Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Something to blog about!

Last night, Leah and I prayed for something to happen so that we could blog about it today.  Earlier today, nothing had happened so I decided to blog anyway.  This is why you got the incredibly interesting "nothing happened" blog.  Well, our God is "faith"ful (you'll understand in a minute).  God gave us something to blog about.  This evening I received a call... well this afternoon I missed a call, and this evening I found my phone.  It seems that we have been assigned a case worker for our adoption, and will be beginning the homestudy process soon.  Faith (and they say He doesn't have a sense of humor...) our case worker, will be calling soon to schedule our first visit.

Thanks for your prayers, and we will keep you posted


Adoption Update 3/27/2012

    Hello everyone,  I feel like this is probably the first of several updates that say basically... nothing happened... still waiting...  I know many of you are probably wanting an update, but the process is inherently slow.

    We did find out recently that all of our references have been received and we are now waiting to be assigned a case worker so that we can begin our home study process.  Also, as you read in the last blog we have finalized our fundraiser date, June 6th, at Buffalo Wild Wings on M-59 in Waterford.  As soon as I have the fliers, I will post them here, as well as on facebook, and anywhere else I can find to put them!  We are also looking into what would be required to form a non profit, tax exempt organization for our fundraising efforts.  I think that if we did go as far as to form the non-profit, we would probably continue the organization after our adoption and try to write grants for other couples looking to adopt.  The idea of helping others in our situation is exciting, and I almost want to go through with the non profit just for that aspect of it. 

    Also, I was speaking with a co-worker recently and she let me know of a young lady who is unexpectedly pregnant.  She had apparently contemplated abortion and is now considering adoption.  We referred her through my co-worker to Bethany Christian.  I also had my co-worker give her some information about us.  While it would be absolutely incredible for her to choose us, as we are just getting started, we really are praying that she does choose adoption and that the baby is saved from abortion.

Please continue to pray for us.  Especially for our finances, for the confusion associated with fundraising and tax exemption, etc., for our adoption process that it can be smooth and quick.  Also, please pray for the young mother I mentioned,  either way that she chooses, she is in for an emotional ride.  I pray that God protects her in the process.  And finally, pray for our baby wherever he/she is that God will protect him/her and prepare him/her for us.

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fundraising 101

   Its no secret that adoption is expensive.  We have been trying to wrap our heads around exactly how we are going to come up with the funds we need when we eventually get placed with a child.  After doing some research we have found that there are several grants out there for couples looking to adopt.  It appears that most of them are for couples looking to do international adoption, or adoption of a minority, older, or potentially disabled child.  Because this is our first child, Leah and I really want a baby that looks like us, and we want to see them accomplish all of the benchmarks of an infant, we dont meet any of those criteria.  There are some grants for caucasian infant children, but because that is where most of the demand is, there is a lot of competition.  While we will be applying for every such grant we can find, I feel it is only responsible to try to raise as many funds as possible.  So far we have two sources of fundraising. 

    The first you will see on the right hand side and bottom of this page.  Google Adwords has a program called AdSense where we receive a portion of the proceeds from any clicks on our blog's advertisers.  They are linked to us based on the content of the site.  This morning when I looked at it is was a website for verses for your wedding, and a fertility clinic... so they do a pretty good job!  Anyway, I cannot encourage you to click on them for the sole purposes of driving revenue to us, and if you do we can actually get kicked out of the program.  However, if you see something that you are interested in I strongly encourage you to support our advertisers.

     Secondly, Buffalo Wild Wings in Waterford on M-59 is letting us host a fundraiser.  I am fairly confident that the date will be June 6th, and they will give us 20% of all of the revenues from anyone that has our coupon with them.  I will be posting the coupon here, and on facebook, and linkedin, and everywhere else I can find.  If you could also mark that date on your calendar, and plan on eating at BW3's on June 6th, I would really appreciate it.

    I spoke with Bethany Christian Services yesterday, and they have received most of our personal references and our licensing from the state.  We are just waiting on 2 of the references and we will be all set.  Please continue to pray for our process, specifically that these references will make their way to Bethany, and that he will prepare a beautiful baby for us to bring home soon.



