Four of our six children have an adoption story. Phoebe’s story is the most recent and possibly the most miraculous and transforming for our family.
We thought we were finished having children, both those born of my body and those born of my heart. Our arms and house were full with five amazing kiddos. Our last adoption took almost three years to finalize, and with our Ben finally legally official, we were about to let our home study with the agency expire.
We told our case worker that we wanted one more girl, but we were happy either way. We knew it would be a miracle to find one little girl with the sole goal of adoption.
We were moving along with our life as usual. We traveled with our children whenever we wanted, slept in on weekends and could go on date nights every weekend when all of the older children stayed with my parents.
One day a text came in from our case worker that simply said, “I found your girl.” It was completely unexpected. We had given up hope.
Meeting our Girl
The next couple of days were filled with phone calls and discussions. We gathered as much information about this little girl as possible. She was considered “medically fragile,” and though we thought we could handle just about anything medically, Phoebe’s file was a bit intimidating.
She was born drug and alcohol exposed at only 29 weeks and spent the first few months of her life in the NICU. She had only one functioning kidney, and was completely g-tube dependent for nourishment and hydration. She had no language or communication and very little control or use of her body or limbs. At 17 months old, she could not roll over or sit independently. This was about all we knew when we agreed to meet her.
The amazing NICU nurse/foster mom who cared for Phoebe while the agency searched for a home brought her to our house two days after the first phone call for a short visit.
Phoebe was a tiny little thing, all hunched over and tucked in from torticollis and very low muscle tone. She avoided eye contact and had no social smile. Phoebe sat quietly on my lap while her foster mom filled in the gaps of her life and care to this point. I was completely overwhelmed and honestly, I thought there was no way we could care for this child. Just before I handed her back to the foster mom, Phoebe made eye contact with me for just a second and something I cannot explain happened. I realized that she was in there.
I looked at my husband, who had seen the exchange, and he nodded. I handed her to him instead of the foster mom. He introduced her to our children and from that moment on, she was ours.
Foster Care to Adoption
For the next eleven months, we were technically Phoebe’s foster parents. We met her biological parents who both surrendered their parental rights when they saw how much we loved their daughter and how she was flourishing in our home.
There were visits that were difficult. There were conversations that were even more difficult as two young parents acknowledged that they could not care for their daughter. They made a self sacrificing and loving decision that will always humble me. They chose us to care for their child.
The actual process of getting us to court for adoption seemed to take forever. There were legal hurdles and lots of red tape, but on February 26th, while Phoebe was admitted to the hospital, we left her with my mom, went just over the hill to the court and made her an official part of our family.
After a little more than a year, that same baby is doing more than some of her doctors ever thought she would. She learned to sign after just a few weeks and language emerged soon after. Now, she not only sits and rolls but she stands and walks. Our life verse for Phoebe is Matthew 19:26
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
She continues to bridge the gap from where she is developmentally and where she should be. She only beginning to learn to eat by mouth, but we are believing God for big things for Phoebe.
Do you have an adoption story? Feel free to share or link in the comments below.
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I am linking up today with Jess of JessNewland.com who is hosting our regular weekly Fragile Files link up.