Before we got Baby M, we had to walk through some extreme heartbreak.
In July, we found out that a birth mom wanted to interview us! We were thrilled! Because we chose open adoption, it meant that the birth mom would choose us, based on a photo book we had submitted showing our family’s story. The first time we were chosen for an interview was so exciting! And nerve racking. What would it be like? Would it be awkward? What would we talk about? Would she like us?
We had to wait a few weeks for the big interview – which we held over dinner, two hours from our home. The dinner went GREAT. It lasted three hours, everybody cried as they shared stories, and we connected so deeply with the birth mother and her family. We just knew she was going to pick us.
The next day, we got a call that she had picked another couple.
You know what it felt like? It felt like back in my dating days, when I would wait for weeks to get to go on a date with some guy I liked, then I finally went on that date and thought it went AMAZING. Thought for sure he felt the same way. And then found out afterward that I wasn’t his type.
We weren’t her type. Ouch.
It sounds so silly and selfish, but we had put ourselves out there, and been rejected. It was hard. Not “having a miscarriage” hard. But it still hurt our egos. However, we quickly recovered (it was just a blip, really, on our adoption journey), and started planning a last-minute trip to Seattle with some dear friends of ours.
At the very end of August, after our amazing trip to Seattle (seriously my favorite trip since our honeymoon), on our way home from the airport, the adoption agency called to say a birth mom wanted to interview us later that week. And this time, we were the only couple she was interviewing.
Talk about perfect timing! THIS must be the one.
We were pretty guarded at our interview with the birth mother (another dinner), and afterward really weren’t sure if she would choose us. A few days later, the birth mother called me personally to tell me she had chosen us.
We were having a baby BOY! And, he would be here in the next six weeks… or sooner.
The next six weeks were a blur of doctor appointments, meetings with the birth mother, preparing a nursery, shopping for essentials, celebrating with friends and family, working overtime to prepare to go on maternity leave at work, and preparing Wrenn for a new baby. It was a busy, crazy six weeks.
It was also an emotional roller coaster. Without going into a lot of details, it looked like the adoption might fall through every time we turned around. About two weeks before Baby Boy was born, it looked like everything was going to fall apart. I got the call while working at a local conference, and was so upset by the news that I was barely able to drive myself home. It was devastating and shocking and I spent two full days in bed, crying. Like I said, adoption is so, so tough. (I must add, Mr. Right was a total ROCK during that time, and a great reminder that God has so perfectly matched us together for such a time as this.)
But, then things looked like they were going to work out again (did I mention… roller coaster?). We got a call on a Friday afternoon that she was in labor, and after shipping Wrenn off to her grandparents’, rushed to the hospital, arriving 30 minutes after Baby Boy was born. We both got to hold him in the delivery room. He was so, so precious.
But strangely enough, he wasn’t mine yet. I knew that in my heart – he wouldn’t be mine until I got to bring him home, and that was far from certain.
We had to wait 48 hours to find out if he would be ours. In Texas, a birth mom can’t sign the adoption paperwork until 48 hours after delivery. That 48 hours was an eternity. After spending Friday evening at the hospital, holding that baby, we spent the rest of the weekend at home, trying to keep ourselves busy as we waited for the news. Would he be ours? Would we be a family of four on Sunday? Imagine what that 48 hours felt like… with our entire lives on the line.
On Sunday afternoon, we got our answer. No.
Holding a baby and then having to give him back had always been my worst case adoption scenario. It doesn’t get much harder than that. And yet, our worst fears happened. It was devastating, and horrible, and exhausting.
And we survived.
God continued to remind me that He is the God who sees. And that in all this pain… He saw me. God told me that after all He had brought us through, after all the miracles He had orchestrated, that He wasn’t going to leave us now. This wasn’t our ending. We should still have hope.
Another friend shared with me that someday, when I held our forever baby, she would be worth it. That she would be worth every ounce of pain and fear and uncertainty we had had to endure. That she would be worth moving mountains for.
That friend was so right.
But it doesn’t mean we didn’t grieve. I felt deep feelings, cried big tears, but I also felt a huge sense of relief. After six weeks of not knowing, of living a life of total uncertainty, we had our answer. That baby wasn’t ours. Which meant that our baby was still out there. Mr. Right gifted me with my epic road trip, and three weeks after our devastating news, I was out on the open road, visiting friends and enjoying some healing time alone with my Savior.
That trip was life defining for me. And of course, God knew it would be part of our story.
And then two weeks after I got home… we got a call that forever changed our lives.
(more to come…)