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Archive for Adoption story

“Our son is a gift, made of miracles and divine love!”

Anthony and Sara with their son ElijahLast year, adoptive couple Anthony and Sara were blessed to adopt a baby boy through Lifetime. In this family’s story, we hear from Sara about her life-long call to adoption, getting “the call” that a birth mother was interested in them, and their experience with becoming parents together through an open adoption.
 
Now a forever family, adoptive mom Sara shares their beautiful story in this special guest blog post!

 
On February 28, 2018, we got the call that would change our lives forever. For some reason, I didn’t have my phone on vibrate that day, and I heard the ringing from the next room as I was unloading the dishwasher. I set the plastic plate in my hand down on the counter and made my way to the desk where my phone was perched. Grass Valley, California was on the caller ID.
 
Newly-born Elijah“We have a birth mother who’s interested in you.”
 
Fast forward exactly four weeks. This time, the caller ID was flashing our birth mom’s name. Not the first time she had ever called, but this call was unscheduled, after 10 pm, and less than a week out from her due date.
 
“My water just broke.”
 
Fast forward about forty hours. We had just driven cross-country to a tiny town in upstate New York. There was another name, but it wasn’t on a caller ID, it was on a hospital crib. “That’s him. As soon as you sent her his name, she had us write it on the crib card.”
 
Fast forward nine months. Here we are. At the time that I’m writing this, it’s been nine months to the day since we left the hospital. As I sit here and reflect on this adoption journey that led us to the most beautiful and perfect baby boy I could have ever dreamed into existence, I realize that adopting our son has taught me some things – not the least of which is my fresh perspective of the gospel message.
 
Worth the adoption wait!I first felt the call to adopt as a very young teenager. It started with one of those controversial “Feed the Children” commercials. Then learning about the unwanted baby girls in China. Then hearing a missionary speak about the orphans they help care for in Uganda, and working with poverty-stricken American children on various missions trips throughout high school. And so on. Each experience was like kindling to my little spark, and God continued to breathe on it.
 
I wanted to adopt because there are so many children in the world who need parents. I wanted to adopt because I want women to choose adoption over abortion when faced with a choice between the two. I wanted to adopt because not everyone has the emotional make-up for it, but for some reason, God gave that to me. I wanted to adopt for reasons that can’t be articulated but only felt with the heart. I felt so strongly about adopting that it would have kept me from marrying someone who didn’t share that desire. So, God sent me a man who had been adopted himself and understood my heart for it. And the flame continued to grow. It was like “a fire, shut up in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9, NIV)”. I was weary of holding it in, and indeed, I could not.
 
On November 1, 2016, the first day of Adoption Awareness Month, Anthony and I officially announced our plans to begin an adoption process. Exactly two years later, to the day, we finalized Elijah’s adoption. It was a beautiful full circle moment, and the moments in between were wrought with God’s goodness.
 
Anthony and Sara's adoption profileWe had to postpone our home study for a while, due to an upcoming move for my husband’s job. So, once our application with Lifetime was approved, we set aside a handful of months to save some money and work on our digital and print profiles. We officially contracted with Lifetime in July 2017 and were home study-ready that October. Then, the real wait began.
 
It was daunting. Looking through page after page of the digital profiles for so many wonderful waiting families on Lifetime’s website made me feel overwhelmingly…small. How could we possibly stand out to someone in that ocean that was teeming with such life? But I kept reminding myself that God had called us to do this and that He would make the right thing stand out to the right birth mother at the right time.
 
Elijah as Max from Where the Wild Things AreAnd He did. Just four months after completing our home study, we were selected by an amazing young woman who had contacted Lifetime late in her pregnancy. She was initially drawn to the fact that Anthony and the birth father have the same college degree, and once she read the rest of our profile, according to her, “it just felt right.” After speaking with her, it felt right to us too.
 
We’ve been blessed with an incredible birth family for our son that we look forward to remaining connected with throughout the years. The coming together of our families is undoubtedly something to celebrate.
 
