On Monday, May 2, only four days later, we got another call saying that the birth mom had preeclampsia and high blood pressure. She was being induced and we needed to get to the hospital right away. So we picked the kids up from school, scrambled to pack our bags, and within two hours we were on the road. We made the 12 hour trip through the night and got to the hospital 45 minutes after she was born.
The next week was wonderful. I was given a room in the hospital, and the baby was with me day and night. She was so tiny, only 5 lbs 11 oz at birth. Our whole family adored her. We spent time with the birth mom each day we were in the hospital, and it was a good, comfortable relationship.
When the baby was discharged, we stayed in the home of friends of a friend. We couldn't have asked for a more thoughtful, generous, kind family to spend those precious days with. My husband and two oldest kids drove back home while my two year old and the baby and I stayed behind to wait for the baby to be cleared to leave the state.
On Tuesday morning, May 10 we got another call. But this one was much harder to receive. The birth mother was considering parenting, and she was going to be meeting with her counselor that afternoon. The next five hours were very difficult. I read the Bible and prayed a lot. I spent time in Psalm 107 and James 5:10-11, which says "As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful."
At 2:50 pm I got one last phone call. The birth mother had decided to parent. An hour and a half later the adoption counselor came to get the baby. That final phone call and handing the baby to our adoption counselor are moments that I've replayed in my mind many times since.
Tuesday was a really hard, very sad day. I cried a lot. After they drove away with the baby, one of my first thoughts was that God will make all things new. Things will not always be this way. Revelation 21:3-5 says:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”What a glorious hope.
We had named her Gabrielle. The birth mother had given her the middle name Laila. Gabrielle means "God is my might," and Laila means "night." So her name kind of meant something like "God is my might even in the night." And we have found that to be true.
Tuesday was hard. But even as I was walking toward the adoption counselor's car with the baby in my arms for the last time, I knew God was with me. And I've been amazed at how well we've been doing since then. We are full of peace and joy, hope and gratefulness. I know that's because of God's grace toward us, and because the prayers of God's people on our behalf have great power (James 5:16).
We would have loved to be this sweet girl's parents. But we trust that the Lord's ways are higher than ours, and His plans are good and right.
So now we're praying for this birth mom and her daughter, especially that they would put their faith in Christ and be saved. And we're also praying that another birth mother will choose our family soon.