“My name is Adrienne Stelly and my husband and I are the incredibly blessed parents of two miracles. We always wanted to foster and/or adopt alongside having biological children, but to learn we would likely never have biological children due to my PCOS and Ovarian Cancer diagnosis was a very heartbreaking plot twist in our life. After a failed fertility drug treatment, as tears streamed down my face I told God: ‘I am so angry — angry that my body doesn’t work right. You are going to have to make me ok with this!’ And truly, He delivered because the next morning I woke up 100% at peace and ready to pursue becoming a mom through foster care.
Don’t get me wrong, I was devastated at our infertility diagnosis, however, I became grateful it allowed us to pursue the dream of fostering sooner than we thought. In the middle of our 3-month journey of foster care licensing classes, home studies, paperwork, etc, a family at our church of foster parents walked in with the tiniest little newborn baby girl I’d ever seen. I ran over to my friend and her new foster baby and ‘ooooed’ and ‘awed’ at the tiny miracle in the car seat. My friend shared: ‘This baby is going to need an adoptive placement and we are only licensed temporarily. I’ve been talking to our agency and praying this baby might come to you.’ Immediately tears streamed down my face at this thought, and the amazing story I was being invited into. A month and a rollercoaster of CPS issues later, our miracle baby, Evy, came into our care at 2 months old in 2016.
The case was pretty rare and straightforward, but not without the anxiety that foster parents experience when they are head over heels in love with their foster children, yet subject to the court’s rulings. There was no contact with the biological family and we were all our sweet girl knew. We waited and waited, and prayed for the best outcome for her. We were so lucky to get to adopt our baby girl and say yes to forever in November 2017.
A couple of other precious foster babies came and went into our home and then one day this summer, I got a long awaited message from Evy’s biological grandmother. We have tried to contact her in the past to let her know who we were, that we loved Evy and that we were there for her, but heard nothing for three and a half years. To my delight and surprise, a message showed up in my inbox this July from her. She wrote, ‘I have no idea how I missed this message for over 3 years but I am so happy you reached out! I’ve been praying to know my granddaughters one day!’ We started talking and sharing our love for Evy with her. Two weeks later she said she had just found out Evy’s biological mother was pregnant again, but very unhealthy and not desiring to parent the baby.
She asked us if we would adopt the baby once it was born so that the sisters could be raised together. The timing was truly amazing that she had just seen my message for the first time in years, and also just found out her daughter was pregnant. Of course, without a second thought, we said yes — we were so honored to have this opportunity. It was a scary process though, knowing how sick the birth mom was. She refused medical care and any sort of assistance. I sent her a backpack full of food, toiletries, notes from our daughter, prenatal vitamins, and clothes… yet she would not accept it. We truly had to trust God that He would protect her and her baby. She didn’t know when she was due, so it was a waiting game full of anxiety on my end.
Birth mom has had a very hard life. I will not go into details as that is her story to share if she ever chooses to do so. I will say though, she refused medical care and didn’t want anything to do with where her baby would end up. She would tell her mom: ‘Don’t bug me, I’m just gonna have the baby and it ends up where it ends up.’ I don’t believe she had poor intentions — I believe very much so that underneath a lifetime of pain and harmful coping skills she deeply loves each of her children. It was a scary time and we prayed every day that God would somehow work out the details.
On October 2nd, I got a call from biological grandma saying, ‘Baby was born! It’s a girl! I don’t know where she is and mom doesn’t even know where she delivered!’ Between bio grandma and myself we made so many calls to find baby girl. A huge community of family and friends and Instagram followers began praying over every detail of this journey and God answered every tiny detail. It was truly a miracle that I was able to get in touch with the CPS caseworker assigned to her case within the first few hours baby girl was put into the system. Together, the caseworker and bio grandma and myself all worked as a swiftly moving team to encourage bio mom to work with us to help her daughters to be together vs baby girl getting lost in the system. It is one of the greatest honors of my life that I got to meet my daughters’ birth mom as she eventually agreed to help make the legal moves to keep her children together. That very day I called CPS telling them I had legal custody of the baby at that point and to take her out of the system.
The timing was a miracle as they had just started the paperwork to find her a placement once discharged from the hospital. The caseworker said, ‘How fast can you get here to show us the paperwork? I’m literally seconds away from hitting enter to submit her further into the system but if you get here stat we can avoid that!’ We rushed to CPS headquarters and she frantically waved us down in the parking lot. I came in, she and her supervisor looked over the legal paperwork I had just received from an attorney stating I had permanent conservatorship of the baby. The caseworker started crying and said, ‘Over getting to know you and this story of the last week I was praying this could happen! Siblings belong together and I can’t believe the timing of how we worked this out! Now go to the hospital and meet your new daughter!’ Every second of getting to that point was truly a miracle which we didn’t know would occur or not. The journey to our second daughter was 100% a journey of faith.
I am now in the NICU with our newest daughter helping her heal and get strong so she can go home and meet her daddy and her big sister who is over the moon. It has all been so surreal and such a whirlwind. We are so in love with our new daughter Lou, and so grateful for bio grandma reaching out and doing everything possible to keep her granddaughters together. We are also incredibly thankful to have our daughters’ two older sisters in our life as well. The circumstances did not allow for them to all be raised together however all of our families make it a priority for all of the sisters to have each other in their lives. There’s a whole lot of love and Grace here for everyone involved. We are honored and overwhelmed in the best way possible that this is the story of how we built our family. Whether temporary or permanent, we can’t wait to see who comes to our family next.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Adrienne Stelly from Hancock, Michigan. You can follow their journey on Instagram and on their blog. 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 touching stories about adoption here:
Do you know someone who could benefit from reading this? SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.