This. Is. Us.

This. Is. Us.

Q&A's :)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

On Friday Eric and I attended our first adoption education class through our agency.  As the day approached, we were filled with much anticipation and excitement.  This day finally put our adoption journey into "physical" motion.  We had been preparing, and celebrating, our decision for the past couple of months, and this class signified the buzzer sounding off!  As we walked in, we were greeted by 4 other families going through the adoption process and 3 social workers from the agency {pre-placement social worker, post placement social worker, and the birth mom social worker}.  We learned a lot and were joined with a wonderful community to walk with during this journey.

We have gotten many questions about our adoption journey over the past few weeks and have been working hard to come up with information to some of the most frequently asked questions.  We thought it would be a good idea to post some of these and share with you as we learn!  Feel free to ask us anything additional so that you can learn more as we do too!! :) 

Where will Baby be born?

We are pursuing domestic adoption, meaning we are adopting from within the U.S.  Hope Cottage works with birth mothers from the DFW metroplex, as well as pregnancy centers in Tyler, El Paso, and Lubbock Texas.  This means that our baby and birth mom will be from of one of these areas in Texas.  If they are born in an area other than DFW, we will travel there with our social worker to complete the adoption once they born!! 

How does this process work?

The first step was to turn in our Pre-Placement Adoption Evaluation and Application to the agency.  {Check} Next we have to attend our AES classes, which we are currently doing. {Check(ish) - We will have another one on Tuesday to finish up our hours}  Once our hours are complete we will be released to schedule our fingerprints through the FBI {I have heard this is the most frustrating part of the process!}  

During this time we will also begin our Pre-Placement Evaluation (Home Study) Process.  Through this process we have:
a. Individual and joint interviews with the social worker 
b. Home visits with all family members present 
c. interview with any others living in the home 
d. All supporting documentation gathered, complete, and signed off on 
Once the pre-placement adoption evaluation is approved, we have to pay our first fee of $10,000 in order to finalize our license.     

>>>We are currently working on our adoption profile book. Our profile book will play an important part in our adoption. This is basically a scrapbook of our lives-it includes pictures of us, describes our life, interests, beliefs and what kind of life we hope to give to a child. The purpose of this book is to allow the birthmother (and father if he is involved) to see if they can picture their child becoming part of our family. We even get to include a letter to the birthmother, thanking her for choosing life for her child and for considering us to parent her baby.<<<

 Once we have completed our home study, profile book, and done more fundraising, we will be ready to present to birthmothers. This means that our social worker will start showing our profiles to potential birthmothers. If we accept the birthmother as a match, our profile book will then be presented to her. The birthmother could be presented with many books at a time!  We might have to present our profile book to multiple birthmothers before one chooses us and we become a match!  During this time, we will become a part of the "waiting families" and will continue quarterly training and contact with the agency. 

How long will it take?

We aren’t sure, which is an answer that in and of itself gives me a bit of anxiety!  The typical adoption process can take anywhere from just a few months {HOLY COW!} to over a year {PLEASE LORD NO!!}. Our adoption agency helps to make the process go as quick as they can, in a conservative and safe manner, and they rarely have a family wait more than 6-9 months (once the family is approved and “active”).  Birth mom's that work with our agency are not shown adoptive families until they have gone through counseling and are in their 7th month of pregnancy, which means once we are matched, we will only have a few months to wait.  There are also situations that arise where our agency is contacted by a hospital and in that case we could be contacted right after baby is delivered.  In that case we would have our baby 48 hours after we are contacted.   

What are the expenses of adoption?

Adoptions are expensive. Adoptions in the U.S. typically range from $20,000-$45,000. The cost is very intimidating and most people are shocked when they learn about the financial side of adoption.  We are currently researching and thinking about multiple ways to fund-raise and help finance our adoption. We have also been looking into grants and adoption loan options to help with the balance of fees left after we fund-raise. We will be fundraising throughout our adoption process so that we will be prepared financially when Baby Ferraris is ready to come home!    

How old? Gender? Race?

We are adopting a newborn. We are hoping to be there (wherever it ends up being) the day our baby is born (or as soon as possible) but we know that Gods plans are set and we are preparing our hearts to be accepting of it however it comes!  We are excited to see what baby God has picked out for our family and ready for the adventure! 

When praying and talking about our adoption options, we both felt like we should be open minded and not put many limitations on what baby could be ours. That being said, we don’t have a preference for gender! We might be able to find out the gender once we are matched with a birth mother, but there is a high chance that we will not know the sex until the baby is born! 

