The phone call we had been waiting for.

(I love this blog, it tells a very happy story but it also tells a pretty raw one as well.)

Tomorrow is a year since we found out we were matched! June 21st, 2017 we got the call we had been waiting and praying for. That day a year ago and the days leading up to it are still so crystal clear in my mind. The days leading up the this call the call about being matched with our babies, beautiful birth mom, God had been really working on my heart. The days leading up to that call were probably some of the most broken days of my life. But God molded and used those broken days for beautiful life lessons and to prepare my heart for what was to be ahead of us in the next few weeks.

June 8th 2017, we got a profile notification, it was about an expecting mom and a little baby boy due July 24, 2017. I read it and Dan and I told our adoption agency to go ahead and show this mom our book. For all the other profile showings we had gotten a “NO” in a week or a little less. The days stretched on and on and still no word about who this expectant mom was going to pick. We were right at being a waiting family for 6 months and man I was getting anxious. (I know we didn’t wait that long and I am so thankful for that! I feel for you sweet families who wait years, but I also know God’s timing is perfect and you are in this waiting season for a reason and when you look down at your beautiful baby, that wait wont matter one bit anymore and you will understand it all!) This whole season of waiting, God was really working on me to let go of the reins and just give it to him! To, LET GO AND LET GOD! On the 16th of June 2017 we received an urgent profile notification. A little girl 2 weeks old, that for certain reasons we knew would be placed in our area. As you all recall we were waiting to adopt with our friends at the very same agency!  This notification with this little girl who was already born felt so much more real, she was already here, it was so different from the rest of the notifications we had gotten. We said yes to this one, as did our friends. Now we knew one of us would get placed first, we never really spoke of it but we knew and we also knew even though we would be over the moon for our friends it also may hurt. Just like it does  when you want a baby so bad and see pregnancy notification, when you go to baby shower after baby shower and everyone asks when you will have a little one, when you get awful news at the doctor about fertility stuff and that same weekend someone in your family announces they are pregnant. Its a weird feeling an awful feeling, you are so happy for your family and friends but it cuts you deep down inside, it stings and burns. Since sweet little girl was already born we new it would be a fast turn around for the answer. So we waited, that Saturday morning I woke up still anxious about sweet little girl, I  also knew we hadn’t gotten an answer yet from the baby due in July. That day God very clearly told me over and over, ” that sweet little girl, she is your friends baby.” Sure enough that evening I got a call from my dear friend. “Karla, hi, well I just really wanted you to find out from me first, we matched with that sweet little girl, we are having our match meeting tomorrow with her birth mom.” Oh I was so over the moon excited, but that feeling deep down inside also ripped through me like a knife! The joy I felt for my friends was so intense and amazing but my heart also sunk to the bottom on my toes and I cried big ugly tears. I was so confused and ashamed that I would feel this way, I knew God already had my child hand picked but the tears just kept rolling down my face. I felt weak and so defeated. I felt so alone…. I wanted to love and hug and cheer on my friends (which I did) but the sadness of my heart was overwhelming. My friends had their match meeting and then brought home their baby girl the following day! Let me tell you that baby girl is theirs through and through, God made her just for them and I love watching them all together! That Monday and Tuesday I  tried to drag myself out of my hole. I ran to God in ways I didn’t know I could, I was literally on my knees praying to him to help me get through this wait and to forgive me for my tears, heartache and not trusting him.

Wednesday June 21, 2017     I had to work that day and went in still pretty down. During my lunch I sat down and started eating, God very clearly spoke to me and said, open that profile notification from June 8th read it and pray. So that is what I did, my whole lunch hour I read it over and over and prayed for the expectant mom and this baby boy. Then I got up and went back to work and finished the day not thinking much more about it. I got off early that night and drove home. I was pretty grumpy when I walked in the door. When I got home I had a text message from my mom so I started reading it, as I did Dan walked up to me arms open wide and this big old goofy smile. Me being grumpy said “hold on let me finish this text to my mom, why are you being so weird?” I finished it and gave him a hug as I did I asked him again, “why in the world are you so happy?” He responded, ” I got a call today and we have to make a call back to this person.” I looked at him kind of like he was crazy, He said something like “Our case worker called and we have to call her back!” At that point things started to form in my mind and I started screaming “NO, NO, NO, NO WE DON’T!” and he said something like “YES WE ARE MATCHED!!!” at this point I started crying and laughing and fell onto my kitchen floor and cried and laughed. I then cried that I needed to call my mom and then called her screaming and crying and laughing, my poor mom on the other end telling me to calm down and use my words. So long story short we called our case worked learned more about this brave mom and set a date to meet with her! We wouldn’t meet for a whole week, a whole week! That was the longest week of my life! I will write more about the match meeting next week.

That day June 21st 2017 will forever be imprinted on my mind. The 5 days before will also always be imprinted in my mind. God worked a freaking miracle to have us match 2 days after our friends brought home their baby girl. While I wasn’t the most graceful in those days before our match I know that God used that. He broke me in a way I needed to be broken and then he picked up the pieced and said “I was always here, I have been writing this story to bring you to your baby boy for a long time. I know it was hard but I was always here Karla, all you had to do was let go and trust me”….Just “trust without borders”.


