Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nikki and Matt's Story......

We started our journey of adoption a little over 2 years ago. At the time we knew we wanted to adopt and had known since before we got married, but we weren't sure which path to follow. We spent a lot of time in prayer and listening to God. We had a very close friend that had adopted domestically around the time we had our middle son. It was a very positive experience and I was open to Domestic Adoption, but Matt wasn't at the time.  We started doing research on the computer and saw a lot on Ethiopia Adoption at the same time we seemed to run into several families that adopted from Ethiopia and were connected with a lot of them. All signs lead to Ethiopia so after a lot of agency research we signed a contract with All God's Children International. We moved quickly through paperwork to get on the list and in Feb 2011 we were officially waiting for our daughter.
To be honest from the beginning I was not sure Ethiopia was where our daughter was coming from, but knew we were on this path for a reason. After about 12 months of waiting I felt a tug back towards domestic adoption and started looking into it again. At this time Ethiopia was very slow and the list wasn't moving. All God's Children International decided to allow concurrent adoptions which opened a door for us.  Through the All God's Children International Facebook page I found DawnWright who posted about Christian Adoption Consultants and what she did for them.
In Feb 2012 (our 1 year wait point) I contacted her through FB with a lot of questions. She was so great at getting back to me and sending me information. Our contact went on for months and finally I approached Matt again about domestic.  He had a lot of fears but most of all it was with the Birth Mother and the kind of adoption we would have.  I asked him to pray about it and told him really believed this is how we were to expand our family. Finally in May he agreed to move forward with Christian Adoption Consultants and we signed our contract. BEST decision we have ever made!
We applied for any African American baby girls we saw posted about that were in our budget (that was hard too, I wanted to increase it so many times) Dawn and you always assured me our time would come and with the right budget!   The week we were chosen by our daughter's birth mom I was done (yes it was only 3 months after signing our contract, but for us it had been years of waiting to complete our family).  It felt like every situation we applied for we were told NO and it really started to hurt! We actually were told no with the Birth Mom we ultimately were matched with. That same week we applied to two other situations and got no's again so it was 3 in one week and we were feeling like it would never happen.
We thought it was because we already had 3 boys and a big family.  We honestly thought this would take years to hear yes. Being that we were in a funk we decided to take the boys out on the golf cart to the park and play with them. Three minutes into our ride my cell phone rang and the name Deb came up, I froze! Why was Deb calling us? We had her number stored in our phone from a situation that didn't work out with us about a month earlier. I asked Matt to stop and answered… Deb asked if we had been matched yet (she knew about the other situations) I said no why and she told us about our Birth Mother that we had been her second choice and the first one didn't work out. It wasn't her fault just wasn't a good fit. I really wasn't sure what was happening I mean we actually got a YES and It didn't matter that we were second choice right now we were MATCHED!!
Within 5 minutes we were driving back to the house to get on a conference call with our Birth Mother, I almost threw up! Deb was great at facilitating the call and helping us through it asking questions to both of us.  I hung up cried and called Dawn screaming!!! None of it felt real till late the next day when our contracts from our agency came through and then it sunk in we got a YES!! Someone wanted us to parent their daughter.  All of this was mid August and although it seemed like the longest period of our lives it went fast. I talked to our daughter's birth mom at least once a week on the phone and multiple times through text messages. To be honest there were a lot of times I thought this isn't going to happen, but Deb and Dawn always talked me off the ledge and ultimately reminded me this was in God's hands and not mine. I was close with the birth mom and felt like we were bonding so I kept that feeling close to my heart.  

On Sunday, September 15th the birth mother sent a text at 9:30 PM that her water broke (2 weeks early) and she was going to the hospital! We moved fast packing, booking flights and getting the boys taken care of.  It was crazy in our house that night. At 1:00 we got another text that said "False alarm sending me home"  We were confused (since we thought the water broke) and sad because we were so ready to meet the birth mother and our daughter. On Monday I talked to our birth mother a lot on text and she wasn't feeling well and still thought her water broke. She decided to wait till Tuesday to see her Dr. and ask to be induced. On Tuesday, September 17th at 5:30 am my phone rang and it was our birth mom crying at the hospital and in labor at 5CM!!! I started crying and wishing I could be there. She was alone because her boyfriend was home with her 2 and 1 year old and it was 4:30 am there. We told her we would be there ASAP and to hang in there it was all going to be ok and we loved her so much! It makes me cry just typing it, she really is a part of our family and I wanted to be there for her. The baby was really the last thing from my mind.  We rebooked flights that had been cancelled hours earlier and got the boys awake and ready to school telling them where we were going. By the time we were driving to the airport at 9:30 our time (8:30 Central time) our daughter was born! We texted back and forth until the plane took off for Chicago. The birth mom asked what we were naming our daughter and we told her and asked if they wanted to give her a middle name which she did. Our daughter's  paternal grandmother had passed away recently and that became our daughter's middle name! 

When we finally arrived at the hospital they would only let one of us back and I went alone to meet the birth mother and our daughter for the first time. It was surreal, I gave her a hug and told her I loved her and was proud of her and she handed me our daughter! I met one of her sisters who was so nice and left so Matt could meet his daughter! We spent the next couple of days all day in the hospital room with them talking and getting to know her better so we could share information with our daughter in the future. It was way out of our comfort zones, but so worth it! We met the birth father and biological siblings which was priceless! On Thursday morning we headed to the hospital to pick up our daughter at discharge. This was a very hard day for me. I cried all morning at the hospital while we all filled out paperwork, I was so happy we were adopting our daughter but sad for our birth mother and what she must have felt at the time. She was calm and seemed very happy with her decision. The case worker and Matt went to get the cars and our birth mother carried our daughter on the wheelchair in her carseat out with me next to her. When she handed me our daughter I fell apart! I hugged her and told her thank you would never be enough for the blessing she has given our family. We had plans for lunch with the family on Friday after papers were signed so we knew we would see each other again.  

Pulling out of there was surreal, we had a daughter!!! That night and the next morning went very slow… would she be with us forever or would we have to return her? We headed to across town still not knowing if the relinquishment papers were signed and stared at the phone in silence. At 12:20 PM the case worker called to say congratulations! We were so elated and thankful! It was over and we had a daughter. 

We picked up the whole birth family and had lunch and took lots of pictures! It was a great experience and one we will never forget! I still talk to the birth mother at least once a week on text and we are sending pictures and updates monthly. We hope they will stay in touch with us, we would like to take our daughter to see them next year!  

The time I had getting to know the birth family is a time I will always treasure! They are a part of our family and we love them! The only regret I have is that we don't have a picture with them and us! Hoping to get that next year!  We were so worried about how this would all go and it went great although rocky at times, God was in control the whole time and he knew this was our daughter! The best advice I can give anyone adopting is get to know your birth family talk to them and keep open lines of communications. I think she always felt like she could talk to me and it helped form our bond. Step out of your comfort zone, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find! We are so in love with our daughter and are 100% sure she was meant to be ours. Follow your gut feeling, at the end of the day we  know we were led to All God's Children International to find Dawn and you to bring us to our daughter and that is just fine with us!!  We are so thankful to you and Dawn and Deb!! 


1 comment:

  1. A beautiful story! Just beautiful. Love wins. Every time.