Wednesday, June 16, 2010

it begins...

I think this kid is the cutest. You may have seen him on America's Got Talent. I don't watch that show. It totally annoys me, but the clip of Future Funk (this kid, Miles, and another little cutie) bustin' a move was adorable. But I saw Miles first on Ellen, and I fell in love. (You can skip to the 2:22 mark to see him dance if you don't have time to watch the interview... although it's pretty cute too.)

After I saw this, I immediately rewound and DVRed it to show Matt. I made him watch it, and then said, "I want to be his Mommy." Matt said, "I understand that, but he already has parents." Of course I was joking (sort of), but I do have a strong urge in my heart (and always have) to adopt a child. Certainly I would prefer one who doesn't already have parents. :)

After Gabe died, I had no plans to get pregnant right away. It had taken us a year and a half to get pregnant with him, so I certainly didn't expect to be pregnant in ten weeks. But God had a different plan and here we are. And I wouldn't have it any other way. But when Jonah was born and we found out about Epidermolysis Bullosa and got our questions answered as to why Gabe had died, we were broken hearted. Although we only have a 25% chance of having a baby with EB, we are two for two, and there is NO WAY we would take that chance. We would never voluntarily risk putting another child in this much pain. And honestly, I cannot IMAGINE caring for two EB children. EX.HAUST.ING.

I have a point... stick with me.

Needless to say, at the ripe old age of 27, I knew I would never again have a biological child of my own. I was very, very sad... but only for a little while. And then I got excited about the possibilities. For a while Matt and I discussed Embryo Adoption. If you don't know (I didn't), Embryo Adoption is where you adopt frozen fertilized eggs of folks who have gone through IVF but have leftover embryos after having all the kids they want. Embryo Adoption is a way to give birth to that life, instead of having to destroy fertilized eggs... or leave them in storage indefinitely. While I think this is an AWESOME option (I mean, I'd get to be pregnant, give birth, and nurse the baby... just as if it were biologically mine), I'm just not sure it's for us. With this option, they often implant two embryos, so there is a possibility of twins. Can you imagine us having an EB child AND newborn twins? I mean, we could do it. We would do it. We would be ecstatic about it. But man, thinking about it, not in the situation, makes me want to crawl under the covers. On the other hand, there's also a possibility that you would adopt and they would implant the embryos and neither one would result in a viable pregnancy. Too much heartache.

And the more we've thought about it and the more we've prayed about it, the more we lean toward traditional adoption. It's in both our hearts to give a child, living without a forever family, a stable, loving home. Don't get me wrong. It's not that Jonah is not enough. He's more than we could ever hope for and WAY more than we deserve. It has nothing to do with wanting a "normal" kid or not feeling complete. It's simply that we feel called to adopt. Period.

Have you ever tried to google adoption? I don't recommend it. It is completely overwhelming. There are so many different types of adoption, so many different ways to adopt, so many agencies... it's so confusing. I am so lost. And I almost feel silly even looking into it. Matt and I are not in a place where we would be ready to have a second child tomorrow. But one, two, five years down the road... whenever God tells us it's time, well, we want to be ready. If we're possibly looking at a several year process, I want to start educating myself now. So that's where I found (find) myself... lost but ready to start looking into it.

Enter God.

Last Thursday night, my mom and Shaina watched Jonah, and Matt and I got to go on a date night. We were eating at Mellow Mushroom downtown (OH MY WORD... that is some goooooood pizza). Anyway, it was a really nice night (maybe the last non-sweltering one we had?), and we decided to sit outside. Mellow Mushroom is right on a main road downtown, and people are constantly walking by. All of a sudden, a sweet lady and her husband walked by, and she introduced herself and said she read the blog. I rambled and stuttered and said something about giving Jonah a haircut, she said she was praying for Jonah. That was about the extent of the conversation. But the next day I saw she had left a comment on the blog. So I went to her blog and guess what? SHE IS A HUGE ADVOCATE FOR ADOPTION. Funny how things work out like that huh? I'm sure it was just a coincidence.

