I am on the board for the Illinois Chapter of Families Supporting Adoption. It's a wonderful organization for people who have been (or in our case, who hope to be) touched by adoption. We have quarterly activities (we were the ones who planned the Walk for Adoption) and provide support to each other. Our chapter is part of a large region, and through the region I've "met" (only online and once on the phone) someone in the Colorado Chapter, her name is Corrine. She and her husband adopted their daughter and she blogs HERE. A couple months back she posted a wonderful story...it had me in tears (adoption related posts can do that pretty easily). It's called Divinely Appointed Friends, and it is a great example of how God uses us to help bring others together. Enjoy it!
I love the saying from CS Lewis : " You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another."
This couldn't ring more true with the friendship i have with Jessica L.
Here's our Story...
We had just moved to CO 2 days prior. We attended the Adoption Training in CO before we even moved into our new house. It was wonderful and we were overjoyed that we were here finally and getting the process underway all at the same time. The 1st Sunday at church was Fast and Testimony Meeting. I bore my testimony and thanked those who watched my kids while we attended the adoption trainings.
After the meeting a sweet lady in the hall asked me if we had been selected already for placement. I told her no, not yet and she began to tell me that she Knew someone looking into placing their unborn child for adoption . Her eyes welled up and she told me it was her daughter. I hugged her and she let it out and i told her "Well, God sure knew that i needed to be in this WARD for a reason. Regardless if she places or picks us, we are meant to be in each others' lives."
The following weekend came up and Renee(woman in the hall) became ill so, we brought her over some dinner that night and met Jessica. We only talked for a few minutes but it was like meeting an old friend. The following week she was at her moms again when we stopped by. We chatted some more and she told us about making an appt. with LDSFS and wanting to figure out what she should/ could do for this child.
We Had her over for dinner with her family and talked about everything. I had the best feelings of love for her and her family. I always reinforced that "we are NOT your friends just b/c you might place". She knew that too. Her and my husband were like brother and sister and very silly together. Jessica has always felt like part of our family...
Then one day we met at a Local Park and went for a jaunt around it and she told me she had MADE UP HER MIND. She said " I'm 100% positive that I'm placing this baby. I know i cannot do it on my own- nor do i think it would be best for the child. I know someone else needs this baby more than i do right now! And if adoption families are anything like yours... I'm totally In!!!"
I was so excited that she made that choice and something inside me knew that this is why we were to be in her life. That night we searched profiles online together. She came across this family and they looked adorable and she pulls out this tiny folded paper with their names on it! " My Bishop told me a bit about this couple"
I could see her face gleam! But, Jessica is a very analytical person so, no rash decisions were made. I told her to talk to her case worker about learning more or meeting the couples she was interested in!
- In the meantime I was offering FREE photography to adoptive couples in the area. And the Couple she saw on IAL (J&C), were scheduled to shoot updated pics for their profile about 5 weeks out from the time she saw them on the blog.-
So, a week or so passes and Jessica meets another family and she really liked them. They had adopted their 2 children and were awesome people. She called me after the meeting and i asked her how it went and she said "great but..." Then explained about her desire for a bit more openess than they were willing to have. So, it was something to think about.
I still had these feelings that we were divinely supposed to be in her life and i couldn't deny it! But one night while in the peace and quiet- I had the strongest impression that " she is not your birth mom, she is meant for another family" I had such peace and reassurance that it would be alright and when our time is right it will happen.
So fast forward a week and J&C's pictures were scheduled but it was pouring down buckets so we scheduled for a later date. I asked Jessica how she was and we texted and talked all the time. And 2 weeks before she actually met J&C, i met their friend at a park and as i told J&C's friend about how I think Jessica could possibly pick them and i hoped she would- her friend and i got all choked up. I let a few tears out and was so happy that I was able to help her see how amazing adoptive families are.
The following Sunday, Renee (jessica's Mom) and i chatted about J&C and she told me how She felt something special too for them.(we cried of course while we talked of them) And Jessica had still never met them. Only chatted via email.
So that week Jessica was supposed to meet them on Monday and we were going to go float the river on Thursday. So, i called Jessica on Wednesday and she told me that She hadn't met them yet but was meeting them tomorrow in the morning. I asked her if she wanted to float the river still and she said "yeah, why not!"
