Friday, November 8, 2013

Part two of our journey to baby #2

When we moved to Phoenix we immediately started the process to foster/adopt through the state. And it was a process! In our county alone there are around 14,000 children in state custody. So to us this seemed like a great place to start. We had to go through 10 weeks (3 hours each week) of training. Training that was heart breaking and scared the pants off of us. There were a couple of times that we left in tears. Heartbroken for the children and some of their stories, heartbroken for a society that has hundreds of thousands of children not growing up with their families, and heartbroken over a system that is in need of a major restructuring. We were both extremely confident in ourselves. We were going to save the world! Before class even ended we started the process of transitioning two brothers (ages 4 & 5) from their foster home to our home because they had just become available for adoption. We spent a lot of time with them. We celebrated their birthdays, set up their room, and they even celebrated Easter with us. I was going to be a mom of 3 boys...yikes!

Do you see something missing from this story so far? God maybe? So many people are called to go this route and are so needed, but we weren't. We didn't even ask "Hey God, do you want us to do this? Is this how you want us to grow our family?" So without Him we fell flat on our faces...hard. Basically, boys wound up not being a good match for us and our agency asked us to withdraw. It was again a loss, yet this time it was so freeing. We had been forcing something that wasn't for us because it was a good thing to do. Other people were doing it, but we are Christians so we should definitely do it...isn't that how that works? No. There is so much freedom in Christ!! Do Not let yourself get guilted into doing something just because you are a Christian. Just because there is something that is a great thing to do does not mean you are the one who is supposed to do it. And we weren't. And that's okay.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV). It doesn't matter how many great things we do, we can not earn our way into heaven- thank goodness! God has already set up what He wants us to do, we just have to be willing to walk with Him and trust Him!

So onto now. After that we decided to go back to private domestic adoption (I will break down all the different options at some point this month). This is where God has us. The process again took a bit longer in Arizona then we were hoping, but we are officially home study approved! This means that any day we could be getting "the call" that says that we have been matched. We are beyond excited but also at peace. A peace that comes from when you are working within Gods will instead of working on your own. So please pray with us that 1) our funding comes in(we have applied for several grants & scholarships) and 2) that we get matched soon! Gods ways and timing are perfect, and even when they don't match up to what we had planned (and thought were great) we have to trust Him whole heartedly. Isn't that what faith is?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our Second Adoption Journey...pt1

Three years ago we were blessed with a son. A son so full of life and joy...and energy. We had such an amazing experience that we decided to try to adopt again. We were approved in July 2012 and matched with a baby girl a couple of weeks later. We named her Madison, were blessed with boxes of the sweetest little dresses, and cleaned out/ painted/ set up her room. 
Well...if you know us then you know that we do not have a little girl who just turned one. We are still just a family of 3. We still do not know exactly what happened, but it seemed that Madison's birth mother decided to parent. She stopped communicating with the social workers while she was in the hospital. We were heart broken. I am not telling you this story to scare you or for pity, but so you know how important it is for God to be at the center of your adoption plans. He is the one who helped us through our grief. The hard part was not knowing what happened. But we were surrounded by awesome friends and family who lifted us up through encouraging words, letters, and phone calls. Our social worker was also amazing. I know that she was just as heart broken for us as we were! She called to check in with us and even when we were trying to push things aside she encouraged us to allow ourselves to feel the feelings of grief. We wanted to be strong and unselfish and the good Christians who trusted Gods plan, and we did, but she helped us to see that our feelings of loss were real. And that was okay. 
Even though we didn't understand our hearts were able to heal by repeating scripture to ourselves and talking to God about what we were feeling. We were constantly reminded that God's plans are so much better then we can even imagine (even when we think ours are pretty awesome), His timing is perfect (even when we are impatient), and He loves us and wants the best for us. Hebrews13:5-6 says: " ...for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” No matter what tough thing in life we come up against God, the God of ALL creation is standing by our side. He is fighting for us, He is cheering us on, He cares- not only about us but about our future child! 
So, we packed up a month later and moved to Phoenix as a family of 3. We were sad that we weren't able to rematch before we left, but trust with all our hearts that God is orchestrating things we can not even fathom. He has awesome things in store for our family, even if we stay just the way we are, we are PERFECT in His sight.

Stay tuned to find out what God has been doing in our lives since moving to Phoenix! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday, a day to shed some light on the orphan crisis all over the world. It is estimated that there are currently 143-210 million orphans worldwide (UNICEF). That number is unreal to me. In the United States there are approximately 400,500 children in the foster care system- 115,000 of them are eligible for adoption. 

Many churches and organizations use this day to teach others about the statistics surrounding orphans and also to teach others how to get involved. We were so blessed that our church in South Carolina talked about this more then just one Sunday a year.

 As Christians we are called to "Defend the cause of the fatherless" (Isaiah1:17). Orphan Sunday is led by the Christian Alliance for Orphans, "a national coalition of organizations and churches committed to the Gospel and the orphan" ( 

Like I mentioned yesterday, not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone is called to action in some way. Here are a couple of non-adoption resources to help you to get involved in orphan care:

- Orphan Galaxy: The number of orphans can be incredibly overwhelming. How can one person make any sort of difference in a problem that is so big? This is where orphan galaxy comes in, you can be a star that helps build the galaxy. This organization provides scholarships for adoption of older or difficult to place children, provides training to orphans who age-out and leave orphanages, provides aid for orphans, rescues orphans for trafficking, and sponsors tours to the US of older kids to raise adoption awareness. If you would like to learn more about getting involved with this organization go to:

- The Forgotten Initiative: If you are more interested in tangible work within your community you should check out this awesome foster care organization. They work with the foster care system to learn their needs, share those needs with local churches, and equip the church to meet those needs. Some examples are providing parents nights out for foster parents, packing emergency overnight bags for children being brought into care, organize meals for foster parents, and fix up their facilities. Check out their website to see if there is a branch in your community. If there isn't and you want to get involved, start one!

In the car on our way home with one less orphan almost 3 years ago! 

"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation." 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Back In The Game

This last year I stepped away from blogging to evaluate the purpose behind our blog. At first I started a new one, but if you followed it you know that it didn't last long! I struggled with whether or not I wanted pictures of my child plastered all over the Internet (yes, that is an exaggeration but you get my point). 

Recently several of my friends participated in a 31 day blogging challenge. (They were awesome- check them out- & )This made me miss our family's blog and also what the point of our blog was. The point of our blog- Our Giant Leap of Faith- was to share our journey of adoption and then share the things God was doing in our lives. God has brought us so much joy by allowing us to be Marcus's parents and we want to share that joy with others. We want other people to have the opportunity to enjoy the adventures we do! 

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13, 14 ESV)

This past year we were able to walk with some awesome parents through their adoption journey. I want more people to have the opportunity to learn about adoption and orphan care and the different ways to get involved. honor of Adoption Awareness Month I am jumping back in! I want this blog to encourage others to take they giant leap of faith! We are NOT all called to adopt, but we are all called to care for orphans: 

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (James 1:27 ESV)

If there is something you see on here one day that you would like more information about please contact me! I am so passionate about this subject! 

For now I will leave you with favorite little boy enjoying his "Yay you did it!!" potty training treat: