Friday, April 20, 2018

I will trust in You.

Hi all!

Well, this last few months have been a roller coaster, and I apologize for not keeping you all in the loop.

I was shocked to realize that I had not even updated about our little boy's birth or anything! Ah!

Well, here is part of the story:

We were supposed to head up to Billings for our little boy's birth on December 11th, since that is when his birth mom was supposed to be induced. However, at about 4:30am on Wednesday, December 6th, I received a call from our social worker. I was immediately awake when I heard my phone since I have a special ringtone for our social worker (don't's the way I am! lol). She informed us that our little boy had been born earlier that morning and that we needed to come to Billings immediately.

I'm fairly confident that Joe and I broke records with how quickly we loaded up our vehicle, roused Lydia from sleep and got her ready, and took off. It was cold and snowing, and I don't know that I have driven through worse conditions. The first hour of our trip, we nearly went off of the road twice due to the snow covered roads and high wind. Oh how I prayed that Jesus would protect us! Our drive normally takes us 3 hours to get to Billings, but the first leg that should have only taken an hour took nearly two. Not quite two hours into our drive, I got a text from our social worker. She told us to come to Billings still, but not to come to the hospital quite yet, since the birth family needed some time.

This was the scariest thing in the world for us. We did not know what was going to happen, or if there had been a change of heart, or if something else had gone wrong with our birth mother or our baby. We fought off anxiety and fear and devastation, and we called family members to ask for extra prayer.  After stopping for gas and coffee (which I very much needed), our social worker called us to let us know that our birth mother wanted us at the hospital as soon as possible. Thankfully, when we got back onto the road, the road conditions improved so much that we were able to travel at regular speeds without worrying about sliding off of the road!

Once we got to Billings, a family member picked up Lydia, and we went up and met with our social worker. When we got to go into the room to meet our beautiful baby boy, our social worker informed us that no one besides medical staff had held him, because his birth mother wanted me, his new mother, to be the first person to hold him. I cannot express to you how truly wonderful and precious this gift from her to me was. I would have never asked her or expected her to let me hold him first, but because she loves him and us so much, she made that sacrifice.

I wish I could fully explain how it felt to see and hold my son. I had wondered if I would feel differently from when I saw and held my daughter for the first time. It felt the exact same, though maybe even a bit sweeter with the background of having waited for this precious boy for so long. He was perfect and tiny. Both Joe and I marveled at the way that God had perfectly formed his little body. His birth mother was beaming, and I cannot imagine a sweeter moment.

The hospital was amazing, and we were allowed to use a room that they specifically have set aside for adoptive parents. We got to be with our son, Ethan, the entire time he was in the hospital.

Two days later, he was discharged, and a day after that we met our sweet birth mother for the entrustment ceremony. It was especially meaningful that we got to have my family and the birth family all go out to eat after the entrustment ceremony. Our birth mother is the strongest, most courageous person I know. She made such an enormous sacrifice out of love, and we are so privileged to have her as a part of our lives.

Since then, Ethan has grown tremendously. He eats like a champ and started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old. Lydia is completely in love with her baby brother. She proudly took a picture of him to school the following week to show to all of her classmates and anyone at the school who would listen to her. It was and has been so fulfilling to watch her finally become a sister after wanting to be one for such a long time.

Between our beloved church family, our families, and our dear friends, we have been so blessed with gifts and help throughout this entire process. It has truly felt like God has been wrapping his arms around us and telling us how much He loves us.

Here are some answers to some questions that we have been asked fairly frequently:

Q: How long have you been going through this process? 
A: We began the process of adoption through Catholic Social Services of Montana in January 2014, though we were officially put into the pool of prospective adoptive families in June 2014.

Q: What did you mean by "entrustment ceremony"? 
A: Catholic Social Services has a very special and lovely ceremony in which birth parent(s) and adoptive parents meet and they express their feelings towards each other, which the birth parent(s) sign their final relinquishments, and when the birth parent(s) physically entrust the baby to the adoptive parents. It has been one of the most special and meaningful things in which we have taken part in.

