The Final Adoption Update: Finally!

Last week ended much different than it started. On Tuesday, November 1st, we learned about an opportunity to show our adoption profile book to a birth mom who would be picking a home for her baby.  Then on Thursday, November 3rd, God said it is our turn.

A little after 11am on Thursday morning we got a call from our social worker asking if we were ready for a road trip and with an emphatic “YES” we grabbed a car seat, and loaded diaper bag and headed down to Little Rock just 45 minutes later.  The 3 hour drive was full of excitement, anticipation, questions of what he may look like, and pinching ourselves to see if this was actually happening.

We arrived at the Bethany Christian Services office in Little Rock, Arkansas around 3:15 and just moments later we met the son we have been praying for, yearning for, and preparing for. The son whom the Lord has set aside for US, he was born to be ours, all these years waiting and trying for a child and God knew all along that this sweet baby boy was coming, at the perfect time, in the most perfect way!

Our sweet baby boy is the bravest, sweetest, cutest, most chill baby!  His little 2 month old life has held a lot of uncertainty for him, but God knew exactly what He was doing.  He was born August 29, just 11 days after our failed adoption. And he entered our lives on November 3rd needing TLC that only the right parents can give him.  We loved on, kissed, cradled, cared for, and loved him every minute of the 5 day wait period when his mom could change her mind. Then at 4:30 on Tuesday, November 8th, he became unofficially officially ours!

This afternoon we went to court to hear the judge decree what God knew all along, that Bridger James is our son and we get to love and care for him FORVER!

So without further ado…. we would like to introduce you to BRIDGER JAMES SIRECI! Our Son!

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5 Months…

…closer to being parents of the child God has for us. hand-5

It is a weird thing to not have any plans for the next 18 years, but that is exactly what we have been dealing with since last month’s failed adoption. We had completely cleared our calendars of most responsibilities, travel, and projects with exception to the family wedding that we planned to introduce our child to all our Sireci family.   One day we were going to be parents…and the next day we weren’t.   One day I had 12 weeks of maternity leave ahead of me…and then next day, I was figuring out what work would look like for me. One day we thought that God was saying it was our turn…and the next day He told us that now isn’t our time.

That being said, all things considered, we took this failed adoption pretty well. I was less sad and more questioning what God really has planned for me after practically quitting my job in preparation to be home.   This loss was nothing like the loss of Little One or Norah Maye.   I think we just found ourselves wondering what to do with all the momentum we had build up toward our lives changing forever, and then finding that our lives were just the same.

So relatively speaking, this past month didn’t bring much change at all.   Weekends come and they go, we appreciate the rest, but generally find that we just wish we had a child to hang out with and love. We have continued our busy lifestyles with work and play and church and community and family. We continue to be so grateful for all those people waiting and praying with us. We praise and serve a Great God in spite of the fact that we often wonder why he leads us down paths that just don’t seem to make sense. He is still so good and quite honestly, I can’t imagine going through life without His sustaining power!

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This coming week we celebrate our Norah Maye’s 1st Birthday. I miss her terribly, and although tears still come sometimes, generally I think of her and I am so grateful! I realize more and more the vessel she was to bring me closer to the Lord. I am different today because God put her in my life and so we celebrate her birth because of the miracle she was and the ministry she had.

And so we look ahead with excitement and anticipation to what the coming months will bring. Waiting on the Lord to say, “IT’S GO TIME!” We told our social worker that we just want to know when the baby is ready for us. We don’t need any warning, because we are READY! And when I say ready I mean car seats are installed, formula and diapers are bought, bottles and baby clothes are washed, nursery is completed, diaper bag is packed kind of ready.   Give us an hour and we will be on our way!

 

 

Update #6 – Adoption isn’t easy

You know, no one ever said that adoption would be easy. Actually, people said it would be really really hard. And I sort of believed them, but quite honestly, I thought our adoption would be different.   And now, can I just tell you…adoption is really really hard.

The last month and a half have been a whirlwind…here is kind of how it went. A match, a meeting, a ton of preparation, a plan, a name, a nervous birth mom, a week of texting with the birth mom, a baby, a mom’s change of mind, a failed adoption, anger, tears, a reminder that God is still in control and still good and a realization that that wasn’t the child God intend for us.

