Sometimes I can't believe my life. It's amazing to see God working through our family in such miraculous and distinct ways. Praise the Lord!
Seth's adoption story begins with a simple message on our online adoption portal asking if we wanted our profile to be shown to the birthparents of a Chinese newborn baby boy with Down Syndrome born in California. At that point, we knew a few things: (1) we had previously decided to say YES to all showings unless we felt unrest about an adoption inquiry, (2) interstate placement requires at least one parent to stay in state until the paperwork is complete, (3) we felt prepared to parent a baby with special needs. With these in mind, we messaged back and said yes, show our profile. It was scanned and sent to CA. This was a Friday afternoon.
Sunday, I received confirmation from our adoption social worker that our profile was in CA and being reviewed by the birthparents.
Monday, May 18, I received a phone call from our social worker with the news that we had been chosen by the birthparents. We were matched!! I talked with her for a few minutes, she passed along contact information for the social worker in CA and laid out the logistics for me - we would have to travel across the country later that week. Of course, my brain went into overdrive at that moment...Hampton's schedule, flight prices, someone to watch Luke, closing on our house (oh, did I forget to mention we were buying a new house?), what to pack, what to buy here or there, who to tell first.
I called Hampton and gave him the great news; then we started planning - and packing - and TELLING.
The TELLING is my favorite part. I love sharing the amazing news that God has created a new little human being and has orchestrated HIS plan for our lives in such a way that we get to be parents again!! SO.AMAZING.
We booked a flight for CA and made all the appropriate arrangements for Luke and Hampton's schedule. It all worked out, of course, and we flew to CA on Friday, May 22.
Friday afternoon we met the birthparents at the Bethany office. Those details are so precious and so private that I cannot possibly post them here for the world to see. Just know that these birthparents love their son dearly and wanted the best life for him possible, which meant choosing adoption. Meeting them and sharing our lives with them has already been such a blessing to me. I am forever thankful for their gift of life for their son and there are no words that could adequately express our emotions or theirs. (I'm also very thankful for the translator who did such an amazing job helping us communicate!)
After our meeting, we all signed a bunch of paperwork. There is a very practical side to adoption, amidst the emotions and the feelings and the JOY - there is a ton of paperwork. I'm so very thankful that we have worked with an organization that takes adoption seriously and works with all parties involved to insure the best outcome possible for the child. I would sign a million pages.
We decided to wait until Saturday to go to the hospital to visit our new baby boy. We navigated the check-in process, security, and finding the right room...and there he was. Our precious little baby boy, wrapped up like a burrito in a hospital blanket, hooked up to several monitors, but doing so well and sleeping so soundly. The nurses welcomed us and let us hold him. The birthparents came later and we awkwardly passed baby boy around.
We sat down with the doctors and talked about baby's diagnoses and health issues. He had surgery and was recovering well, but not feeding completely on his own. That was our major hurdle to getting him out of the NICU and home with us.
SO, the days passed. The birthparents flew back to China. Hampton flew back to FL. And I moved into the Ronald McDonald House - settling in for the long haul, not really knowing what I was in for.
MORE TO COME! Stay tuned for the rest of Seth's adoption story. I promise it will only be two parts. :)