As I was texting her - she texted me.
"Do you know anyone looking to adopt? The girl that told me she is pregnant is wanting to give her baby up...& I just thought you might know someone :)"
In reply I wrote.
"Um us. Duh ;)"
....then I called her.
From the call I discovered (other than our giddy excitement and disbelief) that she just recently discovered she was pregnant. Her and Lesa went to the Pregnancy Care Center together - where she was told she was approximately 7 months. I was then told she was going to the doctor soon to discover sex and get a more accurate assessment and an actual physical check up of baby.
Through the day she and I began to talk - it was immediate. I was a bit apprehensive how easy it was to talk to her and get to know her.
Through all of this I contacted Ben - in which he replied he would be praying about it. Note: Since Pax - this was not our first call on another baby there have been 4. 2 new borns, a 7 month old and very recently a 4 month old. All of which we never had a peace about. That evening Ben texted and said "I wish I had an uneasiness - but I don't."
My response was - "It feels like Pax."
Him - "I know. Just let me know what you hear. I'll be praying"
The next morning I recieved a text early. I was told it was a boy. And that baby was due the 17th -25th.
I waited...wondering, "okay what month." Probably due to being in the "boonies" I assumed it was delayed due to that..
The response in all caps - "OF THIS MONTH."
Again I contacted Ben. I was going to be seeing him that night to pick up for foster classes in Springfield. We would have the 2 1/2 hour drive there and again back to talk about it all.
At this point Lesa, Birth mom and I are on a group text - and doing the only thing we know how to do - CELEBRATE!
This was unreal.
She was honest about her pregnancy, her drinking consumption, birth father, why she didn't think she was pregnant and etc. She reminded me so much of Lesa. And I was comforted that she was seeking advice and help from a woman who had already done it and knows us well. Lesa was like the advocate - the glue - the connection.
Plans were arranged that we would officially meet face to face on Sunday. Until then we talked, texted and celebrated quietly.
From my interaction with her the past few days I already knew it was settled in her mind. Ben, being at camp was behind as far as information or any intimacy with birth mom - because he was wrangling youth kids, eating gross things for points and shaving that thing off his face :)....
She came to church with Lesa Sunday and after we met in the connection foyer. It was love at first sight. We embraced - I rubbed her belly - that barely looked 5-6 months, and we made arrangements to meet for lunch.
Lesa came along as well as my littlest sister, who was visiting and helping tremendously with Pax. It was instant. I just wanted to hold her hand the whole time she talked. She was kind and compassionate and it was much like Lesa & my encounter (which was also at McAlister's - weird - it gets weirder). It's like we wanted to embrace but the social norm would say too soon...and Jamie doesn't fit in it - yet I restrained and tried (for Ben's sake) to remain "normal."
She explained that her parents didn't know and she wanted to tell them and her aunt and brother. Her family is very close and explained they would be shocked but very supported. She is very grounded, working multiple jobs, only to start a great paying one on the 17th. She is turning 22 this month and has been supporting herself and living on her own since high school graduation. She said she would most likely be delivering at Mercy (which gave me peace of mind and a familiarity - knowing they would hopefully get us a room like we had with Pax). We kind of talked about if she wanted me in the room and such - in which she agreed and even offered it to Ben. I could go into the logistics of how she really didn't know she was pregnant - all legitimate - but it's really no ones business and not my place.
We parted on beautiful terms and she told me she would update me on doctors appointments and her meeting with her parents.
Tuesday she arranged to tell her parents and texted me late to say she had, it is all well and she would talk to me in the morning about the details.
Wednesday - I was given permission to announce baby. Ben and I saw "Thatcher" a couple weeks prior (before there was even word of a baby) and said if we ever had a baby boy that we were given the opportunity to name - we would want it to be Thatcher. I have always like the name Blue. It's different, NOT THE NORM, and this situation (like Pax's) was definitely out of the BLUE. Paxton's name was going to be (or at least I was pulling for) Oliver Blue. In which Ben said "if' we had another boy I could give them the middle name Blue. I'm certain he never figured we'd have the opportunity - GOTCHA SUCKER!
