Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Meet Mateo



I love partnering with families that all have very different backgrounds. Neil and Mandy were originally foster parents and had the biggest heart for children. After having three biological kids, they knew their heart for adoption and fostering was still very alive in their life. After a door closed for them in their foster care journey they decided to pursue domestic adoption. Watching their faith in action and the love for their child's mom on display was beautiful. Read their story below and be encouraged that love in action can be so beautiful. 

In Neil and Mandy's Words

Neil and I have always wanted to have several kids, but shortly after getting married we felt like God was leading us to do that in a different way than we had expected. Someone at our church spoke to the congregation about foster care and adoption. It was during their talk that God stirred something in both our hearts, unbeknownst to the other. I don’t remember which one of us brought it up first but we ended the day deciding to start the process of becoming foster parents. We didn’t know exactly what that path would look like of course, but we definitely felt strongly that God was calling us in that direction. God gave us a glimpse into our future family that day, one that was a beautiful blend of biological and adopted kids. 



While we were living in Florida we got our foster care license and mainly did short term care while my husband was stationed there in the Coast Guard. During this time I also became pregnant and had our first child. We then relocated to California, and for various reasons decided to hold off on foster care for a few years. We had plans to move back to my hometown, which is also where we had first met and got married, once Neil retired from the Coast Guard four years later, where we had family and a strong community to support us. In the meantime we went on to have 2 more kids. All this time we were looking forward to and anticipating becoming foster parents once again. 

After Neil’s retirement from the Coast Guard and moving our family back home to Port Angeles, we began the foster care process once again, believing  this was still the path God had for us. Instead, He led us in a slightly different direction. Towards the end of the licensing process that door all of a sudden closed, leaving us a bit bewildered and discouraged. The details of that is for another time but I remember feeling very frustrated, sad, and confused. Doubt even began to creep in. Why would God place foster care on our hearts for the last several years only to close that door before it ever really got started? Did we really hear God correctly? Why not us, when there is such a huge need out there for more foster parents? I wrestled with those questions for awhile, but not too long after we felt God whispering private adoption into our hearts. So we switched course a little, fully trusting that God had a plan in all this, even if it didn’t make sense. 


I believe it was April or May of 2020 when we first connected with CAC. A family friend had recommended them and after one phone call with Fallon we knew this was the route for us. Our chat with Fallon was so encouraging and made us very excited for what the future held. We worked throughout the summer to get everything completed and approved and by September we had become active, and we entered the waiting game. 

Overall, everything went smoothly for us and seemed to just move right along. However, that didn’t mean it was easy. We definitely hit paperwork fatigue and wondered if our checklists would ever end. We wrestled with whether or not to ask family and friends for financial support. I even remember occasionally questioning whether we actually heard God correctly or not. But through it all God was faithful and was with us every step of the way. I remember preparing my mind for the long haul knowing that it could take a while before we were matched. We started getting situations to review right away and we would get one almost weekly. I remember feeling overwhelmed at first. How do you know if you should pursue one or not? I remember reading a blog post about someone’s adoption story and they said they knew instantly when the right one popped up. I never felt that certainty and began to worry. I remember calling Fallon up early on after receiving a few situations asking her “help, what am I supposed to be feeling?? How do we know which one is the right one?” Once again, I hung up feeling very encouraged and at peace about this part of the process. And I will say, we never did feel that absolute certainty but we did trust that God knew the right one for us. So unless we felt uncomfortable presenting to a certain expecting mom then we would just go ahead and present our profile book believing the right mom would choose us. Giving it to God took the pressure off us and the notion that our adoption somehow hinged on whether or not we made the right choice. 


We ended up saying to 3 moms before we were chosen. Even though it took only two months to get chosen it felt like a lot longer. It was quite the emotional roller coaster. Receiving a situation, praying about whether to present, deciding to present, waiting for an answer, receiving word that she chose someone else, then repeating that whole process over and over, brought out so many different emotions. It was rather exhausting for me. Thankfully my husband was a rock and remained so patient and peaceful through it all. He kept reminding me that God knows what He is doing and we can trust Him no matter what. 

