As I think about going through another adoption in the near future, I think back to the day that Little Bug was born.
There she was. The baby I had prayed for.
I had asked God to please put a baby in my womb, but He instead gave me Little Bug.
And she couldn’t have been more perfect or more beautiful than those first few moments of her life when I laid eyes on my daughter for the very first time.
Only thing was…she wasn’t my daughter…yet.
The picture you see below was taken when Little Bug was only 9 minutes old. That is my finger Little Bug has her tiny hand wrapped around. I was there during her first few minutes of life as the nurse worked on her a little bit.
The nurse did what she needed to do with Little Bug and then she swaddled her up and asked me, “Do you want to hold her?”
Of course I wanted to hold that precious baby that was promised to be my baby girl!
But I couldn’t. Not then.
Tracy and I had talked about this before delivery. Tracy would hold her first and then she would “pass her off to her mama”. (Tracy’s words.)
I am in no way saying that it shouldn’t have been this way. Tracy didn’t have to let me be there for Little Bug’s birth and she certainly didn’t have to even let me see her until TPR was signed days later.
But there I was. Witnessing it all.
I will forever be grateful to Tracy for giving me that gift.
At the same time, all of that was a loud and clear reminder to my heart that I was falling in love with a baby that wasn’t yet mine.
If Tracy decided to go through with her adoption plan, then Little Bug would be mine.
If Tracy chose to parent, I would have to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and move on.
I remember holding Little Bug for the very first time like it was yesterday. It was actually 21 months and one day ago, to be exact.
After many failed infertility treatments, realizing my dream of pregnancy was dying and then being told by a lawyer that I could have a baby girl in two months, I held that tiny five pound baby, and for a moment in time, I just stared at her and was in awe that my baby girl was actually in my arms.
I realized in that moment the pain of everything I had been through to get to that place was totally worth it.
Then the nurses had to take Little Bug away for monitoring and I remembered…
She isn’t mine until TPR is signed.
We had no reason to believe that Tracy wouldn’t sign the TPR, but, you just never know. Nothing is ever a guarantee with adoption. (Nothing is ever a guarantee with life..except, of course, God’s faithfulness through it all!)
Things can change from day to day.
And this is what stops my heart when I think about going through another adoption in the future.
Adoption requires me to step out of my comfort zone and take a huge risk, trusting that God will take care of me and His faithfulness will abound, no matter what happens in the end.
The picture you see above is a picture I took of Little Bug on the evening of her birth day. Before delivery, Tracy had told me she wanted me to stay with her in the hospital. I thought that would be a little too much, but I wasn’t going to miss out on being with Little Bug throughout the night given the opportunity!
So when visiting hours were over, Dave left to go home and I stayed with Tracy and Little Bug in the hospital room. Tracy left at one point and it was just Little Bug and me.
For a split second, I could pretend that it was actually me that had given birth! Except my stomach was flat as a pancake and my husband was gone and country music was playing on the TV. (That wouldn’t have been my choice!)
But there I was, alone with Little Bug, country music piercing the quietness of a sterile hospital room. I wanted to push time forward and just know…Is this precious baby girl actually going to be my daughter when everything is said and done?
Later that night, my cell phone rang. Tracy was again gone from the hospital room and it was my lawyer on the other end of the phone.
Tracy had called her and asked the lawyer to call me and tell me that Tracy wanted me to go home for the night, instead of stay there.
At first I laughed that Tracy had called the lawyer to tell the lawyer to tell me this! (If you knew Tracy’s personality, you would laugh too. She doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind. I do appreciate the fact that Tracy cared about my feelings to the point where she was scared to ask me herself and instead had the lawyer do her “dirty work”. )
Wasn’t long, though, and I was in tears. All the fears that Tracy wouldn’t sign the TPR came flooding in that moment.
I couldn’t help but question in my mind:
Is she having second thoughts? Does she just want time with the baby? Is she just exhausted and needs some time to herself? Is she going to stay up all night and bond with the baby and then not be able to let go in the morning?
As Little Bug lay in that hospital bassinet, I had to tell her goodbye. I didn’t know if I would ever see her again, because you just never know what is really going on in an adoption process.
In faith, I leaned down into her little bassinet, gave her a kiss on the cheek and told her Mommy loved her and that I would see her tomorrow.
The floodgate opened wide as I spoke those words to her because I knew she wasn’t my baby girl, even though Tracy had made an adoption plan that included her signing her rights at 48 hours after birth and giving her to us to parent.
I walked out of the hospital room not knowing if I would ever lay eyes on that precious baby again. All I wanted to do was snuggle and hold her all night long and tend to her every need before she could even cry.
I love adoption but I hate the fact that for Little Bug’s first three days of life, I had to live in limbo not knowing if I would be her mother or not.
When I think about being in this place again in the future, I am scared.
I don’t want to go through all those emotions again!
I want to hold my baby in the first moments of his or her life and know that baby is completely mine. I don’t want to have to live in limbo for days and dance along the delicate line of allowing myself to fall in love with a baby and at the same time guard myself, just in case.
I want to love fully, completely, wholly from the moment I first lay eyes on “my” child.
Adoption does not allow that. Maybe some can do it, but my heart is always somewhat guarded until that baby is fully mine.
Just the way it is (for me, anyway).
When Dave and I find ourselves in this place again, I am going to have to rely on one thing.
When we are holding and loving another baby that is promised to be ours, but is not yet officially ours, I must remember that if that child is indeed the child God has planned from the beginning of time to be our second child, nothing, and I mean nothing, can disrupt God’s plan.
If that child is the one God intends to be ours, no obstacle along the way is too big for Him to overcome to make it so.
I can rest in that peace, knowing God’s got it all under control and His Plan will prevail…no matter what.
And in a way that only God can do, I can rest in peace knowing that God will take everything involved in another adoption process — the good, the bad, the ugly — and use it for good and for His Glory.
And really, that is what this is all about anyway.
It’s not about me, it’s not about another baby.
It’s not even about doing the delicate dance.
It’s about God and Him receiving glory through it all.