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November 22, 2019

Written by Matt and Lauren, who adopted both their daughter (age 3 and a half) and son (10 months) at birth

 

The story of growing our family is a long journey with ups and downs, including multiple pregnancy losses before realizing that we were being called to adopt. In late 2015 we contacted Good Shepherd to inquire about their domestic infant adoption program and were given great support and guidance as we navigated the process of our first home study. The home study process took us about four months to complete and be approved and then began the waiting game. We mentally prepared ourselves to be waiting for at least the average of 18 months before matching with an expectant mother. Our families found a beautiful novena to St. Gianna and everyone started praying it on our behalf, asking for intercessions to grow our family. Within three weeks for our home study being active, we received a phone call from our social worker at Good Shepherd telling us that a baby girl was born and her Mom had chosen us to be her parents. She wanted to meet us the next day and introduce us to our daughter. On April 28, 2016, the feast day of St. Gianna, we went to the hospital to meet our daughter and her birth mom, and just like that, we were parents. Our families rallied around us and were the best support system we could have ever asked for, as we had absolutely nothing prepared before Claire’s birth. Her adoption was finalized on December 21, 2016 and was one of the happiest and most emotional days of our lives. Our daughter, Claire, is now an incredible three year old who loves being silly and everything princess.

Before Claire turned one, we experienced a couple more pregnancy losses, which solidified our decision to adopt again. The night before her first birthday we started the process of our second home study, which thankfully was a much faster process the second time around, and we were considered an active waiting family in July 2017. The wait lasted much longer this time and also included a heartbreaking failed out-of-state adoption in August of 2018. The day that the child’s mom had a change of heart and decided to parent her child, we returned home and realized that it was the feast day of St. Clare. We took that as God’s way of telling us to continue focusing on Claire and our family for the time being. Just two months later we asked if we would be willing to have our profile shown to an expectant mom in the Kansas City area and immediately we said yes! She wanted to find a Catholic family in Missouri for her son. On October 18, 2018 (the feast day of St. Luke – the name we had given to the child in the change of heart situation) we were notified that we had been chosen again by a mom to be parents to her son, due in January of 2019. We were able to go to Kansas City to meet her in advance of the delivery to be able to get to know each other and discuss what kind of communication she would be comfortable with after the baby was born. Our son, Benjamin was born January 7th, 2019 and was able to spend the first 2 days in the hospital in the loving arms of his birth family. We met him in January 9th and drove back to St. Louis on Friday the 11th, as one of the biggest snow storms of the year was starting to hit. Thanks be to God we arrived back to St. Louis safely after a long journey. Ben settled in to our family so easily and has been adored by his big sister since she met him.

We recently made the trip back to Kansas City to finalize his adoption on October 4th, 2019. His amazing birth family was present at the court hearing and we were able to have some private time at a reception hosted by Catholic Charities at their office before departing ways. We most recently sent Halloween pictures to his mom through texting and she is excited to be able to also watch him grow up. We have been so blessed by adoption, as a way to grow our family and cannot remember what life was like before our children came home to us. God definitely has had a beautiful plan for our family all along and our adoption journey has taught us just that, along with a lot of patience!