I was adopted as an infant through private adoption. My birth mother had my birth half-
sister when she was 16 and then she had me when she was 18. She was young and not ready to be a parent once again.
My adoptive parents tried to conceive for over 8 years and they could not become pregnant. My birth mother and my adoptive mother worked together for a short period of time, so trust was built and my birth mother would have my adoptive mother babysit my half-sister because she was "testing the waters" to see if she wanted to have my adoptive
mom adopt my sister.
Then she got pregnant with me. She told me later that she knew as soon as she found
out that she as pregnant, she felt as though she was pregnant with me for my adoptive parents. She ended up not placing my half-sister, but placed me. I am so grateful she chose to place me with my family. My adoptive parents went on to adopt 5 children and also had two biological children.
Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to adopt when it was time for me to grow my family. Adoption was and is the "normal" around our house, especially since most of us were adopted. We all knew we were adopted ever since we could remember, and we are proud of our stories of how each of us came together.
Flash forward 28 years later, I met my wonderful husband. I knew I wanted to marry him after just a month together. We were engaged in January 2018 and got married on July 22, 2018. Once the wedding was over, we were both ready to take the next step. My husband always wanted to be a dad and my biggest dream was to be a mom. At dinner one evening, I told him that my biggest dream was to build a family through adoption, just like how my family was built. He didn’t even hesitate and told me he wanted the same thing. This was an answer to prayer!
We started researching the different types of adoption and which one we wanted to pursue. We talked with friends and family for advice and prayer as we navigated this new space as hopeful adoptive parents. We decided domestic infant adoption was what we felt called to. I loved that with domestic adoption, expectant mothers were able to choose to place their child with a family by their own will and out of bravery and selflessness.
We signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants and had a conversation with our consultant Gretchen. She was so knowledgeable and genuinely had a heart to bring families together. We completed our home study and made a profile book to present to expectant mothers that told our story, our community, our home, hobbies, etc. It was nerve wracking to think we were going to be chosen or not based off a book of pictures. But, we knew the Lord had called us to this, and an expectant mother would choose us when it was the perfect fit. We trusted in Him.
We became an active profile in September 2018 and presented to 3 different expectant mothers. We would send in our book, write a letter, and just wait to see if we were chosen or not. I can remember each case very well. I would pray over each of the mothers and their child and still do to this day. My husband and I were open to any race, gender, health circumstances, drug exposures etc. But, I secretly really thought we were going to be placed with a baby girl. I had names picked out and had purchased a few baby girl items.
In my family, we have 6 girls and 1 boy, so since I knew girls and always figured I’d be a girl mom. One day my husband and I were at a concert and a speaker came on named Banning. My husband and I looked at each other and said, “that’s our boy name if we have a boy”. It’s like we both knew and thought it at the same time. The next day, November 8th, 2018 we got a case about an expecting mother in Florida with a baby boy due Dec 20, 2018. We read over the case and prayed about it and decided to present our profile to her. We had gotten our hopes up every time we presented, but always prayed the Lords will would be done. On November 16th, we presented to this expectant mom and were told we most likely wouldn’t hear back until after Thanksgiving.
I had a missed call on my phone three days later from our consultant. She said she had some news and to call her back. My heart sank. I figured we weren't chosen again. I called she didn’t answer. I called again, and she picked up and said, “Congratulations you have been chosen!” November 19, 2018, the day my son’s birth mother chose us. I cried and was in complete shock. My coworkers congratulated me, hugged me, and cried with me. They supported me every step of the way.
I called my mom and she was crying and so excited. I wanted to surprise my husband. So, she got all my family together and we were going to meet at my sisters and surprise my husband, just like I had always imagined telling him he’s going to be a daddy. Right after we were married, I bought a shirt that said “daddy” on it for the day we would become parents. It sat in a box in our spare room for over a year. He didn’t know what was in the box, every once in a while, he would ask about it, but would then forget. On this day, HE FINALLY GOT TO OPEN the box. I had him open it in front of all our friends and family and I said, “You’re going to be a daddy!” He was completely shocked. He cried and we hugged. I told him we were matched with a baby boy in Florida!!!
We planned to meet Mama A in person to make sure it was a match and that we both felt comfortable. We bought tickets and rented an Airbnb and were flying out for a lunch date. We were so nervous and kept thinking"what if she changes her mind"? "What if she doesn’t like us in person"? But we knew her baby was her baby 100% until she relinquished her rights and regardless we were going to love and support her every way possible no matter what.
On December 2, 2018, an hour before our flight, I got a text from the agency. “WATER BROKE BRING CARSEAT!!!!!” We couldn’t believe it! We packed an extra suitcase and car seat and were off to meet the expectant mother and possible baby boy! The timing was all God. She went into labor one hour before our flight and he wasn’t due for 18 more days. On December 2, 2018, a baby boy- 7 lbs 8 oz was born. We waited in our car in the parking lot at the hospital until the social worker invited us in. We met Mama A for the first time in person. She was so calm and she told us right away she knew we were meant to be her baby’s parents. She took us unto the NICU where we got to see him the first time. He was hooked up to so many monitors and machines and he was so tiny and perfect. We all held hands and I prayed over baby and his mama and the entire situation. I prayed that the Lord's will would be done and that there would be clarity and comfort and love all around. I prayed that the main focus would be on this baby boy and his wellbeing.
We then had to wait until either a certain number of hours or until discharge for Mama A to sign. We waited in the parking lot, for hours. She ended up getting sick and had to stay in the hospital for 4 days. It was a very contagious infection, that ended up spreading to the baby. We waited 4 days until she felt better and relinquished her rights. She just kept telling us how she knew it was God, even down to the time she went into labor, every detail, every turn and curve led her to us.
On the fourth day, she signed and we became parents to a baby boy named Banning Isaiah! He completely changed our lives in all of the best ways. He had to stay in the NICU for 11 days, he wasn’t eating, and was fighting the infection. There were no hotels near the hospital and we weren’t allowed to sleep there. So, I reached out on Instagram to see if anyone knew of any places to stay close by, and an amazing family going through their own adoption journey, wrote back and opened their home to us! My husband cried, he couldn’t believe there were people our there who were so kind and willing to help. They became our forever friends and a huge part of our journey!
Once Banning was out of the NICU, we got to take him to their house and wait for ICPC to go through, so we could fly back home for Christmas. It took three days, and we decided to surprise our family. We flew from Florida to Washington on a straight flight, very nerve wrecking, but Banning did amazing. We made it home and drove to my family’s house and surprised everyone! My mom cried and everyone was so in shock and full of love. They just couldn’t get enough of Banning. We got to share his first Christmas at home, with all of our family and as a family of three.
I wanted to become a mother through adoption for as long as I can remember, it was important to me! It’s what built my family. It’s what comes natural to me. My mother didn’t birth me and the bond between us is so strong. Adoption is the life I live and know. And now I get to share that bond and love with Banning and be his mama. I will never take the weight of his birth mothers’ decision lightly or for granted. She will forever be a part of Banning and I will always love her. The Lord brought us all together for this child, and I’m humbled and honored I get to be his mother.
Guest Blogger- Lacey Giebel
Lacey is a mom and an adoption advocate. She is a Jesus lover and an adoptee. Lacey is married to her wonderful husband, Tyler and lives in beautiful Washington State.