Each adoptive parent goes through a different journey, mixed with a wide range of emotions, thoughts, and questions. Even though adoptive mother Bethany and her husband Greg waited longer than anticipated to adopt their son, they continued to show faith and perseverance throughout it all. Bethany remained committed to the adoption process, her faith, and focused on the good.
As Bethany shares, “We are beyond thankful to our mighty God who took us through quite the journey to our sweet Gus, but looking back we can see so many times where He had us go through hard moments to prepare us for the blessing that was to come.”
Bethany and Greg’s adoption story is a testament to the well-known adoption phrase “worth the wait!”
“From the time I was young, I always had a heart for adoption and knew I was going to adopt someday. While my husband and I were dating, I talked with him about my heart for adoption and he was on board. Basically he said, ‘Whatever you feel God calling you to do.’
Month after month of not seeing a positive reading on a pregnancy test was very hard on me. So after a year of trying, we figured this was God’s way of telling us now is the time to start the adoption process. We got our home study completed in record time and were so close to having our profile active with our adoption center when I decided one day to just take a test. Sure enough, we were pregnant! We were beyond thrilled to say the least. With the help of Lifetime, we decided it would be best to put the adoption on hold while being pregnant and wait until our daughter was over a year old.
Fast forward to a year later when we made our profile active again on the website. We were praying we would get a call very soon and have a short wait time. We were matched with a birth mother who was due in 10 days. We were thrilled! We packed and waited for the call for her to go into labor. We waited and waited. Then the day after she was due we got the call. She had decided to parent. Our hearts were completely broken.
There were situations we were presented to but not chosen. Very hard knowing you were close to being picked, but not feeling good enough. The next match just felt right, she was having a girl and we seemed to connect on the phone. The next three weeks we texted daily and birth mom even FaceTimed me so I could be in the room while she found out the sex!
Since she was having a girl, we picked out a name and planned her middle name after her birth mom. One spring Sunday evening the phone rang and it was the birth mom. She told me she had bleeding and cramping during the night so she went to the hospital. She miscarried that day. I can’t even explain the amount of heartache I felt in that moment. I felt so heartbroken for what she had to go through, but also realizing the baby girl we so desperately wanted and planned for was no longer going to be.
We received another call five days later. We never received a call this close together so we were shocked. The call came when Greg was out of town for his brother’s graduation from Marine boot camp. I had to call him right away and tell him we got a call that a birth mother wanted to speak with us.
That weekend we spoke on the phone with the birth mother and we thought it went really well. She was sweet and basically said right away she wanted us to adopt her baby! She was early in her pregnancy so she didn’t know what she was having yet. We exchanged phone numbers and began texting.
Later, she called me on her way home from her doctor appointment and told us we were having a BOY! We always threw around the idea that if we had a boy we would name him the third, after Greg. So that’s what we did, but we wanted a nickname as not to confuse him with Greg and his dad. One day while driving to church, Greg said ‘what about Gus?’ I knew immediately that was his name!
Honestly, we were full of so many emotions. We had contact with the birth mom off and on. Waiting until her due date was so hard and there were a lot of ups and downs, and times we weren’t sure she was going to follow through with adoption. Trusting in God and praying constantly was the only thing that got us through.
The whole time we worked with Lifetime and the attorney, and took the advice they were giving. As her due date came closer, her doctors decided they wanted to take the baby early because of her high blood pressure. They scheduled her for a C-section. We still weren’t sure she was still even wanting us to adopt her baby, but we had to move forward in faith and trust God. Surely if He brought us this far, He wouldn’t give up on us.
We booked our flight and moved forward not knowing the outcome. We thought it would be good to arrive early and spend some time with the birth mom. She had been admitted to the hospital. We had a few delays and planned to arrive the night before Gus was born. Unexpectedly, a C-section was scheduled, and two hours from the hospital we got a text saying Gregory Anthony III (Gus) had been born!
We couldn’t stop smiling and crying happy tears seeing his picture for the first time! It didn’t seem real. We still had an hour drive to the hospital and it was the longest of our lives. When we arrived at the hospital, it was 1:00 am. Gus’ birth grandmother walked through the doors, gave me a big hug and said ‘Let’s go meet your baby!’ We walked into her room and there he was. Gus’ birth mom was holding him and handed him right to us. That moment was magic. I wanted to cry, but I wanted to hold it together so they didn’t think I was crazy. We spent the next 24 hours in the room with Gus’ birth mother, and I’m so glad we were able to do that. They didn’t have a room for us so we had to stay. We could have gone to a hotel, but we were not about to leave our baby.
We were moved into our own room after spending 24 hours with Gus’ birth mom. Those hours were so special; we talked and bonded. The conversations flowed like we were good friends. She was able to hold Gus several times and I know that was good for her. I’ll be forever grateful for the time we spent with her and her mom. Gus’s birth-grandmother was so sweet and wonderful. She was there for her daughter when she needed her most. I’m so glad she had someone there for her and to help her make important decisions.
We were discharged four days after his birth. We were amazed at how well he was doing for being born almost four weeks early at five pounds, 14 ounces. We checked into our hotel and needed to remain in California for two weeks [due to ICPC.]
During our time in California, we got news that the potential birth father wouldn’t sign off his rights even though he didn’t want to parent. It was an emotional roller coaster ride, but there was nothing we could do but pray and wait it out. Thankfully, months after being home his rights were terminated.
Our weeks in California were quite the whirlwind; full of meeting with social workers, paperwork, and a lot of site-seeing. The highlight of our trip was getting to meet the staff at Lifetime Adoption. If was so wonderful to meet the ladies we had been working with! They were wonderful to help us with anything we needed while there.
When we received the call for clearance to go home, it was almost as exciting as getting the call about Gus. We couldn’t get home fast enough and introduce Gus to his big sister, Loretta. Let’s just say, just like us, she was instantly in love. We are beyond thankful to our mighty God who took us through quite the journey to our sweet Gus, but looking back we can see so many times where He had us go through hard moments to prepare us for what was to come. We are honored that his birth mom chose us to be his parents and are grateful each and every day!”
Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.
Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.