Journey To Adoption Part 2 (Read Part 1 if you haven’t already done so)
After losing my baby, I experienced a depth of pain that sucked the breath out of me for months.
In that season of grief, I memorized more Scripture than I ever have in my life. Chunks and chunks of Scripture were embedded into the core of my mind and spirit. This season of Scripture memory work was His preparation for the next tumultuous chapter of our story.
I received the call one evening while my family and I sat around the dinner table.
I looked down at the number, didn’t recognize it, and so I let it go straight to voicemail. Something stuck out to me, however, because I immediately knew that the person calling was calling me about our adoption. I just knew it instinctively.
Backing up just a bit…
After losing Ryan Adeline, my husband and I spent months and months of time seeking intervention from a reproductive endocrinologist. We chose not to pursue more invasive forms of fertility treatment, but I did have many procedures to try to determine if there were any structural abnormalities within my female anatomy that may have caused her passing.
Ultimately, we never found anything specifically wrong with my body to give us a direction in which to go forward. In the end, after three more pregnancies and early miscarraiges, the Lord positioned Ian and I to reach a specific conclusion at the same time.
In July of 2013, Ian and I took our two little girls away for some much needed down time in Hilton Head, South Carolina. It was there that we both landed on adoption as the next step to grow our family.
By August of 2013, we had completed our homestudy with a local adoption resource as we did not go with a traditional adoption agency. (The adoption process can take what seems like forever when using a conventional adoption agency and I was not in the frame of mind to wait on paperwork.) I can be somewhat controlling. Yet again, that’s another blog post for sure.
Fast-forward three months…
It was December 15, 2013. We received the call while sitting around the dinner table. Not recognizing the phone number on the screen, I tapped the red “Decline” icon on my phone screen. However, something inside me stirred. I glanced over at Ian, caught his eye, and then whispered to him from across the table, “Adoption.” I knew instinctively that the mysterious phone number had to do with our adoption. I had no idea who was calling, but something inside me knew… or hoped.
Excusing myself from the kitchen once we had finished eating dinner, I left Ian and the girls to clean up the table. I trudged up the stairway slowly and with each step my heart began pounding harder and harder. (No, not due to the physical exertion of climbing a flight of stairs.) My heart was beating at an ever-increasing rate because of the enigma and wonder trying to guess who was this unidentified caller leaving me a voicemail on this random Sunday evening. The internal dialogue I found myself dodging in my own head was getting the best of me. Anxiety rears its ugly head even in the exciting moments of life.
ANXIETY IS BRUTAL… brutal and debilitating but that’s a whole other blog post…
Once surrounded by the four protective walls of my master bedroom, I dialed the number.
My suspisions were spot on. A sweet friend from my Bible study group eagerly shared with me what had just transpired.
She had just finished an hour- and-a-half long phone call with her sister-in-law. My friend proceeded to tell me that at the end of their conversation, just as they were about to say their good-byes, her SIL, an adoption attorney in Florida, mentioned that a baby boy was due in two days. Her SIL casually asked if my friend knew anyone looking to adopt a boy.
“Lindsay! This is YOUR son!!” She just continued over and over with the same words. “This is your son.”
The next 72 hours were a whirlwind.
Early the next morning, I received the phone call from my adoption attorney. After speaking briefly about the adoption situation, they attorney sent me electronic copies of the birth mother’s medical records. I, in turn, sent them directly over to my primary care physician for his expert opinion.
You see, my family doctor, it turned out, was an adoptive father himself. He had a heart for adoption and had offered to help us in any way that he could as we navigated the adoption process. In the past month, he had already looked through a couple of other potential birth mothers’ medical files for us. Those adoption situations did not end up leading us to a match. However, God had clearly positioned us in relationship with this doctor for an obvious reason… for our son.
Despite the fact our birth mother did not have a clean bill of health nor did she make healthy choices during the pregnancy, our doctor called me within a couple of hours to give us the go-ahead to move forward with the adoption.
Those next 72 hours were a whirlwind and so much of it is a blur.
However, there are some moments that stick out so vividly in my mind. There were so many blessings and signs from the Lord.
That day, my precious (but now deceased) mother and my step-father drove the 3-hour drive to stay with the girls in our absence. We had no idea how long we would be stuck in Florida and they would need to commit to caring for our girls for at least a couple of weeks. ICPC mandated that once we left the hospital with our son, that we could be in Florida for up to 2 weeks or more as we would need to await a judge to grant us permission to cross state lines.
As we were making arrangements for the girls’ next two weeks of life, we did not even have to worry about where to stay in Florida. Another of my precious friends arranged our hotel stay in Florida.
Additionally, that evening before we left to meet our son’s birth mother and our son, as I was frantically packing and preparing a schedule for my two sweet little girls, I heard the doorbell ring.
As I opened the door, I saw the hands and feet of Jesus right there on my doorstep in the form of about 15 sweet and dear friends of mine.
Each of these precious women entered my home carrying in her arms some sort of baby gear… diapers,baby bottles, pacifiers, bags and bags of boy clothing, burp cloths, blankets, a stroller, a pack n play, diaper bag, etc. You name it, they brought it. Ian and I had nothing to do or purchase for our son. We just needed to get in the car and pick up that little baby boy.
My tribe knows me well. Praise God that my tribe knows Jesus even more.
I was beyond overwhelmed their love and support and still am as I write this.
That very next day, Ian and I would depart from our home in the darkness of early morning and begin the ten-hour drive to meet our little boy and his selfless and desperately hurting birth mother.
What about you, Friends? How has Jesus shown up to you in the form of community? Would love to hear about your tribe. We so need one another.