Our family now. Welcome, sweet Riley Grace.
I barely know where to begin this story, except to say this: I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d have two under two.
David and I had discussed kid spacing. 2.5 years apart sounded great.
Until we adopted Zoe.
At our first post-placement visit, three weeks after Zoe came home with us, our social worker joked “so, are you ready for another one?” In all seriousness, I said “yes.”
When I told David about our conversation, he laughed nervously.
“You were joking, right?” he said.
“Nope. I would take another one any time. Including now,” I said.
My poor husband, sleep-deprived and wondering what glutton for punishment he had married, told me that we could renegotiate our 2.5 year spacing but that he didn’t really want to have a discussion about a new baby until Zoe was one. He didn’t think we could handle more than one baby. I understood and tried to respect his wishes, and we settled into life as a family of three.
In the first week of October, when Zoe was ten months old, I felt my heart being tugged towards adoption—hard. A newspaper article. A song. A dream. A story. A book. Another newspaper article. Billboards. I felt like I couldn’t escape it. I finally told David at lunch on October 8, “THIS IS INSANITY. I can’t escape this. I feel like we have to pray about whether we are being called to adopt again now.” He laughed.
Later that afternoon, I got an email about a young boy in our community who needed a home. I don’t ever get emails like this, and when I called the friend who had sent it to ask more questions, she said “I knew you were going to call. I sent it to a group of people so you wouldn’t feel singled out, but I knew you were the one who was going to call me back.”
After that, David agreed to pray about it.
On October 9, he gave me the okay to call the lawyer representing the boy. After all, it wasn’t a newborn.
The situation with the boy didn’t seem like a fit, but somehow I left the conversation with a request from the the lawyer to talk to David about whether we would be interested in adopting a baby who was expected in December. The lawyer was finding it difficult to find a black family—the mom’s preference for the baby—and wondered if the mom would feel comfortable placing with our multiracial family.
I presented the situation to David, mostly as a joke. We had not called about a newborn—we had called about a young boy. Hilarious, right?
Oddly enough…that husband of mine said “I am actually really excited about the possibility of a newborn. Ask more questions.”
I asked more questions. We began to pray. We talked financials. We had money earmarked for one more adoption. Could we live on David’s salary + my part time work with two kids in diapers? Yes, we realized. We could. It would be tight, but we could do it.
The lawyer suggested that we put a family profile together for the birth mom. I made it over nap times and turned it in. We kept praying. We didn’t feel the “STOP” we expected to feel. What was this?
I contacted our old adoption agency. Can we do an expedited home study? I asked. Our case manager said yes. We heard from the lawyer that the birth mom was interested. Everything was falling into place…for an adoption.
The week before Thanskgiving, David and I began to feel uneasy about the specific situation. I asked some friends to pray for clarity for us before we signed the retainer letter and put our check in. We decided to make our decision over Thanksgiving break.
Two days before Thanksgiving, I got an email from our case manager at our old adoption agency. Could I call her? There was something she wanted to discuss.
My heart began racing. Somehow, I suspected what was coming next.
We played phone tag. I tried to quell my nervousness, telling myself she couldn’t possibly say what I thought she was going to say.
Then, at Target, while Zoe and I posed for a picture by the Lego display—a phone call.
My suspicions were right. Zoe’s birth mom was pregnant again and wanted us to adopt the baby. It was probably a long shot, but were we remotely interested?
Yes. We were, I said.
Our case manager was surprised. Didn’t we even want to talk about it? No, I said, looking at David. He nodded. We didn’t need to.
We had already opened our hearts to the possibility of a newborn, soon, and we had already decided that we could make the logistics work.
We had already talked about it. We just didn’t know who we were talking about.
I thanked God for the clarity about the other situation and we rejoiced in the fact that God was making it clear to us that we were supposed to adopt again, sooner than planned, and to adopt a newborn.
We let the lawyer representing the other birthmom know that we were withdrawing from consideration, and began preparing to welcome Zoe’s sibling into the world.
Little did we know what was about to occur.
This is getting long and both girls are up from their naps now (so fun to say “both girls!!!”)…so part II will be coming soon!