Our journey to grow our family has been filled with many twists and turns and a whole lot of faith. When we began dating almost 10 years ago, we talked about a big family that included adoption. Chris jokes that I am lucky I did scare him away when on our fourth date, I just randomly blurted out, “Hey, would you ever be open to adopting?” The timing hasn’t been what we expected, but it was something that we’ve always felt a calling towards, way before I ever knew what we would encounter during our journey.
In the spring of 2014, we found out we were pregnant. I was so sick and as much as I disliked my growing relationship with bathrooms everywhere, I always held onto something my doctor said the first time I complained about my constant state nausea. “Look at it as a sign that your body is telling you you’re pregnant!”
We spent the summer trying to hide my growing belly at the beach and making big plans for Christmas babies to join our family. On September 16th, after an emergency surgery, we were left with empty arms and broken hearts. I felt like a cruel joke had been played on me as I remained sick for well over a month after the loss of our babies. I remember telling my doctor that he had lied to me and that now it was just a constant reminder that I was no longer pregnant. With no true answers and lots of “this was a 1 in 100’s chance,” we were encouraged to try again. We quickly became pregnant again and experienced miscarriages at 12 and 13 weeks. At this point, after lots of prayers and feeling the calling to adopt, we started the adoption process.
In the summer of 2015, we began the paperwork/homestudy and were now a waiting family. In the fall, after going to the doctor (for what I thought was a stomach bug that just wouldn’t go away), I found out I was pregnant. This didn’t deter our adoption plans. We were fully ready to remain an active family. The idea of welcoming two little ones into our family was a dream come true.
In February, at 17 weeks pregnant, that dream came crashing down, when God gained a beautiful baby girl into His arms, instead of ours. My body had taken too many tolls and my organs were being affected. It was strongly recommended that I not become pregnant again. I struggled a lot during this time. Not over not having the ability to carry a biological baby to term, but with the lack of control I felt in growing our family. Up until that point, I had still felt like I was doing something during our “wait”.
Now just being a waiting family, I had a rude awakening in my trust of God’s timing. During this time, I grew so much as a person, but even more in my faith and trust in our Lord. After receiving 98 no’s, we finally got our first yes in January of 2017. We were ecstatic! Not only were we matched, but a baby boy was being born as we spoke! We quickly bought plane tickets to Georgia, booked a hotel, and started packing. After 12 days, our birth mama decided to parent. The weeks that followed were ugly. We will always support our birth mama in her decision to parent, but the lies from our consultant and adoption agency just piled and piled up. Our hearts were left shattered and our trust broken. How do we move past this? It wasn’t just a failed adoption, but so much more.
With lots of support from friends and family, we took a huge leap of faith and decided to try again. Trusting the Lord had us in this entire journey, we held on for the ride He had in mind for us. A few weeks later, we were matched and again experienced another failed adoption. Making the decision to continue at this time was hard. We watched many cases come into our inbox, which we just couldn’t pull the trigger on for various reasons, some very legitimate and others more out of fear. The thought of losing more of our life savings and the possibility of enduring more heartbreak and loss made it seem almost crazy to even consider trying again. In all honesty, I was ready to call it quits. I just needed a break from it all, but Chris wasn’t ready to throw in the towel yet.
And then something I will forever say was such a God thing happened. I got a message from a complete stranger that asked if she could talk and pray with us. This amazing soul from literally entirely across the county (Maryland to California) picked up the phone and spent almost an hour and a half offering advice, but mostly listening and praying with me. I got off that call and knew I wasn’t ready to give up. I had a renewed spirit in our calling to adoption.
In the fall of 2017, we completely switched gears and became an active family with our caseworker who had completed our homestudy 3 years prior. It turned out to be the best decision for our family. If you had asked me in the beginning how we felt about never knowing when we were being presented or matched, much less the idea of a stork drop baby, I think I would have laughed at you and told you no way!
In May of 2018, the Mighty Families by Adoption organization blessed us as their Spring Grant Awarded Family. While this helped tremendously in getting us closer to whole after all we had lost in our failed adoptions, more than anything it helped heal our hearts toward the adoption community. To have others in the community rally behind us and validate our story is something I will be forever grateful for. It is amazing how much the wait has allowed us to grow as individuals and as couple. That wait that I thought would swallow my heart whole, is now just part of everyday life. Those timing questions I had for God, they have turned into trust and joy in this season.
Our interactions with first mamas lessened the fear of an open adoption and have grown our hearts for them. This isn’t the journey we ever expected, but we are thankful for the growth and lessons we have experienced along the way. Throughout our journey to build our family Hebrews 6:19 has been cemented as our motto and silent prayer. There have been many times along the way that giving up would have been easier, but each day we get up and choose to have hope that our little one will join our family in His timing.
So, for now “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” — that’s the verse I have on my Tiny Tags and I will wear that reminder daily, close to my heart.
— Kelsey M.