Friday, December 18, 2015

Next Steps

We want to provide a quick update on our situation with the adoption. Since being informed of our failed match last week, we've been processing what happened, healing, and moving forward. We don't know why it happened but we have faith in God's perfect plan and timing.

We've been working through paperwork and discussions to close out the contract and get unused funds returned to us. We were liable for the living expenses, counseling and legal work that had already been completed/paid out. We were concerned that we'd be out close to $10,000 but we thank the Lord we're only out $1,700.

That was still a financial blow to us but once again, God provided! A few days before the match fell through, we were notified of a $1,000 grant and others have blessed us with ~$600 this week, so we've almost recovered all of the funds lost to the failed match!

Today we were added back on the "active" list and are eligible to be matched again by having our profile shown to expectant moms. Please pray that we will be matched again quickly! Thank you!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Change of plans

This morning we received some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news (for us, anyways) - the birth mom we were matched with delivered her baby boy almost a month early and decided to parent. So, our match has fallen through and we're back at step one. This has been hard news to swallow for Jenny and I. Lucky for you, I process hard news by talking, while Jenny processes more internally. After 10 years, I think I've finally learned how to give Jenny space, at least for a few minutes. So, you're stuck with me. 

When bad news hit so suddenly as it did this morning (I was sleeping), I found myself in a state of shock. Unsure what to do or say, I tried to distract myself by staying busy. But as I was left alone with my thoughts, clarity and our new reality set in. We were just a few weeks away from having a baby in our arms and now we're back on the waiting list.

As I informed family, friends and colleagues, articulating our new normal to those closest to us, the burden of this unexpected loss grew heavier. 

This is a loss I didn't expect to have to grieve today. I knew there was a risk, but I had convinced myself it wouldn't happen to us. I was so confident that this was our baby boy and the process was going to be as "rainbows and unicorns" as any adoption process could be. You'd think I would've learned by now...rookie mistake. 

So, here's my heart today - I am grieved for Jenny, Bailey and I. We long for our baby boy or girl, we long for Bailey to have a baby brother or sister. My heart aches that we had gotten so close and now have to start over. I pray that God will bless and provide for this little boy. We trust His perfect will, and trust that this baby was meant to remain with his birth mom. I trust that God has prepared us for the baby boy or girl He has for us, and it's just a matter of time.  

I have been overwhelmed by the encouraging words and prayers of our friends and family. Jenny posted a prayer request on Facebook 11 hours ago. In those 11 hours, we've received over 125 of the kindest comments offering prayers, thoughts, encouraging words, tears, and love. In a week when our feeds are packed with posts about how much of a cotton-headed ninny muggins Trump is (he is, obviously), debates about guns, violence, ISIS, politics, how awesome the new Star Wars movie is going to be, and so on, the response to our request for prayer and support has reinforced my belief in the power of social media for GOOD. Every 5 minutes or so, we were blessed with another encouraging word! It's like a viral prayer chain and it helped us throughout the day. To those that commented or just commented in your hearts, thank you. Thank you for carrying us through today. Please remember us tomorrow, because we'll need it. We love you and are so blessed to be on this journey with you.  

In good times and bad, we must cling to God's promises. It sure is easier to go there when my heart is in turmoil. Today, through prayer and through the encouragement of others, I'm reminded that:
  • When I delight myself in the Lord, He gives me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4)
  • He knows the plans He has for me - plans to prosper and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. He has a better plan for my family than I could ever conjure up. What a beautiful truth. (Jeremiah 29:11
  • The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength...but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
  • I should not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
As I get concerned about timing, frustrated that we have to start over and that this suddenly isn't going according to my plan, I remember Abraham and Sarah and God's promise to them in their 90's - Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son. Hannah, Elizabeth, Zecharias, and on and on. God's timing may be vastly different than mine, but His is perfect. I choose perfect, even if it hurts right now.  

As we near Christmas, I can't help but think about Mary and Joseph. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this wasn't how Joseph expected to begin his life with Mary. Probably not the order of operations he had imagined! Turned out pretty well for him.  

So we grieve, we heal, and we wait upon the Lord. We pray for the baby He has for us and pray that we are united soon. 

Monday, November 16, 2015


In the chaos that is shopping at Jo-Ann Fabrics close to the holidays with a 3 year old that thinks Swiper the Fox and Captain Hook are hiding down every aisle, we got the call we've been waiting for - we've been matched!  This means that a birth mom looked at our profile book and chose us to be the parents of her child.   We had our profile book shown to other birth moms a few times in the past three weeks since we became an "active" family so are so excited to be matched and much faster than we expected!

It's a boy and he is due in early January!  We are so excited to love on a new baby and his precious birth mother.  We are optimistic that this will be the child we've been praying for but know that there is always a possibility that our birth mother will choose to parent her child.  We are praying for God's will to be done either way and that we will be able to show our birth mom His love in the process.  

Please do not mention anything to Bailey about this as we are trying to protect her heart in case this doesn't work out.  She knows that she will be a big sister when we adopt again and we know that she'll fall hard for whichever baby God has chosen for us.

