A few nights ago, Kristen and I found ourselves in a movie theatre watching a film called Collateral Beauty. In Tampa, FL (more on that later).
We had read no reviews, and honestly – we were simply too tired to watch all 2 and 1/2 hours of “Fences.”
Kate Winslet’s character is a driven, single woman who worries that motherhood has passed her by. But the fool of the story speaks to her in one scene, reminding her that children don’t come from you, they come through you.
This adoption process has continually reminded us that this is undoubtably true. We need the reminder when we grow anxious about having 3 kids, 4 and under. We need this reminder when we think about the grief and loss that accompany every adoption – the loss that our child will experience when he wonders about his birth parents, and the grief that his birth parents feel when they think about our child. We need this reminder when we face the cost of adoption – emotionally, psychologically, and financially.
And so, an update.
- January 2014 – We began the adoption process after difficulty having a second child. With your support, we worked (photography), saved, raised, and prayed.
- Fall 2015 – God had other plans. We were pregnant.
- Spring 2016 – God surprised us with a son of laughter: Jackson Isaac Owens.
December 2016 – we were contacted by a friend at church. One of their friends had notified them that adoptive families were needed ASAP for a birth mother in Florida, and she wanted to know if we were interested.
This was not through our agency. All of our hard work to apply, update, and scramble to send in information – unnecessary. God had found another way, and He had used the body of Christ to make a way.
The answer was yes.
In no time, we sent in our home study and profile book, and got on the phone with another family (across the country) who had adopted through this agency. Long story short: there was a risk that the funds we had raised online would be tied up in red tape, and we let this family know that it may not work out. But then, we were shocked to hear “No worries – we’ve got you. We run an organization that helps facilitate adoptions. I’ll take care of it. Your friend at church is one of my board members.”
I have a feeling our neighbors heard the sound of our jaws hitting the floor.
There is so much more we could say. We never thought this birth mother would choose us, for many reasons. But she did.
We are now in Tampa, FL waiting on the birth of our son. The Body of Christ has shown up in countless ways to make this possible: from places to stay, to family dropping everything to come help us with the travel and the kids, traveling expenses covered by our Growth Group, to our own grandmother sending us to Disney World while we wait (dream come true for our oldest daughter, Alex. We didn’t know how we could take her, and here we were, an hour away, with the best Christmas present ever).
We are thankful to be able to be settled at a home away from home in the waiting. And the biggest blessing was being able to meet in person with his birth mother on Wednesday. So many of you prayed for this day and God answered those prayers. He relieved all of our anxieties, and allowed words of love and questions to flow freely. We love her and are thankful for the sacrificial love she has chosen and the gift she has given us. But we are in sorrow with her as she prepares to say goodbye to her baby – something that as parents, we cannot even imagine.
- Pray for our son’s birthmother. For her heart in the pain of loss and for God’s provision and sustaining grace in her upcoming days and in her life.
- Pray that she would go into labor soon (she is past her due date and is very, very ready to deliver!)
- Pray for the delivery – doctors, nurses, midwives, nervous parents.
- Pray for our new son as he waits in his mother’s womb and as he enters our arms
- Pray for his siblings, as their world will be changing.
- Pray for his parents, as their world will be changing.
- Pray that the process would go smoothly, and that we can come home soon. (paperwork between Florida and Mississippi must clear before we can travel out of state).
- Pray for our hearts in the uncertainty. This is still her choice to make in the upcoming days and hours.
Thank you for your love and support.
– zack, kristen, alex, and jackson