Matt and I met and began dating in 2002. One of our initial conversations in getting to know one another was our desire for children one day…4 to be exact. After marrying in 2005, we wanted to wait a few years before starting our family. We have always believed in trusting our faithful Father, but it wasn’t until our journey began that we found exactly what it means to blindly trust.
Our journey began in 2007. I found out through a routine examination that I had (and continue to suffer with) endometriosis and complications of ovarian cysts. After several treatments, operations, rounds of Lupron injections, and months worth of Clomid, my heart began to move toward adoption. The pain that followed each month of unsuccessfully being pregnant began to be more than we could bear. Matt, on the other hand, was not ready to consider adoption as our only option to have a child. At that time, we began to pray that God would move both of our hearts, and we would faithfully wait until we came to a decision together.
In October 2009 our pastor delivered a sermon in which he used the passage Galatians 4:3-7. The Holy Spirit began to move and Matt’s heart changed toward adoption. We are all adopted children through Jesus Christ, and joint heirs to the Kingdom!! We met with our local social workers for the first time on November 28, 2009. The ball was rolling, and it was rolling quickly. It seems like the next few months flew by in a whirl of paperwork, doctor appointments, home visits, and background checks! During that time, we chose Love Basket, Inc. as our placing agency. Everything was falling into place…it was not IF we would have a baby, but WHEN!
Our final profile (a scrapbook of sorts that the birthparent(s) uses to choose the adoptive couple) was submitted mid April. All that was left to do was wait. Soon after, we bought nursery furniture, against the advice of our social workers. Their fear was that it would be too painful for us to walk by an empty nursery day after day. It was quite the opposite…I saw hope in the great blessing that the Lord was going to provide! The summer passed and my new school year began.
On August 16, 2010, our world changed forever. At 3:42 p.m., while sitting at my desk grading papers, I received a phone call from our social worker at Love Basket. She asked me if I was ready to meet our baby boy! We had been chosen!!!! It struck me that it had been the second time in my life that I was chosen for such an incredible gift; the first time for my salvation, and the second time to receive my precious baby. He had been born August 1, 2010…almost exactly nine months from the first meeting we had with our social workers to begin our journey. God’s plans are always far better than we can ever imagine!!!
We had three and a half days to prepare to go meet and receive our baby boy. We will never forget that week as long as we live. We saw the body of Christ at work. Our home was suddenly overflowing with everything that he would ever need….and SO much more! We began communicating with the family that had him in their home for cradle care. Mike and Carla Valet are forever in our hearts for taking care of our baby the first two weeks of his life. She saved every memento, so that I wouldn’t miss anything.
We arrived in Independence, MO late Friday night, August 20, 2010. The moments leading up to holding our baby for the first time were indescribable. I remember walking downstairs and seeing Carla holding him. My arms, that had ached for a child for so long, finally reached out and held my son, Russell (Russ) Bryan Payne, for the first time. That moment is forever engraved in our hearts.
We spent 5 days in MO waiting to receive our interstate compact in order to cross state lines back into TN. It was during that time that we met Russ’s birthmother. We had lunch with her, and she was able to see Russ for the first time. We are so thankful for the time we spent with her. We could see her love for him so clearly, and her willingness to give him the life that she couldn’t despite her own pain. I have never known anyone more courageous than she. We love her for loving Russ enough to want more for him.
Our son is now a vibrant, active, intelligent, beautiful 15 month-old. He is the joy of our lives. As parents, we are now able to better understand the great love that our Father has for us. He sent His one and only Son to die for us. The sacrificial love that has been given for us is a gift that is undeserved, yet so humbly received. We are so very thankful that the Lord chose us to endure this journey…it lead us to Russ.
Pray for Matt, Meg, and Russ as they start their journey to their next child!