Paper

Looking back over our adoption journey, one tangible item characterizes most of it: paper.

Pages upon pages of applications.

Personal references from friends and pastors.

Printouts of PowerPoint presentations during orientation and training.

Notes about the process of adoption and financing adoption and caring for children post-adoption.

Flyers for our huge yard sale.

Books about adoption and orphan care.

Check after check that we deposited because of the generosity of others and the perfect provision of the Father.

Cards from friends encouraging us along the way.

So many thank you notes (I’m still working on those!) for so many different reasons.

 

Rachelle Adams || Paper #adoption #privateadoption #openadoption #childbirth #newborn

 

Our profile book introducing us to expectant mothers.

Noting promises and the character of God in the margins of my Bible.

Setting up baby registries when we were matched!

Coloring pages in the hospital room with Asher’s birth mama.

Discharge papers before we could take Asher home from the hospital.

Reheating instructions on meals provided by sweet friends and family after Asher was born.

Finalization paperwork at the courthouse on Asher’s Gotcha Day.

Photos for Asher’s birth family.

A Mother’s Day card for the woman who loved him first.

 

After finalizing, I was anticipating one more piece of paper that I thought would change how I felt somehow. I thought I would feel more complete as a family. I thought it would give me closure.

 

Asher’s birth certificate.

 

When an adoption is finalized, the child is given a new birth certificate. His/her new name is typed neatly, with the date of birth, location of birth, and names of the adoptive parents* below. If you were to simply look at the birth certificate without knowing the whole story, you would never know an adoption had taken place. When you look at Asher’s birth certificate, it looks as though I gave birth to him.

 

The long anticipated day arrived, and Asher’s new birth certificate was delivered in the mail. Joseph handed it to me, I looked it over, paused briefly for a moment of reflection, heard Asher cry, and set his birth certificate aside to comfort him. The moment was over, and it wasn’t anything like I anticipated.

 

I think part of me assumed seeing my name on his birth certificate would give me this swelling feeling of being his mother, like really, for reals his mom. The thing is, I already was. I didn’t need a piece of paper to confirm that.

 

The moment we received the news that we were matched, I loved him as my son. The second the doctor held Asher in the air in the delivery room and I laid eyes on him, I was wrecked, completely smitten with him. When he stopped crying as I placed my hand on his chest, I was bonded to him. There was no turning back. He was and is my son. I was and am his mama.

 

Rachelle Adams || Paper #adoption #privateadoption #openadoption #childbirth #newborn

Rachelle Adams || Paper #adoption #privateadoption #openadoption #childbirth #newborn

 

 

I’m his mama when he smiles like me or when he sighs like me or when he raises his eyebrows like me. I’m his mama when I’m feeding him or changing dirty diapers. I’m his mama when he snuggles in close and when he would rather make us laugh than go to sleep. When he stares intently at my face trying to learn how to whistle or sound out a word. When he coughs in a restaurant and everyone turns and stares at me, wondering why I’m not helping him (it’s because he isn’t actually choking). When he learns something new, like how to move his bouncy seat across the room by jumping fast enough. When I soothe him and dry his tears at the doctor’s office. When I wash a hundred tiny pieces of clothing and put them on tiny hangers. When I cheer him on one more time as he pulls the chain to turn the light on in the living room. When I sing lullabies and he laughs or sings along or conducts the music. When I drop him off at the church nursery and tell them there’s a bottle in his diaper bag, just in case. And there’s a change of clothes, just in case. And my phone number is on his sticker, just in case.

 

Rachelle Adams || Paper #adoption #privateadoption #openadoption #infant #newborn #motherhood #mama

 

When my eyes get all puddly because he is so beautiful. When I’m so tired and I desperately want him to sleep without me, but I also want to cuddle him for just five more minutes. When I run my fingers through his soft curls and imagine what he’ll look like as a teenager. When his chubby hand wraps around my finger.

 

Rachelle Adams || Paper #adoption #privateadoption #openadoption #infant #newborn #motherhood #mama

 

When I’m “that mom” who wants to enroll her infant in voice lessons because he has perfect pitch. When I’m “that mom” who can’t stop talking about her baby and bragging about every little milestone. When I’m “that mom” who posts a million pictures, knowing people probably find it annoying on social media.

 

When I pray for him. When I hope for him. When I dream for him.

