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 3 of 6
On August 11, 2016, we packed our bags and started driving. From our home to Houston, it would be 1,000 miles. We had never made such a long car trip with your brothers, and we had never been to Houston. We had no family or friends in Houston, and were placing all faith in God that he would help us along the way. We were leaving a week before your due date, because we had been given the impression by your birthmother that you would be born ahead of schedule. Anxiety and fear kept trying to creep into my heart, and I would frequently remind myself that God was in control.
And as we trusted, God led the way. As we made our journey, we were blessed with the kindness of your father’s aunt and uncle. They graciously took us in and allowed us to stay at their home for as long as we needed. They lived at the half-way point of our long journey, and became a much needed respite. And even though our visit had been unplanned, God worked out all the details so that our stay with them was not only possible, but also a blessing to us all.
The other great blessing came in the form of the B family. Friends of a friend, they’d heard about our plight and offered us a place to stay while we waited for you to be born. Located just outside of Houston, they opened their home to us and gave us refuge while we waited for your birth. Feeling a little uncomfortable about accepting their offer, we promised to stay for only a day or two, assuming you’d be born on or ahead of schedule. Little did we know when we accepted their invitation that we’d actually be staying with them for 10 days! Yet, in spite of this, they were so understanding and accommodating of our predicament. In a sense, their family adopted our family while we waited to adopt you, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude. They became our home-away-from-home and were the family we really needed during one of the most challenging times of our life. They really showed us what true Christian love looks like as they "welcomed the stranger" (Heb. 13:2).
All this time, from June when we first learned of you until we arrived in Texas, I had been corresponding with your birthmother. She was always so sweet and gracious and would send me photos of you in her belly. When we learned of your gender, she was hopeful that we would be happy and of course, we were! When your father and I chose your name, I was hopeful that she would like it and she did! She even replied that “Mateo” was a name she had been considering for you, and I considered that a little sign from God that we were on the right path.
As your due date approached, my correspondence with your birthmother became more frequent. She was having health issues related to the pregnancy and was struggling just to walk. After your due date came and went, she began to have more discomfort and was having too much swelling in her legs and feet. Through the agency, your father and I gave her the means to visit a local health clinic, but they did little to help her and kept sending her back home. A week passed past your due date and still, you did not come. She became more distressed and our prayers for her and for you were becoming constant. She visited the hospital ER, but they, too, sent her home, telling her to return in 3 days. We feared that would be too long for her to wait. We asked all the saints and our prayer warriors to intercede for us. As the time crept ever so slowly, I had a very heavy feeling in my heart that something was not right, and I feared for you and for her.