Baby Loss, Foster Care + Adoption September 08 2016, 0 Comments

Swell Adoption Fund: September 2016

The M Family's Travels From NICU to Foster Care and Finally Adoption

My husband, Michael, and I were your typical high school sweethearts.  We started dating in ninth grade, were homecoming king and queen, went through college together, got married and had our whole life planned.  My idea was to have two kids by the time I was thirty years of age.  I became pregnant with a baby girl at the age of 26 and my life seemed to be going just as I had hoped until April 30th, 2011, when I gave birth to our beautiful Lily Grace.  The doctors had laid her on my chest and I knew something wasn't right.  She was lethargic, no interest in feeding, low muscle tone...I just had a "not so good" feeling.  
-
-
-
After our family swooned over our new baby girl in the hospital room, the doctors and nurses had asked to keep her in the nursery so they could monitor her.  As hours went by, she would still not feed and they decided to admit her to the NICU.  After 18 days of countless tests, blood work and narrowing down disorders, our Lily Grace was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Zellweger Syndrome.  Zellweger Syndrome (ZS) is a rare genetic disorder which affects the brain, liver and kidneys.  Babies with ZS have little to no functioning peroxisomes, which break down toxins in the body.  These babies usually have low tone, an inability to suck or swallow, cannot move, and eventually have seizures.  Unfortunately there is no cure for ZS as well as no treatment.  The prognosis is poor, the babies usually do not survive past six months of age.  
-
As Michael and I were told that our baby girl had ZS, the tears poured and our hearts were broken.  There are no words to describe the hurt we felt that day.  We brought Lily Grace home from the hospital and chose to live life with her to the fullest and not grieve her death before she died.  We went hiking, swimming, and tubing down the creek.  We snuggled and loved for as long as we could.  Just shy of three months, on July 24th, 2011 Lily Grace went to be with Jesus and our lives and hearts were forever changed.
-
-
-

I vividly remember standing in the hospital room with Michael shortly after receiving Lily Grace's diagnosis and talking about what this all meant for our future children and our family.  It meant we had a 25 percent chance that all of our biological children would have this fatal disorder.  We immediately knew we wanted to adopt and there was a peace in that decision that I cannot explain.  We took some time to grieve and heal before we dove into researching ways of growing our family by adoption, but after almost two years we decided it was time.  For various reasons including cost, we have chosen to go the route of adoption through foster care.  After signing up with a local agency, doing hours of paperwork, training and background checks, we were certified!  The thought of having children in our home and of being a "mommy" to a child who needs love more than ever made me ecstatic.  I was naive to the fact of what that really meant, that by a child coming to my home they had to leave theirs.  And not by choice, but they were either neglected, abused, abandoned, homeless, or hurting.  

When we received our first placement call just a few days after being certified this became real and our hearts were opened to the ministry of foster care forever.  We now had to help heal the broken and that was not easy, and honestly, we were both scared.  We welcomed two adorable blonde haired little boys into our home and they stayed with us for a little less than one year before they were reunified.  Our journey with them was not an easy one but we were so blessed to share our hearts and home with them in such a time of need.  We had a few shorter term placements after the boys left our home as well as some promising placements of adoption that never panned out.  We also had a private adoption that had failed as well.  It seemed as if every time we got our hopes up for a "forever" child, it just wouldn't happen.
-
Hurt and broken, it was hard for me personally to hold onto God's goodness and to trust in His timing.  We had been praying for years for a child and I couldn't make sense of why so many placements and adoptions have failed for us.  I was beginning to lose hope and to think it would never happen.  With lots of prayerful consideration, we have decided to contact an agency that would help us to facilitate an adoption and connect us with a birth mother looking for adoptive parents. And so began the countless hours of paperwork, home studies, background checks and creating profiles.  By the summer of 2015 our adoption profile was ready!  We received a few phone calls from potential birth mothers but nothing too promising.  
-
At the end of September we were connected with a wonderful birth mother who was getting ready to have her baby girl in the next few days.  We received a phone call from her that she needed to be induced and we were beyond excited to go and meet our baby!  October 2nd, 2015 Aminah Marie entered the world and stole our hearts. We got to be present for the birth and I even got to cut her cord!  She was perfect, she was beautiful and we were beyond blessed for her birth mother throughout this entire process.  We have been praying for her and her baby before we even knew who she was.  We have an open adoption and the relationship forming with Aminah's birth mother is beautiful.  We are excited to have our baby girl grow up knowing who her birth mother is and the selfless love that she has for her.
-
-
-
-
One month before we found out we would be adopting Aminah, we had received a call for our previous foster child and his new baby sister.  We accepted the placement, and just when we thought it would be short term, it turned into months.  The oldest went to live with his grandparents and we continue to foster Isabella.  We currently have been fostering this beautiful, fun, silly little girl for almost a year.  
-
-
-
With two girls only four months apart, our house is full of bows, tutus, glitter and giggles. We are hoping to be able to adopt Isabella as well, we have been praying for God's will for her and our family.  Every day, the picture of our lives becomes a little more clear.  Every day, we see more of God's goodness through the pain and trials we have faced throughout the years.  Every day, we learn to love a little more, just like Christ has taught us.  Every day, we feel blessed to be on this journey and whatever comes our way, we cling to the promise of God's unending love and faithfulness.  My plan to have all my children by the time I was thirty looks silly to me now.  I would have missed out on so much if God would have allowed me to do it my way.  We are excited to see how our family continues to grow and the plan that God has for us and all of our children.    
-
 
-
 

---

For more inspiration, subscribe to our blog.

Follow Us on:
---