Saturday, November 22, 2014

Overjoyed and Overwhelmed

I intended to write a blog post last week explaining that we had a change in caseworkers because B had decided to change careers and was sadly leaving our agency. We were sad to see her go because we had specifically requested B to be our caseworker after we met her at the initial orientation and really liked her personality. It's pretty important for us to feel a connection to the person working as our caseworker. Even though we did not want to lose her, we had also enjoyed meeting "I," the caseworker who completed our home visit portion of the home study, so we requested to be placed in I's caseload if possible.

We were happy to hear last week from "I" that she was in fact assigned as our new caseworker. She is so sincere and sweet. She called me just to ask if I had any questions and to tell me that she's looking forward to working with us. She also loved seeing our profile book. "I" informed me that compared to other waiting families, we are more on the open side, so there was a likelihood that our profile might be shown to a tougher background situation soon.

So that was last week.

This past week, I turned 30 on Tuesday. I had a blast celebrating with friends and family over the weekend, and affectionately call myself 30, nerdy, and thriving! "I" even sent me an email on my birthday just to wish me a happy one.

Then came Wednesday, November 19th. Busy day at the office, but got to eat a quick lunch with Michael. Then my phone rang around 2:30 pm. I recognized the area code and actually thought it might be "I" calling.

Sure enough it was. "I" called and asked how I'm doing. I said good and thanked her again for the sweet birthday email. She said, "Well, I have a birthday present for you. On your birthday yesterday, I mailed your profile book to a birth mother with a tougher background."

"But today I have an even bigger birthday present for you: a birth mother saw your online profile and picked you guys to adopt her baby."

I immediately asked her to hold on a second, dialed Michael on my office phone and abruptly said, "Hi...come down here now." I don't think I was even polite enough to say please!

"I" chuckled a little and said it must be nice working close to one another. I agreed. She asked if I call him to my office often, and I said no, so he's probably thinking it's something bad. Michael quickly arrived and shut my door while I put my phone on speaker.

"I" repeated the news...and I think that's when my mind started to shut down because my heart and emotions took over. Because here's what she said next:

"It's a girl and she's due December 16th."

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She asked if we wanted to hear about the birth mother.

Of course!

So "I" told us the details she knew at the time: 17 years old, senior in high school, also lives in Texas, is very certain about adoption because she recognizes she is not prepared to parent and has goals/dreams she hopes to achieve. She said the birth mother waited a while to tell her parents because she was afraid of how they would react, but finally told them in early November. Since that time, the birth mother has been receiving pre-natal care.

She told us that the birth mother's parents were really supportive when she finally told them. And that the birth father and his family are also supportive of this adoption plan.

And here is where it begins to be a complete and obvious God-thing.

"I" told us that apparently the birth mother's mom, who was trying to show her support of the adoption decision, started searching online profiles.

On Tuesday - my birthday - she came across our online profile at ParentProfiles and as "I" said, "fell in love with us." She then showed our profile to her daughter (the birth mother) and she too fell in love with us.

Late Tuesday night, the birth mother called our agency and told them she wasn't interested in seeing anyone else's profile - she wants us to adopt her baby.

If you're not crying yet, grab a tissue in case this next part sends you over the edge.

"I" told us that one of the main reasons the birth mother's mom thought her daughter might like us is because the birth mother considers herself a "die-hard vegetarian" and loved that we are so passionate about that too.

You guys, the fact that we eat a plant-based diet was something we felt hesitant about stating in our profile because we feared no birth mother would want to pick us crazy leaf-eating hippies. Isn't that just so like God, to take something we're insecure about and reassure us that His love knows no bounds? And to think, we never would have been open to eating a plant-based diet had it not been for our struggles with infertility. I started weeping after "I" told us that part.

Furthermore, all along we have desired - but not expected - to end up in a situation where we might be able to pick the baby up directly from the hospital (at the minimum 48 hours after birth) instead of having to wait for placement to be at least 30 days after birth. In the latter situation, they place the baby in a transitional family's home while they wait the statute of limitations for the birth father to possibly appear to claim parental rights.

But in this situation, because the birth father is known, supportive, and cooperating, this will be the situation we have desired - pick up from the hospital.

All along, we have also desired a healthy birth mother who might take good care of herself while pregnant (no drugs or alcohol consumption). We were willing to consider some of the tougher situations where usage was involved, but that is not this situation either - the birth mother has taken great care of herself.

I'd like to just pause for a moment and link to this song that speaks directly to our hearts right now: "Overwhelmed" by Big Daddy Weave.

We are speechless and overcome with awe at how intimately God knows our hearts. And beyond that, He so tenderly touches the deepest corners of our hearts in unexpected and unimaginable ways.

This journey was not our original plan. But it has clearly been God's plan all along. It is because, and only because, of our inability to conceive a biological child that we even considered adoption in the first place.

And now there is a brave young lady and a precious baby girl inside her womb that are about to meld with our lives forever.

God's plans may not line up with your plans, and they might contain a fair share of pain and suffering, but I hope you can see from our story that His plans also contain immense joy and grace.

This is an answer to many of our prayers. A 4-year struggle with infertility led to an unexpected surprise of only waiting 3 months to be chosen by a birth mother to adopt her baby.

We are so excited, scared, overjoyed, overwhelmed, and completely awestruck.

In less than 4 weeks, we will become parents! And we're happy to share the name if you ask us, but on the blog I'll just share her initials: EVY - we plan to use that as a nickname anyway. :)

We have enjoyed sharing this joyous news with family and friends and thank you all so much for the outpouring of love and support. You have made us feel so secure and encouraged, which is what we needed with all of the emotions and short time line of preparing for a baby. We humbly ask that you continue to pray for us to be prepared, for the birth mother to have a safe and healthy delivery, for God to comfort her heart as she faces the emotions of placing her baby for adoption, and for our little "sweet potato" to feel the abundant love that already exists for her.

Much Love,