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Adoption Story: John and Melody

Oh how I loved watching John and Melody’s adoption story unfold - less than ONE month after they were home study approved, they were matched with an expectant mama and within a few days they were boarding a plane on their way to meet their son!  Today Melody shares all the details...

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SHORTLY AFTER OUR FIRST "NO," WE DECIDED TO PRESENT TO ANOTHER EXPECTANT MOM. 
She was due April 30th with a little boy, and we were ecstatic. While it almost felt like we didn't even give that first "no" time to settle, we couldn't come up with any reasons to NOT present again so soon. This seemed like the perfect situation, and we were excited. We presented (gave our profile book) to Mama T, almost 36 weeks along, expectant with a son. Two days later, I received a call from Florida around 2 pm on Friday, March 31st. With our consultant, a call is GOOD news. But this wasn't from our consultant's number, so I answered not knowing what to anticipate. It was indeed the adoption agency in Florida. 

"SHE PICKED YOUR PROFILE AND WANTS TO TALK WITH YOU TONIGHT."
I always wondered what this moment would be like, the moment when someone decided WE would be a good fit with their beloved child.
Unworthiness instantly washed over me. Then panic. I'm pretty sure I looked like a complete dork as I waved my arms around, trying to signal to John that our profile had been chosen. He looked at me perplexed, but I was trying to focus on our adoption case worker's every word to make sure that I understood everything that was about to happen next. Finally I was able to catch my breath and get out a line to John — She picked us!

I proceeded to call our consultant and let her in on the news (again, a little backwards—but with Mama T being already 36 weeks along, everything was a tad bit scrambled). Then we prepared for "the call."

Both us and Mama T were rather nervous, but this hour and a half call was nothing short of wonderful. We got to know her, she got to know us and ask us a lot of important questions (showing just how much she truly loves her child), and we both got off the phone, confident in moving forward.


AND THEN SUNDAY HAPPENED.  
We were out to lunch with friends when I got a text from Mama T saying she wasn't feeling well and may be experiencing preeclampsia. We knew that meant an early arrival for baby, so we prayed for her—then scrambled to get things in place just in case things started happening quickly. 
The next 24 hours were a blur. But to sum it up: On Monday (April 3rd), Mama T was admitted to the hospital and we waited, prayed, and talked with her throughout the day. On Tuesday morning, April 4th, we received the news that she would be induced. Within hours we were on a direct flight to Florida.

When we boarded, I received one last text from Mama T. "He hasn't come yet... I think he's waiting on you."

My heart overflowed. And then I rambled to her. I texted that we were praying for her, for her son, for the doctors—that if he didn't make his appearance before we landed, we'd be at the hospital to hold her hand and be there for her during labor... I turned my phone to airplane mode and prepared for an all too long 3 and half hour flight.

We landed at 11 pm EST. I quickly turned my phone back on, and saw the simple text. He was here. He had been born. No other details other than our son was born. Mama T was tired. We'd visit in the morning.



THE NEXT MORNING, APRIL 5TH, I SHOT A TEXT TO MAMA T TO CHECK IN ON HER WHILE WE WERE EATING BREAKFAST.  
Boundaries are HARD, my friends! If it were up to me, I would have been out of bed by 6, skipped breakfast, and heck—even a shower, then been at the hospital no later than 7. But God had me practice patience.
We had told Mama T we'd be at the hospital around 9 am, so we figured we'd make our way though we still hadn't heard from her. We swung by the grocery store to pick out a little vase of flowers. "Yellow. Yellow is happy... I want a yellow vase with yellow flowers, something to brighten up her room."

Walking out of the grocery store with happy flowers in hand, I received a text from our adoption case worker. "Don't go to the hospital."

My heart raced—in a different way than it had in the last 24 hours. My butterflies turned into a different feeling in the pit of my stomach. John, being the "man of reason" as he usually is, put his arm around me and assured me everything was okay. God holds it all. And I was confident in that. Mama T was tired. She just needed time. I can give time.

We decided to go by Walmart (since—you know—we were slightly under prepared given our timeline and all), and I was in the checkout line when our adoption case worker called me.

I can't disclose what she said, or what exactly happened next... but the next three hours were the most difficult hours of my entire life.

I had to leave the vase of flowers in the car when we got back to our hotel room. My eyes were holding back confused tears. My hand couldn't hold John's any tighter. My mom was so gracious in giving us distance, yet being there for us at the same time. Those next three hours held so many prayers, questions, anger, grief, tears... I lost all motivation to even move. I tried staring at the television, or reading my book to take my mind off of... things. But how could I? I was in this moment, facing fear, surrounded by prayers from family and friends on the other side of the country. God was requiring faith, and needed my faith to show up in this moment.

Several friends, before we got on our plane, questioned whether or not we were moving too quickly. "You don't want to get hurt. You should guard your hearts. Be careful..." We know this was simply out of their love and care for us. But the truth is, if this adoption did not happen, if Emerson was not meant to be our son—I would have rather told my future child that I had loved a little boy like a son with all my heart and God revealed different plans for us—than to guard my heart and love this baby boy reservedly, regretting not experiencing full love in these first moments before meeting him face to face. I needed to love this child as if he would one day be our son. I needed to love him with no reservations or second thoughts. And if that meant being hurt in the process (and we got a taste of that), then so be it.


IT WAS JUST AFTER 1 PM. MY PHONE LIT UP—IT WAS MAMA T.  
My body was numb, my eyes on fire, my voice raspy... but I took a deep breath and answered.

We talked about the morning. I cried some more. I leaned up against the wall to keep myself from falling over. My head was spinning.

"I'm 100% certain I'd like to move forward with the adoption."

Gratitude washed over me. I wished I could hug her through the phone. All I could do was look to John and my mom and give them some shaky thumbs up. I kept my composure as we chatted about what would happen next. And then we hung up.

I collapsed and cried. John rushed to me. We hugged, we cried together, we thanked God. And then he looked at me and said, "Let's go meet our son."

WE RACED TO THE HOSPITAL...
I shook as we made our way to the fourth floor of the hospital. We signed in and then made our way to Mama T's room.
We had only known each other for four days. But I felt like I knew her, and she knew me as we said our first hellos. I put by her bed that yellow vase of flowers that represented so much. She told me her favorite color is yellow. Perfect.

And then we met our son. Emerson's half brother was holding him, and he smiled at us as he passed Emerson to me. More tears (I must have an unlimited supply) rushed to my eyes as John and I stared into the face of the most perfect baby boy we had ever seen.

I went and sat on Mama T's bed. We cried and hugged little Emerson together for a while. Not much was said, just tears and hugs shared. 

 


THE NEXT DAY, APRIL 6TH, IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON, EMERSON WAS OFFICIALLY PLACED WITH US. 
We surrounded Mama T in a circle of hugs, and then we prayed over her. We cried together yet again, then walked to the NICU together to visit Emerson. He was having some tummy troubles and needed to stay in the NICU for the next few days. Mama T and us surrounded his little bed together.

She thanked us for giving her son something she couldn't. And we thanked her for giving us something we couldn't.

"Be a good father," she told John.
"Be a good grandmother," she told my mom.
"I know you'll be a good mother," she told me.

Then she bravely walked out of the NICU.

Congratulations, John and Melody!  What a sweet blessing it was to work with your family!  

Interested in adoption? I'd love to chat with you! Shoot me an email at leah@christianadoptionconsultants.com

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