As we are drawing closer to finalizing Elijah’s adoption (just 22 days now!) my mind has been flooded with memories of the other times in my life when I’ve felt so lucky.
We didn’t know it at the time, but having a biological child should not have been able to happen for us. Logically and medically speaking, that is. Knowing what we know now –after years of doctor visits, treatments, waiting, praying, hoping and disappointments– sometimes I look at Ellie and my mind is blown by the fact that she’s here.
I will never forget hearing Jason’s voice, full of emotion as a new daddy, proclaiming, “Oh! It’s a girl!” And what a girl she is! An absolute miracle. We had a one-in-a-million chance of having a biological child. And yet, here she is. Nine years old, brilliant, funny, crazy talented and gorgeous.
Fast forward 4 years. After suffering an early miscarriage and strong feelings leading us to start foster care, we had been blessed to care for 8 foster children (not all at once!) in a short period of time. We brought our 9th little bundle home from the hospital when he was two days old. We were pretty experienced at falling in love with the little ones in our home by this point. But something was different about this tiny boy.
After he’d been with us for about a month I had a near-breakdown at the thought of him leaving someday. The self-talk we used in order to make it through heartbreaking goodbyes as foster parents (things like: “We were there for him when he needed us.”, “We showed her what a stable family is for perhaps the first time in her life” and “We are not doing our job if we aren’t sad when they leave.”) was just not working. After many tears and prayers, a calm feeling settled into my heart. An impression in my mind said: He is yours.
The road would be long, we were far from finished. But all we needed to do was to hang on. It took 7 more months full of court dates and legalities for the court system to catch up with what I already knew.
The fact that we have Ethan is a miracle as well. I won’t go into all the details of how it came about. Much of that story belongs only to Ethan and we will let him share it (when he is older) how and when he chooses. Looking back at every little detail that had to be in place, some of them years in advance, in order for this little boy to end up in our home is difficult for me to fathom.
He is ours, through and through. He is sensitive, smart, extremely physical (in good ways and not-so-good), and enthusiastic about life like no one I’ve ever known. I am so glad to be his Mama. He teaches me something new daily. It often includes animals, but not always. 🙂
I am still making my way through the emotions surrounding Elijah’s adoption. It’s a long story; and frankly, it’s not one I’m interested in hashing out right now. Jason and I are doing our best to overcome the bitterness, the anger and the frustrated helplessness we felt during this process. The very condensed version is that after all we’d been through with our failed adoption, we were matched with Elijah’s birthmom. We hit it off right away. She is amazing and strong and beautiful.
Our prayers were answered the day we brought Elijah home from the hospital. We thought we were finally done with the turmoil. We promptly fell head over heels for this sweet, dimpled, laid-back baby boy. Less than 2 months later, we learned that the adoption agency we’d gone through had been closed down by the state. Some of their practices were questionable, apparently. And after futher inquiry the state closed them down.
We felt swindled and bitter. We thought we might lose this boy we’d dreamed of and worked for and fallen in love with. After a time we were lucky to learn that our adoption had been handled properly; everything was above-board and in place. It was heartbreaking to hear of other families who were not so lucky. Not only did they lose the chance to adopt, but many of them lost the thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars they had paid in adoption fees. Just gone.
If Elijah wasn’t placed with us when he was, we would have lost our entire adoption fund (we’d paid the fees before our previous adoption failed and they were being rolled over). When I think about how close we came to being in that situation I can hardly catch my breath.
When I tell people our story I find myself using the word “lucky” frequently. “We are so lucky that we were able to have Ellie”, or “We’re lucky that things happened just the way they did, or we wouldn’t have Ethan” and now, “We are SO lucky that we got Elijah when we did”.
Lucky is not the correct word. We are blessed. I can’t begin to understand why our lives work out the way they do. But I know, without a doubt, that these children are meant to be ours. That fact is reconfirmed in my mind as I contemplate all that had to happen exactly as it did in order for them to join our family.
I want to encourage you to think about the many times in your life when you’ve thought ,”That was lucky!”. Was it really? Or was it your loving Father in Heaven lining circumstances up just so. I am certain that He had a hand in bringing these little ones into our life and calming my anxious heart as I waited for it all to work out.
“Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven… It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” –Jeffrey R. Holland
I can’t count how many times I have relied on these words and this video to help me through hard days.
If you are in the midst of waiting, I encourage you to look for the little things lining up just so. I promise you will see countless ways in which you have been blessed.