 

Rachelle Adams || Paper #adoption #privateadoption #openadoption #infant #newborn #motherhood #mama #boymom

 

I’m his mama in a handful of big ways and a million different little ways. He is one of God’s greatest gifts to me, and he will forever be a part of me.

 

I didn’t need a piece of paper to tell me that.

 

 

 

 

 

*I’m using “adoptive parents” for the sake of clarity. Adoptive parents are simply parents, real ones. :O)

 

Adopted!

As I burrowed into Squishy Pillow Thursday night, I grew teary-eyed thinking of the day. Asher wasn’t any more my son than he was when we woke up, but there was a new layer of peace and joy after we made it official in court.

 

It was a lot like when I married Joseph. The morning of our wedding, I was crazy in love with him. My eyes danced when I looked at him, and my stomach was still filled with butterflies. After our wedding? I felt the same way! Only, we had entered into a covenant relationship with one another. Somehow, that made our love deeper, filled with confidence and peace. And so much joy!

 

Just like I entered into a covenant relationship with Joseph on our wedding day, we entered into a covenant relationship with our son on Thursday. Before a judge and over a dozen of our friends and family, we promised to love, care, and provide for our boy just as though I had given birth to him. We promised to kiss boo-boos, give giant bear hugs, accept weeds as flowers, stay up all night, chase away closet monsters, plan birthday parties, play Hide-and-Seek, sing silly songs, help with science fair projects, rent a tuxedo for the school prom, and cheer him on as he accepts his diploma, all as though he had our DNA. We promised to be his parents, his mama and daddy. Forever. An unconditional covenant.

 

And it was beautiful!

 

Sure, it was a little stuffy and formal, and the hearing only lasted a few minutes, but those were some of the most beautiful minutes of my life.

 

And I could hear God whispering, “I made those promises to you.”

 

God sent His Boy, His cried-when-He-was-hungry, crawled-before-He-walked, skinned-His-knees, loved-His-mama, Son of God Boy, to take my place so I could be adopted by my Father. So I could be a joint heir with Christ. So I could be a daughter loved unconditionally by her Daddy.

 

And when we receive Asher’s new birth certificate, the one with our names on it, the one that will declare on a piece of paper that he is our son, just as though I had literally given birth to him in a hospital in Charleston, I’ll hear His voice whisper again, “You’re My child, and you bear My name.”

 

No one has helped me see the Gospel with as much clarity as my own son. No one has taught me more about the love of my Father than my son. No one has made me want to be more like Christ than my son.

 

Adoption has changed my life twice – once by my Savior and once by my son. I’m eternally grateful for both.

 

Rachelle Adams || Adopted! #adoption #finalization #court #gotchaday #adoptedinchrist

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

 

Rachelle Adams || Perfect Love Casts Out Fear #adoption #motherhood #faithThe other day, we took Asher in for his two month well check. We stripped him down to his diaper and cheered when we found out he weighs almost 15 pounds. He’s an adorably chunky baby!

 

His pediatrician came in, and we collectively gushed over his sweetness and the milestones he’s reaching. She assured us we’re doing a great job, and she even said it’s both perfectly NORMAL and even EXPECTED that Asher isn’t sleeping through the night. Mentally, I scratched that off my list of things I fear I’m doing wrong as a parent. (All mamas have that list, right?)

 

Then, something unexpected happened. I hugged Asher close to me and started crying in the exam room, and I revealed my biggest fear to our pediatrician: “Asher is doing great now, but I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m watching him, looking for signs that something’s wrong. Waiting for him to break.”

 

Our pediatrician sat on the exam table, looked into my eyes, and spoke truth to my soul. While we must be practical and responsible, looking into the future and watching for certain things, we cannot live in fear. We must rest in the comfort that God is in control, and we must live in and enjoy the present. I nodded that she was right, and I inhaled the sweet smell of my baby as I felt the quiet rhythm of his breathing.

 

A verse drifted into my mind, one that a sweet friend shared with me recently: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18a, ESV).

 

If I’m loving my son well today, I won’t fear for his future. I will rest in the comfort that God is sovereign and has a better future for Asher than I could ever imagine.

 

How do I love my son well? I look to the One who loves the best.

 

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, ESV).

 

Jesus is the only one who has ever loved me perfectly, and he didn’t fear laying down his life in order to perfect that love.

 

If I look to the example of Christ and lay down my life daily for my son, I won’t have to fear. I’ll lay my life down for him when he’s healthy, and I’ll lay my life down for him if we face challenges down the road.

