On Tuesday, just 48 hours ago, I drove an hour and fifteen minutes to spend some time with the Little Peanut and her birthmom. The nurses were going to show me how to change her little NG tube, and other basic care.
Because the plan was that we were to bring this peanut into our home today.
At 1 o'clock this afternoon.
About when I started writing this post...
The changing of the tube didn't go so well, there was a little booger in the way, and it just wouldn't go in on the side they were trying. But it did go in the other side, and while the Little Peanut did not enjoy it, it did go in.
She was crying! Her cry is unlike the cry of other newborns. The nurse explained that it is because of her diminished cognitive ability, her lungs, and just not having the energy. It was more of a raspy mewing. It is important to calm her quickly for those reasons, and when they handed her to me I felt the urgency of it.
Now let me tell you - I have skillz. Baby skillz. When my kids were little, there wasn't a baby I couldn't soothe. Crying does not stress me out, and I love to calm little ones. Over the years my "skillz" have waned, I'm a little rusty. But lil Peanut just would not by soothed. I honestly did not expect her to, I am not her mama - and she knows it. I handed her to her aunt, and very quickly she was subdued by the family shushing and touch. I was handed the peanut later, and that time things went much smoother. She was calm, and she stayed calm
I stayed for quite some time and we talked about many things.
All too soon it was time for me to go.
On the drive home I pondered many things.
What consumed me, the most, was the same feeling we had in the beginning.
This is not my daughter. She has a mama, and she needs her mama.
When we were originally approached we were told this was a baby in need. It sounded like she was going to be left at the hospital. It was suggested that maybe this mom was not able to provide for this baby, and that the surprise of the situation depressed her to the point where our agency was afraid she might harm herself.
As time passed, we all found out that the situation was very different.
This birthmom had the support of her family.
Her family loves this baby very much.
They have a very beautiful and welcoming home.
State and Federal progams are providing everything they need.
The birthmom would never harm anyone, including herself.
All that said, this was an intensely difficult situation. Words cannot even express the grief and devastation that comes when a mother is told her child is "not compatable with life".
As much as I wanted to lift that burder from her, I didn't believe I could. Tim and I truly believed that adopting in this situation would only add grief to an already overwhelming situation.
And this sweet baby.
With all of the challenges she is already facing.
To add to it the grief of losing her family, it was unthinkable.
I had expected the Lord to change the heart of this birthmother.
I expected Him to intervene and slam doors shut.
I expected so many things.
What I didn't expect was that He was telling us to say "no".
How could we say no?
This is how.
After much prayer and wise counsel, Tim and I came to the agreement that we were not to go forward.
If this was a baby, abandoned, with no family - YES.
If the birthfamily was in no position to provide with zero support or resources - YES.
If this baby would in a position of abuse or neglect - YES.
But we were not in this to take a baby away from her family... the family she is completely attached to... the family that loves her completely... that she needs desparately. All of her physical needs were met. All of her emotional needs were met. She is being loved and cared for.
And that is God's will.
Adoption is born out of loss. Out of pain. Out of heartache.
God takes that, and He makes something beautiful out of it, but we all know that it is not His first choice for the adoptee or the birthfamily. As an adoptive mother, I must recognize and acknowledge that. Adoption is God's first choice for adoptive families, but for us alone in the triad.
And so the next morning we did what we had previously considered unthinkable...
We said no.
The agency heard my reasons, and respected our decision. Although I think they were a little surprised and not extremely happy about it. We decided that because they were calling the birthmom anyway, that they would inform her. I told them I did not just want to sneak out the back door, but wanted to tell her myself, in my own words. I did understand if she didn't want to talk to me though.
They called back to say she was very angry. I was sad, but I had expected it.
Then my call-waiting beeped and I recognized her number.
She demanded to know "why".
I explained. She listened.
And then she told me that she was disappointed in me.
Not just her, her whole family.
She told me her network of support was falling apart and she was hurt and angry.
All I could say was "I'm sorry."
My heart just broke.
And the phone conversation ended.
All night I was praying. It was the only thing that alleviated the heavy feeling in my heart.
I kept asking Tim - "Are you sure we made the right decision?" "Are you sure?"
And to his credit, he never wavered.
"Yes, I am sure."
"Yes, it was the right decision."
And I knew that God was going to work this out, some how... some way....
But I couldn't see it.
I just couldn't imagine how He was going to work this out.
The phone rang this morning.
It was the adoption agency.
Yesterday when I finished talking to the birthmom, she broke down in front of her sister.
And then her sister offered to take Little Peanut.
When the social worker asked the birthmom who would watch the baby while her sister worked? She replied:
"I will watch her baby."
I will watch her baby.
Is that not like another story you know?
This sweet Peanut will stay with her family, her family has come together, lil' Peanut will not lose them... what a beautiful miracle!!!
But it doesn't end there.
This morning, around 7:15 am.,
our precious Little Peanut left this world and entered heaven.
As her tiny body began to shut down she was in her mother's arms. They quickly put her into her carseat and rushed to the hospital.
She passed away before they got there.
Our sweet baby is in the arms of Jesus, praise the Lord!
And I just marvel at the Lord's hand in all of this.
What if we had taken her home last week?
She would have died here, without her family, and they would have just missed it by seven short days.
What if we would have said "Yes"? We would have planned on bringing her home at 1 pm today. She would have still passed away in her family's care - but they wouldn't have come together like they did yesterday.
And more blessings...
They told me that this grieving young woman was not angry with me anymore.
That she understands now why God told us to say "no".
She is grateful for the time she had with her little baby.
And God did, in 24 hours, what I couldn't imagine Him doing in 50 years.
I am in awe.
I am ushered into His prescence.
I worship the Creator of the universe.
I want to run into the streets, shouting "LOOK at what the LORD has done!"
"the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes."
~ Psalm 118:23
Our hearts are grieving, yes.
For the baby that was almost ours,
for the family that did lose her,
For everyone that has loved this little gem of heaven.
And we rejoice.
We rejoice with this precious little one, healed and in the arms of her Creator.
I imagine Him dancing with her, and holding her close to His heart.
Once again, we back out of the wardrobe.
We have grown,
we have changed.
We will always remember.
We have seen Aslan on the move.
"'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king, I tell you."