Q: Is he fully yours now, or do you have to do anything else?
A: He is legally in the legal custody of Catholic Social Services until we can finalize his adoption. Per law in the state of Montana, he must be in our care as a foster-to-adopt child for at least six months before an adoption can be finalized. After six months, our lawyer will apply for his finalization, and we will be given a date by the court to come in to finalize his adoption.

Q: Is your adoption open or closed? 
Our adoption is an open adoption. What this means is that we have contact with (in our case) the birth mother and some of the extended birth family. We meet with the birth family on occasion, and we send pictures and updates on our son's wellbeing. This is not co-parenting in which the birth family has a say in how our son is raised or any other decisions for him. We think of it as adding his entire birth family to ours, not just him. We made the decision to be involved in an open adoption for many reasons, but the main reason was because we know that this decision was made out of love, on both sides. It is only right that the love shared between all of us be allowed to continue to grow. We have nothing but respect and love towards the birth family! That being said, there are still boundaries in our relationship with the birth family, but those are simply to help us and them be able to move forward in our lives.

Q: What would you say to other people who are thinking of adopting? 
A: I would say that if you feel led to adopt, then go for it! Just remember that it is not a fast or easy process. Things do not typically work out the way that you think that they will. Be flexible, and let God lead you to the

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What if your blessings come through raindrops?

 The song, "Blessings", by Laura Story has been one of my go-to songs when I feel overwhelmed. I listen and sing and cry and allow myself to just cry out to Jesus during that time. It's one of those songs that I instantly tear up to because I feel that it so accurately depicts how I want to view the hard things that have happened in my life.

That being said, we have some very exciting news! We have been selected by a birth mother, and, if everything continues to go smoothly, we will be having a baby in the not-too-distant future, as they are expecting to induce labor in less than two weeks! We met with the birth mother and her family last night, and it was truly a beautiful experience. They are loving and giving, and we have been so blessed to be chosen to become a part of their lives.

Though we are rejoicing and are excited, this is never a sure thing until after the baby is born and the legal side of the paperwork is done. From our meeting last night, it appears that things should work out, but we are still cautious as we go through this. That being said, there are a few things that I would like to let you all know.

First of all, we will not be putting up pictures on social media for quite awhile. This is for the protection for everyone involved. Also, if you have questions about the process, please don't hesitate to ask us! We do not mind sharing what we are going through with you all, but this is not something that we feel we should be sharing all over social media. Of course, we will be uploading pictures once the baby is a bit older, but for now, things on our social media pages will probably be a little quiet.

Because we have gotten rid of most of our baby stuff, we have made a registry on Amazon that I will include on Facebook, or you can search our names on the Amazon baby registry. Please do not feel that you have to get us something! I will also be sharing our GoFund me adoption page, since we still have about $4,000 that we will need to pay once we get this little baby. We are hoping that we can do some fundraising here in our town too since I will be without a job for awhile as we go through the bonding process after he's born.

The biggest thing that we ask for is for your prayers: prayers for the birth mother and her family as they go through this incredible difficult and emotional time, prayers for baby's health, prayers for baby's and birth mom's safety throughout the next few weeks and through labor and delivery, prayers for us as we move forward into welcoming this new life into our family, and prayers that God will use this opportunity to bless everyone that is affected by it.

None of this has been by accident, and we can see God's hand working in this process. There are still major unknowns for everyone involved, but we do know that God has had this come about for a reason!

Thank you for your continued love and support over the last four years. This has not been easy, but the best things in life rarely are. We are truly blessed, and we are thankful for God's love and blessings!


Joe, Shiloh, and (soon-to-be big sister!) Lydia

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Choosing JOY

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for not writing in so long! It's been a bit of a roller coaster few months! It's hard for me to believe that it's been nearly six months since my last post!