 

Where are you today? Are you fearful in a certain situation or even in a relationship? Look to the One who made you, the One who laid down his life for you. Rest in his perfect love as it casts out fear.

Daring to Dream

This weekend, I attended the Created for Care conference, a weekend for adoptive and foster mamas. Going in, I anticipated being encouraged and leaving with practical knowledge on bringing up our sweet boy. I left with something a little different, something I wasn’t expecting.

 

The first breakout session was on Friday afternoon. I attended a Creative Quiet Time class, a little unsure of what to expect. I sat down at a table with shiny gold and silver paper, a couple of tablets, and sample stars. Hmmm. I suppose I could get behind connecting with God while making a shiny star. I chit chatted with the ladies at the table regarding the genius idea to use cute Kraft style wrapping paper as a table cloth, and we waited for the session to begin.

 

The session leader, Virginia, asked us all to come to the front for a few minutes before we began our time with the Lord. I tried not to sigh as I gave into her request, remembering days gone by when I LOVED sitting in the front of the room as I soaked up information. Now, I would much prefer to hide in the back of the room.

 

Virginia shared that the theme of the weekend was Shine, and she asked us to think of people who shine. What made them so shiny? No, it wasn’t oily skin or sequin-covered dresses. Joy, contentment, positive attitudes, and time with the Lord were all shouted out, even the fact that most shiny people are thinkers and dreamers who are moving forward in life.

 

After we reflected on things that make people shine, Virginia shared with us reasons that people lose their shine. Discontentment, unconfessed sin, disobedience, not spending time in the Word or prayer, etc.

 

Not dreaming.

 

That one caught my attention. She said most of us, as we grow older, stop dreaming. That’s me. I’ve had dreams of writing, teaching, and speaking for years, but I stopped doing much about those dreams.

 

Virginia guided us through a time of prayer. She asked that we would each hear from the Lord. I felt a bit skeptical, but I asked God to help me be open to hearing from him.

 

And I did.

 

I sensed God reminding me that I am his, and because I am his, I can dream. I sensed him encouraging me to be confident in who I am in Christ, to trust that he will enable me to pursue the dreams he has placed within me.

 

After we prayed together, I decided to spend my time with the Lord doodling in my journal rather than going to one of the stations. As I doodled, I reflected on the dreams he’s given me, and I asked him to show me the hindrances within me to achieving those dreams.

 

Rachelle Adams || Daring to Dream #adoption #goals #dreaming #trustingGod #creativequiettime
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.”
Acts 2:17 (quoting Joel 2)

 

Many of those hindrances were because I was focusing on my “don’ts” rather than my “dos”, a trap Virginia said leads to discontentment and not pursuing our dreams.

I don’t have a mentor pouring into my life and teaching me how to achieve my dreams.

I don’t have lots of connections.

I don’t have a large reading audience for my blog.

I don’t have teaching or speaking opportunities.

I don’t have enough material.

On and on.

 

It’s time to focus on the dos!

I do have a Savior who empowers and equips me to do all that he has called me to do.

I do have a loving and supportive husband who wants me to pursue the dreams God has given me.

I do have a great community of faith who can pray for and encourage me along the way.

I do have a blog, and it doesn’t matter how many people do or don’t read it at this point.

I do have the entire Bible and 34 years on this planet, which sounds like plenty of material to me!

 

So, this year, I’m going to take steps to making progress toward those dreams. I don’t know what that’s going to look like at this point, but I’m going to start by writing with more intentionality on my blog (this sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). Sometimes, that will be about adoption related topics, like many of my posts in 2015. Other times, I’ll be writing about passages in Scripture, with possible teaching recordings to accompany those posts. Even if I don’t have opportunities to speak in front of other women, I can create opportunities to teach. Will you pray with me as I pursue these dreams?

 

What about you? What dreams have you had? Have you pursued those dreams? If not, what’s stopping you? I’m praying God will give you the courage to pursue the dreams he’s given you. After all, you’re his, and because you’re his, you can dream with him.

 

Asher Means Happy

One of the most frequently asked questions since Asher was born has been, “Where did you get his name?”

