Monday, November 14, 2011

Cruzer is 7 months & BIG announcement!

Our smiley, silly, happy boy is getting older. Everyday he becomes more expressive & makes a new sound. Today he was determined to master the art of He is going to be a little talker like his daddy:) Earlier this month we received our court date for December 13th! We LOVE the #13 in this family. Cruz was born April 13th, brought home with us May 13th & now our adoption will be final December 13th. It's really quite amazing how much joy he has brought to our world. We are loving every moment of parenthood! Was our adoption filled with bumps, yes! Have there been days where I am absolutely exhausted, yes! Would we do it again, YES & WE ARE!!!

As of today we were accepted into AWAA's Ethiopia adoption program! God has put Ethiopia on our hearts since this summer & we are thrilled to officially begin the journey to adopt our next kiddos from this beautiful country. We are hoping to adopt two at the same time. We are open to gender & age (up to 2 for one & 5 for another). At this point we begin our "paperwork pregnancy" & complete our home study. And of course wait...and wait for the phone call that we have a referral(s)! The timespan is anywhere from 1-2 years until we will have them home.

We have been commanded to this & we will follow through. We consider it an honor to be preparing our home and family for new additions through adoption.

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.

Psalms 68:5-6

Do we have any concerns going into this adoption? Absolutely. Concern thinking of the trials we will face through this process & in the parenting of hurting, scared children. We have no experience with parenting older children & may not have all the tools to handle what is coming our way. We could ignore the fact that there are over 147 MILLION orphans in this world. Turn our attention to something "easier" to do as an act of service & commitment to His word. With God's grace & guidance we will only say yes. YES to the hurting. YES to the lonely. YES to the parentless. YES to the love of another child. YES to getting our hands dirty. YES to being vulnerable. YES to the direction God has lead us. Because Jesus said YES to us. John & I are adoption success stories. God took me in when I was lonely & hurting. I was given a new life & became a child of His forever. Thank you Jesus!

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:4-6

We ask that you come along side us in this adoption journey to grow the Hagensen clan. Please pray for our children that we have not met yet. We love you & are humbled by your support.


Bible Verse

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cruz is 5 months!

It seems like the past month has gone by so incredibly fast! Cruz is growing like crazy & becoming more adorable every day. His smile & laugh brighten our days! He is happiest in the morning & loves standing and sitting up with help of mommy & daddy. Being his parent is like a dream come true! Below is a pic from his 5 month shoot...representing mama's college:) Love those chunky thighs!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Our little sailor!

I am waiting for our little man to wake up for his 10pm feed & thought I would post a few pics from yesterday. We have been enjoying plenty of boat rides while here in ND. Cruz is really starting to love looking around at different things & talking (babbling) about what he's seeing. I love his raspy little voice! Below are some pics from our "Cruz" the other night... get it;) I know, I'm hilarious. Ha! -Britt

Only Cruz could pull off a double chin like this one!

Mommy's taking pictures again!?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cruz is 3 months!

Like the old sayin goes, no news is good news! Sorry we haven't updated you in awhile, we've been busy changing diapers, washing bottles & loving on our sweet son. We are so in love with him & are reminded daily of how blessed we are...even if that reminder comes at 1 am, 3 am, & 6 am every night;) Cruz is growing like CRAZY! He is getting so long & developed. Not to mention packing on some major lbs! Those chubby cheeks are mama's favorite:) He is smiling a ton now especially in the morning. He loves looking around at his surroundings & babbling. I have a feeling our little man is going to be quite the talker like his daddy! We have been in North Dakota for the majority of the summer & Cruz has experienced his first boat ride, long car ride (which he was a champ on) & has been enjoying plenty of walks through my parent's neighborhood. We have flew to the north west to visit family a few weeks ago. We went to Portland & Seattle. Both trips were a blast & we relished in every opportunity to introduce Cruz to his relatives. He is so loved! He is right on schedule with all his milestones & of course mom and dad think he is a little advanced for his age;) Spoken like a true parent, right!?

Below are a few 3 month pics we took of his yesterday. Enjoy!

Cruz got mini dreads yesterday too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just when we thought the story was over...

If you are reading this then by now you are already aware that we now have a son, Cruz Thomas Hagensen! He is perfect to us in every way and we could not be more proud of the little stud-muffin God has chosen for our family. He was born on April 13th, 2011 and officially became our son one month later on May 13th, 2011. Many of you have been understandably perplexed at how our loss and grief dramatically turned from tears of sadness to those of joy. "How? When? Huh?" Brittany and my desire is to fill in those least as best we can while operating on very little sleep and even less emotional energy.

As a quick side-note: I would encourage those of you unaware of what has happened over the past month to read our last few blog posts and then come back to read this one. I am writing under the assumption that you know the background leading up to now.

Shanae text Brittany on Wednesday night, May 11th, to ask "How you doing?". This was the first time that we had heard from her since she had a change of heart and decided to parent. We were both predictably anxious simply at the sight of her name on Brittany's phone. It wasn't that we harbored any feelings of anger towards her, but hearing her text was a swift reminder of the hurt we had experienced through her relationship. After a couple minutes passed with no response, she text again. This time her text said, "If this is still Brittany's phone please call or text me as soon as possible." At this point I instantly thought that she was having second thoughts (or third, or fourth, or... well is anyone even counting at this point?).

We had hundreds of text message conversations with Shanae over the months, but never once had we spoken over the phone, and that is what made this seemingly normal request so note-worthy. After a quick discussion we decided that allowing her to call us seemed like the right thing to do as she obviously needed us at that moment. Shanae called and explained that she "couldn't do it anymore." That as much as she loved her boy, she knew why she wanted an adoption plan in the first place. She said that the reality had set in, and that she wasn't capable at this time of properly caring for four children on her own.

Because this conversation happened relatively late in the evening, the agency was closed and we told her that everything would have to coordinate through them. We hung up the phone and truly thought the possibility was remote of us actually adopting the very same little boy we had taken home from the hospital almost exactly one month earlier. We were guarded, emotionally numb, and adamantly set on not letting ourselves "go there." We decided that we would not discuss this conversation/possibility with friends and family because we didn't want to put all of you through the emotional ups and downs once more. In hindsight, I believe it was also a defense mechanism for ourselves: the less people who knew, the less "real" it would seem to us, and as a result we would experience less pain "when" it ended in heartache.

The next morning our agency concluded that it would be in everyone's best interest for Shanae to think her decision through for a 24 hour period. After all, signing relinquishment papers is an irrevocable act that carries lifelong implications, and certainly not one that should be made out of emotion. On Friday morning, after having time to process, Shanae contacted us to meet her at our agency in downtown Phoenix. After a couple hours and a thousand tears she had signed papers and we were taking our little man home forever!

Quantifying or measuring our excitement at that moment would be impossible, but what I can say is that we both felt very mixed emotions. Although we rest assured that God's plan is perfect and we whole-heartedly trust that Cruz was born to be a part of our family, it was difficult to take satisfaction in what was simultaneously breaking the heart of another.

Shanae's grief was intense and raw, but what was even more overwhelming was the hovering existence and presence of the Lord. He had orchestrated a beautiful and perfect ending to His story, and I am confident that he is pleased. God's hand was at work long before Brittany and I ever met. We were merely pieces on his chess board, or characters in his book, being used for his perfect purposes. We feel so blessed that He chose to use us in such a beautiful way, in such a life-changing way.

When we embarked on this journey Brittany and I had a prayer of one: that no matter what we encountered God would be glorified through this adoption. Now, one year later His perfect plan has been revealed and we can rest confident that the Lord's will was in fact done.

Thank you for your love and support! We cannot wait to introduce Cruz to each and every one of you. He is our miracle; a constant reminder of God's faithfulness in our lives. We couldn't be more blessed!

Until our next adoption...
Britt & John

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I am so thankful for my amazing mother. The one who held my hands when I was learning how to walk, drove across town to bring me my forgotten lunch at school & the one who has comforted me in my times of worry & doubt. For those of you who know my mother you KNOW she is one of a kind. Her zest for life is contagious & her optimism inspiring. She takes a tough situation & is able to see the good in it. Her beauty is not only skin deep, she has a heart for others & is able to connect with just about anyone. My mother is a role model to me. She is the mother I hope to be someday to our children. I love you mom!

Today is bittersweet for me. I thought I was going to be the one receiving phone calls & cards for being a mother on this special day. I thought I would be looking into my baby's eyes & holding him in my arms, I thought I would be the one standing in church being acknowledged for being a mommy. Though I don't know what the future holds I am holding on to the joy & peace that only He can give. I am so blessed today. I am not a mother & I don't know when I will become one BUT I am a wife, daughter, sister & friend. For those things I am so thankful!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mommies out there! I am so inspired by all of you. Never take those cuddles & bedtime stories for granted;)

- Britt

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The End of a Chapter

Last year I remember sitting in our adoption classes thinking that the only truly terrifying scenario to me was having a child in our home only to have he/she taken because of a birth-mother's change of heart during that 72-hour "pending period". I figured I could handle anything else thrown at us aside from that. We were told that birth-mothers having a change of heart is extremely rare, and specifically once the child is in the home of adoptive parents almost never happens.

That being said, on Saturday at around 3:00pm we found ourselves on the unfortunate end of that statistic. We received word that our birth-mother had a change of heart and had concluded that the adoption plan was simply "too stressful" to continue. She had decided to parent. It was the sad end to an unthinkably emotional past 5 days for Brittany and me. We drove the child back to his social worker and made the emotional exchange with heavy hearts and teary eyes.

As she drove away with that precious child in her car, Brittany and I felt two simultaneous emotions: loss and relief. Obviously losing him was devastating, but I believe the Lord knew that we could handle no more. We were completely spent from the past week's extreme highs and lows and to go through much more would have been unbearable. It is difficult for us to understand how God's plan is for this baby boy to live with a single mother of four who is currently homeless and jobless, but our faith requires us to trust the Lord with all our heart and to learn not on our own understanding. I have been reminded of that verse time and time again over the last week.

We have an undeniable sense of peace that God is in control, and has a perfect plan for our family; and this child was a part of that plan, but ultimately he was not our son. Amidst the pain we are feeling is an excitement brewing in anticipation for God to reveal his plan for our first child. At no point in this difficult situation have we questioned our calling to adopt and I am so thankful to have a wife who is a woman of unshakable faith.

We decided to get away from our house/nursery/baby stuff for a few days and hopped on a flight to Laguna. We enjoyed our first day at the beach and look forward to continued healing as we begin to dream a new dream and envision holding the child that God has chosen for us to love.

Thanks again to all of you who have followed this chapter of our life and we look forward to sharing many tears of joy in the future with each of you! God is good!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Emotionally Exhausted


Today was a day that Brittany and I will always remember. There are no words to adequately express the suffocating sadness that is overwhelming us right now. Many of you know the "back and forth" that went on in the final days prior to delivery, but yesterday afternoon we were notified that our birth mother had switched hospitals and had given birth to a healthy baby boy. She needed space and time and that is why she had chosen to not have us in the delivery room as the plan had been for the past two months. That night we received another call from her social worker saying that she had her time alone to grieve and has decided to continue on with the adoption plan. Brittany and I were excited and tears of joy streamed down our cheeks; we were going to hold our boy and love on him... finally!

As we drove to the hospital this morning, we received a text from our birth-mom saying that we shouldn't come to the hospital because she still wanted to talk to some people about whether this was truly what she wanted/needed. Obviously our hearts sank, and we wondered how much longer we could experience this intense unknown. A couple hours later we received a call from her social worker; what she told us was gut-wrenching and blindsiding. She explained that our birth-mother was working with another adoption agency from Utah and that there was another family who had flown into Phoenix from Canada to adopt this very same child. Our birth-mother had decided to place the child in temporary foster care while she decided whether to parent or not. Along with that, she informed both the other family and us that if she places him for adoption it will be with an entirely different family all-together.

The news was shocking! Just last night she sent us a picture of him; why would she do that if she was working with another family or did not intend to have us adopt him? Looking back nothing makes any sense to us other than the pain of the loss that we feel. We are headed out of town for a couple of days to grieve with one another. Your prayers and support have meant so much to us throughout this process.

Brittany and I know God has a great plan for our lives and for our family and this is just the beginning of a great journey...


Our agency's director told us that our birth-mother was having a bit of a change of heart and wanted to speak with us at the hospital if we were still willing to go. After a brief discussion, Brittany and I figured that we were as broken and emotionally spent as we would ever be and that we would always look back and wonder if we stopped the process now. So after only 15 minutes at home, we were headed back to the hospital. Our prayer as we went was that God would be glorified through our actions and words.

What we witnessed upon getting to the hospital will leave an impression on our hearts until the day we die. When we walked into her room, the always strong and resilient woman that we had gotten to know the last two months was at a moment where the depths of her sorrow was incomprehensible. At that moment, any feelings I had of hurt or anger towards her vanished. Even our consideration for the baby became an afterthought. No, at that moment it was all about being there for someone at a moment of grief like I had never witnessed firsthand. The three of us embraced and cried, and cried, and cried.

We spent the rest of the evening in her room and at about 7:30pm we were discharged from the hospital with a baby boy in the backseat! Official papers cannot be signed until Monday at the earliest and our birth-mother is obviously still at a very fragile place. She remains unsure of what her ultimate decision will be. Our emotional approach is that we are foster parents to this baby boy for the time being. We are not placing "our name" on him or referring to him as our son until if/when our birth-mom signs that final step. Whether we have been given this weekend, a week, or a lifetime to love on this child, we are going to make the most of this perfect 7lb blessing the Lord has placed in our home. Every ounce of desire that has been growing inside of us since we started this process almost a year ago is being showered on this stud muffin!

We appreciate you taking the time to read this, and along with wanting to keep all of you (who have been amazingly supportive along the way) informed on the process, putting my thoughts on paper has been a healthy expression of the most unexplainable day of our lives. Emotions were from top to bottom in a matter of minutes. Please continue to pray that our birth-mother would feel comfort and peace, and that her broken-heart would begin to heal as she is walking through this devastation with no support from friends and family to lean on. We will let you know if anything new happens!

J & B

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adoption Update

First off, I want to say THANK YOU for all your faithful prayers & support. I am guessing if you're reading this you have followed the last couple months of our adoption process on facebook. It has been a truly amazing yet emotional time for us. We got matched with Shanae, our possible birthmom, went to several of her doctor appointments, helped her move apartments & tried to be her support during this time in her life. We have grown to love her & her three sons. God definitely brought her into our life & us into hers for a reason, there is no doubt about that.

Yesterday was supposed to be the BIG day. Shanae was scheduled to be induced at 10pm last night with the hope of her delivering this morning. We waited on pins & needles to hear from her all night and nothing...turns out she canceled her induction. We are experiencing a lot of emotions right now & I would be lying to say that none of those emotions are fear and frustration. We got a text from her this morning simply saying that she "is going to wait until he comes on his own & that she needs space and time." That is all we know at this point. We are becoming more aware that anything can change at any second. It seems possible that she is questioning her decision to place her child for adoption.

You all have been a wonderful source of comfort & support for us throughout this process so we felt it necessary to update you all. Please continue to pray, pray & pray. Our prayer throughout this entire process is not that we end up with this child but that God will be glorified & His plan lived out. As hard as it is not knowing what's around the corner we are finding peace in the knowledge that our God is faithful & loving. He knows what's best & we are thankful for that!

We love you guys so much & will try to do a better job at keeping you updated.

Britt & John

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All we need is baby Hagensen!

The past few months we've been working on the nursery. It's been a fun way to prepare for parenthood & begin wrapping our head around the fact we'll have a baby soon! Decorating a gender neutral nursery was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I've never been a huge fan of pink walls so that was ruled out early on & we knew we wanted to use all of the baby's stuff for our future kiddos too. I tried to use as many things from my (Britt) nursery when I was a baby. My mom hung on to a handful of decorations, I am glad she did:) The dresser is a replica of the one my mom had growing up so that is extra special to me.

Here it is, baby Hagensen's nursery! We have a few things to add. Our child will have a mattress eventually and his/her face will complete the frames in the room...and the rest of the house for that matter:)

God is growing me in the patience department at the moment!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


We received the call today from our case worker that we are OFFICIALLY in the match book & ready to adopt! She had to present us to the board of directors at our agency to get the final go & they approved us to be adoptive parents!

Though we were optimistic about getting approved we were still trying to remain cautious. We are thrilled to be done with the paperwork & home study process and now are feeling like everything is really coming together, it's becoming very real to us!

We can't thank you all enough for your thoughts, advice & prayers! You have no idea how much your love & support means to us and will mean to our future kiddos. God has been so faithful to us in this journey and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us next. Since there is a possibility that our lives could change any day now we are trying to be as prepared as possible for a baby. We have most of the basics but there are still some items we will need. We won't be having a shower before the little one arrives but wanted to let you know we are registered at Target & BuyBuyBaby online. We will keep you all posted & will let you know as soon as we get "the call."

We love you, please keep those prayers coming...God hears.