When we first started our adoption journey, we just knew we were "prepared" for parenthood!! I had been a nanny for over six years, we had Godsons we adored, we had read so very much, we owned our own home, we both had wonderful jobs, we prepared the nursery and all of those other things we thought we needed, we had prayed and prayed, and finally, we just needed God to send us that sweet expectant mama who was carrying our child! Or so we thought...
We had several opportunities come up within our five months of waiting, but it wasn't until a cold February morning that we woke up to find THE email waiting for us! After the last situation, we didn't want to get too invested. What if she didn't like us or what if she changed her mind? Turns out, she loved us and we loved her—it was a match made in heaven! We walked this road our expectant mama for two months. We were getting attached to her, getting attached to this unborn baby, and all at the same time trying to remind ourselves that she could decide to parent and leave us empty-handed. Unlike a pregnancy where you prepare and you know what will happen in the end, with adoption you prepare and have no idea what should or will happen in the end.
Those two months were chaotic. There was no planning anything, including our son's arrival because of the unknown. We were first told one due date, then that date got pushed back two more weeks, and then he was here! He came completely unexpected, four weeks earlier than the due date we were given. Thankfully, he was completely healthy and full term.
The initial legal process went as planned, leaving the hospital went as planned, but then there was the wait to finalize the interstate adoption. Who prepares you to spend your first couple of days in a hotel room with an infant? What about all those gadgets you bought because you thought you needed them those first few days that you had to leave at home? What about those first sleepless nights without the swing or the oh so amazing Baby Brezza formula maker?
Then, there was that amazing woman you met. The one who you grew to admire, who you had talked to for months, and who had decided to bless your family with this miracle. She was an intricate part of your life and the life you now held in your hands, but you now no longer communicate due to the arrangements made to protect everyone involved. Who warned you about this heartbreak? Truly, adoption is an unpredictable, yet inexplicably beautiful process that can be quite the roller coaster. It is in this roller coaster, however, that we were given the most amazing gift that was not only worth the wait but also worth the initial heartbreak.
Life with this sweet baby has been amazing, and we are blessed by him every day, but it has not been the easiest. He was diagnosed with a heart condition at only 12 days old. The medicine he was given caused him to have silent reflux, in turn causing an excessive amount of stomach pain. Once we figured out he had reflux, it took us some time to figure out which one medication was the best for him. We were completely ready for the sleepless nights, but no one tells you how to handle a heart rate of 250 in this new tiny life you are now responsible for!
Every day when we wake up to this super sweet face, we thank God for him and then pinch ourselves to make sure we aren't still dreaming! It is through this exact process that we realized we were not prepared for parenthood or even adoption like we thought we were. But thankfully, God has walked us through it every step of the way and prepared us to be parents because truly, when in life are you ever prepared for such a huge life change? So, those days where he cried excessively, we leaned on chocolate, Coke Zero, coffee, one another, and oh did we pray! Now that we have figured this little guy out and he only wakes up for one feeding during the night, we still lean into the same things. As we navigate through this crazy, beautiful adventure called parenthood, we find our rhythm and pray that through each stage of our son’s life, we will be present, willing, and able to lead his precious heart in the way that God has ordained us to.
Sweet parents who are waiting on that call, text, or email, know that it is so worth it. This baby is so worth loving. This baby is so worth the heartache. Moreover, you were created with the desire to be a parent. This desire is preparation enough. You will never be more prepared that you are in the moment that you realize God’s plan for your family includes adoption. After all, He doesn’t call the prepared, He prepares the called.
*Post contributed by former client, Tonya Taylor