Exciting Update!

I (Tad) was talking to a close friend several months ago about a job opportunity that came up. It was something I was really interested in (being a principal who opened a new school, which was a professional bucket list item of mine). While I didn’t get the position, the question he asked me has stuck with me since then. Not only about that position, but in all things. His question, “What if God says no?”

Very rarely am I left speechless, but at that moment, I was. I believe God’s plans are sovereign, and of course, I’ve told myself, “it wasn’t meant to be” in many situations life has thrown my way; this was different, though. His question was so direct and not wrapped up in any warm fuzzy encouragement, but it’s exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. When I feel like God isn’t hearing me or isn’t moving things along at the pace I want, I always come back to that question,” What if God says no?”

When I encounter situations where I have to be real and ask myself that question, that can be scary. It becomes the moment you have to consider something you really want that may not be part of His plan. I’ve also learned that asking myself that question is a good reminder that God may instead be saying… not yet.

If you’ve followed our blog, you know we haven’t posted anything recently. The truth is, there hasn’t been much for us to post. We appreciate the financial support that has come in so far, and we’ve made progress with the puzzle. However, there have been no emails of possible situations, no phone calls of a request for a last-minute situation (angel drop), nothing at all for over a month.

Last week I had that moment where I had to be real and ask myself, “What if God says no?” I started praying quite a bit about the adoption. Specifically, I asked that if this was part of His plan for us, He would reveal that to us somehow.  

I’m here to tell you that God has a way of doing things in a grand fashion! Not 1, not 2, but 3 possible situations were sent to us in a few days. The first one came through email as we were hiking Linville Falls in the mountains last weekend. While we were excited about a possible situation, we also had reservations about moving forward based on several factors in the information we received. We know that when it comes to adoption, there’s never going to be a “perfect” situation, but we have to weigh all factors carefully. After much prayer and discussion, we did not have peace about moving forward with presenting to that situation, but we have been praying for that mama and kiddo and the adoptive family who will be blessed with a baby soon. 

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but more than likely, it’s God doing His thing because the second situation that came up we were only made aware of because of the first situation that we didn’t have peace about. Adoption is complicated and has many moving parts, especially when you’re working with multiple agencies. But, for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say we would have never known about the second situation had the first situation not been sent to us.

We then received a third situation via email just a few hours later while we were working on the paperwork for the second situation. How’s that for God’s reminder that maybe our adoption isn’t a “No” but a “Not Yet?!”

We’re thankful that each situation’s timeline and due dates are a little different, allowing us to be considered for both of them. We are trying to be cautiously optimistic because we know that in each situation, there will likely be anywhere from 30-50+ adoptive families who choose to present to each birth mother. The odds are small that we’ll be chosen, but we know that God has already written our story.

Interestingly enough, the two situations couldn’t be more different. For privacy and confidentiality sake, we aren’t going to go into too many details at this point, but we can tell you that one is due in August and the other in January.  

Kristen and I were talking about which scenario is more encouraging for us:

  1. Hearing nothing and assuming the only situation we get will be “the one.”
  2. Being presented with many situations even though we know only one of them will be “the one.”

I’ve tried to convince myself that the first option was better because that way, we wouldn’t be let down by the “no’s” we receive. However, after over a month of not hearing anything, we realized option two is much better for us. Because even if we receive a “no,” it’s God’s reminder that our story is still being written and each no is bringing us one step closer to our “YES!”

Please continue to pray for us as we navigate our Road to Adoption. We appreciate all of the encouragement and support sent our way. We’ll keep everyone posted on these two situations we are presenting to, and hopefully, we’ll have some exciting news to share in the coming weeks.

Our First Situation

I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Earlier that day, we received an email that a birth mother was making an adoption plan and that she could be a potential match for us.

I was at Bible study and immediately forwarded the email to Tad so that he could review it while I was tied up. My heart was racing. Could this really be happening already?

