On April 30, 2016 our family grew from 2 to 3 when we brought Ari home through the miracle of adoption. Adoption changed our lives in every way, but the most notable way is how it has shown us the deep love of our Heavenly Father. We know that God's story for our family is a reflection of His love and how He has adopted us into His family.
Just a short time ago, we felt prompted to begin the adoption process again to continue building the Bocik family. On Sunday, July 23rd, we received a phone call from an adoption agency giving us the unfortunate news that a birth mother, to whom we had been presented, chose another family. Without even having time to grieve that news, the agency explained that there was another situation that they would like us to consider. So we leaned in, and we listened... A birth mother in Knoxville, Tennessee had given birth to a tiny boy on Friday, July 21, 2017, two months before her due date. She was already matched with an adoptive family, but because this little guy came so early, they struggled to proceed with the adoption as planned.
Consequently, there was now a little, 31-week-old baby boy in need of a forever family. We knew that while there were a lot of unknowns and fears, we were supposed to say, "Yes." Within a few hours we were matched. The next morning, we packed our bags, not knowing how long we might be gone, rallied the support of our family to watch and care for Ari, as well as the support of our teams at work to help as we figure things out, and we headed down to Knoxville. On Tuesday morning, we met his birth mother and spent the morning learning about her love and courage for her son. We signed paperwork with the agency and then headed to East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
There, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with cords, monitors, beeping, pumps, and lights all around - we met our son. He was (is) a tiny 3lbs 2oz, but he is long at 16in. We weren't able to hold him yet, and half of his face was covered with what looked like a baby sleep mask. Through doctors, nurses, and social workers, we learned more about the care he is going to need not just over the next couple months, but possibly for the rest of his life. These 48 hours felt like a tornado, but regardless of his condition, we knew God has brought him to us and us to him, and while overwhelmed in the moment, we have a peace that everything will be ok.
Because he is a preemie, we have been advised that he may not be able to come home until mid-September. This is his story though, and it's now another chapter in the Bocik story. We have chosen to name him Eli Zander. Eli means "ascending; lifted high; or my God." We are lifting his life up to our God and crying for God to heal, strengthen, and grow his tiny body and soul. And we pray that for the rest of his life, his story will always lift the name of our God high. Also, we cry out to God for strength, wisdom, patience, and peace as we juggle life, family, and work in two different states. Zander means "defender of men." We are watching God defend and fight for his life, and our prayer is that he would grow to know God as his defender and choose to serve, love and defend others out of response to his Protector and Defender.
We are preparing to stay in Knoxville through mid-September as he receives the care and support he needs from the NICU here. We never imagined that this is where we would be with adoption #2, but it is, and we are committed. The expenses with this adoption are almost twice as much as Ari's. If you feel led to support us financially with this adoption, you can do so here. Our Facebook Page is where we will provide regular updates and where you can follow our story with Eli until he comes home, as well as learn about other ways you can support our journey. We are incredibly grateful for the love, support and care of our friends and family. We need each other and you are part of Eli's story. Thank you.
BUDGET BREAKDOWN Home Study Update ........................... $500
Misc Application Expenses ............... $808
Adoption Agency Fee ................... $31,000
Legal Fees ......................................... $6,000
Interstate Adoption Finalization ... $1,800
Travel Expenses ................................$2,000