Our Adoption Story

We got THE call, it was the morning of May 15, 2014, it was our first call to take a placement as foster parents and was our second "yes" in our adoption story. Our first "yes" was taking a leap of faith, a step of obedience and becoming licensed foster parents. They told us the placement was a 2 day old little girl and that she'd be coming to us straight from the hospital. We were elated, ecstatic, nervous, and hopeful for this beginning. We scrambled to get some essentials ready for this baby and shared the news with close friends and family who rallied around us. At around 4 o'clock, our agency case managers and the department of family and protective services came to our house and put my daughter in my arms.

Miya was a tiny and precious little one who came with nothing other than the clothes on her body, a few blankets, and formula from the hospital. The professionals sat at the table and readied paperwork while Tanner and I studied and poured over every detail of this little girl, this beautiful image bearer of our God. We signed document after document, we were given instruction and a lot of information about her case and about her birth parents. After about two hours, our case managers and cps left our home and in no time our friends and family began to come over with gifts, food, and encouraging words. This baby that we didn't even know existed until that morning was already immensely loved, cherished and celebrated.  

The following months were a flurry of weekly visits with her birth mom, appointments, more paperwork, cps + agency visits to our home, and tons of precious time getting to know our little girl. I was overjoyed to be a Mom, a foster Mom. We had been given an amazing gift.  Tangled in with our joy of welcoming Miya was a tremendous amount of loss. The need for foster care + adoption is present because these children and their families are walking through things that are dark and difficult. It is easy, in the midst of fostering to conjure up feelings of hate and judgement because it's maddening to think about all the hurt these children have experienced. They didn't ask for any of it, they are undeserving of all of it. The truth is that as followers of Jesus, we must offer grace to these parents, because that is what Jesus offers us each and every day. We must pray for them to know Him as Savior, to be radically changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. That right there changes things. 

When Miya was 6 months old, we got another call and accepted our second placement. In a few days we welcomed brothers, spunky and lively little boys ages 4 and 18 months. Goodness were we tired after they joined our family! These boys were with us for a short 2 weeks, and then left to join there biological family. When they left our home it was devastating. We were wrecked. We took a few days and left town in order to mourn and heal. Kids leaving is a MAJOR deterrent for people when considering to foster/foster to adopt. It was not easy to let go, but it is doable. After some time had passed, we were able to understand that our role in their lives was to love and care for them while their family was able to take the necessary steps to welcome them into their home. We weren't their forever family but the imprint they left on us will remain forever. God used them to stretch and grow us, to deepen our understanding of His love for us all.

During the remaining 6 months of Miya's case, it became clear that the State was going to pursue termination of rights for both birth parents. We were relieved and overjoyed because all arrows were pointing to adoption, but we were also grieved for both birth parents and for Miya. Even though Miya was gaining a forever family through adoption she had also lost her biological family.

After the final court hearing for Miya and the celebration of her first birthday, we got another call. We welcomed our son, Levi into our lives on May 18, 2015.  He was a quiet (large) little 2 1/2 year old boy with lifeless, tired eyes and a gentle spirit.

Levi's journey to us was much different. He had been bounced around while in the foster system.  This picture still shocks me, it hardly looks like him. We saw such a difference in him after a few weeks of consistent love, structure, and a stable environment. 

These two became fast friends. Levi encouraged Miya to walk and cheered her on as she took her first steps. They are best buds, friends and siblings until the end. 

After Levi was placed with us, the weekly visits began, court hearings happened and in February 2016 we knew that we would be able to adopt Levi.  Same story here, we were thrilled to have him join our family but grieved this biological family's loss. 

On August 10, 2016 we adopted BOTH Miya Drew House + Levi Dean House. 
A day we had anticipated for over 2 years. A day when the government recognized what we had known in our hearts for a long time, we were family.

God's plan was different from ours. We assumed that our family would grow in the traditional sense and that we would eventually adopt. Instead we were prompted to pursue foster care as a means to adopt and grow our family. We entered in with open hands that God so graciously filled. He built our family and we wouldn't want it any other way. 

Foster care is hard. It's grimy, ugly, messy but also beautiful and redemptive. Our prayer is that our story, the story He is writing, would reflect His image of love, mercy and undeserved favor because that is what we've been given and that is what He is offering to ALL.

Adoption Awareness Month

Hello everyone!
Happy November! We are excited about this month because it is adoption awareness month AND adoption is something we are very passionate about! God used foster care + adoption to build our family, stretch and grow our faith in ways we could never have imagined. 

My dear friend and I are sharing resources, information and stories all month long in hopes to bring awareness, advocate, and start conversations with people everywhere who are interested in adoption. We created a Facebook page called Celebrate Adoption as an avenue to help connect people and spread the word.  Go visit our page and like it to get involved. 

Right now there are currently over 100,000 children awaiting adoption in the United States. That number represents children without families, children that are just waiting for someone to step in and say yes. There are also roughly 400,000 children in foster care, meaning guardianship belongs to the state, but temporary foster families are needed.
This is heart breaking. Our reality is that there are two children in our home right now who were a part of that overwhelming number. Two children who are beautiful image bearers of Christ, complete with kinky curls and gorgeous blue green eyes. Two children who have joined our family and now share our last name. And oh how we are thankful for each of them.
How does this information hit you? Are you being prompted to ask questions, seek counsel and get more information?
We are here. We want to invite you into this conversation, we want to draw you into the story of adoption. We want to connect you with professionals, equip you with resources, answer your questions, pray with you. Our hands are open. 
There are many things to consider; international adoption, domestic adoption, private adoption, foster to adopt and even becoming a CASA (court appointed special advocate) volunteer.
So maybe you’ve been thinking of opening your home and your heart to a child. Maybe you don't know where to begin. A conversation is a great place to start and maybe that conversation begins today.

Adoption + Foster Care Statistics
November 13th- Orphan Sunday

November 15th- World adoption day

November 19th-National adoption day

India + Adoption

Hello friends!

It's been a LOOONG time. Apologies. Life has been busy and we've had major changes in our family over the last 2 years. Let me wrap up all that has happened in our family and what we are looking to walk through in the next few months.

The last thing I shared here was that we were officially licensed foster parents in the state of Texas and that we were waiting to welcome kids into our home. Little did I know that I actually posted that update on our daughter's birthday! That's right 2 short days later we welcomed a 2 day old baby girl, Miya, into our home and heart. That is when our journey of foster care began.

Foster care is a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions filled with uncertainties, heartache, joy and redemption. The kids are truly gifts from God and all 4 that we've had in our home have brought so much joy. We are thankful that we have been a part of each of their stories. Amongst that joy though there is so much loss and brokenness. For the children, for there birth families, for the foster families. Its tragic loss muddled with brokenness amidst hope for redemption and reconciliation. Its difficult, but beautiful. God definitely has wrecked, convicted and stretched Tanner and I over the past 2 years and for that we are grateful. This journey has forever changed my heart.

Here we are almost 2 years later and she isn't going anywhere. Praise Jesus! She is our sassy and sweet petite daughter and her adoption will be finalized in May/June! Right after we celebrated Miya's 1st Birthday we welcomed a little boy into our family. He was the biggest 2 year old I've ever met and he didn't say a word. A very quiet Kyler came into our life and is now a rambunctious, loud, big, squishy 3 year old Levi, who is tender hearted, kind and doesn't stop talking, laughing and singing. He will also join our forever family in May/June! We'd love to share their adorable faces but we are unable until the adoptions are finalized, these photos will do for now :)

We've had quite a few people assume that we are no longer pursuing our international adoption because of our choice to grow our family through fostering to adopt. We want to clear things up, we are still adopting internationally although things do look a little different now then when we began.

Originally our plan was to adopt from Ethiopia. In fact, we submitted our dossier in May 2013 and have been waiting/updating ever since. Wait times continue to increase for the country of Ethiopia, and we were faced with a difficult decision. After looking at the amount of referrals over the past several years, we realized we could potentially be waiting another 7-10 years to bring our child home from Ethiopia. Let's be honest, I'll be pushing 40 at that point, and that just seems crazy. We were given the opportunity to switch countries and we decided to make to move to adopt from India.

So what now? We are in the paper chase process, assembling our dossier documents for India. Essentially starting over. The timeline for India is much different. After submission of our dossier it will be 12-18 months time for us to bring home our child. We are adopting a little girl and we could not be more excited!

Be on the lookout for a new adoption fundraiser tee featuring a fun design of greetings from around the world!


The House Family