Category Archives: adoptive families

CPO Makes Families BIG!

Families come in many shapes and sizes. For this, I am grateful. Twenty years ago when I started thinking about having my own family, I never knew how big and beautiful it would become.

I became pregnant with Hank in 2002. He was born in March of 2003. He was 5 weeks early and we were both pretty sick. I had never heard of the HELLP syndrome, but I had it and the only way to fix it is to have the baby. Therefore, I had a preemie. (Hank was soon thriving and is now a healthy, happy 16 year old.)

In 2007, we decided we wanted to add to our family, but knew that pregnancy could be risky. So, we found CPO. That summer, we got a “drop in”. His name is Barrett. His birth parents weren’t in a place to parent, so I woke up one day a mother of one child and by 10 that morning, I had two boys!!

A year later, those same two birth parents had another baby boy. Eli was lovingly placed with the Hisey family. We wondered how we would navigate these waters, but both of our families knew that we wanted the boys to have a relationship since they were biological brothers. It was fun to watch these two boys. We made it a point to get them together at least a couple of times a year. We knew then that Eli and Barrett would have an incredible bond that we wanted to nurture and support. We also agreed that our other children should be considered family as well. We didn’t want to leave anyone out.

A few years later, the same two birth parents had another baby. It was a boy, Dax, and he was placed with the Hisey family too. So Barrett had another brother. We were thrilled. Again, we would get these boys together and talk about the way their eyes crinkled up and shined when they smiled or how that had the same “duck tail” on the back of their hair. I loved having this for Barrett. And for Hank.

A few years later, Abigail was born. Same birth parents. We couldn’t believe that we had a sister. She was placed with the Domer’s and we were all immediately smitten. When she was a baby, we would say she looked like Barrett with a bow in her hair!!

Today, we live in Tulsa, the Hiseys are in Enid and the Domers are in Broken Arrow. I would love to say that we see each other all of the time, but you know how life is. School, sports, church, families, etc make schedules complicated. But, I will tell you that my heart holds not only Hank and Barrett, but also the Hisey and Domer children.

Barrett loves having his younger siblings. In our house, he is the baby. But, with his biological siblings, he’s the big brother.

When Barrett was “graduating” from elementary school, all of the 5th graders were interviewed for a supplement for the year book. Some of the questions included favorite color, nickname, etc. But, I was speechless when I saw his answer to the question about siblings. He said, “ I’ve got two biological brothers, a biological sister, 2 step sisters and a brother. “ There is so much I love about this. 1. His biological family is always in his heart. 2. Hank is just that, his brother. 3. He is proud of his diverse family. It may not be like his friends, but it’s his and he’s happy.

At the end of the day, I have a really big, beautiful family. We pray for each other, celebrate each other and love each other. We know that our children have something really special that we want to honor. We are so grateful that these birth parents chose life and chose us. It’s all a great big blessing from God that gave us a wonderful, big family.


Birth Mother’s Day

Did you know that there is a special day set aside to celebrate birth mothers and their incredible sacrifices? Birth mothers are crucial in every adoption story, and deserve a day of celebration.

Around the world, Birth Mother’s Day is celebrated the Saturday before Mother’s Day. This year, that will fall on May 11th. On that day, adoptive families everywhere will take time out of their day to remember, acknowledge, and celebrate their children’s birth mothers.

At Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, we have an annual celebration of Birth Mother’s Day the week before, so this year our celebration will be on May 4. The adoptive families will join their birth mothers and have a delicious meal in honor of the women we love so dearly. Then, birth mothers will be treated to a day of pampering including massages, manicures, and makeovers. To top it all off, we have several professional photographers who will have areas set up and take portraits in whatever configuration the birth mother desires.

It is a very important day, and we here at CPO hope you will take the time to honor your birth mother every year. Make plans to see her, give her a call. Send flowers, have your child draw her a picture from the heart. Let her know how much you love her and appreciate her gift to your family.


Why Our Family Chose CPO

Today’s blog is written by Kelsey Grant, a waiting adoptive mother.

