God still performs miracles...

Aug 8, 2018


Tomorrow, I'll have a one month old. How did this happen? Is it all a dream? It sure feels like it, but then again, maybe that's the sleep deprivation. πŸ˜‰

I'll be honest, since March, when our last adoption fell through, I was in a dark place. I was depressed, I felt extremely hopeless and it was as if, God had forgotten us. I was going through the motions of work, I was coaching, doing little side jobs here and there, keeping busy. But all the while, there was this unending sadness buried in the bottom of my heart, it physically hurt. It was as if, I would never EVER be a mother, ever. A heaviness that I couldn't shake. I started seeing a Christian counselor to try and help me with coping strategies to make it through. That's something I wouldn't have wanted to share before now, but at a certain point, if you feel as if there's no one else that can relate to you, or you have a hurt that can't be healed, it's ok to go talk to someone. I'm glad I did, and I'd encourage you to do the same, if you think it could help, if you are going through a hard season.

We had been with our consulting agency for almost 18 months and our contract was almost up. We were in the process of having to decide if we wanted to invest thousands more into this agency. The consulting agency is a separate firm, that we paid an extra fee, for them to send us prospective birth mothers from multiple agencies, in multiple states. The hope, is that you would be matched sooner. 18 months later, with a failed adoption under our belts, we were no closer to a successful adoption. If anything, we had become disenchanted with the adoption process. We hadn't been sent birth mother profiles in months, and it had me wondering, "where are you God?" "why has everything been so silent?" We were paying a lot of money to be put in front of lots of birth mothers and we were in a holding pattern of silence. And the few sporadic birth mother's we did get were situations we weren't comfortable with tackling. We had been taken advantage of emotionally and financially in our last failed adoption by the birth mother, and lost a substantial sum of money. In addition, our home study was only good for one year and our one year was up at the end of July, so we had to start moving in the direction of more paper work and more money to extend our home study. All this to say, the future didn't seem to hold much promise.

At the end of May, came the end of school. Quite honestly, I was ready for the break from work, stressors and ready to decompress. We had started our summer garden, we were working on the shed and had a vacation in the middle of June. Otherwise, it was going to be a quiet summer, which I was looking forward to.

This is where God stepped in:

On, Friday, June 1 our first week off from school. My sister, niece and I had planned to go to lunch in Durham. My sister had a hair appointment first, so my niece and I ran a few errands while she finished up her haircut. On a whim, I walked in to say hello to my hair dresser, who also works at the same salon. (She's not just my hairdresser though, she's a dear friend, I've known for years and years and she has walked through my sickness journey, our infertility, everything). But, on this day, I just popped in to say Hi. πŸ™‹ About 30 minutes after I had left the salon, she text me and said "Can I call you later?" Not thinking anything about it, I said "Yep".


When she called me, I had no idea what she was about to say. She said "You'll never believe what one of my clients just came in and told me after you left." As I waited, she said, one of his staff had come to him the day before and met with him and his wife, and said "I need for you and your wife to adopt my daughter's baby." Shocked, to say the least, my friends client, was at a loss for words. He said he knew it wasn't the right thing for his family at the moment, but he couldn't believe it. My friend immediately said, "That baby is for Katie Meads." When my friend told me this, initially I was EXTREMELY skeptical to say the least. After all we had been through with failed adoptions. It was a this-is-too-good-to-be-true, type situation. Regardless, together, we agreed that we would follow through with any open door  that was provided to us and see where it led. 

We were given the contact information of the grandmother, and Joe called her that night. Anxiously, we awaited her call, which came in around 10pm, she had just gotten off work from her second job. After introducing ourselves and telling her a little about us, we agreed to meet on Monday, with her and the birth mother, for dinner at 6. 

On the way to dinner, I twisted my hands, I kept crossing and re-crossing my legs. So nervous, so skeptical, so unsure. Yet, before we got out of the car, I closed my eyes tight and I whispered "God, you're will, not mine." I got out, ready to meet this girl who would change our lives forever. 

At 6, we waited, and we waited for about 10 minutes and no one was to be found. Were we getting stood up? Was this a hoax? Joe texted the grandmother and she replied, they were there, had been there before us, but birth mom was too nervous to get out of the car. My heart dropped, I told Joe, "there's no way she's going to go through with this." Finally, at about 6:15, the grandmother, birth mom and her sweet, oldest daughter came into the restaurant. We were all so nervous, but we exchanged greetings and went to order our food. When we sat down in our booth, the birth mom's daughter was definitely a tension reliever for all of us, as most four year olds have the ability to break down any predispositions any of us may have had. We wanted her to ask us any questions. We told her about us, about our journey through sickness, fostering, loss, infertility, failed adoptions. She sat there, soaked it in, and looked at me, really looked at me, and said "wow, you've been through so much." With a big, golf ball, lump in my throat, I blinked the tears away and said, "yes, but God has been good to us". 

