I was sitting in my home office on a random Tuesday afternoon when my wife walked into the room, tears in her eyes and her cell phone pressed to her ear. She was listening to the voice on the other end of the line, but she was trying to tell me something with her eyes. She put her hand on my shoulder and, through deep gasps of air, she whispered to me: “They picked us. We’re getting a baby.”
Let me back up. Two years ago, my wife and I started what would be a long journey toward adopting a baby. We attended interviews and orientation classes, were subjected to multiple criminal background checks and home inspections, and lots of waiting. We had been told that the process could take up to two years, but I don’t think we really believed that it would. However, with every passing month, we wrestled with feelings of frustration, confusion, and doubt. Throughout the process, we were assigned different social workers, came close to being placed more than once, and at the end of the day found ourselves still without a baby. We hosted fundraisers. I even wrote a book just to raise money for the adoption! We worried that we had chosen the wrong path. We also worried that people who knew us might wonder if we were frauds and weren’t really planning to adopt at all.
And then one Tuesday in June—almost two years to the day of when our journey began—our social worker called and told Caroline what she wanted to hear most: “You’re getting a baby.”
The next two days were a blur: Calling family and friends, making plans for our other two kids, buying a car seat (as well as a crib, baby formula, blankets, and clothes), and trying to make sure we weren’t forgetting anything (as it turns out, we forgot many, many things, but it was fine).
So finally, on Thursday, June 9, we brought our new son home to stay. His name is Abel, and he’s the greatest.
Our two older kids are obsessed with him. My son—who is six—welcomed his baby brother home by showing him all of the DVD cases for each of the Star Wars movies and explaining what each one of them is about. The question our older kids most frequently ask in our house is currently, “Can I hold the baby?”
And now this path that began over two years ago has come to an end, and yet it feels like the real journey is just beginning. We have an Open Adoption, which means we are in contact with Abel’s birth family, and we will continue to be part of each other’s lives as we go forward. So our ideas about family continue to expand in ways that we never could have imagined. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about that as time marches on.
So for those of you who have been following along with us as we have navigated the long road towards adoption, thank you for your encouragement, your support, and your prayers. They have meant more than you know.
And to those of you who wonder if there is something you should do—a big step you want to take but feel afraid or uneasy—let me offer you a word of encouragement: As a dad who has felt intimidated and afraid throughout this whole process of adoption, I am so glad we took the risks that we took and followed the path that we were called to follow. Or, more precisely, I am so glad that my wife had the determination and faith to proceed even when I wanted to bail. If we hadn’t taken the path that we were so clearly called to take, we would not have Abel, which I cannot even imagine today. He so completely belongs in our family, and I can’t picture life without him.
So whatever that next step is for you, I hope you take it. I hope you move forward and see what life has in store for you.
Grace and peace.