Concerning my precious second born, I've received several questions in person, on this blog and through email. I figured that now is as good a time as any to (try to) answer them. If you ever have a question, feel free to ask away--while I won't share everything, I feel that the more informed you are the more you can lift us up in prayer. If you don't believe in prayer you can send good thoughts in our direction. (Of course, I believe, wholeheartedly, in the power of prayer and you can always ask me about that belief. I'd love to share my Savior with you.)
What, exactly, is supposed to happen at the hearing tomorrow?
Good question. While we're not entirely sure, we know that the lawyers are seeking a consolidation of the birth father's case with our case. Jennifer's lawyer, who we've been paying, will hopefully be court appointed to the case. That will mean that we'll only continue paying two attorneys instead of three. To our knowledge, nothing will be decided regarding Matthew's future.
How much does that baby weigh now?
He's a total chunk. He was 7lbs 13oz at birth and is now almost 12 pounds. He is certainly not failing to thrive. I keep wanting to compare him to Garrett (the skinny mini baby) but reminding myself that they have completely different DNA. It's a good thing I adore rolls and chubby cheeks. ;-)
How is he sleeping?
Usually he's up once at night--around 2:30 or 3:00. Garrett slept through the night at nine weeks. It's not looking like Matthew will break that record. So far, he's a great napper.
How much is this actually costing?
We did our homework and anticipated that this adoption would cost about $12,000. We are currently sitting just shy of $19,000 and we haven't really begun our portion of the "legal fight". The good news is that we have received about $8,000 in donations from our church, friends and families. Praise God! The bad news is that we started this journey on a loan. I'm clinging to Philippians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
Would you have made a different decision if a DNA test had been done in the hospital?
Had we chosen not to bring Matthew home with us, I'm not entirely sure what would have happened to him. Since his mother wanted him with us, he may have ended up in the foster system until father and mother could work out his future. Or he may have defaulted to his mother--who was sure about her decision to place him for adoption. In any case, I am sure that if we had decided not to hold him and love him and leave the hospital with him, I would have spent every day for the rest of my life wondering if I'd made the wrong decision. If, on the other hand, we lose him now (while spending thousands and thousands of dollars that we don't have) I won't regret that I didn't leave him in the hospital. I'm confident of that. Matthew West sings a song where he says, "I don't wanna spend my whole life asking, 'What if I had given everything?'" He is talking about the Christian life and not just going through the motions but that particular lyric rings true to our situation. I have to believe that we are right where God wants us because we've prayed through every aspect of this entire process. I believe, deep down, that Matthew belongs here and, painful as it is on a daily basis, I'm glad that I don't have to spend my whole life asking, "What if I had brought him home?"
How can I pray for you?
Short term, please pray that tomorrow's hearing goes the way our lawyers hope it does. Long term: Pray for Matthew. We've always only truly wanted what is best for him. Pray for finances. We hate begging for money but it's basically come down to that or stripping and I know God definitely doesn't want me to do that. Also I can't dance so it would be a problem on so many levels.
Is Garrett jealous?
He's had a combined total of about three minutes of jealousy since the moment he met his baby brother. He absolutely adores Matthew and, truthfully, we worry the most about him in this situation.
How do you get through the day?
Sometimes I feel like I barely escape the day in one piece. It is by the grace of God, and the fact that I know His plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, that I make it through. I'd be lying if I said that I haven't made any "attitude mistakes" during this trial but I'm trying to lean not on my own understanding. I think I make it through by knowing that what matters is Matthew and God loves him infinitely more than I do. In the end Matthew will be okay and we'll be okay and this too shall pass. So, all that...and chocolate. Chocolate helps.