A year ago I got to share the story of Marylane's entrance into our family. We continue to be amazed at God's faithfulness to us through her life and His perfect timing in making us parents for the first time. We had started the adoption process in 2016 and then I got pregnant with Marylane. Through many experiences we knew that it was still God's heart for us that we adopt, and the deep desire to do so didn't leave us. In fact, it increased.
When Marylane was 6 months old our adoption agency allowed us to begin the adoption process again. It again took a while to get us to the point of approval, mostly because of background check delays. But after several months, on January 30, 2018 we were officially approved to be considered for placement.
Since 2016 we've been consistently praying for God's perfect timing in adding exactly the child to our home that God would have for us. We had NO idea it would move so very quickly. On March 20th we were asked if we wanted to be shown to a Mom who was due to have her baby in just a few weeks. We agreed. We figured that we might as well agree to be shown as often as possible, because we knew God would be orchestrating the events that would lead us to the child He dreamed of for our family.
We heard nothing for 2 weeks and figured someone else must have been chosen. Then, the Friday before Easter the agency called and asked if we would be willing to chat with the Mom as a sort of interview. We agreed and gave times for the following week. They opted to chat with us the next day. We were on the phone maybe 5 minutes when she informed us that she had chosen us for her son. We had an awesome conversation getting to know each other a little and sharing about our dreams for the process and in one hour, our lives changed. She told us she would be delivering on April 5, just 5 days away. Easter Sunday we sat in church and I couldn't help but cry the entire morning. It was such a mix of excitement, fear, and a deep knowledge that God was in every single moment of the process.
We quickly booked flights to Utah, got an Airbnb, booked flights for my parents so they could come help us with Marylane in Utah, and systematically checked one thing after another off our list of things to do.
Wednesday rolled around very quickly and we got up at 3 AM to head to the airport so we could meet the biological mother of our son before she was set to deliver the next day.
We were all a ball of nerves and excitement. She walked in the door and immediately made her way to us. Her easy conversation, fun personality, and confidence struck us. We tried to soak in every moment, remember every word, and cherish every second of that dinner.
Roux was born the next evening. He was rushed to a special care unit because of some severe breathing complications, but was never transferred all the way to NICU and within 24 hours he was stable and doing well enough to be held. It was a long 24 hours of not being able to hold Roux. We would just stand by his bed staring at his beautiful taped up face, praying for him, and praying for his biological Mom's incredible decision ahead of her. She spent the majority of Friday with him, the day after his birth. It was a long day of waiting to see him, and waiting to know what would happen. His biological Mom signed consents Friday night, exactly 24 hours after his birth, and when Utah's revocation period had ended. She never waivered in her decision, she just wanted to soak up every precious moment she could. The first 24 hours felt full of waiting, waiting, waiting, but at the same time, we also felt at peace. I look back at that time and am amazed that I wasn't pacing the floors, nervous out of my mind. Nope, instead, we took a nap.
After consents were signed, we shared time together with his biological Mom, marveling over the wonder of this sweet boy. We mutually agreed that he was basically the most beautiful boy ever born and we are the luckiest parents who ever were. We cried, we listened, and we rejoiced over an incredible amount of love that we newly shared for people who were strangers made family.
Saturday morning, his biological Mom took off for home. She came into his room one more time and held his tiny self. We took some pictures together and then she lovingly placed Roux in my arms. She told him "see ya later." We are excited at the prospect of seeing her again.
We remained at the hospital another 24 hours until he could be discharged. It all felt like a miracle after he was so sick after his birth. We never imagined he would be healthy enough to leave the hospital just 3 days later.
The next 2 days we got to spend with my parents, loving on the two littles. It was a rich blessing to have their help, encouragement and love through that time.
We stayed in Utah 13 days in total, until ICPC passed, giving us approval to leave the state with our new son.
We learned a ton in that short time and continue a steep learning curve of getting to know Roux, juggling life with a 14 month old and a newborn, living on less sleep, and configuring our lives to our new normal. Thank heavens the snow is gone and we can go on walks and be outside.
Those are the facts. The feelings come in waves. I'm more emotional now than I have been probably in 15 years. I'm completely overwhelmed with the goodness and generosity of God. I look at my family that 5 years ago I couldn't begin to fathom, and I cannot believe I get to live this story. Roux is the sweetest baby that ever could be. He laughs in his sleep, and is incredibly content. The only time he gets really worked up is diaper changes. Those are not so fun. He handles all of Marylane's kisses and love pats like a champ, and he regularly turns me to mush with his beautiful brown eyes.
In my wildest imagining, I could have never dreamed this.
Welcome to the world, Roux Gabriel Lempola! We love you more than we know how to express.