Jacob's Birth Story
I guess you could say it all started on our second date, late night Denny’s 2002, with twenty questions. Marand and I embarked on truly learning just who we were, what kind of things we’d done, where we’d been and where we had ambitions of eventually going…..
We write this so you will know. We write this so you will understand. We write this so you will give God all the glory and praise He is so deserving of. Numerous excerpts are directly from my personal journal.
I was “interviewing” a man I had thoughts of marrying, and the question of children arose. “How many do you want” I asked. “I don’t know, maybe four”, “Me too” I said. “I also could totally see myself adopting, and maybe eventually becoming a foster parent, are you game for that?” I timidly added, “Yea, I could see that happening”,” Good.” God is so good. He sees us, he knows us, and he chooses to love us in spite of who we are, where we’ve been, and he has a perfect plan of where he wants us to go…if we only surrender.
Marand and I were married in July of 2003 and the honeymoon continues still. Praise God. We decided that we’d wait a year and then “let nature take its course” in the matter of adding children to our family. In July of 2007, after numerous pregnancy tests I thought sure were broken, we broached the subject of possible fertility issues and made appointments with our doctor, praise God for a job that had great medical insurance at the time ;) after numerous tests and such we were told that nothing was abnormal with either of us and that the next step was fertility doctors and possible drugs to assist us in getting pregnant. We prayed for God to show us what he wanted us to do. We knew he wanted us to be parents, we just didn’t know how or when that was supposed to happen.
I decided to research a few adoption agencies on line and after reading just a few of them, was blown away by the statement of faith on the Bethany Christian Services website. Marand and I talked, we prayed and figured that we’d just keep baby stepping in the direction of adopting. If some of you are unfamiliar with fertility treatments they can be very expensive with numerous risks and no guarantee of success. If some of you are unfamiliar with adoption, it can be very expensive with numerous risks, but it usually includes a decent rate of success. We chose the better success rate. All the while, we were pleading with God to not allow us go this route if we weren’t supposed to. We took baby steps. Our God does not always push us along so blatantly, but with this, as time went on, we had no doubts His plan for us included adoption.
We didn’t have the money to adopt; we needed $1,700.00 to begin the application process. We prayed. On July 20th 2007 a couple from our church had us over to their house and after dinner informed us that they wanted to, and were prepared to, give us the money to start the process. Praise God.
On July 24th we met with Eve, our adoption counselor, we prayed. We left that meeting in Denver with a stack of paperwork and a feeling of amazing inadequacy in fulfilling all the requirements set forth by the state and also by the adoption agency. We went for McDonald's ice cream cones, we prayed. One of the many things being asked of us, on top of the fingerprints, the background checks, the countless questions and interviews was, of all things, an emergency escape ladder. Seriously, who has one of those? We sure don’t. Where do you get one, how much do they cost?
The very next day, July 25th I volunteered my normal day at the thrift store, and as I walked in that morning, I saw it. An emergency escape ladder, there, on my watch, and in turn for free. I called Marand and shared that I was amazed that God almighty heard my whines about getting an escape ladder, we praised Him for his second blatant gentle nudge in the adoption direction.
A quote from Angela Thomas I wrote in my journal August 1, 2007:
“I cannot see how to navigate what seems impossible, but I will keep walking. I do not know how all these needs will be met, but I will trust with each mile marker of His faithfulness that God will give greater provision than I can imagine. I will stand up and go forward and expect the bridge of His deliverance. A bridge of grace. An amazing super-structure of His glory where there seems to be no way.”
Our prayers from the get go were for the right baby for our family, that we would be assured in the process and that, for God’s honor and glory, we would be the best parents we possible could be. Little did we know that our son’s birth momma Sarah was far from her roots of Jesus and living a lifestyle she had not intended to live. We now know that she and Michael conceived Jacob somewhere around the week of September 13th, the day that Marand and I were pouring our hearts out to God while filling out the “openness questionnaire” of the adoption packet.
