Our good friends, Bryan and Sherry, were on the waitlist to adopt a little boy from Ethiopia. Little did they know, God had something else in mind for them. Join us in celebrating this most amazing gift I’m calling the Lopez Trio! Read Bryan’s email below.
Family & Friends,I hope you are doing well. I am writing to fill you in on the whirlwind of events that have taken place over the last 60 hours with our adoption. As most of you know Sherry and I had been in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. By God’s grace we had our home study done, training done, and had completed all the major paperwork needed. We were just waiting to move up on the lists.Wednesday night as I was headed home from work Sherry called, she had asked if I had seen an email about a mother in town who had triplets and was needing to find a home for them. I said “no,” but asked her to fill me in on details. With what little information she had, she filled me in, describing the boys, “they are six months old, they were born extremely premature, one is still in the hospital and has many special medical needs, the mother is 18 and realizes she can’t give her boys the life she wants for them, and that we should be praying for them.” I cannot express to you the immediate pull on my heart for these boys, even as I type this tears are welding up. We began talking about the boys, about the courage of the mom to make such a big decision, and we both realized that both of our hearts were drawn towards them. Our initial thought was that there was no way this would be possible, we thought for sure the adoption agency would tell us “no” because of the fact that we have 3 little ones at home already. But alas after much time of prayer and conversation we decided to call the agency and tell them that we were interested. We called and left a voicemail, not really expecting a call back that same night.As we were bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed we got a call back, we were surprise to say the least. As I talked on the phone with our agent I began explaining the immediate draw in my heart for these boys, expecting that they would tell us we weren’t a good fit at any moment. Their response was not what I expected at all, she told me, “I have been thinking all day about a family that could handle this, a mom who would give these boys the love and attention that they need, and I kept thinking about you guys… I kept thinking about Sherry…” I couldn’t believe those words were coming out of her mouth, I was in shock. She filled me in on more details about the boys. “They were born February 26 and the mother was only 24 weeks when the c-section was performed. Two of the boys are healthy and developing as expected. They are still on oxygen, but are expected to come off it sometime soon. The other boy is a beautiful boy who will require much more attention. He was born weighing only 13 ounces (the mother told me today that he was a little bit smaller than a barbie doll when he came out, if you can imagine that). He has had liver failure, he has a severe vitamin d deficiency that has caused several fractures in his body. He has broken both of his arms, both of his legs, and his jaw. In addition to that he has a g-tube (a tube that is inserted into his stomach for feeding), and is still on oxygen, BUT he has fought through as is ready to go home this week.” As she was describing these boys (names Cameron, Christian and Caleb — who is still in the hospital) my heart was crushed for them. Tears began streaming down my face and I began to feel a love for them that I cannot express. Sherry was crying, I was crying and we knew that if even if we weren’t the ones to take the boys home we still loved them, loved the mom, and were committed to pray for them. We got off the phone and a flood of emotions and feelings came rushing in. Feelings of joy, fear, love, brokenness, and helplessness.The next day (Thursday) we got a call from the agency telling us that we were scheduled to meet with the mother on Friday, but not to get our hopes up because there was another family meeting with her, and the mother will choose what family she thinks best fits. I kept thinking there is no way she will choose us, we already have 3 kids, surely this is the door that God will shut. Sherry and I spent all day in prayer over this, all the while feeling a peace about pursuing this that I cannot explain. We decided not to call our family or anyone because we didn’t know what the mother was going to choose, and we didn’t want to get our hopes up. I even remember praying over and over again, “Lord if this is not your will please close the doors, don’t let this happen, but give these boys a home.” After a long night, with very little sleep, Friday came. At work I could not concentrate, there was strange dichotomy off feelings, both nervousness and peace inundated me. Around mid-morning Sherry got a call from the agency stating that the other family dropped out. She told me and immediately my heart was filled with joy, but it was a very surreal feeling. I was still nervous, I thought what if she doesn’t like us, or what if she has a problem with us already having kids. Fears and