God has great plans for his life! And has been intimately involved in his life since he was conceived.
But I’m sad to say, we missed his 1st birthday.
We weren’t there for his birth.
But rest assured, this child has been prayed for immensely! He is loved, he is wanted. HE was chosen.
We may not have experienced every day of Gavin’s first 14 months of life, but we are here now. We are here today and will be here for his tomorrows!
Let me share our amazing story of how God brought us together.
Giving a Child Life, Does Not Always Mean Giving Birth
As you may know, adoption has been on my heart for many years. God set that desire in my heart. And at just the right moment, His plan started becoming a reality in our lives.
We had endured the long, lonely wait of infertility and then had to endure the long, seemingly endless wait of adoption. As much as you want a baby, knowing it will happen in God’s timing, not yours, can be comforting. But I have some admitted control issues and waiting for something completely out of my control was challenging to say the least. But I prayed. Oh, how I prayed for a child. I prayed for their health, their safety, especially for their birth mom.
We were expecting to adopt a newborn through Inheritance Adoptions here in our town and had been waiting since March of 2010. The wait was hard. I was getting impatient. We had an adoption fail with the same birthmother-twice; once in August 2010 and then again after the baby was 3 months old in December. After watching that baby slip from my arms and my aching heart, I felt desperate. I just wanted to be a mommy. So, I started exploring other adoption alternatives to Inheritance. Sadly, you cannot start an overseas adoption while undergoing a domestic adoption simultaneously. So, I started thinking about doing foster care. “We can do foster care while we wait for a baby,” I tried to convince Rafael. He wasn’t too sold on the idea at first, but agreed to go to an informational meeting in March 2010. After that, we just sort of laid that on the table. And prayed. And waited some more.
On May 16, 2010, I received a phone call from our pediatrician’s wife, a friend of the family, stating that there was a little 2 month old baby boy in with his foster mother that would be adoptable and said that if we were interested, to call the local foster agency. Well, you tell a desperate wanna-be mama there is a potential baby to adopt, and she is ALL over it! I hung up that phone and called the foster agency immediately. And to my surprise, the foster mom had stopped there and had the baby with her! She asked if we wanted to come meet this baby. At just that moment, Rafael walked in the door for lunch. I exclaimed, “Want to go meet a baby?”
Totally baffled, he agreed. We jumped in the car and drove to the foster agency. We met a beautiful 2 month old baby boy that day. I held him in my arms and just knew God was working. We agreed to start the foster care process that day, first starting with respite certification. “Lord, is this our baby?!?” Of course we knew that in foster care there were always hurdles to jump over, but it was an opportunity we weren’t going to pass up.
Then, as we were filling out the paperwork, the foster care director quietly and gently asked this question from the background, “Would you possibly be interested in adopting a little 9 month old baby boy? His name is Gavin and he’s one of the most precious children I’ve ever met.”
I clearly remember thinking, “How strange. Why would she be asking us about this other little boy?” We both looked at each other and told her at this time we’d just focus on providing respite for this baby boy we were holding in our arms.
We left with hope, that maybe God was finally moving in our favor of brining our baby to us.
I called our pastor’s wife that night. Just the day before she had asked me if I’d heard anything about our baby. “Unfortunately, not yet”, I replied. She also inquired if she could babysit when I went back to work one day a week after we got our baby. “Of course! That would be awesome!” So I called her that night and told her about this lead on a baby! And when I told her, she just cried and told me, ” Alissa, the Lord woke me last night to pray for you and your baby. I prayed specifically that God would let you hear about your baby today.” Praise God! Well, we did hear about our child. However, it wasn’t the baby WE thought. Quietly, in the background of that moment, God gave us the name of our baby. We just weren’t listening.
Isn’t that just like God?
In 1 Kings 19:11-12, “The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
It was in the gentle whisper that Elijah heard the Lord. Sometimes the most obvious things in our lives, are not from God. The Lord speaks to us more often, I think, in the quietness, from the background. His plan for our lives isn’t always realized through powerful or miraculous ways. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we will recognize His whisper, as Elijah did. And that is exactly how He began to speak to us about Gavin, gently nudging us toward this beautiful boy from this day forward.
