When planning Little Bug’s birthday party I would not plan her party for today, May 29th, because I do not like the date May 29th.
I know that may seem strange, so let me explain.
We had a waiting period of 81 hours from the time of Little Bug’s birth to getting the call from our lawyer saying Tracy had signed the consent and Little Bug was officially ours.
I know for some states, there can be a waiting period of 30 days for the birth mother to change her mind. To me, that is torture, for both adoptive parents and birth parents. In our state, Tracy could sign the consent after 48 hours of Little Bug’s birth.
Originally,we were set to do the signing at 9am on Friday, May 29th, just over 48 hours after Little Bug’s birth.
I will forever remember the drop in my heart as we pulled into the parking garage around 7pm on the night of May 28th for a visit with Tracy and Little Bug at the hospital.
My cell phone rang as we were getting out of the car. It was the lawyer and she told me words that ripped my heart right out of my chest.
She told me that Tracy didn’t want to sign the next day. My mind was literally swirling as I tried to comprehend whether she didn’t want to sign, period, or if this was just a delay.
I could barely keep myself together as I made my way up to the hospital room. I sat holding Little Bug completely torn whether I should allow myself to love her or if I would walk out of that hospital room and never see her sweet little face again.
It was agony.
In the back of my mind there was always the knowledge that I was holding a baby that was not yet officially mine.
As soon as the visit ended, I was back on the phone with the lawyers who tried, to the best of their knowledge, to fill me in on what was going on.
I can’t go into details (sorry), but I can say that I knew I was completely out of control of the situation and there was nothing I could do to sway the outcome of this situation – except wait.
And so began the LONGEST twenty-four hours of my life.
On the way home from the hospital on the night of the 28th, Dave and I stopped at the gas station just down the street from our subdivision. I was sitting there in the passenger seat staring off into space when my sister-in-law’s roommate (who happens to also be my friend) pulled up in her car beside me. She got out of her car and walked over to me.
“Congratulations!", she said. When she asked how I was doing I started to cry as I shared with her what was really going on. The compassion in her eyes was the genuine concern of a sister in Christ. I poured my heart out to her and together we got the idea to have a prayer meeting at my house that night.
I called some close family and friends who came over to our house that night to pray with us. There was a somber, yet hopeful mood in my home that evening.
Everyone took turns just pouring their hearts out to God on our behalf and pleaded with Him to please allow this precious baby girl to be our daughter. And yet, even though it was so hard to pray, everyone prayed God’s will be done – even if it meant Little Bug was not to be ours.
I cannot tell you just how uplifting it was to have family and friends surrounding me that night. Driving home from the hospital I didn’t know how I was going to survive those hours of waiting.
I needed the presence of my family and friends and they were there surrounding me in the darkest hour.
That prayer time lasted about 2 hours. I’d never been a part of something so amazing and haven’t since.
I didn’t know how I was going to get a wink of sleep that night, but I slept and I slept well. My hope was in the Lord and it was His strength that was holding me up as I waited.
I awoke very early on the morning of May 30th. I went into Little Bug’s nursery and continued the conversation with God that had been started the evening before.
Our parents came over to our house to wait with us that day. I didn’t want to be sitting in our house alone. I wanted people around.
We were in contact with the lawyers who told us we were to meet with the birth mom that afternoon to discuss some things.
This was my breaking point. I remember sitting in a chair in my living room completely feeling lifeless. I had not an ounce of strength in my body. I seriously did not know how I was going to get up and go fight the battle that I had to fight.
God’s presence was all over during those torturous hours of waiting. Suddenly a strength came over me like nothing I had ever experienced in my life.
I stood up.
I walked to my bathroom and began brushing my teeth, getting dressed and getting ready to go to battle for my child.
I felt an inner strength within me that I knew was God and God alone.
I wasn’t going to this meeting alone. God was going with me and He already knew the outcome and nothing I said, or didn’t say, would change that outcome.
I remember telling Dave, “Let’s go. I’m ready.” and avoiding my mother like the plague because I knew if I allowed myself to get a hug from her or allow her to say anything to me I would crumble right there and not have the strength to go on.
We pulled out of the driveway. Mama waved.
Later she told me she went into Little Bug’s nursery armed with her Bible and prayed and read Scripture until we came home.
Turns out Tracy decided the meeting with us was unnecessary. We met with the lawyers and a councelor who had talked to Tracy that morning.
We learned what was causing the delay. (I will just say it wasn’t Tracy second guessing her adoption plan. It was something totally unrelated to Little Bug and the adoption plan she had made for her.)
The signing of the consent was set for later that afternoon.
We went home for more agonizing waiting. Every minute seemed like an hour and every hour seemed an eternity. Time stood still.
Our parents were still at our house. We played games and ate dinner, all in the hopes that those activities would be great distracters from thinking about what was happening.
I had felt a sense of calm but as 5:30 approached and we had not heard anything from the lawyers, I felt the anxiety creeping into the corners of my heart.
The waiting was literally about to make me go crazy. I didn’t know how much more I could take. I was getting to the point that I just wanted to know – I wanted to know if Little Bug was going to be our daughter or not. Just tell me!
I went and laid on my bed. I just laid there. I didn’t have any more words to pray.
In God’s great mercy, I had been laying there for probably 10 minutes or less when my cell phone rang.
I sprung off the bed and began running like a manic through the house to my cell phone. I urgently answered when I saw it was our lawyer.
She said, “She’s YOURS! Congratulations!”
I know I probably hurt her ear because I was still holding the phone when I screamed for the entire household (and probably a few neighbors) to hear, “SHE’S OURS!!!!!!”
It was a glorious moment. Tears streamed down my face and a prayer of thanksgiving filled my heart completely.
It was over.
The years of waiting.
The pain and disappointment of the recent past was no more.
God had walked me through the fire and blessed me beyond measure. This was truly happening.
I was a mother to a precious baby girl.
Those moments after the phone call from the lawyer were surreal.
It wasn’t 10 minutes later and Dave and I were rushing to the hospital to see our baby girl.
Yes, God is a God who turns mourning into dancing and weeping into laughter.