Eric and Tammy came on board with Christian Adoption Consultants in September 2014 and were home study approved by the end of October 2014. They began presenting their profile to expectant moms with such expectancy…and in the midst of the situations they were receiving from CAC, God brought along their birth mom through other means. We turned our direction to finding attorneys near them and helping them through the process of being matched with a sweet girl in their friends church. It was a beautiful story unfolding in a different way than any of us thought, but completely the right story, because it was God’s story. Tammy loved and cared for their birth mom in the most tangible and wonderful ways. I loved every text and phone call I got to share with Tammy. She was not just my client, but my friend, my sister, my fellow adopting momma…to have walked this road with her and Eric is beyond a privilege. Read here Tammy’s words of their whole story of loss, confusion, pain, and unexpected joy!
Neither of us expected adoption to be the process for how our family would grow. In fact, we never even gave it much thought. We had an unspoken expectation that our children would consist of small carbon copies that looked, acted, and sounded just like us. This notion was put to the test in 2010, when we sat at the large oak desk of our fertility doctor to hear him say, “It is unlikely you will be able to have children on your own.”
These difficult words came on the heels of a long period of trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully. The pain was significant. “Why us?” and, “Why is life so unfair?” were common questions in the early days of our journey. Like many couples struggling with infertility, we began our doctor’s recommended course of action, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. This emotional and physically strenuous process allowed Tammy to successfully become pregnant twice, but both ended in miscarriage. After surgery and recovery, we went on a hiatus to let Tammy’s body recover.
During this time of rest, a miracle happened. Tammy became pregnant “naturally,” and carried our son, Jack, to full term. Jack is a healthy, happy, and energetic two-year old now, and he is a blessing from God.
After prayerfully considering having another child, we made an intentional decision to continue with IVF to use our embryos. The result was additional pregnancies, additional miscarriages, and additional surgeries. The pain of a miscarriage is hard to explain until you are living it. One thing is certain, it is a loss that parents remember much longer than others do. We still sometimes wonder what our children would look like and be like had they been given the opportunity to live life beyond the womb.
Throughout our journey, there was an unanticipated change that occurred within us. We began to see that our vision for family was shaped by our culture, history, and personal desires. In short, our expectations of family had not been met. As we mourned our expectations, a new framework was taking hold. It was a framework of being, “father of the fatherless,” and, “caring for orphans in their distress,” like it says in Psalms and James. The bible has many references to Christians being adopted into the holy kingdom. In Romans, it even says we have received a, “Spirit of adoption.”
We were excited to grow our family through adoption because it would allow us to take a child from distress, and bring them into a loving family. This should sound like a familiar story, because it is. It is the gospel. Like is says in Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Just as we have been adopted from a dire outlook, we had the opportunity to reflect God’s love through adoption of a child.
We started talking with friends that had gone through the adoption process and it was made clear to us that we needed to contact Christian Adoption Consultants to help us walk through the process. In September 2014, we jumped in right away, hired CAC, and were paired up with Renee! From the moment we signed a contract with CAC, we felt comfortable and at ease. Every question we had was answered and explained to us. Renee was so helpful and encouraging. She talked through all the tough questions with us and shared her wisdom when we asked. Our relationship was more like a friendship than a business relationship, which was a breath of fresh air! Soon after contacting CAC we started the process of getting home study approved. The whole process went very quickly and we were court approved by the end of October. During our wait to be approved, we were informed through a friend of a friend about a situation of a young local girl that was pregnant and looking for parents to adopt her baby. We passed along our information but never heard anything. We should add, from the beginning of this process, we had been praying for a young girl that was pregnant but couldn’t care for her baby and a clean situation (no drugs, alcohol, jail, etc).
Once approved, we were emailed many situations about birth moms, but none felt right to present to. We presented to one mom in Florida but weren’t chosen. During this time, we continued to pray for the young girl we heard about and we would take about that situation occasionally and tell each other that we wish we would hear something from them.
November came around and it was a couple days before we were going on vacation to Hawaii for Thanksgiving. We got an email from that young girls mother. She said she got our information a while ago but wasn’t ready to contact us until now. She asked for more information about us. We sent her a little biography and attached a digital copy of our profile. She passed that to her daughter (the birth mom) and we got an email back that night saying her daughter really liked our information and profile and would love to talk more. It was two days before we were leaving for Hawaii so we emailed back asking if they wanted to meet before we left. They said, “Yes”, and we met for breakfast the next morning.
We were both very nervous going into this breakfast. I remember talking to Renee on the phone and her telling me to remember to be ourselves and that God brought us together with this young girl for a reason so to just minister to her heart. God will take care of the rest. Great advice! The breakfast went very well. We chatted for over two hours with the birth mom and her mom. It was very comfortable and we seemed to have quite a bit in common. We found out the baby was due January 23rd (which just so happens to be Tammy’s birthday) and that it was a baby girl. We left the breakfast saying both sides would pray about it and connect soon. We left breakfast and immediately said to each other, we could see them being a part of our family and we were 100% on board. We waited two days and sent an email to the birth mom sharing our feelings. We heard back from her a week after our meeting, while in Hawaii, and she emailed the sweetest letter expressing how perfect we were to adopt her baby girl. We cried tears of joy and felt beyond blessed.
The next two months we poured into the birth mom’s life and family. We got pedicures, had lunch, dinner, had her family over, etc. We texted every day and she even allowed me (Tammy) to go to some appointments with her. We became very close, very quickly. January 16th at 1:00am arrived and we got the phone call that our birth mom was in labor. I rushed down to the hospital so she could be there the entire time. I slept in the birthing room with our birth mom and the next day came and it was the day our baby would be born. Our birth mom ended up letting me stay in the room during the birth. I watched her labor, held her leg, watched my beautiful daughter come into this world and even got to cut the umbilical cord! It was a beautiful and incredible experience and I was so grateful I could be there the whole time. There were no rooms available for Eric and I at the hospital so the birth mom let me stay in her room with her and the baby for 3 nights. We became very close during that time and had some great bonding time. There really are no words to describe those 3 days except “beautiful and incredible”!
When the time came for us to leave the hospital with our baby, we all were crying, her and I said we loved each other, gave each other a long hug, and we walked out those doors carrying our daughter. It was one of the greatest, most joyful days we have ever experienced but also one of the saddest. Our heart ached for our sister and her loss. God knew this little girl belonged to our family from the beginning and it was quite the journey to get her. We thank God every day for this incredible blessing and bringing us to experience the beautiful act of adoption!