And just like that

Thank you for waiting so patiently for this post. We know it has been MONTHS of silence on our end. We have had many ups and downs throughout the adoption journey, but this part- waiting to match with our daughter has seemed the hardest to share about . Months go by and no news, while each day our hearts would swell in anticipation of the morning to come with a potential email that seemed to never come. But today, we write victoriously because we have a daughter!

We have now seen her perfect, sweet, and beautiful face. We have heard her delicate, soft, little voice.

It’s the simple things, like, how our phones now auto-correct to her name. Now,  we leave the door open to her room and can call it more than just "our guest room". Her name can finally be added to her 'made with love' quilt and complete the last square.

There are still months ahead of us of paperwork to complete, including her Canadian Citizenship (extra prayer for this please as it can really slow down the process). But, this right now, is the biggest step before court and her officially becoming a McIntyre.

Thank you for your love, prayers and support as we stumble our way to becoming parents.

Our timeline: We don't know how long it will take to complete these next steps, but we are praying for a summer trip to India.

Today we got notified we got NOC (No Objection Certificate). Which means India does not object us becoming a family of 3.

Our next steps are:

Receive a court date -- Pass Court (we are not required to attend) and wait for written orders from the judge--- Her orphanage will apply for her Indian passport ---We request Canadian citizenship, and wait for approval ---Travel --- Meet the most adorable girl in the whole wide world and call her ours!

 

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So Far to Find You

It is hard to believe that we have been on this adoption journey for 10 whole months! WOW! Its been Paperwork, and Waiting, and more Paperwork and more Waiting. Keep reading. We have some BIG updates to share!

In the last nine months, we have witnessed the most beautiful, comforting love of Jesus through the hearts of others who have come in to our lives and joined us and continue to walk this adoption with us. Each one of you have prayerfully supported us financially, emotionally, and just been there to listen to me (Sarah) yammer on about how I can’t wait to be this little girls mom.

In June we applied for an Adoption Grant through ABBA Canada, one of only a few (I think only 2) grants for adoptions in Canada. We got the call this week that we will be granted $3500.00 toward the costs of our adoption to bring home our daughter! When we heard the news we couldn’t help but stop everything, and praise Jesus. For we truly believe that none of this would be possible without his provision, guidance, and wisdom and ultimately for choosing adoption for our family.

That brings our total to $7500.00 to go! 

In November our number to reach was: $37,000.00

That means that in 9 months, God has provided a total of $29,500 for this adoption

God moves mountains, and I believe He will do it again!

And guess what, HE did! We received our approval letter from the Ontario government too! 

Our next steps are:

-       Compile our dossier to be notarized by our agency (end of August/Early September)

-       Agency uploads our file to CARA website (India government website) - roughly a 4 week wait

-       CARA reviews our profile/India government approval

-       Match with our daughter and accept her proposal

-       Her orphanage will apply for a No Objection Certificate saying they do not contest the match

-       Court Date and Travel!

 

Please continue to pray us along. We feel your prayers as this brings us such peace through the process.

 

Family is everything

Financial Update: Thank you to all that have supported us throughout this adoption. In the last month we have gone from needing 18,628 to 14,870 to complete the adoption! Truly amazing! You have brought us $3757.00 closer to our daughter!

Family is Everything

This weekend our extended family grew as we welcomed Madison Emery McIntyre to the family. She is a beautiful bundle of joy. What an absolute gift life is. We are in awe of our creator as we see His beauty all over her.

 Proud Auntie and Uncle over here!

Proud Auntie and Uncle over here!

As we look ahead to being parents of our own, friends and family have asked us, why and what needs we have presented ourselves open to. Some of these tend to bring about questions of why, or how will we manage if our child has this or that special need?

What I can tell you is this,

Psalms 139:13 says,

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

It gives us great comfort to know that our child was knit together in her mothers womb, and her inmost being was created. Her life has meaning, and her life has value to our King and creator. And because of that, no matter her special need or not, her life has value to us.

