The first of a handful of interviews with adoptive families.
I would like to introduce you to our good friends,
Max's future in-laws Matt and Abby and their 2 sweet girls, Hannah and Olivia.
Seriously, aren't they precious?
We've been friends since 2004. When our friendship started, we had no idea that we would have each other to walk through the pain of infertility and the joy of adoption. We are so blessed to have them in our lives. Lucky for Max, he has 2 adorable girls to choose from...
How long did your adoption process take from start to finish?
For Hannah we started the adoption process at the end of October 2008. Our homestudy was finalized at the end of January 2009 and Hannah was born two short days later.
For Olivia, we had our homestudy updated in February 2010 and she was born April 29, 2010.
Why did you choose adoption?
Like a lot of families, we adopted as a result of infertility. Adoption had always been on my radar, but it took a few years of unsuccessful trying to get pregnant to get my husband on board. Now we are so grateful the Lord chose this path for us.
Why did you choose domestic adoption?
We chose domestic for several reasons. First of all, we had heard good things about a local adoption agency so we figured it seemed like a good place to start. Secondly, I had just started a new job and I wasn’t comfortable asking my new employer for time off to travel to another country, and then time off for maternity leave. Finally, we both felt most comfortable with it and therefore we felt that it must be the Spirit leading us in that direction. We knew the Lord could shut and open doors wherever and whenever He wills, so we just started somewhere.
What adoption agency did you go through and how did you decide?
Lutheran Social Services. We met with a former employee who helped us understand the whole process. Matt was the one who made the final decision to go with LSSI because they are flexible with their homestudies. He thought if the wait got too long, we could submit our homestudies to other agencies around the state. I disagreed with that decision, but I’m so glad I followed Matt’s leadership!
How old was your adopted child when you brought him/her home?
Hannah was five days old and Olivia was 24 hours old.
What was the hardest adjustment for your family?
With Hannah, just being parents. With Olivia, adjusting to two kids in 15 months. I think there are a lot of future adjustments to be made, given that ours is a trans-racial family. But for now, nothing is really that hard (other than general parenting).
What surprised you the most about the adoption process?
Nothing really.We knew there were ups and downs, we knew how expensive it was, we knew we would probably be a trans-racial family. We certainly didn’t know how much we would love our children!
Tell us about your child’s name. Is there a story or special meaning behind his/her name?
Hannah - a name I have always liked. Hannah’s story in the Bible is special to me and my husband has a great aunt Hannah who is a very godly role model
Janay - the middle name her birth mother gave her
Hope - Biblical definition is confident expectation. That’s the attitude we wanted for our adoptions and for our children to have in the Lord.
Olivia - I liked Olive, like what was used in Biblical anointing. Matt didn’t. We settled on Olivia.
Renee - the first name her birth mom gave her
Hope - see above
What has God taught you through adoption?
Oh my. That is a huge question I am not even sure I can answer it. I guess the main thing would be how undeserving of His grace I am and how wonderful it is that His mercies are new every morning.
How much did your adoption cost?
Total cost for both adoptions $32,000
Did you do any special fundraisers or apply for grants that helped fund your adoption?
We received a matching grant through Lifesong for Orphans that our friends and family were amazing enough to not only match, but exceed.
Have you been asked any awkward/funny questions or comments that you would like to share?
Someone once asked me what Hannah was “mixed with.” Someone else shouted across a parking lot that “her daddy must have been dark.” Another person asked me if I run a babysitting service.
What is one thing you would tell someone who is considering adoption?
Do it! The Lord will provide financially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It’ll be the biggest blessing in your life.
Anything else you would like to add that you think would be helpful for readers interested in adoption.
No, but you are free to email me at any time. I love talking adoption and answering questions.
Don't forget to check out Abby's blog, Our Little Hope. While you're there, read Hannah and Olivia's adoption stories. God is amazing!