Her first son was adopted from Guatemala, and she has been involved in fundraising efforts and awareness for others who are interested in adopting. My heart started fluttering as soon as I got to her blog. I knew that it had God written all over it. And although I've been completely delinquent in emailing (sorry, M), we have plans to get together for lunch soon.

So that's where we are - planning, hoping, excited that one day, in God's time, Jonah will have a little (or big) brother or sister. We don't care about race, nationality, domestic or international. We'll see what God has in mind, but I guess, at this point, age is the biggest thing we talk about. We'll probably focus mostly on ages one to four years, but like I said, we're open to what God has in store. I don't know where we'll get the funds to adopt. But I do KNOW that God will provide what we need when we need it, and it will work out... when it's supposed to. But for now he's divinely given me a new friend, and that's where we'll start.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately (for months, even), and I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. Thank you for being with us on this journey. Though our family (a Heaven child, a here-on-Earth special needs child, and a future child who is or will be out there waiting for us) may not fit the typical definition, it's GREAT to me. It's the messy that God makes the most beautiful. We'll take it.

58 comments:

Angela said...

Wow, what big news! I will be praying for you all. God is so cool like that. Jonah will be a great big brother! :)

a world invented said...

just some encouragement...YES, God WILL provide for the financial aspect of your adoption. do not worry about that. just say yes and He will do it.
we recently adopted our daughter from ethiopia..she is 10 months old now. it was an AMAZING experience.
but, patrice...it is emotional too. be prepared to deal with anxiety during the waiting. be prepared to have your heart broken when you hear of your child's life story and know that one day you will have to explain it to them.
they IS so much joy...but, it is also an emotional rollercoaster. so, you are right to prepare yourself as much as you can now.
if you ever have any questions, i am happy to answer!
hannamarie@vangrowstudio.com
praying for jonah as always...
sincerely,
hanna

Liz and Brian said...

Any child would be lucky to have you and your husband as parents, biological or not. Your love for your son is abounding and it's empowering to read. Good luck in the next chapter of your family's life!

Lucy and Ethel said...

I'd say that coincidence was called angel intervention:)

Who knows what will happen down the road.

Or tomorrow :)

Lucy

Heather Allen said...

My husband and I are going through a private domestic adoption right now! I think it is a wonderful idea. We actually went through the process to adopt through the state (the foster care program) but God gave us the opportunity to adopt privately. I can not wait to see where He leads you!

Molly said...

adoption is amazing. i advocated for a little boy and fundraised for him until he found his family. Now they are going to meet him in less than one month!!!!!! This adoption has been the MOST amazing thing I have EVER been a part of.

Corby and Lauren said...

How wonderful! I know we don't know each other, but my sister and her husband have adopted, and my sister currently works for Steven Curtis Chapman's adoption ministry that gives grants... so she would be a great resource whenever y'all decide to start the process. She knows of many companies that give fabulous grants and others that match what you have raised! It was amazing watching the Lord provide for their entire Guatemalan adoption (which is quite expensive!). Let me know if you ever want her info... hope this isn't creepy! :)

I also LOVE Jonah's haircut!!! He looks like such a big boy!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I have adopted two sons and my first grandchild was placed for adoption (it's an open adoption) so I am 100% rah-rah for adoption!!

I have a book by Dr. Russell Moore, called, "Adopted for Life." I would be honored to send it to you. Please contact me at redeemedsheep {at} gmail {dot} com.

Jonah is one very blessed little boy....

Ashley said...

I LOVE adoption! We're in the middle of adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia, and we're leaving the rest of the fundraising to God. The financial burden is huge, but God provides. Always. Let me just save you the research, and send you to our adoption agency: All God's Children International :-) I researched agencies until my eyes bled - they're the best! I'll pray for you as you contemplate this journey!

Photographic Memories said...

Patrice, have I ever told you that I'm honored to know you? You're pretty awesome. :)

Jennifer said...

