After 9 months of waiting, one phone call on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 10:15pm changed everything.
A baby boy had been born earlier that day in Houston, Tx.
“Healthy Bi-racial boy, 7lbs 15oz, 20.5”, born at 4:44pm. Do you want to be presented for this case?”
Charis said yes, handed the phone to Duffy, and ran off to start packing. At 11:30pm they got word that the birthparents had selected them and they could come to the hospital. After a sleepless night, they got up, packed the car, and left for Houston. The excitement built with every mile they drove.
It was love at first sight and we instantly bonded with the birth-family and had a wonderful day of getting to know them and loving on baby boy. Birth-mom was discharged around 6pm so we all walked out together to grab some dinner. After dinner, the Johnsons headed back to the hospital for more baby cuddles. When visiting hours were over, we headed to a hotel, over the moon in love and on cloud nine.
The next day, Julah, Zoe, and Boone headed off to a drop-in day-care facility and Charis & Duffy back to the hospital. We cuddled, fed, and loved on baby boy waiting for his 5pm discharge time to arrive. When it did, we hugged the nurses, packed everything up, loaded up in the car and headed back to Adventure Kids to pick up our other 3 kiddos.
As we pulled into the day-care parking lot we got the call – the birthparents had changed their minds and weren’t going to sign the adoption paperwork. We were to take the baby back to the hospital. We prayed for strength to accept God’s will for Him, love to show the Birth family, and healing for our broken hearts. “He gives and take away, but I will chose to say, ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’.”
Everything was a blur as we drove him back to the hospital and took him back to the nursery. The nurses were surprised to see us back. They tried their best to comfort us and make the transition as gentle as possible, but Charis was understandably inconsolable.
We left the hospital deep in grief, finding it difficult to breathe, and tears flowing freely. We sat in the car silently for a while, attempting to process what had just happened. Finally, we began the drive to pick up our trio for the second time….wondering how we would explain this to them.
We weren’t quite out of the parking lot yet when we got a phone call from the Birth Mom. They had changed their minds again and would sign the paperwork. We could go back and pick up our son. If Charis hadn’t completely fallen apart before – she did now. With tears streaming down her face she walked over to hug Birth Mom. They hugged and cried for a while in the parking lot of the hospital before the Birth Family left to sign the paperwork.
Charis & Duffy walked back into the hospital to pick up their baby, only to find out that the hospital had readmitted him as an abandoned baby since the birthparents never came back to get him. The only way he could be released now was with a court order signed by a judge. He would remain in the NICU until the situation could be resolved.
For the 2nd time that day, we left the hospital heartbroken and without a baby. We told our trio we weren’t sure what was going to happen and we prayed together as a family. Around 4am Charis woke up with a thought…that she was sure was from the Lord. It wasn’t a law that was keeping the baby in the hospital – it was a hospital policy. Policies can always be overruled by someone high enough up the chain of command. What hospital network was it? Who do we know that works there? Sure enough, God had led Charis straight to the answer. A long time friend and fellow community group member was a Regional Vice-President of the hospital group. One call to him the next day and an hour later we found ourselves being personally escorted by the CEO of the hospital to the NICU to pick up our son. We all but ran out of the hospital with the baby. In fact, the only pictures we have are selfies of us running down the hall. For the 4th time we left the hospital, this time for good, and this time with a family of six.
We name him “Bowen Ryals Johnson”. Bowen was the maiden name of Charis’ maternal great-grandmother, and Ryals is the maiden name of Duffy’s maternal great-grandmother.
While the emotional difficulties of our adoption placement ended there, the financial burden remains great. Our estimated costs for this adoption are over $50,000, and while that is far beyond our capacity – we know that nothing is beyond God’s capacity. Would you please consider joining us in contributing to our adoption? We are humbled beyond words at the blessings God has blessed us with in this child and in the community that supports us. We love you and thank-you!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Johnson 8104”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.