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Our Adoption Story ~ A True Labor of Love

Today was Orphan Sunday at church. 

Our Mia is 3 already, and as I sat there listening this morning to the sermon, I felt led to share tonight more of the background of our story… I know many are trying to decide what the next step is, many are in the process, and many are waiting…

As we all know- not everything is easy, not everything can be planned, not everything comes in perfect little packages with bows, and our journey was exactly what I just said.  Long and not easy- but it did eventually have bows lots and lots of bows.

We all adopt for different reasons.  Infertility, desire to give back, and many others… I share this because wherever you are trust your heart.  God doesn’t just place it on our hearts he calls us to take care of the widows and the orphans… There’s not really a moment where you thought about it one time… There are so many ways to help beyond adopting just don’t quiet the voice that tells you a child is waiting for you!! It won’t be easy, it won’t be fast, but it will be the best thing that ever happens to you.  Our reasons to adopt started with the desire to give back and to expand our family… truly feeling called.  But our hearts were not ready for the true the plan, not mine anyways. 

My other brief words of wisdom is- don’t pray for patience… and don’t tell God what you don’t want to do!! He will make your journey long because you are learning patience and he will bring you full circle to why what you didn’t want is exactly what you needed!! This of course is all being said in retrospect!!

I had my oldest daughter 6 weeks early after going in to labor at 27 weeks.  I had our youngest son 10 weeks early after going into full labor at 25 weeks and being on absolute bed rest and many trips to the doctor to get the shots to hold out a little longer… Needless to say after our little guy, I was told I was too high risk.

My husband lost his job when our little guy was just 8 months old and we had found a job up in Seattle area from OK.  Movers were late, we had a deadline to meet, it was middle of December and we drove through a blizzard and ended up in  a ditch in Cheyenne… But upon reaching cell service just 30 minutes out of Seattle the job being given away was just another thing that this horrid moved needed.  My husband had met a family at a church when he was checking out the area we were moving too… They would become our new family for the next 2 months.  This family opened their doors and their hearts to ours- this family of 5 with absolutely no plan and no idea what God was trying to teach us. 

This time in my life was truly the biggest test of faith I think I had ever been through.  Nothing had ever shaken my world so big, as this move.  But at the same time where I should have been completely destroyed our family was all together, all healthy, and we had to fight thru this.  I remember praying one night that if we could just find a job, find a house I would open my home to whatever God had for us.  I would pay it forward like this family had done for us.  Laying it all out there at that one moment- was all I could do… God answered our prayers. 

 
And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.- Matthew 18:5
This was the verse I held onto before telling Dalton I felt called to open our home to a child who needed a forever home. 
I knew it was time. 
In Psalm 68 it tells us that God places the lonely in families….
 

We started the adoption journey 7 months later.  We interviewed several agencies to find one that fit our family.  We were told that relationships were so important- you will be working with these people day in and out for a long time.  We also wanted a Christian agency.  After all, God was a huge part of our story and feeling called to adopt.  We decided on a country~ because I was too scared of what could happen domestically and I just wanted to pick up our baby and come home.  Upon choosing our agency we found it had stopped doing international adoptions. {Here’s where you can start adding up all the God Stop moments!!} So we went with  our second choice.  We started the paper chase, our soon to be baby girls room sat upstairs perfectly decorated and ready, and we had done everything needed to send over to China to begin the wait…  But God again had different plans.  China had the Olympics coming in and changed a few qualifications for their applicants… and at scrutiny was my husband’s football player build.  Yes, his BMI wasn’t in line with their vision.  We were devastated… It was a call that broke my heart.  In one moments notice we needed to pick a new country and begin to start the process all over. 

We chose a new country and red flags were just flying up left and right.  And then the letter- not call, but letter that let us know this agency was closing it’s local doors and we would have a new social worker in another state taking over.  I again felt that pit in my stomach not sure what was happening.  You choose these agencies based on the relationship you build with the workers helping you… and that was lost.  The travel we were going to need to do was so long with 3 kiddos already at home needing you!!

