Well. I thought I would write an update, even though the update is, that there isn’t an update. We became a “waiting family” 28 days ago (or something like that, math is not my forte). I am not sure how people wait years and years and years for their adoption. I have already found myself refreshing my inbox, impatiently waiting for some news to arrive.
But we have been lucky.
Many times in adoption, you wait and you don’t hear anything. We have already seen two “situations”. Situations are what they call information about expectant moms. (I had a friend say they should be called opportunities, I agree that would be a much better word, but for whatever reason, they are called “situations”.) When you get a situation you have a few hours to a few days to decide if you want to present your profile book to that mom. If you say “yes” that mom receives about 5 profiles to look through to decide who she wants to raise her baby. (Can you imagine making that decision based on a book?!) After she looks through the books, you get a call if she picked you and you get a text if she didn’t. It’s quite an emotional rollercoaster. We were told not to present our book unless we are SURE that we would say yes if she were to choose us. The situations give us a range of different information, it tells us about the expectant mom, what her life is like, some medical information, when she is due, if it’s a boy or a girl and what the costs will be if were to “match” with that mom.
We have seen two three “situations” so far.
When we got our first situation, it was early in the morning, I was asleep and Josh was studying in the front room. I woke up to a crazy noise coming out of his mouth that I have never heard before. He came running in, with his computer in hand saying “check your email!”
Josh jumped in bed with me and we read through four pages all about this beautiful expectant mother. We cried through reading her story, and we were so surprised that we received a photo of her. To be honest, these stories are not easy to read, they are actually heartbreaking. Full of loss, hurt and short-comings but filled fierce bravery – wanting what is best for their little one. It’s crazy how emotionally attached you become to their stories. We felt honored to even read them. And it’s hard to share their stories when friends and family ask because you want to hold them with such care, it doesn’t feel like our story to share.
Josh and I prayed but ultimately decided not to show our profile to either of them. I know that someone opened those two emails, and said, “yes, this is it.” and that gives me comfort. These two women have definitely been filling my thoughts and my prayers.
And now, we continue to wait.
The waiting is hard fo me. I am such a busybody and it was hard to move from the busyness of the paperwork and profile making, to the slow pace of waiting. But in the waiting I have found space to dream and just be. I continue to feel peace that when the time is right we will know, and that there is so much going on behind the scenes to bring our story together with our sweet birthmom. She consumes my thoughts, I catch myself praying for her in the midst of my daydreams often. Praying that she is experiencing joy in that moment, or that she is laughing, or finding comfort.
Another great part of the wait has been connecting with so many adoptive families and waiting families. I have found that they are my people. They are strong and vulnerable, they are brave and scared, they are driven and they are fearful but they all have one thing in common, they have grit, they do not give up, and they depend on each other. I am so thankful to go through this road with them.
So the news is there is no news, we are soaking up quiet moments at home together, while a mamaRoo (whatever that is!) sits empty in the living room, we continue to pray for the little one that will soon be joining us.
Today was another big day in our adoption journey. We sent our adoption profile book out to agencies!
We sent out our adoption profile book to 3 agencies!
That means expectant mom’s will be flipping through the pages of this book soon, deciding if they want their baby to call US mom and dad. As soon as we signed our papers with Christian Adoption Consultants, we started our adoption profile book book. I would work all day, have dinner and head back to the computer, working on our profile book until the middle of the night. Josh and I poured over every picture and word carefully, making sure it fully expressed who we are and why we are adopting. I read so many articles, all contradicting each other, about how to make this book. Some said not to mention that you like to travel. Many said to not use pretty or posed photos… It was a little stressful at first, but we decided to throw out all the “rules” and be exactly who we are and share what we love. We love to travel, and photography is such a big part of my life so I definitely wanted to include some of my photos in it. We are so glad that we did because the outcome is just what we were hoping for. We had sections in our adoption profile book about our us, our families, our house, our church and faith, Hadley, and our promise to the mom. My favorite pages are the ones that are throughout the book that say “In our family…” and then go on to give an insight about what we are about. (“…We do grace”, “…We do forgiveness, we do mistakes and second chances.”)
Now that we have sent our applications to our agencies, our preview books are traveling to eventually be read by our expectant mother! A huge reason why we chose domestic adoption is so we could have an open adoption and be a part of this mom’s life. This is a huge first step in our two stories coming together. We have been praying for this mom for a long time, wondering who she is, what she looks like, praying that she has a some sort of community around her while she navigates such difficult decisions, and hoping she is able to find joy in the midst of grief. I am guessing that many of the women that find their way to this book will be terrified, scared and maybe even numb, but we are praying that each woman that flips through our book, whether they choose us or not, may feel peace, find answers and be comforted. This morning, as Josh and I stood in our kitchen, we prayed over these books – in the middle of the prayer, Hadley woke up, got off the couch and made her way to us – sitting between our legs as we wrapped up our prayer. It’s like she knew this was a big moment and didn’t want to miss out! We hope that our adoption profile book finds it’s way to one special woman that has been constantly on our mind, in our prayers and been waiting for us, just as we have been waiting so desperately for her. Soon we will enter each other’s lives and none of us will ever be the same.
And now we wait.
For other adoptive families, we printed our books at Blurb – this was a great option because you have to print so many book and their magazines range from $5-$8 depending on the paper you choose! If you like our layout and would me to help you design your book send me an email at hello(at)hannaheloge(dot)com.
If you would like to make a donation to our adoption visit our profile on Adopt a Love Story!
Josh and I are in Tucson with my family for the holiday! We have just been enjoying the slightly warmer weather and time with family. We got to visit my Dad’s new charter school finally! I am so proud of my Mom and Dad, and sister and brother-in-law who made this incredible school come to life and that will shape children’s lives for years and years to come.
On Christmas Eve, my brother Kevin, rented us a party bus and we took to the streets of Tucson to spread a little Christmas cheer. We handed out McDonald’s gift cards, socks, food and little gifts to people around Tucson that were spending there day in a park or on a street corner.
One of our new family traditions is to have our own church service on Christmas eve. My Dad speaks, Josh and my brother-in-law played guitar – we sing, a little off-key, and enjoy the night gathered together. My family was very sneaky this year and when we passed the “offering” they all put a note in it for baby Eloge. Josh and I took turns through our set-backs and tears reading each card out loud. It was so special and we will always treasure these little notes to our first little one.
Some exciting news
We have been chosen to be a featured family over at Adopt a Love Story! This is a new non-profit that is helping families overcome the financial barriers of adoption while sharing their adoption story. Now, if you make a donation to our adoption though AALS it will be tax-deductible! Take a second to like Adopt a Love Story on Facebook and follow them on Instagram. We are thrilled to be partnering with Adopt a Love Story!
An adoption update
We are still in a waiting phase. Our Home Study meetings are are done but we are still waiting for a background check from Colorado to come back to us. Our Home Study can not be complete without it. Once we receive that background check then our Home Study will be sent to us and then we can move onto the next step, applying to agencies! Our wonderful consultant Leah, at Christian Adoption Consultants will give us a list of agencies that they work with around the US and from that list Josh and I will apply to about 4-5 agencies. Once we apply to the agencies we will be on their list to start seeing “situations” – These situations will give us information about potential birthmoms. Where they are, when they are due, any known medical history and costs. If we feel like a “situation” is a good fit for us we can present our profile book to them. I will do a separate blogpost later about the next steps and what our profile book looks like!
Last Saturday, Josh and I spent the day with some of the best families in Chicago. I had a lot of families that had asked for a photosession and with very limited time I decided to do them all in one day for a fundraiser for our adoption. Josh the best helper and he was great at scooping out all the best baby products. All the kids were so well behaved. They did awesome, and I enjoyed all the parenting tips along the way. I am so glad we lucked out with a sunny beautiful day to capture these beautiful families. Here is a little sneak peek into our day! Thank you to everyone that joined us – it was so fun to spend the day with you!
I thought I would share a little music monday for my post today. As you probably know already, we are a little obsessed with the band, Johnnyswim. Their song “Live While We’re Young” has constantly been playing through our house through this adoption process. It’s kinda become our anthem.
This song is our pump up song. Our don’t think about all the ‘what if’s’ – don’t let fear sink in. Just embrace this experience fully. Hands off the breaks. Going full speed ahead with confidence that we are right where we should be, when we should be. So listen, then go to something awesome, like buy tickets to Johnnyswim Holiday concert at Thalia Hall with us.
This past weekend, Josh and I watched the Netflix Documentary ‘Closure‘. I definitely recommend it. It’s about an adoptee, named Angela, who in her twenties decides that she is going to search for her birth family. There were a few times I looked over and Josh crying his eyes out. And I totally understand why. This movie shows all the emotions that are tied up in adoption stories – beauty and brokenness, joy and sadness, life and loss. The documentary is all filmed by Angela’s husband as he stands by her through her search to learn more about where she came from.
Adoption Update: As of last Tuesday, we were officially done with our meetings for our Home Study! We loved our social worker, we felt like we was on our team and she definitely helped this process go smoothly. Now, we wait for about a month for her to finish our Home Study report (20 pages recapping all our meetings and who we are) and when that is done we will be able to apply to different agencies around the US through our consultant. After that, we will be a “waiting family”… which means we could start presenting our profile book to expectant moms as early as Christmas!
Adoption Auction: I am about to start contacting friends, family, and shop owners about our online auction fundraiser that we are going to host in December. If you or someone you know would be interested in donating a product to our adoption fundraiser, shoot me a email by using the contact button up top. It can be anything, home decor, jewelry, prints, stationary, gloves… Send it my way!
We are so thankful for everyone that has been such a great support – we have been blown away by the words of encouragement, prayers and donations to help us adopt. Thank you all for walking this with us. xo!
Hi! I am Hannah Eloge, I am a lifestyle photographer with a passion for capturing the beauty in the simple, the significant, and the everyday moments of life. This is a place where I will share my creative journey, and incorporate inspiration from other creatives and contributors who have ideas and stories to share!