It was such a pleasure getting to know Jim and Julie throughout their journey through adoption. I’m so blessed to work with such amazing families and this sweet couple was no exception! I remember the first time I spoke with them. Prior to signing on with Christian Adoption Consultants they had been working with other agencies for about 5 years and during that time had experienced a great deal of loss and heartache. But their strength in the Lord and perseverance throughout was so very evident. They were chosen about 10 months after signing on with CAC to be the parents of their sweet baby girl. I’m honored and grateful to have Julie on the blog tonight sharing the story that led them to their daughter.
After twelve years of marriage, my husband Jim and I decided to begin our family. We didn’t really consider that it wouldn’t happen easily and quickly, and we spent about the next three years doing multiple rounds of infertility treatments. We had a glimmer of hope with one pregnancy, but heartbreak soon followed with a devastating miscarriage. It took some time, but one more round of IVF later, we realized that we just wanted a family, however that came about. Though our hearts were still healing from our miscarriage and the inability to become pregnant, we simultaneously became increasingly excited and encouraged about the prospect of adoption.
Again, we were not prepared for how long our adoption journey would take. We signed up with a local facilitator, which resulted in several broken matches. We then signed up with an adoption attorney, and this also resulted in two broken matches. After about four years, we decided to investigate other avenues. A California agency recommended we look into Christian Adoption Consultants (CAC), as we already had a home study. We called, and CAC sounded encouraging, but we decided to stick it out with our facilitator a little longer. Looking back, we believe our depression over years of failed attempts to have children made signing up with a new adoption provider seem overwhelming and daunting, like starting from scratch. We felt discouraged and weren’t sure that God even wanted us to have kids, but we both felt the Holy Spirit encouraging us to not give up yet. And thankfully, God placed people in our lives to encourage us to keep going.
Within a year, we called CAC again and spoke to Kelly Todd, who would become our adoption consultant. She listened to our story, and dispelled some of our fears, such as us being too old to be picked by an expectant mom. We were encouraged and excited after speaking to her, and finally signed up with CAC. One of the most helpful things for us was Kelly’s detailed feedback on our already existing profile book. After years of working on and updating it ourselves, it was incredible to have her expertise help us fine tune it, so it showed the best and most complete picture of what we had to offer a child. She also proofread the letters we wrote to expectant moms we were hoping to be matched with – also invaluable. It was just great to have someone walking through each of these steps with us, answering our questions, checking in on us, and praying for us.
Less than a year after having signed up with CAC, we received a call that we had been chosen by an expectant mom that we had written to! We were shocked and overjoyed. Could this really finally be happening? We cautiously began making preparations, as our baby’s birth mom was due to give birth in a month. We texted and Skyped with her and felt compassion for her and her circumstances. While I always knew I’d be grateful to the woman who blessed us with a baby, I was concerned that I might also feel insecure, or even jealous. But I believe the Lord worked on my heart and I very quickly felt protective of her and wanted to assure her that she would play a role in her baby’s life.
When our daughter’s birth mom gave birth several weeks later, we hurriedly packed the car, and drove the 8 ½ hours, though the mountains, in the middle of the night. We were excited, still in shock, and terrified all at the same time! We couldn’t believe we might actually be parents soon. We arrived a few hours after the birth, and then had to wait the three days until she could legally be placed with us. I, in particular, was so worried about another broken match. I could see our baby’s birth mom’s sadness and we hurt for her. But, we continued guarding our hearts, and just couldn’t let ourselves get emotional until the baby was actually placed with us. When it happened on day three, it was a mix of emotions, as we couldn’t fathom everything our daughter’s birth mother was going through. But we were also so grateful and honored that she chose us to be her daughter’s mommy and daddy forever.
It has been a much longer journey than we expected to begin our family. However, as painful as parts have been, we don’t believe it was wasted time. God grew us both over the years. We learned to persevere, and that with God’s presence, we could handle more than we thought possible. We also were forced to trust God, and give up the illusion of control. We have struggled with fear along this journey, and we believe God purposefully allowed us to be in situations where we had absolutely no control, so that we would learn to trust Him. Finally, we experienced, up close, God’s comfort and kindness for us. Not just when we finally became parents, but in the eight years before. He consistently put friends in our lives who prayed for us, checked in our how we were doing after setbacks, encouraged us to continue, and did thoughtful things, like bringing me sunflowers on Mother’s Day. It made us realize, like never before, that God sees us in our suffering. Every tear we shed in our desire for a child, God was right there, loving us, and wanting us to turn to Him. Though this timeline is not what we would have thought we wanted, we are so grateful that God loved us enough to do what’s best for us. We would encourage anyone who is pursuing adoption to persevere in hope, trust Him in painful and uncertain moments, and seek His heart and will for you. If you do these things, you and your story will be in His hands, and there is no better place to be.