So we had met the mother.
And she wanted us to adopt her baby.
We got home, giddy as could be, swooped our girl up into our arms and had my mother-in-law take a picture to remember the day by.
That was the day that I realized our chances of keeping her were, though still not guaranteed, looking very very good. That was the day that made all the years of infertility tears worth it. I’d gladly pay them all again to get to keep my girl. That was the day that God showed us how much He loved us and cared about our situation. That was the day I met my hero, a mother willing to hand over her rights for the sake of what’s best for her child, and in the process, was making my dream come true. That was the day that changed everything.
Now we just had to wait for the relinquishment date to be set, which didn’t come until nearly two months later. That gave me way too much thinking time. I felt like the Israelites who had just witnessed a big act of God, and yet after just a little time passed, I found myself once again questioning and doubting.
What if, once she received those three pictures, she let the gravity of her choice sink in and change her mind? I pictured her sitting alone in her jail cell, with nothing else to do but stare at Sweet Pea’s face. Surely she’d cry for the obvious time she’d missed… but would she hold onto hope that she could be part of her future? She’d made the decision to relinquish before seeing her, after all.
We continued to pray for forever, and I tried to stifle the scary thoughts. Surely God wouldn’t bring us this far to have things fall apart now.
Several weeks later, Sweet Pea’s cousin was turning three, and the aunt had pleaded with us on several occasions to bring her to the party. With neither of us being big “party people,” we weren’t that thrilled with the idea. Especially since we’d be surrounded by their family, and we weren’t sure what their attitudes towards us would be like.
But the aunt had been so nice to us. I felt we owed her that much.
When I called her two days before to ask for directions, she was elated. We still weren’t super confident it was a good idea, and we showed up a little late and planned to leave quite a bit early. Just make an appearance, we thought. We even had a code word for “let’s get out of here.”
We ended up staying three hours.
Contradictory to my fears, nobody pressured us into letting them hold her, and nobody made us feel awkward at all for being there. Rather, they welcomed us into their “family,” and before leaving, a nice older lady stashed some cash into Sweet Pea’s pants, patted her sweet little bottom and said, “Get her something nice.”
The grandma continued to come to the church. She’d hold Sweet Pea and we would talk in the cry room as the band warmed up. She’d share stories about their family, and I’d share stories about ours. I tried to learn more about the birth mom, and would even get the inside scoop on conversations the grandmother had had with her about all that had gone on involving Sweet Pea. An interesting perspective, to say the least.
One Sunday, the grandmother was telling me how a co-worker was giving her grief.
“How could you let your granddaughter be adopted?” he’d asked.
Her response has stuck with me and comforted me, many times over, and is a true testament to how she’s always treated us.
“You don’t understand,” she said…”They’re not adopting my granddaughter… I’m adopting them.”
(To continue the story, click here)