We have BIG news!
After much prayer and discernment, we have started the application process to adopt a child through Catholic Charities of Dallas' Infant Adoption program. We are excited to welcome a beautiful new life into our home!
As part of our adoption process, we have started this crowdfunding campaign to help fundraise for our adoption. We are estimating that our adoption-related costs will total around $35,000. This is why we have set a goal of $27,500 to help ease the financial burden that comes with adopting a child. (One of the things we like about Catholic Charities is that they also have programs to help mothers in crisis pregnancies. They support the mothers to try to help them keep their child, but also have the adoption program if they still feel that adoption is the best option. The money we will pay to Catholic Charities for the adoption goes to support all of these programs. We pay a flat rate for the adoption that is not tied to a particular mother and child.)
We hope that by inviting you into this process, you will see yourself as part of the community we hope to build around our child as he/she grows up.
Most importantly, please keep our family and all mothers in crisis pregnancies and their children in your prayers!
I just wanted to send out a quick update to everyone who has been supporting us on our adoption journey. Incredibly, we have met our fundraising goal! Praise be to God!!! What seemed like an impossible amount of money to raise before we began turned out, in fact, to be possible! We are humbled and in awe of the love and support we have received from all of you! God is so good!
As for now, we are just waiting on the Lord and the child He has chosen for our family. Since we have been approved as adoptive parents, there have been 4 birth mothers presented to us. We have said "yes" to showing our family profile book to all of them. One (who didn't know she was pregnant and had already had her baby) chose to keep and parent her baby with the support of her parents...a win in my book! The other three mothers chose other waiting families.
So, we continue to trust in the Lord and His plan for our family as we wait! Please continue to keep us in your prayers! We promise to continue to pray for you and all of your needs and intentions!
We got exciting news yesterday! We are now officially approved as potential adoptive parents through Catholic Charities of Dallas!!!
And so, the waiting on God's timing begins! We believe that God already has chosen the child He intends to add to our family. Please pray for us as we patiently wait to meet him or her!
So what happens next?
We are now part of Catholic Charities "Waiting Families" group and must participate in at least four "Waiting Families" support group meetings throughout the year.
When the Social Worker who works with the birth mothers feels pretty confident that the mother is serious about pursuing an adoption plan for her baby (usually around the 7th month of her pregnancy), she gives this information to the Social Worker who works with the Waiting Families. She will then contact all the waiting families and tell us that there is a birth mother who is ready to be matched with a family. She will give us whatever information she has about the birth mother and her situation and then ask us if we want our Family Profile book to be shown to this particular birth mom. At that point, we make the decision "yes" or "no." If we decide "yes," then our Family Profile book gets shown to the birth mother along with the other families who said "yes." The birth mother then selects a family for her child. The two social workers will then coordinate and facilitate a Match Meeting between the birth mother and the parents that she has selected. The first Match Meeting is just for getting to know each other. If that goes well and both parties want to move forward, then a second Match Meeting occurs. At this meeting, more of the details of the adoption are addressed.
But for now, we wait and pray…for our future child and his/her mother and father…and all women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies. We invite you to join us in prayer!
(Due to some extra expenses we didn’t originally account for and realizing that we still have more matching funds left, we raised our goal a little to help with the final payment and fully utilize the matching donations.)
More exciting news! We had our Home Study visit last Wednesday, and we passed! It was such a relief for both of us to be finished with that (and all that led up to it)!
So, basically we’re done with all the major things that we have to do to be approved as adoptive parents! What happens next? Well, our social worker has 30-60 days to write up our Home Study approval. She said she aims for closer to 30 days. During that time, we will be working on our family profile book, which is a photo album/scrapbook (think Shutterfly photobook) about our family. This is what will be shown to prospective birth mothers to introduce our family once they get to a point of choosing an adoptive family for their child. I enjoy making online photo albums, so this seems like fun compared to everything else we’ve had to do to get to this point! Once we’re approved (sometime in mid-November to mid-December), then the waiting to be chosen (the waiting on God’s timing) begins. We know a family that got chosen the day their Home Study was approved and families that have waited a year or two…and everything in between. They won’t give us a timeline (understandably), but based on things they have said, it does sound like most families working with Catholic Charities of Dallas get chosen within a year or so.
And so, we wait and pray! Thank you for walking this journey with us! Thank you for supporting us financially and, more importantly, with your prayers! As we started this journey, it seemed like an impossible amount to raise. And yet, here we are, so close to our goal! We are genuinely overwhelmed by all the love and support! God is so good!
We continue to place all of this in His merciful and loving hands!
Incredible news! We now have a matching donor! Brian’s company, Webbula, has generously offered to match donations up to $10,000. We are grateful beyond words!
In other news, we are now getting really close to being approved as adoptive parents! We've checked all the boxes on the two page application checklist, and we have attended the two day Training Seminar in Dallas. (Shout out to Nana & Pops for watching John Paul for us!) We’ve completed the first part of the two part Home Study, which was an in-person interview in their Dallas office. AND we have the actual home visit part of our Home Study scheduled for October 12th! Our social worker will come to our house to check to make sure it is safe for a child. You would think that we would be ready for that, as we have a small child, but there are things that we did not already have in place (lock boxes for all medications, liquor up high and locked up, 5lb fire extinguishers on both floors, written out fire evacuation plan, etc). Plus, there's just a lot of re-organization of things that we are working on in preparation for this!
Once the home visit is completed (and we pass!), then we wait for the report to be written up, which could take up to a month. We're hopeful that all this can happen and we can be approved by early November!
