Hakuna Matata: Elijah and the Evans Family

Have you ever looked back and thought, “Wow, my life looks so different than it did this time last year!”? That’s us…the Evans Family.

My husband Nate and I were trying to finish up our homestudy for domestic adoption this time last year. Fast forward to September, and we were tired of waiting for a phone call with good news from our adoption agency. We had been waiting five months for a birthmother to pick us. We felt rejected. We doubted. One day, in desperation, I cried out to God in utter honesty and asked him to give us peace about continuing down this adoption path or to make it clear if we were to change course. A few hours later, I received one of the best calls of my life.

“A birthmother wants to meet you. The baby is due on October 12 (3.5 weeks from the date of the call). He has a cleft palate.”

I can’t even describe how excited I was. Was this our baby?! I was a little nervous about the cleft because I knew it would be a big road ahead, but Nate’s confident answer was “No problem!” A few days later, we met the birthmother and her parents. She immediately found a place in our hearts as she so clearly loved her little boy and was making a self-sacrificing decision.

The weeks leading up to Elijah’s birth were chaotic trying to get what we needed to bring a baby home, finishing up my work prior to maternity leave, and researching clefts. It was all overwhelming, especially the cleft research. We learned that Elijah had been diagnosed with a cleft lip affecting the alveolar ridge (gumline) and nose, and that likely there was a cleft palate too. We narrowed in on the craniofacial team and plastic surgeon (Dr. Flores) we wanted to use here in Indianapolis. I researched nasoalveolar molding (NAM), a pre-surgical technique to help shape and mold the mouth/nose for better long term results. My heart sunk when I learned no orthodontist in Indiana was trained to do NAM. Then I got in contact with Margy at NYU’s IRPS who put me in contact with Carolyn from myFace.

About a week or so later, Elijah was born. We got to be there! What a gift! Two days later, we brought him home. A week later, we met with our local craniofacial team including Dr. Flores, who actually did his fellowship at NYU’s IRPS. I told him we were interested in NAM and had been in touch with IRPS. His face immediately lit up. He said if we were willing to put in the work for NAM, he would definitely recommend it. He was thrilled that we would be working with Dr. Grayson, one of the inventors of NAM. And, the rest is history. We are so incredibly amazed at the journey God has taken us on and how he has provided for us. We are so thankful that he brought us Elijah and then the IRPS and myFace teams. We hope you enjoy our blog.


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