In the early spring of 2017, our family was knee-deep (more like in-over-our-heads!) in adoption research. Matt and I had always hoped that adoption would be part of our family’s story, and the circumstances were finally right for us to take the first steps. Our spreadsheets were bulging with information aboutvarious agencies, requirements, pricing structures, etc. Then, per a recommendation from a friend, I submitted an email inquiry to the CPO website requesting more details about their adoption services. I predicted that it was long shot – the page indicated that CPO was only accepting applications from Native American families living in Oklahoma. Since neither of us have Native American heritage, and we had recently relocated to St. Louis for Matt’s job, we already had two strikes against us. However, much to my pleasant surprise, I got a very friendly response from Kate a few days later. (Little did we know that Kate would go on to mentor our family throughout our entire adoption journey! I love how God uses these unexpected and divine introductions.) In the end, we decided that CPO was the agency toward which The Lord was leading us; and we were so grateful when it was determined that they could accept our application afterall. Now, nearly two years later, we are increasingly confident that CPO is the place for us, and we’d love to share why!

1. Adoptee & Birth Family Focused

First and foremost, CPO serves families in practical and thoughtful ways. Many agencies provide similar services like counseling, but CPO goes above and beyond in the care they give, especially to mothers. During pregnancy, an expectant mom (whether she plans to make an adoption plan or parent her child) can receive transportation to her medical appointments, maternity clothes, and childbirth classes. If the mother would like a coach during delivery, a doula will be there to act as her advocate and cheerleader. After the baby arrives, critical things like weekly support groups, legal counsel, and even a transitional house are also available. Did I mention these wonderful services are all completely free of charge?! CPO is truly a ministry, living out the love of Jesus on a daily basis to meet needs in situations where people are most vulnerable.

2. Openness!

In adoption language “openness” refers to the level of contact between all members of the adoption – birth families, adoptees, and adoptive families. Openness is a wide spectrum that can fluctuate over time. It can range from exchanging periodic photos or letters, to celebrating special occasions together, and even family trips where everyone is invited! Matt and I agree with the research that says openness is the best possible avenuefor addressing both the pain and the joy that adoption encompasses. CPO has always been at the forefront of birth mother directed openness, and we deeply appreciate the heart of reciprocal trust that they encourage. Other agencies seemed to want us to “tick boxes” for what we were looking for in a child and his or her life circumstances. It was so refreshing to learn that at CPO, the birth mom is in total control of whom she wants to consider as potential parents for her child. Though we haven’t yet met the woman who will choose us, one of our greatest prayers is that she would know how much we honor her because of the respect she will first receive from CPO. CPO believes inproviding families for babies, and not babies for families, whichshows exactly where their priorities lie.

3. The Dollars Make Sense

Perhaps the most daunting piece of the adoption puzzle is figuring out the financial hurdles. As we researched our options, Matt and I struggled with the numbers. We didn’t think we could even afford the home study to get started, let alone the thousands of dollars that were often required to officially “sign up” with a particular agency. Once again, the generosity of CPO as an organization and the selflessness of its members came to the forefront as we learned that every single person who “works” there is actually a volunteer. This translates to lower overhead costs, allowing CPO to keep its adoption fees at roughly half (and sometimes a third) of the cost of other agencies we were considering. What a relief! Not only can we trust the motivations of each volunteer, but we also didn’t have to resort to incurring debt to make this dream a reality. For a pair of overly-analytical people who prefer to plan ahead and account for contingencies, this decision was a no brainer. We have still relied heavily on our loved ones and on God’s miraculous provision to help us chart a path forward, but the mountain we faced was significantly smaller than it could have otherwise been.

One of the most beautiful things about adoption is how God uses ordinary people who have been brought together by extraordinary circumstances to display His beautiful love and grace. Though our family’s story is still waiting to be written in many ways, we are already thankful for the chapter CPO hasbegun. From whatever perspective you are exploring adoption,our wish would be that CPO helps you find the answers you need, just as it has for us.

Kelsey, Matt, & Brooks

Navigating Transracial Adoption

written by Jenni Hutchins

When Kobi Redman’s now teenage daughter was 5, her brown-skinned girl looked up at her and asked “When will my skin turn white like yours, Mommy?” Kobi and her husband, James, became a CPO adoptive family 18 years ago when there was not a long list for adopting a non-Caucasian child. “We believed God gave us this gift of these babies, so we wanted to accept whomever God gave us,” explains Kobi. Their first two girls are Caucasian; their third and fourth are African American.

The Redman Family

Today, the number of families open to adopting any race has greatly increased. Rhonda Fisher adopted her daughter of mixed descent five years ago and says, “Adoption has changed so much over the years. There is no longer a clear expectation of how a family has to look.”

