By Choice Adoptive Mom, Sukanya Ponnuswamy
We had been married for over a decade and had exhausted many treatment options available for having a baby. We chose to move on and wanted to try the adoption route. Our families were supportive and excited about our decision. I also coincidentally happened to be in a life group with a small group of ladies where other ladies had adopted, and another was in the process of doing so. It was a time where every step of the process was prayed for, encouragement and support given. Everything felt right, and we were very excited for what was to come.
We believed God was guiding us and went ahead with the arduous steps involved in adopting. But, two years had come and gone; our profile was perused by scores of birth moms, many times we were short-listed and there were even a few times we were interviewed by birth moms. However, we were never chosen and the process broke not only my pride but my self-esteem. I had to consciously tell myself that our value was not based on how we appear to people, but to look for our worth in God.
After having waited for 2 years, we were discouraged, especially since home studies for adoptions are valid only for 2 years. We had to go through the process again. We were told in the nicest way that we were not really making a connection with any of the birth moms and that we needed to cast a wider net and so we went on a dual track to continue waiting for a newborn, but also to be considered for children waiting in the foster care system. While we had been praying for this every step of the way, we felt it was time to rev things up a little.
Our church was doing a 40-day prayer challenge and we decided to do it, too. My husband and I did it together so that we were asking in oneness. It was hard, praying together for 40 days, as we were definitely not in the habit of praying together regularly. My husband had a pretty busy schedule with a lot of international traveling. We prayed together through FaceTime, sometimes from airports, work desks, and other places where there was little privacy. And God honored those prayers. Four weeks into the prayer challenge our hearts were super hopeful when we got a call about this baby that was due to be born in a month, who the agency said might actually be the right one for us.
This birth mom and the adoption agency she was partnering with was half way across the country. After several of her plans had failed, she “happened” to find this adoption agency a little ways from her home at the last minute, which was willing to work with her unique and impossible circumstances. This adoption agency also “happened” to have a connection with our agency in Oregon and she got to see our profile and photo book. She was a young adult living at home with her parents and attending college and working in the evenings. Her parents were unaware of her pregnancy (maybe this is God’s doing but she didn’t show too much, either). She also belonged to a culture where this was a big no, with severe consequences.
When we started the process, we’d told the agencies, social workers, and the lawyer we were working with that we wanted a baby that looked like us. They all informed us that in their many decades of experience, they had never placed a baby with our ethnicity for adoption domestically within the US. They were suggesting other ethnicities that have a similar general appearance, and we had been eagerly expecting to adopt a baby from one of those ethnicities those two years we had been waiting. But, during the 40-day prayer challenge, we told God what our hearts wanted and we wrote it down in our journal, so that if our impossible prayer was answered with a yes, then we would attribute it not to coincidence, or the general flow of things to come but to our mighty God who makes the impossible possible.
Incidentally, I had scheduled to host a baby shower for a friend three days before our baby was due to be born. My house was covered with pink decorations for my friend’s shower. When her family and friends heard about this sudden turn of events, our baby was also given gifts even by ladies who I had never met before. We also found out at the very last minute it was going to be a baby girl. How perfect that our house was decorated to welcome a sweet baby girl at the right time. While it seemed like God was orchestrating every move, it was also a time of uncertainty. The agency had asked us to fly to the city where the birth mom was located with zero expectations or guarantees. The plan was to induce the mom early so she doesn't go into labor at home. Also, if she didn't give birth before that same night, the plan was to be called off because her family might find out and there was no way of predicting what that would entail.
We sat at the waiting area in the hospital all day and evening. It was 5 pm and the birth mom was only dilated 2 cms. and she was perturbed, because she had to be at home by 10 pm, as per her family’s curfew. Desperate, she allowed her social worker to pray with her. Things started to progress fast from that point on and in 3 hours, she gave birth and she got to go back home an hour after she delivered the baby. We got to be with our baby girl right away. The whole process was also a testimony to our birth mom who saw first hand the power of prayer when our prayers for an uncomplicated and quick delivery was answered in the nick of time and prayers also for the birth mom’s safety.
Our daughter is the kindest, sweetest little girl. She is also one of the few in our ethnicity to be placed successfully for adoption domestically. God heard our prayers. It was hard understanding God’s timing, plans, and purposes during the waiting period. But really, it was all God- He is faithful and keeps his promises.
If you are pregnant and need support, here are pregnancy resources:
9 Things to Know About Adoption In Oregon and Washington
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