It would be two days until our son and his wife could go pick up their new foster baby from the hospital. But because of the circumstances surrounding the birth of their son - because they loved him like a son from the first moment they held him - he would stay in the nursery with his (soon to be ) cousin. And surprisingly - or providentially - our daughter-in-love's mom was able to visit her other grandson in the nursery ... and peek over at the beautiful baby boy who was born on the very same day. Baby Brock had some blood sugar issues, which required him to stay in the nursery ... my husband (a pastor) was called in to pray for him. And wonderfully - or providentially - he was able to peek over at the beautiful baby boy who would bear his name.
So what are the odds that these "twin cousins" would be born on the same day.. at the same hospital .. to sisters who are best friends ? And what are the odds that Baby Brock would require time in the nursery, allowing for grandparents to view the other baby boy - the one who would become their grandson ?
Through the course of a year, it became obvious that Baby K would not be going home to live with his birth mother. Jason and Naomi brought him home from the hospital, and poured all the love into him they could. It wasn't difficult - in fact, they fell more in love with him as each day passed. His cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents did too ... nobody wanted to think about a time when Baby K would leave our family.
As foster care goes, there were ups and downs.. too many to count. There was talk about Baby K joining his birth mother, and for a long time his birth father began the process as well, from across the country, to regain rights to his son. Although he'd never met Baby K, he wanted to know that he would be raised by people who loved him like their own. It was impossible for him to know or believe this, living so far away.
And as each day passed, and Baby K grew older, the thought of losing him became more unbearable. Jason and Naomi did everything they could to accommodate the court's desire to unite children with their birth families... but it was breaking their hearts.
Because sometimes families are made a different way. Sometimes, the things that make a child your own are more than cells and blood and DNA... sometimes the things that make a family are the million little things that make up our days : the morning kisses and smiles over breakfast... the playtime routines, and nap time snuggles... the bedtimes rituals, and singing, and prayers, and all the firsts : cooing and rolling over and teething and sitting up and crawling and pulling to stand and standing alone and walking and playing ... and saying those first words - mama, and dada. Because they were his mama and daddy, and it was so evident to everyone who knew this little family. He was their son, and as time went by, they prayed and prayed, and prayed again, that he would always remain so.
There was talk - a plan - of a plane trip to New York. The case worker didn't think Baby K would handle that well... he was old enough to know that his whole world was changing, but not old enough to understand why. The case worker suggested Jason make the trip with Baby K, and she would join them to ensure everything went smoothly.
Can I tell you that there were more than a few midnight prayers said by all - countless nights where sleep was impossible, imagining that plane trip, and what would lie beyond ... life without Baby K ?
Life without his beautiful little smile, his sweet little voice yelling, "Nana and Papa's house !!" whenever our children brought him over to play ? Life without his cousins, who loved him fiercely and didn't understand why anyone would want to change the way things were ?
There were midnight prayers, and daylight prayers, and 24 hour prayer chains, and corporate prayers, and church prayers, and prayers in our cars, and prayers on our knees, and prayers where sometimes all we could do was fall on our pillows and cry - cry hard out to God for a miracle for Baby K. We wanted what was best for Baby K, and we believed with all our hearts that best meant right where he was... with the only parents he had ever known. It's hard sometimes, to pray for what you want - but still trust God that He knows what is best. Because sometimes what we want is not always best, and sometimes life just doesn't bring you to the place you thought you were meant to be.
And so we prayed. We prayed for God's will, and for His best, and we prayed that our hearts wouldn't be broken in the process. We prayed that Baby K would know -wherever he was - that he was loved, and loved fiercely.
One day, last June - just hours before I got the news that my beloved dad had stepped into eternity - a hearing was held for Baby K. Unexplainably - or providentially - in the middle of proceedings to unite Baby K with his birth mother, she changed her mind. She told her lawyer and the court that she wanted Baby K to remain with the family who had raised him - the only family he knew. She said this would be the best thing for her son - to be raised by the ones he called Mommy and Daddy.
And the next day, coincidentally - or providentially - his birth father called from New York. Without any previous indication that he was willing to relinquish his rights as a parent, he told the courts that this was just what he wanted to do. He said he trusted that Baby K was exactly where he needed to be - that he knew he would be safe and loved by the people who had loved him from the day he was born.
Miracle of miracles of miracles.
So this little four minute video that Tyler stayed up til midnight with me putting together ... these four minutes are the finishing touches on a story created by God.
It began two and a half years ago on a sunny day in July... and although it had twists and turns, and faith-building chapters and heart wrenching plot twists, it ended in beauty and grace... on a sunny day in March.
In fact, it was March the 7th, which is coincidentally - or providentially - the birthday of Baby K's beloved Auntie Kenzie.
And without further ado, here is Koa Benjamin Mahalen Rice's adoption day story...
How great is our God !!!
Koa: How Great Is Our God from patti rice on Vimeo.