check out updates below!
check out updates below!
Happy New Year! We are simply overjoyed from the amazing responses from each and everyone one of you. Whether it’s through your personal donations and/or prayers, they have bared much fruit – we even have pictures to prove it!
Many of you have requested an update, and we’ve tried several times, however, many challenges have prevented us from focusing on the blog.
Receiving Caiden into our home was a great joy and an answer to our long awaited prayer. However, from dreaming of adopting a child to actually parenting one was quite sobering! Additionally, taking on an infant with special needs seemed quite “heroic” in our minds, but in the real nitty gritty trenches it was frightening at times. The first several weeks with Caiden were very concerning. He cried inconsolably, his body was spastic, locked in full extension, his fists were clenched tight and he would only look to his left side. The reality of Caiden's condition, somewhat unknown initially, started to become more apparent.
Shortly after Caiden’s birth, he suffered from respiratory distress and consequently had severe seizures. After a two week stay in the Neo-natal ICU, with his birth mother faithfully at his side, Caiden was discharged from the hospital with a diagnosis of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy and an uncertain prognosis.
Thankfully, Caiden has been seizure-free since leaving the hospital. But after having a reputable neurologist review his medical records and examine him, the neurologist determined Caiden's prognosis to be very poor. In this neurologist’s opinion, Caiden would be severely disabled physically and mentally. He also said there is a slim chance that Caiden's brain could heal and reroute its functions with aggressive early intervention therapies. But we know a doctor who has all the answers . . . the Divine Physician! And we have decided to live in the Hope of a miracle and in the goodness of our Lord’s Holy Will. Living in Hope has taken a daily decisive effort on our part, but we have seen its enormous worth as we witness Caiden make huge strides!
Since enrolling Caiden in Early Intervention Program, in which he has been undergoing occupational and physical therapy 5 days a week, we have noticed great improvement! Caiden now turns and looks out to his right, bends his elbows, brings his left hand to his face, sucks on it and removes his pacifier. He smiles whenever he sees our faces in the morning and after he naps, laughs when tickled or at hearing funny sounds, coos and mimics ooo's and ahh's repetitively! Caiden is definitely a talker; he attempts to talk even when we are feeding him. Caiden is following in the footsteps of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and climbs up our chests while we hold him and squeals with delight when he reaches the "top"! Caiden loves bath time, dance music and animal sounds—Old MacDonald is his favorite. Caiden is a bit of a home body. He doesn't like unfamiliar places a whole lot and is overwhelmed by loud noises and crowded rooms. We have had to take him out for short bursts and get him use to being in other places. Thankfully, Caiden is finally enjoying his stroller and loves being in grandma and auntie’s homes. Our little man has such a personality—he sizes up strangers and flirts with the pretty ladies! Daddies hang on to your daughters!
The neurologist saw him two weeks ago and was happy to see he has a big personality and has now become cautiously optimistic. Yet we see and experience Caiden defying the odds every day. In the end, we don't place our trust in medical science, but we trust that God has the last word! We believe Our Lord has a very special and miraculous plan for Caiden. He already has overcome a near death experience at his birth by the grace of God we are incredibly thankful for his survival! We can't imagine our life without our son, Caiden Emmanuel. He is our daily reminder that God is truly with us and know that He will see our family through any challenge bringing us into victorious living!
We are immensely grateful for your prayers and support over these last three months. We truly believe Caiden would not be recovering so well without your prayers, personal support, and donations. We continue to rely on your prayers for Caiden’s progressing recovery and as we continue the finalization of his adoption over this next year.
Nathan & Monica
Dearest Friends & Family,
We are overjoyed to announce that we brought our son home last Monday October 19! Thank you so much for making his home-coming possible! We can never repay your kindness and generosity. We count on our Heavenly Father to reward you abundantly for your selflessness!
We have had a crazy week! Only 4 days to prepare for Caiden's homecoming and then receiving him into our family with only the bare essentials. We are so grateful to many of you for the generous donations of all kinds of baby stuff! Thank you!!! Honestly, we would have not had a clue about what was really needed to care for an infant without your great advice and donations/loans of baby paraphernalia!
We are overtired and still scrambling to catch up but we are overjoyed by our little one! In just 8 days we have witnessed little Caiden resist and struggle to get to know us, to relax into our arms and being consoled by our affection and love as if he had always been with us. God is good! We now can't imagine our lives without him. Thank you for making this amazing gift of life possible!
Although, our hearts have been filled with joy by Caiden's arrival, our bank account has been emptied out! However, it must be acknowledged, because of each of you who donated, over $9,000 was raised by the date of placement! That is AMAZING!!! You are amazing! Although your generosity has been truly awe inspiring, we did not quite reach our financial goal and other unexpected costs have arisen. We have had to pay a retainer fee of $2,500 for the birth mom's attorney as required by NY state law, and now we have been told by our agency that we must hire an attorney (a good one) who specializes in adoption to finalize the adoption which will cost us another $5,000 to $6,000. Additionally, Monica is not entitled to paid maternity leave because she did not give birth to Caiden, instead she is entitled Family Medical Leave which will hold her position at work for 3 months without pay.
You have done so much already and we do not want to appear ungrateful. All we humbly ask from you now is for you to encourage your friends and family members to donate and help us overcome the enormous cost of this adoption. Please feel free to share our link on Facebook, email your loved ones, and spread the word in whatever way God inspires you to do so. Also, for those of you who do not have much to give but want to give, please do not be discouraged. ANY amount helps. A $10 donation gets us $10 closer to finalizing our adoption without debt. May God repay your sacrifice!
Regardless of what we raise monetarily, we are so grateful and feel blessed by your love! We continue to trust in God's providence and in his tremendous love and care of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
In the Joy of Christ,
Nathan and Monica
Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for all your prayers and support. You are all an inspiration to us!
We have wanted to send more updates, but we've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for something new to report. Unfortunately, the birth mother, after agreeing to move forward with the adoption, again stopped returning the agency’s multiple phone calls for unknown reasons. It's been very challenging for us. On one end, we already love her child, want to give him the love and care he needs, and desire to bring him into our home permanently. But on the other end, he's not our child and as a result, we have no control or say over his care, medical or otherwise. In addition, the lack of a solid decision by the birth mom this late in the process, makes the upcoming post adoption 30-day “recall” period, mandated by New York State law, seem daunting for us.
Thankfully, our agency has managed to a get in touch with the birth mom and she has finally set the date to sign surrenders, placing her baby for adoption, next Wednesday. If she chooses not to sign, her son must immediately be returned into her care (for which it seems she is unable to manage), or he will be placed into the long-term foster care system provided by the State of New York.
Although, we are cautiously optimistic, we are trying to remain emotionally neutral for our mental wellbeing. It has been a tumultuous and exhausting journey thus far, so we are praying for a final resolution to this uncertainty. Nonetheless, we trust God is in control and has all of us--baby, birth mom, ourselves, and the Bethany team--under His tender care!
Ultimately, whether it’s this beautiful baby, or another child, we know our son or daughter has been chosen for us before the beginning of time. We are confident that God has not brought us this far to leave us ultimately disappointed. No matter the decision next week, we humbly accept the outcome as God's will. We are comforted in knowing this journey has and is preparing us for the most selfless job we will ever be blessed to have--parenthood!
We are so thankful for all your love, prayers, kind words, and immensely generous donations. Your love has been a tremendous consolation. Please continue to pray for us all! But also please encourage others you know to donate to our fund. If this adoption takes place as scheduled, we will have to pay close to $18,000 by next week! (This does not include the $10,000 we have already paid.) We trust God will provide one way or another. But if you feel called to help us, please know any amount you can give helps relieve the enormous financial burden of adoption. May God keep you and reward you for your generosity!
Nathan & Monica
Dear family and friends,
Good news! Our potential birth mother has come to the decision to proceed with an adoption plan for her son! And she wants us to be his parents!
Our potential baby boy, who we hope to call our son, just reached 2 months of age. He remains in interim care, with a very special and loving woman, and is doing exceptionally well despite having had serious medical complications at birth. This little one is an over-comer and would fit right into the Herber family!
