Tuesday, September 25, 2012


           I'm sorry I haven't been posting at all for the last 4 months!  Really there isn't much to say.  As I said in my earlier posts we feel this is time God has allowed us to grow and prepare for what He has planned ahead of us.  
           After we found out we would be simply waiting for 8 months we decided to get a second opinion on our infertility.  Along with the encouragement of a few people to get the second opinion so we wouldn't regret not knowing for sure, what could have been, down the road.  We made an appointment at Mayo Clinic and went in July.  They ran more tests and blood work and scans etc. and told us information that our other doctor did not.  This was frustrating to learn that our first doctor gave us so little information and options but it was encouraging to learn more.  After our visit we came home and waited to get the results from Mayo.  They called a few days later with some more heartbreaking news.  According to their results there was basically no way we would ever conceive naturally, unless God chose to perform a miracle that is!  It hurt all over again because we were getting our hopes up for some good news.  We were thankful to be given a second opinion and felt a peace that we did everything we could to have our own children.
          So then we were back to waiting to begin God's work and to do His will.  Some days our patience is tested as we long to be parents and have a little baby of our own to fill our lives and other days we are thankful that we have the opportunity to do what we want when we want and are not tied down with a family.  We are thankful that the future is in His hands and that we can be at peace knowing that whatever it holds will be for His glory and will be His will for us here on earth as long as we continue to trust and lean on Him!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Parable of the Lost Sheep

        I am going to try to explain something to you all that I read today and found very encouraging. I read Matthew 18:11-14 The parable of the Lost Sheep. When I read the heading to these verses I did't think much about it or how it could relate to me right now in life. I know the parable well and it seems sometimes it can be hard to feel God really speak to you when you open to something you read often or know well. But today as soon as I got done reading these verses I suddenly thought of exactly how this relates to our situation.
       God would leave the 99 to look for the one lost sheep, showing us just how important one soul is to Him on this earth. It really jumped out at me that maybe there is that one soul that will be born to a family that will not teach it the truth and so we are being sent to bring a child to God! If I was important enough that God would put me in a loving family and show me the truth then He may have another child that He wants us to adopt and give that same gift. Maybe He is sending us to do some sheep (or lamb) searching for Him here on this earth. It is probably a little scary for the shepherd to leave the herd of 99 where he feels safe and comfortable just to find that one lost sheep but the importance of that one sheep is so great it is worth it. It may seem more desirable and more comfortable or stable to do what most people are able to do and have our own children but maybe God is calling us to find that one sheep that is lost. That one child that needs a family that will raise them to know Jesus as their savior. What about that one soul who doesn't have the family that will teach them about God? How important is their soul?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Change of Heart

       We can be so thankful that we have a wonderful church body and ministers that are inspired by God to speak the truth to us!  Sunday (yesterday) was a very encouraging sermon!  As the minister was speaking, something suddenly jumped out at me! "waiting for the adoption" were his exact words!  Then he went on to say about all the children that need loving parents, about the wonderful gift we have been given by being born into a family that brought us to church and taught us the truth, always loving us and providing for our needs.  We can't even imagine a different way.  It really touched me that Jesse and I could make that difference in some child's life if that is what God would continue to call us to do.  It causes a guilty feeling every time I even wish to have our own children because I know there are children who will never get the opportunity to be raised in a family that truly loves and provides for them!  All that said I would still like to have my own children and if God would allow us to have our own I would be thankful as well.  
       Something else the minister spoke on really hit home for me as well.  He said sometimes God doesn't answer us right away or give us what we want right away because there needs to be a change of heart first.  Over the last couple of weeks God has really been working in my life.  When I first found out we would not be able to have our own children it hurt and I was frustrated and could not understand why God would do this to us!  Jesse was very helpful in trying to get me to realize that there are many children who need loving family's and that we were being given an opportunity to do something for God!  As much as I tried to look at it that way my selfishness always popped up causing me to question why.  When I found out we would have to wait until I was 21 that made me even more frustrated.  I wanted to be a mother and we both felt God leading us to this, so WHY?!?   Then as I said in my other post I heard the sermon about God possibly taking time to prepare you to do His work.  As I began to think about this I really tried to take a good look at myself and Jesse and I's relationship to see if we were really ready to be parents and to do what God was possibly calling us to do.  As I did some thinking I began to realize that maybe we weren't really ready.  We enjoy just the two of us and having that freedom and maybe it would be good for us to wait.  Also I was surprised as I noticed God changing my attitude about adoption.  It wasn't wanting to adopt because I wanted to be a parent anymore.  Instead it began to change more that I want to adopt because I know there are some children who will never be given the gift that I have been given.  It wasn't about becoming a parent as soon as possible.  Instead it was more about just being willing and ready for whatever God would call us to.  If that would be adoption I realized I would be excited and thankful that God would be willing to use us!  If it would be by giving us the gift of our own child it would make no difference.  Finally, I felt like God had taken my life, slowed me down, and gave me time to really consider who it is that is really in control of all things.  It is actually very weird now.  It usually hurts to see others pregnant knowing I can't have that as well but suddenly God has flipped my world upside down and caused me to see things the complete opposite! If I would be pregnant what would happen to all those unloved children?!?  It is becoming easier for me to think that it would be odd if God would decide to give us our own children rather than being odd that He won't.  I am just so thankful that God is helping me to be content with where He has placed me and I know all the Glory for this belongs to Him.  I just keep praying that no matter what may come in our future we can trust and be content. (This seems to be somewhat easier for Jesse to do!)  I know adoption won't be the easiest thing but as long as God is leading us I feel like there is no reason to doubt!  When I heard the preacher say sometimes we have to wait for a change of heart I instantly understood why we have to wait until I turn 21.  I wasn't truly ready to adopt a child for the right reasons and God knew that.  We can all be thankful that God knows all things and controls all things.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Great God

