This story originally appeared on www.GoRedHawks.com on November 19, 2012
Usually, five days is more than enough to prepare until a big game is played, a paper is due, or a special anniversary or holiday.
But how about having only five days’ notice that you will be a first-time dad?
That was exactly the scenario Martin Methodist women’s basketball coach Jamy Bechler encountered three years ago as he and his wife, Tabitha, received the call from Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency based in Nashville, Tenn., that they would have the opportunity to become parents.
“We had gone through the whole interview and background process that the agency puts couples through,” Bechler said. “It normally lasts about a year so we were just waiting for a birth mother to like our profile and pick us. I had heard of crazy adoption stories of people having a day’s notice and having to come back from vacation.”
As fate would have it, however, that was not the case for Jamy and Tabitha.
“Tabitha assured me that we wouldn’t be one of those crazy stories,” Bechler said. “She was right. We had a whole five days’ notice.”
In addition to all of the logistical preparations for the baby’s arrival, Bechler also had to shuffle plans in the middle of the season as head coach at Bryan College.
“When we got the call, I did a quick calculation and realized that we had a game on the day the baby was due and we had a conference game two days later. Luckily, I had a good assistant and we ended up winning those games. We also had nothing ready at home for a baby. Our Silverdale Baptist Church family was awesome in helping us at the last minute. They gave us so many things and provided help in preparing the baby’s room.”
On November 16, 2009, Jamy and Tabitha welcomed Jaylen into their lives. They had the great fortune of being on hand for the delivery. They spent that night and the next day with Jaylen at the hospital before being cleared to take him home. Former RedHawks assistant coach Cori Jones, then a player at Bryan, was the first of Coach Bechler’s players to hold little Jaylen.
“When we met with the birth mother prior to birth, she mentioned that she choose us in part because she had just seen ‘The Blind Side’ and thought it’d be a great thing for her little boy to be adopted by us and be around sports and athletes all the time.”
Jaylen celebrated his third birthday this past Friday surrounded by all of his big sisters on the RedHawks basketball team as the RedHawks wrapped up play in the Bethel University Classic. Players, coaches and parents all sang “Happy Birthday” as Jaylen blew out his candle on top of his birthday cupcake.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month and the RedHawk Women’s Basketball team is raising awareness by wearing bright yellow “Superman was Adopted” shirts during pre-game warmups. The team is also selling these shirts and corresponding bracelets to raise money for Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency that has locations throughout the world, including Nashville.
Shirts and bracelets will be available during Tuesday’s home game against Crowley’s Ridge College and the Nov. 28 contest against Talladega College.
Tipoff in both games is set for 6 p.m.