Our Plans Aren't Always God's Plans
God brought us to our adoption one small step at a time. Many times in our marriage we had felt the nudges towards adoption but every time we had pursued them the doors would be shut and we would just say maybe in the future. It wasn't until the end of 2017 that the doors for adoption finally opened, shortly after we had decided our family was complete. When God started opening the doors for adoption we were very content as a family of three, we didn't have much saved up for the adoption, and we were completely clueless as to what it really took to bring home a child through domestic adoption. We took each day as it came, and found ourselves in the home study process and looking for what to do next... that is when we found Cradled in Grace. Once we began working with Kim we started to make sense, or as much sense as possible, of what it was going to take to bring this adoption journey to fruition. We had fundraisers, applied for grants, saved, and waited. God began working miracles right away as the funds continued to come together in ways we couldn't even begin to understand. We had so much support from all of those around us, which was crucial as the waiting was the hardest part. As soon as our home study was complete, we began to present to birth mothers. During this time we heard, what felt like, a lot of nos... but we just kept waiting and trusting God. On a Tuesday afternoon in July we got a text asking if we would be interested in presenting on a situation for a 3 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. God was truly at work, because both of us felt led to ask for more information... so we did. During this time there was also another case that seemed a better fit on paper for us, but we just couldn't get these two off of our minds and out of our hearts. On Wednesday morning I heard God say to me "what if these are the kids I have for you?" This was probably the first time my heart knew that these were our kids... even if my head hadn't gotten there yet. The next few days were a whirlwind of trying to sort through the details of everything, learning about the kids, and praying about if we should present or not. We decided Thursday afternoon to present even though we were short on funds and we were completely unprepared. We just knew that this was God's plan for us. So we presented, and then waited and worried about what was going to happen next. On Friday afternoon, after waiting anxiously all day, we got the phone call that our family of 3 was about to be a family of 5. We began frantically scrambling to pull together the finances, use airline miles to book last minute flights, find a place to stay, etc. It was all a blur, but come Sunday afternoon we met our kiddos first mama for the first time. It was such a special and sweet time getting to know her and share time bonding before we met the kiddos. I am so thankful that we had that time, it will always be one of the most special and profoundly humbling experiences of my life. Later that evening we met our kiddos for the first time. Again, it was a very surreal moment that I am very glad our agency photographed for us so that we can share the memories with our kids. We had a great time just playing and enjoying time together. At the end of the evening we planned to get together again and said goodnight. It was the next day, Monday, that we took placement of the kids after a lunch meeting. It was less than a week from the time we first heard about them until the time they were in our care. Adoption is always an adventure! We waited for ICPC for what felt like forever, but again God is so good. We had time as a family to continue to bond, which we believe was crucial for the sibling bond we now have. From the time we learned we had matched we began praying for supernatural bonding for our family, and God answered with a resounding yes and used our ICPC time to do so! God provided in so many other ways too. We were away for nearly three weeks and did not once pay for a hotel the entire time because of the generosity of others! We had a wonderful apartment to stay in and a vehicle to use because other people, who were complete strangers before this experience, believe in and supported us in this adoption journey. Even the airlines went above and beyond for us in order to get us home for an affordable price. God just kept showing off! Once we were home God continued to move. There were many stressors that had happened in this process that were outside normal circumstances, but again God used that. What was a potentially negative situation initially, turned into an expedited finalization, which of course brings an adoptive family peace of mind. The last miracle God performed (at least thus far) was providing us one last grant that is helping us repay some of the money we were short at match. A friend of a friend heard our story and went to a grant organization based out of Oklahoma and advocated for their support for us. We weren't technically in their criteria, but again God moved and they were so generous with us! This whole journey has shown us the mighty power of God and how he can work in even the darkest and what seem like the most hopeless situations.