In our last post I wrote about a bend in our road….we had no idea at the time exactly where that bend would take us!

Less than two weeks ago, we got a call from our case manager saying the expectant mom we were originally matched with was due in a few days, and she did in fact want to go through with the adoption plan!  We scrambled to get ready, and last Thursday, Benjamin Thomas Cohen was born.


We are smitten with this sweet boy and still can’t believe that we are his parents!

More details to come…but for now, we just want to say thank you to all who have prayed for and supported our family during this adoption journey. We are so excited to introduce you to our little Benjamin!





Bend in the road

This is a hard update to write, so we’ll keep it short. We found out yesterday that the expectant mother changed her mind and wants to parent the baby with the help of a family member. Of course we want to support her decision, and we are glad it happened now and not after the birth…but it still hurts. Please pray for us as we process and prepare for whatever is next.

“I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.”
– Anne of Green Gables


p.s. For those who plan on attending the fundraising concert – it is still happening so that we can be fully ready to welcome the little one that will be joining our family…even if we don’t know who he or she is yet.


Benefit Concert

No baby-related news today, but we do have something fun to share: we are hosting an adoption benefit concert on Saturday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Grantham Church! We have been talking and dreaming about an event like this for months…and thanks to a big shove encouragement from our good friend Dave Perry, we’re ready to make that idea a reality.

This concert gives us an excuse to bring together some of the incredible musicians that we have worked with over the years. We have friends coming from near and far — Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, New York, and even Newville, PA 😉 — to lend us their musical talents for this special evening. We will have a mix of solo, small ensemble, and full band pieces representing a wide range of musical styles — rock, folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass…and beyond! We are working hard to make it a creative and meaningful evening, and we would love to have you attend.

Admission is free and there will be an offering taken during the concert. All donations will help us bring home our little human.

Hope to see you there!!



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We’ve been matched!

We are ecstatic to announce that we have been matched – baby BOY is due in Florida on August 7!!!

Here’s the full story for those of you who like details:

Last Wednesday we mailed our profile books to our attorney in Florida. On Thursday afternoon, I got an email from our case manager asking if she could show the book on Friday to an expectant mother that was due in October. Paul and I quickly discussed the few details we knew about the situation and said yes, thinking October would give us plenty of time to prepare. It was hard to not check my email every few minutes over the next few days, but Tuesday rolled around and we still hadn’t heard anything. I remember venting to my small group that night about how difficult it was to sit in this uncertainty. They prayed for peace for us as we continued to wait.

While I was at work the next day (Wednesday), I emailed our adoption consultant to see when would be a good time to reach out to the case manager to check on the status. She thought a week out from when the book was being shown would be appropriate, so I resolved to be patient until Friday.

Just two hours later, I received an email from our case manager saying that she showed our book to a different young couple the day before, and that they had chosen us! I started shaking and could barely comprehend the words after that. I quickly called Paul and managed to stammer out that we had been chosen and that the baby was due in August, and holy cow, that’s really soon! We discussed the few details she sent us and agreed that we wanted to see the social and medical history from the case worker so that we could make our official decision. Once I received that information, I called Paul to discuss, and we thought it would be good to take some time individually to pray and wrap our minds around what we would be saying yes to. I took a walk along the breeches (beautiful creek that runs through Messiah’s campus), and when I got back, I texted Paul that it was a yes for me. He responded that it was a yes for him too 🙂

So now we are officially matched! We are working through logistics with our case manager, which will likely include flying to Tampa in early June to meet the expectant parents. Even though we know August will be here before we know it, we’re thankful that we have at least a little time to prepare our home and hearts to welcome this little boy.

Please join us as we pray for continued health for the expectant mom and baby. We know this was not in any way an easy choice for her to make, so pray that she and the father would experience peace in this and every other area of their lives. Also, while we are officially matched, there are still several things that could go wrong or interrupt the process. Pray for everything to go smoothly.

Also pray for us as we process the fact that, if all goes as planned, we will be parents in three months! Oh boy!



p.s. If you’re looking for a tangible way to support us on our journey, please visit Thank you!!



Home study & yard sale

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since our last update. We have often felt like ducks during this process – on the outside we look like we’re calmly floating along, but under water our legs are working frantically to get to our next destination. After three months of “paddling” through paperwork and our home study checklist, we are happy to share that we are now officially home study approved! This means that we are eligible to adopt and ready to match. Woohoo!


Here’s a sneak peak of our profile book, which is being shown to expectant mothers wanting to make an adoption plan through the agencies/attorneys we are working with. We are thrilled with the way it turned out:

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Now we get to put our patience skills to the test as we settle in for the wait. One of us is naturally a very patient person and the other is desperately trying to work on it…we’ll leave it to you to figure out who is who 😉

While we are waiting, we decided to kick off our fundraising efforts with a yard sale. Our neighborhood hosts a popular community-wide sale each spring, so we figured that would be the ideal time to hold our first fundraiser. Even though it seemed like a relatively low-risk event, we both started to get pretty nervous the week leading up to it. What if no one came? What if we didn’t have enough stuff, or if we had stuff that no one wanted?

As they often do, our fears turned out to be pointless. We were blown away by the generosity of our friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers. So many incredible items were donated to us for the sale, and we couldn’t believe how much of it was gone by the end of the two days! Our favorite part was getting to share our story with those who came to the sale, and many people also shared with us how adoption had touched their family personally. 

The downside to the sale being so busy is that we completely forgot to take pictures! Thankfully some of our helpers captured a few:

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The pictures don’t quite show the magnitude of the sale – it was massive! Our garage was completely full with items before the sale, and we only had a few boxes left by the end. We had a bake sale table that sold out very quickly on the first day, so my mom and I had to quickly whip up more treats for the second day. We even had live entertainment on Saturday:

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The sale was a bigger success than we ever imagined it would be. We are incredibly thankful for the dear friends and family members who helped make this idea a reality.

Even though we have not met him or her yet, this baby is already so loved by our amazing community!

Much love to you all,



The journey begins.

The word “adoption” has floated between Paul and I many times over the course of our relationship. Back when we were dating and discussing what our future lives may be, I mentioned that adoption had always been intriguing to me. During the early years of our marriage it came up occasionally as we dreamed about the future, but always qualified as something that we might look into “after we had biological children.” So what happened to move “adoption” from an occasionally used word in our household to one that seems to be on our hearts, minds, and lips almost constantly?  

To put it simply – despair, and then hope. Despair came in the form of finding out that those biological children we planned for were not coming. But as we processed the ugly diagnosis of infertility, tiny rays of hope began to cut through our grief in the form of questions – what if we were to change our way of thinking about parenthood and family? What if shared DNA is not necessary to love children fully? We wrestled through these and many other questions by talking to families who had been through the process, reading countless adoption stories, and inviting our loved ones to join us in prayer for discernment. I can’t pinpoint the day that it happened, but eventually all that we had been learning about the messy and beautiful concept of adoption had settled into our hearts, and we were ready to say yes.

Our “yes” means that we are now in the early stages of a journey to adopt an infant domestically. It still doesn’t quite feel real – and from what we’ve heard about the road we are on, it probably won’t until a baby is placed in our arms. Right now we are working with consultants to help navigate this extremely complicated process, putting together our profile, raising funds, and gathering the materials needed for our home study. Once our home study is complete, we’ll begin applying to agencies and then will be eligible to present our profile to expectant mothers in the hopes of being chosen as adoptive parents.

We will continue to update this space to give you an idea of where we are in the process. Thank you for all of your love, prayers, and encouragement – your support means the world to us and we could not go through this without you!


Melissa & Paul