Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Adoption Story

Years ago, I listened in on a workshop about adoption. At that time, though, I didn't really think adoption was something my future held. After all, I had heard about how expensive it can be, and I knew we couldn't afford to adopt unless God did some major work ahead of time.

Then, after our third miscarriage, while in the middle of fertility testing, my husband and I were approached about possibly adopting a baby boy that was due in a couple of months. To say we were overwhelmed was an understatement.

How were we going to afford this?
What about all of the testing we were in the middle of doing?
Is this what we were supposed to do?
What if the adoption falls through?
What if she changes her mind at the last minute?
What do you even have to do to adopt a baby?

We were clueless, scared, and overwhelmed. But at the same time, the thought of having a baby in just two short months excited my heart. I called several of my friends who had adopted and got their advice. Turns out, adoption is not nearly as overwhelming as it sounds once you've found a potential baby. "There are really only two steps," my friends told me. "Get a homestudy done, and hire an attorney. Then the courts take care of the rest."

As the two months passed and the birthmother neared her delivery date, everything fell into place. We had a homestudy done, hired an attorney, met the birthparents, went to court to obtain custody at birth, and I even went to a few doctor appointments.

When Caden was born, I was able to be there in the delivery room. I even got to cut the umbilical cord (which is the weirdest feeling, by the way). The hospital gave us a complimentary room, and we were able to take Caden home with us the day after he was born.

One month later, we all went back to court to finalize the adoption. On December 16, 2011, Caden was officially a Bell!

I was hesitant to share all of this because I know so many people whose adoption stories are not so easy. Theirs are the horror stories of birthmothers changing their mind a couple of weeks after birth or of adoptive parents losing thousands of dollars and never going home with a baby. My heart breaks for these people, and part of me feels guilty that our adoption was so easy. Why are we so lucky to have such a great story?

But then, on the other hand, I feel like I need to share the story because it was all God's doing. We prayed for a baby for years and longed to add a child to our family. Caden was that baby. He was meant for our family, and God worked out every detail so he would end up here.

Even his name has God's hand all over it. When we met the birthmother, she asked us what names we were considering. I told her our top few names, and as I said Caden, she got a strange look on her face. "Ok, she hates it," I thought. Then her eyes filled with tears as she told me that Caden was the name she had wanted him to have all along. Out of all the names we could have chosen, we all landed on the same name. That settled it. Caden would be his name.

I write all this for one reason: so that if you're in the midst of grief, you'll look to our story and think that maybe, just maybe, God does have something special for you in the future. I wish I could promise you a baby. Unfortunately, I can't. But I can tell you this. When we were in the middle of miscarriage #2 and miscarriage #3, I really thought God had abandoned me. I was convinced he didn't care about me anymore, that my prayers were landing on closed ears, and that my desire for another child was not important to him. I could not have been more wrong. God didn't answer my prayers for a baby like I planned on him answering them, but he was listening nonetheless. And he was growing Caden in his birthmother's belly and preparing her heart to choose adoption. God's not ignoring you, and someday, he's going to show you what all he's been working on. Please hold on for that day, because it's coming...

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