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Shoot Straight – Authentic Conversations about Adoption { Featuring the Klippenstein Family }

2/11/13

Welcome!!!  This blog series is something that has been growing in my heart for some time! We are hoping to bring you stories that are real and authentic. The heart for me behind this series comes from a couple of different places… first, we have been getting so many questions about adoption and I feel like there are so many ways to answer their questions and our story is just one way… With sharing the stories of others we will be able to cover more options and hopefully inspire more people.

Secondly… when we first started the process… there were so many people who immediately want to tell you the horror stories and speak yuckiness about what “could” happen and I feel like it is so important for the good stories… the stories of healing… the stories of God’s faithfulness to be shared so that others can be encouraged and challenged and open up the adoption conversation for more families.You can read more about our story by clicking here…

This whole process really has been stinking hard and I think it’s easy to feel defeated and discouraged but yet there is something about the stories of families who are on the other side of this process… the ones that have made it through…  those are the ones that keep me encouraged.  I feel like we are still in the midst of the beautiful heartache of foster adoption and we still have a lot of story left to write in our adventure but I began thinking about who inspired us to learn more about adoption for our family and I believe there are so many incredible adoption stories and I can’t help but want to be the one to share the good stuff… the stories of families radically changed forever by the blessing of adoption. I want you to find those stories here on our blog!

