our journey to little one {part two}

*this is the second half of this story, make sure to read the first part (click here to read it)

(This update was also added to yesterday’s post: I would hope that if you have read this blog even a week, you would know I am crazy about my four kids. I am beyond grateful for each of them. My life is full and I am consistently humbled by the incredible gift it is to be their mommy. This is the story of our adoption journey, it is not the complete story of our family. It is not the story of how crazy we are about the four kids we have. It just a very small glimpse of our adoption. You can read nearly every post from the past 4 years regarding how grateful I am to be a mom and how much I relish my days with my kids…)

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So yesterday, I ended with my daughter’ first birthday…

Summer 2010: Our daughter had just turned one and we began talking about adoption again. We were a bit lost where to pick back up. One thing about the adoption world is it is constantly changing. Rules, regulations, open countries….it is a constant stream of change and everyone has an opinion. We started doing some research into a DHS (department of human services) adoption and fostering with the intention of adoption.

Fall 2010: Still trying to figure out which path to start walking down in our own adoption, I received and email from Angie, the owner of Foster Kade Designs. She was working to raise funds for her adoption (a little girl in China). She asked if she could send me a headband or clutch and host a giveaway on my blog (back before I had blog sponsors). I checked out her store ~ gorgeous. She sent me a few headbands and clutches. I began following Angie’s blog as she shared her journey to bring her little Emery home.
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Fall 2010: We were still actively trying to figure out our next step. International adoption wasn’t looking like an option. We didn’t feel God leading us towards DHS or fostering to adopt at that time. In the midst of all that, we had close friends that we watched welcome their son into their family over the past year. They had an open domestic adoption and it was beautiful. We began leaning towards pursuing an open domestic adoption as a direct result to all that we saw in their family and the family of their son’s birth mom. Though we felt we knew what direction to head, we still sensed a big “not yet” when we prayed. So we waited. We waited AGAIN for a green light.
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April 8th, 2011: Through prayer and wise counsel believed it was time to begin, we downloaded an application to start a domestic adoption

April 9th, 2011 am: began filling out that application
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a few hours later: Chris worked on the application while FireCracker ate Oreos by the window.
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a few hours later: I sat in the waiting room at pediatric urgent care for 3 hours waiting for my daughter with a hurt leg to be seen
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the next morning: After the long wait at urgent care, then a drive to the ER, and a surgery, FireCracker would spend the next 3 weeks in traction to set a broken femur. We tried to find moments of humor in all the horrible by thinking about if we had been at the point of a homestudy…please visit us at the hospital for our home visit, our one year old is in traction. We really are great parents.
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May 2011: FireCracker came home sporting a hot pink spica cast. Our application had been sent off. We had been accepted by the agency.  We were thrilled and excited to be walking forward. We had every reason to be at peace and hopeful about the process. And yet, I wasn’t. There was just something bothering me. We were finally on a great path after waiting so long. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something just wasn’t quite right. I didn’t have a peace about it. I began thinking of China again. I looked up the requirements…we met them all now. But the websites said the wait was 4-5 years.
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Monday, May 9th, 2011 am: I thought of my friend Angie and how her adoption was going much faster than 4-5 years. I finished things up for the day.

that night at 9:51 pm: After kids were in bed, I was still thinking about Angie…about China…about our adoption. I emailed her asking why her adoption was so much faster.

ten minutes later: Exactly ten minutes later she wrote me back…gushing about her daughter. I read her words. She said they were doing a “Special Needs” adoption. With the words of a mother crazy about her daughter, she shared how her little one was healthy, and strong, and beautiful. She mentioned how her daughter’s cute little cleft lip & palate placed her on the “Special Needs” list.  (The “Non-Special Needs” list in China is the 4-5 year wait). She attached a picture of little Emery, still waiting in China. The instant I opened the photo, I knew. When I saw Emery, I saw my child. In an instant, God gave me the peace and assurance I had been waiting so long to know…
Emery

May 11th, 2011: After a couple days of talking, thinking, praying, being both nervous and excited all at once ~ Chris and I made the ‘official’ decision that we would pursue a Special Needs adoption from China.

June 2011: Our beautiful girl learned to walk again and we began walking in regards to our adoption again
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And so that is the short version of how we got to where we were when I began sharing about our adoption here. We fully believe in fostering to adopt, adopting through DHS, open adoptions, special needs adoptions, non-special needs adoptions, domestic adoptions and international adoptions. We have looked into any and every option, and we have waited. We have prayed. We have cried. We have been confused. We have been anxious. We have been sad. Now, we are no longer waiting to begin. We are walking….even in the paperwork wait, we are learning to walk.

Ultimately we chose the path that we believe God has led us to through numerous ways. The right choice is different for every family. Kids need loving homes. Most people think we have just begun the adoption process. In reality, it was started a decade ago. We have waited and waited and waited. We are now possibly a few weeks or months from reading our little one’s name and seeing our little one’s picture for the first time. I can barely even write those words, it so hard to believe. We are so, so close!

It is crazy how after waiting so long to begin, now in what is kind of our final days…I am so impatient.

Let’s get a cute little bum in that chair! NOW!!!
1.12ourstory-20You can read all the posts that came after we finally got to the point of starting with China on our adoption page (click here).

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  • Lisa Johnson - I can’t wait to see the sweet little face of that sweet little person filling that chair. Adoption is near and dear to my heart (I was adopted) I love hearing the stories of how God puts families together. Your little girl will love hearing about your years of prayers and hopes. It will make her feel very loved. And I know she will be :)

  • Jamie T - I believe that you are doing a wonderful thing. I wish you nothing but luck in your adoption. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

    I will be sending good vibes your way for a speedy adoption!
    Jamie

  • katie - geez, ashley! enough with the making me cry every other day!! :)
    (so proud to be your sister in christ and am rejoicing with you in your walk down this road to meet your daughter!)

  • Big D & Me - I wish this was a journey my family was on…but I have to be honest and tell you that I feel like I’m on the journey with you. I am so excited to read each post and eagerly anticipate the joy your new little one will bring. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us.

  • Jodie - I actually started following you when your daughter was in the hospital. I thought the photos you took during that time were so tender and full of love. I still love that she wore her Wonder Woman shirt all the time and was covered with stickers.

    I just thought I would share that our friends just finished the journey you are beginning with a special needs China adoption. They have 2 girls and figured adopting from China that they would be blessed with another girl. Of course God knows best and gave them a beautiful little boy who they have named Elijah “Eli.”

    They have been home since Dec. 19 and Eli is a perfect fit for their family and is liking having 3 mothers (his sisters included).

    All the best to you guys. And I pray that you get to see your child soon.

  • Rebecca - Amazing to read altogether. I’m looking forward to the post of your daughter’s arrival.
    Be well.

  • Rosalie - So amazing… Your words bring me such happy tears. When I was in elementary school we read a book about Gladys Aylward. That book had such an impact on me and made my heart grow toward children in China. While it is not exactly the same story of what you and your family are embarking on it still echos the same Love. So, so happy for you all. Praying for your little one to be in your arms soon.

  • Suzanne - What a beautiful story. Can’t wait to see how it ends.

  • amanda torres - Seriously. This is the best documentation of your child’s journey home.

  • Vanessa@DesignsbySessa - I started crying when I saw Emery! This was so beautiful! After yesterday’s feelings of Satan already attacking our adoption process before it even has officially begun…this is a NEW day and His mercies are NEW EVERY DAY and it is going to be worth the wait to fill up that last chair!

  • monica - hopefully we will soon see your child sitting in that chair!

  • amber - So excited for your family. Crazy to think you were so open to adoption so many years ago, but that God had you wait. So obvious that He has amazing plans for us all. Thanks for sharing this…we’re hoping to one day soon pursue adoption as well. China has been in my heart for years, & I already look at lists of waiting children dreamily, but we’ll see what God has in store!! Oh, and, btw…I never once second guessed your heart for your own children in yesterday’s post. It is completely & wonderfully obvious through your blog how treasured they are. You guys are awesome…

  • Dee - It is so fun to read about your journey…my “baby” from China drove on the highway this week-end for the first time. Time flies!!!

