I'm convinced more than ever that God must have big plans for us. We are most definitely on a difficult journey to baby #2. Three weeks ago my phone rang and the director of our agency asked me to get a pen. With a shakey hand I wrote out tons of details about a birth mom who chose our profile. We met her that weekend with her cute 36 week pregnant belly and found out it was girl. Oh, my did I cry! Made a fool of myself really. We were floating on cloud nine. In a few short weeks we would be parents.
That next weekend we had birthmom and her parents over to meet both sets of our parents. This was at their request and we were thrilled to open our home to them. The week was filled with completing little projects around the house and setting up a girled out, funky, darling nursery. What a blast. My sister-in-law was over late each night helping my vision come to life in there. Every late night was worth it when birthmom saw what we had done and loved it. The night was full of conversation and, when they left, we felt great.
Fast forward just over a week (this past Wednesday) and baby girl was born!! It was such a long labor that ended in c-section but mom and baby were healthy. We drove up to Omaha the next day to meet her. She was knock-me-over precious. Super dainty and sweet. Melt me. Birthmom's family was super welcoming and it was just an awesome night. As we drove home, my heart over flowed and we were just so excited. I was invited up the next day and spent two hours snuggling sweet girl. Yesterday, I received texts about meeting up at the newborn care provider's house. You see, here's the hitch. There were two possible fathers and, at our agency, paternity has to be figured out (they were both identified) before relinquishments can be signed. Nerve wracking for sure but there was a lot of peace around it all. Peace that's hard to explain....peace that only God can give.
This morning, the call came. The call we've received before. The adoption is not going to happen. Paternity came in and birthfather is going to parent. We hadn't even considered this being an option at this point. After we scraped ourselves off the floor, we just stood there shocked that this is the end of the story for us with sweet baby girl. I still can't believe it.
I will say this: the peace still exists. God is in control. He is good - all the time. Among the peace there is pain (and lots of it). My heart was primed and ready to be mommy to this baby girl. But, I know God's faithful and our prayers for another child will be answered...in His time. I can't help but replay last week's sermon in my head. I'm going to attach a link to anyone that wants to radically change the way they view their prayer life. I have always been scared to pray super specifically. I tended to pray for God's will in a situation and gently suggest my desire. I didn't fully believe that prayer moved the sovereign hand of God. In last week's sermon, our pastor talked about two characters in the Bible: James and Peter. Both were imprisoned and the church prayed fervently for deliverance. James was killed and Peter miraculously escaped from prison. I'm WAY oversimplifying so please listen to or read the sermon. An exerpt:
"I would love to be able to tell you this morning that, if you pray fervently and if you believe, you can walk out these doors believing God will release Peter and everything will be okay. If you just conjure up enough faith, you can actually manipulate the hand of God and get whatever you want. That’s the way it works; but that’s only part of the story. It’s a great story. Peter was miraculously released, but James is dead. I’m sure they were praying for James. I’m sure they loved James; I’m sure they wanted James released, but James is dead and Peter is released.
This is the challenge of prayer. We don’t know, at the end of the day, whether we get a James story or whether we get a Peter story. And if you get enough James stories, you start to believe it doesn’t work. It doesn’t do anything; it doesn’t change anything. I mean I can only hope and believe so many times. If I keep being disappointed, I just can’t go there anymore. And so I stop believing that prayer really moves the hand of God. Maybe it’s just a therapy session and nothing more.
I do believe with all of my heart that prayer does move the hand of God. I believe that! I’m just telling you that it’s hard and it’s painful and, when the hand of God doesn’t move, it’s painful in a deep part of me—and some of you, probably many of you, would resonate with that. You’ve been down that same path, where you cry out to God and it seems like God doesn’t care. It seems like God doesn’t listen, and you finally concluded, “It just doesn’t work. What’s the use of doing it anymore? I can’t think that way one more time; I can’t hope one more time because I just can’t endure the pain of being disappointed one more time.” We have to discipline ourselves, with all that we have, to believe that prayer can move the hand of a sovereign God. It is possible that, through my prayers, God might do the impossible. I might get a Peter story or I might get a James story. That’s what makes prayer so hard." (Whole sermon right here).
All of that is to say that, even though we prayed so hard and our friends and family prayed so hard, this is our James story. It doesn't mean God doesn't love us and doesn't hear our prayers. It just means this time it's not going to go the way our hearts longed for. Mark and I talked a lot today about perseverance. We both believe this situation will grow us, refine our faith. The other big thing that smacked us in the face all day long? DECLAN WAS WORTH THE PAINFUL WAIT. Totally worth it. I mean, off the charts, he's the best thing that ever happened to us, can't image our lives without him. Worth every annoying home study appointment and worth that phone call that said "they're parenting" that tore our hearts up for a week. And, you know what? I'm pretty darn sure we'll feel that way about our next kiddo.
It's crazy what 3 weeks can do to your life. I say again what I deeply believe: God has big plans for us. :) Stay tuned.