 

Asher is a twofold answer: First, there is a connection to his birth mother. His name was a small way we could honor her. Second, Asher means “happy.” If you follow me on Instagram (@shutterchelle) or we’re friends on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen our hashtag, #ashermeanshappy. In Genesis, during The Great Baby Race, after the birth of one of her sons, Leah says, “‘How happy I am! The women will call me happy.’ So she named him Asher” (30:13). I knew that would be true once God placed a baby with us. I knew I would be happy and the women in my life would know it! Also, when we met Asher’s birth parents, we all said over and over how happy we were. Asher seemed like a fitting name.

 

Marcus, his middle name, is after my Pop Pop. I’ve always been close with Pop Pop, and I love that we were able to honor him this way. When I first researched the meaning of Marcus, all I found was something along the lines of “the god Marcus.” Eh. That wasn’t a deal breaker for us, but it also wasn’t a “woo hoo!” for us as far as a strong meaning for our child’s name.

 

One day, I had a little down time while I was waiting on Joseph to install a cable box for someone, and I felt prompted to research the meaning of Marcus one more time. I found an article that said Marcus can mean “to harvest.” At that time, we were still debating if the baby’s name would be Asher Marcus or Marcus Asher (methods of determining the order including yelling the names across the house and using the names while shopping for baby items). Finding the “to harvest” meaning settled it for me. I knew our baby’s name was Asher Marcus, and I knew the Scripture we would pray over our son.

 

“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest'” (Luke 10:2).

 

We are praying that our sweet Asher wouldn’t just be a happy child (which he is!). We’re praying he would live up to his full name and be “happy to harvest.” We’re praying he would not only pray to the Lord of the harvest and ask for laborers, but that he would be an answer to that prayer.

 

I know Asher is only six weeks old (almost seven, eek!), but I see it in him already. His birth mother told us she felt certain Asher was created for a purpose, and she wanted him to be parented by believers who loved God’s Word and who loved serving the Lord and would pour those things into her son. In general, Asher is a happy, content, smiley baby. He lights up my life! But you should see him when we read stories of Jesus to him or when we’re just talking about Jesus. He’s different. He focuses in, looks us right in the eyes, and seems as though he’s already soaking it in.

 

We’re praying big things for Asher Marcus, and we KNOW we serve a big, good, faithful God who IS going to do big things through Asher. We’re humbled and honored to have a small part in God’s story, and we can’t wait to watch it unfold.

 

Asher Means Happy || Rachelle Adams #adoption #adoptiveparenting #babynames

When You Were Born

Sweet Asher, I have a story to tell you. There aren’t any dragons or princesses locked in towers, but it’s one of the best stories yet, and God started writing it a long time ago.

 

Years ago, long before I met your daddy, God placed a desire in my heart to adopt. I didn’t know what that would look like for me, but I knew God would one day grow my family through adoption. When your daddy and I met, he told me he wanted to adopt also. That made me love him even more, and I couldn’t wait for the day to come when we would start our family.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory
Christmas Eve Slumber Party 2014

After we had been married for a few years, your daddy and I decided to start our family. A couple of years passed, and we still didn’t have a baby. We wondered what God had planned for us, and we prayed, asking God for children. On Christmas day of 2014, God confirmed that it was time for us to start the adoption process. Your daddy and I were overjoyed! We were officially on our journey to you.

 

We waited for months. Those were some of the happiest and hardest days of my life. God was stretching me and growing me and preparing me for you. He showed me lots of yucky things in my heart that I needed to surrender to Jesus, and He taught me to lean into Him and trust His perfect plan.

 

And, oh, what a perfect plan He had!

 

On October 27, 2015, we received the call that we had been matched with you! Oh, baby boy, I was over the moon excited! Was this finally happening? Was my dream coming true? Was God giving me the good gift of being a mama?

 

The next few weeks were a flurry of excitement and lots of to do lists! We shared our good news with friends and family, and we did all we could to prepare our home for your arrival.

 

And we prayed! We prayed for you. We prayed for your first family. We prayed for the lawyer and the doctors and all the people who were helping bring you to us. Lots and lots of people prayed with us. Did you know that one day, for a solid 24 hours, people prayed for you? They did! That was one of the most special days of our journey to you. We saw how much you were loved already, and our excitement grew even more.

 

We actually had the chance to meet your first parents a couple of weeks before you were born. Oh, Asher, I was so nervous! I knew your first mama had chosen us, but what if she didn’t like us once she met us in person? What if she thought I was awkward and laughed too much? What if I said the wrong thing? We prayed, and we asked our friends and family to pray. I prayed specifically that I could hug your first mama and that we could take a photo with her before we left the meeting.

