In Part One of Our Adoption Story, we ended with heart break and confusion. Part Two begins that way. After hitting every Road Block the Devil (we thought) put in our path, our journey towards adoption ended. I think the most horrible part for me was that we were constantly being approached by people, who knew of a child that needed a family. Seriously! It got to the point that Thomas and I both agreed that if one more person approached us about taking (because you cant' just take a child) someone's child they didn't want... we were going to punch them in the face, for REAL!
With so much discouragement, my prayer life on the request for children, became very sketchy. I felt like, what's the point? God obviously was not listening to me anyway. Have you ever felt like that? Like your prayers made it out of your mouth and stopped at the ceiling. The bitterness grew so great, and overtook me at times. One morning, in late 2014, Thomas went to church and I stayed home. I was horrible sick. I did want to hear the service though, so I tuned in on Mixler to listen to our Pastor. (We both work in Junior Church, so it's very rare to hear him on a Sunday Morning). He was preaching on God answering prayers. Pfttttt! I thought. God does not answer prayers - at least not mine. But I listened anyway, and the more I listened the more the Lord laid on my heart, that he was listening.
Surprisingly, this made me mad! I'll never forget it, I sat up in my bed, and let the Lord have it! Not in the way of, here take this because I can't handle it anymore. No, I fussed like crazy. Everything that I had been holding in, all the bitterness, the anger, and the confusion, came out. If anyone saw me, they probably would have thought I was a crazy person. There I was, in the middle of the bed, crying uncontrollably and screaming at the ceiling. There's one thing I know for certain. God likes honesty. He wants us to be honest with him. Not because he does not know already, but because we need to depend on him and tell him how we feel. We... I needed to know that he heard me.
After this outburst of fit to God, life seemed to get better. Well, not life, but my relationship with God became better. I was drawing back closer to him. He never left me, but I sure enough, tried to get away from him. Reading my Bible became easier again, and my prayer life was drastically improving. In April of 2015, I decided to start this blog. A place to share what God had done for me. Through reading and studying my Bible the Lord had showed me a few things that I could do, while I waited for him to answer my prayers.
My first blog post was God's Daily Load for the Barren Wife. Because that's what I was. Barren! That word is just so yuck! The Barren Wasteland of my womb needed some help from the Lord. I sat down and told the Lord. "Okay, Lord! If I never have children, YOU ARE ENOUGH! I will continue to serve you and praise you, because YOU ARE ENOUGH!" Two weeks later, my life changed forever!
I was standing in the kitchen at our church on Sunday, it was nacho day for the buses, so a few of us go in and scarf some nachos. There I was eating my bowl of chips and my friend (and ministry co-worker) came in to get hers. LOL. We began talking and she asked me to pray about something. Her daughter was pregnant with twins and was trying to decide what to do. She was not sure if she wanted to put them up for adoption or not. I agreed, and DID pray about this for her. Three days later, while I was knelt by the bed praying before bed, the Lord spoke to me. He said, "This is it!" "This is why I have been waiting." I kind of put it off, like, no. We said no, that it's not affordable. Honestly, I'm not going to lie. I could not get it out of my mind.
On Wednesday, coming home from church, I talked to my husband. I said, "Our friends (I said their names though) daughter is having twins, and she's considering putting them up for adoption. If she does, I want to adopt them." Then I waited. For the NO! We discussed this already face to appear and the why we can't to start flying from his mouth. It was crazy, y'all! He turned it head and just looked at me, then said, "Okay, that would be awesome!" What? What? Did he just agree to adoption? Yes... yes he did.
I still didn't know if I should say anything though. I mean, my friend did not come to me about adopting them, she was just asking prayer. Do I call her and say, "um, we want those babies." I sought counsel from an older lady in our church (who is my "spiritual" adviser - this is a must if you are going to make it - you have to have someone to take weird questions to... lol), who told me that there was another couple who were being considered. I panicked inside! This couple is a wonderful couple, and they love the Lord and serve in the ministry and have been wanting a child as long as I've known them (longer than that). What do I do? She advised me to call my friend and tell her that we were interested in adopting, if that was in fact the choice the mother made. The next day, I called. What a conversation. What do I say, how do I say it, and is it going to freak her out? Yeah, nervous does not describe it. But I did call and told her that if they were put up for adoption we wanted to adopt them. She also told me of the other couple, and that she'd put my name in the hat - lol.
