Let the Adventure Begin

I got a call from the adoption agency/maternity home a week after our initial meeting.  The birth mother liked us, but had more questions.  Great!  Bring them on!  The problem was that the woman in charge of the ministry was going out of town, so we couldn’t meet for another week-basically two weeks after our initial meeting.  I tried to make the meeting happen sooner, but it wasn’t possible so we had to wait another week, and then who knows how much after that before she would make a choice.  We had absolutely no idea what type of questions she would ask or whether the other family she was considering was meeting with her more or not.  It was a difficult week of waiting for sure.

The day FINALLY came when we could meet, and I was a hot mess!  I was trying so hard to hold it together, but I truly had no idea what we were walking into.  At some points I had convinced myself that she was meeting with us to let us know that she hadn’t picked us, and at others I thought she would still need weeks to make a decision.  The agency had asked me if they could take some video before our meeting for their website because they are a new ministry and just getting started.  I am not one to jump in front of any camera ever, but at that point I would have walked across hot coals and swallowed glass shards if I thought it would get us closer to an answer.  So I slapped on some lipgloss and tried to compose myself when we got to the meeting.  We sat down and nervously joked about I don’t even know what while they got the camera set up.  Then she let us know that she wanted to ask us some more personal questions.  Sister, at this point there is nothing I wouldn’t answer so COME ON!  She asked about whether we had been considered by a birth mother before, and if we had discussed any names yet.  No, and not really (KJ thought picking out a name would make it harder if we didn’t get picked).  Then she said that she would be honored if we would adopt her baby and give her a good home.  It seems so simple, but that sentence changed everything about our whole world for the rest of ever.  All three of us cried, and I held her hand and tried to process what was happening right that very minute.  I tried to place myself in her position, and wondered how in heaven’s name I would make that kind of a decision.  I thought about the fact that in a few short weeks she will give birth to a daughter that she will grieve.  That at the very moment we are staring at the face of  the fulfillment of God’s promise in our lives, she will be recovering from giving birth to a baby she won’t hold.  That no matter how many days or miles separate us in the future, my life is forever knit together with hers because we will mother this little girl.  She LOVES her daughter, and is making an incredibly brave choice to place her into our arms.  She knows and feels peace that this is the decision that the Lord has for her and her child, but of all the things the Lord could ask of us this has to be one of the hardest.  We pray that she will continue to have supernatural peace that her decision is the right one, and that she would be comforted as she goes through all that is next.

So now we start the whirlwind!  We begin to plan to welcome our daughter into our home in about a month.  There’s bottles to wash, onesies to buy, calls to make and oh the anticipation.  It’s all wonderful and, I imagine, much like what a couple who is pregnant experiences only compacted in time and multiplied in intensity.  We feel good about the birth mother and her certainty in the decision, but she could still change her mind.  We are praying with all we can that doesn’t happen.  I’m not sure we’ve even allowed it to sink in what is happening.  I guess that happens at some point…

Dear Sweet Baby Girl,

I found out this week that your mom has chosen us to be your parents.  There aren’t words for that moment.  I held her hand, and stared at her crying for a few minutes before I could even say one word.  I thought about how at that very second the two women who would love you most in all the world were inches from each other with you between us.  How her story was now forever a part of mine.  She loves you, sweet one, so very much.  She is making a brave and selfless choice to place you in our care.  Your daddy and I don’t take that trust lightly at all.  We know that long before God began to knit you in her womb, he placed you in our hearts.  We have prayed for her and for you for years.  We have sought you out.  The Lord gave us signs along the way that we should keep going, but there were long stretches where we wondered if we’d ever get to know you.  Now we are weeks away from when you will be born.  We’re making all the preparations to bring you home and begin our life with you.  So many people have prayed for you and wanted you for so long.  I cannot imagine another baby that has been rejoiced over more by more people.  Your story is already set up to be amazing and awe inspiring.  I felt you move, and saw a sonogram picture of you, and I wondered if you somehow know you’re ours.  I hope to one day be able to somehow explain to you all about God’s hand in bringing you to us.  How we have waited, longed, prayed for and hoped for you.  How every single second of the difficult wait is so worth it to get to be your mommy.  Your daddy and I are not perfect people, and won’t be perfect parents, but my goodness will we try.  There’s not anything we won’t do for you, and we haven’t even laid eyes on you yet.  We want so badly to be able to keep you happy, healthy and secure.  We want you to fall in love with Jesus-HARD, and early.  We pray He captures your heart before you know what hit you, and that you’re never satisfied without Him and you never get enough of Him.  The way you’re coming to us is nothing short of incredible, and I will NEVER get over it.  You will have the unique privilege of being loved by two mommies and a daddy.   Your birth mother took care to get you into the world, and is making a choice for your good that is very hard for her.  Your daddy and I have waited for years for you, and wanted you more than anything else.  We will feed you, rock you to sleep, check your closet for monsters, take you to school, watch you play sports or twirl in your tutu (or both), hold you when somebody’s been mean to you, put a princess band-aid on your skinned knees, teach you to drive and reluctantly release you to the roads-maybe, zip your prom dress, help you with your graduation cap, cry when you leave for college, watch you walk an aisle to the man God has for you and so many other little and huge moments.  In every one of those moments, we will be so grateful that God chose you just for us.  We love you so very, very much little one.  You are our Baby Lamb.