  • lindsey - Ashley, thank you SO much for sharing this story! I spent a couple of months in Russia working in orphanages back in 2002, and ever since then I have always felt a tug on my heart to adopt. I truly do feel like it is in our future, and it’s encouraging to read your process – knowing that your constant seeking of God and His path for you is why you are where you are today. You have be so sensitive to His voice!

    I can’t wait to find out that China has your paperwork!!

  • Jane - Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is really inspiring and clearly you have been lead every step of the way (even if it wasn’t the way you wanted!). Thanks too for sharing a little of Angie’s story. She shared such a sweet and touching story in her post yesterday!! Looks like the wait is well worth it!

  • Cindy - It is soooo amazing to see your entire journey written out. God is so good!!! What a lessen in patience and trust. I love how He put adoption in your heart so long ago, love how He let you explore all the possibilities, and love how He is using you to encourage others on the wild adoption journey! You are so close… Praying for you and your little one!

  • Jenny B. - I have loved reading about your adoption story. I so identify with your feelings of praying and not having peace and waiting – not about adoption for me personally, but just decisions in life. It is encouraging to hear from others who also struggle in seeking God’s will. I am so excited to see the post where you get to show us a picture of your little one. It gives me goosebumps! :)

  • Katie - Such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing, Ashley.

  • ashlee - What a beautiful story. I think its so ridiculous that you shoould have to preface these 2 posts with a declaration of your love and gratefulness for your other 4 children. Of course you love and adore them. Adding another child should show your live for them. The narrow-mindedness of some people astonishes me. I’m so happy for your family! Its a beautiful thing to watch, thank you for sharing!

  • Alice H - Did someone really question your gratefulness towards the 4 children you already have? That is crazy! Anyone who reads this blog should KNOW that you LOVE your children and that you are grateful for what you do have. Crazy!! Geez! I love reading this story. I love that you are following your heart (and God). Can’t wait to see pics of your little one!

  • Courtney C. - Praying with you during this journey to bring your daughter home! We love the SEVEN Campbells very much. -Courtney, Blake and Elliot

  • Anna Joy - Amazing story about your adoption journey. I can tell that you give everything of yourself to your children – even the little one who is not at home yet. You are always in my prayers.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I love your heart, Ashley. God is so good.

  • Jenni - Thank you so much for sharing all of this. I think of your posts so much throughout the day. You really are just such an inspiration. I know you probably don’t get that a cute pallet bed, some words and pictures could amount to so much but your blog has really been life changing for me:):)

  • heather - i loved reading this journey.
    loved it! thank you for sharing it with us.
    xo

  • emmybrown - I have followed your journey since you started sharing on the blog…and I still LOVED reading this summary. Godspeed to you on receiving that precious picture!

  • natalie - Hey Ashley, I loved these posts, and I just wanted to let you know that I get it. I really really REALLY want to adopt, and have 3 beautiful biological children. There’s a void in my heart. I pray daily that God would do the same work in my husband’s heart. This is HIS working in us…this sense of longing. I’m certain He’s put this passion in you!

  • Vénusia - I just want to let you know that your posts really encourages me. My husband and I have past the last 10 years hoping for something (not adoption) we think God just put in our heart, and we are still waiting… So it really encourage me that when God put a desire in your heart, even if it is long, He is still working on the outcome !

  • Trudy - Loved reading how you responded, waited, prayed more, waited to figure out God’s will. He wants us to know it and it is almost never in a loud assured booming voice. We had the same feeling of being called to adoption years before we did it. God had biological children planned too and nudged us when it was finally time to harvest that seed he planted in us many years earlier. Now we are busy with 5 children having just finalized our foster-adoption of twins (now 3). The waiting is agonizing because I believe as soon as we say yes to God he creates a sacred exchange between mother and child. What a mother will do to get to her child!

  • Sarah - Such a beautiful story…so far! I know the best is yet to come!

