In January, we received a notice at Life Church Michigan in the mail: Michigan is experiencing a shortage in the number of available families to adopt. A week later, the same notice appeared in our home mailbox. Being a family passionate about James 1:27, we prayed. And we took action: we began the infant adoption process.
By February, Amber and I were fingerprinted by the State of Michigan, which is a standard part of the process. What was not standard was our fingerprints not coming back and getting lost in red tape. We were frustrated as the months ticked by, but I knew there was a purpose in the delay. God doesn’t waste time when He makes us wait for a time.
Our fingerprints came back on June 1st. The adoption agency said they had never seen a delay like ours before. There is always a divine purpose in everyday delays.
We hit more snags in the paperwork process over the summer. Mind you, this is our fourth adoption, so we kinda know what we’re doing. And yet we kept hitting walls.
Once our paperwork was complete, we moved forward on our family profile. In a normal domestic adoption, you create a family profile that is later shown to prospective birthmothers, who in turn choose a family. Waiting to be chosen can take months or even years, so it is important to get your profile into the system as quickly as possible to begin the long wait.
And of course, we hit more red tape with getting our profile completed in the system. It was getting ridiculous and feeling hopeless. But God always has a plan.
Last Thursday, our family profile finally went live online. The very next day – Friday – a baby was born. Unbeknownst to us, the baby’s mother began making an adoption plan and our family profile was shown to her on Saturday (along with many others).
Yesterday, we received the phone call from the adoption agency: we were chosen! Today we brought home a baby boy.
There are still some legal hurdles to jump over and it will be another three weeks before we know if he is staying with us permanently. This means no identifying photos online or social media. But after meeting today with this sweet infant’s birthmother, Amber and I feel very confident this little guy will be joining our forever family. His birthmother is a very strong and selfless young woman who is making an adoption plan out of a deep, deep love for him.
Tonight we brought him home. All of that waiting and every single delay happened in God’s purposeful timing. Of course we were seeing “our plans” delayed… because God’s timing is always perfect! If we knew everything that God knows, we would do exactly what God does in our lives.
We spent a lot of time in the Scriptures and seeking wise counsel before naming him. Amber and I take the responsibility of parenting very seriously and we have always been very intentional in naming our children: Josiah Nathan, Ainsleigh Grace, Seth Edmund, and now…
Levi Tozer Herron!
LEVI: In the Hebrew Testament, Levi was Jacob’s third son, so that in itself is fitting. Levi’s name means, “Set apart by the LORD.” We feel like he was specifically set apart by God’s good design for our family. The Levites were the priests of ancient Israel, tasked with carrying the Ark of the Covenant and performing the priestly duties.
In the New Testament, Levi was a tax collector who had turned his back on his heritage, his family, his people, and his God. And yet Jesus of Nazareth walked right up to Levi and said, “Follow me and be my disciple.” Levi’s name was later changed to Matthew, the author of the first gospel.
Here’s what makes our Levi’s name extra special and personal: I had no idea that he was born last weekend when I gave this message on Sunday about the two Levi’s of the Bible. God was already tenderly and subtly preparing Amber and I for the week ahead through our ministry at Life Church Michigan!
TOZER: Tozer is a ballin’ name. But there is a deeper meaning too. The very first church that Amber and I did ministry as volunteers together was a Christian & Missionary Alliance church in Ohio. We have a deep love and admiration for the C&MA. One of the C&MA’s greatest historical leaders was a pastor and writer who lived 100 years ago named A.W. Tozer. Amber and I love the writings of Tozer and wished to link Levi’s life with this great man of the faith who continues to inspire us today.
Plus, one day in the future, he will have business cards made up that say:
Levi T. Herron. Like a boss.
We want to thank everyone who has been following along on our adoption journey – thank you for your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. This has been quite a year for Team Herron.
If you’re asking how you might help, please know that we have no expectations. Prayers are appreciated as the adoption won’t be finalized for many months.
If you really insist on doing something tangible, we could always use diapers, gift cards, and coffee. Strong coffee.
Why gift cards? Because we have no boy baby clothes. Which sounds silly since we’ve already had two boys. Long story short, we actually gave away all our Under Six Months boy clothes to someone else in our church two years ago. And so we’re on the hunt.
Anyhow, thank you for being part of our family’s journey. Tune in three weeks from now when we (hopefully) can share some sweet baby pics with you!