Most people have 9 months to prepare for a baby.
We had 2 weeks.
Our adoption story is NUTS. A crazy, fast-paced, God-written story that, after four years of waiting to be a mom, I’m now writing this blog post with a squirmy newborn laying across my chest.
I know I wrote about how we were matched with twins, but I just dropped the topic here on the blog and haven’t brought it up again. One, because we were scrambling to get the house and life in order in case those kids were ours. And two, because I didn’t feel like sharing in the moment what was happening because my heart was still guarded in case those kids weren’t ours.
And if you’d like to read all about our baby registry escapades, you can read that here.
I figured I’d send you down a rabbit hold of blog reading before we got to the meat of the adoption story.
Now here’s the meat…
So our agency fast-tracked our home study and we completed it in a day in case the birth parents were to pick us. We sent in our resume (our dear birth mother letter), and were just waiting to hear back if anything was going to come of all this. We really think that the reason we were matched so quickly (except for God orchestrating it all, of course) is because of our openness. We were open to babies of any race, multiples, certain levels of drug exposure and medical conditions, and babies with siblings.
Then Friday, December 20 I got a text from our social worker telling us that the birth parents wanted to meet us. Gracie was being released from the NICU that day and Cason eventually ended up being released on Christmas Eve. They were going into voluntary foster care and the birth parents had 14 days to decide on a family. We scheduled our meeting with the birth parents for Monday, December 23.
That came around and we were both really nervous about meeting the birth parents. Then I got a call that Monday morning from our social worker telling us the the birth parents had to reschedule. And my heart dropped. Because it felt like they were changing their mind so I prepared for all this to fall through. I made a habit of predicting the worst so as to protect my heart as much as possible. But what also helped me get through was respecting their time to make a decision because this wasn’t just deciding what to order at a restaurant – they were giving up their children to another family. Respecting their loss helped relieve my anxiety.
We rescheduled the meeting for Thursday, December 26 and on Christmas Eve Cason was released from the NICU and into a foster home. It broke our hearts that they wouldn’t be with us on Christmas so we prayed and prayed that the foster home they were in just poured into them and loved on them the way we couldn’t at that moment.
On Thursday we met the birth parents. When we met them, not going to lie, it was awkward. That situation is always going to be. But it was sweet as well. I know it was for us, but for them I can’t even imagine how they were feeling. Awkward and nervous and sad and grieving all at the same time I would imagine. Both parents are involved which we love and admire. They already have three kids so Gracie and Cason have two brothers and a sister. We talked about the openness of the adoption which, if you’re curious, is open. We want these kids to grow up knowing their brothers and sister, who their birth parents are, and why they were placed for adoption. It’s one thing coming from us that their parents loved them so much that they wanted a better life for them. It’s a totally different thing coming from them.
They told us that they were only meeting with us. As soon as they read our resume they said that “there’s just something about them that is sweet and pure.” We wanted them to know how much we love their babies. I told them from the moment we got the phone call from our social worker about the kids, that I loved them immediately, even if the birth parents decided to go a different direction. I even told them that I loved them. That was bold, but true. My heart is filled with the Jesus-kind of love for these people that I not only want to pour love into Gracie and Cason’s life, but into their birth parents’ lives as well.
After the meeting we had a really good feeling. I could tell they were holding their cards to their chest, but they kept saying how they really like us and said they could tell that we would love those kids. They said to give them a few days to make a decision and of course we respected that. We left the meeting and Aaron went back to work and I went to Ikea to look at cribs. I walked through Ikea in a daze – we were closer to our dreams and I was in shock. My heart still guarded, but the guard lowered a significant amount after meeting with the birth parents and getting such a good feeling.
While I was in Ikea, about 30 minutes after our meeting, our social worker called me. “They plan on signing the relinquishment papers on Monday. So go buy some car seats and keep your Monday afternoon open.”
Monday, December 30th, was the tentative date for us to become parents.
To be continued…
Read part 2 of the story here.
(some photo credits go to Barbie Spruill)