Knowing we wanted to adopt was a given….it wasn’t even a conversation for us. The minute we found out that IVF was the only way we would ever conceive, we just knew that we would grow our family through adoption. It was about 5-6 months between knowing adoption was our chosen path and finding Everlasting….I always refer to it as “Finding Everlasting” because I knew from the first phone call that it wasn’t a choice. God’s plan for us always included Ceal, Carol, Sheila & Brittany. Prior to that call, there were lots of other “calls”, lots of packets came to our house, lots of questions asked and answered and at least 3 close-to-nervous breakdowns. Adoption is expensive, that’s no secret, and deciding who to trust is overwhelming! Practically speaking, there’s only so much money, but, at the beginning of this journey all you can think about is that you are trusting someone with every single desire, dream and prayer that you are capable of….so you want to pick a good place to land.
I remember our “call” with Carol….that February morning. I got to work early so I could just concentrate on the conversation. We conferenced in my husband, and I sat on the floor, later learning that Ben sat in the bathroom, and at the end of that first 90 minute call with Carol, I think we both took a deep breath for the first time in months! That phone call was the beginning of Everlasting blessing our lives forever.
Brittany & Sheila were so wonderful through the entire process of getting our book, web profile and paperwork complete. It’s one of the things that I didn’t realize I would find so helpful, but I know we couldn’t have done it alone. This journey is so emotional, as an adoptive family you are trying to put yourself out there – the tendency is to over share, because we are so attached to every story and every picture and we want everyone to fall in love and pick us! Having professionals to help us navigate that is essential and I think they did an awesome job.
I cried when we got the call that we had been chosen as an Everlasting family, I remember exactly where I was, I hadn’t eaten all day because I knew we couldn’t do it without them. From that day in February until the next phone call on January 30th, if I had a nickel for every time someone said to me “just live your life, you can’t let it consume you”…..we could have paid for this adoption in nickels! While I appreciate the intent, if you are a mom waiting to adopt, it’s the most annoying phrase in the world. I won’t ever utter that phrase to anyone, but I do believe it to be true now.
What I will say (or advise, although I”m not qualified to advise), is this: find a way to make it okay for you and for your partner. I read a blog sometime last summer….I’m paraphrasing, but basically, what I took from it is this:
I believe that this is the path God planned for our family. God knew Everlasting was part of our journey. Brooks was created in his image, to be our son. It wasn’t about the heartache we went through during our journey, it was about Brooks. He is our son. He’s not replaceable or interchangeable. He is our son. He came in God’s time. If you know that, really know it, deep down, then it makes this process easier. You’ll find peace in your wait, knowing that when it’s time….your baby will come.
If you want to build your family through adoption, here are my thoughts:
*You can’t do better than Everlasting, you are in perfect hands!
*Have faith ~ Know that YOUR son or daughter is out there…if this is what’s on your heart, then you have to trust that your child is out there, waiting on you to bring him/her home!
*Don’t feel like you have to listen to anyone but yourself. If your heart is aching to buy a crib, buy a crib and when people tell you that you’re crazy, just use as your “why” story that we had 72 hours notice 🙂
*Don’t apologize to anyone, especially for your feelings. This is a long journey; emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually….you will find strength when you need it, and on days when there is nothing to do but sit and cry, embrace it and NEVER apologize.
We were incredibly blessed to meet our son just 11 months into our relationship with Everlasting. Ceal called Friday morning around 10:00 am (by the way, you will ALWAYS remember answering the phone and hearing “Hi X, it’s Ceal”) there were still some questions to be answered, but I knew that moment we were bringing home our son. By the afternoon, most of our questions had been answered. Saturday morning we spoke with our birth mom, and everyone in our life rallied to bring home our baby. Monday morning we made the drive to New Orleans, and the minute my husband held him, he smiled and we knew. This was the baby God made for us to love. Benjamin Brooks was born on January 16th, 2015 in New Orleans. He had a rough couple of weeks, but thankfully once we were able to bring him home all that was forgotten.
We are settling into being a family; Brooks is already so loved and spoiled. His dad just stares at him in awe of this wonderful little dude that is now his best friend. I stare in awe of the treasure God entrusted to me.
Our story was perfect…for us. Your story is perfect….even if you don’t know the ending. Know that your Everlasting family is bigger than you will ever know!!! We’re all praying for you and for your sweet baby. Motherhood has made me realize that I will never, ever, ever be able to repay people for what they have done for us….all I can do is pay it forward. There are no words to adequately convey the debt of gratitude we have for Ceal, Carol, Sheila and Brittany and the rest of the team…..they helped us find our son.