God is so good!  Thank you for walking beside us, especially in prayer.  Here are our prayer requests for this next stage of our adoption process: 

1) For our expectant mother - for clarity in her decisions and continued good health

2) For our future son - for continued growth and development

3) For our relationship with our birth mother - One of the reasons we chose our agency is because they emphasize loving birth families BIG and WELL.  Pray that we will be able to do that - with our thoughts, our words and our prayers.

4) For Bailey - that God will prepare her heart to be a big sister and that she will have a smooth transition from only to oldest child

5) For our finances - we are trusting that God will continue to provide the finances we need to complete this adoption, just as He did with Bailey's.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

T-shirts! Get your t-shirts!

It only took us 18 months but we have t-shirts!  And onesies!  

Here they are!

"Be the Good" design - available in adult sizes Small, Medium, Large and XL ($20); 2XL and 3XL ($22)

If you have one of our "Adopt" shirts from our first adoption, you know that those were 100% cotton, heavy-duty shirts.  The new ones are much softer and comfier - Bella Canvas 52/48 combed and ringspun cotton/poly.  They are more fitted so see the specs below if you're unsure on what size to order.

"Worth the Wait" design - available in infant onesie sizes 3/6 months, 6/12 months, 12/18 months, and 18/24 months in colors black, athletic heather, baby blue, berry, navy, pink and red ($15)

The onesies are all Bella Canvas 100% combed ringspun cotton except the athletic heather color is 90/10 cotton/polyester.  These do run small so see the specs below with the measurements.  

We sold t-shirts for Bailey's adoption and still have a few in our basement 4 years later.  To try and avoid this issue, we're taking pre-orders for a week and then we'll place the order with our printer, Fund the Nations.  They do great work for adoptive families and church groups and even designed our onesies!  We have been told that they take about a week to get printed and we will hopefully be mailing them out the week of November 16th.

Our goal is to sell at least 50 shirts and 50 onesies! 

1 shirt/onesie - $4
2-4 shirts/onesies - $5
5-8 shirts/onesies - $10
Send us an email for more than 8
*CO friends - we'll hand-deliver when possible!*

How to order:
Send us an email at or a message/comment on Facebook with your order.  We'll send you a Paypal invoice for payment or we can take checks or cash (no Paypal fees for us!).

Thank you in advance for your support!  We are hoping that this fundraiser will be a great success!  Of course, if you don't want/need t-shirts or onesies, you can donate directly to our adoption fund using the link on the right-hand side of the blog :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It Just Got Real!

Our profile book is finally done and copies are at our agency! We'll spare you the gory details but we are so glad it is done! As of last Thursday, we are now officially on the "active" list of adoptive families with our agency, which means that they will be informing us of expectant mom situations. We will have the opportunity to review and pray about every situation and decide if we want our profile book shown as a potential match.  Expectant moms could be due in a few days, weeks, months or could have already given birth!  The reality of this is slowly setting in - we could be a family of 4 as soon as tomorrow!  We also know that it comes with a lot of uncertainty but we are very excited to get going with this next step in the process!!

We do know that there is a growing sense of urgency. This adoption just got real! We've kicked our prep up a notch and have a lot to do to get ready since the process could move very quickly. This adoption is and will continue to be so different than Bailey's, not to mention that we've not experienced raising a newborn - that sound you hear is my heart beating out of my chest!

Now that we know more about timing, we're ramping up our fundraising. We're so thankful for the many that have supported us through donations, helping with our garage sales, participating in our Chick-Fil-A (x2) and other fundraisers.  Special shout out to Megan, Rinele and Kimberly for blessing us through their Jamberry, Pampered Chef and Noonday businesses!  God has blessed us with very generous friends and family! 

We've met ~2/3 of our goal and are still praying for God to provide the remaining 1/3, at least $10,000 more to meet the expected adoption expenses. We're still waiting for news on a few grants so please pray for a positive response to those applications.  If you would like to donate, please click the PayPal donate button in the right sidebar of our blog.  Thank you for considering us!!

We're finalizing the designs for our shirt fundraisers and those should be ready for preorder at the end of this week.  Once we've got the details, we'll provide more information. 

On the home front, we've been busy with Bailey - preschool, gymnastics, 3-year-old drama, all things Frozen, Halloween festivities, and all sorts of other fun. I was gone for two weeks in early October and I struggle with how much she grows in such a short period of time.  I hate missing so many of those moments but I'm so proud of her and her adventurous, creative, curious, fun personality. 

Some friends have asked us if and how we're preparing Bailey for bringing a baby brother or sister home. We've been trying to explain what's going on as much as we appropriately and effectively can with a 3-1/2 year old.  We've been trying to explain to her that soon we'll be bringing a baby brother or sister home to her. As we've shared with her about her own story, her baby brother or sister will grow in another woman's belly but they're growing in our hearts. She's very excited about the idea of being a big sister and she keeps referring to her sibling-to-be as a brother. So maybe she knows something that I don't...

