A Beautiful Beginning

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Almost three years ago this month, my husband and I made the decision to begin the adoption process. We had prayed about it and we had put it off long enough; God was asking us to adopt.

Through the process of our adoption journey, we encountered many birth-moms and our lives collided with a lot of different stories. I wanted to share two of these stories with you; in hopes that you will see just how great and sovereign God is and was to us. It is our “anything story”.

(The excerpts that you are about to read are parts of our adoption journey that I shared on our blog)
The actual blog posts can be found at the following:
http://www.kstonephoto.com/blog/2013/03/chapters
http://www.kstonephoto.com/blog/2013/04/a-beautiful-beginning

STORY ONE OF OUR ADOPTION JOURNEY:
In early January, the day after our home study, we were contacted by someone on Facebook: She was pregnant, and she was looking for adoptive parents. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship and a dream in our hearts.

We skyped and exchanged texts. We waited for the day when she might officially ask us to be the adoptive parents.

And that day came. But that day was a lot different than we ever could have imagined. In the midst of such exciting news, there was also a very confusing side to this story: The birth dad had done almost everything possible to stop the adoption from happening.

The week we were asked to be adoptive parents might have been the best week of our lives, but it was also a heartbreaking week of our lives. Because that was the week, that God asked us to walk away from a dream. As we prayed and gathered information, God gave us clarity, and we had to let go of this birth mom and her baby. It was not our battle to fight.

This past Sunday, a beautiful baby girl was born. We are so happy — and celebrate her birth. At the same time, we are sad, confused and grieving the end of this chapter, saying goodbye to a dream. It is bittersweet.

We feel honored to know this birth mom — to walk through a really tattered season of her life, learn from her courage, and be chosen as adoptive parents. We are learning that this story is so much bigger than ourselves.

Behind the curtain of life, the God of the universe is writing a beautiful script. And we believe that this script is always perfect, because He is perfect and good to us, even when we don’t understand.

So while today is a bit messy and unresolved, we do know this: One day, our adoption story will have an ending; and that ending will be all the more beautiful because of the heartaches of today.

STORY TWO: (WRITTEN JUST FOUR WEEKS AFTER THE ABOVE BLOG POST)
I have tried to finish writing this story for days. I think I finally realized that it may never be fully finished. It is a journey so complex and emotional and amazing, that I know there will always be more to remember. So for now, this is our story on paper:

Three weeks ago, our life changed. Forever.

Three weeks ago, we met Parker’s birthparents. Three weeks ago, we sat across a picnic table from two people, who would ultimately make the most courageous and selfless decision of their lives, in trusting us to raise their beautiful son.

Our lives collided with two people, (who we will call Joe and Krista), in a story that became the last chapter of this adoption journey.

We first heard from Joe on Parker’s due date. It was an email through our blog. He shared a small bit of their story, with no promises of adoption. However, as we exchanged emails, we all felt compelled to meet.

You should also know that we were vacationing in Oregon, when he emailed. Joe and Krista live in Oregon, so our first meeting was a miracle in itself.

Our meeting was brief, but overwhelming. Joe and Krista had been through so much. Sadly, Oregon DHS was involved in their lives, threatening to take their son into custody the minute he was born. And so they were desperate for a better answer. Desperate to give their child a more certain future, yet completely torn over the thought of not raising their son. Adoption was not their first choice.

Their story left us heartbroken. Heartbroken for them, for all of their pain. Heartbroken for the choices that they would have to make.

We returned to California, not knowing what Joe and Krista would choose. There had been no commitment to an adoption plan, only a commitment to choose us, if they were to make a plan.

It left us confused, not knowing what our role was, but sensing that God had brought us all together. With Krista’s due date past, we knew that every day mattered. So we prayed with more intensity than I have ever known. We prayed for clarity.

As we sorted through our thoughts and prayers, we realized that God was calling us to support Joe and Krista, no matter what. We also realized that this would mean driving back to Oregon, with a lot of unknowns.

