Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How it all exploded

Hey everyone sad news to report, we found out last night that this adoption is definitely not going happen. We obviously are hurting, but feel very protected in the midst of it all. We always knew this was a possibility, but it is still rough.

We found out that there are multiple families who had been promised rights to the child and the mom was apparently expecting to get something out of it somehow.

We are so thankful that we entered in with good boundaries already in place. We didn't give her money. She doesn't know where we live. All that is really lost is the hope that we had for this child to be part of our family and minimal fees to the lawyer to did some calls for us.

On a good note, our home study is done and we are approved for adoption in general. So if we found another private/independent adoption opportunity we could act immediately. You never know what will come up, especially from a "friend of a friend" type of situation and we're willing to look into other opportunities that may come up.

We are going to adopt, just not this little girl, so any funds that were donated will sit in an adoption account until another child comes along. Thank you all SO MUCH for your love, support, and believing we'll be good parents when we get the chance someday.

Things we're thankful for:
We found out now, not at the court date a few weeks from now!

We know where she'll be and its a great situation that actually is an answer to many prayers we prayed for her.

For the comfort of God walking through this with us. We talked about it last night and we really believe that we did what we were supposed to. We had boundaries, were prayerful and felt God's direction. In the midst of it all falling apart He's here too. I feel like in times like these, the hardest situation we've been in, it is our "Isaac". Just like when God asked Abraham if he would give his son, and still follow him even though it meant what he loved most. If this child is taken away will I still trust? Will I still love God? What will spill out from the depths of my soul automatically because it is what is actually there? And at the end of the day God is still Good even though it hurts. I feel His presence more in pain than normal life.

Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Job 5:18... For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.

Friday, August 23, 2013

40 Days in and an update

Here's some stats on where we are:

Days since we got a call: 40

Lawyers involved: 5, with a 6th pending when we find the dad

Pages written for home study: 36

Age of child: about 12 weeks

Times we've met mom: 4

Homestudy completed!: 1!!!!!!(big deal in so short of time)

States involved: 2

Papers needing to be signed: A million (feels like)

Funds raised: 6000+ in 16 days!

Tickets to the court date: 2

Dogs rescued: 0 :( thats another story...

Our biggest need right now- PLEASE PRAY- is to 1) Find the father and 2) that he'll work with us.

I'm not a private investigator but I'm pretty good at Facebook-stalking. He must sign or the other state won't work with us. And he could be anywhere....

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A BIG God for Big asks.

Right now we have a ton of updates, and they all literally happened in the last 24 hours. I'm reminded of how mighty God is in the middle of it all. We weren't looking to start this specific adoption process, we didn't have the money, didn't think we could handle the drama, and were too afraid of the uncertainty.

But God is at work despite our weakness. He is strong.

First off I'm amazed and excited to say that we are FULLY FUNDED!!!! Thank you Jesus and everyone who helped out. We were in awe of how many people who we'd not seen in years, never met, or who we knew really could't afford it chipped in to help. This means that we will be able to pay all the lawyers expected and not have to worry about how much they are working for us. We will keep the site open in case anyone else feels led to give towards travel expenses. We know that we will be going down to a court date, and past that we really don't know what it will cost us in the picking her up process.

When this adoption came up, Josh said something that has stuck with me. Before we started this our faith was too small to see and understand what God would do. We knew he wanted us to adopt, so we started on the track that seemed most logical and safe to us. We knew it would be uncomfortable to be in direct contact with birth parents, we knew that there was huge risk involved since the parent can always change their mind at the last minute, we knew we didn't have the money . When all of the sudden we were adopting through a private adoption with all of those exact issues at play I realized that God might just want to flex for us and build our faith in the process.

So with that said, here are some things that we ask you to pray for, because God can do more than we ask and imagine and so far he's directing us to adopt this little girl.

Please pray that we can 1) find out when and 2) be able to be at the court date. It will determine what the state does in the baby's case.

Please pray specifically for the judge that day and that their decision would be quick and in our favor.

Please pray for the foster home that the baby is in, that she is safe and taken care of. Pray for transition and that she'll be able to bond with us pretty quickly.

Please pray for the mom (who is in jail right now). We sent her a letter today. Pray that it is well recieved and that there will be no hiccups in the adoption because she is in jail.

Please pray that the remainder of our home study goes quickly and that we can find out who to send it to in the other state.

Please pray that we can find a lawyer in the other state that is willing to work with us because it is a little bit complicated and not something that happens a lot at this age of a child.

