Our Adoption Journey
My heart was ready. Life just needed to catch up.
The first Mother’s Day I experienced while waiting in the pool of adoptive parents felt very emotional. I was so ready to be a mother. I was unsure of when or if it would happen. My husband bought me flowers that day, and I was so thankful he understood that I was a mother-in-waiting. My heart was ready. Life just needed to catch up.
After quite a few ups and downs in our journey, our first daughter was born in May of 2014, and her adoption was finalized in November of that year. At the beginning of our first adoption, there was so much to be unsure about. I didn’t feel like her mother immediately. Instead, it was a natural, barely noticeable transition. It was so easy to fall in love with her.
I didn’t know what to expect of motherhood or adoption. When we first started our adoption journey, I worried about what it would feel like. Would I feel like a “real mom”? Would we bond? Would I feel different? I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I feel in every part of my soul that I am a mother, no other title needed. I am HER mother. But it has to be different than biology, doesn’t it? It’s more complex, beautiful, amazing, and sacred.
As soon as our daughter turned one, we jumped right into our next home study with New Life. We were eager to adopt again. It was another tough journey, but our second daughter was born in July of 2019, and her adoption was finalized that December.
As we waited for our second adoption, God kept speaking this verse to me: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). I knew He was preparing me for something. I knew it wasn’t going to be something I was asking him for, it was going to be better than I could design. He was inviting me to trust him with my desires, hopes, and dreams. And he was true to His word – our adoption has been better than I could ever imagine! He made it clear that He was orchestrating it and weaving our stories together. And I’m so thankful for that.
He was inviting me to trust him with my desires, hopes, and dreams. And he was true to his word – our adoption has been better than I could ever imagine!
After four years of waiting, I woke up one morning just knowing, in my heart, that we would receive news that day of a very special adoption situation, and we did! A week later, John knew in his heart she would want to meet us, and she did. We first met Kendrah in March of 2019. She wanted to meet us, but we were told that she hadn’t decided yet, and she would possibly be meeting other families. We were SO nervous! I changed my outfit at least three times.
We met Kendrah and her mom, Kristina, at the agency. As soon as they walked in, we all quickly realized just how nervous EVERYONE was! We were able to laugh a bit about it to ease the tension. As the conversation progressed, we shared with Kendrah and Kristina how God had prompted John and me on separate occasions letting us know that this was it, but what was even more incredible, was that God had shared a vision of the adoptive parents with Kristina, and it was an image of us! How incredible to be reassured that God was in control and guiding us! Our social workers both said the Holy Spirit was clearly with us in that meeting, and it was amazing to witness. We ended the meeting all in tears at what God was doing.
How incredible to be reassured that God was in control and guiding us!
I think I knew that motherhood was hard, but I didn’t understand how it was hard. Now as a mother, I have come to hold so much respect for my own mom! As painful as our journey has been at times, it has also given us the purest joys of our lives. Becoming a mother, comforting and holding my sweet children that I prayed so hard for, watching them sleep peacefully, witnessing their growth, and watching a sisterly bond blossom have been the best moments of my life.
Every day is filled with many highs and many lows. But despite how hard the journey was, no one is exempt from the tough stuff, and we are all allowed to feel the whole spectrum of emotions! I worry about their safety and health, question whether I’m doing things right, whether I am a “good mom”, struggle with discipline, but so does every other parent! Being a parent has, at times, been harder than I ever imagined, but it’s also better than I could have dreamed.
She is Ours
I also didn’t truly comprehend the depth of love that I could feel as a mother. I didn’t know the complexity of the meaning of “family,” how the concept can be fluid and changing, and how it can encompass so many people! The biggest lesson I have learned is that motherhood is sanctifying, and I cannot, and should not, try to do it without God.
There is a quote that I think explains motherhood in adoption well: “He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine, and so together, we are motherhood.” ~ Desha Woodall. Her birth mom and I love each other and love her. She is not just mine. She is ours. Our story has been simultaneously difficult and at the same time better than I could have ever imagined.
She is not just mine. She is ours. Our story has been simultaneously difficult and at the same time better than I could have ever imagined.