The Fisher Family

Along with the other unknowns of adoption, transracial adoption comes with its own list of unique concerns: How will having different color skinned parents or siblings affect my child at school? Will our extended family accept a child of a different race? How will I manage hair that is a different texture than my own? Kobi’s family deals with these concerns like all families do: one at a time and as they naturally arise. “Raising children comes with challenges no matter your skin color,“ says Kobi. “When race issues arise, we discuss them open and honestly with our teenagers and look for resources that in turn help us all.”
Preserving the child’s cultural heritage is important to transracial families. CPO adoptive parents can look to birth parents, siblings and their extended families as relationship opportunities through which their children learn to appreciate the color of their own skin. These relationships also serve as safe, valuable resources for the parents to ask questions about hair, history and culture. “Having a wonderful relationship with my daughter’s African American birth mom has been an amazing resource for me. I get her perspective and assistance on so many topics,” says Kobi.
Adoptive parents also look for mentors at church, at school and in their social group to help their children see a reflection of their skin color in others around them. Maddie McCoy, who is Caucasian and adopted her African American daughter three years ago says, “We work to create diversity in our daughter’s life through her birth family, church, books, dolls, and toys. We moved to a more diverse neighborhood so we would be in a more diverse school district. She is too young to notice the color difference yet, but I want diversity set up in her life so she grows up surrounded by different colors.”

The McCoy Family

More than anything, Rhonda says, “I want my daughter to appreciate all the shades, and believe not one shade is superior.” When her daughter began asking questions about her skin color difference, Rhonda explained the science of melanin and how its quantity determines the color of your skin. She reads books to her daughter and shows her photos of women with similar melanin levels explaining, “You are always going to be this beautiful color you are.”
These parents are navigating the issues society has created revolving around skin color. Sometimes they get looks or questions, but these families spend the majority of their days not noticing their color differences, but instead, laughing, loving, and caring for each other.
Rhonda simplifies her transracial adoption this way, “A child doesn’t have to look like you for you to be their parent.”


Our Adoption Journey — Orrey and Kristi McFarland

Orrey and Kristi McFarland share the story of their adoption jouney with CPO.

Our adoption story starts like many others. We had been trying to start a family for years, and we had been through numerous tests, but the only result was unexplained infertility. We knew adoption was a possibility, but it felt somewhat out of reach. Then we were contacted by a cousin of mine (Orrey) who had adopted through CPO. She told us about how great the agency had been for her and her husband in adopting their son. After a lot of prayer and conversations, we felt called to adopt and we contacted CPO. We attended the Waiting Families Workshop and over that weekend we were convinced that CPO was the agency for us.

After 8 months of waiting our lives changed forever on April 10, 2018. My wife, Kristi, and I got a call from our CPO counselor. A birthmom wanted to interview us. Five minutes later — time to try to compose ourselves and say a quick prayer — we spoke with her. A few minutes after that, she had officially chosen us. We were thrilled beyond belief. Four days later we found out that she was going into labor a couple of weeks early, so Kristi hopped on a flight — although from Oklahoma, we live now in Ohio — and I drove 13 hours through the night to Tulsa. We were present for the birth of a beautiful, healthy boy. We were immediately in love: our hopes, dreams, longings for a family had been realized in this child.

Little did we know that 22 days later we would see him leave with his birth family, and that we would drive back to Ohio after a month of being gone. A car full of baby stuff, going to a home full of baby stuff, but with no baby. It was the most devastating, heartbreaking loss of our lives. Right after handing over our baby boy, a CPO counselor and family met with us to pray with us, to share in our tears, and to point us towards hope even as they affirmed us in our grief.

We knew that we would try to adopt again, but we didn’t know how we could move on after this loss. Nevertheless, after two months passed, we decided to put our book back out to view. The first time it had taken 8 months. We assumed the process would take a while again, giving us more time to grieve, heal, and pray as we waited. So, of course, we were selected again in a matter of weeks (to be clear, this is not quite normal!). We were surprised and conflicted. It was hard for us to imagine going to Tulsa again so quickly — to St. Francis again! — to be with another baby, when we were already experiencing such a huge range of emotions every day. Through encouragement from CPO counselors and families, we put one foot in front of the other to go through the interview process with these new birthparents, to make travel arrangements, and to go back to Tulsa.

Lainey Grace arrived early — right after midnight — on July 3, 2018. She was placed into our arms: a beautiful, healthy girl. We couldn’t believe that we had been selected again; that Lainey’s birth parents believed in us to parent and love this little girl. That this little life, with her wondrously full head of hair (and powerful lungs), was ours to hold, to love, to care for.

