Oh y’all. SO much has happened since my last blog post when I declared that I was finally at peace with the waiting. On November 11th after a month of emotional turmoil I laid our adoption timeline, and specifically our future match, at His feet. I was at peace. On November 18th, my birthday, we got a match! Oh how God and HIS timing never ceases to amaze me. Yes, we are adopting and He is guiding that, but in this process He is also working on my heart and teaching me so much. I am thankful that God cares about big picture things (adoption) and little things (me). This process is refining and redeeming on so many levels.
Let me tell you about the day we got our match. I was not in a good place when I learned the news. That morning I took our four year old daughter to the ENT. She had been battling a running nose for weeks. At the doctor I learned that her ear drum had actually ruptured and she had an inner ear infection. I felt like such a bad mom after hearing the news and learning that she could suffer hearing loss. My heart ached. Then the doctor, his assistant, and I spent what seemed like an eternity holding her down to get drops into her ears. Afterwards, she and I were both emotionally drained. I left that appointment feeling like a failure and struggling with so much mom guilt for not taking her to the doctor sooner. I was dejected and discouraged.
Once home, I sat at my desk and routinely checked my email. Our adoption was not even on my radar so you can imagine my surprise when I saw the email descriptor in my inbox stating “potential match”. I just stared at it for a good minute. I should be over the moon excited, I thought. But instead I was weary from the morning and did not trust myself or my emotions with this news.
Before I opened the email I literally cried out to Jesus. “Lord, I just can’t do this today. I am a wreck. If this is our daughter you have to speak to Andy. If she is the one please tell him, let him drive the decision, and give him unfathomable peace.” That was the most sincere and desperate prayer I have ever prayed.
I took a deep breath and opened the email. I started with the photos in the file. I looked at her sweet face. Then, read some of her paperwork. I noticed right away that she was born on Andy’s birthday. And I recalled that today was my birthday. We kind of have a thing for birth dates in our family. This made me smile, but I was still hesitant.
I only reviewed the file for about five minutes because I was late to meet Andy for lunch. I had called him after the doctor’s appointment because I just needed him after that experience. Well now, I really needed him.
When I picked him up for lunch he did not know about the match yet. We chatted casually and he comforted me about the ear incident. After about ten minutes in the car I told him we had a match. He was shocked. But calm. I can not really explain the feelings you experience when you learn that you have a match and realize that your entire world is at the brink of complete change with the decision before you. It is humbling and terrifying and exciting. And it left us quiet for a bit.
We went to the restaurant. We ordered. We chatted a little, not about the match. We loved on our daughter who was with us. For some reason we needed to ease into it. Once the shock of it all subsided we proceeded to look over this little girl’s file. We looked at her photos and watched her video. We glanced over the medical information. It all happened slowly as we ate. It felt peaceful and calm, but at the same time I had to remind myself to breath. A paradox really. All the feels in our emotional tank , I experienced them in that one hour.
After that lunch date we agreed to spend the next few days reviewing her file.
We then sent her file to a some friends and family members, other adoptive moms, and a few doctors that we trust. We prayed. We waited on the Lord. And we prayed some more. I took a back seat when it came to actually discussing it all which is totally out of character for me. I let Andy drive the conversations about this potential match. I waited for Him to bring it up over the next few days. I clung to my initial prayer of needing Andy to drive the decision. And you know what? He did! I’ve always been the one to drive or initiate our conversations about adoption. But that was not the case during these days. I know this may seem insignificant to you, but to me it was an answer to prayer and a huge confirmation. Looking back now I can totally see God’s hand in this even more than that one desperate prayer in front of my computer.
The week prior to our match I had been praying for my husband and specifically for his leadership role in our family. It had been a heavy burden on my heart for days prior to our match. More so than normal, and I had no idea why. I even sat at that very same restaurant (where we discussed our match) a week prior with a dear friend and revealed this burden with her. There we actually prayed together about it, asking God to help our husbands lead and guide our families in all things. I mention this to testify to God’s goodness and show how involved He is in our lives even when we do not realize it. I had been praying for my husband and his leadership which was the exact thing I needed during those pivotal days. God knew EXACTLY what I needed and was setting my up for success! It is only in hindsight that I made the connection. God is so cool and I am so thankful that He impressed those prayers on my heart even when I was totally unaware of the vastness of it all.
We got the match on Wednesday and needed to make the decision by the following Tuesday. On Saturday night, during a date at a near by diner, we decided that this little girl WAS OUR DAUGHTER. I will never forget Andy saying several times, “I think she is the one. I think she is ours.” There was such peace when he spoke those words. And that peace began to grow into excitement. On Monday we sent an email to our agency declaring that she was ours and that we were ready to make that official.
Her file is now locked and we have signed an official documents declaring our intent. We are now parents of three children, one who resides in China and will join our family soon!
It is with happy hearts and excitement that we introduce to you our little girl, Leia Joy.
We will share more about her and the next steps in our adoption soon. Right now we are rejoicing over the newest addition to our family. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement during this time. We are just in awe of our God and His faithfulness.