I will keep posting on our adoption story and journey to bring Karsten home for the next couple weeks to celebrate our baby boy, his birth mom and all that God has done to bring us all together! #adoptiontriad


Still in Awe

This week is National Infertility Awareness week. I have seen posts all over my Instagram about people stories and struggles with Infertility. Did you know 1 in 8 couples struggle with Infertility? I have come to find out that unless you are in the midst of it you don’t really see how many people that truly is. I will never forget when we were in the midst of trying to conceive and me going to multiple doctors appointments, going to a church. This church was great and I’m not saying it wasn’t but one of their jokes was how easily God was multiplying the families of this church. I remember sitting in that church as the pastor laughed and joked about all the pregnant women and all the new babies in the church and feeling so small. I felt like I was sinking into my seat farther and farther and my heart was going to burst. I remember shortly after the worship Pastor singing “Oceans” by Hillsong United and just sobbing and sobbing because I didn’t understand why this was happening to me.

I also remember the first time we went to our current church. One of our Pastors was preaching and in front of the whole church brought up his and his wife’s struggle with Infertility. I couldn’t believe a Pastor would stand up in front of a church and openly talk about it. We knew then and there that this would be our church home. That Pastor and his wife are now very good friends of ours and we also both now have children we were so blessed with by adoption. Infertility has grown, stretched and made me a stronger person. I don’t think it led us to adoption because I always knew that was part of God’s plan however,  I do think it led us to adoption sooner than if we didnt experience it. God’s timing with all things is perfect, even Infertility. God’s perfect timing led us to our church, then to our friends, then to talking about starting to pursue adoption, pursuing adoption and then being matched with our beautiful son! Infertility was hard, it just straight up sucked, just keeping it real. But I am also so thankful for it. Thankful for the chance to grow, grow my faith and maybe help others struggling with it along the way. It led me to the greatest gift and honor I will ever receive in my life, my beautiful little boy. It led me to his beautiful birth family a group of people now in my life I couldn’t imagine not being in it. It led me to this beautiful adoption community both online and in my community of people. Friends I will say it again infertility sucks, but all that pain, fear, worry, tears and unknown was worth it. God’s plan was better than anything I could have ever imagined. As I typed that last sentence I couldn’t help but cry. God’s plan, the way God moved mountains, where God has placed me and still is, still shakes me to my core. I still stand in awe of the love and power God has shown me through this process. Friends if you are in the thick of Infertility hold on, turn to God. I know its hard, I know you feel alone but remember you are not alone and when the dust settles (which it will, even if it takes years) God will led you to and through which ever path he chooses for you!



Double Rainbow

How in the world is it already March 3rd? Like seriously time is flying by. These last couple months have been filled with sickness, swim lessons, family, friends, and the best of all on January 19th we finalized Karsten’s adoption! The beginning of January was a big old bummer, I was sick the first three weeks and Karsten also got sick for the first time! Let me tell you being sick and caring for your kiddo is a whole new ball game, seriously I have so much respect for my mom! This was the first I have gotten sick since we brought Karsten home and man it is hard work and mom’s don’t get sick days! HA! Mom, seriously so much respect for all the times you were sick and still had to care for all of us!

January 19th was a great day. We all got dressed up and headed up to a courthouse in Castle Rock. Since we adopted in such a close timeline with our friends they got to finalize on the same day with us and they let us do it with each other in the same courtroom! We had so many people between us that we filled the courtroom and the jury box! The judge said something like, “wow you guys got anyone else out there?” The judge finalized our friends adoption first and then us right after. It was so sweet, it was amazing that after all the hoping, praying, waiting, paperwork, tears, God moving mountains, nervousness and then in just 10 minutes of talking to a judge it was done. Karsten was legally a Baumann forever! After, just our immediate family and our best friends went to our favorite restaurant, which is conventionally in Castle Rock. We ate and celebrated and just enjoyed the afternoon with the ones we love most. So how does it feel to have finalized Karsten’s adoption? Well mostly like it did before, we knew Karsten was forever our son now we just have a piece of paper to prove it! The best part of it was that we are done with visits from our case worker and monthly reports! WOOT WOOT! Although I will say I was also a little sad because I really love our case worker and she had been such a big part of our lives for a year and now we will like never talk to her, so that made me a little sad. But it does feel good. My precious little family is mine forever. Even more amazing is we gained a whole new group of family members; Karsten’s birth family who is also like our family now! That is really one of the most beautiful things about our adoption is how well we all became one big family, I feel so blessed to have them. I also know there are many adoptions where the openness doesn’t flow like it did with us, and that is okay, every single adoption story will be different. That is okay as well, I firmly believe that when you seek God first in adoption he will hand write the adoption story for your family and make it exactly what he wants it to be.

So now we just melt into family life and being with one another. This is the first time since we got married that something hasn’t been going on, whether that be moving, fixing houses, house flooding, pets passing unexpectedly, infertility, adoption paperwork and the wait, then waiting for finalization. It feels good to just BE, just be in the moment and not looking to what is next. Just be present to hear and see where God wants to use us, just be content in the moment. To enjoy the day to day life with Karsten and Dan, enjoy mommy and me swim lessons with Karsten, enjoy our new neighborhood and be available to help my mom who is caring for my almost 100 year old great gram in her home. These are those sweet moments of life that sometimes get taken for granted but I am certain are some of the most special moments of life. This is when I can grow my relationship with God and seek him in the quiet and not in the chaos that life can sometimes become. I’m just going to love and enjoy this season of life with my beautiful little family and listen to where God calls us next.

