He doesn't normally send me texts like that and when he does, they are usually about trying to schedule a time to meet up with a couple or a Groupon for a Denver adventure.
I open up my email and it is a forwarded message telling of a young girl in Akron who is pregnant and not wanting to keep the baby. "Does anyone know of anyone who may be able to help this young girl out?"
I didn't think much of it. We have received many forwarded emails or questions similar to this. One commitment Steve and I have made is that we would be open to taking the next step with any situation that involves a requested need for adoptive parents to step in. And we have.
A few months ago, I sat in Akron General Hospital beside a young girl, strung out on heroine who had just given birth to her very sick daughter. We had been contacted earlier that week about her situation and that she would need someone to step in and adopt this baby because the young girl was deemed unfit to be a mother because of her addictions.
So, there I sat, 3 hours after her delivery, just the two of us in this cold empty room, void of life though new life had just entered in. I held her hand and prayed over her as her body rocked back and forth and her teeth chattered. Tears rushed down her face uncontrollably as she shared her life with me. Her arms told stories of pain and addiction. Her words spoke of heartache unimaginable. Meanwhile, her baby girl lay rooms away, coming off of her own addictions, paying for choices she did not make.
We were ready. We were ready to bring this little baby into our family, to call her our own. But a very adamant birth family member came in to the picture and would allow no such thing. So we walked away, saddened and angered over the pain in this world. We were frustrated by the cycle of how poverty and addiction ravish lives and tear apart hopes and dreams. But we prayed and continued to ask God to help us be available to whatever may come our way. We asked Him to help us keep our hearts open when so much pain would tempt us to close them up and not allow anymore let-downs.
So three weeks ago, I made the phone call to the "contact person"that was on the email forwarded to us. This young pregnant girl's story was shared with me. At the end of the conversation, I shared our heart for adoption and our desire to enlarge our family, "But we do live in Colorado now. Is that going to be a problem?"
The next 10 days that followed were a sprint. My days were filled with phone calls to attorneys and adoption agencies in both Ohio and Colorado. We even had a Skype conversation with the young woman carrying this child. Through all of this the ball kept rolling.
As we began to sense that an adoption may actually be possible, Steve and I decided that it would be best for me to travel to Ohio to meet this young pregnant woman in person. So, 4 days later, I hopped on an airplane and took a whirlwind 36 hour trip to Akron.
I picked her up and we rode to her doctors appointment together, excited to find out the gender of the baby and how things were progressing. We went to lunch afterwards and talked about hopes and dreams for her and for this child she is carrying. (It was all very surreal and there will be plenty of blog posts to come about this visit and it's effects on my heart).
There we sat, after the appointment, staring at the ultra sound picture together and pointing out all of this little baby's pieces and parts as the technician had described to us earlier. She looks across the table and says to me, "You're having a boy". Our eyes held fixed as she said those words, and in that moment there was this realization of our deep need for each other. Adoption is a beautiful mess. Glorious ruins. Out from the pain of both of our stories emerge life, motherhood and freedom. It is God making things good that shouldn't be good.
A boy from Akron.
It's funny to think that heading into this second adoption we believed God was leading us to a girl from Russia. And I remember writing when we first began that I could not expect everything to go the same as our first adoption because God is a creator, not a duplicator. But, oh, the irony. Oh, the beauty. Our son, residing in this beautiful girl's body...in Akron, Ohio.
So where do we go from here?
At this point, we don't know many details of what is to come. We know that the baby is due December 24th. We know that there are many things that could happen which would threaten this adoption from ever getting completed. Even so, we are moving forward.
We are in the process of updating our home study and have applied with an agency to help us through the complicated details of an "inter-state designated adoption."
We are hopeful. Scared. Excited. Cautious.
And Dima wants to name him Dima Jr.
What ever happened to our adoption plans from India?
After we moved to Colorado, we were getting the sense from our agency that adopting from India was becoming increasingly difficult for American families. The wait time was extended to up to at least 2 years and the age and needs of the children available were changing.
We explored other options, but realized quickly that the world of international adoption, though still active is definitely not as sure as it once was. Our hearts were becoming unsettled and we began praying for God to make it so clear to us for how to move forward.
Our hearts are still deeply connected and passionate about international adoption. That will never change. And our prayer is that God will allow us to walk down that road again in the future.
- Please pray that this adoption would go through. If it does, we will bring home a baby in 4 months! Pray for our hearts as we walk this unstable road
- Pray for the birth mom to make good, healthy choices as she carries this sweet little life
- Pray for the details to work out quickly since we are stepping into this pretty late in the "normal" process
- Pray for our relationship with the birth mom to continue to grow as we continue to keep regular communication with her
Until next Monday,
Love: Steve, Kate and Dima