We were able to start building a relationship with her birth parents before she was born. A gift of open adoption is that Lainey will always have that many more people loving her, supporting her, and sharing in her life story. And in ways that they probably didn’t realize, Lainey’s birth parents helped us to grow in trust and in love because of the trust that they put in us to raise this precious girl. After our experience in May, we were aware, more than ever, of how “risky” this relationship could feel, but that experience also gave us the smallest of glimpses into their part of the adoption story (the heartache, grief, and questioning they were feeling). This made us all the more thankful for how much they were willing to trust us.

Lainey is growing and developing every day, and we marvel that we get to call her our daughter. She is the joy of our lives — a bright light out of the darkness. We give thanks to God every day for this beautiful gift that her birth parents gave us, our “Lainey Bug,” and we can’t now imagine life without her. Without her smiles and her laughter; without her little personality we see coming out every day; without getting to love her every day.

We would’ve never chosen to have this year go the way it has gone. And yet now we wouldn’t remove the loss and pain, because we wouldn’t erase our relationship with a beautiful boy whom we delighted in for those 22 days. We are still in contact with his birth mom; he is happy, healthy, and loved. That loss will always be there, but in the midst of that loss we received a gift beyond anything we could’ve hoped for. And we are excited to see our relationship with Lainey’s birthparents continue to develop — they will be a significant part of her life, and she will know them and the love they have for her. We are incredibly grateful to everyone at CPO for the way they have walked through this year with us, and we feel blessed to know that they will be by our side in the future, too.

The adoption process is hard, but it is worth every step. Our Lainey Grace reminds us of this truth every day.


The Wicar Family: Open Adoption From Oklahoma to Colorado

Hi there, and thank you for checking out CPO’s blog today! My name is Kate, and my husband Zach and I live in Colorado and are the parents of 4 awesome boys, ranging in age from 14 months to 9 years. Our oldest child (Levi—9)  was not adopted, and our other three boys (Max—7 1/2, Isaiah—3 1/2, and Shepherd—14 months) were adopted through Crisis Pregnancy Outreach in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this post, I will discuss our adoptions, and how we maintain openness with our children’s birth mothers while living in Colorado.

The first time we adopted through CPO, we lived near downtown Tulsa, and we were chosen by a birth mom soon after we submitted our “life book” (a book full of pictures and descriptions of our family that a birth mom looks at when she is trying to choose just the right family for her little one). We were crazy excited! Then about three weeks later, we got the call that it was time to come to the hospital, and we brought Max home when he was 2 days old. We have a nice open adoption with his birth mom. She even pumped breast milk for him for a few weeks, and would come to our house fairly often, especially during the first year of his life. As Max got a little older, we saw her about every 4-6 months. It doesn’t always happen this way, but it is pretty common for birth mothers to desire a lot of contact during the child’s first year, and then to want slightly less involvement as the child gets older.

When Max was 2 1/2 years old, we moved to Colorado. We wanted to adopt through CPO again, and knew that it would be a little trickier this time around, now that we lived so far away. When we left Oklahoma, it was tough to say goodbye to friends and family, but one of the toughest goodbyes was to our CPO family. It is such a wonderful place and I really loved volunteering there, and especially attending and facilitating support group for birth moms on Tuesday nights. Even though our relationship with Max’s birth mom was really good, part of my heart was sad that she didn’t desire to connect to CPO, or to go to birth mom support group. Nearly every Tuesday, I went to group, oftentimes with someone to whom I had volunteered a ride, and saw many beautiful, open relationships between birth moms and adoptive moms. 

When we moved to Colorado, I was convinced we’d never experience that kind of relationship with a birth mother. CPO focuses on open adoptions, but sometimes there are birth mothers who, for one reason or another, opt not to be involved in the child’s life. Since the majority of birth mothers at CPO desire a family that lives in Tulsa, or close to Tulsa, we felt we were at a distinct disadvantage now that we lived 700 miles away. I may have been a little dramatic about it. I thought that we might never get chosen, and that if we did, we would be chosen by a birth mom who wanted very little, or perhaps nothing, to do with us or the baby. 

