A Blessing Named Elliot…An Adoption Journey!
As our family celebrated Thanksgiving this past week and expressed gratitude for the many things we have to be grateful for, I couldn’t help but consider the divine intervention in our lives that brought us a very special blessing named Elliot!
Elliot born September 28, 2016
“Babies are the beginning of a dream of possibilities!” Eda LeShan
You might recall my daughter-in-law sharing her struggles with endometriosis in this past journal entry. For those of you who have expressed love and concern for our family as my son, Jake, and his wife, Whitney, faced the challenges of infertility, I’m so thrilled and indeed humbled to share with you their adoption journey!
Our adoption journey began with trying to conceive for nearly five years without success. Due to Jake’s career as a dentist in the Army, our road with fertility treatments included doctors and specialists in Oklahoma and Germany. When our last IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment in 2014 was unsuccessful, without any explanation as to why, we felt adoption was the path for us to take. It is amazing how right adoption felt as we made this decision together!
“Babies are a link between angels and man!” Author Unknown
The process of finding an adoption agency, along with the subsequent paperwork and home studies, is overwhelming; it has its own set of challenges, but we relied on each other’s strengths as we worked through it all together. The waiting period to be chosen was a difficult time, and the year and a half it took seemed to have no end in sight, but our primary case-worker always said that when it is meant to be, it will be the right baby that will come into your arms.
“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on!” Carl Sandberg
When you least expect something–that is when it is bound to happen…..and that is exactly how Elliot came into our lives! Due to the time difference between Germany and our agency in Utah, we received the surprise of our lives at 2:00 am in a one sentence email with the subject line, “Great News!” The body of the email read: “Birth mom and her mother want to place baby with you!”
Coincidentally, Whitney’s dad and mom were visiting at the time they received the email that they’d been picked for adoption. When Jake and Whitney realized that they only had eleven days to prepare and be in Utah, the decision was quickly made to cut her parent’s trip short and book flights back to Utah with them. They landed in Utah at 8:00 pm the night before Elliot was due to be born. As they anxiously awaited his arrival the next morning, they spent the last few hours of their time together as just the two of them, baby shopping, going to lunch, and even getting pedicures. When at last they received the text that their baby had been born, they rushed down the hallway of the hospital and knocked on the nursery door.
Throughout the adoption process, we often wondered if we would feel a connection with the baby right away or if we would feel as though he wasn’t ours, but those worries were quickly dissipated when the nursery door was opened and we saw Elliot for the first time–we instantly knew he was our son; we truly believe that God intended for him to be in our family. As we drew closer and saw how sweet and small Elliot was at 6 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 inches long, we’ll never forget how surreal and perfect that moment was in our lives! Elliot stayed in the hospital for three days, and during that time we were able to pray for him and have him receive blessings to ensure his continued good health. When the pediatrician finally gave us the green light to take him home, we couldn’t have been happier!
“Having a baby is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body!” Elizabeth Stone
After Elliot joined our family, we were amazed at the outpouring of love and generosity from family and friends. It has been remarkable to see the power that a newborn baby has to bring people together! Each day is an exciting adventure and learning experience, as well as a blessing, now that Elliot is home with us. We are humbled to be his parents, although the titles of mom and dad are still novel to us. We want to express our gratitude to all those who helped to bring this joy into our lives. Our goal is to ensure that Elliot will grow up learning that the Lord loves him and that he also has a birth mother who loves him, and that she made the ultimate sacrifice to place him with a family who will always strive to do everything within their power to ensure his happiness and give him every opportunity to grow and progress in this life!
(Two photos above via Green Apple Photography)
“It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from heaven love us!” Charles Dickens
In closing, I’d like to say that it is so heart warming to see two wonderful people survive the ups and downs of this journey together, leading them to form stronger bonds of commitment to each other, making their ability to love their new baby, without reservation, so endearing! There truly is no greater joy than watching your own children become parents!
All our best wishes to you, Jake and Whitney, and precious little Eli!
Have you had any personal experiences with adoption or know someone who has? Please, please share any insights you might have on this amazing process