Go Fund Me: Last Day!

Today is the very last day to donate to our Go Fund Me Campaign…this means after tonight at midnight we will be closing it down. We’ve received great support from loved ones and this has helped us kick start the series of fundraisers. Keep your eyes open for Monday, we will be announcing the next fundraiser then!

Click here to go to our Go Fund Me site before mid-night!

The Empty Room

roomWe’ve been home owners since the very end of December 2014 after a very long search for what would become our home and the place we would hopefully raise our children.

When we moved to this house we left one of the bedrooms empty on purpose because that was around the time when we were getting that monthly dissapointment of a failed pregnancy test. We had so much planned as we were moving in all of our stuff into the house, but we just left that room empty (we loaded boxes in there and it was a good stage room for stuff) with the purpose of it eventually turning into a nursery.

As months went by and there was still no positive, the reminder of there being an empty room not being used kept haunting us more each day. At the moment, its just our extra room, where Luis and his guitar and music stuff and a few boxes live. That room right now is a reminder of how being patient and waiting will some day pay off.

One thing we’ve addressed in our blog before is the time line of things. Most couples when they are expecting have an idea of when to start decorating and buying furniture. Every time we walk by that room we are reminded of how depending on how the process goes, we may not have time to prepare the room. When you adopt you can get a call that a birth mother has chosen you and this may be early in the pregnancy or you may get a call that a child has been born and he/she is ready for you to take them home. For all we know, this room may be empty until the day we bring a child into our home.

But some day it won’t be empty. Someday it will be full of toys, and kid furniture, and tears, and laughter and memories. Until that day comes, this room is a reminder that it will be worth the wait.

The Community of Adoption

One of the things we never expected when we decided we were going to adopt was belonging to a new community we didn’t belong to before, the adoption community. We were excited about joining the ranks of parents, even though we are still probably quite a while away from having an actual child in our arms, we knew that we would suddenly enter this group. It also almost felt like when a couple announces a pregnancy, we’ve had family and friends reach out and congratulate us and be excited about the journey we have embarked.

But we never expected to join a new (for us) community, the adoption community.

We know people and close friends who through out the years of friendship have adopted, and while adoption is always a reason to rejoice, it always seemed like something that someone else did. We have discussed in other posts how we had from the beginning felt called to adopt, but it was always something that seemed distant, like hey let’s have a biological kid or two, and then we can consider adoption, or if we had a rough pregnancy we could consider our second child to be adopted. God clearly had different plans for our life as future parents.

Recently we found out about some friends of ours who are also getting ready to adopt (although they are more in a completing the adoption stage), and automatically our hearts felt so happy for them. We knew what the feeling was of sharing with the world your plan of expanding your family through adoption. It felt different than other times we’ve heard of people adopting, it felt like we know exactly what you are going through (although again, they are in a much more advanced stage than we are). It felt like when you are in a certain field or career and hear of a colleague receiving an award or recognition, knowing that the road was long and probably not easy.

As we get ready to close a Fundraiser (which you can still donate to our Go Fund Me until the end of July) and begin a series of exciting fundraisers we have lined up, we can’t help but think that the road is still long, but we are definitely in the middle of it. As we hear and know of other people that have adopted and rejoice with them (and even some we have met through other friends and family circles), we know that there are those certain individuals that know what it is like and that we can share our joy and our tears with, not to forget to mention both of our families have been our #1 supporters and will always be with us no matter where this journey of adoption takes us. We couldn’t be any happier of where we are headed and of having people around who will always stand with us and not just love on us, but love on our future children!

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Baby Steps (Adoption Update)

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Many of you (family and friends) have been asking us for an update on how the adoption fundraising is going, and we  are happy to bring a good update. To date, and only after about 6 weeks from having announced to the world that we have embarked in the adventure of adoption, we have raised about 10% of our total adoption (which we are looking between $20,000-$30,000). This has all been from a combination of sources (Go Fund Me, PayPal and personal donations) and we could not be any more thankful! Plus, the emotional support has been much greater than we ever expected, we are thankful that our child will grow up knowing they will for life have such a loving community.

Fundraising can be a very stressful and daunting tasks, and at times a little discouraging, but we are starting the next stage of fundraising and are very excited about this.

We will be kicking off a new series of fundraisers that will include some more fun things like parties, a coffee tasting, yard sales and anything else we can think of. We are strong believers that we need to work to get to our end goal and are really looking forward to this next stage. We are far from the goal, but based on the response we have received so far we have no doubt that we will get to that, and can’t wait until the day comes where we can share with our kid the story of how we adopted them.

