First of all, Josh and I want to thank everyone so much for your excitement and support!!! We have had so much fun reading all of the encouraging texts and messages on Facebook and the blog regarding the match. We are very excited too and love sharing in the joy with everyone! I wanted to write more about the hours following the call, mostly for my own benefit for down the road when the details become blurry. :)
After I got off the phone with the adoption agency, I went back into the movie theater. The kids both asked me (a little too loudly) why I had been gone for so long. "Were you in the potty that whole time!?!" Eisley asked. Josh just looked at me and I could tell he knew something was up. I leaned over and said, "It was the adoption agency. We got picked by a birth mom." Josh raised his eyebrows and smiled and said, "Really?" I started to tell him some details, but realized it just wasn't gonna work in a dark, quiet movie theater with kids shushing us all around. ;) I told him we'd talk after the movie, and of course I have no recollection of how that movie ended!
We couldn't even make it out to the car without all three of them asking me a million questions, so right there while we walked to our car in the blazing parking lot of a movie theater, I told everyone that we got the call! We had been picked and the baby is due to come in 8 weeks or less! Jake smiled, Eisley said, "Yaaay!" and Josh said something to the effect of, "Cool dude." ;)
The whole way home I gave Josh details of the phone call. We have known for a few weeks that this potential birthmom was a possibility and we had been notified that we were being considered by her, so he knew the background of the situation since we have been praying for it for awhile. We discussed again the potential risks this baby was facing and how scary that was. We talked about how it was crazy that it was really happening. We smiled.
When we got home, we talked about who and how we should tell people. Only a handful (a very small handful) of people knew about this birthmom and had been praying for us, one of whom was my sister, so I knew I had to call her first (that, and I always call her first). I was so excited to tell her, but deep down in my heart and creeping around the back of my brain, I knew she would be the only person who would be realistically concerned over the scary possibilities this situation held. I called her and told her, "Well, we got the call, and we've been chosen by a birthmom!" She was thrilled and started to cry, and then I knew I had to tell her the rest. "Is this the same situation you've known about for awhile?" I took a deep breath and said, "Yes."
And it was quiet. For those of you who don't know, my sister is a pediatrician at a huge children's hospital here in town. I tell you that because she, just like me, has seen the worst case scenarios again and again. Once you have seen certain things, it is nearly impossible to be entirely optimistic about certain situations. I bit my lip as she very gently asked me if we were prepared to raise a child that "could potentially have major issues for the rest of its life" and if we truly felt at peace about that. She said absolutely nothing hurtful, she said it in the most gentle way she possibly could, and she spoke with love in her words, but right then, I lost it. I started bawling, unable to control the tears as they poured out of my heart. All of the fears, all of the possibilities of what could happen ran through my brain over and over. It was a very hard conversation. But it was one that I had to have. And it was one that I had again with Josh after I hung up with Lisa. And it was not easy at all.
If you are reading this blog, you know our history. You know that we are keenly aware of what can go wrong in a pregnancy. I no longer have the luxury of naivety. I lost that a long time ago, and even though this is not my pregnancy, this child is hopefully going to be my child, and I have those same anxieties that I did with all of the children I have carried myself. This particular pregnancy carries added risks, risks we aren't discussing with the general public, but risks that demand a lot of extra worry and prayer.
When Josh and I were approached with this situation a few weeks ago, we were asked if we would consider being presented to a potential birthmom with XYZ situations. We decided together that we weren't willing to flat out tell the Lord "No, we will not even consider the possibility that this is your will for us," so we agreed to be presented to her. We begun praying that day that the Lord would show us very clearly if this was His will, and if we were not the ones who were best fit to raise this child, that He would close the door firmly. And if we are being 100% completely honest here, I think we each hoped deep, deep down, that He would close that door. We were still holding out hope that we would get a call one day that a perfectly healthy infant with absolutely no issues or difficulties was born and ready to go home that day. ;)
Everyone wants the easiest, most carefree lives as possible. It's human nature! The unknown is so scary, but the unknown with the added risks we were facing was downright terrifying. And we had to accept that it is perfectly okay and normal to be scared! But it is not okay to disobey the Lord's obvious will for you just because of that fear. That is not an easy truth, and I can find a million different ways to excuse it and sugar coat that disobedience, but the fact is that if you know in your heart God wants something for you, and you ignore that, you are choosing a much harder path for yourself in the long run. And I can guarantee you are missing out on something amazing!
Josh and I both feel very strongly that God will equip us to handle any situation He gives us. We asked Him to make it clear to us where He wanted us, and so far He has been extremely clear! This incredibly brave mother chose us, and no matter what this situation might bring, we are committing to this child and are overjoyed that God is possibly choosing to bless our family with him or her! And after some tears and talking, my sister agreed completely. She is the best sister and auntie anyone could ask for, after all. :)
We decided we might as well share the good news, seeing as the baby is due in just a few weeks! Plus we had already told our kids, and six year olds are not best known for their secret keeping abilities. ;) Josh texted his sister and her husband (it was their wedding anniversary and we told them we got them a present!), I texted my brother, and called my parents. My mom was of course overjoyed, and I cannot tell you what a balm to my soul it was to hear her squeal with delight over her new grandbaby, even though she knew full well the whole situation. She was so encouraging, so happy, and after my conversation with her, I think that's when I really let myself get truly excited over this news. We were expecting a baby!
We planned to tell Josh's parents that evening, in person, as they were taking the kids for a couple hours so Josh and I could go out and celebrate our anniversary. At dinner that night, Josh and I discussed baby names (we have settled on a girl name, but are still tossing around boy names...sorry, they are a secret!!!). After dinner we went next door to Babies R Us and bought the baby a present, a little stuffed girraffe! Since we don't know if it is a boy or a girl (and probably won't until the birth), we had to find something neutral, and I just thought it was so cute!!!
We were seeing a movie (Men in Black III, for future reference) so we got settled in the theater but still had about 45 minutes before it started. What better opportunity than that to share the exciting news with my closest friends? ;) (I am realizing now how much of this monumental day has been centered around movie theaters and sequels...hmmm...) I texted a couple of my best friends and nearly killed my phone battery going back and forth with them over the news. If texts had a sound, these would have been LOUD!!! I could practically hear them squeeling even though they were miles away! :)
Josh had to practically rip my phone from my hands when the movie started, so I had to take a break from it and sit through an ENTIRE movie, which is not easy to do when you are so excited! ;)
Afterwards we went back to Josh's parents house to pick up the kids and give them their anniversary present (Yes, it was their anniversary too the next day! What is going on here!?!). That worked out nicely though because it gave us the perfect way to tell them. We wrote in their card that for their anniversary we got them a Pita Jungle gift card and a new grandbaby. ;) They didn't believe us at first, but when they did they were very excited!
So that ends our very exciting day. Later that night I wrote the last blog entry "The Call..." and that was how we announced it to the rest of our loved ones!
Today Eisley and I went to Target to scope out some baby gear. She was so excited and we just had the best time looking at things. We got the chance to talk together and I will have to do a whole individual post on that trip. ;)
Our family is obviously so excited over this new baby. He or she is actually growing as we speak, becoming who they are going to be forever! With our excitement, though, comes feelings I have a hard time describing. We have no control over what is happening to this baby, how they are being cared for, if they are okay or if they are going to be okay. It is really, really hard. We need your prayers more than ever for this child.
We are asking humbly that you guys be in serious prayers for this baby and his or her birthmom. Please pray for the baby's protection and health. Pray for birthmom's heart these next few weeks. Pray that both of them will get the care they need. Pray that this little one arrives safe and sound, and that God will prepare us for whatever lies ahead!
Thank you so much for your support of our family! We love you all very much!