Our Son @DaytonMomsBlog

Almost two weeks ago we celebrated Eli’s first birthday. We gave him his own cupcake so he could go to town and make a mess and spread icing all over his face.

His birthday wasn’t just a celebration of his birth, but also of adoption. Cheryl wrote about her thoughts about Eli’s birth mom as we prepared to have his first birthday.

In final paragraph, she writes this:

Tomorrow he turns 1, and as I tuck him in bed, and kiss him, I’m thinking of you. I’m thinking of how far you have come from a short year ago, and what the future holds. I’m remembering how God answered my prayer and made it evident to me that our stories should be woven together, with one minute to spare. Tomorrow I’ll tell him how much we love him and tell him how much you love him and look forward to when we can celebrate his birthday together.

Adoption has taught us so many things  and we often think of our “extended family” as we go through the milestones of parenting.  Check out the entire post on Dayton Moms Blog.

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Parenting 2.0 @DaytonMomsBlog

Cheryl is back on the Dayton Moms Blog today and her post looks at parenting in this season of our lives.

Many of you have read about our adoption journey as we have added two little boys to our family over the past 5 years. This Sunday (April 22) we will celebrate our four-year old’s Gotcha Day and we finalized the adoption of our youngest on February 14 of this year.

Cheryl writes about some of the things she has learned through parenting and how her view of being a mom has evolved over the years.  Here’s one example of what has changed:

At 25 and 29, I was obsessed with if my child was turning over when they should, and cooing the right way.  If I had a friend whose child did things sooner or better than mine, I would fret all night and doubt myself as a mother.  I wasted so much energy and lost so much sleep fretting over things that simply don’t matter.  

Parenting 2.0 taught me that every child is different and unique, and comparing them to other children isn’t helpful to them or you.

Go check out the post and marvel at the wisdom of my wife!

#WORLDADOPTIONDAY is Nov 9

You are invited to join us in celebrating #WorldAdoptionDay this year. It is a day to globally celebrate families created through adoption and all those who are touched by adoption.

For the past 4 years, people around the world have put a smiley face on their hand and posted it on social media with #WorldAdoptionDay.

We’ve seen people participate from multiple countries, host events all around the world, and influencers like Ellen DeGeneres, Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr, Shonda Rhimes, Connie Britton and more participate.

I’d like to personally invite you to join us this year! Draw a smiley face on your hand and post a selfie on your social media account with #WorldAdoptionDay.

It’s easy, kind of fun and a great way to support a growing movement of celebrate the beauty of adoption. So, grab your sharpie and plan to post your smiley hand for #WorldAdoptionDay.

Putting a Period Where God Puts a Comma

A couple of weeks ago I received a review copy of Mark Batterson’s new book, Whisper. I’ve had the opportunity to read several of his books including The Circle Maker. Any of his books that I have read have proved helpful.  While I still need to finish Whisper, there have been a number of things I’ve highlighted and earmarked.

The subtitle of the book is How to Hear the Voice of God and Batterson writes about different voices that God uses to speak to us.

In one particular chapter I read this phrase: We put a period where God puts a comma.  Batterson is writing about doors that God opens and closes as we seek to know what He wants us to do.  He remarks that we interpret a closed-door from God to be a “no” when perhaps what God is saying is “not yet.”

As I read this particular chapter, I thought about our adoption experience.  Like many, we’ve had a number of starts and stops on the way (I’ve shared some of our experience in previous posts.)  We actually waited close to two years between potential adoptions.  Our son Eli is four and a half months old as I write this and we weren’t sure God wanted us to adopt again.  We had a feeling that perhaps that door was marked “closed.”

As it turns out, God was just saying, “Not yet.”  Things fell into place at the right time and we have added another little boy to our family.

Back to the chapter from Whisper, I think we were interpreting a “no” instead of a “not yet.”  Perhaps Batterson’s insight a page later in the chapter described us fairly well:  “Simply put, we want what we want when we want it, and usually we want it now.”

While there is no formula for hearing the voice of God, this chapter was a good reminder that what we perceive as a closed-door could be more of a delay than shut forever.  Because while most of us are by nature impatient, it may be that God is waiting for a better time or better situation or even a better us.

As I was looking back at the posts regarding our son’s adoption, I ran across this quote:  What God originates He orchestrates.

I think we are always learning how to understand and hear the voice of God.  No one has it perfected.  In the process this chapter was a good reminder to me that listening at times means waiting.

Granted, sometimes God tells us, “No,” – just like we do with our children – but there is also the potential for God saying, “Not yet.” Because He sees more, knows more and in control, we need to keep our ear tuned to Him.

When He does open the door, it can be a beautiful thing.

Experiencing Generosity on our Adoption Journey

I shared last week that we are back on the road to adoption.  Eli will be one month tomorrow and we are moving forward with the different steps that lead to finalizing the adoption.

As we have relaunched this journey, we have been reminded that we are not doing it alone.  While we knew that was true, people have expressed love and support in a number of ways.

While I enjoy blogging, I recognize I don’t have a huge audience that frequent my posts.  However, what I shared last week brought about a huge jump in visitors.  I know that is because so many have a heart for adoption and shared our adoption story.

We also saw contributions to our Brackemyre Family Adoption Page. It is a humbling experience when people give from their own resources to support what we have decided to do.  We are nearing 50% of our goal on our page and had a couple of unexpected gifts come in the last week.  With that has been given, we have been able to stay current with our attorneys and other home study needs.

If you are one who gave on our page or shared it or read our storyTHANK YOU!

As we continue down the road to adoption, we’d love for you to join us in one of three ways:

1) Visit our AdoptTogether page to read a little more of our story

2) Share our AdoptTogether page with those in your circles of influence. Perhaps there is someone you know who has a heart for adoption.

3) If you are able, you can give through AdoptTogether toward adoption expenses.

We have had people give us diapers and outfits, provide meals and stop in “just to see the baby.”  We are truly grateful and look forward to the next few miles on our adoption journey.

Back on the Road to Adoption

Many months ago I posted about our bump on the road to adoption. We had made connections with a birth mom and were preparing to welcome a new child into our home. Birth mom decided to parent and our journey toward adoption seemed to stall. We had a number of people who had given toward adoption expenses through our AdoptTogether page.

Then last month – enter Eli.

Through a friend of a friend we were connected with a birth mother who was due early July. She decided to pursue adoption with us. We made plans to meet her on a Monday – two weeks before her scheduled C-section. As it turns out, Eli made an early entrance on the next day. Eli spent several days in the hospital and we were communicating with our attorney to get all appropriate paperwork in place so we could gain custody. A week after his birth, we brought Eli home.

Due to the money already given through our AdoptTogether and another grant we received, we were able to cover some of the initial expenses. There are still other expenses associated with adoption, including some due to this being an interstate adoption. We are adopting a Hoosier!

There are at least three things you can do if you feel lead to help with our adoption.

1) Visit our AdoptTogether page to read a little more of our story

2) Share our AdoptTogether page with those in your circles of influence. Perhaps there is someone you know who has a heart for adoption.

3) If you are able, you can give through AdoptTogether toward adoption expenses. While there are many worthy causes and many other families pursuing adoption, we’d love any support people feel led to give.

In our experience, adoption has been a period of waiting and more waiting followed by a flurry of activity to bring a child home.  Thanks for taking the time to read about and even be a part of our adoption journey.