We prayed for a child. Due to fertility issues and many treatments, we were resigned to the fact we may never be parents. But in our hearts, we dreamed that maybe one day in God’s time that we could be parents. We received the call in October 2013 that there was a mother, that just found out she was pregnant. She was a single mom with an 18-year-old. She did not have the means to take care of a newborn. Bryan and I had not told anyone that we were thinking of adoption. We had a family friend, advise she had a dream, God had told her to tell us that He had picked us for this little girl, but we had to act fast otherwise He would give the opportunity to another family. We started the process that weekend to proceed with adopting.

Just before Christmas we were advised there was a 99% chance Clara would have Down Syndrome. We were asked if we wanted to proceed or cancel the adoption. We knew in our hearts that she was still meant to be ours no matter what diagnosis she was given, she still needed a mommy and daddy who would love her and fight for her. We wanted to be her voice, nor were we going to back down from the opportunity. The night Clara was born, we received the call that there were labor pains beginning, but the family would call us after they went to the doctor. I started packing immediately, an hour later we received the call. The car was packed, and we started our journey to Indiana to meet our little girl. We were an hour outside of her birth city, when we received the call they couldn’t wait any longer. We told the family, do not wait for us, the lives of the birth mom and Clara were too important. We would rather the two be safe. Clara was delivered via emergency C-Section. The cord was wrapped around Clara’s neck, arm, and abdomen.  We arrived an hour after Clara was born and had been awake for over 24 hours. Despite being sleep deprived, we waited until the nurses or someone would allow us to meet our girl.

The first thing the nurse told us when we finally met her, was that she had dubbed her “Sassy Britches”. And she is true to that nickname.  She spent her first two weeks at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The only issue she had was that her stomach was asleep. She wasn’t digesting her food, which is why we were transported to Riley. Truly, was one of the scariest days of our lives. We were finishing having rights terminated on the birth parents and getting guardianship established, but our hearts and minds were an hour down the road worried about Clara.  It was initially going to be 5 days at Riley, but after a 3 hour car seat study, visitors, and a growth spurt she had a bradycardia which granted us a second week at Riley.

Clara is a smart and sassy child who is full of love to share. I look at my daughter and I see life in an entire new way. Simple tasks that we take for granted, with Clara we celebrate. Even if it’s just putting a cup on the table there are high fives all around. I watch her at church praising the Lord with all her might, singing along with the praise team, stretching out her hand when someone is being prayed for. I love that she even gives the preacher a hug every time they come off the platform. If we could all look at people with love and compassion like Clara, I believe there would be no turmoil. She shows people a God kind of love – one that is unconditional.  When God speaks of coming to Him with a child like faith, He is using her as the example.

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that our love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.” Psalm 89:1-2