I briefly scanned the email and saw that a baby boy was due in June and needed a family quickly. They would be presenting profiles to the birth mother tomorrow. In that moment, the details of the situation didn’t even matter to me. I immediately began thinking of baby names, making plans to have our home “baby ready” by early June, and envisioning becoming this baby boy’s mama.

I called Tad about an hour later, and he proceeded to share some of the details of the situation. I will spare any information about the birth mother or child for privacy’s sake. However, I will say that had this situation played out the way that we hoped, I would have had a baby boy in my arms in less than 2 months.

Unfortunately, as I was crafting the email with our required documents to present our profile, we received an email from our consultant that the agency had already received enough families to present. This was in less than 2 hours from receiving the initial email.

I was consumed with disappointment. I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of two hours. Because this was our first situation, we did not know what to expect or how much time we would have to make a decision. In my sadness, I appreciated Tad’s perspective. He said, “God won’t allow a situation to work out that isn’t meant for us.”

It reminded me of a saying I heard years ago: “If it’s not God’s plan, you can’t force it. If it is God’s plan, you can’t stop it.”

Since that day, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about and praying for this birth mother and her baby. In her handwriting, I read of a scared young woman who was in a situation that made it extremely difficult for her to raise a child. In one email, we knew everything about her. Adoption became real for us in that moment. It reminded me of two important points about this journey:

1) There is no moment in life that I can think of where joy and grief are more present than in adoption.

Adoption is born out of loss.

Joy out of pain.

Continued joy out of continued pain.

There is so much pain in placing a child for adoption. And there is so much joy in adopting a child. May we be sensitive to this and never forget this.

2) Adoption can change your life in an instant.

Had we moved forward with presenting our profile and been matched with this birth mother, our entire lives would have changed in an instant.

We don’t have a nursery yet.

We don’t have the funds yet.

We don’t have any baby stuff, period.

BUT, we fully trust God to provide when the time comes and our hearts are completely invested in this process. So, we are ready. And we cannot wait to receive the call telling us “you’ve been matched”.

Adoption Update | Be a “Piece” of Baby Sherman’s Story

Adoption is a costly endeavor. However, we’ve come to understand that the dollar signs and commas on the dreaded fee sheets have a good and necessary purpose. It’s what it will take to bridge the gap between Baby Sherman and us. When we first decided to adopt, one of the things that we wrestled over was whether or not we would do any fundraising. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to. There aren’t many things more humbling than asking other people for help. It’s uncomfortable, it’s vulnerable, and it feels awkward. The more we have sought the Lord and prayed about it, the more we understand that it isn’t about asking people for money but asking them to be a part of Baby Sherman’s beautiful story.

As we’ve shared previously, we are in the early stages of our adoption journey, but we are officially Home Study approved and “active” with several adoption agencies. Through our consultant, we are immediately active with three agencies. In addition, we’ve applied to three others (recommended by our consultant) that we hope to be active with by sometime next week. Being “active” means that agencies will now be able to start sending us situations to review, and our profile book will be shown to birth mothers considering adoption. It’s getting real now and we are so excited to see how this story unfolds!

We don’t know how long this journey will be. Only God does. It could happen very quickly and be an “Angel Drop” situation where a baby has just been born and needs a family at a moment’s notice, or it could take a while for us to be matched.

Here is where you come into the picture… or the puzzle. While we wait on God’s plans and timing for our adoption, we have decided to launch a puzzle fundraiser.

We have selected a 520-piece puzzle that represents our adoption journey.

On the front, an original piece of artwork was created by our good friend, Christine Brady. She shared:

“The writing in the background (in my handwriting) is a broad overview of salvation history and how God blesses the nations through His people, and how His overall plan prevails; how God is in control and working all things for good. The map is of the Middle East, where Israel is, because through this promise God made made to Israel, He blessed the world (as we see in Genesis 12:2).”

We chose the verse from Jeremiah 29:11 to remind our child that even though they may face difficulties in life, God’s promises are still true. He is faithful and will lead them through whatever trials they may face.

