Our adoption experience so far has reminded me of one thing. How desperately we want things to be right. How desperately we want to be in Gods will. How we long for confirmations that things are the way they should be. How we look for signs that give us peace and tell us “Yes, this is the right step, yes this is good.”

Most of you know that our adoptive mother picked us from a profile we had made, to give to prospective birth parents. I sent it out many times, each time with a prayer that it would be to the right person, and that somebody greater than us would make it happen, and make it be right. Part of me wishes that she would have picked us because she could just tell we would be great parents, or because we seemed so happy, or because we seem so stable. The truth is though, that’s not what jumped out at her from our profile. She didn’t pick us because we live on a farm with a large extended family. She didn’t pick us because we have fun with our kids and take them camping, or because we are so good at loving each other. She didn’t pick us because we are nice Christian people. The one thing that stood out to our child’s parent was the fact that Gene is tall.

No lie, HEIGHT is what tipped the scale in our favor.

It’s funny, because our profile was an online file on the computer, and I updated it frequently. If pictures were outdated I would stick a new one in. I took stuff out that seemed cheesy. One afternoon I was looking at our profile and thought to myself “You know, in these pictures you can’t really tell that Gene is tall, but when people meet him, that’s what people notice first. So as an afterthought at the “About Gene” page I wrote this: “You can’t tell in the pictures but Gene is 6’5”, and when we go out together people always ask him if he plays basketball”. That was the sign that birth mom received that gave her pause, gave her peace and said “Everything will be ok”. Because you see, the birth father is also 6’5”.

Fast forward to the birthday, and in meeting lots of members of the biological family, the theme was evident, that even in the midst of pain, these people were looking for comfort and hope that we were the right people to parent their little girl. Is it coincidence that Gene & birth dad “Could practically be twins” and that they “Walk and talk exactly the same” or that I “Look so Italian, I could fit right in at family gathering?” some of this stuff made me laugh and yet I get it.

When I arrived at the hospital on Saturday Morning (Day 3) I washed my hands to start care time with baby Allie (what we had called her up until that time) Birth mom came for a visit too, and we took turns feeding the baby, and then I told her if at all possible I would really like if she could finalize a name for the baby. She said, “Oh, yeah we were talking yesterday and he (birth dad) really wants to name her Jena.” When she said that, I gasped out loud. Because this name, was not just any name. This name had made it onto my short list of names for all my children. Jena has been a candidate for a girl’s name in each of my pregnancies. I never thought of it with this child, it wasn’t on my radar. I was blown away that we would be so lucky enough to have a name for the baby that I won’t just tolerate, but actually love.

And that’s how baby Jena was named. The OBGYN came into the room while we were talking, and gave his opinion that in a name like that, he always goes with the more traditional spelling, so it’s easier for people to spell.

Well, we both thought it was none of his business, so in a unified act of defiance we decided to spell it the non-traditional way. (I know, Real Mature. In our defense we both separately had thought it would be spelled with a single n)

And somehow, the name Jena reminds me that it will be ok. That it was the right step, and that it is good.

22 thoughts on “Signs and Wonders

  1. Kristi says:

    I just LOVE this, Andrea!!  It makes me giggle though, because I was wondering if her name is “Gina” or “Jenna.” I think I have my answer!! 🙂

  2. This makes me teary eyed. I love that you were picked because of height and that they PICKED YOUR BABY NAME. I mean seriously. How wonderful and quirky and amazing is that?

  3. so glad for more posts on your sweet girl. what a wonderful God we serve; these details are so much more than coincidental.

  4. Hutch5 says:

    i have goosebumps. so COOL!! love when little details like names and height confirm God is aware of our lives and desires!!and thanks for sharing jena’s story so we can walk it with you, even from afar. xo

  5. jennieanne84 says:

         this is such a neat story…God is good and cares about those details!i prayed for jena today as i thought of her… hope she does wonderful in the next few days/weeks!

  6. lifeisadance says:

      What a beautiful story! The name thing – wow!! What confirmation  – as if you needed more besides Gene and the birth father – that this IS the right way for you guys, for your family, for little Jena. Wow. I’m in awe of God! Blessings on you these days! I think of you often…♥

  7. richlyblest says:

    wow, Andrea, that just gives me goosebumps. i think there is no mistake that this is a God thing!

  8. lin789 says:

    i can’t even say what i want to say. but, oh goodness, i love this story. love it. please keep writing all of this. my faith took a dangerous dipping  for a spell and every little affirmation of HIM helps. 

  9. @lin789 – Mine faith did too, and still does. I’m not one at all that believes a beautiful sunrise or butterfly on the way to church was sent by God JUST FOR ME, so I don’t wanto to come across that way.  I always felt that everybody elses stories(adoption stories anyway) had all these God things and mine had nothing, just a person that wanted to adopt. But I’m realizing that when I write out my story, it is uniquely mine..and I like the little quirks in our story. 

  10. madisonsmom2 says:

    Wow!! Beautiful beautiful story that you’ll be able to tell her someday. God wanted her with you, not anyone else, you! 

  11. i can’t even explain how much i love this. how goosebumpy i feel. the kind that i get when i’m offered a peek into something sacred. and i realize that as the rearview mirror reveals details of HIS hands and voice that i couldn’t see at that time…i am encouraged in my sightless faith for and in TODAY. celebrating JENA! ( i love the one n) and the signs and wonders in your family’s story.

  12. imablestmomy says:

    WOW!! SO incredible…so like our GOD!

  13. redladybug18 says:

    wow, how amazing!  That’s so neat and definitely a ‘God thing’

  14. MaeIBeSunny says:

    i have goose bumps all over and tears in my eyes!!!!!!!! SO SPECIAL!!! I LOVE IT!!! Confirmations are just so God sent!!!

  15. every time I see that you posted, I click right on over and devour every word, and this post certainly did not dissappoint.  am soaking up every detail of your story that you toss our way 

  16. loved how cindy said, “the signs and wonders of your family.”  so perfect.  and so perfectly and tailer designed just for your precious family.  love that you are able to see those things as you write them out and that you are sharing your story with us. ♥

  17. lwstutz says:

    Aw! Isn’t God good?

  18. Wow!  God loves showing Himself in all the details!  How amazing!

  19. twofus_1 says:

    These details are some of my favorite parts of adoption stories.  Beautifully written.

  20. I finally took the time to read through all your posts very slowly & get all the details.  This is so awesome, Andrea!!  I loved reading it & am so excited for your family.  Praying that God will give you lots of grace & wisdom in the days ahead….

  21. Just happened to stumble on your blog and wanted to say hello.  Loved reading your story.  I also have children that I didn’t name and love the names that someone else picked – Jeremy, Justin and Joseph, given in two countries by two different people and I get to be the mama.

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