Thoughts from November

A little something I wrote back in November:img_2211Spent some time today just sitting in this room...our beautiful nursery. I seem to have avoided this room for the last couple of months. I guess I've been busy, preoccupied with other things, or I have learned to see how full and blessed my life is right now. The longing for our Baby M hasn't subsided, but the feeling that we are lacking, empty, or not whole, has been graciously taken away.When I think about our future child, which is often, I am reminded about how much time we have to prepare for them. This month marks 9 months of being approved and certified to adopt. Most families have 9 months to prepare for their baby's arrival. We have been preparing our hearts and our home for much longer. And every day, week, month and year until we are given Baby M means more time for us to become the people, the parents, God has called us to be.P1190191_editedI'm taking this season of waiting that we have been given and am using it to grow as a wife, a friend, a daughter, and a coworker. I'm celebrating all the things we get to do everyday before we become parents. Like sleeping in late on Saturday, spontaneous movie theater dates after work, projects around the house (so many projects) and filling up our time with people and things that we love. I'm working on putting my husband first, before myself, because when we become parents I will be tempted to put him last. And I'm searching for the joy and blessings in everything...taking moments to just sit in grace and gratitude. 

The Struggle is Real

It’s officially been a year since I started this blog…which means that we have officially been on our adoption journey for more than 365 days. Its been a few months since my last blog post, and I think its time for some real talk... Adoption has been apart of my story for almost a decade. It has been on my heart since I was 16 and I have always known it would be a part of how I grew my family one day. Now that might sound a little cray cray because how can anyone know what the future holds? Well you can call it whatever you want but when it comes to my call to adoption, I have not wavered once. 

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 Over the past 365 days I have been blessed with a divine sense of peace about who I will be as a mother and a steady trust in God to provide me with the children I am to care for. Friends have asked me how I am doing with the waiting process, and for the most part I have trusted God’s timing and provision (honestly and truthfully!). But I have only realized recently the walls that I have put up defensively to protect myself. When people question me about adoption, it has been easier to talk about not wanting to get pregnant or do the whole birthing a baby thing. Now while those are true due to my current health and the uncertainty of what daily issues pregnancy could contribute to an already complicated life, I haven’t shared the whole truth with most people. The whole truth is that my husband and I tried and failed to conceive for about a year. This was one of the hardest years of my life and a very trying time for our marriage. Each month I felt like a broken mess that for whatever reason couldn’t do what I was created to do. Not many people know about that year…because it is easier to smile and laugh then it is to cry and weep with those we surround ourselves with. And I am really good at putting up a strong front. 

"Oh you're adopting...I'm so sorry!" - the general public

 Over the past five years we have faced enough pity from those who hear about our plans to adopt. When you throw infertility in to the mix, the responses become unbearable. Infertility is accompanied by shame and disappointment and pity, not just from the couple directly experiencing it, but also from those who are made aware of it. Friends, family, strangers…but most importantly those who are ignorant to the struggles of infertility end up making the most impact with those who are experiencing infertility. I was adamant about this journey of adoption being documented for our future children to read. I want them to know how much they are longed for, wanted and loved. However, I think I have tried to separate our calling to adoption from our struggles with infertility. I wanted our future adopted children to know they were loved and wanted without the messy dialogue that infertility brings. And because of that, I have denied myself of the support I so terribly need. 

I waited and waited and waited for God.At last he looked; finally he listened.Psalm 40:1

 Most of the time I am still trusting in God’s timing and provision. However, there are moments, gut-wrenching and time-stopping moments, where I am floored with the feelings of longing and emptiness. Where I shut down and forget all the ways in which I am blessed. I know deep down that I will make a wonderful mother, if only I were given the chance. I can’t possibly know why my path is different than most. I don’t know why God is making me wait when almost everyone I know doesn’t have to. I am so overjoyed by those I know who are already growing their families. And I trust that those little ones that will be entrusted to us are coming soon…in their own way and in their own time. 272060_1827832057294_7540181_o  47402_555309150861_6387024_n I look over at my husband…my darling Will. He is patient and kind and so understanding. He has agreed to walk this earth by my side, all the days of our lives. In him I find my support, my encouragement, and my strength to continue this crazy journey we have embarked on. Without him, I could not carry on. 40084_554116680581_766383_n256376_3354546584128_1856047773_o So friends, family, strangers…when you hear of someone experiencing infertility…please do not pity them. Do not give them advice on how to conceive (seriously…that happens!!). And when a crazy couple says to you that they are pursuing adoption…don’t tell them they are brave or better than yourself for doing something so uncommon. Don’t separate yourselves from them…rejoice with them…encourage them…pray for them! Don’t complain about your pregnancy when there are those who will never get to experience that miracle. Instead, support them by walking alongside them…by asking the hard questions…by being a shoulder to cry on. Don’t ask them how the waiting is going…ask them how their heart is faring through it all. Understand that every pregnancy and birth they witness is bittersweet. 

