As of two weeks ago, I’m a dad.

It feels weird writing that, like it’s not quite true yet.

But it is!

My wife Angie and I have a brand new little human in our lives, a beautiful daughter whom we have affectionately nicknamed ‘Squish’.

(Due to confidentialities around the adoption, I will refer to her as Squish henceforth. You’ll find out her real name eventually).

Here’s how our story began.

Angie and I have always wanted children. We decided early on that one of the ways we wanted to build our family was through adoption. After two years of trying to conceive, God made it clear that adoption would be our first avenue.

Since Angie is an American citizen — and since adoption in Australia presented us with so many roadblocks — we applied to adopt in the United States. Less than a year later, we were matched with an expecting mother.

Parenting Team

Before the birth, we met with the mother several times and began a warm relationship with her that has blossomed since.

Funny story: the last time we saw the mother before the birth, she hosted us at her house for dinner, and even worked the barbecue while sporting her large, bulging bump. That night we jokingly did some squats to “get this baby out”.

The next morning, she called and told us to meet her at the hospital — she’d been having contractions all night!

Approximately 17 hours later, we welcomed Squish into the world.

We will carry amazing memories of that time because the birth mother invited us to be there every step of the way.

We have kept regular contact with the mother since — massive respect to Angie for navigating the relationship with so much wisdom and grace.

All of us are committed to an open adoption. Squish will know her story from as early as she can understand it. She’ll get to meet her birth mother and we’ll spend time with her.

Squish will know her tummy mummy didn’t abandon her. Instead, in the midst of difficult circumstances and a culture that views everything as disposable, one brave woman gave her the greatest gift imaginable: life.

And the same woman gave us the greatest gift imaginable: Squish.

Little Miracle

We are new to both parenting and adoption. So far, I can say wholeheartedly that the joys far outweigh the challenges.

Angie and I are adjusting to less sleep, new daily patterns, and a slower pace of life.

We can’t complain though — Squish lets us sleep through most nights with just one feed at 3am. Yes, we’re spoilt. Or at least we’re spoilt so far, as people keep reminding us!

And while we’re at home more than usual, we still get out and about with Squish to do things we’ve always enjoyed — like walks around the neighbourhood, visiting family, going to church, and enjoying ice cream on hot summer nights (or bottled milk, depending on the participant).

As anyone who has adopted will probably testify, adoption comes with added uncertainties, at least in the early days.

It’s still several weeks until TPR (termination of parental rights). We have no reason to doubt it will go smoothly but things still don’t quite feel official yet. Even when they do, finalisation will still be another six months away.

But like everything with newborn babies, you can’t rush it. We’ve taken a leap of faith, and God has been very faithful so far.

Babies can be demanding, but they are the cutest thing on God’s green earth. Every day we smile at Squish as she sleeps with that milk-drunk look of contentment on her face. Every day we laugh at her newborn traits — the startle reflex, the fetal tuck, the looking-for-milk-in-all-the-wrong-places.

I know from watching many of my friends become parents that a rollercoaster awaits us.

But right now, Squish is pure delight. What a gift to be her parents!

___

Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash.

Published On: August 10th, 20230 CommentsTags: , , , , ,

About the Author: Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Research and Features Editor. He hosts his own blog at Cross + Culture and is also a contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. Kurt is also a published author. His book Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West? provides a rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society and how Jesus provides the answer to the challenges before us. Kurt has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same. Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years in remote South-East Asia, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel. He is married to Angie.

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