Today we have the awesome opportunity to share with you a very special story! Alicia Klippenstein and her sweet family!!! Alicia and I have become new friends and after messaging back and forth I quickly realized how our paths had crossed lots before… she and Melissa Lozoya (featured on our blog a few weeks ago: Click here to read Melissa’s story) have created a support group called Families Like Us… and I am so encouraged by their desire to love on other families embarking on this same adventure! I also just so thankful for Alicia sharing her heart! Sharing the great joyous moments but also those moments of surrender and struggle through this process.
Hi!  My name is Alicia and my husband is Curt.  We are blessed with 2 boys Joseph (5 1/2) and Jackson (16 months)  I guess our adoption journey started  long before our first son was born.  When Curt and I decided we wanted to expand our family with children, we had no idea the road the Lord was going to take us down. About 6 months after we were married, we decided to try to get pregnant.  About a year of trying, we suspected something could be wrong.  We sought answers from the doctors.  A few doctors said nothing could be done that I had “unexplained infertility.”  We finally found one doctor that agreed to do some treatments.  We started treatments anticipating God answering our pleading hearts that He would bless us with a child.  Two treatments later on December 25, 2005, God answered our prayers.  I was pregnant!  I finally felt like God heard us.  On January 13, 2006, we found out that our pregnancy was tubal as I was being wheeled into the operating room for emergency surgery.  The thought of my life being in danger and knowing that my baby couldn’t grow and live anymore was overwhelming.  I thought to myself, God, why? We’ve tried so hard and now this.  Heart broken at the loss of our child, we thought we got pregnant once, it can happen again.  Months more of trying the question between us arose of what will we do if we don’t get pregnant?  We mentioned adoption.  I was ready to pursue that route, but Curt was undecided at the time.  We continued treatments.  All the while, I’m getting more tired of the emotional roller coaster, the treatments, and the drugs praying that God would at the right time make our hearts united to pursue adoption.  One day on our way home from a doctors appointment, we were discussing our options of treatments and the strain that infertility had put on us.  Curt looked at me and said that he was ready to be done and it was time to pursue adoption.  The Lord gave us such a sense of peace to put infertility behind us and move forward with adoption.
We had friends that adopted through Bethany Christian Services, and we felt like that was the place for us.  In November of 2006, we got our first packet of papers.  As we started gathering all the needed documents and filling our what seemed to be an endless pile of paperwork, we would just keep saying, I wonder what child God has for us.  Excited to be a “waiting family” we finished our paperwork and was placed on the waiting list in February 2007.  I felt like there was light at the end of the long tunnel of longing for a child.
During this time, I worked at a local church and I was in a meeting with a group of pastors.  I asked for prayer as we waited and one of the pastors mentioned he just called Bethany Christian Services about a young girl.  Curt and I prayed for this young girl and the decisions that she had facing her.  We got some discouraging news that she didn’t want a family close by since it would be too hard for her.  Well, we went to the same church so we figured that we weren’t the right family but continued praying for her.  At that moment, we could see God putting his finishing touches on this part of the big puzzle of our growing family.  With God working on this young girls heart, a week before Mother’s Day May 2007, we got notified that this young girl had chosen to meet us.  We scheduled a meeting for that coming Friday.  That felt like one of the longest weeks.  Filled with nerves, excitement, and fear, we sat down with the young girl and started getting to know each other.  She picked us to be the parents of her child.  We got to know her and spend some time with her as we waited for our son to be born.  As I would watch her belly grow, I would wonder what he would be like, look like, and I was in love but always in the back of my mind the thought was that she could decide to parent, and he might not be ours.  Trying to trust the Lord, knowing He knows best, I was still fearful.
The long awaited phone call at 10:30 pm on July 25, 2007 came.  She was in labor.  We got down to the hospital as quickly as we could.  With all sorts of emotions, we waited in the waiting room until right before he was born.  We were blessed that we got to witness the birth of Joseph born July 26, 2007, at 4:59 am weighing 6 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches long.  Curt got to cut the cord and as he was being checked and cleaned, tears were streaming down our faces.  We fed him, bathed him, and loved him.  We were able to spend some sweet time visiting with his birthmom and her family in the hospital.  A few days later, the day we longed for, prayed for and cried for was now upon us.  It was release day from the hospital  Full of nerves, fear and many different emotions, we stood and watched this young girl say goodbye to her son.  No one can prepare you for that moment.  As she handed him to me,  I thought what do I say?  What can I say?
Thank you just didn’t seem enough.  We hugged her, and she left us holding our son.  Through the tears,  we got him ready to go home.  It was hard for me to separate my emotions.  I’m happy that I now have a child but knowing that someone was grieving the loss of theirs was very difficult for me.
We got home and I remember looking at Curt and saying What do we do now?
We were greeted by the new grandparents waiting to hold their newest grandchild.  I’m thankful for our family and friends that supported us and were excited about our little boy God blessed us with.
Finishing up our requirements with Bethany Christian Services, we got our court date for March 10, 2008. (we now call it Joseph’s day and celebrate it every year) We were called to the judges chambers and there watched the judge make him officially ours.
Well, our journey doesn’t stop there.  We knew we always wanted more children so in January 2009, we started the process again through Bethany Christian Services.  In April of 2009, we became a waiting family once again.  I thought to myself, this time around I know what to expect.  It should be easier.  Well, for those of you who know anything about adoption, there is nothing really easy about the process and nothing should be expected.  We anticipated our wait to be longer than with Joseph since Joseph’s placement came a few months after getting on the list.
