A Month of Fridays.............
- Friday September 16, 2011 we received an email from Angie (our adoption specialist) asking if she could show our profile to a birthmom in Florida. We got excited, started thinking through plans and asked for prayer. After waiting through the weekend we received word on Monday that the birthmother had chosen another family. So we returned to waiting, disappointed but sure that God had a plan and if that was not it then we will wait.
- Friday, September 23, 2011 we received another email about a baby born in Arizona with a heart defect...could they show our profile? we said yes but were prepared this time to sit back and wait. We received word the following Monday that the birthmother had chosen a family closer to AZ.
- Friday, September 29, 2011 I had surgery to correct some problems I have been having.
- Friday, October 7, 2011 was the last day of Ella's fall break so we went over to Chuck-E-Cheese to play some games (with coupons for free tokens of course) After that we went to Target to have popcorn and drinks with our sandwiches. Then we headed to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple things before going home. As we were pulling into the parking lot of Walmart I was in the middle of typing a text when my phone rang. Chad sarcastically said "Is it the adoption people?" Just that morning Chad woke up telling me he had a dream that was NOT fun to wake up to. He had dreamed we got a match and were just about to get our baby ... then he woke up.
But on the phone was Susan, a birthmom specialist with American Adoptions telling us there was a baby born and we were the number one family chosen by this birthmother. We sat in the parking lot of walmart listening to the details and she asked if we would accept the match. Of course we said Yes!!!
We went home (skipped the walmart trip all together) and began scrambling...literally. We had to get 101 things together before the end of business on Friday, AND since the baby was born we needed to get there ASAP. And he was in Houston, TX! It was a 13 hour drive so we decided we would drive. Mom and dad immediately packed and drove down, only about a 9-hour drive! :) Ella went to play with Taylor while we finished paperwork, had it notarized at the agency, secured business with the bank, bought gifts for the birthmother and birthfather, and left instructinos for our precious Ella who would stay home with Gramma. And then went home to pack. We were packed and ready around midnight so we tried to catch a little sleep.
Mom and Dad arrived at our house at 2:00 a.m. and we were on the road at 2:30. Chad took the midnight shift while I slept for a little while in the van. Once the sun came up it re-energized us and we just kept going. We stopped for gas, bathroom breaks, and to grab food. It was a long ... long ... long drive....but the baby boy waiting for us kept us going. We hit the Houston area around 3:30 and had minimal trouble finding our hotel We arrived at the hotel at 4:15, changed our clothes and freshened (after all, we were heading over to meet the birthmother!!!). We arrived at the hospital around 4:45 and shortly after that went up to meet Meg (the name I will use for her).
We spent the evening with Meg, talking asking questions, answering questions, and getting to know each other. We spent a lot of time holding Levi, feeding him, and taking turns loving on him with the birthfamily. While talking to the birthmother about her older daughter, we asked what her name is. She said "Adrianna!" We were speechless, and since we had already talked about Audrey we told her that was our baby's name that we lost...."In fact, her name is Audrey Ann!" I said.
Meg and her mom had questions for us about how we will tell Levi about them, if they will get to meet him, and what we do for holidays, plus many more questions.
The day we met Levi
When visiting hours ended we left, pleased with how the evening had gone. We spoke with Susan, who also touched bases with Meg and told us that she was happy with everything and said everything went perfect, also that all her fears of us as adoptive parents were gone. That was great news, but didn't take away from the nervousness that the next morning was when she would sign relinquishments and until that was done this was not a for sure thing.
We slept pretty well, I had trouble falling asleep but once i did I got good rest. We woke up and got some things together, showered, and headed over to the hospital at 10:00 like we told them we would. We arrived, and shortly after that the birthmother's mom arrived. She seemed a little urgent and said they needed to talk so she asked us to leave. Of course we did and let them have the time and space they needed. We sat in the waiting room for about 45 minutes waiting. We spoke with Susan who told us this is common and she needs room to think and process everything. We did understand that this decision was extremely difficult for her and although it brings us tremendous joy, it was the most difficult she ever made. Her mom came out and talked to us and let us know that she was just second guessing and that she needed time to think through everything. The social worker arrived, and after speaking to Meg, she came and spoke to us. She said this happens a lot and it is normal, this day gets here and they just need time to think through everything. It is a terribly difficult decision, which we simply could not fathom. So we waited, got some lunch, and took a walk. Then Meg's mom got a text from her saying she wanted us to come back to the room and hang out again. This was about 3 1/2 hours after the "We need to talk!" from that morning. It was good to get back to Meg and once again spend time together.
I kept in constant contact with the Lord especially during that chunk of time. Initially I kept asking Him to allow all this to work out. I know he is not a cruel God, and would never do something to us to hurt us and He knows what is best, but did find myself asking Him why he would allow us to come all this way for it to not work out. Then I began to see how selfish my prayers were, they were all about me and about what i wanted. So I changed my focus and began praying for Meg, the birthfather and the rest of the family who was dealing with such a difficult time. It is amaing how much better I feel during a difficult time when I take the focus off myself!!!
So after returning to the room to visit some more, we had a very sweet time. We talked more about how we would keep in contact, even possibly spending a holiday together. We continued to reassure her of how much we love Levi and her, and how she will always be a part of us because of the most amazing gift she has given us.
After a while she called the birthfather (who had left to shower and clean up) and told him she needed him to get back so they could sign papers. We just continued to wait. He arrived and they realized they needed another witness so she called her best friend. The social worker asked us to leave to give them some privacy so we went to visit with Levi. Have I mentioned how precious he is?!?
After spending about 20 minutes with Levi my phone rang and it was the social worker letting us know the papers were signed. Her decision, as difficult and heart-breaking as it was, brought us so much joy and we are very thankful for the son God has placed into our lives.
Oh and about Ella - Well all this time she has been cautious. We let her know from the beginning that we won't know for sure if this baby is the one for our family and we would let her know when we know. So she was glad to see his picture but didn't get too excited. Then when we called to tell her that this baby boy is the one who is her brother, she was happy but still reserved. Then a little later we spoke to her on the phone and before hanging up Ella said, "Mommy ... tell Levi I love him."
I am so thankful for the 3 children God has given us and for the way they make my heart smile. More story to come soon!!!
p.s. One thing Meg asked us on Saturday was about the stability of our relationship, and of our parents and others in our family. This was something that was important to her even more than financial stability. How awesome it was that the last post before getting the call was about just that!!!