Sitting in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and blown away with a God who wanted to use our little story to reveal His magnificent glory. Our journey toward adoption has been fraught with challenges. It all started with infertility. I believe that when women are just little girls they dream of two things: their wedding day and having children. Clearly Lauren’s first dream came true when she met me, but the second dream is no laughing matter. Infertility hit her like a wrecking ball and there were days and nights where I felt completely helpless as her husband. I remember nights when she literally cried herself to sleep. My words could not bring comfort and my hugs could not take away the pain she was feeling. Yet day after day, my wife pressed on. She continued to wake up each morning trusting that God loved her and had a plan for our family. Each morning she opened her Bible and declared His name above all names. Each day she went to work to spread the name of Jesus. I am blown away that God blessed me with the partner I have in Lauren. There are no real words to express how I truly feel about her. I know she is my gift from a God who loves me more than I will ever fully comprehend.
After months of struggling with infertility, God began to reshape Lauren’s heart for adoption. One night last May over dinner at La Parilla, Lauren looked me straight in the eye and said, “I think I want to adopt a child.” For those of you who know Lauren, you know that she has a hard time hiding her excitement and enthusiasm. She was beaming. You see, God had given her a vision for adoption that I had never considered. Through adoption, we had the opportunity to change the course and direction of a life by raising them in an environment where they would come to know Jesus. I had never thought of adoption that way before, but we both left dinner that night confident that this was God’s plan to start our family.
What we did not know that night at dinner was that God had much bigger plans in mind than just adding a member to our family. We didn’t know He had plans to grow our trust, dependence, and faith in Him. We didn’t know that God had plans to grow our marriage by having us walk through the many disappointments and uncertainties found on the road toward adoption. What we didn’t know is that God wanted us to experience his provision through the incredible community of friends and family who traveled on this path with us. You prayed diligently and consistently for us and you need to know those prayers were heard and felt. The cost of adoption looked like a mountain we would never be able to climb, but you flat out blew us away with your generosity towards us and a child that none of us knew. You listened to us for hours on end and helped us navigate through unchartered waters. There is no way that Lauren or I will ever be able to adequately thank you, but we are confident that God will continue to multiply your generosity in our world for generations to come.
Finally, what we didn’t know that night at La Parilla is that God wanted us to walk through the process of adoption to reveal a greater picture of who He is. We knew that the enemy would cast obstacles in our path, but we watched God take each one of those obstacles and toss them aside. He protected us, opened up doors, answered the deepest prayers in His glorious way, and gave us the strength to keep going. He used each challenge we experienced over the last 10 months to show us how powerful and loving He is. I talk to a lot of people about God, but how thankful we have been to experience God in such a tangible way through our adoption story.
Corban Andrew Espy was born Monday, February 24th, weighing 8 lbs. and 6 oz. We are forever grateful to our birth mother for her selfless and yet excruciatingly difficult decision to put her child up for adoption. She allowed Lauren and I to be in the delivery room and wanted Lauren to be the first person to hold the baby. I even got to cut the cord. We love our birth mother and her family. One of Lauren’s dear friends says that our God is a “Cross Blesser”. By that she means that when God blesses one person it’s has rippling cross blessings to all involved. I believe this to be true for us and our story. We have been blessed with a child, but our hope is to continue blessing our birth mother for years to come. God blesses us to be a blessing. We both feel that God has called us to do that, so our hope is to continue to show her Jesus in the weeks, months, and years ahead.
Some of you may have heard that Corban had some complications at birth. Doctors are calling him a miracle baby as the umbilical cord was found during delivery to be wrapped around his neck and in a true knot. However, all tests indicate that he never lost access to his blood or oxygen supplies. He did have some irritation in his lungs due to the meconium he expelled prematurely while still in utero, and that caused doctors to quickly transport him to NICU. He has been here for the last week, but Corban has made remarkable strides since then. Doctors say he will not have any long-term effects and expect him to be discharged from the hospital later this week.
Needless to say, Lauren and I are eager to get back to Atlanta. We miss you all and can’t wait to bring Corban home soon. Please continue to keep us in your prayers in the days ahead as we finish our trip well. We are so incredibly grateful for each one of you. Thank you for helping make our dreams come true and for partnering with God’s story in our lives. We love you all!
-Stu (Corban’s Dad)