Sunday, April 16, 2017

Growing and thriving

Our sweet Michael is now well past the 7 month mark and quickly approaching 8 months. His sisters love him like crazy! He is trying many new foods, sitting up on his own, and making us all laugh with his many fun noises, babbling, and grunting. We love him so!

Below are some pictures from today, Easter Sunday. I feel so very blessed today for this family of mine, for God's faithfulness in bringing Michael into our family after stepping out in faith over 2 years ago and the wait that followed. And most of all, so deeply thankful for the death and resurrection of Jesus and that I get to teach my kids about Him!

Our official court date to finalize Michael's adoption is in just over 3 weeks, on May 8th! 
We are so excited for this day when he will officially become a Sportel. :)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Michael James!

I have a long overdue update!

It's time to introduce our son Michael James!

This past week marked 3 months that our sweet boy has been home with us! While his adoption is not finalized and may not be yet for several months, we have had "legal placement" of him since January 26 when his birthmom had her court date and legally relinquished her parenting rights. We have an open relationship with her and have seen her twice since we took Michael home and also communicate regularly. We will not put anything on social media such as Facebook until after his adoption is finalized, but felt like we could update this blog for those following.

Michael so quickly became a normal part of our family. Watching Alena and Nora love on him and adore him has been such a beautiful blessing. While the nights can be exhausting (still) and being in the baby phase again is an adjustment, the transition to being a family of 5 has been smooth overall.

Michael is so social and just loves to be around people, always with big smiles. We love him so much and have often reflected in the last few months how God's timing and plan really IS perfect, despite the many hard times in the waiting process.

Thank you so much to many of you who have journeyed with us in this. Please continue to pray our family, Michael, and his birthmom. We appreciate your support and will continue to appreciate it as we raise Michael!

Here are a few pictures from the past 3 months.

The above 2 are the day we brought Michael home, right after he met the girls.

Above 3: first week with us.

Christmas time- We have 3 kids!

That face... those eyes!

First family winter hike with Michael.

He adores his daddy. :)

He slept through Alena's birthday party, but we grabbed a picture of the 5 of us before bedtime.

He keeps growing and we are excited to continue to see who he will grow to be!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

He's here!

We have had quite a whirlwind of a couple of weeks! After so much praying, waiting, wondering, and anticipating we suddenly have a sweet 3 month old baby boy in our home, and wow are we all enamored with him!

We first knew about him when we received an e-mail about his case the week before Thanksgiving. We responded with a "yes, we'd like our profile shown" like we often had in the past. Honestly, 18 months into saying "yes" without being chosen, we didn't get too excited or hopeful. But then Monday morning, November 21, I saw a missed call on my cell phone while at work and quickly stepped out of the office to listen to the voicemail. Our caseworker was trying to get ahold of us! I called her back and quickly found out that the mama of this boy wanted to meet with us and that we were the only family she wanted to meet with to see if we would be a good match for adopting her son.

We ended up meeting her the next day after a 2 hour drive for dinner along with another support person in her life and caretaker of her son. We were all quite nervous but it went really well. It's hard to explain but after being called to this process and waiting on God's timing for the child He wanted us to welcome, it felt... holy to be driving down there, going through this awkward yet necessary meeting. We were instantly at ease meeting these women and have so much love and respect for them already.

This past Monday, December 5, we drove back down to meet our sweet boy and bring him home with us. We are looking forward to a continuing relationship with his birthmom who has made this difficult decision. We have nothing but respect for her and are just so honored and humbled that she chose our family to welcome him in. While we are excited and so in love with him, we know there is much heartache on her end.

And so here we are, not even 60 hours into having him, and we are so in love with him. I had often wondered and honestly worried about what the bond would possibly be like with our adopted child, especially after having 2 biological children. I already feel so bonded to him as if he is my biological child. It is truly a gift. He is truly a gift to us. People sometimes make comments about how it's great we are doing this and how wonderful that he'll have us as a family, and I know they mean well. But living in these first sweet days, I know with all of my heart that we are the ones who are gifted by him.

We currently have "temporary custody" meaning that we don't have legal placement until his birthmom goes to court to relinquish her parenting rights, which probably won't be until January. So while this is a risky period for us, we have reasons to be fairly sure he'll stay with us. We aren't holding back from loving him fully and celebrating.