  • Melissa - Beautiful post! 4-5 years is such a long time. I can’t wait to hear as more developments unfold :)

  • Melissa - I think this is an absolutely fabulous thing you are doing, and I hope the process goes quickly for you and you get to meet your fifth little one very soon! He or she will be lucky to come into such a loving home!

  • Bella - Wow…that was beautiful! Looking forward to seeing how this all ends, hopefully it won’t be long now till you guys get some news. Good Luck!!! :)

  • Carrie - I JUST photographed a little girl adopted from China on Saturday. After meeting with her family I heard their story and they mentioned that it was so fast for them in China because they got her on a “special needs” list. She apparently had a heart murmur–but no longer! It was AMAZING to see these parents with their sweet now 3 year old girl and to hear their story. I know yours will be just as wonderful.

  • Tammy - It’s so awesome to watch how God’s timing is consistently perfect! I love every single thing about your story – thank you for sharing. What’s wonderful is that your daughter will be able to read your gushings and be reassured of how much her mommy and daddy have prayed, hoped and wished for her arrival.

    I love knowing how other families are truly embracing international adoption and blending their families, as ours did. I cannot wait to see her precious little face after she comes home. From what I can see, your children share you and your hubby’s love of helping others and they are going to welcome their baby sister without considering how the DNA isn’t the same. I am so grateful that my mom, dad, brother and sister loved me and my brother exactly the same as each other.

    Prayers of many blessings headed your way… :)

  • Crystal (chaoticlilshadow) - I am completely amazed at how long, drawn out and expensive it is to adopt. And it’s amazing you have the courage and strength to endure it! Beautiful story, thank you for sharing!

  • Beth - Such a beautiful testimony! I am so glad you shared how it all came about and I am looking forward to you sharing the good news when you know who your daughter is! :)

  • Jana Nelson - love your story. can’t wait to see that chair filled. what a life gift this baby is to your family — she’s such a beautiful, tangible picture of how God seeks us out and saves us to be a part of His family. sweet.

  • Kelli - Thank you so much for sharing your travels and being so open with the heart of decisions. This story is beautiful and not yet fully written.

  • Lacey - Thank you for sharing this and I’ll look forward to the day when that little chair is filled! I am always so inspired and blessed by your walk with the Lord!

  • Amanda Curtis - so much goodness comes from the wait. bless your family!

  • Darcie - Love love love it! The whole story. I love watching your kids grow up – from far away! Some friends of mine go to pick up their little daughter from China a WEEK FROM TODAY! Same health “issues” and their process was much shorter than 4-5 years! They are so excited… can’t wait to hear the story of when it’s a week until YOU leave. Do you think you’ll take all the kids to meet their new sibling? :-)

  • Amy - You know, one of the beautiful things about this story is that God has a reason why it’s taken this long…why there was uncertainty in location…why there were roadblocks. Your child is meant for you. And you just had to be obedient (& diligent) in your pursuit of him/her. Gives me chills!!!

  • Melissa F. - there is so much you learn about yourself in the journey of waiting for your child! i’m excited to see how God moves and works through this adoption!

  • Sarah - Hello, this is my first comment on your amazing blog! But I just wanted to say that the very first post of yours that I read was your first one about your adoption…and I was hooked! I can’t wait to read about the day you get that special news. xx

  • Ti Madame - Thank you for sharing your journey. I am forever blessed by your heart filled posts. Blessings to you and your family.

  • zina zraikat - HI ashlee, thanks for sharing so much of your life with us, it is a privilege to get to see little snippets into your life. You are very inspiring as a parent, in your arts and crafts, as a woman in general. Regarding your ‘update’, surely no one ever doubted that you dont love the kids you have now so completely. The only thing that ever saddens me about this blog is when people have felt the need to say hurtful things (to you). I read your blog daily and am always thankful that we have people like you in the world and even more thankful that in all your business and you still find the time to share and inspire so many. I hope you know how much you are appreciated and admired by SO MANY, all over the world. Because you are constantle inspiring me…all the way here in Australia everyday, and for that i am thankful :)
    xx
    Zina

  • Marykay - Thank you for sharing your story! I love to see how God directs others, especially as we pray about adopting through the foster system but know for certain that the time is not yet right. AND, I’m sure your update was prompted by some comment, but truly there can be no doubt how crazy you are about your kids (all 5 of them)!!!

