Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How our Adoption Journey Started....

I thought I was done with this thing! I used to blog to remember my children's younger years, but as they grew older it was too time consuming and there was less change from day-to-day. We now have a new daughter joining our family soon (4 yr old coming from China in early 2018!!) & I feel the need to document this experience. 

So here we go!

Our Story:

Brian & I have always felt a desire to adopt. As the years went by we determined that we would adopt internationally and wait until Addie & Mason were old enough to be involved in the process. We've been fortunate to watch & help several families around us adopt and have learned from their experiences. For awhile we became a foster home. We had friends introduce us to fostering & once we saw the need, we couldn't turn away. We looked at it as a way to meet a need until it was our turn to adopt. It was a very rewarding experience and we highly encourage those who can to open their homes to fostering. Good homes are needed. For those who cannot, please support those who are. Though at times it was a wonderful experience, it ended horribly. It ripped apart our hearts and left us battered and broken. We closed our home and spent the next few years mending our wounds, questioning our faith and focusing on our marriage and family. Over time, we healed. And slowly, the desire to expand our family returned. Our experience solidified our choice to adopt internationally. I had always thought that those who could adopt, should. I now realize that it is certainly not for everyone or every family, but we think it is a fit for us. Orphans in any situation need & deserve loving homes. We see being born in America as a luxury and a privilege. We have the ability to give that to someone who was not as lucky as us.  It seems the perfect metaphor for God's love for us. We don't deserve it and have no way to earn it, yet we are invited into his family, offered new life and redeemed. But we aren't God. We understand that this child does not need us and God doesn't need us to "rescue" this child. We just hope and pray that God will use this adoption for His glory - that we provide a wonderful life for our new daughter and that our family grows in ways we could never imagine. We are the lucky ones and we can't wait to meet this amazing little girl!

Why China?
We chose China for a few reasons. Some logical, some logistical and some heartfelt. 
-China has a stable international adoption program that has been in place for many years. In recent years many countries have closed their adoption programs, sometimes halting for delaying adoptions that are already in process, so stability is very important to us. 
-China has increased their requirements and is basically only open for children with special needs or over the age of 5. This is because there is a big push to encourage in-country adoptions for the young, healthy (most adoptable) children. We highly support keeping children in their home countries whenever possible. These regulations discourage fraud and corruption. 
-China is one of the worst countries for human trafficking and orphans are especially vulnerable.
-Drugs and alcohol are not a large problem in China, so children, though not without neglect and trauma, are not usually marred by substance abuse. 
-To adopt from China, only one trip is needed that lasts 2-3 weeks. Other countries require multiple trips, some for extended periods of time, which is not something we are able to do.
-We were drawn to Chinese culture as they are similar to us...small in stature, reserved, and traditional!
-Lastly, when adopting, adoption agency matters. We just happen to live in the same state as the largest & most respected Chinese adoption agency in the world, CCAI. They came highly recommended and we have several friends who have adopted with them and gave them glowing reviews.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A new munchkin!

So we are a little lot behind on this blog. SORRY! We've had some space issues on the site that we are still sorting out so that's one excuse, but the other reason is much more exciting. We have a new munchkin in the Mercer household!

Yep, that's right...there are now 3 kiddos here, but no, we did not have a baby & no, we did not adopt...

We became a foster home!!

We've had a lot of people really excited for us, but the next question is always, "why?"...well...why not? There is a HUGE need for foster homes. These are kids who, of no fault of their own, cannot remain with their family, cannot go home and just need a place to live safely and hopefully get fed well & loved on.
How could we say no to them?

We had heard the term years ago, before we had kids, but dismissed it. Thoughts of troubled teenagers first came to mind & that was not an idea I wanted to pursue.

Then Brian joined Twitter. Through Twitter, he met many new "friends" with similar interests as him like music, soccer, and in this case, the Colorado Rapids. He met some local Rapids fans & started meeting his new online friends in person, at Rapids Games. Through this unlikely connection, we met a family that did foster care. When we discovered this, it peaked our interest. How can they do this & still have a "normal" family and do fun stuff (like attend Rapids games)?

