Back in May/June, Kaz and I felt very strongly that the Lord was calling us to adopt again. It honestly scared me to no end. I had more fears and concerns than I did during our first adoption. I fought it pretty much everyday and then there would be times where I was so excited for it. We talked about what we would do if we did adopt again...We went through Bethany Christian Services for our first adoption, but we have also become friends with a social work over a smaller agency here in Summerville. At the same time, I’ve always thought about international adoption, so we had also talked about the possibility of that. I started doing research, and looking at international adoption excited me so much, BUT every time I would get off the computer after looking, it just didn’t feel right. So we made the decision to go with Bethany again. I literally fought this the majority of the time[another adoption that is]. I specifically remember one day driving and calling Kaz to tell him that I thought we just needed to wait until January to start the adoption process again. I gave him every reason financially and logistically why we should wait. His response was, “we can talk about this when you get home.” The next day, I felt so embarrassed because I knew the Lord was calling us to adopt, but satan was using my fears to fight it, and fight it hard. SO I made the step of filling out the initial paperwork with Bethany without telling Kaz before I did it....I needed to be the one to fill out the paperwork because I was the one that satan was fighting with so much... We were approved, and knew that because all of the other steps we had to compete, it would be at least December before we were on the waiting list. I was OKAY with that. I was in no rush. The WEIRD part was, after we made that commitment and “announced” our news, we felt the Lord telling us to STOP and not move forward with Bethany. That’s the crazy part...Why would He lay this calling so heavily on our hearts, just to stop us? It didn’t make any sense. I honestly became very frustrated. Back in June, I started doing the Ruth bible study, by Kelly Minter, with 2 other girls from our church. They saw me struggle with making the commitment to adopt again, and one night in bible study I broke down on them because I felt so directionless. It didn’t make sense. The Lord would not get adoption off of my heart, and it was very clear He was calling us to move forward right then. So we started praying as a group, along with Kaz and I for direction.
Roughly around 3 weeks later, we were at my parents house for labor day. We had a great weekend, and were getting ready to leave to come back home, when I decided to check my email and facebook. When I’m at their house, I get absolutely no service on my cell phone, so my messages aren’t instant. I have to check them on the computer. I pulled facebook up and I had a message from a friend from years ago asking if we would be interested in adopting a baby girl being born at the end of the month. I think my mouth literally dropped right there...the end of the month? But I thought it would be NEXT YEAR...I showed the message to Kaz and we decided to talk about it on the drive home.
The first 45 minutes, I cried the whole time. My words were something like this, “But I’m not ready. What about Annie Rice? What about work? We have nothing ready. This isn’t what we planned. I don’t even know if I want 2. How would this work? What about me, me, me, me, me?” I was completely scared out of my mind. I needed to run in Hobby Lobby a minute before we left Florence, so Kaz dropped me off while he went to another store. What’s so funny, is during that time in Hobby Lobby, my fears started going away. I started looking at nursery decorations and even bought fabric for the nursery bedding. I became so excited I couldn’t help but begin planning. When Kaz picked me up, he said ,”wow, that was fast.” I wasn’t completely 100% sure of this, but IF THIS WAS WHAT THE LORD HAD IN STORE FOR US, IT HAD TO BE GOOD. We talked about it the whole 3 hour ride home, and there were A LOT more tears, but it all got better! Satan was using my fears to paralyze me from seeing what the Lord had in store. We talked to our lawyer and sent over our profile book for the birth mom to look through it. That day was September 3rd. We were told we should hear a yes or no by that weekend, September 7-9th. Kaz was leaving on a 10 day mission trip on September 13th. We prayed so hard to know by the 7th. If this was going to happen, we needed to start preparing and have everything ready by the time Kaz left because the due date was 2 days after he got back from his trip! I’m not going to lie...During that waiting period, I KNEW this was our daughter. It was the same feelings I had before we got Annie Rice. BUT I knew the Lord had to work a lot out, so I just kept praying. Did I mention we didn’t have a current home study? We found out Friday the 7th, that the birth mom wanted us to be the parents. She really liked us and had looked at an agency, the state, and other people they knew and no one seemed right for her baby. SO we contact our lawyer, and asked and prayed if we could have a home study done in those few days before Kaz left on his trip! Can you believe our home study was done in less than 5 days[our part at least]. Miracles happened. We were able to get physicals in a days timing[which is a miracle because we were told they schedule those 3 months out]. Miracle after miracle happened.
