Anyone who enters an adoption process naturally does so with some thoughts, hopes, and dreams about how it all will unfold. Rarely do things happen exactly as someone expects or imagines. But I can tell you that a heartbreaking failed adoption and then an unexpected extended NICU stay out of state isn’t on anyone’s agenda! As you get a glimpse into this couple’s story, listen for the heart of the One whose beautiful plans far exceeded their own. This dear Christian Adoption Consultants family taught me so much about what it means to look to Jesus when our plans crumble.
We first contacted Katie at CAC when we prayerfully decided we were ready to grow our family of five into a family of six. Katie had helped some family members with their adoptions, and we loved her from the moment we had our initial phone call! We had three biological children under the age of 8 at the time, and had the privilege of hosting several children in our home in a span of 2 years prior to our adoption. God really shaped us as a family through this, and opened our hearts to exploring growing our big family into an even bigger family through adoption.
Adoption had already been a big part of our extended family and we were excited to begin the process. We would soon learn that supporting a family or friend through the adoption process and walking through it yourself are totally different things. God would continually remind us throughout our adoption that He was the one steering the ship, no matter how hard we tried to navigate those sometimes rough waters. Admittedly, we entered the process wanting desperately to keep as much of that grip of control as possible but the Lord would slowly chip away at that as He often does.
When we had talked about adding to our family, we always said because we had 3 younger kids at home that a premature baby wasn’t an option for our family. How would we do it out of state? How would the kids survive at home with mom and dad gone so long? Logistically how would that even work out with our jobs? We are big planners, and a NICU stay was not in our plans. Not at all.
Long story short, thankfully the Lord had a plan that was entirely different than what we had conjured up as our “ideal” plan. And that plan would bring us to meet our perfectly beautiful tiny little son one hot September day.
We had just navigated a failed match that summer, and were heading into back to school for the older kids. We had one child in elementary, one starting preschool, and one in kindergarten. I remember that first week of school crying most days that all my babies were gone and now I was home all alone when I SHOULD have been home with our new baby. We knew God’s plan was best, but we were frustrated and really wanted to know WHEN and HOW this plan would work out.
One of those days just a week or two after school started, I was home alone and I remember seeing “Katie” pop up on phone. (stomach drop!) She told us of little boy born almost 3 months early whose mama was wanting to make an adoption plan for her son. Immediately, I felt like this could be our son, but was overwhelmed by the NICU and all the “what ifs” of a child born that early. After a call to my husband we enthusiastically said yes to something we had never imagined, took a leap of faith, and headed down to meet our baby boy.
As challenging at the NICU was, from the beginning the Lord continually met us in our need. Over and over He would prove to us He would NOT leave us, and that He fiercely loved us, and our newborn son. In this strange new city He continued to provide for us and comfort us……whether it was the kindest AIRBNB host who deeply discounted their apartment rate and provided me a safe place and a listening ear when I had to spend 2 months away from my other family….or the incredible hurtles our son would overcome for a baby his size during his stay in NICU….or the sweetest security guard that would pray for me when I was in tears and wondering just how everything would be alright with my baby….to the most amazing night nurse that adored him and loved him so well so I could feel comfortable leaving to sleep for a few hours after 12 sweet but long hours of skin to skin in the NICU….or the pastor we met on the elevator of the hospital the day we met our son, who invited us to his church across the street and loved, prayed, and provided for us the entire stay…or the friendship and support of sweetest CAC family who happened to adopt twin girls placed in the curtain right next door…. Or the incredible army of family and friends continually providing for our children at home so I could spend as much time bonding with our son as possible….the list truly goes on and on.
We look back on our journey to our son with grateful hearts. Forever grateful for the brave woman that gave him life and loved him first. Incredibly grateful for the spirited, sweet, funny, and busy 2 year old boy who we have the privilege of calling our son each day. But mostly grateful for the great, big God we serve and His GOOD purpose and plans that prevail in our lives.