By Christmas of 2019, we knew that God was leading us to adopt. Which agency should we use? Which type of adoption should we pursue? How long would it take? How much would it cost? We were filled with questions but also optimism.
By spring of 2020, we were well on our way through the application process for the Nightlight Snowflakes program. Now we had new questions: Will this work? If it does, will we get a boy? A girl? Twins? How attractive will our profile be to placing families? Like every major thing in life, everything is about God’s purposes and timing and learning to trust Him. As we’ve learned, almost everything in life worth doing or experiencing tends to take longer than you expected.
By the end of 2020, we had a match! By May of 2021, we had a positive pregnancy test. And on January 12, 2022, we had our son: Amos Jackson “A.J.”. As we approach his first birthday, we’re finding that every cliché about parenting—especially concerning the early years—is so true.
Are the early weeks and months exhausting? Yes!
Does time fly by, almost frighteningly quick? Yes!
Would you be willing to do anything to meet the needs of your child? Yes!
Is being a parent as fulfilling as everyone says? Yes!
As a couple, we’ve often found that almost all our conversations revolve around what’s going on with him. How did he sleep last night? How did he nap today? What new thing did he do? Wasn’t that the cutest!?
Despite all our focus on him, our life as a couple isn’t any less important. In fact, it’s probably more important. We’ve tried to create intentional opportunities for time together in the evening after Amos is asleep. We’ve also tried to still go on dates. We’re trying to continue to cultivate our own growth as individuals and as a couple, realizing that a healthy mom and dad will make for a happier child.
We’ve done several things to try to slow things down and ensure that we’re enjoying this precious boy while he is small. First, we’ve made as many trips as we can to visit family. Both of our families live in other states, so we’ve had to be intentional to share time with them during this tender season. Second, we’ve taken loads of pictures and videos. Naturally everyone does that, but at every step of his development he is doing new things and changing his looks. We’re trying to document it as well as we can. Third, we share the responsibilities. While mom stays at home, we’re both trying to share the entire experience of parenthood together. Weekends become especially important to just be together. Finally, we still try to spend a lot of time with friends. They love seeing us enjoy the son we had prayed for over many years. And in many cases these are the same friends who prayed for us and supported the adoption financially.
Ultimately, the most important lesson we’ve learned is to trust God every step of the way, and try to slow down and enjoy each moment. Embryo adoption is a beautiful way to connect with your adoptive child in utero. My wife comments about this even today when we look at our son. But it’s also a blessing to be able to partner with a placing family to give their embryos every opportunity to become what God intends.