I had been talking to birth mom and Lesa all day and at one point wanted Lesa to bring me a pie from VI. It was then decided by Lesa - after I had literally drug everything 'baby' out of the attic - that they BOTH were coming over...lovely. I'm a clean freak - she was gonna see all kinds of real! I went to do a friend's hair and when I came back that evening they were already in the house waiting for me...yes Lesa has free access to my house (if you don't already know - I'm not the norm - call me weird later).
There she was....Pregnant with my baby in my livingroom floor playing with my first born with my first birth mom...I told you - not the norm. We hung out, she told me about her meeting with her parents and we set up a time to meet them collectively...which was suppose to be Sunday. We then casually talked about post delivery and didn't really make anything concrete because she was still unsure on some details. She did want me to be in the room, hold baby first and cut cord..but she didn't know if wanted to see him or not. In which, I suggested she talk with Lesa about all of that.
They left late and we hugged and planned on seeing each other Sunday.
Thursday and Friday I had the most uncanny surge of nesting. I was bummed because baby wasn't coming for another ten days or so (which I was grateful for - babies need to bake well)..but that the house was going to get gross again. None-the-less AND with the help of the most incredible support system in the world (my friends and DC family) I already had all the big stuff. Carseat was cleaned - I would get a diaper bag and things for it next monday, when I ordered my gift for birth mom - and we would be set temperarially with the essentials.
Then I received a text from Lesa encouraging me to check in with birth mom. We had already been texting most of the day. She had even called that morning to tell me she was getting in unexpectedly to the doctor to check baby, vitals, measurements and the like - and that I was welcome to come (even though she just found out 15 minutes prior)..due to the time and commitments...and that her parents wanted to go with her...I told her next time - which she totally agreed.
So in response to Lesa. It was getting to be late in the day I went ahead and texted her and asked straight out - "So for real - how are you doing with all of this?"
She seemed apprehensive. She explained that she knows this is what God wants her to do but she doesn't think she can be obedient to it.
I lost it.
First I wasn't going to Africa this next trip and now God is teasing me with a baby....
I shifted my thinking and explained to her that I was glad she was dealing with all of this. We would not want a birth mom that considered this an easy decision. I told her our priority is her and we want she feels is best.
She said she just felt rushed and explained it was her fault but that she didn't know if she could just give up her child...if she was strong enough emotionally.
I affirmed what Ben and I felt: that we would love this baby but that our first concern is with her. Even if baby didn't come home with us that him and her would be prayed for on a daily basis (as if he was in this home) and that I would help her get what she needed.
Saturday early morning, the door alarm chimes as Ben heads out for work so I decide I really should get up before the lively chicken, also known as Paximus, wakes up. I head to the kitchen to start coffee and decide my best interests lie in God's Word - and if I make coffee, I'm gonna look at my phone and I'm going to start this beautiful day off way wrong. So I divert to the living room and seek Him.
- God -
You are my God the one that has delivered me from myself. I have a son and a free home. Though we struggle I know you've asked me to step and prepare my home, set the atmosphere and be a bride to my husband. If not going to Africa this year, living on a prayer for every bill or holding a new baby in your arms is your will - THEN I NEED YOU AND YOUR BUTT IN THIS LIVING ROOM TO RESOLVE MY HEART. SETTLE IT IN MY MIND, HEART AND SOUL THAT YOU, ALONE ARE MY REWARD...and every thing else is just bonus.
His butt showed up :)...His graced washed me...His peace consumed me.
....Then my phone went off....
It was birth mom. She was headed to the hospital - stating she was in SEVERE pain. She said she would call and let me know what was up.
Assuming it was Braxton Hicks... I was a little rattled but began to plan my day accordingly.
She calls me - it's her mom. We made our introductions and she explains that she is being admitted and is a 7. She then asks, "Are you ready to have a baby today?"
"Yes - very much so." was my verbal reply.... Internally I was singing another tune..."Oh my God, Jesus you are not funny and I can't believe this is happening!"
So I try to call Ben and he ISN'T ANSWERING. Men.
I then call my mom and tell her. She arranges to come as soon as she can to take Pax. Until then I called another friend, Tracy to see if her daughter Taylor could come watch Pax - while I went to the hospital. As I waited...I called Ben again..
He could not believe it..
Then I called my neighbor and my "arm raiser" - Alicia, who came over until Taylor could come...
I resolved in my mind that I was gonna just get dressed, spend some moments with Pax (who just woke up) and grab my camera and purse. The diaper bag, carseat and etc can wait - they will work themselves out. Completely NOT like Paxton's arrival.