We are also open to a baby from any race or ethnicity.  We know adopting a child from a different race will be a challenge in many ways, but we are excited about the possibility of having a diverse family and look forward to learning more about raising a family in this way!  We are currently reading {A LOT} on adoption in general, but some of our reading has included information on having a trans-racial family.  We know that this will be a different situation for many of our family and friends and we plan on sharing our learning along with you. :)    

How can we help?

The number one way we would love for you to be a part of our journey is through prayer! There are so many unknowns in this process; we believe that God has a plan for us and that HE is in control! Pray for our hearts to fully trust in Him through the journey!

You can consider donating to our adoption through the YouCaring sight our friends have set up for us! 

Adopting Baby Ferraris (Eric and Maegan Ferraris)

We are working on getting t-shirts set up now for our next adoption fundraiser! We’re hoping it will be up and running in the next few weeks! You can also participate in the fundraisers that we will be putting on throughout the coming months. We are brainstorming about fundraisers right now and will definitely need people who are willing to volunteer, donate items, time and resources!  Finally, keep asking us about our adoption adventure! We LOVE to talk about it and it helps us feel encouraged, supported and excited! 

Lastly, in our classes this week we focused a lot on how adoption has changed over the years.  Along with this changes have come changes in the way we talk about adoption and the words we use.  We, ourselves, have been guilty of using language that may have been hurtful or offensive to those going through, or have gone through, adoption before.  I hope this chart is useful for all of us to help shed the positive light adoption has on our world and to help encourage those who have ever walked in these shoes.  

As ALWAYS, we love and appreciate all the support we have had through this journey.  We hope you will continue to follow along and share our story!!! :) -Xoxo 

3 Day Weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

First of all --- Can I just get an AMEN for 3 day weekends! I feel so much more accomplished, and like my life isn't in complete chaos, when I have that extra day to get necessary things done! I could definitely be one who fights for 4 day work weeks and 3 day weekends.  (Who is with me?!?!) 

Anyways, Monday was a productive day! I was off for President's day, so I was able to get a lot of necessary things checked off the list!! First up was a trip to the doctor.  Each of us has to have a complete physical done, blood work ran, TB tested, HIV tested, and be up to date with our vaccinations.  Let me tell you, between fertility and this, I have been poked by more needles in the past few years than I have in my lifetime.  But, if it brings us one step closer to our sweet little baby, I will do it over and over again! 

After I left the doctor, I sped made a trip to Starbucks.  It was 12:30 and I hadn't had a drop of coffee or a bite to eat!  I grabbed my coffee and settled down in a very happening Starbucks near downtown.  {So this is what the world is like outside of my four classroom walls on a weekday?! I kind of dig it!}  I sat there and worked a little bit more on our autobiographies since I was taking them to the agency later that day.  I wanted needed a final "look over"! I snapped a little picture to show my sweet 3rd graders that adults even look over their papers numerous times, making necessary changes, for it to be the best that it can be. 
(Productivity paired with a little lesson for my kids is a win!)

From Starbucks I stopped by Fedex to print and copy all {bazillion} of our documents. (Keeping doubles of everything is advice I have heard from numerous people about this process) I then headed in to downtown to visit our agency and drop off our paperwork!!  From the beginning of this journey, the thing that stressed me out FIRST was choosing an agency.  There are SO many out there.  How was I (the girl who can't decide what to wear, what to eat for dinner, what plans to make, what color to paint my nails, on and on and on) going to choose an agency with whom we would put all of our trust in (aside from the good Lord of course) to help us find our baby!!! I was dreading it! But through a series of excel sheets, phone calls, interviews and referrals, we confidently decided to go with our agency Hope Cottage.  

I cannot describe to you how confident I am in the decision we made with our agency.  I was telling a friend how much I love our agency.  Even with ALL the other options out there, I don't hesitate for a second about where we should be.  She told me "God must be telling you that YOUR baby is there!".  Ahhhhh!!! Cue the tears and goosebumps! She is so right though.  Our birth mom could be working with our agency right now.  Our baby could be growing and we don't even know it yet.  Our baby is being formed by God somewhere and I cannot wait to see how this journey unravels for our family!!  
Psalm 17:6 “My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

Sweet Celebrations

Sunday, February 19, 2017

This week we celebrated Valentines Day at school.  My sweet kids showered me with gifts, the SWEETEST notes, and TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE!  We knew that just as we would announce and celebrate with my kids if we became pregnant, we would do the same with our adoption news.  I decided that since my kids were already hyped up on excitement and sugar, why not throw some SUPER exciting news to the mix!!  We played "happy heart" {our Valentines version of hangman} with all 40 kids in one room.  My Ah-Ma-Zing partner teacher and friend captured their excitement.

