‘Zane got a call from a fellow soldier. He knew a young woman who was expecting a baby. She wanted a loving family for him. ‘We might be getting a baby!’ I was stunned, ecstatic, and terrified.’

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“Zane and I had always known we wanted to be parents. When you are young and in love you never imagine making that wish become reality would be something so difficult. Shortly after Zane and I married, we knew we wanted to start our family. It was not long after this agreement I began having health issues, and was diagnosed with a severe case of endometriosis.

Although the endometriosis had not completely taken us out of the game of conceiving a child, we had accepted the reality that starting a family naturally was becoming further from reach. We began fertility treatments, and my body immediately rejected the process. It was within this time we had to do some soul searching and self-reflection. Were we longing for a pregnancy, or for a child? It was then that we ended our mission to achieve a positive pregnancy test, and shifted our attention on becoming parents.

Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge

Due to being the most impatient person in the world, I came home from the doctor the day after breaking the news that we would be stopping our fertility treatments, and would be moving on to learning about adoption. There was no stopping me, I was on a mission to start the adoption process. I did not want this part of my life to be something I always would ‘say’ we are going to do, and never get around to. I am a firm believer that if we want something, we have to take action.

The next step Zane and I had to decide was, what type of adoption did we want to proceed with? International, Domestic, private adoption, foster to adopt, or with an agency? There was so much information to learn about that we felt overwhelmed.

Finances had always been an additional area of worry, the concern of becoming parents alone is intimidating enough to the bank account, and many of the avenues of adoption certainly weren’t going to help that in any manner, especially on a teacher and veteran/police officer’s salary. So, we began doing small fundraisers to help with adoption expenses. One of those fundraisers was a bake sale. It was at this specific bake sale that my husband, Zane, had advertised to his fellow soldiers at the National Guard.

On Saturday, July 16, 2011, Zane received a call from a fellow soldier who knew a young woman who was expecting a baby boy the beginning of October. However, she did not have the means to raise him.  She simply wanted a loving family for him. Zane called me, while I was leaving an early morning exercise class with friends, with the information. I was stunned, ecstatic, and terrified with the words that were coming out of his mouth. ‘We might be getting a baby!’ I quickly drove home to him to discuss this news more in depth, because we had some big decisions to make.

This situation had completely fallen into our laps. What we struggled with was… ‘What if THIS is what was meant for us? Maybe this was God’s plan.’ We ultimately decided to take the plunge, and pursue the adoption with the birthmother who we had a mutual friend with. Our gears shifted, and we contacted an attorney to begin the process of a private adoption after mentally preparing for our journey to work with an agency.

Two days after getting the phone call, we met with our birthmother. I had never been so terrified in my life. What do you say to a woman you are meeting for the first time who may possibly give you the greatest gift of your life, the gift of life? Oddly, when she arrived it was an effortless meeting; we all realized that something felt right.

For the remaining 3 months of her pregnancy, she allowed Zane and I to be a part of all the experiences – from doctor’s appointments, an ultrasound, and the naming of our baby boy. She had even expressed to us that I could be in the delivery room. Throughout the 3 months, Zane and I were also scrambling to transform our spare bedroom into a cozy nursery. As smooth and cool as this all sounds, during these entire 3 months, I was a basket case. Always trying to stay positive, but never forgetting the reality of the law, knowing that nothing was set in stone until adoption papers were signed.

The day finally arrived; I had attended the final check up with our birthmother who was in the final stages of pregnancy and ready to get back to her everyday life. The doctor opened the door after stepping away for a few minutes, popped his head back in and said, ‘How about Monday?’ Without showing any emotion, I glanced over and looked to see her expression. She smiled a smile of relief and said, ‘Sounds good!’ I just smiled and shook my head… on the inside I was doing a full-blown happy dance. My thoughts were screaming, ‘That’s MY birthday!!! His birthday is going to be MY birthday!’ The world of adoption is a crazy and unpredictable world, but sometimes, the pieces fall right into place.

Bright and early Monday morning, Zane and I received the call from our birthmother stating she had been called to go to the hospital to begin the induction process. The delivery went off without a hitch. I was so lucky to not only watch my son enter this world and take his first breath, but I was able to cut his umbilical cord, not a common experience for parents who adopt. Being able to take part in this experience meant so much.

Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge
Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge

7 years have gone by since our adoption story began. Xavier is a healthy, growing young boy, who leaves such a mark on every single person he meets.

Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge
Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge

Zane and I will never truly understand the paths that we feel drawn to take in life, but we are sure of one thing – what’s meant to be, will be, and we are forever grateful for it.

Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge
Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge

My hope is that our story connects with couples who are struggling to find the passion with complete medical intervention for pregnancy, and use our journey to find parenthood as inspiration. I often tell Xavier, he was meant to be my child, but God knew he couldn’t use my body to make him as perfect as he is.”

Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge
Courtesy of Lauren Blackledge

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lauren Blackledge, of Charleston, West Virginia. You can follow their journey on InstagramDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read more beautiful adoption stories:

‘I stood there holding my 3-month-old baby boy as she sent me pictures of an ultrasound of the baby growing in her stomach. I was speechless. But I also knew. Deep down I knew.’

‘Momma, can you please call the judge? He’s moving too slow. Does he know I need you to be my momma? I’ll tell him. I need to be adopted. I can’t wait anymore.’ My boys waited 3 long years.’

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