I’ve started to write our story many times. However it has always ended up more doom and gloom than I want. It’s been one year since we had a failed match. And while it was very quickly followed by a miraculous stork drop, it has since etched a sadness in our hearts. The joy is much much bigger, but the thing about adoption is the pain from a failed match or the birth family’s grief at the placing of a baby – that sadness doesn’t just disappear with life’s wonderful joys. But let me tell you, my happiness is overflowing and contagious right now. Our lives have been blessed by the most wonderful little girl.
Our match process was pretty average I think. Our expectant mother was early in her pregnancy. We hadn’t been presenting to situations that early, but we were getting discouraged and we agreed the intent was to have a child, and why wouldn’t we take a leap on this baby?
They wanted to meet in person so we flew to Las Vegas from Minneapolis for a dinner. We had already had a few phone calls that went wonderfully. Our second contact our expectant mother said “Are you ready to know what you’re having? Rosalie is getting a sister!” She asked if we were going to do a gender reveal to our families. We hadn’t planned on the pomp and circumstance since nothing is ever final in adoption, but she was excited about it, so we did. We sent bouquets of pink floral arrangements to our parents signed “It’s a girl!”. Our expectant mom loved it. We continued to develop a relationship. She shared why she was placing – she was young and didn’t have stable employment, and she grew up in a single parent home and did not want that for her baby. Few people understood the depth of our relationship. But I wanted to make sure that we established a strong connection for the child we would share. She shared videos of baby girl kicking. I sent her voice messages that she played to her stomach. We had a print of the 20 week ultrasound of baby girl on our fridge – she had such long arms and legs! – and every time I walked by it I would kiss my fingertips and touch it.
The last few weeks before her due date I started panicking. Things were changing with our expectant mother. Red flags were popping up and I was terrified. I cried almost daily. I was so scared. I prayed and prayed. Our social worker called when she went into labor, so we got on the next flight to Las Vegas. We were in the waiting room for hours before we were invited in. We held precious baby Lily and kissed her, and then we gave her back. Our social worker suggested we go to our hotel, the recovery room was small and it was the middle of the night.
However, then we got a call. We got a call that they were choosing to parent. The next day, we laid in bed crying – that’s how we spent the following weeks. Our daughter had a heartbreaking tantrum when we arrived home without the baby sister we had been talking about for months. She was two and we didn’t realized the devastation for her until the day after the crib came down and she was trying to kick over our ottoman and throw her floor rug – behaviors we had absolutely never seen in her. And then we discovered her little heart was broken too.
A few weeks later it was a Sunday and my birthday. We decided to go to church for the first time. I don’t even know what happened at church, I just cried the entire time. I was so confused. One of my friend told me “But He is working for your good.” And even now that is what I cling to in life. God is always working for our good. He also knew Nora’s birthmother was pregnant and not planning to parent. And when she went into labor, the hospital called our agency, and our social worker is the one who met with her… little details that I think are big signs of God’s hand in our life.
The day after my very miserable birthday I spent the morning in bed and Brent went back to work for the first time. If I was in a bad way, he was worse. It was so painful for both of us to watch the other suffer but not have enough strength to help each other. That afternoon though, everything changed. I got a phone call from our agency that a baby had been born. A girl. Her mother had already heard our story and wanted us to parent her child. I called Brent. We were still grieving the loss, but we became hopeful. When we arrived home from Las Vegas the first time I gave my mom the matching holiday pajamas I bought for the girls and I told her to get rid of them. When I told her about this baby she said “I never got rid of those clothes. Just in case” – that was it. We had matching holiday pajamas for two little girls and it was 2 weeks until Christmas. This was meant to be.
Three hope filled days passed until the relinquishment paperwork was complete. We left for the airport and our daughter was in our arms that night. She was in a blue onesie when we held her the first time. She had dark hair and the cutest mouth. Her wide little nose was perfect for kisses and her tiny hands wrapped around our fingers immediately. We shared our good news and it spread quickly. Before we left we had a dozen houseplants and flower arrangements and notes from family and friends sympathizing with our loss, and now we had wonderful news to bring their joy back as well. It was so thrilling to hear how so many prayer chains got the beautiful update of our miracle baby. I know several bible study groups who wept over the failed adoption, and then who wept again at how God came through.