So on Monday, April 8th, when we received the call that Krista had gone into labor, we drove north. We had no idea what we would face. They had asked us to come, but not to the hospital.

And then, late that evening, we received a text that they wanted us to visit them.

This invitation led to the next eighteen hours at the hospital. Kenny and Joe would go for walks, while I sat with Krista in the early hours of her labor. We paced the halls. We prayed. And we all stayed by each other’s side as if we had been friends for years. As Krista progressed into harder labor and throughout her three and a half hours of pushing, I remained next to her.

At this point, we still had no idea what would happen with Parker. They had dreams of parenting. And we just hung onto God — knowing He had called us here.

Parker was born via C section at 2:15pm on April 9th. The Oregon DHS arrived at the hospital at 4:00pm on that day.

The news wasn’t good for Joe and Krista: On what should have been one of the happiest days of their life, there was great sadness. Grief over the reality that they would not walk out of the hospital as a family. Grief over the fact that they would have to make the hardest decision of their life, in the next two and a half days.

Parker would either go into foster care for many months, while Joe and Krista walked through a grueling process to fight for their parenting rights. or Parker would be adopted by us. The choice was theirs.

And so our prayers became prayers for peace. That whatever Joe and Krista decided, they would have peace to move through all of this. We knew either choice was going to be hard.

For the next three days, we stayed at or near the hospital. We would spend time with Joe and Krista. We would spend time with Parker; seeing him as their son. Some of our family members came down to support us — which helped more than we could have imagined.

There were times of great peace and strength for us. And there were times of exhaustion and sadness. It was very hard.

It was hard to see the overwhelming grief of Joe and Krista. It was hard to imagine Parker going home with a stranger. It was hard to trust God, no matter what.

On Friday afternoon, Krista asked me to come to her room. She was in her clothes, standing near the bed. All I remember is hugging one another right away. We held onto each other and cried, long hard tears. Nurses came in and out. And I will never forget the moment that Krista told me to love Parker and take care of him for the rest of my life. She asked me to be his mom.

There aren’t words to describe that moment. I cry every time I think of it. Krista is a hero to me. I don’t believe for a moment that I am any better of a mom than Krista — only that our paths were at different places. I cry because I know how much she loves Parker — enough to trust him to us. Joe and Krista are beautiful people.

The following hours were filled with great joy and sadness, all at the same time. But one thing we all had; we all had peace; deep, unchanging, peace.

I will never forget walking into the nursery one last time, this time holding Parker a bit closer, knowing he would be our son. I will never forget signing the papers to adopt Parker late that evening. I will never forget saying goodbye to Joe and Krista at the hospital.

Three weeks ago, I never imagined Parker. I didn’t know his parents. I didn’t know that my life would be forever changed. Changed not only by one small person, but his amazing birth parents and the road that we walked together.

Our story is not about us becoming parents, or “getting a child”. It is not a story of infertility. It is God’s story, in which He brought together so many pieces to create something beautiful and redemptive and miraculous.

We love Parker so much. We love Joe and Krista so much. And we believe, that although this chapter is finished, all of our relationships, our stories, are just now beginning.

And so we started this adoption journey with a dream, and through every moment of the journey, we now end with a life and perspective much bigger than we could ever imagine. God calls us to the unkowns, so that He can act; so that He can have control and so that He can do miracles.

Our little son is beautiful, his story miraculous, and his presence reminds us every day, that God does not miss a thing. He went before us in our adoption journey and walked with us every step of the way. He was with Parker in the womb and led Parker’s parents to us. There is not an ounce of doubt in my soul, that God is real.

This is our anything story, the one that we wanted to share. It is a story that I hope will inspire others to step out in faith and obedience and let God be the hero. He is our hero; and Parker’s adoption will forever remain one of our biggest memorial stones pointing us to the faithfulness and power of God.