Brian & I always new that we wanted to adopt sometime in our life. We each had this on our hearts from very young ages & when we married, we just new it was in our future. Like most couples, we still had the desire for some biological children. It's only normal to wonder what your offspring will be like! After two, we didn't want to risk anymore (kidding!). Ours are great! But my pregnancies were not and the second was worse that the first, so I was fearful of how a third pregnancy would go. We knew our family could still grow by other means, so we decided to not have any more biological kids.

Life with kiddos is tough. And some days I must admit, the joys do not outweigh the hardships, but for most of us, we stay strong to our commitment to our kids and do our best to give them a good life. Our kids are spoiled. They have no idea what it is like to need. They have more than enough to eat. They are warm, have plenty of clothes (that fit) and their toys have taken over our home. Our life is comfortable. It was this comfort that made us uncomfortable.

One of our favorite pastors once said that "God is in the business of giving us more than we can handle, so that we lean on Him and not on ourselves." This struck a chord with both of us. We were comfortable. We could handle things. We were trusting God, but relying on him? maybe not so much.

So back to our new Twitter/Rapids friends. Brian got to know this family (here is their blog) & started asking them more about fostering. Eventually they invited us over & we spent an evening with them- hearing about their family, their experiences & their heart. They expressed how after finding out about this need, they just couldn't forget it. How can you turn your back and just forget about these kids? We felt the exact same way & knew we were being led in this direction. We read through the rules and regulations for foster care & were horrified that some of the rules had to even be stated. We knew we could do better.

I had thought that foster care wasn't an option for us because both Brian & I work full time. Growing up, I always new that I would work outside the home. After I had kids, this was confirmed. My kids and I are both better for it. I was worried that this would not be fair to a foster child...or an adopted child for that matter. I was also worried that it would be too hard to take them to appointments & visitations with our work schedules. These were all valid concerns, yet should not be deal breakers. We realized that our kids are in daycare & before/after school care & do just fine..even thrive! If it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for any kid...much better than in an abusive or neglectful home. And what is more inconveniences or a child in need? enough, though very important and a necessity, could take second place to more important needs. It was all about priorities.

In May 2012, we started the process of becoming a licensed foster home in our county. It's not a rigorous process, just thorough and takes some time & coordination to attend the required trainings and to get your home ready (getting extra sheets & toiletries, a fire extinguisher, door locks, etc). We finished our training in August and then had our home study. We were approved & licensed the end of October.

We were anxious, knowing a call could come at any time...but it didn't. A week passed...then two, then a month. I had to remind myself that this was a good thing. We were ready & willing, but even better if parents are doing their job & being responsible, so we aren't needed!

Then it came. It was God's timing & was perfect. I had stayed home from work with a sick little Mason, so I was able to take the call, say yes, & then frantically prepare for our new little guy!

We wish we could share more details of him, as he's an amazing kid, but alas he's not ours, so there will be no pictures or specifics. He's doing great, transferred over to Addie's school smoothly, and plays great with Addie & Mason...they love him and are already starting to bicker a little like real siblings :)

Now the adventure begins! More to come...

Want more info?

In Colorado,
Adams County,

Monday, December 17, 2012


Addie started Kindergarten this year and she LOVES it. She's such a smarty pants...loves reading and is a total teacher's pet. That's my girl! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gangnam Style

Addie loves this song, she apparently learned about it at school. So we fired it up and this is what happened

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween, Yo Gabba Gabba Style

Yoooo Gabba Gabba!

This year we were a family of Yo Gabba Gabba fun! Mason was Plex, Addie was Foofa, Mommy was mommy Foofa (Toodee wasn't available) and Daddy was DJ Lance Rock
Addie even won cutest costume at school. I just love that my kids still enjoy the cute & fun costumes, since we will not be allowing the scary or gory in our home.

If you didn't already know, Addie has the most fun Daddy ever! He brought her to school like this :)

and then wore it to work too!

the fam!

and friends :)

the kiddos

hard at work

Addie got a new buddy

Happy Halloween!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mason Update

So while Addie has been busy losing teeth and starting kindergarten, Mason has been doing his own thing.
Here was his summer in pictures:
Rainy day fun

pre-race stretches

ooo-ing over lightning

splash pad!

Rugrats & waffles...just a typical morning

swimming on the 4th of July

momma's boy!


dunked his head in the water table...

chugga chugga choo choo!

practicing potty

summer fun!