God writes the best stories, my friends! I have the incredible privilege of watching these stories unfold from the first inquiry email all the way to that wonderful text with a picture of a couple holding their little one for the first time. And while I may be a little biased, I get to work with some of the greatest families. Alex and Mara are one of those families and as we walked through the process together, my admiration for this sweet couple grew as I watched them lean into the Lord through every step. While every journey is different, theirs was a whirlwind that caught us all by surprise! Last August they reached out to me after hearing about CAC from their friends who had worked with me for their adoption. We spent the next few months chatting about the process and what it would look like to work with CAC. In November they were ready to get started, and I began working on their family profile for them. By December they were sending off applications to our multiple agencies and began considering adoption situations. What we all didn't realize was that in a matter of a few weeks, their little one would be in their arms. They share more of their story below.
The story of growing our family began with a prayer of letting go of control. Conversations about trying to have a baby were basically brainstorming sessions about how ideally we could plan things out, what we felt was best for us. And while planning and thinking things through isn't necessarily bad, neither of us wanted to cling so tightly to our ideas of what's best for our lives. So we asked God to soften our grip on our future and to take control Himself, we asked for His plan and His timing.
It's crazy how quickly your heart can turn from, "let's see if we get pregnant" to "how come we're not pregnant?". The next two years we'd unsuccessfully try to conceive, even once, and experience the hardest struggle either of us had faced up to that point. We subconsciously lowered our hopes and expectations each month, so that when we inevitably got another "no" it would be a confirmation of what we thought, rather than another exhausting and deflating disappointment. Adoption was far from our minds initially because we just assumed that at some point we'd get pregnant. The idea of adoption even angered me because entertaining that thought, in my mind, meant the death of a lifelong dream. Pregnancy announcements from friends, family, and even strangers felt like shattering news. Pictures of gender reveals and showers and weekly updated "baby bumps" could illicit cursing, depression, or cynicism. And although our story was completely separate from theirs, and although from 30,000 feet those reactions may seem short-sighted or harsh, the reality was that in each of those moments we were faced with and reminded of a deep longing we had that was so starkly unfulfilled.
That was the emotional and mental environment in which we lived and operated: one that could blind us and consume us so quickly. Within that sadness and longing and anger, however, God was at the same time doing good work. We grew closer as husband and wife. We learned in deeper ways what the other person needed in their darkest moments, and how we could love each other in that. God asked hard questions like, "If you never get pregnant, am I still enough? Will you still want Me?" He exposed idolatry and selfishness. While every fiber within us wanted His plan to just happen and to finally grant us our desperate desire, He challenged us to embrace the waiting, to dig our roots in deeper, and to lift our hands in praise to Him. He called us "son" and "daughter" and told us that our future child would be His first, and accordingly He was going to take care of this, not us.
Over the course of our last several months of "trying", God somehow changed our trepidation towards adoption to excitement. We began to genuinely feel that adoption wasn't our Plan B. It was always our Plan A because it was always God's Plan A, we just didn't know it. And His plan was what we prayed for at the very beginning. It was unbelievable to see how quickly and smoothly God began to move things once we began to look into adoption. He surrounded us with unbelievable people like Leah, who encouraged us, prayed for us, and made us feel grounded while doing something that we knew nothing about and felt so huge and daunting.
We were officially home study approved a couple days before Christmas and received our first situation a few days after Christmas. Over the next couple weeks we'd pray, talk, cry, and occasionally stress about what we should do as a handful of situations were passed along to us. On Thursday January 19th we presented our profile to a situation and on Monday morning found out that the birth mother had chosen a different family. We felt disappointed, but knew that God had meant that baby for a different family and He had one in mind for us. Four hours later we got a phone call from another agency we had applied to. There was a baby that had been born four days earlier, the birth mother wanted to make an adoption plan and because it was moving so quickly they showed her several profiles, including ours...and she chose us! We were floored. We hoped for a quick match like anyone else but it wasn't supposed to happen like this. We'd been waiting a month. We had zero baby things. Our nursery was empty. We didn't even know our profile was being shown. Although the next three days were a shaky, nervous blur, we ended up meeting our son Asher three days after that phone call and brought him home two weeks later.
We feel like we still have not processed all that has happened, but we know that God did not stumble upon Asher, or us as his parents. While we were seeing a fertility specialist, Asher had a heartbeat and was growing. While we were crying with each other, angry at God, or dejected at not having a child, our son existed and was waiting for us. God has exceeded all our small expectations about what He would do. If we have the chance to love on others who are going through adoption, I don't know that we'd have anything profound to say, other than to simply remind them that God is crazy about them. That may sound overly simplistic but we can't look at our son Asher and not be taken aback by how crazy God loves us and him. We couldn't see His plan or see our son's face until now, but we now get to tearfully and joyfully say, "Come and see what the Lord has done!"
Congratulations Alex and Mara! What an honor and joy it was to watch your story unfold!
If you are interested in learning more about domestic adoption email me at firstname.lastname@example.org