One day, when their son is old enough to hear the whole story about how he became a part of his family, John and Kim have an incredible one to tell him. It’s a story that actually begins long before his parents met him, and took some wild and unexpected twists and turns. But looking back, John and Kim can see God’s hand in all of it.
Today Kim is graciously sharing parts of their story here in an effort to encourage other families experiencing unexpected detours on their adoption journey.
It took us almost two and a half years to adopt. Some of that time came from the fact that we are a military family and had to move a couple times before we could even start or to resume the process. To everyone reading our story, we hope this brings you a little hope to your journey. To say this journey felt more like a roller coaster is the understatement of the year. With ups and downs, broken hearts several times, living off nothing but faith, feeling like giving up, questioning if we heard God right, every emotion came up. As we looked for others to relate to with us on this journey, it felt like no one faced as many hiccups as we did, but that’s not true. Many of us just don’t talk about what it can really be like. Out of respect for our son’s story and the amazing families we walked with along the way, we won’t get into too many details, but we will try to give you hope if you’re also facing a hard time.
We can’t thank Susan enough from Christian Adoption Consultants for all that she has done for us. She became our shining light to guide our path along the way. We didn’t know where to begin, what to do, or who to talk to; everything was just so confusing from start to finish. She gave us invaluable information on the adoption process as a whole that we will never forget if God calls us again to adopt. She became an amazing friend who never gave up on our dreams and gave us wisdom and encouragement when we struggled with hope and faith.
When we started applying to situations, we were really very open. When we kept reading articles about things going quicker when you’re very open, we wondered why it wasn’t for us. We got stuck in this thought process that we weren’t being chosen because we were a family of five and often times thought no one would pick us because our family is considered “large” to a lot of people.
It wasn’t long before a mother reached out to us once we were finally ready. We were so excited! We talked with her a lot, she showed us pictures of herself, her ultrasound, everything seemed perfect. After a brief season we discovered the woman was being dishonest and wasn’t looking to make an adoption plan. After some time to reflect, feeling so betrayed and heartbroken, we wanted to jump on board again. We showed our profiles so many times we lost track and prayed our hearts out. We wanted God to take the lead on our adoption and the only way to do that was to be as open as possible to people and their situations and pray that God would only let us be chosen by the family we were meant to be chosen by. So a few months went by and we were chosen again! Again, we were overjoyed.
We were convinced that this was the child God had meant for us, everything felt right, we felt this had to be it. We matched, continued to build our relationship, and ten weeks later got the call that it was time for us to come. Unfortunately, once we got there a few days later everything started to unravel. Question after question engulfed us: Where was God? Why didn’t he protect us? Why would he call us to do this and then allow for this to happen? Do we even have the right to feel this pain, considering the amount of pain the birth parents must be in making these decisions? Some of those answers we may never know but we’ve made peace with it now. God doesn’t make mistakes. There was a purpose for our family and the mother to go through that. Maybe it was meant to build our faith or other people’s. All we knew is we were heartbroken and everything we saved for was gone. How were we going to rebuild and move forward? In time, we found this child wasn’t what God intended for us and it was time to go home.
We got home and continued to show our profile again asking for God to only choose the family that was meant for us and for all of us to be protected, especially because our kids were going through this with us. We asked for God to direct our paths, for his will to be done, and to please protect us again because emotionally and financially, we didn’t know how we could continue towards God’s will for our lives if we faced another disruption. Also, how would our kids handle this again? How do we navigate getting our children’s hearts ready for adoption and keep them from having their hearts broken too? We tried our best but could only do so much.
After continuing down the path of adoption and praying our hearts out for God’s will to be done (even if that meant we were never really meant to adopt all along), we were chosen again! We were matched for a little over half of her pregnancy; it was another baby girl! This has to be it, God knows we can’t go through another disruption and we already have everything ready for her. We continued to pray over this mom and her baby. Everything was going really well…until it didn’t. We prayed hard again and wondered how we could ever do what we think God was calling us to, even though we felt so strongly that this was God’s will for our lives. Not knowing how we’d pay for everything, we felt God calling us to just keep the faith and that God would provide.
At one critical point during our adoption journey, a Bible verse popped up on our phone and it read, “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” (John 20:21). For whatever reason, we kept meditating on that verse. Every time we wanted to doubt if we heard God right, we remembered that this is God’s path, not ours. We continued to pray for strength and for him to answer us. We prayed for him to move in BIG ways, to do a miracle, to make it clear to us what we are supposed to do. We felt so lost and even people around us started to doubt our commitment to adopt. Honestly, it was hard not to get discouraged, but God had made it VERY clear to us that adoption was what we were made to do. We also knew that these families were going through really tough times and were truly and genuinely struggling with their decisions.
Then we received an email from one of our agencies: “We know you just went through another disruption but one of the babies born that we had told you about still is looking for the right family and to please read over it in case we still wanted to present to them.” So much stirred in our heads and hearts. Should we even apply? Is it right to apply when we literally came out here to adopt one child and it disrupted and then so quickly to try again? Was this God’s plan for us all along? Did he know that this was really the child we were meant to have and everything else happened for reasons we didn’t understand? As we were praying God immediately reminded us of that Bible verse, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” We felt like we at least had to try.
So we prayed again for God to protect us, the birth family, our finances, and all of the other families and children we met along the way. We went from being so heartbroken, lost, wanting to give it all up, to having hope once more. We prayed our hearts out like crazy. We asked the agency to show our profile and we were chosen! Within hours we had borrowed a car and drove all night to get to this precious baby boy and to meet his amazing family. We finally understood why God allowed all of these hiccups along our route. THIS was the child God meant for us. THIS family was the one that was meant to be a part of our family.
When we met our precious son, we had immense love for him immediately. And the miracles didn’t stop coming. We watched our very sick son be healed in the NICU and God provided financially over and over and over. Everything all just came together and we still have no understanding how. It was all God; he’s the only explanation. All of our family, friends, and other people that know our story are just blown away. It was clear to us that God put us on our journey to do a lot more than just bless us and stretch our faith. He used us to strengthen other people’s faith and so that others could see Christ show up.
If there is something that God reminded us on our adoption journey, it’s that God doesn’t send out his light to the lit places. He sends us out often times to some very dark places so we can shine our lights brightly. Also when it’s God’s time for you to adopt, it will happen and there is nothing you can do to speed that up or slow it down. None of it is according to our plan or timeline. All you can do is hold on tight and ride the wave until the end. Some days you just have to wake up and ask God for strength to see another day because the enemy will say anything and everything to deceive you and make you feel like it will never happen. Some days you’ll feel like you heard God wrong, like you’re being punished for something, you start to believe the lies that you’ve heard from people trying to talk you out of adoption. We’re here to tell you one thing: stay faithful.
Let us encourage you: your story may go smoothly, your story may be up and down, your story may be heart-wrenching and filled with heartbreak. But don’t lose hope. For whatever reason, God called you to do this and whatever journey you have ahead of you, don’t give up. God can and will do more than you ever imagined!