I’m sick of being a downer when it comes to news like this, so I am choosing to stay positive about it and so totally hopeful and anxious to learn why God wanted us to live the last month or so like we did/have.

Our wait continues knowing and trusting the Lord that He will put our child in our arms someday…hopefully sooner rather than later.

And on a positive note, look how adorable that bunting looks in the nursery!!

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Month #2

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The crib is here, the car seat is here, the rocking chair is here, the baby is….not here. Folks, the waiting continues and that is about all I have to update on. But can I tell you some things that I am thankful for in this wait?

  1. I am so thankful for the friends and family waiting with us. I love being asked about how the adoption is going because I love that we aren’t waiting alone. I love that there are people all over the world waiting for this baby with us!
  2. I am thankful that the finances for this adoption are completely provided. We don’t need to worry about how the bills will get paid when the baby comes, we will just get to enjoy being parents!
  3. I am thankful that I was given the tidbit of wisdom early on that we aren’t waiting on a birth mom or on our social worker to call us, we are waiting on God and his timing.
  4. I am thankful for hobbies, work (as much as I am sick of it), for friends/family, and for vacations that distract and entertain.
  5. I am thankful that although these two months of officially waiting have been long, they have brought us 2 months closer to meeting our baby!

Y’all, God is up to something really good…and I have no doubt He will clue us in when He thinks we need to know more. Until then, wait with us! And if you want, you can share our online profile site…the more exposure the better!

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The Wait

The wait is real, and sometimes quite heavy. I write for myself, Meghan, for this update. The wait is much different for me than it is for Jonathan. Maybe that is why we are in this together. Jonathan lives very much in the moment. He prays for our child daily, yet his connection to him/her hasn’t hit his heart like it has hit mine. FullSizeRenderI feel the weight of the wait daily. If I am not thinking about this baby that will someday be ours, the thought isn’t far from my mind.

I felt the weight of the wait right after our social worker left our house after the last home visit. It was the same weight that I felt when Jonathan left on his deployments….knowing he would be back, but knowing that the days would be so long and it would seem like eternity until the reunion happened. The weight goes straight to the heart…the kind of weight that grabs my heart and squeezes so tight that sometimes it is hard to breathe.

I was talking to the Lord as I drove home from church today. I was asking Him how to do this wait. The intensity ebbs and flows sometimes on a minute by minute basis. Today, it seemed like He told me, “Maybe you are told the wait could be longer than a year…or you got news that your profile book is being shown to a expectant mom…or you hear of being matched….it doesn’t matter. Until that baby is in your arms my time for you hasn’t come. My answer is still ‘not yet because I have other things for you to do.’”

And so we wait, and work, and pray, and live because much like the last 37 days and maybe like the few hundred days ahead, the Lord is saying “not yet.”

 

Mother’s Day is for Me Too!

Mother’s Day, a day full of more pain than joy. This will be the third Mother’s day that it has been that way. I am hopeful for a day when the joy outweighs the pain. Only the Lord knows when that will be.

The below post was written last Mother’s Day. Norah hadn’t entered the picture yet but I can tell you that what I wrote last year applies this year too.  I am so honored to be the mother of two precious babies that make Mother’s day for me too!

Is Mother’s Day for Me Too?? – Published May 9, 2015 

It has been a year since my first Mother’s Day as a mom with empty arms and a year and seven months since the title became mine.  Sometimes I still struggle with the title of mom…does it really apply to me? Most of the time it doesn’t feel like it. I feel like a working woman with no kids and a dog who I treat much like I assume I would treat a child in my care.  And other times, I know it fits me.  I know I got to spend 12 wonderful weeks taking care of and growing a child within me.  God made me a mom…then and still.

My first Mother’s Day was much much harder than I expected it to be. I wanted it so badly to be like a normal day…but it wasn’t and I expect this Mother’s Day will be the same.  Sometime mid-morning, most likely when my pastor will honor mothers during church I will get choked up and think of my sweet little one whose picture is still on my dresser and whom I never held outside of my womb.  I will be grateful for those 12 weeks carrying my child but full of sorrow for the lifetime I didn’t get to.
 
