Thursday, February 19, 2015

Adoption Story: Tim and Mary

Tim and Mary have had an incredible journey to meeting their son. They share: before we were married, we both realized that we shared the belief that God builds families in very creative, unique ways and that we wanted to experience the beauty of God building our family in ways we never could imagine. We always knew that adopting a child into our home was something that we wanted to do, but just recently felt like now was the time. We have discussed adoption with our three children a lot and they are all excited to welcome a new sister or brother into our family.

So they started with Christian Adoption Consultants in April last year and completed their home study by the end of July. Two months later they heard about an expectant mother, Rachel, a brave mama who had made some brave choices to protect and care for a baby she needed a family for. Ten days later, they were matched.  

I would love for Tim and Mary to share the rest of their story through the updates their friends and family received throughout the pregnancy. You'll see an amazing story unfold of a beautiful relationship, miracles only God could work, and a redemption that was about way more than a little boy finding a family...

October Update

Our adoption journey continues! We wanted to update you on some really cool developments. 

First, the birth mom we were matched with in Florida, Rachel, had an ultrasound today. Attached are pics of our little boy! 

We will be visiting Rachel in early November. We're really excited to meet her in person. 

Last week, we had the opportunity to talk with Rachel over the phone. Although it was a bit like an awkward first date when the call started, Rachel was super outgoing and made the conversation really easy. We really connected. She is such a sweet woman....Here's the (not so) short version of what we consider to be a miracle. 

But first, some background. It wasn't until after Jeremiah was a few months old that we realized, "Not only are our kids' names from the Bible, but they all end in AH. Funny." So we've felt like we wanted to name our adopted child similarly: a biblical name ending in AH to make sure he feels part of the AH club. Well, there are lots of options for boy names, right? Micah, Jonah, Isaiah, Josiah, etc. But our first choice has been Noah. We all really liked it and had talked about it as a family, but hadn't shared it with Rachel or many other people.

Back to Rachel... she has 14 & 10 year old sons... During our phone conversation, Rachel said, "You know how I'm supposed to come up with a name to put on the birth certificate before custody is officially transferred to you? I've spoken with my boys and we all agreed on a name. I know you will change it to the name you've chosen, but it's important to my boys and me to give him this name at his birth." 

Mary and I sat on speaker phone nervously. 

Rachel then said, "Do you want to know the name?"

I silently thought to myself, "Honestly, not really because then I'll feel guilty when we change the name!"

But Mary blurted out, "Sure, let's here it!" 

Rachel then said, "We think his name should be...NOAH."

Are you serious?!?!

Mary and I burst into tears. Rachel was a bit perplexed on the other line, not knowing what was happening. Once we regained our composure, we then explained that Noah was the name we'd also chosen. She was also blown away. 

She explained further. "My boys and I saw the names of your kids and noticed that they're all names from the Bible that end in AH. We wanted to make sure this boy felt included and received in your family."

<insert more tears>

So, we all know, both us and Rachel - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that God wants this baby to be in our family, and that he LITERALLY knows his name: Noah. So that's what we're calling him, starting now. 

And, thanks for your prayers. Rachel could use some. Specifically, she is 24 weeks along and on bed rest. This has been very difficult and challenging for her. We have peace and are confident that God is in control and that he will keep Noah in there until the time he chooses. We just want this to be an opportunity for God's glory to be revealed to Rachel and the doctors. We are praying for her to not go into labor until late into the third trimester. Please keep both of them in your prayers: that they would both be held securely in God's love and that there would be overwhelming peace that covers them. Rachel is living out an awesome story of redemption and is really growing in her faith, so we are also praying past lies don't get her down and she continues her spiritual momentum toward God. We'll continue to update you on further developments. 

January Update

We wanted to send out another update on our adoption journey of little Noah. We’ve been able to see some of you and email with others of you over the past few months. Your encouragement and prayers have meant a ton to us and have affirmed the fact that this is what God has called us to as a family. We can’t wait for the arrival of our little man!
Our big news is that we just got home from a quick trip to Port Orange, Florida (near Daytona Beach) to meet Noah’s birth mom, Rachel. It was a true honor to spend the day with her and to build a friendship with her. We got to talk a lot, visit her apartment, meet the staff at the adoption agency who are taking care of her and visit the hospital where she’ll deliver Noah. Though Rachel didn’t have a scheduled appointment, a nurse very kindly snuck her into the clinic and let us hear Noah’s heartbeat. That was so amazing and overwhelming.
But the definite highlight of the day was talking to Rachel about her newfound faith. She told us last week and reaffirmed that day, “I know God has used Noah to draw me to Him. I’ve never felt God like this before in my life. I want a relationship with Jesus and to live for Him. I feel like I want to wash myself and Noah and be baptized. Is that something you’d do? Would you baptize me?” As you can imagine, we were blown away. So, we changed our clothes, headed to the Atlantic Ocean and Tim dunked her! It was one of the great honors of our lives to be present with her and pray with her during that time. God loves us all so much and it’s fun to be reminded of how he chases after each of us.

So, we’re full of joy beyond words. We’re still overwhelmingly grateful that Rachel has made a courageous choice to place Noah for adoption and that she’s chosen us to be his family. God is writing a tremendous story and we’re humbled that we get to be a part of it.

Throughout Rachel's pregnancy, Mary continued to talk or text with Rachel most every day and developed a close, meaningful friendship. Then, it was time for Noah to make his appearance. Both Tim and Mary were there in the delivery room when he was born.

His birth mother, Rachel, was super brave. We broke down when she handed him to us and said, "Noah, meet your mom & dad."

We couldn't be more grateful to God. 

The texts and pictures I received over the next few days looked like a party was happening at that hospital in Florida. Rachel, Noah, Tim, Mary, and tons of extended birth family all celebrating Noah's birth together. Celebrating Rachel's incredible bravery. And celebrating the new family that had been created between all of them.

I smiled to myself this morning reading their words again that they wrote at the very beginning of their adoption: [we believe] that God builds families in very creative, unique ways and that we wanted to experience the beauty of God building our family in ways we never could imagine.  

Tim and Mary got way more than they ever bargained for with their adoption. In fact, they got way more than they could have even dreamed. 

Their son had a name before he was even born.

Their birth mother came to know Jesus through the journey and they were in the ocean with her when she was baptized, carrying their son.

This, my friends, is what adoption looks like; redemption in it's truest sense. 

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