Saturday, July 19, 2008

God's story, part 1

There is so much about our recent adoption story that I haven’t shared. So many blessings through each step. So much challenge in getting through each day. To say that God refined us through this trial is a clichĂ© and an understatement.

I’ve had a daily Bible verse calendar for as long as I can remember. The verses quoted in the next several posts are from that calendar and came at the times we needed them most. I had them taped to our bathroom mirror all the way through this adoption.

We got the first phone call in mid-December about a birthmother due in March. If you’ve ever desired a child that you couldn’t have, you know how tough the holidays can be. God gave us this glimmer of hope just in time for Christmas, though because of previous experience, nobody knew but Tuck and me. We were guarding the hearts of our loved ones and praying for strength in our own hearts. “… that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit…” (Ephesians 3:16 NKJV)

While things went very well between December and March, I’m a worrier. Most times I can pray the worry away, but it’s tougher when a baby is involved. Satan knows this and plays on it big time. In this situation, you name it and I worried. The day we left for Texas, I had this verse: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)

On the morning of March 3, I went with Tiffany to the hospital for her induction. I sat with her and we had some great heart-to-hearts. Tiffany’s hospital plan stated that I was to be her labor coach, but would leave when she began pushing. When it came time to push, however, Tiffany looked me in the eye and said “please don’t leave me.” It was quite the bonding moment for two mothers, to say the least.

And I got to coach my baby girl into the world!

Two days later, Madison, Tuck and I left the hospital with Cora! (her nickname) Because Tiffany’s lawyer was located 2 hours away, it took another day to get all the paperwork signed. While we never wanted to doubt Tiffany’s decision, that was a loooonngg 24 hours as we wondered if we’d have this baby taken from our arms. On March 6, Tiffany signed her papers and the four of us left Cora’s birth city. We drove to Dallas to stay with some of our close friends, Mark & Sally, as we awaited permission to leave the state.

What a blessing to stay in a home instead of a hotel with a preschooler and a newborn! The first three days with our two precious blessings were relaxed, wonderful, carefree days. We spoke to Tiffany a few times and she was doing well, too. On March 9, Tuck flew home to go back to work (he’d just started a new job) and I stayed at Sally’s with our girls, believing we’d be following in a day or two.

A little background on the birth father: he’s a 19-year-old with quite a police record already. Tiffany has known him for a long time. He denies it, but Tiffany claims her pregnancy was a result of a non-consensual incident between them. On March 10, Tiffany called us to tell us that he had called her upon his release from jail. He wanted info on “his” baby and was livid that she’d been placed for adoption. This was our biggest fear realized.

Prior to adopting Madison we’d been matched with a birthmother for 3 months. We went to doctor appointments, talked on the phone all the time, decorated a nursery, had showers, etc. Then at the last minute, the birth father decided to parent his baby. We’ve since learned that sweet girl – just 4 months older than Madison – is in the foster system due to abuse.

Hearing that this situation could repeat itself was a little more than I could manage with Tuck hundreds of miles away. But the verse I got on March 10: “For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.” (1 Peter 2:19 NIV)

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