I’ll apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I believe it is well worth the read.
First, a little bit of history. I have two children from a previous marriage and had a vasectomy shortly after they were born. My wife and I were married in 2007 and we had many discussions about her desire to have children. My wife had not been married previously and does not have but has always wanted to have children. This has been a desire of hers from a very young age. We knew the first step was to “fix” (or unfix, LoL) my situation but she also has suffered from endometriosis for many years and also has had several surgeries to assist her battle with pain and discomfort.
Several years after our marriage I successfully corrected my situation and we began the process of trying to get pregnant. We were not successful and even tried some medical assistance with the process without any success except for one ectopic pregnancy which was a pretty traumatic experience for both of us (especially her). The treatments from the medically assisted procedures inflamed her endometriosis and became nearly disabling.
We still had the desire to raise a child together and explored different options including adoption. We attended the local DHR (Department of Human Resources) classes for many months to become foster/adoptive parents. That process did not work out for several reasons including our work schedules. We both work full time and with DHR Foster to Adopt, you have to bring the child to DHR once a week during the day to meet with the birth parents. We did not understand why God was closing the door. More tears followed as we tried to understand why people who didn’t want children could have them so easily while we really desired to have/raise a child but all of the doors were closing. It was a dark time mentally trying to understand/comprehend for us both although it was probably more difficult for my wife.
After a consultation (and exploratory surgery) with a new doctor, it became evident that it was physically impossible for us to have children. Sadly, we came to the realization that we would not be able to produce a child own our own and my wife was in so much pain. The endometriosis had damaged my wife physically and mentally. After much prayer and tears, we decided the best thing to do was to eliminate the source of the pain and my wife had a total hysterectomy. This was a difficult decision but was necessary to improve her quality of life.
We decided to focus on “us” and to address some issues that we had put off too long – namely my wife’s back issues. It was another situation that needed to be addressed to relieve pain and suffering and finally on May 15th, 2017 she had several vertebrae fused in her lower back. Because we were in an odd stage and life (older without children) and other reasons, we felt led to leave the church we had attended more than 10 years together (and my wife even longer). We visited and eventually joined a new church and signed up to serve on one of the ministry teams.
Less than a month later (Saturday, June 10, 2017) following my wife’s back surgery, my wife shared something on social media about the teenager (19 years old) that left her two children in the car overnight in Texas. Sadly, both children passed away. While this is upsetting, it is especially sad to a couple that want children so badly. She shared the story with the caption: “This is so heartbreaking. If you know someone or you are someone who is struggling with being a parent, I know several couples including us who would love become parents to these little ones. Please consider adoption over neglect.” It was just an innocent, true, heartfelt opinion shared on social media.
The next day, someone (we’ll call her Beth) sent my wife a message that she wanted to talk to my wife about what was posted on social media. My wife, being the compassionate and caring person she is, was afraid she offended Beth. When they spoke on Monday (June 12, 2017), Beth stated she knew of someone that was considering adoption for their unborn child. This individual (we’ll call her Jane) was due just about any day and because of her situation was not going to be able to raise her child because she did not have the necessary resources. Jane had mentioned to Beth that she was considering adoption. Beth read my wife’s post and reached out to know if we knew anyone that would be interested in adopting Jane’s unborn child. My wife said she did – US!
Beth arranged a meeting with Jane, the father of the baby (we’ll call him John), and us two days later (June 14, 2017). We met at a local park on Wednesday afternoon. They (Jane and John) told us their story and my wife and I shared ours. In the end, we basically said that IF they wanted to give their child up for adoption, we would be overjoyed to raise him. Toward the end of the meeting, John prayed for them, us, and the child. We told them to take their time and decide. We were not pressuring them in any way. The next day my wife received word that Jane and John made a decision. They wanted us to raise their child.
We went into overdrive. While most couples have months (around 8, to be exact) to prepare for a child coming into their home, we had an unknown but very short time. Jane had not received much prenatal care so they weren’t exactly sure of the expected birth date but she was close! They shared it was a boy and healthy. Since we had never been through this process we weren’t really sure what to expect or what needed to been done. We have several friends that are lawyers so we reached out privately and asked who they recommended. They all came back with the same name.
My wife reached out to the recommended lawyer and started telling him the situation and inquiring about private adoption. Because of our previous experience, we did not want to involve DHR. As she began describing the situation, the lawyer asked if the parents were Jane and John. This surprised my wife that the lawyer knew their names, but stated that was correct. The lawyer had met with John recently as they were exploring adoption options.
The lawyer explained to my wife the process and we went to work. We had to hire a private social worker for background checks, home inspection, etc. to meet state guidelines. It just so happened the one referred to us by the lawyer (quick turnaround was important due to the circumstances) attended the same church as us previously. We sent off our fingerprints for the background checks and met with him together and individually for interviews as he ensured our house met the requirements.