Check out the video of them finding out that Mrs. Ferraris is adopting a BABY! :)

This was such an incredible sweet moment.  These have been my 40 children over the past 5 months and they were celebrating the new addition to our "family".  A few of the responses I remember hearing over the excitement were "You are going to be a mom?!?!?!  You are going to be the best mommy!  I want to babysit them!  Are they here now?!?!  I hope we get to meet them."  {I am telling you guys, this sweet baby is SO SO loved already and doesn't even know it!}  I wasn't sure how this conversation was going to go, as adoption could easily be a foreign concept for an 8 year old to understand, but the conversation was much like any other pregnancy announcement.

Do you want a boy or a girl?
What are you going to name him or her?
If it is a girl you should name her {fill in any princess, pop singer, TV star name here}
If it is a boy you should name him {fill in any superhero name here}
Do you have a room for them?

Then one sweet boy said: "How do you know you are going to adopt a baby if they are not born yet?"

What I wanted to say was, "We know God loves us and has BIG plans for our future.  We fully believe in our hearts that he will provide this for us and trust in His goodness," but I settled for "An organization helps sweet mommies that want to find someone to take good care of their baby, so they are going to help us find that mommy."  And I am so thankful for both of those answers!!! :)

My prayers have been so surreal lately.  Through infertility, I never felt I had the chance to actually have something or someone to pray for {other than praying for God to make me pregnant}.  Lately I have prayed for our sweet baby.  I have prayed for the courageous birth mom that has a hard road ahead of her.  Although I have NO clue who or where they are, I know that He does, and because of that, I have such a peace.  I thank God for giving me peace during this unknown time in our lives and growing me in my faith.

At church today we had another powerful message where our guest speaker Jonathan Martin spoke on the Surviving the Shipwreck.  His message was this - "There WILL come a shaking to us.  We WILL be shaken up in our lives.  We NEED to be shaken at times in order for the Lord to expose the treasures inside of us."  This is OH. SO. TRUE. Yes, infertility sucked.  It was hard watching everyone else get what I wanted.  It made me question many things.  It broke my heart.  It caused me anger.  It drew tears from my eyes.  I was shaken over and over and over...But, it also opened up this incredible gift.  Since we decided to adopt, I have grown so much in my faith.  I have had to be humbled {multiple times}.  I have learned that His plans are SO much better than we can imagine.  I have opened myself up to be vulnerable and exposed.  I have heard from so many how much our story has inspired others.  I would have never {EVER} thought I would have been telling our story for all to hear and I thank God for exposing these treasures in me.

"“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”  

Lots of Paperwork...and a GREAT church message!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Things are full speed ahead in the adoption process this month!!! We are OH SO excited to finally be able to begin.  We thought and prayed on this decision for months.  We waited to look into agencies until we were certain.  We waited to tell our families until we were "accepted" into an agency.  We waited to tell our friends until things got closer.  And while we know there will be plenty more waiting, we are celebrating that things are finally beginning!!! 

First we will have to attend an Adoption Education Seminar that is required through the agency.  This will be a two day "crash course" on all things adoption.  Of course, there is no way you can even cover or anticipate things that may come up through this journey, but this is an attempt to prepare us as much as possible.  Praise the Lord that we have an amazing village of family and friends. We have had multiple people who have walked in these shoes offer their support, advice and/or anything we may need.  

Prior to the AES (get ready to learn tons of adoption language on here folks) we have to fill out some paperwork our life stories.  Guys...this paper work is NO JOKE!  I mean, anything you could and wouldn't ever think about asking is asked through this paperwork.  But, we made the best of it.  We sat down with a healthy balanced diet...and got to work! 


Most of this paperwork had to do with our lives over the past 10 years and our childhoods.  The  past 10 years were mainly where did you go to school, what jobs have you held, where have you lived,  etc.  I definitely regretted going to so many different schools, changing jobs often in college, and moving so many times.  We had to put information for EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.  The second set of forms we had to fill out was about our childhood and our relationship, then and now, with our families.  Not that we didn't already realize or know this, but we both have AMAZING families.  Loving, compassionate, warm, fun, supportive, and happy were words that came up continuously.  We have both been so blessed by our immediate and extended families that we cannot wait to bless our sweet baby with their love too.  

