Monday, December 22, 2008

That's My Boy!

You are looking at a sonogram of my yet-to-be named little boy. He's due March 1st but it's not looking like he'll wait that long. The sonogram was taken on the older equipment of the crisis pregnancy center the birth mom is working with, so the picture isn't that great. I was able however, to personally confirm that he's a boy, "a well endowed boy," according to the nurse.

Although we'd told a few people already, we went "public" with the info on Sunday morning by sharing it with TFC. Erin was crying, the whole congregation clapped, it was a beautiful moment.
This may come as a shock to many of you but this decision has been several months in the making.

This is gonna be a long post...

If I'm going to start at the very beginning, I've gotta go back to Pastors and Spouses retreat last April, when I began praying that God would guide in getting more involved in my community. The next weekend, I found a flyer for The Music Man tryouts, decided to give it a shot not knowing how much my life would change because of that decision. But all of that is the subject of other blog posts...

Last September, a friend from The Music Man left an urgent sounding request for us to call her back immediately, "I need to come over and talk with you ASAP." I had NO idea what was happening but when I called her, I convinced her to tell me over the phone. She informed me her 22 year old niece was pregnant and wanting to place the baby in an adoptive family. Both Erin and my immediate response was "no way, we've made this plan for IVF and we've gotta stick with it." We promised our friend we'd pray but told her the chances of us adopting this baby were basically nonexistent.

So we started praying. A couple weeks later, we were at my good buddy Ryder's first birthday party and we asked his mom whether we should meet with the birth mother. We wanted Franci's opinion as a single mom because I was worried about letting down the birth mom. Franci encouraged us to just meet with her, that it wouldn't hurt. Well, it certainly didn't hurt...

We met with the birth mother and her aunt on Wednesday night, October 22nd at the Chili's on 151st St. We walked into this meeting expecting to find ways to tell this young lady we weren't ready to adopt her baby. We walked out of that dinner "in love" with the mom. She's a very smart, sweet and pretty girl and we suddenly became interested in the baby inside of her. But I knew we couldn't make this life-changing decision just because we liked her, so we were very honest with her though, telling her of our plans for IVF and that we didn't feel we were ready yet for adoption. We did however, commit to praying about the decision. In my own mind, I came away from that meeting thinking we should make a decision by the end of November, so she could find another family if we didn't adopt her baby.

We prayed. A lot. Every day. Asking God to reveal whether he wanted us to adopt this baby. I can remember once praying, "God, if you want us to adopt this baby, then you'd better make it very clear, but I can't imagine you'd really want us to do this." One night, I joked that if I came outside and the hubcap that had fallen off my car was back on, I'd take it as a sign from God. One night, Franci and Ryder were over for dinner and when Ryder grabbed an adoption book off our coffee table, I asked him what we should do; adoption or IVF. "If a one year old talks, I'll take it as a sign from God." He immediately let out some indistinguishable baby sounds. Franci however, was pretty sure he said, "do both." That was election night, we were still praying but not expecting much.

A couple weeks later, I went to see a friend from The Music Man perform in Spring Hill HS's production of Seussical the Musical. Alex, who had sang the lead MM's barbershop quartet, was playing the lead of Horton in that musical. Seussical combines several of Dr. Seuss' stories, including Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches an Egg. Over and over, Horton sings this line, "a person's a person no matter how small." I broke down crying in the Spring Hill auditorium. As clearly as I've ever heard God speak to me before, I sensed "Donnie, I want you to adopt this little boy." I cried and prayed during the drive home.

The next night, Erin went with Franci and Annie to see the play and Erin experienced the exact same emotion. It had been just over a month that we'd been praying for God to guide us toward the right decision. While it might have been more dramatic if a one year old had spoken to us, I'd say speaking through a High School's musical was pretty dramatic as well.
We waited another week or so, to solidify this decision, but when this unexplainable peace settled into our hearts, we knew we were going the right direction. My prayer changed to, "God, we think you want us to leap off this cliff, so we're running full-speed toward the edge. If you don't want us to jump, you'd better stop us. You'd better stop us SOON!"

Beyond this emotional experiences, there were also so many little coincidences that lead to us making this decision. From having some friends from GCT on the board of an organization that does adoption grants to being promised financial help we didn't expect, so many signs pointed toward this being the right thing to do. We could ignore some of them, but eventually there became too many signs to ignore. "Okay, God, we FINALLY get your hints" became another of our prayers. Strangely enough, we came to our decision just as November ended.

We spent the first week of December trying to set up a face-t0-face meeting with the birth mother, to tell her our decision but we kept missing each other. When we met with the social worker who is doing our home study a week later, she strongly suggested we call the mom IMMEDIATELY after leaving her home. We did so and she was very happy to hear the news. She had just started looking through the profiles of other potential adoptive families but was very glad she didn't have to continue that process.

So today we met with our adoption lawyer, saw the sonogram and ate dinner with the birth mom. The conversation was wonderful, we comfortably discussed all the topics and issues our lawyer has told us we needed to discuss. Our lawyer told us today that he has a strong sense this young lady will stick with her decision, which is coming from his years of adoption work.

The thing that struck me the most was how happy she is to have us as the adoptive parents. She told us how relieved she was to not have to meet with other families. She "fell in love" with us the first night we met, having a strong sense that we could provide for life for which she hoped her baby could have. She also said that she NEEDED this baby to be raised in a strong Christian home, to which I responded, "you obviously don't know me very well." Erin gets nervous when I crack jokes like that.

While I've hit the main points, I've barely scratched the surface of our emotions. Our fear, our excitement, our peace, our strong sense of God's guidance as well as our gratitude for that guidance as well as the excitement about getting to know this little boy. A good pastor friend, Russ Koelzer, told me that being a father teaches you so much about God. I'm excited to learn about God in those ways but I also know that adoption gives a whole new level of insight into God's love for us. Adoption means we've been chosen and God has chosen to adopt every single one of us.

Last Sunday, I read this passage from Ephesians 1. I don't know how many people noticed but I almost started crying as I read the passage. "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."

My yet to be named little boy, you have been chosen by God and chosen by your parents. We're so excited to welcome you into our family!

10 comments:

David Brush said...

Congratulations, again!

joe k said...

I am so happy for both of you! You will make very good parents!

Londa said...

Congrats Donnie. I like reading all that God is doing in you. Enjoy that sweet little boy.

Londa said...

Congrats Donnie! I enjoy reading all that God is doing in you and through your church.

Donnie Miller said...

Londa, Great to hear from you, thanks for posting!

debbie said...

That is timing that only God can be responsible for! That little boy is going to have wonderful chosen parents! What a blessed family you will be! A true Merry Christmas, can't buy any material item that can top the joy that is in your hearts! God has blessed you and will continue too! Scott and I are so happy and excited for you!

KeriHercules said...

OMGoodness! A HUGE CONGRATS to you and Erin! I had goose bumps reading that post! It simply makes my soul smile!!!

Jodie said...

I am so excited for the two of you, you will make excellent parents! What a lucky little boy. I am in tears after reading your story, God is amazing.

Sarah said...

Donnie and Erin - we ae so happy for you guys, adoption has been a wonderful thing for us!!!

Teresa Shoemate said...

We have walked in your shoes and it is so worth it. We are still amazed how God put all the pieces together to bring Grace into our lives. I talked to your mom today and she is so happy for you guys. Adoption is wonderful, and God has perfect timing. We are praying for your new family. Love, Teresa and Jim Shoemate