Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Adoption Day, Andrew!

We celebrated our most recent placement at Family Life Services on Friday, October 21, as new parents, Craig & Carey, adopted their son, Andrew Adam.  I'm not sure that I can accurately describe adoption day with a word picture, but the pictures linked in the slideshow below speak for themselves.  The birth mother and her parents were a huge part of this day, but pictures are not being shared for privacy reasons.  Watching a birth mother fight the emotions of placement day - because she feels that she is doing what's best for her child - is something that never becomes routine at our agency. 

In a similar way, the privilege of watching a young couple, who have prayed faithfully for the day when they would become parents, is overwhelming.  On this particular day, I was reminded of how God fits the pieces of families together when the birth family and adoptive family (including extended family members) came together, some of them meeting for the first time, and shared an instant love and respect for one another.

Andrew is the first child for Craig & Carey, the first grandchild for Craig's parents, and the first grandchild for Carey's parents - do we need to say any more or are you thinking what we're thinking?!  Visit this link to see a slideshow of images from Andrew's Placement Day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Featured Family: Andy & Patricia

Friday's Featured Family: Andy & Patricia

Married since 2006
Reside in Virginia
Andy's Occupation: Works for a Nuclear Manufacturing Corporation
Patricia's Occupation: Works for a Commercial Insurance Company

Andy and Patricia are an active young couple with strong, traditional family values. They enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, and attending live sporting events. Patricia has a kind, sweet personality and is a wonderful cook. She has a heart for others and is great with children. Andy is fun-loving, outgoing, and has a great sense of humor. He is calm, compassionate, creative, and a great problem-solver. Andy and Patricia want to give their child everything that they had growing up: love, attention, great experiences, and cherished memories. Most of all, they want to raise their child to know God’s saving grace and unconditional love and to grow into the person that God has planned for them.

Ten Random Facts About Andy & Patricia:

1. Their families are a huge part of who they are and the people they have become.

2. Friday nights are their “date nights” together.

3. Andy’s sense of humor has them laughing on Saturday mornings before they even get out of bed.

4. Patricia’s nickname is “Squish”.

5. Their best date was a Christmas light tour in a limo.

6. They enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities.

7. Patricia loves to cook and Andy loves to build things.

8. They have always been involved in serving God and others through their church.

9. They have 3 nephews and 2 nieces that they have lots of fun with.

10. They are open to having an ongoing relationship with the birth parents.

If you would like more information about any of our waiting adoptive families, please contact Family Life Services at

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter Market - Nov 18-20 - Lynchburg, VA

If you are within driving distance of Lynchburg, Virginia - please make plans to join us for the upcoming Winter Market!  Connect with the Winter Market on Facebook or on the Event Page to stay updated and see what vendors will be there.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 4

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, Part 2 & Part 3. Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

Adoption day came and I was so excited I couldn’t stop shaking. Pat and Roger walked in and my heart fluttered. I wanted to yell and say - wait until you see him, he is PERFECT. The foster mom brought Ryan in and Roger and Pat fluttered with emotions. They smiled and cried and smiled some more. They hugged me and said “Thank you so much. He is beautiful”. He certainly was the most beautiful baby. I left there knowing that I had made the best decision. “Thank you God”, I whispered.

Over the next few weeks Pat and I kept in touch often. She would tell me all the new things he was doing and I would tell her about my day. Since Ryan’s birth, we have continued to have regular contact and they send me numerous updates. From day one...they have been a part of my family. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

I was so blessed that the Lord was there with me. He let me know that Ryan belonged to Pat and Roger. I was thankful for that. Of course, there were tears and hurt and mixed feelings, but in the end it all worked out. When I see Ryan now I don’t hurt, I don’t cry anymore and my heart is happy. I didn’t place him for adoption because I didn’t want him. I placed him because I loved him. I always will.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Want This Waiting To Be Over

As I got into the car this morning these lyrics poured out of the radio, “I just want this waiting to be over”. It was as if the words were out of my very own mouth, my attention was immediately caught, and my mind lost in the words that continued to float out of the speakers. “I just want to be with you and it helps to know the day is getting closer. Every minute takes an hour, every inch feels like a mile til I won’t have to imagine and I finally get to see you smile”.

I found myself thinking about the different things I am waiting for in my life. How minutes truly can feel like hours and days like weeks. Then I was thinking, it is so easy to get caught up in my life, in my own personal waiting, that sometimes I forget what I should ultimately be waiting on, seeing my Jesus’ face.

The song went on….

My journey’s here, but my heart is there

So, I dream and wait, and keep the faith while You prepare

Our destiny, til you come back for me

Oh, please make it soon!

Waiting is something I’ve determined I will always be doing. In fact, you may remember a similar blog post from last year. I believe more and more that God designed it that way, to teach me, amongst other things, how to wait on Him, on His second coming.

“Oh, please make it soon!” How often this is the cry of my heart for many things, may it also be my heart’s cry as I wait for His coming.