December 3, 2007: “Why God? Why can’t we have biological children? Is there a child out there you want us to raise? Are we fit to raise children? I could go on and on…Thank you for knowing my requests and concerns before I even ask them, for never leaving me nor forsaking me, for drawing me. Holy Spirit I surrender to your filling in my life, mold me after the image of Christ. May I live a shining cross of worship. You Lord are life and peace thank you for all you are going to do in our life and family. Please give us strength and wisdom.”
September 2007 Sarah’s mom Christine writes:
"it must have been the first weekend in September. Sarah was just beginning to find her way back to the Lord by this time. I think she was pregnant with Jacob also by this time, but she didn't realize it yet."
Birth Momma Sarah:
"When I got pregnant is when the Lord really spoke to me loud and clear and it is what finally brought me to Jesus. Before I decided on adoption at first I was set on parenting. I wanted to keep Jacob of course, and when adoption was presented to me I at first rejected it, thinking I had to be the one raising my son and how could I give him up? Would it really be best for him? You know stuff like that."
December 2007 Christine:
"I had been praying for Sarah, that she would know the Lord's will and follow it concerning her relationship with Him, her life, and her baby, specifically seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, so that all she would need to either parent or give the baby up for adoption, would be hers. I heard the Lord at that time reassure me, that the baby would be given up for adoption, that we did not have to be afraid that he would not be taken care of properly or not raised in His nurture and admonition, that He had been preparing the adopting family for many years and this was His perfect will for the baby, for Sarah, and for the adopting family. Sarah was still intent on parenting at this time, so like Marand and Rachel, I was spending the time trusting God that the outcome would glorify Him."
Birth Momma Sarah:
"Well when I was about 6 months pregnant I finally called Bethany to talk to a counselor and see what the whole adoption process is and see if maybe there is another and better option open for my son."
"I remember the day Sarah came and told me that she knew clearly she was supposed to at least find out about the adoption process. It was early spring. She had spoken to all her family and friends, everyone she trusted, who she knew loved her, and asked each of them their opinion on parenting or adopting. She realized that all her friends, who were at that time unbelievers, who were not in the least bit concerned with what the will of the Lord was, were advising her to parent, while all of her family, who loved God and served Him, were advising her to adopt. Hmmm, she saw a pattern, LOL."
Birth Momma Sarah:
"So I met with Eve and prayed about it by myself and with my family. My mom and I had felt like God was saying that I was supposed to completely submit to His will by giving Jacob up for adoption and that He had been preparing the family for years."
We praise God for his divine protection of Jacob. Sarah’s lifestyle at the time of conception could have been very detrimental to a growing little one, and God brought her home just in time. She was so selfless in how she cared for the baby she was now responsible for.
February 6, 2008: Two interviews with the adoption agency down, one to go. Loads of paperwork in process, payments made as often as we can afford to make them, home study, and red tape for becoming foster parents. In the state of Colorado you must be certified foster parents to adopt. We were informed that with our desire to want to adopt an infant in our state, we were looking at a longer wait period for a finalization; 1-2 years would be on average. We did not specify a preference on boy or girl.
On February 29th I prayed; “Lord, please fill our home with children-please be with the birth mother, please help her to trust you fully, to rely on your leading in her life. Please help Marand and I to be parents who stand firm for Biblical living and can teach our children to do the same.”
March 31st “another blatant answer to prayer, the last $460.00 needed in this step of the process – the pet sits were directly from God, totaling $460.00.” Praise God.
April 4th “One of the final steps with the agency is submitting a “profile” of yourself that the agency can show to the birth mothers. Today Marand took it to have it bound.” Not an easy thing, to adequately describe one’s life in text and photos.
April 6th: “Please Lord, be with each birth mother who looks at our profile, please have the perfect one choose us, bless our home with the children you will help us to raise for you. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. Thank you so much for the overwhelming sense of peace and contentment in you about not being able to get pregnant. Your will Father- not mine. Your plan is best.” I surrender.
