There are some people you meet and it feels like you have known them for so long! That was Ryane and Joe! The first time we chatted we talked about living in California, our kids, their heart for adoption and so much more. They were faith filled, had an open heart towards adoption, and were ready to come alongside an expecting mom and support her as much as they could. I watched them start their adoption journey and then maneuver through the first few months of Covid and traveling in the middle of the pandemic to meet their daughter. I know saying yes to adoption comes with so many unknowns, and let’s be honest, in the middle of a pandemic feels even more uncertain at times. I would encourage you to read their words, be filled with purpose and joy, and start those conversations that will change your life.
It was December 2019 when we told our children we were thinking of expanding our family via adoption. The talk was a festive one and our youngest decided that this new baby was to be his most favored Christmas gift of all.
By January 2020 we started working with the amazing Fallon at Christian Adoption Consultants. All of our new years resolutions focused on classes, paperwork, home study prep, more paperwork, and lots of prayer. Also, did I say paperwork and teaching our youngest the art of patience? Because there was that too! He had already begun telling anyone who would listen that he was going to be a big brother to a new baby girl. You can imagine my shock when the kindergarten teacher confronted me in the school valet line to let us know our Noah had told all of his classmates that he was getting a new sister named Olivia. Explaining the heartbeat of adoption to your kids can be beautiful, but hard none the less.
We had always wanted to adopt, but we never imagined the adventures of adoption in the calendar of Covid. By March we were learning of the magnitude of this global pandemic. We immediately sat our sons down to explain that our adoption journey might be ending before it had even begun. With newly strained finances, home visits likely to be postponed and even taking family photos for a profile book all seeming impossible, we admittedly felt discouraged. However, the Lord used our then 12-year old son, who reminded us of a phrase we often say to him: nothing is impossible with God.
So we forged ahead and with adoption related activities happening virtually and we were able to complete the rest of our adoption requirements via zoom. A tripod, a few back yard photos and our remarkably gifted adoption consultant, also aided us in our best attempt at a profile book all in time for our first (and our last) adoption case to be sent our way. This incredible expecting mom saw something in our family and said “yes!”
In October of 2020 our baby girl (named Olivia like her big brother chose) was born. We flew out a week early during the height of the pandemic. With an extended NICU stay it was an additional 6 days before we got to see our daughter. All of the lessons we tried to teach our boys about patience and the promises of God were put to test during this trying season. In a hotel room adjacent to the hospital God reminded us, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
It is now been over a year and a half since our adoption journey began. We are forever grateful for the heart and bravery that our daughter’s birth mother has given that fortifies our daughter’s spirit. We carried this verse close to our hearts throughout 2020 and we pray it’s an encouragement to those waiting: “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
If you are thinking of adopting, even during a season where the entire world is fluctuating, hold on to your faith. Adoption is a messy, multi-layered experience, but at its core adoption is a story of love. We are inspired by the love of our birth mom, motivated by our love for our daughter, and we are thankful for the love extended to us by Fallon and the team at CAC. Our baby, now nicknamed “Liv,” nestled up to her brothers this Sunday morning, is a testament to God’s love for us all.
***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me, Fallon Palacios, at Fallon@christianadoptionconsultant.com and check out www.christianadoptionconsultants.com for more information!! ***