       I know that no ones life is perfect and it is always easiest to focus on our own struggles or set backs rather than someone else's.  Are you feeling a little frustrated with God for allowing Satan to have so much control over your life and cause you to suffer through things you would rather not, or are you struggling with why God would allow it at all, or feeling like God doesn't have any business allowing bad things to happen to you in life because you serve and love Him faithfully?  If so I have the perfect reminder of just how big God is and just how small we are. I found this video (link below) on Fred and Brenda Leman's blog and it was exactly what I needed from God right now.  It really puts things in perspective for us to realize God doesn't have to give us anything in life because really we deserve nothing from Him.  But out of His great love and mercy He suffered so we could be given much here on this earth.  The most important thing...our salvation.
       Imagine not having a hope at all.  Every morning you wake up and count on luck to keep you alive because if you die there is no possible way for you to end up in heaven.  You know heaven exists and you know that is where you want to go but there is no door for you as a carnal human to enter in.  It is the most devastating thought and it really helps me to stay focused on the greatest gift we have been given.
       Jesus was a part of God and was sinless and perfect.  He served God faithfully here on this earth and did all He was asked to do by God.  Yet did God change His circumstance? NO!  Jesus, perfect and faithful as He was, still had to suffer on the cross an give His life.  I am sure Mary was so frustrated and devastated to see her son go through so much pain and agony not really understanding why this would happen to such a faithful man.  But we know that what He did gave us the most amazing gift we will ever be given.  Now if we look at our struggles in life, we can pray daily that God will change the circumstance but maybe there is a reason He doesn't.  God doesn't want to hurt us. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says,
    "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
       We can be sure God doesn't want to cause us suffering and sorrow on this earth but maybe there is a reason He allows it.  Even if we do not know or will never know the reason we can be sure God has a purpose in all He does.  Jesus suffered through the most terrible of situations and God didn't change it for Him because with out it so many people would not have the hope of heaven!
       Maybe your in a situation in life that you just can't understand why and maybe you never will.  I think this video will help you get a new perspective as to who you are and who God is.
If you have the time please watch this 40 minute video! It is time well spent.

Monday, March 26, 2012

God's Preparation

We do not always understand life situations and this is definitely one of those times.  We heard back from our social worker at FamilyCore about the age requirement.  We were told that the age requirement of 21 years old to hold a foster family license in Illinois has no exceptions.  In other words we can not even begin the home study process right now.  This means we will be simply waiting for the next 8 months until I turn 21.  It is hard to understand because we felt a leading from God to begin.  Sometimes we will never understand but we simply have to trust.  In church yesterday the minister talked about God having a time of preparation before we begin His work.  Events that happen in our lives are God's way of preparing us for some other event that will happen or something He may call us to do. We are all put here to do something for God but not everyone is called to the same thing.  Sometimes God needs time to prepare us for what He is calling us to do.  I suppose that the next 8 months will be a time of preparation for us as a couple.  Then in God's perfect time we will be sent to do His work.