I am happy to report that my assumptions were wrong. It did take us significantly longer to get chosen, but when we did, it was so worth the wait! To our amazement, the birth mom that chose us wanted a very open relationship, and became super involved with CPO. She went to birth mom support group almost every week for the first 2 years of Isaiah’s life. When I would come to visit her in Tulsa every 3-4 months, we would meet for dinner, and then attend group together. I was so thankful for this sweet time! The very thing I hoped for, and thought would never happen…this kind of open adoption that I had seen with other birth moms and adoptive mothers, happened to me. We still feel so fortunate that she chose us and that she trusted us to stay in contact, despite the miles between us. When Isaiah was 8 months old, his birth mom and her 3 teenagers drove all the way to Colorado to come visit us for a few days. We had a such a wonderful time together! She said, “I wanted to see the town and neighborhood where Isaiah lives…also, I want to see what your family is really like in your own home.” I think this is exactly what I would want if I was making an adoption plan for my child. I would want to see his home and neighborhood, and his family’s interactions with my own eyes. Choosing an out-of-state family is such a vulnerable thing for a birth mother to do. A common “worst fear” for birth mothers desiring open adoption, is that the family is going to tell her what she wants to hear when she is pregnant, and then disappear after the papers are signed. Can you imagine how devastating that would be? 

I’m sure we haven’t been perfect in our approach to long-distance open adoption, but here are a few things that have worked well for us, and have helped our birth mothers to know that we love them, and that their happiness is a high priority to our family.       

  • We have told each of our birth moms from the beginning that she is invited to her child’s graduation and wedding, and that we would be honored if she would attend.
  • Texting pictures and videos of developmental milestones—sharing with our birth moms first, before sharing with anyone else. I text pictures from the pediatrician’s office with baby on the scale, showing the latest weight, etc. I want them to feel connected and to get things very close to the time they happen. It is so much fun to share “Look who just took his first steps!” videos or a picture of a two year old, sitting on the potty for the first time. Depending on where the birth mother is at in her grieving process, there are some times when she may need a break from contact, or sometimes she may want only one picture a week, or maybe one picture a month, with a little description of the child, developmental milestones, etc. What works for one birth mother may not for another.
  • When our babies are about a month old, and we have received that long-awaited green light to travel from Oklahoma to Colorado, we go ahead and book a flight for 2-3 months down the road, for baby and I to make a special visit, just to see his birth mom. It has to be incredibly difficult for a birth mom to know that the child she carried for 9 months, is going so far away, and that she can’t see him whenever she wants anymore. While we can’t do anything to take the pain away, we can give her something tangible to look forward to. Additionally, we make frequent flights and/or road trips to visit their birth moms, especially during the first year. Every 3-4 months, these little ones are in a brand new stage, and who deserves to see them more than the women who made the choice to bring them into the world?!
  • We always remember our birth moms with gifts and/or cards and pictures on special days throughout the year—our child’s birthday, her birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day. Sometimes we include prints of pictures, something colored or painted by the child, and  letters describing the child’s personality and current favorites in life, etc.
  • We make a beautiful Shutterfly photo “baby book,” filled with pictures from our child’s first year, including several pictures of him with his birth mother. Then we order two copies, one for his birth mom and one for us.   
  • This one would not be appropriate in every situation, but when we come to Tulsa to visit, we give our birth moms the opportunity to spend some alone time with our children. Isaiah’s birth mom will come pick him up, with his backpack and booster seat, and take him out for ice cream or to her mom’s house for a family dinner.

So, with having an open adoption with a birth mom that lives 11 hours away, our times together are not quite as frequent, but when we have time together, it is extra special…and our boys absolutely love their birth moms! In fact, when our oldest son, Levi was 5, he started getting a little jealous of Max and Isaiah’s relationships with their birth moms. One day he declared loudly, with a sense of defeat, “I guess I’ll just never have a birth mom!”

In conclusion, I’ll leave you with something that was a huge comfort to me when I heard it. At the time of our interview with one of our birth moms, who was interviewing us and 2 families from the Tulsa area,  I asked “How do you feel about the possibility of your baby living in another state?” She didn’t miss a beat, and responded, “I think I am alright with it. I love ya’ll and everything, but I don’t exactly want to run into you at Target.”

I think that living out-of-state can sometimes be a good thing. It’s a little more black and white. A birth mother does not have to feel guilty if she has gone several months without connecting with the adoptive family. There is freedom to love and to move on with life, too. As adoptive parents, we do not have to obsess about boundaries. Every time our children see their birth parents, it is super special, and their birth parents are likely to drop everything to see them, because this might be the only opportunity for several months. So, I’d say open adoption across state lines has certain advantages for the birth mom, the adoptive parents, as well as the child. It just requires good communication and a lot of trust.

