Big Decision: Going with an Agency

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After months of research and talking to other friends who have walked this path of domestic adoption before us, we have decided to sign on with an adoption agency. That means an agency will help us “match” with an expectant mom who is thinking about making an adoption plan. We still plan to do our own outreach through social media and word of mouth as well. You never know how a connection can be made!

The agency we are going through is called Hope Embraced Adoptions, out of South Carolina. I heard about it through one of my mom’s friends who is a customer at her baby store. Over the past week, I’ve sent them a copy of our completed home study and I updated our profile book and I’ll get that to them along with some other paperwork this week!

Based on the average wait time, it’s very likely that Baby Ritter will come home in 2018!

I am so thankful for the ladies at Hope Embraced and the heart they have for adoption. Almost immediately after signing with them, I felt a sense of relief. I’m grateful to have such experienced adoption professionals on our side.

Dana’s Birthday Fundraiser

OCTOBER 17-22

Dana’s Birthday Fundraiser: October 17-22

 

Our first fundraiser is here!

This week we’re opening up the doors to those who have asked, “how can I help?” to celebrate Dana’s birthday. If you’ve been wanting to chip in visit Our Adopt Together Page to make a small donation.

So Grateful!

Grateful!

Thank you for sharing our story with your friends

You all are AMAZING!

This week you shared our video to more than sixty thousand views!

Okay, enough with the exclamation points (but we’re so darn grateful).

Now that we have pretty much finished our screening and officially announced our adoption, the real work begins. Knowing so many of you are in our corner is encouraging.

What’s next?

We have already heard from some folks who want to match us with prospective birth moms.

At this point we are screening adoption attorneys and building our photo book.

Please continue praying and sharing our posts.

On Facebook? Come like and follow our page https://www.facebook.com/danamichaeladoptionstory/ for updates and more.

We’re Adopting!

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He makes me stop and smell the flowers

Hi everyone, we are excited about pursuing adoption. We are working through the home study process now!

Get to know us: This video shows more about our love story, and our relationship with God – the center of our marriage.

 

We are ready to open our home, our hearts to a dear little one. Please SHARE this video some dear friends put together for us as a gift. It tells our story. We pray this will help lead us to our baby.

About to “go live”

Well… this is it!

We spent all Spring and Summer going through the home study process. We are now ready to tell the world about our plans to adopt.

It is exciting to share our secret. And maybe a little scary, too.

But – we are so ready to expand our family. And eager to see what God does!

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Celebrating my first PSL of the season!

A little back story

It will come as a shock to no one who knows me that our adoption story begins with coffee. I’ll come back to the coffee. First, I should give you a little background.

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This very pretty ceramic coffee mug makes me nervous because it’s ceramic

Last year, we pursued IVF, went into debt for it, I gained weight because of it, and in the end, all we had to show for it was heartbreak and empty arms. My dad died unexpectedly. Our 17-year-old cat wandered off and died.

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2016 as told by Instagram

It was a hard year.

But, God. I learned so much about Matthew 5:4 through the hard year.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

I’ve been through hard things in life before. But this time, it was different. I found that the harder things got, the closer to the Lord I got. And I’m not going to sit here and say that made the hard things easy. It did not. But it did teach me to trust that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. (h/t Isaiah 55:9)

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The journals I filled up in 2016. I didn’t share a lot publicly, but I never stopped writing.

As the tide began to turn, and we entered a season of blessing, I was connected to God in a new way. All that hard stuff did its work in me for good. I developed a regular routine of spending time reading the Bible, journaling and praying. I could sense God’s presence in my life more clearly.

At the end of the year, I had an incredible job opportunity – to come back to DC to lead a network news bureau where I had worked previously. This was like coming back “home” for us – in may ways.

Full Circle: The reason we left DC was to start a family. But fast forward four years, and nothing had happened according to our plan. Now, we were back. Still childless, but with renewed hope that God has a plan to build our family. And determined to enjoy this season of “just us.”

After a gut-wrenching year of grief and change, Michael and I were taking time off from the high-pressure conversations about growing our family.

We hadn’t talked about it in months. But then that changed on March 18th.

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We made a 2017 resolution to keep fresh flowers in our home. These were the St. Patrick’s Day flowers.

I had been up that morning, reading and writing and sipping my coffee – like I usually do for about an hour, before getting Michael up. I went back to the bedroom, where he was still in the bed. I snuggled up to him before beginning the routine of getting him up and dressed for the day.

I can’t remember how I said it, exactly. But I said something about thinking I was ready to pursue adoption. He looked over at me and very matter-of-factly said he was too!

From my journal March 19, 2017:

The biggest thing we accomplished yesterday was a deep, intimate talk about bitterness, IVF, and adoption. It feels wonderful to be on the same page! I am still processing the pain of what we went through during the infertility years. But I can feel the hope of adoption, the redemption in pain, the joy rising!

What an honor it will be to hold this little chosen one! Oh, sweet dear, we already love you so much.

Like the deep fact-digger that I am (I am a journalist by trade), I began researching adoption with every spare moment I had. I talked to friends who had adopted recently and years ago. I started listening to podcasts, watching YouTube channels, I signed us up for a workshop about private adoption. I set up calls with consultants and agencies. I think I read the whole internet with regards to adoption.