We've always wanted to adopt.
With my personal history of being raised by parents and with siblings to whom I was not biologically related, and with both Evan's and my strong belief in parenting the parentless as mandated by Scripture, discussions about adoption began when we were dating. However, for a few reasons, we decided back then - six years ago - that our adopted child would be our last one.
We've also always wanted children close in age.
Growing up, my bond with the siblings I had close to my age was so important to me. We were interested in similar activities at the same time, could interact with each other's friends more easily, and felt like friends ourselves. A 3-year-or-less gap was ideal for me growing up, and Evan and I decided that we even wanted our own children to have a smaller gap - around two years.
I've always known I would likely have trouble conceiving.
With my personal health history, I was fairly certain it would be a difficult road for me, and I disclosed as much to Evan just weeks into our dating relationship. Miraculously, we conceived our daughter Edith on our first real "try"! We were of course overjoyed, and we enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy and her babyhood.
Edi will be 3 years old on August 2.
We started trying for a second child in May of 2018, when Edi was 9 months old. We had said an 18-24-month gap between kids was what we wanted. But God has other plans for our family, and here we are, two years later, still with only Edi, who continues to bring us so much joy.
Edi not only likes other children a lot, but she really thrives around them.
Evan and I are both extroverts, so it comes as no surprise to us – or, dare I say, anyone else in our lives – that Edi lives for social interaction. She enjoys it, but more than that, it brings out the best in her. We desperately want her to have a built-in best friend right at home, on a daily basis. We want to see her be the amazing big sister we know she would be.
Evan and I also have a God-given desire for another child.
Coupled with the desire to see Edi as a big sister, we both just truly long for another baby. Neither of us has ever questioned whether or not we would have multiple children; in fact, we both said we wanted four. Edi is, of course, a handful (if you’ve met her, you know), so it turns out that not having our children spaced as closely together as we had at first imagined is probably for the best. But we both feel that now is the time to begin taking the next big steps to adding to our family, since by the time all is said and done, Edi will be closer to 4 years old.
We have decided on Embryo Adoption as the path our family will take.
We always knew we were against IVF because of the ramifications of creating multiple embryos and the possibility of having “leftover” embryos after we got the child(ren) we desired from the process. Plus, having our own genes in the child has never been high on our priority list, hence the early discussions about adoption. When we heard about embryo adoption – where a couple implants leftover embryos from a successful IVF donor family, carries the embryo(s) to full-term pregnancy, delivers them, and raises the child(ren) as their own adopted child(ren) – we were immediately drawn to it. (For more info: https://nightlight.org/snowflakes-embryo-adoption-donation/embryo-adoption/. And if you still have questions, please ask us!) We suspected we were good candidates because I had already carried a successful pregnancy and birthed a healthy baby. We also found out that the cost of embryo adoption is significantly less than infant adoption! And to be able to carry the baby in pregnancy and then deliver and nurse it seemed like a dream come true.
More than all of those things, embryo adoption is giving a tiny, God-given soul – frozen, suspended in time and space – a shot at life that it never would’ve had.
We firmly believe that this area of darkness in the world (leftover embryos) can be redeemed through embryo adoption, and that this is what God is calling us to do.
The cost of embryo adoption through the agency we selected, Nightlight Christian Adoptions, is anywhere from $13,000 - $17,000. We are determined to pay in cash each step of the way, not to go into debt. We know that it is possible with help from God, family, and friends – and a lot of hard work and discipline on our own parts, of course.
Background on us: Evan has his master's of arts in teaching through the University of Georgia and just completed his third year of teaching 9th and 10th grade language arts at a public school in Washington, GA. I got my bachelor's in Spanish and journalism at Berry College in Rome, GA, and I just finished my fifth year of teaching overall, but my first teaching language arts to students of all ages in a weekly homeschool class that I started in Augusta last fall.
We also serve part-time with WinShape Homes as "relief parents" for my foster parents' current foster kids whenever my parents need sitters. These opportunities give us a small taste of caring for nonbiological children and the joy and challenges that come with that. We're ready to delve more into that realm, in a big way.
Thank you for your prayers and support during this exciting next big step for our little family. We wouldn’t be where we are today without so many beloved family members and friends carrying us and covering us!
Proud of you guys!
GUYS. This is so, so exciting!! Congratulations! James and I will be praying for all of you every step of the way. I’m just bubbling inside with happiness for you! God is good, my friends!
We are so excited for your journey and will be sending all the love and prayers!
Love you guys! ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you for sharing your story and for being so brave! Prayers for you and your family on this journey!
We are so excited for the three of you!
I’m so excited for you guys to take this next step in your family and I wish you all the best in this journey!
We are seriously so proud of you guys! We are here for y'all and praying that every step of the process will bring you closer to one another and the Lord whether difficult or easy. We can't wait to see how he grows your beautiful family!
All of my love and best wishes.
E,B,E,+, It is a privilege to share in your journey. May every step of the way be a joy-filled experience and a time of wonder. May the Lord richly bless you as you raise your children to love and honor Him.
I love you all so much!
We are so excited for y’all! Prayers for a smooth process...pregnancy, birth and transition to a family of four!
I'm so happy for you two. You are Wonderful parents to Edi and a sibling would light up her life. Good Luck!
I am so happy to be a part of this amazing and happy story!!! Adoption is the best thing that ever happened to me. I know it will be for y’all as well. What a lucky baby this little one will be. All our love and prayers. Elizabeth
Love you all! 💕
So proud of your family and pray God blesses you as it grows!
The Nichols family loves you and is praying for you!
Thank you for sharing this precious and deeply personal journey with us! We love you guys so much!
Andrew and Allison Mullins
We're excited to see where the Lord takes you with this! In our prayers!
We love you guys and will continue to pray for what God had in store for your family!