Monday, April 23, 2012


         Recently, for the first time in awhile, I have felt hope surrounding our whole situation. The other day I really felt like God was finally speaking to me and sharing with me that we will be parents and that He does have children in store for us. I felt like He was giving me insights as to what His plans for us are. Even with these insights I want to remain open to whatever He has in store for us, as I'm sure I'm not receiving the whole picture and there could still be many surprises to come. I ended my prayer time feeling hopeful and joyful.
        As I said before, we feel as though God has been calling us to international adoption. Originally I had imagined adopting an infant, but recently God has been opening both of our hearts towards adopting a toddler. After these feelings of hope I was left wondering how God would bring this into fruition and what direction he wanted us to go in. After seeking God, we have finally narrowed our choices down to two different directions. Our two choices this point are working with an agency to adopt from Uganda or performing an independent adoption from Ghana. There are positives and negatives to both. From Uganda we are able to see pictures of available children and we feel drawn to two different little girls. The agency would take care of most of the work, we know there are children available in the age range we are looking at and we could possibly receive grant money. Unfortunately this direction will cost between $20,000-$30,000, but if that is the direction God calls us to we trust that He will provide the funds. From Ghana we might have a wait a bit longer to adopt a toddler and due to my age we can't adopt a child over the age of 3. We would also have to do a quite a bit more legwork, but we have come into contact with some women who have both served and adopted from Ghana and who are willing to help us with the process. Since we wouldn't be using and agency we might not be able to receive certain grants, but the total costs would be around $12,000-$15,000.
        The first step to either of these options is to complete a home study. This part of the process costs between $2,000-$3,000. We are hoping to raise/save this money soon so that we can begin this process next month, but we still have a ways to go to meet that goal, so please be praying that God will open doors and provide these funds! We are still open to other ways that God may lead us to adoption whether it be domestic or international, but at this point this is the direction that we feel God is leading us in. Thank you for all of your love and support and continued prayer is appreciated!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where to go from here....

I am the type of person that can suck the life out of anything I do. I sort of become obsessive in my research. I feel like I have to direct this energy somewhere so that I'm not dwelling as much on the pain of not being parents yet. I think in some ways I've been searching for hope via the internet.  I truly thought that we were making the right decision by putting down the fertility treatments for the time being and saying "let's pursue adoption!" I apparently was under some sort of disillusionment when I thought that since we were finally stepping out in faith and following God's path for us that the funds would just swarm in and it would all be quick and easy. I think that I was hoping that someone would know someone who was looking to place their baby for adoption and boom, we would have a birth mom! Boy was I wrong. The more I research agencies and options the more confused and overwhelmed I become. I find a program that I like to just become discouraged by the process taking 18-24 months. Or I find a program that takes a year or less to become discouraged by the fact that it costs $20,000-$30,000 and we then have to add on the time that it will take to raise/save those funds before we can truly begin.

In addition to all of this, I continually feel as though we are called to international adoption. I don't have a reason for this, as I know there are many children in the United States who need good homes too, I just feel in my heart that this is the road God has set before us. Our situation is so different from most other couples who are adopting after struggles with infertility. We still have embryos that we have to use, so we still have a chance to have a biological child. I have to admit, this is how I always pictured our family, a nice blend of biological and adopted children. So I feel like I am left with the question of whether we try again for a bio child and spend more time raising money for international adoption or do we choose an international program and increase our efforts at raising funds. I think in many ways we are just so desperate to become parents that we want to go with the route that will accomplish that the fastest. However, at the same time I really want to follow God and I am trying to remember that "God never arrives late", no matter how hard we try to make this happen more quickly. There is also the reality that we can use the rest of our embryos and not get pregnant and then find ourselves still having to wait for everything to pan out for adoption.

Please pray that for us. That God will make His path for us clear and lead us in the right direction. That we will know without a shadow of a doubt where to go from here. That He will give us peace in this time of waiting and help us to use this time to continue to grow in our love for each other and prepare us to be better parents than we would have been 3 years ago.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

           Today is a particularly low day for me. I've recently heard of a couple of new pregnancy announcements, which always get me emotional. One thing that people who haven't struggled with infertility don't understand is that when an infertile couple hears a pregnancy announcement, they need to take time to absorb that information. It's not that I'm not happy for you, or that you should feel guilty about your blessing (don't feel guilty!), but I still have to take time to grieve the fact that once again it is not us. Times like these stir up emotions of "when will it be our turn?", "why doesn't God think that we deserve to be parents?" and just a feeling of being "left behind" as you watch all of these other couples become pregnant while we sit on the sidelines. I know that this is not God punishing us or telling us that we're not deserving, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't feel that way at times. The longer we're married the harder this becomes because more and more couples that got married after us are starting families. I know this isn't a competition, but it's just hard to know that we haven't made this choice to not start a family yet, it just isn't as easy for us. I know our day will come and it will all be worth the wait, but in the here and now, facing the unknown, the grief can be overwhelming.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