 

God was gracious and kind. As soon as your first mama walked through the door, she gave me a big hug! Now, you’ll learn that I have a tendency to say awkward things. This moment was no different. The first thing I ever said to your first mama was, “Your hair smells SO good! Whatever shampoo you’re using, keep using it!” Yep. Oh, well, I think it broke the ice, because our time together was wonderful, so much more than I imagined. God filled the room with His peace, and we felt an instant connection with your first parents. Your sweet first mama even brought us gifts to share with you, including your ultrasound pictures and photos of your first family – what treasures! We left that meeting on cloud nine, and guess what we did right before we left! That’s right. We were able to take a photo with your first parents. God was so kind to answer my prayers!

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory
Our first photo with your first parents when you were still in her tummy.

 

We waited with such joy for the next couple of weeks. We weren’t sure when you would arrive! Your due date was November 29th, but we were both hoping you would arrive before Thanksgiving. On Thursday, November 19th, our community group created a little baby pool and each guessed the day we thought you would arrive. I guessed the 24th, and your daddy guessed the 26th, Thanksgiving day. We were both wrong!

 

The next day, just before 1:00 in the afternoon, we received an unexpected call. Your first mama was being admitted to the hospital. Her water was low, and the doctor wanted to induce labor. This was it! You were on your way!

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory
Going into the hospital as two!

We scurried around frantically, packing our bags and letting our family and friends know the exciting news. I was thankful your bags were ready to go! We loaded the car and drove the few hours to the hospital, where your first mama had been admitted by the time we arrived.

 

Asher, it was so good to see her! I didn’t realize how much I had missed her until I saw her again. We hugged and laughed, both sharing in the joy of knowing we would see your face very soon!

 

Your first mama was gracious and kind to us. She invited us into her labor and delivery room, and she let us stay with her through the whole process. Those days in the hospital were a sweet time of getting to know one another better, which gave us all a greater sense of peace about your first parents placing you with us.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory
Your daddy colored this one!

We ended up being in the hospital longer than anticipated, so I was thankful I brought along an activity to help us pass the time. Do you know what it was? Coloring! Does that sound silly to you? Adults coloring? It was wonderful! We all relaxed, even your laboring first mama! This simple activity broke down even more walls and allowed us to talk and continue building our relationship. Your first mama opened her heart to us and shared with us about her journey toward adoption. She shared her hopes and dreams for you. Sweet boy, I look forward to telling you all about those talks we had in the wee hours of the night. They were sacred.

 

Asher, you are so loved. I never want you to doubt that. Your first family didn’t place you with us because they didn’t want you or because they didn’t love you. It was the opposite! They loved you SO very much that they made the hardest decision imaginable and chose to give you a life they felt they couldn’t offer you. Asher, they chose life! We are eternally grateful for their decision!

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstoryI don’t want to leave out your first dad. He wasn’t at the hospital a ton, because he was doing important work. He was taking care of your older brothers! He didn’t want your first mama to be in the hospital worrying about them, so he was doing his very best to serve her well and care for his family. He was with us some, though, and we enjoyed our time with him. He is a kind and gentle man, soft spoken and careful with his words. He loves your first mama very much, and he loves you also! Just like the day we met your first parents, we were able to take a photo with them again. I hope you can tell in this photo that we were all on the same team: Team Asher! All four of us want the very best for you.

 

Labor started on Friday afternoon and lasted until Sunday morning. Your first mama was full of peace as the hours ticked by. She said she could feel the Spirit in the room, and she was at peace. Asher, she showed such grace and courage. We were blessed to witness her strength and her faith. She knew God was leading her to place you with us, and she was confident in her decision.

 

At 6:00 the morning of Sunday, November 22nd, the doctor made the decision that you needed to be delivered via c-section. We were all excited that labor was coming to an end, but I could tell your first mama was scared. She chose to pray and trust God, again putting you before herself.

 

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoptionThings moved quickly from that point! Your first mama, again, was kind and gracious. She invited me into the operating room with her so I could witness your birth. What a gift! A nurse brought me a hospital gown and booties and such, and a group of nurses prepped your first mama for surgery. They wheeled her back, and I waited in the recovery room until I could go in with her. I was so nervous and excited! I paced back and forth and listened to a little music and prayed to calm my nerves. I knew I was just minutes away from seeing your sweet face!

