Andy and Mimi talked about the possibility of adoption even before they were married. They knew before they began trying to have a family that there would be obstacles. Cystic Fibrosis, along with infertility made the prospect of having a baby biologically a long shot. Although adoption was not their original idea, it was never second best. And when you hear their story as told by Mimi, you'll realize this was absolutely true.
Andy and I met Abel's birth mom through our neighbor. Seriously. It was a gloomy weekend back in November, and Andy was outside cleaning the gutters when our next door neighbor leaned over the fence and asked how our adoption stuff was going. She then proceeded to tell Andy that she knew someone who was considering placing her baby and wanted to know if she could let this woman know about us. Of course we said "yes!" but honestly didn't think much about it. It seemed like a long shot, but was still encouraging to hear that someone would think we would make good parents for this baby. Well, come Tuesday my neighbor is knocking down our door, she boldly (and almost a little insanely) tracked this woman down at her workplace, and told her she knew the perfect parents for her baby. Our neighbor asked her if she would be okay with us calling her. So here stands my neighbor with a name and phone number in hand; "The ball is in your court," she says.
Andy and I sat there for a little while. We looked at that number, we prayed, we laughed with how uncomfortable this conversation was going to be, and then we picked up the phone, at this point with nothing to lose.
Fast forward a few months: We've become super acquainted with the neighborhood Panera as that is where we meet with birth mom every couple of weeks. We've traded family stories, heard hopes for the future, talked about what adoption means and looks like, laughed and cried a little too. It was clear that God arranged us meeting, and we knew instantly that we were supposed to be part of her life and this story. Whether that was to be her baby's parents, or simply support along the way. God didn't actually reveal this to us right away.
Our birth mom told us she wanted to wait until the end of January to decide whether or not she would place the baby with us. So we prayed; we learned about patience and were continually reminded that we are not in control. Still, we were abundantly blessed with peace and joy through our time getting to know this incredible woman. Late in January, we met up with our birth mom and across the table at Panera, she looked down at her tummy and then directly into our eyes and said, "I've made my decision, when I have this baby I want to give him to you guys, and I want you to be his parents."
March 10, 2015, 7:46 am: "Hey guys I'm 8 cm. dilated! Get your butts up to the hospital, and let's have this baby." That's how Abel's birth mom sounded the morning he was born. It's tough to describe someone's spirit, attitude and demeanor in a blog post, but our birth mom is 100 percent authentic. She's real. God allowed for a true relationship to be built between the three of us over the period of a few months.
Anyways, we jumped in the car and arrived in her hospital room in a flash. When she was ready to push, she allowed me to stay to see the birth of our son. He arrived quickly, so quick in fact Andy was in line in the cafeteria. He thought this whole delivery thing would take more than 10 minutes. We spent the next 36 hours bonding with him and his birth family in the hospital. We heard so much about how we might feel, or how she would feel, but I never expected to have my heart explode every time she held him and loved on him. The trials that surfaced during this journey of adoption weren't necessarily relevant in these moments as God responded by breathing beauty and redemption through the entire situation. It was, and is, incredible.
I've never felt God quite so present as when we said our goodbyes. Abel in her arms, my arms wrapped around Abel and her, and Andy's arms hugging us all; we wept. I cried for her and what she was losing for our gain, I cried for our son and hoped he would always love and respect her and her decision, and I cried for Jesus because what was done on the cross. For our sake God looked away, and Jesus gave all so that we could know Him. Oh how real and true that was in this embrace; and this is just the beginning...
For more on Andy and Mimi's journey to parenthood (and updates!), you can follow their blog, Our Temporary Setbacks.
Photo credit: Captivated Photography