Guest Blogger: Jessica

Hello! My name is Jess and I am married to Matt. We have been married for 12 years and live in KY.

We always wanted to adopt… after we had a few “kids of our own” (I cringe at that
wording now). After a couple of years of marriage we decided it was time to see what could happen. We told everyone who asked, “When are you going to have kids?”, that we were just leaving it up to the Lord. Many of our friends were doing the same thing. And one after the other, pregnancy announcements started rolling out. This went on for almost two years. All the pregnancies for everyone else, and nothing for us.

We decided to do a little testing on both sides and learned that my husband would have
to have a minor surgery and then we should be able to get pregnant. He had this surgery in April, 2008, and we had to wait for two months before we could try to get pregnant. In May, he spent two weeks at a ranch in Texas with some missionaries. During those two weeks the Lord was working in his heart and mine. He returned from Texas and it was officially the month we could start trying. But something weird happened. He came back from Texas with a strong desire to adopt now, not later. And strangely, I was totally on board. The Lord works in amazing ways! So here we were, “able” to conceive truly for the first time and we wanted to adopt. We started the adoption process almost immediately even though we knew there was a chance we could get pregnant. But the desire to adopt was so strong, we couldn’t ignore it. While we had great support from family and friends, many also voiced their concerns. Lots of paperwork happened and our agency was very speedy. That October, just a couple of months after
starting the paperwork, we received a referral for two precious boys from Ethiopia. Honestly, we were a little confused because our paperwork was not yet in Ethiopia. BUT, out of ignorance and sheer excitement, we pushed forward. We named the boys, put them on our Christmas cards and carried their photos with us everywhere. We were a family of four! In the mean time, still not pregnant and perfectly content with that fact.

I remember the night like it was yesterday. It was a cold December night and we were
gathered in our small condo with family and friends celebrating my husband’s graduation from seminary. It was a joyous day. But during the party, around 8pm, we received a call from a relative that had been investigating our agency and she shared that we were being deceived. Our agency was not being truthful with us about many things. We were absolutely crushed. We wept and prayed. Our family and friends gathered around us that night and interceded on our behalf. We had a big decision to make. Do we move forward with an agency we couldn’t trust? The next few days consisted of many discussions with our agency and it became abundantly clear that we were being given the run-around. We could not move forward. You know that
“peace beyond understanding” the Bible talks about? We had it. We had to cut ties with our agency and loose our referral, but we were at peace. We were very sad, but that peace washed over us and we knew it was the right decision. We rang in that New Year without a referral, with out an agency, and not pregnant. Not the happiest of New Years for us.

In January, 2009, we started looking for a new agency. We had decided on an agency
and then discovered… we were pregnant. WHAT??? How is this possible? From about the
time we found out, I was so sick. It wasn’t morning sickness, it was all day sickness. I felt
terrible. And honestly, I was kind of upset that I was pregnant. We had adoption on our minds and this was going to mess that up. I remember my mom being pretty worried about me because I did not show signs of excitement with this pregnancy. We had to find another new agency, one that would allow you to adopt while pregnant. We found a great little agency that was in our town. It was a pretty new agency, but they met all of the criteria that we now knew an agency needed to meet. We went into meet with them one day and I was a ball of emotions. My husband was very driven for us to adopt as soon as possible. I was still sick as a dog and the thought of any kids at that time was too much. The sweet ladies at the agency could sense my concern. They suggested we just postpone the adoption until after our child was born. I was immediately relieved at the news of waiting. My husband, it took him a little more time before he was on board with the wait. This pause in the process gave me the time I needed to focus on my pregnancy and become truly excited for it! Even though I was still sick up into week 30 and on, I was so thankful for the Lord’s timing and couldn’t wait to meet our precious

We gave birth to our precious baby girl in September and loved being parents! We
soaked up every precious moment with her! Around the time she was 9 months old we agreed it was time to start the adoption process again. We completed our paper work, it was submitted to Ethiopia and we had our referral in 5 months!!! We were head over heals for our second child, a sweet son! Our daughter had just turned 1 and our son was 4 years old. Two months after referral we traveled to Ethiopia and met our son (December 2010). That trip is a story for another day, but once again, God worked in amazing ways to get us there! We passed court while in Ethiopia and then we had to leave. It was hard leaving him there. We thought it would only be a few weeks before we saw him again. It ended up being over 3 months before we finally brought him home. That was a long 3 months!

This son of ours. He is amazing. We honestly could not ask for a more compassionate,
selfless, giving child. He is our oldest child. After him being home 18 months we gave birth to our youngest daughter. He is the oldest brother to two sisters and he shines! He loves them and protects them so well. One of the most beautiful (and most maddening) qualities about our son is his simplicity. After being home about 2 years it was brought to our attention that he might have some learning delays. We were aware there were some challenges, but weren’t really sure what was “normal” and not. After lots of testing, we discovered our son has auditory processing and a low IQ. School is hard for him. He struggles. For the first 5 years of school we did a cool combo of school 3 days a week and homeschool 2 days week. Although I loved working with him, most days it was hard and frustrating. Why could he understand a concept one day, but have no clue the next day about the same thing. Why could he read a word and two sentences later miss the same word. But what is so beautiful about him, he was not the one getting frustrated. He worked so hard. He never gave up. So what he missed all but one problem on his math assignment. His response would be, “yes, I got one right!” He celebrates the small victories, as we all should. He is kind to everyone. I have learned so much about
myself through parenting him. I’m not as patient and understanding as I once thought. It’s amazing how the Lord uses our children to refine us! We are thankful to the Lord each and every day for our son! We are thankful for how the Lord has used him in our lives and the lives of many others to teach us true servanthood, humility and endurance in this life!


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