So this story of bringing Karsten home, this story of watching God move, of meeting our brave birth mom, who we will call “K”, all started on June 8th with a profile notification. Before this one we had gotten I believe 5 others and 5 no’s. So when you receive a profile notification you usually have a couple of days to say if you wanted your book shown or not. Then the brave mama who is considering making an adoption plan gets the books and then picks one out of the usually large stack she gets. It usually takes a couple of days for us to find out if you get a match meeting or not and up until this point we had just gotten the email saying that the brave mama had picked another family to have a match meeting with. So as we waited to hear back from K, I prayed and prayed. K took a little bit longer to decide which we later found out was because she was waiting for her mom to get back into town so she could show her mom her top two choices. Now in this wait we got another profile notification and this one was very different from the others. With certain circumstances the placement of this child would be in only 4 days or less! Wow, this one was so different and so fast. So I began to pray some more, prayers for K as she was still deciding and prayers for this other one and the speed it would all take place at and the family to be chosen. As many may recall we were waiting to adopt and so were our very good friends. They started the whole processes before us and we were always about a month behind. They started their wait in December and we in January. The Saturday before we found out about our match meeting we were still waiting on K and now also waiting on this urgent one. Nerves were a little high to say the least. That Saturday I found myself in prayer a lot and I also was hearing God say that this urgent one, this child would be our friends child. So that evening I got the call from my friend, on the other end she said “ I wanted you to find out from us first, we got matched!” It was a funny feeling I felt, pure joy and happiness for them but also a sad and longing for us to be in the same boat as them. My heart was overwhelmed with happiness for our friends but also sadness. So my dear friends had their match meeting on father’s day, then were able to meet their daughter after and then brought her home on Monday June 19th! It was a crazy few days to say the least and I honestly struggled a little with my emotions and I just prayed.
June 21st was just like any other day, I got up and went to work. I was tired and emotionally drained and honestly feeling pretty low about all the adoption stuff. That day K was really on my mind, so over my lunch break I opened up the email with the profile notification and read about this baby boy and this brave mama again. ( I had probably read it 30 times by now) I then just prayed and prayed and prayed, prayed for her strength, prayed for the family she would pick. I spent almost my whole lunch break that day just praying for this unborn baby boy and this brave woman. When I got home that evening I was pretty grumpy, I walked in the door and Dan came and greeted me. I honestly kind of shrugged him off and went to check my phone. I had multiple texts so I wanted to check them, Dan just stood there arms open wide for a hug and I just ignored him until my texts were read… I know not very nice of me… After I had responded to the texts I gave him a big hug and I could see this smile on his face… I asked how his day was? His response, “extraordinarily amazing.” I looked at him kind of funny and asked why. He said well we need to make a call. I asked who and he said to our case worker. At this point things were kind of starting to form in my mind but not really… Ha! I said something like, what no we don’t and he said yes, we got a match, we got picked for a match meeting. At this point I just began sobbing, and laughing but mostly sobbing, I then fell to the floor and was lying on my kitchen floor just crying, laughing and trying to breathe. I couldn’t believe it I was in complete shock. So we called our case workers and she told us more about K and we set up a time to meet.
The match meeting was very nerve wrecking. K had picked a Mexican restaurant to meet at. It was about an hour away from our home and the longest drive of my life. As we walked into the Mexican place my heart was going about a mile a minute but as soon as I saw K and she smiled at me I knew it was going to be alright. At this meeting we learned more about K and why she was making an adoption plan, we also met her mom. They also learned more about us. It was actually a very enjoyable time and I knew that it was all going to work out and be ok. We said our goodbyes and got in the car for the drive back home. Im not even kidding when I say we had been on the road for about 15 minutes before our case worker calls saying that K loved us and wanted to move forward. At that point our case worker even gave K my cell phone so we would be able to keep in touch. So we did here and there, I asked her a few things so I could make her a special hospital goodie bag and she asked me a few things here and there. We then planned to get pedicures together. So one Sunday about a week before Karsten came into the world I drove down to see K and we got pedicures. Now I know with all my heart this was God, I picked this little salon with one nail tech and we were the only people in the place. As we talked with the nail tech it came up that K was pregnant, and then it also came up that K was going to make an adoption plan. The nail tech asked if K knew who the parents would be and K said, yea, this girl right here. The nail techs face was absolutely amazing, not what she was expecting. K then went on to tell her, her story. I was in complete awe with how open K was. K was amazingly brave to tell someone she didn’t even know her whole story, I was so impressed with her and her courage. The nail tech was awesome too, telling K and I what a beautiful story it was. See that was God, he had us go to that tiny nail salon; I would say that is the day I really saw what an amazingly strong person K is. After this K and I texted more and got prepared for the July 17th. K was to be induced on this day. As the day dawned my emotions were sky-high and I couldn’t believe the day was here, the day we would meet Karsten. K texted with me that morning and let me know she would have her mom text us when he was born and we could head down. So that day we waited, we got update texts here and there, just after finishing dinner I got a text from her mom with multiple pictures of him. I screamed in excitement and we ran around gathering our things and headed down to the hospital. It was pouring rain, I mean pouring rain but there was also the most vivid double rainbow I have ever seen… God’s promises were oh so very real at this moment, all the negative ovulation tests, negative pregnancy tests, worry about not being able to have a family of our own, all the tears of sorrow, the nervousness of the adoption processes went out the window. We were on our way to meet our son. God’s promises…
