The Beginning of Our Journey

Our journey began in the winter of 2001.

After three years of agonizing fertility treatment, we were in the midst of our final IVF cycle. As we were making our final attempt, we felt lead to investigate adoption. We signed up with an international adoption agency to start the process of adopting a newborn from Korea.

Dave and I met with our social worker. We found that God works in the most mysterious ways. Unbeknownst to us when we met with our social worker we were already pregnant. As we sat chatting at our kitchen table she lovingly explained to Dave and I, “If you find out that you are pregnant, you need to tell us. You will need to forfeit your place on the waiting list to another couple.” I quickly responded, “Oh, if we were pregnant, we would not be meeting here today.”

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Approximately two weeks after this meeting we received the news that we indeed were pregnant. I put off contacting the agency until we progressed to the second trimester of the pregnancy. It was the most exhilarating phone call with our social worker as she congratulated and celebrated with us.

Two years later as our son became verbal, he prayed every night for God to send him a baby brother. As the years progressed our sons’s request from God in prayer became, “God, send me one baby brother and two baby sisters.” Over time as our son, Dave and I prayed together, Dave and I decided to return to fertility treatment. We worked for a year with two different fertility specialists. As our efforts did not meet with success we felt drawn again to adoption. This was in 2006 when our son was four and a half years old.

We re-investigated various adoption options. We attended a meeting regarding Chinese adoption which moved our hearts and we felt lead to adopt through China.

Covered with prayer we signed up for the second time with an international adoption agency. There was much excitement and expectation in our family as we met with our social worker and completed all the paper work. We were about to enter the dossier phase when things became interesting.

A dossier is the collection of documents necessary in order to travel and adopt abroad. Dave and I completed the paperwork required in order to gain the government’s approval to move forward. Unfortunately our paperwork was lost by the government. Our family waited for many weeks without any paperwork surfacing. Dave and I prayed fervently for an answer from God regarding what we should do.

Together we reached the conclusion that it was not time for us to adopt in spite of the heart break that it was for our family. As I spoke with our social worker, she shared that this was not typical for paperwork to be lost. She was very understanding about our decision to withdraw from the adoption process. One week later our paperwork finally surfaced. In spite of the tug on our hearts we knew we could not move forward and we needed to wait on God for the right timing.

Six years later in 2012 our story continued. It seemed out of nowhere when I heard God say it was time to go get our daughter. Our son’s nightly prayers had continued. Yes, Dave and I prayed too, but there is something powerful about a child praying for his anticipated siblings.

One winter afternoon as I stood at our kitchen counter looking out the window, God spoke clearly, “Go get your daughter.” I was beyond excited and wanted to know which way we should go. God was quiet about that part.

We prayed as a family, but we could not get a peace about where we were to go. For the third time we signed up with an international adoption agency. By this time Dave and I faced some limitations as to where we could adopt. Since we were over the age of forty-five some countries closed their doors due to their age requirements.

Before making our decision regarding which country, I spoke with two adoptive mothers about their journeys. After a couple of weeks we concluded that we would adopt through Russia. Dave, our son, and I met with our social worker to share this plan. The day following our meeting our social worker called us to explain that Russia no longer allowed adoptions. We were stunned and once again felt at a loss about what to do.

Dave and I had no peace about any of the other countries on the list. One night during prayer our son through sobs confessed that he feared he would never see his siblings. It broke our hearts. This was not okay and we knew it was finally time to find our daughter.

One Monday evening I shared with our pastor regarding our dilemma regarding where to adopt. Our pastor gave me a contact name of a friend who could help us. The next morning I emailed this adoptive mother and she shared the testimonies regarding the adoption of her two daughters.

As it turned out this wonderful woman and her husband were adopting for a third time. She guided Dave and I to a domestic agency who guaranteed us a baby. Honestly at that time I was at an anti-domestic adoption stance. I had learned of many disasters that transpired in domestic adoption, and I had vowed never to adopt domestically.

These were adoptions that took place through our state’s foster care system. As I emailed this adoptive mom and learned about her previous adoptions I held onto my preconceived notions.

I knew that God was going to have to do something big and move my heart.

 

This same woman continued to explain about this new adoption agency which they were currently adopting through. Within three days Dave and I each spoke with the same contact at this agency. We both knew this was where God was leading us on our journey for our daughter. At this point I tried to connect with our social worker from the Chinese adoption process. She was unable to meet with us, but directed us to a social worker who conducted our home study. Within three months we completed all the requirements and our home study was approved.

