Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New On-line Profile at Bethany Christian Services

We'd love for you to view our new on-line profile and share on your FB walls, twitter, Google+, Youtube and all other internet social media sites.  Thank you for reading, sharing and following our adoption journeys!

http://waitingfamilies.bethany.org/home/wisconsin/mark-and-jennifer

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We have begun our 2nd journey!

Our first adoption journey is complete!  We invite you to join our 2nd journey by clicking the link below and reading our new blog!

Thanks for following!!

http://journey2babym.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 16, 2012

Birth Certificate...

Niyla's birth certificates are here!  They arrived Friday, November 16, 2012.  When we got them in the mail yesterday, my husband opened them up and was super excited.  It was late at night and I was feeding and rocking Niyla to sleep when he came in to tell me the great news.  Niyla, of course, became more awake because of all the conversation and her Daddy swooped her up to give her some love.  Tonight's bed time was extra special as the same thing happened...Daddy came in, swooped up his little baby girl and as she was looking him straight in the eyes he sang to her a song that we've made up about her name and he said softly, "You're a Maynard now."  Pure sweetness and I enjoyed watching and eating up every second of it as my heart leaped with joy.

In case some don't know it...when you adopt and you apply to receive a new birth certificate, the adoptive parents names are the names listed on the original certificate of live birth as the mother and father.  

It's so interesting to me how this relates to Christianity.  God adopts us into His family and when we are born again as a new creature that never existed before, it's as though the past and our former father never was our father.  Don't get me wrong...I'm not negating my daughter's birthparents significance, but I just like the link in relation to our spiritual Father.  There SO much significance to our adoption into the kingdom of God!!  One person wrote a book about the Search for Significance.  I've come to a deeper realization that if we just get to know our heavenly Father really well and we will find your significance!

Friday, October 26, 2012

The journey is complete!

Today mark's one of the most precious days in my entire life as we finalized Niyla's adoption and have completed this long walk and journey. I held back all the tears all day until now when it's just me and my daughter in the quiet of our home and praising God. Definitely tears of exceeding joy!! :*)Thank you everyone for following us, supporting us, loving us, encouraging us and praying for us throughout this journey. We love you all and are SO happy that we are officially ending the adoption journey and starting the new one of being Niyla's parents and having the joy of raising such a beautiful and precious child. To God be the glory for the GREAT things HE has done!!!! Until the next one...:)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tugs on the heart

Well, I keep seeing reminders that this month and today specifically marks the day to remember those who have lost babies and miscarried.  So, I'm a bit inspired to write some of my thoughts today as well.  Someone posted this blog below and it expresses perfectly many thoughts I've had over the years.  She writes that she had a lot of support.  I, unfortunately, felt very alone and lost.  It doesn't mean that I didn't have people around me that loved me, supported, and prayed for me, but they continued with their life and I had to walk this path of grief that had a very strong grip on me for a long time.

Please read and share with others as you just never know who needs to read and hear this blog today.

http://kneedeepinthebabypool.blogspot.com/2012/10/national-pregnancy-and-infant-loss.html


My story began over 8 years ago.  I had my first positive pregnancy test after just a few months of trying to get pregnant.  It's something that every women who marries dreams will be the next step of life.  However, my steps were far different than I had imagined they would be.  October 18th marks the anniversary of when our first baby was due to be born.  It's SO hard to believe that Mark and I would have an 8 year old walking around right now...or should have an 8 year old.  At this point in our lives, I would think that the sting just wouldn't be there, but it, in fact, still is.  It's not as prominent as I know the Lord has healed our hearts tremendously, but as my husband said recently, the Lord has really brought healing and continues to heal our hearts.  We are blessed with a beautiful baby girl now.  No, she wasn't born "naturally" to us.  No, I'm not her "real" mother as some people state, but in my heart she's mine naturally and in my heart she is truly my daughter and I am her REAL mother.  Does it hurt when I see others pregnant?  Yes, it still does.  The sting isn't as great as it once was.  I think of the two babies that I miscarried often and wonder what they would look like and what life would be like, but I know even though they aren't in my present, they are certainly in my future.  I always say they are being raised by the best Father ever...our heavenly Father.  Just a couple of years later, I found myself pregnant again.  This new light of hope on February 14, 2006, seemed to be a great hope that felt like an eternity to come around again.  Only months later to discover no heart beat yet again.  Both miscarriages were right at Easter time when there should be resurrection power, but I once again faced death and loss.  Satan had a goal in all of this and it was to doubt my Father, lose my faith and hope and just give up and throw in the towel. 