On the back of the puzzle, a different kind of original artwork will be created… 520 names.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You can “adopt” a piece for $25 that will go directly towards bringing Baby Sherman home.
  2. You can adopt 1, 2, 3, or 10 pieces! There is no limit!
  3. After you have adopted your piece(s), we will write your name on the back. For anyone who has already donated, your names will be the first that we add to the puzzle. 🙂 For multiple pieces, we can put your name (or your family- ex: Sherman Family) on all of them, or you can designate pieces for each member of your family. For example: If you donate $100, we’ll write your name on 4 puzzle pieces.
  4. We will begin assembling the puzzle as soon as we have enough pieces adopted and will provide progress updates along the way.
  5. Once all the puzzle pieces have been adopted, we will glue it together and place it in a double-sided glass frame that will be displayed in Baby Sherman’s nursery.

We believe this puzzle will not only represent the many people who helped bring Baby Sherman home, but it will be a beautiful reminder throughout their life that they are loved by many.

Ways you can “adopt” a puzzle piece:

  • Visit our GoFundMe website and tap “Donate Now”. If the amount is higher than $25 and there are specific names you want displayed on the puzzle pieces, please include that in the comments of your donation.

We will continue to provide updates as Baby Sherman’s puzzle comes together! Thank you for your continued support and prayers. We appreciate you!

Waiting is Hard. Really, Really Hard!

Written by Tad

I’m going to pick up where I left off in my first post…what do we do now?  We wait!

It’s been about two weeks since our last post, yet it has felt more like two months.  Are any of you like me?  It takes you a little bit of time to make a decision, but once you do…”Let’s go!  Make it happen.  Right now.”  The problem with this mindset is that God is often smiling down saying, “Haha!  Bad news…it ain’t happening when YOU want.  It’ll happen when I know the time is right.”

As I pray daily, I ask God to give me peace and patience in all things, but especially with our adoption.  One of the things He has continually reminded me of is that we are waiting because He is working. He knows the exact situation and circumstances that will lead us to Baby Sherman. If we try to rush the process or press for something that’s not a part of His ultimate plan, then we may never be united with him/her. Who are we to try to speed up the process and be matched with a baby that God may have identified for another adoptive family? And how devastating to think that had we rushed things, we may have missed out on meeting the baby that God specifically chose for us.  As hard as waiting is, this reminder is always followed by a deep breath while saying, “Okay, God.  I get it.”

And just when I say that, He shows up and gives us little reminders that things are moving along at HIS pace, not ours. The great thing when you want to hurry things along and it’s not happening is when you get those little updates that just make you smile and remind you that as slowly as it may go, any forward movement is one step closer to us meeting our baby.

So what are those little updates…

  1. Home Study: The only part of our home study that is left are the actual home visits. Unfortunately, things are backed up and many places are not taking new home study applications.  However, we got an email this week that we have been assigned with a social worker 🙂 We’re excited to hear from her and can’t wait to get our first visit scheduled.
  1. Profile Book: We received our first draft of our full profile book.  We had already gotten to see the written portions, but now we’ve seen a digital copy of the actual book. It’s 28 pages! It really is pretty amazing and was another reminder of a small step in the right direction.  Hopefully soon we can share that publicly with all of you.  

Waiting is often one of the hardest parts of the adoption process, and we are thankful for the little reminders along the way that the wait is worth it.  Ironically, a story was posted today in the group we belong to on Facebook, “Adoption is Beautiful”, that was on this exact topic – “Waiting”. The new adoptive mother shared in her story:

“As we approached a year of being “in the wait” and countless “not yets;” in His perfect time, almost nine months exactly from our first time presenting, we got our YES! When I had the absolute honor to speak with our son’s birth mom, she told me “I am so glad the others didn’t choose you, because I know you were meant for me.” I can without a doubt, 100 percent, tell you that we would not change a single thing that led us to this child we are blessed to call our own.”

God sure does provide us with perfectly timed reminders of His goodness!