At one point I remember becoming very discouraged. Three different moms we had presented to had chosen different families. I started to doubt this path for us. I began to think we hadn’t heard God correctly once again and that maybe we were only supposed to have 3 kids. I also started to wonder why no one was choosing us. What could we have said differently in our letter? It was during that time that we received a situation of a little girl who had already been born and was just waiting to be adopted. It had been an extra long day for both Neil and I that day and we were both really exhausted by the end of the day when we finally sat down to talk about it. I remember feeling super anxious about whether or not we should present our profile book. Part of me just wanted to curl up and go to bed, but part of me didn’t want to pass up this opportunity. What if this baby girl was supposed to be ours? I was very stressed about it and had not idea what to do.  Neil’s advice was to go to bed and reevaluate in the morning and that it is never a great idea to make a decision when you are tired and exhausted. So I went to bed. The next morning I was still wondering whether or not we should pursue it when I opened my email and saw a new situation to review. For whatever reason, both of us felt much better about this one and decided say yes. And sure enough this amazing mom chose us! It was such a great feeling and reminded us of God’s faithfulness and goodness. And 5 months later our sweet Mateo Elias was born. Since this adoption was open we got to talk on the phone with his mom a few different times and even meet her in person the day before Mateo was born. She invited me to be in the room when she delivered him and that was such a special moment. I am forever grateful to her for letting me be a part of that.I knew I didn't deserve it, but her graciousness will never be forgotten in that moment.  I even spent the rest of that day and part of the next in the room with her and Mateo. Spending that time with her was such a gift and the admiration and love we have for her is endless.  Our time together was precious to me. And I remember thinking how gracious she was to invite me into that space with her at such a vulnerable time for her. She truly amazes me. Her love for Mateo was so obvious and I am in awe of her bravery, selflessness, and fierce love for her son.



Again, everything went so smoothly and I am still in awe and full of gratitude at the way God orchestrated it all just perfectly. I’m not sure it could have gone any better. Mateo fits into our family so well and is simply adored by all of us. His siblings think the world of him and play with him so well. He is the sweetest, happiest, chunkiest little guy. Every day I thank God for this gift (which is what his name means) and am grateful to his birth mom for choosing us to raise her son. What an honor! Not only did we fall in love with Mateo but our love for his birth mom surprised me. I hoped and prayed there would be a special bond between us, but it grew faster than I expected. We love his birth mom and feel like she will forever be a part of our family. We communicate through messenger about every week. Nothing long or deep, but it warms my heart every time. She loves seeing pictures and videos of him. I pray that our relationship continues to grow throughout Mateo’s life. 

Mateo is full of endless smiles and giggles. He is laid back and chill, yet also full of energy and just wants to move. His whole face lights up when he smiles. He loves people and loves to just stare and watch them. I often catch him staring at me from where he is playing. And as soon as I look his way he lights up with a huge smile. He is so observant and seems to take in everything he sees.He has the best facial expressions and bounces like crazy in his bouncy seat. He gets covered in kisses all day every day and probably will for the rest of his life.  




***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me, Fallon Palacios, at   Fallon@christianadoptionconsultant.com and check out www.christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!! ***






Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Meet Bobbie

It ended with being discharged from the hospital on Christmas Day with their baby girl, but it started far before then in their hearts. The first time I talked to Michael and Aarika I felt such a kindred spirit. We had both connected over being diagnosed with unknown infertility and their heart to become parents through adoption was so pure and beautiful. They had such a loving posture towards what their journey would hold, and in each step of their story they put that love at the forefront which lead them to their sweet Bobbie girl and her amazing birth mom. I hope their story touches your heart and encourages you wherever you are at in your adoption story. 

In Michael and Aarika's Words:

My husband, Michael and I began dating long distance in July of 2015 after a few years of friendship. In one of our first long phone calls, we discussed dreams and goals, one of mine being “to have all the babies and alllll the dogs.” Michael laughed and said “why don’t we settle on 1 or 2 dogs and 3 children.” To which I would agree (kind of, I’ve always pushed for 4 children!), but with one stipulation, that we adopt one of our children.

In September of 2017, Michael and I decided we wanted to start a family. We had married that January, and were so eager to grow our family. With both of us coming from large families, infertility never even seemed like a possibility. But as the months wore on, and our hearts continued to break little by little, I could feel that something wasn’t right. After testing, we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility and given options as to how we could move forward, but I continually felt resistance to any treatment. 


People would look at me puzzled as I told them we didn’t want to try infertility treatment. How could I continue to allow myself to be heartbroken when there were ways of remedying it? For whatever reason, I continued to feel as through God kept whispering to my heart “not yet” and we continued to wait.


During those years, the possibility of starting our family through adoption began weaving itself through our conversations. Were we ready for that step? Had we mourned enough for the family we had built in our head? 


