Travis and Michelle were very happy and content as a childless couple. But they saw how much Travis’ brother enjoyed his brood. So they decided to explore adoption. Little did they know this decision would become a four and a half year ordeal. Because they were a responsible couple and wanted to go about adopting in the best way possible, they consulted two couples who had successfully adopted children. Both couples advised them to go through a social worker. What an experience that was!
The Swifts busily started making the necessary preparations. The home study was completed, reference letters were submitted, adoption money was set aside, and the nursery was made ready. When it unexpectedly came to their attention that a young couple was not going to keep their baby, they excitedly contacted the social worker. Their hopes were high. It looked like a sure thing. Then suddenly it all fell apart, and the child went to another couple. Devastation.
Time passed without a word from the social worker. Unexpectedly a call came. A teenage girl was putting her child up for adoption. An interview with the teen and her mother was scheduled for the next evening. They arrived early to discover another couple was also being interviewed. However, after their interview Travis and Michelle were excited because it had gone extremely well. They were sure the baby would be theirs. But no. The baby went to the other couple. Devastation again.
Because the process with the social worker had been so discouraging, they decided to investigate being foster parents with the intent to adopt through the Youthville program. At the first meeting with Youthville, it became apparent that the foster care/adoption program was not an option for them.
Travis and Michelle had met with numerous frustrations and a rollercoaster of emotions. They had paid expenses and had spent considerable time pursuing the opportunity to raise a child. Each possibility for adopting a child had resulted in failure. It seemed as though they were meant to be a childless couple even though they were sure the Lord had placed a desire for a child in their hearts. They asked themselves if they were truly hearing God or were they misinterpreting God’s answer to their prayers for a baby. They were more than willing to provide a loving home to a child in need, but no sign of this possibility was in sight. They grew increasingly mad and frustrated at God. Why had God not honored their good intensions and efforts? They could not bear the thought of any longer enduring the emotional rollercoaster of excitement then the devastating sense of loss. Their search for a child came to an end.
Because they believed parenthood was not going to happen for them, Michelle and Travis resolved to be the very best uncle and aunt they could be. They sold their house in Wichita and happily assumed a larger mortgage in Benton where they could be close to nieces and nephews. They were shaken a bit when shortly after moving Travis was laid off. But within two weeks he had a job. They celebrated their good fortune and settled into a routine. They did not know that church friends were still actively praying that an adoption would be in their future. Michelle and Travis had given up, but their prayer warrior friends had not.
Unexpectedly a friend of the family contacted them. He was acquainted with a couple who had decided to make their soon-to-be-born daughter available for adoption. They were an older couple and had grown children. This couple had discussed raising the child, terminating the pregnancy, and putting the child up for adoption. They decided that adoption was the best option because of their health issues and financial situation. The family friend arranged a meeting at a restaurant, introduced the two couples, and left. After a few awkward moments, the two couples exchanged information. Before long, both couples realized that the baby girl was meant for Travis and Michelle. A lawyer was contacted and the necessary papers prepared.
Amazingly, the only concern of the birth parents was that their birth child would have a good, loving home. The birth mother even invited Michelle to attend the final doctor appointments of the pregnancy. The birth mother repeatedly told Michelle that Michelle was the real mother and that she as the birth mother was only the oven. Michelle and Travis were in the hospital when Abby was born. While still in the hospital, the birth mother signed the papers, brought them to Travis and Michelle with a smile on her face, and enthusiastically congratulated them on the birth of their daughter.
As they reflect on all that happened, Travis and Michelle can see God’s hand in the whole adoption process. They see how God was preparing them for this very special little girl who has brought immense joy into their lives. They believed they would save a child, but now know that God had a special plan to enrich their lives beyond their wildest dreams with this very special little girl.
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27 NIV