Let me start off by saying I LOVE THIS FAMILY! I will always have a big soft spot for my newborn families. Especially during the time when my girls were also being born. There is a bond that can not be described. However, this is not about a newborn session but about a family finding their piece – Joshua “Jay” William! The adoption photography session at McIntosh Sugarmill Plantation was beautiful with an incredible story behind it! I could never do their story justice. Jay’s mom, Kelly Sackey, was kind enough to write down their story so it can be shared to help inspire other families contemplating to adopt or currently struggling through the adoption process. Read their family’s story below:
The Sackey’s journey through Adoption
In December 2013, Our journey began when we were referred to fertility. After a year long process, We began the next step for bloodwork and testing with fertility in January 2015. Without using any of their services, we got pregnant and miscarried in April 2015. At the end of May 2015, we return to fertility and had to redo all the bloodwork. Several surprises happened back to back after redoing the bloodwork several more times!!
The first time, I was no longer immune to chicken pox and had to be vaccinated (2 months of no trying). In August, a cyst on my ovary that can only be treated with 3 back to back cycles of birth control ( definitely NOT the direction we wanted to be headed in). November 2015 my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) was off the charts high. Resulting in us waiting to come back in December and have the bloodwork redone (yet again). December arrives, my FSH was even higher than in November…. At this point, I was discouraged. Turns out there has never been a live birth from a woman who’s FSH was over 19. So you understand the full weight of that realization, mine was 20 in November and 21 in December.
God is My Strength
We were devastated. Angry. Broken. How was this God’s will? How could this be good? How could I never have a child when all I’ve wanted my entire life was to be a mom?
I struggled for two months. Eventually moving past my hurt and anger. It didn’t go away, but became something I talked to God about. Dove in to the fact that He is good. That my life didn’t look anything like I would have planned or predicted. Yet it all came together because of Him and FOR Him…and this would too.
Adoption is Next
We prayed and decided that being parents is not just the 9 months of pregnancy. It is for all of the life that occurs after! Whether the baby was genetically ours or not, we would fall head over heals in love with our baby. Our first option was foster care to adopt. My husband had a hard time with the fact that we could have a child in our home for years and not be able to officially adopt them. Which led us to private adoption.
We found an agency that required a medical letter stating why I couldn’t conceive so we went back to fertility and met with a lovely woman named Dr. Chance. She cried with us when she read our diagnosis. Dr. Chance was the first medical person we had who empathized with us and it was life changing. She let us know that given my current cycle date that she would be willing to give us a script for clomid (egg producing drug) and authorize an IUI (intrauterine insemination) if we wanted because (pun intended) “everyone deserves a chance”. Dr. Chance stepped out to let us discuss. Which entailed my husband saying, “I don’t want to miscarry again,” and me saying, “it’s my body and I’m willing to try if you are.” We decided to fill the prescription and decide on our way home.
God Blessed Us
After an hour of silence in the car, I suggested we pray. If we chose to do this, we trust that God will either get us pregnant, or open the door for adoption. We got pregnant….and then were told that we were miscarrying…and then were told that oopsie, they were wrong and we weren’t – YET.
I have never clung to Jesus more in my life and never felt Him more either. As a high-risk pregnancy, one the doctor’s knew was going to result in miscarriage, I was seen by the OBGYN weekly for an ultrasound and bloodwork… and every week I got to hear and see our babies heartbeat. Each appointment ended with them reminding me that when I start bleeding, to call immediately. Every week, I smiled back, rubbed my flat tummy, reminded them that God was busy making this baby, and I would see them next week.
We delivered our sweet girl at 36 weeks 4 days due to placenta previa (she chose to attach right above the cervix meaning a normal exit was a no no).
We waited a year and began fertility again…for the next 4 years. We had two more miscarriages and accrued a lot of debt. In December 2020, we once again discussed adoption and prayerfully chose to begin that process with the help of an adoption consulting company in January 2021.
Move to Georgia
Covid impacted that journey, in a God way. We went from California to Georgia, found a wonderful social worker to do our home study (it was thousands less than what it would have cost in Cali!!), found an agency we wanted to work with. From the beginning, we were told when we started that the paperwork takes about 9 months and is emotionally as painful as the physical aspects of pregnancy (they weren’t wrong LOL). Mid September, we became an “active” family ready to adopt.
We got a call late Monday, October 19th 2020. We were told that a baby boy was going to be delivered on October 22nd via C-section and he was ours if we wanted him!! Although, we had to let them know by noon the next day. My husband and daughter were ecstatic, I was a bit more reserved. I really felt we’d have another girl…plus financially we had everything from our daughter on hand. Of course, that is not what God had in mind for us. He graciously allowed me to grieve the loss of my dream, and gently reminded me that all things work together for our good and His glory, and wow did He show off. We said yes.
Our Community’s Generosity
In our scramble, our supporting community supported us in unexpected ways. Our family paid for their flight to come lend a helping hand with our daughter in our absence. I cried with my bible study group over the fact that I had one day to pack. Keep in mind, we had nothing for a baby boy at this point… My small group surprised me with a baby shower before I left.
After our son was born, it takes 7-14 days for the interstate paperwork to be approved, meaning I had to stay in Florida with our son, and if I drove into Georgia could be arrested for kidnapping. I was set to spend the weekend after his birth with an old friend and filled her in on this potential timeline… She paid for us to have our own hotel room for a week. The lawyers were working overtime to get everything done and after 5 days, told me it would be about another week before things might happen. God had it done less than 24 hours later and we never had to pay for a hotel.
Adoption Day photography in Georgia
It has taken 7.5 months to finalize the adoption and cost us several thousand more than estimated. Yet, God allowed us to receive a matching grant through Lifesong. With their 5k and the donations of friends and strangers, half our adoption cost was covered.
If I could do it my way, it would have been different. Easy. “Normal.” God’s way has been challenging, exhilarating, and made it perfectly clear He has a plan. Without the loss of multiple babies, without the heartbreak of infertility, I wouldn’t have the chance to cry with other women. To hold their hand and truly know what it’s like to walk in their shoes. I wouldn’t be able to share our story and pray that it brings hope and a renewed faith in the Lord.
On June 7 2021, We officially adopted our little blessings, Joshua “Jay” William!
Adoption Photography session in St Marys Georgia
This gives me chills and I am so happy that I got to be a small part of this inspirational story! Did you know that you have to take picture’s for your adoption package? If you are in this process and need a couple pictures, reach out to me about a adoption photography session! I want to help you and maybe walk a little bit of this path with you. I really do believe that pictures help capture the beauty in a difficult situation. It’s OK to slow down long enough to capture these moments!
If you need someone to talk to that can relate, Kelly has given me permission to share her email with people who need it. If this is you, reach out because you are NOT ALONE.
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Hi! I’m Calli, a Georgia family photographer and wedding photographer specializing in candid and authentic photos that capture the love, fun and true personalities of each person. I am happy to serve couples along the coast line of Georgia, from Savannah Georgia to Jacksonville Florida. You ready to have an amazing time together for your family session & wedding day? Message me today!