His Ways and His Plan

We had an amazing week! We spent many moments in deep prayer with thoughts of concern for this birth mother and her child that we presented our profile to. She had a very big decision to make.

As for us, we were feeling vulnerable. This was our very first “Yes” on this journey, and waiting for her answer back was grueling – I think I checked my email every five minutes for four days straight. We were also feeling the first hints of excitement! This process so far has been nothing short of boring with all of the paperwork to collect, ¬†appointments to sit through, money to save, and this was our first sign of LIFE! It’s been easy for us to focus on the tasks at hand – things we can have some control over – and forget that we will have another cute little family member at the end of it all! Logistically it all made sense and we were there, but as for our emotions, we had some catching up to do, and boy, did we do that this week. This birth mom wanted to match her child with a family who prioritized their lives surrounding three things: God, Sports, and Higher Education. I mean, come ONNNN! In our minds, that baby was a “Murray” already. ūüėČ

But God had a different plan and after several days of thought and prayer, that mom made the decision to keep her baby. ¬†We are happy for her. ¬†Extremely happy. We will continue to pray for her and her circumstances, and that little girl due March 21st – she wasn’t meant to be a part of our family, but we hope that God used us somehow through this. I know that God is preparing us for the day when we will be matched with a “Yes”. And what a wonderful day that will be!

And meanwhile, we are thankful. Thankful for the prayers and support from our friends and family, and also thankful to The Lord who knows our baby already, ¬†knows his or her name, and birthday, and how many hairs are going to grow on it’s precious little head. ¬†And even though we thought maybe this could be “the one” to complete our family, we know that God has a better plan in mind and we are thankful for that.

“Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

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God has been so faithful throughout this entire process, with big things and small. One small thing happened to me yesterday while at work, after a meeting and a few moments after we learned that this baby was not ours, these flowers were delivered to my desk! Of course Hayes did not know the timing of our news and when I would need a bit of cheering up, but God did – and His timing is always perfect. Isn’t that true for our baby too? We are resting in His ways and His plan. And this part of his plan made me feel a bit like Reese Witherspoon in a romantic comedy! Thanks Hayes!

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Faith Bigger than Our Fears

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

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Please pray for us! We decided to present our profile to a birth mother in Florida this week. She is meeting with the attorney and social worker on Monday. We are torn, having mixed feelings of ¬†“oh, I hope she likes us!” but bracing ourselves, afraid of ¬†the chance that she might not. It needs to be every bit as much the right decision for her as it is for us, and we whole-heartedly trust that whatever the outcome, it is meant to be, accordingly to God’s plan. We are resting in His provision and perfect purpose for our family. We know our baby is out there, and if it isn’t this birth mom’s child, we will just add her name to our list of the other mothers we are praying for. We realize this could happen 20 more times before we find the right situation, and even when we are matched, the birth mother can change her mind 24 hours after the baby is born. Nothing is certain except for God and his faithfulness, and we are so thankful for that!

The funny thing is, her due date is soon and the gender is known, which is such a foreign concept for us because both Eden and Weston were surprises! I can’t help myself and have been dreaming of names, and clothes, and all of that insignificant stuff. One step at a time! (Although I totally “get” how great it is to know the sex – I mean, the mere possibility of the known in this case has been SO fun).

Please pray for peace in the decision whatever it ends up being. We will keep you posted!

Thank you!

No Skirts, No Pants, No Problem

Our puzzle is complete! Most of you know what a labor of love it was, not only because of your over-whelming generosity and support, but because of the time and effort it took us to finish this near impossible 500 piece monstrosity. Thank you! (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please catch up here!)

Now for the fun part! After all 499 pieces were put together and an emergency surgery was performed on one replacement piece, we painted the whole front side white and let the kids paint a portrait of our new family.

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Eden had a lot to do with the overall concept as well as the detailed painting. ¬†She is so excited to be a big sister again, and wanted to include all of the fun things we do as a family, so we separated the beach from the snowman with a garden. It’s very “Murray”. And no, the beach sand is not lava. Hayes thought it was. Don’t tell Ede.

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Wes, per usual, went along with whatever she said and with very little help from us, the picture is perfectly flawed and beautiful!

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The new baby is yellow. I asked Eden why and she said, “BeCAUSE we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl.” Good point. She also painted Weston with a sideways baseball cap, which I love. No pink triangle skirts or blue square pants for THIS family. It’s all good.

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I can’t wait for the next steps: to write your names on the back and place it in between two pieces of glass and frame it! Either side will be the perfect addition to any room in our house for decades to come! If you didn’t get a chance to buy a piece before the $10,000 threshold was reached last week, two generous donors offered to share their puzzle pieces with the rest of you who donate now – that way no one who gives misses out on adding their name to the puzzle. Thank you!

