I went off social media a few weeks ago. The time away has been exactly what I needed. While I didn’t miss it one bit, I’m back on because, well, social media can be used for more than just politics and arguing, and my brain needed a reset from all of that. I needed the time away. I’m not sure how long I’ll stay back on, because the Lord has been humbling me on my social media hiatus. I do want to use it right now to tell our story.
The story of growing our family.
Shortly after Blake was born I learned I couldn’t have anymore children due to some medical issues. And, if I could, it would be high risk and dangerous for me. We made the decision at that point to be content with our family of 3.
Adopting never seemed to be on our hearts and minds. Blake seemed to make us the perfect trio.
About two years ago I began to consider adoption in the back of my mind, but never thought anything serious of it, and I didn’t say anything to anyone, even Michael. When the thought would come to me, I would brush it off.
A year ago Michael and I were sitting on the porch after Blake went to bed, enjoying the night air, and he said to me, “Maybe we should consider an international adoption.” Clearly he’d be considering this as well…
My jaw dropped.
International adoption is expensive. I’m talking brand-new-car-with-all-the-upgrades, expensive. (As a teacher and police officer we don’t exactly purchase new vehicles. Used ones are more our speed.) Unfortunately, the expensive reality of adoption prevents so many amazing people from taking the leap into adoption. Since I am unable to have any more children myself, we wrestled with this due to the cost.
We decided if we were still considering adopting a year from that conversation on the porch then we would pursue it.
Well, one year later, it reared its head again and it we both felt God was really nudging at our hearts.
Prayerfully, we decided to contact agencies and get the process started.
We found an agency quickly and instantly fell in love with them. We began the process, relying on God and his will for us.
We rifled through the options and continued to feel a call to adopt internationally. We weeded through all of the different countries, asking many questions to our adoption coordinator, and she sent us packets of information.
One of the first things you do when beginning this journey is fill out a checklist of what you’re looking for. We told them it didn’t matter what the race was, we wanted a boy between 4 and 6, with minor medical corrections and needs only.
China was closed to us almost immediately because China will not accept anyone on anxiety meds. I’ve been off and on anxiety meds for much of my life, and mine is considered “moderate”.
The Philippines and Colombia weren’t a good fit for us because most of the older kids up for adoption require the siblings to be adopted with them, and we only want one child.
Bulgaria has a wait list that could take 3 to 6 years, and that’s much longer than we’d like to wait.
Haiti became the most obvious choice for us, and the adoption coordinator agreed.
We didn’t tell anyone for a long time, and instead, continued to pray, asking God if this was the right decision for us.
Though there are so many unknowns at this point, we are certain this is the direction God wants us to pursue.
Our adoption journey begins…
Our adoption packet came with a page of expenses we will incur, and still, each time we think about it it puts a little knot in our stomach. It’s scary to wonder where all this money is going to come from, but also surrendering and knowing this is the journey God has set before us, and we lay it all at his feet and trust his plan. He will provide.
When we first made the decision to adopt, one of the things that we wrestled over was, of course, where would this money come from? In a perfect world, we would just have tens of thousands of dollars sitting in our bank account, no problem. Asking for help is not something that Michael and I find easy, nor is it something we have ever been comfortable with. I mean, we live comfortably, yet modestly where we can.
When speaking to our pastor recently about our adoption journey, he mentioned us reaching out to the community for help (including our church), and I talked to him about how uncomfortable that was for me. I like being independent, not having to rely on others to provide for me. I’d much prefer to help others, not to ask for help. My pastor quickly reminded Michael and I that in a biblical community, we help one another and we humble ourselves before the Lord.
Well, there aren’t many things more humbling than asking other people for money, is there? It’s gut-wrenchingly difficult. It’s uncomfortable. It’s vulnerable. The more we have talked about it though, the more we understand that it isn’t about asking people for money, but asking them to be a part of our family’s STORY. Our sons stories.
Notice I said “sons”, plural.
We know we are in for a long journey. It’s going to be beautiful and messy and hard and brutal and imperfect, but walking in obedience isn’t always perfect. But, children are a heritage from the Lord, no matter where they come from. Adoption is a beautiful reflection of God’s love. In all of my sin and ugliness, the Lord somehow found favor in me to be one of his children, and the thought of that leaves me in tears. I know I am not worthy of God’s love, but oh, how sweet his love is to me. I cannot think of a better way to depict this love than to give a home to a child that has none.
After learning I couldn’t have any more children myself, I was content with this. I smile these days when I think back on what the Lord’s plans were for our family. A child does not have to be born of your womb to be called your child.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” -1 Samuel 1:27
We are requesting to adopt a boy ages 4 to 6 years old, and we are choosing to do it internationally. We chose an adoption agency and were sent the list of countries to choose from. After much prayer and many doors closing, we’ve made the proud and confident decision to adopt from Haiti.
We know the Lord has always had a plan for our family, to include this beautiful boy we are meant to be parents of. We know this boy was born to a different mother, but the Lord planned for us to be his parents all along. We do not know his name, we do not know what he will look like, but we do know that he is ours, and he is out there waiting for us to meet him and bring him back to be ours forever.
Please be a part of our son’s story, our family’s story through our puzzle piece fundraiser to bring our son home to us.
It works like this:
1. We have a 520 piece puzzle that we created. (I’m not even sure we have/know 500 people-LOL! But, let’s give it a shot!)
2. We are “selling” each piece for $20. You can choose to buy 1, 2, 3, or 10! There is no limit! You can even go half with someone if $20 is a lot for you! We understand!
3. To purchase a puzzle piece, please send payment
via Paypal- firstname.lastname@example.org
(if some other way is best for you, please contact me)
4. Once you purchase a piece, we will write your name on the back of one of the puzzle pieces and send you a picture.
5. Once every single piece has been “sold”, we will put the puzzle together and hang it in a double-sided glass frame so that we can always look on the back and be reminded of who had a “piece” of bringing our child home to us, and who helped us go from a family of 3 to 4.
If we are able to sell all 520 pieces, we will have raised $10,400! Wow! (Then we will have about $20,000 left to pay)
This $10,400 for the puzzle will take care of our upcoming Dossier completion, homestudy, the Program Maintenance and Development Fee, the Post Placement Fee, and part of the Foreign Fee. We’d be honored and humbled to have you be a part of this story.
If you’re unable to purchase a puzzle piece, we understand completely.
The other amazing thing that you could do to help would be to spread this! Share it with your families and friends. You can also pray for our family.
Here’s what you can pray.
- This process goes according to the Lord’s plan in its completeness
- Blake will flourish as we make this huge life transition
- Our new sweet boy (who we don’t know yet) is already anticipating his life for us and is ready and waiting with open arms
- Our new boy is surrounded by loving and Godly people when we bring him home to the U.S. who will nurture him, and be the perfect people in his life to help him carry out God’s plan for him.
- We are patient as we wait this process out
I always thought our family of 3 was complete with Blake, because of my inability to have any more. God’s plans are greater though, and he knew. He’s always known. We would be so grateful if you could help our family of 3 to become 4. Help our second son come home to us where God always intended him to be.
I look forward to sharing our adventures with you as we ride this adoption journey. As I say so often, life is crazy.
Bring on the ride. We are coming for you Mason family member #4!
With so much love and gratitude,
Brittney, Michael & Blake