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.

Our Story of Adoption & How You Can Help

10171918_1417043165228998_7744076981488006083_nIn the past few months I’ve posted about our Gotcha Day and how adoption has impacted our family. Max, who is almost 19 months old, will soon be joined by a little brother.

We have connected with a birth mom who is due June 22. We are making plans to travel to be present for the birth and to get to know the family. We have started the process to adopt again and have enlisted a great team here in Ohio and a great team in Maryland to assist us. Adopting Max happened very quickly and we pulled together various resources to pay for his adoption. Financially we need some help and we are using a non-profit fund-raising platform called Adopt Together to help us raise the necessary funds.

If you are someone (or you know someone) who has a heart for adoption, please visit our page. It tells a little bit more of our story about adoption and gives people an opportunity to help with the expenses. While this adoption won’t cost as much as Max’s adoption, we are seeking financial support.

To visit our Adopt Together page, click on the image below.  On our page, you will be able to read about our plans for adoption and how you can help if you feel led to do so.

Adopt Together screen

Visit to U. of Michigan

The last few months have given us a unique opportunity to visit several schools as Syd makes a decision about where she will go to school. We’ve had visits to Indiana and Louisville along with several others. This past weekend took us to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. (I can almost hear the groan from all my Buckeye friends).  She was one of several prospects checking out the school.

Michigan has a new coaching staff and are beginning the process of building a team that wins championships.  The new staff is high energy and we had the opportunity to watch the team practice. It was fun to watch as they ran drills, worked on offense and defense and prepared for the upcoming season.  The practice facility is newly renovated and the courts and locker room are quite nice.  The Division 1 schools I have seen really put money into the athletic facilities.

This is a look at the locker room. Pretty nice set up.

This is the hallway that leads to Crisler Arena where the teams play their games. It has gone under major renovation and looks very nice. There is a camera in the hallway that projects on the scoreboard so the fans can see the team in the tunnel before they come out.

This weekend was also the Michigan/Michigan State game. We were part of the 113,00+ people who were in attendance. The crowd was pretty excited about beating their rivals and it turned out to be the 900th victory in U of M football history.

We met some of the coaches from the men’s team and had a good visit. Now, she just needs to decide where she’s going to land.

Visit to U. of Louisville

Last Saturday afforded a visit to the University of Louisville to take a look at the school and the basketball program.  Syd is beginning to narrow down the schools on her list and this was our first look at Louisville.

Ironically, many years ago (before Syd was born), our family resided in Louisville. Other than passing the football stadium on the highway and going on to campus one time for a meeting, I didn’t really know a lot about the university.  Obviously the men’s basketball program is pretty well-known and the women’s program has enjoyed success over the past few year.

The campus and facilities were quite nice.  The KFC Yum! Center where the games are held is quite a venue.  Compared to the gyms we sit in during high school basketball season, it is a monster.  While the university doesn’t own it, they have very nice locker rooms and practice areas that are reserved just for U of L.  We took in a volleyball game and got a chance to look around the Yum! Center.


This is the women’s locker room at the Yum! Center.  The ladies also have a locker room in their practice facility.

This is a picture of the video room. They also had a training room and a place for the girls to hang out before and after practice. Very nice.

Visit to IU

Last weekend I accompanied my daughter on an unofficial visit to IU.  She has looked at a few other schools, but this was special as I grew up as an Indiana fan.  I’ve been to two games at Assembly Hall, but have never looked around at the athletic facilities or the campus.  It was great to see Cook Hall, where the men’s and women’s basketball offices and practice courts are. We also looked around Assembly Hall and the football stadium and weight room.

The facilities are impressive.  Here are a few pictures.

The women’s locker room

The women’s practice court

Syd with some of the coaching staff

Visit to Vandy

Last week included a trip to Nashville to check out Vanderbilt’s campus.  Syd had already been there, but this was my first time to make the trip.  We had the opportunity to have lunch with the coaches in The Commons on campus, met with another coach, watched shoot around, got information about the academic side of things and took in a very entertaining game against Florida.

Sitting that close to a D1 women’s game showed how physical the game can be.  I really see why the strength coaches are on staff.  You need to be able to take the hits once you get in the lane.

The campus was beautiful and the facilities are nice. Looking forward to seeing it when it is warmer outside.

The game went into OT with a nice win for the Lady Dores.

Great First Visit

Syd and I traveled north to Lansing on Saturday to check out Michigan State University.  They had several students looking at the school, plus it was homecoming weekend, so there were people everywhere on campus.  Syd said she had never seen so many things that were green and white!

We had the opportunity to watch the girls’ team practice, were given a driving tour of the campus, walked through the Breslin Center, checked out the locker room, training room, weight room, academic hall and concluded with great seats for the football game.

One of the highlights of the game was coming in contact with some MSU personalities.  We had the opportunity to meet Tom Izzo as we passed him right outside the men’s basketball office.  He even commented that he liked Syd’s Jordan earrings.  Mateen Cleaves came over to the group watching the girls practice and welcomed us to the school.  During our tour of the Breslin Center and the locker room, we passed and got to meet Dane Fife.  He played at I.U. 1998-2002 and is now an assistant coach on Izzo’s staff.

Before the football game, we were able to walk on the field during warm ups.  ESPN College Game Day was there so it was big deal.  MSU doesn’t have lights in their stadium for night games, so ESPN and ABC rented lights for the 8 pm game.  Walking on the field and being literally just a few feet from the players was pretty cool.

It was a great first visit and gave us a lot to think through as we look at where Syd might be able to play in the future.

This is Syd at the Magic Johnson statue outside the Breslin Center.