What. A. Whirlwind.
The secret is finally out!!! Drew and I are parents to a sweet little bundle of joy, Jaylen Lee. To say we are thrilled is an understatement. But man, we are just so excited that we FINALLY got to shout from the rooftops and share our news with everyone!
So how did this all happen...
In January, after my previous post explaining that we were basically at another dead end in our adoption journey, I made it my full time job to figure out how we are to get back on the right path and continue to move forward towards growing our family. With our previous agency closing we had to find someone, anyone, who would accept our approved homestudy and not make us start the journey all over again. We met with a local attorney who pointed us toward A Chosen Child and Christian Adoption Consultants. On February 6th, these two organizations graciously added us to their "waiting family" list right away. It was a dream come true. We had never made it this far in our journey!
February 10th, just a couple of days after becoming a waiting family we were informed that there was an expectant mother ready to look at profile books and choose the parents to raise the child she was carrying. Profile books are basically resumes for your family. They have a ton of pictures and descriptions of your values as a family, your neighborhood, your family and friends, etc. We sent our book to this mother and prayed and prayed and prayed. We were informed that we were not chosen, and we were completely at peace with this. We were just thrilled we got shown, someone knew we were waiting to grow our family. Remember...this was the furthest we had ever made it in this journey.
February 20th we find out there is another expectant mother ready to make one of the biggest decisions of her life. We sent in our profile book and prayed and prayed and prayed.
February 24th as I was in the car with my sister and my niece, A Chosen Child called me to inform me that we were going to be parents! This beautiful, loving, selfless mother carrying a beautifully created baby boy that was due May 7th, had chosen us to raise her son. The call Drew and I had waited years to hear finally came. So after pulling it together, my sister drove me to the church to inform my husband that he was going to be a daddy. (Side note: this church building is where we met, got engaged, got married, and now found out we were going to be parents...I see you God!)
Drew and I started calling family and dear friends who have walked this journey with us and shared our exciting news with them! Telling our parents and siblings that we were going to be parents was incredible! But, we still had one more hurdle to jump over...
When you adopt a newborn nothing is finalized until the birth mother signs the paperwork at discharge in the hospital. So as you celebrate the fact that you have been chosen as a parent and secretly set up a nursery, there is always the fear that the birth mother is going to change her mind. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. Daily, Drew and I would go through the emotions of "OH MY GOSH! We are going to be parents!" and "This is never going to happen, she's going to change her mind." Daily. For three months. If I ever snapped, seemed clueless, was camped out in La La land, or all of the above...I apologize. Blame the roller coaster.
Because of this huge factor with newborn adoption, we chose to keep it close to the vest just in case she did decide to change her mind. People lovingly asked us, "How's the adoption journey?" and "What's your status?" and we had to lie, kind of, by saying we were still waiting, and we're sorry! The lies were just to protect us emotionally. Had momma changed her mind and chose to parent, we would have celebrated that for her, but we would have been mourning the loss of a child and we didn't want everyone to feel that loss if it wasn't necessary.
Back to the timeline...
On May 7th at 8:31am this precious little boy, Jaylen Lee was delivered. Due to COVID-19 we were unable to be at the hospital for the delivery. Nothing was official yet, we were just prospective adoptive parents and to the hospital that means we were, well, nothing. So we anxiously waited at home on May 7th and 8th and filled our very empty schedules with anything and everything we possibly could. Thank you to each person who helped us fill our schedule, whether you knew what was going on or not. You saved our sanity and my waistline because I am a major stress eater.
May 9th at 11:30am we got a text message from A Chosen Child asking us to meet at the hospital at 1pm. It. Was. Go. Time. So we grabbed Nana and Pops, called Grammy and Papa to tell them to get on the road and off we went to the hospital to meet our baby boy and his strong and courageous birth mother.
And that is how Drew and I became parents to the most perfect, precious, handsome little boy, Jaylen Lee!