So if you know me personally you probably know I am an upstate New Yorker, born and raised. I moved to Florida about 5.5 years ago with a dear friend from college, my girlfriend Ellen.
Ellen and I have grown even closer over time and we have been in continual dialogue over the last 5.5 years about the different important passions of our lives, including our mutual faith in God, my call to care for vulnerable children through helping families adopt, her dating and (to me) quick marriage to her husband (I was the maid of honor), their desire to build their family through biological and adoptive parenting, my return to school to get my masters in social work, my desire to get married one day, and all the struggles that come with having passions!
For Ellen and her husband in particular, they have struggled for some time to grow their family. Not only were they not able to get pregnant, but when they decided to adopt, they had to go through many struggles and hurdles. And then something funny happened. They were finally approved to adopt and matched with a 13 year old young man. And shortly after they found out they were pregnant. And a family that had struggled to have a child for multiple years suddenly had a 13 year old and a baby on the way.
My friend and her husband dealt with other struggles along the way, including with job stability, finances, and the history that a teenager from the foster care system brings with them. Ellen’s pregnancy this past summer was fraught with difficulty as well. It has not been easy. But Ellen, one of the most determined and stubborn people I know, along with the support of her husband, pushed through. I believe we have cried together, prayed together, doubted and hoped together. I was afraid for our friendship at times, for her family, for her son, for her daughter.
But God is so good. And love covers over a multitude of things. And the joy that I felt this last week when my friend and her husband adopted their dear son warmed my heart and infused my week with joy. Things are looking up for my friend and her family- new house, new jobs, good health, good relationships. I am so proud and grateful that things have gone well for this family, and happy to have been a part of it all. God bless you guys!
As many of you know, I worked with an agency contracted by the state of Florida for the last 5 years before starting my new job at Embraced by Grace recently. Challenging and stressful as it was working in the public system at times, it was super rewarding. I learned quickly that God really brought me into this field because I never set out to do it, and it was a perfect fit– and he sustained me through the hard times too :). I’ve had many people tell me they wished their jobs were more rewarding and significant… and while I think God can use anyone anywhere, in any position, to do all kinds of good, I have to say that what I didn’t make in salary I was paid overtime in joy. I made many meaningful relationships with caring staff, beautiful children, and amazing families. I am glad to still be in touch with many of my coworkers and colleagues still, as well as children and families.
Speaking of amazing people who put themselves out there on behalf of children and adoption- for those of you who don’t know the story of Embraced by Grace, or the Picernes, I have found an Orlando Sentinel article to give you a little FYI. Wow! If it doesn’t make you tear up a little, I don’t know what will 🙂 I love that I get to work with the Picernes and in this field in a new way.
A coworker and dear friend of mine is not here today. Her mother passed away over the weekend unexpectedly. This is very sad, but tragically, her father passed away only a little over a year ago.
I have not experienced the death of someone very close to me, and I can’t even imagine what this would feel like. I’m trying to be there for her though I’m not exactly sure how. Can you pray for my friend, if you are a praying person?
Working in adoptions, I see that all life is good and valuable, and that birth AND death are both regular and natural parts of life. But it’s strange that one brings such joy while the other brings such pain. I guess it’s because we understand that life is valuable, and we love to see it and are sad to see it go. As always, I am grateful to work in a field where we celebrate the value of life.
Hi everyone! TGIF! It’s been a good week, actually, and I got to travel a lot to see families in different cities in Florida– and their super adorable babies! It’s wonderful to meet a family who has waited for so long for a child and finally have one placed! As Samuel’s mother Hannah said, in Samuel 1:27, after being childless for so long, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” The name Samuel has a couple meanings, one of which is “God has heard.” Very cool!
This is the web site of the agency I work at: http://www.embracedbygrace.org/ . Check it out if you get a chance, it’s an awesome place. Our founders, the Picernes, have adopted 12 children! Many of the kids were adopted as older children, which is awesome. Today was picture day at work, to add pictures of some of the new staff (like me) to the web site. I’ll add some here if I get a chance in the near future! (Pictures make a good blog)
In the mean time… have a great weekend!
Hi I’m Stacey. I have been called (and am employed) as a social worker… particularly in adoptions. I love working with families most of all and started this blog to keep up with the families I am working with. Adoption is such a blessing to children and families too. I know it is not always done right, and I think it is always a challenge, but is one of the most beautiful things out there that I am committed to helping with.
Although I now work in domestic, private adoptions I got my start working for the state doing mostly older child/foster child/special needs adoptions. I think adoption is beautiful in all its forms, but my heart still melts for successful older child adoptions… and cries for the older children out there who need homes and have learned to believe through their young lives that they are not worthy of being loved. I want to help these children… and also to teach families who have adopted how to best love and parent their adoptive children (of course, I am still learning this as well!) Anyway, that’s enough for now. We’ll see what else I come up with to post for you all 🙂