“When my husband, Matt, and I first talked about our heart for adoption many years ago, we had no idea the plans God would lay out as we embarked on this journey. Although He used infertility as a vessel to jumpstart the process, it’s by no means a plan B, but rather has always been God’s perfect first plan for us. In 2010, we were relocated to Chicago from the east coast by Matt’s job. After just a year of employment in this new city, he got laid off. We were already into our pursuit of adoption and this unfortunate let-go, just reinforced God’s clear plan of why He even led us to Illinois in the first place… to build our family! We were so blessed to be introduced to Evangelical Children and Family Agency through a close friend from church who was currently going through the adoption process. We truly believe that our adoption journey would have been much different, if it had not been for the godly leadership and support that we received from the staff at ECFA.
We knew that going with a smaller agency could possibly increase our wait time, but we felt confident that the care we would receive from them would outweigh our uncertainty of a timeline. And mostly, we knew of the care that our future birth mother would receive; the loving kindness and support to make the healthiest choice for herself and her baby, whether that included adoption or not. Our wait did turn into longer than we had hoped or imagined and by the 3 year mark, it became clear that I was struggling with my timing for a family, as opposed to God’s timing. I hit a point in the wait where I just needed to fully surrender my heart and desires unto to Him. There are so many things that are going on in the adoption process that are unseen, as when God is working a million things! Our social worker, Barb, was such a blessing and encouragement to us through that difficult waiting time; praying with us and assuring us of God’s timing and provision during the process.
I received a promotion during this time and ironically enough, after 9 months in my new position, we got that unforgettable call. Our birth mother, whom had viewed our profile with 2 others, had chosen us to be the family to adopt her son! I will never forget the surreal elation that overwhelmed our hearts. A week later we met with her at the agency. We were so nervous and excited all at the same time. I can’t begin to tell you how God orchestrated that meeting and how smoothly everything went. The experience felt so natural and our love for this woman was instantaneous. She then pulled out her phone to show us a picture of our soon to be son, and I wept as I knew God had brought us to the moment we had waited so long for. When we decided that we wanted to grow our family again, it never crossed our minds to go in any other direction than through ECFA. Because the wait could be long again, they did recommend that we branch out to other agencies to get more exposure, if we would like. So we did just that. Waiting for number 2 was much easier, as we had our first son to keep us quite busy! However, the journey to our second son was also very difficult in its own ways; and in some ways, even harder.
We got the call on Monday and flew to Rhode Island the next day. After many hurdles, and a month staying in Rhode Island, we went home without him, not knowing if one day we would be bringing him home. After 4 months of legal work from afar in Illinois, we were able to bring him home that November, under Rhode Island’s guidelines to foster to adopt. It wasn’t until another year later, on December 4th, that we officially adopted him into our family! We see God’s hand of provision through each step of the way and into the details of our open adoptions. The relationships we have are truly a gift and I believe God designed them for our family. Adoption is both beauty and ash… a story of redemption that God has allowed in the here and now.
The adoption triad has loss for all parties involved and yet, God has given us a sweet gift amidst that hardship. Our birth families and the sacrifices they have made are not lost on us. We are so grateful that we serve a Lord who is in the business of redeeming things and has allowed us to build our family on that foundation. As Christians we always seem to be in a season of “wait”; whether it’s for a spouse, a child, or another answer to prayer. Yet, we are ultimately awaiting the fullness of Christ and His return. Through our adoption process, we started to see that parallel of waiting. By God’s grace and His power in spirit, we tried to use our time wisely and “to be content in all circumstances” (Phil. 4:11-13). The theme of “waiting and trusting” is weaved through our entire adoption journey. I am grateful to the Lord that He allowed us to see a glimpse of His purposes in those times, and that we didn’t completely miss the good He was doing. Of course, we can’t always see God’s full plan, we rarely do, at least not on this side of Heaven.”