Our Story of Hope Part 2: The Ultimate Sacrifice

When our adoption plans changed from international to domestic, I knew God had more in store for us than just having a baby. Adam and I both felt early on a burden for the mother who would be making us parents. I remember many nights feeling like she was so close. The burden would be so heavy I would often fall asleep wondering about her. And looking back on it, when we did decide on a domestic adoption, Hope was very close to being conceived.
As we continued on in the process, our ultimate desire was to have as good of a relationship with her as possible. Of course, every situation is different, but our prayers focused on being able to have a positive connection with this amazing woman.
Little did we know how amazingly God would answer our prayers. Far more than we could ever imagine. We are blessed to be matched with both Hope’s parents, which hardly ever happens. And they are the most beautiful people we know. We are remaining firm with keeping their reason for adoption private as well as their pictures, so we kindly ask that you not press us for that information. The reason doesn’t matter. But I will tell you this: love is why they chose adoption. The love they have for Hope runs so deep that they couldn’t think of a more beautiful plan for her life other than adoption. Can you imagine loving someone so much that you know letting them go was the best way you could love that person? It just amazes me. I am reminded that this is how God loved us. He literally sacrificed Jesus, watched Him bear all of our sins and ugliness, and die a despicable death. All because He loved you and me so much. Redeeming love. I will never be able to wrap my mind around that, just as I will not be able to wrap my mind on the love Tami and Joe have for sweet Hope.
In the short time we had with Tami and Joe, we grew to love them so much. Our family increased by 3, not just 1. Saying goodbye to them both in the hospital was the hardest day for Adam and I. I remember Tami and I just hugging each other and she said “All I ask is that you love her completely.” I remember these words often each day. As I’m changing her, as I get up late at night to feed her, as she falls asleep in my arms. There is nothing we could ever do to repay them for this beautiful gift, except to love her completely.
God isn’t done with our story and with our friendship with Tami and Joe. Actually, I feel like it is just beginning. We have an open adoption and they have our phone number so we are able to have communication whenever we want. After last week’s bombings in Boston, both of them called a couple of times just to check in to see if we were OK. Tami and I ended up talking for well over an hour. She was able to laugh at the funny things Hope does, was excited to hear how our families have received her and wanted to know when she was going to church for the first time. Our prayer is that this relationship continues to deepen and that through all of this, they will be pointed to Jesus.
How blessed is Hope to have 2 mothers and 2 fathers who love her deeply. Tami wrote to us, “Always let her know that we love her, but she was meant to be with you…I knew after laying eyes on you, that God sent you to me just for {Hope}.”
There are no words.

 
 
 
 
 
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Our Story of Hope Part 1: We are matched; Hope is here!

I never could have imagined Hope’s birth story to be so beautiful, so emotional, and so filled with love. As I write this, I still can’t believe that I have been blessed to be a mother to such a miracle.

Long story short, we never should have even been matched with Tami and Joe, Hope’s birth parents. They happened to reach out to a different agency in Massachusetts to talk about an adoption plan. Tami told us that she had no idea that the agency was in Massachusetts but felt the most comfortable with them because of how kind they were to her. But because the agency was in Mass and Tami and Joe were in Indiana they needed to be represented by someone in Indiana. So they contacted Kirsh and Kirsh (our placement agency). During that time, we were then contacted by Wide Horizons, asking if they could show our profile to a potential family. Of course we said “yes” right away, but said we were under contract with our agency in Indiana and couldn’t afford to lose any money. We got an e-mail back from Wide Horizons the next day stating that this family is actually working with our agency and that we should contact them immediately. The rest is history.