         Many of you may be wondering where we are in this whole adoption process. Currently we are focusing on raising money to help fund the cost of adoption as well as choosing the way we will go about adopting. To the right of this post you will find ways that you can help us raise money. We often get the question, "why does adoption cost so much?". I hope to do a post on this in the near future to explain a bit better the costs associated with adoption. For this post however, I would like to focus more on our decisions regarding how we will go about adopting.
         There are several different ways that one can adopt. The first is through the foster care system, which tends to focus more on older children, but younger children and infants do become available. At this point we don't feel as though this is the right decision for us. There is also private adoption where you get in contact with a woman who is looking for a family to adopt her child and then the process occurs through an attorney. Then there is agency adoption, where you choose an agency and pay them to help you through the process such as matching adoptive parents with a birthmother and assisting you with the paperwork and the process as a whole. Through an agency you can adopt domestically (within the United States) or internationally depending on what that agency offers. Also, the agency and/or country will determine what ages of children are available.
        When adopting domestically couples have the option of receiving a newborn, sometimes directly from the hospital. In international adoptions however, typically the youngest child would be 6 months of age, and more typically would be over a year old. Some countries don't even offer children under the age of 3.
         This brings us to the decisions that we now have to make. While I (Jessica) personally have always had a heart for international adoption, when faced with the reality that it was time for us to consider adoption more seriously we weren't sure that international was right at this time. As I stated before, the child will be older, which is fine, but requires some emotional surrender to let go of the idea of receiving a newborn. International adoption also tends to be more costly as it typically requires the use of an agency, plus country fees. The last drawback to international adoption is the time frame, which tends to run 1-2 years and most of the countries we were interested in were closer to 2 years.
        Since we don't know of any women who are looking for a couple to adopt her child, this brings us to agency domestic adoption. In this situation, costs can still be quite high, but we could choose to be matched with a newborn. Some of our original agency choices are not actually options for us because we live in New York which has different adoption laws than other states.
       We did attend a meeting the other night with a local adoption agency, which was informative and had some really positive qualities. However, there were also things that we didn't like as much such as an average wait time of 18 months. After waiting for 3 1/2 years, another year and a half sounds like torture!                  
So, while we feel like we have made progress in narrowing down some choices, we also have others to explore and we have learned about more options such as independent international adoption. This involves adopting internationally without the use of an agency and only certain countries have this option to begin with.
        At this point our next step is to choose whether we are going to adopt domestically or internationally so that we can have a home study performed. It is important to make this decision before beginning a home study as the requirements are different. In deciding this we will have to determine how long are we willing to wait for a child, how much money are we willing to spend, how important age is to us, etc. Please pray for us as we process these decisions and seek the path that God has set before. Please pray that He will close doors and open others to guide us in this journey and that we won't become overwhelmed by this process. Thank again for your love and support!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Welcome to our blog! We decided to begin a blog so that everyone who is supporting us throughout this process can be a part of where we are, what we are doing and receive regular updates.

            For those of you who aren't familiar with our story, here is a brief overview. Elias and I were married on a beautiful day on August 9, 2008. We knew even prior to getting married that becoming parents was extremely important to us, unfortunately we also knew that due to Elias having Cystic Fibrosis there was 98% chance that would not happen without the assistance of advanced reproductive technologies. Even with this knowledge we hoped and prayed that we would be in 2% or that God would grant us a miracle in His time. Due to this fact, along with international missionary work that we had participated in, we also knew that we wanted to adopt. To provide a child with a home, a future and a forever family that he or she might not otherwise have.
           In October 2011, after 3 painful years of infertility, we began the process for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Since I (Jessica) had no known fertility issues, we were under the impression that there was no reason that this wouldn't work. Unfortunately this was not the case for us, and we were heartbroken to find out that we were not pregnant. We still had embryos left, so we tried a frozen embryo transfer in February, just to find out that once again the procedure had failed for no known reason. It was at this point that we decided that we needed to begin exploring the idea of adoption more seriously. We began to invest more time in researching agencies, costs, and options.
           While we still haven't settled on anything concrete in terms of how we will adopt, we have narrowed down options and a few other options have opened up. Due to the high cost of adoption we have begun to raise money via donations and two different fundraisers. We are also asking for support in the most powerful way: prayer. We feel as though this is a ministry that God has called us to as He instructs us in the Bible to "care of the widow and the orphan" and to "clothe the naked and feed the hungry". Even throughout these past 3+ years of pain, heartache, frustration and confusion, we feel blessed to be called to something greater and honored that God would choose us to care for one or more of His children that are in need of earthly parents. Thank you for joining us on our journey and please feel free to ask questions at any time! Many blessings to you!

Elias and Jessica