Today we wanted to shed light on adoption from an Adoptive Father’s perspective. Samantha’s (CAC Adoption Consultant) husband, Michael, has vulnerably shared with us his unique journey to fatherhood and how the Lord shifted his priorities along the way. We pray it would be encouragement to all of the hopeful Adoptive Father’s out there.
It’s a Wonderful Life has always been one of my favorite Christmas movies. My wife, Samantha, and I would go to the theater every year around Christmastime when we were still courting and watch George Bailey have a stunning character transformation over the course of the film. Samantha would often joke about how alike he and I were in terms of what we wanted for our lives; that was her kind way of addressing my selfishness. In an intense scene between him and his future bride, George Bailey quickly dismisses the idea of marriage and children, as both would stand in the way of the dreams he had for his life. Of course, the two characters do get married and have children, and it is not George’s goals or ambitions that change as a result, but rather his priorities.
Let me step backwards for a moment and tell you a bit more about Samantha. Since Samantha can remember, motherhood has been an innate desire of hers. She spent the better part of our first 6 years of marriage praying that God’s will would align with hers, and this longing would be brought to fruition through His graces as a result of her prayers. It is worth noting that I said that she had been praying for these blessings, as this was not something that I yearned for. Like with our marriage, however, the minute we said “I do”, my priorities in life instantly changed.
I have found that one major aspect of being a supportive husband is rallying behind Samantha and encouraging her to pursue her goals, all while praying for His will to be done for our lives. After four, five, and six years of marriage had passed, it was becoming increasingly evident that His will for us–at least for now–was not to conceive a child. This realization was devastating.
I alluded earlier that having children was not something for which I had a great desire, but in wanting to be a supportive husband to Samantha, it became something I stood behind to show her support. Her desires became my desires. The same can be said for adoption. “Spontaneous” might be one of the last words Samantha would ever use to describe me, so the idea of getting a call one day, and picking up a child the next, is–needless to say–a frightening concept. The day we got that call, though, my priorities changed once again.
I have no idea what it feels like to experience a childbirth by my wife’s side, or what it feels like for biological parents to hold their newborn babies, but man, when I held Brooklyn for the first time it was a life-altering experience. My heart grew instantaneously with unconditional love. In less than 24 hours, Samantha and I had a daughter and we were parents. To this day we hold her with that same feeling of love and admiration, and also a level of astonishment for the true miracle and beauty that is God’s creation.
So now, just a day removed from my first Father’s Day as an eligible participant, my priorities of faith and family are in line, I still have goals and ambitions that my supportive wife encourages me to pursue, Samantha has transformed her way of praying and is now vehemently praying that her will aligns with God’s (note the different ordering of this sentence from the second paragraph), and Brooklyn is almost 8 months old and has my heart forever. I can’t imagine our life without her. I am grateful for the many graces that God has given to my family throughout this adoption process. I am grateful to be an adoptive parent and for birth parents who make such a difficult decision. I am grateful for how God shifted my priorities to be aligned with His will for our family. I am grateful for God’s mercy in all of the times I didn’t trust in Him or His plan. I am grateful for the gift of life, and how truly wonderful it is.