Friday, December 11, 2015, is a day we will never forget. I was teaching my sophomore Pre AP English class, and Denton was teaching his Algebra II class when “the” phone call came. I saw the Gladney number on my phone, and I knew this was the moment, this was the answer to our prayers. I giddily showed the number to my students and then sprinted down the hall to Denton’s classroom, but when he didn’t respond quick enough, I actually kicked his door to draw more attention. As he stepped into the hallway, he saw on my face we were going to receive life changing news. We were going to finally be parents, finally be a family! By the time our case worker shared the blessed news we were the chosen parents of a baby boy, my eyes were flowing with tears, and I couldn’t focus on anything she was sharing. I just knew Gladney had changed our lives forever. We embraced each other in the hallway, as co-workers overheard our joy and left their classrooms to embrace us as well. When I made my way back to my classroom, students chased me down the hall to celebrate the good news in a group hug! Our news spread around the high school before we could even share our baby boy with our families! It was one of the greatest days of our adoption journey, and it is a moment I will never forget. Adoption doesn’t just touch those directly involved; it encompasses families and communities and connects them together through a journey of hope and love. We may have become the new parents that day, but it was clear our entire community believed they, too, were blessed by the newest member of our family.
“Bigger than life” is the perfect phrase to describe Amos. He celebrates bigger than life, and he loves bigger than life. He lives each day bigger than life. From the moment he wakes up in the morning until the moment he falls asleep at night, he embraces each day with a joy and spirit that are bigger than life. His beautiful smile lights up a room, encompassing everyone he sees. His sparkling brown eyes are the window to the soul of a little boy who gives this world the kindness and wonder it deserves. His laugh is contagious, and his joy for living is insatiable. He never meets a stranger, and he loves fiercely. God created a gracious, beautiful soul in Amos, and we are so humbled and blessed to be able to call him ours. A friend once told me, “If we all loved and lived like Amos, this world would be a much happier and peaceful place.” His words still radiate in our hearts. Loving Amos has given us more happiness and peace than we could ever explain. He is truly bigger than life, and may God continue to use Amos to make this world a happier and more peaceful place.
Adopting through Gladney gave us a purpose we never knew existed. Our dreams were to create a family, but Gladney helped us recognize a purpose in adoption that goes beyond family. Adopting Amos gave us an internal glow we did not even realize was possible, and now we let that glow shine bright as we openly share our adoption story with others. Gladney and adopting Amos healed the hurt of infertility and showed us the reason for our challenging path to parenthood. It taught us sacrifice, unconditional love, and patience. It has given us a desire to advocate for adoptees and birth families, and it inspired us to share our adoption story in hopes that others will gain the courage and strength to open their homes to a child in need. Adoption made a difference for our family, our son, and his birth mother. Though we all share different stories, Gladney enabled us to find each other in order to make one beautiful story of sacrifice, selflessness, purpose, and family. Our story is different, our son’s story is different, and his birth mother’s story is different, but because of Gladney’s support and willingness to make a difference, we found each other and created a story of family and unconditional love.
The most significant and influential aspect of Gladney is its dedication to supporting adoptees and their birth families. Gladney’s support allowed us to meet and love the greatest human we have ever met. Because of selfless and gracious donations to Gladney’s services, our son’s birth mother received the emotional and physical support she needed when she faced a life changing decision. Because of Gladney, she had the courage to choose life; because of Gladney, she opened her world to ours, and together, we were given the best gift this world could offer—a son with a beautiful spirit, who is full of joy, energy, and a contagious zest for life. Because of Gladney, we were given the gift of parenthood. Because of Gladney, our son is able to live the life he deserves, one that connects him with his biological roots, embraces his adoption story, and allows him to experience his brightest future.
Amy & Denton