Please pray for us as we get further into the process, continuing to trust God for the provision of funding, and for Bailey as we continue to prepare her for when our baby arrives.  Please also pray for our future birth mother and that God will guide her no matter what decision she makes.  

And with that, some pictures!
First Day of Preschool!
I now feel VERY old...


Mama, tickets!!

Halloween festival - love the gloves and shoes!

Show off. :-)

Mailing our last documents to our agency

Fun at the pumpkin patch!

Practicing for her new sibling

Bailey meets Photo Booth!

Turtle Power...typical Saturday morning

Waiting for you!!

If she had her way, those training wheels would be gone. She's  fearless!

She loves her a Rockies game!

She gets her love for (non-dairy) ice cream from me. 

Chillin' at home

Rockin' some new swag

Fightin' on!

Oh. My. Sass.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fundraiser #3 - Pampered Chef!

Here's our last fundraiser for the week...Pampered Chef! My friend Rinele is hosting a fundraising party for us until the night of Friday, August 14th.  I love to bake and have a few Pampered Chef products that I use almost every time. Here are a couple of my faves:

1)  Adjustable Measuring Spoons:  Love that I can use these multiple times in the same recipe and throw them in the dishwasher when I'm done!  Find them here
2) Mini Serving Spatula:  This is a staple for any cookie making!  Plus it's dishwasher safe!  (Are you sensing a theme here?!?)  Find them here.

Go check out Rinele's page and see all the great deals Pampered Chef has to offer!  Thank you for your support! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fundraiser #2 - Noonday!

Our 2nd fundraiser kicking off this week is through Noonday Collection.  If you've never heard of Noonday, it was started by an adoptive mama who met talented jewelry artisans in Uganda who wished to create dignified jobs in their community.  She brought some of their jewelry home to share with her friends and Noonday Collective was born.  They partner with 30 artisan businesses in 13 countries - impacting 2,000 artisans and their 8,800 family members.  If you like businesses that support empowering women around the world, then Noonday is for you! 

The fundraiser is starting today but their new line launches tomorrow!  Check out everything Noonday has to offer HERE and thanks in advance for your support! (This is the link you need to use so that we get credit for your order!)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Our profile book...or why I've been staying up until midnight for the past 3 weeks

Jenny here...I finished our profile book this past weekend (insert HUGE sign of relief!).  I was sure it would be the death of me.  This 15 page Shutterfly book is what birth mothers and fathers will be looking at to decide who will parent their babies.  Just picture trying to encapsulate all your values, what you stand for, your parenting style, and your vision for your children in pictures and words in 15 pages.  Oh and there’s a strict guideline from our agency as to what needs to be on each page.   

To say that I overanalyzed this would be putting it mildly….do I include the picture of Penny dressed up in her Halloween costume (why did I pick the French maid outfit for her first Halloween?!?)?  What if a birthmom thinks it’s weird to dress up your pet?  Does Bailey’s hair look okay in this picture?  What if a birthmom doesn’t like the super cute font I picked because she doesn’t like cursive writing?  Can I use a chevron background on two back-to-back pages or does that look lazy?  In the end, I had to keep reminding myself that God will send us the child that is meant for our family, regardless if I chose the herringbone background or the chevron one.

I do like the way it turned out.  I would’ve loved to be more creative with the format but it is what it is.  As I was working on each page, I prayed over each of them and what they would convey to those reading it.  Once our agency approves our book, I will be able to upload it to Shutterfly, order copies and send them to our agency to begin showing them to birth families!!  I’m going to order a copy for us in addition to the 5 our agency needs so I’ll be showing it off in person soon!

The completion of this next step means that we’ve also been busy applying for adoption grants and continuing to sell our garage sale leftovers on the Facebook buy/sell/trade pages to fundraise.  I had to cancel the fundraising party I was hosting at our house because I picked a Sunday that hardly any people could attend.  In place of that, we’re launching 3 online fundraisers this week – today is Jamberry nails, Wednesday will be Noonday and Friday will be Pampered Chef.  Each one will go for a week or so and I’ll post on FB when the links are ready.  I’m also working on our t-shirts which I’m very excited about!

Here is the info for today’s fundraising launch: My friend Megan Allwein has offered to donate her commission from the sale of Jamberry nails to our adoption fund.  I gave myself a Jamberry pedicure in the spring and I had them on 6 weeks before I decided to take them off but they could’ve stayed on much longer!  They’re easy to take off and even safe for little girls’ fingers and toes!  No drying time, no harsh chemicals and here are TONS of patterns and colors to choose from.  You can even upload your own designs into their Design Studio. 

Megan set up a Jamberry Facebook “party” for me but apparently you can only invite 500 people and I reached the limit!  I did the invite list alphabetically so if I missed you, you can still order at and be sure to select “Jenny Cramer’s Fundraiser” at checkout.  Once you place your order, you can expect your wraps to arrive within 7-10 days. 

Thank you in advance for your support!  We so appreciate your generosity and helping us to add to our family!  

PS Just got word as I was typing this that our profile book has been APPROVED!!! Yahooooooo!!!  Off to go order on Shutterfly…