Friends, family, and community we have some very exciting news to share. We are ADOPTING. This is something that has been on our hearts for a long time, and the occasion has come to scream it from the rooftops (or computer screens.) We wanted to share this with you all today, Valentine’s Day, because only TWO years ago today we announced our pregnancy with Louis. Today, Gaby’s belly is not growing, but our hearts are filling everyday for this child.
We recently told someone that we were planning to adopt, and they told us that we seemed to be the type of people that would adopt. We really took that comment to heart; we are the adopting type. We know adoption is not for everyone, but everyone is called to help those in need in some way.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Maybe you are the adopting type too! We hope that as you sit down for your Valentine’s Dinner at the Outback Steakhouse you and your honey will talk about adoption or foster care for the first or tenth time. Maybe tonight is a springboard for how your family can take part in caring for someone in need.
Adoption was placed on both of our hearts before we were married. In 2008 we both went on the same mission trip to work in a children’s home in Guatemala. Isn’t that amazing? We were just friends back then but we were able to work together with a team from our college to aid children in need. The Lord was so good to allow us to share that experience. Once we were married and started dreaming of what a family would look like for us, we thought we would have two biological children, and then adopt. Little did we know the plans that were in store for us.
If you are new to this blog and our family, we encourage you to scroll back to the beginning. It is written for all of digital eternity, our story of hope and grace. In early 2015 Gaby was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia while pregnant with Louis. She started chemotherapy treatments at 16 weeks pregnant in order to save her life. No one could tell us if the chemo would affect Louis, but we had to believe he would be shielded from all negative effects. The only way we found out about the cancer was from routine pregnancy blood work. It is undeniable that Louis is a true miracle and saved Gaby’s life. As far as we know and as we continue to trust, Louis is a perfect 18-month-old toddler. Gaby is in remission, with her two-year remission-anniversary coming up on April 7th.
All that to say, adoption has always been a part of our plan, however we are trusting that this is the right time to start [what could be] a very long journey. We know many of you have questions, and through the coming months we hope to answer them all. We do not know the status of our fertility, but we know the capacity of our family. We have the room in our home and heart to love and care for another precious child.
Gaby’s doctors have encouraged us to wait at least five years to try to conceive again. It could be unsafe for her body to go through all that pregnancy entails after having so much chemotherapy treatment. We always tell them, and now we are telling you, we do not want to try again. When Louis was born, one of the first things Gaby thought was, “I do not ever want to do that again.” And, she hasn’t changed her mind. That pregnancy was one of the most difficult things imaginable; it ended with our beautiful son and we are forever thankful. However, we are steadfast in our belief that we will continue to build our family through adoption.
We believe there is a woman out there who will carry our baby. She will be brave and strong. She will choose to be life giving to Louis’ little brother or sister. We pray for her daily, and for the possibility of meeting, knowing, and loving her. The Lord knows her name.
Adoption is anything but easy. The paperwork seems endless. The waiting period will seem to take a lifetime. But, we have already been on such a journey we know we have the stamina and determination to do this. We have been prepared for this moment, for such a time as this.
We would like to ask you to join us in prayer. Pray for our family as we navigate the adoption world. Pray for our hearts, as we grow through this process. Pray for our future baby’s birth parents. They already have a special place in our hearts and we cannot wait to see what the Lord has planned. We know He has a work to do in all of us.
We are pursuing a domestic adoption through Bethany Christian Services . It is a national agency that we have known several families to use. They have a local office here in Knoxville and we have already had a wonderful experience with them.
Currently we are in the paperwork stage, some call it being paper pregnant. We hope to be finished with all the paperwork and home studies by the end of April. And we pray to be an official “waiting family” in May. That would mean that we could be bringing home a baby in May. We understand that the average wait time is a year, so we could be waiting until 2018 to be placed with a baby.
We covet your prayers and encouragement (again) so this blog is going to be brought back to life in a big way. We plan on writing about this experience as we learn and grow; keeping you all updated as we move through the process. Navigating adoption as a cancer survivor has its own unique challenges, and we are going to be transparent as possible.
The cost of adoption through Bethany is about $24,000. We are saving as much as we can, but we also have lots of ideas for fundraising. Significant amounts of money are due at two different times. Once, at the end of the home study process and then again at the time of being placed with our baby. The first big payment of $9,000 will be due in April. We have created a You Caring account to have a place where people can give, as they feel led. We are asking that you prayerfully consider supporting us with the monetary portion of this adoption. Our goal is to raise $20,000. That is the number the Lord has put on our hearts, and we believe it can be done.
Happy Valentine’s Day Y'all.
May you feel encouraged as you move through your day.
Know that you are so loved and appreciated.
Grace and Peace,
Gaby, Joseph, and Louis Laurent