Friday, June 15, 2018

It's All Grace--A Story About Answered Prayer

On February 21st, 2018 at 3:00 in the afternoon, we had been in the packed L & D waiting room for about 12 hours and we were going on just two hours of sleep. There was a full moon that night and, as they say, that's when all the babies come!  

I kept reliving the phone call at 1:00 am.  The call which became the best reason  in the world to get up in the middle of the night that we have ever had! …

our baby was on her way to meet the world!  

Heath and I were booking it to get to the hospital a few hours away through a big-time thunderstorm with torrential rain but it didn't slow us down! God made the wettest of roads safe that night, preparing a way for us as He had been doing throughout this entire adoption process.  If an obstacle was about to arise, be it financial or interpersonal or come what may, every. single. time. we went to Him about it, and He calmed that storm!  This night was no different. 

Now, there we were, sitting hopeful with the diaper bag full to the brim and a blanket under the bright fluorescent lights of the crowded waiting room.  I was full from Starbucks coffee and the breakfast Heath picked up that morning and the delicious Blaze pizza we had for lunch.  It was an extraordinary day! On extraordinary days, you either eat too much or not enough. Up until that moment I was eating to pass the time, but now as I received text after text with updates on our birth mom's progression, I was full from excitement and anxiety -- emotions were running high for me, which I expected. One of our lawyers was sitting across from us as we anxiously awaited. How do you act normal when your life is about to change?  When your prayer is being answered?  I thought my heart was going to pump out of my chest as I tried to look somewhat calm.

I look over at Heath who had been watching the Olympic games on the small tv wedged in the corner of the room, along with a couple dozen other people as they are waiting on daughters, mothers, wives and sisters to deliver.  In a room full of people, we were the only parents waiting on our child to come.  It's like you are carrying the most delightful secret you want to let everybody in on!  

This time in the waiting room, I was the new Mom!

Even as we sat there, we were still trusting and believing God for a beautiful delivery and healthy baby.  It's a faith walk till the finalization. Every step, trusting.

My phone buzzed...we received the text message!!  It came with a picture as beautiful as I have ever known in my whole life!

She's here!!!

I glanced at Heath through tears welling fast in my eyes.

Heath, our daughter is here!  Here she is!!!  I show the photo with shaky hands.  

A chubby baby girl with a round face and a perfect dark head of hair!

Thank you, Jesus!!!!!  Thank you, Lord!!! 

We stand, cry and embrace each other not as you see grandparents or aunts do in the waiting room, but our emotion came as parents whose daughter just arrived!!!

We experienced our daughter's arrival in the packed waiting room...which is so fitting since we have been in a waiting room for about 12 years with the Lord, as we've sought for a baby and surrendered ultimately to His will.

We couldn't believe the moment had finally arrived after not just a series of months, but we had waited through our entire marriage for this moment to be in the hospital at the arrival of our baby.

The next couple hours were no less a whirlwind of emotions as we waited to meet her.  I was not sure exactly how the details would pan out but I knew we would be in the room and handed a life that another beautiful woman grew and nourished and labored and delivered.  There's a feeling you can't quite explain, unless you experience it for the person who purposefully hands their baby over to you. There's a deep respect for this birth momma, this respect that feels and looks different from any I've had.

She made and bore the child I could not.

I parent and raise the child she could not.

This is when the crux of it all comes to be. This beautiful soul of a woman blesses me by literally handing over this child out of love, and I bless her by giving this child a future full of hope and love.

It's all grace. It's all by the grace of God!  Grace that an infertile woman is able to be a mom and lovingly raise children at all!  That our family can grow and that babies are born not from me but for me.  By the grace of God alone.... and I'm profoundly aware of that and thankful beyond belief!

It's grace for this birth mom, and I pray sincerely she realizes it even more each day! Grace that her child can be raised in the stability and love of a home that will never dissolve.  That she'll have siblings and cousins and grandparents who will cherish her and share the love of Jesus with her throughout her entire life.

It's grace that God gives second chances!

Rosemary Grace was born February 21st.  It's the day our hearts were burst open bigger than I ever could even imagine!  All my children have grown my heart-- don't get me wrong!!-- but I have never been handed an innocent baby from someone who chose us. That innocent life, not planned on earth but on purpose by God, handed to me was a sacred moment.

That day, I honestly fell in love with my husband all over again!  After years of getting on our knees together, receiving answered prayer together, hurting & losing together, watching the as we walked through The Refiner's fire together, we came back out with hands in surrender to God and now with our feet dancing with joy. Yes, I have never been more in love with my man since our honeymoon like I was when this babe of our was born!

Those few days in the hospital we experienced a myriad of emotion and that's what adoption will do!  It's not straight forward!  You have to go into it flexible and trusting in God because there are so many things out of your hands until it's finalized.  But adoption is a story of redemption and of second chances! It's a story that mirrors the gospel of Christ and how he has adopted me into His family.

Our Rosemary Grace is 16 weeks now, and it's been possibly the best 16 weeks of my adult life!  I'm still sleep deprived and living on coffee every day, but the thankfulness and joy that resides in my heart as a mom to my 3 is the song of my life right now.  It's the one He has written and had all along, I just finally turned that page.

It's all grace and it's all because He is a good Father!

                                              Very first time rocking her.  I'm in love!!!!!

Cheeks for days! Born 8 lbs. 15 oz.  21 1/2 in. long

First time Heath held her.  Priceless!!!

First time feeding her.  Glorious day.

First picture/selfie of the three of us!  So tired and sooo happy!

Going home!  Praise God from whom all blessing flow!!!

Our first family photo together!  She's 4 days old here, and it's our big girl's 7th birthday.

(I wanted to add here that for some reason my text turned out very wonky in this post. I am so sorry about that and will change it if I can, but I'm doing my best not to delay writing and publishing anymore -- so that's why it is what it is!  Thanks for understanding and I hope it doesn't detract from the story too much.)


Ryan said...

Congratulations Leslie and family!

We just had our baby girl 8 weeks ago....and she is such a blessing from God and I am SOO in love!!!

Your Rosemary Grace is a beautiful blessing. May God bless ya'll always.

Alex = )

Heath said...

Ryan, Congratulations to you!!! Awww, babies are definitely amazing miracles! Enjoy your sweet daughter!