So I’m two days behind on this post. Two years ago (2 days ago) the baby “M” who was placed with us at birth became our forever son. Two years ago (2 days ago) we went to the Brazoria County Court House and, literally surrounded by loving friends and family, we rose our right hands and pledged to be Mikey’s forever family. Two years ago (2 days ago) our VERY long and painful journey to have a second child was complete. Two years ago (2 days ago) was one of the top three joy filled days of my life. Our friend Maury took pictures for us that day.
I really wish I could describe what it feels like to adopt a child. It’s just something that, unless you’ve experienced it yourself, you just really can’t understand. It’s like trying to describe what it feels like to be a parent to someone who is not a parent. They can kind of get it but not completely. It’s a miraculous thing to have your biological child placed in your arms and feel instant and complete love. It’s a miracle to know that you would gladly give anything, including your own life, for that child. Becoming a parent is just miraculous. But feeling those same feelings for a child that is in no way biologically related to you is just even more miraculous. It’s just really hard to grasp unless you’ve experienced it first hand.
Many of you who follow this blog have been around from the beginning of our journey to Mikey. But some of your weren’t and you may have wondered. And honestly, it’s a really long story with lots of twists and turns, some of which I’m not going to get into right now.
I was interested in adoption long before we started the process to adopt. I always watched the adoption shows on TLC and even if I had already seen a certain episode I would watch it again. In a span of just under 2 years Phillip and I went through a very dark time where we lost 4 pregnancies. Although we could have possibly conceived and carried another biological child to term, it became painfully evident that it was just not very likely. After those four losses we took medical steps to prevent any further pregnancies. With each loss we lost a little bit of ourselves. We could not emotionally or physically handle it anymore.
When we accepted that we would not be able to have any more biological children, adoption was a natural next step for me. But Phillip did not feel the same way. I’m not writing this to pick on Phillip at all. I’m writing this so you can see how God can change a heart. I decided I would go to an information seminar put on by Family Life Ministries about adoption. I decided that I would go with out without Phillip. My good friend Andrea said she would go with me so I didn’t have to go alone. But when I told Phillip that I was going to this he decided to support me (humor me) and be there with me. I really need you to realize that at this time Phillip did not think that adoption was the right thing for us. Within less than an hour of being at this seminar we both were weeping and felt very strongly that this was not only something that we wanted to do but something we had to do. And that is not because we were brainwashed or bombarded by adoption propaganda. It’s because we saw stories and videos of families just like us embrace their child for the first time. We saw the instant love on their faces. It was truly amazing.
At first we considered international adoption but ultimately decided to foster to adopt through Child Protective Services. After about 6 months of waiting for “the call” it came on January 11th 2007 at about 3:00 that afternoon. By 5:30 that same day we had a newborn baby boy in our home. Let me rephrases that. We had one of the most beautiful babies we had ever laid eyes on in our home. But he wasn’t legally ours until he was 15 months old. That 15 months was filled with a lot of uncertainty and there were days I was scared to death we would lose him.
Two years ago (2 days ago) Mikey became legally what we knew in our hearts since the day he was placed in our home. He legally became our son. We changed his name to Micah Benjamin Hintze. Micah means “Who is like God?” Who but God could orchestrate such a beautiful story? Who but God could lift us out of the depths of despair that we were in and give us hope? Who but God could take this helpless baby who had not a soul in the world and give him a vast group of not only family but friends who loved him unconditionally? Who but God? His first name reminds us that there is none like God. His middle name, Benjamin, means “son of my right hand” or “favored son.” Mikey is not a second choice. He is not an afterthought. He is not a consolation prize. He is in every way our son just as Jackson is in every way our son. And while neither of our boys is “the favorite” we always want Mikey to know that he is ours. God intended him to be ours from before he was even conceived. His name is not just a cool name. His name tells a piece of his story. And when he is old enough to begin to understand it, we will tell him the rich story of how he came to be who he is.
If you have never thought about adoption, maybe you should consider it. If you think you could not love a child who is not yours biologically, maybe you should reconsider. I believe there are children in our country and internationally that God desires to place in the homes of loving parents. Adoption is not just for people like us who can’t have biological children. Adoption can be for anyone who will willingly open their hearts and minds to what God has for them. I’m not saying that everyone should adopt. Everyone should not adopt. But I do think that many more people should think about it, read about it, pray about it. I wish more people could feel what I feel when I wake up every morning to this face and know that he’s ours. He is our gift. We are his gift. We are each others’ promise that we are not forgotten by the One who set our lives in motion.