Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Adoption Story: Cody and Becky's Son

Cody and Becky started with me at CAC in November of last year. They had two adorable little girls and had been praying for a son. In March their home study was finished and I had their beautiful profile book ready to go so they began receiving adoption situations. About a month later, an agency contacted CAC to let us know about a baby boy due soon; the agency was only open to an adoptive family from their state. That "just happened" to be where Cody and Becky lived so I quickly got in touch with them. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, they were matched and only about a month later their son was born. Like with most adoptions, there were some ups and downs, but with every phone call, email, and text I had with Cody and Becky they were filled with trust in the Lord and a love for one another. It's pretty obvious that this little guy is fiercely loved!

They just recently finalized their adoption and Becky wrote these words to share about their journey:

"Our experience with CAC was exceptionally pleasant and the adoptive parent packet was very easy to follow along by. (Especially with Katie in our corner leading, directing and helping with any questions or concerns we had!) I have highly recommended CAC to anyone who has asked for a place to start when thinking of adoption!"

"Adoption is one of the most heart tugging, happy, heartbreaking... every emotion you can imagine at times, but most rewarding, loving things that any person can do! Whichever emotion comes up at the time is worth everything! If for even a second the idea of adoption comes to mind or heart, never ignore it. Take the leap of faith and explore the best feeling you can ever have in your heart! It has been one of the best things we have ever done and can never imagine not having "all the feels" adoption gives!"

**Professional photos courtesy of Snapshots of a Memory by Danielle
For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mark and Tracy's Adoption Story: God Wasn't Finished

Goodness, this is a story that MUST be told regardless of the fact that I'm posting it late. (I had this ready about a year ago and somehow, it accidentally never got posted. Oops!) I know you'll agree it's a must-read as soon as you see it. This couple had completely given up hope on ever adopting, but God...

Professional photos by Times to Treasure Photography.
Mark and Tracy got started with Christian Adoption Consultants on June 2014. It took a while for them to get going with their home study but in December of 2014 they were ready and began to present their profile to expectant mamas. They had one disappointing "no" after another. My heart was breaking for them and they were growing so weary. They finally decided they couldn't do it any more and told me not to send them any further adoption situations. They just couldn’t bear to hear another “No.” What they weren’t aware of was that a particular agency had simply fallen in love with them and was bound and determined to help this couple become parents no matter what!

One day, that agency called me about a certain expectant mom they were working with who they thought would absolutely LOVE Mark and Tracy. But I knew their hearts were so tender and they would be further crushed if they heard another “no" so I explained that to the agency. We decided the best approach (though unusual) would be for the agency to show Mark and Tracy’s profile to the expectant mama without talking to them about it. That way, if she didn't choose them, they wouldn't have to experience more heartbreak. Tracy recounts the story below:

Every story has three things. It has a character, who wants something and has to go through adversity or difficulty to get it.

Mark and I are the characters in this story and journey called adoption. We started on this journey with, what we thought was a, realistic view on how quickly we could adopt a baby. We heard stories of people being home study approved and holding their newborn within three months. Well that was not realistic for us. We know now every adoption story is different and every adoption story is its own unique journey.

We had one NO after another. I stopped counting after 11...

We prayed and fell in love with each of the expectant moms we presented to and their precious babies they were carrying. Time after time, God was saying “NO."

I took it as, “No. You are not good enough."

My heart broke every time we got an email back saying, "The birth mom connected to another couple.” I was so angry that I cried myself to sleep many many nights because I thought God was shutting these doors and not opening any.

There was one day I came home and there was a pacifier on our driveway that was blue and said "little prince." Well I took it as a sign thinking the next little boy is ours! Once again that was not the case. Katie (our consultant) later told us, “You can't think of anything as a sign in adoption" and it is so true.

Well, we reached a point where we had had it!!  We were angry and sad and every emotion in between. After numerous NO's we stopped presenting. I told Katie we are going to work with DCS and we were going to adopt older kids. We thought that would have been easier and quicker which, once again, was not the case.

