Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday's Featured Family: Brandon & Hannah

Friday's Featured Family:  Brandon & Hannah
Married since 2003
Reside in North Carolina
Brandon's Occupation:  Plumber/Business Owner
Hannah's Occupation:  Baker/Works from Home Kitchen

Brandon & Hannah are a fun-loving & active couple who enjoy spending time together.  They enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, skiing, and camping, but also enjoy relaxing on the porch swing.  They love the outdoors and try to lead a simple life, even though it can still be busy, at times.  They see life with a sense of humor and think of it as an adventure.  They look forward to the future, knowing that it is in God's hands.

Ten Random Facts About Brandon & Hannah:
  1. They live close to their extended family with most of the parents, grandparents, and sisters living within 30 miles of them and they visit often.  They also have family out-of-state, but they keep in close contact and visit throughout the year.
  2. Their best date ever was their 3rd date when they spontaneously took off to the mountains for a fun day trip.
  3. They met 9 years ago in a coffee shop and married the following year.
  4. One of Brandon's best friends was adopted as a baby, and they have friends and family who have adopted children whom their child will grow up with and know.
  5. They will tell a child his or her adoption story early in their life, like a bedtime story, so that the child will always know about the birth family and how they came into the adoptive family.
  6. Their favorite fun activity is being on a ski boat in the middle of the lake on a hot day.
  7. They love all kinds of food but pizza is the all-time favorite.  They could just about eat it every day without any complaints!
  8. One thing Brandon likes about living with Hannah is that she is a great cook and makes wonderful home cooked meals.
  9. One thing Hannah likes about living with Brandon is that he does such a good job with their finances, keeping the bills and making sure that they are financially stable.
  10. Following an adoption, Hannah plans to be a stay-at-home mom and is looking forward to it.
If you would like more information about any of our waiting adoptive families, please contact Family Life Services at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 2

FLS Birthmom, Cameron, has graciously allowed us to follow along as she shares her personal journey of teenage pregnancy. If you haven't been following along, make sure to go back to read Part 1.  Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

Later that week, I had an appointment with the woman who would be my social worker. Ugh. I walked in Deanne’s office and she greeted me with this bright smile. How could someone be so happy about seeing a pregnant kid? “Hi Cameron, I’m Deanne. We are going to be working together and I will be here to help in any way I can”. She wanted to talk with me about the pros and cons of parenting and adoption. An hour or so later I walked back to my room at the Godparent Home. That night I laid in my bed and prayed. I will give God one more shot. I still didn’t hear anything. The next day I went back to Deanne’s office and sat down. She wanted to show me portfolios of different families who were waiting to adopt a child. She informed me that in no way was she trying to push me to place this child for adoption but she wanted to provide me with information on the adoption process so I could make an educated decision. I eventually ended up picking two families to interview just to get a feel of some couples wanting to adopt and to hear their stories. This would at least give me the opportunity to explore the thought of adoption. However, I still wasn’t convinced.

I eventually ended up leaving the Godparent Home to return to live with my family in Virginia, but agreed to continue meet with my caseworker at Family Life Services so I could come up with a plan for myself and my child – whatever that may be.

During the course of counseling, my dad and I attended an adoption event, hosted by the agency, and I was anxious to speak to two prospective couples that I thought I might like. I knew that they may have their hopes up and I didn’t want to let them down. We were standing in the corner waiting for the right time to visit with the first couple when I heard a boisterous laugh from across the room. I saw a red headed woman who had an infectious smile and a southern accent that reminded me so much of my mom. I smiled. I wanted to speak with her. She had me intrigued. I wanted to know more about this woman. I asked Deanne “Is there any way I can change my mind on the couples I want to try to talk with? I want to interview that lady.” “Sure” Deanne said. “I will see what I can do.”

I was able to sit down with the couple, who introduced themselves as Roger and Pat. They began to explain their journey and dreams of having their own child. They had a rough time with trying to conceive. My heart went out to Pat because here I was - sixteen, pregnant and trying to figure out what to do with a baby. Pat had tried for so long and it never happened. At that point, I felt God tugging at my heart. I knew for sure, right then, that I wanted to provide this joy to someone who was so deserving and could provide a life I couldn’t for my son.

I told Deanne that I didn’t want to interview with anyone else. My dad and I left and I said to him - “They’re it”! My dad smiled and said - “I thought the same thing”. During our ride home, I felt at ease. I had a huge sense of relief and was able to breathe again. My dad was right, I would hear God if I seek Him. He was there and He never left or forgot me. “Thank you Lord” - I thought. From that point on God let me know that this was not MY child.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Love Adoption Print - The R House Couture

I am a huge fan of high quality, specialty, adoption items and The R House Couture has been on the top of my list of favorite retailers this year.  They make adorable adoption-themed t-shirts & onesies, custom silver jewelry, and now have some adoption prints available. 

