If you’ve been following our adoption journey, you know that we recently had a “failed match“. In May we matched with a mother and were building a solid relationship with her. We went out to meet her after about a month of talking and getting to know each other. We even had the opportunity to be with her during her 20-week ultrasound appointment.
But by July, we completely stopped hearing from her. Our assumption is that she had a change of heart. We took our time to process that, pick up the pieces, and find the strength to continue on along our adventure to finding our baby.
Since then we’ve made a few connections with other women and even experienced a bit of a heartbreaking “almost” situation where last month we were ready to jump on a plan to go adopt twin baby boys!! Needless to say, those connections faded away almost as quickly as they were made for various reasons.
We never shared those situations because they never quite felt “real” anyway. And truthfully, we’ve realized that after our fall-through, our hearts have been extremely guarded. We’ve had trouble truly diving back in and finding trust in any situation.
We made the decision that we were going to remain open. We would talk with any woman who contacted us, but not fully invest our hearts into any one situation until that baby was in our arms. One day we even said something along the lines of “we can’t put any more emotions into this…someone just call us from the hospital when it’s time to pick up our baby”.
If you know us personally or have followed our adoption journey, you know that our prayer all along has been to develop a loving relationship with the expectant mother long before the birth of our future baby. Lindsay especially has wanted nothing more than to be a part of the pregnancy, and be alongside this woman through the highs and lows of this wild journey.
We’ve put so much thought into the story we want to tell our child someday and we’ve hoped all along it would be one where we were there through it all, rather than just showing up to the hospital and feeling like we’re leaving with a “stranger’s” baby.
But we came to a point where we felt completely drained. The comment about wishing we could just get a call from the hospital didn’t feel good. It didn’t come from the same place we were when we started this journey, and that was discouraging.
Well, we’ll stop building this up because, clearly, we’ve already spoiled the surprise ending to this update. The title alone says it all.
We’re thrilled to share that we’ve matched with another expectant mother!!
If we’re being completely honest, our first thought when sharing this news was…
“Here We Go Again”
There’s no denying the similarities between this match and our failed one are there:
- It’s a fairly early match again. We have four more months until baby arrives.
- It’s ANOTHER BOY!!!
- We were invited to the same 20-week ultrasound appointment.
But as we sit here and compare the two situations, we realize they are in actuality nothing alike. We almost wonder if the point of our failed match was to make us see just how amazing this new mama is and to fully appreciate the journey we’re now on with her.
Fake it Till You Make it
We feel terrible even typing that, let alone admitting that this phrase came out of our mouths to describe how we were going to proceed with our adoption journey. It feels so ugly, but we’ve wanted to be nothing but transparent throughout this process.
We hope that by being 100% honest about all the different emotions, the good and the bad, that come along with adopting, we can help others. We not only want to help other adoptive couples, but also hope to bring awareness and education to anyone who’s never had exposure to adoption before. With awareness comes more compassion and understanding, and we all could use more of that in this world :).
So yes, as terrible as it sounds, we told each other we were going to “fake it till we make it”. As we mentioned, our hearts were so guarded that we couldn’t feel a connection to any situation that came our way. But we knew that regardless of we did or didn’t feel, we needed to keep pushing forward to find our baby. We knew eventually the emotions we were lacking would catch up with us when the right situation came along.
When this expectant mama contacted us on August 29th, however, we knew immediately she was different just in the way she messaged us. When we FaceTimed with her the very next day, we immediately shared where our hearts were at and were very open and honest with her about our guardedness.
What’s beautiful, though, is that this woman was so incredibly compassionate towards us, despite all that she was going through herself, that she showed us nothing but patience and understanding and respect.
She continued to send us baby updates and photos, always asking first if “it was okay” or stating that she “didn’t want to be pushy” but also “didn’t want us to miss out on anything”. She not only told us that her heart led her to us and that she knew we were the right family for her baby, but she worked to prove that to us and earn our trust.
She was too good to pass by and we had to ignore our emotions and fears and let things happen. With her, our “fake it till you make it” attitude quickly started to fade away.
