Christianson Adoption {Part 2}: Stay

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If you have not read {Part 1} of our adoption story, please click here.

The second part of our story  begins on Tuesday, February 28th. I was just beginning my research into home study agencies and our adoption options, while the twins were at preschool that morning. At about 11:45, I went to pick them up from their preschool playground. I left my phone in my car — like I always do when I am just walking up to the playground to grab the twins. I missed a call from Noah’s school while I was getting them from the playground. When I was putting them in the car, I heard my phone ring. I was putting Emry Jane into her carseat so I didn’t stop to answer it. The phone rang again immediately. This time, I noticed it was Tommy calling, which he never does during the day, and rushed to answer it. When the first words out of your husband’s mouth are “Don’t panic,” you are going to start panicking…

Noah had passed out on the playground at recess. He had fallen from standing, hit his face on the ground and was unconscious for about 20 seconds. They had called the ambulance before calling us and it was on it’s way to his school. Thankfully, the school called Tommy right after I hadn’t answered and he actually answered the call (very rare, while he is at work.) He was already on his way to Noah’s school when I answered his calls and told me that I needed to meet him there. The eight-minute drive between the twins’ preschool and Noah’s elementary school had never felt longer. I was hyperventilating and praying like crazy in those 8 minutes, while also trying to drive quickly and safely since I had Eli and Emry Jane in the car with me.

The PE teacher and assistant principal helped immensely by taking the twins to the playground (they had sent all the students inside) while I tended to a now-crying Noah. They said he had been stunned, but talkative since waking up… but once he saw me the water works began. It was taking all of my self control not to be crying right along with him. The ambulance was already there when I arrived and the paramedics had done several tests on him. The paramedics explained all the tests they had performed and the results to Tommy over the phone on his way to the school. All of Noah’s tests were fine– no fever, normal blood sugar, etc. They would not let Noah sit up until we made the decision on whether or not we wanted to take him to the hospital via ambulance. Because of hitting his face/head in the fall and his forehead looking a little extra puffy, we decided that we did want him to go to the Duke ER and get checked out. Tommy and Noah rode in the ambulance. The twins and I stopped at home to grab them some lunch and an extra pair of clothes for Noah and headed to the hospital as well.

There are many times that I am thankful that my mom lives close by, but this time was definitely at the top of our “Nana to the Rescue” list. She and Savannah met us at the hospital to take the twins back to our house so that Tommy and I could both stay with Noah. The twins were not allowed back to the pediatric ER rooms because of flu (outbreak at the hospital, the twins were not sick) so I cannot imagine how challenging it would have been for one of us to entertain the twins in the waiting room while the other one stayed with Noah.


Noah had been sitting out at recess, by choice, because he had a headache. The teacher’s assistant came over to him and asked if he wanted to sit in the shade (since it was crazy hot at the end of February this year!) When he got up to walk to the shade with her, he got very dizzy and, essentially, fainted for 20 seconds. He says that he had eaten lunch normally, but it is possible that he was a little dehydrated. He has been having headaches almost daily since Christmas and the pediatrician thinks that he is having “mini-migraines” because of a pre-pubescent hormone spike that happens in boys around ages 8-9. These could also cause a fainting spell.

While we are waiting to be seen by the pediatric ER doctor on call, Tommy had his neurosurgeon friend Jordan come check out Noah. All clear. Jordan even brought the pediatric neuro guy with him– Noah passes all exams with flying colors. I am thankful that Tommy has good friends in different areas of medicine and it was definitely comforting to this panicked Mama that Noah did not have any neuro issues from his fall. The ER resident comes in and tells us that he hears a heart murmur … and will pass it on to the attending to see about a possible EKG. They also do some blood work and put in a line for an IV. T says not to worry about the murmur because almost everyone has a heart murmur at some point in their life. Because of the passing out and not knowing what caused it, they decide to do the EKG. The EKG comes back abnormal. The head ER doctor still says not to worry because sometimes these things get read wrong by the computer, so he would measure the scans and see if it was truly abnormal. His measurements confirm that Noah’s EKG is abnormal … and now we have to see a pediatric cardiologist AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. No alarm clocks, sudden/loud noises or physical activity for Noah until he is cleared by the cardiologist. We leave the ER about 8pm starving, exhausted and completely frazzled– having no idea what was going on with our Noah. Could he have a heart condition? How soon can we get in to the cardiologist to get answers? Should we send him to school if there is a possibility that he could pass out again from this unknown thing?