       You may be wondering what we have decided to use for an adoption agency.  Well....I contacted an agency in Bloomington and one in Chicago, both had some news we would have preferred not to hear.  They both told us that in the state of Illinois both the husband and the wife have to be 21 years old in order to adopt.  In actuality we would not be able to adopt a child until after I turn 21 because the home study etc. would take that long to complete but both agency's told me that they would not even work with us until we were both 21.  Jesse is 21 almost 22 but as some of you may know I am only 20 until December.  We thought we had covered any age requirements with the agency in Peoria that we met with and we both took it that our age would not be a problem.   I guess there was a misunderstanding.  I have contacted our social worker in Peoria to see if this was really a law. She told me that in Illinois you have to hold a foster family license to adopt a baby through an agency and you have to be 21 to hold a foster family license. (Illinois has some of the most strict adoption laws) She said that she thinks that this could be worked with but since the other agencies said it couldn't she wasn't sure.  She was going to a meeting last Friday the 23rd to get a straight answer.  She also told us that for the Court System we would have to be 21 but we wouldn't need that until the actual adoption which wouldn't be until I was 21 anyways.  So anyways, we are waiting to hear back from the Peoria agency as to whether or not we can begin the home study process now or we will have to wait until December.
       Aside from the fact that the agencies in Bloomington and Chicago will not work with us until we are 21 we have decided against both of these agencies even if we do have to wait until December.
       I talked to a very nice social worker from Bloomington but the actual agency gave me a unsettling feeling, unlike the one in Peoria.  I was told that we would have to be open to any level of openness that the birth mother would choose and we would not really be able to share our preference.  Jesse and I are not totally against some level of openness with the birth mother but to put that completely up to the birth mother makes us a little nervous.  We do not want a child that we adopt to feel like they have two mothers.  After talking with this agency I got the feeling that their agency has a set way of doing things and they do not like to change that if you are looking to do something a little different.  It left me feeling very unpeaceful and therefore we have chosen not to go with the Bloomington agency.
       Chicago's agency is very large.  Therefore they have less time to be personal.  To begin their process we would have to fill out an application then if we are accepted we would be put on a wait list with about 9 other families.  This list is of families waiting to begin the home study process.  The wait time for this list is usually about a year.  That would mean it would be a year until we could even begin the home study and then about 3-6 months until we finish that and become a waiting family having our profile shown to bith mothers.  Comparing this to Peoria where we could begin right away on the home study(unless we have to be 21) we feel like Chicago is not the route we would like to go.
       Having said all that I think it is safe to say we have decided to use FamilyCore in Peoria as the adoption agency for our Home study and hopefully our placement.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1st Adoption Meeting

We met with an agency yesterday and learned a boat load of information!  It was good to learn about the home study process and the placement process directly from the source.  The agency we met with is out of Peoria and they have a small infant adoption program with only two caseworkers in this agency program.  We see this as both a benefit and a disadvantage.  Since they are a small agency they are very personal and quick to carry things out with the home study process. Also they have more time to meet personally and answer questions because they are usually only working with maybe 10 families at a time.  The disadvantage of them being small is that they only do an average of 4 infant adoptions a year and the average wait time can be up to 2 years depending on if you are picked by a birth mother or not.  We are not sure yet if we want to use this agency or maybe a different one in the area.  We are looking into an adoption agency in Bloomington as well.  The process, probably for any agency we would decide to go with, goes something like this... We would begin by filling out an application for their home study.  The applications are almost always immediately accepted.  Next we would begin the home study.  It consists of visits with the caseworker at the adoption agency, visits to our home to be sure we have the right environment for a baby, lots of paperwork and information about all aspects of our lives, background checks, physicals, CPR training, TB tests, online adoption classes, and much more!  Once all this is completed (this usually takes 3-4 months) there will be a written paper by the agency that will be a compilation of all this information and that will be our home study.  With all this is done we will be certified as an adoption family by the State.  Next we will make a profile of our lives.  This could be in the form of a book like creative memories or a scrapbook or someway to show our lives in a nutshell.  We would begin with a letter to the birth mother then include pictures and information about family and hobbies, jobs and just our life in general.  This book would then be given to the adoption agency to use in connecting us to a birth mother.  If the agency feels that our family and the birth mother have similar desires or goals for the baby our book along with a few others will be shown to the birth mother.  They will then pick one family to set up an adoption plan with.  If we would be picked we would then be able to meet the birth mother before birth at the adoption agency.  Then we would possibly be invited to the hospital for the birth and be able to take the baby home right from the hospital.  A birth mothers rights to the baby will be considered terminated and irrevocable after 72 hours of the birth or 3 days.  Then after 3 visits from the agency in the first 6 months of the babies life, they will determine that all is going well with the baby in our home.  Usually at 6 months the adoption is finalized through court and the birth certificate changed to make us the babies legal parents.  So that is the a summary of everything that takes place from start to finish!  We would also have the opportunity to do outreach to connect with birth mothers using lawyers or adoption agencies from another state that would be willing to work with the adoption agency through which we would do our home study.  At this point we are hoping to gather information and statistics from the agency we know of in Bloomington and then make a decision of where we want to begin the home study process.
We are praying fro God's direction and peace that we can know just where He would like us to begin.  A verse that we have opened to twice now as we have been praying for Gods direction is Romans 8:28

