It has been the most amazing experience I have ever had, and Nightlight was so instrumental in preparing us for what would soon be one of our greatest gifts ever…our little Rylie. We received a call from our social worker telling us a birth mom was in labor and wanted to give her child up for adoption. Three days later we were taking home the most beautiful child ever!
Nightlight was there for us throughout every stage of our adoption journey. They were compassionate during the difficult periods of waiting and wondering when we would be picked as adoptive parents. After we adopted our precious baby girl, they continued to provide support to ensure the adoptive process was a complete success.
The day we saw Rylie being born, I felt like I had given birth to her myself, and was so immediately in love with her! I have a biological child, and always wondered if the love for an adopted child would be the same…I am here to tell you there is no difference!
When Mary called, I did not know what to expect. We had been “on market” for a couple of months, open and greatly anticipating our next little blessing. Birthmothers were viewing our family book, seeing the adorable snap shots of our two oldest children (ages 5 and 2), and we wondered who would fall in love with the idea of a larger family.
Just hearing her voice on the other end of the line made my breath stop and my heart skipped a beat; we had been matched! As Mary scrolled through the necessary information I tried to stay focused and present…despite being overwhelmed with excitement. A birthmother had chosen us; she was seven months along, expecting a boy. The birthmother was white, birthfather was black and she had already chosen his birth-given name…Elijah.
At this proclamation, I felt all the blood rush out of my face. A lump caught in my throat and I could barely get the next words out, “That was the name we chose.” Silence stood between us as we both tried to grasp the weight of this situation. For the birth mom, this was assurance. For us, it was a miracle; evidence of His hand, that He was purposeful in building our family.
My joy is relived each day as I hold him close in snuggles or observe him playing from afar. Elijah was created and lovingly nourished, born by the grace of God, and is evidence of His great mercy. Our hearts are filled to overflowing as he runs through the yard, proud of his name’s meaning, shouting at the top of his lungs, “God is great!” We couldn’t agree more.
When we brought our oldest boy Jaden home, he was crying, and it was cold and rainy outside. We both hovered over him from changing his little diaper, to getting his little bottle, making sure he was warm, kissed, snuggled, held and loved. We were both all over him day and night – like he was the future King of England or something. He slept between us on a little “baby bracket”, and we could hardly sleep, both thrilled that we had a baby (what a privilege) and scared to death, because now he was our little man to care for, and he was just a newborn, fragile and small. During his first night in bed with us, he was finally calm, fed, dry and loved. He looked at Shelli, looked at me, as if to say “what’s up”? We told him that we’re his mom and dad and we were excited about him, loved him and would be there to take care of him. He fell asleep.
With Jeremy, our younger one, Shelli was able to be in the delivery room with the birthmom. She wanted Shelli to immediately bond with her, so right after Jeremy came out, Shelli placed her index finger into his little hand, and he closed his fingers over hers. When I got the call to come in, I was able to do the same with him. Nothing else like it!
Shortly after Jeremy came home from the hospital, Shelli got the flu, and I had to bottle feed him every two hours through the night for a couple of weeks, so the two of us slept on the couch. He was wrapped up nice and warm, as all newborns are, and every 120 minutes would make his little baby rumblings and stirrings. I had the dining room table covered and set up for a diaper change, with formula bottles waiting for a quick warm up. I could unwrap him, change his diaper, have him fed and back in bed in two minutes, and me back to sleep for another two hours. It was tiring, but another great bonding experience.
With our oldest, Jaden, once he got beyond the infant stage, he became an aggressive bottle feeder, who sucked out his formula (and later milk) so forcefully that he got sweaty! Then he’d scream if we didn’t have another bottle on hand the moment he finished with the first one! Once he finished the second, he’d pass out and go limp. We’d quietly, gently, place him back into his crib. He was sweaty, unconscious, bloated, but needless to say, grew fast and big.
Having the boys has been great, tiring, and it changed everything. We saw that our first, Jaden, needed a brother or sister, so we got Jeremy. We’ve been told that at our age, we probably wouldn’t even get one baby, and we know that some people go for a long time without getting one child.
Our boys are strong, smart, healthy and very handsome. We literally thank God multiple times a day, and when we pray at dinner, do that in front of them, so they know how we feel. You’ve been there for us, we have appreciated it greatly and Nightlight changed our world beyond words.
Scott & Shelli
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonshipthrough Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will — to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6
Our adoption journey has been one initiated by loss, sorrow, surrender, and deep pain, but has produced joy, redemption, healing, and a much deeper sense of thankfulness to our God. We have learned so much through this journey, but more than anything we have seen God carry us through and fulfill His promises showing us over and over His faithfulness, goodness, and love.
We feared a domestic adoption and decided to go another path, but six months later we were holding our newborn daughter in our arms, as we were walking through the domestic program at Nightlight. There are so many unknowns to fear with adoption, and for us, we especially feared the openness with a birthmother. God broke down our fears by building a very special relationship with our daughter’s birth mother. Our relationship allows us to pray for her, call each other, meet together, encourage one another, and care deeply for each other. We had faced a pregnancy not long ago where we knew our son would not live. We chose life for him, despite the outcome and the many suggestions to terminate the pregnancy. Like me, this birth mother was faced with the decision to terminate her pregnancy, and she chose life too. Because of that, we are now experiencing the incredible gift of our daughter. Within 9 months God has blessed us with a son who is now in eternity with Him, and our daughter who He has entrusted into our arms while on this earth. We ourselves have been adopted in God’s family, and we feel honored that He would allow us to be a part of His plan and His purposes for something far greater than ourselves.
