Bags are packed. Seats confirmed. Hearts are ready.
The time has officially arrived! We are leaving for Oregon today to meet our birth mom, Beth and spend the weekend with her and her mom, Dawn. As we head out to meet strangers who will soon be as close as family, a few things are going through my mind. (And by a few, I mean a million :-).
1.) I hope she likes us. Someone described adoption as moving from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat of your life. Knowing that a significant part of my future is contingent upon someone else’s approval of us as parents is a new reality for me. I find myself wondering, will she think we are nice, good parents, trustworthy people? We can’t help but be who we are, yet I’m hoping she enjoys us and says at the end of the weekend, “I like them!”
2.) I hope she feels safe. There is a lot we need to cover on this visit. I’ve heard that a plethora of topics are discussed during these visits from “who do you want in the delivery room” to “what was your relationship with the birth father?” Of course, I don’t plan on bringing ANY of these up but inevitable conversations will arise. It’s amazing to me that you can go from not knowing someone at all to entering into the most intimate details of their lives. I’m asking for favor as we navigate these conversations with her and hoping she feels safe enough to be vulnerable with us.
3.) I hope she has fun. There is so much heaviness with adoption. Based on her texts, I know she is excited to meet us but I’m sure she is also thinking “Do I really want to go through with this?” “This will be so hard to lose my baby.” All these and so many more thoughts must flood her mind on a daily basis. I’m hoping this weekend is a reprieve for her to laugh, enjoy life and just be a teenager again. Luckily, Stu is going on the trip so laughter is guaranteed.
4.) I hope she knows we love her. God has really done an overhaul in my heart in this area. My desire to have a child has been so strong that at points, you see a birth mom as a means to an end. (Now, you may think how dare you say that, but it’s been a thought in my head and I think it’s okay to be real about it.) I was thinking this would be a great relationship to create for a few months or years, send pictures and texts and then go on with our lives and celebrate the addition to “our” family.
BUT GOD has reframed this whole dynamic for me. The minute we were matched with Beth this empathy that was foreign to me became a close friend. I saw her not as “the birth mom for our son” but as a friend and a HUGE part of our future son’s life. God has put a love in my heart for Beth. There is times my breath is taken away just thinking about her courage to place her baby for adoption when everyone around her must have been encouraging her to abort. My eyes light up thinking about how God is restoring her trust as she places her child with friends who will no longer be strangers. My joy is ignited knowing God’s story of redemption will be woven through every element of this journey. God has placed an extreme love in my heart for Beth. It’s unlike anything I thought possible in my selfish nature. I hope she feels a lavish love from Stu and I this weekend as we make her and her needs our utmost priority.
So, we are hours away. I’m nervous and calm, fearful and excited, sober and stoked…all these emotions are running parallel tracks as we head into these next few days.
Last night as these thoughts circulated my brain, I started listening to a version of Because He lives that we did at Gwinnett Church this past Easter. The second verse struck me anew as we head down an unknown and yet decidingly more committed path over these next few days. Here are the lyrics to verse two:
“How sweet to hold a new born baby. And feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still the calm assurance this child can face uncertain days because he lives.
Because he lives. I can face tomorrow. Because he lives. All fear is gone. Because I know, he holds the future and life is worth the living just because he lives.”
These words are such a comfort to me. There is a calm assurance in my heart that God has brought us this far and we can face uncertainty not because we know the future but because he does.
So many of you have asked how you can pray. Here goes…
1.) Pray that Jesus would shine brightly through us this weekend. I pray Beth falls in love with Jesus because we are a tangible expression of him in her life. This is the highest goal of our adoption journey that Jesus and his spiritual adoption of us becomes a reality for her. This is so much bigger than “getting a kid”…eternity is hanging in the balance and for some crazy reason God’s letting us be a part of it…what a privilege!
2.) Pray that our relationship with Beth would take root. It’s going to be an adjustment from texting every day to seeing each other face to face. We would covet your prayers for tons of laughter, memorable moments, real conversations and strong chemistry with one another. There are so many relationships to form between Beth, her mom, Stuart and I and possible even grandparents. We would love your prayers as we begin to solidify these relationships.
3.) Pray for team Espy! We are about to go through a lot in these few days…from emotions to ultrasounds and so much more. I know that our marriage is going to be under attack. Pray for our unity, for peace, for patience as we navigate new roads (literally and figuratively).
Thank you for journeying along with us. What a gift it has been to have a community of people loving us through these days. We can’t wait to report back on our time with Beth. I believe the best way to end this post is to share the video that brought me such peace and comfort last night. As you and I walk through our “uncertain days” we have a calm assurance…thank you Jesus!
Lastly, for those interested in partnering with us financially, there is still a significant amount of fundraising needed. We have partnered with another organization Adopt Together to raise our remaining funds.
All donations are tax-deductible and checks, debit and credit cards are accepted.
For more information visit: https://www.adopttogether.org/00684
Lauren and Stu