PUBLISHED Monday, May 20th, 2013

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I was born on a special day in May. It was the 18th, and to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect…they put me in a weird bed with a big light. Ok, I’ll admit, I was scared. I didn’t know who my mom was, but I knew she was close. Until she finally picked me up, I couldn’t wait to meet her. She held me so tight. I knew she loved me. I had been waiting to meet her for so long.
I had finally found my mom.
Right at that moment, I knew that my mom would love me. She whispered to me, “I have been waiting for so long to meet you. And I love you.”
She called me “Mozzie,” and I called her “Mom.”
My dad walked in. He was skinny, but I instantly knew it was him. He held me and called me “son” and “big guy.” I knew I was small, but suddenly when my dad held me, my smallness didn’t matter. My family was here, and I finally felt like I was at home.
      Alex closes the book he wrote for his son. He looks down at 11-month-old Mozzie, who now sleeps in his arms. Alex kisses him on the forehead, hugs him a little tighter, and then gently places him in his crib. As he silently tiptoes out of Mozzie’s bedroom, Brigetta takes a peek in to see her slumbering son. She can’t help but smile at her life. Her husband, her son, her family.
      In January 2012, they made the phone call that changed their lives.

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Brigetta had just turned 22. Alex was 21.
      “Yes, we want to adopt him.”
      People warned them that they were making a mistake. You’re too young to have a family, they’d say. Heck, you’re too young to even be married.
      But 15 months later, as Brigetta and Alex sink into the couch while their son sleeps, they know that those people were wrong.

***
      Their love story sounds like a blockbuster romantic comedy. The synopsis might go something like this:
      Their romance began at the ripe age of 15. Although homeschooled, Brigetta played tennis at Cody High School in the small town of Cody, Wyoming. As the football team lined the fence to watch the girls play, a small, gawky freshman named Alex decided to take a leap of faith and ask her out. She said, “Yes.” The rest is history.
      “I was just daring enough to cross the threshold to get to the girl,” Alex says.
      In actuality, Alex didn’t really ask Brigetta out on a first date. He just made it extremely obvious that he liked her. Wherever she went, he’d go. He intentionally became friends with her friends, so that they would “naturally” be in the same places. Alex joined the tennis team. They went to church together. They’d go to the movies at the local theater, which his dad happened to own.
      Just in case they weren’t on the same page, Alex smoothly sent Brigetta a text message that read, “Someone just asked me if we were boyfriend and girlfriend, what should I say?”

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girlfriend, what should I say?”
      “Yes…”
      “I’d say our dating relationship was fun,” Alex says. “We dated with no expectations…It was really the first serious relationship we had ever been in. And it didn’t take a serious turn until we were 17 years old.”
      For the first two years, they spent a lot of time together, but it was always with a group of people. Sure, they liked each other a lot, but they wanted to make sure it didn’t get too serious, too fast.
      Then, when they were both 17-years-old, Alex took Brigetta out on a date and said, “I think I’m falling in love with you.”
      He didn’t plan on saying that. But in that moment, on that particular date, it just felt right.
      “It just kind of came out,” Alex says. “Which is so in step with our relationship. We hung out as friends and then, we just started telling people we were boyfriend and girlfriend. There was no formal ‘Define the Relationship.’”
      In that romantic moment, however, Brigetta sputtered out a very unromantic, “Thank you.”
      They laugh when they retell that story. They know how cheesy all of it sounds, but that’s just how it happened.
      Brigetta explains her response. “I hadn’t thought about it yet until he said that…but a few months later, I said, ‘I love you’ too.”
      They continued dating for two and a half more years while Alex attended Northwest College to receive his Associate’s Degree. At the start of his second year, in the fall of 2009, he knew he wanted to propose to Brigetta. While Alex attended school, Brigetta spent some time in California vacationing with her family.

