Zach and Melody had known before their marriage that they would adopt one day. After their wedding in 2009, they moved to North Carolina for both of them to attend seminary. They juggled classes, homework, various jobs, and marriage for 5 years before graduating together with master’s degrees and starting ministry in a local church. Over those years, God confirmed in their hearts that they should adopt first and trust Him to bring biological children later if He chose to do so.
Early in 2015, Melody confided in a close friend that they were open to whatever God had planned. Three weeks later, that same friend called and explained she had heard that there was an urgent need in Florida for adoptive families for several unmatched, African-American babies who were to be born in the next five months. Two of those babies were due in mid-May, and it was mid-March. Time was short, but the need was there. Zach and Melody had always felt strongly about fulfilling a need and taking any child God placed in front of them, regardless of race, gender, or background. “We don’t need to pray about adopting. We already know we are called to adopt, so we just need to be prepared to respond if this is what God is asking us to do,” Zach told Melody. So, they researched the adoption agency, prayed about it, submitted their application, and waited to see if they would be selected.
The birth mother that chose them was due April 10, but they didn’t think they could be ready in just a month, so they declined. After a doctor’s visit, however, the birth mother discovered that she was earlier in the pregnancy, and her due date was moved to May 18. With the change in date, Zach and Melody accepted the match. Time wasn’t on their side as they began to sort out the complicated world of adoption—stacks of paperwork, several background and financial checks, numerous medical checkups, and multiple interviews with social workers. Home studies are part of regulation and normally take eight weeks. They made phone calls by day and filled out paperwork by night. The home study was able to be expedited and was completed in 3 weeks. Then there was the matter of fundraising. This inter-state adoption was going to cost $30,000.
On April 13, Zach and Melody announced that they would be parents in 6 short weeks. The support they received was overwhelming. Within three days, they were over 26% funded. Church fundraisers, yard sales, bake sales, and lemonade stands were conducted. Over the course of the next few weeks, God brought in $20,000 from donors all over the world.
A week later they left North Carolina to travel 11 hours to Florida to meet the birth parents, arriving only 10 minutes prior to the meeting. Zach and Melody were exhausted. Determined to remain alert and calm, they said a quick prayer as they walked into the agency. Melody says that this meeting changed her life forever. Hearing the birth family’s story and seeing the great love they had for their son gave them a great respect for the sacrifice this family was making for their son. Melody assured them that they would tell the baby the story of his origins with love and admiration.
Zach and Melody left the meeting with hope and anticipation. They returned home to North Carolina on April 23. On Sunday, April 26, the phone rang. It was “the call” that stated that they were urgently needed back in Florida. The baby was coming early.
The panicked parents-to-be raced to Florida. In God’s providence, the church had already planned a baby shower after church that day. The church family pulled together to make the details happen. Detail-oriented folks took care of home and pets. Seasoned mothers sorted the baby shower gifts into what they would need for the following 2-3 weeks and what could go home. Shortly after a quick stop at home, Zach and Melody left and drove overnight. After having already spent 26 hours in a car, they were exhausted. Melody was car sick the entire trip, throwing up every few miles. They arrived at the hospital in Florida at 10 a.m., very stressed and very excited. Their lawyer took them to meet their son’s birth mother and their son, Dawson Lee. In that instant, everything was worth it.
Melody, Zach, and Dawson spent the next two weeks in a condo in Florida to fulfill interstate adoption regulations. The entire time they were there, Melody was so sick, throwing up frequently. After three days, they took a pregnancy test and were shocked to learn that she was pregnant. Later they would learn that Melody became pregnant the same week they said yes to the adoption. The kids would be 7.5 months apart in age. Selah Joy arrived on December 20. God’s timing is perfect, and His ways are wonderful and beautiful!
To see profiles of hopeful adoptive parents, visit Adoption.com’s Parent Profiles!