She’s a single woman and a local attorney. He’s a blonde-haired, 17-month-old little boy who likes to climb on the furniture and loves a good book about tractors.
Their story is an unlikely one, but one that was written in the stars.
Two years ago, Hattiesburg attorney Elizabeth Porter was focused on her growing private practice and her work as a public defender for Forrest County.
She had already spent two years working as an assistant district attorney and despite having achieved much in her young career, Porter still longed for something more.
She wanted to be a mother.
“I have always wanted to adopt, but I never thought I would be a single woman doing it,” she said. “However, the older I got, I just felt like God had put it on my heart.”
Porter did her best to ignore the urging and basically told God she was not going to go out and make it happen herself.
“I kept telling myself it would not be a ‘God thing’ if I took charge of the situation so I just had to pray and let Him work.”
Paperwork was filled out. Background checks were completed. Fingerprints made. Classes taken. The list went on.
And then Porter began the long wait for her new “everything.”
Having an adopted brother, she was already familiar with the process, but admits she wasn’t fully prepared when the call finally came.
A match had been made with an expecting family and Porter would only have to wait a few weeks longer.
She had already purchased bedding and was thinking of a name when she got the call that the family wanted the baby to go to a two-person home instead.
She was devastated.
“I was angry,” she said. I asked myself why God would put me through that emotionally, but I knew there was something out there for me. I knew I had to continue to wait and pray for the right thing to come along.”
Porter said she reached out to several folks that had been through the adoption process before and even considered abandoning the process altogether to pursue being a foster parent instead.
“I knew I just needed to say yes if the opportunity ever presented itself again,” she said. “I had ultimately decided it was a dumb idea and that I couldn’t handle it. After all, I was single. I was an attorney. I just didn’t have time for it and I could not handle it emotionally, mentally, and physically.”
How could she go without sleep?
How could she possibly add anything to her plate? Would God prepare her emotionally and mentally for adoption like He does women for actual childbirth?
“In the back of my head I kept hearing, ‘Oh, you have little faith. This isn’t about you.’ Once I finally gave it up to God once and for all, my prayers were answered.”
Last year, Porter received the phone call that forever changed her life. The Department of Human Services had a baby for her. It was a little boy and his name was Matthew.
“As soon as I got him, I knew that he was home.”
On Feb. 9, 2018, it became official.
In the months since, Porter has settled into her role as mother, but every day is a new adventure.
“Most mornings, you’ll find me putting on my make-up in the drive thru lane at Starbucks before dropping Matthew off at day care,” she said with a smile. “But I wouldn’t change it for anything.
“Being a mother is one of the most terrifying and rewarding things I have ever had the honor of experiencing. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for both of us in the months and years ahead.”