I have the most gorgeous post for you today.  Bethany and Josh have an incredible family and were a true joy not just to work with but to get to know.   They were so faithful and so open to God’s voice during their process.  I have no better words than Bethany’s, so enjoy the grace, wisdom, and beauty below:

In the first few weeks of our relationship Josh and I discussed what we wanted in life. We knew we wanted children and we both wanted to adopt. We envisioned us having a large family and being busy well into our years raising our children, a mix of biological and adopted. We married 8 months after our first date. We just knew God had set us apart for one another.

In the same way we knew God had called us to adopt. It was inevitable but we weren’t sure how He would bring it about. We ended up very quickly adding our first three children, life was full and busy but we still knew we would adopt. The time finally came 2011 that we felt the push to start moving forward. After some research we chose foster adoption. Early in 2012 we began classes and home study paperwork. Shortly after becoming Foster-care certified we were placed with a precious newborn baby girl. She stole our hearts but after four months we had to hand her back into an unstable situation. It was the hardest time of our lives. Then over the coming years we had to watch that situation crumble, unable to prevent it. We knew after that God was moving us forward & out of foster adoption.

In 2013 we made efforts to have another child but learned it wouldn’t be an option for us any longer. We grieved. We were confused, broken and still knew God had another child for us. I think until this point in our lives we hadn’t really had to fight hard for things. God used our adoption journey to grow us spiritually. We had to learn to trust Him and not the circumstances. We learned to not only hear His voice but To cling to His word. Slowly as 2014 moved forward we began to feel an urgency to get started on this ever present desire to adopt. We knew we wanted to adopt an infant, it became apparent Domestic adoption would be the path for us. It took a leap of faith to dive in because of the expense. It seemed impossible but also we knew we had to follow the call. So in October of 2014, we announced that we were adopting and began to fundraise.

Fast forward to March of 2015, we contacted Christian Adoption Consultants and were connected with Karalee Alvey. She helped us find an agency, encouraged us as we continued to raise funds and eventually she even got to do our home study visits! She was a ray of light in the overwhelming process.

By October of 2015 we were finally home study ready and began applying to situations. Straight out of the gate we felt moved to apply to a situation with an already born baby girl who had special needs. We weren’t chosen but we new then that our hearts were prepared for more special medical needs than we originally thought. We updated our homestudy. A couple weeks later there was another little girl with major medical concerns and we wholeheartedly pursued her but again we weren’t chosen. There were a few other situations that didn’t work out and in December we were already feeling a bit hopeless and broken. After ten or so “not chosen” emails we heard about a tiny baby girl with Down syndrome waiting for a family in Florida. All of a sudden we knew. We were called to adopt a baby with Down syndrome. Our souls were so hopeful and sure that this was our girl! We updated our home study again and waited to hear that we had been chosen only to find out again we weren’t. That time it hurt worse. It felt personal. It felt like God had forgotten us or like we weren’t hearing Him right. Maybe this wasn’t what He wanted for us. But there was always an undeniable push to keep moving forward. So we did. We knew, knew, knew that we would adopt a baby with Down syndrome at this point. Our spirits would thrill in a unexplainable way every time the situation came through with a baby who had Down syndrome. There was one family that we spoke to and they came so close to choosing us. It was so strange to feel so sure and so unfulfilled at the same time. Looking back it makes so much sense but in the moment we felt so alone. We were so scared and so desperate. Some thirty plus situations later we were gearing up for another week and received a little email from Karalee.

“Hey guys!

Where do you all stand with presentations right now?  ”

“Russian baby boy born about a week ago”

“Baby is still in hospital but is projected to get out in a week or two.”

Just the highlights.

We jumped. No hesitation. It was a whirlwind of emails and phone calls.

