The Reagan Report

Keeping our family and friends updated about our lives.

Waiting, But Not Wanting February 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 3:50 am

At 3+ weeks into this thing, we have not been waiting long. It’s only been a week or so since the last potential birth mother was brought to our attention. Many parents wait years for a child. So we aren’t about to let this get out of perspective. The only real challenge to this mini-season of the waiting process is that we are Pavlov’s dogs, having heard the bell but not having received the food we salivated for(don’t take the analogy too literally; that makes it gross).

In the meantime, God has showered us with an abundance of love and support through the friends around us(and not even close to around us– thanks, Facebook!). The constant prayers and words of sympathy or camaraderie were almost too much to bear. He also provided ample funds for this adoption through you, and it took all of two weeks! We are well-supplied and, quite frankly, dumbfounded. So we are, in that sense, not wanting.

We are also not wanting in the more ultimate sense. The Lord is our Shepherd; we shall not want. He did not spare His own Son for us; how will He not also with Jesus graciously give us all things? If that is true, then abundance(like the cascade of funds that came in) is a demonstration of the “all things,” but so is the current lack of a child to take into our home. This ever-so-brief waiting period conforms us to the image of His beloved Son. It readies us for heaven. It gives us deeper gospel comfort. It builds our sympathy for others. So we want for no good thing, even while we wait for a really good thing.

We’ll let you know when the call comes(and we read the medical history and consult wise people and agonize over the decision and call back to say we want to present our profile to the birth mom and wait for her to choose between us and other families–and then we’ll let you know the result).

Endless thanks to all of you!

 

 

This Is No Kiddie Emotional Roller Coaster February 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 6:21 pm

We just finished the second loop-de-loop of the adoption roller coaster, and it came before we had a chance to recover from the first one. 

We waited by the phone all weekend for the call about the baby boy from Florida(it wasn’t that hard; this is the age of cellular technology). We thought the probability of having that baby by Monday was much higher than 50%. But we discovered Monday morning that the birth mom chose to keep her baby, and we breathed a sigh of simultaneous sadness, exhaustion, and relief that there was a certain outcome(and that baby was staying with his birth mother). 

The emotional recovery time was brief, to say the least. We got another call on Monday afternoon about a mother in Kansas who had twins on January 14. She was keeping the girl and placing the boy with an adoptive family, and she was deciding Tuesday(yesterday) morning. We had about 4 hours to make a decision to present our profile to the mother. We read a 43-page medical report on this baby boy, as there were complications with his prematurity and risks for the future. We researched his conditions, agonized over the decision, and felt very strange about even being in a place to make a decision(see preceding post). Nauseating was the proper descriptor, as nausea was quite literally what we felt. 

We decided to present our profile book, making us one of 5 families she chose between. We found yesterday afternoon that she chose another family. We were somewhat sad, as with the first baby, because there is a small attachment formed as you study the records and pray fervently for the boy, but we felt planted on the Rock and happy to know that he was going to a caring family. 

But we hit a wall of emotional exhaustion(and immediately joked about the fact that we’ll probably get another call today about a birth mom who is in labor and deciding in a half hour and we will need to make our decision about presenting to her in the next ten minutes). 

We are so thankful that our Father’s heart is for the fatherless and the widow, and that it is also for us. We continue to be excited and daunted(in that order) by this process.

We also continue to be overwhelmed by the kindness of Jesus in using His body to shower us with support in every form. Thank you all.

 

Adoptive Nausea

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 6:05 pm
I feel like I’m going to throw up.

It’s not because I just ate some bad oysters or finished an Insanity workout.

It’s not morning sickness; my side of that curse is way easier.

It’s not even motion sickness, though I’m highly susceptible.

On second thought, maybe it is. Motion sickness is a result of mixed signals to your brain. It happens when your brain is expecting one thing–like the stability of the inside of a car–and receives another–like the undulating sensations of driving down a mountain road. It happens when what is supposed to happen isn’t what happens.

So I guess this process of adoption is a form of emotional motion sickness. Children are supposed to be given to parents by God through natural means(I won’t take this opportunity to give a reproductive health lesson). We are supposed to receive them without question. God plays the part of Creator and Giver; we play the part of creature and receiver. And with this role we ought to be pleased.

