Adoption is something very near and dear to our hearts at The Snap Mom. We are thrilled to bring you this story of a very unique family, and are honored that Carrie would share with us!
I was recently asked if I would write our adoption story and of course I did not hesitate to say, “Yes!” Adoption has blessed us so mightily and I am absolutely passionate about it and about reaching out to women who struggle, as I did, with infertility and the pain associated with that. I have had the sheer pleasure of speaking to complete strangers who received my name from someone and being able to share my story with them, and hopefully offer them encouragement.
My story started many years ago as a young girl. From an early age, God planted seeds and desires in me; desires to be a mother. I played with dolls until an embarrassingly “mature” age, imagining these dolls were my real babies. My dream was to fall in love, get married, and be a mom. I met my future husband, graduated from college and taught kindergarten, continuing with my passion for young children. All the while I assumed the babies would just come easily and naturally. Sadly it was neither. We endured many years of treatments, surgeries, medications, injections, crazy positions following our attempts at “making babies”, temperature charting… you name it, we tried it! Even a very failed attempt at visiting a “fertility statue” that came to Orlando, where it was said that by touching this statue one would become fertile. Since I have an extremely strange sense of humor, I decided that if touching it made a woman fertile then certainly touching it in its most “sensitive” place would add extra favor. Needless to say, that failed as well but still causes us to laugh as we remember that day! To say that I was depressed would be an understatement. I couldn’t understand, for the life of me, why God would plant such a desire only to let me down and watch me be destroyed each month with failed attempts at pregnancy. Mother’s Day became an annual day of mourning, even to the point of not wanting to leave the house, knowing everywhere I looked there would be a new mom celebrating her child.
Our prayer during these difficult years was always to become pregnant. Then one day God revealed to my husband and myself almost simultaneously, to change what we were praying. Rather than pray, “Lord, make me pregnant” change the words to, “Lord, bless us with children in any way which is Your will.” We stopped all treatments cold turkey and it was difficult because it was as if I was letting go of a dream that I had held onto for nearly my whole life. But it was then that our hearts started to consider the possibility of adoption. We began the overwhelming task of visiting agencies, preparing home studies, scrutinizing our most secret and private business to strangers just to get a home study approved. But rather quickly doors started to open, giving us more faith and energy for this journey. Shortly after completing the process, we heard of a young girl who was a student that had become pregnant and was considering an adoption plan. I wrote her a letter and through a relative of a relative we reached out to her. She was to become the birthmother of our first child, Sam. Elation does not even come close to the feeling we experienced holding him and feeding him his first bottle and bringing him home two days later from the hospital. I was finally a mom! Every day felt like Christmas and we thanked God for this precious gift.
We soon decided we would be interested in adopting again. Unfortunately it can be a very expensive task when going through a private agency as we did with Sam. We heard about a young woman through our church, who was pregnant with her second child. Sadly, the state would be intervening to remove the child at birth due to her inability to parent safely. We became licensed as foster parents and were blessed with a beautiful baby girl whom we named, Sydney. Once again we were over the moon with joy! And felt blessed beyond comprehension that we now had a perfect baby boy and girl. When she was only 6 months old we received a phone call indicating that her birthmother was pregnant once again and this child would be removed as well and although sad for the circumstances, we rejoiced in bringing home baby Sadie. When Sadie was only 10 months old we got the same phone call informing us that she was once again pregnant and that we should get ready for another addition.
It was around this time that physically, the years of infertility and endometriosis had taken a toll on me. My doctor informed me that it was time to have a Hysterectomy. Although we had 3 very young children, and we were so very happy and blessed, I held onto hope that I would eventually become pregnant. I remember being wheeled into the OR on a gurney and as we passed by Labor and Delivery my heart broke. I wanted so badly to be going into that room rather than the room that would put an end to the desires I had held onto for so many years. I cried as I passed it, but slipped into surgery knowing that we were indeed blessed. I was released from the hospital the next day, and the following day I received a call from a caseworker that two days earlier our baby girl had been born. I couldn’t believe it! As I was being wheeled past labor and delivery, our daughter’s biological mother was giving birth to our precious girl, Sophie. Talk about God’s perfect timing. We brought her home one week before Christmas when she was only 4 days old and I was freshly recovering from surgery. Needless to say, this precious delivery helped immensely with my emotional healing from my surgery.
We thought we were done adopting for sure. We had adopted 4 children in a 5 year time span…three of them biological sisters. We held onto our license to help out with short term foster placements and thoroughly enjoyed the chaos and busyness of our lives. A few years after adopting Sophie, we received a placement of a baby boy just a couple of weeks before Christmas. It became obvious very soon that his birth mother would not be able to parent him due to addictions, homelessness, and prostitution. There was no family that would be suitable and it was then that we knew he was our son. We named him Shane. We thought our family was complete but we continued to do short term placements as we loved what it taught our children and of course it fulfilled a lifelong dream for me to mother! I just never realized that God had planned for me to mother so many! We took a several year break from any long term placements but when Shane started preschool we decided to do a short term respite for a precious, little, blonde baby boy. He was to be with us for just about a week…and he never left. His birth mother ended up leaving the state and becoming pregnant in another state and living on the streets. It breaks our hearts when we think of the circumstances that these children came into the world, and we pray regularly for their birth mothers. Steven was our 6th and final adoption. We call him the icing on our family cake! We truly had no intentions of adopting again yet we are blessed by him daily. In fact, today is his 3rd birthday so I am even more melancholy as I write our story, thinking about the day of his birth and how hard it must have been for his birth mother in her situation.
What you have read is the reason I count it an honor and joy to share my story. It is a story of how good our God is and how faithful He is. Please keep in mind that this is the “condensed” version of my story. The process wasn’t always kind. We were the victims of an adoption scam along the way, and lost a child to reunification whom we had hoped to adopt. But through it all, I clung to the verse in Jeremiah which speaks of the plans He has for me…plans to prosper me and not to harm me; plans to give me a future and a hope. Prosper us, He did! Six times! And we do not let a day go by that we do not thank Him for that. We also pray for leading and wisdom as we parent our children ranging from age sixteen down to three. God has entrusted these children to us and it is now our responsibility to raise them up knowing just how loved and precious they are…to their earthly parents, but even more importantly, to their Father above!