We adopted our son, Jake (his nickname on this blog is Max), in 2002, and we were blessed with a very positive open adoption experience. We were chosen by his birth mom only 3 weeks after we were in the “pool” of waiting families at our agency. She made an adoption plan when she was around 32 weeks pregnant. We met and started a very easy relationship over a 3- hour lunch one day and, before we left the restaurant, she allowed me to feel the baby kick. For the first time, she called him by the name we chose for him and we were giddy with excitement about becoming first-time parents.
To make a long story short, I flew out to Colorado to spend the week leading up to our son’s birth with her. I stayed in her home, with her family, getting to know all of them. The time allowed us to build a friendship. I couldn’t believe how “open” this adoption was becoming and I found myself growing more comfortable with this kind of relationship with each new day. (It still had its “what are we doing?” moments, though, believe me!)
She allowed me to be in the hospital room with her when she went into labor. I was one of her birthing coaches, standing right next to her mother and sister. Both were supportive of her decision to choose adoption, but you could tell they loved this baby very much and if things were different, then…well…let’s just say that I’m glad that God gave them all peace about it.
We continue to have an open relationship with phone calls, letters, and occasional visits. She tells us that even in her grief she made the best decision of her life, and still is content with that decision today. She loves Jake. There are boundaries in place and we love and respect each other. And Jake knows his special story. Click here for a post I wrote about how we talk with him about his adoption.
So, in 2005, when we felt ready to welcome another child into our home, we felt a strong leading to pursue open adoption once again. We updated our homestudy, filled out a ton of paperwork, paid half of our adoption fees, and began our wait.
And wait we did. We waited for one year and just before the time had come to renew our homestudy (it expires every year), we received a call that a birth mom wanted to meet us. We were so excited and told everyone at church the following day, which was Mothers Day of all days. Sadly, by Tuesday of that week we found out she changed her mind about us and decided to ask her cousin to adopt her baby. I was heartbroken.
The next year would bring more heartbreak. I started this blog in March 2007 and just a week or so after my first post, I shared the news that were picked by a birth mother again. You can read about it here. She decided she wanted a semi-open adoption, which meant she wanted to exchange information but not meet in person or have contact after the baby was born. 11 days later she changed her mind about adoption and couldn’t go through with it. I was devestated.
Four months later we got another call. Another birth mom had chosen us. Oh, this looked so good! She was already a single mom and was in financial need so she decided adoption would be best for her and the baby. For nearly 3 months we were looking forward to adopting her baby boy (and I blogged a lot about it in Aug, Sept, and Oct), but there was little communication between us and even on a visit to Colorado she did not show up at the restaurant where we were going to meet. Sure, she had a valid reason, but still. Things didn’t look good and I held on to only a thread of hope.
When we finally heard that she changed her mind about her adoption plan, we were still shaken to the core even though it didn’t come as a complete shock. Because you can’t possibly react any other way.
However, in only the way that God can do, He showed us that He did not leave us nor forsake us even though we stood in the midst of incredible grief and disappointment. Mike and I continued to grow spiritually and using family and friends to support and encourage us, Christ carried us through the storm.
We continued to pray for God’s peace and timing. And in just a couple of months, we were reminded of the joy that comes when the Lord surprises us. On December 27, 2007, we found out that we were chosen to adopt a baby girl that is due in February. This time I feel much more confident because we’re having great communication with the birth family and I’m having the time of my life getting ready for the baby. But my trust is not in what I feel or how “things are going.” It is in God.
I’ll say that again. It is in God. I need to say that again because I’m still human. I still have fears about this adoption not happening. But my trust is in God and if this doesn’t end up happening for us, I will still love and adore the One who holds all things in His hand.
So now you’re all caught up. Whew! Thanks for the opportunity to write this out. God is writing a great story through our little family. A story about faith and prayer. And not just weak, wimpy prayer. Can I just tell you how I am praying for the moon!
*Edited to add: Keep reading, the story gets better and better. 🙂 Emily Hope was born on February 16, 2008.