There are thousands of babies born in the world each day, and the vast majority of these births are insignificant to most of us. Certainly, we rejoice when pregnant women choose life. Certainly, we acknowledge that each life is special. But, we don’t necessarily take a particular interest in all of those lives.
 
Anthony, Elijah, and Sara todayAn example of such a life is the baby boy born in a tiny town in upstate New York at 8:22 am on March 29, 2018, to a woman none of our family and friends have ever met. But, the moment he took on our name, he became part of the family. Elijah has become such a source of excitement and joy in our family. He was automatically accepted and loved. Because he took on our name. That’s the gospel, and watching it play out in front of me these past months has been too beautiful for words.
 
Some people wonder if having an adopted baby could possibly feel the same as having a child that you helped create, but I can say with absolute certainty that we couldn’t love this precious little soul any more in this moment. He is made of dream dust and miracles and divine love, and he is better than we ever imagined. He is a gift. As he grows, we’ll tell him his story – about the God who created him, his birth parents, and the string of holy moments that brought us all together.
 
There are parts of Elijah’s tale I’ll never share publicly, out of respect for him and his birth mother’s privacy. Those sacred details are tucked away in my heart, convincing me even more that he was meant to walk this earth and meant to do it as part of our family. That the God who paid the ultimate price for him has set the stage for His great and marvelous plans for my son’s life to unfold.
 
I can’t wait to find out the rest of the story!
 

Lifetime would love to help you adopt a baby, too!
 
Start your open adoption journey today by completing Lifetime’s free application to adopt.

The Best of This Blog: Top 10 Posts from 2018

You CAN afford adoption with a LightStream adoption loan!With today being the final day of 2018, we thought that it’d be the perfect time to take a look back at the blog posts and topics our readers loved most this year.
 
Looking back on 2018, we covered a range of adoption topics here at Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida’s blog, ranging from how to handle your adoption hospital experience and how your loved ones can support your adoption, to twin adoptions and how to get an adoption loan. So, without further ado, here are our Top 10 blog posts of 2018. We hope you’ll enjoy seeing them again…or enjoy them for the first time!
 

#10: How to Afford Adoption with a LightStream Adoption Loan

In our #10 blog post, we shared about how a LightStream adoption loan can be used to finance any part of your adoption process. At Lifetime, we don’t want a lack of finances to stand in the way of you being able to adopt!
 
Let's end hurtful stereotypes about birth parents

#9: 5 Stereotypes About Birth Parents that Need to Be Stopped Now

There seems to be plenty of stereotypes about birth parents: that they’re addicted to drugs, that birth fathers don’t care, or that birth mothers are women who don’t want children. Actually, one thing birth parents have in common is the desire to provide their child with the best life they can. In our #9 blog post, we shared five of the most common stereotypes about birth parents, so that we might put an end to them!
 

#8: Get 6 Tips on How to Support Your Loved One’s Adoption

This blog post is for your friends and family, to help them better understand how adoption works today. If they want to participate in your adoption experience, the info in this blog post can help serve as a starting point for meaningful conversations about how your adoption will affect everyone.
 

#7: “I need someone to adopt my baby”

“I just found out I’m pregnant, and my boyfriend literally disappeared…I have no idea how I’m going to raise a baby. How do I adopt out my baby?” asks one woman who contacted us. Lifetime lays out the details that go into making an adoption plan, so your pregnancy and placement can be as simple as possible.
 
Learn about our adoption agency in Florida's available adoption opportunities!

#6: Adoption Opportunities at Our Adoption Agency in Florida

When you’re thinking about adoption to grow your family, it’s normal to wonder about the babies available for adoption. In the adoption world, you may hear terms like “adoption opportunities” and “adoption situations.” These are birth mothers seeking adoptive families for their baby. In our #6 post, we shared how to find out if our adoption agency would be a good fit for your family!
 

#5: Why Did They Adopt, But Not Us?

