I am adopted. We adopted our son, Graham, seven years ago. The idea of Graham growing up without a sibling created a little knot in my stomach that never faded. We stayed connected to our adoption agency, yet cautious when presented with numerous birth mothers over the past six years. We said to ourselves, “we will be open to another child until we turn forty.” Mike turned forty-one in October, and I told him to call the agency, thank them for the past six years attempting to make our family complete, and close the door. My heart could not do it, and that knot in my belly was still so present. I pointed out other families with one child to Mike, prayed that I could just be at peace with our family of three, yet in many ways, I felt empty. Mike never made that call to the agency. I will turn forty-one in February. On December 10th, we hosted a dear friend for dinner in our home. After the couple left, I told Mike about a vivid dream I had the night before. A baby girl was coming soon.
My biggest worry on Thursday, December 13th was if I was going to have time to visit the teacher’s lounge for a cup of coffee before my students arrived. The sounds of my son Graham playing in my classroom before school started was our normal. I cherish our daily talks on the way to school and still feel giddy passing him in the hallway on his way to lunch. It makes me wonder how long will he grab my arm in passing for a big hug and a kiss. Totally unaware of peer pressure and so innocent.
My phone was tucked deep inside my work bag, yet the beeps of incoming texts could no longer be ignored. A missed call from our adoption agency read, call me-urgent. Before I could react, Mike is calling me. While bundling up to get my students off the bus, I didn’t even have a chance to say hello. Mike said, “Angie, there is a healthy baby girl born yesterday at Community South Hospital. The birth mom is being discharged soon, and we have been selected as the adoptive couple. The mom is healthy, the baby is perfect, and we have to get to the hospital immediately! What do you want to do?” Instantly, I knew and had a strong feeling of peace run through my veins. No questioning, analyzing, predicting, this is our girl! God created her perfectly for us. Mike and I knew this was the call we had been dreaming of for six years. We could not get home fast enough to let the dogs out to potty and pack a bag for an overnight stay at the hospital. For the first time in my life, I found comfort in not having a “plan.” A car seat could be purchased, and the outpouring from mamas in the community would bring us to tears. All would be well, we had no doubt in our hearts.
We met our social worker in the lobby of Community South Hospital. Quite a different feeling from a year ago. You see, I associate Community Hospital with my breast cancer diagnosis. A full year of surgery, scans, waiting, and fear filled my body last year. My father passed away in September of this year, and he was the first person I wanted to call on the drive to the hospital. I felt his presence that morning, and in many ways, I think he was orchestrating this. To say it has been a year of emotions is an understatement. When life seems calm, and I am at peace, a new adventure begins. Adventures that challenge me, reignite the fire in my soul, humble my heart and ones that remind me who I am to the core of my being. On this day, I entered the doors with hope, excitement, and overwhelming love in my heart waiting to meet our daughter!
With tears in our eyes, we listened to the social worker describe the bravery of the birth mom. Healthy, strong, and secure in her decision to make an adoption plan. By the time we arrived, she was discharged and legal paperwork to sign away parental rights was complete. It was time, and we made our way to the elevator and pushed the button to the third floor. Greeted lovingly by the nurses, they took us to our room. Physicians prefer the adoptive couple have their own hospital room to support bonding, parenting experiences, and time to ask questions. They assured us that she was not put down and loved fiercely in the nursery. Our hearts raced, and the happy tears poured as they wheeled her into the room. As she was gently lifted from her plastic crib and placed in my arms, she smiled. She knew, and we knew that this was the plan. Adoption is a miracle that happens on God’s time, not ours, and worth the wait. Mike’s parents picked Graham up from school early and drove him to the hospital. We captured the smiles and awe when he walked into the room to meet Grace Elizabeth.
You remember that knot in my belly that never seemed to fade? Let’s just say it is a distant memory now and new adventures as a family of four await!