Welcome! Our journey is just beginning…

Welcome to our family’s obligatory “We’re adopting so we started a blog!” blog! Thanks for joining us on this sure-to-be eventful journey.  We are in the process of adopting a little boy with Down Syndrome from Eastern Europe. More on our love muffin later!

A couple of things right up front: I didn’t decide to start a blog because I’m naïve enough to think I have anything super profound, insightful, or earth-shattering to add to the already robust international adoption dialogue.  There are many, MANY, smart, amazing and intelligent people out there already blogging about adoption (both domestic and international), as well as special needs.  I have spent countless hours pouring over their words and lives, and feel extremely grateful they are willing to take the time to put it out there.

But every story is different, and I decided to chronicle our family’s adventure for two primary reasons: first, to share information with other families who might be traveling down this road; and second, to make adoption more tangible for people who actually know us.

As I became more and more convinced that God was calling us down this path, I scoured the internet for information.  I wanted to know anything and everything: How long does it actually take? What are these families like? What are the children like? What was the process likes?  And so on and so on.  I was looking for confirmation that families “just like us” were also adopting, so that I could convince my good-natured husband I wasn’t a crazy person.  I looked for adoption blogs by families adopting from specific countries we were interested in… I looked for adoption blogs with families who already had young children in the home. . . I looked for blogs written by military familes adopting…I even looked for blogs written by other women named Ali. Okay, that’s a stretch, but you get the point.  Basically, I was having a hard time believing Jesus when He said this was going to happen and was really no big deal, so I looked for proof that it could, and had, been done before by people like us.  Funny, right? He has already worked my little heart over in this process, and I have no doubt there is more to come.  So to that end, I want our experience out there.  If even one mama (or papa) is combing the interwebs, looking for proof, I want to offer it.  You can do it! And hopefully, here you will find the story of how it happened for us.

Secondly, I think sometimes there can be a misconception (or maybe it was just for me) that adoption is for those “super” people.  You know, super-religious, or super-rich, or super-nice, or super-philanthropical, or super-moms and super-families.  And trust me when I say our family doesn’t fit that box.  Don’t get me wrong, we love Jesus more than anything, and if it wasn’t for Him we wouldn’t even have the crazy little awesome family we do, but we aren’t necessarily nailing the, “Oh, have you met the Kojaks? They are all so patient and loving and kind, and their kids are SOO well behaved. . .” image you might think of when you think of awesome, have-it-all-together, “ideal Christian” families. (Not than anyone ACTUALLY is, just that we aren’t even good at pretending). 🙂 We are big on grace around here, and it’s a good thing we love a God who gives lots of it.  So I wanted to write about our experience, because chances are, if you are reading this blog, you know us somehow.  And maybe it will take some of the “unknown” and “super” stigma out of the idea of adoption.  Hopefully, when it’s all said and done, you can say, “Oh, I know a family who adopted, they are totally normal.”  Well, that might not be completely accurate, but as normal as it gets these days.

I also decided to write about all of this for two completely selfish reasons.  One is to document how this little love came to be a Kojak, so he will never forget that we fought for him, that we wanted him desperately, and that he is part of a family who never gives up on each other. Now let’s be real – I started baby books for my other two that have never been finished, so there’s a solid chance I will space out and forget to blog for months on end.  But I hope not!! Because the other reason is to hold myself accountable.  I want to be as real and transparent as possible throughout this journey.  If you know me, you know that I tend to share all my ugly whether you want it or not, so I’m hoping to do the same throughout this process.  To be honest, I’m afraid I might try to hide anything hard – I don’t want to scare anyone away from adoption, and I don’t want anyone to think we are in over our heads.  I want to give everyone the impression that this is all awesome, and we are awesome, and adopting is awesome. But life (and adoption) simply isn’t like that – and I want to be held accountable for being real. Because we shouldn’t be afraid of hard – hard almost always turns into something beautiful.  My true intention is that this a place where I can examine tough questions, as well as share my doubts, insecurities, and heartaches.  Because sometimes, finding someone who shares those might make you feel more normal. I am terrified of opening myself up to criticism in this process, but I have to believe that our honesty about things will somehow bring about good. As a reader, I would just ask you to be gentle with my vulnerability. Please be honest, but also be kind and respectful. I will always do the same. And if I don’t, please call me on it. I will undoubtedly blow it at some point, and say/write something that causes offense, but I would love the chance to make it right.  Remember, I mentioned we thrive on grace around here. 🙂

A couple of random notes:  I am going to commit to updating this blog once a week.  If we have no new progress, I will bore you will random stories, or share what’s on my heart.  You can follow the blog if interested, and I will try to post updates on FB (until FB friends start telling me that’s annoying).  If you have any questions, shoot them our way.  We’d love to talk about any and everything.

Also, I have no desire to proofread and edit and stress about the grammar in my content – so forgive me in advance.  I know I have MANY grammar loving friends (I am a Public Affairs person after all), so I’m just asking you to look the other way on this.  WInk, wink.  I would never post anything if I made myself nuts about it being perfect first.  (Hmmm, there’s got to be some future post about this in relation to adoption, but I’ll have to stew on that).

More importantly, thank you for being a part of this!!  We will desperately need your prayers more than ever, and just knowing we have friends and family who support us is huge!  It takes a village people, and you are part of ours.  Let’s get this party started!

6 thoughts on “Welcome! Our journey is just beginning…

  1. Ali and Chris, I am so very happy for your family. I knew that I loved your family but I had no idea of how much until I cried and cried and cried while trying to read your blog. You and Chris are two of the kindest, most loving parents that I know. I am so grateful that God blessed me to be a part of your family. Just know that my prayers are with you and Chris as you take this journey and even though I am not there with you to go through this journey, I am there with you in spirit. With every step that you go through during this process, my prayers are with you and when it is time for you to go to pick up Baby Boo, my prayers are with you. Just continue to believe that God is going to do this just for you, not because He can, but because He Will. I love you all so, so much. Thank you again for choosing me to be a part of your family.

    • Gloria!! We are the lucky ones to have had you in our lives! Your babies still ask about you all the time 🙂 I think that means you need a beach vacation!

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