She may not be created in MY womb, but she is every bit our daughter.  How we have looked at it is this: we don't get to choose who our child will be, none of us do -  and that's the beauty in it. That's the mystery that makes Him so amazing. He makes a way for what He sees as good and right. We are just a part of his spectacular masterpiece.

Family is a truly beautiful thing.  Adoption = Love -  Love = Family

Shop Launch

Here we go! We are launching our online shop. All the proceeds will go directly to knocking down the almost $19,000 CAN in fees that we need for August.

We will be shipping to all of Canada and the USA. You can expect your order in 1-2 weeks (if coming by mail),  depending on where you live in relation to Toronto.

We have 3 key necklaces in the shop. They come in silver and brass. Both equally beautiful! You can choose from the words HOPE, JOY, and ADOPT. Each necklace is for sale for a suggested donation of $25.00.

Check out the pictures below and the "shop" in the menu bar, for more details.

We (Sarah) is making a quilt for our daughter. She wants to fill it with little notes of love. You can purchase one of the pink, mint, or grey quilt squares and add a personalized phrase, word or family name that will be embroidered on. Each square is for a suggested donation of $25.00 - $200.00.

Our quilt square says "Silly. Wonderful. You." You can see it in one of the pink squares in the picture above.

To purchase a square, a necklace, or make a donation go to our SHOP at the top menu bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where we are (Finances)

Recently we have been asked by a number of people about where we are financially with the adoption so we wanted to give a brief update.

Here is a breakdown of some of what goes into the costs of an adoption:

Home Study, PRIDE Parenting Course, Police Check, RCMP Check, and initial adoption agency fees. These accumulate to just over $9,000CAD.

We are so thankful to the family, friends, and people we may never meet, who have given to help us bring our daughter home. People have given generously to those initial funds. We are now looking at raising our next payment of just over $18,000 CAD. This will be due to the adoption agency in August when our dossier goes to India.

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Guess what?! We are sending our homestudy to our agency THIS WEEK! We are so excited! They will be reviewing our homestudy and sending it off to the Ontario government for approval. YAY! One. Step. Closer.

Thank you so much for taking a minute to read this! We would love your feedback if you have any questions comments or have ideas for future fundraising! Please email us!

Parents in the making,

Lucas and Sarah

 

Jesus loves me

Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me.  

Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me.

It’s this simple statement, Jesus loves me that caught me completely off guard and had me weeping this week. This month I have been hiding my heart from God and His love began to unravel.  It’s like I had forgotten that He is walking this journey with us.

This was our first real month of waiting as we waited for our home study to come back from our adoption practitioner so that we can review it and send it to our agency. They will then approve it and send it to the Ontario Ministry for approval.

We expected to have our home study back from our practitioner two weeks ago. I had it all planned out. In my plan, today we would be sending our final home study to the agency. That would give us 5 full months for all of our approvals to roll in and for our paperwork to be sent to India in what is called a dossier. I am disappointed that things aren’t going as planned and feeling somewhat discouraged. It’s been a month of some unsettled feelings. Waiting, thinking about our daughter across the world, knowing that she is waiting for us. Why does adoption have to take so long? I know God has everything in his hands but day in and day out I find myself in a state of fear that we will be too late. I know its silly. But what if something happens to her and we are too late? Unreasonable, yep. Totally crazy, yep.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

That’s what I have to keep remembering. They might be great plans that I create in my head and believe that God should honor them, but in reality its His purpose that’s going to win.

Five months to go until we hope our paperwork will be on Indian soil. Please pray with us that we would have clarity, that we would have peace, and hope in the waiting.

See where we are at in the process HERE see how you can help HERE

Oh! And, we now have a cat. Her name is Masi she is cute, and cuddly, and 12 years old. I already picture her sleeping with our little one.

Adoption is beautiful

A couple of weeks ago, Luke and I made our way two hours south to Buffalo, NY. We were meeting up with an awesome family of 3. Their son was recently adopted from India a few months ago, and watching him in his family was beautiful.  He has seamlessly adapted to the American way of life.  He loves sledding, Italian food, and french fries...what more could a parent ask for?

It was amazing to sit down for a few hours (ok, 36 hours!) with a couple that have walked the road we are now on.  We are so thankful to God for giving us all the heart for adoption, and this great community of people we can lean on.

