Our Adoption Story

In a perfect world, one before the fall, there wouldn’t be adoption.

In the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, it was just the Father and His children, walking together in the cool of the day. Perfect intimacy. Deep friendship. Just a Dad and His kids.

And then the kids wondered if He was really all they needed. We know the rest of the story, Eve ate the fruit, and the relationship between the Father and His children was broken. But it wasn’t the end of the story, merely just the beginning. The rest of the Bible is one beautiful story of the relentless love of the Father and Him getting His kids back.

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

See, what the enemy steals from us because of the fall, the Father always restores. He always wins. Every single time. Adoption is at the very heart of the gospel. Strangers, far away from the heart of the Father, brought near into His family as sons. Orphans without hope or future, now sons with inheritance and a new last name.

But it starts from brokenness.

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

My brokenness. That looked like an empty womb. Month after month, year after painful year, of seeing negative pregnancy tests. It was failed infertility treatments and a really broken heart and tired body.

Her brokenness. Seeing a positive pregnancy test without the capacity to give her baby what she knew was best.

Adoption is when brokenness and hope collide. When redemption rain begins to fall in the desert of pain. It’s when beauty rises up from the ashes of each of our stories.

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

Brandon and I had been trying to get pregnant for three years. After year two, he insisted we meet with an adoption agency. I cried walking in, because I truly didn’t believe I could love a child who didn’t grow in my belly. I wasn’t ready. But he was.

A year passed, and we were torn as to how to move forward in growing our family. It just wasn’t happening. I had several surgeries in hopes of giving us a better chance at getting pregnant, and every month ended the same. We were then told our chances of getting pregnant naturally were next to impossible. We began praying through IVF. I was preparing my body to begin our first round and we just couldn’t agree. I was ready to do anything to get pregnant and he felt strongly Father’s leading us to adoption.

We attended a meeting at our church the Sunday before our cycle started on Thursday. We heard several of the couples attending the meeting had stories like ours, and to sit in a room with people who understood us was what we desperately needed. The meeting ended up being the beginning of our church’s orphan care ministry. I sat in that chair and watched little faces in a video who didn’t have a mama or a daddy. And the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “Do you trust me? Do you trust me to grow your family?”

In that moment, the Father produced in my heart not just a desperate wanting to be a mother, but a passion for the orphan. I sobbed in the dark of the room, quietly whispering back to Him, “Yes. I give you my yes.”

Photo by Sophie Brendle

Photo by Sophie Brendle

I couldn’t wait to get to the car to tell Brandon the “yes” he had been waiting for, how Father moved my heart. I closed the car door and looked over at my husband. He was dazed and white as a sheet. He help up a tiny piece of paper from a stranger we had just met in the meeting that said, “We are giving you 10,000 dollars to adopt.”

I gave Father my yes and within minutes, He funded half of our adoption.

From that moment on, we started dreaming of our baby. Would it be a girl or boy? Would they be in our state or across the country? Would they have black, brown, or white skin? When would they come home?

We met with an agency, started paperwork, completed our homestudy, and finished training. The anticipation of not knowing if we would have a son or daughter, or if we could be parents tomorrow of in a few months, it was the most exciting months of our lives. So much expectancy. So much anticipation. But it was hard too. When you wait that long for something your heart so badly desires, one more day of waiting just feels impossible.

Nine months to the day we began our adoption journey, we watched our daughter take her first breath in this world.

I cut the cord, she came straight to me. And the nurse asked her first mom, “Who should wear the mommy bracelet?” And without hesitation her birth mother said, “Jessica. She’s her mommy now.”

And the weight of her six pound, five ounce body almost brought me to my knees. The years of longing, asking, and waiting, were worth every second in that moment.

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Sixteen months later, Selah’s birth mother gave birth again, and asked us to take the baby. We watched our son’s story begin as breath entered his lungs and he let out a scream. His name means “gift from God,” because that’s exactly what he is. A beautiful, unexpected gift.

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

Photo by Rachel Ackerman

I didn’t get to carry my babies for nine months. I didn’t get to see their positive pregnancy tests. I didn’t get to feel their kicks in my belly. But before I even knew them, I loved them. I dreamed over their stories and prayed over their lives.

Adoption is really broken. But it’s also really beautiful.

Photo by Sophie Brendle

Photo by Sophie Brendle

Every morning when I get my miracles out of the bed, I breathe in their sweetest and catch the aroma of a faithful Father. They turn the corner 'round the living room and He whispers to me, “I was faithful then, and I’ll be faithful again.”

Photo by Sophie Brendle

Photo by Sophie Brendle

“He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!”

Psalm 113:9