Thursday, March 7, 2019

Adoption Story: Brad and Meredith

Brad and Meredith know about waiting. Waiting to find each other. Then waiting through pregnancy tests, failed fertility treatments, even lost little ones through miscarriage. Then the wait of adoption: the paperwork, the presenting, the hospital stay. Today Meredith honestly shares their journey of waiting for their family of two to become three. 

As I sit here just hours after our sweet girl’s finalization hearing was complete, I am awe struck by the magic that has developed in our lives in just a little over a year. How just thirteen months ago I was tearful as my husband and I closed the fertility chapter and laid that idea of having our “own” child to rest. And today I sit here tearful with a heart full of joy after a court hearing made our sweet girl officially our child! God’s work is never done at pushing us forward and helping us see beyond ourselves to what He has in store for us. 

After Brad and I married five and a half years ago in the most perfect outdoor wedding on our ranch surrounded by family and so much love, we were so ready to start the journey to building our family. I had so many dreams that day: all our children running around - red-headed and blues eyed, with the talent to gab like their dad, and my love for playing in the dirt. The best of both of us would be provided to our babies, but soon that dream became a living nightmare of infertility, miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage, repeated fertility treatments, medication and shots daily. It was nearly four years of some type of fertility treatment or hormones before we finally called it quits after our second miscarriage. That dream of having our “own” flesh and blood gone. 

So, we picked up the broken pieces and started the adoption process. We created our profile, filled out mounds of paperwork, and went through the most personal interviews in order to complete our home study (wow you learn a lot about yourself and your partner during this and it is hard!). We learned to give each other grace and the ability to process at different time frames through all of the questions that came up during the home study. We were finally home study approved about eight weeks after signing with Christian Adoption Consultants. We were so blessed to have collaborated with CAC through this process because it opened so may doors and opportunities with multiple agencies, allowing us to see more situations and have constant feed back on each situation to make sure we were seeing the whole picture and just not jumping in with the dream to have our family.  Susan was wonderful to bounce ideas off of and to help use work through situation after situation.

Brad and I had submitted to our 18th situation on September 6th, 2018 and weren't chosen - I cried all the way home and told my husband I just didn’t think I could do this and we needed to place things on hold until after the holidays. It had been an especially hard season grieving the loss of a miscarriage with an unexpected pregnancy and watching those close to us welcome babies into their homes. It is so hard hearing no after no on top of having lost another baby - it is impossible not to take it personally.

Brad and I started to plan where to go for Thanksgiving and Christmas that night so we could avoid family and friends, but mostly babies. The very next morning at work and saw a number pop up on my phone. Assuming it was a telemarketer I sent the call to voicemail. Brad texted me a few minutes later, “We finally got the call, we are matched!” I immediately called him back, then the agency, and learned we had just four weeks before the baby was due! Tears of joy ran down my face! 

We quickly got the ball moving with getting our paperwork and finances in order and arranging a trip to meet the expectant parents the next week. Meeting this sweet and scared young couple completely changed the game for my husband and I; we knew that we had to completely turn this over to God and let him lead because the reality was we had no control and this could completely go the other way. Having to opportunity to meet with both of her birth parents was amazing. We had the ability to get to know them, learn about their lives, and have a better understanding of the choice they were making. All details I have tucked away to someday help explain to our daughter.

The next four weeks may have been harder than the nine months leading up to our match. Although we were in it 100% no matter what, we knew we had no control and no say in the outcome. The day before this sweet baby girl was to enter this world we headed down to Florida to be there for the birth, but baby had other plans and arrived that night. 

The next 48 hours were some of the most difficult hours for us. The mood had shifted when we arrived in Florida for the birth, and the birth mother seemed to shift from confidence in her decision to significant doubt. She had changed her mind about us being up there and having full access to the baby to allowing us one short supervised visit after we had been there for nearly a full day, she was no longer hugging us and encouraging us about the adoption like she had when we met the first time two short weeks prior. She decided to room in and care for the baby post delivery, which now I see as a blessing because it gave her that sacred time. Brad and I were crushed and scared when we left the hospital, but we knew we needed to honor this mother, whatever decision she made, and the agonizing process she needed to go through to make it.

Finally, 48 hours to the minute that our little girl came into the world, the papers were signed. When we entered that room all the joy and excitement we felt was immediately shifted to comforting and allowing our daughter's birth mother to grieve as she handed me her daughter and asked me to take care of her, saying “she is now yours”. I quickly handed her to my husband and just held her birth mother as we cried together over a child that she had chosen to give a better life to. We stood in that room together, crying, laughing, discussing what this sweet baby liked and didn’t like, and reassured each other over this life altering decision. I will always treasure that time spent together. 

Adoption is not a smooth road; it is full of pot holes and twist and turns. But for us the end result was a child that instantly became our “own” the very first time we laid eyes on her. She has brightened a world that looked dark at times, she brought our dreams back to life, and she is everything that we ever dreamed of. We turned it over to God and let him lead us to two amazing people who sought out a better life for one of God’s greatest gifts; such an incredible miracle!

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