Birth Momma Sarah:
So I continued to meet with Eve and she had brought with her the portfolios the potential parents made for the birth mommas. I looked at like 2 or 3 before I saw yours and they were nice but they didn't really jump out at me and I didn't feel a connection when I read them. Well then I saw yours and Marand's...and I told Eve right away that I had to meet you guys. The thing that really drew me to you two was how you kept referring to the Bible and how it all was centered on Jesus and God's will! I was impressed by that and felt a "tingle" from the Holy Spirit.
"There must have been six or eight profiles to look at that day, and they were all nice. Some were very elaborate, some bare bones, and Marand and Rachel's was right in the middle. What leaped out to me, was the stark contrast in Marand and Rachel's profile, their unwavering witness of the Lord Jesus Christ, their love for His Word and their commitment to His ways came through so clearly in those pages. The other profiles did not mention the Lord, or if they did, it was cursory. I suppose they thought that potential birth moms might be from all walks of life, and they did not want to offend any of them by being overtly Christian. The fact that Marand and Rachel were overtly Christian in their profile when the others were silent, regardless of who the birth moms might be, said to me, "Here is a family who is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ." Just what I was hoping for!"
April 18th: “We got the call today. Marand came to my work at the vet clinic about 11:30 and we listened to Eve describe the woman who could possibly be the birth mom of our child. WOW! A little sooner than we were thinking….her name is Sarah, she lives with her parents, not clear on the father, it’s a boy, due in June. She’d like to meet us in 11 days. I’m not sure why but I keep thinking about the song “How Great Thou Art” Specifically “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made” Yet you also formed me. You formed the baby in Sarah’s womb- you Heavenly Father, are awesome. You are so amazing, I rest in you-we trust in you…please help us to know Your will about Sarah, help us to both KNOW if this is what you’d have or not. June, wow, Thanks for the grin/smile that Marand was not able to wipe off his face. Your will, not mine-your timing, not mine.”
April 26th: “I receive our churches music schedule, which I normally have multiple Sundays to sing, my name is not listed once for the month of June.”
April 29th: “my eyes are swollen from good crying, my mind is racing….thoughts of Sarah. We met with the woman (21 years old) that looks to be God’s perfect choice for the birth mother of our son. Her sister and niece came with her. I am overwhelmed, that the one and only all powerful God takes note of me, this meeting was orchestrated entirely by the hand of God from the talk about hockey (Marand and I’s first date was an Avalanche game) to the natural birth she desired. From her interest in our beliefs and church to her dream of being a marine biologist (we love fish, as friends not food ;) so many amazing things…please God, give her the peace you’ve given Marand and I. Your almighty hand is definitely in this. Please see it through to fruition, we are yours and we’ve got quite a bit to do before JUNE 4th!”
Birth Momma Sarah:
So Eve set up our appointment to meet and went to that meeting expecting to just drill you guys with questions and make sure through and through that you guys were the "perfect" candidates (lol). But when I met you two and about 10 minutes into the meeting I knew you two were the people God had been preparing for Jacob. Your complete honesty and your obvious love for Jesus and desire to keep it centered on Him and to do His will astonished me and really spoke to me. Me and my sis left that meeting bawling. lol! For the first time in my life God's plan was so crystal clear to me I couldn't deny it. I knew that I knew that God brought our families together because you were picked out by God to be Jacob's parents. That blew me away! In a good way though. :) Sarah contacted Eve on her way home, we were her choice. So anyways, Eve had asked me if I wanted to meet with anyone else...you know just in case. And I said no. I already heard from the Lord and knew you were it and she was in agreement with me as well as my whole family. Praise God for that! I was expecting that finding the parents was gonna be this long, hard, drawn out and big ordeal. But God really showed me how much He loves us by making it a more "easy" and not so long and hard process. He is so considerate! :)
April 30th we contacted Eve, Sarah was perfect. “My regime begins – lots of herbs/pumping to stimulate lactation” It would be really cool to be able to breast feed; I was encouraged by my physician to try. Could this really be possible?