There are many sides to the adoption journey when you’re eagerly waiting to be chosen by a birth mother. Some adoptive couples struggle with feelings of jealousy, wondering, “Why did they adopt, but not us?” In this post, we helped to reveal the truth behind the adoption wait!
 
A birth mother kisses her baby

#4: What NOT To Do at the Hospital

Many adoptive families are blessed to get invited to the birth of their baby. We shared some general guidelines about the adoption hospital experience because there’s a big difference between adoptive parents that mean well and those who act entitled. Discover 4 things adoptive couples should avoid doing at the hospital!
 

#3: 3 Common Fears About Choosing Adoption for Your Baby

If you’re thinking about adoption for your baby, it’s totally normal to have some fears, especially at the beginning of the adoption journey. Here, Lifetime shared about three common fears that women have about choosing adoption, and how to address them.
 

#2: Is it Possible to Adopt Twins?

Many hopeful adoptive couples ask, “is it possible to adopt twins?” This year, Lifetime adoptive couple Keith and Thirza from Florida adopted newborn twin girls! In our second most popular blog post of 2018, Lifetime shared about their journey to adopting twins. If you’re in the middle of your adoption wait, hearing stories like Keith and Thirza’s will give you inspiration and hope!
 

#1: Financially Stable Adoptive Couple for My Baby

Lifetime works with hopeful adoptive parents of a variety of races and backgrounds from all across the US. Each adoptive couple has different occupations, educations, religions, and interests, so you have a variety of to choose from. Maybe you’re thinking, “I’d like to find a financially stable adoptive couple for my baby”. In our most popular blog post of 2018, we wrote about Dave and Meghann, an active, financially stable couple in Florida!

“I Praise God for Women Who Choose Adoption”

This guest post was written by a Lifetime adoptive mother who adopted a baby girl last year, along with her husband.
 
"I praise God for women who choose adoption" shares an adoptive mother“It’s National Adoption Month. I’ve had a lot on my mind. And I’ve tried to do my due diligence at reading/listening to all members of the domestic private adoption triad. Here’s what I’ve learned…
 
The adoptee doesn’t want to be told to be thankful. She lives with a label she can’t hide from and a shadow of what the unknown could have been like.
 
Birth mom doesn’t want to be told what a selfless and sacrificial decision she made. She may live with guilt and grief, and despise the adoptive parents because she feels like a doormat. Only getting contact to check off the box of what they owe her…
 
We haven’t heard from our birth mom since our daughter was six weeks old. I can’t help but wonder how she is. I send her a lengthy email every two months, update pictures in a Google share folder, and send text pictures randomly. No response. I gave her permission to tell me to be more frequent, or less frequent – but no response. I miss her. I care about her. I wish I knew how to help her.
 
Adoptive mother and newborn adopteeOur daughter is great! She loves her family, and we love her. This is a journey, and in 10 years there will be much more to say about how she is – how she has come to accept her heritage. My prayer for her is that adoption would not define her, that she wouldn’t let it be her sole identity. But rather, through this experience she would become an advocate for families. An advocate for children.
 
My husband is a pastor. We work with a lot of children and adolescents. There are so many difficult situations our kids are dealing with – living in. Step parents are cruel, moms are in jail, dads and boyfriends are abusive, and children beg for food, I could go on. This is really difficult to say without sounding judgmental, or proud – so please hear this carefully. 18 years is a long time for a child to live in turmoil. When I think about our daughter’s birth family, the writing on the wall tells me she would have been living among unstable and non-committal relationships. Her birth mom found herself in a very sticky situation, bless her heart. I have full forgiveness and mercy for her. And for our daughter’s sake, I’m so thankful she chose adoption. I’m not sure what her motives were. Whether she realizes it or not, she saved our daughter from a slew of messy and quite possibly abusive relationships. She gave her stability and full acceptance. She’s no longer an accident, a mistake, an ex-girlfriend’s other child, a half-sister, or a girlfriend’s daughter. This is an identity she does not have to live with! And I am so THANKFUL for her sake. She is a daughter, a sister. No strings attached.
 
