--Lesa's Take --
After Deciding that abortion was not an option, I began to look at what my life would be like if I kept Charlie. Things would be way different. I wasn't in school and I had a very unsteady, minimum wage job. How would I provide for his future?
Making lists upon lists about pro's and con's in keeping vs. giving up baby Charlie was all I could do. I felt like a crazy person. I was at war with The Decision--The Decision that wasn't just going to affect my life, but many others. How was I suppose to hold someone's destiny in my hands?! How was I suppose to decide the outcome when the person I was deciding for couldn't even have a say in it!
Confused, lost, hopeful but hopeless--WHAT WAS I?! Was this God giving me a chance to have some responsibility to get my life back on track? Was this baby my new motivation? What was I suppose to do with this gift I believe he gave me to help me get out of the pit?
So many thoughts.... I knew I couldn't hear GOD because I couldn't stop thinking!!!
"Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts." - Psalms 139:23
test me and know my anxious thoughts." - Psalms 139:23
Then... there was a moment, a moment of clarity when I was driving in my car. I was on my way to see my little brother at swim practice. I just looked straight out my windshield at the sky in front of me and instead of thinking anymore I said, "GOD, Do you want me to keep him... Am I suppose to hold on to my little boy? Am I suppose to have him?" Nothing, no answer.
AGAIN...with a clear mind, feeling a little discouraged and asking another simple question I say, "Okay GOD, Do you want me to give him up for Adoption? Am I suppose to give him away?" All the sudden, this feeling just churned in my stomach. I felt moved.
The answer....was unexpected. It was not the answer I wanted to hear.. I wanted God to say--yes, he is your baby. You can keep him, we will make a way for that to happen. But instead he gave me an answer that didn't make sense to me...an answer that I didn't think I was ready for... but the movement... I couldn't deny it.
So, I made the decision to give the baby up for adoption? I felt back at square one.... I had no idea where to begin.
I remembered the Lady that saved me from the pit and how she wanted to adopt. I had spoken to her about it before, but when I told her that I might want to keep him--because I wanted to be completely transparent--she got mad at me. On a seperate occassion, when I told her that I wasn't sure If I wanted her to be the mother of my baby, and that I was considering other options... Her response was, "Good luck, you're not going to find anyone better." Then she walked out on me at a lunch, and that option was Gone. I realized how much I hurt her. I didn't know how I was going to go through that again with another couple. What if I decided to give him up and then let another couple down? I was scared and didn't want to hurt anyone else, but I knew he HAD to be given up. Would I let my flesh or my spirit win? It was hard to say. I needed some help, I needed some advice from someone who knew more about this than me.
I went back to the pregnancy care center. They gave me a bunch of pamphlets on adoption agencies and applauded my choice. However, I was still grieving the answer... I saw the faces on each pamphlet displaying happiness... of people that were blessed with a child. I could see their smiles and their readiness. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be ready...
That night I looked through the pamphlets and did some "google" researches. The one that stuck out the most was an agency that was a Christian based and reminded me of baby Moses. Baby Moses at this point, was my inspiration. His mother had given him up and he became a Great Man. It motivated me to keep walking and trusting.
So I decided on the agency and gave them a cal, from the agency, a call. On Jan. 15th, I met with a Woman at Panera Bread for lunch and started to talk baby logistics. I told her my due date, my background, and my situation. She knew that it was urgent for me to get with a family, she also told me that because the biological father was a felon, I would NEVER be able to see my son, it would have to be a closed adoption. It didn't feel right, but what other option did I have? He was going to be born in less than a month! So we began doing paperwork. As we were doing paperwork she was telling me of all the families she knew would want to adopt a newborn baby. I tried to keep a smile on my face, but my soul was hurting. Before I left Panera, she gave me a bundle that was full of family profiles. I had to choose one by the end of the week. They had to have time to prepare for a baby to be in their home.
I thanked her for all her help and her time and I told her I would let her know my decision by the end of the week. I went home and put the folders by my bed so I could go through them that night. I put it off.
As the day came to an end, I kept staring at the bundle--overwhelmed with what I was having to do. I was scared to see the families. I was scared to see the faces because I knew I couldn't choose them all.
Overcoming my fear, I picked up the first folder. I read all about how the family couldn't have children and that the mother was a teacher and the father was a pastor. They loved children. Then I read 20 more profiles that were similar to the first. Different faces, different occupations, different religions, different relationships, but all of them had one thing in common--the need to love a child.
I put them all away. I couldn't stand to look at them anymore. I began sobbing. My soul was aching. What was this feeling??! Then I began to think about how there were so many orphans. So many babies that didn't have a home and so many families here in front of me that were yearning to complete their family! I couldn't stop these uncontrollable sobs that were emerging from the depths of my heart. This grief that was swallowing me whole.
"That I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart." Romans 9:2
The week week went one then one evening I did the only thing I knew how to at this moment. I buried my face and I began to pray. "God, all these orphans, all these mothers and families. Why God can't they find each other? This isn't fair. I am carrying a baby.. a baby if given the opportunity I could provide for if I HAD to... How can I give up a baby when so many already need homes?! Would this baby be stealing a home that was made for another? God, there are babies sleeping in dirt and here I hold in my hands families that have loving homes--families that are ready for those babies. ITS NOT FAIR GOD, ITS JUST NOT FAIR."
I cried myself to sleep.
Jan 19th--I woke up in the morning feeling defeated. How was I suppose to choose out of so many families. I didn't want to never be able to see him... I became angry. Angry at God for letting this happen. He told me to give up my baby, but he knew I wouldn't be able to if I couldn't see him. I didn't understand why GOD would want that.