Please pray for our emotions through this whole thing. Its pretty crazy and it is easy to not want to hope because of the risks, and 5 minutes later feel like everything is already done and then go back to the uncertainty again.

Thank you all so much!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Update: Our unexpected adoption

Hello Everyone! Can I say that the last two weeks have been the craziest of my life? We were working on going through all of our homestudy with the State to adopt through foster care. In the process we found out that right now in our state there are only 40 kids waiting to be adopted and over 40 families just in our county ready to adopt. For a couple like us (younger than 30???) they estimated that it would take 3 years to adopt through foster care. Totally ok with me. We prayed about it. Started to adjust to the idea that it would take that long. Then two weeks ago I got a text, and a call from a friend of a friend whose baby was 6 weeks old at that point and wants her to be adopted. We met her, met with lawyers, called a million social workers and are now working to adopt her! Because there are two states involved (I'm being vague about all this on purpose, I'd love to say more in person)and the baby is currently in foster care but it would be a private adoption there are several things we need to do to make it happen. We are trying to get everything together so that we're ready to go by September. In the middle of this all I'm struck with how much of a Jesus thing adoption is. He adopted us at great cost to himself not because of anything we've done but because of his love. God throughout history has taken people out of crazy backgrounds and started a new transformed family tree. I really believe that he's at work not just in the life of this baby, but of the siblings, her mom and everyone around. I keep praying and seeing God answer and I have hope that this little girl will really be a part of our family though it can be rough in the meantime. Please pray: For us and paperwork. It is a lot. And we are already busy and filling in all the in between time with paperwork. For our funding. We were getting ready, but this came quickly and is a different process than what we had already started. Check out ttp://www.gofundme.com/hawesfamilyadopt if you would like to help! For our relationship with the birthmom. So far she is totally for us adopting, and we get along really well. Pray that if for any reason she would back out or something else would keep the adoption from going through that it would happen quickly. For us to be a good team. This is by far the most stressful thing we've ever been through. We're giving one another grace but we need rest and extended daylight hours to do everything!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

She Found a Family!

Yesterday I was perusing the Oregon Heart Gallery (www.oregonheartgallery.com) and the little girl who was part of the catalyst for us to adopt now disappeared off the website! Hooray! That means that she found a family!

We had heard stories of kids disappearing off the website and how it feels if you've been wondering if they are yours and moving forward when they find their family. So I cried, but was happy. Here is how it started: We lived in "adoption limbo-land" for quite awhile. We have always wanted to adopt, but weren't in the process yet. We vaguely went to a few adoption events, did a little research into local adoption agencies. Thought and prayed about Domestic Infant Adoption vs International Adoption vs Foster Care Adoption. And we waited for a "perfect time." But there isn't such a thing.

  I had been following the Oregon Heart Gallery and one day I showed my husband. As we looked in the site we were drawn to one little girl who is 5, has been in foster care most of her life through several different homes. She has siblings who have already been adopted and was the last one left. His response to seeing her was, "I can't make her wait." Our timing could always be better, but kids still have birthdays, and lose teeth, and learn to read with or without their forever family. We can't make her wait. We prayed for her, that God will bring her the right family. We prayed for her on Christmas as we drove to see my family and wondered what she was doing. Wondered if she was having a good day. Talked about what it will be like to meet a kid for the first time who would eventually be part of your family, but isn't yet, and who has already been through so much in their short little lives. We knew not to get attached. We aren't even to the point of the process where we could possibly find out if we would be a good fit yet. We Started Classes. Finished Paperwork. And are waiting for it all to come back in a month or so.

And she found a family.
 I'm so glad she didn't have to wait.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kids Say...

The best responses we've gotten about adoption have been from our friend's kids!

Says the 6 year old: "You're getting kids? Who?" We don't know yet? "Where from?" Somewhere in Oregon "Where will you get them?" We don't know "Will you get them on craigslist?"

Says another 6 year old: My brother and sisters got documented last week at church. (she meant dedicated) I wish you had a kid to get documented.

Says a 4 year old: I brought you stuffed animals to sell at your yard sale so you can adopt a child.


Adoption can be confusing.

We recently took a detour (and are now back to where we were before). It involved a text"do you want to adopt a baby in 12 weeks?," possible birthmom, talking to lawyers/private adoption agencies, deciding to go for it and then never actually getting to meet mom because she disappeared into thin air. The world is funny today, because somewhere out there is a lady with a facebook message from me that she may or may not have read saying that if she still wants her baby to be adopted we'd like to get on the list.

 Oh Facebook!  I had to pay a dollar to send it because we aren't friends.