Finally on an evening walk in February 2021, I was done waiting, I had to do something. As I look back, I realize God had stopped whispering “not yet” to me. The decision to start the adoption process was met with a burden being lifted and my eyes becoming clear to our future. This is what God had meant for us. This is what He wanted us to do and I felt it deep in my bones.


In March after a lot of phone calls and research, we decided we wanted to work with Christian Adoption Consultants and more specifically Fallon. Our conversation was met with warmth, answering difficult questions that humbled us, and upon hanging up, michael and I looked at each other and said, “she’s it.” We took the next couple of months to get organized, but signed up and hit the ground running on May 1st. From that day, the paperwork, the interviews, and the appointments, felt therapeutic. We were working towards something, we were able to do something tangible towards our goal and upon our approval that first week in August, we began receiving cases. 



This is where the pain of “waiting” began again. After years of waiting to become pregnant, we found ourselves back in the waiting room. We prayed a lot for patience and we prayed the most for open hearts and guidance when cases landed in our email. There were cases we submitted our profile to, and cases we said “no” to. As months went on, the weight seemed to grow until a very busy day in November. 


I was rushing around the house trying to clean and pack up the car before I picked Michael up from work. We were headed to my parents house in Nevada for Thanksgiving and I remember feeling so short on time, when I got an email for an expecting mom. I quickly read it over, and I remember being instantly attached to it - her baby was due any day, we didn’t know sex, and the bare minimum seemed to be known, but my heart knew. As Michael and I talked over her story, I could tell he felt the same thing, we would share our profile, which entailed me submitting everything from our computer in the car, while I stressed about losing service through the desert!


After we submitted, we waited. No news at the end of the holiday weekend, no news on my birthday (12/1), no news as we took off for Wyoming for my birthday trip the following weekend, and then finally, we were told the expectant mother would be induced on Friday, December 10th and she would make a decision the following Monday. While the waiting felt like years, we prayed. We prayed for wisdom and guidance, we prayed for this mother and her heart, we prayed that if THIS CHILD was God’s will that He would open all the doors for us to get to them. On December 10th, a beautiful little girl was born, and again, we waited.


On the morning of Monday, December 13th, I checked my email and nothing had come through. Michael called me and he asked me to check again, irritated I said “I just checked and there was nothing, but I’ll check my spa…”


There, in my spam folder, was an email with the most life altering words I’ll ever read: “Good morning ~ I have great news!  [removed] reviewed your profile and she would like to move forward with you as the adoptive parents.”


As you can imagine, my irritation melted away to complete joy, as Michael and I learned the news together over the phone, crying tears of joy over being chosen to parent and love this little girl. 


From there so much is a blur: we called family, spoke to the lawyer handling our case through the agency, booked flights to Florida, packed, called jobs, found an Airbnb, so on and so forth.


Upon arriving in Florida on December 14th, we walked into the NICU, and our hearts healed. The years of infertility suddenly made complete sense as I looked upon the face of our daughter, Bobbie Marie, for SHE was why we waited the years to be parents. God had whispered “not yet” because we were waiting for HER. In that moment I finally understood the thing I had claimed to know, that God’s design is so much better than all our plans. We have never felt so much admiration, gratitude, and humility for the heart of her mom. For her sacrifice brought us the greatest miracle and in that there was abundant love. 



On December 25th, 2021 we were discharged from the hospital and allowed to go home to California. The symbolism of bringing our daughter home on Christmas Day doesn’t escape us. I can encourage you that that wait is worth it, no matter how long it takes God's perfect plan and timing will all make sense. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Meet Olive

 I will never forget the first time I talked with Megan and David. Their heart for adoption, connecting with a birth family, and walking the adoption road with ethics at the front was beautiful. With each step of their journey I saw how they put their faith into action and truly put their trust in Jesus. They leaned in, showed up, and truly took each step with reverence. One day I heard the phone ring and picked up; and it was Megan and David on the other end letting me know they were chosen to be parents to a little girl who's brave and incredible mom picked them. They were humbled, overwhelmed with gratitude, and knew their lives were about to change in the most incredible way. Here is their story in their own words.

From the heart of David and Megan and their journey to Olive

Our daughter, Olive, is sleeping in my wife’s arms next to me. It’s hard to believe that we are here now, with a baby, after so many years of waiting and wondering.


