Today Angie and I were thinking back to when this adoption journey started for us. It was 2011. We set out to adopt as many kids as we could from Uganda. As the international process stalled out, through much prayer we decided to open up our adoption options to include domestic as well. As we did this, we set our hearts on two boys in Jersey Village. We built a relationship with the foster parents, rushed through training only to find out that they were adopted just a few days before our final home study. We were crushed. So we remained on the Uganda waiting list and entered the ‘world’ of CPS adoption in Houston. In this world you can set parameters for what kind of child you feel comfortable with adopting or fostering. We are all called to different comfort levels. Angie and I were comfortable with any child or children (2 or 3) of any gender or race five years old and under. Few people are willing to adopt sibling units up to the age of 5. So we felt like our chances were good for getting a bunch of kids.
Then one night in October we got a call for a 9-month-old baby girl who had been abandoned. Girl? Baby? Only one? It was a shock but when CPS calls and says, ‘will you help a baby who needs a safe place to sleep tonight?’ you just say, ‘yes.’ So we took her. And as time passed we realized we were actually going to get to possibly keep her.
WHAT ABOUT BIRTH MOM
Birth mom has a lot of problems and some of these problems endangered her child. CPS gives a birth mom 1 year to get her life together in order for her to show she can safely take care of her child again (Due to her lifestyle there was no reasonable possibility for discovering the biological father, so he’s never really been part of the equation). We committed to praying for birth mom. As Christians in this process our heart has to first be for the gospel. The only way she was going to accomplish everything she needed to be done was through the power of Christ. Unfortunately, she never completed the required tasks in order to get her child back. In fact, there was so little progress trial was set a little earlier than one year because it became apparent there was no hope for recovery.
TRIAL (*Here’s the update)
Today we had trial. The trial is set by CPS to terminate mom’s rights as a parent. There are two ways rights can be terminated; by the judge or by the parent through relinquishment. Angie and I were expecting a tough trial day. We thought there would be a fight and a court ordered termination of rights. As we walked up to the courtroom we saw birth mom and grandmother sitting in the hall. I have met with these two many times (through court ordered visits) but this was the first time they met Angie (I knew their meeting Angie would go well for us, she is truly my better half!). We sat down and talked for a while. Angie said she connected immediately with these two women because they all three share a love for the same baby. As they shared stories, birth mom’s attorney interrupted to take birth mom and grandmother away. A few minutes later they returned.
Mom came straight to us and said bravely, ‘Today, I am releasing my rights to my baby to you, so you guys can adopt her.’ Cue tears. We all wept. (I am crying again typing this). Then we hugged and mom told us how grateful she was that she knew her baby was going to be in a safe loving home. I was floored by the grace of her words.
As we waited for the trial the ladies exchanged more stories, they gave us their address, phone numbers and birthdays (we are not supposed to share ours). Then finally trial came. Mom did just as she said she would. She willingly relinquished her rights and the court named us the adoptive parents. Those in the adoption community know what a big deal this is. There won’t be a 30-day appeal, the baby will not be broadcasted for adoption and more importantly we have a healthy relationship with birth mom.
It’s been a long 11 months but because of the grace of God we are one humungous step closer to adopting this sweet little girl who has become a big part of our family. Thank you for your prayers and support through all this.
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