As we completed our home study, our new friend who referred us to the agency connected us to a graphic designer who assisted us with creating our scrapbook. In domestic adoptions the agencies require a scrapbook to share with birth mothers so they can select an adoptive family for their baby.

In about three weeks we put together everything needed and had our scrapbook ready for printing. We sent the copies to our adoption agency. Then came the official wait for our daughter. Covering it with prayer we waited on God to find her. Dave and I knew it was all a matter of time and we felt honored that we would eventually be selected for our baby.

In the state where we lived we needed to conduct a home study update annually which is normal for many states. That first year of waiting felt like eternity. It was hard. I remember looking at our agency’s website and watching other couples getting matched to their babies. That was very challenging, yet I felt joy for these couples who were finally receiving their babies. I kept telling myself that our baby was coming.

In the spring of 2013 we went through our home study update and printed more scrapbooks. Over that year of waiting there were some exciting developments. The adoptive mother, who had connected us to our adoption agency, and I became good friends. We kept in close contact, and as things developed we made plans to move to the state where she lived.

In September 2013 our family, including my mother, relocated to the new state. After getting settled we made contact with our new home study provider. We were excited that our new social worker might be the one to walk us through the final stages of our journey. We completed all the requirements.

God works in mysterious ways at times. About six months after moving into our house in Tennessee, we sold it, moved into an apartment, and started building a new home. Since we were in an apartment our home study needed an update. These updates were on the verge of being a nuisance, yet at the same time they felt wonderful.

This lovely social worker would be the one who would walk us through the rest of our adoption journey including post placement followups. As a year passed by in the apartment I was having many dreams about our baby.

Before our cross country move I had a detailed dream about a little boy whom I believed would be our son. I could pick out this child from a crowd of children and I even knew what his name was meant to be. So therefore I thought we were going to find a son at the end of our journey, not the daughter that God spoke to me about that winter afternoon in our kitchen. I bought boy’s clothes and prepared for our son.

Now my dreams in the apartment revealed a baby girl. One morning in August my adoptive mother friend approached me. She said, “Allyson, I had a dream about you. You are getting a girl. I was in a hospital room having our second son. I saw you holding a baby girl dressed in boy’s clothing, because you were not prepared. I asked you, ‘How did you do that?’ You answered me, ‘It was easy.’” My friend explained that we prepared for a boy, yet we are not prepared, because we are getting a girl. Ha on me!

God was right and dreams were confirming that our daughter indeed was coming.

On a quiet afternoon in September 2014, I received a very special message from God about our daughter. As I sat in our living room I heard the gentle whisper of God. He told me that our daughter was conceived. The young mother of our daughter had been raped. Our daughter would be born in California and we would get a sudden phone call when the time came.

I was told that by the time our baby was born we would be in our new home. Although in September people were telling me that the baby could come anytime I was confident in what God had said. As six months rolled by I started purchasing girl clothes, a car seat, a stroller and various girl items.

In March of 2015 we moved into our new home. I started to ask God when our daughter would come. As we unpacked He told me that she would be born in June. That excited me. In May we met with our social worker for the required home study update following our move.

We were also presented with a potential adoption situation. A baby boy was born in Texas and so as a family we prayed. God told me that the birth mother would go missing and the baby would go to foster care. That is exactly what happened within two days after finding out about this precious baby. I felt discouraged forgetting about the word God gave me about our baby being born in June, now only a few weeks away.

Three years and two months passed from the time we signed the paperwork with the current adoption agency to our daughter’s birth. I have not mentioned other adoption possibilities that we were presented with along the way. But each time when we prayed it was clear that we were not to proceed with those adoptions.

Finally on an afternoon, late June 2015, our son was completing standardized achievement tests while I proctored. The sudden phone call from the hospital finally came from Dawn, a representative from our adoption agency. I was in shock and overwhelmed that this phone call actually was happening. When Dawn asked me if we were interested in this baby’s situation I confidently said, “Yes.”

As I reflect back through the years on all the options that we explored and the pros and cons, I realize that the journey to adoption can be confusing and challenging. I encourage you to talk with us here at Conduits of Love, seek out other adoptive families and attend group information meetings.

All of these are helpful. I believe that the important factor needed is feeling complete peace about the path you are to choose. Our goal at Conduits of Love is to have meetings to support and encourage adoptive parents in whatever stage of the journey you are in. We will keep you posted about locations, dates and times when we offer these meetings. Once the meeting details are determined we will ask you to RSVP and share where you are in the process of your adoption journey.

We know that this is an exciting time as you grow your family. We celebrate with you and stand with you along the way.

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