The truth is, there are many calls throughout the journey of adoption.
In our experience, there was the call to let us know we were accepted by the agency. And there was the call to update us on all the paperwork we needed to complete. There was the call to invite us to one of the agency get-togethers, and the call to let us know we were ready to “go live” (aka: our profile book would be shown to birth mothers whose situations matched to what we were open to). There was the call to tell us our book had been shown, but that we were not chosen. There was the call to tell us a birth mother chose us to parent her child, without even meeting us, and then the call to tell us she had changed her mind once giving birth and decided to keep the baby. And after that call? Real talk here. After that call there was so much silence it was enough to break me. There were nights during that time I’d lay in bed, staring at the empty bassinet just across the room, and cry until my eyes were puffy. There were nights during that time I turned my phone off because feeling like I was waiting close by for any kind of positive update or explanation that would somehow ease the hurt – a call that would never come – was too much. And still, each time I turned my phone back on, I held my breath for the voicemail beep… the one that was never there.
But then a few months later there was a call that told us our profile had been chosen by a new birth mom. HOPE. Hope sprung from my heart and the moment I heard our social worker say the words, “She’s pregnant with a boy” I immediately looked at Christian with an eyebrow raised and a smile on my face that our agency surely would have cautioned me against (there were lots of cautions throughout our adoption journey – but that’s another post for another day), but my smile remained because it was mirrored on Christian’s face.
From day one I always had this feeling that our first child would be our son. Way back when, before we knew we wouldn’t be able to get pregnant, I always just had a feeling… that our first would be a boy. So much so that we had our boy name picked out soon after we got married… and it never changed.
We were asked to Skype with this new birth mom, our agency telling us we were “up against another family” (no pressure, right?) and as much as I wish I could say we just KNEW after the Skype call, we did not. We were hopeful she would choose us. That maybe, just maybe, this baby would be the boy God had written into our lives, along with his birthmom. And as nerve-wracking and sweet as that Skype call went, we just did not know. It wasn’t up to us. But still, we had hope. I reminded myself a lot during that time that it was already written. It had already been written by a God that not only loved me, but a God who loved that baby, too. And so many, many times I would just throw my hands in the air and say to Him, “Jesus, you have this. You have me. You have this baby.”
A day after our Skype call, which took place in my dad’s office in Indiana – because we were in my home state to visit family that weekend, I found myself on a golf course. And I know what you’re thinking: Wow. Em is seriously cool. Like, she’s super sporty and athletic and she’s a straight up GOLFER. But no, guys. No. I wasn’t and I’m not and I will never be a golfer. (Boring.) Every year since I can remember – since I was a little girl – my dad’s side of the family has hosted a HUGE golf tournament, all funds raised for charity. That year, last year, Christian had decided to play and I decided to help serve up bloody marys, with my cousin Lauren, to the golfers as they rounded the bend. (That sounds more like me, no?) 😉 I was standing in the golf shop talking to one of my uncles about where some table linens were when I heard my phone ring. I looked down and there it was….
It was the agency. I looked at my uncle with GOD ONLY KNOWS what kind of look on my face and said, “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. It’s the agency. I have to take this. I HAVE TO TAKE THIS!” (Yes. I was yelling at him.) I had no idea where Christian was at this point but walked into the other room and answered the phone.
“Hi Emily, It’s (insert social worker’s name).”
“Oh hey there (insert social worker’s name)!”
Insert a bit of small talk here that JUST ABOUT KILLED ME.
Finally, she told me that the birth mom had in fact chosen Christian and I to parent her baby boy. It was as official as it could get without the baby actually being here yet.
So many emotions ran through my heart and head. Of course I couldn’t help but think about our failed match that had only happened a few months prior. Yes, we had been matched then and then it fell through, but it was also a very different situation… details I will not share publicly but I can tell you this – THIS one felt different. From the very beginning there was some strange peace. It was strange to us, to me, but in actuality it wasn’t strange at all. It was His peace. This one was so different in fact that in that moment, in that very moment our social worker told me this birth mom we’d just Skyped with not even 24 hours before had chosen us, I felt like a mother. In that very moment I thought, I am a mom to a son!
I took down some important information from the social worker – some of that being that this baby would be born in TWO WEEKS – and then hung up the phone and realized I’d walked myself all the way out onto a random golf green. Christian. I had to find Christian.
I walked back to where the guys would be teeing off with the biggest smile on my face and SO. MANY. TEARS. running down my cheeks. In my attempts to find Christian, I ran into my brother who took ONE look at me and immediately ran to me and hugged me as he too cried. This was more special than I could ever explain to you all on here… and maybe someday I’ll get into it more but my brother is adopted and so the weight of the gratefulness of it all…. to be able to celebrate LIFE, in this way, with my brother – it was a moment I will never, ever forget.
Eventually, I found Christian. And with the biggest smile I whispered to him, “We’re going to have a son.” That hug. Oh man, it was the freaking BEST. Christian played his worst round of golf EVER that day but had the best excuse ever. Because who – freaking who?! – could concentrate with news like that?!
There is so, so, so, so much more to our adoption journey. The following two weeks felt like two months and the ways we had to rely on and fully and completely trust in Jesus and His plan were in ways I’d never had to before. That two week wait was exciting and excruciating all at the same time… a part of the story I will perhaps share one day.
But THE call? The call that announced I was going to be a mama to a boy? To Crew. It was one of the best days, one of the happiest days. A day I took a deep, deep breath.
It was a year ago this weekend 🙂 It was a call that not only announced an impending birth – the birth of our son and my new position of Mom – but a call that would begin such a beautiful relationship with a woman who would give birth to our boy. A call that proved His faithfulness – not just in my life and in Christian’s life and in Crew’s life, but in her life too. God can do powerful, beautiful, astounding things in our lives if we let Him. And it doesn’t mean it will be easy or not scary. It probably will be really hard and totally scary. The unknown can be that way, you know? But He cares. He loves. He connects. He creates. He gives. He gifts.
This weekend is a favorite of mine. It is a weekend I will forever celebrate, giving Him all the praise. (Cheering with my family, bloody mary in hand.) 😉