That night, when T and I were finally crawling into bed, he started quizzing me on what to do when/if Noah passed out again. What to say to the paramedics when the ambulance came, to request magnesium, and a refresher on CPR. I cried through all his reminders- I didn’t want to think about something being wrong with Noah’s heart. I didn’t want to plan for if he passed out again. Then, Tommy says “Did I tell you about what happened on Sunday night after we went to bed?” Me: “Nope.”

Here is his version of how our big Sunday conversations after church had gone down… and how God spoke to him about it.

In the sermon, I kept hearing the phrase “one less.” You can’t change the world for everybody, but you can change one person’s world. Through the whole service, the pastor seemed like he was talking directly to us. After church, Holly and I talked about adoption more seriously. We both felt like the sermon had been a big call to adoption for us. We began to research the processes and finances and options (international, domestic, which countries, how long, etc.) throughout the day and night. That night, after we were asleep, I awoke in the middle of the night and heard, very clearly, the word “STAY.” At first, I thought it was Holly talking to me, but she was fast asleep and it didn’t sound like her voice. My next thought was that someone had broken into our house, so I frantically went to check all the doors. After finding all the doors locked and all the kids safe and asleep in their beds, I sat down on the couch and prayed about it for a while. What did that mean? What did STAY mean? I felt a calming come over me. I felt that I should stay in the mindset that I was currently in– that I should stay in this conversation of pursuing adoption for our family. I did a lot of Bible searching the next day (Monday,) searching for verses about staying. I read every “stay” verse but could not find one that fit the situation that we were in. I told Holly about it a couple nights later. That was definitely the day that I knew we were going to adopt.” 

I was shocked. Speechless. I had never experienced anything like that. The fact that God had answered my prayer so clearly was amazing. He had softened Tommy’s heart to adoption. We were meant to adopt. We were ADOPTING. It brings tears to my eyes just typing it.

The next three days were an absolute whirlwind, but I have to say that I was surprising calm through all of it. Noah had a 1:30pm appointment with the pediatric cardiologist on Friday and we kept him as calm as possible (have you met our highly active boy, Noah?!) until then. He stayed home from school Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday was a field trip and we didn’t want to risk him being away from the school nurse, in case something happened. Wednesday, he also seemed to have a little stomach bug so we kept him home Thursday too. We had so many prayer warriors covering Noah, and us, in prayer that I felt at peace during our wait for his appointment. The appointment went great. The pediatric cardiologist RE-measured the EKG they had done on Tuesday and concluded that his heart function WAS within normal range. He thought the fainting could have been from his migraines, dehydration, or even the stomach bug that presented the day after his fainting episode. Noah could also just be prone to fainting when he felt dizzy. The doctor told Noah that if he ever felt dizzy to sit or lie down immediately for 10 minutes and drink lots of water. Noah was FINE. Praise the LORD!! Tommy and I were so relieved and Noah was super happy to be cleared to run and play again!

Once we knew that Noah was okay, I could switch my mental gears back to adoption. I had been thinking about “stay” on and off all week. Why the word “stay”? On Friday, I was talking to my mother-in-law Marcia on the phone and she said to me, “Maybe he isn’t the one that’s supposed to stay. Maybe it’s you that is supposed to stay.” After that conversation, I looked through my She Reads Truth bible app for “stay” verses and came across a verse in Numbers. “Stay here, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.” (Numbers 22:19) And I thought, “yep. This is my verse.” I am supposed to stay here, with Tommy, and see what the Lord will say to me, where He will lead us on this journey.


I wrote the verse on my bathroom mirror and it’s still there almost 5 months later. That night, Tommy found it. He came into the kitchen and gave me a big hug and said, “You found my verse.” I said, “Actually it’s my verse” — and thus it became our verse, speaking to us in different ways about our adoption process. His about his openness to pursue adoption with me, to look past all the “what ifs” and mine about waiting patiently for him and also for Him as we move forward. I had been waiting to adopt for so long and I am such a planner that I could steamroll this whole process, dragging an overwhelmed husband behind me. All the applications, profile book, agencies… I could have had them picked out in a minute, but I wanted us to go on this journey TOGETHER. I knew we were only meant to adopt if Tommy was on board 100%. That’s also the great thing about God answering my prayer for adoption THROUGH Tommy. I know that He is supporting us in this decision, that He will lead us through this journey, and that our marriage will grow stronger as we pray and work to bring our next baby home, together.


To continue reading our adoption story, click {Part 3.}

If you have not seen our Adopt A Love Story adoption video, you can check it out on our fundraising page! Just click the link below!



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