very real scandals exposed in the world of international adoption, we knew our call was changed to domestic.  To spare you guys a very detailed and long story I'll get to the point- at first we stepped back and thought maybe we needed some time to recover and recoup and heal from us losing our vision of adopting from Colombia. {then God slapped us in the face, bringing us back to reality- not our FALSE SENSE OF REALITY we were so easily slipping back in to}

In June we began our Foster licensing classes, had a whole new home study written for Foster to Adopt, re did ALLLLL the fun {except not} paperwork,  got re- fingerprinted,  etc....  and all is done. And was submitted in November. And if I haven't physically seen you in the past couple of weeks- ....WE HAVE A BABY BOY IN OUR HOME!!!!!! And I want to take a moment and thank our life group and all who contributed to cleaning our house and stocking it with all things baby we would need while we were at the hospital and for feeding us as we brought baby JJ home!!!! Not saying this for any other reason except to acknowledge God's glory and plan and hand in all things- He has surrounded us with friends who have sacrificed for us, prayed with us, felt/feel pain with us, and encourage us. I love how He knows just what you need even before you need it.

We are legally just fostering right now in hopes to be able to adopt him. The state allows the bio parents  a chance to implement their rehabilitation plans so that's where we are right now. We've been told we're looking at a 90% chance of being able to adopt baby JJ, but in this world of adoption (foster-domestic  matched- or international) we've learned one main thing- NOTHING IS FOR CERTAIN. So we take it day to day and cling to God's word knowing that The Lord did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power and love

We've been asked all kinds of questions about JJ and his bio family and how long we get to keep him and how we are going to handle it if he goes and how we are protecting our hearts and not getting "too attached" and how we will handle our daughters if JJ doesn't get to stay. The simple answer: We trust God. The long answer : We TRUST God. HE's the one who brought JJ to us in the first place. And He's the one who determines the time we get with JJ. As far as bio family goes- our hearts will be filled with compassion- because Jesus tells us to do so. And who are we to judge things we do not fully know. And for those wondering how we handle it knowing JJ may not be apart of our forever family. Somedays great, trusting fully in our Savior... and some days not so great and our human nature takes over and we kick and scream and cry. But the bible tells us to have a set mind and not to waver or we will be tossed like a wave of the sea (Jas 1:6). We know this is another clearly marked path for us, and because we know The Lord called us down this road we will not look to the world and all its fears it speaks. We will not think about all the possible outcomes- because, well that's just plain scary. We will not think about the emotional risks on our end like the world tells us to because our God is up to something much grander than we can see. We are exactly where HE has called us to be and because of that, there's no where else we'd rather be. It's the SAFEST place to be.

And as for staying protected and detached so we don't hurt as much if he leaves our home.... the answer is no. We will hurt if JJ has to leave. We will cry. We will be angry for a moment. But NO love is ever convenient or easy or painless. We will love him. We will attach. We will bond. And we will make him a part of our family because no matter what happens down the road, right now in this moment what he needs most IS LOVE. And to learn how to attach. And to learn how to bond. He needs a family, like we all do :-). And The Lord has called us to do that. Foster/ Adopt and all forms of adoption are hard. And ugly. And beautiful all at the same time. It hurts. It heals. It teaches. It grows. Sweet words of encouragement were spoken to me after leaving JJs first (quite discouraging) court hearing.
What's worth in eternity, looks very different from what's worth it here. Um YES.

So this has become one of our truths we are clinging tightly to....
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

On another note
So unfortunately a very real question that may pop into your head is, where did all the money go that was fundraised, and donated, and saved? WELL ... I'm so glad you asked!! Because through this update as well I pray you can see God's faithfulness and blessings and HIS EXTREMELY PERFECT PROVISION. Luckily adopting through the foster system has very minimal costs. We prayed... and I mean prayed HARD. Then God gave us this sentence .... { That money served it's purpose, and it has a new purpose. } It provided confidence and peace and reinforcement to us that we were in His will and moving forward as He called us to. But it has a new purpose now.... The Lord one by one revealed to us other families going through the adoption process that were in need of financial help. So to make this short and sweet- If you had any part in donating to the garage sale, or bake sale, or to the One Less Race.. if you had any part of the financial blessings on our family then we have some really incredible news. That money has now gone forward to serve a whole new purpose in the journeys of helping FOUR families from our community that have newly added children to their families through the miracle of adoption. The money that was lost was ours. And that's okay- it's a great reminder that things of this world like money are temporary with no eternal value.

If you're still with me, then I want to THANK YOU for your interest and concern and love for our family. Thank you for the prayers that have carried us through these past 2 years!!!! .... and I would be forever grateful if you would continue to pray with us for our family and baby JJ. We know we have JJ for a few more weeks for sure- and so we are grasping hard to HIS grace, and love, and truths day in and day out.
We love each of you and are so thankful for your continued support! Aaron and I talk VERY frequently about the support of our family and community....!!! I don't know how we would make it through without you.
-Aaron and Maren

Friday, May 31, 2013

Do you TRUST Him?