doubts crept in, not of pursuing — but of the mother not being in favor of our pursuit.We met with her at 3:15 Friday afternoon. What’s crazy is her requirements for the family matched us exactly: a hispanic / anglo mixed family, a dad with a stable job, a mom who stays home… and the list goes on. Everything she wanted was us. We began sharing with her our love for adoption, the church, our family, and even about God’s love for us and the gospel. The connection we made with her and the time spent in that small office was one that I will never forget. She shared with us her love for the boys. And that at 24 weeks she had to make the toughest decision of her life. At a routine check up they found out that the blood flow had stopped going to Caleb. They told her that she could just let him die and the other two would deliver fine. Or she could do c-section, but then put all the boys at risk. She said with a resounding boldness that she “wanted to give ALL her boys a chance at life.” So they delivered all three. It was a fruitful time of sharing our love for adoption, and God’s love for us. She expressed her love for the boys with many tears. I can honestly say that I have so much respect for her. She is a great mom, she just couldn’t give the boys the life she wanted. She wanted them to have a family, a family with a dad, a mom, and support system that would love them and nourish them. After about 1/2 an hour of meeting she said, “this is it… this is what I want for my boys, I feel comfortable with this… I feel a comfort I cannot explain, I want this.” I could not believe it, but was beyond excited, words cannot express the joy I had in my heart. All the while still feeling a bit of fear, understanding this will be a huge undertaking, but trusting that God will provide strength. We left to go tell our kids that they would be not just getting 1 baby brother but 3!That night we went we visited Caleb. He is beautiful. I held him in my arms and literally never wanted to let go. We should get to bring him home either Monday or Tuesday. Sherry will be doing a 24 hour stay at the hospital to learn about some of the medical equipment he needs starting later today. After that we can bring him home. This afternoon.. yesterday afternoon (whatever it is now…) we brought home Cameron and Christian for an “overnight.” They are amazing well-behaved babies, and are absolutely adorable. They have even been asleep all night! I have that new dad… fearful something’s going to happen feeling that wakes me up about every 1/2 an hour (hence writing this at 3 AM), but they are doing great! We will sign quite a bit more paperwork this week and by mid-week they will officially be ours, the court process may take a few months though. We we are now one HUGE family… with a lot of love, a lot of diapers, and a lot of food… So, you may be wondering how you can help… or at least I’m hoping you’re wondering that ;)… well, here it goes:In numerical order, because I’m a “type-a” computer programmer and I like numbers:1. PRAY – Pray for a few things: the birth-mom, this will be very tough on her pray that God gives her strength. Also, pray that our sharing of the gospel gives her an interest in Jesus. Pray for strength for Sherry and I, as we both are in the middle of a full semester of school work and for me “normal work.” Another one is that our agency is seeing if they can transfer over the medicaid for the boys. This would be a HUGE answer to prayer, especially with all of Caleb’s needs specifically. Pray for the boys health, and that they too would love Jesus someday. Also, pray our court process finalizes before December 31, it will be extremely helpful to get the adoption credit this year. Last, pray for Madison, Matthew, and Selah, that they would understand what we are doing, that they would love their brothers, and that we (as parents) would not neglect their needs.2. SUPPORT – We have put in $15,000 of our own money into the adoption process, and we have to come up with about $14,500 more (plus all the things we need to buy for the boys… car-seats, beds, clothes, etc.) in 4 days. That number can seem overwhelming, but I am confident God will provide. I am confident that we will give these boys a home and a family that they need. If you can help us we would be ever so grateful, if not that is totally fine, but please either way pray for this. Trust me this is hard for me to ask for… I have always had a pride issue with people giving me or loaning us money, but I think this is one way God will provide, and am trusting him in that.3. HELP-OUT – We may need help with the kids in the first few weeks as we adjust. Or just help with “normal things” things around the house… not sure about what we will need at this time, but it we may need something. If there something comes up I can commit to letting you know.Thanks for reading this mini-novel. I’m going to go check on the boys and their oxygen tanks, it’s probably about time to swap one out.Love you all and can’t wait for you to meet Christian, Cameron, and Caleb!Blessings,Bryan, Sherry, Selah, Matthew, Madison, Christian, Cameron, and Caleb (I guess we need to just start signing things as the “Lopez Family”)