No one really taught us how to “do” open adoption across state lines, but the Golden Rule seems to be sufficient. If I grew a child in my womb and made an adoption plan for this child, and hand-selected a family to raise him, how would I want to be treated by this family? For me, I would want to really know the child. I would want to know his quirks and personality, his current obsessions in life, and the funny things he says when he is 3 and 4.

I imagine that I would want to be able to be silly with him, and for his parents not to be afraid of our strong connection. And, I would want to be known. I would want him to know who I am, what I like, and what I am good at. I would want him to know his birth siblings and to know that it matters where he came from. I would want him to be able to ask me questions when he got older. And if I could have all of those things, I think that choosing an adoptive family that lived in another state, might be just the decision I would make.

We are so blessed to have three wonderful birth mothers in our lives, and to have healthy open adoptions with each one of them. I hope this post helps to paint a picture of what an out-of-state open adoption can look like, and encourages you in your own journey.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about our family’s open adoptions…and many thanks to our babies’ birth mothers who have trusted our family with the ultimate gifts and have been willing to be such a special part of our lives!

Much Love,

Kate

   


Living with a Merry Heart: An Advent Message

Written by Jackie Potter, a CPO adoptive mom of many years, this message is a gift to you during this advent season. Merry Christmas!

Let’s all take a moment to imagine this. You are a simple teenage girl living with your parents in a small town, when an angel appears to you and says, (Luke 1:30-32) “…”Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.” Wow, that’s a lot of expectation! But Mary didn’t hesitate; she answered, (Luke 1:38) “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word…” And from that moment, her time of expectant waiting began. As we all know, Advent is a time of expectant waiting, waiting on the birth of Christ. Each Sunday, as we light the advent candle, we bring bright light and joy into the darkness of our lives. During this season, we are searching for hope, faith, joy and peace and we are preparing our hearts and souls for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
We all have times of anticipation and expectant waiting in our life. Because of how life is, we want an immediate response, an immediate reaction. But in God’s timing, that’s not always the case, because His timing is perfect. And that doesn’t always match up with our earthly desires. My husband Chad and I have struggled for 12 years to have a family. We’ve lost 2 babies to late-term miscarriages. We’ve lost 3 babies to failed adoptions and we’ve lost 1 baby at 5 months old, to SIDS. Our cross we carry here on earth is building our family, and we have painfully and expectantly waited.
Mary’s period of expectant waiting included the typical back pain and achy feet, as her body changed, and grew with her pregnancy. Yet she also felt Jesus moving and kicking inside of her. As the end of Mary’s pregnancy grew closer, she and Joseph slowly found their way to Bethlehem. It’s so hard to imagine what that journey must have been like…the fear, and anticipation, the pure exhaustion. In the bible, Luke tells us that Mary “was great with child” (Luke2:5) and I can imagine, ready to simply lie down. Yet, as the couple finally arrived in Bethlehem, the inn was full. I’m sure, in that moment, they both wanted to give up. I can imagine the frustration and concern that Joseph must have felt for his pregnant wife. Yet, they continued on and found a stable to rest in for the night, and painfully and expectantly waited.
As Chad and I worked through the hardship of each pregnancy loss, or loss of child, we clung to God. We trusted Him. In 1Peter 1:6 it says, “Be truly glad, there is wonderful joy ahead.” We knew there was great joy ahead. God had placed on our hearts the desire to have a family, the desire to be parents and the desire to adopt, we just needed to always have hope that He would fulfill that desire and bring great joy! Over the last 12 years, in between the losses, God blessed us with 4 beautiful children, ranging in age from 11to 2. Looking back, we wouldn’t change a thing. We’re afraid if we told our old selves of the tragedy that lies ahead, that we might not take the next step. We’re afraid of what we wouldn’t have, if we warned our old selves about the troubles ahead. If you heard that was your plan, would you go forward? It’s hard to say. But what if we could tell our old selves of God’s beautiful redemption in the end, that he’d give us 4 beautiful children, forever ours? Now that would be something that would push us through!
And I think of Mary in the same sense, as she lied in pain in the stable, giving birth to Jesus. In the middle of it all, her humble and courageous self always trusted God. She knew He would never leave her. In Hebrews 13:5 God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” And when Jesus was born and let out his first newborn cry…what a holy night! The joy she must have felt as she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and held him close to her heart. However, if she knew the persecution, the hurt and hatred that her son, Jesus, would endure, would she still say yes to the Angel Gabriel? She suffered tremendously when her only son died an excruciatingly painful death upon the cross, to save all of us from our sins. Knowing that He would die in such a horrendous way, would she take the next step, would she go forward? I believe, without a doubt, she would…she, too, knew that great joy lie ahead.
A couple months after losing our 5-month-old son Cohen, to SIDS, I had posted on Facebook about how amazing it was, that a night of belly laughing with my older children could help heal my broken heart. And a dear friend of mine, Cheryl Bauman, sent me this scripture. It’s from the book of Proverbs, chapter 17:22 and it says, “A merry heart is the health of the body…”. So, tonight, I pray that you too, will find your joy, your stillness and live with a merry heart this advent season.
In closing, living with a merry heart, and choosing joy daily, has such a positive effect on our souls and the souls of those around us, including our children and spouses. So what makes our hearts merry? In Jeremiah 15:16 it says “When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart, because I bear your name, Lord, God of hosts.” So for me this Advent, in order to live with a merry heart, I will sit in a quiet, still place, reflect on the promise the advent candle represents, trust Him to strengthen me to always take the next step, and fully take in His word, because, THAT is where grace and joy are found.