May 7th another blatant answer to much prayer. With the purchase of land and the re-working of our existing condo loan, we do not have to pay mortgage in the month of June.” Praise God
May 21st the second and last meeting with Sarah before the hospital. She brought her sweet mom. We once again bask in the presence of our mutual God as we meet at Sarah’s church with Eve. We find out that Sarah’s last name is the same as my mom’s maiden name, we see ultrasound photos, and discuss the “hospital plan” that Sarah had designed. The one thing that we had prayed we’d have the opportunity to discuss was already changed….Sarah had reconsidered, and we praised God. We talked about our mutual desire for “openness”, an ongoing website for photos, and the name Jacob Randy.
May 29th: “An EEEEEKKKK moment today”. We received notice that Michael, the supposed birth father, was not ready to sign over parental rights, and that he wanted to meet with us. We head to Denver for that on June 2nd, my birthday.
Psalm 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee. When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever; I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
June 2th my 31st birthday. Our meeting with Michael went well. “He’s not a bad looking guy”, turned 31 years old in May, stands a little over 6’ tall. He is unemployed and suffering from a debilitating back injury, he has ambitions of further schooling and maybe a career in documentary film making. He likes LEGOs. We talked about some religion in his childhood, but none practiced currently. We left feeling pretty confident that he would have no problems signing papers. Praise God
June 4th Jacob’s “due date”. Little did we know that he would wait 15 more days to make his presence known. They seriously should call it a “guesstamation date” instead ;)
During those days I’m reminded numerous times of Isaiah 40:28-31,
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
June 18th we head to Ft. Collins in the morning, Sarah had graciously allowed us to be there with her and her family in the hospital.
June 19th after a super long labor and a valiant effort on Sarah’s part, the decision was made to head in for a C-section. Moments after kissing his birth Momma, Jacob was in my arms, and Marand and I were off to the nursery, with our son. What a cute little guy he turned out to be; 8lbs 11 ½ oz 21 ½ inches long born at 8:20pm. What an amazing process. We rejoice, we rest, yet we are so aware of the pain his birth momma and family are feeling. They want to keep him. They have been so selfless. What if things had only been different... the next three nights Sarah and I shared the blessing of loving Jacob as only his mommas could. The days were filled with rest and numerous anxious guests dying to see the main attraction. The breast feeding worked like a charm. Praise God. We were the talk of the hospital. Was this really happening? Over and over in my heart I repeated, “Apart from You I can do nothing, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Sarah honored me by sharing some of her thoughts, her past, and her life with me, we now shared so much. I prayed that this relationship would always remain open. That Jacob would grow to love and respect Sarah as the mother that chose to give him life, and on top of that, selflessly chose to make sure he had a daddy. We are forever joined.
June 23rd Discharge day. The placement ceremony was beautiful. Sarah and her family are so strong. I try to assure them that this isn’t forever goodbye, that they are now a part of our family, and we’ll make sure we see them soon, but words could never sooth this kind of pain. Our joy, our wonder and amazement, their pain, sorrow and hurt. Sarah’s pastor Dianne, and mom Christine bless us with words of scripture, and we all cry. We commit ourselves to the one and only God and Father who loves and cares about us individually. He is our strength.
We love Sarah and her family. We spend time with them as often as possible. We feel as though they have adopted us, and we them. Jacob is so blessed to be able to know them, and with time, grow to love them as his family. We send photos periodically to Michael through the adoption agency, and have had limited correspondence with him recently.
That’s it. That’s Jacob’s adoption story in a nut shell. Did you see God? He was there all the while, as he is today, and every day. Do we recognize Him? Do we give him all the glory, honor and praise he is due? Are we fully surrendered to do what he asks us to do, no matter how hard? He promises “life more abundantly” and He truly delivers on that promise.