"Each Stage of Adopting our Miracle 'Rainbow Baby'"

When my wife and I finally got the referral to adopt our "Rainbow Baby," it went beyond our wildest dreams.

A family sitting together happily after accepting an adoption referral

Around the time that my wife, Tricia, and I moved to the fourth spot on our agency’s adoption list, we kicked up the preparations for the big day when we would get the call. I was on high alert, getting our home and ourselves ready every day. We’d soon get our adoption referral, learn whether we would get a boy or a girl, and  — most importantly — we would soon see a photo of our baby.

We called the baby our “Rainbow Baby,” because he was our miracle, he was our dream coming true. My wife and I had been driving through a rainstorm one day when the sun came out. We were talking about adopting a baby, and, at that moment, a rainbow appeared over our car. We took it as a sign.

At my work, as a fourth-grade schoolteacher, it was hard to focus. Colleagues passed me in the hallway, smiling, asking, “Have you heard yet?” I smiled back and gave my pat answer, “No, but thank you for asking,” and I meant it. The support I felt from other teachers and parents was amazing. One couple, who had adopted from Russia, took us under their wing, and showed us videos 
taken when they traveled to pick up their daughter.

The Moment the Call Came

As the school day came to an end, I played a few songs on my guitar to keep the students focused. Suddenly, at 2:58 p.m., another teacher walked into my classroom and whispered in my ear, “They need you in the front office. I’ll watch your class.” In my three years there, I had never been asked to report to the main office. I knew it had to be either great news or horrible news. With that thought in mind, I walked down to the office, feeling that I was about to hear something that would change my life.

When I picked up the phone, a social worker from our agency said, “Hello, Owen. I always call the dad first because the moms get crazy and hang up accidentally sometimes, but let me get Tricia on the phone and give you the news.” I thought of how I would reschedule the rest of my day, by going late to my college class, while my mind raced through a million scenarios. One of the scenarios involved a pact that Tricia and I had made. We vowed that we would drop whatever we were doing when we got the call, and come straight home to open the referral together, holding hands while we looked at the first photo.

The social worker came back with my wife on the line. 
Tricia’s voice cracked with excitement as we were told that our baby was referred today. Rainbow Baby was a 7.7-pound boy, almost three months old. She said that, of the 10 referrals that came in today, his was her favorite because of his smile and the special way he held up his hands, with his thumbs cupped inside. She told us she was e-mailing us the information, and asked if we wanted the referral. As Tricia cried, I accepted the baby, then told Tricia that I would call her, as I raced for the door.

When I got home, in what seemed like seconds, it started to seem real. Meeting Tricia at the door, I kissed and hugged her as we hurried in. Approaching the computer, we held hands and saw our baby for the first time. He had alert, soulful eyes, and those little hands, held in his clever way. A friend later would say that he was ready for Daddy to put a guitar in his hands.

A Miracle, Made Better

Amazingly, the call was only the beginning of a week of joy that spread throughout my world. When I walked into my college class that evening, everyone said, “Welcome, Daddy!” I had called a classmate and asked him to inform the professor that I would be late, and the whole class had rallied.

The next day, I told my fourth-graders, and showed them the picture of our son. Until now, I’d kept the adoption a secret because I knew they would ask every day, “Have you heard about the Rainbow Baby yet?” I had expected uncomfortable questions, but they never came, and the discussion sparked by the news was another beautiful experience along the path to parenthood. Many of the students asked for a copy of the picture, so I printed one for everyone. Every day until we brought Asher home, I saw his photo on their notebooks and in their lockers.

As we near the two-year anniversary of Asher’s home-
coming, miracles still happen every day. No matter how tired I am, when I walk in that door after a long day in the classroom, and see the little guy run up to me and say, “Daddy,” I am restored and rejuvenated, with a love that grows and grows.

Adoption Agencies

Adoption Choice Inc.
Green Bay
Adoption Routes/Programs
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International
La Crosse
Adoption Routes/Programs
U.S. Newborn, International
Adoption Routes/Programs
U.S. Newborn
Adoption Routes/Programs
U.S. Newborn, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Family & Children’s Agency
Adoption Routes/Programs
U.S. Newborn, International
Agape Adoptions
Adoption Routes/Programs
International, Special Needs/Waiting Child

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