[PART ONE: MEANT TO BE || THE STORY OF OUR MATCH]
It was a Wednesday when I saw our adoption agency's website posting about a baby boy that was born earlier that morning a few states east, needing a family as soon as possible.
My heart throbbed and pumped blood of hope, but as my eyes landed on some of the legal parts of the situation, I slumped away from the computer and made breakfast, feeling defeated and quite a bit hopeless. Adoption is hard. Waiting in hard. This is only the beginning, the waiting, and it is hard.
I couldn't get that sweet baby boy out of my head, but knew this couldn't be our situation - we didn't even have a quarter of the fees due at time of placement, which would have been that day.
If only our adoption fund was bigger. If only there was a quick way to grow it. Come on, God.
That Wednesday, January 6, 2016, marked me 20 weeks round, swelling fatter than I'd ever been, with our sweet biological miracle baby. But my heart knew without a doubt we were still in search for our other miracle baby, our baby via adoption. We just needed an expectant/birth mama to choose us, to find us, to deem us the parents of her child.
I went to an interview for a position as a barista, but still couldn't get my mind off of the sweet little man. It felt like it was time, our son was born. One check with the agency's website revealed that the situation had been removed, which more than likely meant he was with his forever family. Bummed and impatient, I moved on with my day, thankful that he at least had found his forever family.
Later that evening another situation was posted - a baby boy making his debut as we were reading about him! We did the math and felt like this was it. We asked to be presented. Our agency worker (Emilie) said she thought we'd be chosen in a heart beat, but that she wanted to present another family first, because that state's would work together better.
As we waited on pins and needles, I texted a mass amount of people, convinced this was our baby. I told them he was coming, his name would most likely be Asher and we were bound to be matched, please pray! Hours later in the middle of the night, we finally received the call revealing that his birth mama chose the first family.
I was crushed. I felt so sure about the time being so right.
"There was another baby boy born today; his mama is searching for his forever family but hasn't felt connected with one yet - would you present?" I could hear the hope in her voice.
We explained there was no way to come up with the funds due immediately, if she chose us.
Thursday the 7th rolled itself in with a brisk breeze and bits of sun. I made sweet potato biscuits and sipped coffee as my heart slumped. I really thought our baby had been born. I was so tired. Adoption is so hard. The waiting is so agonizingly long, every day feeling like a year.
I sat at our table, devouring the biscuits basked in butter, and sobbed despair into my coffee. I felt so empty and off. I felt like a chunk of my heart was found but still missing, broken off and I was unable to grasp it.
Our agency worker (Emilie) contacted me, asking if there was any way we would present our profile book to the Wednesday Baby's first mama. I had already spent time that morning calling all of the grant organizations that denied us, asking them to reconsider: none of them said yes. I called family members and humiliated myself, asking if they had thousands of dollars they could loan or give us; nope.
Loren was heading into work by 11 am and softly said to me, "This is impossible, Nat. It wont happen. Im sorry."
Before I dropped him off at work I looked him in the eyes and said, "Listen, I know this seems impossible. I know it may actually be impossible. I also know this may not be our baby. But what if he is? What if he is our baby and we are missing the opportunity to be his forever family and to let him bless us? What if God is asking us to trust Him big? I need to do everything I can to be sure. I know it is hard to meet me in these crazy unrealistic, unlogical places. But I need you to pray and ask God to bring you here with me. I need you to eventually wander to the deep scary waters, knowing we may be let down, but also knowing it is worth the risk. I need you with me more than I need anyone in this."
He went to work. I went to my sister-in-law's.
She encouraged me that there is no shame in not presenting, no one thinks less of us. I tried to explain that what I actually fear is what people think about us when we DO present without the funds; I fear that we are being too faith-filled, even to the point of being irresponsible...where is the line, what is the balance, or is there one? I fear that we will be matched and He will let us down. What if she chooses us, what if she says "Yes, these people are my son's family," and we have to say, "Well crap, we don't have the funds."?
What kind of heart break would that be?
I'll never forget calling Emilie again, hearing that this birth mama had carefully sifted through countless family profiles but did not feel right about any of them. She was wanting just the right family for the boy she loves dearly. I won't forget telling her with a shaky voice that we would present but we may not have the funds when they were due, if matched. I won't forget driving across Portland, knuckles so white as I cried hot tears of fear, begging Him through gritted teeth to show up...either by her saying no to us or by Him providing the financial means for this adoption if she chose us.
I'll certainly never forget seeing Emilie's number pop up as I was about to leave Sears with a giant impossibly terrible-to-put-together shed (thank you, village!), swiping to answer and hearing her say, "You have a son waiting for you in Utah; can you pull together the funds?" It was 4:30 pm, Thursday January 7, 2016.
It was one of those hand-clapped-over my mouth moments. A moment where tears burst through the lids of my eyes without me having a choice to stop them. A moment where my whole world was rocked and I was overcome with disbelief, shock, joy, and fear of Him falling through and failing us.
But He didn't. He never has; not even when I have been in my lowest lows.
I called my husband and he always looks back on those moments with laughter, recounting himself walking into his boss's office and saying, "I think my son was just born...can I go home?"
It was time to make our travel plans to meet our son.
The thing about adoption is, in the original plan, it wasn't meant to be...we weren't meant to be a family...but because of brokenness and tragedy...well now adoption is a thing. And now, now we are meant to be and that is clearer than ever before. Selfishly, I've never been so grateful for brokenness...never been so grateful that we are here, this side of Heaven.