As I celebrate my precious girls life today I reflect how she came into our hearts and lives 5 years ago!!! I must first back track a bit to the summer of 2007 and while on a mission trip to Haiti God planted a seed in my heart to adopt a baby of color. Todd interestingly enough had said for years that he wanted a black baby! Which always made me laugh because Todd was a very fair-skinned man. I think his only heritage was English, Irish and maybe more English so no ancestors with color. I am Hispanic so didn't have anything against adopting a baby of color but God had really not planted that seed until that first trip to Haiti. As Todd and I loved on the hundreds of children in the village in Jacmel we fell in love with so many of them. We began to discuss the possibilities of adopting one of these precious ones. We left our week-long trip feeling like we would start the process once we got home.
BUT God had a different plan...
We had been home about an hour and we were all consumed in loving on our sweet read head who was four at the time and who we had been away from for 8 days!! I don't know about you but being away from my kids is always hard! SO shortly after we got home the phone rang and it was women from church who shared that the young pregnant women living with her had heard of our story and our desire for another child and basically wanted to know if we would adopt her baby that was to be born in 6 weeks!!!! I almost fell over. I had jet lag, was worn out from the trip and really wasn't sure if I heard her correctly. Was she really asking us to adopt this baby?? We scheduled a meeting the next day with this young woman and she shared how she had been praying for the right parents and how she heard Todd speak one Sunday at church and her baby kicked inside her and she felt like God was leading her to us. We were overwhelmed and stunned by all this as we had just the day before decided we should pursue a Haitian adoption. So to make a long story short. We decided to move forward after much prayer and consideration. We were seeking an open adoption so she would have contact and involvement in the boy's life. SO about 6 weeks past and we had completed our home study, our church hosted a large shower for us and we completely set up a nursery for Travis Isaiah. Jackson was so excited about becoming a big brother and our hearts and home were ready to welcome our new son! Then one night about a week before Travis was to be born we received an email from the birth mother telling us she had changed her mind, she wanted to parent him after all. We were crushed!!! As a side note before this we never considered domestic adoption for the simple fact that we had heard of too many birth mothers changing their minds at the last-minute. SO the very thing we were trying to avoid did in fact still happen!!! So with our hearts broken and dreams of another baby gone, what now?? I remember one day shortly after receiving the news sitting in the nursery and Jackson came in and said, "Mommy where is Travis Isaiah?" I said, remember we told you he is with Ms. S. He said "NO!" and began to cry. I held him and cried out to God and said, "God I certainly don't understand all of this but my precious 4 year olds heart is broken and I need you to make this right." I told Jackson I believed God would give us another baby, we just had to pray and believe. So for many nights he would pray for a baby brother and a baby sister until life moved on and then he stopped praying BUT I never did!!
Fast forward 6 months... We were in a time of prayer and fasting with our church. In which we were praying for direction for the church, our role in ministry and I of course was praying that God would give us a baby! It was exactly 5 years ago today, February 5, 2008 which was the day before the time of prayer and fasting was to end when I got a call from our social worker. Remember we had not been with an agency but did have a completed home study, we were not really on anyones radar for a baby BUT WE WERE CERTAINLY ON GODS RADAR!! SO she basically called to check in and see how we were doing and asked if we were still considering adoption. I said, we are still recovering and I was open to what God wanted for us but I felt the only way we'd adopt was if God dropped a baby at our door step and we ended the conversation. I thought it was odd when she called back about an hour later and said, "you're not going to believe this but I just got a call from an agency who is working with a young birth mother who delivered a baby on Sunday, it was Tuesday and the birth mother has left the hospital but the baby is still there. The agency has custody of the baby and if they don't find a family to give the baby to she will go into the foster care. Oh and she is African American which I know you and Todd don't care about. I think y'all would be perfect so you should call the agency right now!" I felt my blood pressure rising and could not believe what she was saying, what was she saying exactly?? Could this be the answer to our prayers?? I called the agency and the women said, Ms. T. has already faxed me your home study and your family looks great. I asked how much this was going to cost she said, "ONLY $12,000 and we need that by TOMORROW!!! Oh wow I said, we are in full-time ministry so we don't have that kind of money just laying around!! Do you take credit cards was the next thing that came out of my mouth. Knowing full well that we wouldn't charge it and go into debt but that's just what came out. She said, "I am sorry we do not!" So I hung up with her and called Todd who was getting ready to start youth group. As I shared what had just happened he said, "we need to do it!" I said, "what do you mean we need to do it?!" "We don't have $12,000! " He said, I think this is from God and He will provide the money! In that moment I have to admit I had some doubts but had learned in past to trust a BIG GOD as He had certainly done some pretty miraculous things before!!
