Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's a Boy!

I know many of you have been praying for us through all the drama we've experienced in our adoption process.  Those prayers have finally been answered! We switched to the domestic infant adoption program with our agency in December, and we have some wonderful news to share!

At 3:38 pm on Friday 2/3/12, James called me and asked if I had seen the message from our agency about a new cold call situation. I was at work, and I had not seen it. I was on my way to the hospital to deliver medications to a transplant patient. I asked him to read the post to me. It was about a newborn baby boy right here in the St. Louis area. (FYI - A "cold call" is when the birthmom has no contact with the adoption agency prior to the child's birth. She contacts the agency soon after the child is born.)

On my way to the hospital, I prayed and asked God to let my heart and James' heart be in agreement if this baby was to be part of our family. After I was finished at the hospital, we decided to ask for more information on the case. By the time my shift was over, we had received the second email. We talked things over that night after dinner, and we decided to proceed. I sent the social worker a text message at 9:42 pm saying that we wanted to be considered for that child.

Saturday morning (2/4/12), James and I were getting ready to go to the YMCA.   At 9:58 AM we got a call from our agency telling us that we had been chosen to parent this little boy! Three of the social workers that have been walking down this road with us, and praying for us were on the phone - they all wanted to be able to deliver this long awaited news! It just did not seem real.  After spending almost three years trying to adopt a child from Ethiopia, our son was born 30 minutes from our home. My head started swimming.  There was so much to be done before we brought this baby home. The nursery was a mess. The furniture was partially taken apart and none of it was in the right place. We didn't have an infant car seat. We didn't have diapers, wipes, or bottles. We needed a name! We didn't have a single boy name picked out.We made plans to meet our social worker and the hospital at 2 pm so we could meet our baby. I went on to the YMCA, hoping that getting some time in on the elliptical would help me think clearly.  (It helped, but not much. Ha!)

While we were getting ready to go to the hospital, we talked about a name.  We threw several options around, and we were able to make a tentative decision.  We left for the hospital and prayed on the way there.

We spent four hours at the hospital with our little man that day. We both fed him, and changed his diaper.  By the next day, we had decided on a name -

Samuel Stephen

Samuel is after James' maternal grandfather.  His name is Carl, but he is known as Sam to many. He was the youngest of five children, and his momma was out of baby names when he was born.  His still didn't have a name by his second day of life. His siblings started asking their mom what they were going to name the baby.  She said -"Anything but Sam."  Well, siblings being siblings, they started calling him Sam.  He is 85 years old, and he is still known as Sam.  Little Samuel, may you have the long life, devotion to God, and wisdom that your Great-Grandfather has had.

Stephen is after my dad and after Samuel's Godfather.  My dad has a kind heart, and he is ever ready to tell someone about Jesus.  I've heard him tell telemarketers that they need Jesus. Part of his speech that he gave at my rehearsal dinner was the Gospel.  He also enjoys entertaining the kids at church - Samuel, I bet the first time you met Santa it will be with your Grandpa dressed up playing the part. Early in our adoption process, we had to name a guardian for our future child. We prayed about it, and the same two people kept coming to our minds - James' youngest cousin Stephen and his wife Elizabeth.  They prayed about it too, and they agreed.  I was at a St. Louis Blues Hockey game when Stephen called me to tell that he and Elizabeth wanted to be our child's Godparents. Stephen has an adventurous spirit, a heart for the Gospel, and the willingness to serve God and follow him where He calls. He and Elizabeth went to Kenya on a dental mission trip this past summer.  Samuel, may you value obedience to Jesus above all, may your tongue be a quick to speak of Jesus as these two men, and may your feet be swift to follow the call of Jesus wherever He may take you.

Samuel, people all over the world have been praying for you. People all over the US, friends in Canada and Ethiopia.  When we started our adoption process, we thought we'd be adding a little brown-skinned girl from Ethiopia to our family.  After suffering through four failed referrals Ethiopia, we just didn't know why God did not see fit to add one of those little girls to our family.  He knew all along when you would be born and that you were meant to be our son.

"For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him."
1 Samuel 1:27 (ESV)

Thanks be to God from whom all blessings flow!


  1. James and Stephanie, we are so thrilled for you. It is neat to see how God worked things out. We pray that God will give you wisdom and strength to raise this little boy.

  2. I can't even express in words how excited I am for the 2 of you!!! Such an awesome blessing!!

  3. Oh, Stephanie, what a beautiful post! It fills my heart with so much joy when I think about little Samuel. He is just so precious and I pray the Lord will give you and James the wisdom you will need over the years as you raise little Samuel to be a man of God. Love you!

  4. Tears of joy! So happy for your family! Enjoy your kittle blessing! I cannot wait to hear more about him.

  5. Praise God!!! Oh, Stephanie, I am so happy to read this and see the picture of ya'll with your precious son!!! Wow! What a beautiful child God had in store for ya'll! His ways are not always our ways, but they are always perfect!!! :)

  6. Crying tears of joy for you! I have been checking your blog almost daily hoping to see exactly this WONDERFUL news!! Congratulations to you all.

  7. You have me crying, What a blessing and a beautiful testament to God's hand bringing your child into your lives. Thank you for sharing the story and prayers for his name, beautiful! His life is already bringing glory to God as we send up praises for God's good gift.

  8. Of course, I cried as I read your entry. I am so very thankful that God has answered all of our prayers beyond what we asked or thought. You will find that boys are a ton of fun. Also, their Godly upbringing is so very important because each boy will be a man one day that God will hold accountable for leading a family to honor Him. You and James will be great parents for beautiful, little Samuel. I can't wait to see him again. Love you! Aunt Mary K.

  9. CONGRATS!!!! God works wonders and his ways are better then our own plans. I hope you are adjusting well and soaking up each moment with your little boy!

  10. Congrats on your son. Love the name. enjoy parenthood.

    1. Best Blog to read! Praise the Lord!!! I am so happy for you.

  11. Beautiful! I have been thinking of you and praying for you often since following your story on the BCS forum. I'm SOOO happy to read this, and crying tears of joy for you! Praise God for your brand new blessing!!!!

  12. James & Stephanie -- So excited for you both as you begin your parenting adventures with little Samuel! We have been praying for you EVERY SINGLE DAY since we were with you in Ethiopia and praising God for this miracle. Mike & Krista Williams

  13. I've been SO anxious to read the details about what little nuggets I've gleaned from the Facebook feeds. Now I've finally had a stretch of time, and WOW. Sister, you brought tears to my eyes. What a RICH and BEAUTIFUL story. The Lord often works His best work on us in the form of a curveball!! What a blessed, blessed, blessed curveball y'all got! He brought and sustained you and James through deep, dark valleys, showed you in a frighteningly powerful way what it is to bear His cross, only to pour out blessings immeasurable on y'all. I'm SO thrilled for y'all. Samuel Stephen was knit together by God in His image to be parented by two of the kindest, godliest folks walking! And the bit about Stephen and Elizabeth is PERFECT. They'll make fantastic Godparents. Samuel Stephen, YOU ARE RICHLY BLESSED!

    Our God truly is an awesome God. Blessed be God forever and ever!

    Love y'all muchly much,