I will spend the day wishing the day wasn’t so hard…trying to distract myself from the reality of my childless home. And then Monday…Monday morning will come and life will move on again and I will again be just a working woman with a dog and a full schedule…full of everything but children.  And it will be ok…life really is ok…
 
God has taught me a lot this past year or so about being a mom….
  1. He has control.  He always has and always will.  And as hard as I try…I still don’t have control.  I rarely understand His plan, but I know it always turns out for His glory.   My baby was born into His arms.  I don’t understand it, but I know I am grateful my little one is with the God of all Glory.
  2. God’s plan is painful sometimes.  Sanctification is painful.  It hurts physically and then it hurts emotionally for a long time.  Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with the fact that this pain is all part of God’s work…but when I do, I am honored to be a part of it.
  3. He wants me to work while I wait.  I’m still waiting to see what He has in store for our family.  But while I wait…it seems he has already revealed part of it.  I am to work now…to dive into my passions…and glorify Him now.
  4. He is always faithful.  I can depend on Him.  He has held me every moment of my being a mom and for the 28 years prior too.
Mother’s Day is for me too.  It is just a different kind of day I think.  I won’t be getting any cute little cards with cute little hand prints on them…but I will get another opportunity to remember my child and be forever grateful that my little one not only knows Christ intimately…but gets to spend eternity with Him.  I can only pray that my future children will have the same relationship with my Savior.

Adoption Update #2

IMG_3785We are so encouraged and grateful by the outpouring of support and love the last two weeks. What a blessing to have people from all over the country coming on this journey with us. And to be so close to our goal already?!! We are in awe of those who have heeded the call to help us either in prayer or financially! We don’t take it for granted and we are so thankful that you have chosen to follow the Lord’s call to help! Thank you!!  For update #2 I thought I would clue you in to where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going in this adoption journey.

Where we have been: The best way to describe where we have been is a timeline of events over the last 5 months. It has been lots of paperwork, lots of prayer, lots of talking and lots of learning.

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The day we submitted our formal application!

  • Nov. 3rd – Preliminary Application Submitted
  • Nov. 30th – Personal Statement of Faith Submitted
  • Dec 3rd – Adoption Info Meeting
  • January 28th – Formal Application Submitted
  • March 1st – Application Approved!!
  • March 4th-5th – HOPE Conference Training, Little Rock, AR
  • March 8th – First Home Study Interview
  • March 12th – Baby Basics Training, Rogers, AR
  • March 16th – Second Home Study Interview
  • March 22nd – Third Home Study Interview

Where are we now: We are waiting. We don’t know how long we will be waiting all we know is that we have NO control and the Lord has ALL control. After meeting with our social worker in March 22nd we were told that we would become an official waiting family in the beginning of April (this week or next). Until then, we are waiting for our profile books to be delivered to our home and then promptly dropped off at the Bethany office.

After we are an official waiting family we are just that…a waiting family. There are about 20 waiting families right now in Arkansas, which generally is a good thing because it means our wait may not be very long. When we went to the initial info meeting back in December we were told that it is highly likely that we will have a placement sometime this year. They also said that a placement could happen as soon as we become a waiting family. So to put that clearly…we could have a baby next week…next month…this summer…this fall…next winter…who knows??? The Lord knows!!

We are trusting the Lord in our waiting…and probably buying a car seat soon…just in case 😉

 

 

Adoption Update #1

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Grateful, humbled, and so excited by how God works!  Over half way to our goal already!! We are blown away by the generosity of our community! We have seen over and over in our adoption journey so far that when God says go…He provides the means in ways that take us by surprise. Thank you to those who have supported us financially as well as those who have added our family to your prayer list!

For update #1, I figured I would tell you why we chose to adopt through Bethany Christian Services.

