I've done my first night as a mom flying solo without a battery of NICU nurses coaching me and taking the night shift. We've successfully completed numerous diaper changes, multiple feedings, and we put a sheet on a baby crib. Big stuff, folks, big stuff...
And now it's time to tell you the beginning of "Grantlet's" story. It's a good Christmas story--lots of miracles, sparkles, love, and cuddles. So, grab your favorite wintertime coffee blend, curl up in a big comfy chair, and let me tell you a story of how a wee-small baby changed our world.
It was a cold, incredibly normal Monday night. I was curled up in bed, diligently avoiding the remaining dishes downstairs, and browsing for Christmas stories on my Kindle. Scott was at the community center and I was feeling a wee bit lonesome, hopeless and nostalgic.
Two weeks earlier, on a brittle, sunshiny day, Scott and I had driven south to Bloomington to meet another birth mother. This was our third "connection" since starting the adoption process, and "anticlimactic" could not have more fully described our emotions on that drive. Hope was dead. After a very brutal let-down, and a slow fade-out by two other moms, I was very far from believing that we would ever get a child. Christmas was approaching, and memories of our lost little baby would make me cry on an almost daily basis. Each date around this time of year was full of very painful memories of last Christmas.
I am ashamed to say, I was wallowing in a very pale-blue despair, which gently permeated multiple areas of my life.
So, we were not excited to meet this mom. We were not anxious. We were not nervous.
Over a lunch of creamy potato soup, we chit-chatted with two social workers and the birth mom. Within the first 30 minutes we learned that she had considered an abortion (I almost cried), couldn't do it, and was willing to place her boy with us. She was due the end of December.
I cried three times at that lunch, because God knew. God knew Scott and I were biased towards having a baby boy (we agree on more boy names). God knew that I wanted a baby at Christmas time (Scott said it was like a Hebrew redemptive story-line, God restoring what was lost). God knew that we couldn't handle a long wait, so He gave us a birth mom due five weeks from when we met her. God knew! And He orchestrated.
We may have been calm driving to that meeting. We were definitely not calm driving from that meeting.
And then the waiting set in. I tried not to go crazy. I tried not to buy ridiculous amounts of clothing (and I succeeded... kind of... I lost my heart to some little elephant jumpsuits and corduroy pants with a cardigan--preppy baby!). I didn't plan. I didn't bank on it. Although we had met birth mom, she had not signed anything legally binding. She could still change her mind. Even when the social worker called and said birth mom was deferring to our wishes in several areas because it was "their baby, not mine," I still tried not to hope.
So, that is why, two weeks later, curled up in bed, sipping hot cocoa, I was trying to assuage my anxiety and despair with fluffy, Victorian Christmas stories. (This genre is my weakness...). A little after 10:30 my hubby arrived home, bearing a letter. A dear sweet friend, struggling with similar feelings of motherless, aching arms, had written me a letter. As I read it, all my frustration, fear, and worry, spilled over in tears of relief. I cry every time I think of that letter... We have prayed, every step of the way, that God would use this story to proclaim His sufficiency. Her letter breathed encouragement that this was really happening: that God was really being glorified. That the waiting and longing were being used to proclaim His glory.
Tears dripping off the end of my nose, I turned to Scott and said, "It's happening, honey. Someone saw. Someone knows that God is enough for us."Stifling my last little sob, I cuddled down next to my hubby and said, (what I had said every night since we had met the birth mom), "Maybe tonight a baby will come..." (because in my mind, women only go into labor at night.)
We were jolted awake at 11:25. Phone ringing.
"This is Carol, from the agency. You guys need to get in your car. The baby is coming. Do you have a bag packed?"
Did I have a bag packed!?! No, I didn't have a bag packed! That would have created hope. It would have meant that it was definitely happening, and the baby wasn't supposed to come for another two weeks!
Fifteen minutes later, we're in the car, rubbing sleep out of our shocked eyes, with a bag full of slippers, a camera, baby clothes and a bra. Somehow, I labored under the delusion that I had packed everything I could possibly need. And, who cares? There was a baby being born.
We got to the end of our driveway, and we get another call,
"Courtney? It's Carol. The baby is here. The birth mom pushed for less than 15 minutes."
Another. Answered. Prayer. Birth mom's last baby came after 36 hours of labor, and she was terrified that would happen again. We had been praying with her for a speedy delivery. I wasn't banking on it being that speedy.
We learned that little baby was very tiny, and had been born with meconium in his lungs. He was in NICU. But stable. My heart took a motherly leap, and immediately started worrying. (Because God hadn't proven Himself faithful up to this point... right.)
We held baby for the first time at 2:34 on Tuesday morning. Grant Alexander was 4 pounds, 10 ounces at birth. Incredibly tiny for such an incredible blessing.
The next twenty-four hours were emotionally grueling. According to Indiana state law, a birth mother can not place her child until 24-48 hours after birth. There's always a chance she could change her mind. Fortunately, we were blessed with an amazing birth mother. She and I chit-chatted, sipped Starbucks, and talked about our lack of athletic ability.
I told her about Baby's name... Grant. I explained that his name meant "gift," and that each time I call him, all throughout his life, I will remember that he was a precious gift from the woman who carried him, and the God who protected him.
At 11:00 on 12/12/12, the final papers were signed.*
And proof that God will write a better story than you can possibly imagine.
|Grant, less than 24 hours old... and already given us dramatic faces. He was born for this family!|
* Our adoption will not be finalized in court for approximately four months. Also, Grant's biological father has refused to claim the baby and sign the necessary papers. He has 30 days to complete multiple steps in order to claim the child. Technically, this is a "legal risk" adoption. However, we have been counseled by our lawyer to continue to pursue the adoption. In over a 1,000 adoptions, the lawyer has seen less than 20 contested. Pray ours is not one of that small number, please!