Pray for the mom, and baby girl. I think she'll be born in the next two weeks and mom probably still has a lot of obstacles for their family. I can't believe that it was possible that we'd have a little girl in 2 weeks....

Things I'm thankful for in the process: God has it planned out, an He knows when, where, who, etc. I feel totally protected in this all falling through. For whatever reason it wouldn't have been a good thing for our family at this time, in this way. I'm thankful for friends who let me borrow their kids so that it doesn't seem like SUCH a crazy idea. I really can keep a kid alive and mostly content :) Thankful that my husband is so steady, excited and working so hard!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gathering resources

I've found an amazing resource for anyone interested in adopting from foster care, or adoption in general. Its been incredibly encouraging and helpful for me to learn some of the things we may face in the process. If you want to understand me better or find out more about the foster-adopt process you can visit this website or listen to their tons of podcasts! I've listened to 40+ in the last two weeks. Each is about 10 minutes long and they follow a Christian family in California who adopted a sibling set from foster care. Topics include: attachment, court, love and logic and other parenting strategies, why adopt through foster care?, special needs adoption, and just their stories of how it is going along the way. They are incredibly personable and I love listening to the ways they work through things. If you only listen to one listen to episode 4! www.fosterpodcast.com

Friday, February 15, 2013

Foundations Training. Check!

We had a wonderful time last weekend going through the Foundations training at Boys and Girls Aid. Check them out at www.boysandgirlsaid.org :) This is the training required for any foster or adoptive families in Oregon. We were able do all 20 hours over a weekend, rather than two nights a week for 9 weeks. SOOOOO glad we could finish it all at once! Some Highlights: - We both felt really encouraged that past experiences really prepared us to adopt through this route at this time. God really is bringing a lot of things together. - The class itself is something that I wish all parents had access to. We talked about child development, parenting tools, discipline, various special needs as well as how the normal growing up process is hindered when a child goes through any kind of trauma. - We had the best chineese food I've ever had in my life across the street from the agency :) - We loved having an extended date weekend with no other responsibilities and driving with each other back and forth while we talked about the different possibilities. -Josh's highlight was hearing a panel of parents who have adopted through the same method. It was encouraging to hear that all of our emotions are totally normal. They also were able to explain the steps and how long it took for them and told us of the disappointments and hard parts of the process as well as the great outcome once they were finally matched with the right kid. This weekend, Josh's brother is getting married (yay!) but as soon as that is over we're going to begin filling out paperwork(double yay!)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baby step #2

Next weekend we are going to the official training to get this all started! It is a weekend packed with everything we need to know/consider/learn to be able to adopt in Oregon. Please pray: - That we're able to take in all the information -That I won't we overwhelmed with all the details and "what if's" and can trust God with the unknowns -For us to be able to make time for the piles of paperwork that are coming! -Financially- We're going to begin some fundraising to cover some of the costs of homestudy and paperwork fees. Its not much, but everything helps!

Restoration of a Life

I've been thinking about how stepping towards adoption is less about what we want our family to look like and more like the restoration of a life. I've worked in schools and seen kids who are not cared for, and done all I can to cheer them on. But I'm not with them that night at home. I can't show them love that doesn't give up because the next term I had a whole new set of kids. I can't even make sure that their basic needs like food and shelter are adequate so that they can move on and be able to learn. I can't change all of their lives, but for one or two (or more) we can make a life-altering change in the course of someone's life. We are choosing to go the Foster-adoption route because our God is a God who restores things. He restores families that are broken. He restores people back into relationship with Him. He restores us at great cost to himself. I want to be part of restoring a life. Giving someone a chance who has had a rough start. Teaching the "normal" things that were perhaps forgotten. Giving them (eventually) a sense of security and a family that will keep being there for them no matter the circumstances. It isn't surprising that I like restoration- I'd rather yard sale all day to find an old treasure that just needs a little bit of love than go to the largest Mall in the world. I guess I see people like that too. They just need some love and someone to take care of them. So thats what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Beginning

Hello!  This is Josh and Holly.  We're beginning this blog to chronicle our adoption journey for anyone who might want to know.

We hope to post updates and info, as well as our thoughts just to keep us sane!  It looks like it will be a long process

You might wonder where the title of the blog comes from.  This passage in Isaiah has been incredibly comforting to me.  I need to meditate more on the heart of God.  He cares for the orphans and widows, and I want my heart to mirror His.

Isaiah 58:6-12

English Standard Version (ESV)
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed[a] go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
    and satisfy your desire in scorched places
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to dwell in.