The rest of the story is absolutely amazing and GOD AWESOME for sure but to save some for the book I will just say that God showed up BIG TIME!! A lot of things had to come together the biggest thing being $12,000 in less that 24 hours!! The next day, Wednesday which was BSF and even though Todd really wanted me to stay home and help him sort through things I was committed to work in the Children's Program and did not want to leave them short-handed. In a few short hours we had received about $2,000 which was great but were still a long way from the $12K! But as I sat completely out of it playing with the kids that morning, I continued to think about our situation and that we may be getting a baby in 24 hours! I snapped out of my fog and listened to the children's leader share the story. She said, "Boys and Girls the story this morning comes from Philippians 4:19 which says..."And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus". I began to cry as it was as as if God had me there with those 4 year olds to hear a word from Him. He wanted me to know HE HAD THIS!!
I got home from BSF and Todd was overwhelmed with all the details and had been on the phone all morning talking with attorneys and our social worker still believing God would provide. Oh and our entire church and everyone we knew who prayed was doing just that! SO about an hour later and man from church called and he told Todd that He and his wife had some money and they wanted to front us the $12,000!!! Todd and I almost passed out... we hardly knew this couple but they knew God wanted us to have the privilege and blessing of having another baby! So the amazing man took care of getting the money wired to the agency and then they called us and said, "you have an amazing friend in this man, he has taken care of everything! Now you just need to go pick up your baby! Todd and I were overcome with emotion needless to say and packed our car realizing we had nothing to bring home our baby in but trusted God would provide that too! Oh and we had waited until we knew this would be a certain, done deal before telling Jackson, so with just an hour before getting on the road we sat him down and said, remember how you prayed for a baby sister? He said, "yes" We said, "well God has answered your prayer and you are getting a baby sister!!" He then said, "well I changed my mind!" Todd and I laughed and said but we get to take a road trip and stay in a hotel before we pick her up. That got him excited. We stopped off at the church to be prayed over and several ladies in the church had already gone shopping. We had diapers, clothes, a baby bath tub. bottles and PINK blankets!! It was then it really hit me, I was having a GIRL!! I grew up with brothers and my deep hearts desire was for a girl.. Don't get me wrong I LOVED having my boy but I am a girlie girl and I was in that moment overjoyed with God's GRACE in seeing fit to bless me with a girl!!!!
God orchestrated a beautiful and fairly easy process of the birth mother signing away her rights, we had a godly attorney in the city where we picked up B and our part at the court-house was simple and in the moment we met Bethany in the hospital nursery all the fears of loving a baby I did not birth were immediately gone. She was beautiful and perfect, very tiny too!! Just 4 pounds 14 ounces when we brought her home!! So we got the call on a Tuesday night and on Friday of that same week we were bringing home a precious baby girl not to just babysit but to have in our home, hearts and family forever or so we thought...
Fast forward 6 more months and a week before the final court date to make Bethany Grace Wortham a permanent, no turning back forever part of our family, the birth father surfaced. He was supposed to be a non issue but apparently had just gotten out of jail. HE was going to fight us for Bethany. When the attorney called she said, "not to alarm you but the birth father has surfaced!" WHAT??? I said, I thought there was no way he was in the picture?? SO for the next 4 months we held on to the fact that God gave us Bethany in a very miraculous way and He doesn't make mistakes. I wish I could say I didn't think about the "what if's" or have a good cry over the idea of losing my baby, she was a part of our hearts and home and had been with us over 6 months. At one point when I began to feel weak and started to cry, I think it was that time of the month =) I remember Todd saying, "Cassi this is a test. Is our God big enough? Just like when Abraham was asked to give up Isaac, he did so out of total obedience and devotion to God and with complete trust in His God to fulfill His promises. So we too must give Bethany to the Lord, trusting Him to provide a ram!"
God in his amazing faithfulness, love, and grace provided a ram through many miracles and allowed Bethany to remain a part of our family! So on November 10, 2008 at 10 months old, Bethany Grace was adopted into our forever family for and became a Wortham officially!!!
What a gift of pure sunshine and joy she continues to be in our lives. And even though the Lord took her amazing Daddy 18 months ago, you would not know it by looking at her or spending time with her that anything is missing in her life. She loves God, her family, her animals, princesses, Barbie's, ballet, tap, singing and just now while sitting waiting to get our oil changed she is singing, "celebrate good times come on!" That's my girl!! She is teaching me a lot and I know that God truly gave me HUGE gift in blessing me with me her!! What a great privilege it is to be her Momma! Happy 5th birthday to my sweet, loving, energetic, spirited princess!!!
Praying that Jesus will capture her heart and that she will learn how to LIVE FOR MORE !!