You are a saviorAnd you take brokenness asideAnd make it beautiful-All Sons & Daughters

 Research shows that 1 in every 8 couples experiences infertility. That means that in every close friendship group, someone is most likely experiencing infertility of some sort. I am that friend. It is time that I own who I am fully. It is time that I embrace the person God has created me to be. I don't know how He will do it, but I know that he will take this brokenness and make it beautiful.

Home Study Visit {1}

I am so excited to share that WE ARE APPROVED TO ADOPT! After completing ALL the paperwork (and boy was it a lot!), doctors appointments, background checks, and a weekend of training, we were able to start the home study process. Now I am going to be honest...I found the prospect of inviting a stranger into our home to evaluate us as future parents completely terrifying. As a couple, we wear our feelings and our hearts on our sleeves. Whenever we meet new people, I usually apologize at the start for anything my husband may share. We kinda lack filters, not in a crude inappropriate way, but in an awkward truth kind of way. The more nervous and uncomfortable we are in a situation, the more we reveal. And even though we are honest people with nothing to hide, I was still anxious about the whole situation. I mean what if I said something wrong and it changed the social worker's opinion of me? What if we awkwardly joked about something that made us look like we would be terrible parents?So with all of those worries and thoughts in my head, we stepped out and said "What will be will be." Deep down I know that Will and I will be great parents. We have both been blessed beyond measure with the parents and families we grew up in. Our childhood memories are those of love, adventure, and stability. I look at Will as a husband and father to our fur babies and am so sure of the man I married. As a team we are awesome (if I do say so myself) and with our ups and downs we still laugh and love and have the best time.IMG_8911We met our social worker the first week of December 2015. She came to our perfectly cleaned and organized home and sat down with us for two hours. She asked us questions about why we wanted to adopt and all the questions you ask when getting to know someone. And I quickly realized that she wasn't asking those questions to see if we fit a specific adoptive family criteria. She really wanted to know us personally...to build a study of who we are not only as people, but as a unit. Our likes, hobbies, jobs, and dreams. And for those two hours we talked with a sense of ease and feeling of peace. We did not try to impress or win her over. We just talked about us.IMG_9043Just like that...one of the three visits I had been so terrified about was over. We kept looking at each other and saying "Was that really it?". I mean, ok, we still had two more visits (one being the individual interviews), but wow what a feeling. It wasn't the paperwork or training that made me realize we could do this. It is the partnership I have with my husband, the life we have already built together, and trust in our God who has called us to adoption. Baby M we love you already and cannot wait for you to be ours.IMG_8792Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Home Study Visit {2}  

Adoption Announcement Photoshoot

We are coming to the end of our homestudy (post coming soon about our experience) and when it is finalized (the 2nd week of January) we will be eligible to be matched to a birth parent and baby! P1190187_edited It is our plan to send out a "We are hoping to Adopt" Announcement at the start of the year! This is to let our extended family and friends know about our adoption plans and to enable the people in our lives to support us, either through prayer, sharing our story, or financially through donations.P1190152_edited We are praying for a baby to join this House Full of Pecks in 2016! We know that adoption is hard, that the process can take years, but we are staying positive and praying for God to bring our baby to us this year. That might sound crazy or naive, but we are stepping out in faith and trusting God's plan for us. And as hopeful as we are for a baby in 2016, we are willing to wait as long as it takes for our baby!P1190178_edited And what is an adoption announcement without a photoshoot?!?!? I met Kate this past summer when I drove her and a few other high school girls around Erie for the Amazing Race. This is an event for High School students who are part of our Church youth group, which I have been volunteering with since this summer.  It was a really fun afternoon and our team came in 2nd Place! Anyways, I have come to know Kate over this past semester at youth group and discovered she has a love for photography! She is so kind, has a great heart, and I knew she would be perfect to take our photos! And let me tell you what an awesome time we had!