Thanks to so many of you who have walked in this journey with us. It is really just beginning and we are so thankful for the community of people in our lives who have made this possible. Please pray for us and also for his birthmom and caretaker as we are all adjusting to this transition. It is all so surreal.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Thank you to those of you who check in here for updates. I am sorry that we have not been faithful in writing more often. There still isn't anything to really write as there is no actual update.

We continue to get expectant parent profiles intermittently and have been generally open to nearly all the situations, but our family hasn't been chosen by a birth family yet.

So we keep waiting.

Some times the waiting is filled with trust, faith, and hope.
Other times the waiting is weighty, hard, and frustrating.
It's hard to describe.

Please continue to pray for us when you think of us. Please pray for our future child and for his or her birth family. Please pray for our family to enjoy this current season we continue to be in as a family of four.

We are thankful for our community of support who can lift us up often, especially when we feel weaker in faith and hope.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Faith, Trust, and Hope

It's hard to believe it's been 4 months since I've posted an update. I haven't written because there just isn't a whole lot to say.

The summer and early fall were overall fairly slow with potential adoption news. In the past month, we have had more circulars come through than in probably the previous 3 months combined. That is encouraging, but there are also many families who are waiting to adopt. We haven't been chosen yet.

This has been quite discouraging at times, especially as often times it seems the birth mom already has preferences before even reading about us, such as wanting a couple with infertility, with no kids, or a stay-at-home mom. One from a  few weeks ago stated "absolutely no day care, only family caring for the child" which would have been true for our family until this month when I switched jobs. Nora now goes to day care one day a week at a great in-home, licensed day care of someone we know and trust. That one felt exasperating because you never know what life circumstances may bring and you can't promise something like that.

This is some of the raw hardness about it all. Some may think we're crazy to begin with because we've been able to have biological children. Some may think we should've gone a different route for adoption or met a "bigger" need in foster care. Some may say this, some may think that…. and I start to say this and think that and wonder if we got it all wrong.

But that's when I'm thankful for the decision-making process God took us through and the call to adopt that was clear in holy moments. Every time I begin to sink into hopelessness, distrust, anxiety, or frustration, I feel God gently nudging me and saying, "Do you trust me?" It doesn't mean I always respond well and come out of it joyful and singing, but it helps me have that glimmer of hope. 

So while it's hard to see friends birthing their 3rd children when I've been "pregnant" with mine longer, our girls growing up so quickly and the age gap widening, and repeated times of getting an e-mail that another family has been chosen, I am continually challenged to have faith, trust and hope by the One who called us to this and knows every piece of the story.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Waiting Update

I've often had people ask lately how the adoption process is coming and if there is any news. The short answer is that no, there is no news. We are waiting. Summer has been busy with both the usual fun activities but also unexpected things that have made it feel….weird.  It's hard to believe it's mid-July. I haven't been dwelling on the waiting because there has just been so much going on.

We did have 2 potential adoptions that we had the opportunity to say "yes" to having the birthparents look at our profile book. Neither of them seemed likely based on what we knew ahead of time to be their preferences, but with both we went in praying that if that was to be the match God had for us, it would happen. We were not chosen for either to them, which honestly wasn't very disappointing I think because it seemed unlikely in the first place. I have a feeling it will be much harder if the time comes where it seems like the "perfect" fit to us and we aren't chosen.

So for now we keep waiting for more circulars (e-mails regarding potential adoptive children). Nora had her 3rd birthday at the end of June and with our girls now 5 and 3, things are getting increasingly easier. It's hard to imagine having a baby at times. It's also hard to trust in God's timing as the age gap continues to increase between Nora and our next child. It's weird to think that we officially started this process 6 months ago…. in a way it's like I'm 6 months pregnant but have no idea if the due date will be another typical 3 months, 3 weeks, or 3 years.

So though it's hard at times, we continue to have faith in God's perfect timing and plan for the child and birth family He will match us with. Please continue to pray for us, for our future child, and for the birth family throughout this process.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Puzzle progress!

We finally had the chance to build more of our puzzle to see where we are at in this fundraiser we are doing! Here is our progress! We have been overwhelmed with blessing by the amount of financial support we have already received. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

We have 202 more pieces to go to build this puzzle and complete this fundraiser. Each piece is $5 and we have been writing the names of our donors on the back so we can hang it in a double-sided frame when we are done.

If you are someone who has considered supporting us but thinks that a small donation of $5 or $10 isn't enough, please don't! Every little bit truly helps us! Please view our fundraising page or click on the link on the right side bar if you'd like to donate. Thank you!