THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.
April and Adam are basically family now. We do oils together, we do adoption together. I want to dabble in their snowy weather and they want a piece of my 80 degree January days. Like I said, family.
I could go on and on and on about the details of their journey, but April did it so well.
Even before Adam and I were married, we talked about adopting. The thought was that we’d have a few kids, and then adopt internationally. It’s funny how God has a way of looking at your plans and being all “that maybe what you wanted, but I have something better in mind.” So after 4 years of marriage, and 2 kids, we could no longer ignore the tug on our hearts to start the adoption process. Funny thing was, every country and agency we looked into wasn’t accepting application or we didn’t meet their criteria. Confused, we took a step back and a few months later it became apparent that the reason all those other doors were closed, was because we were to adopt domestically. Now I had done all my research and knew what to expect with an international adoption, domestic adoption (especially being from Canada) was something completely new and overwhelming to us. That’s when I decided to contact Casey. I knew of her through some mutual friends and she came highly regarded. After our first chat, I found myself begging Adam to let us hire her and walk us through this process. He’s a cost/benefits type of guy, so it wasn’t hard to show him that doing a multi-agency approach with CAC and having the support of Casey would be beneficial.
We signed on with CAC in February of 2016 and immediate got to work. By the end of April we were ready to present and thus began one of the most difficult processes I think we’ve ever walked through as a couple. I’d love to tell you that we were patient and at peace with waiting on the Lord’s timing, but that definitely wasn’t the case. The Lord definitely used the adoption process to grow me and MAKE me put my trust in him, instead of doing it on my own. Situation after situation we presented to and then heard that ever dreaded “expectant mom has decided to go with another family.” Each time, Casey was there to pick me up and make me believe that our baby was out there, just not ready quite yet. A few weeks into the presenting process, I had to change Casey’s ringtone on my phone, because my stomach would literally leap into my throat every time my phone went off. The running joke in our house every time we hear that specific ringtone now is “What’s Zubes got to say?”
At the end of August, we found out that we had been matched. Baby could be here any day, and we spent the next two weeks running around and preparing. I even had the chance to build a relationship with the expectant mom, and it just felt “right”; like THIS was the reason we had chosen to adopt. We were lucky enough to be able to be present for the labor and delivery and walk “S” through that process; however shortly after birth, she decided to parent. Hearing those words will forever be etched in my brain. I was happy for “S”, but still broken to be walking away without this little boy that we had quickly become attached to. Casey was always there, through every step …, texting when she knew I wouldn’t be able to talk without crying and encouraging us when we seemed to be running out of hope. She was also a huge support in helping me navigate our relationship with “S” after the failed match. That experience gave me a better appreciate of what birth moms go through, and it wasn’t long before we decided to jump back in and find an expectant mom that we could walk this journey along side.
The next few months we difficult and had Adam and I really questioning why we started the adoption process at the time that we did. At times I questioned our family, I questioned whether or not we should redo our profile to create a “perfect picture”, but Casey kept reassuring me that it wasn’t us or our profile”, it that the baby intended for our family just wasn’t ready yet. I can remember the day we heard about Mama “L”. At that point in the process, I had really gotten good at assessing the risks of a situation and more often than not, went to Casey to ask her the impossible to answer “I know all this, but do you think she’ll place in spite of it?” Looking back, Casey was so patient with me. If I were in her position, I probably would have hit myself over the head and told me to “snap out of it”. But that’s not Casey’s style. She always acknowledged my fears and encouraged me despite them, and this will always be the biggest reason I recommend Casey to friends. The adoption journey can be difficult, and I think sometimes it’s hard for friends and family who haven’t been there to understand that. Knowing Casey had walked through this experience, gave me a sounding board as a “waiting mom”, when no one else seemed to get what I was feeling or where it was coming from.
A week after learning of Mama “L”, we got a call that I would never forget. Mama “L” had picked US to raise her baby girl!! A week later we welcomed the sweetest little girl into the world, and I’ll forever be grateful to “L” for allowing me to be right beside her for the delivery. She was a rockstar through the entire thing, and I was so excited to be the one to get to introduce her to our daughter for the first time.
Adoption is beautiful, and it’s messy, and the journey is hard, but walking that road has given me an all-new appreciation of Birth Moms. “L” was (and is) so strong and brave, and her desire to give her daughter the best, despite what it would cost her, is what makes her the BEST mom in my opinion. Prior to educating myself on domestic adoption, one of my biggest fears was that I would feel “threatened” by the fact that my child had a first family. But I quickly learned that that is just not the case. I want my child to have a relationship with them, and to know where she came from in the same way I want my child to know my sisters and brothers, and I want “L” to be sitting next to me when our daughter walks down the aisle. Your child is never worse off when they have a large group of people who love and want what’s best for them, and to me that’s the greatest thing about adoption.
April and Adam rode a serious roller coaster, but if you asked them now I am certain they will tell you every tear was worth every smile they now have seeing the daughter that was meant for their family.
<NOW FOR THE CUTENESS>
If FEAR is what is standing in between you and ADOPTION. Push that junk right to the side and know that when God puts it on your heart, it’s because He already has all the details planned out for it to happen.