Monday, March 19, 2012

Great weekend

First let me start off by saying, Wow, what a blessing it has been to hear from people that have been following our blog.  David has done such a great job so far, and I wanted to add on my thoughts from the weekend.  We had a great weekend spending time with many friends, from friends we are fortunate to see regularly and friends we hadn't seen in awhile.  It seemed that no matter who we were with, God continued reaffirming our journey and bringing to light others' stories of infertility and adoption.   We most definitely are not alone in this, and we can see how God is and will continue to use our experience to encourage others.  This was all confirmed at church on Sunday.  Our pastor spoke about how God can make all things come together for His good works.   I really recommend listening to this message.  It was really a blessing. 
So, thank you for your continued prayer.  We are truly blessed.


To live is Christ, to die is gain.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

An amazing group of people

We are so blessed to be surrounded by quite possibly the most amazing group of people in the world.  Since we started the blog, which in all honesty was more of an outlet for us than anything else, we have been bombarded by support and blessings from everywhere around us.  It is amazing to me how many people in our lives have been touched by adoption in some way.

We heard a story actually that even the people that lived in our house before us had a very similar story to ours.  They struggled with infertility after having their first child and ended up adopting their second.  This was a huge shock as we met the family, and their daughters could have been twins!

Anyway, since posting we have heard from so many different people from so many different areas of our lives.  We have been loved on by neighboors, coworkers, family, friends, acquaintances, and even some people we hardly know.  Everyone seems to be pulling for us, and wanting to help in anyway they can.  We will remember you when we need a babysitter!

Yesterday afternoon, the weather was absolutely beautiful.  I decided, despite anyone I told telling me I was nuts, to ride my bike to church rather than drive.  It is about 10 miles, and seeing as my most active day in the last 8 months was a movie/tv marathon on a Saturday, it was more than I was ready for.  However, as I was riding into church a huge smile came over my face, as I felt I had just accomplished something.   I had no idea what was in store.

After reading our blog one of our good friends, and the leader of our bible study, had asked us to share our story with our group.  At the end of the study, Leah and I, gave an abbreviated version of what was already hashed out in the previous posts, as well as shared our heart and our struggles.  Afterwards the group gathered around us, and prayed over us.  While I appreciated everyone who prayed for us, and was touched by every word that was spoken, one moment was especially moving.  A gentleman and his wife showed up for the first time last night.  In my opinion the only time in your life more awkward than lunch on your first day at a new school, is your first time attending a new bible study.  This man came into a group that has established a fairly strong connection over the last several months, and was open with us throughout the conversation.  Then as the group prayed over us, I heard his unfamiliar voice praying over us as well.  A man I have never met, was kind enough to feel our pain, and hope, and offer a petition to our amazing God on our behalf. 

Last night, Leah and I learned once again how wonderfully amazing our God is.  Last night God came down from his throne to E. Holly Road, and gave my wife and I just what we needed.  We were shown firsthand by Him what is happening for us all over the place.  Many people we know and love, and few that we may not have met before are praying for us.  Praying for a peace in our lives, and a baby in our home.    Thank you so much to all of you who have taken the time to get on your knees for us.

In regards to an update, as anyone who has seen this process before there is a whole lot of waiting.  All of our applications are in and Bethany, our adoption agency, has sent out reference letters to our personal and pastoral references.  Now we are waiting on those to be filled out and returned.  Once they are back in, as well as some sort of licensing from the state, we will be assigned a case worker, and the fun begins! 

Thank you again for all of your prayers... and keep it up!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The final phase

We have created this blog, so that anyone who wants to can follow along with our adoption journey.  We are sure that it is going to be a long road, but the light at the end of the tunnel is truly amazing.  At the end of this, not only will we have a baby to love, but we will also have helped a young mother, or a young family.  Perhaps we will have the opportunity to lead this young lady to our savior, or maybe all she needs is someone to love her, too.  Either way, we are confident that she is an integral part to why we were unable to conceive with our adopted embryos.

We will be posting here to keep you up to date as to what is happening as we progress through the adoption stages.  I am sure we will be asking for alot of prayer along the way and we appreciate all of those who do pray for us. 

The first week of this process has been absolutely crazy.  On Monday of this week, we found out that the baby had misscarried.  David filled out the preliminary application for adoption that afternoon, and we were aproved that night.  This allowed us to fill out the formal application on Monday night.  By about noon on Tuesday, we had received word that our formal application had been approved and that a package would be in the mail for us to complete.  Instead, we were able to visit the Bethany office that day, and pick up the package in person.  All night Tuesday night, we spent completing the package.  We had to get a doctors clearance and fingerprints.  These were David's tasks for Wednesday.  We were both able to get appointments for the doctor on Wednesday, (when was the last time you got a same day doctors appointment, let alone 2?)  We were fingerprinted Wednesday afternoon, and our packet was turned in on Thursday morning. 

