13 Dec Our Adoption Story: Maggie Joy Genevieve Cook!
November was National Adoption Month. I had every intention to write this blog a month ago, but time slipped away. But, is there really a bad time to talk about adoption? Especially coming on the Christmas season. If one of you reading this would consider adoption or fostering, then every “late” word is worth it. Nevertheless, here is Our Adoption Story…
As our family was contemplating moving back to the US from Kenya in January 2017, we didn’t know what the future would hold. We loved Kenya. We loved working at Kijabe Hospital. We loved our life as missionaries and our family thrived. So, why were we being led away from this seemingly perfect fit? We had joy, we had peace. But something compelled us to leave this life and return to the US. We were supposed to be parents…for the 4th time.
As many couples with infertility can relate, Becky and I could not get pregnant for well over a year when we started trying back in 2005. We looked into many different treatments and letting time take its depressing toll, but we were told that IVF was about our only chance to have a baby, something we did not feel was right for us. And so, we began to explore adoption. Sure enough, as many stories go, the day we submitted the application, we found out Becky was pregnant! Along came Natalie, and then Sutton 19 months after that. With a toddler and a newborn, we vowed to never have another child again. In 2011 we moved to Wilmington to be closer to family. With this came the help of grandparents and the urge for another little. We explored adoption again, but ultimately decided for one more biological child. So along came Beckett and we really thought we were done having kids. As they say, three’s company…or a crowd…something like that.
What compels people to adopt a child? Some just love children. Some adopt family members that need someone to step up in their lives. Some do it for compassion; some for religion. The Bible certainly commands us to “look after the widows and orphans” in James. And our relationship to God is as “adoption into sonship through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:5), all spiritually very relevant and important. I read an article a few years ago that estimated if every protestant church in the United States adopted 1 foster child, there would not be any foster children left in the system. Now this is a theoretical concept as not all foster children are for adoption, but think about that stat!
In the winter of 2017, in a small village of Kenya in Eastern Africa, Becky and I felt God calling our family home, to adopt a child. We had looked into International adoption (makes sense right?), but we really felt adoption from the US was right for us. We chose an adoption consultant, Faithful Adoption Consultants, to help us through the process. They are a faith-based organization out of Atlanta that walks with families through the journey of adoption. Check them out!
After endless hours of paperwork, home visits, and waiting, we finally were ready in October to “go live”. Our portfolio was presented to 8 different moms within about 3 weeks. The 9th mom was Nadine. When Nadine’s story was put before us and we reviewed her file, we knew that this was our match. It is amazing to know beyond doubt that something is happening even before it is happening. Sure enough, our portfolio was presented to Nadine and she picked us.
Maggie Joy Genevieve was born on November 3, 2017. We adopted her on November 17 from Abiding Love Adoptions and brought her home to Wilmington on November 23. We finalized our adoption on October 11, 2018 and she officially became a Cook.
We have an open adoption and developed incredible relationships with Nadine and her family. Maggie’s birth grandparents, Grandma Lori and Grandpa Mike, are frequent visitors to Wilmington, and have become a third set of grandparents to all of our children. God didn’t just bless us with M.J., but has given us more family in the most wonderful story. Read this article in the Gwinnett Citizen for a little more about Nadine’s story.
A year later, we cannot imagine our family without Maggie Joy. It has been two years since our journey of adoption began. We have ventured from Kenya to America and from a family of 5 to that of 6. We thought our life was good, but God had something so much better. It is Our Adoption Story…Maggie Joy Genevieve Cook.
Visit my profile page to learn more about me, Dr. Nathan Cook.