I love my new yellow, baseball capped, no skirts or pants family already!

With Love,

The Murray’s

Our Third Treasure

Those of you who know me well know how much I love to journal. I’ve been journaling since high school and have acquired quite a few books over the years. Reading old journals is one of my favorite things to do – being taken back in time to revisit life in my own words is nothing less than¬†thrilling! I usually walk away from reading one with tears in my eyes because of God’s perfect provision that unfolds as the pages turn.

Five years ago when I was pregnant with Eden, a dear friend of mine showed me her journal that was written by her mother and given to her as a gift when she was a teenager.image Her mother, in her own words and handwriting, wrote to her as a baby, and as a toddler, and as snot-nosed kid. She told her about her milestones, her first haircut and day of school, but most importantly she told her how much God loves her. What an amazing gift and treasure!

With this genius idea in mind, I couldn’t wait to get started on my own journal to Eden. And two years later, to Weston. And now, as I’m sure you can imagine, I am beginning my journal to our third-born. I want to make sure that this baby knows that even though they aren’t growing in my belly like their sister and brother did, that they are every bit as wanted, prayed for, and loved by us and our amazing Creator. I’m excited to add another journal to my stack of precious possessions and can’t wait for the day that I can write his or her name on the cover to treasure forever!

This week has been eventful! Our puzzle fundraiser is almost complete having raised $9,925 of the $10,000 that the puzzle requires. We have had 56 of you donate from your hearts and we are eternally grateful. This amazing statistic leaves us nearly $5,000 shy of our optimum goal. God is so GOOD!

Another progression in our journey happened this week: we were presented with two potential adoptions, and although God made it clear that these babies were not meant to be a part of our family, we learned a lot about the process and how these next few months could be. Once we feel called to a particular adoption, we will make it known to their agency, and they will present our profile to that mother and family. ¬†She can say “no” and in which case we will rest-assured knowing that this wasn’t meant to be, and try again with the next situation we are presented with. What I LOVE about this process is that the biological mother¬†never knows that they are¬†being presented and rejected (like the two situations we faced this week). She is¬†only shown our profile when she knows¬†that her child is a potential match. I think it’s great that she doesn’t face the rejection like we could if we said “yes” to her and she said “no” to us.

We are 100% relying on God to show us who He has predestined to be in our lives forever. I don’t just say the baby, because his/her¬†biological mother¬†will most-likely be in our lives forever too as our desire is to raise our child as a part of an open adoption. This does not give the biological family any rights over us, and they cannot take the child back at any time, but it does give us an opportunity to have a relationship with them if they want, and vice-versa. I will never forget the names of the two pregnant women we were presented with this week, and even though the timing of their births and situations surrounding their children weren’t a good fit for our family, we will continue to pray for them and their journey. There is a tremendous need for families to help through adoption, and we are honored and privileged to be given an opportunity to do this.

Please pray for us as we face these serious decisions – that God would continue to give us confidence and peace with every situation we are presented with and also that He would reveal His love to these two women as well as our child’s biological mother – wherever she may be!

Love & Blessings,

Hayes & Kara

A Labor of Love

I love our puzzle fundraiser. Adding YOUR names to the pieces in our puzzle to frame and have as a keepsake for our new child is something so unbelievably touching that it makes my heart want to explode with love and gratitude. It’s already one of my favorite things and we haven’t even completed it yet (326 of 500 pieces are already called for – YOU ARE AMAZING!). However, what Hayes and I did not think about was the actual process of DOING a 500 piece puzzle. ¬†Like, putting it together. We can’t order the frame and build the names into it without completing it, and how hard can THAT be? We do puzzles with Eden all day every day – she’s a puzzle queen. How long is a 500 piece puzzle going to take? Well, when you combine our penny pinching with my obsession with Amazon Prime, we were about to find out in two free shipping days because I got a GREAT deal on a 500 piece puzzle of…wait for it…Death Valley.

imageNow there’s no need to read into the title: we plan to paint over the picture and write your names on the backside, so the actual puzzle doesn’t really matter, unless it’s absolutely the most difficult puzzle in the world to complete because it’s a picture of a DESERT. Beige sand on beige mountains. Hayes opened up the box and immediately told me to return it. He knew what we were in for, but I was convincingly optimistic: “It was $16 cheaper than ANY other 500 piece puzzle at Amazon!!”. He never should have listened to me. Now I know why it was so inexpensive: it took us every spare minute we had for five days. If we didn’t have lives or children to take care of, it probably would have taken a solid ten hours. I am NOT exaggerating.