But the world is broken. There are millions of fatherless children. So we have adoption agencies that connect birth mothers with adoptive families and then give those families a choice. There is now a baby out there who has deep need, maybe the deepest of needs, and we get to respond with “I’ll take him!” or “Maybe the next one.” This is, for creatures like us, no privilege. It’s a mixed signal. It is a taste of God’s role for those who are not gods.

The moment the decision is made, he is ours. There ceases to be any ultimate distinction between him and our biological children. There is no turning back, nor is there a desire to turn back. But the moments leading up to the decision are agonizing.

We know our decision-making process to be fallible, laden with subconscious, self-preserving desires. We know that our circumstances are too numerous to be able to discern a precise path forward with real clarity.

But we know our heavenly Father to be the father of the fatherless. We know His compassions never fail. We know that He lets the children come to Him. And we know that his signals are never mixed.

So we rest.

 

In Limbo February 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 11:50 pm

It’s a strange thing to be walking through our normal(I should always put that word in quotes) daily routine while knowing that in the next instant we may experience a massive life transition. That we may have a newborn son without warning(or contractions). That the next phone call is called “parenthood.”

We don’t know exactly what emotions to feel right now, but we are praying against anxiety and the need to know everything about how this baby and his mother are doing. Our Father is both kind and powerful, and we entrust ourselves, the birth mother, and the baby to Him over these next few hours and days.

The baby was born on Wednesday evening, not Thursday as had been planned. As far we know, he is generally healthy, but he has had to live his first day or two in the NICU. He’s still in the hospital. That’s all we’re allowed to know right now.

His mother has now been discharged from the hospital, and she is now free to sign her son off to an adoptive family, as it has been 48 hours since the birth. But she hasn’t decided yet. Our adoption consultant said that she really liked our profile and is leaning our way, and that she is adamant about placing her child with a family, but she hasn’t pulled the trigger. We can’t imagine how hard the decision to put your child in another family’s hands is, but we are praying that the decision would come quickly for the sake of the baby. Our joy would be a by-product of that answered prayer.

So we are simply waiting, hoping, and praying. And thanking. So many have expressed your support through words of encouragement, prayers, and financial gifts. What a support system the Lord has blessed us with! We don’t know how much money has come in to help fund the adoption, but we are hopeful that this last-second fundraising effort has been/will be  sufficient for the adoption of a newborn son!

Monday is the deadline the birth mother has been given before our consulting firm starts presenting our profile to other mothers. So it’s anytime between now and then. Like any minute.

If you’re inclined to give, we can keep raising funds until the day of placement.

We’ll keep posting to keep you posted!

Much love and gratitude,

Matt and Lisa

 

Adoption Accelerated! February 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 2:40 pm

This may be news to some, but we have been walking through the adoption process for over a year. From the beginning of our marriage, Lisa and I have strongly leaned toward adoption as we have been confronted with both the overwhelming needs of orphans and God’s adopting heart for His needy children.

We completed a home study for an Ethiopian adoption a few months ago, only to see orphanages in Ethiopia shut down en masse and the wait time for an Ethiopian child double, triple, and move into the realm of “indefinite.” After some emotional consideration and prayer, we decided to move from adopting a 1- or 2-year-old boy from Ethiopia to adopting a newborn African-American boy. We knew the need for parents of African-American children, esp. boys, was off the charts. So as of fall 2012, we were staying on the trail but shifting trajectory.

We went “active” last week, and we expected that we would be waiting for weeks or months to find a prospective mother who wanted us to adopt her child. We assumed that she would be about 32-34 weeks pregnant, so we would have another 6 weeks or so to prepare and raise funds. We didn’t factor in the Lord’s warp speed acceleration. Just like that, weeks and months have turned into hours and days.

