I feel like the clouds are beginning to part and the sun is starting to show itself again. I’m starting to do what I told myself I wasn’t allowed to do. I’m dreaming again. The first time I dreamed about a baby was 4 years ago. I bought the maternity and baby clothes to go with that dream. I would mill around in the baby section with Ben, and we’d talk about what cribs we liked and didn’t like, nursery bedding, and all of the other joys you go through to prepare for a new addition to the family. I finally packed that dream away after numerous medical procedures – blood work, ultrasounds, surgery – you get the idea.
Then I started dreaming for other women’s pregnancies and babies. Women who had their own stories of barrenness. Now these are dreams that I can still hold onto, because I’m never disappointed when I hear that someone tells me they’re pregnant or when they are given news they can adopt. It is evident to me that these are miracles and answers to prayers. It’s easier to dream for others.
Then I started dreaming about Ethiopia. Like when I wanted to get pregnant, I did the research, I bought the books, and I watched my faith grow as the Lord provided. I even started dreaming about the baby’s room. Well, we all know what happened. The agency went bankrupt. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the middle of a television drama. When will the season end??
I admit, I’m a bit fearful to write about dreaming again, because usually when I open myself up, something happens to make my world fall apart. Then I’m left looking at the shattered pieces. I try to sweep them up and cradle what’s left holding things protectively in my heart. Then I start to build those walls – my safe-guards I call them – as a means of protecting myself from more hurt.
It’s some sort of mess that God looks at and calls beautiful, because in the midst of it all I’m learning what it means to really trust Him. I’m still working on this – trust. Yes, I’ll admit it. I have trust issues with God. I know it sounds contradictory. The same woman who said, “I don’t know how we’re going to be able to afford this adoption, but I just can’t believe that the Lord would have us go into debt for our family,” is the same woman who says, “Okay God. When is my world going to fall apart…AGAIN?” It’s hard for me to step back and allow Him to take control. It’s the planner in me. I always think I have things figured out and “fixed.” Inevitably something happens, and when my plans fall through, I’m reminded that God is the only reliable one whom I can count on. Only He can fix things.
Monday evening, July 13, 2009, I was devastated. I cried out to the Lord.
Tuesday morning, July 14, 2009, I woke up with a calm faith and a sense that I needed to wait.
Monday morning, July 20, 2009, I received a phone call at work. The person phoning went on to tell me that ever since I testified in church some time ago about our situation with not being able to have children, she has been praying for us with a heaviness – really interceding on our behalf. She went on to say something along these lines: “Recently, I came before the Lord and was filled with an incredible joy for you. In fact, I was filled with such joy, I couldn’t even pray. I want you to know that I really believe that in the next year the Lord is going to bless you and Ben somehow with a child.” I wish I could remember her exact wording. It just threw me for a loop. I really didn’t know what to say. For one thing, I was incredibly humbled to think that someone whom I didn’t really know extremely well was interceding on my behalf. For another, she was telling me that I would be blessed with a child within the coming year. Having just found out a week before that my adoption agency went bankrupt I thought to myself, “Does this mean I’ll get pregnant?” I thanked her and told her that I had a guarded hope. I had no intentions of telling anyone about the phone call, and instead decided I would pray about it and ponder it within my heart. I also happen to be a real sceptic when it comes to these things. Despite the work the Lord has done in my life, I’m sad to admit that I am still a doubting Thomas!
Around 2 hours later, I received another call from another prayer warrior. I knew when I heard her voice that God was up to something. I just didn’t know if I was up for what it was He was doing. “Sarah, are you sitting down?”
“Oh no…” I thought to myself. “Lord, what is going on?” I figured she would bring a second word from the first phone call. She proceeded to tell me that she was sitting with a woman whose daughter is pregnant. The woman had gone to my friend to see if she would be willing to counsel her daughter during her pregnancy. She had been carrying the news for 2 weeks and “just happened” to be in town on this particular day and “just happened” to stop by to see my friend. While visiting with my friend she exclaimed, “I have no idea how we’re going to find a good Christian couple to adopt this baby.” She explained that she didn’t want some wishy-washy Christian couple. They were to be solid in their faith. Of course, my friend was beside herself. She happens to head up a prayer group I am apart of, and we have been praying about Ben and I and our desire to have children for quite some time.
