Column: Miracle makes a family of four

You lucky ducks get to read this Sunday’s column right here, right now, before the rest of the city gets a chance. Don’t you feel special?

Miracle makes a family of four

When I was preparing for my previous column six weeks ago, I had no idea that by the time it ran on Sunday morning my life would be changing forever. Again.

On that early morning in June, our second son, Jackson, was born. We had no knowledge of his existence until a few short hours prior to his arrival. His birth into our family is nothing short of a miracle.

There is very little predictability in adoption. With the adoption of our first son, we had about four weeks to prepare. We found his birth mom through a friend and met with her and her entire family. Everyone was supportive and encouraging. This baby was who I longed and prayed for. Jeremy’s adoption was flawless. The fact that God gave us a miracle was more than I could fathom.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t believe God would do it again.

And to be perfectly blunt, I thought I could do it on my own.

Last fall, I told my pastor about my struggle to believe a another miracle could happen. When I informed him we’d be signing up with an agency to adopt a second child, he quickly asked me why. I gave him run-around excuses, something about adoption being a long process and wanting to get on a list.

“But why not go for another private adoption?” he asked. I gave him more excuses, but this time, he called me on it.

“Don’t you believe God will give you another child the way He did with Jeremy?” he asked.

“No,” I responded with certainty. “I know He could, but I don’t think He will. It’s just not logical. Two miracles in one family? I don’t see it.”

He disagreed with me, but didn’t push. I left his office in tears, struggling to hold my head up. Weeks went on and we started the adoption process with an agency. We barely got to the formal application before backing out. It didn’t feel right for us and we couldn’t move forward. Our file was closed and baby No. 2 seemed more out of reach than ever.

Fast forward to the Saturday night before Jackson was born. We had dinner plans with another couple who were considering adoption and they wanted to get the inside scoop. I was happy to meet with them, though I knew my heart was still dealing with bitterness and confusion. I wanted a second child and felt like we had no where to go. How in the world I could inspire someone else was beyond me. Nevertheless, we met at the restaurant and eventually ended up back at our house to continue the conversation.

We shared our story about Jeremy’s private adoption, how quickly it all surfaced and how were there for his birth. We told them how much prayer and faith adoption required, and certainly, how unpredictable it can be. You just never know, we said. There’s no real way to prepare, we told them.

I received a phone call during their visit, but I let the voicemail pick it up.

They left around 9:30 p.m. and I went upstairs to get ready for bed. All the adoption talk left me thinking about another child. I longed for another boy, and I wanted our second adoption to mimic the first – private, comfortable, and through someone we knew and trusted. Before turning down the bed, I remembered the phone call. I went downstairs to check my voicemail and nearly dropped the phone as I listened.

“There’s a woman in labor,” I told Chuck, who was sitting on the couch. His face went blank.

“What?” he asked, as if I had spoken in Greek.

“Yes, there’s a woman in labor and wants to place the child for adoption! Is this really happening?” My hands were shaking and my heart beat heavy in my chest. I returned my friend’s phone call and got more information. In a matter of minutes, we got our neighbor down to stay with Jeremy and were out the door to the hospital. We had no guarantee that this baby was ours, but we were surely going to find out.

Four hours later, we returned home still unsure about what lay ahead. We met with the birth family, making them aware of our desire for another child, and left it in their hands. Neither of us slept. Every second was longer than the last. By mid-morning, we had lawyers on the phone. By early evening, we were able to view the baby through the nursery window. By Monday morning, we were awarded temporary custody and were able to hold him. Now we are awaiting a court date to make it final.

In a matter of about 36 hours, we became the parents of another beautiful blue-eyed baby boy.

Jackson is not just a second child for us. He is what my heart desired, even when I struggled to believe. He’s proof that God really does perform two miracles in one family.

Now I wonder if He’ll do three.

The Waiting Period is Over.

Now we wait for paperwork to be processed and a court date to be assigned. Legally, we’re in the clear.

Here are a few pictures from this past week… I’ll get more edited this weekend and I hope to take a family picture! Until then, here you go:

Thank you for all your prayers and well-wishes. We are in love with Jackson and in such awe over how God’s blessed us. Even in the midst of our doubt and frustration, He still chose to bless us. I will never understand it.

Continue to pray for our dog, if you feel led. He’s staying another night at the vet. We’re just sick over it.

Jackson Thomas Miller

So here’s where we stand: Both birth parents have signed away their rights and have until Friday, June 23rd, to change their minds. Everyone (literally) has said they believe it’s a done deal, but I’ll feel much better after midnight next Friday. Our home study is being updated as we speak, and once it is, we’ll be able to come home to Georgia. Because Jackson was born in Tennessee, we have to stay in state until the interstate adoption agency signs/approves everything. Currently, we are staying at our church’s mission house, located directly behind the church. WHAT A BLESSING!!!!

Jackson was morning at 1:06 a.m. on June 11th, weighing 7 lbs. 3 oz. and 20 inches long. He’s a gorgeous, healthy baby and a joy to have… Jeremy is learning to love him, and we’re giving him lots of mercy and grace right now! Most siblings have 9 months to get used to the idea of a baby invading their space. Jeremy had about 30 minutes. He’s gentle with him, kisses him sweetly on the head, and goes on with business.

Now onto the good stuff:

Last picture as a family of three…

The first time I got to *touch* him…

Soaking it all in…

Father and TWO sons…

Introducing the boys…

Taken last night, around 2 a.m., at five days old…

Naturally, we are already in love with Jackson. Everyone is, of course. We still realize things are not final and there is a slight chance we could lose him… But we are praying FERVENTLY that this adoption is a done deal. God has been very present in all of this, and once we are able to come home, I’ll type it all out. This is a testimony you won’t want to miss!

Keep praying on our behalf – that social workers and lawyers keep moving paperwork along, that the birth parents don’t change their minds, and that we can adjust as a quickie family of four.

A Funny.

A man was sick and tired of going to work every day while his wife stayed home. He wanted her to see what he went through so he prayed:
“Dear Lord, I go to work every day and put in 8 hours while my wife
merely stays at home. I want her to know what I go through, so please allow her body to switch with mine for a day. Amen.”

God, in his infinite wisdom, granted the man’s wish. The next morning, sure enough, the man awoke as a woman. He arose, cooked breakfast for his mate, awakened the kids, Set out their school clothes, fed them breakfast, packed their lunches, drove them to school, came home and picked up the dry cleaning, took it to the cleaners and stopped at the bank to make a deposit, went grocery shopping, then drove home to put away the groceries, paid the bills and balanced the checkbook. He cleaned the cat’s litter box and bathed the dog. Then it was already 1 P.M. and he hurried to make the beds, do the laundry, vacuum, dust, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor.

Ran to the school to pick up the kids and got into an argument with them on the way home. Set out milk and cookies and got the kids organized to do their homework, Then set up the ironing board and watched TV while he did the ironing.

At 4:30 he began peeling potatoes and washing vegetables for salad, breaded the pork chops and snapped fresh beans for supper.

After supper, he cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded laundry, bathed the kids, and put them to bed. At 9 P.M. he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren’t finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love, which he managed to get through without complaint.

The next morning, he awoke and immediately knelt by the bed and said,
Lord, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife’s being able to stay home all day. Please, oh please, let us trade back. Amen.”

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, “My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You’ll just have to wait nine months, though. You got pregnant last night.”