Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Last Post

Well, we are no longer a family of four, so we're switching up the ol' blog.  If you don't want to miss out on these cheesy grins...

hop on over to the new blog, Team Chase: 5 and Counting {our blessings} and follow us as our journey continues!

Special thanks to my friend Lisa for our cool new blog name and my friend Amanda for my cool new blog design!

Friday, July 27, 2012


One month ago today, we had our official "gotcha" day.  We went to the House of Hope at around 9:00 a.m. and immediately saw our little boy.  When he saw us, there seemed to be no recognition from three months prior.  He was terrified, timid, and sad.  

Today, our son is doing so amazingly well!!  He is happy, fun, and is attaching to us so well.  He is extremely comfortable with the four of us and looks to us to meet his needs and for comfort.  He has a big personality, so it is easy to tell when he is overwhelmed and it's been so fulfilling to learn and understand his cues.

We are amazed that he is doing as well as he is and that this has been such a smooth transition.  We are so thankful to God that we got to do this...growing our family through adoption has been a gigantic blessing, bigger than we would ever have imagined. 

Thank you so much for your continued prayers...we are feeling the love today!! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You Like?

So, here's a random request for you...

My dad entered a photo contest with this BEAUTIFUL picture that he took and he is in the TOP TWENTY!

Actually, he is currently in second place and the contest ends in just TWO days {July 23rd}!!  Would you do me a favor and vote on his picture {and maybe even share it?!}? 

All you have to do is click here and "like" the picture.  Just make sure you are signed in to your facebook page before you click.

I would LOVE to see him win a week vacation at this beautiful resort, wouldn't you?!

Thanks, friends!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

An Instagram Kinda Life

Since bringing our little man home, my life is a little more "Instagram" and a little less blog! ;)
 It's not that I have nothing to say.  I really do...

Like just how great our little man is adjusting.

And how each day is a confirmation of the fact that he was meant for our family.

How Camden and Melia are SO Bek's brother and sister...they have taken on the roles like little champs.

How full this mama's heart is feeling.

And how blessed we have been through our supportive community since being home.

Like how Bek LOVES kisses and high-fives and playing with legos and musical instruments.

And what a great sleeper and eater he is.

And how he loves swimming.

How he is a total charmer and smiles and blows his daddy kisses when he is getting into trouble.

And how much we love him and how he is worth every second that we waited.

I'd love to go into detail about all of these things, but, for now, just saying it will have to be sufficient.  Because, there is a crazy 15 month old toddler running around my house getting into everything and making a mess of everything and I don't want to miss a second of it! ;)

P.S. For more extreme cuteness, follow me on Instagram...my username is jnchase311. :)

P.P.S.  I'm revamping our blog {since there are 5 of us now} during naptimes.  Stay tuned for big changes and for the recap of our second trip to Ethiopia!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

God's Perfect Timing


The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8


As my sweet baby boy naps in his tiny bed in the next room, my heart is overflowing and I'm feeling so full and contemplative.  I knew this time would come...the point when I could look back over our journey and have some of our "whys" answered.  There were times in the last two and a half years where the waiting {and waiting, and waiting} was so daunting, so heavy, that I truly felt like I had lost myself.  Certainly, though all of it, though, I was comforted and carried by my Savior in a way that I had never realized I had needed before.

In the last two weeks since we picked up our son from the House of Hope, there have been several "ah-ha!" moments for me...where I have realized how God's timing made perfect sense.  I just want to share those epiphanies here.  Maybe this post is just for me...so that I can look back on this time and remember how faithful Christ was to our family.  Or, maybe it will be an encouragement to you, whether you are in the process of waiting or just having a hard time seeing meaning in something you're going through.  Either way, may I never forget...

It was February 2nd of 2010.  We had felt the call to adopt three months earlier and, after research and praying, we were placed on a waiting list to apply to adopt through a ministry called His Hands Taiwan.  It felt right at this time and I began to envision our little Taiwanese babies and to connect with other adoptive families who had been blessed through this ministry.

It wasn't too long after that when we began to feel that maybe our child was not in Taiwan after all.  We were ready to be parents again, but HHT seemed like it was out of our reach.  After being on the waiting list to be able to apply for {what felt like a VERY LONG} four months, we began to explore other options.  We reached out to others who had adopted from other countries, though in the back of my mind, I was not ready to give up my dream of a Taiwanese adoption. 

Then, July hit and there was this strange sense of urgency to change.  God began to clear my mind of the Taiwan dream and through a series of events, He led us to Ethiopia.  Once we were introduced to Ethiopian culture and spent a morning with a few children that had been adopted from our son's birthcountry, it took less than 24 hours for us to realize that we would adopt from Ethiopia.  I was still unsure why we needed to move on from Taiwan, but the peace I felt about switching countries was truly from Christ {my own stubbornness would not have allowed for it otherwise!}.  What I know now is that our sweet baby boy was conceived in July of 2010...the same month that we switched countries and applied to the very agency that he would be adopted from almost two years later.

After we applied to CHI on July 31, 2010, the real work began.  Our dossier workbook stated that it would take 3-6 months to complete the compilation of authenticated paperwork known as the dossier and, in my type A personality, I only saw the "3".  I had it in my {thick} head that we would be placed on our agency's waiting list by Halloween of that year.  However, since the home study and fingerprinting process took longer than I calculated, we were not officially placed on the wait list until December 23rd.  What I know now is that, had we been placed on the wait list back in October, another little one would have been referred to us...our sweet baby had not even been born yet.

Once on the waiting list, there were a couple of referrals and one was a young sibling set.  At that time, my heart was set on a sibling set and these kiddos were just slightly out of our age preference {we were only allowed to adopt kids who were at least one year younger than our youngest child}.  My heart longed for our little Ethiopian siblings and I dreamed what it would be like when we received our referral for our kids and brought them home.

