Our adoption story has been quite the journey. Officially, it began in December 2013 as we applied to Lifeline Children Services to enter their Ethiopia program to pursue adopting a baby boy. Unofficailly, though, this journey began many years before that.
You see, we are all adopted. As believers in Christ, the moment we confess Jesus as Lord we are adopted into the family of God. This reality is astonishing, and God makes it clear in His Word that we are to care for the vulnerable, such as orphans and widows (James 1:27). His Word also tells us that He will put the lonely into families (Psalm 68:6).
We are the Moraleses, and because of God's calling through scripture we have chosen to build our family through adoption.
When we began dating in September 2010, we began talking about adopting a child early on in our relationship. As our relationship grew, so did our desire to adopt, so Jason went ahead and set up a savings plan for us, since we knew that adoption is a huge financial responsibility, before, during, and after the adoption is complete.
When we got married in September of 2012, we had conversations about what we wanted out of our marriage and a family. Through prayer, and really just a sense of peace, we knew that it was right for us to adopt before trying to have biological children. We knew that God could have another plan, but for our planning purposes, we decided to hold off on the bio kids and work toward pursuing adoption.
Adopting from Ethiopia - Judah Saylor
Around our one year anniversary, we decided that we wanted to begin the adoption process sooner than later. I know that every family is different, but for us, it was literally like from one day to the next, we just new it was time. We prayed and asked God for provision on what age/gender/country/agency we should choose. After some time in prayer and a lot of research, we decided that God was leading us to adopt a baby boy from Ethiopia through Lifeline Children's Services.
Another thing we were diligently seeking and praying through from the start was a name for our son. We wanted to name our child early on so that we can pray for a specific name and become attached to something tangible. So, a few weeks in, Jason and I laid in bed for hours one Sunday morning just pouring over names that we liked. And finally, we said this name out loud, just to try it out, and we new this was it: Judah Saylor Morales.
Well, as previously stated, this journey has a lot of layers, and we hope that you will read through the blog to see how things have unfolded for us. But after 3.5 years, a closed placing agency, and a lot of setbacks, we had to end our process to adopt a child from Ethiopia (read more about that here).
our beautiful detour - brighten storie
In the spring of 2016, we began to feel a nudge. We were still wrestling through what the impact of the closing of our original placing agency would have on our family, and we began praying about what it would look like to begin a domestic adoption process alongside our Ethiopia process. We decided not to go through an agency, but instead updated our home study and began contacting adoption attorneys who might be able to help us out. Another long story short, we adopted Brighten Storie Morales and had the chance to even be there for her birth on September 22, 2016 (our 4th wedding anniversary)! You can read Brighten's Stories here:
Where we are now
For the first time in almost four years, we weren't in an adoption process. We decided to stay on hold with Lifeline as we prayed about our next steps and spent time watching our little girl grow up. We know that we are still called to adopt Judah Saylor, but our search for him lacked direction for a little while.
After several months of praying, talking, thinking, getting frustrated, and much more, we went on a date one night just before Brighten's first birthday and sat at our neighborhood BBQ restaurant and decided to put all options on the table. We'd scheduled a meeting with our agency to talk through the fact that we felt no particular direction and ask for guidance from them. But before we had that meeting, we wanted to look through every option. As we looked through their programs, other agency's programs, and more, we realized that a country we've felt called to for many years, but thought we didn't qualify for, had changed their age requirements for prospective adoptive parents.
We are SUPER early in the process of transferring from the Ethiopia program to the Haiti program, but we couldn't be more excited. We've always felt a call to Haiti, but their age requirements used to be that at least one parent had to be 35 years old. I'm not sure when they changed, we were in the Ethiopia program so we didn't keep an eye out, but now the requirement is that one of the parents is at least 30! I've never been more happy that Jason is a few years older than me :)
We haven't even nailed down age range, gender, or needs, so we'll be doing that soon. That said, this is a SEVERAL, SEVERAL year process, so this won't be something that's complete quickly. We wish that weren't the case, but as we've learned over the last several years, adoption, especially international adoption, is not something that can be rushed. We are praying about beginning another domestic adoption sometime while we're in this process, so we don't want to say that our child from Haiti will be our Judah. That may be the case, but we have just said that our first son will be Judah :) As you can tell, we've definitely mellowed out a lot since we began our Ethiopia process almost four years ago!!
Please pray with us as we begin walking through this new process. We are familiar with much of the process, but every country is different so we ask that you pray for guidance and discernment for our family. Please pray for our little Brighten as she gets older and learns what it means to wait expectantly for a sibling. Pray for Jason and me as we consider another domestic adoption. Most of all, pray for our future children. God knows them, and loves them more than we could ever fathom. We pray that He would be glorified through their lives and this process.