Bringing Home Our Baby Girl

Years ago, God placed adoption on our hearts. Loud and clear. No doubts. A true "calling" on our lives. We had a difficult time conceiving our boys. After bedrest when I was pregnant with Dutch, then several surgeries and miscarriages, we were told we would not be able to have more children. We were heartbroken, but knew it was the time to proceed with adoption. We first met with our agency when we lived in California. That was at the end of August 2012. My mother had just died. It rocked me to my core, highlighting for me and Regan the significance of family. We knew we were ready for our family to grow. We eagerly signed the adoption paperwork, took out an adoption loan with a Christian credit union {for $30,000 -- gulp!} and stepped forward in total faith and obedience, excited and a little nervous. Two weeks later, we got the shock of a lifetime: I was pregnant with Cal. If we had a dollar for every time someone has told us, "That's what happens, you decided to adopt, so you got pregnant!", then we wouldn't have to start this fundraising campaign. (;

Of course we were thrilled! Overcome with gratitude. And full of praise for the grace our heavenly Father was pouring out on us. We felt like getting pregnant with Cal was 100% an affirmation of our faithful obedience to God's call for us to adopt. Never for a second did we consider backing out of adoption. We just knew the timing would change a little.

Our adoption agency allowed us to put our process on hold until our new baby was 1. Whew. I had a miraculously uneventful pregnancy with Cal. Good thing, too, because Regan was deployed! Cal was born just a few weeks after his Daddy came home. Again, God is amazing with his fancy timing.

Rest of a long story short, we lived in California another  10 months, packed up our circus and moved to Indiana for Regan's new assignment at Notre Dame. Cal's 1st birthday came quickly, and we excitedly contacted our adoption agency to get the baby ball rolling again. 

We went through all the steps, filled out hundreds of forms and applications and background checks and profiles and questionnaires and disclosures. We spent thousands of dollars alone on our home study and clearances. And we actually did it with joy in our hearts. 

After our home study was approved in September, we worked on finishing our profile. We submitted dozens of pictures, descriptions of ourselves, our home, our town, our extended family, our faith, and our strong desire to adopt. We wrote a letter to the brave, beautiful young woman who would one day (hopefully) choose us. Our profile was complete and ready to go "live" (made available to prospective birth mothers) on October 29. It's hard to describe what that feels like---putting yourself out there. Every detail of your life and family. Hoping that someone sees your worth as parents and as people. Adoption is a humbling experience. 

The typical waiting time once your profile goes live, is approximately 4 months to a year.

On the evening of December 11--just six weeks afer going live--we got the call from the agency. THE CALL. Our sweet adoption counselor told us that a birth mother had chosen us. More shocking than getting the call was hearing her say, "The baby is due February 2nd." She proceeded to tell us every detail she knew about the mother and the father of the baby. Our hearts almost burst with excitement. Then we realized that February 2nd was like seven weeks away. What. Seriously?! We thought we'd be adopting next summer at the VERY SOONEST. But just like with every other detail of this adoption, we knew this was God's timing, God's provision for us---more than we ever could have prayed for.  We learned that the baby would be born in our home state of Florida, which is a tremendous blessing for a million reasons. 

Last week, Regan and I had the utmost pleasure of talking to our birthmom on the phone for an hour. We love her so much. That's all we want to share about her at this point, but just know she's incredible. We laughed, we cried. We found out we're having a GIRL! Most people, when told we are adopting, asked if we were requesting a girl. I guess because we have two boys, it's natural to assume that. But no...we had no preference whatsoever for any detail about our sweet baby. We wanted God to give us the baby who needed us, and the baby our family needed, too. When she told us it was girl, I could have fainted. Too much happiness to explain.

Now that we were matched with an adoption opportunity, we paid the second half of our agency fees from that adoption loan fund (that, yes, we've been paying on since 2012--we feel like that was God's way to help us prepare and save ahead of time). And then, just like that, that $30,000 had all been spent on adoption expenses. What we hadn't accounted for were the expenses that we'd incur in the state of adoption. There are legal fees, medical bills, and travel expenses that go {way} above and beyond that $30,000 we'd planned on. 

And that brings us to this site. We are overjoyed at this surprisingly fast adoption. But we humbly admit that we're a little taken aback by all the extras we didn't account for. Our legal fees in Florida will be $10,000. (I know, WHY?! But I won't dwell on the subject of the crazy-expensiveness of adoption.) We will also be paying medical expenses for our birthmom, and last-minute travel expenses to get down to Florida when she goes into labor.  We knew going into adoption that it would be expensive [understatement]. We have prayed and prayed and prayed over whether we should reach out to friends and family at this time.  

So here's what we want you to know. We love being parents so much. We know that this was our expense that we took on, and we'll do whatever we have to in order to bring our newest family member home. But if you feel moved to help us in any small way, we will be eternally grateful. And you will forever have been a part of a special journey for our child. 

To represent all of the family and friends who are helping us make this adoption possible, we've decided to do a puzzle-piece fundraiser. We've appropriately chosen a 1,000-piece puzzle featuring our lovely Sunshine State, where we grew up, where our families live, and where our baby girl will be born VERY soon.  Each piece costs $15. And you can buy as many puzzle pieces as you want. :) For each puzzle piece you buy, we'll write your name(s) on the back and place it in the puzzle. When the puzzle is complete, we are going to frame it in a double-sided frame so the names will be visible on the back. We will hang the puzzle in our daughter's nursery and one day tell her about all the people who helped bring her home to us. 

If you'd rather donate less than $15, every cent helps--seriously--so you don't have to do a puzzle piece. :)

Please share this page and pray for us.  Prayer has proven to be so powerful in this process. We never could have imagined how much so. 

With love and appreciation,
Mary, Regan, Dutch, Cal, and Baby Girl Jones

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Mary Stegenga Jones 
Granger, IN
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