For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.

We really feel God speaking to us telling us to simply trust.  We do not have all the answers but we are called by Him and if we love and trust Him He will lead us.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God's Reassurance

God is so good.  Trials in life are never what we would wish for but they are the best way for God to get us to draw closer to him and to trust Him all the more.  Today I prayed for God's reassurance... again, and He showed me these verses.

For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Luke 1:45

I couldn't have asked for more!

Monday, March 5, 2012


We have been learning a lot about the adoption process and adoption agencies in the area.  It is so overwhelming!  We are praying God will give us a sense of peace when we find the right agency and the right program to adopt through.  So far we have just been researching agencies online and emailing some of them to get more information.  We are hoping to set up meetings with a few different agencies to learn more about their programs and requirements.  We have also been talking to couples in the area who have adopted or are in the process of adopting.  It helps to get information from the ones that are going through it now or have recently.  It seems big but taking it one step at a time helps to keep things seemingly possible!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Understanding IVF

We decided to post this article that we read about IVF to help you all understand why we are not choosing to go this route.

IVF Violates Human Dignity
Science and technology have made enormous contributions to our lives and society. But the fact that a certain procedure is technologically possible does not make it ethically right.

What is in vitro fertilization?
"In vitro" literally means "in glass." In vitro fertilization is a process whereby human life is generated in a laboratory environment like a glass petri dish.

How is in vitro fertilization carried out?
In vitro fertilization begins when fertility technicians administer hormone treatments to a woman. The hormones hyper-stimulate the woman's ovaries to produce a number of eggs at one time. The eggs are collected from the woman's body and then combined with sperm. The resulting embryos are nourished in laboratory cultures and inserted into the woman's body with the hope that one embryo will successfully implant in the lining of the womb and develop. The process is very controlled and involves numerous trips to the in vitro fertilization center.

How does in vitro fertilization cause the death of human embryos?
The Jones Institute, one of the pioneers of in vitro fertilization, reports that only 10 to 20% of the human embryos produced by in vitro fertilization ever result in a normal pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control estimated that in 1998, 28,000 babies were born through in vitro fertilization in the United States. This means that 140,000 - 280,000 human embryos are missing from the equation for that year alone.

What happens to the rest of the embryos?
 -Many embryos die in the transfer process since they are fragile.
·-Some embryos are unwanted and eliminated because they are considered genetically inadequate.
·-Some embryos are stored alive in freezers.
  -Some embryos are simply killed as they are washed down the sink.

Why is this wrong?
It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception/fertilization. From conception, a human embryo has a complete genetic code and his or her growth and development is totally coordinated from within. Human embryos are human children--sons and daughters!
"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person."
When this fundamental moral line is violated or obscured, categories of people become devalued and they become easily used for utilitarian purposes.

What about infertile couples who desperately want a child?
No one has the right to a child. Even for the most loving of couples, there is no right to a child through either normal conjugal relations or reproductive technologies.
In vitro fertilization turns children into commodities. When a couple undergoes in vitro fertilization, they are saying, "We want a child no matter what," and the child becomes an object. This evolves into a selective mentality, whereby couples choose the kind of child they want.
Above all, a child is a gift. Gifts should not be controlled or manipulated. Cooperating with God's plan for human procreation ensures that all children are accepted as gifts.

