Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013 - Meet My Sweet Friend, Abby!

Adoption Blogger Interview Project 2013

I am thrilled to be participating in the Adoption Blogger Interview Project this year. Anxiously awaiting the email to see who I had been matched with and would get to interview for my blog, I was so excited to discover that I would interviewing my dear friend and fellow adoption advocate, Abby Akers, who I work with weekly as a part of the leadership team for the Sparrow Fund blog's We are Grafted In!

Let me tell you a little bit about Abby and her precious family, and then we will dive right into her interview!

Abby and her college sweetheart husband Wes began the journey of domestic adoption in 2009. Blessed with a (more than they had planned but oh so thankful for it) open adoption experience, they were able to witness the birth of their first child Max in the summer of 2010. Little brother Sam joined their team in September of 2012. Wes and Abby are trusting God as he leads them in their relationship with their sons’ birth families. You can follow their story at Akers of Love.


Why did you adopt?

Honestly? We wanted to be parents and the way most people bring children into their family wasn't working for us.  

But now I know that there was a greater purpose. God always has a greater purpose. Adoption and everything that has come with it, has been the most significant tool that God has used to draw me closer to Him.

What lead you to domestic adoption? 

We maybe considered international adoption for two seconds. Our reasoning for adopting domestically was very practical. Domestic adoptions usually cost less, we didn't necessarily want to travel for an extended period of time and we knew there was a need here in the States.

Isn't it great that God calls each family to a different area of the world? I just love that.

I never said this out loud or even at the time knew this was a reason, but in my heart, I wanted a newborn. Our good friends had just welcomed a baby girl via domestic adoption, their neighbors had adopted domestically and God kept opening doors for us to take that path too. 

Tell us about your domestic adoption, paperwork, the wait, the highs and lows, etc. Coming from the international adoption scene, I would love to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the domestic process. 

We went to an informational meeting, two full day training sessions, filled out pages of paperwork asking questions about our life - past and present, criminal background checks, reference letters, fingerprints, physicals, a homestudy, provided pictures for the agency to put together a two-four page "album" that gave mothers a snapshot of who we are, wrote a "Dear Birthmom" letter explaining why we were wanting to adopt and what we hoped for our child and for the birthmom and lots of other paperwork that apparantly I've blocked out of my memory.

Both of our son's stories were completely different although the amount of time we waited was the same, about ten months. With our oldest son, Maxwell, we met his birthmom 3 months before he was born. I went to doctor's appointments, we talked a couple of times on the phone, met for dinner once and we were even blessed to be in the delivery room when Max was born. With Samuel, we found out about him the day he was born and met him that day. 

With many domestic adoptions, you are at the mercy of the family choosing to place their child. They pick you. There is no list. For me, that was one of the hardest parts of our adoption process. Knowing women would look at our profile and not want us to be their child's parents was very humbling.  Who doesn't want to be the one picked? During our first adoption journey, we were the first choice for a mom that wanted to meet us in person, but she also wanted to meet with another couple. She decided to go with the other couple. That was hard. God was contstantly reminding me that although these women were making the decisions, God was in complete control over who was going to join our family. 

The obvious high is getting the call that you have been matched with an expectant mom. Unfortunately, that high is sometimes followed by a huge low when for one reason or another the mom changes her mind.

I could go on and on with this question, but you can visit my blog to read more about our two journeys.  

How has adoption changed your life?

I have a completely different view of adoption now then what I had five years ago. Yes, adoption made me a mom. Yes, the day we met both of our boys were two of the happiest days of my life. But now, I see the other side of adoption. Me becoming a mom came at a great cost for two very special women and it came at a great cost for their families. We are blessed to have contact with both our son's birthmoms. If you would have told me that when we started the adoption process, I would have been scared out of my mind. But God has made it so obvious to us that them being a part of our lives is part of his plan for our family.  

If a couple came to you asking for advice as they begin their adoption journey, what would you tell them?

Pray. Ask God for His will.

Then I would tell them to just start the journey. For me, it was very overwhelming to know where to start. So, we made one decision at a time and trusted God that he would close the door if that wasn't where he wanted us.


Thank you, Abby, for sharing so openly with us! Check out her blog, Akers of Love to learn more about their adoption journey and to read my answers to her questions!!

Want to meet more adoption bloggers?!! Grab a cup of coffee or hot tea and settle in to read all the interviews HERE!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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