Eric and I were married in the fall of 2001. Five years, two rounds of IVF, and one miscarriage later, when it was still just the two of us, we decided to move ahead with the adoption process in the hopes of expanding our family. We filled out lots of paperwork, met with social workers and doctors, and were approved to be adoptive parents in the fall of 2006. Several months passed without any news.

Then, in January of 2007, we received a phone call from our adoption agency.  There was a birth mom who wanted to meet with us!  So, on a very cold evening in early February we went to the agency and met with Maria and her dad, Karl.  Maria was only 16 at the time, and her mom had passed away the previous year, so she really was not in a position to care for her baby boy, due in the beginning of June.  After talking with her, we prayed about it and felt that God was calling us to stand by and encourage her, as well as possibly adopt this baby.

Maria asked me to be her birth coach, so we went to birthing classes together!  Eric and I made several visits over the next few months as we waited for the baby to arrive on the scene.  We chose a name together with Maria.  We readied the nursery and all we would need to bring baby home.  However, while the father of Maria’s baby did not want the responsibility of caring for a child, he also did not want the baby to be put up for adoption.  He was a teenager as well, still in school, and wanted his mother or Maria to care for the baby.  We weren’t sure if he would show up in court to fight the adoption, but we still felt God’s hand in the situation and we wanted to continue to be a part of Maria’s life.

The big weekend finally arrived!  At 40 weeks, Maria was induced.  Twenty-six hours later, through an emergency C-section, baby boy Caden made his way into the world.  He was beautiful!  All the nurses on the baby floor assured us that he really was the most handsome baby there…and we believed it!  We spent five days at the hospital, helping Maria as she recovered from her C-section, and spending time getting to know this beautiful, amazing little boy that we hoped would one day be our own!

We brought Caden home from the hospital and spent the day with him before bringing him to his foster parents’ home.  They would be taking care of him until everything was official.  We kicked things into overdrive, making sure that we had everything we needed to bring this baby home.  In the meantime, Caden was staying with a great foster family!  They loved him and took great care of him.

Several months later, we finally had the court hearing.  Caden’s birth father did protest the adoption, to the point that several times Maria was ready to give up and give in.  However, when we went to the court hearing, the judge ruled that Caden’s birth father had “failed to assume significant parental responsibility” in parenting Caden and so involuntarily terminated his rights.  We finished in the courtroom just after 5 pm and then headed to the foster parents home to pick up Caden.  We had a placement ceremony there, where Maria symbolically gave Caden to us.

That was over two years ago now.  Caden continues to grow and learn – about himself, his surroundings, and his family.  We have an open relationship with Maria, and we live fairly close to each other, so we get to see her throughout the year.  We send pictures, Caden’s artwork, and letters to her on a regular basis, as well as birthday and Mother’s Day cards to her.  In every way that counts, Maria has become family to us.  She made an amazingly difficult sacrifice in allowing us to raise her child, and we are thankful every day for her, and for the opportunity that we have been given to be parents.

We may have waited much longer than we originally planned to start our family, but this little boy was definitely worth that wait!!  We love our family of three and can’t wait to hopefully add another child to our lives through adoption sometime soon!

“We prayed for this child and the Lord has granted us what we asked of Him.”
~ 1 Samuel 1:27