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 Kate made us feel really comfortable and was able to capture us and our personalities so well. She even managed to get a few of the four of us, despite Miss Bennett not co-operating! We would highly recommend her for any and all of your photoshoots and will definitely be using her for our photoshoots in the future! You can see more of her work on her websiteP1190191_edited I am currently finishing up our adoption profile book that will be viewed by birth parents for a potential match! This journey has been so beautiful and has taught both of us about not only trusting in the Lord for his provision and timing, but to treasure this time of waiting as he prepares us to be parents. I spoke to someone recently who had adopted through our agency and they said one of the most helpful things I have heard in regards to waiting. It is not a question of "if" we will get a child, but a question of "when" our child will become ours completely. 

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We are also praying for our future birth parents...that they will see how much we already love this child, and how humbled we are to get to partner with them to raise this baby. We pray for strength and courage as they make their adoption plan and for wisdom in choosing. We are two imperfect people, striving to live a life worthy of the children we will be given.

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Thank you for taking the time to look at our pictures and for following us in our journey. We are so grateful for your prayers and support! If you would like to receive an adoption announcement and to support us in our adoption journey, please connect with me on here or on Facebook.

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"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."-Joshua 1:9

Lately...

So I am gonna be honest....its been awhile since my last post. And that is not because our adoption journey has been delayed in anyway. In fact it is moving along quicker than I had hoped at this point! But I guess I should bring you all up-to-date with a few changes we have experienced recently. Back in August my husband got a new job...and I was left to manage the stores on my own (The UPS Store servicing hall residents at CU Boulder). It was not a great time for him to leave but it was a good move for us as a family. He is working for a small business that relocated to Boulder and is loving it. However, I had to deal with one of the busiest times of the year without him being by my side. But despite all my fears and anxiety about it...I rocked it! I can honestly say it went smoothly and I didn't cry or lose my cool at all (which is HUGE for me!).However...the stress and responsibility took a serious toll on my health. If you do not know...I suffer from severe migraines that come on for various reasons. I also have a head condition that makes the changing weather and pressure here in Colorado really difficult for me...like in bed all day can't do anything difficult. Now...I am not a complainer. I am blessed beyond reason in so many aspects of my life. I don't even like talking about my health (or lack of sometimes) as I know there are those who have to deal with much more than I do. But I got to a point where I knew I needed to make a few changes to get my health back to functioning.IMG_8510  Before I moved back to America, I used to work as a teaching assistant supporting children with learning difficulties. I have always gone back and forth between becoming a fully-qualified teacher but have realized that I absolutely love working more one-on-one without all the paperwork and stress of running an entire classroom. So I decided that the happiest and healthiest I had been job-wise was working in that capacity. I applied for a ton of teaching assistant (para-educator) jobs and thanks be to God I was invited for an interview at a local elementary school in the town where I live. Well I guess I made a good impression because they hired meand were willing to work with me transitioning from my current job.{Fast forward 5 weeks}I LOVE my job! It has taken pretty much the last 5 weeks to really get into the rhythm of the job and to enable my students to get familiar and comfortable with me. It wasn't easy. I had to deal with quite a few tantrums and chasing students down the hall or around the playground, but I did not give up. And believe it or not...I have only had 2 migraines since starting my new job (thats two migraines in 5 weeks when I was getting migraines 3-4 times per week!!!!!). I have also found a doctor who totally wants to figure out why my body just doesn't get some things right and that is so awesome!

{Our Adoption Journey}

IMG_8444  We completed our Core training in November with Adoption Choices of Colorado. What.an.eye.opener. The weekend training (required to adopt in Colorado) was fantastic! Our trainer focused on the differences between open, semi-open, and closed adoptions, what questions to ask when called about a potential match, and what to expect and hospital etiquette when the baby is born. We have always been pretty sure about wanting what is best for our baby first, and then making sure the birth mother is included in a way that is good and healthy for the baby. I would say that we had a few "definites" change to "umm...we are open to discussion" as we were made aware of very possible realities with the birth family and how that can affect the emotional development of our baby. We also were completely naive to the harsh reality that our baby would most likely be subject to alcohol and drugs for any sort of time period, depending on when the birth mother finds out she is pregnant and when she alters her habits for the benefit of the baby.What was so reassuring was our complete trust in God as we follow our calling to adoption. As much as I would like a stress-free match and placement (including the relationship with the birth mother/family) and as much as my heart desires a happy and healthy baby, I know that this world is broken and imperfect...and our baby will be loved no matter the circumstances that have brought them into this world. We cannot wait to meet our little baby...I feel like we already know them and are just waiting for them to be given to us forever. I imagine seeing their little face...holding their little fingers...counting their tiny toes...and loving them with everything I have to give.IMG_8506 So we have decided not to worry about the details...that we will know when we get offered the right match...and we will go into it with open hearts and a desire to do what is best, not only for our baby, but for their birth family. I have no idea what that is going to look like...and frankly thats ok with me. What parent honestly can say they had everything figured out prior to their first baby being born? If you did...please share some of your wisdom!Baby (M) we cannot wait to be chosen to love, care, and parent you for as long as we are given (hopefully forever). You are already so loved my darling...and your mummy and daddy are longing for you to be home.largeAshley xoxo

