Anxiety. I was feeling it unlike I’ve ever experienced before. I was more accustomed to the measurable waiting periods infertility brings-waiting the dreaded 2 weeks every month to come face to face with yet another pregnancy test, waiting 2 weeks after implantation with IVF, waiting 3 hours after blood work to get “the call” while trying to focus at my desk.
This time I was finding myself in uncharted waters-expectant and optimistic waiting with no scheduled benchmarks to think towards. It was becoming difficult to distract myself with the daily routine but I knew and was told every step along the way to “be patient” and to try my best to “stay busy.”
To put things in perspective, we had been waiting for exactly 2 weeks and I started to realize how ridiculous I was being to assume this might happen so quickly for us. Our counselor Kathie had told us all along (after I shared multiple times that impatience is my weakness) that she advises her clients the wait can be 12 to 18 months, and to try to stay very busy and prayerful. I kept hearing it, though I must admit I never believed it for us. I felt deep in my heart that God was going to move quickly now that we had gotten out of our own way, that He was going to take care of my anxious heart in the way only He could.
One small step helped ease my mind a tiny bit as we were told our online profile went live. This is essentially a page on Legacy’s web site with our Dear Birthmother letter broken out into various categories with photos of us as well. It felt reassuring to see us there, to know that there might be a chance our birthmother might see us too.
Two days later, the wait without any updates felt unbearable and so I sent an email to Kathie wondering if we should also apply with one additional agency to broaden our exposure and maybe ease my anxiety a bit. She sent a heartfelt response letting us know she felt we were in very good hands, and that only God can create these matches. Neither she or I are in control and I needed to do my best to stay busy in the meantime. It was exactly what I needed to hear, knowing that with her 20+ years of experience, she said we were exactly where we needed to be. We had been told the next baby that was a possible match for us was due November/December so I decided I would take a step back for a few months, try to live my life and trust the process.
That was a week ago.
On Tuesday, my mom and I went to lunch which we do often. It was like any other lunch except that we didn’t have any exciting updates to talk about. We are both extremely proactive and enjoy having tasks to keep us busy all of the time, but now we were both faced with the daunting wait, and that alone.
That afternoon, I walked over to the coffee shop next to my office for my daily afternoon caffeine boost. I had just picked up my latte when my phone started ringing. I looked down to see Legacy on the caller ID. My heart definitely skipped a beat but I also knew our photo albums were due to arrive that day. I was hoping with everything I had that Tina wasn’t simply calling to tell me they had arrived.
I will never forget the moment. Tina said, “Hi Courtney, I am calling you about a birthmother who is interested in you guys. She is due September 9.” I stepped outside and had to sit down. She went on to say she had been working with this birthmom since early June and that she had gone online, seen our profile, and wanted us. WHAT?! I felt frozen in time. She went on to tell me a little bit more about her and let me know she was meeting with her again the following morning. The initial downside (to us who had now come to expect a somewhat open adoption) was that the birthmother was not interested in meeting. I was also told they were pretty sure it was a girl! (be still my heart) She wanted to know if we would like to be presented to her (which simply means showing her our photo album which in turn expresses our interest in her) and said she would need to know by 8 PM that evening. We hung up and I immediately called Tyler in complete disbelief. Tyler is the absolute calm to my crazy, but I definitely heard some cautious excitement in his voice.
I rushed back to my desk anxiously awaiting an email from Tina with all of the background information on the birthmother. I started reading and just knew right away-this was our birthmom, and that sweet baby was baby Ray. That afternoon was a complete blur as I was in and out of meetings at work, in and out of conversations with Tyler, Kathie and my family.
That evening Tyler and I rushed home as we knew we needed to talk and make this incredibly huge decision in a matter of hours. If I am honest, the only way I know how to describe that feeling and conversation is that it is weird. We were making the decision as to whether this was our future child based on what would never feel like enough information, all in just a few hours. All factors and unknowns aside, we knew we had to trust our guts with this one as we anxiously emailed Tina back that yes, we wanted to be presented! We also asked if the birthmom might reconsider meeting or at least a facilitated phone call, to be able to provide our potential future child with as much information as possible.
We called our families and couldn’t adequately describe our shock and excitement. One of the most touching conversations I had was with my sweet sister-in-law (we always say we can just drop the “in-law”). I called and said, “I have some exciting adoption news, about a baby!” She responded by asking so genuinely if it was “our baby?” I don’t even know where it came from, but this hit me hard and brought big tears to my eyes. Yes, this was our baby, the one we had tried for and prayed for, and committed ourselves to month after month for more than 2 years!
The next day I had a full morning with meetings, and with the meeting with the birthmother scheduled for 11, I was sure to be at my desk with my phone ready around noon. Noon went by, and then 1 o’clock. I was starting to really get nervous when my phone rang around 1:15 PM.
It was Tina again and she said “Congratulations, she wants you guys!” The only stipulation is that she was still not interested in meeting, though perhaps for a minute or 2 at the hospital. I quickly told her that was not a deal-breaker and that we were so excited. She explained the next steps would be some paperwork and then continuing to monitor the pregnancy through doctor and counselor appointments. She then told me she had a sonogram she could send me, and that hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt real-this was a baby, and this was our baby!!
I called Tyler immediately and heard complete excitement in his voice without any restraint. That was so powerful-I think we had almost forgotten what it felt like, just to be free and HAPPY! I sent a quick mass text to our families and felt a huge sense of excitement and celebration in every response. That afternoon I described to a few people feeling like I was in lala land. I just felt up in the clouds, not even able to comprehend what had transpired.
It is absolutely impossible to describe the way Tyler and I felt that night. I’m not sure it felt real, but it felt like the answer to our deepest thoughts and prayers for years. God had heard and God had been knitting this life in her mommy’s womb just for us. All those days and nights when God was silent, He was busy creating the answer to our dreams. It’s amazing how so many hopes and prayers can be wound up in one tiny life. We felt free, we felt ecstatic, and we felt deeply loved.
What a difference a phone call can make.