One More Month!

nellya newborn mini008Okay so, I am going to get real here. Some people have asked me if we are still fundraising. The answer is yes. We are fundraising for ONE more month. Most families who adopt raise their funds BEFORE they adopt there baby. That was not the case for us. We didn’t have the opportunity because of the urgency of the situation. After being active for ONE WEEK (“being active” means that we legally could be placed with a child), we got the call.  The call that we thought we were going to get much much later. “The call” is when the social worker called us and let us know that we have a daughter! This was the best, most terrifying, exiting call of my life. Now we have our baby girl. And we sure lucked out. She is my FAVORITE. But, it was a surprise to get her so quickly. I know that there are people who wait years to meet their child. We have an adventure story to tell her when she gets big.

When we adopted Nelly we had to take out $35,000 in loans. They needed the full funds within 24 hours of when we got “the call”. We had to take out a loan because we didn’t have the funds available. For me $35,000 seems seriously daunting. Some of you might not think that’s a lot but for us it is. After we adopted her there were a few days that Ryan and I had some panic moments. But, they never happened simultaneously, that you Jesus. When I was panicking because of finances Ryan would calm me down and vice versa. From the beginning, we both told ourselves and knew that we didn’t want to make our decision based on the money. We had already seen so many miracles in that area in our life that we didn’t want to just do what was comfortable or logical but what we felt called to do. So, we jumped in with both feet. Since we said yes, we have had people without hesitation bless us financially. A family from our youth (my husbands a youth pastor) just handed us $1000. What do we say to that? I feel like “thank you” is not enough. For me I just cry.

Then, on the other side of things, we have had people say, Christian sayings…which don’t necessarily help. I know their intentions are good. But, our situation and story is very messy and hard. Our relationship with God is complex and beautiful. But, fix all, bumper stickers Christian sayings make me sad and angry. They are missing something, like feeling and emotion.  Especially when they are directed at me and telling me that God will provide or take care of me. Obviously He will, the journey sometimes feels really long and His provision isn’t always what I want it to be.

For those of you who have been asking if we are taking donations or if you have been waiting for the perfect time, then now is the time! If you are reading this, I want you to know that we do NOT EXPECT people to give. Still we want people to know our story in all honesty. Sometimes it feels like walking on a tightrope. Money is a touchy subject and I think that we all could use a little more. If you have already given to us, thank you so much. You have given us the biggest gift ever, our daughter. There is no way that I could ever thank you enough.

I know that if we don’t get one more penny donated, then we will be fine. We are going to be okay. We have our daughter! She is worth every possession that we have. We would climb to the moon and back again for her. Ry & Nell

If you do want to donate or contribute, we are doing an auction this month to have a final hooray.

Instagram Auction.

  • April 11-13th.
  • If you have any items to donate then let me know. Also, keep an eye out for this there are some amazing items.

Go Fund me

We are so unbelievably thankful for all of the love. People have showed so much support, prayer and love for us over the last few months and we are so thankful.

with happy hearts,

Ryan, Kim and Nellynellya newborn mini013

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One week at HOME

IMG_6750Last Monday we walking into the NICU in Salt Lake City and the nurse was taking all the wires off little Nelly. She told us that we could go HOME! Nelly had graduated from the NICU in record time. She was only 36 weeks. Ryan immediately bought the soonest flight back to California. We have a BIG heart for the nurses and doctors at the hospital. They were amazing over the previous 2 weeks. They taught us how to take care of her and made the hospital welcoming. When we were leaving they had a ceremony for her and gave us a gift as we were leaving. IMG_9109

The drive to the airport was one of the scariest drives of my life. I kept making sure that her little body was breathing. She was so tiny in the car seat. This is when it really hit me. It is our job to take care of and protect this little girl. On Nelly’s first flight she was a champ. She was so quiet that the guy who was sitting next to us on the plane didn’t know that she was there until we landed.

When we landed we were immediately felt the love of being home. We ran into my brother and niece and nephew in the airport. Ryan’s aunt picked us up with smiles and hugs. As we pulled up to our house, we heard giggling and squeals. All of Nelly’s cousins we decorating our door for her welcome. As we opened the door there were baby clothes and supplies for her. Our friends came over that night to meet her and set up a meal train for people to bring over food. We seriously felt the love.

What its been like? How are we feeling? How are adjusting to being parents?

Adoption is beautiful and messy. We have seen that people have varying opinions and questions. I think it just creeps people out because it is not normal. It is not the “normal” way to start a family. People don’t know how to respond. I keep running the scenario through my mind. I got a call that there was a baby that needed a home. All we did was say yes. Then, a stranger was put into our care. Simply she needed to be held. We didn’t have time for big introductions. It felt like in an instant there she was, in my arms. Now that is that. She is our baby girl. She might not have our blood running through her veins or my eyes or Ryan’s lips but now she is part of our family.

Over the years we have gotten a lot of sleep. Now we get to stay up all night and kissing her sweet cheeks. Yes, we are sleepy but we are happy. She had her first doctors appointment and she is gaining weight and doing well. The doctor gave her an A+.  Ryan’s mom came over and watched her for a few hours. It was our first date as parents. The whole time we kept talking about her.Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Now this is just the beginning. It feels like we are getting to know her more and more each day. We are so thankful for all of your support and love. Now we are just celebrating prayers answered! She is home!

Ryan, Kim & Nelly

 

5 Year Wait

I am calling the previous five years the era of the five year wait.  We have been praying and waiting for a baby for five years. During this time we didn’t just sit around and wait.  We took that chance to “enjoy” just being the two of us like many people told us to do.  We traveled, did beach days and spent a lot of time dating.  There was a lingering undercurrent of the longing to share the love and expand our family amidst the time we spent enjoying each other.  I think that it would be so tempting to see Nelly’s face, hold her and forget all the years of prayer and pain that have brought us here.  I don’t want to forget. I do not want to just get in the rhythms.  This is a miracle!

We have been praying for so long and shed so many tears.  The story did not enfold the way that we thought it ought to, but here we are our hearts overflowing with gratitude.  We are actually here, on the other side of our prayers.  One friend told us to take a video of all the emotions that we are feeling.  Over this last week, we have been feeling a flurry of emotions.  It seems like it was a LONG time coming.  Then, at the same time it was a surprise.  We were only active to adopt for one week and had 3 hours notice before we got on the plane to come and hold her in our arms.  If you know me, this is the perfect, adventurous way to start off this family.

We were sitting on the edge of our seats this whole week.  There hasn’t been one day that’s gone by that we have needed a miracle.  We were brought to our knees every day in prayer.  The first miracle was finding a way to get $49,300 IN A DAY! This was only the first of many.  For a long time we have felt like God has been absent and maybe not heard us.  Now over the last few weeks we have seen so many miracles.  It has been one after the next. Ryan asked in the last blog for some prayers.  I looked over those prayer request and one by one they have been taken care of.  My job has given me 12 weeks maternity leave.  We met with Nelly’s birth mom and it was scary, yet it was also deceivingly beautiful.  Then we went to the court which was the culmination of the day.  It was so official.  Just being in the courtroom and taking the oath made all of this come together. It hit me.  We will be her parents forever.  I cried more in that courtroom than I cried on my wedding day.  The wait is over.  Here we are, jumping with two feet into parenthood. Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Thank you for your prayers, donations, packages, texts and sweet calls.  We could not have made it through this week without everyone.Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Update:

It is just the THREE of us now in beautiful Utah.  My parents and Ryan’s mom went back home.  It was so great to have the family here.  Tomorrow Ryan’s dad is coming to visit.  It is so nice to know that we are not alone in this and that even though we are far away our family and friends are still supporting us. I am blown away.

 

Nelly has been having some huge leaps and bounds in the NICU.  The doctors are really surprised by how strong she is getting.  The call her sweet and feisty, which I think is the best combo.  She ate her whole bottle this morning and she just surpassed her birth weight! I cant wait for the days until her legs are just rolls on rolls.  Our love for her is growing daily and we cant wait to bring her home.  Let me say that again.  I cannot wait to bring her HOME.  Despite how amazing the hospital is, practically living in one still isn’t ideal.  We might only be here for a few more days or up to a week more.  A week seems like forever but I know it will be quick.  I have had enough hospital food for a decade and we miss fresh air.