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Have Fun for a Great Cause!

CPO’s Super Hero Run

CPO's Super Hero Run

In case we haven’t mentioned it enough, CPO’s Super Hero Run is now only days away!

Check out this post for more information on how you can participate, volunteer, or sponsor!

Register online: superherorun2016.eventbrite.com
Facebook: Super Hero Run Tulsa
Instagram: @superheroruntulsa

Create a team, join someone else’s team, participate individually, or volunteer. And be sure to dress up!! No matter how you get involved at this year’s run: It is sure to be blast!


Volunteers Matter: Lindsey Wichern

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from a fantastic volunteer, Lindsey Wichern.

Q: In what ways do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I work in the office once a month, serve as the “transportation coordinator” for the birth moms needing rides to appointments, and fill in wherever else there is a need.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering in July of 2016.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Through our friends, Jeremy and Carrianne Burton.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I originally chose to volunteer at CPO because my husband and I are adopting through CPO. However, after becoming more accustomed to the organization, I will continue to volunteer here because I love the mission of the organization and what we’re doing to help women in crisis in our community.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: Every single life matters and CPO’s vision to help women in crisis, which is a wonderful thing itself, and how that directly impacts unborn children is just so important.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I have a heart and passion for helping young women in crisis. God has really put these ladies on my heart!

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: So many women and children (and waiting families!) are being shown God’s love through the people of CPO being His hands and feet. It’s beautiful.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: Don’t hesitate any longer, do it!aea9fc24-3365-436c-a0c3-9cda45a42b1b


Retro CPO: Meet Kelly Jacobson

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.
This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Kelly Jacobson, one of Cheryl’s assistants at the time (and still!). It was written in winter of 2009, and is her personal testimony.

I began volunteering for CPO sometime in 1996. At the time, i just wanted to support a pro-life ministry, because at 19, I had an abortion. I believe that if I had known of a crisis pregnancy ministry, I would have made a different choice.

Sometime along the way, God gave me a strong desire to adopt. Steven and I turned in our life book in December of 1997, but since we had three biological kids already, we wanted to only adopt a “special needs baby.”

We expected to wait for a long time, but in only two weeks Cheryl called to tell us about Jewel. She was born 9 weeks early, and only weighed 2 lbs., 14 oz. And that began our “adoption adventure.” We now have seven awesome kids and are blessed beyond measure.

In 2002, we moved to Denver and spent three years separated, in body but not in spirit, from CPO. In 2005, we moved to Owasso and got more involved than ever.

I love CPO.  I love watching God work miracles in the lives of birth moms and adoptive families… not to mention the awesome baby stories.

I love CPO because it gives women the help they need to choose life in a society that promotes death.

I love CPO because without it, I wouldn’t have my babies.

I love CPO and I feel privileged to serve.

My husband, Steven, works for Level3 in Tulsa. Our blessings are Madeline (16), Aaron (15), Elaina (13), Jewel (11), Isaac (9), Nate (7), and Zachary (16 months). We are a trans.racial family and I have a passion for racial reconciliation. I love to encourage anyone who has questions about transracial adoption.

The whole Jacobson crew!