Monday, June 9, 2014

Where the waiting ended.

I told Corey that I would update our blog months ago… now seems like a pretty good time.

Adoption Story

We can agree that the entire course of our lives can be changed with a single phone call. These phones calls seem to have a way of coming at the most unexpected moments. We pray these phone calls carry good news and not crippling bad news. Monday, May 19th we received our phone call.

It was a perfect day to be outside. My mom had come to visit to help Corey and I prepare for our last home study visit on Tuesday, May 20th.  Corey was off at work at the preschool. I had just started mowing the lawn. My phone rang and I stopped the mower to answer a call from our good friend from church. She called to inform me that her friend since childhood had just called asking if she knew anyone that was adopting. She explained that there were twins that had just been born in Rockford and the birth mom has had a plan for adoption. I tried to keep my “cool” as I heard these words that would change our lives forever. I tried to sound “professional” to not get my hopes up. I mowed the rest of my lawn in tears as my mind raced towards the future of being the father of twins. It wasn’t long before I drove my tractor into the tree in my front yard. It was a humorous break from the heavy news I just received.

To speed up this story, I spent that afternoon trying to figure out if all of this was possible. Corey and I talked with our adoption consultant and our social worker. We made sure we got the birth mother our profile book that day. We prayed and spent the rest of the day waiting.

The next day our social worker from Bethany Christian Services called Corey on her way up for our home study. I was doing some work on the computer as I saw the tears begin on Corey’s face. Corey told me that the birth mom called the hospital social worker and said that she was choosing us. Crazy enough the hospital social worker is good friends with our social worker.

Our home study went great that Tuesday. We even had a much-needed door installed for our basement by Mr. Handyman at church. (Husband to the friend that called on Monday). We spent a little time during our home study discussing what would need to happen for this adoption process. Things were getting very exciting!

On Monday, May 26th we met with the birth mother and her aunt. This is an important part of the story. We want everyone to know how awesome, brave, and loving the birth mother is. She wants the absolute best for her children and loves them in a way only a mother can. Our first meeting with her was nothing short of perfect. It sort of felt like meeting family you didn’t know you had. Her aunt greeted us with hugs, smiles, and encouragement. She has been a blessing to Corey and I from the day we met her. We all talked for about 20 minutes and then we drove up to the NICU to see the twins.

Sometimes things happen so fast that you aren’t really sure how to process them. We were literally driving to see our children for the first time. It was a surreal moment. We walked into the NICU, held each baby, and cried. I am not sure what happened the rest of the day. I described that moment to Corey as if nothing in the world mattered while at the same time it all mattered very much.

We spent the rest of the week visiting the twins in the NICU. We held them, fed them, and changed them while the nurses gave us tips. On Wednesday of that week, our church wrote us a check from the donations people had given for our adoption costs. From all the unbelievably generous family members, friends, and local churches we had enough to cover our entire adoption costs the week we brought our children home. On Thursday of that week our adoption license had been finalized. On Friday of that week we brought our children home.

We met everyone at the hospital that Friday.  I can’t really accurately describe that day other than it was bittersweet. The birth mother met with the social worker and the babies, we met with the social worker, and finally we all met together in the room with the twins. We took pictures together and I had the opportunity to pray for everyone before the birth mother and her family left. These are not images that easily erase from your brain nor do I want them to. It was life in its most raw and real form. It was powerful and beautiful.

On Friday, May 30th, we brought home beautiful and healthy twins. Ezra Lee Payne and Eliza Renee Payne. The birth mother chose the middle names and they are such a perfect fit.

Why We Share Our Story
1    1. God is bigger than expectations. God is more powerful than I often recognize. Our story is nothing short of a miracle. We want people to stand with us in awe of our great God. We spent years struggling through infertility and praying for God to bless us with a child. We never expected our story to be this amazing. We went through our entire adoption process from the preliminary application to placement in 4 months! That does not happen. Our story is a testimony to the power of the local church. It is the power of God’s people showing love to one another. Our connection with the adoption agency, the adoption consultant, the birth mother, the financial resources, the prayers, and the encouragement all stem from the workings of the local church. God’s glorious redemptive plan for humanity is through the power of the local church. Corey and I experienced the power of the local church in a way that we had never seen. My hope is that our story encourages those that are far from God and strengthens those that are close to God. Our story is ultimately God’s story. It NEVER goes according to our plan and it ALWAYS is for His good. Adoption has a way of changing your life. We pray that our story would point to the life-changing message of Christ. The Gospel changes everything.
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      2. We also want people to know that our adoption story is incredibly rare. There are many loving couples that have waited far longer than us and have gone through more heartbreak than we care to live. We do not want to our story to become the comparison for future adoptions. My prayer is that we encourage more future adoptions and that the local church continues to support each scenario with the same love and compassion that we have received.

Something I Personally Learned
TRUST! You will often hear in adoption circles to “guard your heart.” Almost everything in the adoption process is out the hands of adoptive parents. An adoption process can end at any second and without warning. “Guarding your heart” helps adoptive parents to not get their hopes up in the case something goes wrong. I spent a lot of time trying to perfect this art of “guarding my heart” before I gave up during one of my morning times with God. I began to realize that this mindset is not really helpful or even Biblical. Ultimately what we are saying to God is, “I am going to guard my heart because I am afraid You are going to break it.” I was using a cop out to not trust God with the thing that I need to trust Him most in. Trust involves submission. I submit my heart to God, trusting that He can make my week great or He can break my heart. Regardless, my joy is found in Christ and not in the outcome of an adoption process. That is a gigantic pill to swallow.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

I must not forget that my definition of “good” and God’s definition of “good” can be very different. I must remember that it is all for His purpose and not mine. All of this requires TRUST.

Shout Out
My Beautiful Wife- Her courage and love for Christ in all things is encouraging. I have never met a stronger woman. She is my best friend.
Our Family- For love and support when we needed it the most. My mom stayed with us for a month through this whole process. I am so thankful to have a mother that works so hard and loves her family with a fierce love.
Faith Community Church- It is an honor to serve at a church with people that represent the love of Christ. The support of our church leaves me speechless. I love it!
Tiffany and Jonathan- Words can’t express how much we love these guys. Our lives would not be the same without them.
Our Kentucky Church Family- They never stop loving us! Thank you!
Our Friends- We literally have the best friends on the planet. Thank you for supporting us in many ways.
Bethany Christian Services- We love this agency and their commitment to birth mothers. Our social worker from Bethany is amazing.
The birth mother and her family- You are strong, you are loving, and you are family.

- Jason