Monday, August 8, 2011

Letting Go...

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. 

Cindy came out and told us that Rachel was just having doubts. 

We went in and talked more with Rachel and Evan, and let Rachel talk through how she was feeling. 
We told her we wanted what was best for Josiah - and prayed with them that God would show them the right decision to make. 

We left them to talk again, and then Cindy came out and said that she said Rachel would sign the papers.  We went back into the hospital room, and I was holding Josiah again, and Rachel was in tears, she said,"I feel like I am being forced to do this."  When she spoke those words a prayer went out in my heart to the Lord that said, "Please Lord, I don't want to take her baby away from her.  This isn't right.  Please Lord intervene this IS not right." 

It was 8pm at night, and Rachel was needing to be discharged that evening.  We left the room again, and Cindy came out and said, "I can't let her sign the papers at this point." 

I felt relieved in a way, and said "We would not feel comfortable with that either." 

We waited a little longer, and the decision came through Cindy out to us, that Rachel would take Josiah home that night, and was asking if we could find a hotel close by to stay the night in, and then Rachel would let us know the next morning.  Nick emotionally lost it at this point.  He started crying, and just said, "this is just really really hard to be sent back and forth emotionally on what we will do." 

I grabbed Nick's arm with tears in my eyes - because that is what came forth when I saw my husband crying.  "It's okay Nick, it's okay"  I cried. 

Nick calmed down a little, and we agreed to do that, and at 9:30 at night we left the hospital without Josiah.  We both knew in our hearts that if she was taking Josiah home with her, he would not be our son. 

I made a phone call to my dear friend Leah, who had been in charge of calling everyone else and asking them to pray through out that whole day.  (which we definitely were covered - in the midst of the emotional roller coaster God's peace prevailed in our hearts).  I broke down crying again, and told her that we were leaving without Josiah, and that Rachel was taking him home, and that Evan and Rachel would let us know tomorrow. 

As we walked out to the car, a man passed us by.  Nick and I both had bloodshot eyes from tears, and he nodded to us, and all he said was, "rough time?" 
We responded with a short,"yeah."  To me somehow that was comforting.  To have a perfect stranger be empathetic in such a way God used to comfort my soul. 

We headed onto the road with a mission in mind to find a hotel for the night.  I had surrendered in my heart that he was not ours - and I started thinking about what I would do when we got home.  I didn't think I would be ready to try adoption again anytime soon.  Maybe I would get a job at the mall?  I really didn't know, but I needed something that would keep me busy... a new vision since the one I thought I was suppose to do hadn't worked out...

As we pulled out onto the freeway, I look over to my right - through my watery eyes I make out in bright red letters:


Nick saw it too. 
"Nick, look!"  I said - "Jesus cares for us." 
And he smiled a little at me, and said tenderly, "Yeah, he does." 

We found an Extended Stay America and Nick pulls into the parking lot at 10pm at night and goes into to see if there are any rooms available. 

Right as he walks inside, my phone rings. 


"Kari, it's Roxanne." 

"Hi Roxanne." 

"So, after you and Nick left, Rachel and Evan talked some more, and Rachel found that peace from God that she was looking for and they signed the papers and have gone home.  Josiah is yours.  You need to come back to the hospital and get him." 

"What?!  What!  Hold on just a second!"  as I am flying out of our car and running up to Nick, "here talk to Nick." and I shove the phone in his ear. 

Wow.  Really God...  Really Really?  There is no mind changing at the point - they left, papers are signed no going back - he has truly been given to us. 

The drive back to the hospital was an amazing gift after all the emotional ups and downs of the day.  My mind started thinking - we need to find out when he had his last bottle so I know when to feed him again, and we have a long drive to Vancouver where we will be staying for the next few days until courts sign off on paperwork to allow us to take him across state borders...  and mom gear had totally kicked in. 
What had we gotten ourselves into??? 

My favorite memory ever of this day.  We came back to the hospital room to see our caseworker just finishing feeding him a bottle to get him ready for us. 
I pulled out my going home outfit I had picked out for him - a pastel green striped gown with mitten sleeves and a matching hat. And I got to put him in our carseat that had been given to us by friends.  I gave him his cute blue hippo rattle, and I knew he was my son now. 

I remember the ride home to Vancouver just beaming.  He was so quiet and slept a lot of the way.  I kept looking back there, as if pinching myself to tell me it was real.  We really did have a baby boy in the back of our car.  Nick and I had been given the gift to be parents for the first time ever by an amazing brave beautiful couple that loved their birth son so much and they had chosen us.  Us! 

To me this is a moment in life that I can only look back on and see God.  GOD.   Too many fingerprints of HIS hands on this to ever think anything different. 

That is what I can handle for writing tonight.  Thank you for letting me share. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kari! What a beautiful story of God's provision and grace. As I hold our little newborn in my arms right now, I can grasp a small piece of what leaving the hospital would have felt like. What a precious gift children are. There is nothing in the world like them. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.