So Thursday morning came and she met up with me at noon on the River. She was grinning from ear to ear. She told me how much she liked them and how cool they were and so on. All along the slippery river turns, i kept waiting for her to tell me that 'They were the ones" But she didn't. She just said i need to think about it over the next 2 months and weigh out all the couples. I kept reassuring her that we really were happy for whomever she chose. Finally at our late lunch we talked more and i broke down and asked " didn't you feel something different with them than you have with us or the other couple?" She said "Honestly... YES!"
I about shot out of my seat with JOY and she said "but i still need to think about it" I said " really-? if you feel so strongly for one couple and it feels right- the it's Got to be Them!!!" She finally said she didn't want to hurt our feelings but she KNEW it was to be them! And i finally told her that i knew weeks ago she wasn't to be our birth mom! She was a bit shocked and i told her Brandon knew too. He would say things like " when you meet the next birth mom- don't be trying to hook her up with other couples etc.." He was being a protector of my heart and emotions saying that- not a control freak b/c you all know how emotionally invested we all get with the Expectant parents.
So, we were both excited that She KNEW and had found her couple. Then Jessica said a dreaded thing for an adoptive mother to hear " I think i will wait till 2 months to tell them though" I was totally not cool with that but was along for the ride so- whatever? A few hours later she shoots me a text and says she's going to tell them in 3 weeks. I said sure but i thought "if she felt it when they met, i bet they did too and how that wait would kind of be agonizing- but- it's her call"
The next day, I get an email from J&C following up on our profile photo shoot for the following day (a Saturday) and I was thrilled for them but dare not say a word.
I texted Jessica and told her that i was shooting them in a few hours and would happily put on my smile and pretend that I KNEW NOT what she told me:)
She called me back and said " I have been up all night- and kept thinking if they felt the connection that I did with them- why should i wait to tell them? So, Let's Surprise them at their photo session!"
I was flipping out excited and ready to put on my best acting face ever.
We shot calls back and forth to coincide this little plan to work flawlessly. J&C met in one parking lot of the Belleview Park and Jessica and I met in the other.
I took J&C to the said corner of the park and began to shoot them and tried to keep their eyes on me while Jessica bolted across the park. When i pulled my lens away from their faces- Jessica was there. And They were shocked!!! They hadn't talked to her since 2 days before, when they first met her!
Jessica says something like "Hey guys, sorry to surprise you so suddenly but, i just can't wait any longer. (they were sitting down still) " I know what i felt when i met you guys and I want you to know that i KNOW you two are to be the Parents to my child. I choose you to adopt her!"
Of course i got all choked up snapped a picture and left them to take in the magnitude of the occasion. It was like a piece of Heaven
Opened up for many of us that Day.
I had perma-grin walking away from them b/c i am just so happy for all 3 people.
Since then, Jessica and I hang out almost weekly and J&C do all kinds of activities with FSA and some with her too! They are so prepared and have waited for 2.5 years and had 4 BM's online try and scam them- all for emotional support too.
They are such a deserving couple and Jessica is such a strong willed woman, it makes me happy to see that they are getting such an amazing extended family with Jessica and her mom and a few others. I am so blessed by this experience and much has happened after this with Our (brandon's and my) involvement in the adoption world! (read our blog to find out more).
And I KNOW that God Puts people in our lives, friends, associates, members or our community or churches to Help us in areas that we need to be strengthened in. We both have learned from each other and I have gained an even greater testimony of birth parents! And even though she's not our Birth Mom- She truly will always be Our forever friend because of this part of our lives. There is a reason you are where you are!
This rings the MOST true to me:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
and again this :
" You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another."
This couldn't be more true in the Adoption World! Thanks for having me share this!
As of lately... I have been involved with planning the joint Baby shower for both adoptive parents and Jessica, and took these Photos of the couple with Jessica! Please see my photography blog for more pictures of this shoot! And make sure you ASK to use them on your sites/blogs etc... I'm happy to please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
pictures: Jessica's Baby Bump,
J&C with Jessica when she announced "the News", Jess and couple at 8 months
Jessica with my husband Brandon- walking in the parade with us to advocate for Adoption- part of the CO chapter.