Today, Nehemiah is 2 weeks old. Here’s a quick take on the last 2 weeks:
Many of you know that we have been in the process of adopting for the last two a half years, in February 2010. We are still waiting for our Ethiopian adoption to go through, but through this whole process God has taught us a lot about not finding our identity in adoption, in our kids or how many we have, how to wait on Him and His timing and that ultimately, God is in control. I realize that seems simple and many of you are surprised that a pastor doubts that God is in control, but it is easy to forget when things don’t happen as quickly as you’d like.
We started the process of adopting domestically back in September of 2011. We always knew we would adopt more than one child and as our Ethiopian adoption continued to get longer, we decided to do both at the same time. We are still probably a good 2 years away from our Ethiopian adoption being finalized.
We took the class with another couple from our church who also just adopted, twin African American girls. During the class, Katie actually felt led to start praying for twin African American girls. When our friends told us they were adopting twin African American girls, Katie said, “I guess my prayers have been for you.” Our friend looked at us and said, “I’ve been praying for a hospital call, maybe that will happen to you.” A hospital call, if you don’t know, is when a birth mom goes to the hospital, has her baby and then calls the adoption agency telling them she would like to adopt her baby. It makes things move very quickly and can be stressful. Personally, as a control freak who likes plans, I was not excited about that and wanted to cast the demon out of our friend.
But, funny how God works and what He teaches us in it.
On June 13 I got a phone call from our pregnancy worker at 10am and she said, “Can I talk to you and Katie?” She was out of breath (from grabbing things in her office and running around to head to the hospital) and I knew right away what she was going to say. She went on to tell us that a birth mom called the agency on Tuesday, June 12, about a baby she had on Monday night, June 11. He was 5 pounds, 18 inches long. He is getting discharged from the hospital around 2:30 on June 13th, and she chose you to be his forever family. Do you want him?
So, we grabbed some clothes, a car seat and headed to the hospital. What is crazy about a 5 pound kid is that our boys were almost 9 pounds. What was also crazy about this whole thing is that Katie had washed a bunch of baby clothes, but only washed the boy clothes. We didn’t have any girl clothes ready to go.
When we asked the birth mom why she chose us, she said that she wanted her son to have a love for God, to love being outside in nature and to love music. Three things we had put in our match letter that are important to us. She named him Andrew, so we wanted to keep that name.
We named him Nehemiah. When we started the adoption process, I was preaching through the book of Nehemiah and quickly became one of my favorite books of the Bible. I loved the courage, passion and leadership of Nehemiah. I have also come to believe that sometimes what we name our kids, what we say to them can become very prophetic for their lives. I wanted the son we adopted to embody who Nehemiah was, and the character he had. I also wanted him to feel a connection us and this process.
So, now we are a family of 4 kids which is crazy. I joked with Katie the night we brought him home while we were at Babies R Us that she looks great for having a 3 day old baby. It is still setting in. It is hard to believe that less than 2 weeks ago we left the hospital with him. It still doesn’t feel real. Our kids are super excited about the whole thing and having a baby brother. Which is such a blessing.
I am blown away by God’s timing. Right now, I am on a summer preaching break which gives me a lot more flexibility with my family. Katie and I took Nehemiah with us to California for the Acts 29 Pastor’s Retreat. So, he’s been on a plane and he has been to the ocean in his short, little life.
The way the whole thing happened has been another reminder of how God is in control and sovereign and that I can rest in that.