Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Adoption Story: Gray and Leigh

Gray and Leigh have a beautiful story of God creating their family. After adopting their son from Ethiopia, they knew their family wasn't yet complete. But this story is more about a family pursuing adoption. It's about God making the impossible happen...

After adopting our son in from Ethiopia in 2011, we knew that God was calling our family to grow again through adoption. After much prayer we felt God calling us to domestic adoption. We signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants, got our home study completed and by the end of July we were ready for placement. We saw several situations come through but none of them felt "right." 

On Monday, September 8th we found out about a birth mother expecting a little baby girl in less than a month. I called the agency for more details and the moment they started telling me more I just knew. I knew this was the birth mother we had been praying for, I just knew this baby girl was our daughter. My heart knew all of this but my head kept saying it was crazy to think like that, too many pieces would have to fall into place. I told Gray we needed to talk when he got home from work and I texted my best friend that as crazy as it sounded, this was it. The problem, if this birth mother did pick us to parent her little girl, we needed 11,000 dollars in 48 hours. We only had 5,000 of that. We would also need an additional 11,000 at birth. When we found out we couldn't put this on our credit card and fundraise to pay it off we were devastated, this was money we had to have in the bank.  All night we tried to figure out how to make it work, in our minds there was no way we could fundraise that much. We decided we were not going to present, I was heartbroken. I texted my best friend to tell her, what she wrote back would change our lives forever. She said "if this is your daughter, God is going to provide." But my thought was "not for us, we aren't deserving or worthy of such a miracle". The Lord would quickly teach me that none of us are worthy but He can use any of us for His glory if we are willing!  Neither Gray nor I got much sleep that night. The next morning I woke up, texted Gray that we were going for it and drew a big heart on our chalk board to track our fundraising. Over the next  two days we posted on Facebook and Instagram and had our posts shared dozens of times. Our son, Angesom, helped us track our fundraising progress and in just 36 hours we raised the additional 6,000 dollars we needed if the birth mother did choose us. It was the most unbelievable and humbling experience of my life. 

On September 11th our agency called and we found out that the birth mother had chosen us for this precious baby girl.  We were overjoyed and overwhelmed. We still had a lot left to fundraise. Over the next 21 days we raised the additional 11,000 dollars thanks to so many people. We had total strangers throw huge fundraisers for us that brought in thousands of dollars. There were recipe exchanges and Instagram auctions. Tons of people were giving us portions of their commission. We were getting donations from all over the country. I spent most days in tears at how God was moving to bring our baby girl home. Hundreds of people were praying for our family. On October 7 at 8:01am our Elisabeth "Elsie" Reece was born. We were blessed to be with her moments after her birth and we fell madly in love with her from the start.  

It's still overwhelming to look back at our journey to Elsie and see how many people played a role in helping us bring our daughter home. We will forever be thankful to everyone who loved our family big and was part of the miracle God had for our family. He alone makes the impossible possible and we can only hope our story encourages others to step out in faith! 

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