Friday, July 20, 2012

Exciting News

We have some exciting news! David and I are so happy to announce that our family is going to be growing again!

But I'm not pregnant :)

We are adopting, and we couldn't be more thrilled! I kind of need to back up and tell the whole story ;)

A while back (like several years ago), a blog I read linked to Reese's Rainbows. I went and looked at all of the precious children on that site, and I just felt so burdened for children with special needs who need forever homes. I showed David the site, and he felt the same way. I kind of tucked it away in the back of my mind, and at that point, I felt like God might be calling us to adopt a child with special needs in the future. Like wayyy down the road ;) David and I talked about adoption from time to time and we both felt like it was something we'd like to do. Again, way down the road.

When I was pregnant with Alaina, some of our friends from church invited us to go to a banquet for Bethany Christian Services. David and I were looking forward to going since adoption was something we were interested in anyway. At the banquet, they showed a video on international adoption, and a lady in the video said to ask yourself if adoption was something you should do. She said, "If not you, then who? And if not now, then when?" I remember getting so emotional during the video, and I could just feel God working in my heart. Little did I know, He was working in David's heart at the same time. We got in the car, and David looked at me and said, "Should I call Bethany next week?" I remember getting chills, because it was so amazing how God had changed our hearts from feeling like adoption was something that might be in our future way down the road to feeling like it was something we needed to pursue NOW.

To make a long story a little shorter, we did call Bethany, and we had a meeting with them while I was still pregnant with Alaina. Obviously, we couldn't start the process while I was pregnant, but we just wanted to figure out what our options were and kind of make a tentative plan. At that point, we kind of put it on the back burner because we wanted to be able to focus on Alaina and her arrival. We didn't want to become so focused on Baby #4 that we kind of "skipped over" #3. So, Alaina was born, and we were able to completely celebrate her and live in the moment of having our 3 beautiful children.

But now that's it's been several months, we're ready to move forward with our plans to adopt. We've since been to another meeting at Bethany, and we've just really been praying about which direction the Lord would have us go. Since we have such a young child, our options are sort of limited right now. A lot of countries require your youngest child to be 1 or 2 years old when you have your home study.

At this point, our plan is to pursue a child in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is supposed to have a wonderful program, and all of the children there are waiting children with special needs. Alaina will have to be a year old before we finish our home study, but that's ok because we don't want to get another child before we've had time to fully adjust to being a family of 5. As of now, we're planning to submit our formal application and start moving toward the home study in January. Of course, in the meantime, we are open to God's leading. We pray that if Hong Kong is not the direction He would have us go, that He will shut doors and change our hearts. We know that He will lead us to the child He has for us, wherever that child may be. That thought brings us so much peace.

The thought of having 4 young children, one of which will most likely have special needs is overwhelming. I know it's going to be hard. I know I CANNOT do it. But God's grace is sufficient. More than anything, David and I want to serve the Lord, and we want our family to look different from the world. We believe that this is a way that we can look different and hopefully point others to Christ. We want to show His love to a precious child by making him or her a part of our family. The Lord has done this and so much more for us. We are so excited to see how the Lord is going to work in our family through this process.

I realize we are VERY early in the process right now. I wanted to go ahead and share this, though, partly because I want to document the whole process, but mostly because we are going to need a lot of prayers. Please pray that the Lord will guide and direct us throughout this entire process. Pray that He will prepare our family for a new member :) And please pray that our family will be a reflection to the world of the love of Christ. Thank you, friends!


Elizabeth said...

Very exciting, Carrie! I'm so happy for y'all, and you will definitely be in my prayers!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Your family is a shining example to the world of the love of Christ! Praying for your family during this exciting time.

Nathalie said...

Wow, what an undertaking. Wishing you all the best!

Whitney said...

Oh my goodness! I was trying to read on my phone and my mouth was hanging open and my eyes wouldn't go fast enough! Your family will be such a blessing to another child. I will keep you in my prayers as I follow along with this exciting journey!

Sarah Denley said...

I love you!

I'm so proud of you!

I'm so glad I can mention Baby Howie #4 in public now!

Courtney said...

Congratulations! Praying for you guys as you embark on this new journey!

Kristal said...

Amazing!! Congratulations Carrie, this is such exciting news. I'll be praying for your family. :)

Jennifer said...

This is wonderful, Carrie!! I will definitely be praying for you and your family! Can't wait to follow along on your journey.

Ashley said...

YAY!!!!! It's public now!!! Love you so much!

vegetablebeef said...

This is Asian Brad from Auburn in Howie's dorm. I heard the good news. I am adopted and think it's wonderful that yall are pursuing this. I'm also a tax accountant, so feel free to hit me up with any questions you might have regarding the adoption tax credit.

Paige said...

SO very exciting!!! congrats and keep us posted!