Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Unexpected Grief

My sister in law said it perfectly: “My heart breaks for her and aches for you.”

When we got the text at noon on Thursday that there was a baby in Florida who was 1 day past her due date, I did what anyone would naturally do. Called my husband, freaked out. Called my mom, freaked out. Read the text and subsequent email 100x looking for any detail I missed the time before. I had done this with each mama we had seen, except this time it was different.

As I read the email, I was weepy.

As I called Zach, I was desperate for him to say we could present to this mom. I wanted this baby. I wanted to book the next flight to Florida and snuggle her as soon as she was earthside.

He said YES! I cried again. I wrote the most honest, heartfelt letter I’ve ever written. Last time it felt unnatural. This time felt right.

Coincidentally we had stayed home from an all expense paid trip for two to Australia, and instead decided to spend the weekend with our close friends about two hours away who live and work at a Young Life Camp. We decided to still go, regardless of the fact there is no cell service, and spend the time we could with them. Atleast there is wifi and FaceTime at their house.

We got to camp late at night, put the kids down, and that’s when the anxiety settled in. I had been trying to pray all day and just couldn’t find words. I kept saying “Lord, you know. We trust you.”  After the kids were down and all was quiet I started praying for mama, for her decision to choose a family, that she would feel confident in her decision to choose adoption and clarity in which family she wanted to place her baby with. I was praying the Lord would comfort her as she goes through these final days of pregnancy knowing what is coming.

I started memorizing Romans 15:13. With each word I would forget and go lookup, the Lord was teaching me and bringing me closer to him.


To be honest, I was sure this was our mama. This was our baby. I just knew it. I actually had this post written up until here because I wanted to remember each step and how I felt to live out our story, the one we have prayed for this whole time. I was writing it as I felt it so that I could post something as soon as we knew she was ours.

 I was so anxious for my email to ding because I knew it was going to say she had chosen us, or she wanted to meet us. At camp we don’t have cell service so I thought maybe someone would FaceTime us to tell us the amazing news that we were about to welcome a daughter, and it was time to get on a plane to Florida.

We headed into camp to grab an ice cream cone from the Sassy. I was actually grateful to leave the house and the wifi so that I could stop hitting 'refresh' every 3 minutes hoping for news. There is zero service down in camp, and I knew I needed the fresh air that comes with being totally disconnected. We let the boys run around & then decided to head up to start dinner.

I was chopping mushrooms while waiting for water to boil when Zach came around the corner holding his phone. As only Zach can do, he used the same calm voice he always does and said, "the mama has narrowed it down and she is choosing a family that is local."

I had to actually stop and think about what he had just said because that certainly wasn't what I was anticipating hearing. This was our baby! Everything was perfect; Australia, the timing, our suitcases were packed, our friend has a house we can stay in, we are ready! But it's not up to us. And all of a sudden I understood the verse the Lord had laid on my heart. He wasn't giving me this verse for our wait to hear back from this mama. He was giving me this verse for after we heard this wasn't our baby.

I was and am ok. I had peace in her decision. I knew this just meant this was someone else's baby. I have said that all along, that we would be ok waiting for our baby. I knew that there were other families showing this mama their books and we had been praying for her all weekend because of the magnitude of the decision she was making.

What I wasn't expecting though, is the sadness. Even as I type this my eyes are welling up with tears yet again. When my sweet friend Jess came inside and just hugged me without saying anything, that is when it hit. Yes, I have a supernatural peace about this. I have joy, so much joy. I trust in Him. I am overflowing with hope, truly. And I am also sad. When we decided to present to this mama (present is the adoption lingo meaning the agency shows her our family's book), that was our yes. In our hearts we were prepared to call this baby our own. And now we lean into the Lord as we grieve that "if" and wait on our "yes."


photo credit: Kari Rae Lewis