We got a call from our adoption consultant two nights ago(2/4) saying that they were thinking about presenting our profile book to an African-American mother in Florida. This was exciting news! Maybe she would like us and commit! Maybe we could be placed with a child in a month or two! We then came to find out that she was being induced on Thursday, and that if she picked us, we would be flying down there to be placed with our child on Saturday. That made things a little more interesting. We also discovered that the birth mother would be seeing maybe one or two other profile books. Whoa. “Overwhelmed” quickly mixed itself in with “excited” in our emotional soup.

So the summary is that if she chooses us(better than 50% chance), we will be flying down to Florida on Saturday and will be parents of a baby boy this weekend!

This process is quite a bit more abrupt than the normal gestation period, where you can synchronize your emotional preparation with the gradual growth of a belly. It also requires quite a bit more funding.

We were allowed to start raising support last week, when we went active. We just figured we would have at least a month for that process. Now we have to have all our financial gifts in to the MICAH Fund by the day of placement(that’s Saturday, if you missed it).

We’re trying to raise a good chunk of the adoption cost–about $10,000-$15,000– as fast as we can(obviously), so if you are inclined to give, you can go to  http://micahfund.org by Friday. Please be sure to designate your gift to Matt and Lisa Reagan’s adoption in the comments section.

Prayer Requests:

1) Please pray for our wisdom in this process.

2) Please pray for the health and emotional state of the birth mother. We want to minister to her with deep compassion.

3) Please pray for the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of the baby, both now and in 15 years.

Thanks for walking alongside us in this!

Matt and Lisa

 

Florida April 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 1:29 am

Well, we got to go to Florida a couple weeks ago. Last year was the first time that we went. My parents actually rented a place in Naples for the month of March and we were able to join them for a week. Last winter we had such a terrible winter that I was basically crawling onto the plane, begging for the smell of life (green trees/ plants) and anticipating the warmth of the sun on our skin. I left saying that we would be back next year…and we were. However, this year it was not nearly the winter we had last year. I was not as desperate but it sure was amazing once again. Not only to enjoy some warm weather, but to be able to spend some quality time just my husband. Here are some pictures from our trip.

 

Thanks Mom and Dad! Such a great, relaxing trip.

 

 

Adoption January 28, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — thereagans @ 2:43 am

I have been holding off blogging about adoption (and apparently everything else too…whoops) because it seems like such a loaded thing to talk about. I really wanted to process through some of my thoughts and have an organized, put together blog about why we have wanted to adopt. Unfortunately, I have not had time, I have not made time to really journal through some of our thoughts… so this will have to do.

Matt and I both have been really excited to adopt a child since we got married. We have been around families, a lot at Bethlehem, who have set adoption out as a priority. I think everybody should consider adoption. I DO NOT believe everybody SHOULD adopt, just that they should consider it. The reason…

As Christians we have been adopted by God into his family. You read about this adoption over and over in the Bible. One of the places that describes this adoption is in Galatians 4:3-5. It describes the need for God to send his Son to free us from the elementary principles of the world by adopting us and receiving us into his family as sons and daughters.

This is the story of the Bible. Us receiving everything that we don’t deserve through Jesus Christ, through our own adoption. We were helpless and unworthy and God, through Jesus, took us into his family and gave us all that we could imagine.

We desire that our family would be a small picture of what a beautiful thing adoption is. Hopefully our children will grow up with an amazingly real picture of what adoption looks like, not only for our adopted children, but for our biological children as well!

So, with just a few thoughts out there for you I wanted to ask you to join us in praying for a little baby from Ethiopia.

We started our paperwork in September of 2011. We have our first home study meeting in February. We are hoping to be done with all the paper work and be in “waiting” status before we have to leave for the summer. On average, they say the wait is around 9-12 months from the time our paper work is sent over seas. Obviously it could be way longer than that as well. We know that there will be many hard things about adopting as well as many joys. We will be trusting God with all of this!

Pray for our hearts that we would be patient and trust that God is completely sovereign over every small and big detail. I know that whenever God wants us to have a baby, we will have one. He is powerful and will do as he pleases.

Anybody who has any connections with people who have adopted from Ethiopia would be helpful to have. We would love to get together with some families.

I will try to keep you updated along the way. Thanks for praying.

Here are a few picture highlights from our last couple months with our girls…