This last year has been amazing! Joseph has been one of the most perfect humans and I’m sure we still have no idea how much he spoiled us. We love him so much and count every day a blessing to be his parents. We’ve learned so much about ourselves, each other, and the Lord through this time – and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It didn’t take us long to consider growing our family again through adoption. We had several things we wanted to do different and some we knew we liked from the previous process. But we KNEW that adoption was going to be in our family again.
I’ve missed posting so many things about Joey’s first year. Maybe one day I’ll get back to posting. But for now, we want to celebrate what God has done and what’s to come. We will not be hitting the fundraising trail hard like last time. Of course adoption (and any children) cost money, but we are trusting the Lord to provide some of the funds. Our hope is that the ways and things we have chosen to change may save a few dollars here and there. IF you feel led and want to be a part of this story, we would appreciate any donation here.
As for the update, our home study is complete. This will be the best place to catch any news. We appreciate your prayers and freedom to share parts of this journey as we are ready and it makes sense.
There have been so many details and moments of this journey that have just blown us away. They are nearly impossible to explain them or the experience, but they have been huge testimonies of God’s hand and His faithfulness. There are certain things we will keep to ourselves and share with Joseph at the appropriate time. It is HIS story to tell. But there are also special things that we feel we want to share because of the intricate ways that the Lord can work. I am reminded of Psalm 139:13-14
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
It is incredible to think that this is true for Joseph. And that God’s works really are wonderful and that He knows us so well – even in the journey of adoption.
A few days before Joseph was born, we were able to meet with our agency and Joseph’s birth mom. We sat and talked and took turns asking questions and getting to know one another. She had actually just come from a doctor’s appointment and pulled out ultrasound photos that she wanted us to have. She then reached into her purse and pulled out a series of another ultrasound. She went on to say these had been the first ones she had taken and she wanted us to have them. We went through and looked at them. One thing stood out to us, but we sat quietly until later. We had both noticed it, but didn’t say anything until we got in the car.
In case you didn’t know, Mike is a pastor at our church. We have had incredible opportunities to work with a variety of people, groups, and organizations around the city. Our church has had a longterm relationship with a local ministry. We annually raise funds to help with their ministry as a church and Mike and I are always eager to sponsor a friend that participates in one of their biggest fundraisers each year. A few years ago, this ministry raised funds to specifically buy an ultrasound machine. It has been an incredible gift to the people of this city to offer women free ultrasounds as they come in. Well, as we were looking through the images from her first ultrasound, the name of this ministry appeared in the top corner! Our heart was just bursting to see how this ministry has helped so many strangers and this city – but then it was blessing our lives in a huge tangible way!
One day, I started to share some more details with a sweet friend. It didn’t take but a minute or two before she realized that she had heard a similar story before. Joseph’s birth mother had placed another son before and my sweet friend knew him and his adoptive parents. Not only that, but I had actually met the adoptive mother before! She put us in touch with one another and we have continued to stay in contact and have play dates. It’s amazing that Joseph gets to grow up knowing his brother and we get to share this experience together!
The Lord really does know the number of hairs on our head and can knit us (and events) together in some of the wildest and most amazing ways. We will never understand it, but we try to rejoice each day for these details and how they have all come together to give us the most amazing son.
I had all these intentions of keeping track of every moment and step in this process. Documenting it for us and Joseph. Then life happened and I don’t always have time to pee. So after nearly 10 months, here’s the story of his name.
First, let’s go back to his pseudonym. Check out this post about #bringingteddyhome
We had no intention of keeping this name. It was just something for us to call him (or her) until we met. Once we learned he was a boy, we narrowed our list down to two front runners. We discussed our selections with his birth mother and after sleeping on it, we narrowed his first name down to Joseph.
We liked Joseph for a number of reasons. Mike considers Joseph the most influential and admirable character from the Old Testament. We also chose Joseph because we were adopting this boy. There is SO much to learn from Joseph as an adoptive father! Jesus fulfilled prophecies by being born to Mary. There were also prophecies about the Messiah’s earthly father. If Joseph had not adopted Jesus as his own, then these prophecies would not have been fulfilled.
If you know us, you also know we love Italy. Giuseppe is a pretty well known Italian name – and is well known as Joseph in America. We loved that Joseph was also a classic name, but not overly used today.
We then started looking at middle names. We had our other name we thought about using, but we quickly realized we would like to use it in the future if possible. We made a LONG list of middle names and started ruling things out. Several times we tried to cross Theodore off, but we just couldn’t do it. We had other names that were a frontrunner, but only for a second. We just kept coming back to Theodore. We then realized he could still have “Teddy” as a nickname, or JT or Theo – and we just couldn’t pass it up. We loved the way Joseph Theodore sounded together and after almost 24 hours after birth, we had a name.