If in vitro fertilization did not bring death or harm to human embryos, would it be okay?
In vitro fertilization is wrong because it separates human procreation from conjugal union. In the process, couples make themselves the masters of human life instead of its stewards.
Conjugal union has both a unitive and a procreative purpose. In other words, conjugal intimacy is meant to express both love and fruitfulness.
Because the human person is a unity of body and spirit, both the unitive and procreative meanings of the conjugal act must be expressed spiritually and physically. The Biblical notion of "two in one flesh" (cf. Gen 2:24) has a concrete significance here.
Spousal union is expressed both spiritually and physically. And at the same time, the procreative dimension of conjugal union yields both spiritual benefits and physical fruits. When conjugal union is physically fruitful, a couple participates in God's creative act instead of dominating it.

What is the fundamental principle?
Any reproductive technique that replaces the conjugal act undermines the meaning of conjugal union and is an affront human dignity. Any technique that assists the conjugal, such hormone therapy, is not a violation of the dignity of procreation.

How does marital integrity protect human dignity?
Maintaining both the unitive and procreative meanings of conjugal union guards against the demand for children as a right and the use of spouses for sex. Respect for love and life as essential aspects of martial integrity helps ensure that spouses and children are appreciated as gifts. On a profound level, marital integrity is needed to protect human dignity.

Sometimes an embryo will die in normal conjugal relations. Why is it a big deal if embryos die in the process of in vitro fertilization?
In normal conjugal relations, no one makes the intentional choice to cause the death or harm of embryos. With in vitro fertilization, there is an intentional choice to carry out a procedure whose consequences are known in advance.

Isn't adoption the same as demanding a child?
Adopting a child is accepting someone who, because of some unfortunate circumstance, needs a loving home. Adoption is a generous act focused on a child who already exists.
Using in vitro fertilization is not accepting a child as a gift, but rather manipulating a child into existence.

What about the children that come from in vitro fertilization? Do they have less dignity?
God allows children to be conceived through in vitro fertilization because He respects human freedom. But this does not mean that in vitro fertilization children have any less God-given dignity. Every child is made in the image of God and deserves to be protected and loved.
However, this does not mean we can condone in vitro fertilization. Analogously, children are born outside of marriage. These children have no less dignity, but that doesn't mean we should promote the practice.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Beginning

Our journey began 4 months ago when we both felt we were ready to have a baby in our lives.  Three months later we learned that there was a good chance we would never be able to have our own children naturally.  We began to pray that God would show us what our purpose was in life.  I knew it would be hard to accept never being pregnant but I also knew that God could use us for something very special.  As we prayed God began to comfort and lead us through His word and other places.  One verse that really stuck out to me was in Psalm 113:9 “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the Lord.”   It helped me to realize that with God all things are possible and even if we couldn’t have our own children He would make our joy full with children in some way.   More recently we have visited with doctors and found out our options.  We had two practical options to choose from.  The first was IVF or In Vitro Fertilization and the second was adoption.  After leaving the doctor I think we both felt overwhelmed and a little unsure of what to do next.  We really wanted to have our own children to see their resemblances and to have the pregnancy experience but on the other hand we felt a little guilty going to all the medical work of creating our own children when there are children in the world who do not have loving Christian homes and families.  That night Jesse researched IVF a little to learn exactly how the process took place.  I then read the article he found and I felt a little uneasy about the process.  I looked up online why IVF was wrong from a spiritual standpoint and found a very interesting article. (read article in post titled "understanding IVF")  After reading this article and talking with Jesse we both felt IVF was not something we wanted to get involved with.  That left only one option for us to become parents…adoption!  We are thankful to feel Gods direction in this that He will be with us as we look deeper into the adoption process and what would be the best adoption options for us.  We know this could potentially be a long journey ahead of us but we are trusting that God will provide as He has in the past and that if this is His calling for us we must joyfully attend to it!  A recent sermon we heard really touched home in our lives.  It talked a lot about the fact that our lives on this earth are nothing for ourselves.  We are put here for a purpose and sometimes what we want with our lives and what God wants are two different things.  We must be willing to surrender our will and be used of God to do exactly what we were put here to do.  We can be thankful that God can see the whole picture and that if we trust in Him we will never be lead astray.  We would appreciate your prayerful support as we begin this joyful journey in our lives!  We know that whatever the outcome, God will lead us all the way.