I began to pray very specifically. I prayed that the children should go wherever the LORD wanted them to go. That if it was meant for us, that he would make it happen without any road blocks or red flags. I also prayed that if this was going to go ALL THE WAY to the adoption, that the Lord would let the mother come and ask me specifically.
We didn't hear anything for a while, and life was moving on, as it does. Thomas had prepaid legal through is work, that we never used. So he decided to save the extra from his check and call and cancel. If we weren't going to use it, why have it?
Also, we were planning to take a vacation with a bonus check he was getting at work. Well, after thinking it over, we realized we only had three more payments to make on the car, that we could pay the car off and forego the vacay until a later date. So we did.
No more Prepaid Legal + No car payment = extra cash! This was on Tuesday.
Wednesday (The Next Day), we went to evening service. Our friends daughter kept looking at us all through the service. We figured that it was because she had selected the other family. No biggie! We were used to hearing no when it came to situations like this. Service was over and we were getting ready to leave. Now remember my specific prayer... She walked up to me, along with another friend of ours, and said, "Would it be okay if I talked to you outside?" I promise you - I almost jumped the pew! Gathering myself and leaving my things in the pew, I went outside with them. Her question to me was this, "If you were to adopt my twins, would you want one or both of them?" "Oh... I want the whole package!" Was my exact reply. Here come my water works, I could not hold it back any longer. She then asked if we would adopt her twins. "Yes! Yes! Yeeeesss!"
Let's over look the fact that I just agreed to adopt two babies without even talking to my husband. In the car on the way home, we only live six minutes from church, so I talked very fast. I told him we were asked to adopt the twins. Then I dropped the bomb... and I said Yes! Side Note: When being asked to adopt, it's probably best to at least let your husband in on it before you accept. Less, wow...
Thursday, he decided to call about the Prepaid Legal (that we had canceled) and see if it could help us. I am seriously fixing to jump out of my chair typing this. Not only could they reinstate the service, but, for an adoption they covered 100% of the legal fees! I said 100%! The only money we would be required to pay was the filing cost. Then they gave him an attorney to contact in our county.
Friday, Thomas called the attorney to find out what the process was. Mr. John Hopkins informed us that we would have to pay filing fees on both children and that the process would be very smooth. Once they were born, papers would be signed and we would receive a court date. How much are the filing fees? Was probably the first thing out of my husband's mouth. The fees for both children were $900.00. We had three months, to come up with the filing fee. Wait for it. Remember we paid the car off on Tuesday. Three months of our car payment was exactly $900.00.
Yes, God had opened a door that was allowing us to adopt children with MONEY WE ALREADY HAD! The following Monday, me and my mother in law, loaded up in the car to go to a doctors appointment. It was time to find out the gender of the babies. My friends daughter (who became my very good friend during this time) and her sister were there also. So here we are, all setting in this room, waiting. Their birth mother, explained to the technician, who was a girl they went to school with, what was going on and that I would be adopting her babies. Okay, are you ready? She flipped that little joystick around on her belly and said... Baby A - is a Girl! The tears began to flow! I was so excited! And... Baby B - is a Girl! Two girls. I could not contain myself. Oh, two little girls! I knew what to do with girls!
In truth, we were "hoping" that since they were fraternal that it would be one of each. But God knew exactly what we needed. We had names picked out for one of each. If there was a boy, his name was to be Haakon Henry/James (still up in the air on the middle). If there was a girl, her name would be Nora Raye. Well, we didn't need the boys name, but what would we name Baby B. Baby B was not really a good name for a little girl. We continued going to doctors appointments and spending time together after this initial appointment, so that we could get to know each other. She's a nut! We fit together just perfect. We did finally decide on a name for Baby B - her name would be Imogen Faye. After talking it over, we all decided to go ahead and name the girls the first and middle names, so that when the adoption was finalized all we'd have to change was their last names.