We were able to complete an application process in 4 days that when we were going through the embryo adoption process, the same application process took about 2-3 weeks.

Next, we will be assigned a case worker, and someone will come to our house, and make sure our living situation is fit for a child.  This is usually one of the longer portions of the process.  However, if God continues to make our path as clear as he has this week, I am sure we can get through it quickly.

Please pray for our hearts throughout this process.  We know it is going to be a long and emotional one.  Also, please pray that God continues to move barriers out of the way, and bring us a baby soon!

Phase 3

When we first learned of this, after the shock had settled down. Both of us had independently considered adoption. We attended an adoption class at Bethany Christian Services. In this class, we learned in some of the latest and greatest developments in the realm of adoption. Couples with leftover embryos (fertilized eggs) from an IVF procedure, can donate them to other infertile couples through a process call Embryo Adoption. When we heard of this we were elated, as this would still give Leah the opportunity to be pregnant. We were "matched" with a very generous couple from Grand Rapids, MI and we received 9 embryos.

After a couple of months of horomone therapy, Leah's body was ready to receive her first set of embryos.  Three embryos were thawed, and two survived the thawing process.  Both of these two were transfered, but neither implanted into her lining, and thus we did not get pregnant.

After about a three months we went through the process again, with some minor tweaks.  this time 4 embryos were thawed, and all of them survived!  Three of them were transferred and one was refrozen for future use.  After the longest 12 days of our lives we received good news.  We were pregnant.  This happened right at about the same time as October was setting in.  We told many of our close friends who had been praying for us throughout the process, took pictures of Leah holding mums.... get it... mums... and after about 10 days of excitement we were shocked again.  The baby had miscarried.  We never knew how attached you could grow to someone you had never met.  Also, we had the looming fear that we only had one more chance.

A couple months later, we go for the process a third and final time.  If you have done your math, we have two embryos that we haven't touched and one, now called a blastocyst, that has been refrozen.  The human body is so complex that it cannot receive embryos at different ages, or even into a womb that is expecting embryos of a different age.  The clinic thawed out the two embryos and grew them out until they were the same age as the blastocyst.  Unfortunately the blastocyst did not survive the thaw, and one of the other embryos died in the early stages as well.  We transfered one embryo.  Then we waited.  Then we heard we were pregnant.  This time we were a little more careful with who we told, and kept it to only people who absolutely needed to know.  We didn't even tell our parents.  Unfortunately, things started to look all to familiar, as Leah misscarried about a week into the pregnancy.

This time the pain was less about the baby, but more about the opportunity loss.  We have come to the realization that Leah will not be pregnant.  We are confident that God has designed us to be parents.  But, perhaps he has intentions for us not just to save a baby.  Perhaps, he also wants us to affect the life of a young mother as well.  We have decided to pursue traditional, domestic infant, adoption.

Phase 2

The next step on our Jouney was to visit Dr. Mersol-Barg in Birmingham, MI. Dr. Mersol-Barg is an excellent doctor, and after making sure that everything was okay with David, he put us on the typical treatment for PCOS. After several months, and a few different rounds of therapy, David took his job with Bank of America in Chicago. Being several hours apart obviously makes conception a little more difficult. We would try when we could, but it was impossible to follow any set protocols.

After being laid off from the bank, and returning to Michigan, many of you know this is when David had all of his medical issues. If any don't know, David had some major complications to surgery, and spend 40 days in the ICU. He woke up to find that he had kidney failure, two pulmonary emboli, sepsis, not too mention he had lost just about all of his strength. He could not even lift his arms to touch his face. Needless to say, it was a long journey back, but in March of 2010 was when David really started to look and act like himself again. Today, David is pretty much back to normal. His kidney's have fully recoverd, as have his lungs, his heart, and just about everything else... just about... One of the few remnants of David's complications is that he will never be able to father children.  Enter Phase 3

Phase 1

Well... This is our first post.  As many already know, we have been trying to add to our family for quite some time.  Over the last 4 years or so, we have tried many different ways to add children to our home.  We obviously tried the most traditional way first, but when we were unsuccessful after a few tries we found out that Leah has a condition called PCOS.  Without getting too graphic,  her body overwhelms it self with so many eggs, that it is unable to actually release any.  This obviously makes it difficult to conceive without medical help.