July was quite a month. My wife was in Mexico on business for a couple of weeks. We celebrated our 9th anniversary. Our son learned how to ride his bike without training wheels and our daughter was growing like crazy too. I was preaching quite a bit. The family was patiently waiting for paperwork to be completed so that we could start fostering children. And that was just in Arkansas and Mexico.
In Washington state, a young couple was eight months pregnant and trapped by an unfortunate set of circumstances. She came to the U.S. from a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean nine years ago and lived with family. They lost everything - passports, immigration paperwork, social security cards - everything.
July was quite a month for them too. She contacted other family in Arkansas, who drove to Washington state and rescued them from the situation. Arriving in Arkansas they had nothing but the clothes on their backs - no job, no money, no place to live, and eight months pregnant. Knowing the difficulties their child would face, she had already contemplated the prospect of adoption after having placed a child up for adoption before. Facing little better in Arkansas, she reached out to her community and found someone who did adoptions in the area.
August has been quite a month. My wife was in Mexico on business again for a week. Our son started 1st grade at a new school. Our church launched a new service with new elements that required a great deal of planning and attention. There were prospects of more travel for my wife at work. We were still patiently waiting for paperwork to be completed so that we could start fostering children, and the home study for our foster care plans was basically completed. A day later, I got a phone call. I heard the story of this young couple from Washington state who was due in just four days. My heart sank.
Things were moving too fast and I put up every obstacle I could think of. We can't afford a private adoption right now. I don't want to make budget cuts to account for another child in the home. What about all those stories of babies from this island being prematurely adopted away from their biological parents? Do they really know what they're doing by giving the baby up for adoption? We still don't have a home study completed (although it's close). Do they speak good English? One by one my obstacles fell. The courts have increased judicial oversight to make sure biological parents are clear on the law. What money we had saved in our emergency fund ended up being enough. And who can't make some cutbacks to help an infant and young woman in need? The home study was close enough to work.
It's been quite a week. On Tuesday we got the call and talked about it as a family and with God. On Wednesday we committed and started making childcare, work, and family arrangements. We got diapers, wipes, a car seat, some clothes, and so forth. On Thursday morning at 3:00 am, we got the call that she had gone into labor. Who says life change takes time? If you'd told me 72 hours ago that I'd have another son in three days, I'd have asked if you needed to see a psychiatrist. But it happened.
It's been quite a year. A year ago we were crushed when a baby that we were convinced God intended for us to have left the hospital with another Mom and Dad. We talked about trying to have a baby. We started the foster care process to eventually adopt. We were certain it was time to grow our family, but if that was the case we didn't understand why that baby wasn't our daughter. God did. If we had adopted that baby girl, we wouldn't have been available to adopt this baby boy. God knew that. He needed us elsewhere at a time and place when we were not expecting it. Adoptions are supposed to take months. God said, "you need to be available this week." Adoptions are supposed to cost tens of thousands of dollars. God said, "I've got you covered." Families are supposed to take weeks to prepare for an infant. God said, "I am sufficient." There have been rumors of injustices in these types of private adoptions. God said, "Trust Me, not your law license; the courts are subject to Me" (see Romans 13).
It happens all the time with me. I see an opportunity I want. Then I don't get it. I get upset because things didn't work out the way that I wanted, but God knows where and when He needs us available to do what He asks. Because He kept us available, we now have an amazing opportunity to be a part of an incredible story that mirrors what Christ did for us. We were enslaved; He set us free. We were spiritually orphaned; He adopted us into His family. So without further delay, meet my son - William "Carter" Bryant!
I follow Christ. I have a beautiful wife Megan and three wonderful children, Harrisen, Rebekah, and Carter. I am a candidate for a Ph.D. in ethics from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, have an M.Div. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of Arkansas, am licensed to practice law in several state and federal courts, and live in Rogers, Arkansas. I write a blog and produce a podcast. And I do it all that others may know Christ.