Every love story is great…but mine is my favorite!
Almost 20 years ago John and I met. We met at our church youth group and honestly that is the only way my father would even think about letting his 13 year old daughter date….he made sure to always be a volunteer at any event so he could supervise as any good father should! Looking back he would say it was one of the best choices he made. Now after over 8 years of dating and 11 years of marriage we are happier and more in love than the day we met. We did separate for about 1 year when college came up, but I like to say “John came back to his senses and realized he couldn’t do life without me!”
John & I have always had what others would say is a fairy tale love, and I agree! We are best friends and have been since the day we met. We openly communicate about everything and never let anything bottle up inside… I can honestly say we have never fought, raised our voices at each other or gone to bed upset.
Before we got married we would have those talks about all the important goals and visions that we had for our lives together. We both wanted children and decided that it was so important to us that if we were not blessed with children of our own we would definitely consider adopting. We wanted to have a Godly home, live close to family, be active & outdoorsy, not let work rule our lives, and continually try to be better than the day before.
We married before we finished college and honeymooned during a spring break. We then went on to land wonderful jobs in our hometown and found a house on the same street as my parents. While most of you are thinking “You are crazy!!” We have a wonderful relationship with my parents. We set ground rules for them and 9+ years later they are still following them!
The time came and we were ready to start a family of our own. We had an incredible marriage, great jobs, a new house, new cars, had gone on several amazing vacations, were involved in our church…we seemed to have everything going for us until…..
After many months of trying to conceive we went through a devastating miscarriage. We held close to each other for support and continued trying. Over 2 years later we became pregnant with our son, Tanner. He was a miracle baby and our lives had changed forever. Loving him is so amazing and having hearts as big as ours we knew we couldn’t stop with just one child. So we almost immediately started trying for child #2!
After 5 long years of heart breaks every month, medical testing, medications, injections, a failed in vitro attempt, tens of thousands of dollars…we were still convinced that we were meant to have a larger family. We knew we had way too much love to share. It took us awhile to accept that God had an amazing plan that he was about to reveal to us. I remember seeing stories on the news about an adopted child, seeing billboards on adoption, a Facebook story and then it clicked…..HELLO!!! Here is your sign!! Like literally! It was everywhere. We then started talking about adoption and even met with an agency. When we left we were both incredibly excited and knew it was what we wanted to do!
After researching for several months we were ready to start the process. We hired a consultant, started the overflowing pile of paperwork, and had a local social worker perform our home study. After all of our paperwork was complete and our profile was perfected we were ready to be presented!
We were so excited to mail out our home study and profiles we took pictures of them going out in the mail! Not excited at all right?!!! We even checked our emails the next day… I mean for real they had not even been received yet! We were determined, excited, & scared all at the same time! Then it happened… an email from our consultant I wanted to wait to get home to open it with John…but I just couldn’t!! I tried to contain myself because we knew that it could take a year or more to find our perfect match. But be real…I couldn’t wait. After reading only three emails of birth mother situations we were ready to present.
I don’t know why but I had a wonderful feeling about us being presented. I felt some sort of calming although I was nervous. Trying not to get my hopes up too high I went on with my week. We were told the profiles would be presented to the birth mother on Thursday and they were hoping to hear back by the following Monday. What a long week this was going to be…or so I thought!
Wednesday (the day before the profiles were supposed to be presented) while at work I missed a phone call from an out of town area code. I was with a patient so I had to return the call later. When my next patient did not show for their appointment I decided to return the call. Anxious and scared for what I thought would be news that we were not going to have our profile presented for some reason…it was quite the opposite. The agency had given our…yes OUR birth mother profiles early and we were the chosen family. I was speechless on the phone, I was overwhelmed with tears and excitement. This was really happening and after only 3 weeks of completing our paperwork. This was the best early birthday present ever!! So for the next hour I was trying to get a hold of my husband who was in a meeting. I was tempted to leave work to go find him…but wait I’m going to need maternity leave!! When I finally reached him we cried over the phone and could not wait to get home to each other.
About two weeks later we arranged to meet our sweet birth mother. We were overwhelmed with nerves…I hope she likes us, what if she changes her mind, are we dressed ok, does my hair look ok, I hope Tanner behaves, what if I order the wrong food….the list in our minds was endless. We ended up having an amazing lunch with her and her extended family. We all decided that we wanted to get to know each other more so we ended up going to a park nearby and then onto the mall. After hours of talking and fun we parted ways only to meet again a few weeks later. We were in love with our unborn child from the first phone call and then even more once we met her beautiful birth mother. She is a beautiful young woman who has made the most difficult decision to give her unborn child an amazing future. She was about to make all of our dreams come true and an answer to years of our prayers. God truly had amazing plans for all involved.
October 5th arrived and we received the phone call that our birth mother was going into labor. We took off to the east coast with our bags packed and my parents in their car behind us. We arrived in time and I was asked to be a part of the birth. What an amazing opportunity to be included in. Several hours after we arrived Sweet Payton was born. She was a strong 6 pound miracle. We were parents again! It was love at first sight for us and our entire family. After a week in NICU we were on our way home! Party of 4!! I remember the first time I said “our kids”… Yes! Plural! We are so incredibly blessed by an amazing decision made by an even more amazing young woman. I pray that she knows the love and respect that we have for her and the blessings that we pray go her way. Without the extremely difficult decisions of these strong women families like ours would not be able to expand their family.
This adoption process has been amazing in so many ways. We are overwhelmingly happy with the care and support that our birth mother received before and after birth. We were also happy with the information and care that we received during the entire process. Thank you so much for making our dreams come true and blessing us with an amazing “Princess P” (Nicknamed by her big brother!).
We are so blessed with our Mr. T, Miss P and maybe one day #3! But don’t tell the hubs!
Much Love & Thanks!
John & Janelle