She shared with us her story, and without giving too much away on her identity or her life (it's her story to tell, not mine). She ultimately told us, she had made decisions in her life that she wasn't proud of, and she knew there were consequences to her choices. She said she knew she couldn't provide a life for her child that she knew she deserved (it was a girl!). πŸ’

Many of you may or may not know, but when we fostered to adopt almost two years ago, we had a bi-racial boy. For whatever reason, God put in both our hearts this innate desire to have a bi-racial child. I'm sure, it was in part due to the little boy that had filled our home and our lives for seven months. Regardless, it was something we weren't dead set on, and had never specified on any adoption paper work, but it was definitely a preference we had on our minds and I had tucked in my heart. This little girl was bi-racial.

Throughout the adoption process, there was an overwhelming amount of birth mothers that suffered from heavy drug addiction, alcohol abuse, were incarcerated, and many other things that lead women to chose adoption for their babies. All the while, I knew this was part of what it took to get a baby, but down deep, my prayer had always been to find a birth mom that was healthy, not on drugs and that had maybe made a wrong choice and knew she couldn't provide a life for her child. This birth mother, was all of those things, y'all. She was healthy, took pre-natal vitamins, she cared more for her unborn child than herself. She was an absolute answer to prayer. 

I also wanted to be present for the birth, I wanted to be the first to hold my child. She wanted that too. It's like everything my heart had yearned for and I had cried out to God to do, she was the mirror reflection of it, just from a different perspective. She wanted a christian family, a couple that couldn't have children. She wanted me to be there to hold her first, she wanted us to name her. Every single detail, our hearts wanted the same thing, we both wanted the very best for this precious girl.

As our dinner drew to an end, she looked at us, and said "I know you are supposed to be her parents."  We all sat there, silent for a bit, soaking in the gravity of it all, knowing we would be forever linked together. Yet, still, cautiously aware, it could all change in an instant. The next step was to get the father's rights terminated and start the preliminary legal paperwork. Birth mom's due date was July 15. Six weeks from today. *Gulp*

>>>>Backtrack to Sunday before we met birth mom. Joe received a phone call from a client he had done plumbing work for, about three years prior. Completely random, but hang with me. She had a friend that needed plumbing work done, and had recommended Joe. So, Joe goes to this woman's house on Sunday after church to see what she needs done. Only to discover that her profession is a lawyer. Now, there are several types of lawyers, but this woman, in her firm had a family lawyer that dealt with adoption. How do you figure that? God, I tell ya. He placed that woman in our path two days after we made contact with the grandmother. We used that very lawyer for the entire adoption. 

About a week after the birth mom had considered us "matched" we met her and the birth father at the lawyer's office for him to sign his rights. They were no longer together, but were amicable. I'm glad we got to meet him once. And regardless of the reasons he chose to sign the papers we are grateful for his choice. And I see lots of him, in our daughter, and I'm glad one day, i'll be able to tell her about him. He had seven days to revoke his decision. But, he didn't.

Over the next five weeks, I got to know birth mom more and more. Even though we came from different backgrounds, were raised differently, were different ages, we got along really well. She had a good sense of humor, she was smart, she was kind hearted. My biggest goal was to show her the love of Jesus. She told me at one point, that she had quit believing there were still good people in the world, and with us, she found there still are. It hit me from a perspective, not of, look what we are doing, but look what God is doing. I showed her support, acceptance and love at a time when she needed it more than ever. And let me tell you that was not me. My tendency is not to warm up to complete strangers and become bosom buddies from the get go. I usually stay reserved for quite a while until I know you better. I know without a doubt, God gave me the words to say, the support to give and the love to share with her. No other way around it. At one point she shared with me the same sentiment, she said "I really don't like talking to people, but you are so easy to talk to." I chuckled and said "Me too girl". There was no other way to describe how our relationship was so effortless other than Jesus. We had a few false alarms, where we thought the baby was coming sooner than expected, and we actually had to come home from St. Lucia a few days early because we thought she was going in to labor. Ultimately, she had a c-section scheduled for July 9. 

The day arrived, we picked her up from her house and drove her to the hospital at 5AM. We all sat in silence as we drove toward the hospital. The only sound was K-LOVE on the radio. Later she told me she heard "Fear is a liar" as she got in the car and it gave her peace. As we got off the exit ramp, "Reckless love" came on and I knew God was telling me this little precious baby girl, was the one he left the 99 to go find. He was seeking high and low for her and He was carrying her on His shoulders to us. The song was significant, because it was on SO MUCH during and after our failed adoption, I had actually chosen a name for our child that we would have had with the other adoption because of that song. It was a book end to the grief we had encountered through the last several months, it couldn't have been better. I was with her in the delivery room, I got to cut her umbilical cord, I got to hold her first. She was absolutely perfect, birth mother, myself and even the nurses cried at the sound of her voice and the sight of her sweet face. It was a precious time, I'm so thankful to have been a part of it.  




