A text buzzes at 3 am, Kasondra wakes to see the bright screen that reads with the words “my water broke.” The McCrackens race around their house, throwing minimal necessities in the car. The ideal situation of pre-packed bags, a date the night before, and a leisurely drive across country went out the window. Baby items litter the floor of their home and they leave their dog with friends. Pulling out of the driveway in a hurried mess, they embark on the 15-hour drive to meet their baby: Giavanna Sky.
It has been over a seven-year process for Chris and Kasondra McCracken in trying to have children. One medical obstacle after another led to heartbreak for the young couple. The hope for them to have children of their own was continually met with impossibility. Kasondra sat in a place where she felt completely abandoned by God in the desire to become a mom. Where God was seemingly distant, making a mess of all their planning, he had another story weaving behind the scenes. Chris looks back on their adoption story and states that, “[God’s] got a plan and it doesn’t have to be today that you get the answer to your question. It could be ‘I’ve got a plan, but you’re not going to see the results of that for some time.'” With their worlds being shaken through years of infertility, the goodness of God caught them and wrote a different, beautiful story.
All the logistics of adoption can be overwhelming: filling out endless paperwork, going through multiple lawyers, writing essays, and all the questions that come along with it. Chris and Kasondra felt as if their lives were being picked apart in the hopes of being declared fit parents. It took the McCrackens about two years to go through the process of just applying for the adoption. Many people end up waiting years after this to be matched successfully with a child. The McCrackens, however, were matched in about a month with baby Giavanna.
Not only did the match happen unspeakably fast, but it’s also incredibly rare that a couple’s first match is the baby they end up adopting. The process is often very long, as the family is put together with multiple potential children before they find a match. The McCrackens felt like they were met with wide open doors as they sought out adoption for their family. Not only did things go amazingly smooth on their end, but the birth mom was a gift in herself. She had an “all about you guys” mentality. From the beginning of their match, she made it clear that this was all about Chris and Kasondra. As a result, the McCrackens were gifted many things: being at the initial ultrasound, naming the baby themselves, and having direct day-to-day communication with the mother (something so rare in the adoption process).
Fifteen hours later, exhausted from their long drive across the country, Chris and Kasondra rushed into the NICU in Oklahoma. The culmination of all the sleepless nights and stressful logistics were met with relief as they open the door to meet their baby for the first time. Giavanna Sky, meaning “God’s gift from heaven,” would change their family forever.
Through it all,God provided everything, every step of the way. At one point during the process, the McCrackens needed to make a mandatory payment of $4000 within three days. They had no idea where the money was going to come from and they filled with anxiety. As they were driving home one day, they finally made the choice to stop worrying and resolved to trust God. Pulling into their driveway that evening, they checked their mailbox to find a check for exactly $4000. Distant friends back in Albuquerque had been praying about their giving for the year, and had felt led to give to the McCrackens. Their friends had no idea what they were providing for- something Kasondra referred to as “the creepy goodness of God.”
One of the most beautiful things about their adoption story is how their community rallied around them. The daunting costs of adoption are a huge deterrent in even the consideration for many people. Having just newly arrived at the church, they came about a month and a half before Redemption Church took their annual advent offering. Redemption Flagstaff takes time every year to challenge the congregation with radical generosity and picks multiple organizations to split the proceeds between.
Unbeknownst to them, through a few simple conversations with people that had met them, the McCrackens were one of the local causes the congregation had decided to support. Chris and Kasondra sat in the congregation that Sunday morning and their hearts skipped a beat as they heard their names announced. They were matched with Giavanna in March and the money from the offering came to them within a week of them needing it. The McCrackens were able to fall into the support of their new community and be surprised by God’s provision once again.
Through all of the gifts and money that came in, they paid for less than 15% of the adoption. The goodness of God, goosebump worthy at many times, met them in their need. The couple admits that “ultimately, it’s not about us” and that “God’s got a plan that’ll come to fruition when he wants it to.” Their unit of three is a beautiful picture of a God that writes wild, messy stories and opens doors for his people the whole way through the maze. His creepy goodness is something to bank on.