November is National Adoption Awareness Month and
Our story starts out like a lot of adoption stories, with a full heart and an empty nursery. After being married for six years we felt like it was time to start adding to our team. After a while of
After the new year, we decided to go for four months of the level 1 fertility treatments. We said if it didn’t take we were going to start pursuing adoption in full force. We were thinking that with the amount of money we would spend and the small increase in possible success it just wasn’t worth it. There are a lot of different thoughts on the matter and honestly, this is the one we felt God was directing us to. That
So in early May 2017, we went to our first adoption training meeting with Bethany. The thing I will say about Bethany is that they do not pull punches. Bethany lets you know what it will be like from day one, the good, the bad and the ugly. I don’t think I ever left a meeting with them more excited to adopt, in fact, most of the time I was ready to stop the process. It just seemed so hard. I didn’t have total control. I was opening myself up to more chaos. Bethany requires an open adoption. We would be having regular contact with the birth parents if they chose that and it was our job to show them honor and support. This wasn’t going to be something that would just become a part of our story, this was going to be a regular part of our lives that we would have to interact with. I wasn’t sure I was ready for that. I wanted to show love and support but I wasn’t sure I wanted to bring an unknown person into my family. After each meeting, I left unsure. But after the initial shock wore off, I realized how much better Bethany’s plan was than mine. Slowly, after lots of reading, hearing testimonials and talking it out with friends, I became a firm believer in their process. Our child would know where he comes from, whose eyes he has and nose and could eventually ask questions about heritage and our child would be loved by us and taken care of and given every opportunity. Plus there would be two other people who want to see every baby picture and talk about their poop as much as we do. H
After our decision was made, the fundraising process began. Adoption through Bethany was going to cost around $35,000. Included in that is support for the birth parents, things like counseling, contact around holidays and a person to contact if they need help. Right from the get-go, God showed up with people who wanted to help. We opened a website and saw people we haven’t talked to in years donate. God showered on his blessings. We had so many friends give us gifts that got us over hurdles so that in January 2018 we could officially be shown to expecting birth parents. While we were waiting we had a donor give us a $4,000 matching gift to our 1/2 marathon fundraiser. Our team raised over $10,000 and helped finish our fundraising efforts. Now the wait was on for the right birth parents.
In early July I was at camp for our students and our case worker called wondering if we would be able to have a conversation with a couple that afternoon. I went from wanting a nap to energy to burn in about 10 seconds. We figured out a three way call with Elisabeth who was still home and talked to our son’s birth parents for the first time, though we didn’t know it at the time. The conversation went great and we scheduled a face to face meeting for the next week. That was a super long week full of questions, thoughts and sleepless nights.
That week we met on Tuesday over pizza for lunch. We talked about a lot of things and asked questions back and forth. We won’t talk much about our son’s birth-parents, that is their story to tell, but we enjoyed meeting them and felt like it was a good connection. After they talked with their caseworker they decided we were the couple and wanted to pursue adoption, oh and that she thought she would deliver next week! Another week of sleepless nights, questions and getting ready for what came next.
Monday morning around 5 am Elisabeth’s phone went off and I was wondering why her alarm was going off. It was our caseworker saying that they were in the hospital waiting on our son! I jumped up out of bed and stood there for probably 5 minutes waiting for my brain to engage. We quickly packed, loaded up baby supplies and figured out where to put our dog Brownie. By 6:30 we were on our way to Philadelphia to wait for the birth of our son. On the way, we were texting our caseworker about baby names and expectations. We got there and waited to see what would happen. We were able to go into the room for a bit and talk with our son’s birth parents before lunch. Then just after
Since then we have been engaging with his birth parents over email. We are learning what it means to be a mom and dad. I am so thankful for the people in our lives who help us out. I have no idea how people do this without others in their lives. Acid reflux is for sure a part of the curse. I can’t wait for Andrew to sleep through the night but I know the first time he does I will freak out. By the way, if your kid slept through the night in the first couple of months I don’t want to hear about it. I’m bitter, I’ll admit it.
God has truly blessed us. We don’t know what the future holds but we know that God is on our side. Adoption has not been the easiest road. We have had many tears, struggles, and questions. When I walk into the room after nap time and our son looks up and sees me and knows his dad is here I know that God has brought Andrew into our lives in a way that can only be explained as His plan.