Hi, I’m Tyler Koch. I’m honored to be sharing about our adoption journey here on the Bonfire blog! Encouraging families who are going through the process of adoption is one of my favorite things to do because I know firsthand how difficult the journey can be. I sincerely hope that our story lifts your spirits and gives you hope as you walk through your own adoption journey.
Six months ago our lives were forever changed as we welcomed our first child, Isabel Grace, into our family through adoption.
My husband Cary and I had always been open to adding to our family through adoption, but it wasn’t until we were faced in an unexpected infertility diagnosed less than 2 years into our marriage that we started very seriously contemplating the option. At that point in our journey, we understood the depth of our desire to become parents. We had begun to accept that, while the process might look different than we originally intended, adoption could still make our dream possible. Once we fully opened our hearts to adoption, amazing things started to happen. We were filled with intense joy, confidence & peace concerning the future of our family. This helped confirm in our hearts that God was directing our steps.
As those of you going through the process know, and as we quickly found out, adoption is nothing short of a whirlwind! Some periods in the journey are super exciting and wonderful, while others are extremely difficult and stressful. While we did experience a few difficulties along the way, for the most part our journey was smooth, and we are thankful for that. We were fortunate to work with wonderful adoption professionals every step of the way, which really helped prepare us for some of the ups and downs in the process. We were blessed to work with Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC), a faith-based referral service based in Atlanta, GA. FAC walked with, prayed for and encouraged us through every stage of our adoption process.
Like so many other families, the biggest obstacle we faced in our adoption journey was the financial aspect. We were initially overwhelmed with the cost of adoption, but strongly believed that God was calling us to adopt, and that He would provide for us. So we began to research fundraising ideas and we realized that with a lot of work, creativity and with the incredible generosity of our community, it would be possible for us to adopt. We worked hard and held many fundraisers over a period of 8 months, and ended up raising over $28,000! I'm still amazed that we were able to fundraise so much in such a short time! God is faithful and we are SO blessed with an amazing support system. Through our experience with fundraising, we realized that there are tons of fun and creative ways to bring in money for adoption. We did a puzzle fundraiser, sold crafts through Etsy, held an online auction, sold t-shirts through Bonfire and more. We were blown away by the way people so eagerly participated in our fundraisers and generously blessed our family.
Once we had completed all the necessary steps to be certified to adopt and had a significant part of our fundraising completed, we were ready to start presenting our profile book to birth mothers. This is the point where things slowed down and the "waiting" stage began. Waiting to be matched with our baby was the most difficult part of the process. After desiring to be parents for such a long time and doing everything to prepare our lives for a baby, we were extremely eager to have good news and enter into the exciting "matched" phase of the journey. In the months of waiting to be chosen by a birth mother, our faith is what kept us centered and helped us to be (somewhat) patient. We believed that God had a plan for our family and held onto hope that in the end, the crazy journey would be worth it (spoiler alert, it totally is!).
Finally, after a few months of waiting to be matched, a birth mother chose us. This marked the beginning of an extremely joyful part in our journey! Before we knew it, we were standing in a delivery room in Georgia waiting for our daughter to come into the world! I will never forget the feeling that came over me the moment Isabel was born. Every hard moment, every question, all the disappointment and heartache just fell away as I stood there holding our newborn daughter… Finally holding the child I’d longed for and dreamed about for so long was nothing short of breathtaking and surreal. My heart was filled with the most intense love, joy and amazement... I knew my life would never be the same.
Some days I remember the months of waiting, the sleepless nights, the prayers and countless hours we put into fundraising like it all happened yesterday. But most days, those memories are foggy and seem like just a tiny part of our journey compared to the overwhelming JOY that we’ve experienced since Isabel joined our family. The years of longing for a child were difficult, but I can now look back and see that there was a beautiful, perfect purpose for our wait. God had a plan for our family all along. I’ve learned to look back and thank God for the years of waiting, because during that time a deep love and desire for our daughter blossomed in our hearts. I’m so thankful that we pushed through all of the ups and downs we encountered in the process. After dreaming about being a mom all my life and working so hard to bring Isabel home, I feel so incredibly blessed in this new season and cherish every day of this new adventure called parenthood. The love we have for Isabel is priceless- the most beautiful gift ever. We cannot imagine our family without her.
For all of you out there who are still waiting, praying, hoping and fighting for your little one, I promise you that every sacrifice will be worth it once that child is in your arms…the wait, the pain, the “no’s” will fade away in the face of answered prayer! When you’re in the valleys of your journey, the mountaintop seems to be so very far away. But I promise you that before you know it, you’ll be at the top looking down at the valleys with gratitude and a new perspective as you marvel at all that God has done. I believe that God is present and faithful in our lives. He is with you through every stage of the journey and will give you the strength you need to continue to push forward. My advice to you is to take heart and be encouraged…joy is coming! The wait, financial burden, and difficulties that often accompany the adoption process are heavy, but I promise you, your child is absolutely worth it all! My husband and I are forever thankful that we decided to say yes to the beautiful, crazy, worthwhile adventure that brought us our daughter.
To read more about our adoption adventure, visit our blog: theadventuresofbabyk.blogspot.com
I love connecting with others who are passionate about adoption, so please reach out and connect with me further on social media:
Feel free to email me if you have questions about fundraising: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info on Faithful Adoption Consultants visit: http://www.faithfuladoptionconsultants.com
It was an honor to share our story here on the Bonfire blog. I hope it encouraged those of you who are in the process of dreaming about and fundraising for your own little miracle.
May God bless you in your journey!