Life is and will forever be ever changing so I challenge you to find the beauty and find God in whatever season you may be in. To take time to breath in God’s word and breath in his grace and beauty. Even in the hardest seasons God will show you his beauty. I will never forget about three days before we found out we were matched with K, I was broken, probably the most broken I have ever been. I went out to see the horses I owned at the time and my little mini went running around the pasture and there was the most beautiful rainbow. My sister saw the video I took that night and knowing how broken I was reminded me that a rainbow represented God’s promises. Then the night Karsten was born, as we drove down to meet our son for the first time there was the most vivid double rainbow I have ever seen in my life. I got a text from the my sister that night as we drove down with a pictures of those rainbows and she said again, God’s promises… Even if you are in your darkest season of life look around, seek God and he will show his face…

God showed me his love and power. That sums up 2017

Wow, its been a while. These last couple months have been CRAZY! But here we are the last day of 2017 and I knew I had to write a blog about it all. 2017 was by far the most incredible year of my life, God moved in my life in so many different ways. Many ways you all know about and some you don’t but I will share today. To say God grew and stretched me this year would be an understatement. I am so proud of the person God has molded me into today and can’t wait to see how he continues to mold me in 2018. Back to 2017, it all started with an adoption announcement. We had been working on adoption paperwork the end of 2016 but 2017 was the year we told everyone our plans. I remember being so scared in the beginning of our wait to adopt. So many unknowns, so many what if’s, so much waiting to do. What I didn’t know at the time is we would only wait six months and meet our incredible son on July 17th 2017. Oh what a glorious day that was. But in the 6 month wait God used every single second. In the wait I had to give it all to God MULTIPLE times, I had to stop trying to control something I has no control over and “trust without borders.” I had to be broken down to the point of being on my knees crying out to the Lord, to take this whole process and make it his. It’s amazing how many times I had to give the adoption to God and then how many times I tried to take back the reins. I am thankful for a Father who loves us even when we make the same mistake over and over again. In the midst of all of the waiting I also had a Laparoscopy for my Endometriosis. That day was scary and when the doctors didn’t find anything it made me angry. I was thankful don’t get me wrong, but I was also so confused and angry. My mom thinks there was a miracle because of all the people praying for me before and maybe there was. I will say I still have some symptoms but they aren’t as bad as they were before the surgery. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I found out we were matched with our birth-mom K a month after the surgery. That day June 21st is one I will never forget. I was so grumpy that day, but God still had me open up the information on K and pray for her my whole lunch break. That evening getting home and still being so grumpy and Dan telling me the news I fell to our kitchen floor sobbing and laughing is disbelief. I remember calling my mom and trying to tell her but I was crying so hard she couldn’t understand me.Then the following week meeting K for the first time. I was so nervous walking into that restaurant but as soon as K smiled at me I knew without a doubt that she was carrying our son and that we would have a beautiful relationship with K and her family. You see God had this all written out before we even knew we would adopt. God knew that we needed each other. That we would be able to form this new family unit brought together all because of the most amazing little baby boy. Or on the night of Karsten’s birth, the hospital was supposed to have a room for us so we could stay with Karsten. Well long story short the hospital didn’t and at 10 pm at night in a town we really don’t know well we had to leave our new son and get a hotel. I know that was God saying “one more time Karla, trust me, I have gotten you this far I wont fail you now.” I trusted and the peace I felt that night still amazes me. The fact that I slept all night, that my friends was a peace only God could give. The months following Karsten’s birth have been amazing. I love being his mom and I feel so very honored I get to call him my son. I love him in a way I didn’t know possible. Just like I love K and her family in a different way but one I also didn’t know possible. God’s fingerprints have been all over this story and they continue to be.

There has also be some completely unexpected things happen, like the early miscarriage I had in September.  I still feel a little numb when I think about it, but I also feel it’s something to share so other women know they aren’t alone. You are not and yeah it sucks. I knew the moment I was pregnant and I knew the moment when I wasn’t anymore. It was an early one, I am thankful for that but it still changes you. It brought up some old infertility issues I have with myself that I hadn’t thought about in months. It shook my core pretty hard but God was still in the midst of the sadness and bad feelings. He also provided words of encouragement from a sweet friend who I haven’t seen in a long while. My love for my hubby and Karsten grew ever more through this trial and of course my mom (my best friend) was with me in it. Even in the most joyful time of my life being a new mom to Karsten, I found myself down in the depths crying out to God but he was there to pull me back up.

We also came to the decision that we needed to leave our beloved farm and move into Monument. That was a hard one, it started with me not having enough time for my horse and realizing she needed to be with an owner who did have the time. After I crossed that bridge which took me a couple of months, God made it very clear it was time to be a part of our community. I honestly thought when I went to talk to Dan about it all that he was going to laugh at me. But he surprised the heck out of me when he agreed. After that things moved very fast. I mean very fast. We had an offer in a little over three weeks. We then had to move very fast on find a house in Monument, homes in our price range would sell in like 3 days or faster. I had this list in my head of things we wanted and needed in a new home but we were just going to look at everything. Well everything but new homes(more than half of the homes for sale in monument are new builds!). But at about midnight the morning we were going to look at homes I just knew we had to look at this new build in this neighborhood my mom had shown me. Sure enough after looking at 10 houses in a couple of hours the new build was the one for us. The house I thought I would like the least! HA! Since being here I know without a doubt that this is exactly where God wants us to be, to better serve him. How exactly I’m not sure but all I do know is I will go where the Lord calls me, so we are here in Monument so excited to raise our son here and to see what God has planned for us!

Another thing you may not know is before we decided on traditional domestic adoption we considered foster care. We even did a walk through at Hope and Home an awesome foster care facility in Colorado Springs. We knew very quickly the wasn’t going to be the route for us just yet but has been something in the back of our heads for a long while. On the night of Nov, 27th I was in bed doing my devotional and praying. I was praying to God asking him to use me. I felt used almost every day I was at work, I was there to touch people’s lives at the vet clinic whether that be making someone smile or supporting someone through the euthanasia of their pet. But I felt that I wasn’t being used as much since being a stay at home mom.  The next day I got a call from our adoption agency, there was a little girl born in Boulder, her adoptive family had already been picked but there was a paternity issue and a DNA test needed to be done. So they needed a place for this sweet baby girl to live while they waited on the DNA test. The adoptive family lived in Colorado Springs so they wanted some place close to them. Without even asking Dan I said of course (Dan agreed with me once I told him). They told me to hold tight and be ready to drive up to Boulder to get her. I chuckled a little since I has asked God to use me the night before! So we waited, hoping she wouldn’t have to come stay with us but ready and willing if she did. Well the hospital agreed to let sweet baby girl stay until Thursday when the test came back. After learning that I was pretty certain she wouldn’t be coming and went on with packing for the move. Thursday morning I get another call saying the DNA place messed up and she would have to come stay with us for one night. So I packed up the car and drove just under two hours to Boulder to bring this tiny little baby girl home with us for the night. Lets pause and go back about a year to us beginning our adoption process, the adoption agency has online profiles of all the waiting families, so I was going through it and one couple really stood out to me. They had been waiting for a long time and had already had a pretty traumatic situation with adoption, we shall call the K&M. Well after reading K&M’s story I decided I would pray from them, and I had been praying for them for the past year. Fast forward to being to Boulder to bring baby girl home. after talking to the case worker I was told the potential adoptive parents were K&M. WHAT!?!?! I was floored it was the couple I had been praying for, my heart ached for them knowing their story but I could also see how God had put all this together. Well we were only supposed to have baby girl for a night but this DNA place was really awful and kept messing up and she ended up being with us for six days! It was not what any of us wanted for baby girl, we all just wanted her with K&M but I was so thankful to be able to provide a warm and loving home for her in the wait for the DNA test. Well all went as planned and on December 5th little girl got to go home with K&M. It was such a humbling experience to watch them with her when they came to get her, we even did the placement ceremony at our home and the birth parents came down from Boulder. It was so beautiful to watch these two families become one because of this tiny little baby girl. I felt honored to have been able to witness another families adoption story  and even though her stay with the Baumann’s wasn’t a part of the plan I was grateful to be able to serve the Lord this way. This precious little girl will always hold a special place in my heart and I have loved watching her family become one and love her so well! K&M are amazing people and I feel so blessed to have been a part of their story, especially after praying for them for over a year. It all came full circle in the best way possible. Who knows maybe this is just the start of Dan and I becoming foster parents, maybe not, either way I was thankful to be able to serve the Lord!

GOD IS SO GOOD! This year was one for the books, the most amazing, challenging, inspiring, stretching, heart breaking, loving, unbelievable, God filled year. All I know is I was always TRUST WITHOUT BORDERS and where you call me Lord, I WILL GO!

Happy New Year!


Sometimes being an Adult is hard!

There are some life changes you know are coming and some you have felt coming but didn’t know if it was real. We have had so many life changes this year. We have had to make some hard decisions like returning my horse. That though was just the warm up. We love our house and we love our property. When we bought this house three years ago Dan and I were so excited to pick out and purchase our first home together. At the time we weren’t part of a church and were actually taking a break so we didn’t really feel like we had a home base. I could commute back and forth from Monument no problem and Dan was home anyways. It was just the two of us and a 30 minute drive was nothing. These last three years here have been incredible but also in those last three years our lives have really started to center around Monument. We found and became members of a church in Monument, have lots of amazing friends in Monument, my family is there. Monument is our community. When we brought Karsten home is was becoming more and more apparent how much our lives were there. We started thinking about the future, well Karsten’s friends will be there, I want him in the school district there, and probably his activities will be as well. But here we are living almost 30 minutes away, but on the property our dreams are made of… About a week or so after deciding to give Annabelle back to her previous owner, I was making the long drive home and could hear God loud and clear. But I had to sit on what God had told me, this would be a giant change and we have already had so many… Then I had to talk it over with my favorite person to talk life over with; my mom. She agreed with everything I was saying and I decided it was probably time to talk this over with Dan. I was worried to talk to Dan, he knew how much I love our house, and he knew this was my dream. So we sat down and I said, “ Dan, I think we are supposed to move to Monument.” We sat and talked things out for a while and decided moving to Monument was the right thing for our family. I know, we are as shocked as you, but there are different seasons of life and this adventure (probably the most amazing one) of being a family of three and raising a son will be better suited in Monument, Colorado. So here we go on our next adventure selling out beloved house and finding a new one, the one we will raise our family in. It is one of the most bitter-sweet decisions I have ever made! I have cried while cleaning out my barn and I cried when they put the sign in the front yard today. But I am also so excited, excited to become more involved in our church activities, being closer to both mine and Dan’s families, watching Karsten grow and play with friends. Some of the best change in life is hard and boy this is, trying to find a home for Pearl, my ducks and goose and knowing more than likely my chickens. (Hoping to move somewhere we can have a couple of backyard chickens.) But, in the end the most important things is my family is living in a place we can grow and living in a place I can best serve the Lord. Right now that isn’t 5 acres in beautiful Black Forest, Colorado. Who knows maybe one day I will live out here again and gets horses, or perhaps maybe not. All I know is I will listen to the Lord and go where we need to go. Because home isn’t were horses, ducks and chickens are, home is where I walk through the door and see Dan and Karsten smiling back at me! So ready or not Monument, THE BAUMANN’S ARE COMING TO TOWN!!!


When I got Annabelle for my birthday this year I was over the moon! I had been dreaming of getting another horse for so long. I also knew it was a risky move, she was green broke and required a lot of riding and attention to make her into a proper horse. But I was given her for free and I thought at that point I still had many months of waiting before we would meet our child. She came home late April and fast forward two months and we got the most incredible phone call of our lives. A birth mom wanted to have a match meeting with us and the baby boy was due in 3ish week!  When we first got Annabelle I honestly thought I would have her close to a year before bringing a baby home. I am so thankful we didn’t have to wait that long but because of this beautiful season of life Annabelle has spent a lot of time just hanging out in the pasture. A green broke horse should be ridden at least 3 times a week and I have been averaging about once every month and a half. Green broke horses require a lot more time than a 10 year old horse that has been around the block and is ok being only ridden on the weekends. I have felt so much guilt that this beautiful smart 5 year old mare is just eating in a pasture. (Not that she really cares but I know all she can become.) I have been wrestling with what to do for a while now and have decided Annabelle will be returning to her first owner who now has the time for her. I have cried many tears over this decision but this gorgeous horse deserves only the best and I will never be able to make her into the amazing trail horse I know she can be. Not only do I not have the time but I also don’t have all the knowledge required to get her to be the amazing horse I know she can be. I knew it would be risky to bring her home with the stage of life we are in, so now I will be a responsible adult and admit that I’m in the wrong phase of life for a 5 year old green broke horse. You know it’s hard to be an adult sometimes; I love Annabelle like crazy and will miss her even more. Luckily I know where she is going and can hopefully go out and ride her every once in a while. I will say Annabelle did help me through our wait, she helped me find myself again and I helped her become not just a ranch horse but someone’s best friend.  She was so rough around the edges when I got her and she is now a sweet girl who loves to be groomed and get loved on. Without Annabelle we also would have never gotten Pearl. Pearl our sweet one-eyed mini horse will be staying, she is a bit easier to care for and I don’t need someone out with me when I work her. (I had Dan out with me and Annabelle when we rode because she is young and still learning). I can still get my horse fix with my sassy little Pearl. We have also discussed that in the late spring we may try and find me a horse with more experience I can go ride by myself and doesn’t need all the extra training Annabelle still needs. Even though this hurts my heart I know it is best for Annabelle and best for my family at this stage. These last couple weeks have been trying with decisions of Annabelle and other personal things but God always prevails. There are seasons when life when you sometimes have to put your hands up and say I can’t do this right now even if you wish it could be different.  I have this incredible little human I am raising but still have to think of what is best for my fur babies even if that is not what I have always imagined.  So here is to Annabelle becoming the most incredible horse she can be and to us hopefully finding a horse that matches our lifestyle better in the late spring! I also have this feeling that sassy little pearl is going to LOVE not having a big old mare bossing her around anymore!

Closed, Open, Semi Open

So since bringing Karsten home I have had many questions about adoption. The main question I get is after people hear this is an open adoption. I have had multiple people ask me if because it’s an open adoption does that mean the K can change her mind and decide to parent or does it mean she still has parental rights. Since we have brought Karsten home I find it’s extremely important to educate about adoption and the different types of adoption.

First off there is no type of adoption that the birth mom or dad still have rights to the child. Depending on each state there is a “cool off” period after the child is born. In Colorado that is about a week. During this period of time the child is with the adoptive family but the birth family still has the right to decide to parent. After this period of time is over the birth parents will sign papers terminating parental rights. After the papers are signed and sent in they no longer have any parental rights.

So there are three main types of adoptions, Open adoption, Semi open adoption and closed adoption. We will start with closed, closed adoption means there is very little to no contact between the birth family and adoptive family. No identifying information is shared except for medical records. Closed adoption is becoming less and less common.  Open adoption is the opposite of closed. There is not a definition of exactly what an open adoption will look like because everyone’s is a little different. With an open adoption depending on the family all identifying information is shared. There are phone calls, letters, texts, emails and visits in open adoption. In our case our adoption is very open. K has already had her first visit with us and it was even at our home. I also text with K about once a week or so.  Last but not least, semi open adoption. Semi open is some place between closed and open. Usually identifying information is a little more protected.  Usually there are some pictures and letter shared but they are given to the case worker to exchange between families. There are also sometimes visits but there is always an adoption professional present.  Many semi open adoptions do change into open adoptions as the years go on and the birth family feels more comfortable. The type of adoption is determined by the birth family and what they would like, sadly every now and then you hear of an adoptive family who after the adoption is finalized will stop communicating with the birth family.  You see adoptive families can stop communicating with the birth family; there are times when if it isn’t a healthy relationship, the birth parents aren’t in a good spot or something like that, that we have the option to tell the birth family we need to take a break until they get their life back on track. This is usually done to protect the child.

So far I have really enjoyed having an open adoption. I am thankful the birth family can see Karsten grow and see how much we love him. I love that Karsten won’t have to question where he came from or the beginning of his story. I have also enjoyed seeing K succeed after the birth of Karsten. It’s great to hear from her about all the improvements she is making and all the cool things she has accomplished.  

So yes we are in an open adoption. Yes I am very happy about that and no K cannot change her mind and decide to parent him. But K is there to watch him grow, love him and cheer him on, and we are there to do the same things for K, love her, watch her grow and cheer her on in every aspect of life!

The name

We have been home with our sweet boy for 5 weeks already! Time is flying by and he is growing strong. I still sometimes look down at him and wonder if this is all really real. I still am so in awe of God and all he has done. I think back to the last 9 weeks and can’t believe how much has happened. I am in shock that it’s already been 6 weeks since my last day of work. All I can really do is thank the Lord, thank the lord for every single second of the last 9 weeks. It has all been him! I LOVE being a stay at home mom, my old co-worker asked me if I miss work and well I don’t. I miss some parts like my regular clients. But I also know being home with Karsten is right where I am supposed to be. I feel so lucky to get to be a stay at home mom and love spending every day with my little monkey.

So how was Karsten Leonard Baumann named? With adoption there are many things that can happen with a name. Karsten will have two birth certificates one with his birth moms last name and then when the adoption is finalized one with hours. So he could technically have two completely different names. K could have named him one thing and us another. Some people will change the first name and have the birth moms first name be the new middle. Some families agree on a first name and have different middle names. Dan and I have had names picked out for our children for a very long time. I always thought when we got matched I would still want one of our names. Well when we found out we were matched with K we also found out K names run in her family like they run in mine, Dan and I saw that and picked a K name to add to our list of boys names, it wasn’t Karsten. So at the first meeting with K she asked us about name choices, we told her ours including our “K” name and then asked what she was thinking. She said, I really like the name Karsten. Well that was the first time I had ever heard that name and I liked it. We ended the name conversation I think with well lets think about it all. As we were driving home that day I knew that Karsten would be him name, I asked Dan what he thought and he liked it as well. So a couple of days later I told K we wanted to keep her first name choice and name him Karsten. As for a middle name we wanted Leonard after my Dad and she had a different one picked out for him as well. So he would have different middle names, but I thought what a fun part of his story that his birth mom and his parents agreed on a name together! Even more fun that it was birth moms choice for a name! So fast forward to being in the hospital. One afternoon we were all hanging out and K got birth certificate paperwork. Up until this point we all thought she was going with her choice for a middle name. As she was filling it out K looks up at me and asks so how do you spell Leonard? I was a little shocked but also very moved she decided to use our middle name! I just think it is so awesome that the only difference on Karsten’s birth certificates will be his last name. I love that we were able to agree one names for this amazing little baby boy. That we each got to pick part of his name! Karsten means anointed which is part of the reason K wanted to name him that. Leonard means brave lion. What  perfect names and meanings for a loved little boy!

Since being home it has been really busy! Getting use to the new normal, doctors appointments, baby showers, and  lots of visitors. We had some very special visitors exactly 4 weeks after he was born. K and her mom came for their first visit. I was nervous, I knew everything would be more than OK but you still get a little nervous. I was also very excited for them to be able to see him and see where he gets to grow up. Also excited to catch up and hear how K was doing! K and I had been texting almost daily but it’s also so nice to see each other in person. The visit was great, we got to catch up and all love on Karsten together! After all that is what open adoption is about! It’s all about love! It’s about K loving Karsten so much she wants him to have the best life possible and loving herself enough to know she wasn’t ready to raise another child. It’s about us loving Karsten so much that we love his birth family with open hearts. That we love him so much that he deserves to know where he is from. I also think we got lucky because K and her family are so easy to love! When people ask me if open adoption is hard I always say yes and no. Yes because everyone in the situation has to stretch and do things and be in situations that aren’t always easy. No because God placed each of us in this situation together and you can tell that with how well we all click together. How easy it is for K and I to speak to one another and to love Karsten. You see when I hear about how some people have trouble letting the birth family in I get it and I also don’t. I understand there are situations where it isn’t healthy. But if it is I don’t understand how you can’t love them with an open heart. Isn’t that what Jesus would do? You can love people with an open heart and still also guard your heart. K gave Dan and I the greatest gift we will ever receive, so if all I can do is love her with an open heart, love her like Jesus would then I am going to try my very hardest too! So far this open adoption thing is a lot less scary than I originally thought. Sure there may be some bumps in the road ahead but I have said it once and will continue too, God moved so many mountains to get us this far, I know he will continue to get us through!


