Monday, November 7, 2011

The Homecoming of Kaylin Beth!

Surprise!!! The wait is over.

We are now the proud parents of a newborn baby girl!!!

Kaylin Beth Atchison
was born on October 3, 2011, weighing 6 lbs., 5 oz. and came home with us on October 5th.

"Wait, WHAT???" you say? How...when...did this happen?

So glad you asked.

In early September, we received notice from our agency that our family profile was being shown to a prospective birthmother. This is something that has happened multiple times before and while it's always great to know, our personal rule had always been to not get too excited until there's something to officially get excited about, as our profile was one of several she would be viewing. So life went on as usual, that is, until Tuesday, September 20th. The phone conversation that day between Tara and I went something like this:

Alan: Hey Tara.

Tara: Hey Alan...soooo...just found out she chose us!

Alan: WHAT?!?!?! Are you serious?!?!

Tara: Yes! Can you get out of work for a match meeting on Thursday?

Alan: Um, gee...let me think...YES!!!

The meeting that followed that Thursday between our birthmother, her mother, and ourselves was beyond words. Seriously. "Love at first sight" is the best way to put it, and even that is not powerful enough a description. Shortly after the meeting was over, our birthmother shared with her mom that during our entire meeting, the baby in her womb was jumping and kicking unlike any time before, and she concluded that "this is what she wants."

I know this has been said multiple times throughout this blog, but it bears repeating: We still cannot comprehend the unbelievable selflessness that birthparents display. To think that this amazing woman loved her baby so much that she chose to give her the gift of life and to bless a couple that would otherwise be unable to have children...well, frankly, there should be a Nobel Prize category for such people. One of the biggest sore spots for us is the general cultural perception that birthparents "gave up" their babies or that they're "unwanted."

NOTHING could be further from the truth.

These precious babies are loved so dearly that their birthparents chose to make adoption plans and willingly place their babies with adoptive families of their choosing. We still have trouble wrapping our heads around the indescribable reality that God put the miracle of adoption on our birthmother's heart during her pregnancy and that she chose us! It will be our life's goal to live up to that faith she placed in us, and to always make sure our daughter knows about her beautiful origin.

So after the match became official, we began the march toward the due date of October 25th. To be honest, after all we'd been through in previous adoption match situations, the thought of waiting a month was absolutely excruciating to us and we're convinced the Lord knew this was probably more than we could handle. The result was that baby Kaylin arrived on October 3rd, three weeks before her due date!



The day after Kaylin was born, we went to the hospital to meet our daughter for the first time and spend time with her birth family. Again, words cannot describe the emotions of being in that scenario. We celebrated with them due to the overwhelming joy that this new little life had produced. We cried with them due to the pain and loss that they would be experiencing. And we had the awesome privilege of praying with them that this beautiful baby would grow up knowing how deeply loved she is by so many people, that she would come to experience Christ's loving grace for herself, that God would give Kaylin's birth family his tender grace in this extremely difficult time, and that our relationship -- the joining together of our families in this open-adoption union -- would grow deep and strong over the years as this little angel continues to grow and mature.


The next day, we brought Kaylin home and the first thing we did, of course, was introduce her to our dog, Bailey, who lovingly and gently sniffed her as a welcoming nod of approval. Over the past month, Kaylin and Bailey have become pretty close companions. Bailey has taken to laying next to her and watching over her on frequent occasions. Undoubtedly, these two will be best friends over the next several years.


Our parents and siblings soon came over and we had our first family homecoming, as the two sets of first time grandparents got to hold and feed their granddaughter for the first time. As a side note, Kaylin's arrival also coincided with the Phillies' playoff collapse. As a die hard fan, her long-awaited arrival definitely softened the blow of the team getting eliminated in the first round. Anyone who needs concrete proof of God's grace need not look any further.


This past month has been unbelievable! We've started to really feel like we've adjusted to being full time parents and our daughter's adorable personality has already begun to shine through. Even the sleepless hours at night have been a joy (ok, maybe not in the moments themselves, but definitely after the fact). There's so much more that can be said, but we'd like to take a moment to address our daughter's birth family directly: We love you! We simply don't become parents if not for you. We're blessed and humbled beyond words to have you in our lives and for the trust you have placed in us. We look forward to all the years ahead as our families grow closer and get to experience all the fun and exciting highlights of Kaylin's life! We are also honored to have Kaylin share the middle name of her birth grandmother!

Thank you to all our friends who played a part -- through finances, prayer, and your encouragement -- in bringing little Kaylin home. Thank you also to our church family at liberti. As the Body of Christ, you lovingly and graciously journeyed with us through the tremendous ups and the devastating downs of the adoption process.

Thank you to Bethany Christian Services, which lived up to its reputation as the best adoption agency in the world. Thank you specifically to Carrie and Heather, who walked with us through so much over the past couple of years. You were both right; God's timing is perfect! And thank you to the rest of the staff. You have all been so kind, supportive, and generous from the moment we began this process.

And of course, tremendous thanks and gratitude to our families, our parents especially, who have taught us, guided us, supported us, and enabled us to be the best parents we can possibly be.

And just like that, after a two and a half year process, one chapter has officially come to a close and a new, much more exciting one has just begun!