Smiling through tears of JOY, Patrice. I will continue to pray for this (you did not know you asked that a LONG time ago did you!). I understand that need to have another child. I felt so "incomplete" until our third child got here. I did not realize it until I held her and had my whole family gathered together in the hospital room. GOD does have things in store. I must also say, that while I would never advocate for someone to have another child just so that they have a sibling (there are so many real reasons people should just have one) but siblings are great in ways that parents and cousins and friends can never be. AND I say this after a long day at home (with NO car and oppressive heat outside!) with my three. Siblings are just someone who can understand you and have your back! So happy for you and looking forward to what you will share on this journey. You are a special family. Jennifer in Southeast, NC

jaymieg said...

In a way I was so much like you (many years ago)....I had given birth to two precious, very premature babies (who survived with their own on-going issues) in a matter of three years. I wanted more children, but I certainly didn't trust my own body with that task.

When Z was 3 and L was 1 we began researching adoption. Much like you, we wanted to get a start on what was a mult-year process. Our goal was to adopt an infant from Korea. An adoption agency sent us an information packet and included with it was a page on a program that brought older orphans to live with host families for the summer in hopes of having them meet adoptive families. We put the page on our fridge and said, "We could host a child while we work on our adoption." To make a long story short, 6 months later we went to get our 7-year-old daughter. This year she graduated from High School..... I am beyond proud to be her mother.

God provided the funds, He provided the strength, He provided all......

I get where you are coming from. I've made that journey. I know that if you make it that God will provide for you too.

Please, if there is anything you need to know or would like to discuss do not hesitate to let me know.

RLR said...

Ok, M is in t-r-o-u-b-l-e for not telling me she met you!!!! And she's SUCH the type to just walk up and say Hi! So glad you two connected!!!!

Tabatha said...

I can't believe that you wrote about this tonight. My husband and I were just having a discussion about adoption. I feel the pull and the call of God to adopt a child but he doesn't:( He worries about our two children and is afraid he won't feel the same for a child that isn't "his". I am heartbroken but handing it to God and honestly believe my path will lead where it is suppose too as will yours. You are amazing parents and any child would be lucky to have you!!!

HubeiMama said...

As a mom to an amazing, incredible, fantastic 3 year old from China - I highly recommend it. Adoption is not for the faint of heart but the rewards are amazing. I am the luckiest mama on earth to have the privilege of parenting my beautiful girl.

P.S. Just be prepared for some astoundingly stupid and insensitive questions and comments which I'm sure you've already had extensive experience in dealing with.

Emily said...

I understand completely the call to adopt a child and give him or her a forever home. I think you are such wonderful people that any child would be lucky to call you mom and dad! Oh and wouldn't Jonah LOVE having a brother or sister? I'm an only child and I can tell you, all ever wanted was a sibling. I'm blessed because I married a man with the most wonderful brother and sister, so I did get my wish, eventually. =) All the best to you on your journey!!

Toni :O) said...

Oh how fun for you guys!! I'm thrilled to read this and thing there is one lucky little person out there just waiting for your loving arms. I love being able to pray for your sweet family and I wish nothing but good things to come your way. As a very good friend of mine always says, "There's no such thing as a coincidence!" and certainly this newly found blog reader was meant to meet you in person. He works in mysterious ways and I can't wait to see what he has in store for you! Good luck and I'll be here right with you all the way chicka! Big hugs for strength, support and encouragement always!

Christen Morrow said...

From a Young Life que habla español to another one who does too... Hello! From Peru! I work with Young Life as the Latin America Regional Director of Capernaum and have been orando por Jonah y todo su familia desde el principo.... Me prima tenia gemelos con EB que ya estan con el Señor y desde alli EB ha sido algo que me llama mucho la atencion!

I wanted to give you a shout out... adoption is a big deal to me. Our Capernaum minsitry works in Peru's largest orphanage for neurologically disabled kids. Its a dumping ground, a graveyard for human souls and precious kids... and we have the incredible privledge of ministering there weekly. In every country in latin America where there is Capernaum, orphans are a part. I also am on the board for a WONDERFUL refuge for abandoned kids (and moved to be just a few blocks away) run by my swiss friend who is literally mom to 11 in her house and has 2 other homes. I also got to raise a baby girl for the first 14 months of her life after mom died giving birth. Adoption was an option, but dad chose to take her back once she was healthy and strong enough- but I am still "mami" for life!

