Saturday, August 19, 2017

Born On A Sunday (An Adoption Birth Story) - Pt. 1

This story is long because this journey was long. Four years long. I share it here for Dominic, but also for all those who may still be on the long road to adopting. May it bring encouragement to all those who are patiently waiting for an answer to their prayers.
Part 1 of 6

For Dominic.

This is the story of how you came to us, your birth story, or as some would call it, your adoption story. But mostly, it is just a story about waiting and praying and not losing hope in God, who hears all our prayers even when he doesn’t seem to be listening.

You may believe that your birth story begins in August 2016, but for us, the story of how you came into our lives began many years before you were actually born.

For your father and I, your birth story actually begins in October 2012. October has always been a sentimental time of year for your father and me. It is the month when we were married, and it is also the month when we lost our first child (whom we named Francis) in 2006. In 2012, it was the month when we would have been welcoming a baby that we’d lost 8 months earlier. So, that particular October was a little difficult for us as we struggled with an emptiness that had become all too familiar during much of our marriage. For some reason, our family still felt incomplete even though we had two beautiful sons. We began to wonder if God was asking us to adopt again. We knew we had more love for another child and so, after much prayer and discernment, our hearts began making a place for you and from that point on, our wait for you began. Little did we know then just how long that wait would be.

We told our families about our desire to adopt again during our Thanksgiving holiday that same year. There was enthusiasm regarding the idea of us adding another child to our family, and our parents were excited by the thought of becoming grandparents again. We knew they would open their hearts to you.

That following December, we contacted the adoption agency that we’d adopted your brother through and were told that it would be a few months before they would be able to get the home study finalized. We were so anxious to get started! Soon after, we found out I was pregnant again, but shortly after, we lost that child to miscarriage, too. Needless to say, our desire to adopt after that loss just grew stronger.  After so much loss, we needed you in our lives more than ever, and we were convinced that God had a special child in mind for us through adoption.

Finally, in March 2013, our home study to adopt was finalized and our official wait to be matched with a child began. We had no preference regarding gender or race, and we were open to various adoption situations. We wanted God to lead us to the baby meant for us.

We waited that year, even delaying our move back to Kentucky from Missouri for a year for no other reason than to be able to adopt (each state has different adoption laws). We were optimistic that we would be matched with a birthmother within the year. We’d even completed a 54-day novena specifically for our intention to adopt again. I just knew that our Blessed Mother would not let us down! But when that year, 2013, came to an end and we hadn’t even come close to being matched, we felt another great sense of loss. Was God even hearing us? I asked this question time and time again. Knowing we could not put off our need to move back to Kentucky any longer, we allowed our home study to expire and relocated. Knowing that this move meant we would have to start the adoption process all over again felt devastating. I just couldn’t understand why God would ask us to start all over again if this was truly his will for our family.

The passing of time during the months after we arrived in Kentucky was agonizing because we were not eligible to adopt. I kept wondering if we were missing our only chance at adopting during this period of time that we were ineligible and if the baby meant for us been born and given to another family. Therefore, we were anxious to get approved again by an agency in Kentucky so that we could be back in the “waiting pool”.

After getting settled into our new home, we began contacting various adoption agencies again. With no knowledge of adoption agencies or laws in our new home state, this became a very frustrating process. One agency was very encouraging to us until they took our initial payment, and then they became very discouraging, and of course, the money we'd already paid them was non-refundable. Other agencies were nice enough, but did not agree with our Catholic beliefs and wanted us to sign “statements of faith” contrary to Catholic teaching.  Finally, after much prayer and searching, we were led to an agency that felt like a good fit. Working with them, we started the process all over again, and by the end of December 2014, we had completed another home study. 

It was a huge relief to be eligible to adopt again, and we prayed that our wait would not be much longer. It had now been two years since we’d made the decision to adopt. To hopefully speed up the process, we decided to hire an adoption consultant after being told by the consulting agency that they typically matched families within only a few months. So, we became excited and happily paid our fee. But they were wrong. Again, after paying our money, we found out that most of the birthmother situations presented to us by our consultant would have a “catch”. It was then that we realized that there was a darker side to adoption, and it was adoptive families like ours that often suffered the consequences. And although our consultant did show our profile to several birthmothers, none of them ever chose our family while other families were matched within a few weeks or months. It all seemed incredibly unfair. Over the course of that year, we gradually lost count of the number of birthmothers who looked at our profile. We were never given any explanation regarding why we were not being chosen, and as time went by, the sense of rejection began to feel overwhelming.

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