Along with family and friends, who are our rocks, we also belong to a church that we love dearly.  Hope Fellowship has been an addition in our lives and we couldn't imagine going through this without.  Our pastor is in the middle of series titled Broken Hearts. Gosh people- don't we all need a message on this.  We know that our world is full of sin.  We are not sinless.  We will be heartbroken in our lives.  However, when that time comes, we must deal with our heartbreak the way He intended us to.  This week the message was on mourning ---specifically, how to mourn in a Godly way.  Our Pastor, John, reminded us this week that Matthew 5:4 says "God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted".  I do thank God for this promise.  During all of our hardships, I can say that even in the midst of pain, sorrow, sometimes anger and even bitterness, we were comforted.  When people would say things such as: "I don't know how yall do it", I knew "we" weren't doing anything.  It was only through God's grace and comfort that we got through those many difficult times.  We ended our message this week with a song that I know needs to be heard by someone on the other end of this screen.  We can all find comfort through our wonderful loving Father...Even When It Hurts.  

Prayer Requests

If you have not already done so, please begin to pray for our birth mother.  Even though we have no idea who she will be, we know that He does.  We know that she has a difficult journey ahead of her, so please pray for her heart.  Also please pray as we begin to juggle life with the added things we will have to do in order to finish up the rest of our paper work.  Pray for little stress, continued focus, and patience for each of our hearts.  Lastly we continue to need financial support to be able to stay on our timeline to adopt through our agency.  We will have to have the first 10,000 dollar once our home study is completed (probably sometime in April) and the remaining amount after that.  Please pray that those that are able to give, give generously and pray that we remain faithful that He will help provide for us.  

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 

You guys! I cannot even begin to put into words the feelings and emotions that have flooded over us the past couple of days.  We have felt so blessed by all of you after announcing our adoption!! Your prayers, your words, your love, your support, your encouragement, your generosity! From people we see daily to people we haven't seen in far too long, we have felt a tremendous amount of support from all of you.  We have been so encouraged and touched by all of your responses and it is evident that our sweet little one will be one loved little baby!

Being vulnerable and allowing the world to see us beyond the outward appearance was by far the most difficult thing I have chosen to do along this journey.  Outside of close friends and family, no one knew our daily struggles and battles.  Those who know me well, know that I struggle with fear and worrying.  I know we live in a Pinterest worthy society, and as a women, we are designed to be mothers.  What would others think about me and why I couldn't be a mother as the majority of people around me could?  What would people say who thought that adoption was just a second choice for us?  What if this too, didn't work for us?  Everything that is natural to me (Satan) was saying, "Keep this between you and Eric...Just handle this yourselves."   That would have been easy for me.  That would have been comfortable.  But He had other plans.  BIG plans!  

Anyways, after much contemplation and {slightly pushy} encouragement from 'my people', I began creating our story and a post (that was the easy part) to announce our adoption.  After days of going over it with a fine tooth comb, I sat with the computer open.  I found a million other things that "took" away my time and attention.  To click that little "post" button was a BIG step that I was taking and I was taking every minute that I could.  God was definitely stretching me and clearly wanted me to learn something through this part of our journey.  I opened up my Bible, searched the index for "openness" and >>>2 Timothy 2:15 said "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."<<< Now I may be stubborn and hard headed at times, but not when it comes to God's word.  I knew that through this, just as through many other things in this process, his word  would guide me.  

His word DID guide me and MAN am I glad that it did!!!  {Very} shortly, the likes and comments started flooding in.  My phone continued to ding and buzz throughout the night.  Each time I would look, a sense of "you've got this" would come over me.  The encouragement and love blew, and continue to blow us away! We really have read each of your comments and likes many times over.  God KNEW what he was teaching me in that moment.  I pray to stay open through this process, knowing ultimately that I do not need to fear.  I want to learn how to be completely trustworthy of Him because He is so, so, good. 

***We have gotten many questions about our adoption journey over the past week and we are excited to share everything we have done and what we know so far. Keep a look out in the next few days for a post to come of some of the most frequently asked! Feel free to ask us more, so you can learn as we learn! :)***