I remember sitting on my bed on 28th street when I lived with my now sister-in-law and talking with Loren on the phone about adopting. We were in the simple phase of dating long distance and talking about our potential future and we both agreed that we would adopt a few babies to raise and love and learn from; we would build our family via adoption. We knew we weren't the saviors in the matter.
Since the day we said "I DO" in front of 200+ people almost three years ago, the conversation of adoption has continued and grown and become something so much more than a conversation - it is our current reality. We are so many things right now from thrilled to nervous to anxious to bouncing up and down to selling everything we don't "need" to scared to praying on our knees...all in the last 30 seconds. As we called our immediate family members over the last week to let them know that THIS IS HAPPENING, a few of them were brave and courageous and asked us really good questions.
Questions that you may have and that we will lay out flatly and plainly and as honest as possible right here for you. Because we know its often uncomfortable to ask, and when we don't ask what we want to know, we let our minds run and assume things that are often so far from the truth. That being said, I will answer some frequently asked questions at the very bottom of this post for those of you who want to know our deepest and not so dark secrets.
In January we began scouring the internet for the million and one ways we could go about this journey of adoption. THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT ROUTES. But we landed on one and we are excited to take you along for the journey!
May 11, 2015 we hired Susan. Susan is an adoption consultant through Christian Adoption Consultants. She has already been well worth the investment and we are barely two weeks into the official process. Susan is very important to this journey and you will most likely see her name here and there throughout the process. She is our guide, our advocate, our cheerleader, and our legal-master. AKA, she assures us that we are not doing anything illegal on accident and she assures that we are taking all of the right steps, as well as noting any precautions or major risks. Susan is a gift.
We have chosen to go the route of US Domestic Infant Adoption. This means that the baby we have the privilege of raising will be born somewhere in the United States and will be 6 months or under. This route will cost us around and up to $35,000. Yes. The cost of 3 really nice cars. And it will be so worth it. Fees regarding adoption are big and real, but we are not purchasing a child, we are paying legal fees just as you pay fees via a hospital/midwife if adding biologically.
There are a multitude of grants that are specific towards adoption which we will be applying for as soon as our home study is finished. Speaking of our home study, that is the very first big step! That process has officially begun and it is many things frightening and nerve wracking and exciting. We have sold so much of our random things that are unnecessary, clearing out our second bedroom (which is our actual nursery), and reorganized all of our storage! Talk about refreshing.
YOU GUYS. We need your help! And your neighbors help and your great aunt's help and your cousin's help. This is a miraculous thing we are joining God in, walking this road of adoption, and we cannot do it alone. We need you, you are important to this Team. We are kicking off our fundraising with what we call The Puzzle Fundraiser. It is personally a favorite idea I have ever seen, mainly because your name will be plastered all over our puzzle for us to remember forever.
You are the pieces of this puzzle!
And we need every single piece to make this puzzle complete. As you purchase pieces of the puzzles, you are integrating yourselves deeper into our story than we could ever understand. You are leaving marks on our history and family, building yourself into our baby's life.
We ordered this 720 piece puzzle of a photo I took in Austria and a favorite lyric that is from a song that is our heart's anthem during this process; this will be hung in our nursery. We are "selling" each piece for $25. Your name will be written on the back of each piece that you purchase (how cool would it be if there was an entire corner with your name on it?!) and once the puzzle is complete, we will put it in a double sided glass frame to showcase all of the people who made this adoption possible.
We know this is HUGE and giant and asking a lot. But we thought why not kick off this fundraiser with big goals and trusting in His ultimate provision?
How it works:
1) Decide how many puzzle pieces you want to purchase to financially support our adoption fund.
1 puzzle piece = $25
2) Click on the donate button below to give securely through PayPal
Donate via check. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send your our address to mail in a check.
3) Watch the adoption puzzle come together on our blog and see your name be recognized. We will build the puzzle as you donate the pieces.
Lord willing, when we finish this puzzle, we will be just over half way funded. Anyway you support us matters and counts.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED
Q: Are you adopting internationally or domestically?
A: Domestic infant adoption is the route we have chosen! We are pursuing this through Christian Adoption Consultants.
Q: Girl or boy?
A: We are wondering the same thing and dreaming of both! Maybe one of each? #winkyface
Q: Are you sure you don't want to go through the state? It's free.
A: Yes. We have done extensive research and are choosing this route. It is quicker and smoother, less risk in having a child taken out of our home once placed, and there is a greater chance of receiving a newborn - honestly, mainly because of selfish reasons.
Q: Is your only reason for adopting because of infertility?
A: No. Since we were dating we have dreamed of adopting. When we began our marriage, though we knew the possibility that my body would be a struggling one to conceive and carry life, we still believe that one day it will. And if it doesn't, that is a separate issue for us. Adoption is not a second option, or our back up, it is simply part of the journey we have hoped for. It hurts our hearts to know that this has been and may be some people's perception. We wish we could go out for coffee with each one of you and share our sheer excitement.
Q: Are you giving up on having biological children?
A: Absolutely not. We still hope to create Baby Brenners with our DNA. But like we said, adoption is not a second option, it is becoming a part of our life. Both biological and adopted children are our desires an will be "our own real children."
Q: Do you have a bunch of money saved up? Are you worried you won't have enough?
A: No we do not have a bunch of money saved up - we had the exact amount down to the penny to hire a consultant. From there, we sold a lot of unnecessary things in our home to apply for the home study; the amount for that was exact. Everything so far has been down to the exact penny provided for, no more and no less. So no, we are not worried that we won't be provided for -- God is bigger and clearly leading this.
Q: Are you too young for this? Why not wait a few years?
A: We have one life to live and we are not promised how many days are given to us. We are confident in our love for Christ as the foundation of our marriage and family. We believe we have a healthy marriage (joke's on us if we dont) despite how incredibly messed up we are. We both desire children, we both want to grow our family, we both feel called to step into this, no matter how unknowledgeable we are in parenting. You can't possibly be ready to parent, so let's just go for it. We have peace.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and join us in this journey! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email us.