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vacationing with her family. Life without Brigetta wasn’t fun. Too many lonesome nights and chatter-free dinners proved difficult for him.
      In January 2010, on Brigetta’s 20th birthday, 19-year-old Alex proposed to her. This time, she said “yes” right away. But what should have been a time marked by excitement and giddiness was overshadowed by doubt. Not their own, but rather, that of others.
      “When we talk about our relationship, our engagement was the hardest period,” Alex says.
      “Because people were telling us we were too young, [that] we didn’t know what we were doing,” Brigetta adds.
      Family members who supported their relationship suddenly became skeptical. Friends and distant relatives chimed in, telling them they were simply too young to know what they were doing. They would frequently ask, what’s the rush?
      And they had a point. Alex didn’t have a job. They had no money. When they searched for apartments, they could barely afford anything.
      For the first couple months of their engagement, the two of them remained steadfast in their decision. But as more and more people warned them of the huge mistake they were making, it began wearing on them...especially on Brigetta.
      For example, when Brigetta attended a particular conference to hear an acquaintance of hers whom she respected, speak. She sat in a crowd of thousands, eager and excited to listen to what he had to say. She viewed him as a fatherly figure, of sorts. As he began, he locked eyes with Brigetta.
      “For people who get married between the ages of 18 to 24, four out of five of them will get divorced in the first five years…”

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      Flushed, Brigetta tried sinking into her seat a little further. She felt like the whole room knew he was talking to her.
      Maybe he’s right. Maybe we are making a mistake...
      She called Alex. She asked him if he was sure this was the right thing to do. They were just two kids, after all.
      But Alex reassured her. He wasn’t quite so sure himself—how could they possibly know the future?—but he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Brigetta.
      “I couldn’t argue with [the speaker]…He was a statistician,” Alex says. “But I thought, ‘This guy has some issues.’ I didn’t say it out loud, but I just kept reassuring her that even though we don’t know the future, I’m going to try with everything I have to make sure this marriage will make it.
      “It was a lot of prayer and a lot of trying to assure her of things I wasn’t even sure of,” he adds.
      Alex was young. He didn’t exactly have tons of years of experience behind him. But he had God. And God knew just what he needed.
      “God affirmed me through my community of believers,” Alex remembers. “My father. Through mentors. God’s role was very, very vital, but it was mainly through people saying stuff like, ‘God doesn’t look at statistics...He’s outside of the realm of our minds. So, for me to look at stats was stupid.”
      On August 14, 2010, Alex and Brigetta wed. They became husband and wife, and seven months of backlash and constant defense came to an abrupt end. After the ceremony, the young newlyweds joyously ran through the procession line as friends and family cheered, whistled, and threw seeds in the air. They hopped into the car that would drive them to the hotel. As the car door shut tight—phoomp—the sudden silence punched Brigetta in the gut. And she started crying.
      “There was just so much going on, so many emotions, and for all of it to be done in that moment, it was a good thing, but it was just so overwhelming,” Brigetta explains.
      When they returned from their honeymoon, Alex and Brigetta packed their bags and moved to California. Within the same month of their wedding, Alex started attending Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California as a full-time student to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies. Brigetta worked part-time at a home furnishings store while Alex went to school and worked 30-plus hours at a retail sunglass shop.
      At the end of his first year at APU, Alex applied for an internship at Mariners Church, a mega-church with over 10,000 members in Irvine, California. He didn’t hear back right away, so the two of them moved back to Wyoming for the summer in 2011 and lived in Alex’s parents’ basement. While there, Alex worked two jobs, waking up at 5 a.m. to mow the lawn at the local golf course, then working with his dad at the movie theater. Meanwhile, Brigetta worked full-time as a waitress. They worked to save enough money for Alex to finish school in California.
      Then, that July, Mariners Church called Alex back and hired him as an intern. By the next month, they moved back to California and into a studio apartment. Because the internship was unpaid, Alex worked full-time at AMC Theaters while still attending APU as a full-time student.
      “It was ridiculous,” he says. “And amidst all of it, I maintained a marriage.”
      Alex and Brigetta didn’t have it easy. By all accounts, those that doubted their decision to marry could have said, “I told you so.”

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      And perhaps they did. But God had one more thing under His belt.

