Birth pangs (or adoption woes) are forgotten in the joy of a child

Walking my dog in the field today, I was thinking (and praying) for a young couple who are just beginning the adoption process. Looking back on my experiences, I know a lot can go wrong.

My daughter was a high-risk adoption because her birth father disappeared before he could sign his consent papers, leaving no forwarding address. Her birth mother signed her consent but later tried to rescind. She was in prison at the time she gave birth for multiple felonies of possessing drugs with the intent to sell. Three weeks after the birth, she contacted our lawyer to let him know she wanted her baby back. She and the birth father had re-kindled their on-again, off-again relationship and now wanted the chance to raise their baby together. Considering his criminal history and hers, there was no way we were going to let that happen. Even though it was a long fight, God provided witnesses who demonstrated she had been fully aware when she signed her consent for the adoption. The father’s parenting rights were terminated and almost one year after we had first taken her home, our daughter’s adoption was finally finalized. Even though the long legal battle was costly, God provided all the money we needed.

A little less than three years later, my son was born nine weeks premature. We were told he would need to stay in the hospital until his original due date. We had planned for a two-week stay in his birth state to complete his adoption. A two-month stay seemed inconceivable. This was compounded by the fact we had no guarantees that he would not have any long-term damage from being born so early and no plan for how we would pay the high costs of the NICU. We adopted him on pure faith, believing God had called us and trusting He would, once again, provide for our needs. After only two weeks in the hospital, our son was able to come home. His birth state paid most of his medical bills and he has had no long-term consequences from his premature birth. Once again, we saw God work miracles to His glory.

But even knowing all that can go wrong in an adoption, I would do it all again. While my husband and I joke that we had trial-by-fire adoptions, these experiences grew our faith exponentially and made us who we are today. So I can pray for this young couple with insight, asking God to shield them from the trials, while at the same time knowing He will protect them if trials should come.

In some ways, these difficult circumstances are like the birth process. Pregnancy and delivery may be hard, but the rewards so outshine the difficulties that we soon forget them.

~Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton