I had the pleasure of walking with Michael and Chelsey through their first adoption a few years ago. I was amazed by their faith and perseverance through the ups and downs of the process that led them to their beautiful daughter. This journey the second time around has been no different. Michael and Chelsey, it has been an honor walking with you through your second adoption and the journey that led you to your son. Thank you for entrusting me with such an important piece of your family’s story. Chelsey said it best, “One day you will look back and say the same thing I do, which is ‘I would do it all over again. As many times as it took. To get to you.’”
In 2018, after multiple unsuccessful attempts at conceiving children including a failed IVF cycle, my husband and I felt the Lord leading us to adoption as the way to grow our family. We worked with Kelly Todd at CAC and by the end of that year we held in our arms the most amazing display of God’s love and goodness in our newborn daughter, Campbell. Fast forward some incredible years later and we felt God leading us to pursue adoption. We were thrilled to see how God would work again!
In the summer we received a situation of an expecting mother due just a few weeks later. I called Michael and blurted out a few very vague details and asked him to read through and let me know his thoughts. Without hesitation Michael said, “Let’s go for it!” Our first adoption taught us to surrender ourselves to God’s will, and we had been. We had said “yes” to every situation that was presented to us. We applied to each one and felt the sting of each “no”, but we trusted God. His willingness to take such a big leap of faith inspired me and I instantly felt an optimism I had not yet felt. With great hope I submitted our information.
The following week we learned that the expecting mother had given birth to a baby boy. The agency needed to know which families were ready to travel. I didn’t hesitate when I replied, “We want to present! We are ready and able to go ASAP!” I packed up our family profile book and overnighted it. Our excitement was palpable! Until the next morning around 8am central time when I checked the tracking which showed our profile book was stuck in Tennessee somewhere. I immediately felt sick and told Michael. After a few minutes he said, “Wait, doesn’t your mom have a copy of our profile book? Maybe she could deliver it to them?” My mom lived about an hour from the attorney’s office and it just so happened that I had given her a copy of our profile book on Mother’s Day. At that point we were hoping to keep it all a secret from our families, but we knew our only chance lied in my mom, so I picked up the phone and called her. After waking her up, hurriedly explaining what was going on, she was on her way to deliver the profile book.
As we went through our first adoption I wasn’t able to see the “God winks” as they were happening. It was only after we brought our daughter home that I was able to reflect and revel in the ways God beautifully worked out each tiny detail. This time I felt as if I could see and feel in real time each “wink” from God, Michael’s leap of faith, my mom’s role in delivering our profile book. On the other hand, there is a very real potential for pain that urges you to guard your heart, and the balance is ever so delicate.
A few days passed, no news. A few more days, no news. Then, we discovered that she needed more time to make her decision. We continued praying for her and that the Lord would give her peace in whatever she decided. At times we didn’t even know how to pray over the situation, but we trusted that God knew the prayers of our heart, even the ones that we didn’t know how to put into words.
Later that week we got a call from the attorney informing us that she wanted to speak to us on the phone. Over an hour later, after an incredible conversation filled with tears, laughter, and sharing our deepest feelings, she told us that she wanted us to be his parents. She shared that she felt an instant connection to us the moment she looked at our profile and knew all along it was us!
We hung up the phone, loaded our car and headed straight there. Less than 24 hours after our call with our son’s amazing birth mother we held our two-week old son, Cohen, for the very first time, and began the incredible journey of life as a family of four.
I will never tell anyone that the adoption journey is easy. We heard several no’s and although I thought they would somehow sting less the second time, they didn’t. What I was able to cling to was the proof of God’s faithfulness in our 2-year old daughter, who we adopted at birth. Maybe you’re walking through your first adoption right now and you don’t have that tangible proof to cling to. I know that pain. But I feel confident that you can look back through your life and find God “winks” all over. There is evidence of God’s faithfulness all around. Sometimes we have to dig deep to feel it, to see it, to believe it. It isn’t always a flashing neon sign. But it is there. He is there. To sustain you, to uphold you, to strengthen you, to grow you, to provide you, to encourage you, to give you rest, to fulfill His promises of goodness to you.
I know how insanely difficult this journey can be. It is incredible and beautiful and worth it, but it is not always easy to see that when you are surrounded by uncertainty and brokenness and rejection. I know those feelings. I cried often. I questioned myself and God. Even holding my daughter, the tangible proof of God’s goodness, I still had moments of doubt. So will you. Doubt, sadness, uncertainty, anger-what I’ve learned about those feelings, though, is that I can visit them but I can’t live in them. In the hardest and darkest of times, you must pull yourself out of the deafening silence of those emotions and place yourself back onto the solid foundation of Christ. “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
I still remain amazed by God’s works. This journey has been the most incredible honor. It has been a place of great growth and strength. Years ago I didn’t want this kind of growth or strength. I didn’t want to have to suffer and struggle and fight this way for my family. But God had a different plan. A better plan. A perfect plan. I will praise him all the days of my life, because He is the God of the valley just as He is the God of the mountaintop. Give Him your whole trust and He will show you beauty you could only imagine, abundantly more than you could imagine.
One day you will look back and say the same thing I do, which is “I would do it all over again. As many times as it took. To get to you.”
***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Email me, Kelly Todd, at email@example.com to request a FREE information packet!***