Megan and I had a whirlwind romance. We met, fell in love and married all in the span of 6 months. The way the Lord knit our stories together was beautiful and powerful, and our eyes were bright with hope for our future. We wanted to have a family together. Our vows had sprinklings of this hope written throughout. But we would come to find, only 6 months into our marriage, that growing our family would not be so easy for us after all. We worked, dieted, researched, saw doctors, and cried. No matter how hard we tried or what we did, no baby came. 

 

Our story with infertility is long. After 9 years of trying our hopes had all but been buried. We busied ourselves with other things, but the longing wouldn’t leave. We wondered why the Lord would give us these desires, but leave us with no way to fulfill them.  We were confronted with the bitter realities of this broken world. We worked to tell ourselves the truth, that God is good, but still, we hurt. Our hearts were broken and our home had a hole which we simply could not fill. Little did we know then the amount of love we would experience


Over the course of these years we felt led to pursue adoption many times. But over and over again we felt overwhelmed by the cost, the requirements, the process, and a general feeling of inability.  What stood before us felt like a huge mountain, another roadblock on our journey to growing our family. 

 

In 2020 Megan and I heard about CAC. We had all but given up on the dream of growing our family at that time. After talking with Fallon we felt so hopeful in all that could be waiting on the other side of our fears. But God wasn’t giving up on us. We decided to step out in faith. And one by one God provided for each major hurdle, from the paperwork to finances. Finally we felt that maybe the waiting and yearning would be over soon. We were so glad to have Fallon by our side helping us through each step and praying for our family. 

 

We received adoption stories and prayed and presented. One by one we were told that these amazing expecting moms had chosen another family. This was such a faith stretching time for us, but we knew even more that when we read about these expecting women it gave us a glimpse into their story and life and how we could genuinely pray for each one of them. 

 

At time we wondered if Jesus had forgotten our story.  We cried and asked what God was doing. After years of waiting, we found ourselves waiting in a new way. So close to realized promises, and yet somehow so far.



We kept saying yes in faith that a mom would see something in our family that spoke to her heart and would feel comfort in knowing that we would love her child and love her with our entire lives. But the waiting was heavy and we kept moving forward in faith. 

 

We cried out to God. Can you see me? Can you help me? Will you do something?

 

After struggling through these feelings and and processing with Fallon,  we presented to an expecting mom who we felt so connected to her life and story.  We were a little weary, but we were working to remember the truth that God works good for His people. We were working to trust His promises. 



We heard back that she liked us a lot and was considering us. We were trying to guard our hearts at the news, knowing that we still might not be chosen.  We learned later that she knew immediately that we were the ones, and when expecting dad saw our profile he knew immediately too. We found out on July 20 that she had chosen us and we wept and struggled to receive this goodness. Her baby was due Aug 18 and our hearts leaped with expectation but also with heaviness knowing the pain this family was about to walk through. 

 

Two days later, July 22, Megan and I shared with each other that we felt it was a girl. Our hearts were suddenly beating for a baby girl. We discussed names and we both felt that the name of our daughter would be Olive Josephine. Olive derived from the olive branch which for millennia has represented peace. Josephine derived from Joseph which means Yahweh will increase. We prayed even then that God would increase His peace in and through the child we would receive. A child we felt would be a girl. 



The next day, July 23 we got a call from the case worker. She asked how we were. This call became a life changing moment when she said that our baby had been born that morning. A baby girl. A month early. Our hearts instantly went to her mom and knew today would be a day filled with more emotions that we could even begin to understand. 

 

We waited for just under 10 years for a child, and God decided to give us our baby with 3 days heads up. I mean, yeah we were in the adoption process but let’s be real, our house was in the last stages of a renovation chain reaction from doing the babies room. It was a whirlwind of work on the 23rd. Friends came over and helped us finish our renovation in one day. On the 24th we walked into that NICU without having slept for 24 hours...it was perfect, she was perfect. 



When I saw my daughter for the first time, there was an inexpressible feeling. A coming home. This was our daughter. Since the foundation of the world, God had set His eyes upon her. When we were mourning the death of a dream God was working to bring life to our barrenness. There was never a time, in the scope of eternity, where her amazing life did not exist. I had wondered years before if infant adoption needed us. I realize that as much as Olive needed us, we needed her. We both needed each other, and our unification was the birth that our family was always meant to experience first. Her birth family was our family and her daughter was now our daughter together.