Tuesday our profile was given to the birth parents. Wednesday we knew the lawyer would be speaking with them about us. We sat on our patio trying to soak up the idea that we might find out any moment that we were chosen when my cell phone rang. I answered thinking she would be telling us their decision but instead she said ” I have the birth parents right here, they want to speak with you and Josh”

I will endlessly be grateful for the grace God poured out on me in this moment. There was no time for me to think and over think. I won’t tell the details of that conversation other than that my heart fell in love with them and it broke for them. I could hear the love they had for their son.

We weren’t sure after the phone call. They spoke to us like we were chosen. But no one officially said so. We went about our day hopeful but unsure. After phone calls were getting serious we finally just asked if this was it! Are we chosen? We were sitting in a waiting room. People around us could here these conversations about the legal stuff and when to travel and finally…”yes! You guys are it! You are exactly who they want.”

Those words. Our son. All of a sudden it was just how fast can we get to our son. I couldn’t bear the thought of him in the hospital without us.

We told the kids. We announced to all of our family. We packed our bags and Thursday night we sat in the van in the driveway as a family of five for the last time and we prayed.

Friday, about 16 hours later, we arrived at our destination. Saturday would be our placement day. We took the kids to the beach. We settled in to our temporary home. Our friend/sister in law flew down to help with the big Kid’s during placement in case that was needed. We didn’t know for sure if we would get to meet the birth parents or how placement would happen. Saturday we took the kids to the beach again to kill some time. I remember being in the beach, it was so calm that day and just feeling a peace.

Time passed and we hadn’t heard from the lawyer so we were a bit concerned. Finally around noon we got a call saying they were being discharged from the hospital and heading to the office. We headed home to wait.

It was such a slow wait. We stayed excited and at peace for the most part but as it began to get late we had to face the reality that things could still go very differently than we were hoping. But honestly the Lord just covered us in his Grace because I don’t know how we weren’t in a panic by 5pm!

Then this text came saying they were done and headed to the house. They sent a couple pictures.  We saw him for the first time. We were so excited. So anxious to meet him, hold him.

The car pulled up and until that point I assumed we would wait inside and let her bring him to us but I couldn’t stand it. With no shoes on I rushed to the car door. All I could think was that I had to get to him. I didn’t want our son to have another moment without us. I got to the door and there he was!

I felt the same amazement as I have with all my babies at how tiny he was, how perfect and beautiful. We got him out of the car in a borrowed car seat and got him inside. We headed to the living room and as quickly as was humanly possible to remove a tiny human from a big bulky car seat I did. Oh my goodness he was tiny and so warm. He was just perfect. He was perfect. He was perfect. That’s all my head could think. Of course everyone wanted a chance to hold him. He was here and he was in our arms and he was perfect. It all felt so surreal.

And suddenly every struggle, every penny, every no and every heart broken cry to the Lord made sense. He had David Ruslan Jones perfectly chosen to place in our family. It’s taken me a year to even touch the surface of processing our adoption. David feels as much apart of me as any of my three biological children. Some days I grieve that he wasn’t born from my womb because I sometimes forget that he wasn’t. Lots of days I cannot fathom the loss his birth family has suffered in not knowing him. I feel so thankful to them and proud of them for fighting to do what they felt best for him…even when it hurt them. I grieve for David that he won’t know his birth family. I pray constantly that these things will change. That our closed adoption may become at least semi open. I pray for healing in his birth parents and in him and even in Josh and I.

But most days we are just utterly happy and completely in love. Blissfully living everyday in awe of this amazing little boy we get to call our son. We marvel at his strength and his tenacity. We are blown away by God’s perfect plan for him and for us as a family.

We were able to head home just shy of two weeks. We finalized the adoption in October of 2016. It was beautiful.

David will be 17 months soon! He is amazing. Though he has had many medical complications he somehow overcomes and continues to blast through his milestones. We are so proud of him. He is loved by two families. One in the shadows and one as clearly as the sun shines. Our lives have been so full and blessed by his precious life. We are daily praising God for the plan he set forth in our family. We will forever be grateful to his birth parents.