In our family, openness with our children’s birthmoms has been a true blessing.
We have an open relationship with our daughter Natalie’s birthmom. We have kept in contact with her (I’ll call her G for privacy) through Facebook, phone calls, texts, & visits. G asks about Natalie, comes to our home in Alabama to visit for birthdays, and shares photos of Natalie with friends & family. On our visit back to Greenville, SC, for the adoption finalization, we were blessed to be able to meet some of G’s family & to let them love on Natalie. Not only is our relationship with G an open one, but she is also very open in talking to others about her relationship with Natalie and with us. She has even expressed to us a desire to mentor other birthmoms who might need someone to talk to who can empathize.
In October 2012, we got a phone call from Nightlight that we were chosen by a birthmom for our second adoption; two weeks after that call, we traveled to Greenville, SC, to meet this new birthmom (referred to as Q for privacy). Two weeks after that meeting, we were travelling to Charleston, SC, for the birth of our son Tyson, who would be born with a heart defect that would require surgery soon after birth.
While Tyson was in the hospital, we had the added blessing of getting to know Q better. We didn’t have much time before the birth to do this, and what a great experience it was! We were able to spend about two weeks getting to know her, while she stayed in town to be sure Tyson’s surgery went well. We shared tears over the news that he would need a heart catheterization immediately after birth. We shared meals in the hospital cafeteria. We shared late night coffee. We shared a love for some of the same books. We shared thankfulness for the excellent hospital staff. And most of all, we shared a love for the tiny bundle of joy who spent days in the NICU, followed by an eight hour heart surgery and three weeks in the hospital for recovery.
When leaving Charleston to head back home to Alabama, we made a short detour to Greenville, to visit Q and to have the chance to meet some of her family and let them love on Tyson a little. I can’t say what that visit did for Q or for her family, but it did my heart good to see so many people love on our son. A child cannot ever receive too much love, and this child now has two separate families who have been joined together by him, who will shower him in love for the rest of his life.
I cannot express how much these two open relationships mean to our family. Natalie and Tyson will always know who G and Q are, and the selfless decisions they made for them. G and Q have even had a chance to meet each other, and hopefully that relationship will be a healthy one for both of them. How amazing is it to have so many lives continually blessed by the willingness of birthmoms and adoptive families to maintain such openness!
How God Answered Our Prayers with Ashley
We both felt strongly that we were being called by God to adopt a child. We have a 3-year old son, Joshua, but after he was born, we started discussing the idea of adopting a child. A dear friend, Paul Koch, told us about Nightlight. Although we did check out another agency, we just didn’t feel the warmth we did with the people at Nightlight.
With the decision made, we asked for the paperwork, completed the gathering of our paperwork in three weeks and then proceeded with the rest of the Homestudy. Then we waited.
At the time, it seemed long, but it actually only took a few months. We had a vacation planned and asked our social worker if it was all right to go ahead and take it. She assured us that was fine. You just had no way of knowing when a birthmother was going to select your family. So we went ahead with our plans, packed our bags, had Susan’s mother drive us to the airport, checked our bags, and that’s when the cell phone rang. We’d been selected! Oh my! Our bags were already on their way to Texas, but we hadn’t boarded yet.
We called Susan’s mother and asked her to come pick us up. “What’s wrong? Is there a problem with the airplane?” she asked. We told her everything was fine—we’d gotten the call and there was a baby for us! We could see God’s hand throughout this entire adoption. The fact that we were going on vacation, was actually a tremendous blessing. It meant that we had cleared our calendars for the next two weeks and could devote all of our time to our precious new little daughter.
Ashley has now been with us a little over two months. Our son has adjusted very well to his little sister, who he is very careful to protect. We are just in awe of God’s blessing us with this precious little one and are very grateful to have been part of His plan.
We had been on the roller coaster of infertility for nine years when we discussed adoption as the way to form our family. We attended the informational seminar at Nightlight in June 2006. We were so impressed with the stories that we heard and the wonderful and caring staff that we decided at lunch that day to start our paperwork for domestic adoption.
We were told about Angela, and we were immediately drawn to her. We met her on September 22, 2006. She was 15 weeks pregnant and the baby was due on March 17, 2007. When we met with Angela, she was well prepared with a long list of questions for us. We seemed to really have a lot in common and many of the same beliefs. After lunch we took Angela to her doctor appointment where she had an ultrasound and we got to see the baby for the first time. It was love at first sight.
As the due date approached, Angela took some time to herself to pray and reflect on her adoption plan. We took advantage of the last few weeks to prepare to bring our son home. When March arrived, we started jumping every time a phone rang. Our social worker called us at 10:45 p.m. on March 15th to let us know Angela was in labor. We prayed for Angela to have a safe and speedy delivery and that is exactly what she had. Our son, David, was born at 2:14 a.m. on March 16th.
Angela wanted to be the one to introduce us to our son, so she planned it all out perfectly. We were summoned to the hospital when everything was ready. Angela’s friends took pictures of us as we walked in and as Angela gave us our greatest gift, our son. It was so surreal yet so comfortable and so warm. When it came time for Angela to go home, she hugged me and said, “Thank you for this privilege.” I was so overwhelmed when she said that, but that is how our whole relationship is. We all feel blessed to know each other and grateful for the different gifts that we have given to each other.
We continue to talk with Angela via email as we all settle into our new lives. We look forward to visits with her not only for her to be reassured in her plan for baby David, but for us to also watch her mature and thrive. We have two wonderful new members of our family and our lives are more complete than ever. Our son David will always know about the special place that he has in Angela’s heart and about the special place that she has in ours.