“In the middle of a Chipotle burrito lunch on January 10, 2019, we were waiting for our son to be born. My phone started to buzz.
‘Mom woke up.’
‘They are calling for a doctor so she can start pushing.’
‘Baby boy is born. 1:15 p.m.!’
Enter screams, crowds cheering (at least in our head), and happy dances commenced!
We hadn’t even met our birth mom yet because we were picked just a couple of weeks prior. It had been just my husband and me until now. We always knew we wanted to foster and adopt. After a few years of marriage and some gallivanting around Europe, we decided we were ready to grow our family.
We commonly heard stories of those who first try to have kids of their own then move into the adoption process when infertility becomes a reality. That wasn’t the case for us. We signed up with an adoption agency and began our licensing to become foster parents simultaneously. We wanted a family and trusted God in how He would make that happen.
In many ways, growing our family and helping children in need were our motivations. But as we started learning and understanding the needs of not just children but also their parents, we found ourselves knee-deep in a new reality. What if our aim wasn’t just to grow our family, but to bless these mothers, fathers, and children—no strings attached? This meant having no agenda but to help where help was needed.
Humbled in our ignorance, God took us to a place of surrender and continues to do so. It was no longer about wanting a baby, though that was a real and deep longing in both of our hearts. It was about serving a mom in need. And if that eventually looked like raising her baby, so be it. It was about the child in need of care and about seeking family preservation where possible—even if at great cost to us. We knew that if Jesus, who being in very nature God, humbled himself and took on the very nature of a servant, then we too could trust Him and lay down our own lives as well.
This meant partnering with an adoption agency that seeks to bless and help parents in need before discussing adoption. That empowers a mother and father to know their options and not feel coerced or defeated into a decision. It meant seeking to bless a mom, before, during, and after adoption.
This meant fostering a child or children who simply needed care when their parents were hitting hard times. It meant, first and foremost, working towards helping their family get back on their feet and truly rooting for this family to be reunited. And it meant being willing to let our family not look like your ‘normal’ family and having to say hard goodbyes.
After a year since deciding to grow our family, we had many calls from both the foster agency and the adoption agency and said yes to many kids, but somehow nothing landed until the week before Christmas, when we heard a mom had picked us up from the adoption agency and potentially wanted us to adopt her son.
Then came the shocker…she was due in three weeks! It was a quick shift of mind, but at the same time, we were ready for whatever God wanted to bring our way. We were elated to help and couldn’t wait to meet this mama.
Fast track to our Chipotle celebration. After our burrito bash, we waited for what felt like an eternity for mom and baby to clean up, move to recovery, etc. It was the most agonizing hour of waiting we have ever done in our lives. We went for a walk, watched TV, and ate dinner. It was crazy that one of the biggest, most life-altering moments of our lives might have just happened, and we were sitting on the couch watching The Office reruns.
Finally, we were told to head to the hospital. I will always remember vividly sweeping past the hospital curtains and seeing mom holding her baby for the first time. Tears. Just lots of tears. We could not believe it. She and the baby were real and in front of us.
This girl, this babe, though we had only known about their existence in the past couple of weeks, we had been praying for them for almost a year! For the next 24 hours, we did everything we could to support mama. We were there for her. We asked questions, brought her chicken wings, and learned as much of her story as she felt comfortable sharing. Every night we were on our knees, praying for her and this babe and that we would only be a blessing to them both.
I remember her handing me the babe that final day in the hospital. We all knew this was what was best for her (and baby), but I couldn’t handle the mixed emotions. The incredible heartbreak for her, her loss, her story of losses. Her selflessness and bravery were inconceivable to me. But also – the joy of holding my son. This unbelievably cherished boy with the most precious cheeks that I could not kiss enough was resting sweetly in my arms, and he would never know a day without love. It was both.
We named him together: Bearit Noah.
Bear was our name and Noah hers.
Both his family.
Both have a hand in who he is and will forever be known.
We never want Bear to think that there is not enough space for both his parents, and we are grateful even his name affirms that to him.
Eight months later, we ended up taking in our foster son. We now had what have been termed ‘virtual twins.’ Two eight-month-old boys sat in my arms, and I was stunned by the privilege. The boys being only two weeks apart have been inseparable since. A year later, the Lord blessed us with a biological child, and we are currently due this spring with another. Our family has grown and shrunk and grown again, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am so grateful for God awakening us so early on in our journey as a family. Now, four years and four kids later, our mission has stayed—we want to love people where they are at with no agenda. Sometimes this has looked like visiting parents in jail, bringing dinner to a family during hard times, providing groceries, praying over them, listening, and sending them updates and pictures on how their children are doing while they are in our home. We have been blessed so that we can bless others. It doesn’t mean we don’t struggle or wrestle along the way, but we do surrender to God and His will.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amy Lindahl from Manhattan, KS. Follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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‘When the social worker left, he didn’t even know my name. Today, he shares mine. I could not be more proud to hear him call me dad.’: Single dad shares adoption journey, ‘We’re both better people because of it’
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