::warning this update is kinda all over the place::
Today marks one year of waiting.
That statement holds a lot. I don't think I really know fully what, but a year is a long time to wait for something. People have asked if the year mark is hard - yes and no. Yes, waiting is hard and we have been waiting far more than a year for a baby to be a part of our family. No, because we were told an average 18 month wait so it would of been early almost if we got picked before now. However, being told its an average 18 months doesn't mean in April 2017 we will get a child - that will be harder I think. This past year of waiting, it hasn't been as I expected. I just kept hearing how HARD it was going to be and while there has been days where it has been very hard, but those days do not out weigh the hopeful days. We are surrounded by so many people who are cheering us on and being so sensitive to us in the waiting that it makes it not as hard as I thought a year of waiting would be.
Wanted to share an encouraging thing that recently took place. I had coffee with a student named Hope, who I have known from a distance and have always wanted to spend time with. We had heard from mutual friends that we had something in common - open adoption. It was so wonderful and helpful to listen to Hope share what it's like being an adoptive child growing up. She told me how she wished she knew more people her age who are adoptive (made a mental note to make sure our child knows other adoptees their age). A lot of times people are afraid to ask her about being adopted (I admitted to her I was one of those people). She takes pride in the fact that being adoptive is a part of her story. I shared with her that we were open to having our birth mother help pick out the baby's middle name she thought that was so cool. She likes her name, but loved the idea of having a name from both adoptive parents and birth mom. This is actually a scary thing (naming a child with someone you don't know very well) so for her to say how much she loved the idea helped us realize how important it was to do if our birth mother would like to do that. Hope doesn't have a relationship with her birth mom but does with her birth grandmother, a half brother and full sister. Listening to her share about her relationship with her birth family, I never once got the impression that her adoptive parents were and less of parents to her. Which again, is a fear in being an adoptive parent. She softened those fears greatly and even said she related more to her adoptive family than her birth family but was grateful to know her birth family. Hope is 17, and 17 years ago open adoptions were not as a common as they are now. Her adoptive parents have done such a great job of communicating with Hope about being adoptive (she never remembers being told, she just knew) and supports her in knowing her birth family. Thankful for adoptive parents who have gone before us and have given such a great example in their daughter Hope - its is very appropriately named if you ask me (she brought hope to us in the waiting from our conversation).
On a financial update, recently we received word from Bethany (our adoption agency) that our fees have gone up simply because over time (a year in our case) the cost of the services Bethany is providing for us has gone up. We knew this was a possibility when we signed our contract, but its a bit discouraging from being $2,391 away from our $25k goal to now being $4,391 away from our new goal of $27k. We trust that God will provide those funds, as He provided so much already. Adoption cost so much money you guys. A lot of people think a domestic adoption would cost less since there isn't as much travel involved, but all adoption cost a lot. People from all corners of our lives have given so generously and we are so very grateful because we would not of been able to get to even where we are now without the support of our community. Please join us in praying for these additionally needed funds come by the time we get placed with our child. And Im going to ask if you feel comfortable doing so, would you mind sharing our adopt together profile? (adopttogether.org/alisaandjason) Maybe you know of others who have hearts for adoption and would like a place to give a tax deductible donation? Its hard to ask for this, but so many of you have asked how you could help. Right now prayer and sharing our profile would be so helpful. Please know how beyond grateful we are to everyone who has already given. You have no idea how much it means you'd give to our adoption fund when you did not have to.
To end this update on a funny note... I wanted to share a text conversation I had with my Mom a few weeks ago:
Me: "After you guys come for your visit we'll be gaining a roommate!"
Me: "Our friend Griffin is gonna live here before he gets married in January."
"Did you think a baby?!"
Me: "I would not call our baby a roommate nor would I text that to you."
Mom: "I thought you were trying to be clever.
Retelling Jason this conversation, he being the actual clever one in the family says "Yes, its a boy and his name is Griffin. A little older than we expected but we're thrilled he's moving in."