adoption, adopt, adoption day

Skylar's Adoption Story // Video

When God connects the dots...

Recently, a friend of mine tagged me in a post on Facebook because her friend was looking for someone to document their adoption day. Ashli and I connected and I knew immediately this was something God wanted me to do.

I drove to Mississippi and spent a few days getting to know the Hernandez Family. Alonso and Ashli made a huge impression on me. Their hearts for foster care and adoption are evident in everything they say and do. And Skylar is the most adorable, sassy, lovable girl you’ll ever meet. She ran in and out of the room as we were filming and every time she climbed in Ashli or Alonso’s lap, I felt the overwhelming reality of God’s grace and love.

Skylar is SO loved. As one of her great grandmothers says in the video, she was created to be in this family. I was so honored to be a part of their adoption day as well as the celebration day! A longer version will be coming soon, but for now, watch the highlights of this special adoption story.

Ashli can be reached for speaking engagements via her Facebook Page.

Original music for this video written by Terrance Quaites. (www.therealtq.com)


family Archives - The Dream Village

An Adoption Story -- Meet the Nolens

An Adoption Story submitted by Cheryl Nolen

Our daughter, Whitney, is adopted. We brought her home from the hospital when she was 3 days old.

We were infertility patients and had tried every procedure available to help us conceive. After 8 years of medical intervention to help us, my doctor had a very honest discussion about our specific issues. He encouraged us to adopt because he firmly believed we would never have success in having a biological child. After all we’d been through I finally felt resolved about being a mother to a child born by someone else.

We used Adoption Advisory whose offices were in Dallas. From start to finish our process took approximately 2 years. We actually tried many other agencies for over a year before that.

When we went to the hospital to get Whitney, we were over the moon with excitement and anticipation. When they brought her through the door of the waiting room, we thought she had to be the most perfect, beautiful baby ever born.

Whitney was a challenge early on. Her strong will constantly forced us to draw on reserves of patience that we never knew existed. She struggled with rejection from birth parents during her teen years, wondering why she was “given away.” We told her that God chose to make her ours so that she’d have a good life.

I haven’t met or spoken to her, but Whitney has met her birth mother, as well as her parents. It was mostly a positive experience. She feels strongly that she and her boys need to enjoy a strong relationship with us in spite of knowing her birth family.

Before we adopted Whitney, we were actually matched with a different birth mother but it all fell apart when the child was born. The birth mother pulled out of her agreement with the agency and chose to pursue a private adoption. We never knew why, except our trust was in God that He had a different plan for a different child for us.

There were times during the difficult teen years that I wondered if God had chosen the wrong parents for Whitney. As an adult with children of her own, Whitney and I see that God does all things well. We can see that so clearly as we look back.

After Whitney was almost 4, we had a very big surprise- I had a baby boy, Spencer! I can say sincerely that I love them both the same, no matter how they came to us. We never dwelled on Whitney being adopted and people were always surprised to learn that. God chose to build our family differently, so we accepted His will. We feel so blessed to have had the children He gave us.

 

Do you have an adoption story you want to share? Whether you are an adoptee or an adoptive parent, we want to hear about your journey. Submit your story here!

family Archives - The Dream Village

Vincent's Adoption Story // Video

May 8, 2017… the day Vincent joined his forever family. Watch how quickly he warms up when he meets them!


adopt, adoption, orphans, foster care, family

Avi's Adoption Story // Video

After just a few months at home, Avi was a completely different girl. Watch her transformation below!

 


adopt, adoption, orphans, foster care, family

Adoption Story - Meet Liam

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment God gave me a desire to adopt. It was a desire that just grew naturally throughout my life. Adoption always felt normal to me. It always felt like another beautiful way that God forms a family. I had the joy of being raised with three biological siblings and three adopted siblings and I fell right in the middle of these six awesome people. It’s no wonder that when my husband and I met, I was quick to let him know that someday I wanted to adopt. Thankfully, God had placed different experiences throughout his life that led him to have a heart for adoption too. 

Fast forward to the second year of our marriage and Ben and I were starting our foster care journey. We decided to wait a few years to start our family. Knowing that reunification is the goal of foster care, we entered ready to build relationships with birth families and offer support needed to help reunification. Deep down, we also knew that adoption was a possibility. Both outcomes sounded awesome at the time. We were ready to see what God had for us. 

By the time we were licensed, God started stirring a desire in me to start a family sooner than I had first thought. On May 31, 2012, Ben and I were planning on going for a bike ride, but God had other plans and our agency called to let us know a four month old little boy needed a home for a while. The day our sweet Liam entered our home is one that truly made time stand still and one that only God could have pieced together. The first time I held this sweet little boy he had the biggest smile and sweetest personality. It was as if he immediately knew he was home! We loved our sweet Liam instantly, but we were aware that his birth mother also loved him. And even though she obviously had hard things going on in her life, we wanted to honor her and the attachment she and Liam already had. We were committed to encouraging her. There is no doubt that while there is beauty in adoption, there is also heartache. Days and weeks and months went by. Visits were missed and the case plan wasn’t worked. Throughout our foster care journey, we were able to meet with Liam’s birth mom twice. I am so thankful that God allowed us the opportunity to meet her. I see her sweet laugh and smile in Liam all the time and she and Liam share a bond in their ability to share encouraging words. Our hearts hurt for the struggles she has faced in life and the heartache that she has had to encounter. But no doubt, God’s grace is covering her story, too. 

On February 19, 2014, one year and nine months after Liam entered our home and our hearts, we were officially able to adopt him and give him our last name. He was already our son as God had grown him in our hearts for years, but the joy of him officially being ours is like nothing else we have experienced. As I look back on our journey, I can only give God all praise and glory! What a wonderful God that He would bring our son into our lives in such an awesome way! It’s incredible to see God’s hand graciously leading our family and caring for Liam in sequence. Check out these awesome details that are only possible because of God:

  • God moved us to the county Liam was born the same month that Liam was conceived. 
  • The day before Liam was born, I prayed in my prayer journal for the child we would someday adopt. 
  • We had a friend stay with us when we first became licensed as a foster family. During this time, we received a call from placement about another child needing a home, but were unable to take this child since we didn’t have the room in our home at the time. This kept a room open in our home for when we were called about Liam. 
  • When the placement worker called us about Liam, she was looking for a family in our specific county. We had almost moved to the county next to us, but in God’s grace, He moved us to the county He knew we needed to be in for our son.
  • After Liam was adopted, we lost touch with his birth mom. By too many incredible details to write here, God brought our paths back together. I was able to meet with Liam’s birth mom one year after the adoption was final. It was such a sweet meeting to see her doing well and to hear her say that it was God’s plan for Liam to be with us and that she is happy he's with us. 
  • We ended up losing contact with Liam’s birth mom again, but by another miracle, in July 2018, God made a way for us to connect again. Liam’s birth mom texted letting us know that she is okay and that she loves us. We instantly saw the peace that came to Liam in knowing that his birth mom thought of him! Once again, we have lost contact with his birth mom, but we continue to pray for her and for another opportunity to be in contact.
  • Liam also has three birth brothers. We have been able to remain in contact with two of these birth brothers and visit once a year. This connection has been so special to all of us and we see Liam encouraged after every visit. 
  • We ended up getting two wonderful surprises in 2012! 😊 Liam came to us on May 31, 2012 and I found out I was pregnant in July 2012. No wonder God started stirring our hearts to start our family earlier than we had first planned. We now have three sons that are 6, 5 and 2! Psalm 127:3 sums it up so well.  “Children are a blessing from the Lord;”  -Amy from Daphne, AL

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