Griffin’s Calendar

I was a bit unsettled when Linds told me that she was pregnant. We weren’t trying, but we weren’t not trying either. But we got excited! It was our first year of marriage, and we had just moved to a new state for a new job, but whatever!!

And then we learned that it was going to be a miscarriage…

The day of the actual miscarriage was absolutely terrible. The physical pain she endured, the loss we were enduring, the whole thing sucked.

I was supposed to speak at a Winter Camp for a bunch of high school kids a couple days later. I told Linds I was going to cancel to be with her, but she told me that I should keep my commitment to them.

We had only been married a year, but I knew exactly what this little interaction was: this was a TEST! She was testing me to see if I was a moron that would go spend a few days in the woods while his new wife grieves alone. Yeah right!

“I’m not gonna go. I’ll cancel so I can be with you.” This was a test I was gonna pass.

But then she said, “No, you should go, I’ll be fine. I want you to go.” She meant it. It wasn’t a test, she really thought I should go speak.

I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go talk about how great God was, or his plan for anyone’s life. His plan for my life had just been sucker-punched, so I wasn’t in the mood. But I went.

Four days in the woods with a bunch of high school kids… pretty uneventful. I was glad when it was over.

Then we got the bug… the baby bug.

We wanted to be parents now. So… we tried. And tried. And tried. And not to be awkward… but we kept trying. For a long time. Weeks went by… negative test after negative test… month after month, for what seemed like forever… and it just kept NOT happening.

In the meantime, everyone and their mother was becoming a new mother. Literally, moms of moms of moms were getting pregnant. Old women, young women… all of them were getting pregnant and having babies.

There were babies everywhere. Millions of them… everywhere I went we saw women holding babies, babies holding babies, babies… babies… babies.

But none of them were for us.

Our pregnancy must have been a fluke. Apparently we’re never gonna get pregnant.

Then we reminded each other that we had always wanted to adopt, even before our first pregnancy, we knew we wanted that to be a part of our story.

So… here we go!

We applied with an adoption agency, then we interviewed with them, and interviewed, and interviewed… and eventually got approved by them to become adoptive parents!

We had to take 3,947 classes to be “ready” to adopt, and we finally were, at least according to them. All we had to do was create a little profile that would go in a big book full of people that wanted to adopt a baby, and then hope that some girl picked us.

Our profile was dope. I mean… it was good. I was proud. We got all my students involved… professional graphics were created… it was money.

Then we had to wait.

At some point in that process I got a call from a buddy of mine who was a pastor. He was actually the pastor who asked me to come and speak at that Winter Camp months before.

He said, “I know you guys are looking to adopt, and that you’re working with an agency, but I wanted to tell you something. There’s a girl in our high school group that is pregnant, and she’s considering adoption. Do you want me to connect you with her?”

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “DO I WANT YOU TO CONNECT ME WITH HER OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO…” Sorry. I don’t mean to yell. But I remember thinking, “OF COURSE WE WANT TO TALK TO HER!”

And then he said, “Here’s the crazy part: she was at that camp you spoke at.”

She was there? At the camp I absolutely didn’t want to go to? She was in that crowd?

Her and the birth father were there. Two great kids sitting there, oblivious to everything I had been through that week, and also oblivious to plot twist coming in their own stories.

I asked my buddy if he would share her name with me, and he did, and we went full-on STALKER mode. Google, Facebook… blogs… we looked anywhere and everywhere for info on her. After a week or two or being super detectives, I felt like we knew her PRETTY well haha. Gosh, we’re kinda creepy! Oh well.

Then… after all of that.

I was sitting on a 55-passenger bus on the way to a Summer Camp with a bunch of my own students. We finally had everyone counted and loaded, and we were about to pull out of the parking lot when my phone dinged.

It was an email.

It went something like this…

“Hi, my name is Erin. You don’t know me, but…”

Let’s stop there for a moment, haha!