What's new with us? Well, we have been blessed, but I will be honest and say that I'm not too sorry to see 2016 end. Last September, we received a call from the agency asking if we would be willing to be presented to a birth mother who had recently had twins. We knew that it was only a possibility, but our hearts were hopeful as we waited for the news about whether or not we would be the ones chosen to take care of those sweet little babies. Unfortunately, the situation did not go as expected, and the children were placed with social services. It was another hard blow, but not nearly as hard or bad as what happened last March.

However, other than that, we have had a plentiful few months. Joe has had enough work that I have been able to quit working full-time. I am now substitute teaching for the Glendive school district, and I'm able to be off of work by the time that Lydia gets off of school, which has made it much easier for me to help Lydia do her schoolwork and spend more time together.

That being said, we got a phone call just over a week ago about a possible match. We were called because the situation was a difficult one, and we had to know all of the issues before deciding to be presented or not. We chose to be presented. After waiting a week, we were informed that, unfortunately, the birth mother chose another family. While we grieve our loss, we also rejoice for the other family. Who knows how long they have been waiting or what they have gone through!

It is through all of these things that I have been brought to the realization that joy is something you chose. No matter what is going on in your life; no matter what you are struggling through. You can choose to focus on God's love and plan for your life and live and rest in His love and peace. James tells us in James 1:2 to "Consider it PURE joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kids, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it  work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." As I thought about that, it hit me. These trials are to help me become whole and complete in God, not lacking anything, but only if I choose to consider it pure joy. I can choose to consider it pure evil and be mad and unhappy and discontent, or I can choose to have faith in God and believe that His timing and ways are perfect. It's up to me and what I choose.

This is my encouragement to you, whoever you are and whatever you may be going through, God is not absent. He is there, and He has promised that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. It might not make sense right now. Heck, it might never make sense while we are living on this earth. The thing to remember is that God's ways are so much higher and wiser than ours that we might not know until we are with Him. I don't know that then it will matter as much to us as it might now. I don't understand why God would put us in a little girl's life, with every indication that she was officially going to join our family, and then allow her to be taken away. I don't think I'll ever really know, but I believe that we were put in that situation for a reason. Maybe we were a testimony of God's love to her mother. Maybe we will minister to someone else who goes through something just like it. I don't know, but I do know that it happened for a reason. If you are going through something like this or need encouragement, I would love to pray for and with you. God is near to the brokenhearted, and we take such encouragement from that since we have had times of intense brokenhearted the past few years.

For now, we are busy with life, and looking forward to a trip back east in April! It looks like we will be going to Disney World for a few days as well (though Lydia has no idea), so we are very excited for that surprise! We can't begin to express the depth of love we have felt from you, our dear friends and family, as we have gone through these times. I hope and pray that we will have joyful news very soon, but until God's timing, we will be content to rest in Him.

With all our love,

Joe, Shiloh, and Lydia

Saturday, August 20, 2016

From Us to You

Hello Everyone (or I guess I should say, everyone who reads my posts),

 I know I haven't posted in a long time, and I am sorry about that. Joe and I are so appreciative of all the love and prayers for us these past few months especially.

So, what is going on with us right now? Well, as most of you know or have read in my previous post, we lost our little girl before the adoption was finalized. I can't begin to express the depth of that loss. I will be honest. We had several people tell us things like, "Well, she wasn't yours anyhow," and, "It's not like you really lost a child that was yours." I have to completely disagree with those comments, though I know they were well-meant. We had fully accepted her into our family. We had her clothes sorted. Her room was prepared. Her absence in our family is noticed every day. Though we never experienced a miscarriage or still-birth, I would imagine that it would feel the exact same way. When we walked back through our door after everything fell apart, I could barely keep it together when I saw her bed, her clothes...everything that we had so joyfully prepared was just a painful reminder that she was not with us.

That being said, things are much better now, though we have good days and bad days. She's never far from our hearts, and we pray for her daily. The encouraging thing is that God had used our brokenness and pain to draw us closer to Him, and we have learned more from this experience than I could have imagined.