God what do you want from us?!?!  Why are we not good enough to be parents?!?!  Our anger and plea's were desperate for God to answer our prayers of having a family.

Our story finally took a turn for what we thought was the better when we got a call from one of our best friends who knew about a sweet baby girl fighting for her life and needing a family. We didn't care what kind of health problems she would possibly have, we wanted to save baby M. As time went on, her health declined and she fought a hard fight and at 4 months old heaven gained an angel.

Our hearts were shredded. I mean destroyed. Why did God allow this to happen to an innocent child?!??  She will always be a part of our life and family and story.

One week to the day we found about M, our lives literally changed forever. In the lowest of lows in my life I get a text from Katie saying,“Hey, I need to talk to you and Mark, please call me tonight.” I got home and told him, "Katie wants us to call her." We both looked at each other and said, “She is going to try to get us back in the game and present again. NOPE!"... Like I said we were done.  So we reluctantly dialed the number and we put her on speaker phone.  The first words out of her mouth….."YOU GUYS ARE MATCHED”!?!?!  At the same time we both said, "WHAT?!?! " We thought it was a cruel joke and she had the wrong couple!  We had not presented to an expectant mom in like 4 months. How was this possible?!?! As it sunk in of what she was saying I lost it. (In Mark's words I ugly cried. I mean the cry where you can't catch your breath!) October 20th at 5 pm will be a memory forever etched in my mind as one of the best days of my life. I would not have wanted this any other way. With us not knowing, they were presenting our profile. We got to be surprised! I feel as though this is the feeling you would have when you take the test and see the positive sign of being pregnant. The crazy JOY and EXCITEMENT we had-there are no words. Mark could not stop laughing!

It was all worth it. The struggle the anger the pain it was all worth it. God was not telling us “No,” he really was telling us "Not yet.  I have something greater!"  And boy, did he!

We have been blessed with a birth mom that leaves me speechless!  She is an amazingly incredible woman that wanted a better life for her baby boy than what she could give and provide. She is a beautiful soul with dreams. She will never know what kind of gift she has given Mark and I. She and her two little girls have become family for us.  We love them with the love of God.

January 19, 2016 at 12:49pm we welcomed our son into this world. God heard our hearts desire to be parents and he answered our prayers. We are so in love with this sweet child God blessed us with.

1 Samuel 1:27
For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me the desires of my heart.
For more information about domestic adoption, contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bryan and Laura's Adoption Story: Joy Mixed With Pain

Wrestling with the complexities of emotion in adoption is difficult. There is this immense joy in being a mother to a precious child while being ever mindful of the sacrifice and sorrow of the first mama who made it possible. In adoption, pain is always mixed with beauty and that's definitely the case for adoptive mamas considering the loss that their child's birth parents experience.

Laura knows this complexity well. She's been journaling some letters/thoughts to her daughter's birth mom throughout their adoption journey about the joy mixed with pain. Bryan and Laura started with me at Christian Adoption Consultants in February, were home study ready in May, and were matched in August. I have loved watching them become parents but even more than that, I have loved watching the love that they have for their daughter's birth mom. Grab some tissues as you get a glimpse into the heart of an adoptive mama.

(Photo credit for all photos: Jessica Thompson)

To My Daughter's Mother (by Laura)

July 22
Today, I opened my e-mail and saw your face for the first time, and my soul just knew. I saw your smile, and your eyes, and read your story and my heart raced. There was no question of a doubt that God had sent you to me. When I had just lost faith, when I didn’t want to hear another no, there you are, waiting. I hope you feel the same, that you know in your heart we are meant to be a family. Every wrong turn and every no have led me to this moment.

August 16
My head is still spinning, and I’m sure yours is too. I cannot wait to hear your voice, to learn about your hopes and dreams for your child. I will probably cry on the phone, and be awkward, so I apologize. I love you and this baby more than you will ever know, and more than I can ever put into words.