The next several years was full of frustration, medication, surgery, tests and finally I just put it aside and truly felt like perhaps this feeling and overwhelming desire to be a mother just wasn't meant to be.  I didn't understand why I wasn't pregnant when everything I read in God's Word spelled out His promises to His children...me.  I had put God in a box thinking that becoming a mother could only happen one way and that was by birthing a child.  Then I came across a teaching by Dave Roberson and in that teaching he made a powerful statement that changed my course.  He said something to this effect...God doesn't give children...it's man's decision to have children.  Well, in 2010, Mark and I decided that the burning desire to be parents wasn't going away and we decided to pursue adoption even though 4 years prior we had done this and had to give the baby back because the parents had changed their mind.  When that happened I was full of more shame and embarrassment thinking that I had pursued an Ishmael and really God wanted me to have an Isaac.  That wasn't it at all though.  Those were just thoughts from the enemy twisting God's Word trying to get me to doubt my Father's will for our life.  I quit my job thinking less stress would do the trick.  We tried on our own for 6 months and still nothing.  We tried with medical science and still nothing.  I was so full of fear because I had experienced loss three different times and it just seemed like every time I tried to become a mother, I failed again and again and again.  It is only by God's grace that I was able to have the courage to go down the path of adoption again.  I have to say it was with constant baited breath and TONS of prayer that I was even able to walk this journey.  I had truly lost faith, hope and even my joy inside even though on the outside I had put on the mask of faking it until I made it.  God's mercy, many prayers, people, cards, phone calls, letters, notes and people sharing their adoption stories among many other things is what allowed me to walk this journey.

Adoption is something to be embraced and needs to be more supported in the church.  There seems to be a ton of support for birthparents, but a real lack of support for those who miscarry and those who desire to adopt or even to place their child for adoption.  For u,s it seemed like the birthparents had all the control and say so and we were just at the end of their will.  God truly has brought a beautiful and healthy baby girl into our lives and I would go through everything again just to be brought to this point in my journey.  The smiles and joy that she brings into our lives is truly a priceless and precious gift.  As I try to find the words to express this journey, you can truly never know unless you've walked this path what women go through and what their husbands experience.  It's a quiet pain and a silent hurt.  Out of this pain and hurt, God has given me opportunities to talk with other women and encourage those who've encountered loss.  Next Friday, we will finalize our daughters adoption.  This is such a significant date to me because it's the day right before I share at our annual women's meeting.  God is good and no matter what comes our way, we can always have confidence that He is all-wise and will bring to pass the desires we have in our hearts.  He loves to bless us and His Word is always truth.  Satan tries to lie to us and tries to get us to doubt just as he did in the garden with Adam and Eve, but if we can shut off those thoughts of doubt and magnify the Lord instead of our pain, we will be able to overcome and conquer every fear of loss that comes our way.  God is always good!  This is one thing I am certainly confident in.

Be purposeful...seek out and reach out to women who have lost a baby or a child and just let them be comforted with your hug, your love, your prayers, your encouragement, your note of love or whatever you are led to do.  I promise they will appreciate it more than you can imagine.  Remembering with action...


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Happy 1/2 birthday little girl!


Happy 1/2 birthday baby Niyla! Today marks your 6 month birthday!! I love you my precious sweetheart and I'm beyond filled with joy that the Lord brought you into our family as our little miracle. You are truly a dream come true and a prayer answered. You are everything I hoped for and far more. You bring such delight to my eyes and heart. Love, Mommy

A sweet little update on a sweet little girl.  This week we had our 6th follow up visit from our social worker, the court report has been filed and we should know our finalization date in just a few short weeks.  We got some details on how that all works and are very excited for the finalization day.  Niyla's going to have a lot of days to celebrate every single year...her birthday, her GOTCHA day and her final adoption day.  

