Thursday, December 19, 2019

Adoption Story: Josh and Laura

"We tried again and lost a fourth baby over Christmas..." Josh and Laura had dreams of building a family, but could't imagine what was in store for them when they got married. Today Laura shares how faithfully and powerfully God showed up, right in the midst of their brokenness, and invited them into new dreams.

Before we got married, Josh told me that he wanted kids from all over the world - with multiple skin colors to be in our family; just like Heaven will be. I’d never really thought much about adoption, but I didn’t have anything against it. But what I really wanted were kids who “had their daddy’s smile” or “their momma’s eyes.” 

Several years into our marriage, we started trying to have kids and within a year and a half, lost three babies in early miscarriage. One was ectopic and I almost lost my life as well. Those years were hard. Friends having babies. Going to baby showers. Begging God for “our turn.” Trying to figure out what He was trying to teach us. 

After the third miscarriage, we learned of some genetic factors that were likely playing into my body not carrying the babies. We found an awesome doctor and went to work making big lifestyle changes to get healthy so that we could reach our dream of having kids. Two years later, we tried again and lost our fourth baby over Christmas. At that point, we were both done. We were angry. We were confused. And we were in desperate need of healing. 

God used the loss of our last baby to finally stop me in my tracks of trying to achieve my dream of having kids, and I was finally coming to Him broken asking, “God, what do you want to show me?” Josh didn’t realize it, but he’d built a wall between himself and God and felt like God had really messed things up. Josh felt like he had to step in and fix the mess. God, in His kindness, knew that the wall needed to come down. 

We didn’t know how to get there, but we knew we needed healing. I was begging God for it.

God used multiple people in our lives that year to bring that healing to our hearts. Showing us that our four babies in Heaven had a purpose even though they’d never taken a breath. Showing us that even though He allows us to experience deep pain, it’s pain that He knows. And He meets us there in deep ways where we experience the sweetness of His presence. It doesn’t make it easy, but it gives meaning to the pain and shows you the great worth of Jesus. 

The Fall after our last miscarriage, we knew we wanted to adopt, but life was really busy. I decided to ask God to show us when it was time to start the process by having someone give us money. We weren’t fundraising at that point, and I didn’t care what the amount was; $10 would have sufficed! But I knew we needed direction from Him. 

That December, God blew our minds. In a matter of two days, we were given $7,000. Talk about a sign! There were so many happy tears! And we knew that it was clearly time for us to sign up with Christian Adoption Consultants. So, we contacted Susan and began the paperwork journey. In April, we started receiving situations and said yes to multiple expectant moms. That was such an emotional rollercoaster. In August, after waiting two weeks for an expectant mama to decide and then hearing that she chose another family, I began asking God to have our “yes” come soon. I wasn’t sure my heart could take more “not yets.” 

September 12 was the day our lives changed. We were meeting with a mortgage broker getting the paperwork in order to buy a home when we got a call from Susan. Our meeting was close to being finished, so we didn’t answer. But we knew something was up after we both had missed calls and texts from her. I called as soon as we were in the car and she told us that the last agency we had applied with had done something unusual. They had decided to keep our family profile and had shown it to an expectant mama without telling us. She had fallen in love with our family, was currently in labor in Dallas, and wanted us to be there to cut the cord. Could we go? I was balling on the phone with Susan asking her to tell me what we needed to do next. Of course we would go! 

Josh works at our church, so we stopped by to get his computer on our way home. Our pastor booked flights for us to leave that evening, and so many others went into action to help us as well. It was so surreal. We got the first picture of our baby girl as we were walking through security at the airport. We made it to Dallas and found a hotel by 2am. The next morning we got to meet this sweet birth mama and baby girl. We had prayed for an open relationship with the birth mom, and we had such a good time connecting with her that day. We had picked out names on the plane ride once we knew it was a girl, but we couldn’t decide on Rae or Quinn for her middle name. Her birth mama didn’t have a name picked out, so we chose her name, Anora Rae with her. She liked both Rae and Quinn, so we all decided on Anora Rae as her first name and Quinn as her middle. It was really special to get to decide on her name together. 