Man, as I sit here struggling to find the right words to bring people up to speed, I find myself in this unexplained state of peace. This scripture out of Romans is one that has been one of my favorites for a long time, you know those verses you quote over and over and over again... and yet in the past year I haven't looked at it much, until this week. This verse kept "randomly" showing up, or being spoken to me out of sweetest sincerity from friends... in books... and even my precious dad.

Romans 8:38 says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." 

These past couple of weeks I have felt this stirring, or almost an unsettling feeling regarding our adoption. This command to fervently be in prayer over our journey. On 3 different accounts I had friends (some super close to me, some not so close), come to me saying that they felt the Lord had laid us on their hearts and wanted to see what was going on with the adoption. At that time we hadn't heard any updates, but I told them of the same stirring and heaviness I had been feeling about it. 

Two days ago Aaron and I had a conference call with our agency. We got some really crummy news that Colombia has decided to deny us the opportunity to adopt from their country. Reasons that are hard to put feelings to.... 1- Because our faith is such an important part of our lives and played a roll in our motivation to adopt, 2- because we have 2 biological children already, and 3- because we do not struggle with fertility issues. Not only were Aaron and I shocked, but also our caseworker, president of the agency, and also the inter-country adoption coordinator. Tears were shed of course, all the while knowing our God has a mightier plan for us. Amazing how human emotions just kick in even though we know in the deepest part of our hearts that our God works for the good of those who love him... 

There's not a lot more to tell other than as frustrating as it may seem, Aaron and I feel that God is up to something here (clearly) and is beginning to reveal some really really neat things to us. This past year has been a long one, but in the large scheme of things... this denial is simply one bump in the road; one detour that has taught us so much. It does not change the fact that our hearts are still called to international orphans. It does not change our love for Colombia and the orphans there. It does not shake  our original decision to adopt. And it does not shake our love for orphans here. Our path will look different, yes, but our destination will be the same. We are unsure of which direction we are going to head in next.. and ask that you pray along side us as we wait on the Lord to clearly guide our next steps in bringing our third child home.

If any of you reading this (if anyone ;-)) has that sucken in, sad feeling for us... stop! This was a clearly marked road for us in the eyes of our creator.. and for that we will be grateful for what He has taught us and for the deepening our of relationships with Him throughout this last year. If you are searching for an emotion to feel towards this (as Aaron and I were yesterday), why not JOY as James instructs us to.. or excitement knowing that God is preparing us for something much grander than what we can see right now... and rest in the TRUST we have in an unchanging, never failing, always present God. He is up to something really really really cool.... so STAY TUNED...

....... yes lots of questions may arise ... or feelings of bitterness towards the international adoption ways... or thoughts of thinking this is stupid and ridiculous with lots of "red tape"... feelings of bitterness towards people trying to adopt because the roads seem too uncertain and crazy and emotional... feelings of concern or anger because someone else you know has gone through something similar.... The road to adoption is not as easy one. It takes support of many and a clear calling from our Savior to make it through.. not a decision that comes lightly. The enemy would love nothing more than to grab hold of one of those negative feelings towards adoption, or Colombia, or feelings of fatigue in this process.... honestly or even annoyance with reading my updates thinking its stupid to go through all of this. Our enemy ain't got nothing on this. Our God is bigger. Our God is greater. Our God promised that in this world we WILL have trials and tribulation......... BUT HE HAS OVERCOME IT ALL. So we will trust that. We will continue to pray for orphans. We will continue to pray for others in the adoption process. We will continue on in our journey to adopt... We will continue to trust that in all these problems that are arising in other adoption stories and journey's that God is working all things out for the good. We will trust that His plan is higher and His WAYS ARE HIGHER than ours. Let it go. Let the questions and annoyances and negative thoughts go. Christ our Saviors got this... and that's all anyone needs to know. 

T- total
R- rest
S- scriptural
T- truth

Monday, January 14, 2013

God's clock ;-)

We had a conference call on the 8th with our agency to get some updates on exactly where our Dossier is and to talk about the different orphanages we can choose from. Thankfully we are looking at 2 in smaller cities outside Bogota. We have been hoping for either on these two cities because the time spent in country to finalize the adoption is considerably shorter. We are looking at maybe a 2-4 week stay as apposed to 4-6 weeks. GOD IS GOOD!!!! If you've read my previous update you will recall that the Colombian government closes down for the Christmas holiday.... courts and all... for about a month... if not longer. SO our agency's in-country representative will take our Dossier to each of the two privately owned orphanages (one in Cali the other in beautiful Medellin!) closer to the end of January/early Feb. when the government is up and fully running again (hopefully). After she meets with each orphanage on our behalf and gets a better idea as to which orphanage would be better (more waiting children in our age range~0-3~, faster referrals, and a better fit for our family), we will have another call with Beth at our agency to talk things over and choose ONE. That's the one thing we have to specify... which orphanage. We are so so so grateful and thankful that our agency has relationships with these individually owned and operated orphanages and we get to go through one. The government owned orphanages have much longer wait times for their approvals and referrals. 

