Seth and I always knew we’d adopt one day. It was a desire God placed on my heart as an elementary student. While dating, Seth and I discussed what our future might look like and adoption was placed on his heart as well. We wanted to have two biological children and then adopt our third. And that’s exactly what we did.
We started the adoption process on October 16, 2018 with $0 saved for the adoption. We were going to fundraise our way through the process. God blew us away with how quickly we raised the funds for the home study and CAC’s fee. We were home study ready by December 2018. We signed on with Susan at CAC on Jan 2, 2019. We can’t tell you how much having Susan in our corner meant to us. The personal prayers, monthly updates, resources, and private support group were invaluable. We started getting a few situations here and there about the end of February/early March. We had a lot more preferences to start out with, but God quickly opened our hearts to more and more. We weren’t financially ready to present to any situations until June.
We waited almost eighteen months on the dot to be chosen. It was the longest wait of my life! We never imagined it taking that long. We thought we would have our daughter home in 2019. Then, on April 17, 2020, we got a phone call that would change our families lives forever. The instant I heard “Congratulations, Jessica has chosen you!” it ALL made complete sense! All of the heartbreaks, the “they chose another family” emails, the perceived roadblocks; they were all part of the plan to bring us to Jessica and our daughter.
We now had a four month match ahead of us as baby girl wasn’t due until August 12th! So we continued to fundraise, pray, and get to know the expectant momma we were matched with. We saw first hand Ephesians 3:20 come to life, “Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us.” By July, we were 100% FULLY funded! We raised just under $50,000!
We knew Momma J would deliver August 7th. It was planned and we were ready to travel the fifteen hours down to Florida, with our boys in tow, on August 4th. We didn’t expect the roller coaster of almost having to rush down there early a few times because she was admitted to the ER several times with bad contractions and had to have a shot to stop labor. We are thankful that she was able to make it to her scheduled c-section so I could be there for the delivery. Because of COVID, Momma J could only have one support person with her the entire delivery and hospital stay. And she chose me! So we traveled down a few days early. The trip taking us nineteen hours straight! We were able to meet up with Momma J for lunch the day before delivery and then meet her and her family again that evening at a splash pad.
On August 7th at 1:57 pm, Adyson Kathleen was born. She had a very traumatic delivery, and there was a brief period that I wasn’t sure she was going to make it. But she’s strong, like her birth momma and quickly came around. Baby cries never sounded so sweet. I roomed in with Momma J and Adyson the entire time until they were discharged on August 10th. I’ve never felt so many mixed and complex emotions like I did during that hospital stay (and the several weeks that followed). It’s hard knowing your place before placement, what to say and what not to say, knowing she’s grieving and you’re celebrating, consoling and caring for someone you just met the day before in such an intimate way. Wanting this child to be yours, yet knowing she isn’t and keeping your heart guarded “just in case.” Ensuring her that it is ok to choose to parent and that we would support that decision. No book can prepare you for this journey. If I could go back, I’d love deeper and harder.
We met up with Momma J and her family twice before traveling back home. After waiting almost two years to hold her, we had a record breaking ICPC process of less than 3 days! We finalized her adoption on November 10th, 90 days on the dot after placement. Legally, it could not happen any sooner. We still talk with Momma J frequently with calls, letters, texts, and emails. Yearly visits are the plan too. It ebbs and flows with communication and we are all still adjusting and learning. We miss her so much and love her with a love that we don’t know how to explain. There are never going to be enough words to say or things I can do to thank her for giving me the daughter I’ve prayed for since I was a child. It’s crazy to think that if we wouldn’t have widened our initial preferences, that we wouldn’t have our Ady girl today.
So, if you’re in the thick of it, take heart and be still. God is preparing the way and one day it will all make perfect sense!