Today’s guest poster is Elizabeth, a domestic adoptive mommy of debatably the cutest little boy I think I have ever seen. She blogs here. This is their adoption story.
When I told Tara I would write a guest post about adoption she asked what I wanted to write about. I tried to think of an adoption related topic that I was some kind of expert on, but I really still feel like an adoption novice! I could explain the requirements of a domestic, infant adoption or what it’s like going through the home study process, the waiting or even the attachment process. But what’s really close to my heart is our personal adoption story, so I hope you don’t mind if I share the story I never thought we’d have!
“OUR story…” Just writing that feels funny. A year ago I couldn’t imagine having a “story.” As excited as I was about adoption and becoming a parent, I mostly just felt like it would never happen. After all the ups-and-downs of infertility (and really, there were just “downs”), it was hard to ever feel hopeful that parenthood would ever really come to us. At the time I was actually pretty obsessed with hearing about others’ journeys to parenthood. I loved hearing how God would orchestrate situations and move in people’s hearts and it seemed like God made them parents (whether through miraculous conceptions or adoption) in the perfect timing. I heard so many beautiful stories and was both amazed and jealous. And also in disbelief that we would ever have a story where God worked so beautifully that there was no denying His will and purpose. How could WE ever have that story?!
But, He did and we do! He moved and worked in our hearts and in our circumstances to confirm for us 100% that He wanted it to be this way and that it’s the BEST way, despite all the sadness and grief that infertility has caused.
The excitement REALLY began when we were contacted the first weekend of May by one of our adoption agencies. They told us that we were chosen by a birthmom due with a baby girl in just 3 weeks! We were SHOCKED! We were not expecting it since we were told the average wait time would be much longer (we had only been waiting 5 months). Sometimes I think back on that day and remember the excitement, exhilaration and fear that I felt. I don’t know I how I got through that week with any kind of focus on my job or getting things done around the house. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to schedule a meeting with the birthmom until May 14th, a date over a week after we heard we were chosen. So, for that week we hoped and planned and were also scared that it wouldn’t work out when she met us. What if we didn’t like each other? What if she changed her mind? What if something went wrong? So we pretty much kept it just between the two of us. We talked about it ALL the time with each other, getting excited about a sweet, baby girl becoming our daughter! I truly couldn’t believe we would very likely become parents in just 3 weeks!
On Mother’s Day, one day before we were scheduled to drive 3 hours to meet the birthmom, we broke down and decided we just HAD to tell my parents. We took the opportunity to tell her on this special day that she could become a grandma in just 2 weeks. Right after we shared the news with my family, including my mom (who bawled her eyes out), dad and sister, we started a Skype call with my other sister and brother-in-law to tell them the news as well. As soon as our conversation began (and before we had even told them), the phone rang out of the blue. When I saw that it was the agency, my first emotions were fear and disbelief! We hadn’t met the birthmom yet! We were NOT READY for whatever our social worker was going to tell us on the other line! Did she change her mind? Was she already in labor!? We thought we still had 2 weeks to get used the idea of actually becoming parents!
I answered the phone with shaking hands and shouted to Dave that he HAD to answer the phone with me. With my whole immediate family in the background, we were shocked to hear that the birthmother had not only given birth on 12:15 on Mother’s Day, but also that it was to a baby BOY! The agency told us we needed to head to Memphis ASAP to come meet our son and his birthmom and give him a name! They told us that when the birth mother held this precious baby boy in her arms for the first time she said, “He’s beautiful. But, he’s not mine. He’s David and Elizabeth’s.”
I can’t even describe all the emotions of the day. The excitement, the surprise, the fear, the shock of a boy instead of a girl, the anxiety of wondering whether or not the birthmom would change her mind once she met us, or once she spent more time with this sweet boy in the hospital. The panic of needing to buy basics, like bottles and diapers! Less than a week and a half ago I had wondered if I would ever become a mother, and TODAY, on Mother’s Day, I found out I will probably be bringing home my SON in just 48 hours.
The next 2 days were a flurry. If you’re interested in domestic adoption, just know that the time at the hospital will be hard, VERY HARD and full of conflicting emotions, many of which you feel for the birthmom. We brought sweet Nathaniel David home on Tuesday, May 15th when he was just 2 days old.
Pictures taken of me from these days show sheer exhaustion yet pure joy. I couldn’t believe this was MY life, that THIS was happening to me! To us! Everything came together in those days that I lived in a whirlwind. And the pain of infertility all seemed worth it. Worth it one hundred times over. I studied every finger and toe. Every time he opened his eyes I couldn’t stop staring at him. He was the answer to so many prayers and despite my lack of sleep I was deliriously happy. And completely in awe that this was our son and that God had completely orchestrated the way he came into our lives. After so much loss, God had truly redeemed our pain and our loss and turned it into joy and thankfulness.
Six months later and I can’t even believe time has passed so quickly! Parenthood is hard and sometimes very tiring. I’ve had a couple of meltdowns and cried when I’ve felt like I couldn’t do it all. And days where I wonder where God will take us next. Or how He will provide us with our next child (we always wanted 3 or 4). But, I have to remind myself of those days surrounding Mother’s Day. How God has held us in His hands every day, every minute of this journey. Even when I thought I couldn’t take one more pregnancy announcement, one more disappointment, one more miraculous story that wasn’t mine. Sometimes we get into our routine and I forget to stop and praise God for the work he has done in our lives. I feel humbled that God chose us to be this sweet boy’s parents. We don’t deserve to have been blessed with such a wonderful baby. But, He HAS blessed us indeed. With a beautiful story. A story of changed hearts and changed lives.
People say that Nathaniel is lucky to have us as parents. That we did such a “good thing” for choosing adoption. But, these people have no idea. It is US who are truly blessed to have him in our lives as our son. He brightens our day and makes us smile whenever we think of him. WE are the lucky ones, for he truly is what his name means, even more than we ever would have imagined. He is our true “gift from God.”