My point, ADOPTION... YES! I wish I could tell you Peru was an option, though it is almost impossible. I DO know that God will bless you with a child and will bless a child with a family... I see every day kids who have not been given the gift of a momma or a daddy and the results are tragic. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE ADOPTING!

SO, props to you, sister!!

Christen... la peliroja "peruana" from Young Life :-)

The Dolezal Family said...

my sister has a birth child and 3 boys they adopted through foster care, they are now planning on adopting again.

anywhos, she writes for a website all about adoption and also trains parents on being foster parents. she might be a good resource for you to have. her site is www.adoption.about.com

Good luck!

The Smittys said...

yay! i'm definitely your biggest cheerleader here! can't wait for our lunch! i just love your honesty and your desire. God's going to honor that immeasurably more than we can imagine!

The Oxford Family said...

wow, so many great resources for you in the comments already! I have nothing to add but support! I hope things continue to move in the direction they are meant to! OH and I hope little Jonah is having a great day!

love.this.apartment said...

That is great news!! I'll be thinking of your family and praying for you all through this journey.

chinamoon1420 said...

I remember you mentioning this quite some time ago. I know God will lead you there when it is time and He will provide.
I too feel the call to adopt. I am hoping one day that my husband and I are able to do this.

Much love and as always, I am constantly saying prayers for all of you guys!

Sara said...

I love this post. I am adopted, and I think it's wonderful that you want to adopt! My friend who recently lost her little one has looked into adoption, IVF, and all of that, and she feels kind of hopeless at this point. I wish she had just an ounce of faith, but sadly, she doesn't. Anyway, I really just wanted to thank you for this post, and to say hi :) I can't wait to see how this journey plays out!

Laura A said...

Isn't it truly amazing how God works?

I'm excited to see how (and who!) God will provide for you, Matt and sweet Jonah. We would like to adopt someday as well. A few years ago, my husband went on a mission trip to Russia, and he fell in love with a little boy in one of the orphanages. We've been trying to find a way to bring him to the States, but recently found out that his mother and grandmother would be able to care for him again (long story). Awesome for him, sad for us.

Anyway, all that to say is that I have no doubt that God will give you the right resources, funds and the right child. Will pray for this for you!!

Love from TX!
Laura

Kim M said...

I am so excited for you, Matt and Jonah!! Watching Jonah be a big brother will be so much fun! You and Matt have amazed me along this journey with Jonah and EB. We've watched him grow, but watching the two of you grow, WOW!!! There is someone out there who needs a forever mommy and daddy. I'll be praying for you.

By the way, I don't believe in coincidences, I prefer to call them Godincidences!

{{{{{hugs}}}}}

Gene and Annie said...

Awesome!!! God is sooo good!! We are about ready to start the adoption process here in the next year because God has called us also!! I'm so excited for you and your sweet family!! Blessings to you and lots of prayers!! :)

jess said...

Awesome. You are a wonderful devoted mother and ANY child would be blessed to join your family.

Debbie said...

As a proud mother of the most beautiful, smart, funny and loving daughter from China (4 yrs old) I am very happy to read your adoption-wish/plans.
We are in the process of adopting a second child ( a special needs child) and it is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Good luck with your journey, and don't be too overwhelmed with the adoption-info. It is worth it.

Big kiss for Jonah!

Didi

Erica said...

I LOVE your comment that "it's the messy that God makes beautiful." So true. Thanks for your example in this, and thanks for sharing about your adoption plans!

MommyNamedApril said...

just found your blog. you're a superwoman. best of luck with the adoption. my thoughts are with you and your family. xo

The Sharp's said...

I love this post and had goose bumps the entire time I read it. God is certainly amazing!
A couple of my best friends adopted 2 little boys from Asia. I loved following their story. Such an amazing and inspiring story!

Always praying!

Taya said...

We adopted a child through the foster care system in NC. There is little to no cost involved for the family. It gave us our wonderful son who we couldn't imagine being without.

