Back to the waiting game. Nervous, longing, apprehensive freaking waiting game. I had this nagging feeling that our baby was coming to us with the help of an agency that solely matches birthmoms with adoptive parents. We couldn't afford them, but the feeling persisted. I figured if it was meant to be the money would be nothing in comparison and we had to go forward in faith. Sure enough, with a little help from our friends, we began to see some serious miracles and in 3 months time we had raised enough money to submit our names with the agency and get matched with a birthmom. One week later we sat on our bed nervously talking with a girl in Charlotte, North Carolina named Samantha. She was cheerful and had a charming little lilt in the way she spoke that reminded me of the first time I'd had grits and drank lemonade with whipped cream from a gallon jar. We took an instant liking to each other even though our lives were worlds apart. We talked often and she chose us to be the parents of her baby girl due May 23rd. Almost exactly 2 years to the day that Isla was born. Ben said it would be awfully convenient given we had all the girl clothes we would need and in the same season too. I agreed. The weeks passed and I developed a ball of nervous butterflies in the pit of my stomach. There was so much to do. I had to get the house cleaned and organized and make freezer meals and generally prepare for the chaos and exhaustion that comes with a 2 year old and a new born baby at home. Then there was the trip that had to be planned at a moments notice whenever Samantha went into labor. Oh. My. Gosh. The trip. That ball of nervous butterflies began to spread and there were some days I thought I might have a heart attack. The sooner that due date crept up the more my breathing became a conscious effort. Any day that call would come and we would jet out the door and be on our way to picking up our baby girl. A call came. It was from our lawyer in North Carolina. The details are still a little bit hard for me to see clearly and really, in retrospect, they don't matter anyway. The shock of it all and the heavy dose of denial that followed felt like I'd been hit in the chest with a base ball bat. There were so many different stories told to different people that it's impossible for me to even speculate as to what the truth is. The only real truth is that she lied. She never intended to place her baby for adoption, she just needed rent money. It's simple really. And let's be brutally honest, we are pretty easy targets. Vulnerable, trusting, hopelessly longing for a baby, easy targets. She swiftly tore through our lives, ripped the roof clean off our house, and left us shivering in the corner. Devastated.
The good thing about not having a roof is that you can see straight up. So, now what? Sit in bed and feel really bad for myself. Been there. Cry dramatically every time I get in the shower. Done that. Eat an exorbitant amount of chocolate. Yep. This is basically part of my daily ritual. But somewhere in the deepest part of me, I have to believe that this is not acceptable. This is not the end. This is not it. I refuse to let this be the end of the story. I know God loves me, I know it in my soul. So...now what? And then I read this. And it changed my life. And a tiny little flicker of hope lit up my heart when I read this apostolic bit of encouragement:
Don’t give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead... You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
I know God lives and loves me. I know this is not the end of the story, not even close. I know His heart is broken for me too. I testify of hope. Of healing. And this long winded explanation is hopefully the precursor to a happier story in which our family grows once more. Every single bit of it will be by His hand. Keep watching. You are about to see a miracle.