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Adoptive families can find hope, support, and countless blessings through the loving gift of adoption.
In this post, you’ll hear from Erin, an adoptive mom of three. Read her story below, and learn how she navigated the joys, challenges, and emotions of adoption.
Sitting in the morning sun in our house littered with dinosaurs, Barbies, and baby blankets, I sat in awe and wonder how we got here.
10 years ago, when my husband and I got married, we didn’t expect that this is how our life would look. We thought we would be able to get pregnant quickly and start out the life we had dreamed about, raising a family on our family farm. It took many struggles and disappointments to realize that life doesn’t always go according to our plans. In fact, not much at all does.
But we have trusted all along that God is in control — and we have slowly, sometimes stubbornly, learned that his plans are greater than anything we could have imagined.
Today, our family consists of three adopted children, each with their own unique adoption story and relationship with their birth families.
We went through two painful failed adoption placements before we met our son’s birth mother. That cold January day when he was born was one of the most amazingly joyful and humbling days of our lives.
I can’t describe the feeling of watching his birth mother hand over the child that just she gave birth to and place him in my husband’s arms. Trying to understand the extent of her loss and grief, while rejoicing in the fact that we had just been entrusted with the most precious gift we could ever receive, brought a flood of emotions. She and her extended family have become family to us, celebrating birthdays and holidays together, even vacationing with them.
When people first hear this, they find it strange, and we would have in the beginning, too. We never planned or expected this type of relationship, but it has become the most natural and rewarding thing for both them and us. We love that our son has the opportunity to have this type of relationship with his birth family and see that adoption is truly formed out of love.
Having such a wonderful experience with our son, we were ready to adopt again.
We knew the process might take years, so we started our home study right away. Unexpectedly, just 13 months after our son was born, we welcomed our daughter into our family.
We had received a phone call three weeks prior, explaining her situation and asking if we were ready to accept another placement, to which we excitedly answered, “Yes!” After she was born, our daughter had a two-week stay in the NICU, which was a new and scary experience for us. We never met her birth mother, but we remain open if she would choose to pursue a relationship with us.
Our hearts were full. We had received two beautiful blessings and were soaking up life together as a family of four. Having two children so close together was a lot of work and a lot of wiping — counters, noses, bottoms — but to this day they, share such a special bond from being so close, and they have brought so much life and joy to our family.
Two and a half years later, we were ready to add to our family again.
We began working with Gifts Of Grace, which was more local for us than our previous agency. We were shown potential birth families time and time again and continued to get the same response: not chosen. Our home study expired after a year of waiting, and we began to wonder if we should keep trying. Maybe our family was already complete? But we continued to feel called and knew that in the right timing, God would provide the child that was meant to be a part of our family.
The call came when we were out of state attending a farm meeting. A baby boy had just been born unexpectedly, and his birth mother had chosen us. We were asked, “How quickly could you get to the hospital?” They call it a “stork drop”… one call that changes your life forever. We changed flights, packed our bags, and headed home as soon as we could.
We were able to meet his birth mother at the hospital and spend some time with her. Our son was born two months prematurely, and so we had another extended stay in the NICU. Although a different situation, we had more of an idea of what to expect this time. It was a difficult season of having our family spread out — our other two children staying with family, my husband continuing to work and travel back-and-forth to the hospital, and me staying full time at the hospital to bond with and care for our son. We were finally released to go home and begin life as a family of five.
Our two older children, who are now 4 and 5, are absolutely thrilled about having a new baby brother. My daughter thinks that he’s her real-life baby doll!
Although adoption is born out of loss, struggle, heartache, and waiting, we have seen time and time again the blessing and healing that can come from our children’s stories.
We talk very openly with our kids about their adoption stories and their birth families. We share their stories in terms that they’re able to comprehend now at a preschool level, but we will continue to provide the details as they are developmentally ready.
Our children have brought joy, purpose, and love beyond measure not just to us, but to our extended family and friends who have shared this journey with us. It’s been a hard road, but we would do it all again because … it’s worth it. Every time.
In hindsight, we can see how God‘s hand was in every heartache we experienced, every “no” we heard, and each period of silence in the waiting. And today, I sit here in my living room cluttered with toys, feeding our newborn and thanking God for adoption and the journey that has led us here.
We can help you navigate the joys, challenges, and emotions of adoption.
Gifts of Grace Adoption Support Center has worked with expecting moms, adoptive families, and children in the Lafayette, Indiana community since 2013. We believe that quality, affordable, Christ-centered adoption services empower pregnant moms and dads, create thriving adoptive families, and help all children be placed in a loving home.