 

Friends, I realized in that moment that 10 years of suffering and loss do not disappear when your child comes home. Suffering does not stop being suffering. If you are struggling right now, it is not trivial and I do not want you to feel like you have to lie to yourself and to others about it. No. What happens though, is that suffering and loss are given meaning in that moment. They are given value. The person whom you’ve suffered for is before your eyes and you will realize, she/he is worth it. You would do it again, twice over, to look into their eyes. To hold them in your arms.


Try not to loose heart. It IS hard. It’s hard to wait. It’s hard to wonder. It’s hard to get that no, when you long so desperately for a yes. The thing is that there is a yes reserved for you. It is not a random yes. It is not a throwaway yes. There is a child crafted with you in mind. A child who will be given to you to be stewarded and loved with the Love of God and the heart of their family. A child whom God is bringing into your home so that they might come to know Him through you. There is a purpose behind it all. This doesn’t take away the difficulties of adoption, and they are many. It will though, give all those difficulties meaning. It will sanctify your suffering and make it holy. Cling to the One who is working all this for good. If you cannot see the good yet, trust that HE is good. Your heart will be moved by the greatest love of a birth family and you will feel humbled and honored beyond words. 

 

I am confident brothers and sisters, that even though we suffer now, our suffering is given a meaning that makes it worth it. We will see it all one day. In this adoption, we’ve see the meaning of this particular suffering in the eyes of Olive. God has designed the night to give way to the dawn. Wait for the dawn and His light will shine upon your face.

 

Praying for your Impending Joy,

David, Megan, and Olive

 

Ps. Olive it will make sense one day…. See what I did there… dad joke

...

Friday, May 7, 2021

Through the Woods and Over the Rainbow...meet Malina

Mother's Day weekend can be filled with so many emotions. Emotions of loss, of sorrow, or grief, and joy, of fulfillment, or that of waiting. When my husband and I were in the middle of walking through our season of infertility, Mother's Day was one of the hardest weekends of the year. Something we longed so much for but never knew if in fact one day we would see. Living in that faith filled season brought about so much hope that Jesus was at work in our lives. When I first talked to Meagan and Michael I could sense that same hope that as deep in their spirit. Sometimes parenthood doesn't come about the way we dreamed it would when we were little. But when we take those steps of faith that seam so big, the little moments become incredible miracles. On this Mother's Day weekend I hope you give yourself so much grace and know that you are not alone. You are seen and loved so much. 

In Michael and Meagan's Words:

Michael and I have been married for six years. Before that, we dated for eight months and had a four month engagement. 

When our relationship started to become more serious, we used to take my paddle board out on Lake Washington, and talk about our hopes for the future. During one of those conversations, one of us brought up our desire to adopt. I can’t recall who brought it up first, only that the other immediately said “me too.” At that moment, I knew that God was working things together, and that we would adopt in our future. 

What I didn’t know, is that it would be so difficult for us to have biological children. We conceived unexpectedly and early on in our marriage and that ended up in a loss. It was a later loss, and I needed surgery afterwards. Since then, we were unable to conceive. Years passed and we received an “unexplained” diagnosis, meaning, we have no answers for you. “This could be making it harder or that, but we can’t see a reason why you can’t have children.” Yet, it didn’t happen. 

We sought the help of fertility treatments which resulted in two more losses, both of which “should have been” viable pregnancies. And then, we decided it was time to circle back to our initial dream of adopting. 

At first this new journey felt overwhelming. It felt like a jigsaw puzzle to solve without instructions. A friend introduced me to her friend who had adopted domestically, and she recommended Christian Adoption Consultants. So, we reached out and talked to Fallon. Best decision ever, and for sure meant to be.

Fallon became my friend, confidant, and guide through the maze of adoption. After talking with her and receiving a clear roadmap to adoption, her enthusiasm rubbed off and we suddenly felt excited, and hopeful for the first time in years!


This journey felt … different. God was tangibly in it with us. He was guiding us and showing us visibly that we were in the center of His plan. 

Upon learning the cost of domestic infant adoption, we were floored, and wondered how long it would take us to save enough to move forward. My goodness, when we had enough in our “baby fund” we looked at each other and then back at those unsure moments months earlier – humbled, amazed, and almost in disbelief of just how quickly everything came together! Both of our employers offered adoption reimbursement, and our church along with our prior church contributed also. Suddenly funds just started coming in, and it wasn’t like some generous stranger just left a giant check on our door, but a lot of little things happened and equated to a really big amazing thing – we were funded and ready to move forward. Where God guides, He provides! We just had to take the steps of faith.

We had completed the steps leading up to completing our home study in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic during quarantine, which meant that our social worker couldn’t come into our home just yet to complete her report. So, there was uncertainty and waiting.

