Sunday, January 23, 2011

{Guest Blogger } Waiting Mama

When I came across Team Chase: 4 and Counting, I simply had to get in on their story!

Meet Jen, a loving mother and wife; waiting, longing and searching for two babies to adopt from Ethiopia. Kate and her family are fundraising for their adoptions by holding an Adoption Auction, starting January 29th!

Here is what Jen has to say...

Adoption has always been intriguing to me. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who had adopted children or had been adopted themselves, but there was just something about it. Maybe it was the obvious spiritual correlation of Earthly adoption to being adopted into God’s family, or the potential of providing a home and a family to a child who would not otherwise have one. As a teenager, I researched employee adoption benefits while I was working my first job at Target. I also remember random times in my young adult life feeling drawn to adoption and researching it on the Internet, but through all of that, I felt like the dream to adopt was simply, well, a dream.

My husband, Trevor, and I met at church as children and started dating at age 15. He very quickly had my heart and I knew that God had placed me with my soulmate at a young age. Trevor and I have always seen eye-to-eye about most things. We were married at 19 and had some fleeting conversations about adoption in the early years of our marriage. However, he did not share my stirring for adoption and I knew that it wasn't something that I wanted to "talk him into"!

So, after almost five years of marriage, I gave birth to our precious little girl (who will be 6 next weekend!), and then a short 2 years and 3 months later, I birthed our little wild man. They were (and continue to be) such joys in our lives! We feel so, so blessed to have them. However, when we had our son, we found out what it meant to be the parents of a colicy baby!! My pregnancy with him was difficult and then he was very fussy for an entire year. It was pretty exhausting and my husband informed me that we were FINISHED having babies. I was alright with that (we had been so blessed to be able to have a girl and a boy...the American dream, right?!), but something within me was still stirring. I couldn't pinpoint it. I didn't EVER want to be pregnant again, but I wanted more children. But, that was impossible, wasn't it?!

Here's where our story gets exciting! One Sunday in November of 2009, Trevor and our daughter went to church while I stayed home with our ill 2 year old. He came home and mentioned to me something about there being a lot of adopted children in our church. I said, "yeah?" and he just replied, "It's just really cool." I could hardly believe it! After probably 15 years of feeling this tug in my heart towards orphans, my husband was finally feeling it, too. I knew I needed to play it cool, so I laid low the next couple of days {and prayed} while Trev did some soul searching and some researching and within about a week, we'd decided to adopt...not just one baby, but two babies. We didn't know where they would be from, but we knew they were already known to God and that they were OUR babies!

Thus began our quest for our babies' birth country. We had decided that we wanted to adopt independently (without an agency) and had some friends who had adopted from Taiwan. We found an AMAZING mission there called His Hands Taiwan and began to connect with others adopting from there. We placed our names on their waiting list in February 2010 and waited on it without even being able to apply for nearly 6 months. When that happened, my husband mentioned researching other countries. I was hesitant. My heart was wrapped up in Taiwanese babies, but I knew {from previous experience} that when God speaks to my husband and he relays the message to me, I should probably listen!:)

So, we researched and we prayed and we called everyone we knew who had adopted Internationally and ended up having coffee at a lady's house in our town. The only thing I can say about this meeting was that it was totally orchestrated by God! We barely knew this family, but I had E-mailed her to ask about their adoption of three boys from Ethiopia and she graciously invited us over, along with a family that lived down the street from them that had recently adopted two little ones from there. I'll admit, I planned to go there and just find out about the process, but something about their passion for the country and the people and their culture struck a chord, first in Trevor, and then in myself. I was stirred (again) and could not sleep that night. I just prayed and researched and read scripture about God's heart for the orphan and then, finally, went to bed. When I woke up, I had such a peace and I told Trev that I really felt like this was our path. He agreed, and by the end of the week, we had applied to our agency. This was a big step...changing from adopting independently to adopting through an agency makes a big difference financially and we knew that with our jobs in education, we did NOT have the money. However, we know that God does not call us where he does not equip us, and so we truly believe that He will take care of our financial needs through his faithful believers throughout this adoption!

After applying through our agency, we began the paperchase that lasted just shy of 5 months and were placed on the waiting list on December 23rd, 2010. So, that is where we are today...a waiting family. Waiting for our referral, waiting for our court date, and, ultimately, waiting for our family to be complete! In the meantime, we are praying, waiting, blogging, working, parenting, raising money, reading, etc. to try to keep our minds from wandering to Ethiopia too much (although that has proven to be pretty difficult). We can't wait until we get to hold our sweet children in our arms, kiss their little cheeks, and begin a bonding process that will last a lifetime! We know that it is all in God's timing and that He already knows who they are and that He loves them even more than we do. And that alone will sustain us while we wait.

{Jen Chase - Team Chase: 4 and Counting}

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