To tell you the complete story of how Abby Mae was brought into our family, I need to start at he beginning. The very beginning. :)
During the last 10 months, Joshua and I had come to a point to where we truly wanted a forever child but were accepting the fact that it probably would never happen and we were content with that. We found ourselves content, because we trusted the Lord had beautiful plans, forever children or no forever children! We would continue to do what we were called to do and foster kiddos.
Back in August we decided to open our home for one child. We had no idea what that looked like of course, but I remember praying specifically that with this placement we would be able to experience what it was like to bring a baby home from the hospital. A week later I got a phone call from our agency asking us to take in a newborn who was being placed up for adoption. Of course we took the little guy. I was gifted with the sweet experience of picking up and bringing home a baby from the hospital. (I know what you are thinking... What in the world does this have to do with Abby Mae?!) Through his stay here at our home, little did we know the Lord was preparing us for 7 months down the road. We had the little guy 7 weeks. Of course we wanted to adopt him. Yes, we asked. We tried, but the answer was no. I guess God was trying to say "be patient, I have something better for you". I remember sitting in my kitchen floor one afternoon sobbing and pouring my heart out to the Lord. I begged Him (not ideal...lol) for a forever child. I knew we had accepted the fact it wouldn't happen, but my heart would still ache for that child. We have loved each one of our foster children as if they were our own, but we still had that deep desire to give a child a forever home. The time came when our little guys birth mother chose a forever family for him. It was one more set of crazy emotions we had to work through. We absolutely love adoption, and so when we found out this family had been waiting so long to be matched with a child, we were THRILLED!! We were so excited for them. On the other hand, our hearts hurt so bad because there was part of our hearts that wanted so badly to be on the receiving end of a forever child. The day we dropped him off, we drove away with such mixed emotions. Sad, yet joyous. Mourning a loss, yet celebrating life! We see what a loving family he was placed with, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that is exactly where he is supposed to be :)
After a few months, we began to heal. We didn't open our home again though. We chose to focus on the two current kiddos we had and to see their case through to the end. We would then open our home. Can you see how WE planned EVERYTHING??? Haha!! Thanksgiving rolled around and we were approached with a question of potentially adopting a baby from a birth mother who was thinking about making an adoption plan for her baby. (I can't even begin to count the times we have been asked this by different people) So we agreed to pray about it. We did. I literally prayed, "Lord, if YOU want us to have this child, then YOU work out details and YOU open the doors". I was not going to pursue this whatsoever. I did call our agency to see what we needed to do to in case this does happen, knowing full well it wouldn't. Since we have been asked this so many times, I decided it would be smart to get some details in case in some rare occasion it actually happens! After that, I never heard anything else about it, so honestly I had forgotten about it. I told myself at one point, "oh well. Just another door closed I guess!" Then on February 19th, I got a call from our friend of the family. She asked if I remembered my mom approaching us about possibly taking this baby. Of course I knew right away what she was talking about. She told me the baby was born the day before, and the mom wants to put her up for adoption. Would we be interested?? Welllll......OF COURSE! :D I approached it cautiously simply because everything was so in limbo. I talked to the birth mom over the phone, and she said this is what she wanted. We visited for a few minutes about adoption, our story, etc. I got off the phone and immediately went to work. I started making phone calls to attorneys, case workers, and anybody else we needed to get this process started. By the next morning, we were packed up, ready to go meet the birth mom and baby. I called the birth mom literally five minutes before walking out the door. Through a short conversation, she told me she had changed her mind. My heart sank. At the same time though, the Lord was saying "This is not the end. Trust Me. Go to New Mexico". I told Joshua that she changed her mind. He told me that he felt like we still needed to go for some reason. So we did! We loaded up and blindly drove to New Mexico, completely unaware of the reason. While we were there, a situation came up that made it very clear the door was shut on this whole thing. I made my phone calls to attorneys and case managers to tell them it fell through. We knew there was a reason we stepped out on faith and went to New Mexico, we just had no clue what it was! We got home Sunday night. Monday morning we got up and started back to our normal routines somewhat sad, knowing the possibility that was right at our fingertips had been taken away. We trusted the Lord though, that He had a great plan for that baby and for us. Tuesday rolls around and we get another phone call. They told us the situation has taken a turn, and they want to know if we will adopt this baby girl for real! I WAS BLOWN AWAY..... So I made my phone calls again, trying my best to not sound like a raging lunatic who has no idea what is happening! Within the next week and a half, we had to come up with the money to pay two attorneys and a home study developer and travel expenses to New Mexico AND get ready for a newborn! AAHH!!! This would have been 16 MILLION times easier if we would have had months, even a year to save that money! God works differently though, and that is when He said again...."Trust Me. Just trust Me". By march 8th, we had the money we needed to bring Abby Mae home. The kids and I got on a plane Sunday, March 9th and went and picked up our sweet Abby Mae. It has all been a blur from that point on! We see now why we had to travel to NM. It was a test. A test to see if we were going to trust, because we were about to be placed in a situation where the only thing we could do was sit in the back seat and trust the Lord to guide each step.
Going back to the story I told you earlier about the little boy we took in... Through all of the hurt and heartache we experienced with that we were able to empathize with the aunt who was taking care of our sweet Abby Mae until we could come get her. She was dealing with some of the same emotions we dealt with back in August and September. It was absolutely beautiful to be able to say.... I truly understand and actually mean it. It created such a neat bond between the two of us. I would have never thought that something so beautiful could come out of such pain and loss.
As I sit here typing, holding this precious 4 week old little gift in my arms, I am completely blown away still. 30 days ago we had no clue what was about to transpire. 30 days ago we thought we would always only be foster parents for the rest of our life. 30 days ago we did not even know Abby Mae existed. Now here I sit holding our forever daughter. Never once did we expect this. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful we are to the Lord for giving us such a precious, PRECIOUS GIFT!! To God be ALL the Glory!!!