August 17
I heard your voice for the first time today, and yet it felt like we had always known each other. Everything you hope and wish for your daughter (yes, it’s a girl) I wish for too. You told me that you always wanted her to know she is loved, and promise that she will. My job as her mother will be to ensure she knows how much you love her every day. My heart was breaking at the end of the phone call because you realized the reality of the decision you had made. I was at a loss for words because I cannot fathom the bravery or courage you have to have to make the decision to place your child in the arms of someone else. I can’t wait to meet you and hug you and welcome you to be part of our family.

September 5
Meeting you was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I was able to see first hand your wonderful heart, your loving smile, and gather stories that I can tell our daughter for her entire life. You seemed at peace with your decision, even though I was a nervous wreck and sweating all over. I was glad to learn that you also love tacos and dogs. When you slid those ultrasound photos to me, it was like you were handing me a secret. Something so precious, worth protecting, and an amazing gift. You let me keep them. I was once again blown away by your selflessness, and your willingness to include us in your pregnancy since we are on the outside looking in. Thank you.

September 17
When you woke up today, did you think your life would change forever? I know I didn’t. With moving due dates, and the craziness of life, I didn’t think she would come today. My heart stopped the second I saw your number, and I knew. What you didn’t know, though, is when you gave birth to that little girl, you gave birth to two mothers. The magnitude of that will never be lost on me. The second I get to the hospital, I’m going to give you the biggest hug of your life. If I could pour the love I have for your into your heart, I would.

September 18-19
I saw you holding your baby today, and my heart broke. I didn’t want to take her from you. I have no right to that precious little girl. She is all yours, your little miracle, yet you gave her to me willingly and smiled. You called her mine. I can’t imagine how your heart must have broken at that moment. The sadness and bittersweet moment took my breath away, and so did she. She was beautiful, fierce, and perfect, just like you. The time we spent in the hospital, watching terrible TV, eating terrible food and playing cards was nothing short of sacred. It was the creation of something new entirely. A relationship that was more meaningful and stronger than anything I had felt before. You told me it was a God thing, you finding us, and I cried because I had said the same thing a month before. All was as I pictured it. We told you her name, something I hadn’t dared to whisper aloud, because she wasn’t mine to name. Your face lit up, her name is a perfect combination of ours, and a living tribute to her first mother. Then came the time for you to leave, and I wept, and we held each other. You told me that you didn’t think she would want you in her life, and I about crumbled. I told you that our daughter will always need you, and I meant it. You have keys to who she is that I do not. You are part of the puzzle that makes up her story and tells her who she is. I promised to tell her you loved her everyday and I intend to keep that promise. When you left, I went to visit your daughter in the NICU, and I held her tight and whispered over and over that she was loved, and that she was loved by you.

The Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas)
I thought about you today, as I do most days, but today was particularly hard. The past three months have made me happier than I could ever imagine, but each wonderful moment with E, means a wonderful moment you didn’t have. The profound realization of what you have loss haunts me at times. It’s overwhelming, and the guilt that surrounds my happiness is powerful. I wish it wasn’t like this, not because I don’t love our daughter, but because I don’t wish this pain on you. If only there wasn’t so much brokenness in adoption, and if only my love for her and you could heal the loss you’ve felt.

December 27th
2016 has been my favorite of all years. It’s the year I became a mother and grew my family, which includes you. I can’t help but think of the juxtaposition of all of it. If I had to guess 2016 was not your favorite year, but rather a year of loss, and hard decisions. But, it was also a year of love for both of us. Love for our daughter, and love for each other. 2016 has taught both of us to be selfless, brave, and courageous. 2016 has taught me gratitude, restored my hope in people, and reaffirmed my faith in God’s plan. I hope that it has done that for you as well. I also hope that 2016 has taught you trust and that you know how loved you are by E, B, and me. There are no words to convey my gratitude and admiration for you. You and E are the biggest blessings to ever come into my life, and I would go through every no a thousand times over to meet you and raise this sweet baby of ours. You are always there, in my thoughts, in her bedtime stories, in her smile, in her eyes, in our prayers, and in our hearts.