In the meantime, we are working on completing the last of the online training sessions that are required and finishing up the pre-home study questionnaire. It is pretty all-encompassing. It includes questions about our childhood/how we were raised/disciplined, parents' relationships, previous relationships, our dating relationship, our marriage, views on parenting/discipline, information about our neighborhood, etc. Basically, they just want to REALLY get to know everything about us!
So many hoops to jump through, but we're jumping away!
Great news! We found out that the 16 hour training seminar was rescheduled for next week. So, we'll be heading up to Dallas for that, and we'll be one step closer to being able to schedule our home study!
I mentioned in my last update that I would write again to share about what has led Brian and I down this path. Bear with me though...I tend to be wordy!
We actually discussed adoption as a possibility while we were dating. Since we were getting married later in life, we did not know whether we'd be able to get pregnant at all. Naturally, while we wanted to be able to have our own biological children, we were both open to the idea of adoption as a way to grow our family. We both had (and still have) a strong desire to have many children - four or five was what we were feeling prior to marriage - even though we knew that probably wouldn't be possible biologically. Given our ages, and without God surprising us with multiples, it just didn't seem likely. It took us almost a year to get pregnant with John Paul. About 6 months into that time, we attended an orientation session for foster-to-adopt programs in Austin. However, after that orientation, we both felt a "not now" response from God when we prayed about it. A few months later, we were overjoyed to find out that we were pregnant with John Paul! After a pretty traumatic labor/birth with him, my OB/GYN recommended that we wait 12 months, but AT LEAST 9 months, before trying to get pregnant again. Knowing that my biological clock was ticking, we were trying again 9 months later, and we were overjoyed to get pregnant that first month we tried! However, that joy turned to sorrow when we learned that our son, Thomas Basil, did not have a heartbeat at our first ultrasound in January 2021. Genetic testing found a random genetic abnormality, not compatible with life. We immediately began trying again, but have been unsuccessful in getting pregnant again in the last year and a half. (In case you are wondering, I do go to a Catholic, NaPro-trained OB/GYN -and we have pursued all Church-approved avenues, including surgery, meds/hormones, injections, etc.) While there does still exist the possibility that I could get pregnant again, the reality is that I am 42 this year and have sub-optimal fertility. Brian and I will never stop trying to get pregnant until it is no longer possible. However, we have come to accept that God may be saying "no" to that heart-felt prayer of ours. That was not, by any means, an easy reality to accept. At the same, we know that we are abundantly blessed to have John Paul, as some couples are never able to give birth to biological children. We also know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God knows what is best for us - and what will lead us to heaven! Jesus, we trust in You!
So, as we began to accept the possibility that we may not be able to get pregnant again, we began to ask God what He desires for us. The idea of adoption as a way to grow our family came up once again. We began our discernment of pursuing adoption in October of 2021 by talking with multiple couples that we know who have walked this path before us, both couples who adopted infants through private domestic infant adoption and couples who adopted children through the foster care system. We wanted to hear their stories and learn from them. We also hoped that it would help us discern whether to pursue private infant adoption vs foster-to-adopt. After talking to seven or eight families and spending time in prayer, it became clear to us that private infant adoption would be the better option for our family, particularly taking John Paul into account. It is recommended that you adopt a child that is younger than your youngest, and he is only 2. Children that are ready to be adopted in the foster care system tend to be older. And while you can foster an infant, there are no guarantees that the infant would ultimately remain with your family. We feel that the uncertainty there would be too difficult for us, and we would hate to have any of us - but especially John Paul - fall in love with a child that could then be removed from our home to be returned to their biological family after months/years. I think we would have given it more serious consideration if we didn't already have John Paul. The biggest obstacle that I (Christine) had to get over was the cost, as we didn't/don't have ~$35,000 to cover the private infant adoption expenses. However, with more prayer, I came to realize that perhaps the Lord is asking me to trust Him more deeply in this area; to trust that if He is calling us to this, He will provide for us.
Research into different adoption agencies led us to the Infant Adoption Program at Catholic Charities of Dallas. Though in many ways it would be easier to use an agency in the Austin area, we really like the way that Catholic Charities runs their program and the way they take care of the women that are referred to them. (I also mentioned some of these things in our initial post.) After missing two orientation sessions at the beginning of 2022 due to a childcare issue and a cancellation due to weather, we were finally able to attend an orientation session with Catholic Charities in May. In contrast to the orientation session that we had attended for the foster-to-adopt program in Austin earlier in our marriage, we both left this orientation session feeling at peace about moving forward with their program. After completing a Pre-Adoption Counseling session with them (to make sure there were no major obstacles for us to continue in their program), we were given the green light to begin our application whenever we were ready. We took another week to pray about it and specifically spent a day of prayer at the Marian Shrine in Austin (where we got engaged). We both continued to feel that this is what God is asking of us in relation to growing our family.
Now, some of you may be wondering...what happens if y'all do end up getting pregnant? Good question! We would obviously be thrilled to be pregnant, but at the same time, we both feel that we would continue with the adoption process even with another biological child on the way. We may delay the process a bit, but we plan on continuing down this path. The way we see it is that IF we are blessed to get pregnant again, given my age, it will likely be the last time. We both desire children -and desire more than two, if that be God's will! This is part of the reason that we decided to begin the process now, instead of waiting until we were absolutely sure that we could not get pregnant. Another reason is that most adoption programs have upper age limits - and Brian's age is getting close to some of those limits. However, as long as we begin the process with Catholic Charities of Dallas before he reaches the age limit, we are able to continue the process with them, even if he passes the age limit before a child gets placed with our family.
So, that's our story up until now...we are trusting that God has beautiful (though maybe difficult, at times) plans for our family! Thank you for journeying with us! Please reach out and let me know if you have other questions that I haven't answered!
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula
Matched by Webbula