Our first few months with Anora Rae felt like a whirlwind. But she’s been such a sweet blessing. Fifteen months later we still can’t believe how good a gift she is! God has been so faithful to answer prayer… from little things like a baby who likes to cuddle to huge things like how He’s provided financially. He has been abundantly faithful and shown us over and over again that He is a tender, loving Father who is worth following. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Adoption Story: Kyle and Abby

Kyle and Abby started working with me through Christian Adoption Consultants last November. It was the end of January when their home study was ready, and then, almost nine months to the day later, their son was born. Sweet Boaz was a very welcome addition, making their family of four a family of five. Today Abby shares their journey, and specifically those that came alongside in unexpected ways.

By the grace of God alone, I write our story (one handed) while nursing our now six week old son, Boaz. Seven weeks ago our family was where perhaps many of you reading are today. We were presenting to so many expectant mamas we had sort of lost track of how many it had been, receiving so many ‘not yets’ that it felt like no one would ever say ‘yes,’ questioning if God really had adoption for our family or if it was just a pipe dream, a desire that we might have to give up. 

It was a Thursday morning we were notified that we matched, and the baby was due the following Tuesday. I cannot even articulate the emotions…it was something along the lines of the best Christmas morning of our lives meets a car crash. We told our family and friends and we were so hopeful, yet scared to invest our whole hearts yet. What if the expectant mom changed her mind? On Monday we received notification that the baby had been born on Saturday and the birth mom would be discharged that day. We rushed to buy plane tickets, throw together our suitcases, kiss our older two kids goodbye and head to the airport. That Monday night at about 11:30, we were led into the hospital nursery. When we turned the corner, we saw a nurse holding a beautiful baby with a full head of dark, curly hair and I just knew that one was ours. She smiled, said “Congratulations!” handed him to me, and I immediately had all these thoughts… is he really, truly ours? Can I really give my whole heart to him like I long to do? And he was ours and he is ours, but in the moment all felt so uncertain and new. We cuddled our Boaz in the dark, back corner of the baby nursery, surrounded by mounds of formula and diapers for hours. That’s where we met our son. 

The next morning our lawyer came to the hospital and we signed papers over coffee, and he told us things that will make him special to our family for the rest of our lives, even if he doesn’t know it. We soaked up every word that both the nurses and the lawyer told us about Boaz’s birth parents, tucking it all away to share with him as he grows.  Honestly, this was the sweetest of times - holding our son while trying to glean what we could about where he came from, even though it was from people who only sort of knew. 

We spent much of our ICPC wait on the beach (no regrets there) but the best part of our wait was the church that we visited while we were there. You see, we longed for the body of Christ in the midst of this major life event, and our local body was states and states away. When we walked in that Sunday morning, we were struck by the shear amount of multiracial families, many of them by adoption. Upon arrival, we were immediately spotted and loved by these people, and they just knew. They knew we were alone there in Florida and needing to hear the Word preached and partake in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The sermon was on the final verse of 2 Corinthians, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,” and in God’s sweet providence, He ordained that many of the words that pastor spoke were the very things I had been meditating on as we drove to church, and I just cried at the sweet gifts both around us and in our arms. Many stayed long after the service ended to talk with us and love us, and we received not one, but two invitations to dinner while we were in town. This is the body of Christ.

Since we have been home, we have been completely and totally overwhelmed by the amount of love and support from our families, church family, and friends. What a joy it is to do life with these people who tell us that we don’t have to do it all alone – and then they back it up with action! We are in the family of God and these people will and have already helped us raise not just Boaz, but Flora and Leo as well. That’s where you find us now, tired, happy, a little bit of a mess, thankful, and surrounded by the love of God through His people. 

As you, dear reader, may be one of those still waiting to hear that coveted ‘yes,’ we urge you, rest continually in our Sovereign Savior King. He will work out your story according to His good pleasure. There will be trials and there will be joys, but His story is infinitely better than any you or I could ever write. 

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

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