It’s been a whirlwind of an adoption year for our family! Our first adoption was thirteen years ago when a sweet little newborn landed in our laps in the process of working with the homeless outreach program in our church. Though Matthew’s adoption journey has been very different from our other four adoptions, it was his adoption that God used to spur us on to welcoming more children into our hearts and home in this last year! Our next three adoptions came after our sweet little sibling group of three spent almost 800 days in the foster care system. But they became our forever children in August of 2019.
And then, in September, 2019, a month later, we became home study approved and began presenting to expectant mothers. We knew this adoption would be different from the start. Our family was not only going to be on the receiving end of a miracle bundle of joy, we also were waiting with bated breath for an expectant mother to choose us to love and adore her child for a life time. What we learned in this process was that the hand of God was so strong and sovereign. He lined up every single detail and didn’t leave one thing undone. He caused our hearts to begin praying for our baby’s mommy long before we even knew her name. We covered her in prayer as we sensed her intense emotions over her decision to make an adoption plan. And we covered her in prayer the day we knew she was choosing a forever family for her baby.
When the email came through, the subject line of the mail said “URGENT.” Immediately my heart stirred, “Spirit-bumps” covered both arms, and I felt an overwhelming desire to know more. In this process, we sensed God was going to move fast and ask us to step up to love a child that “urgently” needed a forever home. So with this sense of urgency, I called the caseworker. She gave me some more details and I remember sitting at my computer to write her a letter and pouring my heart out to her. I know I prayed. I know I cried. I know I wondered if this baby could be our son? And on Sunday, the birth mother began the arduous task of going through family profiles. She began this journey at noon, with her baby only 48 hours old, knowing she would be walking out of the hospital that day, empty handed, but a heart filled with love and sacrifice. At 1:30, my cell phone rang. It was the caseworker asking us if we were ready to be parents to child number 9! Shocked, excited, overwhelmed and overcome with emotion, I asked, as humbly as I could, with tears in my eyes, “she picked us!?” And yes, she picked us! Our crazy big family drew her in! We packed up the family and headed to Florida.
We joyfully, gratefully, and amazingly held our sweet five pound baby boy the very next day. Max was born 7 weeks premature. We spent the next 6 weeks with him in the NICU; bonding and growing together as a family. One of the most amazing experiences was meeting his birth mother two weeks after he was born. She came back to the hospital and sat with me and Max for almost 5 hours. We talked and shared life stories as if we had known each other for years. God knew. He connected our heart strings together and caused us to love each other even when we first met because He knew we would love a baby boy together for the rest of our lives.
In this adoption journey, I have come to realize the sacrifice a birth mother makes. I have such a beautiful respect for her and for her choice to put him first and herself second. During my stay in the NICU with Max, a nurse told me she didn’t think his birth mom would follow through with the adoption plan. I asked her why. and she simply said, “because she came to visit him all the time and hold him all the time in the 48 hours she was here.” I smiled at that nurse and I simply said, “How great for him to be loved so deeply by two mommies.”
To anyone beginning this adoption journey, or anyone still on it, I would encourage you to keep the faith, to pray, trust, and wait…and remember the words Susan told me, “God won’t let you miss your baby.” You will be holding your son or daughter soon; God already has the plan in place.