By SARAH BETH WRIGHT
My entire life, I wanted to witness a real miracle. Growing up in church, I heard about them all the time, but I thought perhaps all of the miracles were reserved for more important people who had a divine purpose expressly from God. I was wrong on multiple accounts.
My husband, Durant, and I were adopting. On December 31, 2018, we received our Home Study packet and started combing through the 21 pages of documentation we had to have to prove we could be good parents.
We ordered all of the baby proofing supplies from January to March. This included the fire escape ladders, background checks on local, state, and federal levels and filled out our financial statement, showing our incomes and how much money is left over every month. We had to create a fire escape plan, including vaccination records for all pets, every bit of documentation about our marriage, our births, and our septic tank. We took hours of classes, and I looked into starting a lactation program for adoptive mothers.
In May of 2019, we had physicals. Durant passed with flying colors. My body, always reactionary, betrayed me and made my doctor believe I had Tuberculosis. We wasted weeks of time and money trying to prove that I had an allergic reaction to my skin test and did not need the heavy-duty nine-month medication regimen. After begging for a blood test, which my doctor insisted was not recommended by the CDC after a “positive skin test,” she relented, and a blood test proved I did, in fact, not carry Tuberculosis.
In late June, my almost 5-year-old car with 76,000 miles on it started overheating. It was paid for. It was the silver lining in a budget that carried a mortgage and another car payment. My car, and the fact it was paid for, was the reason we knew we would be able to take out a home equity line of credit for the amount we knew we would need for our adoption.
That Ford Focus had a known engine manufacturing issue that Ford refused to fix, and we were unable to make work due to the fact that all of the engines for that particular model were known to have the capability to have that defect. We could have put a new motor in the car- but Ford no longer manufactured it. I would need a new vehicle.
We finished our Home Study packet on July 31. We were so proud. We made three copies-one for us to keep on hand, one for our caseworker and one for our lawyer. They were sitting in the front seat of my husband’s car I had borrowed when he called me on my way to pick up a ClickList. Because of the fact we would have to have another car payment, we couldn’t draw the amount of money we needed from our loan. He had been on the phone with multiple banks all day.
I stared at the Home Study books- not understanding what this meant. We were ready to call our social worker. We were this close to the family we wanted.
I heard God say SO plainly, “Wait, just wait.” I called my mother. I shared with her this news. I called a few of my trusted girlfriends, and I broke down for a week- defeated, hurt. Embarrassed, that money was holding everything back and angry that other people didn’t have to take out the amount of money we would need to start their families. I was shattered. But I listened to God. His plan and how He revealed it to us was quickly shared in the coming weeks.
On August 15, after a sermon about saying “Yes” to God and whatever He asks of you, Durant decided he would run for Mayor of Dawsonville. The extra income he would have made for this position would have made our debt-to-income ratio possible for our loan. It was an opportunity for service he had always aspired to have, and the timing couldn’t have felt more like a sign. Spoiler alert: He didn’t end up securing the position, but it is okay because 1) he will run again, and 2) see the story below.
On October 14, a friend came over to hang curtains in the nursery that we decided we would still create in anticipation for our child that we hoped to bring home in 2020 as soon as all the finances made sense.
And after he left, Durant and I discovered something else.
After years of nothing and a body that always failed, hurt and disappointed me-
I was pregnant.
We tried so desperately to make our plan work for almost an entire year, frustrated with the roadblocks and the pitfalls, and yet God’s plan was much bigger than ours.
But we witnessed another miracle as well. For years we had been told that due to health problems with my uterus and an autoimmune disease, we could expect a miscarriage at any point in the pregnancy or extremely preterm delivery. We were also told to expect that my autoimmune disease would never return to baseline and that I would suffer after delivery with a reduced quality of life.
My water broke at 39 weeks, one day. Our son, Julian, was born full-term on June 13, 2020. We named him for my grandfather, Julian Wells, and our son’s middle name, Barton, is the middle name of every firstborn son in my husband’s family, going back more than 100 years.
Although we were told to prepare for a difficult pregnancy experience, we experienced none of the things we watched for the entire pregnancy, including reduced quality of life after delivery. Instead, I did have prolonged labor of 40 hours, which led to a partial placental abruption and hemorrhaging, resulting in a blood transfusion. Julian was also born with the cord wrapped around his neck twice. These are all things that could have happened to anyone giving birth and had absolutely nothing to do with any of the health issues I have. The hospital staff worked diligently to save both of our lives, and thus, our second miracle was witnessed.
The love we have for our son and the miracle of his birth is a story we will happily share forever. He is our joy, and it is our privilege to watch him grow into the man he will become. Every time we enter his nursery, we are reminded that it was created with so much anticipation for the child we would bring home. The fact that he lives will always be the reminder I need that sometimes not getting what you want at first is the most marvelous stroke of luck.
You can find MARIE ELLEN PHOTOGRAPHY here!