It was surreal and thrilling. As the Adoption Specialist led us through a dimly lit hallway, we actually passed a family and the grandparents ooing and awwing over their new addition – a tiny infant boy. I wondered, “What are you feeling right now, new mom? After the long wait through being paper pregnant, your time has come. After filling out an endless stream of forms, having your home studied, your life studied, and an enormous payment made, you finally have your child.”
Before anyone gets ahead of themselves, let me be clear. We don’t know if we are adopting. We don’t know if that is the next step for us now or later, but oh my goodness, there are so many children in need and the stirring that has taken place in our hearts has forever changed its composition.
If I just say what I want, well….
I want to adopt a child.
I also want biological children.
I also want to eat Oreos every day without it poisoning my body. Don’t tell me I can’t have it all 😉
We arrived in Ft Worth at the Gladney Center for Adoption at 8:30am. As I saw other couples entering the double doors, I wondered if they were like me, going through infertility. We checked in and made our way to our table and there sat a couple we knew. Small world. We don’t know them very well, but they are well connected in some of the ministries we have been a part of and get this, they live a mere 5 minutes away from us. Teeny tiny world.
For most of the morning a caseworker walked us through what the process of adoption will entail: filling out basic info forms to reference letters to criminal background checks to financial statements to home studies to what kind of infant are you willing to adopt to how to create your profile book for birth mothers to court dates and attorneys to how to not lose your mind in this process and how to avoid paper cuts…and on and on it went. Yet, as much paperwork and information as it was, I didn’t feel all that overwhelmed. As a friend of mine says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Later that afternoon, adoptive parents (we’ll call them Gunther and Gertrude) shared some of their experience with us as their 6 month old mixed race baby (we’ll call him Galavant) babbled and gnawed on his toes.
“How did it feel as you waited 15 months for your baby boy?”, asked the caseworker.
“EXCRUCIATING”, they both said in tandem. This couple was loud, hilarious, and very honest.
“How did it feel when you got the call that a birth mom had chosen your family to adopt her baby?”
“Amazing. And overwhelming.” The mother continued to share about how in this case the baby was already 2 weeks old when the birth mom reached out to Gladney looking for adoptive parents. That weekend they had to fly from Michigan where they lived to meet and pick up their new addition. She said she had next to nothing for a baby – no nursery, no stroller, no diapers, nothing. She comedically said that because she was “afraid and bitter” she hadn’t bought anything – afraid that no birthmother would ever pick them and bitter as the waiting days grew in number. Like I said, they were a very honest couple.
As baby Galavant was being handed to her and simultaneously being taken from the birth mother, she said that…
She got her dream…
…and the birth mother got her heart broken.
Tears streamed down her face as she remembered the moment. It was clear that her heart still breaks for the birth mother. Their story, advice, and honesty was beautiful and real. I am so thankful that I got to hear it.
And I have a new respect for birth mothers.
They are so brave.
They know that they cannot provide the life their child will need so they set aside the motherly desire to hold their precious bundle forever in their arms and give them to another family. Wow.
We got to tour the dorms where some birth mothers choose to stay throughout their pregnancy. A couple of the birth mothers sat chatting in the shared living space while we passed through. The tall brunette looked to be maybe 15 years old. I looked at her baby bump and I felt both frustrated that she can accidentally get pregnant while we keeping trying month after month, but I also felt compassion and excitement to think that one day, we may adopt a baby from a girl like her.
So where does this leave us? Ready to be paper pregnant? Maybe. The staff at Gladney continued to remind us throughout the day that when adopting, you will receive the baby that is meant for you. They are not a Christian organization, but the undertones of faith and God’s sovereignty continued to be birthed through so much of what they said. “The baby that you will receive is meant to be yours. The wait will be worth it.”, they all said.
We are praying and covet your prayers too. We want to proceed with wisdom and part of that is being responsible stewards of our finances. It ISN’T practical financially speaking, but the Lord is not often concerned with practicality. I am confident that the Lord will move any financial mountains that stand in our way if this is indeed our hike.
Is our future baby still yet to be formed in my womb? Is our future baby yet to be formed in another woman’s womb? Either way, it will be a gift from the Lord that we will treasure with the greatest love.
Gunther, Gertrude, and Galavant, we wish you the best. Cody, Kasey, and bestchildever, we wait for you