Here's the story of how we were matched:
On Wednesday, June 24th, we woke up to two emails that let us know that we were not chosen for two baby boys that were already born. We had been waiting on news from these two cases since Saturday and I was pretty weary with waiting. I keep two lists on my phone: one of cases we've seen/presented on and one of the current birthmothers who were seeing our profile. That morning the total number of cases we had seen stood at 33 and I deleted the last two birthmoms on our list. At the moment, we weren't presenting to any birthmoms.
Over the weekend and beginning of the week, I was really struggling with how to deal with ALL the emotions that adoption brings. It wasn't that I was necessarily sad per say, but I felt a jumble of about 100 different emotions: sadness that we hadn't been matched yet, happiness for families who were, weariness of the journey/roller coaster of hope/disappointment,... We had finished painting the baby's room over the weekend and actually assembled the crib. Strangely the room gave me hope, not sadness, though I did close the door on Wednesday morning.
Normally, on Wednesdays I babysit but this week I wasn't because M had had a tummy bug Sunday/Monday and we didn't want to risk spreading germs. She was feeling better on Wednesday and I decided that she'd be ok to go to the pool for a bit for H's swim lessons. My best friend and the girls' "Auntie" usually goes to the pool with us. We left a little early because I was taking a baby seat to a friend to borrow for her little guy who wasn't sleeping well. Just looking at that little empty seat tugged at my heartstrings, as I loaded it in the van.
On the way to the pool, my phone rang. I usually try not to answer my phone while driving but I saw that it was our adoption consultant J. My first thought was that she was calling to encourage us after we hadn't been chosen for the other two babies. I almost didn't answer the phone! J called to say that we had mistakenly been told that one of the birthmoms we had chosen to present to a couple of weeks ago had chosen another family. Apparently, she hadn't chosen yet and now wanted to have a phone conference with us later that afternoon. I'm pretty sure I should have pulled over and that Auntie was afraid for her life because of my driving!
I quickly called Kurt and made sure that he'd be available. We weren't sure if the birthmom was actually talking to other families or if she just wanted to talk with us alone. I was just so happy that I would actually be able to talk with her and to be able to tell her how much we cared for her and the baby, instead of just depending on our photo book. I'm pretty sure I could have swam a million laps at the pool with all the nervous energy I had! We left swim lessons around 5:05 and I needed to be home by 6:00 for the call. I have never been more prone to complain about traffic in our city as I was at that point!
I made it home with time to spare, got the girls settled with a snack and a movie and pulled Kurt off a work phone call because I just knew that he'd keep talking till 6! We went over a few things that our consulting group had given us to help coach us on a phone call with a birth mom. Within a few minutes, the phone rang. There was a social worker on the call with us the entire time and she helped to break the ice a bit. The birthmom had such a sweet voice. She asked us a few questions about our children, our ages, and where we lived. We chatted about Utah, our honeymoon, and about our family. We laughed when she wanted to know how old I was because I "looked younger than her!" I assuered her I was 31:). It was such a surreal conversation. I told her we were glad to be able to hear her voice and we were both able to express how much we wanted to grow our family and how much we did care about her and the baby--that we were praying for her! I asked her what she liked about our profile book and she said that she thought our family "looked so happy." We were able to share why we had wanted to adopt for a long time and about the fact that biological children were no longer a possibility for us. The phone call was about 25 minutes long and we ended it by letting her know that if she thought of any more questions, we'd love to chat.
What do you do after a phone call like that? What do you begin to do with the waiting that now commences? Well, I flew to the bathroom, got dressed, and went out with two wonderful gals! Ha! I had plans to go out with two dear friends to celebrate one friend's birthday and I was pretty thankful for such a distraction. Honestly, I thought we were in for another long wait. Even if she said "no", I felt this strange peace that at least we had been able to talk to her and share our hearts. Around 7:00pm, I got a text from K asking when I'd be home. He often texts me that when I am out, so I didn't really pay attention to it. We were eating dinner and doing what girls do best--talking, when my phone rang around 7:30pm. K was calling and though I didn't want to get my hopes up, I thought maybe he had "heard something." When I answered, I could hear the girls saying, "Roses are red, violets are blue, we each have a sister and now we're getting a brother too!" For a second, I was just plain confused/shocked/unsure of what I had heard. Kurt picked up the phone and said that he couldn't wait to tell me--the birth mom had chosen us as the forever family for her baby!! My friend D, started taking pictures during the phone conversation, so you can see how shocked and surprised I was. I think I sat through the rest of that dinner and ice cream in a daze. I didn't cry or scream, but I couldn't get this crazy grin off my face. I wanted to jump up and down. I wondered why the whole world hadn't broken out into song like a Disney movie?!
After dropping my friend off, I was finally in the car alone on the way home. I just had to let out one giant, praise-worthy scream! How wonderful that God could take the grief of the morning and turn into into utter joy and thankfulness 12 hours later! How amazing that even when we thought we had no more possibilities, that He brought about such a surprise! How He must have smiled at my closing the door to the nursery that morning when He knew I would fling it open with joy later that night!
After calling friends and family, K and I lay awake for a long time, talking about and praying for our SON! Yes, he no more belongs to us than our daughters do--they belong to God, but how precious that we are going to be able to parent this little boy and have a relationship with him. We prayed for our sweet birthmom, for her grieving heart, and we thanked God that she had chosen life when so many others would have chosen death for this baby. We pray that we can have some relationship with her--that we can share the eternal hope we have in Christ with her.
This morning, I am writing on the other side of two long days of figuring out how to pay our match fees and getting all of that taken care of. Even in the past two days, with our joy, we struggled when we realized our original loan wasn't going to work the way we'd thought (and our match fee was higher than we had anticipated) and we watch as God provided us with another opportunity for a loan that ended up being better than the first and working out perfectly. What a miracle!
One of the best moments might be H's reaction when we told her that we are hopefully bringing home a baby BOY in August! Her eyes lit up and she said "Really, a brother?" I could see her little brain going through the months of the year, realizing that August comes after July, her birthday month, and that it was soon. M was originally adamant about still wanting a sister, but she came around after a few minutes and decided a brother would love her toys and her Jesse (from Toy Story) hat! She did say she wasn't giving him her Frozen room! Ha ha!
How soon and how far away August 10th seems! Another beautiful little irony that God worked out is that this baby has the same due date that H had! We have a lot to do before our little one arrives! We have fundraising to complete, travel to Utah to figure out...but I know the most important thing we have to do is to pray for our baby and and to pray diligently for our birthmom and love on her as much as we can! Please keep our family, our birthmom, and our baby boy in your prayers. We also have a long way to go financially, so please pray for provision there.