Our Adoption Story

By Sabrina Schlesinger

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One year ago you couldn't have convinced me that our family would look the way it does today. I was a mother of three girls, from ages 9 to 14. My husband and I were content with our family of five and certainly felt at peace with not having any more kids. Then God whispered in my husband’s ear that we needed to adopt a child in our mission field of San Diego.

We have gotten used to saying yes to God. Although He may ask big things, His ways are always the best ways. So we began doing our research and learning how one even start this process! We literally had no idea because this wasn't on our radar AT ALL.

We quickly found out the first thing you need to do is pick an agency. We didn't want to go with the first one that popped up on our Google search, so we started attending agency orientations to see what they were about, how the process worked and how much this was going to cost.

We were open to whomever God chose for us, but we had our wish list. Our desire was a boy between the ages of 2-5. It wasn't a demand, but we threw that up to God anyways. :)

After attending three orientations and not feeling peace with any of them, we came across one online that looked amazing. There was an instant witness inside of us. Unfortunately all they really dealt with were infants, and their next orientation that we would be able to attend was two months out. I emailed them anyways, introducing ourselves and our story. I let them know what we loved about them and how we were interested in choosing their agency.

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Although we were getting excited about the possibilities, everyone...I mean EVERYONE we spoke to, told us that placement of a child in our home would be at minimum 6 months but the wait could be more like two years. And since we had three biological kids, it could actually take longer. So, we set our expectations for the long haul and began praying for our future child, whomever that would be.

Two weeks later we received a call from the director of the agency we had emailed. Without ever having met her, she talked to my husband and I about a little boy, age 4, who needed a forever family. She rarely deals with kids that aren't infants, so it was a unique case that needed a unique family. After reading my email, she felt the witness of God as well and decided to call us. She sent me a photo of the him and I remember staring at his big blue eyes, blond hair, and silly smile and telling my husband, "This could be the first time we are seeing a picture of our son!" We both cried and took the next 24 hours to pray and get the heartbeat of God for this little boy.

All lights were green. So we went and had our first official interview and found out the cost would be $20,000. The bulk of that would be needed within a few weeks. It freaked us out a bit, but we reminded ourselves that IF this was God, then He would most certainly provide, because there was no way we could have come up with that amount of cash in such a short period of time.

So again we went home and took the next 24 hours to pray. And again we felt that God was giving us all green lights. This was by far the biggest step of faith we had ever made.

Within two weeks we had raised $18,000!!!! Through hard work, fundraisers, garage sells, and the favor of God, He opened the floodgates of provision. It was as if He was shouting from the Heavens confirming that this little boy was supposed to be our son!

A few weeks later we met Shawn for the first time. He was wearing a fire engine costume and putting out fires with his extinguisher. He called us Mommy Brina and Daddy Matt from the start (thanks to the coaching of an amazing social worker). He didn't know then that he was meeting his future mom and dad, but we knew we were meeting our forever son, handpicked by God for us.

Two weeks after meeting Shawn he moved in and has been our son ever since! November 1, 2016 was a day I will never forget. It was the day that God expanded the tent pegs of our hearts to make room for one of His little ones. It was the day we stopped saying "party of 5" and became a "party of 6". It was a day where we saw God move heaven and earth for a little boy that no one knew. But God knew his name...and God saw his need.

To say it has all been skittles and roses would be a lie. Transplanting a child into the heart of an established family that has been running like a well-oiled machine takes time. Everyone has had to adjust (and in many ways we still are), but we wouldn't change it for a second.

I started off in this journey saying I wanted God's fingerprints to be all over this so I could tell my son this story and he could know that God was in every detail. I wanted Shawn to know he was undeniably ours. Little did I know that when the days were dark, or the challenges were hard, I would need to look back at the fingerprints of God and remind myself this was and is the undeniable will of God. It has brought me peace, perseverance, and patience in the process.

I think we all need those moments when we are asked to do big things from God. We need those signs and confirmations along the way because when the storms hit, and our emotions and feelings fade, we can hold tight to those anchors that will keep us steady when we feel like jumping ship.

Love + Blessings,
Sabrina


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Sabrina is a mother to three girls and one boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, a freelance graphic designer, and a mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!


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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina