We're expecting to adopt our first child around July 1!
We knew adoption was a possibility for our family before we were ever married. By the time we found each other, we were in our mid-30s. Lauren was sick with ulcerative colitis, and we knew pregnancy could be complicated for her and for a baby.
In 2021, Lauren had surgery to remove her colon. It's improved her life remarkably! She's healthier than she's ever been, and she can teach, coach, run, and do the other things she loves without limitation. But the surgery and recovery involved months in the hospital. Adoption is a chance for us to have a family without putting Lauren's body through a high-risk pregnancy.
We began the adoption process in February of 2022 and found a match quickly. We expected to bring a baby girl home in mid-November. Lauren would take the rest of the year off from teaching and coaching, and then our family would rejoin the team in January and finish the season together.
We got word in late September that the mom that had chosen us changed her mind and decided to parent her daughter on her own. Like so many parts of adoption, we celebrated her decision and that baby's opportunity to grow up with her mom as we mourned the loss to our family. We were fortunate that basketball season started two weeks later. Our families, our friends, our church, and our basketball family held us up as we walked forward from that loss.
We restarted the matching process in October as our season began, but we committed to finishing the season with our team and the basketball family that did so much to support us. That mean making the difficult decision that we wouldn't present our materials to moms who might deliver before February 25--the day of our state finals.
That choice was especially difficult because we knew so many things had to go right for us to play that deep into the season and the odds were low. But then they all happened! Our team won 20 games in a row and reached the state finals for the first time in school history.
The Monday before the championship game, we got an invitation to show our materials to a mom who grew up as an athlete, loves basketball, and wants to pursue a career in athletic training--which Lauren teaches. We had a great phone call with her that Wednesday. We played in the title game on Saturday. And Monday morning, we got word that she'd chosen us to adopt her baby boy!
Adoption is a tremendous financial challenge for many families. We're lucky that money hasn't been a barrier for us. To date, though, we've spent more than $70,000 toward our adoption, and we have more fees an expenses coming as July 1 draws closer and we travel to Kansas City to meet our son. We'd be grateful if you'd consider a donation to our fund--or any adoptive family's fund.
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction)*. Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Votaw 10384”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.
- *3.5% fee for donations given with an American Express card