I have always believed that I was the driving force behind our adoption. I wanted to adopt a daughter and prayed for her for ten years. But that is where my influence would end.
I often stated that an expectant mom would be attracted to us because of my husband and his upbringing (farming family, salt of the Earth, Marine, put himself through school), that my boys would seal the deal due to their cuteness, and that I would be an afterthought.
Honestly, I was okay with that. I wanted a baby girl to join our family and I was impatient to see when it would happen. The wait felt like a million years and I was often discouraged. Then one day I told myself that it would happen when it would happen and I could not spend my life on hold waiting for what might be. I was letting go, and letting God chose the perfect time. I was going to walk in faith, not by sight. Or I was going to try to. Easier said than done most days.
It was a day like any other day, except that it was my birthday. My 41st birthday. I was in the car headed to pick up our youngest son from preschool when the phone rang. Someone I have never spoken to was on the other line. She explained she was a birth mother counselor with our agency and she had a situation she wanted to present to me. Did I want to hear it? Are you kidding me?! YES! I remember asking her if I should pull over. “You may want to,” she replied. I did. She told me about a young mother and I instantly fell in love.
My husband attracted her because he was raised in Kentucky like her Grandfather. My boys looked like her brothers. She wanted her daughter to have older brothers to protect her. Our boys take piano lessons; she wanted her daughter to take piano lessons. She wanted her baby girl to be doted on, the last child, the baby of the family. As I suspected, I was not a part of the equation at all. But God let me know that I was not forgotten. It was my BIRTHDAY! God’s timing is perfect.
After discussing her medical history with the caseworker, I was told to call my husband to see if he was willing to meet for a phone call that evening. I wanted to hang up, wait for a few minutes, and then call her back and say YES! But I managed to reach my husband and through my excitement and tears, asked if we could proceed. He said yes, and asked that her medical records be faxed to his office. At this point, I was at my sons school and I’m sure I looked like someone had died, with tears streaming down my face. Sobbing, I went into the school to get my little guy and the teacher was instantly by my side. “We may have an adoption match,” I explained as she teared up as well.
This is when it really hit me that adoption is a village experience. We live in a small town. My husband is a doctor. Our lives are an open book and entwined with others for the most part. I was very open about our journey so far. And to know that others were just as emotionally involved in bringing our daughter home to us warmed my heart.
At home, I sobbed again telling a dear friend who was working on designing a remodel of our master bath that we had gotten “the call” and that it was my birthday! She instantly had me in her arms and said she would be praying for our phone call that night. I went for a walk with some girlfriends and bubbled over with fear, excitement, anticipation, and trepidation. What if she didn’t like me? What if she was drawn to our family because of my men, but hated me? I was so stressed out!! I wondered what we were to ask her, what she would ask us. How does this work? How do we proceed? Basically, I was an emotional basket case!
That night, at my husband’s office, on speaker phone, we heard the voice of our daughter’s first mom. Her sweet young voice asking us if her baby would have her own room, were her brothers excited about her, did we know her history. And through it all I felt a peace come over my heart. This young woman was carrying our dream. Through her hardships, she was choosing a path for her daughter that would be far different from her own. I could hear the pain in her voice. I let my husband do most of the talking with her as they seemed to have formed a connection through the phone lines. Mostly, I sat and stared at the phone with tears streaming down my face.
I could only imagine her grief. Her fear. Her anticipation and trepidation. Was she making the right choice? Were we the right couple for her baby? Could she actually sign over rights to this child that kicked and rolled inside her? At the end of the conversation we were matched. We were smitten with her, and she with us. We could go home and tell our boys we may have a baby in our home in a little over a month (or in three weeks, as it actually happened!)
Even though it has been almost four years since that phone call, the emotions are still raw, still very present. The excitement is still there every day that I look at our daughter. I stare at her in awe that she is ours. That her young first mom found the courage to place her with us and to trust us with her growth. I watch her with her brothers and know that they were all made for each other. That God had a plan long before we executed it. And that even though I was not the reason that she was chosen for us, she is all mine. And that is more than enough.
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