For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Eric and Madlen's Adoption Story: Wait With Purpose

Photo Credit for all pictures: KG Photography
I got to know Eric and Madlen as a fellow adoptive family during their first adoption as a CAC couple. I was excited to watch God work His beautiful ways in their second adoption journey and let me tell you- the two processes could not have been any more different! Their second adoption was painfully slow, involved some serious heartbreak, and was just flat out a really difficult wait. But just like He always is, God was working even when we couldn't understand what He was doing. They refused to give up. They clung to the truth that He is faithful and they kept praying for Him to bring their baby to them. He is always, always, always faithful! And now this sweet family is a family of four.

Madlen shares, "We were matched Oct 17 and baby was born the 29. In God's perfect timing, my parents had just moved to our area a month before we got matched, so they were just 15 minutes away from us instead of 7 hours. My mom wasn't working, which made it possible for her to come with us when we traveled for our son's birth. She was able to watch our oldest while we spent time getting to know B's birth mom at the hospital. We really wanted our son, A, to be a part of the experience with us and he was able to do that because my parents had just relocated. It became just the perfect way for us to explain to him in more detail about his own adoption story! He finally started to understand the whole thing a lot better. He got to meet N before she went into labor and see that his little brother was in her belly. And he came into the room minutes after B was born! I got to spend some quality time with our son's birth mom; we cried, we laughed, we shared stories. It was hard and very emotional but also an amazing blessing! It was such a sweet time that I will treasure."

After their sweet son was born, Madlen shared these words with some fellow waiting CAC mamas. If you are waiting today, let it be an encouragement to your heart!

"It has been a very long and hard process! Many times I have questioned what God's plan was for our family. Were we meant to adopt again? Why was it taking so long? I have been angry, frustrated and sad. But God's timing is absolutely perfect! Our wait had a purpose all along although we couldn't see it.  Don't give up hope if you're waiting for your little one. Keep praying! Our baby is the best gift we could have received this Christmas. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve and we are just so amazed."
For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Saying Yes To God This Christmas (guest post)

I'm excited to introduce you to this beautiful lady with a huge heart! I met Audra three years ago to talk about life and Christian Adoption Consultants. At that time she and her husband had one little girl and were praying for God to add to their family. It was such a privilege to watch God shape their faith and lives in their first adoption story. Now, three years later, their family has:

a 7 year old
a 2 year old
a 5 month old
and God has recently stirred their hearts to adopt their daughter's sibling due in February.

Yep. You read that right! This family has had their life radically turned upside down over the past three years. They know a thing or two about stepping out in faith to follow God's lead, even into the hard. Enjoy Audra's reflections this Christmas season on saying "yes" to God.

(Guest Post By Audra)

We have all heard the Christmas story, especially around this time of the year. The story of our savior born in a manger. Born on a silent night with angels singing in the background. Mary and Joseph looking peacefully down on their child who's is destine to save the world. It's told with such beauty and peace. What we don't hear is the difficulty that it took for everyone to get to that moment. The moment that was prophesied over, prayed over, and hoped for for years before. A moment that seemed too big to accomplish by such ordinary people. But it was accomplished and in that moment it was perfect and sacred.

An angel came to Mary and told her she would be with child. Not just any child but the Savior, Jesus. What a task.  One I can only imagine seemed unreachable and destine for failure.  She was betrothed to marry Jospeh, she was young and she was a women. So many things were against her accomplishing this moment. Mary could have said no, she could have had a normal life. But she didn't. She decided to have faith and trust that God would carry her through the tough times. Through the possibility of Joseph leaving her alone, through the many murderous attempts on her family and traveling with no place to stay when they reached their destination. Her son would be born in a stable, amongst animals and exposed.

