Story telling is one of the most powerful things we can do. And in adoption there are plenty of stories to be told. Stories of God calling a family to open their hearts and home to adoption. Stories of God's provision and protection. Stories of redemption and bravery and courage.
Adoption is a unique space for us to shout all God has done while also protecting, guarding, and honoring the intricate and personal details of a child's story. Today I'm thrilled to share Cody and Breanna's story. You've met them here before, and today, Breanna shares their adoption journey, along with all of the chapters and plot twists.
I love a good story. I love all the parts of a good story and watching them come together…
The dream, the conflict, the heartache, the hope, the redemption.
Because I love a good story, I love to read. My husband likes to give me a hard time about picking up a good book. Because he knows that once I start it, I want to finish it as soon as possible. I’ve been known to get so into the story that I just can’t wait to see how it ends. I have actually skipped to the back of the book to read the ending and then go back and finish the details that I missed. Some may say I’m weird, but I’ve met some other book-loving friends who graciously admitted that they have done it too.
Adoption is a beautiful story. It is full of dreams, conflicts, heartache, hope and redemption. It is full of bittersweet moments, tears and a happy ending…or dare I say, a happy beginning?
In Psalm 139:16, God’s word tells us “…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” I love that. I love knowing God knows the ending before we know the beginning. I have found comfort in that fact for many moments in my life.
Along with my love of books, I also love structure. I can also be characterized by my type A personality. I love planners. I love a clear task and a way to complete that task. I love the satisfaction it brings to know I have something “figured out.”
Adoption is not something anyone can “figure out.” Adoption does not have a clear ending date. You can’t know the details until they’ve happened. You can’t know the conflict until it arrives. You cannot come up with a way to get through it at the beginning, because you don’t fully even know what all you will feel and experience except for what you are feeling and experiencing in each moment. I guess what I’m saying, is you can’t skip to the end of the book and then go back for the details.
In Hebrews 12:2, Jesus is described as the “author and perfecter of our faith”.
That word is the word that bridges my love for God to write a beautiful story in our lives and my desire to have everything planned and controlled. I had to give up on the thought of writing my own story and have faith that God had the best story. I had to give up for my desire for control and give God control. I had to know that even though I had no idea how it could or would work out, that God knew. God knew our baby by name from the beginning of time. God knew the day we would first take him into our arms, before we had the thought of adoption as young single adults. Was my faith in God bigger than my fear of the unknown details each chapter would bring?
I can’t share every detail of our journey or this would be a chapter book rather than a blog post. But our beginning thoughts of adoption started before Cody and I were a couple. We talked about adoption on our first date because it was that near and dear to our hearts. We started our marriage knowing that we would adopt but not knowing when. After 8 years of marriage and two beautiful children, God began to stir in our hearts that it was time. Only I was scared. Back to the type A me who saw all the “concerns” and just didn’t see how it could work.
They all seem silly now.
But at the time, each concern was real. And little did I know then that God had bigger challenges along the way that I didn’t even know to consider on the front end of things. But God gently led me through quiet times and quiet moments opening my heart. You can read in more detail of those here…
The moment we decided to give our "yes" to God was the moment we started to see our faith grow. Through each little detail, of saying “God I don’t know how we will do this…., but we will trust in you," we began to see how God was orchestrating each chapter. While I would easily describe adoption as one of the hardest things I’ve done, I would lie if I said it wasn’t beautiful to watch God’s little details come together. I want to share them all, but I won’t. And there’s a chance that in reading them, you might not sense the greatness of God. But the truth is, I know how much he cares for me, for baby Judah, for our family, and for Judah’s birth family as I look back and see how God cares about the details of our lives.
Chapter one. Money.
When we signed up for adoption, I thought I knew how much it would cost. And the number I had in mind was a lot of money. But I had a few ways in mind of how we might save, borrow and raise the funds. When we signed up with CAC, I found out in the resources of information, that I had underestimated and that the cost was about double. DOUBLE.
I didn’t know then that my grandmother would call me and offer a large loan to us debt free. I had been concerned if my family would be as excited as we were and it was family that came first to say, we support you. I didn’t know then that we would end up not borrowing a dollar to bring Judah home.
I didn’t know the first time we presented when we had hardly any money saved, that the following Sunday a church member and friend would donate $5,000 dollars which would be matched by his employer to help us reach our goal.
I didn’t know that family after family would send us a check in the mail just from feeling led by God to do so.
I didn’t know that a friend would make the most beautiful quilt which would end up raising over $3,700 and that even those who didn’t win the highest bid, still gave just for the cause of adoption.
I didn’t know that we would have an amazing turn out with a restaurant fundraisers and t-shirt sales. I didn’t know that Cody and I would have one of the biggest tax returns we’ve had.
But God knew.
I didn’t know when I almost said no to the journey out of fear, that God would provide OVER what we needed. Now we hope to start an adoption fund at our church with God’s abundance to help others on their adoption journey.
Now tell me that’s not a good story?
Chapter two. Matching.
I didn’t know when we started looking through emails of details of expectant mothers just how much I would feel. I didn’t expect to feel, cry and care so deeply. I didn’t know that once we said “yes” to be presented to a family how my mind would begin to wonder with dreams of what might be. I certainly didn’t know how much I would hurt with each “no." I didn’t know how that loss would feel of something that was never mine to begin with. With each “no," I didn’t know how many more it would take, how many “no’s” before a yes.
But God knew.
God knew we would present 5 times with five no’s. God knew that after we said yes to present to a baby girl due in several months but before we were actually presented, that we would get a call from a local attorney about a three week old baby boy in her office with his birth mom who wanted to meet us.
God knew our no’s would lead to our yes.
There are other chapters. Chapters of hurting in the unknown. Chapters of waiting on our yes. Chapters of learning of things like racial tensions, attachment challenges and open adoption relationships. But this isn’t a chapter book, although it’s beginning to feel that way.
Chapter The End
God knew that on June 21st, when Judah was 3 ½ weeks old that we would hold him for the first time. That we would meet his birth mother and begin a relationship with her that we would have never imagined when we started this journey. He knew we would take home baby Judah the next day to join our forever family. He knew this yes, when all we heard was no. He knew this ending as he was writing our beginning. He prepared the way as we were praying and hoping.
I simply cannot do justice to the goodness that God has shown to us. As I read this again and again while trying to write it, I realize that. But I hope that I can share that I didn’t have it all figured out. I didn’t have any of it figured out.
I gave God my yes and then I watched as He wrote my favorite story of all time.