The 8 x 10 I Love Adoption Print pictured above caught my eye this week as it would fit in nicely with a modern home decor, would look great in an adopted child's bedroom, or would be a fantastic addition to a photo-collage frame created for a birth parent for a holiday gift! 

Head on over to their shop and choose some meaningful and beautiful gifts to get a jump on the shopping won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's Featured Family - Intro

Family Life Services will soon be dedicating our Friday blog posts to families - specifically, hopeful couples who wish to adopt a child into their family.  We are going to be featuring some of the couples in our domestic infant adoption program who are working with our agency toward an adoption.  All of the families who work with our agency are Christian families who have met the Adoption Standards of their state of residence and of our private adoption agency.  I might be biased, but I think that the families we have are the "cream of the crop"!

So, why start to feature prospective adoptive families on this blog?  It's for a variety of reasons: 

1)  For blog readers to see the diversity of families available within our agency,

2) For this to be another networking tool for hopeful adoptive families as other agencies or individuals may stumble upon their information and feel like they fit an adoption situation outside of FLS, and

3) For those of you who have perhaps walked through the waiting phase of the journey of adoption or those of you who have a heart for adoption to pray for the couples, very specifically, who are working with FLS that God would fulfill His will in their lives.

Will you be one who dedicates to pray for these waiting families as we begin Friday's Featured Family?  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 1

Over the next several weeks - we have the privilege of sharing with you "Cameron's Story".  She is one of the birth moms who placed her son with Roger & Pat, who were recently featured in this blog post.  Cameron has graciously allowed us to follow along as she shares her personal journey of teenage pregnancy.  Her story will be broken up into several parts, that will be posted every Wednesday.  Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

We have all heard or seen the show Sixteen and Pregnant. In my opinion, the show seems to glorify the fact of being pregnant at sixteen or sometimes even younger. It portrays stories of young girls who discover they are pregnant and the process of their pregnancy. Most of the girls are excited to be pregnant and can’t wait to be a mom. I have to say, personally, I didn’t experience the same feelings. I never once felt excited to be pregnant, I never dreamed of being a teenage mother, I never fantasized about showing my child off to my friends in name brand clothing or thought about how great it would be to have a baby of my own. In fact it was quite opposite. I was scared and ashamed. My journey was completely different - here is my story.

Sixteen. Pregnant. This can’t be. When I wake up tomorrow this will be just a nightmare. But I never woke up from it. What am I going to do? How can I tell my family? My dad is going to be so angry. I will be grounded for life. This wasn’t supposed to happen like this. But it was my reality. My dad always taught me to wait until marriage. I was terrified.

I continued my daily life, hiding my secret from my friends and church family. I wouldn’t go to church because I couldn’t face God. What about abortion? That’s my easy way out. Yeah, that’s what I will do. That’s the best idea. I will be free of all this and can move on. I came to my dad and informed him of my decision. I didn’t expect the reaction I got, considering Dad was just as embarrassed as I was. I heard these words - “No way. You are not getting an abortion. That is a life inside of you and you will not murder an innocent child. I did not raise you to take the easy way out and I will not condone you sinning against the Lord.” What? No. He was wrong. I can’t believe he said that. Fine. I will figure out a way to get this done on my own.

Later that week my dad approached me and said that we were going for a ride. Where does he plan on taking me? Baby shopping? It was a long drive of silence to Lynchburg, VA. We pulled into the parking lot. Where are we? What is this? We walked through the door of the Godparent Home and were greeted by a lady who led us to her office. I looked around and noticed that this was a home for pregnant teens. My dad was forcing me to move in here? It’s not fair. No. I am not staying here. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much choice. I was still a minor and this is what my Dad thought was best. I am in my new home for the next seven months. Great. Thanks a lot Dad. Thanks for the “support”.

A few days passed and I hated the place. I refused to make friends and, for the most part, I kept to myself. I realized that I wasn’t going to get my abortion and I was stuck with a baby. I attended many lectures about being a parent and adoption. I can’t give my child up. This is my blood. I would never. These people are crazy. There has to be another way out of this.

My dad came up to visit because he wanted to talk in person. He sat me down in a quiet room and explained to me that he wanted me to pray over this. He begged me to seek God. “Just give Him a chance Cameron. For me please”. Fine. What was it going to hurt? After all, I had plenty of time on my hands. So I began to pray every night. I never heard a word and He still wasn’t helping me.

Remember to check back in with The Journey of Adoption next Wednesday to read more of Cameron's Story.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Birthmother's Post-Adoption Grief

Every birthmother & birthfather experiences grief and loss when choosing to make an adoption plan.  Although the general stages of grief can be applied to each situation, every individual moves through the stages in a unique way and on a different timeline.  One FLS birthmother has chosen to share some of her feelings during a difficult moment in the process, to allow others to empathize with the normal feelings that birthparents must experience to get through the grieving process.

There are many days I question myself.  Lately, I have been in a bad mood and just not really wanting to talk to anyone.  I feel as if no one understands what I have been through.  FLS told us we would go through many different feelings of loss after placement, but I really didn’t think that would happen to me

I knew what I did was right!  Then, I started seeing other young girls around me who were able to take care of their baby...why couldn’t I?

I started to doubt my decision.  I didn’t really want to talk to the adoptive family anymore.  They were happy...and I wasn’t.  I started to get upset that they had MY baby until I realized these things - I barely have money to put gas in my car, pay for my car and now pay for school.  How on earth do I think I could support a baby!?  How would I be able to pay for diapers, formula, and clothes and still support myself?  I told myself when I was pregnant, “I WILL NOT rely on my parents to support me!”  Yet, that’s exactly what I would be doing if I was parenting a baby right now.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I go to the box where I have kept everything the adoptive family has given to me.  I start reading EVERY card they have ever sent to me and look at all the pictures they given me and think to myself -  “My baby girl is happier and better taken care of then I could ever have done myself at this point in my life.” I know this will not be the end of my hard days but I know the end…I made the right decision.

Here's a great article to help you understand more about Birth Parent Loss and Grief.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Interest Free Adoption Loans

You may already be aware of the opportunity for Christian families to apply for interest-free adoption loans through the Abba Fund. After my recent conversation with a representative of that organization, I feel that it is a great time to remind you of this organization and the help that it could potentially provide for your family’s adoption plans. God has blessed this organization immensely since it was founded and they are able to help many Christian adoptive families overcome the financial barriers of adoption to build their family. Now is a great time to make application if you’ve considered it!

The ministry is Biblically based and strict in their guidelines for applicants in regard to Christian faith. The Abba Fund has been able to grant interest-free loans to several families in the amount of $5,000 to $7,000. If you feel that you may be good candidates for application, please visit their website for more information and specifically read FAQ's.

If you choose to apply, I would advise you to be very thorough in your application answers so they have a clear understanding of your family’s make-up, Christian faith, and financial need. It is better to write too much than too little as the application is the Abba Fund’s only opportunity to assess your candidacy for financial assistance.

Another organization that is very similar to the Abba Fund is Pathways for Little Feet and I would encourage you to look at their information as well. I trust that this information can be a help and an encouragement to you as you continue on your adoption journey!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

God Is Able...But What If He Chooses Not To Deliver You?

Recently, I had a conversation with the adoptive mom of a precious child with significant medical needs.  Our conversation was centered around the child's intense desire and prayers for healing in his body, but the struggle with the reality that God hasn't chosen to heal him, to date.  Does this make God unfair, unjust, unloving, or unable?

This conversation has stuck with me for several days as I've pondered the difficult task that these parents have been entrusted with - to help their child understand that God is still loving, kind, gracious, and merciful in the midst of unexplainable illness and difficulty.

Imagine my surprise when I was sitting in church yesterday morning and heard the message text pulled from Daniel 3.  A familiar passage about the fiery furnace and how God delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  It was verses 17 & 18 that really got me, "...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

God is able - that is pure truth.  But sometimes He chooses to deliver us from our circumstances and sometimes He chooses not to.  This is when our faith is truly tested.

Will we only put our trust in Him when He answers our prayers in the way that we want Him to? 

Are we willing to put our unconditional faith and trust in Him because He knows the future and He knows what is best?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Goodsearch - There's No Reason Not To!

Here's an easy way to raise money for the pro-life efforts of Family Life Services - Liberty Godparent Home. Just start using Yahoo! powered as your computer's home page & search engine and they'll donate about a penny to your designated cause every time you do a search!

In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall,, where you can shop at more than 2,400 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to the charity or school of your choice. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to your cause!

The best part is - this fundraiser doesn't cost you a thing!  However, the benefits add up quickly if people commit to including and for everyday computer use!  In the last 2 weeks, I have earned almost $5.00 for FLS.

There's a new feature on the home page where you can register as a supporter and it will track your individual earnings for your cause in real time.  It's motivating when you can see that you are making a difference.

If you download the custom toolbar for Family Life Services, you'll be sure to never miss a donation available for an online purchase because a box will show up for you to accept the contribution, regardless of whether you navigated to the store through Goodshop or not! 

As Christmas approaches and shopping increases - please consider supporting us in this unique and easy way! 
Related Posts with Thumbnails