On Tuesday, we sat in a Louisville family court room next to our lawyer, with the support of a dozen friends and family. Our court was under the rule of a very kind judge who spoke one powerful word- irrevocable. This one word spoke volumes to us. The judge used it to communicate that what had just happened was unchangeable, something no one could ever take away from us. He had just made the adoption of Asia into our family official. She was ours and we were hers. No one or no thing could change this ruling. It was irrevocable.
So there it is. It’s official. Our little Asia is a Sloan.
In less than 9 months we went from deciding to adopt, to being placed with a birth mom, to raising over $18,000 to now having this precious little girl as a part of our family. It would not have been possible in any way without the ongoing support, fervent prayers and sacrificial giving of those who love us deeply. Thank you for making our family possible.
As a way of saying thank you, and because we are proud parents; here is an endless supply of baby pictures that we can finally show. Enjoy!
It’s been quite an adventure.
On Friday, Asia was finally released from the hospital after a 3.5 week stay. She is doing incredibly well and to our surprise, she is already in a good sleeping routine. Though the sleeping routine may not continue, we will enjoy it as long as it lasts. Thanks to my very kind employer, I have two weeks of paternity leave to spend with my wonderful family.
People have been asking me why we named our daughter Anastasia and why we are calling her Asia. All along we have wanted to give our child a name with deep meaning that would tell a story. A story that would let her know just how good our God is. The name Anastasia is a very old word that means “resurrection”. Anastasia has been used as a name by Christians for well over a thousand years. Given our last 18 months of hardship and the fact that our little girl is being adopted into our family, we felt the name resurrection was a prefect fit- from death to life. Secondly, the name can also mean, “the one who will be born again.” The greatest hope we have for our daughter is that she would come to know and love Jesus. What better way to say that than by giving her a name that means as much. Finally, we decided to call her Asia because it was in Asia where Sarah and I first met and fell in love. Living in Asia was one of the most memorable events of our lives and our love and passion for that part of the world is deeply rooted in us.
As we have thought about all the great travels and adventures we’ve had as a married couple, all that was and all that is to come; we can’t help but know that little Asia is our greatest adventure.
Last week we were finally able to come to the hospital and see our daughter Anastasia “Asia” Elaine Sloan. It’s been quite a ride.
People have been asking me what it’s like to be a dad. What feelings do I have for my new adopted daughter. Keep in mind that I have nothing to compare it to but it feels just like I imagined having a child would. Emotions of awe and beauty come over me every time I lay my eyes on her. I feel a deep sense of pride in her little accomplishments like growing an ounce or moving her tiny head around. When I hold her, and she snuggles her face into my shoulder, my heart pounds out of my chest. So what’s it like having an adopted daughter? You should try it. It will change you.
We are still here in the NICU spending time with and caring for Asia. She has had some struggles in her first few weeks but is on her way to making a full recovery and should be able to go home very soon. We are as ready as new parents can be- so not ready at all! We are looking forward to introducing our Asia to our new home, our church family, our extended family and to this great big world. Since we first learned that we would be adopting this little girl, we have been praying a passage of Scripture for her from Colossians 1:9-14. We ask that you join us in praying this prayer over our daughter. May every word ring true for her.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Anastasia “Asia” Elaine Sloan
Born May 22 at 8:30pm
6lbs 8 oz
Our little Asia was born on Thursday evening. We so wish we could have been there but the details of our adoption don’t allow us to meet her for another few days. We long to see her but rest knowing that she is being well taken care of. We are told by everyone that she is a beautiful little girl. We have no doubt that she is. She has been moved to the NICU so that they can provide her with better care. She has a few issues stemming from the pregnancy but we hope she won’t need to be in the hospital very long. Please pray she recovers quickly and can come home to us soon.
Our hope is to be able to go and be with her in the next few days. We will keep you updated.
Got an update on Asia this afternoon. She is eating more but is still in the NICU. Please pray for her health, for the staff in the NICU and for Sarah and I as we are away from our little girl.
We are going to have a girl! On Monday, Sarah had the chance to spend sometime with our birthmother and learned that we are having a baby girl. We were also give an envelope full of ultrasound pictures. I even think she looks a little like me.
If you have been doing the math, you know that we are very near the expected birth time. At first we were told the baby would come before now but several weeks ago we learned that she was due a few weeks later. We are getting close to game time. Any day now we expect to get a call from our adoption agency letting us know that Baby Sloan has arrived. Please continue to pray for our little baby girl, her birthmother and for our growing family.
In other news, we are excited to announce that we have raised all the money we need to complete our adoption- over $18,000. Sarah and I are astounded at the kindness we have been shown by many of you. Weekly we see monetary gifts come from unexpected places and from the people we least expect. Many of you gave extraordinary amounts and we are still in shock at your generosity.
It’s no secret that this has been a hard season for our family but it is evident that the tide is turning. Thank you for walking with us through our season of suffering and now thank you for your companionship in this new season of joy.
Keep your eyes and ears open. Baby Sloan is coming soon!
Baby Sloan is coming in 4 weeks!
That’s right, we are going to be parents very soon!
Back in October we started the paperwork process for adoption and within a few months were all set to go. As you may know, the adoption process is a waiting game. So we prepared to wait. We started to raise money, pursued different adoption avenues and simply trusted the Lord would provide the right situation in His time. In late March, just a few weeks ago, we got a call from our adoption agency that we had been chosen by a birthmother and were being matched to adopt a newborn baby. That’s right. Sarah and I will be parents of a little baby from here in Kentucky in just about 4 weeks! We don’t know yet whether the baby is a boy or a girl and some details are still a bit fuzzy but so goes the adoption process. The baby will be born right here in Louisville and we will bring him or her home from the hospital.
We are both super excited and a bit overwhelmed. We have just a month to finish our remaining paperwork, get our home ready and raise the additional support. We are thankful our adoption will only cost $18,000 and that we already have $9000 in place. We just received an additional matching grant of $2500 from LifeSong for Orphans. That means every dollar people give will be matched up to $2500 ($5000 total). Would you consider giving to our adoption through LifeSong? Your money will be doubled and it will also be tax deductible.
How to Give:
Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, write “Sloan #4329” to assure it goes to our account. Mail to: Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Another option is to give online. Go to LifeSong’s website. Select “Give to an Adoptive Family.” Complete the online form and fill in the fields: “Family Account Number” (4329) and “Family Name” (Sloan).
In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use. Individual donations of $250 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. 100% of your donations will go directly to our adoption.
Thank you for standing with us through our suffering and now in our joy. One of our great hopes is to be able to tell our son or daughter one day that he or she became a part of our family through the prayers and sacrifice of so many others.
I don’t know if it takes a village to raise children but it sure takes one to bring them home.
We are deep into the process of raising funds for our adoption and I am excited to announce our biggest fundraiser- The Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon. Here is how it works- sign-up to run the 13.1 mile Mini-Marathon, start training, get at least 5 people to sponsor you a few dollars per mile and then run the race on April 19. Its super easy…all except the running part. Our goal is to have 20 people run with us. Would you consider joining our team?
I know what some of you are thinking but be encouraged, you can run 13.1 miles. Most people who train properly are able to reach this goal. Even if you don’t want to run the whole thing, you can join me in run-walking it. One of my goals for 2014 is to do what my bad knee and cancer history say I can’t do- finish the Mini-marathon. If I can do this then you can do this.
- Sign-up here for the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini-Marathon
- Shoot us an email and let us know you’re running on Team Sloan: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join us for lunch at our home for a Mini-Marathon informational meeting on Jan. 19 at 1pm.
Friends and Family,
We have had a crazy year. In some ways it has felt like the longest year ever and in other ways it feels like the whole year just passed us by.
The big events that have made our life crazy this year have all related to Nathan’s health. This journey began last November when his knee went out playing basketball. He had surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon and had to keep the leg straight for the next 8 weeks. His recovery was much harder than we anticipated resulting in multiple ER visits, tests, and scans. The end result was the discovery in February that he had last stage testicular cancer and severe blood clots in his abdomen. Nathan was in the hospital for a continuous 2 months as doctors diagnosed his condition, did surgeries and began chemotherapy treatments. In total Nathan went through 3 rounds of chemotherapy and 4 surgeries. The final surgery was in June where doctors removed the remaining tumor and then were able to declare him cancer free. Needless to say those months were long and hard. The chemotherapy Nathan endured was strenuous making him incredibly sick and preventing him from being able to eat. He lost a total of 40 pounds during his treatments. Currently he continues to go for routine doctor’s appointments, chest x-rays, and CT scans. He also remains on blood thinners for the blood clots. Looking at him however you would never guess he had been sick. God has been so good to heal him and restore health. He is working full time and even went on an international trip in November.
Cancer is the hard part of our story. But it has pushed us to an exciting new season. Last year we began to pursue growing our family with no success. After discovering the cancer we understood why our efforts to have children had not been successful. Adoption is something we have had a heart for both individually and as a couple. Our initial plan had been to wait several years before pursuing adoption. The events of this year have caused us to decide to pursue adoption now as the primary way of growing our family. We are so excited about this opportunity to reflect our Father’s adoption of us as we seek to adopt children of our own. Please pray for us as we begin this new journey. We know it will not be easy and step forward with great awareness of our need for Father’s grace.
We wish we had the privilege of seeing you and catching up in person. Have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the Father’s gift of His Son!
Nathaniel & Sarah