My friend Esther is a joy. And the adoption story of her family is one that makes us all sing and gasp with awe.
I included Esther's story in my just-released book, Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss. Since November is National Adoption Awareness Month, Esther and I wanted to share it here with you.
Enjoy this excerpt from the book, Loved Baby:
"Esther is an absolute delight of a person. Although she never experienced a miscarriage, she and her husband struggled with infertility. One day she was in her middle school classroom leading a discussion about a story featuring an orphan. She casually mentioned she might one day pursue adoption.
The following day was parent conference day. Not one but three mothers who worked for the Department of Children's Services approached her. They'd heard from their children that Esther was considering adoption as a path to motherhood. Each handed her paperwork and asked her to consider adopting via foster care. Wow!
After prayer, she and her husband decided to proceed. In her prayer book, she noted their decision and began the process of praying for her future child.
Several months later, they received the call! A baby girl was born three weeks early and had spent her first week in NICU. Esther and her husband were soon greeted with a little girl and took Grace home one day later. Not long after, Esther was shuffling through some papers and found Grace's discharge papers. Esther discovered that her daughter's due date was exactly forty weeks from the day that Esther had begun earnestly praying for her child.
Esther says, "There is no denying that God meant for this child to be in our home. Even though I didn't carry her in my womb, I carried that child in my heart--and in the end, it's the love that matters. Our little girl will be adopted in just a few months. It's exciting to have the fostering process over, but for the most part, we feel like she's been ours since that stormy July afternoon when we saw that little swirl of red hair peeking out of the receiving blanket." (Philpott, 2017).
Isn't that beautiful?
I get ALL the FEELS every time I read that passage.
I write for women who've experienced pregnancy loss. And although adoption is not always related to this topic, it is sometimes aligned. Hearing stories such as this one brings all the tears to our eyes and all the smiles to our faces, doesn't it?
I recently had the opportunity to attend an event where Esther, a mutual friend, and I got to meet best-selling author and blogger, Jen Hatmaker.
Esther was overcome with thanksgiving as she shook the hand of Jen--a mama of five: three biological children and two children she adopted.
On her FB page Esther shared:
"The very first blog I read about adoption was written by the lady in the middle - the lovely Jen Hatmaker. God used her honest words to give me courage to follow through the steps of adopting our Grace. Tonight I got to show her a picture of Grace and express my gratitude for being transparent about the adoption process. Unfortunately I got emotional so the picture of me looking at the camera is less than par, but this sums it all up."
And we all say, bless! And hallelujah. And oh my gosh how sweet. Because the story of Grace is something of a blessing for us all.
I do hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed sharing the story. I think we can tell from Esther's story that sharing about the process of adoption can help someone else make that powerful decision.
If you'd like to know more about the process of foster adoption or how you can help visit Adopt US Kids.
Let's all join in praying:
--> For the families who have a child placed in the foster system.
--> For the families adopting and fostering children.
--> For the beautiful children in the foster system awaiting a forever home.
Philpott, S. (2017). Loved baby: helping you grieve and cherish your child after pregnancy loss. Racine , WI: Broadstreet Publishing.