That saturday after we found out, my sweet friend[and member of our bible study] Jennifer, went with me to Babies R Us to look at cribs and dressers. We had to quickly change our guest room into a nursery. I didn’t know if I would be able to bring things home that day, but I was sure hoping because I knew if I had to order them, Kaz would not be able to put them together before he left on his trip. We got to Babies R Us and I told the worker that I needed a white crib and dresser and preferred not to order it, BUT I also didn’t want the most expensive one. She said in most cases you have to order, but she would look in the back. She had 1 white crib in stock, the most basic you can get, which was EXACTLY what I wanted[I had already looked online]. They also had a white dresser in the clearance section still in the box that I could take home that day! Our next stop was the furniture store...I needed a grey sofa bed[the guest room became the nursery]. I told the sales lady what I wanted and that I couldn’t wait 4-6 weeks for it to arrive. She said, “we actually have 1 grey sofa bed that just came in the other day. How does Monday work for delivery?” So in a 3 hour time frame, I had basically the whole nursery complete! ANOTHER GOD THING.
The next day, we told our sunday school class what had happened and asked for prayer. During sunday school, one of the husbands in the class came up to Kaz and said they had a ton of girl stuff that had been sitting in their garage that they needed to give away. They didn’t need it anymore. Their daughters birthday was the same as our birth mom's due date! They met us that night with a van full of stuff. A swing, bouncer, play mat, exersaucer, changing pad, 12 boxes of clothes, etc. REALLY? The Lord was showing us that HE WAS ALL OVER THIS and He was IN CHARGE. He was taking care of the details...2 days later we met with our social worker to have our home visit for the home study. It was a breeze. 2 days later, Kaz left for his mission trip. AN HOUR before he left the states, I got a message saying they may induce the birth mom 2 days before he was supposed to arrive back home. We began praying hard. I knew that if the Lord wanted this, it would happen, BUT I REALLY wanted Kaz here.
While he was gone those 10 days, my emotions were all over the place. In the beginning, I was a little mad that he was gone during all of this, and I had no way of contacting him. I was having to make decisions that I never imaged I would make on my own. Then my perspective changed so much, and I began just to pray for him and that the Lord would use him to reach this people group he would be ministering too. I began to see that the Lord thought we could handle this even as crazy as it sounds and as it felt, and HE WAS THE ONLY ONE I COULD RELY ON FOR STRENGTH during this time that Kaz was away.
Kaz arrived back home on Sunday, September 23rd and I just really thought the birth mom would go in labor that day. BUT, JUST as I said, the Lord had a plan and he allowed our family of 3 to spend time together for a little over a week before the birth mom went in labor. I didn't expect that long...BUT I'm thankful HE GAVE us that. We needed it as a family, and Kaz needed to re-cooperate from his trip. We had been tossing around some names and I really wanted to use the name Margaret. Both grandmothers had it, my aunts and cousins have it, and it's my middle name. Originally, I wanted to use it with another name. We had the name Mary Margaret picked out and I even told my parents that was the name BUT the Lord would not get the name Ruth off of my mind. Kaz loved the name Mary Margaret and when we prayed for this sweet baby, he prayed for her by that name. I talked to him about Ruth and how special it was to me because the Lord had done SO MUCH through the Ruth bible study I had been doing. This whole adoption story happened during this study. The Ruth study honestly changed my life..so he thought about it for a couple days, and really knew my mind was set so he said okay:) HaHa
We got the phone call Monday afternoon that this sweet baby girl was born. The birthmoms delivery was a miracle and even blew the doctors and nurses away...but it wasn't a surprise to us, because we had been praying for exactly what happened. Miracle after miracle. We met sweet Maggie Ruth yesterday. I honestly didn't know how I would feel. With any child, there's a period of bonding and I was so nervous because we knew nothing about newborns and since I didn't physically carry her for 9 months, that bond was only made through prayer up until that point. BUT the Lord is good. When we saw her sweet little face, I fell in love. She's the sweetest baby and such a blessing from God. I really wish I could share more of this story...there's so many details I just can't, but it has been a true testimony to me that GOD IS IN CONTROL OF EVERY DETAIL, HE will allow things to happen that you never dreamed of if they are in HIS plan, and HIS BLESSINGS are more than I deserve. I am so thankful for our little family of 4. It's not what I ever imagined, but I couldn't be happier!