Thursday, December 3, 2015

Adoption Story: Radale and Breann

Radale and Breann have a beautiful story of how they became a family of three. I always love having the opportunity to share a family's story through their eyes and words. Listen to Breann share how adoption went from a dream to a daughter placed in their arms in a matter of days...

I have to admit I never thought I'd be doing this: sharing our story. To tell the truth, I never thought I'd be doing a lot of the things I have done in the past year, but here we are. As  introduced the world to our new baby girl. That announcement soon led to many friends asking if we would share our story and help them find the answers to their questions; questions on adoption and how to start the process. Radale and I found ourselves sharing the story of our adoption journey over and over and then it struck us, if more people could get answers maybe more families could find their happy beginnings.

The Back Story
I'll keep the beginning short. It was this time last year when Radale and I knew that God wanted us to grow our family through adoption. After researching and talking to many people and different agencies we finally made our decision that we would apply to one agency and then...our path was redirected. We had a distant cousin who revealed that they had just adopted a beautiful baby girl with the help of a consultant. This eventually led us to Christian Adoption Consultants and our consultant, Susan, in February of 2015. On July 10, 2015 we were officially "home study" approved, which in a nutshell means that the bulk of our paperwork was done. Now began the official "wait." We were prepared to wait 6 months, a year, maybe even 2 years but nothing could have prepared us for what happened next.

The Pathway to Parenthood
Over the next few months we were e-mailed various situations from various agencies. Some we thought were good fits for us and presented our profiles only to hear "she chose another family" a week or two later. Some others didn't fit our family and we just moved on to the next one. We understood this was just part of the process and were at peace with it because we knew that God had meant each of those children to be part of other families. We did the only thing we could do, we prayed. We prayed for our child to come to us and be safe and healthy, we prayed for the birth mother to find guidance and help, we prayed for our patience and strength of faith. We just prayed. 

There comes a time in most people's lives I think when you have an epiphany. (You know the kind where you suddenly realize the truth in something you believed all along.) One specific moment that confirms all your beliefs, affirms your faith, becomes your testimony. For us, this was that moment. On September 9, 2015 I received an e-mail from Susan that had a situation from an agency that had a sense of urgency to it. In the email it stated that they had a birth mother due any minute and the agency would be picking the family as she had told them she would rather them find a loving and deserving couple. All she asked was that preferably this would be the chosen family's first child and that she was raised in a Christian home. Feeling pretty confident about this one, I forwarded the information to Radale who immediately responded, "Why not? Seems perfect." So I e-mailed all our information to the agency as we were extremely interested in being considered. Late that evening I received an email from Susan. Knowing that typically when agencies get to choose families they would normally go with those that had been waiting the longest that were the best fit and since we had only been "officially" waiting for exactly 2 months on September 10, 2015 I fully expected another "they went with someone else" response. What I read next changed our lives forever! "I just heard that you were chosen and wanted to personally say congratulations!"

When I saw this e-mail I was speechless (which is a rare moment for me) and I had goosebumps on top of goosebumps as tears flowed from my eyes. It took me hours to be able to get a hold of Radale and when I finally told him the news, I'm not sure he understood me at first! Maybe I put him in shock, but in any case we were both so happy we couldn't believe that in just a few short months we had become expecting parents! Our baby was due in 2-3 weeks! Little did we know it would be just a few days...

The Blessing
On the morning of Tuesday, September 15, 2015 Radale and I were going about our normal routine. Around 10 a.m. I received a call from the agency, "...your baby girl was born this morning!" The next few minutes were a blur as I attempted to put the words she had just said together in my mind and keep my truck on the road. Tears immediately poured from my eyes and a million thoughts rushed through my mind as I sped home to tell Radale. I didn't even stop to shut the doors of my truck or house as I ran in to find him in our bedroom, toothbrush in mouth, staring at me as I blubbered out, "She's here! She's here!" He finally understood what I meant and after a brief moment of shock, crying, and hugging we quickly made arrangements. We spent the rest of the day packing, calling everyone, and making plane and hotel reservations. The next day we flew out to meet our baby girl. At our hotel I was greeted by five workers at the front desk clapping and hollering "Congratulations!" (Radale had told them why we were in town and they were so excited for us.) We proceeded to the hospital where after some papwerwork, red tape, waiting and we were granted access to see and hold our baby girl, Tatum Charlsie, for the very first time. There are no words to describe how we felt at that moment but we knew one thing for certain, she was our daughter and we had never felt so much love for another person ever before! 

A few days later we were able to make this announcement to our family and friends... 
"For God has seen the plans we had for ourselves and has said, 'My child, my plans are far greater than you can dream.'" Radale and I witnessed God's timing and miracles in the last few days. Introducing the newest member of our herd: Tatum Charlsie, born at 3:17 a.m. on 9.15.15. She is our 6 lb.15 oz. proof that prayers are answered! It has been a whirlwind process, and we can't bring her home for a few days but we are so blessed to call her our daughter!

So Thankful
A lot has happened in the last two and a half months and we are all adjusting to being a family of three instead of a table for two. Neither Radale or I ever imagined how much we could love another person until we brought Tatum into our lives. During this season we are truly thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and we can't wait to tell Tatum, when she is old enough to understand, just how much she is loved!  

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