I wanted to feel them so badly. Every time they would get to kicking and I'd touch them, they'd stop. Yep, they were girls, lol! So one day we were at the McDonald's in town and had just pulled out of the parking space (not even all the way out yet) and she grabbed my hand (from the back seat) and put it on her belly. I felt the tiniest little thump! You could probably have wiped my heart up in the floor board, because it melted. That was my baby, one of my babies. God was answering my prayer, and I just felt it. The man behind us finally had to honk the horn, because I was just setting there, feeling my babies - and holding up traffic.
Everything was progressing nicely. We were decorating the nursery and getting ready to put two tiny little humans in there. Then we had a bit of a tragedy. Sadly, my daddy passed away at the end of May. I so wish he could have met the girls. But, I did get the chance to tell him that he was going to have two granddaughters before he passed. He was skeptical, like everyone else. This was not the first time I had said this. So, he probably believed that it was not going to happen too.
Our church ladies group hosted a baby shower for us. I have never seen so many gifts in my life. The entire stage (they had a skit in junior church and it was still up) was packed with presents. For me! Well for my babies! My babies, I still could not believe it! Some of the most amazing things were given to them. We also received eight diaper bags and a ton of diapers. The coolest gift was a double stroller - that thing is a LIFESAVER!
Planning and prepping for the littles to arrive, we had soooo much to do. She was already six months along when she asked us. On August 4, Thomas came home from work as usual and was playing with the dogs in the kitchen floor. My phone rang and it was to let us know that she was not feeling well and was having some pain, and was pretty sure she was having the babies. Yeah, um... what? They were not due until September 4/5. I laid the phone down and told Thomas we needed to go to the hospital. That we were most likely going to parents soon. His face - I'll never forget it. All color went away and he just laid there in the floor, like... what do I do!?
We arrived at the hospital just as they were getting there. Not being sure what would happen, I didn't bring anything with me. Just my purse and husband. After a while, they got us in a room. And we waited... and waited. Then the doctor came in and said that they were going to give medications to stop the contractions since she was having twins and they still had about 5 weeks to go. They administered the meds and we waited some more. Contractions were still coming. I sent Thomas and Mom home, because they were sure the contractions would stop and he had to work the next day. I assured him I would call if anything changed.
After about 5 hours of waiting and the contractions still coming (with the stop contractions meds), the doctors said these babies were in fact coming! They had given her three bags of the medications (I can't remember what it's called) and they were still coming! Soon the meds were switched to induction medication and we prepared for babies. I thank God that I got to be a part of the entire process. It was such a blessing to be there and help prepare for these little ones to come into the world. Even if I was just getting water or ice. I felt like I was a part of process.
Morning came and I called Thomas to tell him he could not go to work, and to get to the hospital. We waited and waited some more. They shifted that poor girl all over that bed trying to get her water to break. It never did. The doctor finally came into break her water. Now this is crazy. They were going to break Baby B's water first because she was in the best position for it. Well, little miss Baby A, bounced off the side of her tummy and shoved her sister out of the way, getting her bag busted instead. Yes... she is a firecracker, that one.
Everyone had their bags busted and we waited some more. Finally the doctors came into to check and said they could feel the head, that it was time. I was given a very stylish white cover up to put on over my clothes as well as a fabulous hair net. It was time! They wheeled her into the delivery room (which was the OR in case of an emergency or they had to do a c-section). There we were, oh my God! This was happening. Her sister and I assisted with helping her up to push and with One, Two, Three pushes out was Baby A and it was time to cut the cord. I was directed where to stand and this white slimy thing was in front of me. The doctor told me not to worry, it was like a chicken tendon. Well if you know me, you know I hate to touch raw meat, so that was probably not the best reference she could have given.
I did cut the cord, trying my best not to look anywhere else in the vicinity. I felt hands on my shoulders as a male nurse said, "Honey, we are going to move you back over here so you don't hit the floor!" I guess I was swaying a bit. A few more pushes and there was Baby B! They were having to hold her butt through the stomach to keep her from turning or going backwards. She was probably like - YES! I now have room! Back to my cutting position, which I think I cut it with my eyes closed, I don't really remember. I do remember cutting the cord, but it still feel like one of those out of body experiences where you know you did it... but was it real.
