October 13, 2017

Be Our Guest / Beth Legge

Baby Elijah’s birth, adoption help family fulfill God’s plan

God has a plan. We try so hard to figure out the plan on our own, and think we know so much more than what God is trying to tell us. But he is in control. When we decide to take a back seat and let his plan unfold, that is when “amazing” happens.

On July 12, 2016, our daughter Evelyn would have been 3. She died at 10 months.

At 7:30 p.m. that day, we received a text message. How serious are you about adoption? It seemed like an odd question, but I replied that we were very serious. We took classes and were officially licensed to foster to adopt. She replied that a friend of a friend of a friend had a baby the day before and was giving him up for adoption.

The lady (Dawn Bennett of St. Elizabeth Catholic Charities in New Albany, who was given our biography) let us know that the birth mom would contact all potential parents in the morning.

The next morning came and went with no phone call. We were a little bummed, but felt that a better-suited home was found.

At 5:30 p.m., we received a phone call. It was Dawn. She was giving me the number of the grandma. I called the grandma, and she gave me the number of the birth mom, and it was the first I learned her name: Naomi.

Talking to the birth mom on the phone, she went on to say she had a cesarean section. Nurses were in every two hours. She was exhausted. My heart instantly filled with compassion. She was making the hardest decision of her life. She had met with other potential parents, and none fit.

Friday morning we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky to meet the birth mom and our potential son.

The love I instantly had for Naomi is indescribable. I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes. She loved her son so much that she wanted a better life for him. Who is that selfless? Naomi.

I slowly went into our story and just kept talking. I felt like we were chosen before we ever finished.

Then we asked the question, “So when was he born?” We were told by our friend on the 11th. She clarified it was on July 12th. Evy’s birthday. Three years after she was born, he was born.

Naomi wanted him to go to a loving family, and she saw that in us. It filled our hearts when she told the social worker that she found a family for her baby. I loved that she had picked out the name (Elijah Aden). The name will always be with him, and it will be a great story to tell him one day that his birth mom loved him so much that she chose his great name.

We had to call the lawyer and get the paperwork moving fast. It was Elijah’s last day in the hospital before being released. If we did not get temporary custody fast, then baby Elijah would either go to a Catholic Charities adoption agency (Adoption Bridges of Kentuckiana) or foster care in the state of Kentucky.

Our lawyer was able to get Elijah another night at the hospital since the adoption plan was moving forward.

Then we heard that Naomi had to be present to sign papers, too. She was already released. We had to contact her and hope that she was willing to come back to the hospital. I was hoping her part was all done. I knew her heart was hurting. Papers weren’t signed until the afternoon.

We were giddy with excitement as we sat waiting for the OK that Elijah was ours. Time was just flying by. Then we realized how fast time was flying by. We quickly texted panic prayer requests. We let everyone know that we had one hour and 15 minutes of intense prayer to make Elijah ours.

With not a minute to spare, the lawyer called and said we were granted temporary custody. We could leave with him from the hospital.

Exactly three years after Evelyn’s birth, a little boy was born—Elijah Aden. And he was ours.

(Beth Legge is a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Aurora.)

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