OH WE KNEW HER. We had been stalking that girl nonstop! Ok anyways…

She shared that she was pregnant… and that my buddy had given her my email… and she was wondering if we might be interested in having a conversation, because she was considering adoption.

“The baby is due November 20th.”

There’s a baby… in a belly… in her belly… SHE is talking to ME about a baby.

We want a baby so bad. And this incredible young woman is wanting to talk to us about MAYBE adopting her baby.

A baby.

Due November 20th.

That might be MY baby.

I might actually get to be a dad.

Linds might actually get to be a mom.

Because there’s a baby… a real one… with a due date.

I’m on a bus… and there is a BABY!

I’m in charge! I have hundreds of kids on a bunch of buses heading across state lines for a week and THERE IS A BABY IN A BELLY WITH A DUE DATE.

I don’t wanna be in charge right now. I want to be a dad!

I’m on a bus with a bunch of teenagers going to a place where there will be hundreds more teenagers, and crappy bunk beds… and all I can think about is this baby and that due date. It was torture.

We got off the bus like 8 hours later… got everyone in their rooms, and then I said, “Hey… does anyone want to go check out the craft shop?”

I know that sounds lame, but it was a pretty sweet craft shop.

About 10 students took me up on the offer, and we walked across the camp to this massive shop.

Kids were carving things, building things, and so on. A lot of kids were painting things that they purchased at the camp. We walked into the store area where you could purchase your art supplies… when it happened.

This next part has to be a miracle, or I don’t know what is.

We walked in, and there were hundreds of things you could buy, but an entire wall dedicated to one item.

On the wall were hundreds of identical wooden calendars. Each of them were factory wrapped in plastic, and each and every one of them were set to the exact same date.

“November 20”

Hundreds of them. No other dates. All of them wrapped tight.

There were 365 options… you would expect January 1, or December 25, or July 4… but every single one of them were set to the date that had already been etched in my soul.

So I bought one… and I thought to myself, “This is either a miracle, or this world is evil. If it’s a miracle… then that might mean that I’m gonna be a dad…. and that that baby is gonna be my baby!”

The rest is history. That little baby became our little boy, and this little calendar became a daily reminder that miracles are possible.

I know that not every story ends like this one… but this story does! I hope it encourages you as much as it encourages me every single day.

Griffin Calendar

Happy Birthday Griffin

I had no idea how much I would love this little man.

He was lumpy and perfect.

It hit Lindsay first. She was an emotional train-wreck from the moment we saw him… I was more held together.

But tonight I am a mess.

This little man is my prized possession. He’s my best friend, my Griffin.

I can’t believe how much I love him!

He is my greatest gift.

Thank you God.

the home stretch!

Hello friends and family,

Baby Guard is almost here! His due date is 18 days away, but since Erin is full term he could come any day now. We are ridiculously excited and so grateful for how encouraging and supportive you all have been through this process. This kid (to be named later) is coming into the world with so much love waiting for him.

His room is ready. The car seat is installed. The bottles are washed. Even our dog knows something is coming!

We do still have some needs. We are still waiting to hear the final amount for the adoption fees and the hospital bills. We have no idea how much money we’ll need to spend on transportation to and from Santa Clarita, a rental car while we’re there, and for a hotel. Some of our friends chipped in and bought us a gift card for Southwest Airlines that should take care of the flight costs. THANKS GUYS! Everything else is still up in there air. We may be there for a week or two, we really have no idea!

We’ve already spent $4,500 on our initial fees. As of now we have about $5,600 in our savings account that we can use. We’re thinking that the bills, when all is said and done, will be anywhere from $6,000-$9,000. Our initial payment of $4,500 was made possible, in large part, by the generosity of our friends and family! Thank you so much for your help. We’ve come so far!