Nine months after becoming a waiting family, we got the phone call that a birthmom had chosen us.  She could deliver any day, and she was having a girl. We started getting prepared for her by doing laundry, getting the room ready, buying some fun girly things.  I was excited that now I would have a boy and a girl.  As I looked into her room, I could picture what she would look like and my heart was already loving her.  About a week or so later, we got the dreaded phone call that the birthmom has decided to parent.  As I looked into her room, I was heart broken not understanding God and his reasons for things, but all the while remembering his promises.  We slowly got rid of the girly things and the room became a storage room.  Months passed and those months turned into years.  As the time ticked away, we questioned whether God wanted us to have another child.  We prayed and sought the Lord’s will on whether to pull off the list.  We actually set a time frame where we would be done if we didn’t receive a baby.  I didn’t really want to face that but I knew if I did that God would give me peace like he did before.  We just prayed for God’s direction and tried to continue in normal living.
We started looking at houses to buy and found one that we loved and started escrow.  I laughed and jokingly said watch this is when we will get a baby. The Friday before we were to get keys to our new home, I got a phone call from our social worker asking if we wanted our profile shown to a birthmom. She seemed a little vague in some of the answers to my questions.  I didn’t think much of it because over the years we got alot of those profile showing questions.  I started venting to her about the keys to our house and how frustrated I was that the process was getting delayed.   She just reminded me of who was in control.   That Monday, October 10, 2011, I get an email from our social worker asking if I could come into the office to chat with her.  Not thinking much of it, I went in.  Curt stayed home to watch Joseph and get a few things ready for the move. When I get to the office, she showed me a picture of a baby boy who looked so much like Joseph.  I asked whose baby is that and she said he was OURS!  I was speechless. (that doesn’t happen often) I called Curt right away and could barely say the words but managed to say, We got a baby!!! Silence and then WHAT??  Came from him.  Our son Jackson was born October 5, 2011. ( Curt and my anniversary) That phone call on Friday was about our baby and the Bethany Staff was on their way to pick him up from the hospital.  Birthmom had already signed her papers and he was being placed with a interim care family.  An interim care family through Bethany, keeps the baby when the social worker wants to make sure that a birthmom is sure about her decision.  These families volunteer their time to love on our children while we wait to bring them home.  It is such a wonderful ministry. That night we went to the interim family’s home and got to meet our son Jackson for the first time.  We got to hold him, feed him, and love on him.  It was hard to leave him there but we knew in a few days we could take him home.  We met at Bethany on Wednesday October 12, 2011, and he was placed in our arms forever.  We brought him home and moved that Saturday.  It was a crazy stressful time, but we laughed at God’s sense of humor.  What joy we felt that after such a long journey, we had another child.
We didn’t get to meet his birthmother but we are forever grateful for her choosing life and making this difficult decision.  Jackson is full of joy and makes us laugh continually.
We once again finished our requirements and headed to court on May 4, 2012.  We cried and celebrated that God knows what is best.  Two and half years is a long time to wait but Jackson is worth every day of waiting and every tear that was shed.
Knowing all the emotion that goes into infertility and adoptions, made me want to help others.  My friend Melissa approached me one day about the idea of a support group.  I loved the idea and wanted to work with her on it.  From there we started Families Like Us.  A place where people who have adopted, in the process of adopting or is thinking of adopting can come and be surrounded by people that know what it is like.  For more information on Families Like Us you can email us at familieslikeus@Hotmail.com
I learned so many things through our adoption journeys and I’m continuing to learn them.  I learned that God wants to use heartaches to glorify Him.  I learned  that His plans are not mine.  That His ways are not mine, but that He only has what is best for us in His plan.
I ask myself why did God choose us to parent and love someone else’s child.  What made us different.  It’s a huge responsibility and honor to be chosen by someone to parent their child.  I don’t know if I’ll ever know the answer but I’m glad he chose us.  I can’t imagine my life without Joseph and Jackson.  I wouldn’t trade my heartache and struggles because through those struggles I have my boys.
Doctors said we had “unexplained infertility” but we know that God had a full explanation.  God closed my womb to open our hearts.  I wish that I could say that through the process that I always trusted, but I didn’t.  That I didn’t get angry, but I did.  That I wasn’t fearful, but I was.  God just gently reminded me to let go of control.  Did I always listen, No.  It is still a struggle for me.
We chose a life song for each of our boys and I would sing it to them often.  Joseph’s is How Great Is Our God and Jackson’s is Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.
The song we chose for Jackson has a part that I can barely get through.  It says He gives and He takes away, but I will choose to say blessed be the name of the Lord.  The Lord gave to our family and the Lord did take away but our family chose to say blessed be the name of the Lord.  Sometimes I said it because it was the right thing to say but didn’t always feel it, but God always comforted me in those times.
As we face this journey of parenthood as a complete family with all the ups and downs we remind ourselves that God chose us in all His perfectness, in all His knowledge, and for all His glory to be the parents of these wonderful boys.   I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!!
These Last two images were captured by Storyteller Photography

Contact Info for Bethany Christian Services:

Thank you so much for taking a few moments to read their beautiful story… It takes a lot of courage and heart to share such a personal journey. I am so thankful for their willingness to share their story and encourage others… If you get a moment… leave them a comment thanking them for sharing their story… maybe there was a part of their story that stuck out to you… Share it with them and leave them a little comment love!

Also… we are always looking for other adoption stories to share… We would love it if you are an adoptive family, if you were adopted, if you are a birth mom, or you work with adoptions some how… We would be so thankful to share real life… authentic… and encouraging stories with others! Thanks again for visiting our blog!

K&J

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  1. Kristyn says:

    What a BEAUTIFUL story and such a BEAUTIFUL family!! God is good!! He has called you BLESSED!!! Praise His name!!

  2. Mona M. Bulthuis says:

    Love this it was wonderful to read, thank you for sharing your life.

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