This is a truth and pain we are feeling in the depths of our core. A pain we are walking through on a minute by minute basis. September 27th we got the call we have been waiting over 5 years for. A birth mom chose us to parent her child. Less than a week later we met both birth parents. We loved them immediately. The birth father had this sweet, quiet, tenderness about him and the birth mom was mature for her age. She took the decision very seriously and she had a great sense of humor. I loved them. We found out we had only weeks until our soon to be son was going to be born. I began texting with our birth mom fairly often. The communication was good for me. I knew she was serious about her decision and she wanted to keep me included. I really enjoyed getting to know her.
At 1:40 am on Oct. 25 we got the call that she was in labor. We dropped the kids off at a friends house and rushed down to Indianapolis. I was a hot mess of emotion. Our wait was almost over and the whole situation was exactly as I had hoped. An open adoption with birth parents we connected with. Everything lined up. Right down to baby names and what we were hoping for in each other. A little after 3:00 pm Oct. 25 Malachi Theodore was born.
|Out of respect for his family I am not showing pictures of his face.|
I cried the moment I looked into his tiny face. I loved him fiercely with every ounce of my being. My son. We took pictures and videos and sent them to our boys at home. They couldn't wait to meet him in person.
The next day we got to keep him in a hospital room all to ourselves. The pediatricians came in and asked questions. We were making medical decisions. We snuggled him to pieces. Fed him. Changed him. Kissed his crazy cute lips. We talked to him about his brothers and how much we would love him forever. There was no holding back the love.
The next morning, the 27th, we got the call that shattered us to our core. She changed her mind. Our birth parents changed their minds.......I remember yelling "God no!" and the pain overtook me. I didn't know how to go on from there. I thought I was going to vomit. "How do I move forward? Lord, how do I tell my boys?! How do I break their hearts? " The pain I felt was unbearable. I had a son for 2 days and now he's gone. I didn't even get to say goodbye. He was just gone.
I know the itty bitty details about him. Like his sweet ears are a little darker at the top than the bottom. He needs to be snuggled tight in order to sleep. He scratches at his face if he isn't holding your finger or swaddled. He wants his pointer finger in his mouth to soothe. He has the cutest, squeakiest cry. I know that he sucks down a bottle in seconds and he's so strong he can control his head. I know him.....I miss him.
The drive home that day from Indy was quiet. I don't think the tears ever stopped rolling. We pulled into the garage with an empty car seat on the same day we were suppose to be bringing him home. A pain unfathomable. Andy and I both sobbed. We have done a lot of crying and holding each other. I am so thankful for him. I need him.
When the boys got home from school, we had to tell them. I've never heard my son wail the way he did at that moment. He cried so hard he screamed at one point. They were both devastated and I didn't know how to fix it. I couldn't take the pain away and I couldn't control anything. We just all had to feel it. My family felt it. My friends felt it. It sucked....it still sucks.
Through all of the uncontrollable pain and unknowns I had to make a decision. I had to make the choice to lean into the only one I know can carry me through this. I had to lean into the Lord. We decided we needed to take a few days off and just be together as a family. The first night, Nahum and I snuck out to Walmart and bought the Pie Face game. That brought some much needed humor and laughter between the waves of pain.
The next day we went to a pumpkin farm and spent the whole day. Rides, games, food....everything. I cried on and off throughout that day, but the time together as a family helped us all. Spending time being grateful for my husband, my boys...my mom....I was thankful she was here. I am thankful for what I have and remembering that helps me. It doesn't remove the pain but it redirects my focus to a heart of thankfulness and appreciation. Creating moments where laughter comes easily helps too. Pulling ourselves out of the pit and allowing ourselves to have some fun helps.
The truth is......Even though the birth parents decision broke us and brought us unbearable pain......I get it. I totally get it. They love him. They created him. They gave birth to him. They love him. Even though they are young, I think they can do it. I saw an 18 year old boy act out of fatherly instinct after he was born. He became a man in a moment he didn't expect and I saw it with my own eyes. I saw a young woman in turmoil over a son she wanted but wasn't sure she could parent. We got to know them well enough to know that they can do it. They are strong and they love him.
I emailed our birth mom today. I felt like I needed to release her from guilt or at least for myself to get some closure. I needed her to know that we still love them and that we understand. That we are in their court and that we believe in them. I want them to have his clothes and I wanted them to have the pictures that we took of them. I think it's important that they know that we will be ok. Only by the grace, mercy and goodness of God....but we will be ok. Andy said we have to chose one of two camps. Either we stay angry and harbor unforgiveness. Or, we love them and stand in support of them. We get to chose that. We chose love.
Rather than asking the question "why" I am asking that God use this. That our pain not be wasted. My prayer is that this young couple has seen the love of Jesus through us. Through our love for them and their son. (It's so hard to call him their son even though he is.) That our actions and our words and encouragement can shine the light of Jesus. The pain they caused us is forgiven. That our forgiveness can breakdown barriers.
Not only that, but this sweet African American couple can see walls breaking down in the world of racism. That this little white family loved their dark skinned son as their own. No holds barred. That the barriers that still exist between white and black have been shattered at least in this one moment of time. That love is bigger than the skin we are born with.
I wanted that boy. I love that boy. My heart hurts more than I have ever felt before and I am so tired of crying. But, I have to hold on to hope. Hope that Malachi will have a good life and know Jesus. Hope that we will have an adoption that doesn't fall through. Hope that my boys will be big brothers someday soon. I have to chose to trust. I have to trust that God can move and work in this. That even when I don't understand and even when it hurts like hell God is still God. That he still is a good God. That he is a righteous and faithful God.
As I was getting ready yesterday the song "I Breathe You In, God" came on. I feel like it's where I'm at and what I am choosing. I have to. I need to.
I BREATHE YOU IN, GOD
When I don't understand, I choose to love you God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFTgNd6Iko
I also want to thank all of you who have been a support to us. We have felt your prayers, we're thankful for your gifts and your love. I can feel that people are praying for us. And the things that have shown up at my doorstep over the last couple of days are reminders of God's goodness.
All of you who have gone out of your way to help us out......Thank you. For the people who are willing to keep an eye on my kids if they need a hug...thank you. For all of the texts and voxers full of love and encouragement.....thank you. For those of you who have donated financially to our adoption......thank you. We are still going to use every penny for whatever adoption finally sticks. It is still hanging out in our adoption fund until we finally get to use it....thank you.