After being married for almost 15 years and struggling with infertility a majority of our married life, we now have the family we always dreamed about.
After months of infertility treatment and horrible hormones, Jeff and I decided to adopt instead of pursuing more treatment. That was July 2000. With lots of research under our belts, we chose an agency and waited for them to send us our home study papers. After what seemed like eons, they finally arrived only a few days after the death of my mother. She had prayed for many years that Jeff and I would have a family. In fact, she prayed right up until the day she died. Somehow I think she may have had a hand in things.
We immediately returned our forms and applied for our background checks. In November 2000, we attended an adoptive parent training class. We then knew we were on our way. After more months of waiting, we finally got the call to complete our home study and conduct the in-home visit in March of 2001.
Only two days later we were matched with a birthmother due in August. After months of being matched with her, she left a message on my office voice-mail that she changed her mind. It was devastating to our family and us. This was only a few days before the baby was to be born. We had grown so close to her and her family. The loss that we felt was indescribable. In the back of my mind away from the hurt, I knew that God had other plans. We just didn't know what they were. That day was August 6, 2001.
On August 13, 2001 - exactly one week from the day we got our horrible news - our agency called. The office manager asked if I was sitting down. I said I was, thinking the whole time they had news regarding the failed adoption. Then I heard her say that we needed to come pick up our 3-day-old son. "What did you say?", I asked them. She said, "You need to come pick up your baby boy, TODAY!" I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both. Everyone in my office was crying as I told them the news. I called Jeff and told him to come home - we had to go get our son. I felt like I was in a dream.
Amidst the tears and laughter, I called the family while Jeff made his way home. We hurried to gather our things and left for a three-hour drive to the agency. We just couldn't get there fast enough. Jeff's feet never touched the ground. The entire drive seemed like an eternity. We kept looking at each other and laughing uncontrollably. We finally were parents. Jeff kept saying over and over "I have a son...I have a son". The lonely road of infertility and childlessness was over.
Finally we arrived at the agency. The agency director was holding Joshua but we couldn't see what he looked like from the front door. My hands were shaking. I don't think neither of us said a word. I sat down and she handed me my new son. I uncovered him to look at his face. When I saw his beautiful face, I broke down and cried. The only thing I could mutter was " I have waited for you all of my life". I hugged him and cried some more. I then handed him to Jeff who was speechless. He kissed him on the forehead and stared at him with awe. It was the most magical sight in the whole world. A new daddy with his son. I don't think I could have pried Joshua from his arms. After signing a ton of papers, we got Joshua ready to come home. The agency director took the first pictures of us together - a family.
We made a mad dash home. As we got closer to home we began calling the family with anticipation and excitement. When we pulled in our driveway, our whole family was waiting for us. Streamers, balloons and signs hung outside. All saying "Welcome Home Joshua Dale, We Love You!" They all met us outside while we parked. As I was taking Joshua out of his car seat, a silence fell over them. I carefully unbuckled our miracle child. I slowly turned around to let them see him for the first time. The silence was broken by cheers then everyone cried tears of joy. There wasn't a dry eye anywhere - men or women. Everyone took turns holding him while I took pictures. Cameras were flashing everywhere and the video camera was catching the whole event. It was truly an awesome day.
After everyone left, all Jeff and I could do was watch him. We kept pinching ourselves to make sure it was real. We finally were a family. The missing piece of our puzzle was found. The events of the day erased every heartache from our lives. It is amazing how a child can change your life in just a matter of moments. Within a week, we went from devastation to elation. Every sad tear I cried was worth it all. As hard as it was, we continued to have faith that God had a better plan for us. He knew that we needed Joshua and that Joshua needed us.
Every night we take him in our arms and thank God for him. We will be eternally grateful to his Birthmother. A woman whom we never got a chance to meet (or thank) entrusted us with her newborn child. We will always be grateful to her. After years of doubt, she made our dreams come true.