Leslie and I have been married for 23 years. We met and fell in love in high school and got married once Leslie graduated. We waited a little while to have children until I was out of the Army so we had been married almost 10 years before being blessed with our first child. We have two biological children Preston and Abigail. Our oldest, Preston, is 13 going on 20, our middle daughter, Abigail, will turn 10 soon and loves anything and everything horses. Our youngest daughter, Katherine, turns 4 before the end of the month and we were blessed to bring her into our family through adoption. We live in Oklahoma City and love to spend time together as a family. It doesn’t matter if we are going on a vacation or playing Avocado Smash at home, we just enjoy each other’s company. 

Why did you choose adoption?

Leslie definitely felt God leading us down the adoption pathway before I did. She and I had talked about it many times before, so we prayed through it and saw that He was wanting us to expand our family in a new and amazing way. We believe that life is precious and God was calling us to live that out in a very real way in our family. As far as choosing Deaconess, both Leslie and I knew multiple people who have adopted through Deaconess and had nothing but wonderful things to say about the people and the process. We knew that the adoption journey would be a long process and we wanted to partner with an organization who would truly be there with us from start to finish. I was talking with my boss, who started his adoption journey through Deaconess, and I remember him telling me that if we felt that God was leading us to adopt, Deaconess was absolutely the way we needed to go. He and our friends were right as there was no better group of people to go through this journey with us than the amazing staff at Deaconess. 

 We started our adoption journey in early March of 2017 with the filing of the initial paperwork (If only we would have really known how much of that would follow!). We attended the seminar and knew in our hearts that this was absolutely what God was calling us to do and that Deaconess was the right place for us to be. We completed all of the mountains of paperwork, the interviews and home study done by our amazing adoption specialist, Malorie, and became an official waiting family on September 1st, 2017. It became really real when we first saw our picture on the Deaconess website. Those next few months were definitely difficult. Leslie and I handled it OK, but it was difficult explaining to our two oldest children that we just have to wait for the child God has planned for our family. They were all in and just wanted to meet their new baby brother or sister! 
On a Wednesday in January, I went to work like any other day (pre-COVID) where I proceeded to break my phone. Leslie was at home with the kids when she got that long-awaited phone call telling her that there was someone very special on the line. She listened as Malorie explained to her that, not only had a very brave woman chosen us to place her child with, there was a little baby girl born two days ago waiting at the hospital to meet us. She cried, finished the call, and tried to call me to let me know. Thankfully, I had let her know that I had broken my phone and was getting it repaired so she wasn’t upset when she couldn’t get hold of me. When my phone was finally repaired I powered it on and saw a slew of text messages (Call.Me.Now!) and a ringing phone with my wife on the caller ID. Fast-forward one and a half hours and we were at the hospital waiting to see our beautiful baby girl, Katherine. The nurses rolled her in and our family was changed forever. She is such a blessing and we can’t imagine our family without her in it. She was the missing piece we didn’t even know we were missing. 

What advice would you give other couples interested in adoption?

Be prepared for it to look nothing like you imagine. I just knew that we would be matched a couple of months out and have some time to get ready and be more prepared. It never really crossed my mind that we would receive a phone call that our daughter was already born and that we would take her home the next day. All journeys are different so lean into that and don’t get discouraged if yours looks different than what you thought it would be. God has it all planned out - you just have to walk the path. 
Leslie would say that it is the hardest, most amazing journey you will ever take. Be true to yourselves in your letter to the expectant/birth mom and in your photo book. You never know what she will connect with when choosing the family for her child. Don’t give up hope in the waiting. Lean on God and each other through the whole process. 

How does Deaconess continue to provide support for you and your family?

Deaconess has become part of our family. We support them and they support us. From the annual picnic to the annual gala, we love being part of something that is so much bigger than us that helps so many families. We have also taken advantage of the counseling services to help guide us through the many conversations we have yet to have but will be needed. We know that Deaconess is there for us however we need them and we are more than happy to reciprocate!

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