We have been in the process of reviewing all his medical records and consulting with pediatricians. Although, this beautiful baby boy had a challenging start and may require extra care, we feel strongly called to take him into our hearts and home as our son. We ask that you pray for our strength and courage to follow God’s will.
The Bethany counselor will be meeting with the birth mother soon, hopefully tomorrow. We ask that you pray for her continued courage to do what is best for her son. There is a possibility for her to change her mind or to put off making a lasting decision. Yet we pray whatever her final choice may be, that she make it soon and that she remain firm in that decision for the sake of her son. We hope that her beautiful boy become settled in a permanent, loving home soon. If it be God’s will, let it be our home! Please join us in this prayer.
Thank you for your continued support both financially and prayerfully! We can’t tell you how much your words of encouragement mean to us. We do not feel alone. Thank you.
Nathan & Monica
Beloved friends and family,
Thank you again for such a generous outpouring of your hearts! I wish we had happy news to report. I had hoped to send a photo of our baby informing you that after 7 years of waiting we are finally parents. Sadly (for us), our potential birth mother has been wavering on her decision to make an adoption plan. Her baby boy remains in interim care in the meantime, where we have been told, he is thriving. Our agency is compassionately giving this birth mom another week to a month to make a decision. Which leaves us waiting . . .
We ask that you continue to pray for this birth mom, that she may find the resources to responsibly parent her child, or that she be given the grace and courage to finalize an adoption plan. May God's will be done!
This has been an emotional roller coaster ride, leaving us somewhat exhausted and empty at times. We went from thinking parenthood was around the corner and that we would have to scramble to buy a crib and all sorts of baby stuff to waiting for the phone to ring. Thankfully, your words of encouragement and generosity keep us hopeful and remind us that we are in the care of a loving God who has an amazing plan for our family!
Thank you for keeping our hope alive! Please continue to pray for our peace and perseverance as we wait for our little one(s). And be assured of our prayers of blessing upon your lives!
Waiting in Hope,
Nathan & Monica
Dearest family & friends!
We are floored by your generosity! We continue to be humbled by your selflessness. Thank you!
We may be very close to adopting a two month old beautiful baby boy, but as you can only imagine his mom is heart-broken. Although birth mom has narrowed down her search to us, but she is experiencing hesitancy, which is to be understood and expected. Nonetheless, it causes us uneasiness. Please, pray for her; that she may be at peace with whatever decision she makes. God knows we only want a child placed in our care if it is in the best interest of all involved. We want a child out of love not by force or pressure. So we ask for your prayers.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers. The uncertainty is rough. The emotional ups and downs take a toll. We are certain, however, that God is watching overs us and all our needs, which is made evident by your incredible generosity and beautiful words of encouragement! These words are keeping us going and anchoring us in HOPE!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!
May God bless you immensely!
With much love,
Monica and Nathan
Dearest Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for your tremendous outpouring of love and generosity! We feel so grateful to have a beautiful community of truly good people.
Yesterday, we met an amazing woman who could potentially choose us to parent her adorable two month old son. She is heart broken, and is struggling with feelings of guilt and self condemnation for choosing to place her child for adoption, and yet she had the courage to meet us today and is determined to do what is best for her son. I ask you to flood the heavens with prayers for this brave woman and beloved child of God and to give her good discernment, wisdom, peace and healing.
Thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement! They have been an enormous consolation as we navigate into this wild uncharted territory. It hasn't been easy. Very humbling. But what a relief to know there are people like you cheering us on!
May God bless you always!
Monica and Nathan
Dear Family & Friends,
We are truly, truly grateful for your generosity. You are all simply amazing. We've raised a little over 10% in under 24 hours. Words can not explain our gratitude!
Updating you all of the progress; we are going to meet our first birth mom this Friday at 11:30am! As the email stated, things are moving fast. Her son, is three weeks old and is receiving terrific care from an interim family. Please pray for birth mom and all her needs. May God's will be done.
May God Bless you richly,
Nathan & Monica