I’m thrilled to be sharing Noel & Nikki’s adoption story with you today! It was such a gift to walk alongside them during this journey. Noel & Nikki began chatting with me last Spring about adoption. We talked through all that the process entails, they shared their fears and dreams, and a few weeks later they moved forward in faith in the midst of the beginning of a global pandemic. And just like God does, He showed up BIG and provided everything they needed. Nikki shares more of their journey to their precious son, Matteo, below.
Our adoption story goes back to the summer of 1997 when I went on a mission trip to Jamaica. While on that trip, we spent some time in an orphanage. I won’t forget the seed that was planted in my heart on that trip. I knew after that trip that someday I wanted to adopt. I had no idea what that realistically looked like, or the journey to get that point, but that was a seed that grew and grew in my heart. Interestingly enough, that very year, I heard for the first time that I may never be able to birth children.
Many years later, in the midst of my friendship with Noel, we visited an orphanage in Cuba that was impactful to both of us. The seed that was planted was once again watered. Noel grew up in a communist country and didn’t see how having children was a possibility as he had a deep desire to provide for and protect a child. The country he grew up in just didn’t offer what matched with his travels around the world. In 2012 he came to America to visit for the first time. I was a nanny at that time. He looked at me one day and said, “I never imagined I would be able to have kids, but now after being here and around this family, I realize I desire that. I want to get married again, and have a family.”
Fast forward to when we started dating, we began talking about adoption knowing that infertility was a high possibility. We always remained open to adoption. We wanted to dive into marriage believing God could do the impossible and so we did. Months after not getting pregnant, and having some physical symptoms, I went to the doctor. What followed was 6 months of a cancer scare, infertility risks, and doctors that told me adoption was our best option. We wrestled with a lot and grieved during this time. Our hearts were not ready to dive into the unknown of adoptions quite yet. In December of 2019, I met up with friends who were in town and asked them lots of adoption questions. God was peeling back the layers and over the next couple of months He continued to do that. On March 1st, we called our dear friend Leah and said we are ready to dive into this process. We did not realize we were about to be in the middle of the pandemic, but thankfully we were able to get everything together and completed our home study a few weeks later. The next few months were filled with excitement, fear, and lots of anxiety. Adoption is truly a journey and you will face many things along the way. One of the things that carried me through the process was worship. I would sit in the nursery and pray, cry, plan, and dream. Now as I hold my baby and think about how God led us to that point, it is so sweet and humbling.
Over the time we waited, we presented to a few expectant moms. There was one case in particular that we really wrestled through. I grieved so much when I heard she chose another family. We received this news one week before we got the call about our son, Mateo. In an instant, our world changed. While we were thrilled to hear we were matched, we had a big obstacle in front of us. We had 48 hours to come up with 2/3 of the adoption expenses. We leaned into God and within 48 hours our adoption expenses were completely covered! We were in awe and amazed at the ways God provided through our family and friends! We spent the next seven weeks preparing for Mateo’s arrival. We received the call that his birth mom was in labor and traveled across the country. Thirty hours later, we met Mateo Ray for the first time. He was the most beautiful baby. A week later we traveled home as a family of three. We are still soaking up his sweetness and are forever grateful for the ways God faithfully carried our family every step of the way!