If you do not already know much about our adoption journey, here is a recap…
We talked about adoption when we began discussing starting a family. Although we were never given an official diagnosis of infertility, there were several years of hoping and waiting sprinkled with health set-backs for Amy…back surgery, thyroid ablation, with a miscarriage in between...which prompted us to begin the adoption process. We started with an international path and were prepared to adopt from Ukraine, when after nearly two years that abruptly ended due to changes in Ukrainian government and their adoption regulations. We started from scratch to begin an infant domestic adoption. Nine months later (talk about a paper pregnancy!) in November 2012 we received one of the greatest blessings ever when Lydia was born and became our daughter. She was a week old when she was placed in our arms and she felt very much ours from the start. A few days later we finally got to meet the sweet young lady that had carried her and had chosen us, along with Lydia's biological sibling and her birth mom's boyfriend (now husband). Out of this came unexpected blessings…like the love God gave us for a complete stranger in another city several states away who was giving us this incredible gift, like the sudden eagerness to stay connected to Lydia's biological mom and all the apprehension of open adoption melting away, and the planning of a return trip six months later to visit Lydia's birth mom and her family. But what surprised us most was the passion God gave us for adoption as more than just a means to an end, and the way He opened our eyes to see His love through a new lens.
In Spring of 2014, we began our second adoption with the same agency. While waiting for a match, we looked for opportunities to educate others about adoption specifically promoting the idea of openness with birth parents. We also got involved with a local maternity home as a way to more closely support women with unplanned pregnancies. And in case foster care was part of God's plan for our future, we received 30+ hours in foster training. After two years of being home-study approved, we were suddenly matched. Less than a week later, in early March 2016, Viviana was born and Lydia became a big sister! The second adoption involved more contact with the biological family at the onset…meeting both of Viviana’s biological parents the night before she was born, spending time with her birth mom in the hospital which included surprising her with a birthday celebration in her hospital room (Vivi and her biological mom share a birthday), meeting birth mom's sister, meeting Viviana's biological siblings. While we maintain semi-open contact with her birth mom, we hope that relationship becomes more open in the future as we look for opportunities to be an encouragement to her through our correspondence.
After a lot of prayer, we began the adoption process a third time. We were confident that God intended our family to consist of three children and thought the third was supposed to be a boy. We went with a new agency hoping for a lower cost adoption this time and one where we could be gender specific. In early October 2018, we were one of two families selected to “meet” a birth mom via a 3-way conference call with an adoption agency director. Our call began at about 10pm on a Thursday night and ended around midnight. We had an immediate connection and lively conversation with this thoughtful and funny woman. Shortly after the call ended, the agency director called us right back and said she was amazed that we were able to talk that long and said it was the smoothest and most relaxed call she had ever participated in. As we chatted about the call, the birth mom texted her with excitement and said she wanted to cancel the call with the second family. She told the director "the baby was kicking and moving the entire time I was talking to them!" She already knew we were the right family and wanted to choose us to adopt the baby boy she was carrying due January 30th!
This was so different than our other two experiences. This time, we had an entire trimester to get through. We immediately began texting back and forth almost daily, getting to know this birth mom in great depth. She shared more about her situation. The bond we formed through these conversations was invaluable! While she was clearly already a Christian (choosing a Christian family was her main criteria she had when she looked for an adoptive family), she was struggling emotionally and spiritually. She needed to be encouraged, to be told she was loved by her Heavenly Father, that she was doing the right thing even though everyone around her was shaming her about placing for adoption. It seemed like she was in a constant spiritual battle as well as a physical battle as pre-term labor was an ongoing threat. We prayed continuously and quickly decided we would make a trip to meet her well in advance of the baby's due date.
Before traveling and about three weeks after our initial phone call, she visited the doctor and had another ultrasound...and found out she was actually carrying a girl! To be completely transparent, this was a shock and was difficult to process. But God's Word came to mind:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) Clearly, God led us to this precious woman and there was never a doubt about that. There was great comfort in knowing that God had brought us together ("The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." Proverbs 16:33). We already loved her and the baby she carried. The night we found out this new information, the birth mom sent us an ultrasound picture. This is something we will forever treasure as it is the only ultrasound picture we have ever received. It was a 3-D image and to be able to see our unborn daughter in such detail was truly a gift.
Several weeks later in mid-November we finally traveled to meet the birth mom and her family. It was one thing to talk on the phone with her but meeting her in person took it to a whole new level. Although we were a little nervous leading up to this point, we sort of felt like old friends. It was wonderful to be able to meet face-to-face and gain more understanding of her situation and her needs.
God knew what we needed to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead with our pending return trip in January. He already knew that the agency director would not be able to be present for the birth because her husband would be having shoulder surgery the same day, and that we would have to navigate the hospital without the help of the birth parent coordinator because she had a major doctor appointment in another town. Even way back when we adopted Lydia and Viviana, He was already preparing us for this moment. With each situation, making us a little more knowledgeable and little braver. He equipped us in ways that would have scared us to death had we been privy to the future. Likewise, He already knew what this birth mom needed and what her family needed, and how we would be able to be there for her. While we can't put all those details here, we can say it was high stress and a frenzy of activity with LOTS of conversation for several days. The baby was coming early, so we got on the road and drove all night, only to find out the birth mom was being discharged at 6 cm dilated. Because labor was imminent, it was necessary to keep the birth mom close (she actually resided 45 minutes away) so we traveled to bring her family to her, and got them settled in the same hotel as us. Over the next three days, we made trips to the store so she could walk to bring on labor, another trip to the hospital only to be discharged again, and a trip to the doctor, which ultimately led to her admission at a different hospital and induced labor! We stayed with birth mom through labor and delivery, and were able to be right there to welcome our precious daughter into the world (Andy even got to cut the cord)! What a blessing to have been able to support our daughter's biological mom so closely during that time and to be there for her birth! Through it all, God provided us the opportunity to really get to know her heart.
We stayed in the room with our daughter's biological mom all day, taking turns holding the baby she affectionately calls "Baby Joy." Later that night, our baby girl's biological grandmother came to see her. This was a whole other layer to the journey. She had not been very supportive of the adoption plan and had given her daughter some grief over it. We were nervous about her coming, meeting us, seeing the baby, not to mention we were completely exhausted from the days and events leading up to this point. But the Lord gave us another unforgettable gift as we got to talk to this woman of God. Her faith is so strong and she prayed for us and prayed over this sweet new life. It was a beautiful moment that we look forward to talking to our daughter about in the years to come when we tell her the story of her arrival. We learned so much about our daughter's biological mom and grandmother that we otherwise may have never known. It gave us a deeper understanding of their world, of the community they live in, their interests, their culture, and the challenges they face. We are looking forward to seeing them again soon when we travel back to finalize the adoption.
So our family is complete. God intended for this baby girl to be ours, and for Lydia and Viviana to be her sisters (they adore her). We are very humbled to have been chosen to be their parents. What started out as a way to form our family and make a difference, became a life-calling and a mission for how God was going to use us for His purposes and His glory. We have gotten to see Him work some incredible miracles and answer lots of specific prayers. We thank Him and praise Him for the birth families whom we love and who remain a significant part of our lives. Our girls' individual stories continue, and we eagerly anticipate how God will use each of them. While the adoption process is coming to an end, the journey and mission are not. If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about adoption, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart." - Jeremiah 1:5
DonationsSee top donations
- Anastasia Rupp
- Diane Weis
- Brittany Weis
Fundraising team (2)
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more