My idea of life was traumatized when I was 14 years old. Most importantly, my baby sister stopped breathing after 87 short days of life. Not even three months old and she was gone. My world was shaken and turned upside down.
As I began dating a few years later, girlfriends always wanted to talk about having kids. I was afraid to have kids. I didn’t want my baby to die of S.I.D.S. like my sister Samantha. My fear prevented me from even thinking of having kids.
It’s not that I don’t like children and it’s not like I don’t want to raise children. I might be a natural parent / father figure after my experience of being an older brother to 3 other siblings and being a youth leader. The thought that stayed in my head was adoption. I always thought there were too many homeless kids out there. There were too many orphans. There were too many children without parents or a home. If I wanted to be a parent, I knew I’d better raise a kid that needed a dad and/or a home. Help the kids that are living first. Don’t be selfish and make your own kids. This was my thought process. I felt that almost anyone can make a baby, but it takes a real person to be a parent. I decided as a teen I would take care of a kid that needed it, instead of bringing a new life to this current world.
As I became an adult, I began meeting single mothers with boys and girls that had no dad at home. Some had no dad in the picture at all. I felt if I wanted to be a dad, I could easily marry a woman with a child. That would fill my need to be a parent and I would be more than pleased to take care of a child that needed to be taken care of. Be a dad. Be a father figure. Even if they throw a ‘step’ in there somewhere. I knew what I wanted to do.
Eventually, I realized that my procrastination to have a child of my own would only disappoint my parents and prevent them from becoming grandparents. I came to the conclusion I would adopt a child before I created my own. That became my plan. Now, I had to find a mate, a suitable mother to help me raise a child. I had to find someone that wants to adopt as well. Put an orphan’s needs before their own wants. That’s the woman I desired.
I met Courtney. Two years ago we had an impromptu date on February 20th. This date was filled with discussion about our goals and what we wish to accomplish. Obviously, we didn’t want to date to just date, but if we dated, we wanted to know what our plan was when it came to children.
I shared my point of views and we instantly clashed. She wanted to get married and have kids soon after the wedding and I thought that was just out of the question. She didn’t want to adopt, she wanted to have babies with her husband. Create a big family. I guess it was only going to work if we gave way a bit.
God took his time and reconstructed my way of thinking. I slowly began to overcome my fear of having kids and I knew I loved Courtney, so if I wanted to marry her, I’d have to be willing to have kids soon into the marriage. I gave in to love. My wants took the back burner.
Before we were engaged, we had pre-marital counseling sessions. This allowed us to discuss our future family and what we planned on seeing in two years, five years, ten years, and so on. We both shared our initial views of what we expected before we had became a couple. We both decided the other’s idea was better. Together we decided we would wait 3 years to have a child. That’s our plan. Don’t tell God your plans because He might laugh and show you His plan instead.
Two years ago when we first chatted about all this, we didn’t realize we would be where we are today. 6 weeks after we were married Courtney’s brother came back into her life and so did her nephew Jayden. This meant they both got introduced into my life, being her newly-wedded-husband. Next thing I know, I have a brother-in-law and a nephew in our home. Never did we imagine we would have a 6-month-old baby in our house 6 weeks into the marriage.
We remained in our nephew’s life because his life at home wasn’t the best and my brother-in-law wasn’t prepared to take care of his son as he got his life back on track. We were happy to watch & babysit Jayden whenever we could. Our goal was to keep him away from second hand smoke to help his lungs develop. Since we first met him, we’ve taken him to the doctor’s just about every other week. He had croup and developed what was beginning to look like infant’s asthma.
Our new plan was to watch him as much as possible and help his lungs develop and get back on the track they should be on. Once the mother stopped caring we knew we had to step in. We knew we could offer the care and support he needed to survive so early in his little life. This meant we were going to fight for custody.
Next thing we know, the mother is out of the picture, she didn’t call or txt or anything. She disappeared to be off the grid. As another month and a half goes by we decided to get a lawyer and fight for custody since the mother has abandoned the child. It was our responsibility and duty to meet his needs and help him survive, by any means necessary.
Of course we prayed and prayed throughout the entire process that God would provide and He has never let us down. We’ve been able to meet every need and pay every bill. Our Church blessed us and so did our community, from clothes to food to toys and other things a baby needs, even a place to sleep and bathe and get dressed. Everything needed was taken care of. And all we did was be obedient to God and take care of our nephew like he was our own child.
We were prepared to go to apply for financial assistance to help pay for the lawyer to get custody. It took a lot of prayer and a lot of unselfishness and a lot of help from our friends and loved one. But we were ready to what is right for this child.
Out of the blue we get a phone call. It’s DHS asking to talk to us about our nephew. This could be good or bad. I mean, extremely good, or extremely bad. This could change everything. Again.
Next thing you know, DHS is on our nephew’s side, which meant they were on our side. Because we were taking care of him for over a month, they knew it was in the best interest of the child to stay at the safe-haven his was at. This kid had a fighting chance. We were right there by his side to do the right thing and do what ever it takes. DHS had to approve us before they would allow him to stay with us. In fact, they wanted us to become his temporary foster parents and they would help assist his financial needs each month. Again, he had a fighting chance, and an aunt and uncle to fight with him and fight for him. On the 7th day, we were approved and certified foster care parents.
So here we are. Looking back to two years ago. Even if you look back one year ago, we never imagined this being our outcome. We never saw this coming. Being newlyweds. We didn’t expect or plan this. But God knew all along. He had a plan. He had an expectation of us. It’s funny because Courtney (before meeting me) wanted to have a child early on in marriage and create a family right away. It’s funny because I said I didn’t want to have kids right away, I wanted to adopt instead… that was before I met Courtney.
And even though we both changed our minds and were willing to give up our selfish needs for the other’s wants and desires, we both essentially got what we wanted all along. Holy God. Seriously.
God is beyond amazing. Just look at this underdog story. He took the death of a baby. He took a fear of a teenager. He took a motherly instinct. He combined it all, and made a testimonial gumbo of goodness and grace and triumph. He made it all through two babies and a married couple. This was all apart of His design. He knew it would come to this. He knew this would happen. The scenario is so unique and abstract; the only intervention possible would have to be divine.