Monday, July 16, 2018

Three Weeks Together

Where to even begin? Three weeks ago today, our daughter was placed in our arms for the very first time. It was a day of profound emotions for all of us. Her most of all. It was a day we had longed and prayed for. A day we had begged for. The morning leading up to meeting her left me a total and complete wreck. My warring emotions nearly left me paralyzed as I swayed back and forth between excitement and fear, relief and sadness. Three weeks ago, I sat in our hotel room on the other side of the planet with tears running down my face, knowing that we were about to begin this incredible journey, and--having done it once before--appreciating more fully all of the joy and the deep, deep heartache that would now be woven into the fabric of our family.

You've heard me say before that adoption is born from loss. No words are more true. Lucy is ours, not because everything in her life was going beautifully, but because this world is terribly broken. She came to out of tragedy. Sometimes, people tell me that she is so lucky to have us. I disagree. She's not lucky.

But we are. We are the ones who get the joy of, not just knowing her, but parenting her. I don't only get to have a relationship with her, I get to have what is arguably THE MOST IMPORTANT relationship with her. I get to be her mother. I get to curate her life. I get to become her inner voice. I get to introduce her to the world, more importantly, I get to introduce her to Jesus Christ. I get to tell her that she is CHOSEN and LOVED by the Creator of all that exists.

And I get to protect her. I get to protect her heart and her story. I get to tell her over and over again how precious and cherished she is.

So there is this struggle for me. What do I share? When we brought Bradley home, the imminent arrival of his baby sister resolved the issue for me. I had almost no time to write, so not much got shared just out of default. I certainly don't have more time now, but I want to make use of the precious little time I do have. That's why I'm sitting on the floor of my room, in the dark, typing this while Lucy naps right next to me. I want to use the time I have to document the incredible miracles God is working in the life of this family I call my own.

Three weeks ago, we were holding a beautiful little girl who was a complete stranger to us. She was terrified. And rightly so. Her nanny handed her to me, and then baby girl did not let go for the remainder of the day. Alternating between crying and staring, she hung on to me. Those first hours and days are are something I will never forget. They will serve as a constant reminder of where we have started and how far the Lord has brought us.

Even today, I watch this silly, smiley girl toddle around my living room, and I am in awe. She loves to laugh and hug her dolls. She loves to snatch books out of my hands. She loves to follow her brother and sister around. And she really loves her dog. The precious child sleeping in my room has covered MILES--literal and figurative--in just three short weeks.

The Lord Almighty has worked a true miracle right before my eyes. This little girl who sobbed at the sight and sound of her dad three weeks ago, now follows him when he leaves the room. Adam spent our first week in China hiding in the bathroom so that she could play and bond with me without being afraid of him. Now, he is lucky to go to the bathroom alone because she is his constant shadow. God has answered our deepest prayer by softening her heart toward us, and it has been astounding to see.

Adoption is not rosy. It is not just adorable pictures and airport celebrations. It is a lifetime of small victories and a daily effort to hand parenting over to God. It is a constant, in-your-face reminder of God's unwavering, unfailing, redemptive love. It is an invitation to watch Him do the impossible in your own home.


With love, 
Baylor 


Monday, June 18, 2018

Back in the Cocoon

I just can't believe that we leave THIS WEEK to adopt our daughter! We are officially in the chaos portion of getting ready to leave. Packing. Cleaning. Organizing. Last minute Target runs. Hugging Bradley and Asher way too much.

And as we approach our departure date, I have found myself drafting this post in my mind again and again.

We are so excited to bring Lucy home, and we cannot wait to begin the next chapter of our life as a family of FIVE. But as excited as we are, it is so critical to remember that our daughter is not having these same feelings.

We will be strangers to her for quite a while. We will have to EARN her trust and teach her to love us. Part of that involves our family staying behind closed doors for a while. From the moment we pick Lucy up, we need to be the only ones to touch her, hold her, feed, her, change her, bathe her. Pretty much everything.

This part of adopting is so important. We only have ONE chance to establish ourselves as Lucy's primary and permanent caregivers. We are not just teaching her that we are her parents, we are teaching her what parents actually are.

This part is so hard. Because you all have been so instrumental in our adoption story, and we WANT you to know her and love her in person. But, for the foreseeable future, we will have to stay in our little cocoon. We have made this plan after countless hours of research, reading and training and after having lived this experience once before. But even so, the reality of it is still so hard!

Don't worry, we will let you know just as soon as Lucy is ready for hugs from her friends and extended family! We can't wait for that day!

With love,
Adam and Baylor

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

On the Cusp

June 13, 2015.

A day that changed my entire life. It was this very day three years ago that I first held my most precious son in my arms. In that moment, I witnessed the promise of the Lord fulfilled in the life of our family. God had asked us to trust Him in the biggest of ways. And when I reached the top of those stairs and saw my son mere feet from me, I knew that the Lord had asked something big of us so that He could give us something bigger in return.



