In July, we sensed a stirring from God that there was room in our family for another miracle story.
In August, we began to do some research on domestic adoption options.
In early September, we began the steps with an organization.
On November 5, our adoption profile went live.
A part of why we went with this organization was due to the speed they are able to match adoptive families with newborn orphans. Still, we had been told the average wait time would be 4-13 months.
Wednesday Night, November 11, after putting our kids down for bed, we received a call from our client liaison. “I have a birth mother who has selected you… and she is in labor right now… How soon can you get to __________?”*
After minutes of prayer (yes, minutes… we didn’t have time for more than that) and seeking some wise counsel, we took to a step of faith like we feel this journey has been marked by all along.
On one hour of sleep we set off on a whirlwind trip of flights and car rides. We walked into the hospital at approximately 3 pm Thursday, November 12 to meet the birth mom and our BABY BOY!
How do you sum up the moment where you walk into the room to see the child you are to call your son and the brave woman who is making one of, if not the, toughest choices in her life?
It is impossible.
So, it happened.
After some shared time together, the birth mom asked if we had a name selected. We informed her, Malachi Davis Prenkert. She loved it.
|Malachi Davis Prenkert. Born 11/12/15|
About an hour later, we were handed baby and guided to another hospital room to begin care. We did not have legal custodial rights, but birth mom wanted us to take over in care asap to begin the bonding process.
In that room, we were able to FaceTime back home to the kids and introduce them to their baby brother. Feeding, burping and diaper changes began as we spent the first night of our son’s life in the hospital with him.
Friday, November 13 was marked by meetings with social worker, birth mom, and lawyers to sign over custodial rights. By Friday evening we had full custodial rights and were discharged from the hospital.
Friday Night, November 13 was spent in a Holiday Inn near the hospital with our son. Due to interstate adoption law, we had to go through a waiting period until governmental consent for him to leave the state as well as consent from our home state (Indiana) to enter is granted. We were told this process could take 7-14 days.
As only God could design, there were several unique factors that allowed for a meaningful and comfortable wait over the week to follow.
Derry’s mom and an amazing friend arranged a care structure for our three kids back home. Regular FaceTime appointments allowed for us to interact with them and they with us/their baby brother.
We had family connections inside the state that allowed for lots of good connections and a place to stay Saturday-Sunday (Nov. 14-15).
Janelle’s parents were vacationing nearby. They were able to meet their 2-day old grandson and spend a couple days with us.
A family friend made a completely furnished home available to us while we waited and bonded with our little dude.
Still other significant acts of support and generosity that are either not my place to share or not quite ready to share.
We received word Friday, November 20 that we could leave Malachi’s birth state, but did not have permission to enter Indiana yet. We wouldn’t until after the weekend. Itching to unite our entire family, we made the decision to rent a car and started the drive home that evening.
On Saturday, November 21, Derry dropped Janelle off at just outside the Indiana border, drove into Fort Wayne (in some pretty nasty snow), dropped off our rental car at the airport, and picked up our van (from my in-laws) with the kids in it! We, very carefully (almost went of the road twice) made our way into Ohio where the 6 of us were united together.
|Our 1st “Family of 6” Photo|
We invite you to rejoice with us that a brave birth mom chose life and chose us.
It has been a whirlwind.
It has contained God’s fingerprints all over it.
We deserve none of it.
We praise God for every aspect of it.
We continue to walk by faith.
Lifesong has graciously given us a matching grant. If you choose to support us financial, we greatly appreciate it and every dollar raised (up to $3,000) will be matched.
You can give online, but please note that STRIPE does charge an administrative 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 “Prenkert 5679”, 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.
- NOTE: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- 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. Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.