an adoption story: the Cloward family

Kristina called the adoption agency that same morning that our other birth mom changed her mind, and she changed our life.

adoptionweekLast friday we were coming home from Atlanta with broken hearts and empty arms. A failed adoption is a special kind of heart-break.  Our social workers were trying to convince me to jump right back in and have our profile shown to birth moms right away.  I was very hesitant.  I wanted to be sad for the lost chance at a baby boy, a son I lost.  I wanted to mourn him before I just moved on like nothing happened.  Then I got a text from the agency “forgive me for asking this right now, but are you only interested in a boy?”

 We had decided when we turned in our paperwork to specifically request a boy because he and Boston would be so close in age.  The case worker continued to tell me the story of Kristina.  Little did I know that she would be our angel, our birth mother, our answer to prayers, our miracle.


Kristina’s story was that she was 18, from Maryland, 39+ weeks pregnant, and wanting to place her unknown gender baby.  And she wanted the agency to pick the family (us) and she wanted to fly to Utah the next day (crazy) to deliver this baby.  She called the agency that same morning that our other birth mom changed her mind, and she changed our life.
We talked on our flight home from Georgia about the unknown gender, and realized after some discussion, that if this was to be our baby, then God was going to send us whatever He had in mind for us, and who are we to decide anyway.  We thought if it was a boy it would be perfect, what we wanted – but if it was a girl, we would be so in love with her and have no doubt she was meant to be ours.  It would be a miracle.
We waited to really decide until Saturday, to see if she would really get on a cross country flight.  She did.  And the social worker who met her had nothing but amazing things to say about this “sweet” “cute” “impressive” “mature” young girl.  We were in.  On sunday and the agency sets up a dinner for us to meet her.  We went, and we fell in love with her.  She was all the things the agency said about her, and really confident about her decision.
There are not enough good things to say about her.  When John and I got in the car to go home, we just looked at each other and said we didn’t think it would be possible to love her any more.  It was perfect.  It was another miracle.
The next morning at 6am was her induction.  She invited us to be a part of everything.  We were there laboring with her all day.  I held her hand through the contractions and getting the epidural.  When the nurse called for an emergency C-section I calmed her down and promised her everything would be fine and the Dr. would decide if she really needed it or not.  When the Dr. arrived and he said if she pushed (dilated to only an 8) her hardest, he could deliver the baby.  She pushed and delivered our daughter.  I saw it all and I have never seen anything more amazing.  It was a healthy baby girl, and I even cut the cord.
Witnessing a delivery has been something I have always wanted to do, I had no idea I would get to see my own daughters birth. So incredible.  So miraculous.
Kristina and I, and the we named Naomi, got matching hospital bands.  Two mothers for one baby.  So much love for this little girl.  John was smitten.  So happy and proud to have a daughter.  I stayed with Kristina and Naomi in the hospital that night, and it was an awesome experience to be in that hospital room watching Naomi’s birth mom love on her, give her first nick name “boo” and teach me secrets to take the best care of her gorgeous brown skin and full head of curly hair.  Seriously, look at that hair!
Tuesday came, and at exactly the 24-hour mark, Kristina signed the papers, making Naomi our daughter.  She was so strong and held it together.  She knew she was making the right choice.  She knew we were so in love with her, she knew we would spoil her and give her the life she deserved with a mom and a dad.  She placed Naomi in our family because she loves Naomi, and she wants nothing but the very best for her.  We took pictures that day of all of us together.  I love them and I’ll cherish them forever, and they will be a reminder to me of how much grace Kristina had during such a difficult time.  She was brave and had courage and we believe is a choice daughter of God.  We love her.  Kristina flew home after the signing, it was
such a bittersweet day to have Naomi officially ours, but have Kristina who we loved so much hurting so badly.  We were sad to see her go so soon.
Naomi had to stay 48 hours in the hospital, so we brought her home on Wednesday in her one pink outfit with her one pink blanket that we bought just in case it was a girl.  Within a few hours, we were showered with gifts that have filled her drawers and closets with all the girly things we didn’t plan on needing.
Everything about the timing of Kristina’s pregnancy, when she decided to place her baby, the agency she decided to go with, her decision to not know the gender, her decision to fly to Utah instead of bring a family to her, all lead her to us.  Had any of those circumstances been different Naomi would not be in our family.  If things worked out differently in Atlanta, if we hadn’t been praying so hard and so earnestly and had so many family and friends praying and fasting for us, we don’t believe it would have happened either.  Everything was perfect.  Everything was ideal.  Every step was miraculous, and in every step we recognize the hand of God intervening and showing us His will.  We have
never felt more blessed and never felt more like faith and prayer brought us to where we are right now.
And now, why Naomi Grace?  Naomi is a name John and I thought of on that pivotal flight home from Georgia.  We both loved it.  We shared it with Kristina at dinner on Sunday and she loved it.  After she was born and I was lifting her head off the warming table for Kristina to see, she asked if we were sticking with Naomi.  John and I looked at each other and said yes. Kristina sweetly asked if she could pick the middle name.
We of course told her yes, so excited to hear what she picked.  Grace.  Perfect. Fit her so well.  Naomi Grace.  Later that night when it was just me and her and the baby in the room I asked her why Grace?  What made her think of it?  She said, while holding this precious baby girl, “I thought of Grace after I met you guys, because it is by the Grace of God that I found you, and by the Grace of God that I will get through this.”
And that is Naomi’s story.  Kristina summed it up,  all by the Grace of God…

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