Laura said...

That is neat that you ran into that lady. We have friends that adopted recently from Ethiopia. I could connect you with them, if something like that ever interested you.

We have a Mellow Mushroom here in Nashville too. Only been there once, but not that you've mentioned it I think we need to go again soon.

Laura S.

Heather from Ontario Canada said...

It's been exciting following your family and even more exciting to see where God leads you from here :) Blessings

Trinity said...

Hello Patrice,

I wanted to let you know that we were chosen to adopt as well and we adopted from the children's home societ in GSO. The birth mother chooses you and we were fortunate to be able to be in the delivery room when our beautiful Kaydence was born. Please let me know if you are interested and I can get you some information on it.

thebirdsnest3 said...

I am delurking...I've been following your blog for awhile. I admire your strength and courage and love for Jonah so much! My husband and I are in the process of adopting out of foster care. It's an enormous process and undertaking but we are hopeful that everything will work out just as it should. Good luck!

Rachelle said...

Patrice: AMAZING POST! I know first hand how it feels to pursue a journey to adoption. I've commented a few times on your blog, which I love to read, and don't know if you remember me. (I'm Nicole's sister). We adopted two awesome girls after our struggle with infertilty, then I ended up getting pregnant with Eli, who is a month younger than Jonah. Our family has prayed for yours and will continue to pray as you embark on this new journey. I pray that you will find all the answers you need! Bill and I are huge adoption advocates and have counseled and shared our stories many times. We adopted our girls in quite different ways and circumstances. You have had lots of offers, I know, but we would love to share with you and help you however we can in regards to your adoption questions. I can also offer you a few resorces to investigate (besides the web) which might help (not that you have lots of free time to read, or anything!) Love and blessings on you !

Wolfpacker's Angel said...

We are in the middle of the adoption process (the waiting part) through a local agency in Raleigh. It has been a long process, but in the end totally worth it. Good luck on your journey.

Queen Mumma said...

I don't comment much but this post was VERY exciting to read. Why? Because Bug just saw her therapist who said having a sibling is a HUGE positive thing for children. The learn how to share and lean social skills and learn about relationships. There is much more she said that I can't recall but my heart swelled that my girls have each other. Sibling love would be a wonderful gift to give Jonah. God will walk you through this journey if it's one you decide to take. Many prayers in your quest.

Queen Mumma said...

OMgosh, please excuse my typos! How embarrassing. {going back to drink my coffee}

deepintheheartoftexas2 said...

I heart adoption big time. I have for years. It is not an easy decision but God doesn't put it on hearts for nothing. I know that in our area there are races for adoption. www.marathonforadoption.com. Hopefully, they are some in your area too. Thanks for sharing this with us.

John and Crystal Pinegar Family said...

So so very exciting! I have a friend who adopted to russian orphans (a sister and brother). It is such a good thing to do. And the Lord will provide when it's right. Congratulations!

Monkeys Mommy ♥ said...

Adoption is amazing...whether through biology or adoption children are a gift! I wish you the best on this next journey in your lives.
Mom to two bio boys and a fiesty beauty from China

By the way, I love Jonah's new hair cut. He is so ADORABLE!

KSB said...

Patrice,
Adoption is only way we could grow our family, and we wouldnt have it any other way :) God worke din our hearts and home in much the same way He is working in yours right now. How exciting!? If you ever have any questions about domestic adoption, please feel free to email me :) Whitney came home just 9 months after we turned out paperwork in! Thinking of you and praying!

in a world surrounded by men said...

I'm pretty stinking excited for you.

My heart is raw for orphans but to this point have clearly been told "no" by God about adoption. So, I am called to support, serve, and pray for orphans.

And I'll be praying for you too.

kimmie said...

Patrice ~ how lucky a child will be to have you and your husband as parents and Jonah and Gabe as brothers!

~Kimberly (Randolph) Waller

lauren said...