The difficulty that it took for everyone to get to that moment could have prevented them from moving forward. But they didn't stop and they didn't let fear take over. They didn't allow uncertainty to keep them their destiny. They kept saying yes to God. Yes to hard times, yes to a different and crazy path, yes to love and yes to Jesus. Why? Because their their arms were open, stretched out to the sky, confessing their faith in God and his plan for their life. Whatever that may look like.

Recently we were given the opportunity to say yes to something difficult and quite crazy in some eyes. Were were asked to adopt the biological sibling of our second daughter, who also became part of our family through adoption. We also have a 7 year old and a 5 month old.  So you can see where our hesitation may come from. We had the chance to say no and we know that no one would have look down on us for that. We could have said no and had a normal and good life, a life serving our God. But we didn't want a normal life. We wanted and desired a life that requires us to solely depend on God and not ourselves. We want to say yes in faith when He asks us to step out.

So we said YES, a shaking yes but an obedient yes. Yes to Gods plan and ours. Yes to His Glory. Yes to this child. Yes to love on our precious Birth Mom. Yes to our daughter. Yes to crazy. Yes to the unknown and yes to help.

Saying yes to God and his plan doesn't mean life will be easy. Life in general isn't easy, it's very hard. Having faith doesn't mean an absence of doubt just as courage doesn't mean an absence of fear.  Its what you do with that doubt and fear that matters. Give it God and let him lead you.  The Bible is compiled of stories that we've all have heard growing up. These famous and heroic stories came from hard work, trials, crazy gestures, uncertainty, grief, sadness and bravery. The result-an amazing story that brings glory to the most high King.  I hope and pray our story will show others that mountains can be moved with just a mustard size seed of faith. We just need to believe.

(If you'd like to support and pray for Adam and Audra in their journey or read details about their "yes," you can do that here on Audra's blog.)
For more information about Christian Adoption Consultants and domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Voices of Birth Parents And Adoptees: Jasmin's Story

I'm so thankful for the birth moms and adoptees who have been bravely sharing their stories here in this space. This particular post featuring the thoughts of a birth mom (Jasmin) feels really special to me because I was the adoption consultant for the family who adopted Jasmin's daughter. Watching the adoptive family connect with Jasmin so quickly from their very first conversation and hearing them talk about how much they loved her and cared for her was really beautiful to watch. But it's even MORE beautiful to now hear from Jasmin about her love for them as well!

(This picture captures the gift of open adoption so beautifully, doesn't it?)

Q and A With Jasmin

What do you wish everyone knew about being a birth mom?
"To me being a birth mom is a wonderful blessing knowing that I was able to birth out a wonderful gift to bless family with. In my situation being a birth mom is not bad at all. I see it as God chose me to bless a family and to also gain a family as well."

What do you think is helpful about open adoption?
"Open adoption let's you still be able to watch your child grow, you get to see how they're doing and also stay in communication with the adoptive family and more."

What is one of the hardest parts of adoption? What has helped you get through the toughest parts?
"The hardest part about doing adoption is not having my family, a few of my friends (who I thought were my friends ) not support my decision to give my child a better home/life than I could give her.  It truly broke my heart to see them quick to judge and not believe in what they constantly preach about daily. For instance 'picturing themselves in someone else shoes if they were in that same situation.' What helped me get through those tough times was praying to God, talking/seeing my social worker/adoption agency, meeting the adoptive family I chose, and having my truly close friends by my side. Without them I would've been reckless. My social worker talked/texted me daily giving me encouraging words (she is like my second mom). My close friends stood by my decision throughout this whole process either they liked it or not they were there. Most of all speaking/seeing the most precious family. They really made my day because they understood my situation and why I chose to do adoption without judging me at all."