We also had her 6 month checkup with her Dr.  All is well for weight, height and head circumference.  She's a little itty bitty petite girl, which we already knew.  Doesn't have a big appetite, but she eats when she's hungry that's for sure.

She can sit on her own now for a few minutes instead of a few moments; she's been rolling from front to back and back to front for a while, but certainly prefers to be on her tummy.  She can also lift herself up on all fours in the perfect crawling position and is rocking away.  It won't be long so Daddy needs to get on all that baby proofing!  She's eating rice, oatmeal and a plethora of fruits and veggies.  She loves to eat the solids and knows how to open wide for them.  She's babbling along with all the adults as we converse, and then when we are quiet to hear her, well, she stops to hear too.  So cute!   She's smiling and laughing at the simplest things.  She's finally discovered that she can jump in the jumperoo instead of just turning and playing with the toys and she loves to jump.   She also reaches out to mommy and daddy when she's ready to be done playing and wants to be picked up.  Being held is her absolute favorite, although these days she's becoming a really wiggly worm.  When mommy or daddy is making bottles, she'll try to help by reaching out for the microwave door.  She is also exploring a variety of noises with her voice and grunts when she wants a different position.  She's a healthy growing girl and is finally fitting into her 6 month clothes!  :)  She's sleeping consistently through the night from about 7 to 7 which mommy is particularly VERY happy about.  When we are out and about, everyone compliments her cuteness and some inquire about her adoption.  We even get to meet others who are adopted and share some of their story with us too.  She'll soon be taking her first vacation to see some family that she hasn't met yet.  She will also be taking the shrimp swimming class at the YMCA, which I'm sure she'll enjoy! 

Thanks for following along in the journey the Lord has us on.  It'll continue for the rest of her life and I'm sure she'll have some siblings that will join our journey down the road. 

Looking forward to the gavel dropping!

The Maynard's

Friday, September 7, 2012

Still receiving...Thank you Jesus!

This week has been a very busy week and the Lord has brought several precious people across my path that have been such an encouragement to my heart.  It's a wonderful thing to know that God has us in the palm of His hand and if we allow Him, He'll lead and guide us down His straight path.

Well, Mark and I have more great news to share on the adoption front.  We have a little bit left from our lawyer fees and were referred by another couple in our adoption group to a local ministry who's Pastor has started an adoption ministry within their church.  As part of their ministry, they have a grant that is funded through different fundraisers and other things I'm sure, to be able to help families with their adoption expenses.  Well, usually the grants are only awarded to families who are still in the adoption process.  I called back in May and spoke with the pastor to inquire as to whether they would consider looking at our application even though we had recently received placement of our daughter.  He was SUPER nice and open to the idea.  He said he would talk with the committee and get back with me.  So, I went to praying and thanking the Lord for favor.  A few days later, I heard back and he said, go ahead and submit your application and we'll see what the committee says.  So, I had already completed the application and talked with the three references needed.  The references were already in the mail heading their way so I was in great hopes that would be his response.  

Well, June, July went by and I touched base to see if there was any news.  No news and they wouldn't be looking at the application until September after their large fundraiser.  So, I just put it in God's hands.  I literally talked with the Lord this week and said, please intervene as this bill is choking us.  We need you to move on our behalf and I thank you Lord that you are moving.  

Well, in just getting home and checking through my email this evening, I was smiling and reading out loud the email response with the committee's decision to my husband.  They are giving us a grant that significantly reduces our remaining lawyer bill and the remainder is just really do-able for us.  Thank you Jesus!!  You are our provider and you always come through for us!!

We know the adoption of our daughter is and has been ordained by God.  We didn't have the finances to adopt, but the Lord has sent them to us through people, grants and through our own personal resources.  He's a good God and every time I wonder, is He going to come through again?  I reflect on all the times He has and know that He's faithful to do it again.  Not only is He faithful...He's willing...not only is He willing...He's able...not only is He able...but He's the finisher of what He's started.  All glory to Him and I pray that if you are believing God for something, it's okay if you put if on the shelf.  He'll pick it up off the shelf and do something with it that only He can do.  Have a great weekend and thanks for celebrating this great news with us!