Because Jane and John did not have an ideal situation, my wife reached out to one of the organizations in the community. They were able to provide hotel rooms, gift cards for food, and some basic necessity items. We were warned by our lawyer to severely limit our assistance as this could appear as if we were “buying” the child from them. The outpouring of support shown by several individuals (who shall remain nameless on the Internet) was overwhelming. During the next few days/weeks Jane would send my wife messages that “Your baby boy is kicking me.” I can’t even comprehend being able to say that.
On Friday, June 23, 2017 I had one of the most humbling experiences of my life. We picked up Jane and John (they didn’t have a vehicle) and took them to the courthouse (with the lawyer’s approval). Our lawyer, Jane, John, my wife and I went into the Probate Judge’s office. Jane and John were sworn in and we watched as both the birth mother and birth father signed over rights to their unborn child to my wife and me. As a parent, I cannot even imagine being able to do this, but as the recipient I was so humbled, honored, and thankful. It appeared that our dream was going to come true! Jane stated she wanted my wife in the delivery room so she could bond immediately to the baby. As we took them back to their hotel, Jane stated that we were some of the nicest people she has ever known. This is coming from the mother of a baby that she is giving to us.
The next several weeks were filled with preparing for baby. Did I mention we didn’t really have anything? A baby bed was borrowed. Diapers, baby wipes, outfits, bottles, formula, etc. were bought and/or given to us. We made an effort to keep this mostly a secret except for family and close friends. There were still issues to work through and things could happen. It was a crazy, hectic, but hopeful and joy filled time.
On Saturday, Jane called us and she was at the hospital. It was just a check-up, but she wanted us to come. We were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time just days before he was born.
On July 5th, we received THE call. Jane was in labor and the baby was on the way. We headed to the hospital. Both grandmothers made the short drive over to join us. Before our moms showed up and in the EARLY stages of labor, both my wife and I went back to the delivery room to see/visit John and Jane. I can’t explain the feeling of seeing someone about to have your son that is not your wife. Thankful. Humble. Uncomfortable. Exciting. It was all there with other feelings as well. We were asked to leave the room when it was time for the epidural.
Beth was called and she also showed up at the hospital. When the epidural procedure was complete, Beth came and got my wife because Jane wanted my wife in the room. I waited with my mom and mother in law. Just before 12:00 pm, a healthy 9 lb. 12 oz. baby boy was born. According to my wife, as soon as he emerged, they took him and my wife to the nursery. The initial weight, height, and measurements were made as well as the initial cleaning. My wife came to the waiting room and got me and I also went into the nursery where we were with him while they finished all of the things that must be done to a newborn.
I have to brag on the hospital. They were fully aware of the situation. We had our own room. Once my wife had the bracelet to match the baby, we were able spend all day with him. We had a full hospital room to ourselves. Because of the situation, our name was not on the outside. The only thing they didn’t furnish was meals. We spent a lot of time holding him and getting the physical bonding time. Both grandmothers were able to hold him within hours of being born. Beth came in and held him. It was truly a special time and I’m very thankful of the hospital and staff. Finally, late that evening, we took him to the nursery so we could go home and get some sleep.
The initial report: He was perfect! Nothing was wrong and he had all of the right parts in the right places. When the pediatrician came into the room, the question was raised who we were going to use in the future. That was something we hadn’t really researched fully. The pediatrician we wanted to use (We’ll call Dr. Q) was on his first shift at the hospital, and he was the one that checked on the baby. Now he was in the room asking who we wanted. When Dr. Q asked, we said we wanted him, but thought he wasn’t taking new patients. Dr. Q said there was a new doctor joining the practice, and he would be honored to take our baby as a patient. Wow. Just Wow.
Remember that organization in the community that had been helping Jane and John? It just so happened that Dr. Q’s wife volunteered at that organization and had been praying for Jane and John and the adoptive parents (she didn’t know us). She also prayed that her husband be the one to see/ treat the baby.
The next few days were a blur. Lots of baby time. So very thankful and blessed. BUT the parents still had 5 days to change their mind after the baby was born. We didn’t think that would be a problem, but you never know. On July 7, 2017 we took him home.
He’s just over two months old and doing great. We have a date set for the official adoption hearing. It has been and still is an amazing journey and I’m sure I have forgotten details, so future edits may be necessary.
What have I learned from this? God answers prayers. He will provide the desires of your heart – especially when you quit trying to fix things and depend on Him. My wife and I went from hopeless when it comes to children to having a newborn in our arms in just three weeks from the day we initially met Jane and John. God does amazing because then we can see that only HE is possible of the impossible. Keep trusting and don’t give up.
I know this isn’t normal. I can’t promise that your situation will work out the same. What I can promise is that when God moves, no one can stop Him. EVERY potential barrier in our situation was cleared wide open. There were too many details that worked out WAY ahead of time. I’m shocked and amazed how smoothly things have gone.
It is too good of a story not to share. I hope you enjoyed it.