 

Then, it was time!  A nurse walked me into the OR. The doctors and nurses were all supportive and kind, knowing there were two mamas in the room. Your first mama was nervous, so I did what I always do: I told random stories and filled the silence with my awkward laugh. You’ll get used to that.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

The anesthesiologist was sweet. She asked if I wanted to see you as they pulled out your head, and then she held the curtain back so I could get a glimpse. I yelled, “He has hair!” Your first mama and I both giggled with delight. Just moments later you were out. Oh, I cried and cried the happiest tears! You were such a handsome boy, and you had a healthy set of lungs! And you had squishy cheeks from the start! Thank you for that.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoptionYou weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and you were 19 inches long. So perfectly squishy! And those lips! I loved them from the start.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoptionThe nurses cleaned you up so I could hold you and show you to your first mama. She was smitten at first sight, too! Know that there are two women who love you to the moon and back.

 

when-010Before you were born, I was nervous that we wouldn’t bond quickly, that it would take me a while to fall in love with you since you didn’t grow in my tummy. Please know that the moment I laid eyes on you, I loved you so very much. It felt like my heart was exploding! I didn’t know I had the capacity to love the way I knew I loved you in that moment. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to soothe you, that it would take you a long time to get to know me. But God is gracious! While the nurses were cleaning you up, you were crying. Screaming is more accurate! I placed my hand on your chest, and you were instantly quiet. Oh, what a moment! God gave me the precious gift of knowing we would be OK. You and I were going to get along just fine!

 

I was able to go with you to the nursery, where they measured you, gave you your first bath, and made your footprints. You have the cutest feet! That’s also where I was able to introduce you to your daddy and have a little skin to skin time with you in the rocking chair. Your daddy loved you instantly also! You may notice in these pictures that I couldn’t stop crying. I was so happy!

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoptionRachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoptionRachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

 

This is the picture we texted to our family and closest friends to announce you had arrived. You looked like a burrito swaddled up tightly in hospital blankets. I should have asked that nurse for some swaddling pointers. Sorry about that. :O)

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

You were pricked and prodded a little before you left the nursery. You were not a fan, but you held onto my finger and showed us how brave you can be. I think you get that from your first mama. She was brave to let you spend all of those first moments with us. She wanted you to bond with us first and start getting to know us before we took you home.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

 

Once the doctor was all finished with your first mama and she was in the recovery room, a nurse walked you and me over to see her. She was so excited to see you! We took turns passing you back and forth, giving you lots of hugs and kisses.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

 

You were in the hospital until Tuesday, and we all spent as much time with you as we could. We oohed and ahhed over every little noise you made, every little facial expression. Those days were filled with joy and peace, true grace from the Lord.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

 

We passed you around, each getting time to snuggle you and feed you.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

 

Tuesday was the big day, the day you would be placed with us and we could take you home! I was nervous all morning. We spent some time with you and your first mama. While she was still at peace, I could tell how hard this was going to be for her. Placing you with us was going to require tremendous strength, strength we knew could only come from the Lord. So, I prayed.

 

While your first parents were signing the paperwork to say you could come live with us, I felt like I was holding my breath. Things were taking longer than we anticipated. Had they changed their minds? To ease my fears, I pulled out my Bible. I was a couple of days behind on my Bible reading, and that felt like the perfect moment to catch up! I read Mark 14, and I was challenged by the words of Jesus, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (v. 36). In that moment, I surrendered you up to Jesus. No matter what happened, you were His.

 

Just moments later, there was a quiet knock on our door. Your first parents were standing there holding you, ready to place you with us. They placed you with us with gentle confidence and humility, an act of true love.

 

As they walked away, I cried and held you tightly to my chest. Next to Jesus giving Himself for me, you are the most precious gift anyone has given me. Know that and treasure it in your heart, baby boy. From the moment I heard about you, my love for you started growing in my heart, and it hasn’t stopped. When I look at you, my heart swells. I’ve only known about you for a little over a month, and I’ve only been able to hold you in my arms for 10 days, but you’ve changed me.

 

Rachelle Adams || When You Were Born #adoption #adoptionstory #birthstory #openadoption

 

Asher, you’ve changed all of us. Your first parents shared with us how much they’ve grown in their faith since they began this journey with you. Your daddy and I feel the same. You may only be 10 days old, but you’re already a world changer. I’m praying big things for you, little man. I’m praying God draws you to saving faith at a young age. I want you to know Him and love Him fiercely. I want you to know how much He loves you and then serve Him and others in response to that love.

