My husband and I started on the adoption path. Journey. We have been married for 8 years this past Summer. All the time, no kids. None of our own, that is.
We had many friends with children, a niece and nephew, children at church, I worked with children (major: early childhood & special ed.) our little orphan babies in China, but not a son or daughter in our family.
Our hearts were... broken? Not complete? Shriveled? lacking in fullness? We loved each other and found joy in our life together, but we knew there was something missing. We had seen it in other people's lives as adults and being from "large families," we had seen it growing up, been a part of it, felt it, loved it. Oh, life was not perfect, but it was good. For each of us.
We yearned and prayed for our children. I knew that the Lord had not forgotten us. I knew there were special kiddos meant for us. But waiting can get tiresome, frustrating, painful. On the other hand, it can be healing, happy and helpful.
While we waited, we studied. One day, a friend at school asked me why we didn't have any kids. Was it my husband's choice? I said no. Was it my choice? I said no. "Ah," he said, knowingly. It's God's choice." I said yes. He understood. Not in the same way we understood, but he understood.
The 1st and/or 2nd year of marriage, apparently people would ask when we were having kids. That bothered Ryan. I don't think they asked me so much. People at church would ask. Sometimes family would ask. Living in a culture that loves and welcomes children and expects them in marriage was a little sticky sometimes. But we knew that people didn't mean harm. They wanted us to have the joy. And we were the type of people who everyone expected to have kids early in their marriage. Is that too personal to write? Because it's true and obvious to everyone who knows us.
Anyway, we finally got going on the adoption road. It was kind of a long road for us until we got certified. Then things started happening. Started happening fast.
Certification. 2 months later an agency asks if they can share our profile with someone. "You've been matched." Someone had chosen us. 2 months later she chose her baby instead of us. Bang.
Almost a month later: On my lunch break. "There is a baby who is going to be born today. The parents have chosen between you and another couple and can't decide who. You get first voice because you have had a failed adoption." Wow. On my lunch break we had to decide if he was ours or not. I took an extra long lunch break that day. He wasn't ours. And we were on the lookout for our child. Ow. The next month sometime: another baby and he falls through. Crash.
Next month: Do either of you speak Spanish?
There is a little baby boy who was born today. One of the requirements is that one or both of his parents speaks Spanish. You meet everything this mother is looking for in a family. Can you fly down to xx tomorrow and pick him up at noon?
Um! Wow. What? Okay. When Ryan gets home we talk. We pray, even though we already know the answer. This is our boy. He is supposed to be our son.
We get on the plane before we are even usually awake. We fly over. All has been peaceful except for half of a second with a thought that she could change her mind, but then it just left. I didn't even push it away. There wasn't time for that. We were on our way to meet our angel mom and our baby. 7 years, 8 months, 2 weeks, 3 days. We were going to receive our son. We were going to receive our child.
Then... we wait.
We spend the morning running last minute errands. Clothes. Car seat. Honor gift. Food. Bottle. By the way, where are we going to stay?
We chat with her social worker. How long have we been married? Do we have a name picked out? Um...Yes? Yes. She loves it. Do we have a picture of ourselves? Yikes we need a picture! Oh, you backed them up on your phone when we re-uploaded all the lovely family pictures that I had somehow erased.
Let's do that one. (Not my favorite one, but it felt good.) Send.
Ding. New text.
What is it? Something bad? ...Oh!
The most beautiful! Priceless. Perfect. Oh! Love. Precious. Heaven. Oh. A picture (3 pictures.) Indescribable. Heavenly, beautiful and perfect. Peace. Those words don't even touch how we felt, but they were, and remain still, the closest I could find. The most beautiful baby boy. Love-struck. Captive. Renewed. A piece of Heaven itself.
Waiting. Hot, tired, hungry, but it doesn't matter much. We have a sandwich and wait. Print the picture and wait.
text: We are almost ready to meet you. Start heading to the rendezvous. We will be there in 10. So will we. We wait. Grab a table. Wait. I watch every car that passes, even though they are already here. Somewhere. I watch every person who walks outside. I look at everyone who walks in. Turn my head to see even when no one enters.
Our social worker: "If it is taking a long time that is a good sign." Is she trying to calm our nerves? We are so close.
A phone call. Religious leader back home. I'm sorry, I can't talk. I think they just walked in the door.
In comes a beautiful woman with a heart of purity and a perfect bundle in her arms. We greet. Sit down.
Would you like to hold him? shock.
From her she means he's mine. That was her moment of this is your son. The greatest gift. blessing. honor. How did such a beautiful thing just happen? God is in the works.
We visit and wait for the lawyer.
Tiny, squeaky, quiet cries. I haven't signed the papers. "Do you want to feed him or do you want me to feed him?"
Daddy gets the bottle and formula. Shh. It's alright. We'll feed you. Formula. For such a new baby. The waitress brings the water.
First feeding. Not even an ounce.
We visit. The lawyer comes. We sign. That's it?
Good bye. Thank you. God bless you.
How do we say thank you for what she has done? There is no way. We can't even pay it forward? A debt of forever. Gratitude forever. Love forever. We will teach our son and raise him well. We will love him and lift him. We will help him in his journey to God. We will support him in his dreams and goals. We will give him our best. We will give him our love. And he will always have her love. He will always have part of his beautiful angel mama.The Lawyer comes to us. We have to sign another paper. We sign. I knew there had to be more.
Photo for memory book. Picture texts. Phone call. Dad answers. "Hi, Grandpa. Hi, Grandma." Tears of joy.
Now, we are setting the court date for finalization. He is almost legally ours. We can't believe how big our little boy is growing! How fast the finalization is coming. How soon we get to have him sealed to us, in our family for eternity! Understanding comes and I can see God's hand working out our lives. He has been here the whole time, stretching, weaving, and guiding so we can become who and what we are today and what we can become in the future. Don't give up. Trust God. He loves you with a pure and perfect love. He is our father. We are so blessed. It is through our trials that we are humbled, taught, come closer to Christ, and find out joy.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. ...For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.