Where’d this kid come from? (Our adoption story)

April 9, 2008 § Leave a comment

Without getting into all the details as to why we haven’t whole-heartedly pursued having children of our own, suffice it to say Amy and I have never really felt the same yearning to do so that many couples do. In the meantime, God seems to have brought many other “kids” into our lives–nieces and nephews, neighbors, and many other young people through youth ministry. We felt this has prepared us for something else at this point in our lives. We’d talked about adoption before, but last year God really laid in on our hearts to move forward.

Amy and I began the adoption process through Bethany Christian Services in October 2007, not expecting things to happen as quickly as they did. Adoptive parents typically can wait as long as a couple years for a domestic adoption, and even longer if adopting internationally. We got a call at the beginning of March that a couple was very interested in our profile and wanted to meet us. On March 7 we drove to Bethany’s office in Cedar Rapids, IA to meet with them. The birthmother’s due date was April 11, exactly 5 weeks away. The meeting went well and the parents decided they wanted to let us raise their boy.

Returning home we got busy with creating a baby room and making other adjustments one must do to accommodate a new family member. With adoption, nothing is absolutely certain until the process is complete, so the weeks that followed included a lot of asking God to shape our hearts to both welcome this child into our lives AND be prepared to live without him should the birthparents change their minds.

When Levi decided to arrive 11 days early, we made hasty arrangements to leave town for a few days and drove to Cedar Rapids to meet him the night of March 31. Levi was only 6 lbs, 6 ounces, but Amy and I quickly fell in love with him. He has no accomplishments to his name, short of pooping and making noise, yet he is amazing and I would give my life to save his. We spent a couple days at the hospital taking care of Levi and spending time with the birthmother and some of her family. Ours is an “open” adoption, in which under mutual agreement the birthparents are allowed to keep in touch with the adoptive family and be involved in the life of the child.

This adoption won’t be officially finalized until a few legal proceedings scheduled within the next few months, but for all practical purposes we are calling Levi our son.

The whole experience of quite suddenly becoming a father is very surreal, and I still don’t know if my mind has fully settled into the reality of it. Maybe after a few more nights of fragmented sleep. My wedding was close, but I don’t think that even compares to this life-altering turn in the road. So little, yet so big.

The name Levi means “joined together in harmony”. It’s clear to us that God’s hand was in this even years ago, preparing our hearts for Levi. Looking back I see now that selfishness played a part in my delaying parenthood, and in many ways I regret it. But I’ll never regret Levi. Don’t ever doubt that God has a very purposeful plan for your life, despite what we ourselves may do to thwart it. He has joined us with an incredible human being with incredible potential to love and teach and raise. He has joined us with a family that was courageous and caring and selfless enough to do what was best for this boy. And He has used the whole concept of adoption to powerfully illustrate How God gave up His own Son for us when we had no idea who God even was, adopting us as His own children. The “harmony” in this is that it all worked together according to the perfect plan of our Creator.

From here on out, life will be different, and certain things will become more important than other things. We will teach Levi to love God and to love his neighbor, to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with the One who brought him to us. I love this kid!

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