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

~Karla

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!

 

~Karla

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!

~Karla

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!!!

Annabelle

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!

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!

~Karla

Please wait…Fatherhood Loading

Hi everyone, this is Karla’s husband Dan, and I’m posting on the blog this week. I told Karla that I wanted to do the post to share my thoughts as a father in waiting as Father’s Day is about to be celebrated.

First some updates. We have been waiting and praying for the entire month of June for birth moms. We have had three adoption notifications to show our profile to birth moms since the start of the month and the waiting period has overlapped. At this point we are still waiting to hear about one of the birth moms. It has been a lot of emotional ups and downs as we waited for updates, the not knowing when we will find​ out makes it hard to relax some days.

So Sunday is Father’s Day. In years past I’ve not really been that involved or cared much beyond showing my Dad how much I cared and appreciated him. This year I’ve been thinking about the very real possibility that this might be the last year I’m not just celebrating for others. Next year I might be a father.

That’s the first time I think I have said or written that down. It feels good.

It’s hard to visualize everything that means. I know what it is like to have a father and be loved and cared for by an amazing dad, but I don’t know what that feels like from the other side. I can think about the logistics, and all the toys and clothes and dirty diapers and that makes sense. But I don’t know how it will feel the first time our child says they love me or they ask for help, the first time they crash their bike (or maybe fall off a horse) and we have to calm their cries. Or the first time they are scared of the dark, or monsters under the bed and need to be saved. All these things and a million more I don’t know how it feels but I will love every minute of it.

So for now we wait to get the call that tells us we get to be parents, and until then we prepare a little at a time. We’ve been getting some “basics” in case we get a last minute notification, and until then they sit in the baby’s room waiting for a child just like Karla and me. It’s a strange place to be knowing you will have a child and are prepared for them, but not knowing when. Today after lunch with my parents we visited a local shop and say a corner of baby clothes and toys, we found a lot of things we loved but not knowing if our child will be a boy or girl we didn’t buy most of what we were looking at. Someday soon we will know our child and spoil them rotten and it will be glorious.

The last thing I wanted to do was thank all our amazing friends and family that have been our prayer and emotional support. Everyone that has donated time, baby stuff, and sponsored a puzzle piece. We are so thankful for everyone in our life and love you all so much. If you still want to sponsor a puzzle piece I put a new Donate button on the website, you can add the amount you want to sponsor and there is an area to add a message. Thank you so much for following our story and supporting us as we walk the adoption journey.

Dan

Be a part of our adoption story

First off let’s get real here, adoption is not cheap. When we first heard the call to adopt many of our conversations were about how we could possible get the money to adopt. So we started researching. To help raise the money people do  support letters, they do go fund me pages and fundraisers of all kinds. Many families do multiple fundraisers. We thought and prayed a lot about if we would do fundraising or not. I personally have never really liked asking people for money, even in high school fundraising for missions trips was my least favorite thing. So we decided to not write a letter, to not do multiple ones. We however did decide on one fundraiser that we feel goes deeper than just asking for your supports in just the form of money. The fundraiser we have decided to do is a puzzle. The puzzle was designed by myself. It has a verse that is very popular for many adoptive families or even just families struggling with fertility. But it also rings so true! ” For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me the desires of my heart” 1 Samuel 1:27.

So how does this puzzle work? The puzzle I got has 251 pieces. So basically you will buy a puzzle piece or multiple puzzles pieces. We will then put your name on the back of that puzzle piece or puzzle pieces. Once it is done we will frame the puzzle so that you can see the front and turn it around and see the back with all the names. I want our future child to know how many people have prayed and helped to bring him or her home. Imagine the love that will show our future child. I have already been so in awe of how many people have been following our story and praying for us and I want our future child to know and understand how truly loved they will be and already are! This is the only fundraiser we are doing everything we raise will go straight to our adoption fund. We are not putting a limit on how little or how much you can give. It’s completely up to you. No matter the outcome of this we know God will provide the funds needed. He already is, he has provided for this adoption already in ways that we have been so thankful for. So if you want to help us bring home baby Baumann and become even more a part of the story you can email me at karlajbaumann@gmail.com or Dan at dancbaumann@gmail.com. We can then get you the info for either PayPal or our address to mail us the donation. Or use the Donate Button at the bottom of this post. Just let us know how many puzzles pieces you want and we will be sure to let you see a picture of the pieces and the finished product that will be in the nursery.

I thank you already from the bottom of my heart for even considering to be part of our puzzle fundraiser.

~Karla

Sponsor a puzzle piece
(If donating via Credit Card PayPal charges us a processing fee)

Psalm 56:3-4 ” When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise in God I trust and am not afraid.”

Psalm 56:3-4

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise in God I trust and am not afraid.”

This past Monday I had my Laparoscopy as many of your know. I wont lie I was scared up until the moment I was laying on the surgery table and felt the cold induction drug go in through my catheter on my hand. After that I woke up kicking and in pain and telling the nurse, “I feel like a Labrador waking up from a spay!”  I guess I’m a bit dramatic and totally a vet tech… HA! Any who everything went well and I was able to go home like within an hour or so of waking up so that’s great. By far the worse part of the recovery so far was the gas pains in my right rib cage and under my collar bone. It was by far the worst pain I have ever been in and made you feel like you couldn’t breath. It lasted about 3 days and since then I have just been tired and sore. I have one more week off work which I am so thankful for! I don’t think I am ready to get back to my on my feet and very physical job yet. So next week I will focus a lot on getting myself moving and doing more everyday things. I once again have to say thank you to my awesome hubby! You have been beyond helpful, caring and so loving to me. Also to my mom, you honestly know exactly what to say to me to make me feel stronger and not feel so weak. I also had lots of great friends and family bring me cards, food and flowers. Mandy you are the best for just laying in bed with me and just making me smile and laugh. I have to say I feel so incredibly blessed by all the amazing people in my community that have showed me so much extra love over this last week.

So about that surgery I had and the results… The results were not what I was expecting at all. I feel extremely blessed by them but also a little confused. So what did the doctor find you ask? My answer….Nothing, everything looks great. My left ovary is under some intestine but the doctor said it has probably been like that since I was born and is nothing to be concerned about. I did have a fibroid the size of a piece of rice but once again nothing to worry about. So as you can see I do feel blessed by these results and happy I know everything is good but also a little confused. WHY AM I IN PAIN ALL THE TIME THEN??? Well I don’t know, I meet with my doctor for a follow up next week and we will talk more about that. But once again, it’s is oh so good to know there is nothing scary.So basically I still have PCOS and the doctor said I could technically still have endometriosis even though I didn’t have any lesions… I am a little skeptical of that. So my mom and I have started researching some other possible causes of my pain and I will just keep marching forward until I figure out why the pain is oh so painful.

So the adoption we are just waiting. This month has really been rather quiet with adoption stuff but that has been fine with me because there has been so much other stuff going on. So while I wait, I will praise you lord!

~Karla