It’s hard to believe our precious baby is one month old already! Time flies when you’re not sleeping much!
I’ve been meaning to share more of Lennon’s adoption story since many of you have asked. Our adoption journey sure did take a huge detour! Everything about Lennon’s adoption was totally unexpected, but every single part of it has just felt so right!
Many of you have said that you didn’t even know domestic adoption was an option for us. Well, neither did we! But because I’ve had a few friends switch from international to domestic adoption lately, I knew that it just took a quick addendum to our home study to make it a possibility.
When we first started our adoption process back in January of 2012, our desire was to adopt a healthy baby boy or girl 0-12 months. We knew little about international adoption at the time, but God gifted us with the most incredible community of adoptive families and our comfort level grew as we learned with and started doing life with these families. So it was not a total surprise to us when 10 months later we pursued concurrent adoptions in order to adopt a three year old boy through another agency. Even then God continued to grow us and open our eyes to older children, sibling groups, and certain special needs. To put it simply, we are not the same people who signed on to adopt from Ethiopia two years ago and we give God the glory for that. When we lost T’s referral we didn’t know which agency we would receive our next referral from, so we updated both home studies to include older children, sibling groups, and manageable special needs and left the rest in God’s hands.
One of the special needs we were specifically opened to was Down Syndrome. On 12/30, the day Lennon was born, a friend posted this on an adoption Facebook group:
Both Jonathan and I felt the tug almost immediately to inquire further. So that night we sent an email to the agency in Houston, but the next morning I woke up to an email informing us that they’d found a local family to place him with. We were a little bummed but of course thankful they’d found him a family! Early afternoon rolled around and we were outside restoring an old table in the driveway when my phone rang. It was the agency…the local family had fallen through. She wanted to know if we were still interested!? YES, of course! We got more details on our little guy and his situation and she texted me a few pictures….
From then on everything moved super fast! One detail I love sharing is that his birth parents had been matched with an adoptive family for pretty much her entire pregnancy, so they had already paid a good portion of the adoption fees. All we were required to pay was the agency fees and then our travel expenses. I almost fell out of my chair when I was told this because my biggest hesitation in inquiring about him was knowing that we wouldn’t have all the money we needed in time, but we literally had JUST ENOUGH! That still chokes me up. God always provides!
That afternoon we made a quick trip to Babies R Us to get a few basic essentials for the trip to Houston. Thankfully my friend Nikki could sense that I was overwhelmed and surprised me and met us there (along with her husband, four kiddos and dog who waited patiently in the car) and even gifted us with a travel system! She has been “my person” since our paths crossed thanks to adoption a little over a year ago. It was just fitting that she would be by my side that day. Sorry for that short but necessary detour in the story! We made it home in time to call Lennon’s birth parents. Totally wasn’t prepared for that call, but God carried us through and it ended up going really well and was a sweet and humbling conversation that I’ll hold in my heart forever.
The next day was filled with paperwork, booking flights and our hotel and renting a car as well as packing and all that good stuff. And of course we started sharing our exciting news with family and friends. All in all though that day is a huge blur for me!
We flew to Houston bright and early on Jan 2nd. Lennon’s birth father had already signed his relinquishment papers and by the time we landed his birth mother had signed as well. I spent the entire plane ride thanking God for them and praying over their decision and for their hearts because I knew they were grieving in a way that I couldn’t totally understand. I prayed that they would have peace above all. I also felt a sense of relief knowing their decision had been made and it was final because I was somewhat nervous that we were going to fly to Houston only to have another door shut on us. Just being honest.
We checked into the hotel, went to the agency office to complete our portion of the paperwork and then headed to the hospital to meet OUR SON! Walking into the hospital and making our way to the NICU was surreal. I couldn’t believe the wait was finally coming to an end. The hospital was very adoption friendly, which I’m still so thankful for. The NICU nurses touched my heart in a way that I’ll never forget. Our nurse that day, Teresa, directed us to scrub in and then walked us over to our precious baby boy.
He was so beautiful and the cheeks…my goodness! They went on for days. I still giggle over the blonde, blonde hair. How unexpected was that!? He had our hearts from first glance and once I sat down with him the tears just started flowing. A wave of emotions hit me all at once and took over. I knew the instant I held Lennon that every second of waiting was worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. The only thing more special than that was watching my sweet husband hold our baby for the first time. I wanted that for him as much as I had wanted it for myself. Our prayers were answered in that very moment. When we were preparing our hearts for another year of waiting, God was orchestrating something new. It all hasn’t unfolded exactly how we had envisioned, but God’s plans are always better! I’m so thankful that I never stopped trusting and putting my hope in that truth or ever doubted that he’d be faithful to finish what he started in our hearts over two years ago. The best part is that he’s not finished with us yet!
Most of you know how the rest unfolded if you followed my Facebook during my two week stay in Houston, but I’ll share more here soon. It’s been an incredibly sweet time for our family. We have been loved and supported so well over the last month. We have now been home for a few weeks and have enjoyed adjusting to life as a family of THREE. Lennon has already brought us so much joy and we couldn’t be more excited that God chose us to be his mommy and daddy! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for walking alongside us through it all!