I remember speaking with Heath and Shannon for the very first time in the winter of last year. I have always been so encouraged by their unshakeable faith and the way they have trusted God with their story. They signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants in February and finished up their home study and profile in March. In June they were chosen to be the parents of a little girl by her brave birth mama. Shannon shares more of their story below!
Waiting has always been a common theme of my life. Waiting for a job, waiting for a husband, and waiting for a baby. Each season of wait was harder than the wait before. This could be why my favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord will renew our strength, they will mount up on wings as eagles, they will run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.”
My husband and I took a while to find each other. I thought I would never get married and Heath was content being a bachelor. Then one day on a hike, we discovered each other. Growing up, we had attended the same church and were well acquainted with each other’s family. It was God who finally brought us together. That season of waiting and feeling lonely was over.
After we were married, we decided to enjoy our first year together, growing as a couple. When we decided to begin our family, we were disappointed to discover that we were struggling to have a baby. We began to seek out medical consults and learned through surgery, that I had endometriosis. The surgery to explore became the surgery to repair, but still, we struggled to grow our family.
In the meantime, we began the process of being approved for foster care. But the timing never seemed to work out. On the same day that we went to get a third medical opinion about our infertility, we also made an appointment to meet with adoption caseworker in our foster care organization. We felt a little hopeless after leaving the fertility doctor, but the adoption meeting was very encouraging.
After many conversations and prayers, we made the decision to begin the adoption process. We quickly discovered that adoption is filled with so much uncertainty and we had no clue what we were doing. But, when we met Kelly Todd, an Adoption Consultant with Christian Adoption Consultants (CAC), we knew immediately that she and CAC were both a gift from God. The process became clearer and less daunting. But more than that, we felt like we had a friend to guide us through this journey... to help us through the fears and rejoice with us in our joys. Talking with Kelly was like talking with a long lost friend.
After our home study was ready to go and our profile book was complete in March, we began receiving situations. We were told "no" many times by expectant mothers. It was discouraging and somedays it felt like we would never be chosen. But, we didn't lose hope. In April we received a situation for a baby girl due in the summer. For some reason, this young woman caught our hearts. When we found out that she chose to move forward with another family, it was so difficult. I remember a co-worker praying me through the tears. Heath also felt this disappointment. Through God’s strength, we moved forward and continued waiting. We were secure in the knowledge that God had it all figured out and that every no would lead to a greater yes. It's incredible to know that we couldn't mess up or miss out on God's plan for our story.
Since I was a young girl, I believed that God would use myself, our farm, and our horses for a greater purpose. It was my dream to open a children’s camp for children to ride. I kept putting this vision off, thinking that it will happen the next year, and then the next. But I never got around to putting it into effect. God used the wait and the unknowns in the adoption process to encourage me to take the steps necessary to organize bringing children in foster care to our farm for a week long day camp. It was after I was obedient to his calling, we got a call that changed our lives so much.
To our surprise, one of the agencies we were working with was contacting us about a situation we presented to a few months prior-it was the expectant mother who caught our hearts. For some reason she was asking about us again, as she chose not to move forward with the other family. We were able to speak with her on the phone two days later and instantly clicked. She felt like a dear friend from the very beginning. We were so grateful to know that she chose us to be the parents of her little girl. Her due date was in few short weeks so we rushed to make travel arrangements to meet her and her son. We were so thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know them. Later that day, we worked together to name this precious child, Raegan Grace. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how God worked out all of the details and met our every need.
At her request, I was able to hold her hand through delivery, while encouraging and supporting her every step of the way. When our beautiful girl made her appearance, her brave and amazing birth mother wanted me to be the first one to hold her. As I burst into tears, Raegan’s birth mother grabbed me in a hug that I can still feel. We spent the next few days in the hospital bonding with our daughter and spending time with her birth mother. She said that it was so difficult to say goodbye, but when she saw Raegan with Heath and I, she knew she made the right decision. We are still amazed by her strength, courage and the decision she made for her baby girl. Raegan’s birth mother is a part of our family forever and we are so grateful to know her and for the selfless decision she made in choosing adoption for her daughter.
Through the entire experience, we were blessed beyond what we could imagine. Every day we look at our little girl, we are more and more amazed at God’s goodness. As we prepare for her dedication, we are committed to proclaim that this precious child is God’s child and we are but caretakers of a beautiful gift. We have been entrusted with something so precious. And we know through everything, God put it all together.
***If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the services we provide at Christian Adoption Consultants, I would love to chat! Feel free to email me at email@example.com and check out Christian Adoption Consultants for more information!***