And so it begins...

So back in June we decided on the adoption agency we wanted to use for our first adoption. We started filling out a ton of paperwork, got our fingerprints taken, and even had to get police certificates of good behavior from the UK.

{ then summer got cray cray }

Will's parents visited from England for almost 3 weeks which was super fun. I know you all are thinking that having your in-laws for three weeks could never be fun, but my MIL and FIL are awesome and I love spending time with them. We went on vacation to Vegas, which was an experience to say the least. My mom and brother (no. 2) came to visit for a week before he headed off to his first year of college (he is sooo grown up). And our really good friend from college stopped over for a flying visit between a trip to Canada and Virginia.

{ then we had some big life changes }

From August until about now, work was absolutely mental (that means crazy for all your non-brits). I have never been so exhausted in my entire life!!!! And on top of that my wonderful and adoring husband got a new job. For the past 18 months Will and I have been working together in the same job, commuting to work in the same car, eating and living together in the same house, and sleeping in the same bed. All of the sudden a huge part of our days were no longer spent together. And let me tell you that was hard to get used to. Most of our friends have always wondered how we worked together and for awhile there I didn't know how I was going to survive working life without him. Its definitely gotten easier and I am so glad we are still working in the same city because we can have spontaneous lunch dates.These past few months have been quite the whirlwind for our little family of four (yes my pups are a part of our family). Our friends had recently asked where we were at with the adoption process. And to be perfectly honest, we held off for the last two months because we wanted to be ready. Its a huge step in faith for us and not a decision to be taken lightly. The seriousness and reality of sending in our application and officially starting the process of being approved had weighed on our hearts all summer.And now, as I am finally coming up for air, we feel settled enough with Will's new job and income to finally get this adoption process started. Last night I got all the completed paperwork together, wrote out some (hefty) checks, and put together our application to send to the agency. And about 10 minutes ago, I emailed over the paperwork to the agency. (ahhhhh!) If I could articulate how I am feeling right now, I would. I wish you could all get a glimpse into my heart. We are one step closer to holding our baby and forever calling it ours.

Overwhelming JoyExcitementNervousnessAnticipationPeace& Longing

Those are just a few words to describe the cornucopia of feelings I am experiencing right now. Stay tuned as we continue what will be one of the greatest adventures of our lives.Ashley xoxo 