By the time I left birth mom's mother had texted and she was now at an 8 1/2.
What!!! Isn't this her first baby?!?!
As I was driving I'm trying to call Ben's mom and sisters... and catch my mother up to speed.
This was happening...
Is this real life...
Yesterday I was probably not getting this baby...
"Seek the Kingdom of God[d] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." Matthew 6:33-34
How true this was...
When I arrived at the hospital I already had so much favor. A lot of the nurses either knew me from doing their hair, being there for Paxton's birth, or reading Lesa and my blog...Such God's favor.
I was then greeted by a nurse who I was told would be baby and my nurse...
This was different.
I was then taken to a room in Labor and Delivery and told this is where adoption families wait "due to these circumstances."
"So she's decided she doesn't want me in delivery room."
Nurse, "NO, no she wants you there. She does not want to see baby."
From there she shows the back way from her room (I laughed because her delivery room was also Lesa's two years prior). Nurse explains logistic of birth plan: baby will remain low, she will have a curtain, she wants you to cut cord and take baby in the other room...then she directs me to the neighboring room where I will have baby...
Well. I guess she's decided.
I then am instructed more and released to see her.
As I enter the room - I'm greeted by birth mom's mother. She explains birth mom just received her epidural and has been a trooper. Her mother and I hit it off - which was totally God. They included me or asked my opinion on all of it. She was now a 9.
Her water hadn't yet broke. A family member of hers had pull and she was able to get a very sought after OB/GYN (my favorite)..rather than a hospitalist. He came in on his day off.
Before He arrived, we met with the social worker (unlike Lesa's which we met the day of discharge). She informed us I would not have access to baby until a Power of Attorney was signed and Noterized...
What. Birth mom wanted baby to be held and loved on the whole time in hospital. The option only allowed me to be called to feed baby in a supervised room. I didn't emotionally invest in it - God brought two people to mind and I called them about noterizing. Within 30 minutes, social worker had discovered a general hospital P.O.A. and God had provided a Notery. Totally God - I had never met her - she was a friend of my friend, Stacey and explained she never had saturdays free but she was free all day and could be there as soon as 15 minutes after birth. P.O.A and Notery couldn't happen till after birth.
God was in all the details - it was undeniable to everyone.
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in EVERY DETAIL of their lives." Psalm 37:23
Birth mom and I chatted, laughed and shared tender moments. We giggled that she just that she was just having braxton hicks contractions from midnight til 6 then it really started getting uncomfortable. She said it was every 10 minutes. She's a tough cookie. We texted Lesa details, as she was at work. We giggled about it being the same room my first son was born in. We then exchanged information (that I knew we would need for future paperwork - just to get it out of the way) and I sent her the way we wanted baby's name spelled, upon her request. It was all God, not awkward at all. There was so much peace and joy in the room - even birth mom and her mom commented about it.
In all seriousness she also took all the rapidness as God answer to her request the night before - she had nothing to take in this child and she knew it was His way of saying - They are ready and are who I have for this boy. I thought that was so big of her.
Then doctor came in in casual clothes to do introductions and break water before getting into what he joked as his 'real clothing.' As he went to break her water - it just broke on its own. The chick is superwoman.
Nurse came in a little after 12 to start practicing pushing. Birth mom caught on and in a rush to catch up with her nurses and doctor assembled quickly.
The rest is a blur. In two pushes, at 12:28 pm. - Thatcher Blue joined the world. Baby stayed behind curtain that was drawn across birth mom - only I could see her face of heart break. She looked at me as they set up cord to be cut and said "I love you" to me...I lost it. I cut cord as fast as I could to get baby and his beautiful cry out from her presence. He was then fully wrapped and handed to me behind curtain as we transfered to neighboring room. I got all the birth on me and it was awesome. As I laid him down, I held his little hands and kissed his sweet nose. They weighed and measured him.
Nurses followed to help take pictures of me with him and record his first few moments of life while I held his hand through them. The bond was instant. I was looking at my son. They helped remove my clothes so could lay down and immediately do skin to skin.
Birth mom texted me at 1:30 to ask "How is momma and baby doing? You guys good and doing skin on skin?" -This woman's verbal generosity did not stop there. She had just delivered by son and was thanking me and telling me how grateful she was for Ben and I!!!! Unbelievable.
