I will never forget the hundred block of Blackburn Avenue in Dallas I was crossing as God spoke the name Nico to me. I didn’t know what it meant and went home to look it up. Victorious One. What incredible truth and power in just four letters. What a gift that spring day riddled with sunshine with beams bouncing off retail/living-space high rises in progress. I asked Brandon if he liked the name when he returned from work that night. He did.
We were chosen by a birthmom. There was a baby growing in the womb of a Mother whose plan was to say goodbye and choose a different road for her baby. She would live knowing that we would do what she would if only she could. We were humbled. We were so deeply, truly, humbled. I was filled with respect and admiration and a deep responsibility. She was counting on us. They were both counting on us.
My sister was pregnant too; she was due just 2 weeks apart from our birthmom. I watched her belly grow. I asked question after question about Jacklyn’s pregnancy. I was fascinated and grateful that I could pray for our baby’s mama throughout her pregnancy and have a tangible picture of what they looked like as they grew together, mother and child. What a gift. What an unexpected and extraordinary gift.
We got the call in August and were told she found out the sex of the baby. She wasn’t going to find out and after a car accident changed her mind. She was having a girl (Jacklyn was too) and she was going to keep her. We were not having a baby in September. Jacklyn did. She was perfect in every way. I wasn’t sad when I held her. I was overwhelmed with peace. I thought about our birthmom. I prayed that she was overwhelmed with the same peace. I pray her little girl is as radiant and free as Arden was. I pray she was able to do everything for her she hoped we would. I pray today God has blessed her with even goodness than she hoped we would.
Two months later (and months after I heard the name Nico) I was sitting in my office in Dallas and the phone rang. There was a mama who loved our book and wanted us to adopt her baby. She was going to have her baby in less than a week- probably a few days, and she wanted us to be the parents that would do what she would for her baby if only she could. We said yes.
We walked into the hospital to pick up the tiniest little human we would ever call our own. He was a wonder-kind of a creature; a little man who was made for us. We were made for him too and knew exactly who he was when we set our eyes on him. Nico Zane Maness, our Victorious One Who Prepares The Way Of The Lord, you were always ours- and you will always be hers, too.
The picture of the legitimacy of adoption begins with our need for The Messiah, the one who would come to save us. The significance of the Messiah coming from the line of King David cannot be overlooked. Joseph, the father of Jesus, was a son in the line of David. Joseph had no part in Mary’s pregnancy. Mary was having a baby conceived by The Holy Spirit. I’m not sure how that processes through a man’s mind. I suppose that’s why God sent an Angel to make sure Joseph understood and didn’t run for the hills. Joseph mattered. Jesus was intended to be the son of Joseph the carpenter just as he was the son of Mary. Joseph took Mary as his wife putting his faith and trust in God alone. Joseph adopted Jesus as his Son. Jesus, Son of Joseph, from the line of King David- the Son of God and Son of Man. is a picture the truth of Adoption. God entrusts men and women to mother his sons and daughters. Sons and daughters are not determined by bloodlines, they are determined by God.
I watched this video on youtube tonight and cried tears of thanks. Nico waited for us in the NICU with a team of nurses who were so excited to meet us. The nurses beamed with joy as they told us they kept him a couple of extra days to make sure he was in perfect health for us. They cared for him and for his birth-mom as she spent time at his side as her time to say goodbye approached. I can’t imagine the weight of that goodbye. I can’t imagine trusting another human with my child’s complete care and good. I’m so thankful she trusted us- and thankful too that God trusted Joseph- what a priceless gift.
I could write (and probably will) forever about my love and thanks to her. We honor her here at our home. She is brave and we are forever thankful for her courage.