Once I hung up with Liz, Chris and I embraced. A son. We had a son just waiting for us in Michigan. I called my mom and said, "Mom, your new grandson was born Friday night." I called my best friend and left a message, "She picked us. We got him." Unbelief. Relief. Pure excitement.
Chris and I packed up the car and headed to church. Our plan was to leave for Michigan and drive all night once he was done speaking. I used the hour drive to get some details worked out. I called my friend in Michigan and told her the good news. I asked her if she could go to my house and wash bottles, nursery linens, burp cloths, blankets, and all of my gender neutral baby clothes I had already bought. She was ecstatic and more than willing, of course. I remember saying to Chris, "You have a son." Our minds and bodies were in shock and running off of adrenaline. I couldn't sit still. My hands were practically shaking.
We arrived at church to a group of friends who had already heard the news from a contact person Chris had texted. Hugs all around! It didn't take them long to decide to send us on our way immediately, and they would change their plans for Sunday School and the Service. They prayed for us, and Chris and I were on the road. We made one detour. I popped into Target and Marshalls and bought two big bags worth of blue boy stuff. Blue towels, socks, clothes. Two very large bags. We also drove through Rosa's for our last taste of Mexican food before we left Texas. Priorities right? Baby, then Mexican food.
In the middle of my second taco, Liz called to check in and let us know that everything was going well, but the birthmother wanted to "tap the breaks a little." She felt like everything was moving so fast, and she didn't want to discharge the baby til she met with us. Also, she decided to give the baby a name to put on the birth certificate, but was fine if we changed his name later. Even though Liz made no mention of the adoption not taking place, the wind was knocked out of me. All excitement turned into hesitancy and concern. Chris was still optimistic and kept telling me to stop acting like this wasn't going to happen, but these were two BIG red flags in my mind. Why would she give the baby a name? We weren't even out of Texas yet. We had 17 hours of driving ahead of us.
I felt deflated. I would say to Chris, "I don't know. Why would she tap the breaks? We're not going to get him." "Stop," he would say. "We don't know that." My head was a mess. Out of control. Where had my joy gone? Real joy lasts, even when faced with potentially hard circumstances. Maybe what I had felt that morning wasn't true joy. Had I not learned about true joy during all of my infertility? Month after month, had God not taught me that my joy is not found in my circumstances? It's fine to be disappointed, but what I was feeling was an emptiness in the pit of my stomach. I was fearful. Joy and fear cannot coexist. While I was taking a turn driving in Missouri I decided to stop. Stop being afraid of what Liz's next phone call might say. My mind still went back to that place of desperation, but I was quicker to recognize it and walk away from it.
That drive from Texas to Michigan is always a long one, but this was exceptionally long. I drove through Missouri and watched the sunset, and I took the last shift and watched the sun rise in Michigan. We arrived home at 7am to washed bottles in the kitchen and clean clothes folded in the nursery. Chris and I promptly went to bed. We laid next to one another while I called Liz to let her know we made it back and could go to the hospital whenever she was ready for us. She sounded as exhausted as us. She said, "I just spoke with the birthmother and she's decided to keep the baby. I'm headed to the hospital right now to talk to her about her plan." I looked at Chris and said, "She's keeping him." "Does she know anything else about the other circular?" he was quick to ask, still holding out for that baby girl. Liz said that they had chosen a family and were moving on with an adoption plan.
No baby boy. No baby girl. We didn't say anything else to one another. Just rolled over and went to sleep.
More to come,