Posts filed under ‘Burgess Adoption’

Princesses

I always thought I’d have a boy. Rough housing and baseball – I was certain that was what my future entailed. So when we got a call about adopting a little girl, I wasn’t so sure. I’m not really the girly-girl type (outside of my fascination with huge earrings.) I wouldn’t even wear dresses as a child. But as our adoption went through and we’ve spent the last three years raising a little princess, I couldn’t be more thankful The Lord had other plans for me.

The pink and purple palooza has taken some adjusting, but I’ve learned a lot from having a little girl. The Barbies and larger-than-life headbands show me that feeling beautiful is an innate female desire, at least in some way. The careful way she stuffs a fake baby bottle into a cloth doll’s face shows me women are built to nurture. To mother. Her interest in ballet moves and love of a frilly tutu shows me ladies want to offer grace. And the obsession with everything princess reminds me daily that Christian women are truly a royal priesthood and daughters of the King – regardless of if tiaras are “our thing.”

I still don’t consider myself someone who’s super girly. And I do plan to get a ball into her hands at some point. But for now I’ll gladly wear the pink hair or dress up in pearls for my girl. Because she is showing me the purest form of the princesses we were born to be.

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November 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Help Needed: The Adoption Tax Credit

When you adopt, there’s this “little” thing called the Adoption Tax Credit. Let’s just say the tax season after your adoption is final, it’s your best friend. Unfortunately many adoptions do not come free (there ARE some routes where costs are minimal) … however in the case of our domestic adoption of a little gal outside of the foster care system – it took a little capital to have it all go through.

The Adoption Tax Credit allowed us to claim up to a certain amount of dollars on our tax return and receive a nice refund around tax time. It’s a one-time credit you can claim in addition to claiming a dependent. And while it doesn’t cover all the adoption expenses for some, it’s certainly a very nice chunk of change that comes back for anyone who’s adopted a child.

save-adoption-tax-credit

Help Keep the Adoption Tax Credit

Unfortunately, this tax credit isn’t a permanent feature in our Congressional system, and it happens to be up for review and is set to expire if we don’t take action. It needs our help.

If you have a few minutes, can you help write your representative and ask them to sponsor & support the bill? (It’s easier than standing in a Chick-fil-A line or making signs to protest, right?)

Our adoption agency, American Adoptions, has made this very simple. Follow the steps below. I just did it and it took less than five minutes. Help stand up for adoption and keep the tax credit in place!

If Congress does not act, the tax credit will expire on December 31, 2012.

Action: Contact your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. You can reach your Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Operator at 202.225.3121 and asking for your Representative’s office. You can find your representative by going to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and entering your zip code in the box provided.

I opted to send an email to my representative once I found his page.

Message: Here are some good things to include in your message:

  • I am a constituent in your district and the adoption tax credit is important to me. (It matters to me because…)
  • I urge the Representative to become a co-sponsor of The Making Adoption Affordable Act, H.R. 4373.
  • If Congress does not act – the credit as we now know it – will expire in December 2012.
  • H.R. 4373 is bipartisan, and it supports all types of adoptions (domestic private, foster care, and international adoptions).
  • This tax credit has made adoption a more viable option for many parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families.
  • Thank you for your support of H.R. 4373.

If you want to learn more about the adoption tax credit, visit http://adoptiontaxcredit.org/. You can also like the Save the Adoption Tax Credit mission on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdoptionTaxCredit.

August 4, 2012 at 10:13 am Leave a comment

January 31 – Mae Day | Mae’s Adotion Journey

The big day had finally arrived. I hadn’t had a stomach full of butterflies like this since my wedding day. Except a white dress and borrowed veil weren’t part of today’s show. Today was something special all in itself.

For three weeks, time had flown. We’d gone from thinking we might be parents within the year just 30 days before to waking up and preparing ourselves to be in family court, adopting a 4-month-old baby girl in just a few hours. “The Lord works in mysterious ways” didn’t even begin to cover it.

Once the day for court arrived, time couldn’t have gone any slower. Our court date was scheduled for the afternoon so we tried to stay busy with cleaning the house and watching TV. Weather warnings continued to flash; ice and snow were about to hit. We prayed that everyone would make it to court on time and safely. Luckily, the courts stayed open and cancelled only their evening cases.