God moved mountains to bring us together

So this story of bringing Karsten home, this story of watching God move, of meeting our brave birth mom, who we will call “K”, all started on June 8th with a profile notification.  Before this one we had gotten I believe 5 others and 5 no’s. So when you receive a profile notification you usually have a couple of days to say if you wanted your book shown or not. Then the brave mama who is considering making an adoption plan gets the books and then picks one out of the usually large stack she gets.  It usually takes a couple of days for us to find out if you get a match meeting or not and up until this point we had just gotten the email saying that the brave mama had picked another family to have a match meeting with. So as we waited to hear back from K, I prayed and prayed. K took a little bit longer to decide which we later found out was because she was waiting for her mom to get back into town so she could show her mom her top two choices. Now in this wait we got another profile notification and this one was very different from the others.  With certain circumstances the placement of this child would be in only 4 days or less! Wow, this one was so different and so fast. So I began to pray some more, prayers for K as she was still deciding and prayers for this other one and the speed it would all take place at and the family to be chosen. As many may recall we were waiting to adopt and so were our very good friends. They started the whole processes before us and we were always about a month behind. They started their wait in December and we in January. The Saturday before we found out about our match meeting we were still waiting on K and now also waiting on this urgent one. Nerves were a little high to say the least. That Saturday I found myself in prayer a lot and I also was hearing God say that this urgent one, this child would be our friends child. So that evening I got the call from my friend, on the other end she said “ I wanted you to find out from us first, we got matched!” It was a funny feeling I felt, pure joy and happiness for them but also a sad and longing for us to be in the same boat as them. My heart was overwhelmed with happiness for our friends but also sadness. So my dear friends had their match meeting on father’s day, then were able to meet their daughter after and then brought her home on Monday June 19th!   It was a crazy few days to say the least and I honestly struggled a little with my emotions and I just prayed.

June 21st was just like any other day, I got up and went to work. I was tired and emotionally drained and honestly feeling pretty low about all the adoption stuff. That day K was really on my mind, so over my lunch break I opened up the email with the profile notification and read about this baby boy and this brave mama again. ( I had probably read it 30 times by now) I then just prayed and prayed and prayed, prayed for her strength, prayed for the family she would pick. I spent almost my whole lunch break that day just praying for this unborn baby boy and this brave woman.  When I got home that evening I was pretty grumpy, I walked in the door and Dan came and greeted me. I honestly kind of shrugged him off and went to check my phone. I had multiple texts so I wanted to check them, Dan just stood there arms open wide for a hug and I just ignored him until my texts were read… I know not very nice of me… After I had responded to the texts I gave him a big hug and I could see this smile on his face… I asked how his day was?  His response, “extraordinarily amazing.” I looked at him kind of funny and asked why. He said well we need to make a call. I asked who and he said to our case worker. At this point things were kind of starting to form in my mind but not really… Ha! I said something like, what no we don’t and he said yes, we got a match, we got picked for a match meeting. At this point I just began sobbing, and laughing but mostly sobbing, I then fell to the floor and was lying on my kitchen floor just crying, laughing and trying to breathe. I couldn’t believe it I was in complete shock.  So we called our case workers and she told us more about K and we set up a time to meet.

The match meeting was very nerve wrecking.  K had picked a Mexican restaurant to meet at. It was about an hour away from our home and the longest drive of my life. As we walked into the Mexican place my heart was going about a mile a minute but as soon as I saw K and she smiled at me I knew it was going to be alright. At this meeting we learned more about K and why she was making an adoption plan, we also met her mom. They also learned more about us. It was actually a very enjoyable time and I knew that it was all going to work out and be ok. We said our goodbyes and got in the car for the drive back home. Im not even kidding when I say we had been on the road for about 15 minutes before our case worker calls saying that K loved us and wanted to move forward.  At that point our case worker even gave K my cell phone so we would be able to keep in touch.  So we did here and there, I asked her a few things so I could make her a special hospital goodie bag and she asked me a few things here and there. We then planned to get pedicures together. So one Sunday about a week before Karsten came into the world I drove down to see K and we got pedicures. Now I know with all my heart this was God, I picked this little salon with one nail tech and we were the only people in the place. As we talked with the nail tech it came up that K was pregnant, and then it also came up that K was going to make an adoption plan. The nail tech asked if K knew who the parents would be and K said, yea, this girl right here. The nail techs face was absolutely amazing, not what she was expecting. K then went on to tell her, her story. I was in complete awe with how open K was. K was amazingly brave to tell someone she didn’t even know her whole story, I was so impressed with her and her courage. The nail tech was awesome too, telling K and I what a beautiful story it was. See that was God, he had us go to that tiny nail salon; I would say that is the day I really saw what an amazingly strong person K is. After this K and I texted more and got prepared for the July 17th. K was to be induced on this day. As the day dawned my emotions were sky-high and I couldn’t believe the day was here, the day we would meet Karsten. K texted with me that morning and let me know she would have her mom text us when he was born and we could head down. So that day we waited, we got update texts here and there, just after finishing dinner I got a text from her mom with multiple pictures of him. I screamed in excitement and we ran around gathering our things and headed down to the hospital. It was pouring rain, I mean pouring rain but there was also the most vivid double rainbow I have ever seen… God’s promises were oh so very real at this moment, all the negative ovulation tests, negative pregnancy tests, worry about not being able to have a family of our own, all the tears of sorrow, the nervousness of the adoption processes went out the window. We were on our way to meet our son.  God’s promises…