Shortly after that, the first lull in referrals came and we began to wonder if we would EVER make it out of the forties (there had been only five referrals in the time we'd been on the waiting list).  We felt this nudge toward changing our preference to include one child as opposed to waiting for two.  Through our yahoo group, a little blog-stalking, and a "hint" from our adoption consultant, it had become pretty clear that people requesting young siblings made up the first six or so on our waiting list and that they had been there a LONG time.  When I mentioned to our adoption consultant that we were leaning toward changing our preference to include one child, she warned us that we needed to be sure that was what we wanted.  Once we changed our preference, it was a pretty safe bet that we would receive a referral of a single child...especially since our preference included either gender up to three years old.  So, we prayed about it and felt this complete peace about changing our preference. 

And, then, we braced ourselves.  One of the referrals earlier in the year had been for a two year old boy and the family had only waited four weeks.  We just knew our toddler referral was right around the corner.  What I know now is that, had a toddler been available, we would have gotten our referral and we would have missed out on waiting for our little guy.

After our preference change, the lull in referrals lifted and late March/early April brought what seemed like referral after referral.  We went from #42 on the list to #25 by the end of April, yet we did not get our referral.  I really questioned then...why wasn't our agency giving toddler referrals?   I felt this ache in my heart.  I was so happy for the families receiving referrals, but really began to wonder why my heart was so heavy.  What I know now is that our baby boy was born right in the midst of this rash of referrals.  My heart was heavy because, on the other side of the planet, Bek's birthmother was giving birth to our son.

So, we continued to wait as we entered into the summer and into another lull in referrals.  There were a couple of referrals here and there, and we spent most of the summer at number 16.  In July, we received an E-mail about a little girl who was ready to be referred.  This E-mail went out to everyone who had a little girl of her age within their preference.  This was not typical practice for our agency, and we strongly considered putting our names in to be considered as her parents.  We had three days to decide and it took us two...two days of longing and praying and crying out to God...two days of agonizing over why He was saying "no".  Honestly, there was no reason for us not to ask for her referral, except that we were not meant to be her parents.  When we found out that her family was #17, we were filled with emotion.  What I know now is that God spoke clearly to us because we wanted to say yes, but the baby that was meant to be our son was sitting in an orphanage waiting for us.  {What I also know is that sweet baby girl is in an amazing family that is perfect for her...we're looking so forward to the day when we can meet them in person!}

Summer turned to Fall and we continued to wait...sometimes patiently and sometimes impatiently.  And then, finally, Halloween came and, along with it, came another referral and a new number.  An anxious anticipation overtook my long-lived frustration as a little girl was matched with her family, but it wasn't until one week later when a little boy was referred to a family right above us and I realized that WE WERE NEXT for a little boy.  It was a long seven days of barely breathing until we received the call that changed the course of our family forever.  There was a little boy in Ethiopia named Bahire and he was our son.  Our long wait was over {or so we thought}.  What I know now is that our baby was not paperwork ready, but somehow, God allowed for us to receive our referral since it was our "turn" on the list for a boy and B was supposed to be our son.

The next few weeks turned into months and our expectations were left unmet over and over as we waited for a court date.  What we were told would take 6-8 weeks actually took 15 weeks and we were left with many questions.  Why was this taking so long?  Why were some cases soaring through while others {like ours} seemed to be crawling along?  We finally received our court date and traveled just under five months after receiving our referral.  What I know now is that there was a hitch in our case that needed to be fixed before we traveled and that God was lining us up with a group of three other families that would be such a huge blessing to us!   What I also know is that being with these families gave me a glimpse into how much God perfectly orchestrates this process so that each baby/kid is matched with the PERFECT family for him/her.

At court, we were the only family of the group of four that did not pass.  Our paperwork was not ready and we ended up waiting an additional five weeks to pass court.  In the meantime, we found out about a complication with our case that delayed our court decree.  Then, we were told that our agency was ready to submit us to Embassy, but when they went, they were denied submission because they needed an additional document regarding the complication of our case.  We were SO upset!  We had no idea how long this would take and began to question why God didn't want Bek to come home during the summer, when we actually had time to bond with him.  What I know now is that we were submitted one week later, which allowed us the time to enjoy one last vacation as a family of four.  This week was filled with time to pour into our older kiddos and was priceless!

Today, our baby boy is HOME and is doing so great!  After all of the frustrations and anticipation and anguish, our little man, the one we dreamt about and prayed for and shed tears over and longed for is here in our family forever.  And we are forever grateful...grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than we ever imagined and grateful that God has placed the perfect child in our family.  What I know now is that this process has allowed us to not only gain a son, but a depth of gratitude and fullness of our Savior that we may never have known otherwise.  It has awakened a thirst within me to be faithful to His call, wherever that may lead...


I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1


Thursday, July 5, 2012

15 Months Old

Baby Bek is 15 months old today! 

Some things about Bek at 15 months old:


He's a great kiddo with a super fun personality!

He LOVES to eat.

He's an excellent sleeper {10 hours a night plus a 2-2.5 hour nap daily}

 He loves his brother and sister {and they are smitten with him, too!}

He has quickly and firmly attached to his mommy and daddy.

He's an excellent traveler!

He's super playful.

He's ticklish.

He LOVES bath and lotion time!

He's SUPER CUTE and right where he belongs.

Since Bek didn't get to blow out a candle or eat any cake on his birthday, we celebrated tonight with an ice cream cake, complete with a candle and the Happy Birthday song!

We are so so blessed with this little guy...and SO thankful to God for allowing us to have him in our family!

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