I met my husband at my home church. I had come to town to visit my mom. We met in April 2012 and were married December 2012! When he asked me to marry him I said, only if we can adopt. I could not have kids after a sudden hysterectomy in 2007. He was dead set against kids due to a previous failed marriage. It literally took me four days to convince him.... four days of hours of talking each night to convince him that if he wanted me then he would have to agree to kids! He finally agreed. I had to convince him that I knew he would be an amazing dad just by the way he treated me.
Long ago, I had created a list of what I wanted in a husband and he was all that and so much more. Every tear-filled prayer spilled over that list, thinking I would die a single woman, yet I hit the jackpot with him. I had told him my best friend's daughter was promiscuous and without protection, she had two boys from a previous relationship, and she always joked if she got pregnant that I could adopt the baby because she was "done". So, I forewarned my future husband, jokingly, thinking nothing of it.
Nine months after we got married I got a private message on Facebook. It was this girl! She asked if I still wanted a baby. I am pretty sure my heart stopped. I asked if she was really pregnant, and she said she was about 6 weeks along. It was the night before my husband's birthday. I looked at him and said, " Happy birthday babe! We are going to have a baby!"
He looked at me and said, "what?" I told him Sarah (name changed for privacy) was pregnant. We had so many emotions. Shock. Fear. Excitement. I was facing another back surgery in a month; we had mounting debt from the first one that failed; and yet, here was this little surprise. Of course, we said yes. We also agreed not to tell anyone for 3 months, yet told everyone that night.
The next 9 months were a whirlwind. We suddenly had to have a home study, hire an attorney, get my back and recovery done, and get ready for a baby. And somehow, we did. For every road block, we prayed and a door was opened.
Sarah did everything perfectly right. I went to her appointments, sent her to a private ultrasound because I HAD to know what we were having, and we were there when she was induced and delivered our son. She even had the nurses lay him on MY chest for skin to skin the moment he was born. It was exhilarating and scary because he struggled to breathe.
He spent nine days and one hospital transfer in NICU. We found out our perfect boy had 2 heart defects and meconium aspiration. His birth mom was devastated and thought she had failed us. We had reassured her there was nothing more perfect she could have done. Isaac was born in May 2014. He went home 9 days later after winning the hearts of every nurse in the NICU (I would go shower and return to find them rocking him and loving on him because he was "fussy".) I think they just loved having a fat, full term baby they could actually hold because they asked to hold him a lot! Lol!
We finalized our adoption in October. He was officially ours! We have an open adoption but only see his grandmother, who is my dearest friend still. We have had some really difficult days and the birth mom still feels as if she failed us. You see, when our son was 10 months old we knew something else was wrong. When he was 16 months old we were told he was most certainly autistic. Since then he has been diagnosed with other disorders as well. But to us he is a ray of sunshine, the perfect child we prayed so hard for. He is exactly who he is supposed to be, giggly, snuggly, and ours. And we believe that God has some mighty plans for this child. He has shown us the silver linings in all this (Ike is a genius, literally, like Einstein), taken us to the brink of despair and restored our souls through miraculous progress in our child. When we thought, we had "lost" our son (suddenly regressed) God brought him back from the recesses of his mind when no one thought he could be reached. We trusted Him. I cried when he finally said "mama" again.
We know we have been tasked with the most amazing job to raise this child. You see, his birth parents are atheist. Yet we are raising him in God's love. We are raising him to love God and to follow God's will. He will be three in May. In many ways, he is like a one year old, but in so many other ways he is wise beyond his years. And we take this task seriously. So does Ike! He runs from the car to his class every Sunday and bangs on the door to get inside his special needs room. (We hope he will run with a sibling this time next year as we are starting the adoption process all over again!)
He is a true testament to what God can do. And WE get to raise him! God trusted US! How awesome to say that he was gifted to us. He has brought us so much closer through everything. He is the light of our life and we thank God each day for him. Despite his handicaps, he is amazing and God knew we were the right family for him. It humbles me how God plans these things. I can't wait to meet his new sibling. I know God has amazing things in store for our family.
The Heath Family
Tonya, your adoption story is beautiful! I love the way God has knit your amazing family together. Thank you for sharing your story!
As with any adoption story, there are no two adoptions that are the same. We would love to hear your adoption story from a Christian perspective. Some families choose international adoption while other families choose domestic adoption (private or foster care). If you have adopted and would like us to feature your adoption story on Adoption Story Wednesday, please go to our Share Your Story page to submit to Adoption Strong.
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper