It was 10:25 on a Wednesday night. It had been a very long day. I had worked a full day and then went to my mother’s house since my brother was in town. You see, my entire family was going on a four-day cruise to Mexico, but I wasn’t going. I had just started at a new job two weeks prior; and my husband, Jarvis, had started a new job a few weeks before that. So, we were staying behind. I had such a long day before heading home I had completely forgotten to bring my little sister’s life jacket with me. I wasn’t letting my sister go on a cruise without a life jacket, so we had to drive an hour home to get it and come back. My aunt was going on the cruise too, so I decided to just grab the life jacket and take it to her house instead. I was on my way there when I got a text from my best friend.
“You sleep?” she asked.
“Nope. On my way to take Nevaeh’s life jacket to my Auntie’s house since they leave for the cruise tomorrow,” I replied
Kelli Nicole Photography
“Oh, I have a question. If it ever came down to it, would you guys foster/adopt a child?” she asked.
“Of course. But the cost associated is just as much, if not more, than IVF,” I said.
“Well a friend of mine, and her boyfriend are considering foster care or adoption for their son. I told them that I thought you guys would be a great fit,” she said.
Jarvis and I had been trying to conceive for quite some time. I had my IUD taken out in October 2017, and we had been actively trying since right after our wedding in January 2018. We had tried everything. Ovulation tests, prenatal vitamins, cycle tracking apps, fertility monitors. We even tried the unsolicited advice of friends, family, and strangers and didn’t try. For 14 months, we tried, prayed, and waited. Month after month. Negative pregnancy test after negative test. It seemed like we were going to need assistance to conceive. We even went as far as to talk to doctors about it.
“Lose weight, and you’ll get pregnant right away,” said every doctor I saw.
I had tried to lose weight on my own for so long without success, so I started seeking out other options. In February 2019, I underwent gastric bypass surgery. I lost 28 pounds in the first month. Despite my surgeon’s advice of waiting 18 months before conceiving I wanted to get pregnant anyways. I went back to my OB/GYN and she was so proud of me. She told me that if I wasn’t pregnant within six months then she would refer me to a fertility specialist, because she couldn’t prescribe me the fertility medication. I was over the moon about that. Finally, we got something other than a no! We got a “not right now,” and we were thrilled.
Despite hearing what my OB said, I was still hurt. The only thing I had ever wanted was to be a mom. I had always felt like I was born to be a mother. My surgeon had taken so much time to warn me about how fertile I would be after surgery, but I still wasn’t pregnant despite not preventing. So, we gave up. We realized that we were only destined to be an aunt and uncle to our nieces, and godparents to our goddaughters.
A week later, I got that text from my best friend. On Thursday, I talked to my mom as she got on the cruise ship, but she lost signal. I didn’t get to speak with her for four whole days. Little did she know that she would be a grandma when she came back.
Later that day, I got a call from the caseworker.
“The birth mother has asked if you would foster the child for six to 12 months while she gets treatment,” she said.
Jarvis and I discussed it and we agreed. We worried about how we would care for a child for so long and not get attached, but we prayed and decided that if there was a child in need, we wanted to help. On Friday afternoon, the case worker called again.
“The birth mom decided she would like you guys to adopt the child instead,” she said.
“Holy crap!!” I said aloud.
We went from not having any children, to the possibility of fostering one, to, “You guys are parents!” overnight. I listened to the case worker as she talked still in disbelief. I hung up and called my husband!
“Babe!! They want us to adopt the baby! They want us to be parents!” I screamed.
“Wait! REALLY?! I thought they just wanted us to foster him!” he said.
“Nope! They want us to be his mom and dad!” I said.
By this point I was in front of the elevator at work. I don’t know when but somehow, I had slumped down and was sitting in the middle of the floor.
So many emotions ran over me so fast. Holy cow we need a car seat! We need a crib! We need clothes!! I’m gonna be a mom!! I was grinning from ear to ear and people were staring at me because I was sitting on the floor of a hospital.
We spent the weekend trying to play it cool. Trying not to get our hopes up just in case the birth parents changed their minds. I called an attorney just in case we needed one to see what the process was. She gave me all the info we needed and then we waited. Monday came and we hadn’t heard anything. Then my phone rang. It was Child Protective Services.
