Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Annie's Gotcha Glory Story: the Homecoming

And now I can tell the FULL story. 

On Jan. 21, 2014, I received a phone call from our adoption agency, Homes with Hope. It was the call and I was at the dry cleaners.

"We've finished your home study... And we have your baby girl." 

My mind formed a thought-slushie and my eyes formed tear juice and I pulled around back and called Johnicles to tell him we had a baby! 

Our agency at the time was not able to provide many details, but God knew them all. 

Would you allow me to time travel a bit? 

My husband and I are very open with our story in hopes you will see God's marvelous workmanship throughout it. That we can only bring glory is our aim. 

John did not want to adopt in the beginning. He's such a great father, husband, everything. You see at the time I began the adopt talk I was blind in one eye and going blind in the other soon. So all he could "see" was that I could not. He could not fathom it and I do not blame him. I'm so thankful for his patience with me. 

10 eye surgeries later (Yeah, I brag on God about it all the time) and I'm seeing, praise! And I'm still talking adoption. But the idea was not God's yet in John's mind. So more and more waiting.... 

And I'd nag. 

Get convicted. Pray. And then one day God pacified my heart, "You are not waiting on him, you are waiting on me." 

It was hard. And I will say I lost hope. 

Leelah would bring up wanting a sister. I gave that to God and told her to pray. I tried to not ever sic her on dad. 

In the spring of 2013, I felt a very strong urge to pray on my knees for a baby. But I felt wrong because John was still not on board the adoption train. I sought wise counsel and a dear, dear friend told me, "Mary knew about her baby before Joseph did..." Or something to that sort. And so I prayed hard. Put that in your thought bucket for later please. 

Then John's heart began to shift in the summer of 2013. And it was a miracle. He said yes! 

We began training and by November had completed the entire process. The home study took a month to be completed. Then Jan. 21. On that day she was 2 months old.

We were told we could see our baby first on the phone of our caseworker. So we met her at McD's the next day. We hadn't confirmed yet only because we were praying and well it's a very huge decision. I knew in my heart that she was ours however and loved her already and had for forever. 

We saw her pic and to be honest could not see much as she was very swaddled. We saw black hair and big cheeks. YES. 

John being the one to carefully examine it all wanted to sleep on it. You've got to love that this man will not commit to anything until he is absolutely sure. 

Mentally exhausted, I was so very tired of waiting at this point. I pray-begged to God for John's yes. And on the way home that night we saw a shooting star. John said yes again and we then began to wait until she came home. 

We then told Leelah after we had both agreed over lunch that God was going to give her a sister. That she was not yet our forever baby, but we were going to love her as though she is. We carefully explained fostering to adopt to a then 7 yr old and prayed for God to do the rest in her little mind. She was very pensive and very excited all at once. We then went to go to Build-a-Bear so that she could make her little sister a bear. We are so thankful for the counsel our agency gave us in how to talk to our bio daughter, it was such a sweet time. 

Then we got another call that we could see her in person! Sort of like when you've had a c-section (I guess) and then you can see the baby. We had prayed that she was in a loving foster home and she was! Prayer answered indeed! So we took Leelah out of school- OHYESWEDIDDON'TYOUEVENGOTHERE- and we all went to where else? Chick-fil-A where miracles happen and chicken is holy. 

I held her in my arms and she fit perfectly. Literally, figuratively, she was a Nichols. We all held her with her foster mom and foster sisters in tow. If the Chick-fil-A staff only knew the Kingdom work that was being done. I was not allowed to take pics and that was hard. But my mind's eye focused so much on her precious cheeks, her nugget feet and her blue eyes. That's right, her eyes are blue, just like John. Nice details God. 

Then we had to say goodbye. I had bought her diapers, outfits, everything she needed and we had to let her go until the cps and attorneys agreed for her to switch to us. Her at the time foster parents were looking for boys. :) 

The next wait was so hard and the stress was visible on my face as a planet appeared on my lip. I just could not take not having her home with me. Not being able to tell the world we had a baby and to pray for her life and it was so incomplete. Moms need their birdies in their nest! Before we get to her homecoming, please know I don't mean to make such a huge deal out of this but it is a HUGE deal. 

This child was saved. We are forever grateful for her bio mom for choosing life. That being said, her bio mom was in a VERY unsafe place. It is amazing she is still alive. In the spring when I was praying, God was knitting her together in her bio mom's unsafe, dangerous womb with the care of the most masterful, artistic, technical seamstress My God performed a miracle and shielded my baby from the danger, the evil that was bombarding her. There is no scientific reason that my baby did not suffer severe defects other than God's Almighty Hands were holding her and protecting her. And He was doing this in Spring of 2013. Exactly when I was told by Him to pray for her. 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13-14

People need to understand. Adoption through CPS and period is not something you go lightly into. Especially fostering to adopt. You want to see the Spiritual battle between good and evil? There is no better way than to adopt. 

On March 5, 2014 our darling Annie McKee Nichols came home. She was brought to our door by 2 mighty, mighty warriors for the Lord and in my eyes, Angels- our agency caseworkers. They carried all that belonged to her. A bag, a car seat, a tummy mat and a few changes of clothes. That was it. And most of that was from her foster parents. But God made a way. He is all that she needed and He gave us this blessing:

Then we loaded her up in the car and we went to go pick up Sissy from school. 

I have to end this part now, because said baby needs to get up from her nap, but I have to share this. When I just knew we should adopt I rested on this verse- Isaiah 41:20. Please check this amazingness out--- see the date I wrote next to the verse- 3/5/12 and then see when she came home--- 3/5/14. 

1 comment:

Pj Williamson said...

A beautiful story for the best of families!!! Thank you God our almighty father!!