‘Would you want to adopt him?’ She was taken from the only woman she knew and placed with a stranger.’: Couple describes adoption, foster journey, ‘Our lives have never been the same’

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“Five years ago, my childhood sweetheart and I said our marriage vows. After just three months, we started trying to have a baby. We were so excited to make our dreams of having a little one come true. We told our family we were trying and were expecting to tell them we were pregnant just a few months later.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

A few months turned into a few years and after a good number of negative pregnancy tests later, we went to the doctor. I tried different medications and was referred to a fertility doctor. We were both 24 at the time. Every step we would go, the doctor would say, ‘Well let’s wait 6 more months! All you have is time.’ That would frustrate me so much because all I wanted to do was to get pregnant and have our very own baby.

The next step was to do some more intensive tests that would cost thousands of dollars. My husband works in ministry so our funds weren’t the highest. We went home, talked about our options, and decided we would stop with the fertility doctors. We would stop with us trying to get pregnant. There were and are thousands of babies on this earth right now that don’t have a family. Knowing that, we didn’t feel that we needed to move forward. God was pulling us in a different direction.

We started looking into adoption, when our friends told us about the private infant adoption agency they were going through. In the summer of 2017, we talked with that agency over the phone about all the information and learned the next steps to raise funds to adopt an infant. We announced to our family, friends, and church family that we were going to add another one to our family through adoption and we were so excited.

We started the fundraising process right away. I made homemade necklaces, we put on an Instagram auction, and we looked into grants and different fundraising options. But then our world stopped with one phone call.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

Some friends from church called: ‘What age are you adopting?’ We assumed they just wanted to know more about what we were doing, so we said, ‘The company we’re going with does infant adoptions, why?’ The next thing they said was something we could never make up. ‘Well, I have some friends that are raising their 12-month-old grandson and are looking for an adoptive family so I told them about you. Would you want to adopt him?’

We said yes right away. We didn’t know what he looked like, where they lived, if we could actually adopt him, or anything. But our yes was on the table.

Once we met these grandparents, we found out he was in the foster care system. We didn’t know anything about the system then. We had no idea the need for loving families.

To adopt this boy, we needed to become licensed foster parents. During the process of training, paperwork, and home studies, we were able to watch this boy over weekends and develop a close bond. After three months around Christmas of 2017, Jonathan moved in with us.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

We knew in the foster system, nothing is final until it’s final, so we had to trust God through the process of unknowns. We had to trust God in allowing Jonathan to become adoptable and then allowing the Judge to grant the adoption. Just 18 months after saying yes to that phone call, we were officially able to adopt Jonathan and give him our last name.

Having Jonathan join our family was like a dream come true. He was a 18 month old toddler who loved to snuggles, laugh and play and everyday I woke up feeling like I was in my dreams. I finally felt like I was doing what I was made to do. I was finally able to be a mom. A mom who could raise her son!

When we left the courthouse with our still family of five but with one of our sweet kids that had our own last name, Jonny and I were over the moon. We couldn’t stop smiling. We couldn’t stop hugging him. We just couldn’t believe it. After so many tears, struggles, infertility and heartbreak, we finally had a little boy to call our own. He was ours forever. We were able to set roots and dream of the future together. I was finally able to see myself dancing with him at his wedding and meet his first child. I could see us watching graduations and celebrating him through every achievement.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

Throughout this entire process, our hearts grew for foster care. We wanted to open our home to more children even before the adoption with Jonathan was finalized because we understood the need, especially for sibling groups.

In the Fall of 2018, we told our foster care social workers we wanted to open our empty room up. She moved quickly with the paperwork. It takes a month or two to add more open beds for new children, though. Before the state even accepted our request, we got a call to see if we wanted to foster-to-adopt a one-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl. We were so confused. We were going to foster temporary placements, not adopt permanent ones. But God had different plans.

We knew it was a yes the second she asked. Once we were officially available to accept more children, we met these two precious siblings at the DFCS office. They were in the system for 18 months and their case was being moved over toward adoption, but they didn’t have a family to adopt them.

They moved in with us at Thanksgiving 2018, just 11 months after Jonathan moved into our home. We went from having zero children to three toddlers within a year! Our lives would never be the same.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

We got accustomed to each other well over the next year. We learned one another, trusted each other, stretched each other, and tested each other. We had three kids in our home who didn’t look alike but were best friends and knew they were family.

Fast forward to January of 2020, 13 months after our sibling set moved in. We got a call about their little sister. She was born and placed into care at three weeks. She was already in a foster home but since we had her siblings, they asked if we wanted her.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

We cried, prayed, and said our third yes. We knew taking in an infant was going to be hard with a 2-year-old, 3-year-old, and a newly 5-year-old. We knew we would be tired. We knew our world would turn upside down. But this little baby was just taken from the only woman she knew.

She was placed in a stranger’s home. At least we could bring her to her brother and sister.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

So after three weeks, she moved in. She joined our family and our life hasn’t been the same since.

Raising three kids, that have three different backgrounds, with three different traumas were hard. It was hard to go to therapy sessions for each child and multiple social workers coming in and out of the home on a weekly basis.

We were in the ocean, barely above water, trying to grab onto any float possible. Trauma is hard to work through. It only takes time and consistency. There would be hard days but then there would be amazing days. Days where we could see a future of joy and hope.

It’s been messy and loud. It’s been hectic and crazy, but it’s also been beautiful. We have been able to see our kids grow and love more. We have been able to see our family come together, and we’ve seen how God has used this for our growth.

Courtesy of Kerri Day

We are still in the thick of foster care. We are on the track to adopt the two older siblings but are still wading the waters with their little sister.

Our kids got closer and closer and it was beautiful to see them love another. It was beautiful to see them fight for another. It was beautiful to see my white son compliment my black daughters skin color and tell her she has pretty brown skin. I love that they are learning that regardless of what they look like, they are still worthy and beautiful.

Foster care is a heartbreaking place to be. Foster care is only here because people get in bad places and can’t take care of their children. These kids were not mine to start. We will honor their biological families and show them where they came from. We will foster love for the rest of their lives.”

Courtesy of Kerri Day

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kerri Day. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories about foster care and adoption:

‘We received a little boy almost 3 years old. We didn’t have enough clothes or toys, but the joy on his face was the biggest blessing in the world.’: Mom shares important lesson about foster care, ‘When people say it takes a village, it does’

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