“Hi, we got a call from a birth mother and they want you and your husband to adopt him. Because they would like to do an independent adoption the child doesn’t need to come into our custody. They are ready to sign today. How quickly can you get your attorney to draw up the paperwork?” he said.
“Let me call her and I’ll call you right back,” I said.
I hung up the phone and dialed my attorney.
Kelli Nicole Photography
“Good morning. The birth parents are wanting to move forward and are ready to sign today. How quickly can you get the paperwork together?” I asked.
“I can have the paperwork drawn up by 9 a.m. tomorrow morning. You’ll need a notary and two witnesses to sign,” she explained.
“OK great! We’re meeting with them tomorrow morning at 10:00,” I said.
On my lunch break I raced over to my mom’s house. They had just gotten back from the cruise so I could finally share the good news. I walked in the house and I screamed, “YOU’RE GOING TO BE A GRANDMA! We got a call about a 2-week-old little boy that we are adopting!” My mom jumped for joy!
Tuesday came and the birth parents signed the paperwork. Right after they signed, Jarvis and I got in our car and headed to the hospital to meet our son for the very first time. We parked the car and walked into the hospital where we were greeted by security. “I need your ID’s please. Where are you folks headed?” he asked. “We’re headed up to the NICU to see our son!” Jarvis said proudly.
Our little guy was born at 33 weeks. Seven weeks early. He was a tiny 4 lbs., 5 oz. He literally fit in one of my husband’s hands. We walked in the NICU and were stopped in our tracks. “Please wash your hands and put on a gown,” said the nurse.
I just wanted to hold my boy!! Once we had scrubbed in, we were allowed to go into the room where our son was. He was so tiny, swaddled in a white blanket, with pink and blue stripes. He had an NG tube coming out of his nose because he couldn’t eat on his own since he was premature. But my oh my, was he cute!
Kelli Nicole Photo
We went home and posted to social media that we had adopted a baby boy!
Our messages and notifications were flooded. “What do you need? I have this. I have that. Make a registry!” they said.
So, we did. We added 72 items. Of those items, 55 were bought with the first three days. We had a village of supporters behind us. Every day from that point on we were at the hospital. I would go into work from 8-4:30 p.m. and stay at the hospital until 10 p.m. We were there so often that all the staff knew us. From the security guard at the front desk, to the nurses on the floor. Every single day we spent every second we could with our little guy. One day we came to visit him, and I noticed a red mark on his face.
The nurse said, “Do you notice anything different?”
“Yeah! What the heck is this mark on his face?!” I demanded. Then it hit me! “HIS FEEDING TUBE IS GONE!” I screamed. “That’s why his face is red! That’s from the tape,” I said.
“Yup! He’s eating well and is able to take all of his feedings by mouth!” she explained.
“He’ll be ready to go home soon. Tomorrow! When you come bring his car seat for the car seat test!” she told us.
The next day we brought the car seat. The nurse stopped me at the door and said, “We need you to watch a CPR video because tomorrow he’s going home!”
Kelli Nicole Photography
Oh, my goodness! We were so excited that we were wishing it would be tomorrow already! Finally, it was tomorrow!
We had spent the day setting up his crib, hanging up clothes, and installing his car seat base in the car. Then we headed to the hospital to pick up our son. When we got there, they gave us some information about how to care for a newborn and made sure we had scheduled a pediatric appointment. “He’s good to go!” they said. We put Ezra in his car seat, and we headed for the door.
We got downstairs to the waiting area and we waited for Jarvis to get the car. I kept looking at the security guard and was waiting to hear “CODE PINK!” which in a hospital means a baby has been taken from the Labor and Delivery area. But nothing. No one even looked our way. So, we got in the car and drove away.
“What are you thinking?” Jarvis asked.
I responded, “I was just thinking about all the stuff we’ve gone through. The infertility struggles. This is the reason nothing was working out for us. God had this as part of his plan from the very beginning and we just didn’t know it yet. Man, I’m glad he knows what we need better than we do.”
“Not showing, still glowing!” Grateful doesn’t even sum up how we feel to have our son. We had one plan and God changed the game completely. We found out about our son when he was 1.5 weeks old. We literally became parents overnight. Families DON’T have to match! They are built on LOVE!