My husband had lunch with friends after an event for one of the kids.  And for whatever reason, I wasn’t there.  They heard our frustrations and told Dalton about a local church who ran domestic adoptions at no cost.  That was all it took for my husband.  Joke, he loved their mission to provide families with children in need and it shouldn’t break the bank.  The pastor who ran it was an old football player who was angry with how much money it took to adopt both internationally and domestically.  That it couldn’t be what separated people from adopting.

For me it was more than just the money side it was the moment I told God I didn’t want to adopt from a birth mother or from the foster care system.  I didn’t want to enter into the risk that could possibly break our hearts.   So when Dalton told me we needed to just go hear the informational meeting, I cried.  The drive there I was alone because it was close to his work and I just met him there.  I prayed the entire time out loud and clear {not my usual approach but I knew He needed to hear me} I remember saying Lord you are going to have to speak to me in a way I have never heard you… Break all the fear I have off and make your way abundantly clear!! Can I just say, sometimes I think God may respect our directness… because I drove home that night in tears of joy and so excited that His plan was for us to be a home for His child for us… Not our perfect little plan.

We went thru PRIDE with the most amazing group of people.  We completed all the paperwork first and we had our home study… And then we waited.

I expected almost immediate placement.  We were so ready.  We held out getting our foster care license.  We agreed to adopt legally free and put ourselves out there for birth parents.  I remember my oldest son telling me once that I shouldn’t be scared that we could give these children a chance to feel real love and see Jesus through our love if only for a little while.  It was just after that the a birth mom and strung us a long and changed her mind, only to lose her child to foster care briefly after.  A few more upsets that I spoke of in my first writing to you here… And then Miss Mia was what we prepared for!!

But the things that are little- but so significant… the crib and bedding I had from day one of this process… I tried to sell on CL, and even give away at a garage sell… No one would buy it or take it!!  That job we lost all the years before… it took us to Seattle… and we firmly stand on the fact that it was to bring home this little angel!!

We couldn’t have ever written our plans out ~ the way story went.  We would have never known, that our idea to run to China and come home, would have taken almost 5 years.  That we adopt right there in our area.  We could have never known, that who God had for us, needed my heart to grow and change.  My heart needed to be open to His plan and His timing… It’s always greater than our own.  How was I to know??? Wasn’t my faith big enough to just believe??!! It was… but I am totally not patient… and I thought I was helping. { After all I grew up with a dad who taught me or was I who taught him… better things come to those who do something about it- to heck with waiting!! }   And although, all the things that could have been, wouldn’t have been bad things- they weren’t Mia.  And Oh My Dear Lord, I couldn’t live one day without that smile!! The hugs, the many marker drawings on my carpet and walls that I get to look at everyday and see those developmental milestones reached… I couldn’t begin to tell you how happy I am that His plans weren’t my own!!

Wherever you are in your journey- I pray for your peace, for your strength, and endurance to finish the race!! The rewards are there, things just aren’t ready for you yet!! It’s so hard to hear that when you are in the middle of the journey but it’s true!! “Everything rides on Hope Now, everything rides on faith somehow, and when the world has broken me down- your love sets me free!! Yes your love sets me free!!” I still tear up when I hear that song!! It carried me through the long days of heartbreak!! And now It brings me such joy to know it’s just soooo true!! I couldn’t have made it through this process without the faith I had in knowing that my God had the perfect child for us!!

Hope Now by Addison Road

Comments

  1. I love this story. We are never patient and it is so hard to hear if it is what we want or what God wants. I love Mia! I want to smooch her she is so cute!

  2. Lori-Mia is so beautiful, and your story is amazing. …XOXO

  3. Lori, Your story is precious and inspirational and especially dear to my heart because I have a little girl with Down Syndrome. Olivia is 12 and will turn 13 next month; she is the youngest of my four children and an absolute gift from God. She is my angel and I see that you have found your angel in Mia. She is beautiful. The fact that you gave your heart to this sweet angel by becoming her mother says a great deal about your character and letting God use you for His greater purpose!! “Truly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40 “Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 God bless you, your family and your precious Mia! Tina

  4. You are such a precious and strong person! Thanks so much for sharing your story and being such an inspiration in so many ways!

  5. Hi

    I have been reading your adoption story – so beautiful – brought tears to my eyes and joy in my heart. The Lord had truly blessed your family!

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