Adoption Court

After a long morning of lounging, we finally got dressed and headed downtown. Not knowing if we needed to dress formally or casually we decided to look nice to hopefully make a good impression with the judge. We left the house very early, not wanting to get lost or held up in the process. Once we located the right building, we got coffee. Two swirled hearts in our cups by the barista sealed the deal. This was a day of love.

Once inside the court building we filed through the security checks and made our way to the large waiting room that sat outside of several doors leading to small courtrooms holding family court cases. It was nothing like we’d seen on TV. It wasn’t fancy or fun, just stale white walls and old ticking clocks. And lots of chairs and people sitting around.

Over the next hour, everyone managed to arrive on time and things went just as planned. We all had separate meetings with the judge and were pleased when our time went very quickly. We even had the baby in the courtroom with us. She sat perfectly in her car seat, charming the entire room. We were granted temporary custody and were instructed to return in six months to make the adoption final. Anything the judge or our lawyer said after that was history. She was all ours.

Announcing “It’s Final!”

We snapped a few pictures and carefully made our way back to the car, trying not to slip on the slick sidewalks. A slow, careful drive home gave me plenty of time to text our friends and family that “Mae Brooke Burgess” was on her way home. Finally we shared the name we’d chosen for her. Finally she could come home. It was time to celebrate.

Even with the bad weather, all of the grandparents were ready to come see the baby. We had an hour together as a family of three. Mike and I showed her around the house, introduced her to the dogs and spent time in her room. Once everyone arrived, a night full of snuggling and pictures followed. Everyone was full of love for our new addition.

When Mae began to get tired, the grandparents headed home. It was just the three of us once again. We took Mae up to her room and changed her into her PJs, starting her first bedtime routine. Because we wanted her to feel as comfortable as possible, we laid her in her pack-in-play bed from Uncle Nick’s house. Daddy snapped a picture. I leaned down and gave her a kiss. And with that, we said goodnight to our daughter for the first time.

Read Last Year’s “Mae Day” post.

A Year Later….

Thank you to everyone who’s been following Mae’s Adoption Journey over the past month. What a joy it’s been to re-live the story of one of the biggest miracles in our life. I still shake my head that we became parents in three weeks.

This year has been the highlight of our lives. Mae is a beautiful, charming little girl who has a charisma to her that I stand in awe of each day. She’s naturally joyful, smiling all the time, and brings a smile to my face just about every minute of each day.

I didn’t know what the future had for me eleven years ago when I found out I couldn’t have my own children due to my colon cancer. And while the road to get to this place certainly wasn’t easy or “speed-bump” free, I do praise the Lord for the grace He’s given us, and for bringing this angel into our world.

My prayer is that our story shows hope that the Lord’s plans are good (and they often look differently than our own.) He can bring hope to ANY situation. If you trust in Him and follow His leading, He will have amazing plans headed your way. You too will have your own personal “Mae Day.”

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Psalm 19:7

January 31, 2012 at 11:57 pm 3 comments

January 30 – Adoption-Eve | Mae’s Adoption Journey

Well, the big day was almost here. Threats of “snow-mageddon” flooded the news stations as a large snow and ice storm was about to hit Kansas City. We worried about the courts being cancelled with the bad weather forecasts coming in. We didn’t just have ourselves to worry about – we had to pray that our lawyer, our birth mom, her lawyer, Uncle Nick and the baby, our social worker from the agency and both Mike & I would all arrive safely to the courthouse. The thought of something not working out was overwhelming. So we did everything we could to take our minds off of it.

The Sunday Before…

Luckily, the day before our court date happened to be a Sunday. Sundays were very busy for us since I worked at the church and we led a group at our house on Sunday evenings. Plus, on this Sunday we also had a baby shower to attend. Our friends, Scott & Patti, who had been the ones to text us about this baby girl, were also in the adoption process with a little boy from Russia. They were awaiting a court date any minute and so friends threw them a shower to help them prepare. It was a great time of celebration. While at the shower, we noticed we were among several other adoptive families. And the reality that we were soon “joining the club” finally hit.

