Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
— James 1:17-18

It’s been fifteen days since we received the good news that we have been matched with a birth mother.

After months of waiting, this news was just what we’ve been waiting for. Our decision to adopt began this past Thanksgiving and we signed the papers in December. 2019 has been full of the ups and downs and twists and turns of adoption. From completing our home study, filling out paperwork for grants, and going live in the system, we’ve felt the Lord’s faithfulness with each step of this journey. When we went live in late March, we had to lean on Him and our own discernment as we saw case after case of birth mothers whose children needed a home. This process has wrecked us and we felt such a mixture of emotions as we made decisions for our family based on each case.

When Raleigh and I saw the case that is now Raleigh James, we both felt a strong urge to say yes immediately. We had only felt that urge once before and the birth mother had ended up keeping her baby (which is such an honorable decision). So, once we got this particular case, we had time to pray about it and the next morning we both agreed it was still a yes. Turns out, we were a yes for the birth mother too and after a phone call, we were told that she had chosen us to adopt her son.

Receiving the news on May 15 that we had been matched was such a sweet gift from the Lord. The only way that I can explain it is that it felt right. There wasn’t hesitation or questioning involved and the phone call that we had brought us to a new level of believing that our decision to adopt was the right decision for our family. Raleigh James is scheduled to be born on Monday, June 10, and we can’t wait to meet him!

June 10 is just eleven days away.

We want to ask that if you feel led to give toward our adoption, that you make a donation toward our matching grant through Lifesong for Orphans. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 organization that helps families going through the adoption process. If we raise $3,500, we will be matched with another $3,500 - that’s $7,000 that is going toward our adoption expenses. Our domestic adoption is going to cost around $50,000. To be honest, this number is a little scary and a lot of our prayers and discussions have been centered around this number. With our decision to adopt, we are fully committed to providing for Raleigh James’ financial needs but we would love for you to join us in this journey to bringing him home. Receiving donations has been humbling to say the least. To see friends give financial gifts truly brings tears to our eyes. It connects us, you know? Your gift is one way of saying that you love Raleigh James too. Words truly can’t describe how that makes us feel.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
— James 1:27

God is for adoption.

Another friend who has adopted reminded me of this truth recently and I could not agree with her more. I believe that God has brought us to this place and has made us for this moment. I believe that He is taking care of Raleigh James and his birth parents. I believe that God is moving, guiding, and directing us each step of the way. If you are someone who wants to pray for us, please pray for these three things specifically:

  1. Raleigh James birth parents.

    We don’t want to disclose their names or private information online but we would like for you to pray for their needs to continue to be met. If you could pray for his birth mother’s health as she prepares to give birth and for her recovery afterward, we would be so grateful. Adoption has opened our eyes to the needs of others and I have so much respect for this birth mother who has made such a brave decision. Please pray for the hearts of these two people and that they know how much they are loved by God.

  2. Raleigh James.

    I haven’t met him yet but I have this picture in my mind of what he looks like. Please pray for his birth and his health. Please pray that he will receive our love with abundance, that he never feels without or unwanted. Please pray for him as he transitions into a family that looks different from him and for him not to feel judged by those around him as he grows up. Please pray that he grows to be a young man that is confident in the Lord and loves others with his whole heart.

  3. Our family.

    Raleigh and I have never adopted before and even though we are parents, we are learning so much every day and facing many trials with our marriage through this process. Please pray for our marriage to remain strong and stable during these next few months and that we continue to draw near to the Lord. Please pray for Adeline and Maralee as they have lots of questions and fears of what others will think of their new baby brother. Please pray for Ridley as he transitions into becoming a big brother and that he will continue to become independent and help out around the house. Please pray for our parents as they once again become grandparents and for our extended family as they meet Raleigh James and welcome him into their lives.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lackng anything.
— James 1:2-4

Since May 15, life has been barreling toward June 10, the date of Raleigh James’ birth mother’s scheduled cesarean. In the midst of all of our year-end school activities, we have gone into overdrive making all of our final plans for our adoption. We’ve signed official papers, wired money, booked plane tickets, continued to fundraise, bought baby supplies, and have pulled out sentimental clothes that we want our baby to wear after he’s born. Every day has brought a new task, a new deadline, a new problem to solve. Even though it is summer, we’ve barely had time to slow down from all there is to do.

I have to believe that this adoption process is teaching us to have faith over our fear. Since beginning this adoption process, I’ve realized through fasting the things that control me. One of the things that the Lord continues to reveal to me is that I am a fearful person. There is so much to fear with adoption: finances, communication, what others will think, bonding, travel, our relationship with his birth parents, health, delivery, the paperwork, ICPC clearance, providing for another child, work, adjusting to life with a newborn, new schedules/routines…the list can go on and on. Every single day I have to remind myself that God is providing for our every need.

A verse that we have clung to throughout this adoption is “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22). The word says to take care of the widows and the orphans but it also says to believe and not doubt, to be quick to listen and slow to speak. This adoption is not only bringing Raleigh James into our home but it is peeling back layers of shame and regret and creating in us a new way to love and live. God is using this adoption to teach Raleigh and I how to love and communicate with one another and our kids. It’s teaching us the things that are most important in life and that “when we come near to God, God will come near to us (James 4:8).”

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our family, giving us baby items, and donating toward our fundraisers. We truly feel your love and support and words can not describe how thankful we are to have you in our lives. We ask that you continue to pray for us. We will keep you updated as we travel to meet Raleigh James!


Celebrating you,

Christen





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