  • Julia Leinen - love it.
    thanks for sharing.

  • Harriet - Thanks for sharing your story! I was stalking your blog this morning waiting for part two. I was able to function a bit better after reading this post! ;) It is so exciting when you see God’s plan coming together and when something He has placed on your heart years ago is now put into action. I can totally relate to that, I might email you with my story one day. So thanks for giving us a little glimpse of what the Lord is doing in your life right now. I am praying that your little girl is sitting in that chair, and home with you soon!

  • Harriet - Thanks for sharing a bit of your story! I was stalking your blog this morning waiting for part 2. I was able to function much better after reading this post! ;) It is so wonderful when you can clearly see the Lord at work. What an encouragement to hear about something that the Lord placed in your heart years ago being put into action now. His timing is perfect, and we don’t always know why things don’t happen sooner. But the Lord has it all planned. What a blessing. So thank you for giving us a glimpse of what the Lord is up to with your family just now! I am praying that your little girl will be sitting in that chair, and with her family, soon.

  • Debbie - Wow…such an amazing journey. Some church members of ours have been waiting, fundraising, praying, etc. for a long time to adopt, and they just got their child’s picture a few weeks ago! I can hardly imagine the joy in their hearts after going through such a difficult, long process. So excited to be following you on your journey!

  • Molly - Thank you for sharing….definitely an inspiration! A friend of mine adopted from China and just celebrate one year with their little one. Their daughter need clef lip and palette surgery. It is amazing what those surgeries have done! You can’t hardly tell. Just think you are not only giving her a family and more love than she could ever ask for. You are going to let her be the beauty God intended!! It is a beautiful journey you are on!

  • My Oatmeal Kisses - Ashley,
    Thanks so much for sharing your whole story. I loved it! It give me context to why you are so driven to adopt! What an inspiration you are to thousands of readers. Maybe that’s a second reason Heavenly Father led you on a long meandering path to adoption, so others would feel your adoption pangs and begin to feel them as well. Love your blog! And I love your honest words. Good luck with all of your paper work!
    Love,
    Kate

  • Jen - Oh this made me cry! I am so happy and excited for you! My boys came to our family through international adoption. Every day I feel blessed to hear them call me mommy.

  • Debbie - As an adoptive mama of two, I know your journey. Our two came from birthmoms in the US. One with a private adoption and one with foster care. You are quite right, when you say, every family has a path. He definitely shows us which way to go. He knows where each child’s family is and where each family’s child is. He’s the perfect match maker when we follow Him!

  • Kara M - Thank you for sharing! I love how you stress that this is your process. How beautiful that God guides each of us differently! Josh and I were introduced to a WONDERFUL ministry called Loving Shepherd Ministries. They help pre-adoptive couples make sound decisions. They keep up with the changes and advise couples on their options (FOR FREE). It has been such a blessing to us as we begin this journey!! I can’t imagine the beginning of the journey without them.

    Can’t wait for the day you tell us you received your referral! Blessings!!

  • Kimberly - That last picture made me tear up for some reason. I loved reading about your journey.

  • Leslie - This is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bobbi Jo - Congrats! Our two beautiful children are from China too. My son was on the special needs list. As we contemplate a third child we know that we would only consider the special needs route. (My blog hasn’t been updated for more than a year, but you can see our kids there.) Soon enough you will see your beautiful child’s face!! Best wishes!!!!

  • Jen - Thank you for sharing your journey through adoption. I have been following your blog for some time now, and when you first shared, it was thrilling to read about. Thank you for sharing so openly and willingly. Your family’s life has been so inspiring to me as I long for our family to grow. My husband and I are in the process of filling out the paperwork to adopt, after praying and learning more about it for the past year. It is an exhausting yet exhilarating ride. :) Can’t wait to see your lil one join your family photos… and your family’s loving arms.

