“So, I keep looking for a blog. When are you going to write about the adoption?”
I’ve been asked that question more than just a time or two the past few months. My response has always been, “When I can calm down a little bit and the Lord gives me the words, I’ll write.”
I guess I’m calm and ready. 🤷♀️
Right now, it’s almost 1:00 AM, and I am wide awake, listening to the steady, peaceful breathing of my pretty, pretty, princess Caroline. She’s warm and cozy in her Disney Frozen jammies, hair all a mess, with her favorite blue blanket and paci close by, sound asleep. She’s almost snoring she’s sleeping so good.
Oh, how I waited for these little moments. I dreamed and prayed and waited for what seemed like forever and a day. Some days, it just didn’t seem like our adoption journey would ever move into the coveted “matched” phase. Many days, it seemed like our prayers bounced off the ceiling. But, all of that changed July 28, 2020 with a short little email.
If you remember, July 28th is our son Collier’s birthday. This year, he would have been three years old, my most favorite age. This year, while previous years have been heavy and sad on “would-be” birthdays, for some reason I woke up feeling happy and at peace instead. Our church was knee-deep in VBS (following proper COVID precautions, of course), and it had been fun teaching Bible stories to all the kids with my dear friend and fellow pastor’s wife, Terri Leigh.
We were in the closing rally when my phone lit up showing an email from our adoption agency. I opened it, and read a brief little description of a 19 month old girl in north Alabama who’s great-grandparents were interested in our profile. And in my heart God spoke, “This is her.” Little did I know, across campus in his office, sat my husband reading the same email, at the same time, with the same confirmation from the Lord, “This is her!”
I’m already crying writing this. Whew!
When VBS was over that day, we rushed to meet up with each other to talk about the email. It still gives me chills to know that on July 28th, our son’s would-be birthday, the Lord answered our prayers, and we said yes to this precious 19 month old little girl. Oh, and by the way, the length of our adoption journey as of that day? 19 months long. Tell me the Lord isn’t gracious, even in the little details.
So.many.things happened in those days to follow that it seems a little like a blur. It was surreal. Our adoption quickly morphed from stagnant to everything happening very quickly. We shared many phone calls with our little girl’s birth family, and each time we talked we were more and more convinced this was of the Lord. There was peace that passed all understanding and an instant bond with her family, one that can only be formed by the Lord. It felt like we had always known them.
And, y’all, the prayers that have been answered. The very specific ones…
We prayed for a healthy little girl- He answered. Her great-grandmother said, “She is as healthy as can be!” She also had zero drug exposure, an added blessing.
We prayed that God would allow us to have an open adoption and relationship with the birth family- He answered. Over and above what we imagined, He answered.
We prayed that our little girl would be a joy to our family- He answered. In our first conversation, we were told, “She just brings joy wherever she goes!”
We prayed she would be close by-He answered. She was in Alabama all along!
We prayed she would physically look like us, not for our sake but for her sense of identity and belonging as she grows. He answered. She looks like our biological children, so much so that no one would ever guess I didn’t birth her.
We prayed for a baby, but God answered by giving us a toddler close in age to our two sons in heaven. He answered by giving us what we He knew we needed, even when we didn’t realize we needed it.
These are just the ones I can remember at the moment, but every prayer we prayed for her, He answered, “exceedingly, abundantly above all we asked or imagined (Eph. 3:20).”
We traveled to north Alabama on August 10, 2020 to meet Caroline for the first time. In my heart, I was excited and nervous all at once. I knew from other adoption stories that it would happen, but I always wondered how I could love a child the same as my biological children. So, another prayer I prayed? That I would feel for her the same love in my heart that I felt the very first time I held our boys. And He answered that, too. I loved her with my whole heart the moment I saw her.
We were welcomed into their home that day by Caroline’s great-grandparents, two of the most loving people I’ve ever met. They’d been raising her and giving her their very best since she was brought home from the hospital. Caroline’s birthparents, although they love her very much, were not in a good place financially, emotionally, mentally, or physically to care for her. Grandparents were not in the picture or had passed away. These great-grandparents had stepped up and loved her every single day of her life. But, in their words, they had also been praying for a young family to “adopt” and provide a loving family for Caroline. A young family who could give her the life they wanted her to have.
Caroline was the answer to our prayers, and we were the answer to the prayers they had prayed over her since she was born. The Lord had been weaving our story together our entire adoption journey!
It’s been six months now since the day we first learned about Caroline. Five months since she came home on August 27, 2020. As of today, we now enjoy a close, happy relationship with her great-grandparents. God not only gave us a daughter, but he blessed us beyond measure with a MeMe and Poppie who love Jesus and love our family just as if we were their own. Words cannot express how much we thank God for them!
And Caroline—it feels like she’s always been ours and I guess she really always has been. Not a day passes that we don’t look at her and know that she is a most precious gift, straight from the Lord. Every time she smiles and lifts her hands for “Mama” or “Daddy” to hold her or for her brothers to play with her, I am grateful that God gave her to us. We do not deserve her, but God always gives us more than we deserve. It’s His nature.
I know I’m going to read this later and think of things I left out. There are so many details to include of our roller coaster journey the past few years, I could write a book. Maybe one day I will.
For now, if you’re reading this, I want you to know something I know with 100% certainty. God sees you. He hears your prayers. He’s working on your behalf, weaving your story together in the BEST way possible. You’re not forgotten, not hidden, not overlooked. The Lord’s plan for you is perfect, and when it starts unfolding you will be amazed at what beautiful things He can do.
Trust Him. He will answer exceedingly, abundantly above, and it will be worth your wait. I promise.
We’re living proof.