Adoption-Eve…

There’s nothing quite like going to bed the for last time as a non-parent. Excited anxieties raced through my mind. I wanted to get a deep sleep – who knew the last time I’d get to sleep through the night? I tried to gently slip into slumber but thoughts that a little baby would be sleeping in a room next to us in just one night kept me awake. I couldn’t believe it was real. I was nervous yet so excited. Just weeks earlier I had gone to bed, praying for God’s will to be done in our adoption process. I’d never realized how quickly we’d see His plan in action.

January 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment

January 29 – “We’re Not Parents Yet” Weekend | Mae’s Adoption Journey

After a week of watching a baby, I was utterly exhausted. It wasn’t even as much of the physical demands as it was the change of pace. I was used to typing and writing – not reading board books, changing diapers, swaddling, swaying and all of the other stuff that comes with caring for an infant. But while my pace of life had been jolted all week, I certainly wasn’t complaining.

As the weekend came, we made plans to stay busy. Although I was so tired, we had to keep going to keep our mind off of things. Just three weeks ago a simple text changed our lives. Events hadn’t slowed down with anticipation of a birth mom meeting, decisions and waiting for a court date. Once that date was scheduled though, we experienced the longest week of our lives. Luckily, we could visit the baby as much as we wanted. My mom and friend Amy even snuck over to see her while we waited. But then it came again: a long weekend. So, we did what anyone would do who was about to become parents in two days:  we ran ourselves ragged and hardly went home.

“We’re Not Parents Yet” Weekend

The weekend before our court date was one of the fastest, craziest weekends we’d ever had. We’ve always been social, but this weekend we turned it up a notch. Bowling with friends, Maverick’s hockey game, shopping, going out to eat – our Friday and Saturday was absolutely packed. But at least it helped the time go quickly.

Just a week earlier we had toasted to the thought that we’d be having our “Last Meal as Non-Parents,” yet that timeline soon changed when our court date was scheduled for a week later. So, we took the opportunity to get with as many friends as we could and do everything “fun” before a child entered our world. Because although we knew life would still go on even with a baby, we had no idea what was about to hit…

January 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

January 27 – Show and Tell | Mae’s Adoption Journey

I had been “babysitting” my future kid for several days. I’d been very used to being on-the-go all the time and working 40 hours/week away from the home. So, to have a week where I had “baby duty” each morning at 8am until the evening was a pretty big adjustment for me. Granted, I knew I needed to adjust quickly since that would be my everyday gig in just a few days, but it took baby steps to ease into it.

I tried to follow the rules and stay at Uncle Nick’s house each day. We were instructed to not have the baby come to our house before the court date. But on the third day or so, I started to get a little restless. And while I didn’t break the rules, let’s just say we took a little field trip.

Baby Show & Tell

My bud Leah didn’t live too far from Uncle Nick and so I texted her to see if she was home. I wanted to get out of the house, yet not take her to my house, so I compromised. Plus, she’d been having a rough week so I knew this would cheer her up. I finally got ahold of her and made sure it was OK if I stopped by for a second. She didn’t know that I’d have her with me that morning. Needless to say, her face was priceless when she saw me toting an infant carrier inside her house.

We hung out and she kept saying how beautiful and perfect our baby girl looked. I had also texted my friend and our pastor Orion to see if he was out and about. He made sure to find a way to come to Leah’s house when he realized I was out with the baby. So after a few minutes he showed up and met her too.

We didn’t stay long, but it was so fun to get out of the house and introduce her to a few special friends. Only a few more days and she was all ours…

January 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

January 25 – Babysitting My Future Kid | Mae’s Adoption Journey

There’s nothing quite like babysitting your future kid. Because Uncle Nick had to work and my job was flexible (and I’d already planned to be off the week with the unknown court date), I camped out as his house and took care of our baby girl until our court date. It was the perfect chance for me to “ease” into the mom thing since I’d never really cared for a baby before. I got to learn her schedule and her cries. I figured out how to measure formula and make a bottle. I conquered diaper changing. I read books. I practiced swaddling.

What was best of all was that she got to know me, too. So by the end of the day on Tuesday, we were buddies and she was smiling big.

January 25, 2012 at 10:17 am 3 comments

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