November is Adoption Awareness Month

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Yes, November is Adoption Awareness Month!

This is one of the things that we were not aware existed before we started the journey to adoption, but now it means so much to us than we thought it would. We also can’t believe we have been in plans of adopting since June…wow!

OK, so as an adoptive family, what will we do for this month?

Aside from blog posts about adoption, we are committing to donate a percentage of anything we raise in donations via PayPal to an adoption related organization. It is great to give back too!

If you have a minute, and feel lead to please consider helping us, and helping others as well:

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The Waiting Game

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Waiting is hard…

As we write this, we know that we are number 10 on the waiting list still with the adoption agency. This number 10 means there are still 10 families ahead of us waiting to begin their process of adoption. So this means that before us, there will be 10 people that will get to begin working with the agency to reach the ultimate goal of adopting a child. There are 10 families waiting ahead of us to be completed.

So we are waiting…and we will continue waiting.

Waiting is not necessarily a bad thing. Waiting means we have more time to prepare financially and continue to fundraise to reach our ultimate goal. Since we are getting close to the holiday season, we will be launching a few “end of the year” fundraisers including an online auction (perfectly timed for people to get their Christmas shopping done) and also a bake sale, because who doesn’t like baked goods in the fall?

We were told by the agency that we should be moving up the list soon, but that doesn’t guarantee that things move faster anytime soon either. In the mean time we will just continue waiting.

T-shirts are in!!

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Our adoption T-shirts came in today! We are so proud to go out and about wearing them and sharing our message of adoption, and seeing all our friends and family that ordered one.

We used a company called Bonfire Funds and they were great working with us and making t-shirts is a great way to fund raise. If you or anyone you know would like to set a fund raiser for whatever it is that you are trying to raise money for (sports, schools, charity, adoption, missions, etc) you can do so clicking on this link. By doing so you will actually earn and extra $1 per t-shirt sold so it is worth checking out, and if you refer someone else then you will also get a little extra!

Our Family Slogan

Wow, we find it so hard to believe that we have been in the midst of gearing up and working on prepping for adoption since June! This year has been both a blessing and a struggle with us as we came to the realization earlier that having children “the natural way” may or may not be something that will happen to us.

For this reason we have decided to adopt this as our family slogan:

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This is in the back side of our T-shirt campaign (which you can find if you click on this link, but the offer ends on August 31st!). It means to us our acceptance that our children may never be “blood related” to us, but that doesn’t matter to us. Family IS more than blood! It’s laughter, love, tears, adventure, experiences, joy, sadness, hope and much more. If there is anything we have learned through adoption is that family is all of that, and while our kids may not carry our same genes and DNA, they will have us. They will be loving and compassionate like Danielle and outgoing and adventurous like Luis, they will share similar traits with their aunts, uncles and grandparents and will always be loved, no matter who or even where the came from. We believe that our children will be Guerreros, just as much as we are.

Family IS more than blood.

Family IS love.

Two very different paths

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There are many different roads you can take when it comes to adoption, although the most common are through the State and the other is through a Private Agency.

Yesterday we received the biggest confirmation on why we are doing the right thing in having chosen to stick with a Private Agency instead of going through the State. Now, regardless of how you feel about the State’s system, we are not saying at all that it is not worth it. There is a huge need for families to foster and adopt through the State, especially here in New Mexico, we just really felt like that was clearly not for us at this time. We have talked about fostering in the future, but feel that our primary focus now should be adopting baby G.

We atteded a meeting at our local “State Agency” to gather information because even though we had already set our eyes on sticking with Adoption Assistance Agency and we are on their waiting list, we figured we at least would give it the benefit of the doubt to explore what other options are. It is not worth going into detail because it is not our place to encourage or discourage anyone from pursuing this venue, but we just got a big impression of how going through public adoption is not right venue for us. We are so grateful to be involved (even if it is a waiting list manner) with an agency that has the best interest for all the parties involved and the well being of both bio, adoptive and the child as well.

“Getting” adoption

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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