Love, Crashing Over Me.

I have heard You calling my name.
I have heard the song of love that You sing.
So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore.

No fear can hinder now the love that made a way.
No fear can hinder now the promises you made.

“You Make Me Brave” – Bethel Music

Over the past few months, I’ve received texts and emails asking for a blog post/life update. But honestly, I just didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel like posting yet ANOTHER post about waiting & trying to wait with joy and contentment. I didn’t feel like posting yet ANOTHER post about the fun things Jay & I were doing to try to distract ourselves from the “still-no-baby” elephant in the room.

We got the email in January from our social worker. Not the “you get a kid” email, but the “it’s been 18 months and it’s time to renew your home study”. Woof. Had we really been waiting for 18 months already?! So in the span of a few weeks, we re-upped our home study, considered buying our sweet little house in Southend, discovered our landlords actually sold our sweet little house to a higher bidder, MOVED within a month, found a new place, claimed this new place in beautiful Elizabeth as the BEST we’ve rented so far, and then drove at midnight one night to Wilmington to welcome my sister’s first son, Levi.

January and February flew by. We moved and settled in our new place in early March. April we started to come up for air and then on April 12, 2015, at 10:30pm, we got a call.

Our beloved social worker called us late on that Friday night to tell us a birthmother had chosen us. Cue ALL the feelings of loss and disappointment from our previous failed adoption. When she said we were chosen, we both responded with a quiet, cautious “yay”, just dripping with forced excitement. We tried to be truly excited, but our heads were NOT allowing our hearts to feel. We were so cautious, we even considered not telling ANYONE, not even our families.

Saturday morning we both woke up feeling renewed. God dealt with BOTH of our walled-up hearts overnight. We woke up feeling the flood of hope we had tried to be anchored in all these years. We decided to go ahead and share the news, but only with our parents & siblings, and our bosses because we would have to ask off for that next Friday so we could go meet the birthmother.

That next week, I slowly began to wrap up projects & plan for the “what if” scenario of getting a baby and leaving the school year early for maternity leave..all the while, NOT allowing myself to dive in to the real excitement & anticipation of it all. Friday came and we got in the car for the 2+ hour drive to meet the birthmother. We got there early and stopped in for a little lunch & a drink to ease our nerves.


We met our social worker first at a Catholic parish, and then the birthmother got there. We had a wonderful meeting. She’s beautiful and so sweet. She was so excited for us. We talked life, we asked questions about her and her interests so that we could tell this sweet baby girl about her birthmother later.

We gave her a letter that we wrote for her, to encourage her and empower her and thank her for her amazing bravery and for giving us the greatest example of sacrificial love. By placing this baby’s needs and future above her own, she’s modeling what it really means to be a parent. We gave her a painting from our one of our favorite NC artists, Deona Fish, and we bought the same print for us to keep in the nursery so that we could use it to share her story. We left the meeting feeling VERY encouraged and reassured that this REALLY would work out. Still very cautious, but beginning to allow God to fill in the cracks of our broken hearts with His love and His strength.

She was due that next weekend, so that week, we tried to continue life as normal as we could. We allowed ourselves to buy a few more baby things…just in case. We allowed ourselves to think of names. We allowed ourselves to feel more excited and hopeful.

Luckily we had an insanely busy week filled with babysitting, Jay’s birthday (April 21), Jay’s DJ gig, a calligraphy workshop and the wedding festivities of our dear friends. The next Monday, I was coaching track practice and Jay was coaching his tennis team when we got the BEST call.

Our social worker called to tell us that baby girl was born on Jay’s Birthday, mom had signed the relinquishment forms and that we could come pick her up from the hospital the next day! We FREAKED, and then had to go back to practice & pretend like all was normal.

But we FREAKED. That night was like Christmas. We didn’t sleep at all, we installed the car seat, packed a baby bag and prayed to God that this wasn’t all in vain. We knew going into this that it would be a “legal risk placement” because in North Carolina the birthmother has 7 days to change her mind, so the baby could be with us and then not. Ugh.

We drove the next day to meet our social worker and then drove to the hospital to pick up our baby girl. We were led to this consultation room (i.e., closet) where the nurses prepped us a bit on caring for a newborn, and then the door opened. They wheeled her in and that’s when we saw our daughter for the first time. We both started weeping.IMG_4746_2

I got to hold her first and immediately fell in love…and totally drowned out the rest of the nurse’s instructions as I stared at her beautiful face. Jay tried to take notes in between holding our daughter’s sweet little hand. We needed to name her. The nurses left us in the room and we tried out the 3 or 4 names we had brainstormed and one in particular sounded like perfection. It sounded like the name God had been writing on our hearts for years…we just didn’t know it yet.

Amelia Rose.

This is our daughter. It’s been HER all along.












We waited the 7 days at home. I think we held her, rocked her and loved her more and more for all 7 of those days. Then last Thursday, May 7, Amelia Rose officially became ours. I was finally able to breathe. I had been waiting to exhale for about 9 years now, and with the short phrase “She’s all ours”, I was able to release it all.

Once her court adoption papers are processed, we can post her sweet little face, but until then, we will post the sweetest ears, hands & feet photos.

All in the span of a month…Amelia Rose was born, we became parents and we officially began our greatest adventure yet. All in time for Mother’s Day too. Man, God is really good. He is and has been faithful every step of the way.





15 thoughts on “Love, Crashing Over Me.

  1. Ellen Lamb Buck

    I am sitting here crying reading your beautiful story. I am still overjoyed for both of you to finally have a daughter. Hopefully one day I will meet Amelia Rose . Love all of you. Aunt Ellen


  2. April and Jeremy Hunt

    Well as I sat sobbing in the grocery store parking lot when I first heard your news I was so overjoyed! I’m now sobbing on my couch again because of the beauty of God’s faithfulness to you and for your bravery to open yourselves up the way that you both have. What amazing parents you have always been. Every moment, every joy, every heartache, has led to this moment. YOUR MOMENT!!! GOD’S MOMENT!!! Praise Him!!! We love you guys so much, and miss you and would love to meet your beautiful Amelia Rose the next time we are in Charlotte!!! xoxoxo


  3. Amber

    That was beautiful. I got choked up while reading that. You and jay are both amazing people, and sweet baby Ameila s just so precious! 🙂


  4. Tajhia

    Jessica, I’m so happy for you and Jay!!! Even as I type those words they don’t even begin to express what is really in my heart. So much joy and happiness and excitement for you both. God is good all of the time and His timing is perfect.


  5. lstanfield10

    Oh man. So many tears over here. This may be my most favorite blog post that I’ve ever read anywhere! Seriously this is so incredible. I can’t think of two people who will be better parents for this sweet angel. Love you guys so much


  6. Uncle Kenny & Aunt Iline

    Such sweet happiness Miss Amelia brings to all. The Lords Blessings of family brings great joy to a couple worthy of the love in which their daughter will bring. Wishing three of you the best life can be. We welcome Amelia Rose to our family as our
    13th of our great great nieces and nephews. Kenny and I find 13 to be our lucky number, married on the 13th and baptized on the 13th. Now we celebrate our blessed one. XOXOXO Uncle Kenny and Aunt Iline


  7. Leah

    I too am weeping with joy for your family. I can’t even put words to the pain I have felt on your behalf all these years. And now. Now Amelia Rose, sweet Daughter of the KING! I am so over the moon with you guys and hope to meet this precious girl someday. I want to thank her birthmother for choosing you! For giving you this amazing gift like no other. God bless your sweet family. The Cantrells love the Masonattis!


  8. Sian

    So so so happy for you. (Here in South Africa birth mothers have 3 months!!! to change their minds!) 7 days is a good godly number. Hallelujah. Amelia Rose will be the greatest blessing to you x


  9. latempest

    You do realise you now need to get her a passport to bring her to the UK so we can see her don’t you? 🙂

    I’m so thrilled and happy for you, we miss and love you.


  10. Catherine

    Hi Sweet Jess 🙂 So, SO happy for you and Jay and Amelia. My husband and I got that call last July – 5 weeks later our son, Sam, was born. He is 9 months old and we are SO blessed by him. All the waiting just makes it that much sweeter. I can tell Amelia is a beauty, just like her mama 🙂 Blessings to you three!

    Catherine (used to be Cain – Kasey Folk’s friend)


  11. woodenspoonbakery

    Hi Sweet Jess 🙂 So, SO happy for you and Jay and Amelia. My husband and I got that call last July – 5 weeks later our son, Sam, was born. He is 9 months old now and we are SO blessed by him. All the waiting just makes it that much sweeter. I can tell Amelia is a beauty, just like her mama 🙂 Blessings to you three!

    Catherine (used to be Cain – Kasey Folk’s friend)


  12. Valerie Hlavacek

    Oh my word!!!!! YES!!!!!!!! I have checked your blog over and over waiting, hoping, and praying for you. I am thrilled for you and Jay. What a lucky, lucky girl to have you two as parents. I know your heart is full! Savor those sweet baby snuggles! Praise GOD!


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