This is also difficult to say, because I don’t want to exclude single adoptive moms – or cast judgement on single parents. I simply want to say, that on top of what I’ve already said about the gift our daughter’s birth mom gave her, she gave her a DAD. Had she stayed with her birth family, in 15 years she may have been saying to her pastor, like many have said to us in tears, ‘I don’t have a dad.’ They call mom’s boyfriend dad, but he’s not their dad and next month he could be gone. Their siblings’ dad babysits them, but he’s not their dad, and everyone knows it. Our daughter has a dad, and he’s not going anywhere.
 
The gospel has incredible healing power. And I believe God changes lives. I would 100% support a single woman with an unplanned pregnancy who wanted to parent, because I believe God can turn our mess into something beautiful. He is the God of restoration. But the road isn’t easy. Quoting the title of an excellent book, the Christian life is “a long obedience in the same direction.” Although this next part grieves me, I’ve also learned to accept that not every birth mom is ready for the long obedience that will transform her mess into a beautiful story. And so I praise God for those birth moms who choose adoption. And I also praise God for bringing the gospel to me, for cleaning up my own mess and equipping me to be a part of someone else’s story – my daughter’s story. It’s an overwhelming privilege. I pray I am faithful to the task.”

 

Would you like to discover the amazing blessing of infant adoption?

Take the first step today by filling out
Lifetime’s free application to adopt!

Hear an Adoption Story That Was Meant-to-Be

Hear Silas and Dawn's adoption storyIf you’re waiting to adopt, you might find that you go through seasons of discouragement, and wonder if you’re still on the right track with your adoption. But ask any experienced adoptive parent and they’ll share that once they adopted, it just seems meant to be. The timing, the baby, the events that brought their adoption together…all of it meant to be.
 
Silas and Dawn, a Lifetime adoptive couple, are no exception. They had to pinch themselves that their calling to adopt was leading them to their baby boy, even up until the moment they were traveling to meet him. Silas and Dawn’s anxiety was for nothing since each detail of their son’s adoption story keeps showing them it was meant to be!

This adoptive couple just appeared on a Lifetime webinar and shared the story of how they became a family of five through adoption. Silas and Dawn’s adoption webinar also included an encouraging perspective through the wait, adoption travel tips, how to use social media when a birth mother wants a limited connection, and info about their experience with Lifetime. Silas and Dawn’s story will touch anyone hoping to adopt!

You can watch the webinar replay of Silas and Dawn’s meant-to-be open adoption story online today! Just visit AdoptionWebinar.com to watch “Meant to Be: Silas and Dawn’s Adoption Story.”

Here at Lifetime, we get to see a lot of “meant-to-be” adoption experiences like Silas and Dawn’s! While you’re waiting to be chosen by a birth mother, it can help to hear from others who recently walked where you are today.

Please call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 if we can help you or someone you care about get started on the path towards adoption.

Join Us Next Week for Silas and Dawn’s Adoption Story!

Adoption stories are some of the greatest, and most encouraging, resources for anyone hoping to adopt. The testimonies from people who have recently walked through the process to adopt provide helpful answers and tips. Adoption seems less complicated and overwhelming when you can hear from others who were once where you are today.

Hear Silas and Dawn's adoption storyJoin us for Silas and Dawn’s adoption story next Tuesday! You can sign up for this webinar using this link. We’re starting the New Year off with a sweet reminder that it only takes one birth mother to start a story that looks meant to be in hindsight.

The webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 23rd, at:
3:00 pm Pacific Time
4:00 pm Mountain Time
5:00 pm Central Time
6:00 pm Eastern Time

To secure your spot in next Tuesday’s webinar, just click on the following link: Register.GoToWebinar.com.

You can watch this adoption webinar online, over the phone, or by using the GoToWebinar app on your cell phone.

After you sign up for the webinar, we’ll email you instructions on how you can join in live. You’ll benefit from Silas and Dawn’s adoption story, no matter what stage you’re at in your adoption journey!