  • Beth Saukas - Its truly a beautiful story.
    May God keep blessing you and your family in this journey.

  • Amy D - Wow, I had no idea the whole process started so long ago for you! Loved this, thanks for sharing. It is so.stinkin.hard. to wait for a baby to come home, but a friend of mine just finalized their domestic adoption today, and I saw pictures, and it did wonders for my heart to see that adoption really does happen eventually… Sometimes it feels so far off sometimes. But today, there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

  • libby - awww congratulatuions! so glad evrything is falling into place. WHERE did you get your headband?! it’s lovely.

  • Amy - Now that is a story worth waiting for! Thank you again for sharing your journey! I can’t wait to see who your precious little daughter is going to be!

  • liz - SO excited for your family-thanks for sharing your story to adoption…praying many other families will respond to the call to adopt! we just started fostering in texas- hoping to adopt from Haiti too! blessings to your family!

  • Julie - Ashley it’s been so good hearing your story/journey to and through adoption. It has been my husband’s dream to adopt someday and I was always for it until we had our own children. I’m crazy about them and I have worried for years that maybe my heart wasn’t in adoption after having biological children. It’s been so good to hear you reinforce how crazy you are about your four kids and that it is possible to love equally and completely uniquely between them. I look forward to hearing your thoughts after you finally bring home your new little one. What a great family to be adopted into! You are pretty amazing!
    -jules

  • Georgia - I love the stories of how God leads a family to a specific child in a specific country. You would think it would be random. A child needs a home, a family has a home to give…bam you have a match. But God orchestrates each family’s child just as intricately and beautifully as He knits a child in a mother’s body. Love it !!!! Can’t wait to see your little girls sitting in that chair!

  • Georgia - Oops…I meant “Can’t wait to see your little girl sitting in that chair.” or maybe you have 2 on the way. :)

  • Sara W - Great story – thank you for sharing it. May the Lord continue to lead you as you raise your family and serve Him.

  • Shannon Phillips - I just cannot wait for your precious little to come home from China! We pray for her and for all of your adoption details to fall into place so that she will be here this year. xoxo

  • a - Awesome! How did you get to specifying a girl to adopt? Would you consider a special needs boy?

  • RachelSD - Thank you for sharing all of this Ashley– I know it’s not the ***whole*** story, but it is so inspiring and honest and thoughtful anyway. I can’t wait for you to meet your new daughter!

  • Alison - Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful journey towards the children God is calling you to love as your own through adoption. I am encouraged and inspired as my family is beginning what seems to be a long journey as well. We so feel the call on our heart to pursue the waiting child program in China. At this point we do not meet the age or financial requirements. Wondering whether to be patient and do what we can to prepare, learn, pray now or pursue things anyway to see how readily waivers are given for such things. It can be so hard to wait upon the Lord when you are so convicted of something. sometimes i feel like adoption is all i think about anymore … the thought that it could still be years down the road is such a lesson in patience and faithfulness to the “not yet”… i think our hearts seem to be very much the same in this. I rejoice with your family that the time is drawing near for that extra chair to be filled! Alleluia!

  • Stephanie - Thanks for sharing what I know are only the highlights of your heart journey. I have no idea how God wants to use this in my life right now at this time, but it is interesting timing. I’ve been waiting for 8 years to begin “walking” as you say. My husband is a pastor and we were about to begin the process a year ago to adopt a special needs baby from China when we were called to move to another church half way across the country. To say the transition across country has been difficult is a huge understatement! What appeared so clear before the move suddenly became so cloudy during our families very difficult move and adjustment. I’ve wondered so many times and asked God “Where has the call gone? Was it really there? Is it still there and I just can’t see it? Were we completely crazy? Did you really call us to adopt a sweet baby from China?” In the last few months it seems God has oh so gently once again been stirring my heart. At this point I still have no idea where God is leading us. I do know God is moving though. This fall, my husband and oldest daughter will be traveling to China to visit with a
    family we know from here. One of the places they will visit is a special needs orphanage. I really don’t know why I’m sharing all of this craziness with you other than just to simply share it with someone who understands the journey. I think it just helps to know we’re not alone in this journey but that there really are other families out there that totally understand. So, thanks so much for sharing your heart. I can’t wait to see the chair filled.