What is one of the best parts? What is your relationship like with your child's adoptive family?
"The best part about adoption is getting to speak/meet the adoptive family I chose. I remember my social worker telling me that they wanted to talk to me soon and that they were very excited. During that Sunday evening after work they called me. That moment was breathtaking and filled with excitement because for a moment it felt like I was being adopted too (lol). Just by talking with them that first night really really assured me that they were the family for my child. My relationship with my child's adoptive family is amazing. I see them as my second family-more like a family I never had. We check up on each other, even if we're busy; we always find time to see how the other is doing. I love them so dearly and I thank God for blessing them into my life each and everyday. They mean so much to me in every special way...I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!"

Thank you so much, Jasmin, for your sharing your story with us! Your are a brave and loving mama and we're grateful for your thoughts.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rick and Kim's Adoption Story: Depths of Love

I love this family. They have some of the biggest hearts I've ever seen and they live their lives for Christ and His kingdom, even when that means loving when it hurts. God has given Kim a beautiful gift for words and I've shared some of her writing here and here before. I'm so glad that she was eager to share now about their experiences in bringing their daughter home. Rick and Kim started back with Christian Adoption Consultants on July 2015 on their fourth (yes FOURTH) adoption. I think you'll find yourself loving this family, too, as you read Kim's words:

You would think we’d be comfortable and confident walking in to meet her. This would our fourth expectant Mom. But as we drove we talked hesitantly and anxiously about how our day would unfold. Would she give me a big hug like my son’s birth mother? Would she look away with tears in her eyes like the first time we went down this road? 

We didn’t know. And until we knew what she would be comfortable with, we settled on a reserved demeanor and overly wide smiles. Because despite how little we knew, we loved her already. And we wanted that to be clear. 

But we didn’t want to scare her. Because this love, for now, was a choice - a choice that would fill itself out with the proper emotions, in time. 

And in the back of my head, the wise words of my friend, Jill, kept running through my jumbled thoughts…

“Every instinct you have will encourage you to run to the baby. They’re cute. They’re vulnerable. They need you. But resist that urge and run to the Mom. She will never forget this moment. She may forget what was said, or exactly what happened. But she will never forget how you made her feel. Focus on the Mom.”

Four adoptions later, some borne out of tense situations, we still highly valued that advice. When emotions were high and trust was lacking, we remembered to “focus on the Mom.” In the end, how we showed her love; how we made her feel – would color her future decisions more than logic, promises and words. 

So we knocked on her apartment door and waited nervously to see the face of the young woman who might share the face of our daughter. 

This was how the journey to our daughter began - a trip to Florida to spend some intentional time with a woman in need.

But all stories have a back-story - and so does this one. This was just three months after our first failed adoption. An adoption we thought would take place under very different circumstances. 

We believed we would get a call when our son’s birth mother was in the hospital. We may or may not meet her. And while we were open to contact, we likely wouldn’t have any before the birth. But despite the lack of contact, she was “100% certain” that adoption is what she wanted.

It turns out adoption would not be her choice. And though we made it clear we would love to meet her, not to persuade her, but so that we could encourage her. Contact is not what she wanted. 

And as we headed home it occurred to us how much a relationship changes things. 

We had adopted under circumstances where there was little or no contact before or after the adoption. So when this baby boy’s story came across our computer it felt familiar. We felt like we were made to handle the uncertainty and the step of faith that this little guy needed. And, to be clear, we don’t regret at all that we drove our whole family many hours to Florida to await his arrival. Because love moves you to action. And this little guy was worthy of that.

But also because of that little boy, our daughter’s back-story would be full of valuable lessons in loving others well - at great cost. That little boy prepared us to be better parents to our little girl.

After a good, but a little awkward, weekend in Florida with our expectant mom, we headed home full of expectation and hope. She liked us. She could tell that we loved each other. We hoped that she could tell that we loved her. 

We spent the next two months texting occasionally and calling her once a week. And after what seemed like years, instead of weeks, we headed to Florida once again to see our expectant mom and to await the late arrival of our little girl.

