This has taken me so long to write. I feel like I can never do this story justice, but if I wait until it’s perfect then I don’t know that I’ll ever get it out… so here it is. Long, messy, vulnerable, and filled to the brim with incredible love. Please be gentle in your reading. If you’re new, you can read big brother Nolan’s adoption story here.
Five weeks ago I got a phone call from one of my best friends. She had just found out that her little sister was 38 weeks pregnant and was scared, and wanted to know, if push came to shove, if we’d be willing to open our home to her niece.
I put the phone on speaker and looked over at Ty, who said something along the lines of “Absolutely. If it’s God’s plan for her to be ours, then she will be, and if not, then the door will close.”
I can’t explain the love I have for that man and his steadfastness.
There’s a lot more to the story… a lot. But I will suffice it to say that, if nothing else, I knew I was called to be an advocate for V (birth mom) in the situation that was unfolding. I met with her as a friend, mama to mama, and I fell in love with her. And apparently it was mutual, because a day or two later she was standing in my kitchen, wrapped in my goodbye hug, whispering in my ear that she was choosing me to be her little girl’s mommy.
My keyboard is soaked in tears as I recall the miraculous-ness of it all. Thank you Jesus for guiding each of our steps to lead us here. Right here.
Moment of vulnerability: That night after V left, I became overwhelmed with fear. I sobbed. What had I gotten us into? We have a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a 10 month old we adopted not even 7 months ago. We were up to our eyeballs in adoption-related expenses already, and I was afraid. Was I mom enough for this?
I went to bed terrified and I woke up at peace. A favorite worship song comes to mind: “There may be fear in the night, but joy comes in the morning.” God is so good. When has joy ever not come?
That Friday, we were in the delivery room as our daughter was born. I held her birth mom’s hand and told her over and over how beautiful and brave she was. Ty cut the cord, and our beautiful Harbor was placed immediately onto my bare chest. As Tyler cradled us in his arms, I looked over at V who was watching us, and in her face I saw complete joy. I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live. Never have I been in a room so filled to the brim with love.
We were taken into our own room — Tyler, Harbor & I. A couple hours later, Ty had to go home to be with our other three and I was left alone for the night with our sweet new princess.
By 4am, she still hadn’t slept. She was jittering, sucking fervently on her pacifier, vomiting excessively, and crying a high-pitched cry. I called in two nurses and they confirmed what my heart knew: she was withdrawing from drugs. They told me they would score her and that we didn’t want her to be an 8 or higher. I found out at our first pediatrician visit a week later that she scored a 30 that night.
I cried. I cried deep, dark, gut-wrenching sobs. I broke down right there in the hospital bed and those angel nurses hugged me and smoothed my hair and promised to love my girl and to fight this fight with us. I called one of my dear friends who has walked this journey with her own adopted daughter, and she sobbed with me and promised to be at my side the whole way. I can’t explain how thankful I am for the words she said that night and for her friendship. Thank you Melissa.
Again I went to bed terrified and I woke up filled with peace.
5 hard days later (a miracle!) we brought her home to finally join our family.
Our house is so loud and so messy and we’re so broke, and you guys: we’re so, so, over-the-moon happy.
In regards to what we went through in the hospital: this is where a lot of people misunderstand where my heart might be, and there is SO much I could say, but I want to at least say this:
Was I angry that my daughter had to suffer? Yes. I was angry. I was angry at Satan for the lies he told her birth mom: that nobody cared about her, that she was worthless, that there was no reason to even bother and that drugs were the answer. I was angry that the world was so overcome with sin & darkness and that so many people were hurting. I was angry for every baby who had to go through this alone… that more families don’t step up and be the hands & feet of Jesus through foster care & adoption. I was angry! So angry. But not at V.
I love Harbor’s birth mom. I love her for pulling herself up by her bootstraps and getting Harbor to safety when she couldn’t even get herself there. For not taking an easier way out. For giving her the gift of life and then searching for a way to give her life more abundantly than what she could provide. When people ask me “Do you still have to see her?” “How could you even look at her?” “What is wrong with her?” those words break my heart.
Jesus called us to be a light to the world, and we can’t do that if we’re not willing to venture into the darkness where that light is needed most. I don’t feel that God has called us to a comfortable, pretty lifestyle, where the biggest advocating we do for His Kingdom is to sprinkle a bible verse on our Facebook status every now and again. As we do for the LEAST of these… so we do for Him. And at some point or another, we’ve all been “the least of these.”
Please know that this is where my heart is and that our children’s’ birth moms are called “super heroes” in our home.
One of the reasons I felt called to share the more intimate parts of our story is for those who are reading that may be considering adopting. It is funny to think back to this time last year. We had two children and we were just about to start the process of adding to our family through adoption. We were nervous, excited, and anxious. If you had asked me what my fears were, I could have named them easily. Here we are, just a handful of months later, and we have 4 children, and two or three of the scariest things we thought might happen… totally happened.
I am here to tell you that the things we were afraid of happened. And God was with us the whole time. And we’d do it again a million times over. This journey of following God into the unknown has shaped us and stretched us and we will never be the same. And we are so thankful for that.
We’d do it a million times over.
If adoption is on your heart, I can tell you that I don’t know all the answers by any means, but I would be happy to talk with you.
This post is all over the place. It’s like a teeny peek into my heart right now. A jumbled mess : )
In closing, I wish I could personally hug everyone who has reached out to us over the last month. Social media is so cool and I just love that us mamas get to connect from near & far to support each other. So many of your comments have been exactly what I needed at exactly the moment I needed them. In those dark, painful NICU hours… We felt like we had a huddle of love around us… so thank you.
Thank you for not thinking we’re crazy. Or if you do, thanks for not saying it to our face : )
Thank you for praying for us.
Just thank you.
Welcome home, Harbor!
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