Well, this week would prove to be life-changing indeed. As you read in my post “Worth The Wait”, we heard about Annabella 2 days later – on May 18th. So for the next month, we focused and planned for our sweet baby girl coming in June. I remember getting a bit anxious about possibly getting 2 babies at once, wondering how this would all work out. But, clearly the Lord reassured me, “You focus on this baby girl, and I’ll take care of the details with the little boy.” I had peace. I knew it was going to be a God story. So I praised God for his sovereignty and released the details over to him.
Annabella was born June 24th. We enjoyed her tremendously. But, toward the end of July we started getting that God nudge that it was time to pursue the foster care situation. We hadn’t heard anything about this baby boy for awhile, so I called the baby’s foster mom and told her we were still interested in providing respite for them until our foster care process was complete. Grateful, she called the foster care director and got the approval within minutes. Awesome! Let’s start getting to know this baby boy! Within minutes though, the worker called me. “Uh-oh, was there a problem?” I thought to myself. She began the conversation with, “I know y’all are interested in this baby boy, but would you consider adopting Gavin?” she inquired. Okay, now this is twice she’s mentioned Gavin’s name. Maybe this is something we should consider. So, we met Gavin two days later. And, for those of you who may know Gavin, those eyes and that smile, won our hearts immediately.
For the next month, we provided respite for both boys. We fell in love with both of them, and ultimately decided that we would be brave and just adopt them both, one being 5 months, the other 13 months. It would be a crazy whirlwind with 3 babies under the age of 13 months, but we would do it! Several people told us we were crazy. Three babies at once would be insane! Who would do that intentionally? Ha!
So, with that as our plan, we awaited our foster care provider certificate. However, toward the end of August, we realized that sadly, CPS only allows two children under the age of 17 months in a home at one time.
“Oh, no….you mean we have to choose?!?!”
It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make.
How do you choose between two babies who desperately need a home? How can this be right?
And to make the decision even more stressful, we had one week to decide. Over the next week, we both felt in our hearts that God meant for Gavin to be in our family.
So, WE CHOSE GAVIN.
On September 8, 2011, they brought Gavin to our door with a bag of clothes and diapers. His foster mom walked out the door after visiting for awhile, and I looked down and here he was. The child that we had prayed for. No…let me re-phrase that…the children we had prayed for. Here they were. Two of them. Two babies. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, my goodness! What do we do now?”
Gavin was 14 months old. We had missed an entire year of his life. But that sweet boy never skipped a beat. He took to us like we had been his parents from day one. And we loved him. Oh, how we loved him. I may not have given birth to him, but he was my son, born in my heart, from that moment forward.
He started walking, eating solid foods, getting teeth and talking. We were there, from here on out, to experience every milestone he would make. Every tear, every smile.
Now, we had a six month wait to formalize the adoption. With one hurdle left, we just had to wait for the birthdad to relinquish his rights and he would be ours. From the day we welcomed him into our home, I prayed in my heart specifically, “Lord, let this be the fastest and easiest adoption CPS has ever seen.” Six months passed rather quickly. Life with two precious babies became – normal. Gavin and Annabella, only being 11 1/2 months apart, have grown amazingly close today, and of course, fight just like any other sister and brother would.
March 28, 2012 was Gavin’s official adoption day. A few days before, I met one last time with the social worker and the lawyer to finalize the adoption papers. As we got onto the elevator after the meeting, the CPS worker looked at me and said specifically, “In my 18 years of experience, this was the fastest and easiest adoption I have ever seen.”
I just cried.
Thank you Lord!
All I can say is: Be specific in your prayers, friends.
On his adoption day, I cannot tell you just the feeling of completeness we had. No more worrying something would happen and Gavin would be taken away from us. He was forever ours to love, cherish, train, and enjoy.
I may not have given birth to him, but we gave him a new life.
And he has made our life better.
I was thinking of one word to describe him and I decided the best word to describe him at this time in his life was “charisma“.
This is what he has! He has a propensity to lead and influence. He can influence his sister and brother to do just about anything – good or bad! He has a smile that can just light up a room. He’s a mover and a shaker. Someone who gets things done. He has a plan and he executes it.
He is a very concrete thinker and loves to read.
He loves to organize things and finds immense joy in building and stacking things. He loves guns and Superman and Batman and to shoot his sister and make her cry.
See? He’s a normal, healthy, happy, sweet, little boy full of life!
Happy Birthday Super Gavin!
And guess what? Superman was adopted, too.