We were into the beginning of January and I was starting to get anxious. Extremely anxious. Over every type of worry you could think of. Rachel was due on the 7th, but we all thought she might go early. The 7th came and went and no news of a baby.
We went to church on Sunday January 9th.
John Mark gave a sermon called the Fight against Fear - I have linked the page for you.
It is amazing to me how a timely sermon can speak to you through the Holy Spirit in us. I was in tears at the end of the sermon, and I knew that I needed prayer. Nick and I figured sometime this next week Josiah would be born and we would become parents for the first time ever. So we went up and Phil and John Mark laid hands and prayed over us. One thing I remember Phil telling me afterwards is, "You do know, that even though Josiah will be given to you, he won't belong to you. Josiah belongs to the Lord."
God has spoken those words over and over again as a mom of four now. My children do not belong to me. I am a steward of them for a blink of an eye, and then it will be over. To make the most of each moment. To not worry about their lives, but to trust God with them, because HE is in control over everything - so my worry will do nothing to protect them, to control the situations they are in. I have to trust. I have to release. I have to do my best with each day given to me and pray that they can see HIS love in my life.
That night we got a phone call from our caseworker Roxanne. Josiah had been born earlier in the evening, and was doing well. The plan would be to let Rachel and Evan have Monday with their families, and then we would go up Tuesday to meet him, and he would be given to us.
Such a crazy thing to anticipate.
In our adoption classes, one of the things spoken to us that stood out to me, was that while you are in the hospital with your birthparents, it is NOT about you becoming new parents. It is about them, and the loss they are going through as they give up this child that they carried in them for 9 months and are now having to say good bye to.
The night before final preparations were made. Carseat was placed in the back of the car. Diaper bag loaded and ready to go. I actually had a cough that was not going away, that my Japanese grandma made me take some sort of gross syrup thing for - and she gave me face masks to wear around Josiah when we were at the hospital. (which I chose to leave at home)
Nick and I drove up on Tuesday morning - and we got to the hospital around 11. We met with our caseworker, who was in communication with Rachel's birth counselor who came down and met with us. We talked and prayed, and when Rachel and Evan were ready, we went up to see them, and met Josiah for the first time.
I remember the first time I held him, how solid he felt in my arms. being born at 8 lbs 1 ounce he was a good healthy weight. And his hair. He had a beautiful head of red hair. He rested peacefully and was very content as a baby.
I held back at that point though. I knew I could not let myself get fully attached until everything was final. The words of Phil "Josiah does not belong to you, he belongs to the Lord" echoed in my mind.
Josiah was taken to be circumcised, and we had a chance to talk with Rachel and Evan more. Evan shared how they had put antibiotics in his eyes and that he had wiped them away because he thought they were tears. I gave them a red photo album as a thank you gift that maybe they could use to put his pictures in... as if a photo album could really ever say thank you. Thank you for giving us your child.
How do you really ever say enough for that - there is no words that really justify the gratitude.
As the day progressed though, the emotions started to get tougher. We would go in and spend time with Rachel and Evan and Josiah, and then we would go out and they would talk. They would talk with Cindy their birth counselor, and then they would talk with us.
"This is just a really hard thing to do."
We began to see that this could go a different direction than we had planned that morning when we left our home.
Dinner time came and went but I barely nibbled on a bagel. We would take turns holding Josiah out in the hall while conversations in the other room were going on - but after awhile there came a point that I looked at his face, and I knew I could not hold him anymore. I gave him to Roxanne and said "I just can't do this right now."
Evan came out with tears sharing he knew it was the right thing for them to do, and he didn't understand why Rachel would think about changing her mind.
That is what I can handle for writing tonight. Thank you for letting me share.