The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Journey of Our First Adoption--- Part 2

A few years ago, one of our pastors gave a picture of what it should be like when we see God work.  When we see God’s glory, our response should be like gathering for a fireworks show.  The crowd comes early to get the best seats.  As the sun sets, the anticipation grows.  Finally the fireworks begin and the response from the people is “Wow.”  We just sit back in awe.

Get ready for fireworks....

It was early November, a few weeks after I had told Jeremy I was done trying.  Out of the blue, much to my surprise, Jeremy told me that God was speaking to him about adoption.  REALLY??  He even wanted to start checking into it and gather information about agencies.  WHAT??  For a couple weeks after Jeremy brought up adoption I really went through a crisis of belief.  God, is this really what you want for us?  Like really??  I am not sure I am up for this. 

A lady in my Bible Study reminded me that I asked God to speak to Jeremy.  She said “He has...and now you need to listen to him.”  So we researched some agencies, thought and prayed about it through November and early December.  By mid-December we decided we were going to take the first step and get the application to apply from New Life Pregnancy Center.

We decided to go with New Life for a few reasons:
--I became a Christian in the church that started New Life.
--My cousin was adopted through New Life.
--We had friends that had adopted through New Life and recommended it.
--We were comfortable with their process.
At Christmas we told our families our plans to adopt. 

Early on, in looking at the paperwork from various agencies, particularly from New Life, we were convicted that we could not say “No” to having a child of color.  Our families were supportive and ready to love any child that was added to our family.

So January 4, 2007 we mailed in our application to apply and our first fee.  February 8th we met with the agency for a couple of hours and they discussed everything with us—from what brought us to this point, to why they do things the way they do it.  And that’s when they sent us home with the full packet.  I set a goal to have everything completed by the end of April.  We had to fill out lots of paperwork, answer tough questions, read some books, and complete our Home Study. 

May 14th was our final home study appointment and by Monday, May 21st, we were officially


We were told it would be 9-18 months, but since we were open to a child of color, it could be by the end of the year.  Wow--the thought of having a new baby by Christmas just thrilled us!  We made all our summer plans and paid for trips and were just glad to have all the paperwork done. 

Do you have your seat yet?  The sun is almost down and soon it will be dark.  Are you ready for fireworks?

Four weeks passed and it was Monday, June 25th when I got the call.  JUST.FOUR.WEEKS.  Not 18 months.  Not 9 months.  It's six months before Christmas still, and we got the call.

We had just gotten back from camping and Emily had learned to ride her bike without training wheels. 
We were in Walmart picking out a prize and my cell phone rang—I heard, “Vanessa, this is Sara Black.”  I knew that when I got a call from Sara Black that it meant we could be having a baby.  I froze as she shared with me about a baby girl, born premature, weighing 2 lbs 12 oz.  Her parents were in their 40’s and she was doing beautifully.   New Life did not have a profile that matched with this situation so she was calling us and two other families who wanted a Caucasian child to pray about letting her show our profile. 

Yes, all this in the Walmart toy aisle!

I called Jeremy and told him everything that I had just scribbled on the back of my grocery list and that night we talked and prayed and talked and cried and prayed. 

Caucasian?  She’s already born?  She’s premature—11 weeks premature and could potentially have many problems? This is not what we expected.  What happened to the process of meeting a birthmother 8 months pregnant and getting the call when she goes into labor and waiting an excruciating 48 hours after the baby is born before she can sign the relinquishment?

We finally got to a point that we had been before in this process. 

It is not in our hands

if this is our little girl, then God will make it so. 

I called Sara back Tuesday morning and told her to count us in.  I told her that I was supposed to go to a convention on Wednesday and not be back until Sunday.  I asked if I should still go.  She said “Sure!”  She would leave the profiles with the family and tell them that New Life would get in touch with them the following week.   So the next 24 hours we went on as usual—we did not start making phone calls to announce the news because this family may very well not choose us.  We did tell my parents, our small group (only because they happened to ask), and another close friend. 

Wednesday, Jeremy took me to the airport.  After I got through security, I told my traveling friend that our profile was being shown and she said "that’s great" but then we didn’t give it much more conversation. 

Our plane was delayed.  

We finally got on board and were arranging to sit next to each other when I got the call from Sara saying the birthparents loved us and wanted to meet us right away.

The stewardess was asking me to take my seat, buckle up, and turn off my phone at the same time that Sara was telling me we had been chosen!!

I told the stewardess that I HAD to get OFF the plane.  She said, "Ma'am, we are ready to take off and I need you to sit down." 

I burst into tears as I told her (and about 5 rows of people around me) that we were adopting, my social worker just called, we have a baby girl, and I NEED TO GET OFF THIS PLANE.

She did not hesitate but said, "Come with me."  I think she knew that I would bolt to the front to escape if she even tried to argue with me.

As soon as I got off the plane, I called Jeremy to pick me up.  As I was walking through the airport, I called Sara back to get more information.

One thing about New Life you should know.  If you sign up with this agency, the birthmother gets to choose one name that we keep in the child's name.  Some people gasp at the idea.  "They can't make you do that!"  You're right, legally they can't.  But they feel it is so important for the child, birthmother, and us that the child has been given a name from her birthmother.  One of the first things I asked Sara was "What is her name?" 

"Her name is Savannah."

I stopped in the middle of the airport where I was trying to find my way to customer service to see if I could get my luggage off the plane.  (I couldn't so my luggage headed to Indianapolis without me.)

Excitement welled up inside me. 

I had always wanted a Savannah. 

It was one of those names that I loved, but Jeremy liked other names more.  We knew we would give her the name Rachel, but for me, she was Savannah from that moment on.  I didn't care if we named her Rachel Savannah or Savannah Rachel---I would call her Savannah. 

We spent the next 24 hours deciding on her name and getting ready to leave--we even joked about naming her Savannah Georgia since Jeremy's grandmother was named Georgia.  We had a lot to do to get ready to meet the birthparents and our new little girl.  That week was like squeezing 9 months into 3 days!

We started driving to San Antonio Thursday, June 28th, where we would meet the birthfamily--meet this couple who chose us, who entrusted us to be the parents of Savannah. 

This would be the first and last time I would see Savannah's birthmother.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful! made my eyes tear up when I read the part about you on the plane 'cause I know those emotions :)