For years and years, my family liked the thought of adoption more than we liked the idea of actually doing it. Before Mercy was born, we came very close to adopting but we didn’t. We didn’t. I think that happens to alot of people…
About a year ago Momma went through & cleaned out all the old baby stuff. She said it made her a little sad but she was also excited about the ‘next chapter’ (we always find ourselves thinking in terms of books around here). After that, we didn’t have ANYTHING left. We assumed Mercy would be the youngest & so we wouldn’t need any of that stuff anymore… Then God spoke to Momma & Dad’s (and all of our) hearts, ‘begining’ with Isaac (the son of a family we know). Shortly after the Mathenia’s brought this wonderful boy home we had their family over to supper, and that was one of the last times we had Mrs. Amber over to our house. It is so strange to think how God used that one Sunday afternoon to change our lives for ever & ever. It is strange to wonder, if we had not had them over, wether we ever would have adopted at all? You never know when God is using you. Make the most of every opportunity. God used Mr. Anthony & Mrs. Amber (and sweet Ellie & Isaac) in an amazing way that day to change our family’s veiw on Adoption- and I didn’t have to wait until Monday when Momma called Life Choices for the first time (‘just for some imformation’) to see what was happening in Momma & Dad’s heads.
We did not find out what people meant when they talked about waiting at first. We recieved our initial paperwork from Life Choices & Momma & Dad started working on filling it out- there is ALOT they want you to do! And we began our homestudy- our first visit was the 17th of January. We had to have all sorts of medical things (tests, exams, be sure no one has TB, so on and so on), Momma & Dad had to write seperate bio’s and fill out about 75 million pages of paper work, and on, and on.
Some opposition came & stung our hearts, but it could not undo what God had done in us. Our enthusiasium could not be quenched. During the first few months, Mrs. Amber always had words us encouragement… but after God took her home, it suddenly felt like all of our support was ripped away. It felt like we were alone, like no one was left who ‘approved’ of us adopting a child. When we realised what we had lost in Mrs. Amber, we almost let ourselves believe that no one else in the world cared in a positive way about adoption. It hurt, and (I can only speak for what my heart felt) honestly if it were not for God, who came & filled that hole, I do not know if Josiah would ever have come. I wrote in Josiah’s book (which I kept for him throughout his adoption) after Mrs. Amber died: “In my human mind, this was not supposed to happen. Mrs. Amber was suppsed to appear in these pages, her smile was supposed to encourage us on our adoption journey. … She was supposed to someday hold our baby like we held Isaac [when he first came]. … Help me to trust You, God! … ” and later: “[we are] feeling a bit alone right now… God gave us one person who [we knew] was truly supportive, who never failed to ask what was going on, who answered questions and she seemed like the person who really even cared … and then took her back away from us… I will never forget the emcouragement we recieved from [them] those first few months. … I guess we should not expect everyone to want to talk about our adoption [all the time], but still… it seems as though we don’t have anyones support… but I know it’s not that way… …” Then I talked about some specific ways how God seemed to send encouragement- begining with a specific thing that happened the Sunday night following Mrs. Amber’s going Home. We foud that God would not have us relying on Mrs. Amber’s support. We were to trust Him fully. He was our support, as we found when we leaned on Him. Mrs. Amber was not the center of our adoption story. God was, and we were made to remember it again.
Meanwhile, we were continuing to head toward a new child slowly but surely. Slowly, because we could only move forward as the funds were provided- but surely, because God always provided.
It was the beginning of March when ‘the’ call first came. We did not have a completed homestudy & had not yet submitted out Adoption application to Life Choices when we first recieved a call about a baby girl, who they asked us to pray about. She had several health risks (her birthfamily had a history of mental illnesses) and they wanted to know if Momma & Dad would consider her. We knew that we didn’t even have the money yet to finish our homestudy & we sure didn’t have the placement fee, but after some prayer Momma called J and told her we would be 100% willing to be a potential ‘Baby Girl #1’ family if we could somehow make it work- somehow raise the money in time. That was when Momma asked J when the baby was due, and found out it was March 3- the day before. It was so hard to hear that & to think that there was such a slim chance of us ever being a potiential family for this baby who we firmly believed would be perfectly wonderful no matter what. Momma & Dad had to tell J that we were not ready. The rest of the month of March slipped by. We were working on raising funds & continuing slowly to move forward inch by inch- including finishing our homestudy.
It was April 1st when I wrote in Josiah’s book: “we find that there was a mix-up, and Baby Girl #1 is not due until May 3, which means we could still be a potential family for her…” This news was so energizing. We went ahead & bought a carseat in order to be ready just in case. We sent in the application & got ‘officially’ approved. We kept working on fundraising. It is a long story (which I won’t to go into), but we knew that if we could just get one more document, we could file ammended tax returns & get back more than enough to pay the placement fee. Momma kept trying to push that through faster. We had thought before that the baby would be a boy but suddenly everyone had a ‘gut feeling’ that it was a girl. A few entrys later in Josiah’s book “We got [the document] today!!! … Yes! we are now a Baby Girl #1 potetial family!…” Birthmom was sceduled to have the baby on the 29th. I remember how long it seemed to take for that day to arrive. Sometime during those weeks was when I first fell in love with this baby. Strange how that could happen when ‘she’ was not even born yet. Finally the day arrived. I am sure it must have been rather comical, all of us sitting around all day staring at the phone. Of course the baby was born safely, and as I suspect you have all guessed it was not Baby Girl at all- it was Josiah. Not that weknew that at the time- we did not even find out he was a boy until two days after. So- now that I look back at the dates, it was only May 7th when Josiah’s birthmom first looked and the profiles, but you must understand- to us, those 8 days could not possibly be longer. J and birthmom’s counselor dropped the profile books- ours & another- by birthmom’s house at 9:00 on the 7, but it was not until the 14th that we found out who would be Josiah’s family. If we thought the first week after Josiah’s birth was long, this was way longer. We had kept a copy of our profile book here, and that book got looked at more times that one week than all the rest of its life put together- I guess we just wanted to remind ourselves what she was lookig at.
While we could not have been more excited about the possibility of having the priviledge of becoming the family of this sweet boy, our hearts hurt for birthmom. We could only imagine the deep pain she & her young children were going through during those weeks. We had heard some about her from J and were so touched by what a sweet woman she seemed to be, and how much she loved this little baby who (we did not know yet) would soon become ours.
At 2:29 on the 14 of May I wrote in Josiah’s book- in very bad hand which I can barely make out now-: “Mommas on the phone in her room w/ J right now and I think- I dont want to say what I think- Oh! Thank you so much God! What a kind father you are!…” You see, I had heard Momma’s end when she answered the phone (naughty Ellen to evesdrop so!) and I had heard her say “What?…” “No, tell me…” “Tell Me!!!…” “[undescribable gasp/sucking in of air sound]” “oh my gosh you’re joking!”, which Momma says is not what she would have planned to say. As soon as Momma got off the phone she called Daddy at work & then there was a shocked moment of wondering who to call now. Momma said what I was thinking – that there was that unspoken plan to call Mrs. Amber- and we couldn’t. That was a very hard moment. Finally Momma started dialing & it took off from there. We got an email from Josiah’s foster mom with our first pictures of him. This is the first of him we saw:
Then came June 9th. This is what I wrote in his book: “[June 10th, 2008] The ups & downs of these last days have been a little bit much for me to write about- and so I have not been here in a time.
Things often don’t seem to go the way we planned them. In our plans, Josiah would have been with us a month or so ago when we wanted him so keenly. I still wonder, why? Why did God not bring him then? But I know, and am persuaded, that Gods perfect plan was for Josiah & us to be apart for that time… I know that patience worketh godliness… and I know that now, when prince Josiah is here with us, it doesn’t matter anymore. Yestreday was placement…”
I told about placement, but I’ll spare all the details here. Josiah coming home was not the end of his story, but it is all I can tell now. It was several more months of ups & downs & wondering (as I mentioned in part 2) if they did re-pos before the money finally came & we paid the ‘placement’ fee. Now there are the legal fees for the finalization in Dec. & his adoption will be something in the past. We are already wondering where the money to pay for that will come from. Haven’t we learned yet that God always provides? I cannot thank everyone enough: our friends who rallied around us, supported us, and helped bring Josiah home. You were some of Gods hands & feet in Josiahs story, the Mathenia family who God used in such a real & visible way to bring Josiah to us, and our great and Kind Father, who is so kind to His children- He is the one who provided everything we needed. He is the one who holds us up in the hard times & brings us to rivers of Joy. He is the one who blessed us beyond measure by putting this wonderful boy in our arms.
Josiah is absolutely the sweetest baby on earth. I could never imagine living a better life here than the life God has blessed me to have. I cannot imagine any child more perfect for our family than Josiah. It makes me sad to think about all the people who miss out on so many wonderful children because they are ‘afraid of what it will do to their family’. When did a blessing become something to be afraid of? When did children become something to avoid? When did this happen?
Every day of our lives, Josiah adds that much extra Joy- and as Dr. Voddie Baucham said once referring to his (adopted) children “actually, there is this bonus BECAUSE they are adopted, because they joined our family the way we became a part of God’s family…”*** As I read back over what I have written, I realise that there is so much more that I forgot to put in- so many parts of Josiahs story that I forgot to put in. Maybe someday I will rewrite it, but for now this will have to do.
***I do not remember the exact quote & can’t look it up ’cause the DVD is at the Brandons. This is a paraphrase & I’m sure Dr. Baucham said it much better***