Gatsby's Ancestry Revealed

Its been a couple weeks since I have written on here and boy have I been busy! With a trip to Vegas with friends, my birthday and my in-laws visiting, its been harder to find time to stop and write. But today I finally was able to sit myself down and am excited to share more about our #familyoffour.When we rescued our little Gatsby we were told he was most likely a 2-3 month old lab mix who had great growth potential. At the time that was really important to us because we wanted a good playmate and brother for our 70 pound American Bulldog who needed help learning how to play positively with other dogs. We soon found out from the vet that he was actually a few months older, most likely of corgi descent and probably wouldn't get bigger than 35/40 pounds. After loving him for almost a year we decided to have a wisdom panel taken to find out what breeds made up our energetic and completely adorable (little) pup.gatsbyAfter a month of waiting for the results, we finally received them from our vet last week. She was so excited to share Gatsby's ancestry and even was able to notice different characteristics that he currently exhibits that matched the results.So the big reveal..... Gatsby is a Australian Shepherd, Rottweiler, Golden Retriever mix.Gatsby's Ancestry RevealedWe were totally surprised by the results! We had an inkling that he would be a shepherd of some sort but Rottweiler...WOW! Looking at him now we can see all three breeds, in his coloring, in his ears, in his brown little eyebrows, and in his constant herding of Bennett in the backyard and his boisterous and playful personality.I am not gonna lie, I was thrilled to find out that he is not one bit corgi, and that his short stature is due to the "mixed breed" that makes up a portion of his ancestry beyond three generations. They selected 5 breeds that most likely contributed to that mixed breed ancestry, and that it is likely only one or more of these breeds played a part in his genetic makeup. The five breeds listed from most likely to less likely are Shetland Sheepdog, Pekingese, Samoyed, Alaskan Malamute, and Shih Tzu.We would guess from the way he is shedding his undercoat this summer that he has at least a little bit of the Alaskan Malamute in him. And as all three confirmed breeds have floppy ears, Gatsby's adorable ears that stick straight up would be attributed to one of those 5 breeds as well (maybe the Samoyed or Sheepdog).IMG_7742As exciting as this has all been, it has really got me thinking about the importance of ancestry and family. We rescued Gatsby with hardly any information about his age, breed, or past circumstances. And as we have filled in some of the blanks with him, it has not changed how we feel about him one little bit. I have loved him the same now knowing his breed and age as I did before I knew those things. Through our rescuing of both Gatsby and Miss Bennett, I think God has been teaching me about unconditional love to prepare my heart for when we adopt our kids. It won't matter where they came from or who they came from for me to love them unconditionally. And as they grow up and we learn more about them as parents do with their growing children, it will only make my love grow and grow.IMG_7488At the end of the day Gatsby is Gatsby...our little honeybadger. He is the best brother and playmate for our Miss Bennett. Even though he is only 35 pounds to her 70 pounds, he can still take her down when they play fight. He is loyal and constantly makes me laugh with his belly rolls and little flirtatious grunts. I would not be the same person without him.  

Oh Me of Little Faith

Here is our family of four doing my first #fridayintroductions on instagram @housefullofpecksA couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had decided on an adoption agency and had scheduled an appointment to meet with the director. I wanted to meet her in person and also give my husband a chance to own the decision as well by asking questions and hearing the answers straight from the agency. I had done all the research prior and had been the one to inform him of what I learned. So it was really great to finally decide and own the decision as a couple.As this was our first face-to-face meeting with an adoption agency, I wanted to know exactly what questions I should ask before deciding to move forward with them. We live in a small(ish) town that has a great Facebook community where you can voice opinions, raise awareness, ask for help, share events and news, and give reviews. I had this deep desire to know and be apart of a community of families who had adopted, were adopting or are just looking into adoption who live near us. Connecting with people and doing life with them can be such a huge blessing, especially when you share something like adoption as a common thread. So I stepped out in faith and posted on this Facebook page hoping maybe one or two people would respond and want help me foster this community I was longing for.

{ Oh me of little faith }

The response I received on that Facebook post BLEW. ME. AWAY! Comment after comment from families who were in every stage of adoption, including adoptees! God saw my longing and he provided for me more than I could have asked or imagined. And to top it off, those who commented wanted the same thing...a community for families in our town who have/had/are going to adopt!

Now I am not a leader of any sort...I have always seen myself as just another sheep in a huge flock. I saw a need that I was hoping someone else could fill for me...but instead it was so clear that I could fill that need for myself and others. So I created a Facebook group for us...an online community for support, encouragement, and wisdom and a safe place to share our fears and worries. I also met someone who is moving to our town this summer and wants to co-lead the group with me....to make it more than just an online community. We have not met yet, but I am so excited to see how God can use the two of us in this amazing town for all of these awesome adoptive families. These families who are an inspiration to me and who have done what may seem impossible to others. They have opened their homes to those who were homeless, given families to those who were without families, and loved those who were once unloved and unwanted.

In any and every circumstance,I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.{Philippians 4:12-13}

As I approach this exciting new chapter of my life and step out in faith, I will hold onto those words of truth. Will and I have been blessed in abundance and have struggled through needs. In each trial and blessing we can only hold onto the strength we have received in faith through Jesus. I know I can do this because he has been there with me in all things.

How are you supported in your community? I would love to hear of encouragements, ideas and what has helped you most.