While they were cleaning up and attending to my friend, I went over and peeked at my babies. Screaming their heads off. No amount of preparation can prepare you for that moment. The moment you see YOUR children for the first time. Now, I am not a bodily fluids person. No, keep that away and in it's proper container, but I could not help myself. I leaned over and kissed those babies and the goo - and I didn't care! They were so beautiful and so perfect. That day... August 5, 2015 at 2:26 and 2:34 - God kept his word! My prayers for all those years had been answered. The God who I judged as unhearing, unloving, and uncaring, had just KEPT HIS WORD!
They cleaned the girls up a bit and put them under heaters. We were then carried off (while they finished taking care of my friend) to hospital room 303 in Tanner Medical Center. As I turned the corner, there was my husband. His eyes already red from crying. "These are your babies. This is Nora and this is Imogen." I said to him as we stopped for a second. His face! God love him. He looked so overjoyed and so scared all at the same time.
When we got into the room, this little nurse, picked up Nora and said, "Okay, daddy, pull open your shirt." He responded with the typical Thomas response that he was dirty. She looked at him and said, "This is your baby... open your shirt!" He did and she dropped little Nora right down inside his shirt. You could barely see her little head. As the tears flowed from his eyes, he began to softly pat her little bottom to comfort her. I was next. I pulled my shirt open and down went Imogen. That gooey little face smooshed right up against my chest! Oh Yes! Praise God! Bring on the gooey baby! We sat there for an hour in complete silence. You could probably hear the tears as they flowed in Thankfulness to God, down our faces. Then it was time for them to go to the nursery for a good un-gooeying.
We stayed in the hospital with the girls from Wednesday to Friday. Even though they were five weeks early, the Lord blessed them to never have to be put on any machines, or have any medical problems whatsoever. They were perfect! On Thursday, our friend was discharged from the hospital. I don't think I can ever express to her my thankfulness. God used her to keep his word and answer our prayers.
Friday, I stayed at the hospital while Thomas and her went to sign the paperwork to start the adoption process. Over the next three months we had to get physicals, have a home study, get the dogs their shots and wait for the court date. Sadly, during this process, our attorney, Mr. Hopkins passed away. We were given another attorney from prepaid legal and waited for our court date. We received the date of November 19, 2015. That morning we woke up, got the girls dressed, got ourselves dressed and headed to the courthouse. It was surprisingly more busy than I guess I thought a courthouse would be. It's funny the things you notice.
After about an hour (Thomas is an if you are not one hour early you are late kind of a person), we followed our attorney into a conference room and waited for the judge. The judge (I can't even remember his name), came in and the hearing began. We were asked questions, that both of us were supposed to answer. I guess I missed the memo, because I didn't answer anything. I stood there, holding my child, and waited for the words. After the questions they came. These children will hereby and hereafter be called Nora Raye Hougas and Imogen Faye Hougas. With the bang of a gavel on the table, we stood with the judge for a photo, thus ending our Adoption Process.
The following February, when it was time to file our taxes, we took all the necessary paperwork to H&R Block. After setting there and discussing our options the man asked us for our adoption fee paperwork. We handed him a receipt for $900.00. Confusingly, he looked at us and said, "Is this all?" Yes, that was all. God had blessed in such a mighty way, and we shared our story with him. All the paperwork was finished and he then told us that we would be getting ALL of our filing fees back on our taxes.
This was the final step of God showing is infinite power. Hundreds of thousands of dollars (by the worlds standards of adoption) worth of beautiful babies, was handed to us BY GOD IN HIS GRACE, for absolutely FREE! That is how God works. He is going to answer our prayers in a way that there is nobody that can receive credit for it but HIM!
Thank you for reading Our Adoption Story and how greatly the Lord blessed our little "Barren" family. I'd love to hear your story or answer any questions you might have about Private Adoption.