Needs: Some people have been asking what we need.  We still need prayer.  Like I said it seems like everyday we get some sort of news that causes me to become scared or anxious.  We want to relish in this time and trust in God.

Some of our prayers:

  • Nelly could keep growing and eating 🙂 Hoping to see some leg rolls soon.
  • That we could go home soon.
  • We could learn how to navigate the confusing and messy world of adoption
  • With living here for a few weeks things have been expensive on top of the cost of adoption. So prayer for finances.
  • Peace and thankfulness in this time.

Again, we could not be here without you.  The years have been long.  We are excited for a new era of late nights, spit up and poopy diapers! 🙂

With Love,

Kim, Ryan and Nelly Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Our First Family Photo

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Hi Everyone,

It’s been a few days since we updated you all.  Some of the craziness has subsided and we are somewhat finding a groove.  We are settling in, learning the lingo, and meeting some of the locals. The community in the NICU is amazing.  They have a volunteer led parent room filled with snacks, plenty of storage, and COFFEE.  The coffee has been clutch!  It’s nice to connect with other families with children in the NICU.  The hospital staff and the nurses are absolutely amazing, and we feel that Nellya is getting the best care.  Kim and I have frequented the baby store along with grandparents to get some needed supplies for the journey home such as: car seat, diaper bag and cute little outfits.

Nellya: I’m sure you all want to hear how Nellya is doing!  She is such an achiever. She graduated from her IV, her heat lamp, nest, and UV light (for jaundice). Her oxygen level has greatly improved. The last things she needs to do is gain some weight and eat from a bottle consistently… and clean her room.  We are told that learning to eat consistently takes the most amount of time here in the NICU.  She is technically 35 weeks old, which is a HUGE week for brain development.  We are told that she is going to sleep a ton this week and that we can expect her eating habits to fluctuate.  We’ve been able to spend plenty of time with her and do what’s called skin-to-skin (this is the best thing that we can do for her).  Please be praying for her to sleep well and eat well : )

Prayer: There are 2 big things happening tomorrow.  We are going to visit the birth mother tomorrow and go to the court to start the finalization process of the adoption.  Please pray with us for a good meeting on this side of the adoption.  The finalization process takes a total of 6 months and if we go before the judge while we are here, then we shouldn’t have to make an extra trip come July.  We are praying for meeting with the judge.  There’s been a setback in Kim’s process to get maternity leave through her work.  There could be a chance that she doesn’t get any (but not because this is an adoption).  We are waiting to hear word back from her work in the next few days.  We continue to covet your prayers.

The time that Kim and I have had with Nelly has been priceless.  We’ve gleaned much information from the medical staff and have been spending the majority of our time holding her and spending time with her.  Guys, she’s pretty stinking awesome!

We long to be back home with everyone.  We’ve felt so loved by so many people, near and far.  Kim and I have greatly enjoyed visits from the the grandparents and the many that have reached to us by the various forms of communication.  Words cannot express how grateful we are for all the kind words, the love, the excitement, the support, and the prayers.  We’ve been humbled in many Nellya does not yet know how many people love her; she does not yet know the army of people who have become part of her story.  And I can’t wait to tell her!  She is loved and she is precious – to God, to Kim and I, and to so many.  Thank you all for everything you’ve done and been to us this far.

Sincerely,

Ryan, Kim and Nellya

 

Go Fund Me Page:

https://www.gofundme.com/kid-for-the-kents?lang=en-US

Introducing our Baby GIRL

The past 48 hours have been a whirlwind.  On Tuesday afternoon we were eating dinner when we got the call that we were chosen to adopt our new little baby girl.  Things were absolutely crazy that evening – racing to the airport, calling family and figuring out how to pay for it all, and figuring out transportation and lodging while on the way to the airport.  All of that faded away for the brief, beautiful moment when we met her for the first time.  We went straight from the airport to the hospital, arriving at 11 pm.  In that moment, it was all worth it.

