On Friday, February 27th, Amy and I met Anabelle for the very first time. After flying into Arkansas the day before, we woke up at 5 a.m. to drive 2.5 hours to Fort Smith, which is located northwest of Littlerock near the Oklahoma border.
The drive up was spent praying, reading the Bible, and talking about our precious baby. As Amy read aloud the passage of Hannah praying for a child, tears streamed down our faces. The reality of being parents has finally come. We were going to have ourselves a blessed bundle of joy from God!
As we got into Fort Smith, we met with Erin for the first time. God was so good! There was no awkwardness at all. As a matter of fact, you would have thought we all knew each other prior to this meeting. We again talked about how the Lord allowed our paths to cross and what a wonderful story God is authoring. While we sat there, Anabelle was quite active. Erin said, “She must know we’re talking about her.” I thought to myself, this was the first time she was hearing our voice. She was hearing Amy’s lovable laugh. She was hearing my slightly accented voice. And what was thrilling to me was that the first conversation Anabelle heard her mommy and daddy speak revolved around the goodness of God!
After enjoying some fellowship at the coffee house, we went to the hospital where Anabelle was going to be born. This is also where Erin was having her check up. As we waited for the doctor to come, Erin once again kept referring to the life inside of her as “your baby.” It was as if God was using her to comfort us through this process (and He was).
The doctor came in and was shocked to see the amount of people in that room. Erin quickly piped up with a smile on her face, “These are the parents of this baby, Juan and Amy!” He shook our hands and asked us if we had any questions about the baby. He assured us that she is healthy and sees no reason for concern. Erin then said, “I would like for them to hear the baby’s heartbeat.” The doctor complied with her request.
As Erin laid there, the doctor placed his instrument on her stomach and we heard Anabelle for the very first time. The heartbeat was strong and loud. She’s got spunk! I looked at Amy and tears flowed down her face. This is our baby! Her face was priceless.
After the doctor’s visit, we had lunch. Again, we talked for about two hours while we ate lunch. We talked about more details regarding the adoption. She told us that she wants a completely closed adoption. No pictures, no letters, no communication. Erin said, “This baby has a mommy and a daddy. That’s you and that’s enough!”
When we finished, Erin gave us a gift. She had purchased a baby outfit, socks, and a piggy bank. This was completely unexpected! We did give her a gift but we were not expecting anything from her. This was so moving that Amy and I decided that when Anabelle comes home, either from the hospital or from Arkansas, she will be wearing this outfit.
Allow me to wrap us this event with a few praises and prayer requests. We praise the Lord for:
1. Allowing us to meet with Erin.
2. Allowing us to meet Amy, the case worker who will finish up the adoption process with us.
3. The generous gift Erin gave us.
4. Allowing us to meet our baby doctor.
5. For a birth mom who is willing to go through a closed adoption process.
6. For a new law just passed in Arkansas two days ago which allows birth moms to sign away their parental rights sooner. Before the revocation period was ten days. Now it has been cut down to five. Which means we’ll be home sooner!
We ask you to pray for these items. Pray for:
1. Erin’s health as she gets closer to the scheduled delivery date of March 16th.
2. Anabelle’s continued development.
3. Amy, our case worker, as she travels all over Arkansas and helps birth moms and adoptive parents.
4. Our home study process to be completed in a few days.
5. For Anabelle’s nursery to be completed.
6. Travel mercy as we fly into Oklahoma City late at night on March 15th then drive to Fort Smith, which is about 3 hours away.
6. The hospital to assign us a room to be able to care for Anabelle right after she is born.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support. Proclaim with us loudly and often, “God is good!”