On April 26th 2018 we adopted our daughter, Avalon Adalia Martin (A.K. A Tiny Bug). I can say that not only was it an amazing blessing but the process was one of the hardest I’ve ever experienced. The story that follows honestly is still hard for me to talk about because it’s so emotionally charged. Over the course of that year long battle, I had the opportunity to see angels first hand acting as the hand of God and I’m convinced I also saw one of the more ugly sides of humanity.
At 3 days old, we received a call saying a beautiful baby girl needed a home. They asked us if our home was open and we said yes. The next day we had a baby. It was a shock to say the least, what most people have 9 months to prepare for, we had a day. Because my oldest daughter was breast fed and was a horrible sleeper for the better part of 15 months, I volunteered to do night feedings with Tiny. I slept with her by my bedside, woke up every night and fed her, holding her in my arms each day and growing more and more attached to this beautiful blessing God brought into my life. At 3 months Tiny was sleeping through the night, and we got a visit from her case worker, she said we should start preparing the paperwork for Tiny’s adoption because we would likely become adoptive parents. My heart was hers already but if I’d held any reservations until that point they were now gone. The next few months were bliss as we prepared our new family for legal confirmation.
In the blink of an eye everything changed. On a Friday at about 5 months we got a call. The case worker said there’s an adoption agency who has moved for placement of Tiny, we’re going to relinquish custody so say goodbye to her because we will be there Monday morning to pick her up. That night I hit my knees and prayed like never before, prayed for her future, prayed to God that i’d never ask for another thing but to let me raise her, prayed that if it was His will that she’d remember us. We took to social media and asked anyone and everyone we knew for advice, thankfully someone gave us a family lawyers number. We filed an injunction that weekend and on Monday they didnt come to get Tiny. We had bought some more time.
Weeks passed and it became clear that despite us maxing out our credit cards to pay for the legal fees associated with our lawyers retainer that she was in over her head. One of our good friends Josh Wilson luckily had some advice for us and pointed us in the direction of a woman who could win. At that point we had a decision to make because the retainer was another 20,000 and we’d loose the money we had paid the first. I say a decision but it really wasn’t one, we applied for the loan, liquidated ALL of our savings and retirement funds within the week.
The next year was spent knowing that at any minute the tide could turn in favor of this agency, I savored every moment with Tiny and got more attached every day. We went to court countless times that year. God was there the whole time, our lawyer Valeria Brock was incredible and somehow kept me calm through the storm, Josh Wilson dedicated many hours of his time showing up to every court date just to translate legal speak to us so we understood what was going on the entire way. Ultimately Tiny was adopted and she got to keep her forever family that day, though regardless of the outcome we would always have been.
After the adoption we were left with a bill that was pretty crushing, but God once again said trust me. A friend mentioned in passing that our Church had a seed fun for adoption through an NPO agency that aids adoption and foster care. So, we went in and talked to our missions pastor and he gave us an application. We sent in the application and waited a few weeks, when we heard back from Lifesong I cried. We had 14,000 remaining on our loan. During the process I had made it clear that I didn’t want a full payoff because I knew that we had the means to pay the loan if we budgeted correctly. They respected that and gave us 12,000 with 2,000 interest free loan. God had in an incredible, and so tangible way spoken.
On August 17th I’ll be attempting the 24hr pull-up record where I’ll have to complete 7,601 strict pull-ups to officially beat the record. There are so many amazing causes out there, and clearly adoption is one that’s close to my heart. With Lifesong lifting this financial burden off of my shoulders I wanted to raise awareness for them and dedicate the pull-up attempt to them. My goal is to raise the entire 20,000 that was needed to save Tiny, so that maybe I can be a blessing someone the way others have blessed my family.
Oh and by the way Tiny is the best… she loves dancing and hugs so tight. She likes to annoy her big sis sometimes and has the best laugh you’ll ever hear. She wears her hair in a million different styles all of which are impossibly cute. You can always tell when she’s about to be naughty. She loves spicy food, unicorns, her family and every animal she comes in contact with. She’s my daughter and I thank God every day for her.
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 “Lifesong Adoption Fund – Ref: Martin”, 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 project.
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