Hello everyone! It’s been a little while since my post where I shared that we were starting the adoption process, and I thought it was about time to share a little update. We began this process back in late August with the decision to adopt, and since then we have had highs and lows just as you would imagine. The road to any good thing in life is often paved with twists and turns, ups and downs, and ultimately growth and beauty. I find myself really grateful to have walked through our infertility and IVF journey already. The history I have with God and, in many ways, a similar waiting experience to grow our family feels helpful when the painful moments come. Even though he doesn’t have to, as the work on the cross already testifies to it, God has graciously already proven himself faithful. We know through living, breathing, joy-filled, rambunctious, messy-house, everything-takes-longer-than-it-used-to evidence we have in Ivy Jean, the road is so worth the journey.
So you might be wondering, what are some of the adoption highs and lows? Read on! Well, without a doubt the biggest high comes in the form of meeting Matt, Emily, and their son Jaxon of Daymaker & Co. Matt and Emily started a candle company with the idea of giving back. Twenty percent of every candle they sell goes to help partially fund an adoption. Here’s the coolest part, they were looking for their first family to partner with, and independently two people Russ and I know mentioned us.
That’s when I heard from Matt. To say his message and then subsequent calls came out of the blue and felt like a huge gift would be an understatement. As Russ and I have worked through this process, one of the biggest hurdles we have faced is what agency/agencies to we list with and much of that has been based on the costs associated with them (more on that in a bit). There is no way around it, adoption is expensive. Having someone come alongside you as a partner to help share the expenses is a huge blessing to us or any family.
The Arnold Family Candle
We have partnered with Daymaker & Co. to select a scent for the official Arnold Family Candle, yay! If you are interested, you can purchase it here. If you are familiar, it smells a lot like the Blue Volcano candle from Anthro. Daymaker & Co. also uses 100% soy wax and organic/essential oils. Supporting Daymaker & Co. would be a gift to us and any future families they might provide assistance to as well. You can also watch more about what they do on this Channel 2 news story. Believe it or not, Russ and I were actually featured in a follow up story on TV as well. You can watch it here. Thank you in advance for your support of adoption.
I hate to even really call them lows as anything you commit to in life that you know is the right path always has parts that aren’t as easy as others. While we were going through our infertility journey and IVF, we definitely experienced those, and it would be naive to believe we would walk this journey without them too. My prayer is that our hearts would remain open and receptive to whatever the Lord has for us despite those ups and downs. As I mentioned earlier, adoption is expensive and also time consuming in the form of both paperwork and decisions. Much of what Russ and my conversations have been based around is decisions surrounding what avenues to pursue and when.
Status & Decisions
The local agency we are using is small. Because it is small, it is more affordable (plus). Because it is small, it also does a small amount of placements per year which means we could potentially wait a long time to be matched (minus). We have also contacted and decided to work with a local attorney who specializes in adoption. The same is true for her and her office. She is more affordable, but often does few actual matches per year.
The conversations we are having now are about whether or not to list with more agencies outside of Oklahoma that are larger (i.e. more expensive) but do many more placements per year offering us the chance to get matched faster. While we can wait, there are many things to consider when making that decision chief of which is Ivy Jean and our age as parents. Each time we list with an agency or even consider it, it means research to make sure it is legitimate, inquiries as to how to apply, and paperwork. Always paperwork with adoption. Then more conversations between Russ and I about the different options and if we even want to try more.
A Hard Experience – Meeting a Birth Mom But Not Being Matched
The hardest thing we have experienced so far in the process is meeting with a birth mom and not being selected by her to parent her child. In this particular case, she was due very soon. We left thinking we could have a baby in 10 days or not at all. I lack the proper words to really express the emotional cycle Russ and I went through in that short 36 hours. Though I have never had a miscarriage, I feel as if I have lost a child. In the end, I can see positives from the situation, and it was a learning experience for Russ and I. Ultimately, though we desperately wanted to bring that baby home from the hospital, we trust that we see only a small piece of a much bigger puzzle. We believe in the author of our story. We also believe that He is not only the author of our story, but of that sweet baby boy’s story too. We trust that what He is writing is, in the end, much better than what we could write on our own even if it doesn’t feel like it at that time. And believe me, it didn’t. So for now, to be continued…
Since adoption is so up in the air, and it is hard to manage two part-time jobs (I have a real office one and the blog which is a very real part-time job), Russ and I have decided it is best for me to quit my office job at this time. I have been an Admissions & Enrollment Coordinator for almost nine years at OU, and I love my job. I am so grateful that they let me adjust my schedule to part-time when I had Ivy Jean. The people I work with are some of the best I know. They are truly like an extension of my family.
At the same time, I feel stretched having both jobs and being a mom. I want most of all to be present at home for Ivy Jean in this transition in the best way possible, and I think meeting the birth mom really opened our eyes. I also want to be ready to welcome our sweet baby. It is a very real possibility that we could be matched in a very similar situation, i.e. close to the due date. We want more than anything to create a family that is well and whole, and right now that means staying at home for me. And I enter that role with joy anticipating what our family of four will look like, grateful it is possible for me to stay home. We can’t wait for you Baby Arnold!