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Photography for this story by Emily Bennett Photography
Ryan and I got married in 2004, which made us a family of three. Chayce, Ryan’s son, was almost 4 at that time. Because we had a child from our beginning, we knew we wanted to continue building our family early on. What we hadn’t anticipated were the mountains we were going to have to climb to get our happily-ever-after.
We went through years of infertility struggle. We had said from the beginning that we were open to adoption, but had been distracted from that path. We loved our life with Chayce and wanted more children. That was all that mattered to us. So, without hesitation, we went back to our original plan . . . ADOPTION!
Before we knew it, we had created a “Dear Birthmother” letter, started our home study, and our friends and family began planning ways to help us figure this all out.
We waited seven months before we received a call that we had a possible match. That call came Thursday, June 9th, 2011. I talked with the expectant mom a couple of times during that week. On June 18th, we received a call with the news that our daughter had arrived. We had to wait two days to go to the hospital to meet our Little Miss. That was the longest two days ever! We were so nervous that we didn’t even tell Chayce, or our friends, what was happening. We wanted to wait until everything was final. That was the hardest secret to keep to ourselves!
Meeting Reegan was love at first sight! There are no words to describe the feeling of watching Chayce meet Reegan for the first time. We were finally a family of four. Instantly, we knew that the path we had taken was all on purpose. THIS baby girl was meant to be ours.
So, naturally, you have to ask yourselves . . . will we have more? However, the decision isn’t quite that easy with adoption. There are a lot of outside factors to consider, the biggest being the financial piece. We decided that we would get things in order for a couple of years, and evaluate our position then, but with ONE exception. We agreed that if we were approached to adopt a birth sibling of Reegan’s, that would be our absolute “yes.”
Well . . . while I was on recess duty April 15, 2014, my phone was ringing and I recognized the number flashing on my screen. I wondered if they were calling to tell me I had forgotten to send an update, but I knew I hadn’t. I’m almost positive my heart stopped! It was a call to tell us that Reegan’s birth mom was six months pregnant, and she would like for us to adopt again.
We were elated and nervous at the same time. We hadn’t seen this coming, but knew what we wanted. We were determined to make this happen. We prayed, we pulled every string we had to to make sure that everything was going to work. We were going to make our “yes” an actual reality!
So, for the next two and a half months (and I thought the two days waiting to meet Reegan were long), we did just that . . . figured it out! Derick was born on July 10th, a day before Ryan’s birthday. Again, we experienced love at first sight.
The second experience was different. The wait was longer, but I was able to hear the heartbeat on an ultrasound this time. We were able to learn more about our children’s birth mother this time. We were able to bond with her this time. Best of all, we were able to go to the hospital the same night he was born . . . we got to hold our newest baby boy on his birthday. We were also able to briefly meet the birth father. Our “yes” brought us so much purpose, so much meaning!
Our family is now complete! Our hearts are full! The mountains we had to climb, they were put there because they led us to these two children. The wait made sense. The months without being matched made perfect sense. We were climbing those mountains to get to these two children! Reegan and Derick were meant for us. It all makes beautiful sense!
One of my favorite quotes is from Leigh Anne Tuohy, “Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them unconditionally.” This is my family. We were meant to be together. Adoption completed us! We couldn’t be more blessed!