Wow, it feels GREAT to share the news!!! This has been a decision we have discussed and contemplated for 2 years now. We will be adopting an African American baby (any age between newborn to 3 years-old) from the United States and we couldn’t be more excited! We started our journey about 2 months ago and we can’t wait for this baby to bless our home.
If you are uninterested in learning “our complete story,” this would be a great place to stop reading. As many of you know, we went down a long road of fertility treatments for about a year and a half. We were unsuccessful with our attempts to conceive. We tried the gamete of what fertility specialists have to offer. This process took our marriage, our family, and our emotions from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Ironically, our relationship has been strengthened through all of it and we are so fortunate to discover that the hardest of times bond us instead of tear us apart. The support we received from our family and friends during that process blew us away. You will never know how much your love, positive thoughts, prayers, and listening ears meant to us during that time, and still do today. The biggest and most difficult lesson we learned, however, is that no matter how hard we tried and how much we wanted something, it does not mean we automatically got blessed with what we wanted…or at least in the way we thought we would. God has a plan for each of our lives and this was a brutal reminder that “our” plan isn’t the plan God intended for our family. We tried and tried and TRIED our plan and it just continued to fail. Was it heartbreaking? Absolutely. In fact, it still is. Are we left wondering, why us? Yes. Were we angry? Of course! And for whatever reason, Melissa felt an enormous sense of guilt that she couldn’t shake for a long time. She felt she had let everyone who was rooting for us down. Feeling absolutely defeated, we clung tight to one another as we picked ourselves up, dusted each other off, and began the long process of healing.
After coming to terms with the fact that we wouldn’t be able to conceive together, it didn’t take long for us to figure out that this news certainly doesn’t mean we can’t be parents and raise a family together. Our hearts started leading us down a path that we didn’t necessarily think we would be on. We contemplated fertility treatments again, surrogacy, and multiple other options, but those options, suddenly, just felt wrong for us. When we discussed adoption, both of our immediate responses were “yes.” In all of our attempts to become parents, adoption is the only option that has settled well with us, the only option that has felt right. Melissa has already proven with Jacob that just because a child isn’t biologically yours, doesn’t mean you can’t love and care for them as if they are. We have a lot of love to offer a child and we know that whatever child blesses our home, we will forever be honored and grateful to be their mom, dad, and big brother.
We have decided to share our story with all of you for several reasons (besides the fact that we are excited!). First, people are curious. Many are afraid to ask (especially after our fertility attempts failed). We are ready to share. Second, people want to make sure we have thought our decision through. I can assure you, we have had every conversation possible regarding adoption and regarding race. We have considered EVERYTHING. Trust me. And yes, it’s for us. We know we will face difficult issues, but God would not have picked us for this journey if we couldn’t handle it. Our family is one heck of a team and we will get through ANYTHING life throws at us together. Three, we need your help, prayers, and support as we embark on this life changing adventure. It will be a long one. We are at the very beginning stages. We have already signed on with an adoption consultant who will help us along the way. We are also working with a social worker and are in the process of gathering our mounds upon mounds of paperwork and taking adoption classes to complete our home study (a process that will take 3-4 months alone). Once that is completed we can start the process of being “matched” with a birth mom. This can happen quickly, or it can take a year or longer. Either way we need to be prepared to pay for our adoption in full (approximately $30,000…we tell you because we would want to know. This does not include home study fees, which are about $2,500, consultant fees, another $2,500, or any of our travel expenses). That being said, we will be launching our 1st fundraiser (and hopefully our only fundraiser). Having a fundraiser makes us cringe. Asking people to help us (especially financially) is 150% out of our comfort zone. We need you to know up front that we would never be asking for help unless we absolutely needed it. We also want you to know what we have done and plan to do to contribute: we have saved money already (enough to cover our consultant and home study fees), we will be taking out a personal loan to cover the majority of our expenses, we plan to write grants once our home study is complete, and we plan to fundraise.
If you are unable to participate in the fundraiser, you can help by offering our family support through this process in other ways. We would appreciate as many positive thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, etc along this journey. We are excited to keep everyone posted on our blog. Thank you so much in advance for all of your support. We can’t wait to bring the missing piece to the “Mikesh Puzzle” home.
Ryan, Melissa, and Jacob
You’re a piece of the puzzle…
…and we need every piece to make the puzzle complete! We need YOU! Today we are kicking off our first fundraiser, a puzzle fundraiser!
We have purchased a 500-piece puzzle (shown above) that will go up in our little ones room: we will be “selling” each piece for $20. Your name will be written on the back of each piece that you purchase (it would be fabulous if there was a section with your name on it!). Once the puzzle is complete, we will place the puzzle in a double-sided glass frame and hang it in the baby’s room. The puzzle will always remind us of everyone who helped make our adoption possible.
How it Works:
1) Decide how many puzzle pieces you want to purchase to financially support our adoption fund.
1 puzzle piece = $20.00
2) Click on the donate button below to give securely through PayPal
Donate a check. Email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send your our address to mail in a check.
3) Watch the adoption puzzle come together on our blog and see your name be recognized. We will build the puzzle as you donate the pieces.
We will need approximately $30,000 to complete our adoption. Once we sell our entire puzzle, we will have raised $10,000!
Thank you so much for your generous donations & thank you for helping us bring our baby home!