We began our lives together on an adventure in the mountains. Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park was frozen solid and the snow drifts were hip high. Dressed in a wedding gown and hiking boots, I traipsed out to the edge of the lake in a near blizzard to stand next to Phillip to declare our love for one another and exchange vows in the presence of God's beautiful creation. It was a magical day, as a wedding should be, but the real adventure has been in the 3 years since we said "I do."
Three years have passed in the blink of an eye; we bought our home, moved to the 'Burbs, made job changes, and have filled every single day with love and laughter. It's been everything I ever dreamed! During the past year or so, there's been lots of talk about growing our family. Since I'm a late bloomer and didn't get married until I turned 40, we knew that having biological children together was a long shot. Medical complications last year pretty much ruled out the possibility all together. My heart said "Adopt". But I was so scared. Phillip and I talked about the possibility, both too terrified to really explore. We discussed, and then we each processed, and we prayed. The decision to adopt did not come lightly to our family. In true Phillip & Brandise fashion, we have thought of every excuse, every worst-case-scenario possible, found every possible reason not to; but still we hear, "adopt". We feel called, we feel this is our path. We have many hurdles to overcome, but we have faith that this is what we are meant for and that it will happen in its time. We also know that this is not something we can do alone. . . The Raikes family is about to embark on our greatest adventure yet: adoption. We hope that our village will join us on this one! ~Brandise