We went back and forth between whether or not we wanted to go to her 20-week ultrasound appointment. It felt a bit like déjà vu since this was the same appointment we had attended with our previous match.
On one hand we worried it would be too hard to do that again. We didn’t want us or her to get too attached this early on, in the event that things didn’t work out. On the other hand, we knew we’d regret not going if this did turn out to be our baby.
Needless to say, we hopped in the RV and drove out to meet her and go to the appointment. We prayed that this trip would solidify things for us. That we would feel the deep connection we were longing for and find the clarity we needed to fully put our hearts into this.
Without a doubt, that is exactly what happened. We’ve now officially moved from “fake it to you make it” to…
We Believe We’ve Found Our Son!
While we can still feel our hearts try to slam shut and go back into defense mode when we say (or type) those words, we confidently believe it to be true.
Yet it goes against everything we’ve been trying to do on this journey. We’ve believed all along that we would never claim a baby as ours until it was all said and done.
We’ve put our heart and soul into honoring and respecting the rights and emotions of every single expectant mother we’ve connected with. Never would we want her to feel pressured or obligated in any way.
We very much know that this baby is NOT our son yet.
But we’ve chosen to believe that he is and allow our hearts to feel all the emotions and excitement that comes along with that. Because we deserve that, he deserves that and in a way we feel we owe that to this mother.
His “First Mama”
This is the title the three of us discussed she should have and it feels perfect. Right now, SHE is his mom and nothing will ever change that. She is loving on him and caring for him just as she has her others. She’s doing an incredible job too, we should add.
We had no clue who we were about to meet when we took the leap of faith to drive out to meet her a couple weeks ago.
She is beautiful.
She is strong.
She is brave.
She is smart.
She is compassionate.
She is selfless and sentimental and caring and warm and loving.
She is truly everything we hope he becomes.
She is committed to giving us the greatest blessing we could ever receive. She knows that by losing a piece of her own heart, she will be filling the greatest desire of ours. She is truly an answered prayer.
We got to spend two full days with her and felt as though the whole time she was wanting to give us the confidence that we so badly needed, whether she knew it or not. She let us in on all the decisions that needed to be made with her doctor. She let us pick his name, her induction date, and is giving us more involvement in this pregnancy than we could have ever imagined.
On top of it all, we got to meet her family. Meeting them made everything about her make perfect sense. No wonder she’s so amazing with the supportive and welcoming family she comes from. It also didn’t hurt that we had a beautiful place to stay while we were there visiting.
She has clearly expressed to us that she’s found peace in her decision and her plans for this precious baby boy and she’s now embracing the special gift that she can offer us. She’s allowing us to experience so many things we thought we’d never get to. It feels to us that by focusing on her ability to make our dream of becoming parents come true, she is finding healing in this painful situation she never expected to be in.
How could we not graciously accept?
We’re ALL IN!
Without any more hesitation or “faking it”, we came home from our trip feeling that we “made it”! We’ve already taken the next steps and have hired our attorney and are getting everything in place now so that we can focus on getting prepared for this little bundle of joy in the coming months.
Our hearts feel very much at peace with it all.
We know that nothing is certain and are definitely not naïve to the fact that things can always change. We’ll support this woman no matter what happens. We’ve learned that we can handle anything with our strong marriage, faith in God, and supportive friends and family. We’ve said it a million times, but we’re willing to go through whatever it takes to find our baby.
We also know that we’ll never get this time back. We are choosing to move forward with open hearts and celebrate this baby boy’s life. We are choosing to love on and support his first mom for everything she is doing for him and us. We are choosing to believe that the greatest gift we’ll ever receive is right around the corner.
Our faith is allowing us to feel the joy of him being in our arms NOW. Because what other choice do we really have? We’ll never regret these choices no matter what happens. But we would certainly regret what we missed out on if we chose otherwise.
Without further ado…
Baby Boy McKenzie: Coming February 2021!
It’s hard to believe we are coming up on a year since we started the adoption process. It hasn’t been an easy year, that’s for sure. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s shining bright!! Thanks again and again for the love and support throughout this past year.
– Dan + Lindsay