Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We're Gonna Need A New Puzzle...

We've been matched...with a boy! Baby Boy Brannon is due to arrive sometime around the end of November. We are so happy to be adding another sweet boy to our crew, and the kids cannot stop talking about their baby brother.

We found out about this match on Sunday night, late. We've been talking names, doing massive amounts of paperwork, buying precious baby boy shoes, and generally living on cloud nine since then! We can't wait for him to join our family. Thank You Jesus for Your kindness to us.

Please keep Baby Boy and his birth mom in your prayers over the next few weeks.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights 
with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fashion Show for Grammy

Trying to get a not-silly picture of this girlie-girl is well-nigh impossible. :)

 Ballerina in training? She did this on her own.

Some fancy new 'dos:

And more modeling. Tell me she's not the cutest little girl you've ever seen?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Matching Grant!!

Domestic adoption is different from international in many ways, but one way that it’s similar is in terms of cost. Adoption is expensive! There are agency fees, legal fees, medical fees, birth mother expenses, and more. As you know, we’ve been fund-raising, saving, working, and applying for grants since last year. 

This week we got the wonderful news that we’re being given a $4000 matching grant from Promise 686 and LifeSong for Orphans! That means, for every dollar that is donated, up to $4000, Promise 686 will match it. The $8000 this could potentially raise would bring us so close to having all the money we need to complete this adoption. And all donations are tax-deductible. Our goal date for raising this money is November 30, 2012.

So we’re asking for your help. Asking for money is never fun, but two things we’ve learned through Laina’s adoption are that people are generous, and that it takes a whole community to bring a child home. God has been so gracious to us through this adoption, and we invite you to be a part of what He’s doing, if you so desire.

We're sending out letters this week and next week, but we want to take advantage of social media as well--hence this blog post! If you're interested in helping us make our $4000 goal, read on. 

 If you want to donate, please:

1. Make a donation via check or PayPal to LifeSong for Orphans. In the memo line or on the PayPal screen write “Preference: Brannon #2955 adoption.” This is very important to make sure LifeSong knows where to direct your donation. (Also, please note that if you pay via PayPal, PayPal will charge a service fee of 1.9-2.9%.)

2. If you’re sending a check, mail to 
LifeSong for Orphans
PO Box 40/202 N. Ford St
Gridley, IL 61744

3. If you’re paying via PayPal, go to and click the donate button. Remember to enter “Preference: Brannon #2955 adoption” on the PayPal screen.

Note: 100% of all funds received by LifeSong for Orphans will go directly to cover adoption costs. Nothing is taken out for administrative costs. And again, every dollar that is donated will be matched, up to $4000!

Also note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. We are humbled over and over again that people would donate to help us adopt. We really appreciate it.

Jeremy and Allie
Iain, Cory, Laina, and baby 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Failed Adoption

(I mentioned in the last post that we were in Florida for Iain’s birthday, but I didn’t say why. It’s a story that, for us, doesn’t have a happy ending.)

Dear Baby S,
We got the call on a Friday. Three weeks and three days ago, we first heard about you. You had been born the Sunday before, and you needed a home. I spoke at length to the social worker, and it seemed so perfect. Everything you needed, we were. Everything your birth mom wanted, we were. Even down to your name, which your birth mom wanted you to keep. It was perfect. We were so happy. We so wanted to be your parents, and we thought we would be. We would leave the next day to come and get you. To bring you home.

We went to dinner that night at our friends’ home. Everyone who was there either has adopted or is adopting, and they were so excited. While we were there, I texted with your birth mom a few times. Then she sent me your picture. I was so happy to see you for the first time. You’re beautiful, S. I showed your picture to our friends, and they agreed. The dinner was a joyful, wonderful, happy time. They would have loved to meet you, to hold you.

Late that night we got a call from those same friends. They showed up at our door with diapers, gift cards, sweet baby girl clothes, a blanket, a soft toy. They are such sweet friends to share in our joy that way.

Saturday, we drove the next day to Florida. As we drove, we talked about your name: would we make your birth mom’s choice you first or middle name? What would we call you? We thought about how we’d have to get a luggage rack in order to fit your carseat in the van. We talked about your birth mom, and I she and I texted back and forth all day. We were so happy as we made phone calls, talked to the social worker, told our families what was going on.

Sunday morning, my mom, Laina and I went shopping for a dress for you, to match the shoes in the puzzle picture. We found a sweet one.

Sunday night, we met you...what can I even say about that? Your birth mom is amazing, and you are precious, valuable, priceless.

Tuesday we learned that you weren’t ours.

Wednesday, we returned the dress. 

Thursday we came home without you.

I pray for you still, sweet S. I pray that your mommy and daddy know Jesus and teach you about Him. That you are happy and loved. I’m sure you are. 

You weren’t our daughter, but we wish you were. I grieve not being your mama; I wanted to be. And I also grieve the loss of relationship with your birth mom. She loves you so much, and she's so special. I wanted to be in her life.

Someday, we will bring our baby home, and we will understand what I hope you are already experiencing: that this was how it was meant to be. But we won’t forget you or your birth mom. We know already at least one good thing that came out of this: so many people were praying for your birth mom and you, during a time that was probably the hardest in your lives. Our church was praying. Our families were praying. If we had to go through this in order for you and your birth mom to have so many people lifting you up to the Father during this time, it was worth it. She is worth it. You are worth it.

Adoption is such a mix of joy and grief. Right now, ours is the grief. Yours is the joy--and I hope for you that it is always true, that you grow up strong, joy-filled, loving, and loved. 

Prayers and blessings, sweet baby.

This is one of the harder posts to publish. I have been sad...and I don't really want to put that "out there." I'd much rather keep it private. But I was reading posts by other people who had experienced failed adoptions, and was helped by them. So in an effort to somehow "not waste our failed adoption" (see John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Cancer", points 7 & 10), I figured I'd better share--to the glory of God and the comfort of others. This is a start, at least.