If you’d like to play a part in bringing home our baby boy, the easiest way to do it is through our PayPal account that we set up for the adoption. You can access that by clicking the donate button right here: . We have full confidence that God will meet every need we have. We totally understand if you can’t help out financially. We know all too well how finances can be tight sometimes! We’re fully prepared financially to raise this little guy. This really is just a chance for you guys to play a huge part in bringing him home.

Also, if you know of anyone near Santa Clarita with an extra car, or perhaps a guest house, those might be great alternatives to help meet our needs!

Please be praying for our birth parents and their families. They are wonderful people who have been so supportive of Lindsay and I through all of this. Also, please pray for me (Ryan). I still have no idea how to hold a newborn baby. I tried the other day and it was very awkward for both of us.

We love you guys, and we’re so grateful for your prayers and support! We can’t wait to introduce you to Baby Guard.

-Ryan and Lindsay

Serendipity

Two Sundays ago I was sitting on a charter bus on my way to Summer Camp when I received an email. It was from a sweet girl in California who wanted to talk to Lindsay and I about adopting her baby. I can’t remember exactly how it sounded, but I made a pretty loud/odd/happy noise right when I read who it was from! Everyone within ten feet of me on the bus heard it and looked at me. In the email she told me that the baby’s due date was November 20th, which is only three days before my birthday by the way! I told her to call Lindsay since I wouldn’t be able to talk much while I was at camp.

OK, so I get to camp and I’m super excited about everything. It was just awesome to be in a conversation with someone! I had tried not to get my hopes up, since I had no idea if it was going to work out with the girl in California.

A couple of days into camp I took about ten students to this huge craft shop where you can buy all sorts of stuff and stain it or paint it. Everyone started to look for whatever they wanted to paint and I said, “I think I’ll try to find something for our baby, or the baby’s room. I have no idea when we’ll actually bring a baby home, but I want to make something for whenever that is”.

I scan the first huge wall of items, and then the second huge wall, but I find nothing. I get to the last wall…

And I find this. <– click that sentence

There’s a whole wall of them, probably 50 of them! All of them are wrapped, and all of them are set to that date! It could have been 364 other dates… but no.

I said, “This is either the hugest coincidence of all time, or God sent me a pretty sweet sign! That or God is seriously, seriously mean. I think it’s a sign, haha!”

A week later we were asked to be the parents of that baby. Due date: November 20th!

Our Match Letter

We just put the finishing touches on our Match Letter! This is the letter that the birth moms & dads will see, along with about 40 other couples’ letters in the “Match Book”. We made it using a Microsoft Word template, and I think it turned out pretty good! This letter is basically the first glance that they’ll get, and if they like it they’ll tell the case worker to set up an initial meeting with us. Feels sorta like E-Harmony for babies. What do you think?



Babies, Babies, EVERYWHERE!

Does the Guinness Book of World Records track fertility? Not like “Hey, my corn’s growing good this year” fertility… I mean the baby-making kind. Because if they do, Gilbert has got to be the most fertile city in the Universe. I can’t remember if you’re supposed to capitalize universe. Anyways

We just got back from the mall, and I’m pretty sure everyone there had a baby. Employees working had babies. Janitors had babies. The guy who scooped my orange chicken onto my plate was holding a baby. Even babies had babies. We turned one corner and there were babies literally wall to wall. It looked like someone opened a huge box of happy babies and poured em out right before we turned the corner. And every one of them was adorable… like fictional adorable. I know that real babies poop and cry and poop, but none of these babies did. They all had Baby Gap outfits on and were chasing butterflies while singing about Jesus. Singing quietly and on key.

Then we went to Pottery Barn Kids, and they literally had babies swinging from ropes. None of them were crying… all of them looked like little baby models. They weren’t all white babies, it was like a rainbow of babies. We saw two babies that were obviously adopted (or she’s got some SPLAININ TO DO!). Adoptions and babies were everywhere.

And here we are… preparing for Baby Guard to come home. Everywhere we look is babies. We’re two weeks away from being in the adoption match book.

And all we see is babies.

I like what it’s doing to my soul.