As far as where we are on the actual adoption process is a little hard to tell. The agency we have decided on (Adoption Assistance Agency) has a very long waiting list and only work with 10 families at a time, so odds of getting in soon are kind of low, but we are perfectly OK with that because that gives us more time to fund raise and praying for the child God has hand selected to be ours. On the days we get impatient, we remind ourselves we have been blessed with the opportunity to adopt and can’t wait for that day to come.

We will leave open donations through our PayPal account, but will be closing our Go Fund Me page at the end of this month. We may open it again in the future, but for now we will just leave it to PayPal if you would like to donate online. Overall, we are more excited about the local fundraising events we are going to start very soon and if you are interested in participating just let us know.

Love,

Luis, Danielle & Baby G

P.S. Below are the direct links for donations, we are so grateful for all the love and support everyone has shown!

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#WCW

Ok, so just like my wife I usually don’t subscribe to cliches, but I felt like my wife is deserving of being my Woman Crush Wednesday every day! (Also, she said some really pretty things in this blog post about me the other day so it is my turn to give back).

My wife Danielle is a great woman, my best friend and partner for the rest of my life and I really can’t imagine anyone else to do life with. One of the (many) things I love about my wife the most is how loving, caring and compassionate she is. Anyone that has ever met her in person knows and can agree that she has a big heart, which is why she is a social worker. She has such a huge heart for making an impact and helping others learn and improve their life situations and I don’t know how she does it, some days I just sit and wonder how she deals with some of the things and stories she hears from the women and children she works with.

There is no doubt in my mind that when the day of adoption finally comes she will be a great Mom, and will definitely be like no Mom I have ever met. We often joke about how our kids from a very young age will use terms like “safety boundaries” and “coping skills” that their little friends may find it annoying, but that is because she will always make sure that they are safe and will teach them those valuable lessons, plus she learned from her Mom who is a great woman. I have so much respect for my Mother in law because she worked so hard to make sure that her daughters not only lacked anything, but would grow up to be strong women and I see that every day in my wife eyes. I know that Danielle will strive to be a great parent, just like her Mom is.

I am blessed to have her walking in this adoption path with me, and it is a path we never imagined we would end up walking, at least not at this point of our lives. I will never forget one of the very first real conversations we had when we started entertaining the idea of struggling with fertility, Danielle in tears talked about how yes it is great that while we don’t have kids we have freedom, we can pack up our bags and go out of town or go out late for dinner or to the movies without having to worry about finding a baby sitter or someone to watch her kids, but that she would also give that all up to be a Mom. She would give up in a heart beat all to be a Mother and hearing those words was one of the most heart breaking things to hear. This came from a strong woman realizing the one thing she wanted the most, may not be a possibility for her, that she may never get to experience what it is like to feel her baby move or kick inside her. It was truly a tough moment for me as a husband to witness that, but it was also one of the moments that marked the beginning of our adoption journey, because after that, we knew that adoption was what we wanted to do and that we were not going to miss out on anything. We knew that our life and our legacy was going to be that God had selected a child to be raised by us as one of our own, and we would not change that for anything in the world!

Our children will be so lucky to have such an amazing and loving Mom and I can’t wait to see as that happens in front of my very own eyes!

-Luis

#MCM

Okay, so I know how cliche it is to title the post #MCM, especially on a Monday. I did want to share a story about Luis.

A couple weekends ago, we had some friends of ours ask us to watch their 1 year old son. I was very excited, but also a bit nervous. I work with kids all day at work, but somehow knowing that I am responsible for the care of a small child with mom and dad not in the house made me nervous. Our friends have an amazingly well behaved and sweet kid. He is a joy to be around! Anyway, we were excited and ready to go. Luis did such an amazing job. He played games and was interactive and attentive. He did everything right, and was so confident with what he was doing. He really embodied all of the qualities that you dream about when you think of the qualities that you want for the father of your kids. He did amazing. His eyes lit up when playing with that kid. He was completely in his element. I didn’t know that parenting could look so natural until I saw him. It reminded me of when we were buying our house. I had seen houses before, but didn’t look at them with “buyers eyes”. I had seem Luis interact with kids before, but never really saw him through the same eyes as I did when I saw a glimpse of what he will be like as a dad.

I am so lucky to have an amazing husband who has a heart that longs to be a father. On the days that I am doubting myself, I know that I have an amazing partner to lean on. Adopting is hard. Parenting will be hard, and I know that we need to be united as a team. He has been so focused and excited when we talk about our future child. He has such a gracious heart, and prays daily for the woman that is (or will be) carrying our child. Since the day that we got married, Luis has looked forward to being a dad. I know that our baby will be just as blessed to have this man as their dad. This baby will be so lucky!