We got to the hospital and went to see K and Karsten. K was in great spirits and was happy to see us come in, she explained he was in the nursery but I should go down and the nurse would give me my bracelet so I would have access to him at all times. K was awesome and she had one bracelet and I got the other one, this way we could both get him and switch him between us whenever we wanted. So I headed down to the nursery with K’s mom and sister. It was the first time I met her sister and emotion was very thick in the air. I made a little small talk with them and they showed me to the nursery and introduced me to the nurse. As I walked into the nursery the nurse put the bracelet on me and then brought me over to Karsten. My heart fluttered a little and in my mind I thought, there you are, I have been praying for you for many years and there you are. If you know me well then you know I am a crier. Oh man did I cry, the other nurse in the nursery had no idea who I was to Karsten and K and she was looking at me so weird. I didn’t care, there he was our son, he was perfect from his big eyes, to his long fingers and toes. From the window of the nursery Dan, and K’s mom and sister watched me. I think that was the point when K’s sister knew this would be hard but also could see why K picked us. After he was done in the nursery the nurse was like here take him back to the room, I was honestly like what you just want me to take him? But, I did and I rolled him back to K’s room and Dan got to hold Karsten for the very first time. The plan for the hospital was that we would be in another room on the same floor so we could have him over night and easily switch him between K and our room. Well they didn’t have a room for us because truthfully the hospital wasn’t very well versed in adoption. (That will be another blog, God did some pretty cool stuff through that as well.) So that night we left and got a hotel and K told us we could be back by eight in the morning. That next morning we got there knowing we didn’t have a room which meant we had to spend the whole day in with K. I won’t lie I was a little nervous but once again that was God. We spend the day talking and holding Karsten and really getting to know one another. A photographer came in and took his pictures and we all just watched completely in love with the cute little baby boy getting his pictures taken. It was really a very sweet time; I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. We also met a lot of K’s family and I think that was good for everyone as well. As I got to know K better over the days we spent with her the more she impressed me. K has been through some tough times but K also sees how this will help her grow and become the person she wants to be. K has goals and dreams; I know she will achieve. When people ask me about K, all I usually say is she has had a rough go, but she has a great head on her shoulders and she knows what she needs to do to reach those goals. She has already made the hardest decision of her life, making an adoption plan and she did it with such grace. We all cried together, laughed together and loved each other and sweet Karsten in a very difficult situation. Night two we got a room in the hospital so we got Karsten for the night; it was so sweet to get to know his cries, faces and get to know him. The next day, Monday July 19th, (exactly one month after our friends brought their daughter home) was discharge day and as I woke I could feel the emotion in the air. K texted me early that morning and wanted some time with Karsten. So I brought him down and went back to the room, he was with her for about four hours and even though it was hard for me, I knew K needed this time and I was going to give it to her. She texted later that morning and we spent the rest of the time with one another. Our fabulous case worker came down and we got started on the discharge stuff. I think it was weird for the nurses to see the birth mother and adoptive family together so much, laughing and talking. After discharge was all done we went up to the chapel and did a placement ceremony. It was an extremely sweet time. Our case worker had prayers for each of the family members and then we each prayed over Karsten, K and then us. We all cried, we cried tears of sorrow but also of joy. We also gave K a necklace, it is a heart with a ruby in the middle, I have one as well. The ruby is Karsten’s birthstone and the heart represents every single one of our hearts. We will always be connected. We then walked down to the entrance and Dan got our car and K’s mom got theirs. When they arrived we all hugged and said see you soon. We are in an open adoption and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I know to some people and open adoption seems weird or scary. People feel like the birth mom will over step or try to parent the child. The thing about an open adoption is, it’s not for any of us, it’s for Karsten. Karsten will always know his adoption story; it’s something to be celebrated! He will always know we are his parents but will also always know K is his birth mom. I am aware that there will be times we see K more and times were we may not see K as much. The thing of it is, that is how it is in life and well, there was a time I didn’t seem my own grandparents for almost 5 years but that didn’t change the love we have for one another. I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that Karsten will know K and her family. I do know I will always celebrate Karsten’s adoption story and I do know I will always care for K. K trusted us as complete strangers and said yes I want to make an adoption plan with them. We now know each other but she still gave her son to people she only knew for a short period of time. So I will love her with an open heart, I continue to support her when she needs pictures of Karsten or a visit when she misses him. K is so easy to love, she is human just like every single one of you, she has had a rough go but made the most selfless decision someone could make. So I will just say this here and now, I don’t want to know your opinion of K. It’s amazing to me how many people think they can have one. You don’t know K, you don’t know her story and you don’t know our relationship. We are walking into this open adoption trusting the Lord, every party involved. I know there will up and downs but God has already moved so many mountains to make this all happen that there is nothing he can’t do!
There are so many other sweet moments and stories I will tell in other blogs, like how he got his name. But thank you for your support and love so far and I can’t wait to continue to share this incredible journey God is letting us travel!