~By Rachel Curley, FLS Adoption Caseworker

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's Featured Family: Sean & Shandra

Friday's Featured Family: Sean & Shandra
Married since 1996
Reside in Virginia
Sean's Occupation: College Music Professor, Guitar Teacher, Professional Musician
Shandra's Occupation: Homemaker (Formerly an Administrative Assistant)

Sean and Shandra are an active couple who enjoys traveling and experiencing new things together. They both have warm and friendly personalities that are complementary to one another. Sean loves to spend time outdoors hiking, running, and biking. He is patient and has a great sense of humor. Shandra is detail-oriented, outgoing, nurturing, creative, spontaneous, and fun-loving. In her free time, Shandra loves to read, play board games, watch movies, travel to new places, and is an exceptional cook. Sean and Shandra were foster parents to a special little boy, in the past, and look forward to sharing their home and family with a child who joins their family through adoption.

Ten Random Facts About Sean & Shandra:

1. New people who meet them often say “Sean and Shandra, that will be easy to remember!”

2. The farthest they have ever traveled together was to Bolivia where Shandra worked in a childrens’ day camp and Sean taught music.

3. Shandra went to New York City on her high school senior trip and saw 10 Broadway shows in 7 days!

4. Sean has a lot of experience working with kids. When he was growing up, he helped take care of his brothers, who are much younger than he is. He has also taught guitar one-on-one to kids of all ages, and he taught middle school and high school for one year.

5. Their first date involved watching multiple Disney movies, eating pizza, and taking a very long walk.

6. They have a vegetable garden in their backyard. They are very good at growing tomatoes but just can’t grow peas!

7. The child that they adopt will be the first grandchild on both sides of their families, and their parents are looking forward to showering love on their grandchild.

8. Shandra’s family has a tradition of singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” before opening every present on Christmas morning, no matter how long it takes.

9. They are open to incorporating a name selected by the birth parents for the child they adopt.

10. They are interested in having ongoing communication with the birth parents if they are comfortable with that. They are also willing to consider having an open adoption in the future.

If you would like more information about any of our waiting adoptive families, please contact Family Life Services at

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cameron's Story: 16 & Pregnant - Part 3

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 & Part 2. Her story is one of intense emotion, struggling faith, and ultimate victory.

I called Deanne the next day and told her that I had made my mind up and wanted to place this child for adoption. I stated that I didn’t want to consider any other family. I was bound and determined that Roger & Pat were my son’s new parents. She informed me that there was another girl who was considering this family. NO WAY. This was MY family. I left feeling hurt and depressed...dreading the possibility of having to start this process over again.

Deanne called me and told me that another girl had called and asked Roger and Pat to be her child’s adoptive parents and they agreed. She told me that, after speaking to the agency’s director, she was able to call and ask them if they were willing to adopt another child as well. Deanne called me back and said, “Great news. They would love to adopt your son as well.” We called them to tell them I had chosen them and the enthusiastically agreed to parent my son. I remember feeling like there was a weight lifted from my chest and I felt so much relief.

Pat and I spoke often and the more we talked the closer I felt to her. She reminded me so much of my mom and I felt like I could tell her anything. Our relationship grew stronger and I shared with her any news I received from my doctor. We continued to keep in touch weekly.

Finally, the time came when my doctor informed me that he would be inducing me the following Monday. I was glad to not have to be pregnant anymore and I was happy to have these little feet out of my ribs! I was admitted to the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to start the birthing process. Ryan Joshua was born a few hours later and I couldn’t wait to tell Pat. I called her from the hospital and she was so excited...I was too.

They brought Ryan to me and I was overwhelmed with emotion. He was beautiful. I couldn’t stop kissing him. Later that night I held him close and told him that he was very special to me and that I found the perfect family for him that could give him everything he wanted and needed. I told him that I would always love him and would be here every step of his life. I made a promise to him that I would never stop loving him. That night, we snuggled and slept together and all I could think about was how I couldn’t wait for Pat to lay eyes on him. She and Roger were going to love him.

The day came to leave the hospital and, though my heart ached to leave Ryan there, I knew that he was going to be well taken care of and this was the plan I felt was best.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Adopting Without Debt

Have you ever wondered how in the world you can afford adoption? How you can bring a child into your family without going into debt? There is a wonderful new book out, written by adoptive mom, Julie Gumm, that it is simply called Adopt without Debt.

In her book, Julie shares her family’s journey to bring two children home from Ethiopia. She talks about how to “find” extra money for your adoption; she gives fundraising ideas and encourages the reader to explore available grants. If money is stopping you from pursuing your dream of adoption, or is a worry and concern to you on the adoption journey, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of this book.

A couple of months ago, Julie was interviewed on The Dave Ramsey Show. Listen to the interview to learn more about how you too might be able to afford adoption and to gain some creative ideas for adoption fund raising.

~By Rachel Curley, FLS Adoption Caseworker
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