3 weeks ago Friday we received a call from our lawyer and he asked if were still interested in this family and we said yes! He was happy because Tami was ready to have the baby SOON! The next Monday we were on the phone with Tami and Joe, 2 of the most beautiful people we will ever have the chance of meeting. Adam and I were so nervous before calling. We prayed before hand and Adam said “Please God, don’t let us sound like idiots.” Ha 🙂 It was awkward at first, but we clicked right away. The conversation was as easy as it could be considering the weight of what each of us were discussing. There were moments when I could sense in their voice their sadness, their grief. But overall, they were so confident that in the decision that they were making and knew that adoption was the right choice. We entered this phone call thinking that Tami and Joe were going to want to interview us, more or less, to see if we would be the right parents for their daughter. But as the conversation went on, Tami said to us that they had already chosen us and their baby would soon be our daughter. To hear those words “We’ve chosen you” after all this time was so surreal. It was really happening. God had finally brought us together and our baby was going to be here probably by Saturday.

Adam and I began to make plans to head out to Indiana for Saturday. We prepared our jobs that we would be taking time off and that Wednesday was going to be my last day of work for 3 months. Well, as we were leaving work on Wednesday, we got an e-mail from our attorney stating that Tami was being admitted into the hospital that night and was going to be induced. Slight panic set in as we knew that Tami and Joe wanted us to be there for the birth and started to feel a teeny bit anxious that we would be parents by the end of the night.

At 6:30PM, we were on our couch booking a flight out to Chicago. At 9PM we were on a flight out of Boston heading to Chicago and preparing for the 3 hour drive to Indiana. Adam calls this our own version of “The Amazing Race.” It absolutely was! When we landed in Chicago, Tami called me and was dying to know where we we were. We told we still needed to drive 3 hours. We would probably arrive in Indiana around 2:30AM. She thought we might make it for Hope’s arrival, but at that point she was already 4cm dilated. At 1:45AM, Joe called us and put us on speaker phone. In the background, we heard Hope crying as she was getting cleaned up. She made her entrance at 1:29AM. The thoughtfulness of Tami and Joe to call us at that moment still brings tears to my eyes. They wanted us included in every detail. In retrospect, we are so happy that we were not there right when Hope was born. Tami and Joe had over an hour to be with her, take pictures, and just spend time with her. I am so happy that they had that special time before we arrived.

At 2:30AM we arrived at the hospital. We were exhausted, still in the day before’s work clothes, and trying to process about what was about to occur. We still couldn’t believe we were about to meet Hope after 2 years of praying for her. No one could have prepared us for the emotions that set in. Not only are we about to meet Hope, but we were now face to face with her parents who are about to make the ultimate sacrifice. My heart was so full. When we walked into the hospital room, Tami was wide awake and said, “It’s about time you got here!” Ha:) We loved her instantly. Adam and I just followed their lead. Hope was not technically our daughter yet, so we wanted to respect that. Joe led us right over to Hope and left us alone with her for just a few minutes. Adam and I couldn’t stop crying or staring. She was just beautiful. We then walked over to Tami and sat with her. We had about an hour with both Tami and Joe to get to know them and chat. This is something I truly treasure. After about 1/2 hour, Joe came over with Hope and said “You have to hold her.” There are no words to describe those first moments and I pray I never forget them. At the same time tho, I was trying to control my excitement because here I was sitting next to Tami who just gave birth to this beautiful baby who would not be going home with her. I will never be able to imagine that grief and what she must have been feeling during those moments.

 
 
The hospital had a room set up for us a few doors down from Tami. As we were getting ready to get settled, Joe wheeled Hope’s bassinet over to us and told us that they wanted us to care for her from the beginning. What a gift!

On March 28, 2013 our lives forever changed when Hope Cassadie Evelyn appeared.

Our God is the God of miracles and is the God that makes the impossible possible. Adoption is the most beautiful gift I have ever experienced. I am amazed by how God works everything together for our good and weaves together every detail. As I look at Hope, I can’t imagine any other baby more perfect for us. Adam and I are humbled by how God has blessed us, how He has allowed us to experience adoption, and how He has created our family. Nothing could be more beautiful than the way God works.