From that point - a sweet friend and her family (Brandi, Kevin & Darin) came in delivering our overnight bags, lunch for us and birth mom and lots of love. Brandi was the first one to hold him after Ben and I and it was an honor. We had all we needed thanks to Alicia packing (even our scivvies)...thanks girl!
We went into her room again to deliver food and sign P.O.A. so we could continue to have baby Blue after 3. She was stunning and didn't even look pregnant...it was sickening. But in all seriousness we were all grateful for the incredible delivery and how fast she was already recovering. She kept repeating - "I'm really overjoyed Jamie and Ben, I'm totally at peace...it's uncanny...only God." It was great for her mom to hear and see it all. We hugged and I kissed her sweet forehead and committed to come see her after she rested.
My mom had arrived at my house and was with Pax...people were there finishing last minutes and cleaning it even more. And our nurse came in with lovely news that we were actually getting a recovery room.
As we were being wheeled the nurse talked to us about how awesome God was in all of this...as we approached our recovery room - we both laughed - it was Lesa's old recovery room (ours with Pax was right next door)...God and his humor...
This was unreal - we had baby the whole time...We bonded - texted friends - shared pictures...
We didn't have this as much with Pax because the hospital was more for Lesa to spend time with him before she terminated her rights. That was hard but it was all God and so perfect for then.
Birth mom texted and asked how we were and that she was up and awake. I went to her room once Lesa arrived that evening - due to us having guests. The visitor security guard knew us well ;). When I came in - it was birth mom and her mother and Lesa and her groom. We laughed and shared and compared deliveries. The Holy Spirit was in that room. His Presence was there and her mom was witnessing God's grace and holy love story. Birth mom had no complaints. She was happy and grateful - we shared some tender eye contact. I then hugged her and her mother and Lesa, Austin and I headed back to baby.
Lesa was just taken away by all of it. She walked into the room she spent her tender moments in with her boy - before she loaded him in a carseat and sent him home with a couple that wasn't her...
And now she holds a baby she had a hand in connecting, the brother to the one she gave us...
It was tender, priceless, perfect and ALL TO HIM GOES ALL THE GLORY!!!!!!
It really should be a reality tv show....lol. (trying to bring in some humor - can't stay sappy for too long).
The next morning the birth mom texted us to wish Ben a Happy Father's Day - and in her humor she said "You are welcome :)" She then again expressed that she was still beyond good with everything and so grateful to have met us.
I went to her room that a.m. to spend some time with her. It was lovely. Her mom followed me back to our room to see Thatcher and hold him. Our walk is one I won't forget - very much like my time with Lesa's mom as Lesa rested and we ate dinner. She was grateful, expressing her continued support and telling me her daughters love for us. It was exactly what I needed. As a woman, I could not do what she did - it's hard knowing we are connected to that pain and loss. So to hear that she knows its hard - she also truly believe it what God wants and she wants to be obedient to Him.
Birth mom and I continued to talk through the day until she was released.
I went to her room one last time to pray over her. She was stunning, thin and moving aroung. God is good - He was holding her up. I got choked up being able to see - what all of my friends were praying for...her speedy recovery. She even mentioned she could tell people were praying for her.
I prayed, we wept and we embraced.
I lost it on my way back to my room. Nurses looked concerned but also aware I was the "mother" of the BUFA baby (Baby Up For Adoption).
The next day birth mom started her new job and made time to come up to the hospital to complete the rest of the papers we needed to go home and start adoption process. She was going out of her way to make sure all was set right for us. It is God. She wanted to know how he was doing and how we were adjusting and even how Pax responded. Her compassion and tender care towards us is mind blowing.
Even now we talk throughout the day and plan to meet up later this week. I just adore her and I'm so grateful she has Lesa to walk with her in the next phase. She is seeking professional counseling and journaling all of it...possibly (what Lesa's says) a "Love Connection Part 2"....oh dear.
She still has not seen baby and doesn't want to see him till the adoption is final. Please pray for favor and abundant blessings over her. Pray God heals her emotionally and physically in Christ name.
Today as I stare at my 4 day old - I laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25) - For we truly have no idea what a day holds and God knows all of it. So I choose to DAILY trust Him and FEED on His Word...