By Guest Blogger and Adoptive Father, Ryan Norton
I remember boarding our flight to Texas. After 1 ½ years of home-study paperwork, meetings, classes, a lot of prayer, and just plain waiting, we finally connected with a birth mom that chose US! The excitement, the joy, the “Oh crud, I’m going to be a dad in a few days”. I think it was me needing the diaper. But it felt right! God knew that this was going to be our journey, part of our story. My beautiful wife, sitting next to me with plans for baby showers and parties, was my rock as we flew south to pick up our baby boy. I remember praying for our birth mom. We prayed that she would have peace in adopting out her baby and that we would continue to find a connection with her as we met for the first time. We were going to be parents! But God had a different plan...
As we walked down the gangway on our layover, my wife turned her phone on to get her messages of hope and excitement from her friends and family. But I knew something was wrong when her face went from joy to absolute sadness and loss. The birth mom had changed her mind. Here we are in the middle of an airport with a car seat, diaper bag, baby clothes, and the elation of any new parent only to watch our hopes and dreams collapse right before us.
After our second failed attempt, we were done. The fight was taken out of us. We told Gayle (the Director of Choice), who had become such a dear friend to us, to take us out of the waiting families’ rotation for a few months. Out of respect for what we had been through, she agreed. But it was a phone call from Gayle when she said, “You must meet one more girl” that was the turning point. When I started in with “We need a break”, she gently offered more information. She said, “This expectant mom has been through a lot and she needs your family.” She said, “You guys just all fit and you really need to meet her.” Reluctantly, we agreed to meet and we fell in love with this girl, this strong young woman that was so adamant about her desires and dreams. And those dreams now apparently included us.
Once again, we were matched. However, the fight was not over. The call came in from Gayle at 5:00 AM that our son was born (5 days early for that matter). The same feelings of excitement and joy came over us, but we were also a bit guarded. Guarded until we held Josiah in our arms. It felt so right to see our birth mom grin from ear to ear as we held him in complete adoration. How can this be? After 10 years of waiting for him, he was finally here! There in the hospital, we waited 24 hours before paperwork on both our sides was to be signed. And how Gayle was so right! We did just all… fit.
Two hours before he was legally ours, a new fight began. The birth mom’s family came in and announced “family meeting”; but we were the ones being ushered out of the room. Gayle took us in our stunned state of being to the hospital waiting room and she said one thing to us…. PRAY. And pray we did. How could this be happening again? Did God even want us to be parents? The very thing that we suspected was happening in that room without us, was happening. The birth mom’s family had offered to take her and the baby in. They offered to pay for all expenses, food, lodging, and support for years to come. But it was our dear sweet birth mama that said, “Ryan and Angela are supposed to be Josiah’s parents.” And it was there, when we needed it most, that a birth mom fought for us and for Josiah.
I remember signing our documents, taking pictures, calling friends and family – screaming to the world that Josiah was officially ours! I began to put those official documents in the diaper bag’s side pocket, but something was blocking them from sliding into the pouch. I reached in to find a plane ticket to Texas dated almost 9 months ago. It was then that I heard God say to me… “See Ryan, I can do this. Remain faithful to me and my plans for you have no bounds.”
Adoption is a fight, but it is a fight for my family that so many people supported us in... Gayle - our hero for knowing us more than we knew ourselves at that time; our friends and family who supported us mentally, financially, and in prayer; and our strong, confident birth mama who we consider family. And now, with the help of Choice Adoptions, friends, family, and Jesus, we have welcomed another adopted addition to our family - Noelle. Yes, adoption is a fight, a worthwhile fight; and with God in your corner, all things are possible.
If you are pregnant and need support, here are pregnancy resources:
The 9 Things to Know About Adoption In Oregon and Washington
You may also like some of these great adoption resources: