First published in "her Magazine" November 2016. “Babies are blessings, no matter what.” And it seems that rings true even more so when telling an adoption story. With so many pieces making up one family’s story, it’s hard to fit it all into one article. But Gabriel Wyatt Lesley is one special little boy with a story as big as Texas, the state in which he was born.
Kaci and Jay Lesley didn’t really plan on adoption. But after years of trying to get pregnant and the adoption of their nephew, Vasa, from Russia, Kaci’s heart changed completely. “Once Vasa was here and a part of our family, I just knew I couldn’t love him any more or less than my nieces who biologically belonged to us,” Kaci said in a recent interview. And so they began. Not every adoption story, or birth story for that matter, has as happy an ending or as easy a path as the Lesley’s story. But they began the adoption process in August of 2011 and by January of 2012, they were chosen, placed, and became one happy little family.
In August of 2011, they began their homestudy process. Paperwork, physicals, interviews, and getting the nursery ready. Family and friends helped to raise money for the Lesley’s adoption fund, prayed over them, waited with them, and they cried with them. In the short amount of time that Kaci and Jay waited for their baby, they were told “no” a lot. The last baby they were considered for before Gabe was one of the most difficult. “Jay and I talked, prayed and shared our hearts about the baby on monday evening. THEN I figured out how Jay had stayed so calm through our other three times being considered as parents. He thought we were one of like 100 couples being shown for the past babies. He didn’t realize that the previous three "situations" (as they call them) was just like our present one...us & three other couples only being shown to a birth mom.” Kaci got a call later that night from their caseworker letting them know the birth mom had picked someone else. “I could tell when I heard the adoption counselors voice that we weren't chosen. She said lots of nice things after telling me no, but I had pretty much tuned her out. All I could hear was no.”
But it all changed the week after Christmas when Kaci got an email with the subject line “¾ caucasian ¼ Hispanic baby boy born 12/14.” She says there were pictures attached and while they had seen pictures before of other children, this just felt special. She jumped up and shared the email with Jay and responded to their agency that they were absolutely interested and wanted this child. Three times. “I accidently sent the email three times,” Kaci laughed.
Fast forward a few days and Kaci saw that she had missed a call from her caseworker. She took a deep breath and called her back, sure that the answer would once again be rejection. A few minutes of chatting and Kaci and Jay got the words they had waited to hear for months. “They chose you.” Tears of joy were flowing in the Lesley house that night.
On January 15th, 2012, Kaci and Jay headed to Houston, Texas with Kaci’s parents. On the way, they decided on Gabe’s middle name, “Wyatt”, which means “brave”, ate good Mexican food, sang along with an iTunes playlist...anything to pass the time. They were able to meet Gabe’s birth mom, shower her with love and prayers, and eat lunch with her. The next day they headed to Dallas to meet their son and give him a forever home.
“We arrived at the agency, signed lots of paperwork, met Gabe’s precious foster mom and FINALLY met Gabe!” said Kaci. “My mom got a glimpse of him before we did. She wasn’t supposed to but she did. She cried.They had a sweet ceremony and said lots of stuff (I’m sure it was sweet) before handing Gabe to us, but I have no idea what they said. I was just waiting for that sweet little guy to be in my arms forever.”
Almost 5 years later, and the Lesley’s are one happy little family and completely immersed in the world of adoption. Kaci now works for an adoption agency and administers home studies. And they are currently taking steps to become foster parents themselves. “God is good. He’s faithful. He’s completely in control and He deserves all the glory. We have already given this sweet boy back to Him and desire to raise him in a way that delights God,” says Kaci.
It’s easy to see and hear the love in the Lesley house. Families are created in many ways and adoption is a beautiful example of faith lived out.