There have been few times in my life when I really knew what God wanted me to do. I’ve been pretty sure of his direction, but on May 27, 2005 it was like God called me on the phone and said, “This is the path I’ve chosen for you.” And, WOW, what a wonderful path it was!
The four years leading up to that phone call were filled with many prayers, losses, doctors, pain, tears, and no certain diagnosis. We were told that our last option was in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and even if that worked, the odds of sustaining a pregnancy were slim to none given our history. The emotions became too much to bear at that time and my husband and I decided we needed a break. It was during that time that the signs began to appear. I would see billboards, television commercials, newspaper articles, web site banners and magazine ads all displaying beautiful babies, saying adoption could be right for us. These signs were everywhere I went, but I wasn’t yet convinced. I was certain that if God really wanted us to adopt that he would have presented a diagnosis that showed us that it was the only way.
I continued to pray for a clear direction, and as the months went on, the signs appeared more frequently. Soon, a little part of me began to wonder if this really was our calling. What if we could be that family in the adoption article? What if there would never be a diagnosis? What if there was a sweet baby out there with no one to adopt them?
The wondering grew, and we attended an informational meeting with an agency whose focus was on expectant mothers and babies in need. They were upfront in saying that their job was to find families and support for babies, not to find babies for families. That stung a little because all I was interested in at the time was someone to give us a baby. I hadn’t considered anyone else. It was about me and what I wanted. I was still young, and had no idea at the time that living a life with me in the center was not what I should be striving for.
We decided to proceed with a home study in the domestic adoption program with that agency. In August of 2004 we were approved as a prospective adoptive family and began waiting, hoping that an expectant family might choose us to adopt their baby. At first the months flew by as I shopped and painted the nursery. I was sure that it would happen any day and I wanted everything to be ready and perfect. But when the day came that everything was ready, and still no baby, time crawled slowly by. As more days passed, fear soon began to creep in. What if this isn’t our calling? What if no one ever choose us? What if no one thinks we will be good parents? What if we were supposed to do IVF, after all?
The cost to adopt an infant domestically at this time was approximately the same cost as IVF. We had paid for our home study and the remaining funds would be due at the time an infant was placed with us. At the time, we did not have all the money necessary to complete the adoption or IVF. We talked about it and chose to wait to make any further decisions until we had the remaining amount needed. When we had saved all the necessary funds several months later to complete an adoption or have one round of IVF, there still no promising leads with the agency. Our patience was wearing thin. Despite our continued prayers that God would show us which direction to go, we received no clear answer. So we decided to go ahead with the IVF.
It took two more months of various doctor visits, hormones treatments, shots, and blood work to prepare for IVF. When everything was ready, they told us they would monitor my blood work every other day for seven days, and then a nurse would call me to make an appointment for the egg retrieval procedure. That Friday, May 27, 2005, was a big day for me at work. I was in charge of an event to be held that evening so I was busy all day. But I still kept my cell phone in my pocket so I wouldn’t miss the nurse’s call.
Sometime in the afternoon my phone rang, and I hurriedly grabbed it, expecting to see the doctor’s number. My heart sank as I saw it was our social worker instead. I figured she was calling to sign us up for another training, or to tell us we needed another home visit or more paperwork. But I was wrong. It was as if God was calling, telling us the path He had chosen for us.
My heart raced as she told me about a baby girl born the night before in a nearby town. The family liked our profile and wanted to meet us that evening! My coworker was the only person I told about this wonderful possibility as I left that day. She graciously handled everything for the event I was in charge of so I could meet with my husband and make some decisions.
We decided we wanted to meet with the family to see if this might be a good fit for everyone involved. After speaking with two social workers about the situation and the risks involved, we met with the baby’s birth mother and some of her family. She told us that she wanted to place her baby with us! The baby would be discharged from the hospital the next morning, and we could pick her up and take her home. After all that time, we finally knew that God’s path for us was adoption.
During all the commotion that evening, the IVF nurse had called and left a message that I was to have the egg retrieval for IVF two days later. I called her back and canceled the IVF.
It didn’t take long after our daughter’s adoption to realize that all the things I thought I wanted in life no longer mattered. I grew up a lot in those first few months and began to see that despite my selfish reasons for pursuing adoption, God had a plan to change me for the better. He showed me that my life should not be centered around what I think I want and need, but on others and what I can do for them.
Since our daughter’s placement I no longer see a stranger’s face when I see adoption ads. I see her face, and her birth mother’s face. I see love. I feel love. And I hear God saying, “THIS is the path I have chosen for you.” That path also led us to adopt another infant domestically on February 12, 2007. That time, our social worker called about a two day old baby boy just one short month after our home study was approved. Our son was born on my birthday, February 10th!!! We knew that only God could have orchestrated such a wonderful birthday gift.
Michelle and her family still have more love to give and are now waiting to adopt for a third time. They feel adoption is truly their calling, and cannot wait to open their home and hearts to another child. You can read more about Michelle and her family on their adoption profile.