Ashley xoxo

Endless Paperwork

IMG_7414I have had more than my fair share of paperwork over the years. I went to a Catholic College prep high school for my Freshmen and Sophomore years. After two terrible years of mean girls and rich kids and skirt measuring in the hallway, I decided to finish high school through independent study. It was one of the best decisions I have made in life so far. Yes I missed out on more high school dances, and football games, but I was able to work with a small group of like-minded kids who also did not fit in with the status quo. It gave me the freedom to start classes at the local community college and through one english class my fate was changed forever.One of my best friends and I took a lot of classes together. She was two years older than me but most of her friends had gone away to college. I had a reputation of speaking my mind which made me not so popular with most girls (hence me leaving my high school) and so after a viewing of Pride and Prejudice we became fast friends. We were taking an english class at Saddleback Community College when we heard about their study abroad program in England. Now my friend had already done a semester studying in Spain and was totally up for another one. I, an avid reader and lover of literature, had always dreamt of visiting the places where my favorite authors had lived and wrote their novels. One little problem...my friend was actually in college and I was a 17 year old still in high school with a curfew.Well my clever friend did all the research it took to make sure I would be able to go and then asked my parents for me one evening when she was over having dinner with my family. And for some crazy reason...THEY SAID YES!Now while the adventures that followed are worth a novel in themselves...I find myself at the original point to which I am writing. Paperwork. That started the first ever visa filing that I would undergo. So much paperwork for a three month study abroad program. Little did I know that I would later on complete the paperwork for 5 visas in total.Now I don't know about you, but if you have ever filled out a visa application, you know how much work is involved. You have to get the right pictures (no smiling) and you have to get forms notarized, and make sure there are no errors. Background checks and proof of residency and bank statements. We had to overnight an affidavit signed by my dad in California for one visa. I missed spending our first Christmas married with my family in California because of visa delays. I also had to go to the American Embassy for my hubby's visa to get my tax returns filed....that was a trip!IMG_7415The hardest visa I applied for was my fiance visa to move to England and get married. I had to provide statements of my relationship with Will with a timeline and photographs as evidence of our love and commitment. Everything had to line up perfectly...Will got a job which meant he could sign for our rental agreement which gave us a place to live (and was required for my visa to be granted). But with all the freak outs and last minute scares and forms being filed left right and center...everything always came together. I got my visas and Will got his greencard to move here. We trusted God and did everything by the book...and its by his grace and strength that we are here today.So while I am sitting here feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork and forms and background checks we have to file, I can remember that we have done this before..... And through this whole adoption adventure, I can hold onto this truth:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart    and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,    and he will make your paths straight."-Proverbs 3:5-6

We are going to do everything by the book when it comes to filling our paperwork and we are going to trust God that he will open the doors that need opening and close the ones that need to be shut.

{Stepping out in active faith and trusting God no matter the outcome}

How did you get through all the crazy paperwork? Are you, like me, already feeling overwhelmed? I would love to hear your thoughts, struggles, and encouragements as you went through (or are also going through) this stage in the adoption process.

Ashley xoxo

Hello world!

This past week my husband and I took a huge step in our adoption journey. We decided on an agency and a program. If you know me at all this is huge! I have been researching since before we decided to move to Colorado. And that is what makes this even more exciting.Back in May 2013, my husband and I started to process and pray about the opportunity to move out to Boulder, Colorado to work for my Dad at CU Boulder. It was then that I started looking into the different adoption agencies and programs that Boulder offered. We had talked a lot about adopting internationally, and more specifically in South America. That was what brought me first to A Family in Bloom Adoption. They had an international adoption program in Nicaragua that really stood out to me.Fast forward two years....It took us awhile to find our feet out here in Colorado....to say it was an adjustment is an understatement. But we finally got to a point where we both felt ready to be parents. After doing more research, we decided that an international adoption would not fit with our life stage at this time. We may revisit it in the future but we decided to look around us here and see and fill the need.We looked into foster-t0-adopt, which is an awesome and much-needed system set in place. I was really excited about going that route. Unfortunately, in Boulder County, you cannot change the name of the child once adopted by you. Now I completely understand why this has been set in place, and I would never force a child to change their name once adopted. However, part of me becoming a mother is being able to choose a name for my child. Will and I have had hours of conversations about the names of our future children. We feel like we already know them each by name and it will be what drives me forward during all the struggles and difficulties we face during this whole process. I have since learned that other counties have different rules (including the right to rename your child) and I think we will definitely explore that option in the future.So with all that in mind...we decided that for our first adoption we wanted to use an agency who has an infant domestic adoption program. After doing more research on that, I finally came full circle and found myself back at A Family in Bloom Adoption. I had a very honest and genuine talk with her where she was able to explain the fees (which are very reasonable compared to other agencies) and was able to answer my questions completely. Well we decided to meet in person with her and after that we knew this agency would be for us.I am so excited to to meet little baby (M) whenever we do. Whether it takes 3 months or 3 years we are ready. (S)he is already so loved by us.Watch out for this mommy in the making! I cannot wait to share more!