Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Adoption Story: Jeremy and Melissa

I'm often asked if large families can adopt. This was a part of the conversation when Jeremy and Melissa first called me with a strong conviction that God was asking them to add to their family again, but this time through adoption. "But will we ever be chosen since we already have six kids?" 

So many assume an expectant mother looking for a family is looking for a young couple who have experienced infertility. And sometimes that's the case. But much more often, and always much more important is the question, "Will they love and care for my baby?" Much more of this topic, and what birth families are really looking for in an adoptive family here.

Jeremy and Melissa's adoption story started long before they began with Christian Adoption Consultants last summer. Today Melissa shares how their daughter came into their family (to make them a family of nine!), the rich meaning of the names she was given, and how their prayers for a decade were answered.

When we felt the Lord tug on our hearts about adoption almost a decade ago, we had no idea how challenging that call would be. We only knew that God had a special addition to our family who would not come from my womb. Over the years He has been so faithful to gently lead us down this road, preparing us along the way for the challenges we would surely face. After the ups and downs of the past few weeks with a quick placement, and an unexpected C-section 3 weeks before birth mom’s due date, drama with the birth family, the birth mom almost changing her mind, and other unexpected things that I do not have the liberty to share here, I can say without a doubt, had this happened in my time frame (5 years ago) we would not have been ready. We thought we were ready, but spiritually, emotionally, and physically we weren’t ready. God is so kind to sometimes not give us what we ask for until His timing. We have been standing on the promises in Psalm 126:5-6 for about 6 years now.  “Those who sow in tears, will reap a harvest of Joy! They go out weeping carrying seed to sow, and return with a harvest.” (My paraphrase) It is because of this verse that we gave our daughter the middle name Joy. We have been sowing seed these past 8 years. We’ve been sowing in prayer, we’ve been sowing in tears. The tears of waiting on God, the tears of wondering if it will ever happen.  Now as I look at our harvest of Joy my heart swells with a new kind of tears. Tears of joy.  

About 8 years ago through a series of God connections with several families the Lord dropped the name Hadassah into our hearts. We’ve been holding onto that name for all this time waiting for our daughter to arrive. In many ways it feels like the end of a very long pregnancy. We’ve always loved the story of Esther in the Bible, she was a young Jewish girl known by her Hebrew name, Hadassah. She was adopted by a cousin, and when the time was right, she was chosen by the king to be his queen. God used her to bring deliverance to the Jewish people. We have always loved the redemptive nature of her story. We believe that our Hadassah has a redemptive call on her life as well. We believe that God will use her to bring healing and deliverance; to be a voice to declare the promises of God to those in bondage and darkness. That just as she was rescued from some very difficult circumstances, she will be used by God to reach others in need of rescue. 

Even though she’s not a huge fan of sleeping at night, and prefers to be awake eating every hour all night long, she is an absolute joy! We are so much in love. All the hard things about this process, all the waiting, it’s all worth it. The thing that I think speaks to my heart the most in all of this is that even though we feel like we’ve been waiting for years for this, Hadassah was born about 9 months after we hired Susan to help us navigate this wild journey. We literally have been praying for her and her birth momma right from the beginning of the pregnancy. It’s amazing to me how connected we felt to her immediately. There was no warming up period, or bonding, it was instant. I attribute that to the fact that she was already ours conceived in our hearts through prayer. I may not have carried her in my womb, but I carried her in the womb of my heart for 9 months prior to her being born. 

Thanks so much Susan for guiding us and answering all our questions along the way! You were a beacon of hope when I had almost given up. 

For a bit more of Jacob and Melissa's story, you can read this insightful blog: Number Crunching the Costs and the Untold Benefits of Adoption.

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