I held that eleven month old child, still a stranger to him, and prayed that the Lord would bind our hearts together. That He would somehow make my son know, in the depths of his soul, that he is fiercely and deeply loved. I begged God to move.

And three years later, I look at my my son, my nearly four year old boy, and I see the bravest soul I have ever known. I see someone the Lord loves so fully. I see a child whom I could not possibly love any more. He is the light of my life, a CONSTANT reminder of God's faithfulness.

And here we are. On the cusp of doing it again. Begging God to move AGAIN. Pleading with Him to give our daughter a supernatural peace during these last days. Days that she does not know are the last of their kind for her. I am praying, throwing myself at God's feet, asking Him to ready her heart for us.

I remember this feeling so clearly when it was Bradley. My heart: bursting with love for this longed-for child. All the while knowing that he had no clue that we even existed. I find myself in that same place tonight. Loving our daughter deeply and knowing that, when she meets us in a few short days, we will be strangers to her.

Adoption is so many things. Not the least of which is utterly heartbreaking.

So will you pray for her tonight? Will you join me in pleading with God for her heart and soul? I am praying that the Lord would, somehow, let her know that we love her and that she is safe with us. I am praying that she sees us as permanent figures and not just another set of rotating caregivers who will be here for awhile and then gone forever.

I know it can be done. I have seen it in the life of my son. And I am begging the Lord to do the same for my daughter.

With love,
Baylor

Sunday, May 20, 2018

He Will Supply Every Need

People often ask how this adoption compares to our experience adopting from Ethiopia. The short answer is: It doesn't. At all.

Bradley's adoption took so long. And, for most of that time, it truly seemed like it would never actually happen. There were delays, shut downs, law changes. It felt like anything that could have conceivably gone wrong did go wrong. The Lord used that time to strengthen and deepen our faith in a way that I still cannot fully wrap my head around. He showed us that He will always be with us, in the trenches, in the impossibilities. He showed us that we had been relying on our own strength and (perceived) righteousness, not His. God took the hardest thing we have ever done and used it to show us His glory.

Lucy's adoption has swung us the other way. When we started the process early last year, we thought that it would be at least three years before we brought our daughter home. God had much different and far better plans. He brought our daughter to us after only three months of waiting. We were floored (still are!) and so thankful.

After we gave our best yes and began to take the next steps to bring Lucy home, we realized that we were going to have to trust the Lord to provide in a completely new way. At the time we were matched with Lucy, we still had over two thirds of our adoption costs left to pay for. Adam was already working two jobs, and I am with our kids full time. On paper, there was no way we could earn that much money in such a short amount of time.

But then we reached out to you, our family and community. We asked you to love our daughter in a very real way by helping us to bring her home.

And SO MANY of you responded. You gave of your resources to give our daughter a family. We are so humbled by you. Thank you.

We have also been applying for grants through adoption-focused ministries. And we are thrilled beyond words to share with you that, last week, we were awarded a matching grant from Lifesong for Orphans. This incredible ministry comes alongside adopting families through local churches and offers everything from fundraising support to grants. Their heart's desire is to see children find families. We have been blessed to be one of those families.

Lifesong for Orphans has offered our family a $4,000 matching grant.

That means that any funds we can raise, up to $4,000 will be matched. And THAT means we can potentially put $8,000 toward bringing our daughter HOME.

We are stunned and so deeply thankful. If we can do this, we will be fully and completely funded to bring Lucy home THIS SUMMER.

One of the most amazing parts about Lifesong is their commitment to partner with local churches, and OUR HOME CHURCH is our partner in this grant. That means that the money matched for our adoption will come from our church's benevolence fund. The global church speaks often of supporting brothers and sisters, of meeting the needs of fellow believers. Our church is doing that in an amazing way. Our faith family is standing beside our family and saying, "Yes. We believe in what God has laid before you, and we want to be a part of it."

How incredible is that?

So if you are still reading, and you are feeling led to donate, just follow the directions below.

Click HERE.

Where it says, "Please direct my donation to," select "Adoption."

In the FAMILY ACCOUNT NUMBER field, enter: #7733

In the FAMILY NAME field, enter: Knott Family

Any donation above $50 is automatically tax deductible. For donations below $50, you can request tax deduction receipts.

You can also mail a check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
P.O. Box 40
Gridley. IL 61744

If you give by check, please include "Knott Family, account #7733" in the memo line.

We will never be able to thank you enough for helping us bring our daughter home. We know that she is worth it, and it means the world to know that you think so, too.

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

With love,
The Knotts


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Her Name

We have SO MUCH going on in the adoption world right now. Electronic forms being completed and submitted. Paperwork crisscrossing the planet. I want to step back to breathe for a minute. and in that minute, I want to share our daughter's name with you.