The news was so surreal, I really didn’t know what to say. I didn’t cry like I thought I would. A year ago someone who had a little guy in foster care was hoping Ben and I could adopt him, but we weren’t on the waiting list long enough (7-10 years) so they wouldn’t consider us. I cried when she asked us if we would consider being his parents, and I cried when things didn’t work out. I cried after they discovered a cyst in me and after the surgery. I cried when I found out the chances of me having a child were small. I cried when the agency went bankrupt. I’ve cried numerous times on this journey, but I didn’t cry this time. I think a part of me has hoped and then been disappointed so much, that now I’m extra guarded. I feel as though the flood gates will open soon; I just don’t know when…
When I told Ben the circumstances surrounding the call, he laughed. He couldn’t deny that this was an open door we had to walk through.
That Thursday, July 23, we met with the birth mom and her mother. That is another whole blog to be written. I have so much to write about, and I need to do so in a journal before I forget the tiny details that make this all so fascinating. She is 20. She is kind. She is beautiful. Since that evening she and I have spoken to each other regularly, and she amazes me every time. Being presented with the option to abort, she chose to give life. She is not angry at her situation, but instead is allowing God to speak to her through it. She loves the life she carries so much. Yet she is willing to give that life to Ben and me. She has every right to change her mind up to 30 days after the baby is born, and yet, I find myself loving her despite the fact she could change her mind. She has reassured me this is what she wants, and I find myself caring about her well-being, about her future, about her dreams. It’s not just her baby I have come to love; it’s the person she is. The Lord gave Ben and I this love for her the evening we met her, and we knew that even if something were to go wrong, and somewhere along the lines we would get hurt, we were meant to know her and she was meant to know us.
I never considered private adoption because in New Brunswick you cannot advertise, and I also knew that with the rights the birth mom had I didn’t know if I could put myself through the stress of it all. In fact, I just didn’t want to have to worry about that stress. International adoption seemed to Ben and I a safe and a sure way to go. Of course, pregnancy seemed that way too. I didn’t want to have to think about a birth mom who might be able to take away what I had always wanted. I didn’t want to have to go home to an empty nursery that I had put a lot of thought and energy into, or to worry about taking that little one home only to have him/her taken from my arms before papers were signed. I didn’t want to have to make myself so vulnerable. I didn’t want to see that side of adoption. The face of adoption. Now, I find myself doing the very things I was afraid of doing. I’m becoming friends with the person I always thought I would be afraid of – the birth mom. This is only something the Lord can do. He can take your fears and your worries, and make you face them in ways you never thought you were capable of. The face of adoption isn’t just in the baby you may be blessed with, but the mother who is willing to make that sacrifice. While I continue to live my life with no morning sickness, no weight gain, no worries about how I eat; she carries a little life inside. She is asked about her situation, and why she is choosing to do what she has decided. She goes to her first ultrasound nervous and alone. She works to earn money to save for school without the support of the man who helped her conceive a child. Then after 9 months of emotional ups and downs, of feeling this little life move inside of her, and after hours of labour pains, she is going to take that little life and entrust Ben and I with what she loves. I find that all so fascinating, and I feel humbled by it all.
In the midst of this journey I have often said, “I just want a baby. At least just once.” People would say, “There are a lot of older children who need homes. Why not adopt them?” So then I would think to myself, ” Is a baby to much to ask for? Is that to selfish?” I thought that the baby would be 8 months to a year old by the time I got him/her home. I was happy with that. I never dreamed I would get to have a newborn. I never dreamed I would get to go to an ultrasound. Sure – I did at one time, but I thought it would be me having the ultrasound. Now I’m dreaming again, and I’m frightened. When will the clock strike? When will the rug be pulled out from under me? It is a sad thing. I am weak. My faith is weak. It’s so hard to trust God with what I can’t see.
In six months Ben and I could very well be parents. I will have no full time work come September and will be relying on substitute teaching. In my mind I begin to think about all of the things we need to buy to get ready for this little person, and then Ben reminds me and says, “Sarah. God has provided for us thus far. He’s not going to leave us in a bind. Look at what He has done already.” I know Ben is right, and yet, sometimes I feel so small. God has provided me with an incredible husband. A man who has been a comfort and a support in the midst of the ups and downs. Ben may not be able to see it himself, but he has all the makings of an incredible father, because he is already going above and beyond as a husband.
Who am I? That the God of the universe would choose me for such a time as this? That He would entrust me with the relationship of a young lady who may very well be carrying a child He has chosen for us to raise. That He would take two young ladies with different backgrounds and life experiences, two young ladies who have had to deal with different forms of hurt, and allow these two young ladies to connect in the most unlikeliest of circumstances? This situation is completely out of my hands. I cannot control the outcome. I can only jump in with both feet and try to trust the One who has given me the grace to make it this far.
I don’t know for certain how God will bring Ben and I our children, but I do know for certain that He will do it in a way that will bring Him the most glory and that will prove He is God. And for that reason, I have to dream.