National Adoption Month: ABCs of Adoption: V (4 Memories)
In honor of National Adoption Month, thousands of members of the adoption triad shared their adoption stories on social media. I joined in & used "The ABCs of Adoption" as a guide to help me share my heart on adoption topics.
Ashley Mitchell of BigToughGirl ministries came up with this cool way to share about adoption this month. Search #btgadoption on Instagram for more beautiful, honest, inspiring & raw adoption stories. Click here, here, here & here to read my other "ABCs of Adoption" posts.
V is for...Vivid
4 memories stand out to me as the most vivid moments of our journey over the past few years. In these memories, both my deepest sorrow & greatest joy reside.
Vivid Memory 1: Despair
"Infertility." Everything seemed to cave in around me the moment I heard that word applied to us for the first time. It was Christmas week 2013. We had been trying for about a year to conceive. Even before I hung up the phone with the nurse, I was shaking & my face was wet with tears. I crawled into our bed & under the covers as my body shook with sobs. As I laid there processing our diagnosis, my heart physically hurt & I could barely breath. Shock, anger & despair filled me. I felt darkness closing in around me from every side. For me, the pain overwhelmed everything else... In those first moments & in the weeks to come, I couldn't grasp even an ounce of hope. I felt betrayed by our bodies & by God. In my mind, I saw all the dreams I'd had since I was a little girl fade away into nothing but a gaping hole of loss. The heartbreak was sharp, intense, & overwhelming... My pain was real & deep...for a time it would control & destroy me.
Those first minutes & hours seemed like an eternity. I managed to call Cary. Between panicked sobs I told him the news. His response was so different from mine which immediately hurt me & made me feel even more isolated. Cary is the most hopeful, faith-filled, optimistic person I know. He was sure there had been a mistake & that new tests would show normal results...he called it faith, I called it denial. Instead of his attitude encouraging me, it angered me. Right from the beginning there was a difference in how we processed things & it made us feel disconnected from one another. In that first moment of disconnect, Satan stepped into the space & started to do all he could to widen the gap between us.
As the days went on, a deep sadness settled over me. I found it difficult to function properly, cried frequently & withdrew from everyone. I would wake up at night with tears on my cheeks & a hollowness inside of me. I couldn't imagine a future without children. In my pain, I pushed God away. I simply couldn't fathom how a loving Father could ever take away what His daughter desired most. I couldn't see it at the time, but God was there with me, holding me in His loving arms & leading us on a path that was more beautiful & redemptive than we could have imagined.
Vivid Memory 2: Joy
One of my most vidid memories from our first adoption journey is the moment Isabel was born. Laying eyes on my daughter as she entered the world was, hands down, the most beautiful moment of my life. I wrote this post for National Adoption Month last year & wanted to share it again.
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Years of prayer came to fruition the day our lives collided. We met in a hospital room, like mothers & daughters usually do. However, our story is not as simple as most.
Your daddy held me close as the nurses in the room seemed to shift into high gear. You were finally coming & you were coming fast. Sterile hospital gown & gloves were slipped on & then all of a sudden it was time. My hands were shaking & my heart beating so fast. I looked up at your birth mother, at the clock & then back at your daddy one final time. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next.
As I stood at your birth mom's bedside, waiting for you to arrive, watching her to bring you into the world & into my arms, time seemed to stand still. After all the waiting, dreaming & hoping, there you were in the flesh...tiny, beautiful & so perfect. As I held you, everyone else faded away for a moment & my heart exploded with JOY. You daddy leaned in & there we were, a family of three. Our long journey to find you finally made perfect sense.
Vivid Memory 3: Fear
The hardest part of our adoption journey came after Isabel was born. In Georgia there is a revocation period of 10 days. During this 10 day window, the birth mom has the right to change her mind about the adoption plan & choose to parent. On one hand, our 10 day waiting period was a time of joy as we took care of & bonded with the precious baby girl we loved with all our hearts...but it was also a time of exhaustion, anxiety & great fear for me.
In the week following Izzy's birth, her birth family experienced a tragedy unrelated to the adoption. We were all on our knees in prayer & hoping for a miracle. This emotional trauma just added to the post birth pain her birth mom was going through. On top of the normal revocation period anxiety, we had heightened worry. God answered prayers & brought miraculous healing to C's family situation. She ended up never wavering in her decision to place Isabel with us, but at the time we were living moment to moment with no idea how things would play out.
When all of this was going on, I was a complete mess..physically & emotionally. As we counted down the days, I was paralyzed with fear of what could happen. I remember so vividly kneeling in the closet of the condo we were staying in & crying out to the Lord with all my soul. God met me in that moment of fear. His love surrounded me & gave me strength. He whispered to my heart that Isabel was His beloved daughter & His mighty hand was on her life...He reassured me that I didn't have to live in fear.
Vivid Memory 4: Peace
Hours before we heard about Noah's birth mom, I was praying when the Lord told me to "rest" in Him. Later that day, we heard about him for the first time. We were given very few details about his adoption situation, but God gave us peace to say yes & send our profile book. His peace would carry us through the next 4 weeks as we prepared for our son, experienced his birth & waited 6 days for the adoption papers to be signed.
I vividly remember the moment in the above photo as one of great peace. After Noah was born, we were able to immediately get settled into our own hospital room & have skin to skin. As I laid there with our brand new boy snuggled into me, I could feel God's peace covering me. My heart was so confident that He would carry us through whatever the coming hours & day held. I knew that we were still in a uncertain place & had no control over how things would play out. We didn't know for sure that the sweet boy we loved so much would indeed forever be our son... All we could do was love him with everything we had, love his birth mom in any way she needed & put our trust in the Lord. It's a scary place to be but God truly covered us with His peace. Over the next few days we were discharged from the hospital with Noah & came home to wait out the remaining days until the adoption papers to be signed. Even when nothing was certain & doubt, fear & anxiety tried to press in from every side, our hearts were able to truly rest in supernatural peace from the Lord. Noah means "peace & rest" Thankful for the God's hand on Noah's life!
As always, please feel free to share our story with anyone who needs advice & encouragement as they consider adoption!
Feeling so blessed by our incredible community of love & support. -Tyler