***
      In November 2011, just over a year since their wedding, Brigetta received a phone call from a woman in New Mexico, who was 18 years old and pregnant. She couldn’t keep the baby, but she wanted to give the child up for adoption. She knew Brigetta’s mom, Patti, who had adopted three children of her own. When the birth mom asked for her advice, Patti recommended Alex and Brigetta as possible candidates.
      So here they were. A pregnant woman, barely an adult, and a 21-year-old newlywed, on the phone, discussing the possibility of adoption. When Brigetta got off the phone, she couldn’t help but get a little excited. But she tried not to be. What if Alex didn’t feel the same way? After all, they had previously decided to wait four or five years before having kids to make sure they were financially stable. It had only been one year, and they were nowhere near that. Sure, Alex interned at one of the largest mega-churches in Orange County and even started a junior high ministry at one of the campuses in Huntington Beach, but as an intern, that meant no paycheck.
      So, when Alex readily accepted the possibility, they knew there was only one possible explanation: God.
      The simple fact that such a big decision came easily for both of them spoke volumes in and of itself.
      If God placed this baby into their lives, they knew He would provide. He always did.
      “We both had the same reaction, which was, ‘Why wouldn’t we?’” says Brigetta.

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Brigetta. “That was a complete change of heart from before, so we knew it was a total God thing.”
      Alex called Jared, his friend, boss, and mentor, for lunch. Jared assumed Alex called to ask for a job he couldn’t give him because there simply weren’t any available. But to his surprise, Alex simply wanted Jared’s advice on adopting a baby.
      “I think that helped him see something unique in me,” Alex says.
      In January 2012, after much prayer and counsel from mentors and family members they trusted, they called the birth mom back and told her they wanted to move forward with the adoption.
      “We were 22—Alex was actually 21—when we were adopting, so you can imagine, we got a lot of feedback on that, too,” Brigetta says. “From people close to us as well as from people we didn’t know.”
      In fact, when Mozzie was born, the nurse took it upon herself to warn the birth mom of the potential mistake she was making. “Do you know what you are doing? Do you see how young they are?” she asked.
      “Whenever someone tells us we’re too young to do something, that’s kind of God’s way of telling us, ‘You should do it,’” says Alex. “That was the same for our marriage, that’s how Mozzie was, that’s how getting a job was…it’s been like that for pretty much everything.”
      At the start of the adoption process, the birth mom even hesitated because of their young age. They were only a couple years older than her, after all. But when she flew out to California to meet them, Alex and Brigetta squashed all her fears. Because, when you meet them, it’s easy to forget just how young they are. Their peace, confidence, and surety of God and life make them seem 10 years older. As if they’ve done all of this before. Perhaps it’s their immovable faith in God’s provision.

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immovable faith in God’s provision. Or their work ethic and heart to make sure they’re doing the best they can. Or their attitude that this is all just a part of their life...nothing more, nothing less.
      “It wasn’t until she flew out to California that she saw that Brigetta and I were much older than our age would say,” Alex says. “The birth mom saw something in us despite our situation. She saw our hearts and desire to parent this little child.”
      After months of paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, home studies, baby classes, books, and school, it was finally time to meet their child. Alex may not have had a job, and they weren’t exactly sure how everything would work out, but God would provide. He always did.
      Brigetta flew to New Mexico the first week of May in case the baby came early. Alex joined her on May 9th, and together, they anxiously waited for their son. Nine days later, on May 18, 2012, Mozzie Beaverson was born, and after what seemed like eternity, Alex and Brigetta finally got to hold their son. All six pounds and 14 ounces of him.

Right at that moment, I knew that my mom would love me. She whispered to me, “I have been waiting for so long to meet you. And I love you.”
She called me “Mozzie,” and I called her “Mom.”
My dad walked in. He was skinny, but I instantly knew it was him. He held me and called me “son” and “big guy.” I knew I was small, but suddenly when my dad held me, my smallness didn’t matter. My family was here, and I finally felt like I was at home.

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      The day after Mozzie was born, Alex wrote the following in his blog, “Skinner Than Average”:
      “Moz came into this world yesterday, May 18, one week late...he’s stubborn. This adoption has been long, tiresome, tear-filled, and yesterday, it all became a reality. Unlike a non-adopting couple, Brigetta and I did not have nine months to prepare and get attached. Instead, we were flooded with paperwork, home studies, and questions of why we were adopting. Suddenly, that entire process means nothing. What I mean is that it was worth it. Moz is strong, eating a ton, and for some reason, he already knows who’s boss (Brigetta-haha). I love this guy like crazy!”
      A week later, the three of them flew back to California to be a family. And just when it seemed like it couldn’t get much better than this, Alex got another call. It was Mariners Church hiring him as a full-time youth pastor.
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