I guess it’s time to tell you all our crazy story about how I came to be a mommy in 3 days.
Adoption has been my calling since I was 12, even before I could understand what that decision would truly mean. I saw a tv special about civil war ravaged Romania and all the orphans left in overcrowded orphanages with almost no care and no one to love them and knew right then that I should give those kids a home. Now, I was 12 so that obviously couldn’t happen then, but as my life went on the call to adoption was always in the back of my mind.
Fast forward many years, I found myself working in a law office after college (I am NOT an attorney). My college roommate and best friend had experienced many years of infertility and had just begun to be a foster parent when the planets aligned and God put several people in the right place at the right time and we were asked to find a family for a baby about to be born. That was the first adoption of which I got to be a part and it was a true miracle. She actually went on to adopt her foster children and have a biological child and I got to be a part of all that too. Helping build families is one of the most amazing things I have ever gotten to do.
Fast forward several more years, most of my friends had gotten married and proceeded to have families. I became the cool aunt and godmother to several. During that time I also began having, what I will just call for my own privacy’s sake, “female problems”. I was told that having children biologically would be problematic. Now here is where I seem to be an exception to the rule. I never struggled with my infertility. God blessed me with already having the knowledge years before that my family wouldn’t happen that way and, having seen others struggle, I now realize what a gift that has been. There were days when I wondered if I was supposed to try the ‘old fashioned way’ to have a baby, sure, especially when our adoption wait had moved into more than a year and the adoption expenses were adding up, but I have never felt that deep desire that many women have to want to be pregnant. It just didn’t matter to me, so I cannot relate to the struggles of infertility in that respect, even though I have that issue.
As time went on, I finally met my husband, Cherokee (yes that is his real name), and we had that whole kid conversation while we were dating. You never know when having biological children (or not having them) is a deal breaker for someone, but thankfully, after some discussion, he saw that adoption could be the path for him as well. We are a little older for the 1st time parenting gig so we knew that we wanted to start the adoption process right away, but most agencies make you wait a year after you are married to start. When you are in your 20’s that is no big deal, but gets harder as you go on. We researched all the options and decided international adoption was for us and chose Nicaragua and decided we’d be open to accepting a match with a sibling pair of 2 to 3 kids under 5 years old, but the week we were about to start the application process, we learned that Cherokee could not work remotely, so there went Plan A. Thankfully we hadn’t actually started yet.
Plan B was to adopt a newborn domestically. This was the next fastest route to have a child. Some agencies have age limits in the mid 40s and we weren’t getting any younger so that seemed like the best idea. We started looking at several agencies and private attorneys all over the US. We settled on an attorney in Florida and an agency in our home state of Kentucky, but we kept hearing that our best bet would be networking and finding a child on our own, so we told anyone and everyone that we wanted to adopt. It’s amazing how many families are touched by adoption in one way or other and you hear all their stories.
More time passed and we had been active and waiting for over a year. We looked into foster care and even started classes but were told we would have to choose between foster and private adoption because we couldn’t be active in both. We had already been with our private agency waiting for so long that we didn’t want to lose our spot if a situation became available so we stopped the foster parent classes and the wait for a match continued.
The wait ended up being over a year and a half, with several possible situations but no match. The morning after my birthday we decided to put our adoption search on the back burner and let things run their course. We weren’t stopping the search. We were just discouraged from the wait. We had been praying, along with everyone we knew, for over a year and a half for God to send us the child who was meant to be ours but nothing had happened. We didn’t doubt that God had a plan. We were just impatient. We had several possibilities and close calls, excitement when we got close and disappointment when it didn’t happen. We even had a friend and a family member both be randomly approached to adopt babies when they had not even been looking and we had been waiting, searching, and networking for what felt like forever. We were very happy for them, of course, and their children are amazing, but it just made us doubt our own situation. We were just beaten down by the process. We were tired and we decided to focus on other things for a while and stop obsessing about a child.
Then suddenly, our 3-day whirlwind began. That very night we decided to leave it finally and completely in God’s hands and let him decide and stop trying to force our own time and will, He did just that. We received a call from a close friend we had known for years who had just recently married a Dr., as his and our luck would have it. The Dr. knew a mother looking for a placement for her 6 month old son (for reasons I won’t get into here for privacy sake). The Dr. had told her about us and she wanted to meet the next day! That was Wednesday. Thursday evening we met her, filled with all the questions and anticipation you can imagine. It was very awkward at first, but as we talked the conversation began to flow and she asked us if we wanted to keep the baby for the weekend. We were thrilled and immediately accepted of course! On Friday I ran all over town buying things for a 6 month old. We had prepared a nursery months ago, but everything we had was for a newborn! We needed diapers, a high chair, older kid toys..so many things! It all happened so fast that we hadn’t even told our families for fear of disappointing them, but we told my family that day and Cherokee’s family that evening. We got our little man that Friday evening, he met the families and we all fell in love. We drove home that night with a baby! He was supposed to be ours for the weekend and then we would all make a plan, but he has ended up being with us ever since and his adoption was finalized a year and 2 weeks after those fateful crazy 3 days. We have a great relationship with his first family and see them often.
We are truly blessed. God gave us another miracle of putting everyone in the right place, at the right time, to make us a family and now our son has a great, big tribe to help him navigate this crazy world.