After she was born, we absolutely had to decide on a name. Joe and I had disagreed up to this point on basically every name. When he would suggest one I'd tell him I couldn't do that name, I had a student with that name or that sounds like a harlot πŸ˜‘. He'd tell me I was trying too hard and over thinking it-which I was. Yet, here she was, and we did not have a final name. "Joe we have to name her." I had said Camden before, but it was more of a boy name (which is why I liked it for a girl). But he wasn't sold on it. Finally, he said what about Kamden with a "K" and it fit her perfectly. So that's how Kamden came about. After weeks of Internet searching...we landed on a name I had picked at the very beginning, but tweaked it a little. 

The next two days, went well, as she recovered. I stayed with her in the same room . Most of the time, adoptive parents and birth parents stay in separate rooms. She wanted us together. Hospital staff and nurses alike told us the wished every adoption was like this. We talked a lot, we cried, we laughed, she ate sushi for the first time in nine months. All the while, nurses who knew us from our foster son, and the NICU would come in to see us. They would make over Kamden, and tell the birth mother how we were going to be great parents. It was all orchestrated by God, from 3 years ago, when we came everyday for 8 weeks to this same hospital to nurse a pre-mature baby boy back to life. He ultimately went to be with his birth father, but those same sweet people were here, to welcome us back and to cheer us on. She opted to stay the third day to continue recovering from her C-section,  and partly to process everything. At one point, when we were talking about her future and how she wants to make Kamden proud, she told me, "I saw you get out of the truck that night at dinner, and I knew immediately that you were the one. I was just so afraid. But I had prayed for you for 4 months, and there you were". Birth mom wasn't just an answer to our prayers, we were her answered prayers too. 

We were permitted to go home on day two, but before we left the hospital, that was one of the hardest things I've ever had to witness in my life. Birth mom asked for 30 minutes with Kamden alone. We of course agreed. As we left the room and waited in the hallway, we could Kamden's birth mom weeping. The sacrifice she was making was unlike any other. We waited patiently, and eventually she came to the hallway and said she way ready, we came back in the room, we huddled together all around Kamden and Joe prayed and we all cried. Is was the sweetest, most sacred, yet heart breaking thing I've ever been a part of in my life. But I'm so very thankful for it. 

Once we brought her home, we had 5 days before it was official. The longest 5 days of my life. But on Sunday at midnight, Kamden Blake was officially ours! After years of sickness, infertility, loss, IVF, fostering to adopt, failed adoptions, she is here. And she was worth every single minute of waiting. That was hard to process and understand when I was in the thick of it. And even now as I sit here, it still seems surreal. But as I get further away from the grief and loss I experienced, I now see that God wasn't abandoning me, He was busy at work, with the intricate details of this adoption and how it fit so perfectly in our lives. God is alive, He is still performing miracles and we are living proof of that. Not a day goes by that I don't thank Him for what He did for us, how He made provisions, He made connections and He knit together this story that only He could, in His time and His will. Thank you to all of you who have prayed along side us, who have called, text, emailed or messaged us. Your petitions to the Lord were heard too, you are part of why she's here, and for that, I am so very thankful. We are a family of 3 now, to God be the glory! 





P.S. Moral of the story...Your hair dresser can change your life in more ways than one! πŸ˜‰



9 comments :

  1. Sitting here, drinking my coffee, and crying. This was so beautiful and my heart is just overflowing with happiness for you!!!

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    1. P.S. totally love those white jeans you are rockin'

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  2. I have been checking this blog page EVERYDAY waiting and hoping and here it is the wait was worth it :) Thank you for sharing your story, it is inspiring and encouraging. Tears of joys have flowed. So happy for you 3

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  4. I enjoyed reading every word. What an awesome "God" story that only He could write. You are all 3 so blessed by His favor......

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  5. Beautiful. So excited for the three of you and the future blessings you will share together.

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  6. Congrats to you and Joe. Praise the Lord for placing sweet Kamden in your lives. You guys will be awesome parents.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

    For I know the plans

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  7. I have been praying for you for a long while now, since before the adoption fell through. I go to church with your Parents and your precious Dad would always give me updates, and I’d pray throughout the week. I have met you and your Sister on two to three occasions and think the world of your family. Just wanted to let you know that we are Praising God along with you for little Kamden. God’s timing is absolutely PERFECT. I’ve seen it so many times in my lifetime and in my own struggle with infertility. Thankful your Mom shared your blog with me today and I just got to read your story. Crying still! Thanks for giving God the Glory-He deserves it all! God bless! Tabatha Allen

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