Wow. The past ten weeks have been a life-changing whirlwind of crazy and awesome and God showing up. So much grace.
About ten weeks ago, on October 26, I was expecting our case worker to call me to set up a gender reveal call with our birth parents. The phone call that I received at 9:30 that morning was something so unexpected that I literally felt my entire world stop, do a few loops in the air, and land on its head:
“Birth Mom has been told that her fluids are low. She is going to the hospital today to be induced.” Today?! TODAY!!!!
Before the call my plans for the week were:
- Work on Nursery
- Prepare to smoothly depart for Maternity Leave from job
- Make Freezer Meals
- Go on a Fancy Date with Ben
The plans for that day suddenly turned into:
- Call Ben and let him know to come home from work – we’re having a baby!
- Purchase the earliest flight possible to try to get to Ohio in time for baby’s birth.
- Pack everything you think you, the Baby, and Ben will need for the next two weeks
- Excitedly call work to let them know you won’t be in… for a really long time.
- Call Ben’s Mom and ask if she’d like to make a little trip to Ohio that week.
- Call Best Friend to ask if she would feed your cats, check your mail, take your perishable food, etc.
- and what am I forgetting?!
I was amazed by how calm I felt as I ticked items off the list. Things fell into place SO well. We found a direct flight that would depart that evening and get us there by 11 PM – literally the earliest we could arrive in Ohio (Please wait for us to come, Baby). Ben’s Mom would drive us to the airport. We had everything we needed due to the amazing baby shower my best friends threw for me two days earlier. Friends and coworkers stepped up to pick up the slack while we were gone. Everything we needed was supplied and at 3:00 PM we were on our way to DIA to take the flight of our lives!
We arrived in rainy Ohio on time and jumped into our rental car. Nerves were all over the place – so excited, so scared, so hard to believe that this was actually happening! We arrived at the hospital at midnight – right on time as planned. We anxiously sat in the car as we processed how we arrived there and what would happen next. We said a quick prayer and entered the hospital.
The lady at the front desk graciously told us where Birth Parents were. We made it in time. We entered their room, knowing that these are the people who would change our lives forever. We sat together for about 1.5 hours, getting to know each other, making big and small talk. It was amazing and awkward and beautiful. They were so thoughtful toward us. They both continued to reassure us that this is the right choice. That they want this to be as close to our going through the birthing process as possible. That this child is ours. Wow. What a gift! We were prepared to step back to allow them all of the time and room they needed and wanted with Baby, instead, they threw him into our open arms with such grace and power I knew it was nothing short of a miracle.
In the first few minutes of our arrival, Birth Dad mentioned casually that it’s a boy. Ben and I jumped up and down with joy as it dawned on him that we didn’t know yet. This was our gender reveal! As we celebrated, they asked us what his name will be. We swiftly told them the name we came up with a few weeks ago. Soon after that we left the room while the doctor checked on Birth Mom’s progress. In those few moments Baby’s name changed completely.
There was a name we loved years ago – so many years and so many experiences ago it was forgotten. It was the name we first loved and chose when we started trying to have a baby. It was the name that came back to us now with such peace that we knew it was his true name name: Jonathan David. Jonathan means “Yahweh has Given”. David means “Beloved”. He certainly is our Beloved Gift from God. It was perfect!
The next events happened so fast it’s hard to believe they were real. Birth parents invited me to hold one of Birth Mom’s legs and Ben to cut Jonathan’s umbilical cord. If you’ve ever experienced birth from the south end you understand the next part. After witnessing our son’s birth I will never be the same again. It was an absolute miracle. After when seemed like very little time our Jonathan David arrived. I stood there shocked, praying I wouldn’t faint. Not knowing how to even feel. Here he is! He’s here! He’s crying like crazy. He’s perfect!!
Jonathan David was born Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 1:48 AM. He was 6 lbs, 8 oz and 19 3/4 inches long.
Birth Parents wanted us to hold him first. I held Jonathan and was overwhelmed with a love that I knew would never be broken. The love of a Mother for her Son. The Son not of my body but of my Heart. The one I had waited for for so long was here. My son who was prayed into existence. My soul was completely overwhelmed with joy.
Ben and Birth Mom held him too. We all ooed and ahhed over his adorableness. The miraculousness of it all. I gave Jonathan his first bottle. Then I awkwardly tried to figure out how to burp someone who was born only minutes ago. Finally the nurse shuffled the three of us off to our room and Birth Parents rested.
It was quite the night. By the time all of the medical checks were over, it was past 3 AM. Before I knew it, the three of us were alone in our room. Ben and I were once again overwhelmed. This little life is ours to take care of. We spent the whole night rocking, staring, and loving this little baby.
We learned so much in that 24 hours. Jonathan is a miracle in more ways than one. When he was born his umbilical cord contained a true knot. We learned that often this type of knot will result in still birth. On further investigation, we learned that the most dangerous time for this type of knot is after the 37th week. Jonathan was delivered at 37 weeks. God is good!
The next days crawled by. There is a waiting period after Baby is born until Birth Parents can terminate their rights. In each state the period is a different length. In Ohio it was three days. This was the scariest time of the whole process. Despite Birth Parents stating their confidence in the adoption placement multiple times, there is now a real flesh and blood baby in the picture. Would they change their plan? It’s not unheard of. We had to be prepared for anything. Thankfully on the afternoon of the third day, they chose to sign the papers. I was incredibly relieved and thankful and amazed! Jonathan David is our baby!
There were many more moments of beauty and grace surrounding Jonathan David’s first days. We spent hours rocking, feeding, and bonding. We brought him ‘home’ to our hotel room and waited for the interstate paperwork to be completed. Finally, when Jonathan was two weeks old, we flew back to Colorado. While we were gone amazing family and friends set up our nursery, cleaned our house, took care of our cats, picked up our many packages and mail, and so much more. We are so grateful for our community!
Now that we’ve been home for about two months, the dust is starting to settle. Life has taken on a new normal. I am so satisfied with being Jonathan’s mother. It’s an exhausting and at times anxious kind of work… but it is so rewarding. I think I’m only just now starting to understand how to ask God for help in this job. We have an adoption finalization date in May (there’s a six-month waiting period in Colorado) and we are enjoying watching Jonathan learn and grow every day. Much more to process in the future.
Let me just a huge THANK YOU to everyone who generously, prayed, processed, and gave during this past year plus. We were able to cover all adoption-related expenses and we had just enough. God provided so beautifully throughout the process. He used you to do it. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.