We have a favorite song: Keepin’ it Real, by Mason Jennings. One verse says, “There’s a common stipulation that there ain’t no hope, but there’s a tire swing, baby, at the end of our rope.” It became our mantra. We had a tire swing dream and she came true.
In the beginning, on May 6th, there was an e-mail.
“Hi Spencer and Chelsi, We are Jade and Nate. I am expecting a baby girl in August. We’re considering placing our baby for adoption. We saw your profile and thought you guys seemed interesting. We’d love to get to know you more! -Jade, Nate, and baby girl”
Then there were more emails, and on May 22, there was a date. We went to the Olive Garden at 7 . . . except we got there at 7:45 because there was traffic. I got to Provo and he was still in Draper . . . I sat in the sun just freaking out while I waited for him and texted Jade. By the time we got there I was super sweaty, entirely anxious, with deflated curls and hope.
We had a good dinner and spoke about adoption, how things would be, etc. They seemed
really sure. When I found out about their first son, Jonah, I thought, “There’s no way they will place. What’s another kid?” But Jade and Nate knew what another kid would mean, how hard it would be to parent after Jonah. They have brave, strong hearts and understood they had another option. Their firmness in their decision was reassuring; we met their little Jonah bug, as well as Jade’s mom, and set up a time for a second date. We continued to go out every other week.
In the middle, more dates ensued. Fun ones like Trafalga, where they played mini golf for the first time, and the boys DRENCHED us in the boats. We went to the duck pond and on a picnic,
we went to the aquarium, we went to the splash pad and to fun cafes. Each time we hung out we fell more and more in love with these amazing kids. Nate is funny, bubbly, sweet and excited. We have similar personalities, I think. We’re both a little goofy and will do ANYTHING for ice cream. (We are also afraid of heights but walked across a tiki bridge at the aquarium!) He loves Jade and Jonah more than anything in the world. Jade is level-headed and smart and does so much to help her family. She’s happy, has the sweetest little smile and beautiful brown eyes. She is up for anything and has the biggest heart in the world.
Somewhere in the middle of these dates, they told us they were considering another couple. We were heartbroken, but knew that it was the right thing, and something we would’ve done had we been in their position.
Ten long days later (it felt like so much longer!), we went to lunch and met her family at the splash pad. We played with her nephews and niece (who I just want to eat up!) and Jonah, who is the best baby ever. The whole time Nate and Jade were acting really weird and I just kept thinking, “Just get it over with! Just tell us you picked the other couple!” So after a few hours, it was time to go home. I was preparing my game face and accept the fact that it wasn’t going to work out, but I had no idea on how to do so. As we all walked to our cars, I looked up and saw a jeep decorated with pink ribbons and bows and balloons. I couldn’t believe it.
“Is that our car . . . ? ” I said.
“That’s our car,” Spencer said.
I just turned to Jade, started bawling, and held her.
I don’t think the birth mom/adoptive mom bond is really something that can be explained . . . When we hug it’s like we are one person. I would walk through fire for her with no hesitation. I firmly believe that Jade is my sacred vessel. My sacred vessel that I needed in order to bring our little Avaya here. My vessel is broken, so Heavenly Father found me someone strong enough, brave enough, and loving enough to be my deliverer. How can you possibly explain the feelings that come with the magnitude of that? She’s making me a mom, Spencer, a father. I’m not just gaining a daughter, I’m gaining Nate, Jade, and Jonah. All of us, no matter what, will be a family, always and forever.
And, so, in the end, there’s a family. And a baby.