    So how long will it actually take for the referral? Once we choose the orphanage our paperwork goes through one more round of approvals at the orphanage itself (takes roughly 2 weeks?!). From there it can be any kind of timeline possible. We could receive a referral fairly quickly (a few months), or it could take a bit longer (a year). Beth at our agency did tell us that with all of the changes happening in the Colombian government to expect a longer wait time while they are still sorting things out. That was a bit hard to hear at first, not going to lie. 

This whole process has gone fairly smooth and fairly quickly (strange to say I know given that it will be a year in MARCH since we first began our journey with The Gladney Center!), and I just assumed that the referral would come just as quickly. Neither Aaron or myself have had many of those "WOW I just want my child home right now, this second, and I don't want to wait any LONGER!" moments... thankfully the Lord has covered us in patience and peace throughout this process so far. But now that we are here and feel like we are SO CLOSE, it's hard to swallow the reality that our third child is most likely born, and it could be a while until we get to bring them home. The great news is that the Lord is clearly still working things out in our hearts, helping us prepare Faith and Ava, and get us ready to make us a family of 5. He has refined our hearts, our vision of what this will look like, our relationships, and grown our marriage through this journey so far. This is no easy process. It takes a lot of time, energy, emotions, paperwork, appointments, etc.... It is messy and emotional and exhausting. I believe it takes dedication and a true calling to be able to persevere. Another honest moment.... sometimes hearing "It's all in God's timing" is hard. I know it is, oh and how I know HIS timing IS PERFECT.... but sometimes our flesh cries out in selfish desire to be able to love on our child right this second. Thankfully I have a strong man of faith by my side who can help reign in my emotions and bring excitement back into the place we are right now. Excited to love on our two fantastic daughters right now, excited to know that as long as we're waiting- God's preparing us and GROWING us (that's something to get happy about), excited to know that we could get a call ANY SECOND to see our child, excited to be us right now. To find JOY in this JOURNEY the Lord has placed us on (James 1:2 comes to mind.... Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds). 

I know there will be plenty of trials to come after we bring baby baker #3 home as we all adjust to the new normal.... so as for now, we'll take one day at a time, choose joy, and be excited to know that God's clock is the only one that matters..... and it's perfect.

Friday, October 5, 2012


So we've had some really exciting things happen since the last post... and some not so exciting things....

A few weeks ago we received our APPROVAL from the USCIS at the Department of Homeland Security!!! HUGE step... HUGE. Then again, everything feels like a huge step in this never ending process :) .... Aaron and I were super excited to receive this because we were thinking we were DONE!! Definitely thought this was the moment things would be sent off to COLOMBIA and out of our hands!!..... UMMM not quite. Then come to find out we were still waiting for the return and authorization of our sealed finger prints from the FBI. Yes, the FBI. And yes these were the third set of finger prints we have had done. No big deal right? So we waited some more. Then about one week later... we GOT OUR FINGERPRINTS delivered to us!! Another really excited step that brought us one step closer to bringing our child home!

So we were now thinking that THIS surely had to be the last thing to submit to our Dossier company... umm, not quite! Luckily ( I say with a forced smile) our Dossier company found a few things that needed to be changed in some of our papers. Things that needed to be re-notarized, dates that needed to be typed out, new name change forms... the list could go on and on and on.... SOOO where are we now???

With all of the approvals under our belts, we have to move really fast. These approvals only last for 12-15 months (which may sound long, but you'd be shocked at how fast the time goes before everything can be 100% good to go, mistake free, type-o free, sent to Colombia)! We have corrected all that needed to be corrected (HOPEFULLY!) and are now waiting for our currier to take our sealed prints from the FBI to Washington to get apostilled, then our Dossier company will look over everything again, double check everything, triple check everything, THEN give us the good news that we can officially send our Dossier off to COLOMBIA!

As discouraging or tiring or frustrating as this whole process can become... The Lord frequently sends us sweet things to smile over and encourage Aaron and I. The Lord has seriously breathed the call of adoption into this community more so than I ever could have imagined. Some of our very best friends, other dear dear friends, other people that we have just now gotten to know and love.....! And above and beyond all of this... it hasn't stopped. One of my very best friends older sister just announced that she and her husband are beginning (kind of... they've had this on their hearts I do believe for a long long time.....) their journey of adoption as well!!!! Not only that, but 2 more sweet couples have come forward to talk about adoption... PLUS meeting several new families at FBC preschool who have domestically and internationally adopted that have just moved to the area... Seriously, how cool is this? How great is our God? Our Lord works in beautiful and mysterious ways...

Sooooo until the day comes where we can receive the referral for the child the Lord has chosen for us... we will wait. Some days patiently... some days not so patiently... some days joyfully... some days a little more frantic than others..... some days it feels like that last month in your pregnancy when you are just ready to have your child here and are tired of being pregnant.... some days a bit more peacefully knowing that the Lord is not quite done refining us and preparing our child for us to bring home.... !!

All in all it is with lots of JOY that I get to say we have made huge strides forward....!!

This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10
--reminding myself daily that it is through our Joy in the Lord that we find our strength... and with that strength all things are possible!