Love,  Mommy and Daddy

You’re a Match-Maybe

I would guess that most people in my age group and younger at some point at least dabbled in online dating.  I’ve heard stories of people who found love just like the commercial said so I know it is possible.  I didn’t ever get into it whole-heartedly, but I did test the waters a little-enough to determine that there may be a lot of fish in the sea, but most of them were more scaly and slimy than I cared to mess with.  Since we finished our home study and profile book we’ve been waiting to be “matched” with a birth mother.  Unlike online dating, we have no control over this process.  We put our information out there, and hoped and prayed it would find a match-and in a short amount of time.

Not one day passes that I don’t think about when or if we will get “the call”.  Some days it’s a slow simmer on the back burner of my brain, and other days it has full on boiled over and invaded every part of my life.  Five days ago we got a call-not exactly “the call”, but a call.  A new local maternity home that we have some connections to had a birth mother move in very recently who is planning to place her baby girl for adoption, and she was interested in meeting us.  The night I got the call from the lady who started the ministry was at the end of an exhausting day.  There were a lot of things hanging over our heads that were scary.  In the course of a few days we had learned of KJ’s mom having some complications that were jeopardizing her already delicate health, my dad had some tests come out questionable at a physical, KJ had some possible big changes at work that could be good or bad, but we didn’t know.  Not to mention, the beginning of 2015 has already left us bruised with some heartache.  We both lost grandfathers, some friends buried their 4 month old-REALLY LORD?, KJ’s mom was entering a third year of a battle with cancer that is impossibly difficult, we both have some significant changes at work that cause their own share of stress and anxiety and then there’s the normal stress of being an “adult” in this world in this time which can cause even the strongest to hang their head and wonder if any hope is left to be found.  If I’m being totally honest, I was starting to truly wonder if we had gotten it all wrong and weren’t going to have the opportunity to be parents at all.  I know there are people who wait years and years to be matched for a child, and to them our impatience is probably at best laughable and at worst insulting.  However, for us to turn another page on another calendar with seemingly no movement in the adoption process is so discouraging.  So, we get the call that the mother wants to meet with us while KJ is working on his resume, and I’m in the bed with a mask on trying to numb my mind with quality reality television. Don’t judge!

Thirty-six hours later we walked into a restaurant to meet this girl.  I had about 2 very restful hours of sleep, and I was praying to the Lord that he would help me not to throw up-at least until after the meeting.  I have nothing to base my evaluation of the meeting on since we’ve never done this before, and I don’t know how other agencies structure this process.  She asked us a few questions, and told us a few things about herself and her pregnancy.  We tried to have “normal” conversation which was as easy as you might imagine.  At the end of the meeting she told us that she was still considering another family for her baby, so she would let us know when she was able to come to a decision.  I assured her that we wanted the best for her baby, and that we were praying for clarity and peace for her in whatever decision she made.  What I didn’t say that I wanted to scream is “PLEASE DECIDE SOON! And Also PICK US!!!!!”.

We left the meeting, and KJ and I went back to work as if our lives weren’t forever different.  It’s been 5 days since that meeting, and we still don’t know what she will decide.  One minute I am sure that the Lord is confirming this baby is ours, and moments later I feel like He’s preparing me for the disappointment.  I’m such an emotional wreck that I don’t trust my discernment to tell me which of those if either is truly a word from the Lord.  One morning on the way to work as I was praying my guts out, but unable to form words or a coherent sentence, I remembered how the Israelites waited 400 years to hear from God.  Generations endured a deafening silence from Him that was broken with the cries of baby Jesus.  At the moment I felt like the Lord was giving me a sign that we too would be able to testify after what felt like a long silence being broken by a baby’s cry.  Just a few hours later, I thought the Lord was telling me that our wait may not be over.  I’ve created a million scenarios in my head that are all 100% based on speculation and 0% based on fact.  I have no idea what this girl is thinking about us, if she’s already made a decision, if she liked us, if she feels good about us, if she even still wants to place her baby, when she’ll let us know about her decision and about a bazillion other things that run through my head all day and when I’m trying-unsuccessfully- to sleep at night.

So here’s what I KNOW: God is good and still very much in control.  I have a million question marks right now; He has zero-NOT ONE.  He will take care of us no matter how this thing plays out.  There is a refining purpose to us having to endure this excruciating wait.  Lord, please help us to wait well and allow this difficult time to build our faith and trust in you.  God has given me the best people in all the world.  We haven’t told a ton of people about this yet since there are still so many things unknown, but the ones who know have been the only reason I have any sanity at all.  Just looking at text messages from my precious friends and family make me weep and wonder how on earth I am so blessed.  When I told my Daddy and he cried and said, “Oh honey, I can barely catch my breath…” will forever be one of my favorites.  My husband is amazing.  This is huge for both of us, and we process it in different ways, but his tenderness towards me has held me together even when I am falling apart.  No matter how this turns out, we WILL be ok.  I will hold on to these things when my mind is whirling with all the questions.  I will raise my hands and heart to the Lord in worship while I wait, and I will hope with everything in me that this is our Baby Lamb.