Adoption is a roller coaster all in its own, but is SOOOOO worth it :) If you decide you might want to go international and want to work with a local agency, I adopted through Carolina Adoption in Greensboro. It was important to me that I not just be some file on some case worker's desk, but that I have the chance to have a personal relationship with a case worker who would know me, my heart, and my faith. It was a long road, but SO worth it. And the money will figure itself out. Somehow! My blog is www.laurensbaby.blogspot.com if you want to see my guatemalan beauty :) Just to warn you, I waited for a referral from Russia for 9 months, switched to Guatemala when Isabelle's referral became available. She was 6 weeks old, but I didn't get her home until she was almost 16 months. It isn't an easy road but I wouldn't change it for anything!

Blessings as you wait to see where God leads you!

Sherri said...

Long time follower, first time poster. My granddaughter was adopted from Ethiopia two years ago at age 17 months. She is the joy of our lives! The process is long, but my daughter and son in law embraced the entire experience and Tiz will tell you all about it. They are returning to Ethiopia for number two sometime this year when they reach the top of the waiting list. I know you are very busy but you can check her our on my blog, "Living the Good Life in Grandmaville." You are wonderful parents and Jonah is so lucky. God will give you the perfect child(ren) to complete your family in his time. God bless all of you!

Pipsylou said...

Patrice,
I KID YOU NOT, I have been praying and praying and praying that God would show us if adoption is what we are supposed to do. We have two bio children but have lost 5 babies to miscarriage as well, including my right fallopian tube. My daughter has some special needs.

I just think it's crazy that, after investigating adoption, I happen onto your website. I hadn't visited in about 3 months because life has gotten busy, but WOW...

WOW!!!!!! We are thinking the same thing. Exciting, huh?

Just exciting to think that God is creating beauty out of all the hurt we've gone through.

WOW!

Becky said...

I'm sure this has already been said in previous comments - but let me just confirm for you, adoption is awesome. We struggled with infertility for years and I really had a hard time giving up the possibility of going through pregnancy, birth, nursing, etc...but let me tell you, our two beautiful kids are more than we could have ever asked for. Both were adopted domestically as infants. So when the time comes, go for it with gusto. It will be a blessing for all of you.

Wishing you peace and praying for Jonah as always!

Nancy said...

I am so excited you are talking about adoption! Noah is a domestic adoption that we found out about out of the blue! He was born 3 weeks after our paperwork was submitted to China. Our story is truly amazing, God surprised us in a way we could have never imagined. Our lives are SO blessed! Feel free to email me or read about Noah's story on our blog!!!

As always... praying in PA!!!

Leah said...

Funny...because I was at Mellow Mushroom that night with a friend, and I told her (about you all) - they look really familiar. And then it dawned on me - Jonah! But, I didn't speak to you all, because I fully understand date night! :) Anyway, I wish now I'd spoken to you all to let you know I pray for you all often. Jonah is so handsome and he is so very blessed to have parents such as you.

-Leah Robbins
http://boyandgirlphotography.typepad.com/boy-girl/

Holly said...

I comment rarely, but read daily - just want to say that if you ever want to talk about adoption, please let me know. My husband and his sister were adopted - my brother was also adopted. My husband and I went through IF (8 IVFs) and ended up adopting :) We're gearing up for #2 now. Anyways, I'm excited for you and let me know if you want any advice!

Lacee said...

My sister, brother and I were all adopted at birth here in the U.S. Being adopted is probably one of the biggest blessings in my life. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask me. I think adoption is a pretty awesome thing!

Jennifer Van Buskirk said...

We adopted a little boy just this past March. It was an emotional journey, to say the least, and one that involved hospital time that we weren't anticipating, but he is the center of our world now. Feel free to check our our blog and if you ever need someone to talk to (or vent to) about adoption stuff, I'm here.

Jennifer Van Buskirk said...

We adopted a little boy just this past March. It was an emotional journey, to say the least, and one that involved hospital time that we weren't anticipating, but he is the center of our world now. Feel free to check our our blog and if you ever need someone to talk to (or vent to) about adoption stuff, I'm here.

Chaukie said...

As a mother to two adopted children, I can tell you that it is absolutely amazing. Best of luck to you on your journey!