Luis, you are my #MCM, today and everyday, and I am so glad that I get to go on this journey with you. We have had our ups and downs, but there is no one on earth I would rather be on this crazy train with than you. I am so lucky that you get to be my baby’s father, and I can’t wait to see you thrive!

~Danielle

“Getting” adoption

Mother and Child Holding Hands

It is interesting how much adoption can change your heart and even your opinions about things. I am sure parenting in general or even finding out your wife is pregnant changes your perception of life, but I think adoption does even more in a very different way.

Since the very first moment we started telling people we were adopting, people have asked questions, have congratulated us and have inquired things about our personal life that you usually wouldn’t ask a couple that is pregnant (like “why are you adopting?” or “is everything OK…down there?”), and while we don’t mind sharing our thoughts and story, sometimes it feels that we have to help people “get” adoption, but I even look back at myself before we started this journey and think that maybe I was that person too, the guy who would have questions.

As other adoptive, or future adoptive parents can relate, the process can seem very stressful because there are so many uncertainties as far as what would happen. As my wife perfectly articulated in this blog post when it comes to adoption there usually isn’t a time frame, it is not like when a woman finds out she is pregnant and the couple has time to get ready for baby to arrive, prepare the baby room, have friends throw a baby shower, find out the gender…you know the rest. When you are adopting you don’t know when things will happen, one day you could have your home study done and shortly after you could get a call that a birth mother has chosen you or there is a baby for you to bring home, or it could be a very long period of waiting and more waiting until you get the call. There is no 9 month countdown, and that can be very hard.

On the other hand, that is also a blessing though because we have more time to raise funds, which that is another question we get asked a lot “why would you go through and agency?” or “why does it cost so much to adopt a baby?” and similar questions like that. If you’ve had those questions, I used to think that too as well, I would see posts of Facebook and wonder why people would need to spend so much money to get a baby. These are all valid questions that you shouldn’t feel bad for asking or wondering. Going through an agency is costly, the one we picked specifically is non-profit, which means they are not in the business of “selling babies”, they actively continue to provide services to birth families, and that is something we really liked about that. It does come with a cost, but one that is totally worth it!

In the end, adoption is something foreign to many people, including myself before and the more and more we get deep into the process the more I learn and the more I come to appreciate it. Yes, it is a long process and we have a lot to do still, but when that day finally comes, when we get to meet our son or daughter, all of the anxiety, stress and frustration will completely disappear. I picture what that moment and what that scene will be like in my head often and think that the joy will be like nothing I have ever experienced, I imagine my wife and I meeting our child for the first time crying like we never did before and realizing “we are parents” and just feeling that happiness that we never thought we could experience.

Adopting is not like going down to your local pet store and selecting that perfect animal you want to take home and have as a pet, adopting is something that you don’t know who you will get. We may get a kid that somehow happens to have similar features, or maybe a kid that looks entirely differently than us and shares no common features, who knows. We’ve had even people ask about the “picking” process, or what kind of kid would we want. Let me assure you that we don’t care, we know our future child (or children, as we plan on adopting more than one kid (not right away)) is someone who has already been chosen by God to be ours, even if he or she hasn’t even been conceived yet. We also will always be eternally grateful to the woman who will carry our child in the womb and often pray for her safety, no matter who she is or where she is, as we could never repay her what she will do for us.

Adoption is the right path for us, it is what God has called us to do and what He is preparing our hearts for and what we wouldn’t want any differently. It is something we are happy to share with our family and friends and something that we know will change our lives forever. This is something that we will always share with our future children, we will tell them how perfectly God created them in our hearts and that it doesn’t matter if physically they came from someone else, they were meant to be ours from the very beginning.

-Luis

Imagine

Perfectly describes what it feels like when you are in the process of adoption. There is no real time line, you could be waiting for a year or 2 or just a few months and then out of nowhere you become a parent. Even if we are waiting for a long time, we wouldn’t change this for anything!

Adoption Expectant

Imagine for a moment that you wake up one morning and you have forgotten some key information about your child. Their bedroom is now empty and you can’t remember their name, age, gender, or even the color of their eyes. Although all of this information isn’t there, you do remember you love them more than anything in the world. There is a place in your heart that aches for them.

It’s a sunny summer day and you think about how great it would be to take them to the zoo. You wish you knew what their favorite animal was. You see other children and you smile at possibilities. Maybe my child will want to spend hours watching the bears. Maybe my child will have trouble saying “porcupine”. It makes your heart shine in a different way to be around children now then it did before but it also pulls at…

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