I'm not going to say it was easy, and I'm not going to say that this wound will be something that we have for the rest of our lives. It simply wouldn't be true, but we chose to trust God's direction for our lives. He has our dear child in His hands, and we trust that He is caring for her and that His plan for her is the best plan.

That being said, Joe and I are still in the adoptive pool. Last month, I received word from our social worker that the time table had changed for our foster care licensing, and instead of the two months that I thought I had, Joe and I only had less than a week to complete our re-licensing information (about 8 hours worth of work). Those were some of the bad days. I had hoped and prayed that I would not have to do that paperwork again. The good thing is that we did get the paperwork completed, and we should get our re-licensing information from the state soon.

I feel like infertility, adoption loss, and miscarriages are so often taboo to talk about, but I am hoping that my openness will help that, at least a little bit. Joe and I have gone through two of those issues. It's a hard thing, and the more we have been open about it, the more people we meet who have gone through similar things. If you are going through these things, don't feel like you are alone! We are here, and if you need to talk or just vent, please let us pray for you and with you. I've learned that it's okay to not be okay. Sometimes, being vulnerable with one another and admitting we don't have all the answers is the best help we can give.

One of the things that I have really come to know and believe is that, even if our loss means that we can help one other person or family grieve through their own losses, it will be worth it. So many times, the losses and hardships that we face are ways in which, if we choose to let them, can be our most effective tools to help others. You know that saying about taking a walk in a man's shoes before judging him? I think that's a true thing, but it's even more profound if you've already worn those same shoes before in your own life. Our prayer is that, if nothing else, we can use this part of our journey to help others at some point down the road.

As many of you know, I started working not long after the adoption fell through. It has been a very good thing for our family, even though it was a difficult transition in the beginning. I'm working at our local community college, and I love being able to interact with students there and have made many new friends with both the students and my coworkers. Joe's work was slow this spring, but is picking up rapidly, and we are so thankful for God's provision for us.

Please know that each and everyone of you who have texted, messaged, and prayer for us has made a difference in our lives. We know that we are not alone, and we are hopeful as we look forward to what God has for us. Of course, we hope that our baby will come along soon, but until then, we will wait patiently.

Again, thank you for your continued support. We do have a fair amount left to raise for when we have a child placed with us, so if you could also be praying for God's provision for us financially, we'd certainly appreciate it!

For now, we are hopeful and learning to trust God more than ever. Our pastor went through a series recently that really opened my eyes. Sometimes, as a Christian, I think, "If we can just get past this trial, then it will be smooth sailing." I've had my eyes opened through these past experiences that there is always another trial coming our way, but it is through the trials that we have gone through before that have helped prepare us for the struggles ahead. My goal is to come to a place where I am thankful for everything we have gone through, both as a family and personally. I'll admit that I'm not fully there yet, but I have my eyes on the prize.

Thank you all, and we pray that God continues to bless each and every one of you as you walk through your own trials in your journey of life!


Joe, Shiloh, and Lydia

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Heartbreak & Hope

 As many of you know, we had our adoption process stopped yesterday morning. The long story short is basically that we had been selected to adopt a 20-month-old little girl. We met her and a few members of her family on Monday, and things went wonderfully. Unfortunately, the birth father was either unaware or simply unprepared to complete the necessary steps in order for us to take custody of this little angel. We were notified by our social worker first thing on Tuesday morning.

First of all, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who have reached out to us in various ways. Truly, we are blessed with how much support, love, and prayer that have been showered upon us. This has been an extremely hard turn of events, since it had such an unexpected outcome. There is a chance, though slim, that the birth father could change his mind (he had originally agreed to the adoption wholeheartedly), but Joe and I will soon be put back on the wait list for CSSM. 

Though we are heartsick over these events, we have faith and confidence that this is all part of God's plan. It isn't an easy place to be in, and we are truly so heartbroken over how things worked out. However, our hope is not placed on the things of this earth, and we take comfort in knowing that God is present with us through all of this. It is always so hard to have a dream come to an end, even temporarily. It truly feels like a death, though it is worse in some ways because we also know that this precious little girl is still in an unsafe situation, and that hurts our hearts the worst. Please pray for her protection physically, emotionally, and mentally, and that God would place other people in her life who will point her to Him. 

Our time of grieving is not over, but we also have the hope and joy that this is not the end. We pray that this time will bring us closer to God and closer as a family. I am reminded, as I type, that this blog is called "Adventures in Adoption". In adventures, there are always times of troubles and pain. The truly great adventures are the ones in which the characters take their troubles and sorrows, persevere through them, and ultimately find what they have been so desperately searching for. I also take comfort in Jesus' words “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33.

We covet your prayers, and we are so thankful for every one of them. If nothing else, this experience is drawing us closer to God and each other, which is an amazing blessing, and we hope that we can be a blessing to others through this. We love you all.

-Joe, Shiloh, & Lydia 

Monday, March 21, 2016


 We have the most incredible, exciting, fantastic news!!! We got a call on Friday that we have been selected for a placement! We aren't going to give out many more details at this time since we're still in the early stages, BUT keep a watch out! The next few weeks, God willing, will bring a huge change to the Hubbard family! For those of you who have asked if we need anything, prayer is definitely number 1! This is a wonderful time, but it is full of nervousness and uncertainty. Please pray that God gives us wisdom, grace, and love towards everyone involved in this process! We will also be adding things to the registries at & Target once we have more information. Again, we are waiting a little bit to go full out, but we promise that we will be giving updates as soon as things continue to develop! We cannot thank you all enough for praying for us, crying with us, and loving us through this entire process! God is SO good, and we do not deserve all of the grace that He extends to us! For our friends in Maryland, this puts a hold on our plans to come visit, but please know that we are planning to still come out there as soon as we can! Remember to keep an eye out for more updates! :)

Much love to you all,

Joe, Shiloh & Lydia

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A long overdue update!

Hello to everyone who reads my blog!

I'm not sure how many people do, but I do know that I have been asked fairly frequently over the last few months for an I've been a little preoccupied to write. However, now is the time for an update! It seems impossible to me that it has nearly been 9 months since I've update the blog! I'm going to try to be better about that in the future!

So, where are we at now with this process? Well, we are still waiting! It's incredible to me that we've been officially in the adoption pool for over a year now. I just finished doing the relicensing paperwork over the past two days. Since we will technically be foster parents for the first 6 months after we get our placement, we have to watch videos and read books for our continuing education each year, and then we have to resubmit and update all of the foster care licensing paperwork that we did for our certification last year.

To make a long story short, I spent over 7 hours just filling out and submitting the paperwork for relicensing over the last two days. I was surprised how much of an emotional toll it took on me. Redoing the paperwork that we had done over a year ago, plus the fact that we have been waiting so long caught up with me last night. It's one of those things about adoption that you don't fully understand until you're in it. The passage of time goes by so quickly, yet so slowly. One year been filled with so many changes for our family from Joe changing jobs, to Lydia's loosing her first teeth and starting Kindergarten.

Please don't think that I'm set on complaining. We have been so blessed to even be in this position! God has been so faithful to us, and we know that He will bring our child to us when the timing is right. Our adoption agency has tried to keep us in the loop. I know that our portfolio has been presented on several occasions, but it wasn't the right timing. Please continue to pray that God will give us patience and also, if it's in His will, that we will get a placement soon!

We really do appreciate all of your prayers, questions, and support through this process! I'm hoping that my next update will be a very exciting one, but we will have to wait and see! :)

Oh, one last thing! Our social worker encouraged us to ask that if anyone knows someone who is contemplating adoption, please tell them about us! I'll also be sharing our GoFundMe account on Facebook again today, since we still have some extra adoption expenses that are coming up that we would be extremely blessed to have some help with!

Thank you to you all for your prayers! We are so blessed to have family and friends support us!

With lots of love,

Joe, Shiloh, and Lydia