Monday, November 24, 2014

Born of my Heart (Part 5)

Howdy. I'm back. You can read Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 if you are a bit unsure what all this is about.

I'm spilling my guts.

When I last left you I had just had a miscarriage and we had an adoption attempt failure. Within the space of 2 weeks.

You can say that I was really, really bummed.

Before I get into the next phase of my story, I need to talk to you about the dreams I had been having for several years.

I need to first tell you that I am not in the least superstitious. Well, not most of the time. I don't think you can be a hillbilly and not be a little bit. For years I had been having dreams about people giving me babies. Little brown-eyed babies. These dreams occurred long before we toyed with the idea of adoption. It could have been my subconscious.

I don't really think so. These dreams happened at least once a week. I had that dream and the one about the tornado. So the tornado is coming and no one believes me. I still have that dream.

I have already explained a little about my state of mind at the time. I was a mess. I tend to cry when I am upset. In fact, after we resigned our last full-time pastorate I cried for 2 years every time I talked about it. It made for some uncomfortable conversations.

I can blame some of this one the physical trauma I had suffered over the past few years. I was also just sad. We had been married for 9 years at this point. And almost every one of those years had been filled with some sort of crisis or near death experience. Have I mentioned that my husband is a saint?

I want to talk a little bit about husbands another time, but first I need to continue with my story.

One day in September I was sitting at home. I got a phone call from a friend from church. I can remember picking up my phone that was hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

She said, "I tried to call your mom so I could run this past her. I didn't want to spring this on you because I know you are hurting right now, but...."

She went on to tell me that her brother pastored a church in another state (this I knew). He had recently asked another sister for some advice.  She was the principal of a school in another state. My friend had talked to her sister (the principal) about me. She knew of my history and what had just happened. When the pastor brother (we'll call him Pastor Brother) called and asked for her advice...I was who she thought of.

Long story short. Pastor Brother had a young girl in his church who was pregnant. She was living with her grandparents. She was due in early December and wanted to give her baby to a loving family. She and her grandparents had approached Pastor Brother for some good council.

My friend went on to tell me that she would have her brother call me if Troy and I thought we could take this baby.

I can tell you that at first I was terrified. I didn't want anything to go wrong. Troy and I talked and prayed and talked and prayed. I knew my heart was fragile. But my mom, once again, gave me some wonderful advice. She told me that sometimes the best gifts in life are the ones we sacrifice the most for. Sometimes that sacrifice seems like it might be too much. We never know unless we try.

Could I sacrifice my heart? Troy was willing to do whatever it took. He just wanted to make me happy.

Pastor Brother called us. He asked me to write a letter to this sweet, precious girl and tell her a little bit about ourselves. I did.

A short time later she wrote me a letter and asked me if we would raise her baby as our own.

We decided to take a step of faith.

Let me tell you something. A private adoption is complicated. It's very expensive. Troy and I had to hire attorneys in 3 different states. The down payment alone was 2500.00. (the final bill was ginormous) That might seem like trump change, but we didn't even have $15 to put down. We were still paying on my car accident and heart failure...not to mention the miscarriage I had just had.

If I told you everything that happened in the next few months to make this possible you wold be amazed. It was simply a miracle.

1. Our church took up a sizable offering for us.
2. My parents dug into their savings.
3. I took a first-aid class and met a social worker. She put me in contact with a man who did home studies. Our homestudy was a wonderful experience. We learned so much from him.
4. We wound up having one of the best family attorneys in the area. I really believe it was God who lead us to her. Her paralegal was my lifeline. She emailed me every single day to let me know what was going on.
5. A family in our church emptied out their attic of baby supplies. Another sweet friend gave us a beautiful Jenny Lind baby bed.
6. My mother-in-law bought the new baby enough baby clothes to keep him in clothes for a year.

It was a whirlwind. I was still a mess. I had started having panic attacks again. I was paranoid. But God seemed to be doing His thing despite my state of mind.

The day after Thanksgiving 2001, we got a phone call.  It had been determined that they needed to take the baby early. Did we think we could drive up in the next few days?

My mind was going a 100 miles an hour. What about finals at school? We were going to have to stay with my sister until it the state we were adopting from let us go home. Would we even be home for Christmas?

My professors were wonderful. I had been so meticulous with my studies that I didn't have to take finals. I finished that semester with a 4.0. We threw enough stuff in the car to get us by for a few weeks. It was one of the most exciting and nerve wracking trips I have ever taken.

I want to talk a minute before I leave you about those adoption attempts that don't have a happy ending. For every adoption that has succeeded I have heard of 2 that haven't. So many friends have had experiences that have been heartwrenching. We were blessed in our adoption attempt failure. I didn't bring the baby home. I hadn't bonded with him. Of course, all of this was going through my head on our way to adopt this new baby.

I kept going back to what my mom had said. Could I risk my heart? Was this worth the risk? I had decided it was.

Maybe there is something in your life right now that requires some risk taking. I can tell you that first you have to dial down the self-pity or self-condemnation. I speak from personal experience. Some things are just out of our hands. Not every story has a happy ending, but eventually you are going to get where you need to be if you risk your heart and life and put both in God's hands. He will never fail you. There are times when I've had my doubts. There have been times when I have felt picked on. Regardless of my feelings...He is still faithful.

Next time, I want to share with you some pictures and our happy ending.

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