Thursday, March 1, 2018

Adoption Story: Justin and Samantha

I first met Justin and Samantha over a busy lunch hour in a bakery. They had driven several hours so we could meet face to face and I spent time listening their story. Their faces lit up talking about adoption: how it had already impacted their family and how excited they were to see how God would continue to use adoption to hopefully expand their own. If I'm honest, I knew in my bones I was watching the beginning of God do something amazing...


When Justin and I look back at our lives, there is no doubt that God had been placing adoption on our hearts long before we started the process. I feel so thankful for this now, because as hard things and difficult decisions came up during our journey, it didn't take long for my heart to be reminded that our story with adoption is actually not about us at all, but about God's story for our little girl, and ultimately, one that points to Him. 

When they say that adoption is hard, they mean it. For me, a lot of the difficulty had to do with letting go of control and trusting every step of the way. A few years ago, I would have never dreamt that I would have desired an open adoption relationship with my child's birth family, but today, I couldn't imagine it any other way. Although openness in adoption can be confusing or hard for others to understand, it has created the most incredible sense of peace for Justin and I to know that Emerson Scout can know and love her birth mom. Even better, that I can know and love her as well. Each step of the way, I saw God making this journey less about me, and more about Him, and sometimes that means taking the first step into the uncomfortable to let Him work. Now, staring at my little girl, it makes me sad to think about what would have been the outcome of our story if I kept trying to have it go exactly as I had planned. 

During the wait, 2017 seemed like the longest year of our lives, but looking back, it feels like it was just yesterday that we were contacting Susan. In less than one year, our lives have changed completely. We are so thankful that Susan was with us every step of the way not just to guide us practically, but to point us to truth constantly. 

We began our paperwork for our home study in March of 2017 with the intention of rushing like crazy to get everything going. However, life was still going and things didn't move as quickly as we would have liked. Although we felt frustrated by that at times, we just felt a peace that we didn't need to rush. In September, just two weeks after we were officially home study approved, we presented our profile for the first time. Three days later, we got the call that expectant mama E had chosen us. We were shocked! The next four months were spent getting to know her and preparing for the arrival for our sweet girl! Those months were also full of anxiety and fear, no matter how hard we fought it. Then, when E was going in for her 37 week appointment, I got a text saying that she was going to be induced that evening! With no flights that would get us there in time, we ran home, packed in a hour, and started our 16 hour drive. After driving all night and barely stopping, we pulled into the hospital and ran up to labor and delivery, where we had missed the birth by exactly five minutes! At that point, we didn't even care. We were just so excited to see check on E and meet Emerson Scout! The next few days were the greatest blessing to us. We spent time with E and her family and friends and all agreed on one major thing; we all loved this baby more than anything, and that was what was important. 



We were told adoption would be hard, but at times, it felt impossible. We were also told that holding her would make it all worth it, and that was a huge understatement. God's faithfulness has shown over and over in our lives, and now, we will get to teach Emerson of that faithfulness as she goes through life. 


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