Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Journey to Matthew

Wow- it's been a week since we got "the call'! It's been a busy week- but time has flown by. I want to document our journey to Matthew. I won't be sharing specific details of his birth mom, birth father, birth, etc- it's Matthew's story and as his parents, we are the story keeper until he is old enough to decide who he wants to share it with. 

This will likely be a series of posts, but I really want to document it because it is such a God story. 

Let me just say that the week leading up to getting the call about Matthew was probably one of the lowest and worst weeks of our adoption journey- for both David and I. Emotionally exhausting, defeated, feeling like it was one more bump, one more delay in getting our child home. I'm not going to go into it, but it was a series of events that were just rough. 

Earlier in the week, I had gotten a call from an attorney/colleague who knew we were adopting. She told me about a birth mom she was meeting with that weekend and who was due in a few weeks. She asked if we were interested in being presented and we said yes. 

Friday, May 24- 
I had just pulled up to the church with pizza for our youth bash when my attorney friend called. She asked if I was by myself and then I needed to get David here with me. Well, he was in the middle of getting things ready so it was just me. She told me of a completely different situation- one that she felt certain was "it" for us. A baby boy had been born earlier that day in New Orleans and his birth mom wanted to choose an adoption plan. In the adoption community, this is a "stork drop"- where no adoption plan has been made prior to birth. She gave the details and told us that we would likely have to be in New Orleans by tomorrow morning. Everything she was telling me sounded good. I needed to talk to David and let her know very soon if we wanted to be presented to birth mom. 

The next hour or so was a blur- trying to talk to David about everything while we're at the youth event. I spoke to my friend again, then to the social worker who met with the birth mom. About two hours later, I was on the phone with our son's birth mother, S. It was a very surreal, out of body experience. I  shared with her a little about us and our journey to adoption. She told me why she was choosing adoption and that she wanted him to be raised in a Christian home with a family who would love him and give him what he needed. We made plans to leave first thing in the morning. 

Meanwhile, we were showing the movie "Facing the Giants" - how appropriate for what was about to happen! Especially at the end, where Coach Taylor finds out he's going to be a daddy- after he and his wife faced infertility. This was the biggest leap of faith we had ever taken together as a couple. But it just seemed the right thing to do. We both had no idea how it would turn out. We said from the beginning of our adoption journey, that we would walk through every door until it closes. 

We got home late- around 10:30. I'm trying to think of what all we need to pack, David is trying to sleep to get ready for the long drive. I couldn't sleep at all. I was up and down- thinking surely this is not really happening. We could be soon be parents. 

Next: the Drive/Meet and Greet

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Different Kind of Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day (well almost- Mother's Day Eve) and I've been thinking about this day all week. It's a little different for me this year. Last Mother's Day, it was just a few months after my surgery and when we were told that medical intervention was our only chance at being pregnant. I knew that by this time next year, I would either be pregnant, have a baby, or be in the middle of adoption. Honestly, either way, I thought we would have a baby by now. 

Well, it's a year later- and no baby. One unsuccessful round of Clomid, an official cause of infertility, a big move and big job change for my husband and we're finally in the midst of the adoption process. It's been a bit slower (okay, a lot!) than I had wanted it to be, or where I thought I would be at this point. 

Yesterday, we celebrated the life of David's grandmother. She went to be with Jesus last week at age 85. She was so excited about our adoption process and was constantly asking about when the baby was coming home. Honestly, she wanted nothing more than to see her first great grandchild. Last week, she asked about the baby's name, which we were able to tell her. She also gave us this little bunny rabbit that sings a song about Jelly Beans to put in the baby's room. One of the last things she told David and I was to "take care of that baby and bring them home." David preached part of the funeral and it was beautiful. I did okay until he started talking about the baby and how excited she was- which then caused me to bawl my way through singing "Amazing Grace." David assured her before she passed away that our baby would know about her and we would take care of them. 

I had this realization last week about Mother's Day. It wasn't anything huge or profound but it gave me a bit of hope. I realized that I already am someone's mother. They just don't know it yet.
 Somewhere out there, there is a brave woman who will make the most selfless and loving decision to choose an adoption plan for her baby. I don't know if this baby is even in her womb yet, but God knows exactly when this baby will be born. Our baby already has two mothers who love them so much- it's indescribable.

My child doesn't know that 
  • I picture in my head what the day will be like when we get the "call" 
  • that I get so overwhelmed with the love that I already have for them that it takes my breath away. 
  • that their grandparents are already talking about their "grandparent" names. :)
  • that we are praying for them and their birth family
  • that I have this picture in my head of what I think they may look like- I'll be curious to see if they look anything like this! 
  • that I never knew I could love someone so much that I've never met
  • that already in my heart, even before we've met- I love them with a mother's love. 
So I'll wait. I'll continue to get the nursery ready and drive my husband crazy with paint colors and my crazy planning- "nesting" madness. I'll cry because it seems so far away- almost out of reach. I'll pray- continuing to hold onto the hope that God has given me. I'll continue to love- love the little one who will someday (soon!) call me "Mommy."

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Sweet Gift

One of the things that I love about my work in adoption is the relationships that I get to have with my families. I tell them "We laugh together, we cry together, we pull our hair out, I talk you off of the're stuck with me long after all of this over." I love getting email updates, Christmas cards, photos, phone calls from them- to let me know how they are doing. 

About 6 years ago, I met a family who was one my of first home studies (not sure if they knew that- they were my guinea pigs!) and they took in a little boy who was 18 months old and they later adopted him at age 3. Over the two and a half years they were my "family" and then the years later, we've developed a great friendship. I get pictures, follow them on FB, talk occasionally. J is now 8 and he's growing up so fast. 

Yesterday, I got a phone call from J's mom. She said she had to share something with me but not through an email. Saturday was "National Lemonade Day" where kids are encouraged to have a lemonade stand and with their profits to do three things: Save, give and spend. I had seen pictures on FB of J's lemonade stand- it was so cute. She said that J told her that with his money, he wanted to give to an adoption ministry. She told him about David and I adopting and how I knew J and his family. She was calling to tell me that J was giving a portion of his lemonade profits to our adoption fund. I was blown away. We cried and we laughed. I couldn't believe it. I love how this little boy whose life was changed by adoption wanted to give back. This reminds me of why adoption is worth it, why doing what I do is worth it. All of the tears, uncertainty, the gift of a courageous young girl, the willingness of a family to say "yes" even when it was hard and "no" would have been easier to do. 

So the next time I pass a lemonade stand or drink a cup of lemonade, I'm reminded of the sweetest gift I received from a little boy who touched my heart in such a huge way.