  • Alecia - Thanks for sharing your story! It is really helpful! I am praying you get your little one soon!

  • Allison - beautiful, lovely, Congratulations!!!!!!!!

  • Ivy - Your blog is so refreshing Ashley. I’ve been reading for over a year, but am commenting for the first time. I so appreciate your thoughtfulness of sharing your journey with us. My husband and I have talked about adoption and reading about your story and the whole process is extremely helpful and encouraging to me. Yours is a beautiful story written by our Creator. Thank you so much for sharing it…adoption, DIY, and photo tips. Love it all :)

  • Michelle - I am so very happy for your family! Our oldest son was born with multiple birth anomolies/special needs. Wouldn’t trade him for the world. Occasionally I’ve looked at domestic & international special needs adoption. We aren’t there yet – but there is a reason we are our son’s parents – just as there is a reason that this is the direction your adoption walk has taken. I look forward to watching the next chapter unfold!

  • Mandee - My heart is just bursting right now! February 1st will be two years since we first held our little girl in China! Your story sounds so familiar in many ways. We have two boys (bio) our little girl. We knew before we were married that adoption in some way would be part of our lives. After complications during my second pregnancy we “began” the process. We researched every possible adoption avenue over and over and would start somewhere only to feel it wasn’t right and then start the search over again. Four years after our son was born we finally decided on China even though it made no sense and the 4-5 year wait made me cry but no matter how hard I tried to go a different way we always came back to China. It wasn’t until after we had started the process that we discovered the Special Needs program. Even then there were many bumps and boulders (we went throught 3 agencies before it was all done) along the way but in the end it all led us to our beautiful girl. If things had worked out faster or if we had stayed with the first agency, we wouldn’t have our little Maggie. I believe without a doubt that God’s hand is in every part of adoption and he will guide you to the sweet little spirit that is meant for your family. Congratulations!
    Mandee
    dudesanddaisies.blogspot.com

  • Heather Campbell - Best of luck…adoption is a beautiful thing….as I sit here on a layover in Tokyo airport catching up on your blog as we wait for our flight to Chicago after picking up our adopted daughter from Taiwan last week…and her big sister from china sits next to me working on her brain quest workbook

    Email me any time if I can be of any help….adoption is amazing

  • Lindsey - Hi Ashley,
    I feel so encouraged by this post. I know firsthand about the miracle of adoption. Similarly, God began a work in me when my littlest sister came home from China nearly 12 years ago and made us a family of 6. What an amazing gift. My husband and I plan to build our family through adoption, and I feel so enocuraged by your prayerful heart and persistence. How easy it is during the waiting game to become discouraged and disheartened! At any stage in this process there seem to be insurrmountable challenges, and I know we’d be lost without the help of our unfailing God. We are still in the “saving phase” but I feel like a little one is already growing inside my heart. I’ll be praying for your family as you wait, and I am so happy for you.

  • Carissa Miller - Amazing. Beautiful. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  • Honey Bee Mama - every post i read on your adoption overwhelms me with love and gratitude and hope and thankfulness and grace. my spirit sends that to your family during this time of waiting and hoping and preparing. what a different pregnancy you are experiencing!

  • CK - Thank you for sharing your story right from the beginning. I remember working at an orphanage and fostering kids into our home when my family lived in Quito, Ecuador and I was only 12 years old. I’ve done a lot of work with international orphanages and adoptions throughout the years (I majored in social work and served through 2 different international internships). Right now I am a stay-at-home Mom but I imagine that adoption will be a part of our family journey as well (we already have the bank account building as well…) It was so inspiring to read your story and learn how the Lord guides us in such an important decision, especially with timing. Thank you!
    -CK

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