Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Joanna's Story 4 years later.....

 Today as Joanna had her 4th Birthday (on the 23rd as I am always running behind) I was thinking of the crazy journey God has had us on in the last 4 years. 
 So first I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We love your crazy, nutty, fun, intense ways!!!  Your laughter, your sweet love for your siblings, your snuggles with mommy and daddy, and all of Ariel loving!!! 
 So Joanna's story started quite a while ago......

Once upon a time.......when we still lived in Louisiana.  We had adopted 6 babes through foster care and then decided to do international adoption.  We were matched quickly with Hannah Grace our daughter who had spina bifida and scoliosis in Ethiopia.  We were crushed when she passed away a week before her Ethiopian Adoption.  It was a process to heal after such a loss.....but she was whole and with our Lord and Savior.....
 Just as before though the Lord granted us strength to carry on, and heal.  NOT forget or dismiss, but a yearning for we knew there were other children in need of families too.  So we continued our adoption journey through All God's Children International and said the next child- we will receive as ours....... and that is when we saw our Jonathan's cheeky face.  Well, that was it.  We were in love!  We knew he was ours.  6 months later after some setbacks with setting up the Central Agency in Ethiopia we went to bring our baby boy home (this was back when there was one trip). 
 Of course our plans at that time were to go back for #8 through All God's Children International in Ethiopia.  We couldn't wait!  The AGCI staff even called us exactly 9 months later saying we know you are going to apply again- go ahead and send in your stuff and update your homestudy!  So we did!!!  This time just as we were getting on the "wait list" we saw our Naomi (not her given name) and we were in LOVE!!!  We were matched fairly quickly and on our way!  We knew we had time and before we were going to bring her home we wanted to fly to England to see Jason's family before bringing #8 home. 

We had already had a court date, but didn't pass because the birth mother couldn't be there.  We heard this news while in England with our family.  Then it happened.  We came home to a letter from USCIS (immigration) saying we couldn't adopt our Naomi.  Crushed, Devastated, Depressed..........all 1. Single. Blow!!!!  The wind was more than knocked from us as a family. 
 We didn't know what to do now?  I mean we can't do more foster care we had "too many" kids.  We couldn't now do international adoption- we didn't earn enough money (a joke since we had all our utilities, health insurance, housing paid for so our income didn't seem big, but was).  Oh we argued!!!  We FOUGHT HARD!!!!!!  We pleaded, provided documents, prayed, but the  answer was no!!!!!!!  :( 

*****Please don't let this scare you because we have NEVER heard of ANYONE else ever having USCIS deny them on this account EVER!!!!!!  And we know plenty of large families!  Lots of those in ministry adopting internationally.  It just was our worker who chose to deny us. 
 The depth of sorrow was sooo deeeepppppp!  There were many times I didn't think we would get out of that pit :(.  We had people tell us- maybe God only wants you to have 7 children.  Yes we wanted to punch them, but didn't. 

It was at that time I was reading a blog of a family who had 10 children with the 10th being adopted domestically.  WHAT?  WAIT A MINUTE?????  DID I JUST READ THAT RIGHT????  YES!!!!!

And that is what brought us to Christian Adoption Consultants!!!!!!!!!!!!  PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Because within 24 hours of signing on with Christian Adoption Consultants we had a few situations that we were of those was our JOANNA FAITH!!!!!!!  Now this is not typical ;) although it has happened to others as well.  But within a few days I was flying to Philadelphia to hold our newborn daughter in my arms!!!!!!!!!!!  Jason followed within 24 hours (had to do a lot of paperwork and arrangement making)!  Within a few days consents were signed and our daughter was officially OURS!!!!!!!!!  It was a whirlwind!!!!!  It was CRAZY!!!  It was HEAVEN SENT!!!!!!!  IT WAS HEALING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We lost our daughter........and she did come home with another family.  We have even gotten a couple of emails from this family with a couple of pictures of her.  We value them and are thrilled that she is not an orphan!!!  That she is loved!!!  But our hearts still break thinking about our loss......BUT GOD!!!!! 
 God hurts, and I am so sorry....I will comfort you, and bring you JOY IN THE MORNING!!!!!!!!  WE THANK GOD DAILY FOR JOANNA FAITH!!!!!!!! 
 The story doesn't end there though.  Because we used an agency called Mother Goose Adoptions to bring home our baby girl!  Now both Jason and I get to work for them!!!!!  I get to do home studies and work with birth mothers, and Jason uploads profiles, does media, and helps do the blog for them!  It is a dream job!!!  
 WAIT there is MORE to this story as well!!!!  We moved to Florida with no jobs.... after trying to do an office job it just wasn't a good fit, and we became employed with Christian Adoption Consultants!!!!!!!  OK NOW We got to help families adopt as well!!!  It just doesn't get any better than this people!!!!  I love contacting families, helping them through the process of adoption, praying with our clients, emails, phone calls, and then "the call" that they get to squeal over the phone to me!!!!  Jason does all the paperwork and profiles for our clients- which is amazing because I totally lack the talent for that part!!!! 

So it is crazy to me how stepping out in faith, feeling such agony, having to let go, and then saying yes to a whole new adventure........brought us HERE!!!!! 
 Thank you Lord for JOANNA FAITH!  For never leaving us or letting us down.  For scooping us back up and leading us down this path!  For giving us our dream jobs of working from home helping families all over the U.S. realize the dreams of adoption!!! 
Joanna Faith I bet you never knew how much we grieved and lost, or how much we longed to do another adoption.  Now we are BLESSED with you and your "twin" Michael and jobs that we love as well! 

Sometimes we feel broken......BUT GOD!!!!  God is ever faithful!!!

**To see more on Joanna's crazy God story....go We have a daughter, Pics of Joanna, Journey to Joanna pt 1, Journey to Joanna pt 2, Journey to Joanna pt 3.   


  1. love this story!! Love hearing how God provides! I am a single mom with 6 kids! I have seen these types of stories over and over.

  2. I know this story...and I am so thankful for all of it bc it led us to CAC and TWO amazing daughters, and we have passed on stories of God's provision and some friends of ours are expecting their first through CAC, too. The losses that brought you to Joanna have united other families and have spread the Good News that God is STILL in the business of miracles. Love to you all!! :)