The best part was what some of you could have predicted: WE LOST A PIECE. We got to the very end and had dreams of toasting our accomplishment with a glass of cab and some animal crackers, and instead were faced with two options: A. buy a new puzzle and do this all over again, or B. forget the whole thing. My stubbornness wouldn’t let me give in to option A. and clearly we couldn’t succumb to option B. I decided to create an option C. and steal a large piece from one of Eden’s puzzles and exacto-knife that thing until it fit in the hole. Here’s the end result:

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Not bad huh? That piece of Lightning McQueen looks JUST like a mountain in Death Valley. Just wait for the paint. This puzzle was a true labor of love – and isn’t THAT the truth!? Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generous donations. We are thrilled and honored to have a reason to struggle through building this puzzle. ¬†You are a blessing.

Cheers with Love,

Hayes, Kara, & Lightning McQueen

Praying Over Envelopes

imageWe spent some quality time at our local post office this morning sending out our adoption applications and profiles to five different agencies across the U.S. We prayed over each one and asked for God’s guidance to help these envelopes connect us with our newest little family member. Now we will wait for a call with a potential birth mom and her situation including the baby’s due date, family medical history, and financial needs. We still covet your prayers as we will be faced with very important decisions in the upcoming months. We promise to keep you updated on our progress! We are thankful for the outpouring of love and support from you all! This child is already so blessed because of YOU!

These cheeseballs helped with the envelopes at the post office. They are a bit excited to have a new sibling to walk through life with! Eden wants to name the baby “Cherry” (it changes every week) and West will name it “Spiderman”. No true gender preferences there! ūüėČ

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Love, Humility & Gratitude

What a whirlwind this week has been. Everything we have done has been normal: work, school, and Ina Garten recipe flops EXCEPT we have received blessing on top of blessing every single day from YOU. Your notes, texts, emails, and words of encouragement for our adoption has been over-whelming. Isn’t that God? He has asked us to take a leap of faith by expanding our family, and he doesn’t leave us or foresake us, he guides us every step of the way!

One quick example was last Sunday in church: if you remember that morning the Polar Vortex was upon us in a classic New England winter way. Some churches in our area had cancelled services due to the cold and snow, but thankfully for us, ours hadn’t. Needless to say, attendance was low and our section of the sanctuary wasn’t nearly as crowded as usual. Our pastor got up to lead the annual New Year’s service (one of my favorites!) when together you thank God for your blessings over the past year, confess your short-comings, and praise Him for helping you move forward. The first part was easy: BLESSINGS. We turned around to the only family within three rows of us, introduced ourselves and listened to them first take their turn listing their blessings over the past year. Guess what their number one blessing was? THE RECENT ADOPTION OF THEIR SON. How amazing! Of all of the rows of seats available for us to sit in, we sat directly in front of THIS family. Of course we swapped stories, just days from our home study approval and our announcement cards going out, and received perfect and timely encouragement from people we had just met!

Another example was my thoughtful and incredibly creative cousin who randomly stopped by to drop off a genius side-of-the-road find for our play room. As we chatted (and he helped me with my flopping Ina Garten roasted chicken) he invented an amazing idea for our puzzle fundraiser (more details coming soon!). WHAT a gift from God he was to me, encouraging us and thinking of ideas to make our new baby’s room special with this keepsake puzzle that we will frame and cherish forever.

Which brings me to the third and most moving example of God’s faithfulness: YOUR donations. Do you know that we already have 88 pieces of our puzzle claimed? We have been touched by every one – from dear co-workers, friends we haven’t seen in ages, family friends, adopted friends, and lifetime friends we can’t live without. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for your generosity and for being open to God’s leading. We are honored and blessed by you!

If you want to purchase a puzzle piece, please click on the “Donate Here!” link to the right. Some of you have wondered if there was a way to give anonymously, and you CAN actually, a few people have done it already! Click on the box and it will ommit the amount from your name, but will move the scale up according to the donation.

Please continue to pray for our process. We ordered a large shipment of profiles that are coming in this week. The agencies we are applying with have requested we provide a few to present to potential birthparents. It’s incredible to think of a pregnant woman walking around somewhere with our future child in her belly! Praying is the only thing we can do to over-come the emotion that goes along with that thought. We actually haven’t wrapped our minds around that piece of it yet, but that’s another thought for another day.

With Much Love, Humility, and Gratitude,
Hayes & Kara

Yes, It’s Happening…

We are adopting! We know how blessed we are and how vast our support system is РYOU are a part of that! We created this site to have a place to make announcements and update our beautiful friends and family with our progress on this journey! Feel free to visit often as we plan to post frequently. If you wish to receive an email whenever we add a new entry, click on the Follow link on the bottom right of this page!

If you want more information like reasons WHY we are adopting, WHERE we are adopting from, and HOW we are adopting please click on the pages above.

Welcome and THANK you!

In His GREAT Love,

The Murrays