 

For now, know this about our great God: He “is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). We’ve seen it in your story, which is just a little piece of God’s big story of grace, and we trust we’ll continue seeing Him do abundantly more as we watch you grow.

 

With all my love,

Mama

 

 

 

 

Please note: We have an open adoption. While we were in the hospital, we talked with our birth parents, and we all agreed we were OK with sharing pictures of each other, but not names. They’re a big part of Asher’s life, so they’re going to be in our lives! If you know their names, we ask that you not post them on social media. Thank you!

The Call

Tuesday, October 27th was cloudy and chilly. I rushed out of the door that morning, running a few minutes behind for my babysitting job for the day. Yogurt splatter, baby giggles, and a game of Peek-a-boo lifted my spirits. A warm blanket invited me to curl up on the couch during nap time and spend time in the Word. The morning felt like any other morning with my sweet little friend.

 

But it wasn’t.

 

At 10:50 AM, I received a phone call. Even though it was a local number, having been fooled before, I assumed it was a telemarketer, and I ignored the call. A voice mail notification vibrated my phone. Still thinking it was a telemarketer, I clicked “play” and waited for an automated recording. Only, I didn’t hear an automated recording. I heard a warm, sweet, Southern voice telling me, “I have news! You’re going to want to call me back!”

 

That may have been the fastest I have EVER returned a phone call! Our adoption counselor answered right away and said she needed to conference in the lawyer and would call me right back. After hanging up, I sent Joseph a calm, lady like text.

 

Rachelle Adams || The Call #adoption #private #matched

 

It was one of my finest moments.

 

The actual call with our lawyer and our adoption counselor is a bit of a blur now. I think I heard about half of what they told me. Things went down like this:

 

“something, something, something … An expectant mother chose you!”

“Thank you!”

“something, something, something … She really liked your book!”

“Thank you!”

“something, something, something … medical history.”

“OK”

“something, something, something … Let’s schedule a detailed call for tomorrow.”

“OK! Thank you!”

There were so many words, and all I remember saying was “thank you” and “OK” … a lot.

 

Shaking, I called Joseph, who had been trying to reach me. “Babe, that was it. We just got the call. We’re going to have a baby.” Then I cried and tried to recall all the “something, something, something” words. I pretty much just remembered the due date and the fact that she liked our book.

 

And that she chose us.

 

Us.

 

That was one of the most sacred moments of my life – and not because “holy crap” was in all caps when I texted Joseph.

 

Not since God chose me to be one of His own adopted ones (see Ephesians 1:3-5) or since Joseph chose me to be his bride has a choice delighted my soul and ignited my spirit more.

 

The next day, we had a conference call with our adoption counselor and our lawyer. We went over the details of the adoption and gave our “YES!” We also made plans to meet our expectant mother. I’m crying just typing that. I can’t begin to express the feelings I have when I think about meeting her. They’re a jumble, and they’re woven together with a joy so pure that I know it’s a gift straight from the Father. I hope she lets me hug her, because I really want to give her a big hug. I don’t know what comes after that! (Probably tears.)

 

We’ll know a few more details after Tuesday, such as the delivery plan. We want to respect our sweet expectant mother during that time. Please lift her up and pray for strength and affirmation that she’s making the right decision. Pray she makes the best choice for her baby, even if that means our arms are empty a little longer.

 

We’ve had so much fun telling our family and friends. They’re as excited as we are, which gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies. We used this video to share on social media:

 

 

 

The next few weeks are sure to be a flurry of excitement and projects. The last few days have already been a frenzy of rearranging furniture in the house, registering, and preparing for baby.

 

Would you please join us in prayer? Pray for our hearts during this last bit of waiting. Pray for opportunities to share the love of Christ with those we meet along the way. Pray as we meet our expectant mother. Pray and ask God to provide the final $15,000 we need. Ask Him if He wants you to be a part of that. You can give at our YouCaring site.

 

I want to leave you with one of the sweetest parts of this story so far for me. Joseph asked our adoption counselor when our expectant mother chose us. It turns out she chose us in early September. My heart has been aching during this wait. I have cried out to God so many times, begging Him to give us the good gift of a child. During those weakest moments, I imagine God was smiling and saying, “Hang tight, little one. I’ve got a really good gift for you!”