Grab a cup of coffee...this is a long one!!
Our story begins back in 1995, about 14 years ago when Chad and I were still in high school. During Christmas break, some friends and I went to Magoo's Pool Hall to hang out. Chad and his friends were there too! It all started that night. We got each other's numbers and started dating. That fall, Chad went off to college and it was a really hard year for both of us, since I was still in high school. The following year, I went to the same college. We had so much fun those 4 years together. People always ask if we ever broke up and no we didn't. There was a time when I seriously thought about it though... He went through this time when he wore this horrible Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts EVERY DAY, like for 45 days. I'm not even kidding. It was so awful and so weird. College does weird things to people! We graduated in May 2001 and were married in August. We bought our first house and started our new life together!! The Hawaiian shirt did not make it to the new house. I have no idea what happened to it...
After a few years of marriage we decided to start our family. I got pregnant very fast and was very sick for the first several months. There were no complications and we were so very excited! On October 31, 2003 at 18 weeks I miscarried our first son. No warning. We were absolutely devastated. Because it was such a late miscarriage our Dr. decided to do some blood work and encouraged us to go to genetic counseling. We did and found out that I have a blood clotting problem and Chad has chromosome translocation. There were a couple options for us, but we felt comfortable with only one of those options and it completely aligned with our faith.
So, we waited until the following summer to make sure that was the path God was directing us down. In August of 2004 we sent in our adoption application in to a local agency. We were nervous and scared and excited! Only one month later, on Chad's birthday, we were chosen. Our birthmother was a lovely woman, very sweet and very sure of her decision to place her baby in our home. She delivered on October 28, 2004, 2 days shy of the one year anniversary of our 1st miscarriage. We named him Mason James. He was such a calm, sweet, precious little boy. He was our first son and we loved him so much. After 6 weeks with our baby, his birthmother changed her mind. She could do this because she had not gone to court yet. Again...we were devastated, beyond any kind of devastation we have ever felt. We felt like we were taken advantage of, we were fooled.
Sweet Mason James November, 2004
Chad and I needed a way to release our emotions and talk about what this experience had done to us. We decided to see a counselor. We had already lost a baby boy to miscarriage, now a baby boy to a failed adoption. What was going on? At this time, our faith grew beyond measure. We relied so heavily on God to carry us through and He did. Our counselor...I'll name her T, was amazing. She really just listened and encouraged us. One afternoon, while I was doing laundry, T called me at home. You see, T is an adoptive mom herself and had also experienced a failed adoption. She knew what it was doing to us and she cared. After our conversation she encouraged us to apply through the adoption agency she used. We were very hesitant, but filled out the app anyway. We dropped it off with the director, on Christmas Eve. That night we went to mass and I felt this overwhelming feeling of forgiveness for Mason's birthmother. Complete and honest forgiveness. I got down on my knees and forgave her for everything she did and everything she didn't do. This ability to forgive her did not come from me, I know it came from God. He encouraged me to forgive her and He gave me the strength to do it. The day after Christmas...2 days after we turned in our lifebook and right after I forgave Mason's birthmother, we were chosen by a new birthmother.
Carson Ayden was born on February 8, 2005. What a blessing he is to our family. Our son was finally here. He brought so much joy to our family and he filled my heart. Carson's birthmother...I'll call her Miss C...is a sweet, loving, calm, giving woman. She simply was not on the right track and decided to place Carson in our home so that he would grow up with 2 parents in a loving, Christian home. God is so good!
Carson's adoption was finalized on October, 7th 2005...8 months after he was born. What a happy day, Carson was legally ours! He had always been our son, but now he officially became a Potter!!
The summer of 2005, unexpectedly, I got pregnant again. We started Lovenox shots right away and prayed this baby would be healthy. On, August 9 2005, at 21 weeks, I miscarried our 4th son. We were heartbroken. We named him Gabriel. We were able to hold him and see his face. His nurse even made a stamp of his little footprints as a very special keepsake. Even past experiences can't prepare you for the heartache of losing a child...a second child.
During the summer of 2006 our agency director called and asked if she could profile our lifebook to a birthmother. We said yes! In June we were chosen again. Our new birthmother wasn't due until September 5th, but had a history of premature babies. So, we prepared and I'm glad we did!
Kennedy Cate was born August, 9 2006, exactly 1 year to the day that we lost Gabriel. What a sweet little angel that blessed our family. Kennedy was born 4 weeks early and had some breathing difficulty. She spent 2 weeks in the Special Care nursery. Kennedy's birthmother...I'll call her Miss M...is a caring, determined, kind soul that has been through too much in her life. She wanted more for Kennedy and we wanted so badly to give it to her.
Kennedy's adoption was finalized on November 30, 2007...15 months after she was born. At the beginning, her birthfather really fought to keep her. In the end, he agreed that Kennedy was happy and was meant to be with our family. Thank God!
God was in every part of our story. Every time we had a heartbreak He was there, every time we celebrated at the birth of another baby, He was there. God knew exactly how He was going to form our family from the very beginning and that was through adoption.
Chad and I fell in love and we said Yes to God's plan, we said Yes when He called us to adopt His children and now we are just enjoying each of these blessings He has given us. We have been given 2 of the most amazing gifts!
People often ask us if we will adopt again...I don't know. It's in God's hands and if He asks, we will say yes.
1Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child and the LORD granted my request.