” 2,775 days. That’s how long we waited to become parents!
We waited over 7 years, although, it felt like an eternity for me, who has always felt like I was born to be a mother. Yet the moment my son was placed in my arms, because of the selfless decision of his birth mother, all that time instantly disappeared.
To be honest, adoption was never a part of our plan in life. And I always liked having a plan — a perfect plan. For a while, my plan for life was working out great as my husband and I began building the ‘American dream’ shortly after getting married in 2010. We bought a house in the suburbs and had worked hard to get financially stable and settled into our careers. The only thing left was growing our family, which is where those perfect plans seemingly fell apart (now I can see they were falling into place).
After 2 long and tiring years of struggling to conceive, we received the unexpected news my husband, Dan, is unable to have biological children. He was diagnosed with Sertoli-Only Cell Syndrome, a rare condition in which his body does not produce the cells necessary for sperm production. Receiving this news felt like a devastating dead end.
In that season of loss and pain, we were desperate for a solution or road map. But little by little we began to find purpose in our pain and belief God had a greater plan for us. We felt like we were faced with the choice to feel stuck at this dead-end or pick ourselves up and find an alternate path – or what we referred to as a ‘detour.’
We instantly fell in love with this perspective of a life detour. It gave us hope while one road had closed, there was another one waiting for us that we believed could offer new, exciting opportunities and we were eager to embrace it. We knew someday we would have a story to share that could inspire others who were also facing dead ends in life.
Following our detour led us to move across the country to Raleigh, NC for a year. This move turned out to be a critical part of God’s plan that ultimately led us to adoption. Through a series of events, that move led us to yet another detour — we hit the road full-time in an RV to travel and adventure full-time while working remotely.
Fast forward to today, we are completely different people than we were back when we received the news we could not have biological children together. Our RV travels lasted 2 years and took us all over the country, coast to coast! We made more memories than many make in a lifetime and the more we traveled, the more we learned about ourselves and the world around us, and the more our perspectives changed.
Our adventures became less about our ‘bucket list’ and more about the beliefs we were gaining about life and the way we want to live it. We became passionate about collecting experiences, living simply, making a bigger difference in this world, and doing what makes us feel alive, rather than what we feel we’re supposed to do (which is what had guided my perfect plan for life in the past). In other words, we became dedicated to living intentionally, rather than just going through the motions.
But as we closed year 2 of our travels, that longing to become parents was stronger than ever and after years of uncertainty, it became crystal clear to us God had called us to adoption. We realized all the things we hope to instill in our children had nothing to do with genetics. We wanted to become parents to share our love of travel with a child, to raise them to be compassionate and kind people in this world, and to give them a strong foundation to reach their fullest potential in life. It didn’t matter anymore if our child would have my eyes or my husband’s sense of humor.
When we started the adoption process, we knew it was going to be our greatest adventure yet. But we had no clue the highs and lows we were about to experience. We had very little exposure to adoption and the fears and uncertainties set in immediately.
We were continually told that in adoption, you truly have to learn to let go, trust in the process, and let your baby find you. That completely went against how I wanted to handle the process. I wanted it to be fast, I wanted it to go ‘my way,’ and as you can imagine, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
The first 6 months of waiting were nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster. We had several situations where we were connected to an expectant mother, would get our hopes up, and then for various reasons, things wouldn’t work out or it just wouldn’t feel right. In fact, for 3 months we built a strong relationship with a woman who was certain she wanted us to parent her unborn baby boy. We flew out to meet her, talked with her every day, and then one day the communication stopped and we ultimately found out she had decided to parent. While we will always respect and love her and are genuinely happy she made the best decision for her and her child, it was a very difficult bump in the road for us.
But then, on August 29, 2020, we received a message that would change our lives. Our son’s birth mom reached out to us on Facebook and had spent hours scouring adoption profiles for the perfect parents for her baby boy due in February of 2021. After finding us, she said she immediately knew we were the ones and she wanted to Facetime with us to share her story.
Over the next 5 months of her pregnancy, we got to be by her side through it all. While we didn’t live in the same state, she did everything in her power to ensure we could be a part of the prenatal journey with her. We got to go visit her twice and go to ultrasound appointments, or she would video call us at the appointments we could not be at. She would send us weekly belly photos and updates and would play recordings of us reading books for baby to start recognizing our voices. It was more than we could have ever imagined we’d get to experience.
February 6, 2021, our son Myles James was born and we were there to welcome him the moment he came into this world. Dan got to cut the umbilical cord and I got to do skin-to-skin with him right away. We spent 2 days in the hospital loving on him right alongside his ‘first mama.’ It was the most magical day of our lives.
Since his birth, we’ve continued to have frequent contact with his birth mom, who is and always will be an angel in our lives. She is the most selfless, brave, and loving woman we’ve ever met. Despite this adoption being one of the hardest things she’s ever had to do in her life, she handled everything with grace and always put us and her baby before her own emotions and needs. We’ll never, ever be able to fully express our gratitude for her, but we’ll try our hardest by raising her son the very best we can. And he will always know his incredible story and how loved he is by us all.
We’ve since felt inspired to share our son’s loving open adoption story because there is a great need for more positive stories of adoption. While adoption is extremely complex and often filled with pain and trauma, it can be a beautiful example of God’s redeeming love.
We hope our story can inspire other families and women to consider adoption. Myles’ birth mother didn’t ‘give him up.’ She gave him life, she gave him a future, and she gave him a loving mom and dad who otherwise couldn’t have children. Her entire family and ours have now become one and the amount of support and love Myles already has is remarkable.
Not a day goes by we don’t look at our precious baby boy with tears in our eyes and become overwhelmed with love and disbelief for how perfect he is for us. We’re beyond grateful for our detour because it led us right to him. If my perfect plan had worked out, we would have missed out on being his parents. It’s an incredible feeling to thank God for the very same thing you were angry at Him for years prior.
Whether you’ve been touched by adoption or not, I sure hope our story will inspire you to find the strength to move past those heartbreaking dead ends and follow your own detours. Because sometimes the hardest roads lead to the most beautiful destinations.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lindsay McKenzie from Colorado Springs, CO. You can follow their journey on Instagram and their website. You can check out their books here and here. 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.
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