September 3, 1987 – Rebecca gets a call from Mrs. Stafford, our Gladney caseworker, telling her that they have a baby boy that she thought would be an ideal match for us. She couldn’t have been more right. Our lives turned upside down. They've never gotten back to “normal” and I trust they never will.
We had endured infertility treatments, followed by a fairly long wait with Gladney, but adoptive parents are nothing if not persevering. We never envisioned Phillip as an only child and were anxious to approach Gladney again to complete our family. In the meantime, we got pregnant twice, but suffered through two miscarriages.
Four years after Phillip came on the scene, we got a similar call from Gladney telling us about another ideal match – a baby girl. As Rebecca and I waited, Phillip carried his new little sister, Hayden, in his arms and presented her to us. Now our family was complete. Or so we thought.
To our surprise, we got pregnant again. This time, Rebecca carried the baby to term, but she was stillborn. This was somewhat overwhelming, but we continued to persevere. One more pregnancy, and Phillip and Hayden had a little brother, Sam.
An unconventional way to form a family, but I wouldn't trade a minute of the roller coaster ride for anything. We have the three wonderful kids that God intended for us. In the meantime, my faith was strengthened from the miracle of seeing God’s plan unfold, as well as from the trials and times of testing.
Now we are witnessing life come full circle, as our kids (27, 23 and 21) begin to embrace the notion of giving back. Hayden volunteered as a “buddy” at Gladney’s inaugural Family Camp and has participated in three service trips to Colombia, where she has been used by God to show His love and care for the orphans of that country.
Phillip worked for Gladney as an unpaid intern in Ethiopia during his junior year of college. Soon after he arrived in Addis Ababa, I received a video in which Phillip is seen handing an Ethiopian baby to his new American parents. That was a poignant moment for me and apparently for Phillip as well. He soon decided on a non-profit career, and he and his wife recently moved to Fort Worth to work in Gladney’s development department.
Even Sam got in the act, briefly interning at another adoption agency close to his college. Along with the Executive Director there, we joked that he was a spy for Gladney.
2014 Update: After 33 years of marriage and a lot of effort on both of our parts to make it work, Rebecca and I finalized our divorce early this year. We thought we would get to the finish line and grow old together, but it didn’t quite work out that way.
Phillip and Katie were married a week after they graduated from Furman University (2010), moved to China for a year, then Denver for two plus years before coming to Fort Worth.
Hayden is enjoying Texas State, San Marcos and all that Central Texas has to offer. She will graduate in 2015. She is majoring in Ag Science, but I think the non-profit arena is tugging at her heart as well.
Sam is about to begin his senior year at Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois. He will likely stay in Chicago and pursue a career in theater.