After the staggering news that our chances were one in a million of ever having a baby, our adoption journey began. We assembled a photo album to present to potential birth parents in order to depict our lives. We met with social workers, had more physicals, filled out endless piles of paperwork, and sat through interviews to determine if we had enough sanity left after the past three years to qualify to become adoptive parents. The rigor of the process and the disclosure of such personal information often left me feeling violated and frustrated at the unfairness of it all. It seemed okay that anyone past puberty could become pregnant with no questions asked, yet I had to prove my worthiness to become a mother over and over again. My frustration ignited my pride and it glowed with hot, burning embers, demonstrating to me how much sinfulness and selfishness still remained within my heart even after the past several months of such an intimate time with God. I struggled again with my emotions of self pity, self hatred, pride, and anger. It seemed that when I got a handle on one, another would surface, thrusting me into another emotional tailspin.
The day came and we got the call. We had been matched; but there was something we needed to understand. We had matched, but not been chosen. As we sat across from our attorney’s desk he explained that he presses the birth mothers to choose the adoptive family for their children. However, in our case, our birth mother had adamantly refused to choose, insisting that he do it. He said that he spread out the waiting applications on his desk, closed his eyes, shuffled them up and prayed, “Lord, show me which family this child is to become a part of”. As he opened his eyes, both of his hands were on our profile. Immediately the Holy Spirit whispered in my soul, “Behold, I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive it? I shall surely make you a mother. And when it comes to pass it will happen in such a way that you know that I, the LORD, have done it. I am the LORD, the LORD alone, and I will not share my glory with another”. I shivered knowing that this was it. The promise that God had given me six months ago on that soul crushing day in my car (see Part 1 of this post) was coming to pass. We were going to have a daughter!
My biggest fear in the whole adoption process was having to meet our birthmother. I was secretly glad that she did not want to meet us. This was a new type of relationship that was uncomfortable and foreign to me at every level. I didn’t really have any friends to go to for advice. I would wake up having nightmares about it. Our social worker gave us an article written by a birth mom sharing her story of meeting the adoptive parents of her child. She spoke openly of her fear of being rejected and wondering if they would even want her baby. The LORD opened my eyes that day to my own self-absorption. I was so worried about her rejecting me that I never once thought of her brokenness. I prayed and asked God to show me how to minister to our future birth mother- to somehow communicate how highly I esteemed her.
That night the LORD woke me up at exactly midnight. I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to go downstairs and open my journal. In a sleepy stupor, I fumbled my way downstairs, turned on a table lamp and opened it up. I picked up my pen and the LORD gave me the most beautiful poem. Within five minutes the entire thing was written. I woke up the next morning barely remembering what it had said and smiled at the way God had so wonderfully answered my prayer. The day came for us to meet. A friend of mine wrote it out and mounted it into a beautiful shadow box and I gave it to our birthmother. She cried, but I knew they were happy tears, because she smiled as she read it.
The next several weeks seemed to fly by as we prepared for Eliana’s arrival. We painted the nursery, ordered the crib, attended showers, and took an endless number of trips to Babies R Us. The day of her birth came like a flash. Her due date was Mother’s Day, but her doctor decided to induce her on April 28th. As I held her in my arms, the joy I felt was indescribable. I was walking on air. She seemed to fit perfectly into the crook of my arms as if she had been made just for my embrace. It was a moment of pure grace.
Several hours later after our birthmother had some time to recover, she called us all into the room so she could hold Eliana for the first time. She looked at her tenderly and told us what parts of her looked like her father, her sister, and herself. She looked up at me with the kindest expression and handed me Eliana. As she raised her up to me she said with a smile, “I really wanted to be the first one to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day”. I hugged her fiercely cradling Eliana between us. At that moment I think we could see into one another’s hearts with such clarity and compassion that a hug was the only way to communicate all that we wanted to say.
Eliana’s name means my God has answered. We chose that name because she was an answer to a promise. A promise of hope given to me. God told me, “No!” only to give me an even better “Yes!”. My prayer is that her life will continue to be a testimony that our God keeps His promises. Every last one of them.