  1. Bethany has the mother’s best interest in mind. We really liked that they take the time to do birth parent counseling so the expectant mother is able to make the best and most informed decision for the child. We follow the mother’s lead on their decision to place or not, hospital visitation, and level of openness in the adoption. The expectant mother is respect as a human being who has a huge decision to make that may involve both loss and sacrifice. The expectant mom has a very important role in the adoption process, thus the reason we pray so hard for her!
  2. The matching process appears to be transparent. Bethany helps match compatible parties when it comes to adoptive family preferences and what the birth mother wants for her child. We were required to fill out a preferences document (not an easy thing to do) that pretty much had us say yes, no, or will consider to a list of circumstances or conditions that the child may be biologically affected by. When an expectant mother is ready to chose an adoptive family for her baby, we will be notified if our preferences match up to the circumstances and we will have the ability to chose to have our profile book looked at by the expectant mother. It seems straightforward and yet leaves a lot of area for God to work!
  3. When the expectant mother choses to work with Bethany regarding her crisis pregnancy she knows from the beginning that the home her child may be placed in is one with Biblical values that plans on raising the child within a community of believers and according to Godly principals.

We are excited to see how God will continue to work as we travel this adoption journey that may continue for just another month…or maybe for the whole year ahead as we wait on the Lord.

We’re Adopting!!

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A word from Me:

It’s the putter patter of little feet, sweet smiles and contagious giggles. It’s the play times and bath times and bedtime stories. It’s the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights and the cries from a little someone who needs us. That little someone needs us, just like we need him/her. That little someone needs our love, needs our arms, needs our heartbeat…needs US! And us, we need that little someone. We need his/her love, giggles, joy, and tears.

It was over five years ago that adoption entered our conversation as a way to grow our family. We had planned on it from the beginning but knew that the Lord would need to provide us with direction and a timeline. After knowing, loving, growing attached to, praying, and then grieving hard for our daughter Norah Maye, we were left with many lessons learned but possibly among the most important lessons was that God has called us to be parents. He has placed that desire so deeply within us that we couldn’t ignore it.

And so the idea of adoption joined our conversation once again and we could not be more ecstatic about pursuing not only our call to be parents but also our call as Christ Followers to care for orphans.

A word from Jonathan:

I think Meghan’s words capture our feelings about adoption very well. We are ready to be parents, feel led to pursue adoption and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us.

One of the biggest challenges for me in this process has been the financial aspect of adoption. The costs are pretty sobering and can quickly turn the sentimentality of adoption into an act of faith no matter what your financial situation. The Lord has given me peace about it but I wanted to break the costs down for everyone for three reasons:

  1. I’m a nerd, enjoy numbers and a big part of my current job is to create investment models for my organization’s large projects. Adoption is about as big of a project as Meghan and I have ever had so I thought it made sense to look at it through this lens.
  2. I want to help give your donation a context. In talking to people about adoption the most consistent question is about the costs to adopt. I will break it down for you. Meghan and I value transparency and we want you to have all the information we can give you so that you can choose whether to help us or use your resources to help someone else.
  3. I want to answer the normally unspoken questions about finances in adoption, the questions we’re too polite to ask but are all thinking: Where are Meghan and I financially? What have we done to meet this financial challenge? How much are we relying on donations to make this adoption happen?

Adoption as an Investment

A great investment is one where you spend as little as you can to make as much as you can. From this, strictly financial perspective, adoption is a terrible investment. When you adopt you are investing a large amount of cash to “purchase” something that you know will continue to create additional costs for the rest of your life.

The fact that so many of us are willing to adopt anyway tells us that the non-financial or soft benefits of adoption outweigh the financial considerations. In business, this kind of decision is extremely rare and is only made when there are issues of principle at stake. In essence, only the most intrinsically valuable business propositions are ones that have no financial value and yet enable the business to remain true to its core principles.

Adoption is intrinsically valuable and uniquely reinforces the beliefs Meghan and I cherish the most:

  • Those of us who know Christ as our Savior are all adopted members of God’s family.
  • The cost of our adoption, Christ’s death on the cross, far surpasses our inherent value but ultimately reveals to all of us the principles most cherished by God: humility, love for God, love for each other, and redemption.

Adoption Costs

This section is going to list, then explain the general costs of adoption and list the costs of several possible scenarios. We are working with Bethany Christian Services who specialize in helping mothers in “crisis” pregnancy situations find homes for their children. I mention this only to say that it’s important to find an agency that treats you and the mother of your child in a manner that is consistent with your beliefs. There is a lot of room in these situations for mothers to be pressured or manipulated into making decisions that they are not really ready to make. Working with an established agency can mitigate this risk.