We got to the hospital and went to see K and Karsten. K was in great spirits and was happy to see us come in, she explained he was in the nursery but I should go down and the nurse would give me my bracelet so I would have access to him at all times. K was awesome and she had one bracelet and I got the other one, this way we could both get him and switch him between us whenever we wanted.  So I headed down to the nursery with K’s mom and sister. It was the first time I met her sister and emotion was very thick in the air. I made a little small talk with them and they showed me to the nursery and introduced me to the nurse. As I walked into the nursery the nurse put the bracelet on me and then brought me over to Karsten. My heart fluttered a little and in my mind I thought, there you are, I have been praying for you for many years and there you are. If you know me well then you know I am a crier. Oh man did I cry, the other nurse in the nursery had no idea who I was to Karsten and K and she was looking at me so weird. I didn’t care, there he was our son, he was perfect from his big eyes, to his long fingers and toes. From the window of the nursery Dan, and K’s mom and sister watched me. I think that was the point when K’s sister knew this would be hard but also could see why K picked us.  After he was done in the nursery the nurse was like here take him back to the room, I was honestly like what you just want me to take him? But, I did and I rolled him back to K’s room and Dan got to hold Karsten for the very first time. The plan for the hospital was that we would be in another room on the same floor so we could have him over night and easily switch him between K and our room. Well they didn’t have a room for us because truthfully the hospital wasn’t very well versed in adoption. (That will be another blog, God did some pretty cool stuff through that as well.) So that night we left and got a hotel and K told us we could be back by eight in the morning. That next morning we got there knowing we didn’t have a room which meant we had to spend the whole day in with K. I won’t lie I was a little nervous but once again that was God.  We spend the day talking and holding Karsten and really getting to know one another. A photographer came in and took his pictures and we all just watched completely in love with the cute little baby boy getting his pictures taken. It was really a very sweet time; I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. We also met a lot of K’s family and I think that was good for everyone as well. As I got to know K better over the days we spent with her the more she impressed me. K has been through some tough times but K also sees how this will help her grow and become the person she wants to be.  K has goals and dreams; I know she will achieve.  When people ask me about K, all I usually say is she has had a rough go, but she has a great head on her shoulders and she knows what she needs to do to reach those goals. She has already made the hardest decision of her life, making an adoption plan and she did it with such grace. We all cried together, laughed together and loved each other and sweet Karsten in a very difficult situation. Night two we got a room in the hospital so we got Karsten for the night; it was so sweet to get to know his cries, faces and get to know him. The next day, Monday July 19th, (exactly one month after our friends brought their daughter home) was discharge day and as I woke I could feel the emotion in the air. K texted me early that morning and wanted some time with Karsten. So I brought him down and went back to the room, he was with her for about four hours and even though it was hard for me, I knew K needed this time and I was going to give it to her. She texted later that morning and we spent the rest of the time with one another. Our fabulous case worker came down and we got started on the discharge stuff. I think it was weird for the nurses to see the birth mother and adoptive family together so much, laughing and talking. After discharge was all done we went up to the chapel and did a placement ceremony. It was an extremely sweet time.  Our case worker had prayers for each of the family members and then we each prayed over Karsten, K and then us. We all cried, we cried tears of sorrow but also of joy. We also gave K a necklace, it is a heart with a ruby in the middle, I have one as well. The ruby is Karsten’s birthstone and the heart represents every single one of our hearts. We will always be connected. We then walked down to the entrance and Dan got our car and K’s mom got theirs. When they arrived we all hugged and said see you soon.  We are in an open adoption and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I know to some people and open adoption seems weird or scary. People feel like the birth mom will over step or try to parent the child. The thing about an open adoption is, it’s not for any of us, it’s for Karsten.  Karsten will always know his adoption story; it’s something to be celebrated!  He will always know we are his parents but will also always know K is his birth mom. I am aware that there will be times we see K more and times were we may not see K as much. The thing of it is, that is how it is in life and well, there was a time I didn’t seem my own grandparents for almost 5 years but that didn’t change the love we have for one another.  I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that Karsten will know K and her family. I do know I will always celebrate Karsten’s adoption story and I do know I will always care for K. K trusted us as complete strangers and said yes I want to make an adoption plan with them. We now know each other but she still gave her son to people she only knew for a short period of time. So I will love her with an open heart, I continue to support her when she needs pictures of Karsten or a visit when she misses him. K is so easy to love, she is human just like every single one of you, she has had a rough go but made the most selfless decision someone could make. So I will just say this here and now, I don’t want to know your opinion of K. It’s amazing to me how many people think they can have one. You don’t know K, you don’t know her story and you don’t know our relationship.  We are walking into this open adoption trusting the Lord, every party involved. I know there will up and downs but God has already moved so many mountains to make this all happen that there is nothing he can’t do!

There are so many other sweet moments and stories I will tell in other blogs, like how he got his name. But thank you for your support and love so far and I can’t wait to continue to share this incredible journey God is letting us travel!


Dancing through the wait

God has totally been stretching me and teaching me how to dance through the wait. It has not always been easy but I will tell you God has been there in it all. Every second, every hour, every day. I am keeping busy with work, friends, family, new friends and playing with my animals, oh and of course lots of riding. We met this awesome couple at the adoption training in April and really hit it off, we are getting dinner with them this friday. We are excited learn more about each others stories and talk lots of adoption! We started talking at the training because I thought she looked like someone I knew! Now I think we will be great friends. Its always so good to have friends walking the same path as you! I also went over to Montrose, Co with my parents this last weekend to celebrate my Great Grandma’s 99th birthday! It was so awesome to celebrate and be with family!

So about this puzzle fundraiser, WOW thank you to everyone who has donated so far! We have decided to put an end date on this little fundraiser! The date will be July 30th. So if you would still like to join the fun you have another month! My awesome hubby added a really awesome donate button on the bottom of the page!

Please keep praying for this little journey we are on! God is already moving mountains and preparing hearts for us to be able to one day bring home Baby Baumann! We are just overwhelmed by the support and love from you all! We are even more overwhelmed by God and his unfailing love!