Trusting God’s Plan- The Ryan’s Story
We’ve always had hearts for children and early in our relationship we began to discuss how we might grow our family through adoption. With guidance from medical professionals and through a lot of prayer, it was confirmed that adoption was our calling as pregnancy could be dangerous to Lindsey and a baby. While referred to many specialists, the calling of adoption was greater than biological children, so we began to pursue next steps. We believe whole heartedly that adoption was God’s plan for our family from the start.
Early in 2017, we began to research and educate ourselves on the different paths to adoption—international, foster-to-adopt and domestic infant adoption all being options. We decided to pursue domestic infant adoption and from there, we decided to work with a private, faith-based agency. While searching, we stumbled across Quiver Full Adoptions based in Greenville, South Carolina.
Although we had a strong desire to become parents, it was not lost on us that in order for this desire to be fulfilled it would require an expectant mother to make one of the most important decisions of her life. Because of this, it was important that the agency we worked with was ethical and the expectant mother would receive all the support she deserved both before and after placement. We wanted to be sure that she was always well educated in her options throughout the proces—and never felt forced to place her child.
After completing our home study, we applied to Quiver Full in October 2017 and a month later, received the news that we were accepted as clients. As Quiver Full only serves 40 active clients at a time, we remained on their waitlist until March 2018 when we became active clients. This meant that we would spend however long it would take to be chosen by an expectant mother considering adoption for her child. We were hopeful this would happen quickly but prepared our hearts for the national average of two years. We began sharing our story through social media and saying “yes” to as many “situations” as possible directly through our agency right away. This gave us the opportunity to either self-match or to work directly with an expectant mother who contacted our agency.
Over the next three months, we hoped, prayed and waited. We said “yes” to several situations through our agency in which we heard “not yet” many times. We had a few expectant mothers contact us through social media and we had several friends of friends of friends tell us about “situations” but nothing ever presented itself.
On June 1st of this year, we said “yes” to presenting our profile to two different expectant mothers. On June 3rd, we received the news that one of the mothers was considering us! We were one of two families she wanted to have a phone call with. Our phone call happened later that week and on June 6th, we heard the most amazing words, you were chosen! The expectant mother considering us as parents for her baby boy was due in October and she was in South Carolina.
We spent the next four months developing a very close relationship with her. We visited her two times—getting to know her, supporting and encouraging her, and attending doctors appointments. We spoke almost daily up until the last few weeks of her pregnancy and became family. We flew out for the birth of baby boy in South Carolina, and while we were there we experienced one of the hardest moments of our lives. This expectant mother who was considering us to parent her son chose to parent. While we won’t pretend we weren’t devastated, we celebrated the birth of a healthy baby boy and a family that was going to stay together. We reminded ourselves that this wasn’t ever about us. It was about encouraging a mother to make the best decision for her and her child.
South Carolina held our hearts for four months and we wouldn’t change any of that for the world. We had the opportunity to walk along side an amazing woman, meet the founders of our agency, drip sweat from the humidity, eat some of the best food, and see and experience what southern hospitality is all about. We will be back and you should go, too!
We learned so much about ourselves during that time all while trusting and believing in God’s plan for us. Without him, we would have been wrecked. But we know, when God closes a door he is always working on opening another.
After the birth of baby boy and while still in South Carolina, we decided to take a drive during which where prayed and cried out to God. We didn’t pray for this mother to change her mind, we prayed that she would always know how loved she is. We also prayed over God’s plan for our lives. We worked on surrendering all control to Him.
While wrapping up in South Carolina and preparing to come home, we received a call that changed everything. An expectant mother back in Washington was due just 10 days later and looking for a Christian couple to adopt her baby girl. We made quick arrangements to get back home to meet her.
Things moved very quickly and with a leap of faith we felt God was asking us “do you really trust me?” While the “not yet” was devastating, we put our trust in God and remained faithful with his timing and plan for our family. While we grieved, we had a new hope.
On October 16th, and just nine days after baby boy was born, our sweet baby girl Isla Grace arrived.
Without a doubt, God orchestrated the most beautiful story. He has intertwined two amazing families and made them one.
As we celebrate, please know that adoption comes from brokenness. It is both beautiful and messy. It is because of Isla’s birth parents and their brave decision that we are parents. Please pray for them as they navigate through the
days, weeks, and years ahead.
Isla Grace has such a village surrounding her. We’re blessed to have a very open adoption with her birth family and honored to be her parents.
We are also still very close with the first mother in South Carolina. She holds a special place in our hearts and she always will. She was the first mother that gave us hope. She believed in us and trusted us as potential parents for her son. We feel honored we were even considered but even more honored to get to continue to walk alongside her as she parents.
If you are in the wait, or hoping to adopt someday, we challenge you to remember that adoption is bigger than us. Our arms are now full and we are humbled by God’s faithfulness. We had many moments throughout our journey that we wanted to control. What God had planned for us was different than what we were expecting, but far greater than we ever imagined. To those in “the wait” for something, surrender, trust and believe. God ALWAYS has a plan.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11