Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Expanding our family...and our friendships!

I started this post on the 13th, but sickness got in the way and I'm just now getting to finish up this post.  SO thankful to finally be getting on the mend from the flu!

DH and I with Maegan and Jonathan-friends from orientation
Exactly one year ago, DH and I found ourselves sitting in a conference room filled with about 12 other couples. We were all from different places, we all had different outlooks and different experiences, but we all held one thing in common: we were desperately seeking out how God was wanting to grow our families.

Maegan meets Gabriel!
On January 13-14 of 2012, DH and I attended the Winter Orientation for Christian Homes and Family Services.  Talk about information overload!   We were given SO much information! But I think we also left that conference room at the end of the second day feeling like yes, this was God's path for our family.  As I look back on my journal from around this time last year, I can't help but stop and reflect on one particular thought (which maybe I've shared before, but just in case I haven't):
"There are some decisions in life that feel so right that you wonder how you ever questioned them beforehand.  I was just looking back at old journal entries and reading about our uncertainty with adoption--were we really called to adopt?  I can't help but smile and laugh at that now because I am so certain that adopting is exactly what we've been called to do!" And God continually reaffirmed that called in so many different ways, one being the adoption orientation.

Meeting up at Hobby Lobby to purchase fundraiser crosses
I will never forget the session on Saturday where they had birthmothers who had placed their children with CHFS come and speak to us.   It was incredible to listen to their stories and to see first hand the love they truly have for their child. Our society has often made these women out to be the "bad guys," but what a sad and horribly wrong stigma that is!  These women are loving, they are strong, and they are heroes.  I will never find a woman more unselfish and loving than Gabriel's precious birthmother. She gave us something we could never have had on our own, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.  What a blessing she has given our family in choosing us for Gabriel!  (I love the birthmother quote that says, "I didn't give up my baby--I expanded my family!")

It's so crazy to look back on just one year ago being at the start of our adoption journey with CHFS, and now how we are in 2013 as a family of four.  I can only imagine what God has in store for this new year, and I'm excited to follow Him through it with a child in each arm in tow!

Lu wanted to take a silly face pic of us
Our Ormesher adoption fundraiser Chalkboard Cross at Christmastime
But God didn't just use our experience at orientation one year ago to expand our family.  He also added new friendships into our lives that we never expected.  The very couple that sat to our left (and that is pictured in today's post) is actually going through their homestudy tomorrow!  I am BEYOND excited for them and cannot wait to meet the baby boy or girl and the birthmother God has chosen to be a part of their precious family!  We've had the privilege of meeting up with this couple quite a few times since orientation, and each time we are reminded what a blessing they are upon our lives.  They supported us and encouraged us so much throughout out adoption journey, they have loved on our kiddos, and we are so blessed to call them our friends!  Please be thinking of Jonathan and Maegan tomorrow as they have their homestudy, and be praying for them as they wait to meet and bring their baby home.  (And if you'd like to support their adoption journey, I can let you know how to get in touch with them--they have made these AMAZING chalkboard crosses they are selling as an adoption fundraiser!)

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