On October 18, our boys had soccer games. When they were over, we headed to the rec center to register them for a session of indoor. As we waited in line, we were talking with one of the dads of a girl on Matthew's team. Somehow, the conversation turned to babies. His youngest is three and we discussed the joys of being done with the baby/toddler/dependent/tied down/diaper/sleepless night/non verbal/stage. I might have said something about being SO thrilled to be out of that season of life. Because of course I did.
That night, I received an email.
It was from our social worker and was titled, Infant Situation.
She told us that there was a birth mother, due March 20, seeking a Christian family who already had an African American or biracial child. That's us! I thought excitedly. Because, apparently, it is not a huge jump from SO DONE WITH BABIES to HEY LET'S HAVE ONE!
I quickly read over it and, when I got to the "gender unknown" part I paused. When I got to the 24K plus legal fees part I clicked on the box to delete the email. My finger hovered over the button that would send the email to the trash can. This wasn't for us. Sure, we fit the demographic she was looking for. Sure, babies are cuddly. But we didn't have 30,000 dollars (give or take a few thousand dollars) lying around and I thought God had specifically said "daughter" and OUR BABY SHIP SAILED NEARLY SIX YEARS AGO!
But some(One)thing stopped me from tossing the email away. I should at least pray about it. And I should probably just mention it to Troy before I delete it. I set my phone down and I prayed. Then I padded my way down to the office where Troy was reviewing his sermon for the next day. I leaned against the desk chair and faced him. Then I casually read the email. "So I should just delete this, right?"
And I think you can guess what he said. "It won't hurt to inquire."
But. But. But. THE MONEY?
He's always much more faithful than I. "If God calls us to something, He'll provide the money."
So I emailed our social worker. She responded right away, even though it was after 10:00 pm. Then I contacted the person connected with the ministry that is facilitating that adoption. She responded right away, even though she lives on the east coast so it was REALLY late in her neck of the woods. As we type-chatted, I found out that this baby and the parents are in southern California. I casually mentioned that Matthew was born in Long Beach. I dropped the name of our CA attorney.
Guess what? He happens to be the attorney they use. Because of course my Utah based social worker would connect me with an east coast based woman who would work with my California lawyer. The world is big. And so small.
We decided to go ahead and draw up a dear birth mother letter and send a copy of our home study. Because, after all, what could it hurt? By the 22nd, we'd already had a conference call with the director and our contact person. The director asked us to pray about the situation and let them know. I asked how long we had to pray, thinking, oh, three or four weeks.
"Take a day, day and a half," was the response. Of course. Our lives might be forever changed but time is of the essence and we had a day and a half to discern the will of God.
We got off the phone and we STRAIGHT UP MADE A LIST OF PROS AND CONS. DID YOU HEAR ME? WE MADE A LIST OF PROS AND CONS ABOUT A BABY! And, when I say "we" I totally mean me. We really wanted to make sure that, as far as could be seen on an ultrasound, this baby was healthy. Yes, of course, we'd never abandon our child in the delivery room if there were complications. And we'd NEVER not take care of our children if they developed special needs. But, given our ministry and health insurance, we would have serious reservations if a baby had severe special needs.
So, on the list, there was a column for pros and a column for cons and all the cons were GOOD reasons. But they just weren't God reasons. All that really matters is if He's in it.
I wrote an email, expressing our feelings. I said we needed more time. I explained that I understood if they couldn't wait for a 20 week ultrasound for us to decide. I prayed over that letter and then I pushed send. Rushing over me came an overwhelming sense of dread and doom. Because, it turns out, I WANTED THIS BABY TO BE HEALTHY. I DID REALLY WANT IT TO BE A GIRL AND I WANTED THEM TO WAIT ON US UNTIL THE ULTRASOUND.
More than anything.