Adoption Fees

As you can see, no matter what the scenario, the financial impact is huge. The minimum cost to us would be $33,250 with the “worst case” scenario coming in around $50,750. That’s a really difficult spread to plan for which leads us to the last question.

Where are we financially

Meghan has added clients and home studies to help us save and we’ve put as much as we can from my check toward our adoption fund as well. We will be taking a short vacation the week after next before we become a listed family at the beginning of April.

The bottom line is that the Lord has blessed Meghan and I financially. We know there are many folks out there trying to adopt who are starting with less than we are and we have not lost sight of that. The simple truth is that we have the means to meet many of the costs outlined above but in any scenario (as you can tell), the financial impact will be significant.

What do we need from you?

  1. Consider giving financially. Consider where we are financially while keeping in mind others in your life who may be in need of financial support. We simply ask that you pray about where you and the Lord believe your resources should go. We know He is able to provide all that we need in any scenario or contingency. We know that He is the ultimate source of any blessings we have today and that if they were gone tomorrow He would still be faithful. We will rejoice if you feel led to support us and we will rejoice if the Lord leads you to support someone else.  If you feel compelled to give click HERE!
  2. Pray for our baby and his/her mom. It may be that our baby is already growing in his/her mother’s womb. Pray for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy mother and that she receives the physical and emotional care she needs during this pregnancy. We plan on having an open or partially open adoption which means that she will likely be an extended part of our family in the future. Pray for our relationship with her as well.
  3. Pray for patience. Waiting is going to be the most difficult part of this for Meghan especially. Keep this in mind when you pray for us.

What can you expect from us?

  1. Anyone who donates will have a bunting flag with your name on it hung around the border of our baby’s room. We do not take your contributions lightly and we want to have a constant reminder of the people the Lord has brought alongside us through this journey.
  2. Updates. We will keep this site updated along with our YouCaring site. Please reach out to us if you have questions.

If you’ve read all of this, THANK YOU and we look forward to walking this path together!

Jonathan and Meghan

On the day you were to arrive…

To my sweet Norah Maye on the day you were to arrive,

I’ve been thinking so much about you the last week or so. Thinking of what life would be life if these last 6 or so months had gone differently. Thinking of what it would be like if I had a swollen belly full of life and what exactly this day would be life if you were to arrive today as originally planned. I’ve been thinking of how prepared your daddy and I would be. All the classes would have been taken. I would have practiced my breathing and Jonathan would feel more confident changing a diaper. Your nursery would be complete with a fresh coat of paint and linens ready to smell of brand new baby. Our freezer would be full of meals, so we could spend all our time doting on you. And Langlee wouldn’t know what was about to hit her, but I imagine her soon falling in love and protecting you like her most prized bone. Oh if today could go as I had dreamed it would just 9 months ago, how frightened and joyful I would be.

Instead, I spend the day thinking about you, missing you, and wishing just for a moment that life were so so different right now. I will be making special Norah Maye forget me not cupcakes today. Just to remember you and celebrate the life that you did have in my womb. To celebrate the impact you made on my life. The cupcakes are also to celebrate where God has brought me the last several months. He hasn’t left my side, Norah Maye…much like I’m sure you haven’t left His.

Baby Girl, it is hard to put words to the work our God has done in me. So many days as I have journaled, I have been amazed and lacking ways to explain and describe the joy and hope He has put back into my life. I don’t understand it, but I am overwhelmed with gratitude! I saw a friend in church a couple weeks ago who took me by the shoulders and said, “you have your sparkle back!” I was touched and knew that it wasn’t my doing. It couldn’t be. Our God is our healer Norah Maye…He healed you, and He has healed me!

Healing doesn’t mean I don’t miss you…missing you has just become a part of life. But missing you doesn’t feel like it used to 4 months ago. The pain doesn’t ache like it used to. But my mind still gravitates toward thoughts of you at the most random times. Those thoughts don’t usually bring tears anymore, mostly they bring me joy and hope. Joy because I get to be your mom forever…no matter what! And hope because I am confident that God still has some great plans for your family here on earth!

Norah Maye, like the children’s book that I bought in honor of you today says..

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.” – Robert Munsch

Love, Your Mommy