Lucy Ruth

It was the spring of 2010 when Adam and I first felt the Lord pull our hearts toward adoption. We were sitting in church listening to our pastor teach on the Book of Ruth. It wasn't even an adoption-focused sermon, but at the same time, Adam and I looked at each other and said that we felt the Lord telling us we would one day adopt a daughter from China. AT THE SAME TIME. We love the story of Ruth, of her faith to follow God when it was hard and her boldness in doing what she knew the Lord was asking of her even when her reputation was on the line.

So we always knew that Ruth would be a part of our daughter's name.

Lucy means LIGHT. Years ago, God used His call on our hearts to turn on a light in our lives. He opened our eyes and our hearts to adoption. Our little girl coming home is the Lord fulfilling a years old promise. She is the reason we started down this path. It is also our deepest prayer that she would come to know Jesus early and be a light for Him and His kingdom here on earth.

So now we are praying. We are praying that our Lucy Ruth comes home as soon as possible. We are praying that the Lord would continue to guard and protect her in the meantime. We are praying that He would claim her heart early and never let it go.

With love,
Baylor

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Isn't It Interesting

I never get tired of God showing up. Never.

On Sunday night, hundreds of you joined us in prayer for our daughter's adoption case. You prayed that she would feel loved. You prayed that her caregivers would have extra strength. And you prayed that we would get the necessary document to move our case forward this week.

Well, I got a call from the director of our agency's China program this morning letting me know that the in-country staff says we should have everything we need by the end of THIS WEEK.

You GUYS! Thank you for begging God alongside us.

I want to say that I cannot believe it, but I totally can.

As soon as I got off the phone with her, I called Adam to tell him the news and he said, "Isn't it interesting how as soon as we share what our prayer needs are, God moves?"

Yeah, it is interesting. It reminds me that God WANTS us to ask great big things of Him. He wants us to come running to Him. Over and over again in my life--especially since we began our first adoption process--I have seen God wait. I've seen Him wait until we reach out to the world and ask you to join us in prayer to do something HUGE.

And I might wonder why, but I think I know. When we ask Him to move in God-sized ways, and when we do it in front of people, He alone gets the glory for moving the mountain. I can't claim victory over this paperwork glitch. HE CAN. And He can claim that victory in front of everyone who joined us in prayer or even just read about what was going on this past Sunday night at 8:30.

That is how we are called to live our lives, dear friends. We have to throw the spotlight back on God. That is where it belongs. Our victories are due to His hands moving.

And we are so thankful to have the opportunity to see God toss mountain after mountain into the sea for the good of our family and the glory of His great and powerful name.

So we don't have the paper in hand, but we should get it this week. Please keep praying with us.

With love,
Baylor

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Will You Pray With Us?

Well, I suppose it would not be an international adoption without a bump or two along the way. Sadly, we have hit a big one. Ten days ago, we received a letter in the mail from our immigration officer. It is the letter you do NOT want to get. It's called a Request For Evidence (RFE). Basically, it means that the immigration officer assigned to our family's case thinks something in our family's file is lacking and he has, therefore, requested further evidence before granting permission for our daughter to enter the country as a U.S. citizen.

At it's core, an RFE is a good thing because it is the United States doing its due diligence to ensure that children being placed for adoption do, in fact, need to be adopted. We fully support that. What is frustrating for us is that we feel like what immigration is asking for should have already been in our daughter's file. A clerical error, more or less...at least that is what we are hoping. I'm not going to go into any more detail as to what our officer is looking for, as that information is part of our daughter's story and not ours to share. But suffice it say that we are STUCK and a little nervous. Our case cannot move forward until our officer receives what he is asking for, and what he is asking for is a critically important piece of documentation.

An RFE is a HUGE setback because there is no definite time frame as to when it will be resolved. We were really hoping to get the documentation we need to move forward some time last week, but that did not happen.

So we are, once again, turning to you. We are asking you to pray with our family to help bring our daughter home. Each day our case is delayed is another day our daughter spends without a family. And that reality breaks our hearts.

Tonight at 8:30 CST we will be praying for the following things:

-That our daughter would feel safe and loved every single day
-That her caregivers would have extra energy and patience as they go about their work
-That we would receive the necessary documentation THIS WEEK in order to move our case forward

These are ENORMOUS prayers. Each one will take a miracle. I mean that. And I am certain it is no coincidence that our church's sermon this morning was all about connecting with God through prayer, how He knows what we need before we ask, how He is able to do all things. And the part that stuck with me the most: when we pray according to His will, it will be done. God's heart is to set the lonely in families, to be a Father to the fatherless. Scripture shouts these truths.

So will you pray with us? Will you pray and ask the Lord to move these mountains? If you can commit to joining us tonight, will you leave a comment below, or on Facebook or Instagram? We love to see how the Lord moves when we come together before Him.

Love,
Baylor
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