Sunday, April 7, 2013

Photos of our family of four!

To celebrate Marcus's welcome into our family, talented photographer and adoptive Mama, Alana Rasbach, joined us one morning in March to take documentary style photos of our family and home. We love these pictures! Which is your favourite?
A favorite family photo by Alana Rasbach

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's official: Marcus is one of us!

Marcus officially became a permanent member of our family today! We are overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness!

His adoption was finalized at court in Kansas. We did not travel back for the hearing, but had the privilege of meeting the judge six weeks ago while we were in Wichita. We took this photo to mark the occasion.

Grant, Brooke and Marcus outside the courthouse in Wichita, Feb 2013
What a gift he is to our family!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Donations matched dollar for dollar!

Great news! Donations to our adoption fund are now matched dollar for dollar (up to $1,500) and tax deductible! An organization called Lifesong for Orphans has partnered with us to help Marcus join our family. Read more and find out how to donate at our donation page.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Compilation album for Marcus!

Several wonderful musicians have donated songs for a special "mix-tape" to celebrate Marcus's adoption! The album will be available for download for two months, with "tips" going toward our adoption expenses. Please check it out on Noisetrade!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Medical scare for Marcus

We are even more thankful to have our sweet son, Marcus, after a close call with him on Monday March 4th. He stopped breathing after a feed and turned blue and limp. We were able to resuscitate him before the paramedics arrived (the wonders of CPR!) but it was an awful scare. The ambulance took us to the hospital where Marcus was admitted for observation and testing to rule out infection. He is stable and doing well - we are so thankful! We hope to be discharged on Thursday. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Update - March 7th: Marcus was discharged from the hospital today with no concern about infection!

Update - March 11th: An Ear, Nose and Throat specialist determined that Marcus has a throat defect that caused him to stop breathing. Laryngomalacia is an excess of tissue in the throat that makes it difficult to breathe after swallowing. Marcus has a "moderate" case that he will most likely grow out of, but he is back on the monitor 24/7 so that we can be alerted when he stops breathing. We now have several apnea episodes per day, during and after feeds. The monitor tells us to remind Marcus to breathe, well before he turns blue. Marcus is keeping us on our toes but doing great. Please continue to pray for complete healing!

Update - May 6th: No more apnea! Marcus has been apnea free for a few weeks and is now officially off the apnea monitor! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The adoption story of Marcus James

This is the story about how we went from “waiting to adopt” to holding our baby boy, Marcus, in less than 48 hours! 

We have been in the adoption process for a little over a year. Initially, we hoped for a fast placement, but most importantly prayed that God would lead us to the child who was meant to join our family. At the beginning of February we added to our “team” of adoption professionals Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC) who mentioned a need for families willing to adopt African American children. With a burden to adopt a child of any race or gender we signed on, hoping that we might soon be chosen as an adoptive family.

On Monday February 11th, things took quite an exciting turn. FAC called to tell us of TWO adoption situations, asking if we would like our profile considered! One was for two children in Florida and the other was a one month old baby boy in Kansas, named Marcus, due be discharged from hospital the next day. After prayerfully considering we said “yes” to both and got very little sleep that night as we waited for the birth parents to choose families for their little ones. The next day we were called at 3 pm to say that the birth mom in Kansas had chosen us and that we should make our way to him! We arranged for our 5 year son, Max, to be cared for and rushed to pack our bags! We left home without a single baby outfit!

Twelve hours of driving, one snowstorm and a few hours sleep later we arrived at the adoption agency in Wichita. We had expected to begin adoption paperwork but we were surprised to learn that Marcus’s birth mother was there and willing to meet us! Surprised, exhausted and emotional, we stepped into a room to meet the woman who was giving us an unimaginable gift. We embraced her and wept! She shared with us her story, her situation and why she had chosen us to be Marcus’s family. We are so thankful for that special time with her, which truly prepared us to meet our son. Marcus arrived while we were sitting with his birth mother who saw us hold him for the first time

Marcus is a beautiful, part African American baby who was born 7 weeks premature. 
He had a rough first month of life. Typical for preemie babies, he was born with open heart valves, a small brain hemorrhage and a tendency to forget to breathe (apnea), all healing as his body approaches his due date. He came to us with a heart & respiratory monitor which alerts us when he needs to be reminded to fill his lungs. At first this was a little intimidating, but we now see why Marcus’s birth mom carefully chose a family who had the experience of caring for a newborn, while still having the time to pay close attention to his needs. The prognosis is good! He should be off the monitor in a few weeks and doctors believe that he will develop normally once his body has caught up on missed time in the womb.

We filed adoption papers on Valentine’s Day - the same date that Marcus was scheduled to be induced had he not been premature. Instead, it was the day he joined our family! The name “Marcus” was given to him by his birth mom. Although we could have changed it we wanted to honor her love and decided it really suited him and his story, as one who fought for his first month of life. We gave him the middle name James, after the book of the bible that inspires us to “care for orphans and widows”.
We spent 8 days in Kansas, surrounded by people who cared for us and Marcus beautifully. We also met with Marcus's birth family twice more and agreed to keep the communication doors open. After we got clearance to leave the state we met with the judge who will finalize Marcus’s adoption on March 28th! A snowstorm had already descended on Wichita and we escaped via icy roads just before the city received over a foot of snow! Now, home in Nashville TN, we are reunited with Max who is a proud big brother!

Our financial needs are still enormous. We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of our friends and family. Please consider sharing our blog link and perhaps donating to our adoption fund. We’ve been surprised by how many donations have been from people we’ve never met - you just never know who has a heart for adoption!

As one of our Social Workers said: Adoption makes beauty out of ashes!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Introducing... Marcus James N!
Born January 14th, 2013 at 5 lbs. Joined our family February 14th - an amazing Valentine's day gift!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We're going to get our baby!!

Friends, it's all on! We've been chosen to adopt a one month old baby boy in Kansas!

Please share our story. We need to raise funds urgently - adoption fees will be over $20,000 so it will take a village to bring our little boy home and give him a forever family!
Donate to our adoption fund

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A new plan "A"!

Our family is: Grant from Australia, Brooke from New Zealand and five-year-old Max, born in the USA! 

For a long time we have hoped and prayed that our family would grow. Now those hopes and prayers are close to being realized - not in the way we first imagined, but in a way that is beautiful, mysterious and much needed. Adoption was initially our "back up plan". However, in the midst of years of fertility struggles we began to think, read and pray... and watch friends around us welcome children into their families via adoption. Our hearts began to ache for birth-mothers in crisis who bravely choose a life for their baby and for the "orphans" who need families. When we realized that adoption was well and truly in our hearts we dropped our old Plan "A" and took on a new one: Adoption. After all, we believe in a God of redemption and grace and new Plan "A"s. Feeling certain in our spirits and undaunted by the seemingly impossible financial hurdles, we have begun the journey to adopt a baby from within the United States.

We hope you will join us on our domestic adoption journey. Please pray for us, share our blog with others and consider helping financially. The needs are great. We appreciate your support from the bottom of our Aussie, Kiwi and Tennessee hearts! Thank you all.

Grant, Brooke and Max 
Donate to our adoption fund