With a scheduled induction on the calendar, I snuggled in to my bed at a too late hour after dropping my husband at the airport. He would rejoin us in a few days when little miss was scheduled to make her debut. Almost asleep, I got a text from our e-mom. She was having contractions. It was time!

I threw myself in the car, hitting a bush in the friend’s yard that we were staying at, as I drove to her side. The next 8 hours were a blur of anxiety and sleeplessness. It makes my head hurt remembering how tired I was.

It would just be our e-mom and me. I had never been through birth - I didn’t know what I was doing. And I don’t do particularly well with the sight of blood. I wondered if I might be a detriment instead of a help. But I was determined to love her as best as I could. 

She had invited me in to this sacred space. She was allowing me to see the birth of my little girl. But she was also giving me the opportunity to see her at her most vulnerable. It did not escape my attention that had I been in her shoes, I would hardly want the doctors there, let alone a relative stranger. And yet, she allowed me to hold her hand. To tell her I was proud of her. And though I tried to give her privacy, to see her at her most exposed - and most brave.

And though, like any momma-to-be, I worried about my little girl. Was she safe? Is she getting what she needs? I kept saying to myself,  “Focus on the Mom!”

So when my beautiful, and presently slimy, daughter took her first breath I marveled at being there from the beginning. She was the cutest thing to ever come from this messy and painful, and not-cute experience called birth! And I longed to hold her, and kiss her and whisper sweet promises in her ear.

But when they asked her birth mom if she wanted to see her or hold her and she said “No”. And when they asked me if I wanted to go with the baby, or stay, I confidently said, “I’m going to stay.”

Because our birth mom’s heroic and selfless acts had already started. And she needed a witness and an encourager in the process. Of course, she wanted to hold her daughter. Of course she loved her deeply. But her act of love was remembering what holding her baby girl would mean. And choosing not to hold her was in remembrance of what she wanted most for her. She was choosing to love her, by choosing to sacrifice.

And with tears in my eyes, I squeezed her hand a little harder, looked her in the eyes and squeaked out a “Thank you! You are so amazing! We love you!”

We spent the next 24 hours together - that brave girl and me. It was an unlikely scenario for relationship building - two almost strangers, in a dark hospital room, eating cafeteria food and watching bad television. But in that space I was able to communicate – I choose you. You’re safe with us. We love you no matter what you decide. For you, Love, we have much hope.

As her emotions and hormones swirled, I sat with her. I listened to her. I cried with her as the pain of her past spilled out of her too full cup. And that evening, despite the unlikely circumstances and the outside pressure that would pull us apart – I saw a prayer answered. I saw when her doubt turned to determination. I saw her fear turn to confidence. And I watched her walls melt in to trust.

I saw us become a family.

The next morning, as I helped her pack her bags, she asked if she could call me "Mom."

I hugged her tightly, put her in the back of a cab and said “Of course!” 

We headed to Florida in pursuit of a little girl - someone who needed us to care for her, love her; someone who needed to be given hope, clarity, and confidence. 

We left Florida invited to extend this to two girls in need. We gladly, but with much trepidation and dependence on the Lord, accepted this honorable role.

And in the process, we found that these sweet girls weren’t the only ones in need. We needed them. We needed to learn to be brave and vulnerable - to be sacrificial and strong. They taught us about the transforming work of relationship - and the depth of love that is shared when you’re willing to walk in another person’s shoes. 

We’re an unlikely crew, all of us. A family divided by distance and years - one that somehow thrives on text messages and mutual love for a precious little girl who is blissfully oblivious to her start in life. But I think it’s in the most unlikely of scenarios that God makes himself the most evident. And seeing Him show up is always worth whatever comes your way. Even if it’s bad hospital food, being awake for 36 hours straight, and wearing your heart on your sleeve so a precious woman can share her much-hidden heart. 

(To read more of Kim's story, check out this beautiful article that was published by Relevant earlier this year.)
For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at katief@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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