Aren’t they a great looking family?  We sure think so!

We are looking forward to the day when we can recreate this photo with our little girl too!

We attended their Church on Sunday – Anchor Church Buffalo (It’s awesome, and I recommend going if you are in the area!) Their pastor said something that really struck a chord with me,

“Joy isn’t the absence of trouble, it is the presence of God."

Trouble has its seasons; right now we are in the season of waiting. Soon enough our trouble will be parenting. And while we are highly anticipating our trouble-maker (haha) we also know that parenting will not always be sunshine and rainbows. Through every season we need to lean on God to find our joy.  We need joy in our marriage, in our lives, and in this adoption.

As we watched this awesome family be a family it was beautiful to think how God had destined their story long before any of them were born. That in all the world, he was to be their forever son. God is amazing that way, and we know the same is true for us and our story.  At the end of the day, adoption is beautiful because our God is beautiful.

Check out the rest of our site and how you can be a part of our journey to bring our little girl home. It's true, it takes a village!

Dear Little One

Dear little one,

What you are doing right now...

I'm sitting here drinking tea, thinking about you. Pinterest is open and I'm mapping out your room. Etsy is live and I am tempted to purchase every beautiful, hand-made dress I see.  You are so loved,  little one.  Daddy and I dream of these things with excitement and anticipation.

Honestly, I have insecurities about providing for you. We can't give you Disney trips every year, or lavish things that kids dream of. And I catch myself…

It’s not easy to come before God and ask, am I enough?

Today, I finally quieted myself to listen for the voice of God, and ask Him for that answer.

I had an overwhelming sense of his presence saying, I am Provider.

He got me. He demolished every single fear with His affirmation. He is provider. He will provide all you will ever need. We need to not worry about tomorrow, because it is all in His mighty hands.

It is the same very truth he keeps reminding me of as we go through this process to come get you. He is Provider. He has always been provider and will always be our provider.

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 Little one,

May you sleep safely and soundly through the night,

May you be safe as you wake to the morning's light.

May you feel our love from so far away,

May it comfort you and protect you throughout each day.

We will pray for you little one, until our time of waiting is done.

We will pray that the Lord will keep you safe from harm,

until you, little one, the child in our hearts,

becomes the child in our arms.

Love,

Mommy

Home Study: Part 1

We had a lot of unknowns going in to our first homestudy. It was a bit intimidating to be honest. Thank goodness we have Jesus and aren’t doing this alone! We tried to prepare ourselves as best we could. We met with an awesome couple that lives in Hamilton who have adopted internationally, and they gave us some confidence in navigating the whole situation. And we looked at blogs, although mostly American, but we were hopeful that the questions would be similar at best.

We cleaned the house, but tried not to over-clean because apparently you don’t want to pretend to be perfect. Good thing we know we aren’t perfect!

Our adoption practitioner came over to our house and we sat in the living room and talked for a good 2 hours. She actually lives around the corner from us and seemed to think we were good candidates to be parents.  Phew!

Here is what the homestudy has looked like for us:

Homestudy #1: Get to know us as a couple. Find out why we want to adopt

Homestudy #2: Make Lucas uncomfortable by asking about all things personal, emotional etc.

Homestudy #3: Sarah’s turn

Homestudy #4: Dig a bit deeper in to us as a couple and our intentions for making sure we have all our T's crossed and I's dotted for when we add a child to our family. 

Homestudy: #5: We review the final document before it is sent to our Adoption Agency for review!

On top of all that thinking, we have to do police checks, finger printing, and lots of other paperwork before the final home study rolls around.

Next week is our second last home study and although it is exciting to get the first hurdle completed, it has been such a positive experience for us.

I can see God stretching us and shaping us in to the parents our child needs. We have had the most honest conversations about what parenting a child from a traumatic past will look like (#theraputicparenting101), how our roles as husband and wife will grow, change, and adapt, and I can see so much how God is at work within our hearts. We are being transformed and it is beautiful. I look at my husband in awe, and am overwhelmed how much he already loves our little girl.

3 down 2 to go!