Why Is It Important to Write a Letter to Your Child?

In choosing to make an adoption plan for your child, you’ve definitely given them a lifelong gift. Writing your child a letter, where you share your feelings of love and hope, will become a beautiful and cherished gift only you can provide. Today, we’re going to share with you how you can write this letter.
 
Many birth parents say, “I feel like my child is going to hate me for placing them up for adoption!” So that you can release your child into the adoptive parent’s home with trust, faith, and love, think about writing a special letter directly to your child. It can help you at this time of difficult emotions and show your true loving feelings for her child.
 
Begin your letter by telling your child what your hopes are for their lives. This may be one of the main reasons you chose adoption. Write about how picky you were in choosing the adoptive family. This letter is a good place to explain to them that you didn’t make an adoption plan because you didn’t care about them. In fact, it’s just the opposite: you did adoption because you care so much that you wanted to give them more than you were able to.
 
Make sure to get copies of this letter for your memory books or box. Rereading these loving words you’ve written down can help you when you feel grief and heartache.
 
You can ask the adoptive parents to give this letter to your child at a specific time. Or, maybe you’d rather they pick a time they feel is best. Your letter will be a treasure for your child for many years to come: it’s your hope and love fully expressed.
 
Some birth mothers feel like they can’t write a letter like this. It’s hard to put words to what you feel in your heart. We encourage you to avoid letting your words and feelings to be unwritten. The stories and pictures the adoptive parents provide your child will pale in comparison to the genuine words you share, telling about your adoption decision.
 
Writing a letter that shares your hope is a beautiful way to leave a legacy for your child!

My Adoption Story as a Closed Adoption Adoptee

We had a chance to sit down with Lifetime Adoption Agency’s Adoptive Family Coordinator Natalie LaBelle recently. She was adopted at birth and grew up with a closed adoption plan. Today, she has both her adoptive family and birth family in her life. As an adoptee, she’s able to empathize with the many emotions that may come up for adoptive families, their adopted children, and also birth parents. “Nothing is more exciting than helping a match take place and witnessing prayers being answered!” she says. Natalie told us her adoption story and thoughts about open adoption with us, and we’d love to share them with you here:

“I grew up in a loving adoptive family, with a closed adoption, never having any contact with my birth mom or biological family nor knowing any of my medical history. Now, however, as an adult, I have had an adoption reunion meeting with almost all of my birth mom’s side. I truly have the best of both worlds.

I personally feel that open adoption is a major blessing to the child and the birth mom both equally, but for different reasons. I feel it is an emotionally healthy way for the child growing up to have some sense of where he/she came from, their origins, a picture or two to see who they look like, why they were adopted, and for medical history. Most of these questions for an adoptee are answered through open adoption for the most part. I think it may ease the loss and grief for the birth mom, which is emotionally healthier for her also. In my case, as a closed adoption adoptee, I had a constant wondering and not knowing that stayed with me every day and even on the best of days until I reconnected with my birth mom in 2013.

When my birth mother tried to contact me earlier in life, I ignored her because I didn’t want to hurt my parent’s feelings. But once I started communicating with my birth mom, as an adult, those questions disappeared. I stopped wondering about knowing who I was, wondering why or what happened, even though I had an amazing and loving adoptive family, the wondering was always there.

I always had to say ‘I don’t know’ to every single question about my medical history, which made me feel ‘less than’ because of the unintentional looks from the medical staff and this happened many times growing up and well into adulthood. These are small things to the average person but leaves an adoptee feeling different than everyone else when they already may feel different from their own family. It wasn’t until my thirties when I needed to know my medical history that I became open to meeting my biological family. But yet again, I didn’t respond, mostly out of denial or fear of hurting my adoptive family. Now, I’ve formed a close, loving relationship with my birth mom, brother and sister, and so I have a connection to my biology, and also to my adoptive family. I now feel complete and absolutely blessed to have two wonderful families who love me, as it was God’s plan all along to give a child this much love!”