Again, I got on my face and prayed. Then I heard the garage door and my mom came in. I wiped the tears from my defeated face and pretended I was okay. My mom asked if I was okay, I knew she could tell I wasn't. I told her about the families. I stopped acknowledging that she had this glow on her face. I asked her what happened.
She said that her friend Heather had told her about a family. A family that was ready to adopt. She said that it was so crazy how it happened because she didn't tell Heather directly, but someone had over heard her talking and then that someone told Heather who told this family.
I felt my heart pound as It received a jolt of excitement. I could feel the presence of GOD again like I did in the car when I asked my question. I knew right away, we had to meet them.
....Emotions high, but still in Jesus.. stirring for hopeful things and desiring for everything to be alright. God always gives us a Journey that makes us sensitive to injustice. Adoption--a huge part of our lives--a huge injustice that speaks through us. What have you seen that you desire to remove from the world? What injustice do you deeply desire to bring into the light and shine Justice on?
"Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. 20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you." - Deuteronomy 16:19-20
"Hope Finds A Way" - Jamie's Take
Wednesday - January 19th.
Ben and I woke up early for church staff meeting. I remember taking a moment before getting ready and for some reason looking around our tiny bathroom and into the hall and thinking 'I am so blessed..I am content..thank you Jesus, you have been so incredible to me. If it is just Ben and I for the rest of our lives - I will love you still.'
In the midst of getting ready we didn’t hear our phones apparently ring several times. I snagged my phone right before leaving to find we both had several missed calls from our pastors and a dear friend of ours. As I was checking the missed calls page on my phone my pastor called again to tell me my friend, Heather, was trying to get ahold of me and I needed to call her.
Okay...? I thought.
I made the call, fairly certain it didn't ring and I hear Heather on the other end panting..
"Jamie, why don't you answer your phone"
..."I'm sorry girl, what's up?"
"Well, how would you feel about adopting a baby boy who is due in February?"
"There's this woman at my work, who's daughter is pregnant and due around Valentine's...a little boy!"
“Um, well...We would more than love that."
"Okay! So it's okay that I already told the woman you were interested?"
I chuckle. "Of course. Yes, it is more than okay. Wow. A baby. A baby boy."
“ Jamie, I feel good about this. Jamie, this could be God's answer."....
After finishing our call with anxious good-byes.
From that point everything was in slow motion. I walked to Ben as he was finishing up his morning routine. I look at him and he looks at me.
"Ben, were gonna get a baby boy."
He kind of smiled and went on with what he was doing. He had heard the conversation on speaker but this was my Ben. Unmovable. He’ll embrace it when it comes, otherwise no other emotion is invested.
But I said it as if I knew. It's as if I knew, that I knew, that I knew that this little boy was mine. I already loved him, I already wanted him, I already needed him with me.
We headed to church, and I was not phased by anything but baby boy. We were asked about the mornings details and then moved toward staff meeting. Of course my mind was else where. Before lunch I had fully registered at some retail stores. During lunch Ben, our friend Kari and I were talking names and the scenarios. Ben and Kari had to, as any good friends should, talk me back down to reality. But I just knew - this boy was mine.
Back at church I couldn't think. Was this God 'giving' me a baby? It is. I know it is.
I kept in contact with Heather throughout the day, as she asked questions to relay and to see if the birth mom, this Lesa, could look at my facebook page.
YES! Look at whatever and PICK US!
I searched for her too. Starring at her picture she took of herself and her baby belly. I loved her. It was unreal. I loved her and I loved him. Within 6 hours I had welcomed in my heart of hearts two people.
I would go through our facebook photos with a fine tooth comb, thinking 'what is she thinking about us in this one or that one'...And I would look at her pictures and wonder her story.
Heather also had told me the whole story, about how her friend, Danelle overheard Lesa’s mother mention she really needed to take off for the day to help her daughter find a family for her baby, then Danelle immediately thought of us, too shy herself - got a hold of Heather who would talk to Lesa’s mother. Talk about divine appointment.
I prayed like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:10..in my anguish and from the root of my being I yearned for this...God's promise to me...to give me my heart's desire..to give us a child. I decided this day to fast till this baby boy, my son, was born.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts. - Psalms 139:23
I can do this. This faith, that I had no idea where it was coming from, was in me. I just knew, even with such a small phone call, that this was the start of something that would be reality. I seriously knew, that I knew, that I knew. All of me wanted to be able to tell my son one day, that when we heard about his coming - we knew and believed he was made perfectly for us. I never wavered..(which was not like me at all).
Through all of it, I felt a special kind of grace for the Lord, that's when I knew that I knew.
I can confidently say I believed the whole time.
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13
Emotions high, but still in Jesus. Stirring for hopeful things. I didn't sleep for days. Wondering what she thought and when she would call us herself. God always gives us a journey that prepares us for 'such times as these.’ Allowing us to see a specific injustice. Adoption - connecting a life with hearts that yearned for it. Adoption - it has always been a priority to us. Ben always thought it would be after we had children of our own but looking back ( and being reminded by him) when we were dating I told him I felt like God would call us to adopt before we ever had children biologically. God is crazy. It's insane to think about all God brought us through to prepare us. All the things we said that came from our heart of hearts, that were really from His heart, and that were now becoming a reality.
What has been your journey? What is the injustice you see that you want to make right?
"Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you." - Deuteronomy 16:19-20