For years we waited, believing another was meant to be part of our happy, sometimes chaotic, always loving family. Until Ella Grace’s first parents chose us! We are humbled by their sacrificial decision made out of love – a gift we couldn’t repay in a hundred lifetimes. This is our story…
Until God opens the next door, praise him in the hallway.
They were years of hard: pregnancies with unending nausea, difficult deliveries ending in c-sections, a heartbreaking miscarriage, and then we lost our three-year battle with secondary infertility. Our fertility efforts stopped with I was matched to be a potential donor with a national marrow donor program. Agreeing to the donation process required me to not be pregnant and not get pregnant. How’s that for timing? We were asked to potentially save a stranger’s life. But, it required us to cease trying to create life – desperately wanted life.
All this was followed by an arduous adoption journey that started as a small glimmer years earlier. In April of 2016 a friend agreed to meet with me to discuss her family’s adoption journey – she told me about Christian Adoption Consultants (CAC). In February 2017, we met with Susan with CAC, and came away with reassurance on moving forward. Although, it still took us a little more time. Leaps of faith are hard.
In November 2017 we were finally ready. Or as ready as we were going to be. We signed papers with CAC and began our home study. Thank goodness for a very kind and understanding home study provider, because our first visit began with our son Hudson (age 6) asking how babies are made and ended with our son Beau (age 5) stating his favorite thing to do is “go potty outside.” Well, that went well.
We were home study approved in December 2017. By the Spring, our family profile book was ready and we started applying with agencies. Even after we got started in earnest on our adoption journey, the wait was over a year. God has been trying to teach me patience for a very long time.
Every situation we saw, I devoured in detail and carefully considered. When one felt right, I would discuss it with Marc to see if it felt right to him too. Our rule was that if we were to present, we both had to be all in. Throughout this process, I was very purposeful, but also very analytical. Regardless, how we got to the adoption agency we ultimately matched through – well, that can only be described as God stuff. More to come on that.
One night I laid in a tiny twin bed snuggling my 5-year old as he not-so-quickly-or-easily drifted off to sleep. As I so often did with both my boys, we talked about another baby in our hearts and also in our home someday. We talk about all the things big brothers would need to teach to a little sibling, what we would name him or her (Bacon was thrown out as an option, but didn’t make the cut), and how happy we would be. In a nudging I can only explain as God talking to me, my heart knew there would be another baby and that baby would come from “up north.” That didn’t make sense since every agency we were registered with was south of us.
And that brings us back to how we found our adoption agency. One day on the way to a fertility appointment in an area I know well, I inexplicably took a wrong turn. I stopped to check my phone for directions and looked up to see I was parked in front of an adoption agency. What are the chances? It’s not like you see those on every corner. Oh, and as I redirected and pulled into the fertility clinic parking lot that day “Tomorrow” from Annie started playing. Huh. Anyway, although a small local agency, it’s name kept coming up in conversations. I felt a strong pull to it. And, hey, it was up north, if only a few miles north. Applying was a more laborious process than it was with the other agencies we were with, including an interview and being presented to their board.
And then, we were declined. Because of their size, they did not feel they could meet our needs in the timeframe we desired. The rejection stung. I was confused. *Meanwhile, that very week, a little soul was conceived somewhere much farther north.* The little local agency recommended another agency, and so we applied.
Through all of our agencies, we saw dozens and dozens of situations. I know this because I “controlled” something by tracking each of the situations in a spreadsheet. We tried to present on three situations, that for various reasons never happened. We actually presented on ten situations with no match. We weren’t being chosen. And all you get is something along the lines of “another family was chosen.” Why not us though? Is it because we already have two kids? Because they are bio kids? Are we too old? Too professional? Too Midwestern? Too boring? Did I not let our imperfections show enough? Too much? Too something? …Yep, it’s definitely the too old thing.
Things got hard in our marriage. We struggled. We wanted it all to bring us closer together. But, yet again, it was hard. Marc was so grateful for our two beautiful, healthy children that he felt guilty asking God for another. For me, this child was as real as our two boys. With much angst, Marc and I agreed that if we hadn’t matched by year end, we would have to be done with this process. One of our boys asked if we were ever going to “get a baby,” and for the first time, I responded that I wasn’t sure we were.
***Come back tomorrow to read Part 2 of Marc & Sarah’s adoption story***