Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Intensely Praying

This year, 2013, was going to be the year that I was going to be a mother. I was going to have a brown-eyed, brown haired beautiful daughter through adoption. Well that is at least how I imagined her to be. I imagined her looking like her biological mother. I don't even know what her father looks like. I suppose she could have blonde hair and blue eyes. I know that I will never know and it will always just be a vision that I once had in my head. 6 months of my life was devoted in prayer to this mother and her child and I prayed more passionately for her and for us than I have ever prayed before. I felt that intense pull calling me into prayer up until a few weeks ago when I felt God telling me that the season of prayer for them was over and that I can continue to pray for them but not at the same intensity that I was. It just wasn't good for me to do so. I had a job to do and I did it. I am not sure what exactly God was doing in all that but that He was doing something. Something I may only understand in heaven. Throughout the whole experience, I felt that God wanted us to adopt her, but He never told me the ending to the story. There were only 2 times in the last 6 months where I heard God plain as if John was talking to me. The first time was in October when we found out our birthmother was considering changing her mind but she just wasn't sure so we were hopefuls for about 2 months while she figured it out. We were giving her $400 a month and both John and I thought about stopping our payment while we waited for an answer. A completely reasonable thing to do given the circumstance. John and I talked. As I was typing out an email to our lawyer to explain to him that we were going to stop our financial support until she was sure of her decision, God told me "no, you need to continue to support her." So I went upstairs and told John what God said and he said "ok then write the check" and I did faithfully for the next several months. Then in December, I received a text message from her saying that she was adamant about us adopting, that we were better for her daughter than just her and she wanted us to parent and she was sure." I thought everything was great so I wrote the check for January. On January 8th, John called me while I was in MN visiting my cousin for her wedding. He was set to arrive 2 days later. He told me that it was over that she had emailed our lawyer to say she couldn't do it and was going to parent her child. The lawyer told us that he was going to see what he could do to recover our money. It was never about the money, but we told him that he could try if he wanted and that if January's payment could be recovered that would be great as she obviously already knew her decision when she picked up the Jan. check. I will be honest, I was mad about it and I did want the money back. I wanted it back so that we could put it toward another adoption. She never went to counseling to get help in making this very big decision. I did feel deceived. I felt betrayed. I felt lied to. I felt like my whole world was turned upside down. I think I was in denial at the same time. John never believed it was to happen anyway and I don't think his family did either. I guess they were protecting themselves. I thought it was going to happen. I was optimistic. And now, at this point I didn't know what to think. Several weeks went by and I was still a hopeful thinking that she would still change her mind. There was a month until the due date and another month for her to see what parenting was all about. I am always hopeful. Sometimes I think that is a good thing and other times I think to myself just face the facts you silly girl. I got back from MN and 2 weeks went by. Week One: I watched my friend's 3 foster kids; Week Two: I got the flu from my nephew, Sam. On the first day of Week Three: I was better from the flu and my (almost) daughter was born. She was born 3 weeks earlier than her due date. I didn't even know it. I was still praying intensely through this time. I still had what I thought was at least 6 weeks of hopefulness left within me. I wasn't ready to give up yet. My date to give up was on my 9th anniversary, March 20th. Only because it was about one month past her due date. I figured she would have time to try parenting and see if she really could do it. I texted her randomly within the 6 week time frame with no response. I honestly didn't expect one. Then one day on my way to watch my niece, Emma, God spoke to me clear as day again for the second time. God said text her and tell her: "Hi I know JH (lawyer) contacted you about repaying the money. I just wanted to tell you that I care so much more for you and baby than the money. You don't have to repay the money. I think of you as a little sister and friend. The money was a gift! :) All I want for you and baby is for you both to know God and grow in a deep relationship with Jesus! :) Love Always, Erin" I really did mean what I said and God gave me strength. I still felt deceived by her but I desperately wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she really didn't know what to do. I just don't know and I still am not sure. All I know is that God wanted me to give her the money so I sent the text. And I gave it willingly. God told me that He can and will give us more money when we need it, but she needed it now and He needed me to give it to her. So I did. This time she responded. It was nice, it was informative, it included details about the birth. It was heart wrenching for me. My denial switched to grief as I came to the realization that she had already been parenting for 3 weeks. My window of hopefulness was closed. I had the closure that I needed. It was what I needed, but it wasn't what I wanted. The intensity that I felt for them faded and God gave me a sense of peace about it. Peace meaning I knew He (God) had it under control. I was still sad and for the next 3 weeks after that (my life has been evolving in sets of 3 weeks) I felt more and more sad each day. I was suppose to be getting better, but I was only getting worse. Random baby commercials made me cry. I heard what her mother named her more times than I had ever heard that name before. I would forget to just be reminded by the smallest, weirdest things. I hope they are happy. I hope they are safe. I hope they have the support they need. I will pray for them off and on for a long time. But praise the Lord that He has allowed me to move my intensity to new people and new situations.

We are now in a state of mind where we are not sure what lies ahead of us. We have many options, but feel only one calling strongly and that is foster care. It is different this time than last time. I feel more committed to the children that we are to parent and I feel more called than I did last time. Will we ever reopen the doors in our past. Possibly. But only after God instructs us to. Do I secretly hope that God will open and bless my womb. Definitely. Do I want adopted children and foster children. Absolutely.

Coming up on March 20th, I will have been married 9 years and in those 9 years we have been relatively child-free minus the few months we spent fostering twin babies and the many days I spend watching my nieces and nephew. I know I am capable of being a great mother and I do want the ability to prove myself in that challenge and be blessed by the wonders of children. I know it will be extremely difficult especially in the way in which I feel God leading us. I know foster care may lead to even greater and more challenging heartache and heartbreak. Losing many children in the last year (2 miscarriages and 1 adoption) was awful, but the thought of losing a child that I will parent, see with my own eyes, and love may be unbearable. Knowing that they call me mommy and then they have to go to a relative they never met or back to the mommy that abandoned them in the first place. Only God will give us the strength for this.  I am scared about the future. Mostly of the unknown. I pray I am a good and faithful servent.

I think the interesting thing for me now that I know pregnancy is a long stretch is that any child I take into my home is deliberate and chosen. I know having biological children is a choice too, but a choice that many do without ever really thinking about what it means to be a parent. By the time the reality sinks in that they are indeed going to be a parent they are one. Now it is just parenthood and they are either surviving or loving the new adventure that is their life. Good parents, love their children and give them everything they have to give sacrificing oneself in the process and possibly longing for the days when they were not parents. Not that they want to give their kids back, but they just want one day of peace or a 5 hour nap. I assumed that once I was pregnant I would rise to the challenge of parenting, be thrilled and terrified of what was to come and jump in with both feet. God would choose my children and I would be a parent. With the private adoption, God designed and inspired the events of the last 6 months. The thing is now I am terrified and excited about the future because I feel how do I know what child to choose, what placement to take? I guess I will just continue to pray intensely for God to show me. That is all I know to do. 

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