Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Adoption Story: Tom and Shannon

They say adoption is a roller coaster ride of emotions. When Tom and Shannon went through the adoption process, they would tell you they rode every twist, turn, and heart-pounding drop you could imagine. I love Tom's perspective on their adoption and hearing their story from a father's heart...

We received the call today. Giving us our finalization date, to make our son “officially” ours. But he has been ours since day one, and God knew he was a part of our family long before that.

We didn’t know it at the time but our adoption journey began seven years ago. We had just had our second biological child when we discovered we wouldn't be able to risk another pregnancy for medical reasons. Our family would be complete at four and would remain that way for the next six years.

In the summer of 2015 I made the comment about how I always thought we would have more kids. Well, my wife took that as the go signal and began researching adoption. We knew another couple in our small community that had worked with Christian Adoption Consultants, and we reached out to them. The process was nothing as we expected. We began the adoption process later that year and would learn along the way that we had very little control, and to let our faith guide us

We both went into this process with our “ideals” of how this would work, and what we wanted. We had our checklist of our "perfect" adoption and our "perfect" baby. We soon realized that God's will for us was probably going to be outside of our comfort zone and opened our minds and our hearts to what He had in store for us. 

We felt all ranges of emotions during this process. Fear was common. Will the expectant mom like our profile? What about the health of the baby? What if the birth parents change their minds? Will we have the finances to cover everything? More and more we discovered we had no control over these things. We had to let go, and trust in the process, and ultimately trust Jesus with our family. 

We were matched in September and our fear turned to joy, happiness, and excitement. Things moved quickly as we anticipated a baby boy in December joining our family. We made a special trip to meet the birth mother and soon were traveling for the birth. But an unexpected call changed everything. The expectant mother had decided to parent. In a moment that happiness turned to sadness and shock.

After a few weeks, our sadness was replaced with a sort of calm. We understood that baby was not meant to be ours and we came to peace with her decision. Our prayers were not only for comfort for our hearts but also for that baby and mama. But it was hard to feel like we were at square one. At this point we needed to update our home study which meant more paperwork and more honest questions. Can we go through all of this again? Can we start this over again? Could we afford to continue on this journey? 

The answer was yes. We had to move forward. More situations. More prayers. More presenting our profile and hearing "not yet." Until one day we heard we heard what we had been waiting for this whole time. We were matched with a little boy due in just six weeks. It seemed almost too perfect.

Everything was in motion. And this time our joy and excitement were mixed with guarding our hearts a bit and holding our breath. We didn't want to get ahead of ourselves so we took it one day at a time. Preparing for baby. Booking flights. Meeting with the amazing expectant mother. Hoping, praying, and waiting to see if this would be the answer to prayers we had been praying for years.

On March 7th, at 8:30pm, Jackson William made his way into the world. He was finally here and everything we dreamed he would be.  He was perfect! All the stress, all the waiting, all the fear, was finally gone. I think we both took the deepest breath we had taken in months. 

While the journey to get there was not easy, it’s easy to say now “It was meant to be." All the waiting, all the pain, all of it was worth every second to have him here with us.

We are told all the time that Jackson is so blessed to have us. But the fact is WE are the Blessed ones to have him. Our prayers were answered. The one we wished for. The one we prayed for. The one we dreamed for. While the process is not perfect, everything about him is.

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