Andy and I are happy to share our testimonial, this story is as much about our journey as it is about 2 women, who bravely chose to turn abortion into adoption.
Andy and I celebrated our 16 year anniversary last month. Before we were married, we had agreed on our desire to have
children and to leave it into God’s hands to determine the “when.” Our understanding of the “deal” we made was that we’d be expecting our first child within the first year of our marriage. As fate would have it, that’s not the way it worked out. One failed month, turned into two, which turned into six and before we knew it, a year turned into two years, and into three years. In the middle, were countless visits to different doctors and specialists. I endured many procedures and a couple of surgeries. A very frustrating part was that there was not an answer as to why pregnancy wasn’t happening. I wouldn’t say we lost our faith, but I will admit that I started questioning things. Somewhere during that fourth year we decided reset and take a break. We also both became much more intentional in prayer. Three months later we found out that I was pregnant and in May, our baby girl, Nathy was born.
When Nathy turned one, we decided to try again. Much like before, one year turned into two. Determined not to give up our faith, my mom and I visited Sister Dulce in Baton Rouge who prayed over me. I’ll never forget how much I felt God’s presence in that moment and I knew I wouldn’t give up, but wondered where all of this was taking us. We saw another specialist and tried IVF, but after several “rounds” and 2 miscarriages we were drained. It was heartbreaking, I struggled physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It was just too much. We cried, we prayed, we were frustrated, we decided to take another break.
It was during December of 2013 that Andy was walking thru the mall and saw a lady standing in one of those popup advertising booths. She reminded him a lot of a nun that he knew as a child, he couldn’t just walk past her. As he approached, he wondered what product she was going to try to sell him, perhaps a vacation or timeshare. Instead, she handed him a brochure from CASA and asked him to look into it when he had some time. He did and learned that CASA was an organization that helped, in part, find foster kids permanent homes thru adoption. Andy and I started to explore the idea of adoption. Around the same time, my mother and I went to the shrine of the Blessed Francis Seelos. That visit gave me a sense of peace and assurance that God’s “when” wasn’t over, it just hadn’t arrived yet. Before I left, I bought a medal and put it on. I felt I needed some reminder that God was with me and I felt His love.
On New Year’s Day 2014, we mentioned to a family friend that we were contemplating adoption. As it turns out, she had a friend who was a social worker that handled private adoptions and said she would put us in contact with her. I think when one is so used to things not going your way, one assumes that a small conversation like this will lead to nothing. Little did we know that our life was about to drastically change over the next 30 days. On January 5th, I talked to the social worker about our intention to adopt a child. The social worker would later tell us that after she hung up the phone, she immediately received a phone call from a very pregnant lady who finally decided to have the child adopted. The social worker, surprised by the coincidence she just experienced, called me back and let me know that if we were really ready, she may have someone.
Andy received the phone call about 11:00 in the morning, I was crying so much that he couldn’t understand what I was saying….had someone died? The process of getting certified to adopt takes several months, we had three weeks. We left that day to go to Baton Rouge to complete state and federal background checks. We were going to arrive later than they closed, but a phone call to the state employee we were meeting revealed that she was also adopted, and would wait there as long as needed, a small miracle in and of itself. The next day I was heading to New Orleans to handle some paperwork. My mom asked me how I felt and if I had any doubts. Before I could answer, I looked up and saw a blimp flying around the city with the word “BELIEVE” flashing on it. We never looked back. Loren Violet was born three weeks later. Our prayers were finally answered. She is 7 yrs old now, and knows that she grew in my heart and not in my belly. While it is hard at times to understand, she knows that means that she is loved.
In January of 2016 we thought, should we try again? This time it really did take a few months to get our paperwork in order. We were finally cleared in May of 2016 and in July we were called about a baby boy due in September. We met the young couple over the phone and in person. Our hearts broke for them. They were both young, loved the baby very much, but knew with the situation in their lives, they couldn’t care for a child. On top of that, she had been kicked out of her house because she would not have an abortion. They were left to sleep on friends couches for as long as they were allowed. Drew Richard was born in September. Andy and I finally felt peace, our “Hammer party of Five” was finally complete….or so we thought. God’s “when” had a different plan, we just didn’t know it yet.
Life was hectic, but a good hectic. One evening we received a random phone call. Loren’s birth mother had another baby, and she wanted to know if I could meet her at the hospital. We hadn’t seen her since Loren was born. I remember saying “God is this for real?” I met her at the hospital and later helped her get settled into a friend’s apartment. What was God asking us to do, provide a taxi service for this lady? The next day, January 13th I received another phone call asking if we could “watch” the baby for a few days until she got her things in order. This back and forth went on for many weeks. We’d have him for a few weeks then she’d take him for a few days, and on and on. In September of 2019, we picked him up and she never asked for him back. We finalized the adoption for Jack Greyson in March of 2021, our family was complete. We knew that God had a plan for us but didn’t know “when” it would happen. We BELIEVED.