I was settling into life with our new son Bentley whom we had adopted four months earlier. I had no idea that a young lady was passing through our area, went into labor and gave birth to a gorgeous little baby. Nick and I had both agreed after Bentley's adoption that we wanted to take time off of foster care and move into a role of supporting and advocating for foster parents.
Luckily for us, our best laid plans are not the best plans after all. I wonder if God rolled his eyes at our lofty and well-thought out plan.
God knew that there was a new mother that was panicked because she could not care for her child. God also knew that He could melt our hearts in short-order at the ringing of the telephone and a simple but loaded question. A ten day old baby girl named Avah arrived in our home on the 3rd birthday of our newly adopted son.
|The day we brought Avah home from the hospital and straight to Bentley's John Deere party at my parents. She was ten days old.|
But like most stories, ours was not without many ups, downs, twists and turns. On Avah's first birthday, it was a celebration filled with fear. We knew it may be the last birthday we would ever celebrate with her.
An aunt (after all of this time) came forward and wanted to adopt Avah. We were devastated. Our whole family was smitten with Avah and we adored her! Avah's mom told us that she wanted our family to adopt Avah and no one from her own family as she had a very unhealthy relationship with them. But because the mother's rights had been terminated, the mother could not have a say in the future of Avah's family.
We were in anguish at the thought of Avah leaving us. And we were in anguish at the thought of Avah losing us as we were the only family she had ever known.
Our church prayed with and for us, our friends and family cried with us and prayed for us. We were loved through the whole process.
And then came the interview. Nick and I had to answer questions, the same questions that the aunt was to be asked. Whoever scored higher in the interview would be the future family for Avah.
So much pressure. It was a terrifying time in our life. We trust in the Sovereignty of God, but it sure felt like so much pressure was on our every answer.
The phone call came that told us that we had been chosen by the adoption committee to adopt Avah. It was the most joyous news that our hearts could hold! There was a fear of course that something could still go wrong. There could be an appeal. The judge could overrule the decision. But hope was starting to overcome the tremendous fears we had been facing.
When Avah was sixteen months old, we had our official adoption court hearing and our beloved daughter finally got to be legally ours. Our friends and family packed the courtroom and shared in our joy! They too had all fallen in love with Avah and it was a celebration!
So now fast forward. Today Avah turned three. She has no idea the trajectory her life could have taken if nurses would not have intervened after she was born. I shudder to think of it. I see her willful, snappy brown eyes and her 1000 watt smile and I am so thankful that she has been able to blossom into the delightfully crazy girl that she is!
I pray for Avah's birth mother as I know that today is tortuous for her. We still keep in contact from time to time and she thanks me for loving her daughter so much and for adopting her. I am so glad that she is at peace at where Avah is at. Avah is the name her biological mother gave to her. Her mother asked me one time, "Do you like the way I put an "h" at the end? I thought of that myself" I loved how proud she was of that.
Avah had a "My Little Pony" cake that we found at the local grocery store and family friends that we have met here in France came over to celebrate her. The Keely's gave her a darling stuffed puppy who is now named Keely. My parents got her the little kitchen, and we bought her all the fun accessories (espresso machine, wooden food, cutting boards, etc) She is in love as she puts on her apron and oven mitt and whips us all up all sorts of interesting food combinations. It was a glorious day to celebrate this little joy in our family.
|Her new puppy Keely|
Sometimes I get overwhelmed with emotion to think that we almost lost her and my heart swells with gratefulness that God let Avah be part of our family. Tonight as snuggled her goodnight, I wrapped my arms around her, my whole face engulfed in her curls and I squeezed that precious little girl! That did not last long as she pried my arms off around her and nose to nose she happily started chatting away.
p.s. here is a link to the story of the day I received a call from a DHS regarding Avah. I wrote this earlier in the year for an adoption event. Click HERE