And then a couple months later once we were home study approved and active with agencies, there was more waiting. The waiting and the “no’s”, the “you weren’t chosen’s” were more difficult than I imagined. I was so happy for whichever adoptive family would be blessed with each child knowing the longing of growing your family, and knew that God had our child out there for us and this just wasn’t it. Yet I sometimes wondered if there was something maybe wrong with us, and it was hard not to feel the rejection. I say that because, if these feelings creep in, you’re not alone friend. Lean into Jesus, because He does have a child planned for your family and soon enough your baby will be in your arms and you are going to love them like you never knew possible. 

The average wait time for families working with Christian Adoption Consultants during the time we were, was around 6 months. We started our paperwork in March, and were an active family in June. October came around and we had reached that mark, and I was beginning to wonder if this was going to happen for us. Then suddenly, we got “THE” email. The one where the expectant mama chose our family’s profile. I still remember the uncontainable JOY we felt, that we were chosen! Our profile wasn’t just going off into a black hole abyss, we were seen and chosen! 

Our story doesn’t have a happy ending just yet folks, but keep reading. 

We spoke to our expectant mama and she liked us but then wasn’t 100% sure and wanted to talk to another family. Wow, blow to the gut! Then my husband wrote her a letter from his heart about what kind of father he would be and parents we would be, and she decided to move forward with us. Relief! Our conversations with her were sporadic, but when we did talk things felt promising, we learned about her and she joked with us asking if we were ready for sleepless nights, and our connection with her grew. Shortly after, we flew across the country to meet her, before her due date. We called Fallon multiple times for her guidance and support to navigate what was ahead of us, I truly don’t know how we would have made it through without her.

We were on our way to our lawyers office to finally meet our expectant mama and talk about her hospital plan, when we got a call from the office. She wasn’t coming.  

Friends in that moment I can imagine myself falling into a puddle on the floor, but that’s not what happened. What did happen, is that I was flooded with overwhelming peace. Unlike any that I’ve ever experienced in midst of a tragic moment, and these words just kept pressing on my heart “GOD ISN’T FINISHED.” We packed up our belongings and flew back home, empty handed. 

I can describe the weeks that followed as nothing but a faith perfecting season. Rather than being shaken, our faith grew. Our peace grew. We leaned into God’s promises, claiming them in our own lives. We sought Him first and everything else faded into the distance. He says He works it out for good friends, and He does, we were closer to Him than ever before. 

And then…

A month later, was finally our time. And I can only describe this season as, better than I could have ever imagined. 

We got THE email again; we had been chosen! This time, our hearts were more guarded, and yet we had more peace. We got to FaceTime with our expectant mama, who we now call Mama M, and friends, it was a connection straight from heaven. I will never forget the moment our case worker asked her “do you have any other questions for them” and she looked at her and then us, and said “I know that they’re the ones.” I felt her words in my very soul, and tears sprinkled my cheeks and I was fanning them dry with my hand, and then … she did the same! The beautiful of adoption… this was it.

We quickly flew to Utah to meet Mama M for dinner before she went into labor, and not only did we get to share a meal with her but her daughter and mom ended up coming too! While definitely nerve-wracking for us all no doubt, it was so very special to break bread with them. A moment etched into our minds and hearts forever.

The next day Mama M went into labor, and we were told due to COVID-19 restrictions we weren’t going to be able to meet the baby even if Mama M did choose to go through with her adoption plan, until Mama was discharged and they left the hospital. We knew she would likely have a C-section, and that this could be up to five days. So, we prayed. And then, we got a call, the nursing staff met and made an exception for us, they gave us a private room, and the best one in the place no less! 

Baby came and we cared for her for two days while Mama M recovered, holding her in our arms as we watched the snow fall outside the window of our room, full of gratitude, and thanking God for this long-awaited moment. Knowing that Mama M may still decide to parent, yet already loving this precious baby so much. This in between moment, is so very stretching. And then, after what felt like an eternity of holding our breath, but was really just a few days, Mama M signed her consent for adoption. 

We were flooded with joy yet also more than anything in that moment I remember considering Mama M and the heartache I know she was feeling. Balancing loss and joy in one moment broke us.  She didn’t get much time with baby girl, who we named Malina, prior to signing papers, so we wanted her to be with her mama the rest of the time in the hospital. I’m not saying this wasn’t hard friends, we were feeling separation anxiety and I even cried! But my goodness, it was good, and we would not have had it any other way. And without us asking, Mama M sent her back to us every night. It was like a beautiful gift to each other. 

We all walked out of the hospital together upon discharge, another moment etched into my heart forever. Mama M mentioned her first born daughter wasn’t able to come into the hospital to meet Malina due to COVID-19 restrictions. So, we asked if they’d like to meet up in a couple of days at our agency’s office. We wanted them to have this time together more than anything. And oh my goodness, the BEAUTY of this moment will never leave me. We spent hours in the office, which felt comfy like a living room with couches and a fireplace. I played with Mama M’s first-born daughter while she and her sister held Malina. Her mom FaceTime’d too, and wanted to see us to say hi! Queue my heart melting. Before we left, they placed a shell crown on my made on their Island, and other on us too jewelry too, and even gave us pieces for Malina for when she’s older. 

I can’t quite describe what I felt in this moment, other than they were welcoming us into their culture. They said “you’re an Island girl now too”. These pieces are heirlooms that we will cherish forever. This is the beauty in adoption. Two families coming together, to love a child and each other.

GOD IS FAITHFUL. 

5 years, 3 miscarriages, 3 surgeries, 2 failed infertility treatments, and 1 disrupted adoption.

And she’s here. Malina Anna Mays. Born on 2/2/21, in our arms just under a year since we started the adoption process.
And she’s absolutely perfect! 

We have been a family of three for two months now, and still can’t get over how perfect God’s plan and timing is. And how even during those days, months, and years we felt forgotten, He was there all along, orchestrating everything for our good and His glory.

“We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and persevere their souls.” – Hebrews 9:39

Monday, March 29, 2021

Adoption in the Calendar of Covid: Ryane and Joe's Adoption Story

 Adoption in the Calendar of Covid: Ryane and Joe's Adoption Story 

There are some people you meet and it feels like you have known them for so long! That was Ryane and Joe! The first time we chatted we talked about living in California, our kids, their heart for adoption and so much more. They were faith filled, had an open heart towards adoption, and was ready to come alongside an expecting mom and support her as much as they could. I watched them start their adoption journey and then maneuver through the first few months of Covid and traveling in the middle of the pandemic to meet their daughter. I know saying yes to adoption comes with so many unknowns, and let's be honest, in the middle of a pandemic feels even more uncertain at times. I would encourage you to read their words, be filled with purpose and joy, and start those conversations that will change your life. 

In Joe and Ryane's Words: 


It was December 2019 when we told our children we were thinking of expanding our family via adoption. The talk was a festive one and our youngest decided that this new baby was to be his most favored Christmas gift of all. 


By January 2020 we started working with the amazing Fallon of Christian Adoption Consultants. All of our new years resolutions focused on classes, paperwork, home study prep, more paperwork, lots of prayer, did I say paperwork and teaching our youngest the art of patience. He had already begun telling anyone who would listen that he was going to be a big brother to a new baby girl. You can imagine my shock when the kindergarten teacher confronted me in the school valet line to let us know our Noah had told all of his classmates that he was getting a new sister named Olivia. Explaining the heartbeat of adoption to your kids can be beautiful but hard non the less. 



We had always wanted to adopt but we never imagined the adventures of adoption in the calendar of covid. By March we were learning of the magnitude of this global pandemic. We immediately sat our sons down to explain that our adoption journey might be ending before it had even begun. With newly strained finances, home visits likely to be postponed and even taking family photos for a profile book all seeming impossible, we admittedly felt discouraged, but once again the faith of a child and their birth family restored our own. This time it was our then 12-year old who reminded us of a phrase we often say to him: nothing is impossible with God. 


So we forged ahead and with adoption related activities happening virtually we were able to complete the rest of our adoption requirements via zoom. A tripod, a few back yard photos and our remarkably gifted adoption consultant, also aided us in our best attempt at a profile book all in time for our first (and our last) adoption case to be sent our way. This incredible expecting mom saw something in our family and  said yes and suddenly our covid calendar included working out the logistics of coming alongside her despite being 2700 miles away. 



In October of 2020 our baby girl (named Olivia like her big brother chose) was born. We flew out a week early during the height of the pandemic. With an extended Nicu stay it was an additional 6 days before we got to see our daughter. All of the lessons we tried to teach our boys about patience and the promises of God were put to test during this trying season. In a hotel room adjacent to the hospital God reminded, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.” 


It is now a full year since our adoption in the calendar of covid began. Our daughter is 4 months old and that picture that our now first grader drew with his baby sister is colored and complete. He has also added her birth mom to the picture. We are forever grateful for the heart and bravery she has given that fortifies our daughter’s spirit. For many people 2020 was a year filled with trials and uncertainty “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” 


If you are thinking of adopting, even during a season where the entire world is fluctuating, hold on to your faith. Adoption is a messy, multi-layered experience, but at its core adoption is a story of love. We are inspired by the love of our birth mom, motivated by our love for our daughter, and we are thankful for the love extended to us by Fallon and the team at CAC. Our baby, now nicknamed “Liv,” nestled up to her brothers this Sunday morning, is a testament to God’s love for us all.



***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me, Fallon Palacios, at   Fallon@christianadoptionconsultant.com and check out www.christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!! ***



Monday, March 1, 2021

Meet Finola

- Meet Finola -

The adoption process is such a faith journey. It requires us to lean into Jesus in ways we might never have had in the past. It is a stretching, humbling, faith filled, messy and beautiful . When I first chatted with Jake and Natalie they had that faith that would carry them through all the emotions of their own story. With every not yet they responded with purpose and faith. It was that heartbeat that lead them to sweet Finola. Read their story and be encouraged.

In Jake and Natalie's Words:

It was not that long ago that I was sitting in the same position as some of you all — in a season of waiting. I would see other families who were chosen or my friends having littles of their own. While I was genuinely happy for them, I always wondered “will this ever be my story?” Friends, if you are in this season where it feels like all you are doing is waiting, know that I see you. 


Our story to parenthood began with the discovery that we were unable to have biological children. We spent months praying and processing our next steps and eventually felt the call to pursue adoption. Without a place to start, I went to the good ol’ instagram and I stumbled upon CAC.



Coincidentally, I learned later in the week that my brother’s friends were also pursuing adoption and using CAC. It felt like it was meant to be so we called and met Fallon. She explained the ins and outs of the adoption world to prepare us for the paperwork and process ahead. We were so excited to work with her and got started. After slogging through the paperwork we were officially approved in August 2019. We instantly started seeing cases. 


I had this hope that the process would be quick and easy but that’s not our story. We were approved in August 2019 and we were placed with our baby girl in September 2020. During that year we saw a lot of expecting parent's stories. We presented to some and others weren’t a fit for us. Yet, throughout it all we prayed for these individuals. In a year, we were able to pray for so many expecting mothers as they navigated making an adoption plan. It’s a big decision and we knew God needed to be part of the process. 


I won’t lie, the waiting was brutal at times and many tears were shed. I had moments of self-doubt. What if we are never picked and will we ever have a child? Each time we’d present we would pray and hope this was the one. Time and again it wasn’t. Being told you weren’t chosen is crushing after some tears, I would say that wasn’t a “no,” it was a “not yet.”  


I prayed and stayed hopeful that one day we would be chosen. And guess what? We were eventually chosen! Looking back over the year, I can see how God laid the plan for us and our baby girl. 


It was August 2020 as we answered a Facetime call from an expecting mother telling us that she chose us. We were chosen and we were ecstatic! This baby girl was due on October 2 so we started planning. We told our family and friends that the wait was over and we were so happy. Over a few weeks, we started building a relationship with the woman who chose us and got to know her. 


In mid-September, suddenly, there was a disruption. We. Were. Devastated. 



But, God had a bigger plan. We found out about the disruption on Wednesday and as I went to bed on Saturday night I felt at peace. I woke up the next morning to tell Jake that I felt we needed to pack. That night, the agency sent us a case of a baby girl whose mom had made an adoption plan but that the plan had failed. She was going into labor and would be seeing new family profiles. We prayed and decided to present with hopeful, yet guarded, hearts. 


24 hours later, we were on the phone, again, with the woman who would change out lives forever. She had chosen us. It was wild! We were going to be parents to this sweet baby girl, who was also originally due October 2, in the same state as the first mama who had chosen us. God had a plan all along. Friends, I’m here to say that the process might be hard but one day your waiting will be over. We are eternally grateful and humbled that this amazing woman saw something in us.


Finola Ariana was born on September 20, 2020. We waited a year to become parents. But in that waiting we were growing, praying, and loving on a multitude of expecting mothers whose cases passed through our hands. Adoption is messy, hard, beautiful and life altering — but I think I just summed up parenthood.



***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me, Fallon Palacios, at   Fallon@christianadoptionconsultant.com and check out www.christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!! ***