We left at 1 am to our hotel, checked in and got a solid 2 hours of sleep – our minds were were racing fast enough to qualify for the Indy 500 – how are we going to get the funds in?  How long are we going to be here?  What will we do for 2 + weeks?  What phone calls are we going to need to make to get this figured out?  When can we meet her birth mother?  These are just a few of countless questions zooming around in our minds.

This is us before we knew we were actually going to be parents

We officially signed the adoption paperwork last evening. Which means that we officially have a daughter. This is literally the moment we have been waiting for these past 5 years!  God is Good!! He has been doing so many amazing things – one of them being that we were able to see the birth mother before we signed even though we weren’t allowed to see her until after.  There was a lot that needed to happen for that meeting to take place, and it may have been a first for that kind of situation.

We got many texts, emails, social media comments and phone calls of support, prayer and encouragement.  We feel absolutely loved and cared for by so many.  Nellya has so many people that love her and are praying for her; there’s nothing I can think of that describes how grateful we are for you all.  Our small group asked for our house key so they an fill it with baby supplies, friends are making sure our cars are moved for street sweeping, strangers are asking how they can help.  In so many ways, we feel seen and loved on.  Kim’s been broadcasting our adoption to everyone we meet – whether it be in line for the airport or in the hotel elevator; it’s all met with tears and joy.

It’s difficult to describe what we feel at this point.  This is such a special time for our family.  There is so much joy, so much elation so many answered prayers.  This is truly an amazing time, a gift that we have with Nellya and each other.  There is still much to do, fees to pay, paperwork to fill out, and hoops to jump through.  We are unsure of how long it will be until we can go home.  I’m finding it difficult to be fully present with our new family, and am being pushed to my limits on my trust in the Lord.  When I look back 2 days ago, I had triple the amount of questions and God was faithful through it all.

Here’s where we are at financially – the cost came to be $49,300 (placement cost), $2,500 (legal fees), and $1,500 (medical).  The birth mother was able to apply for Medicaid which saved us about $10,000.  Once we get back home, we will need to complete a post placement study (another $2,500).  We made some calls to family to loan us funds for the adoption, pulled from our adoption fund and our savings to get things squared away.  We are so thankful to everyone who supported us financially.  We are still gratefully accepting any donations given.  It is difficult for me to ask, and I hope that no one feels like we expect it.  It is just one of the practical needs that we are sorting through.

The Name: Nellya Collette

Nellya: 8 years ago, I met a little girl named Nellya while on a missions trip in Latvia.  She was being adopted by a family there and she stole my heart.  That was the first time that I realized I’d love to father a daughter, and that the idea of adoption first made itself known to me.  It was a name and story that Kim loved even before we got married.  One of my grandma’s name was Grandma Nellie too.

Collette: Collette is the name of Nellya’s birth mother.  Kim and I want her to know where she came from, have a small piece of her birth mother wherever she goes, and know the story about her adoption – the abundance of love and prayers poured out on her from the many, many people that are a part of our adoption story.

Prayer Requests: Nellya is stunning; she is strong, and she is precious.  She was born on January 21st, 2018.  We are praying that she develops safely and quickly so we can take her home. Please pray for Nellya’s birth mother, as she walks through her journey on this side of the adoption.  Please pray for us as we wait in this uncertain time, that we be patient and present with one another.  A personal prayer request for me is for peace as I learn to lean into trusting God with all of this.  Lastly, we are praying for God to do more miraculous things on the side of finances.

Words cannot express our love and gratitude,

-Ryan, Kim AND Nellya : )

https://www.gofundme.com/kid-for-the-kents?lang=en-US

IT IS HAPPENING!!

Everyone,

The last 12 hours have been a haze. We got a call yesterday that there was a baby born on Monday, and there was a chance that we could be chosen.

The last 8 hours has been on edge. We were told that the decision would be made in the morning. We were informed in the afternoon that the birth mother has narrowed it down to two families… we were among those two. The mother was going to choose Wednesday afternoon, this meant more waiting; more anticipation.

The last 3 hours have been a blur. A call a 4:30pm came from our social worker… WE WERE CHOSEN!

The last 2 hours have been a mad dash. We booked a flight and hotel, packed, raced to the airport. We have felt loved and supported msince day one, and that rang true today as well. Many friends are helping us get supplies, taken us to the airport, lended us funds, the list goes on and on.

It’s 6:55 pm as I write this. Now we can do nothing but wait. We are sitting on the plane in a moment of calm as we await all of what is to come when we step off.

We have amazing friends and family – those who have prayed for us, dreamed with us, encouraged us, supported us financially, and cried with us.

This is all happening much sooner than we expected. To be transparent, we are taking loans.

For those of you who have supported us financially, we are eternally grateful. You are part of our story, and now our baby’s story.

We are still in need of financial support. We are committed to this even in the current circumstance right now and we believe that God will provide one way or another. If you were or are considering supporting us, we definitely still need it. The total cost is $49,300 +$2,500 (legal fees). We were informed is a possibility that the medical is not covered, though they are doing everything they can to get it covers by Medicaid. This would add an additional estimated $10,500.

Last, but certainly not least… we need and covet your prayers. This is a highlight – mountaintop and a whirlwind of an experience. Yet this is the beginning of a whole new chapter and a whole new journey.

Thank you for all your support and prayers. We will keep you all posted with what is to come.

Love,

The Kents

P.S. I apologize if there are typos, I’m typing in a furry while on the plane before we take off.

Go Fund Me Page:<
https://www.gofundme.com/kid-for-the-kents?lang=en-US

Active to Adopt!

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Happy New Year Everyone,

Hopefully some of the New Years Resolutions are sticking. It’s been a while since we last updated you all on the process.  We crammed to get all our documents and paperwork in before the holidays, and we almost did.  We were late by just 1 day, so we had to wait until mid-January to hear back from our agency.  We hear from them this last week and we are officially active!  This means that our profile will now be seen by potential birth mothers.  The hard part is over – well kind of.  This feels like a huge, momentary sigh of relief.  We started the process about 4 months ago on what we hoped to finish in 1 month (yes, we are both fairly ambitious).

This last month we were forced to take some time to slow down and celebrate because the agency was closed for the holidays. This time became a blessing – like hitting the pause button on a stressful movie.  We didn’t realize how fast we were moving and how stressed out we had become with this process.  The break gave us space to process our situation.  For us that means taking time to go walk on the beach, having surf days on the weekend and spending time with friends and family. I feel like it has given us time to stop, look at each other and just smile.  It is extremely easy to take the gift we have in each other for granted. For me, this last month is always going to hold a special place in my heart as a time with just us before the baby.

Yet we say our relief is momentary because now we wait, pray and prepare.

Now we fundraise. So, far we have raised… wait for it… $20,000! TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS! This is simply unreal. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the t-shirt campaigns, the family from Homes-for-good who donated a percentage of their commission for their home, Holly for throwing us a fundraising party, the adoption community, our church and our friends and family.  Many of you have stood beside us, asking for nothing in return. You have all been so supportive even before the adoption process began.  Ryan and I speak often about how the love and care of our community has mirrored the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives over the last 4 years. You have held our heads up when we have been weak, brought us flowers, just listened and mourned with us. Thank you is not enough. You are helping us bring a child home for good (or 2 or 3 kids). I am still throwing that out there in hopes that we get more than one 😊

We are still in the process of raising $25,000 more. I feel like we should be a little more worried, but we aren’t – it seems weir to me.  Yes, a miracle is needed. Yet, seeing what we have already seen gives us peace.  We are continuing to work as best we can by doing the following: applying for grants, t-shirt campaigns and holding an Instagram auction.  Still, we have peace through it all.  If you have any fundraising ideas, please let us know. We have a tax-deductible giving campaign open now as well as go-fund-me.

We’ll keep everyone updated with our fundraising opportunities.  For now, here are our donation pages.

Go Fund Me Page:

https://www.gofundme.com/kid-for-the-kents?lang=en-US

Adopt Together (Tax-Deductible)

https://adopttogether.org/families/?fundraiser=kent-family-adoption-12

With Love,

-Kim and Ryan