Hi friends! My blog has been quiet lately, but a lot has been brewing and I am so excited to finally be able to share it with you!
First, as many of you know, a dear friend and I opened an adoption law firm, Adoptions West, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho! We have loved owning our own practice and doing what we love, while splitting the work load so that we can be home with our little ones as much as possible. It is so exciting to work with other couples who are on the adoption journey, to share what I’ve learned along the way, and to use my legal training to help them build their families!
Second, and even more exciting, our family is growing!!!
We have been matched with amazing expectant parents and are expecting a precious little BOY in mid-August 2014 AND, we are adopting two little boy embryos that we will implant when this little one is around a year old. That is the quick explanation, but God has been writing quite the story, and this chapter has His fingerprints on every page. I can’t share all of the details yet, but I can share some of the things that God has been doing.
Many of you may remember my post in early December about the many situations that we had considered and presented our profile for. Shortly after I wrote that post, I saw a post in an adoption group, titled “an unusual request–could it be your family?” I clicked on the link and read about two embryos that needed a family. My heart leapt at the possibility, as embryo adoption was something we had been praying about for years.
[Quick Aside: For those of you who have never heard of embryo adoption, I’ll give you the cliff notes version: When couples undergo IVF, they often create extra embryos (an embryo exists when an egg and sperm have combined) for a myriad of reasons. These embryos are frozen for future use. In the United States alone, there are over 600,000 frozen embryos. When a family is finished growing their family using the embryos, they often have left over embryos. Many families are choosing to place these embryos for adoption to give them a chance at life. The embryos are then implanted in the womb of the adoptive mother and she carries the pregnancy. To learn more, visit: Snowflake Adoption or Embryo Adoption Awareness]
As I said above, embryo adoption is something we had been praying about for years, as we had been told that I could carry a pregnancy. We believe that embryos are lives and just as valuable as any other life, so we thought it would be neat to give some a chance at life and for me to experience pregnancy. However, when we started our second adoption process, God told us to pursue a domestic infant adoption again, so we assumed we would adopt embryos in the future, if ever.
Yet, when I saw this post, it felt right. Jonathan and I talked and prayed about it and decided to submit our profile. Apparently a lot of profiles were received and we didn’t hear anything for a while, so we assumed another family was chosen. Then, we received an email out of the blue, saying that we were selected as a back-up family. Another family was chosen, but the other family wasn’t sure they were ready for embryo adoption, so we were asked if we would be willing to take them if the first family wouldn’t. We, of course, said yes! A week later, we found out that the other family wasn’t ready, so these little embryos (two boys) were ours, as long as testing confirmed I could carry and as soon as the contract was signed.
I was elated, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was another baby out there for us that we were supposed to adopt. Every time I prayed or thought about it, I kept sensing “there’s another” and that there was a reason we had gone through the domestic adoption home study process. I continued to pray and one day told a friend that even though I continued seeing adoption situations, I didn’t feel a peace about applying for any of them. I joked that if there was indeed “another” we were supposed to adopt, that God would have to drop into our laps. I had no idea how quickly He would or how faithful He would be in doing so! That night, someone we know well told me that she was 8 weeks pregnant and that she was pretty certain she wanted to place the baby with us. At the time, I encouraged her to consider parenting, but told her we would be willing to adopt her baby.
She was going for her first ultrasound the next day. I asked if she wanted me to come with her so she wasn’t alone. She said “yes, it’s probably your baby anyway.” I was trying to keep open palms, because I knew this was early in the pregnancy and I wanted to be able to support her 100% if she chose to parent. I also knew that parenting may be God’s plan for her, but I was honored to walk this journey with her and excited to see a little life on the ultrasound screen.
We asked her to continue to pray about the adoption plan and there were days when she considered parenting, but she continued to lean towards adoption.
Two weeks ago, she invited me to her second ultrasound and we found out that the baby is a BOY! That day she told me she was certain about her adoption plan. I wanted to start planning for a baby, since I’ll be busy taking the bar this summer, but didn’t want to do much in case she changed her mind. We talked again the next day and she said she was absolutely certain and to go crazy planning for a baby boy! It is so bittersweet to see a good friend go through an unplanned pregnancy, making an adoption plan, but we are so excited to welcome a little boy to our family!
I know things can always fall through and this situation will continue to need prayer, but I also know this expectant well well and know that once she makes a decision, she sticks with it. I am choosing joy and am excitedly preparing for our little boy, because let’s be honest, if it falls through, it would be difficult and hurt the same whether I prepared or not. Furthermore, if it does go through, I want to have experienced every joyful moment of expecting our little boy! Ultimately, God has to protect my heart, because if I try to guard and protect my heart, I’m not fully invested and open to what He has in store.
Again, I love how faithful our God is. When we started this process last summer, Jonathan and I both sensed that God was going to bring our next baby through our network of friends and family. We felt strongly that we were to share our profile with friends and tell everyone we knew about our adoption plan. We didn’t expect our next baby to actually be born to a dear friend (we thought it would be a friend of a friend), but we love to see God fulfill the promises He whispered to us. There were days when it was so tempting to take matters into my own hands, but I am so glad we trusted in His promises.
God is also answering another promise. Back in October, I found myself sharing our adoption story, but quickly following it with, “we’ll never have another adoption like this one,” implying that the next one would be messy and not good. God reminded me that He is the one who gave us the gift of Abigail (our daughter) and Natasha (Abby’s birth mom). He gave us a perfect baby, a birth mom who is like a sister and more family members that share our faith (Natasha’s family). He gave us a situation that our entire family was comfortable with and excited about. Who was I to say He couldn’t or wouldn’t give us another amazing gift? Low and behold, He has given us another amazing adoption situation, one with a sweet friend, where I am able to walk through almost every stage of the pregnancy with her.
Friends, we serve a God who keeps His promises and who rewards our faith, even when it is as small as a mustard seed!
Just in case you are wondering, we are still adopting the embryos, we will just wait to implant them until this little is around a year old! Also, as a note, there is a chance that one or both of the embryos will not implant, but we are ready and willing to welcome all these little boys into our family, if God is willing.
If you feel called to support our adoption, we covet your prayers, for these babies, for us, and for this little man’s birth parents. In addition, you can donate at http://www.adopttogether.org/theschmitts! We would love your help in bringing our boys home!