Excited to share Part TWO of Ryan and Sarah’s adoption story. If you missed Part ONE you can find it here.
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On the morning of November 29th I received an email about a mom due in less than two weeks with a baby boy. When I opened the email I immediately began to cry; remember how I said we had already chosen a name for the baby that we lost a few weeks prior?? The expectant mom in this new situation had the VERY.SAME.NAME! I emailed the agency back right away and put our YES on the table contingent on just one thing, I had to go tell Ryan first! I wish I could have snapped a photo of the look on his face when I told him about expectant mom “K”. His only words, “well did you say yes yet?”
The agency was to present profiles to mama K within a day or two so we anxiously awaited response. Much to our surprise we got an astonishing call from the agency that very same day. Mom K was being induced for medical reasons and would deliver within 24 hours! They were taking profiles to her immediately and would let us know ASAP if we were chosen. We were completely flabbergasted. We ran home in a state of hopeful optimism. We began to check flights, do laundry and other things to prepare but we kept mostly to ourselves about it and didn’t let ourselves begin to pack for the fear of being heartbroken again.
The news we had been praying for came early the next morning, she had chosen us! We booked a red eye for that night and ran frantically around the house; climbing in the attic to find any baby boy clothes we had, packing bags for all 5 (eeekkk FIVE OF US!), setting up babysitters, booking a rental car and a house to stay in for the trip. In the midst of the packing we learned baby had arrived, 7lbs 7oz and healthy (thank you Jesus!) And just like that…we were off!
The hours of overnight travel were some of the longest hours of my life. We landed in Florida early on the morning of Dec 2nd and headed straight from the airport to the hospital to finally meet Mama K and her boyfriend face to face. We got to the hospital as fast as we could but once we arrived I felt myself dragging my feet and finding almost any excuse to move a little slower. The thought of meeting this amazingly brave couple, and our SON, had me more nervous than I have ever felt in my life. The ride up the slow-moving elevator seemed to take forever even though it was only one floor. We checked in at reception and I could feel the knowing glances from the nurses; we took one last deep breath, knocked on her door and the moment was here.
In the room she and I barely said hello before we wrapped each other in a hug while the guys shared introductions and a handshake. Baby was down in the NICU so we had a chance to get to know the parents without distraction. The conversation seemed to flow like we had known each other for years. The two of them individually and their relationship had an almost eerie similarity to Ryan and I. These two people had such a love for this little boy and it was clear that they had an understanding of how beautiful of a gift adoption is. They went out of their way to assure us that their hearts were in it 100%. They revealed to us that they had originally planned to cut ties and have a closed adoption, but once they read our profile and now met us face to face they felt it was a match made directly by Gods hand and they felt at ease knowing that they could leave the line of communication open with us. We spent a bit more time talking with them about the pregnancy, their life, and their dreams for the future. We left her room to allow her to rest a bit and headed down to the NICU to meet our son.
We picked up the phone to get buzzed into the NICU; when they answer, you are supposed to tell them what baby you are there to see. Once inside we went through the required 3-minute hand scrub before you visit a baby in the NICU. Down the hall and around the corner we walked into the large room where the babies were being taken care of. Immediately you are hit with all the sounds, smells, and sights of a NICU. Beeps, buzzes, alarms, billie lights, heart monitors, and the unforgettable sterile smell that comes along with this place. I’ve seen/heard/smelled all of this dozens of times before photographing babies in the NICU but there is something completely different when it’s YOUR baby there.
In the NICU there were 9 full bays with an additional 3 babies in mobile isolettes because they were so busy that day. There were 2 other sets of parents in the room at the time, which meant there were 10 babies that could potentially be our little man. The nurse walked us to a crowded corner of the room to meet him. They were performing an echocardiogram on him when we walked up, he seemed so tiny connected to all the monitors. With the echo going on we couldn’t pick him up or touch him initially but that didn’t matter. Our love for him was instant. He didn’t grow in my stomach, but the moment we saw him there was no mistaking it, he was ours FOREVER!
This adoption process has been a truly God driven experience. We have had immense struggles with our ability to trust God and his timing. We have felt hopeful, fearful, joyful, and terrified all at the same time. We’ve always heard people say that God doesn’t make mistakes, that he is working hardest when you are at your lowest. But we have never seen it manifest in our own lives as much as we have in the last two months. We were completely heartbroken and begging God for any kind of sign, for him to show us his reasoning for taking away the daughter we thought we were supposed to have. All I can say is that when God answers…he answers in big ways. There have been an incredible amount of ‘coincidences’ with Corbin’s adoption that can only be described as Gods work.
It all began with the name, we had chosen the name “K” for the little girl we were supposed to adopt and Corbin’s birth mom has the SAME name.
Next comes his birthday, our son Caden was born on Ryan’s grandpa’s birthday. Corbin was born on Dec 1st, MY grandfather’s birthday.
All through life my favorite number has been the number 7. I was #7 throughout all my years of high school sports, we were married on the 7th of Aug. Then comes Corbin, born at 7lbs 7oz and his hospital ID number was 777.
The last one I’ll share for now is a name game. Our NICU nurse’s name was Amie, same as my sister, our first lawyers name is Brian, same as my brother, and our second lawyers name is Michael, same as Ryan’s dad.
Those really were just a few examples. We keep saying that the stars aligned for us to have Corbin. It seemed like every day of the trip God showed up in another grand way as to say ‘See I told you so!’ We have both always believed in God, and truthfully would have said we had a very strong relationship with him. However; needless to say, after this trip we feel a much stronger faith in him. We know that he is always watching over us, that he has answered our prayers before we even know what to pray for, and that when we doubt him and it feels like he has forgotten us is when he is doing his biggest work!
If you are considering adoption, I would love to chat with you more about working with CAC! Email me at Leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!