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Reagan's Story | Kelsey Tally

Let me start off by saying, Reagan's story is one that I NEVER in my life thought that I would have the privilege to tell. It is one of God’s perfect plans, His infinite wisdom, and a love story of a little girl who God knew was a Tally from conception.

In April 2015, Brian, my husband, and I were praying about expanding our family. We prayed for God to reveal to us His will... whether that was to have more kids, adopt, or simply be complete in our family with our 3 amazing boys. I personally felt so strongly that there was a child out there somewhere that was mine, so Brian agreed to start the process of adoption.

A dear friend of ours brought the nation of Colombia to our attention and their need for adoptive families and we RAN through that open door and didn’t look back. International Adoption is long; it is lots of paperwork, lots of doctors’ appointments, and quite frankly jumping through a lot of political hoops.

We applied in late April 2015 to be accepted into this program. As soon as we got our packets I was in a mad dash to get all of our paperwork in as quickly as possible because I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that my baby was out there waiting. It was hard trusting that God would keep them safe. I prayed daily for their physical and emotional well-being... I prayed that God would let them know that his Mommy and Daddy already loved them so much... and we were going as fast we could, we were coming for them!

One of the most vital documents, which takes the longest to process, are FBI Clearances. These documents have to be sent out to FBI headquarters in Virginia. We mailed these out May 13, 2015 (and I tell you this because it is a VITAL detail later on down the road). A few more weeks went by and we got all of our documentation needed in order to schedule our home study, which took place in July 2015.

Then we got a phone call on July 27th from our agency saying that based on our family and our home study, they were denying us from the Colombia program.

What? DENYING US? Wait, I KNEW a baby was out there... what do you mean my family has been DENIED from adopting? Angry is an understatement, I was DEVASTATED, lost, and incredibly confused.

I shut God out... I told Him I didn’t understand. I knew He had put it on my heart to adopt... why in the WORLD would He close this door, wait not close, SLAM this door in my face?

We were surrounded by such an amazing support system during this time they cried with us, prayed for us, offered to make endless phone calls to our agency to tell them what a mistake they had made... we are ETERNALLY grateful for our “people."

I shut down a little... I needed to heal and I needed time to figure out what God wanted us to do (I am not a patient person and I do not handle now knowing “the plan” well).

September 8, I dove back into scripture and popped open my bible to Psalms 37 and verse 7 hits me like a ton of bricks “Be still before the Lord and WAIT PATIENTLY for Him”. Okay, okay, God I get it... wait for You for Your plan for my family. I surrender; I WILL be patient (somehow).

September 10 (a Friday), I went to get the mail and guess what is in it? FBI APPROVALS from Virginia. I cried... A LOT. It was just a reminder of a dream I thought I had but was no more. The next day was Saturday... an ordinary Saturday. Brian had to work in the morning, so I loaded up the boys in the stroller and we were headed to the park! We got out the door, it was 9:00AM and I got a text from my dad that read, “{a friend} is going to be contacting you; there is a baby girl in California needing immediate adoptive placement.”

At 9:30AM, our friend calls and says he has already spoken to the adoption agency involved via email and given them our number and a brief referral/information on our family. At 10:00AM the adoption agency called me and explained to me the birth mom's situation and wanted to hear about our family and our desire to adopt. I explained everything to her about our previous agency and she said to me, “Kelsey, God is in this. I have prayed for this birth mom and this baby’s family and I truly believe she is your daughter”. The caseworker told me that if I gave her an answer right then (at 10:30AM) they will not present any other portfolios to the mom to look at. I explained to her that I needed a few hours to process and talk to Brian, which of course she understood. We agreed to let other families’ portfolios be presented.

At 12:30PM, Brian came home from work, we discussed, we were overwhelmed, we cried and Brian said he needed time to process. At 1:30PM I sent a text to a few close friends and my parents saying that it is going to take “an act of God” for Brian to be on board, he (like me) never thought we’d wake up on a normal Saturday and be given a baby this quickly. At 2:00PM I got a call from Brian (who had gone to “take a drive” in order to process) and he said he was on board and he knew we needed to move forward.

I frantically typed up an email to the birth mom and emailed it to her with 5 pictures of our family explaining who we are, what we believe, how we raise our kids and how honored we’d be to adopt her daughter. At 3:00PM I got a phone call from our caseworker saying that the birth mom chose us and was moving forward with relinquishing rights in the next few hours. She chose us based on an EMAIL and 5 pictures of our family... she chose us over families who had binders FULL of information, FULL of pictures about their families and their desire to adopt.

A few minutes later, I actually got to talk to Reagan’s mom on the phone and she explained to me that she was planning to terminate her pregnancy back in APRIL and at the last minute changed her mind. APRIL when we first started the process of adopting, APRIL was when God pricked my heart and I first felt like my child was somewhere out there, APRIL when I began praying EVERYDAY for my baby to know their family loved them and we were coming for them.

Is there any denying Reagan is a Tally?

We had an emergency home study done 2 days later; we passed with FLYING colors and were cleared to travel to California to meet our baby girl. Our agency informed us that Reagan would have to be in extended foster care for a few MONTHS because we would be waiting on one document from the FBI….um, WRONG, that document arrived in the mail 24 hours before Reagan was born. We were able to pick her up and bring her home before she turned one week old ALL because of this single document we filed with the FBI back in May when we were in the international adoption program.

We immediately booked flights, cancelled plans, and informed the kids that we were headed to the beach to pick up their sister! Oh, and Reagan was born just one hour away from Brian’s parents beach house so we had a house to stay in instead of a hotel and the city she was born in was the SAME city Brian’s dad and sisters were born in.

What?! How is this not GOD?!

So, on September 18 we made the drive to Chino Hills, California to pick up our baby girl and bring her back to her forever family! We were cleared by the state in 1 business day to come home to Texas (even though it was supposed to take 10 days) and we flew home September 23 with our DAUGHTER, Reagan Renee Layla Tally.

I have never seen God work in my life this way. He intricately planned every detail to bring Reagan to us, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is 100% Tally.

Looking back,

I see God’s hand over every detail through the international program...

I see Him in bringing Brian and I together through the heart break of being denied...

and I see Him in perfectly timing Reagan's arrival.

She is ours and we are HONORED to be her parents. God is good and He is in our midst even when we shut Him out... even when we doubt His plan... even when we tell Him we don’t understand... even when we are so angry we ignore His gentle voice saying, “Be still….wait patiently."

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