I knew the distraught voice on the other end of the line was our foster kids’ mom (who was very near her due date).
“Can you drive me to the hospital? We don’t have any gas in our car.”
She was having contractions every two minutes and she was in a lot of pain.
I was still in my PJ’s and robe and was getting my coat on to run the girls to school (in my PJ’s and robe!), so I knew I couldn’t get there right away. I encouraged her to call an ambulance, but after talking to Clint, he offered to go get her.
An hour later, I walked into her hospital room and put one hand on her shoulder and grabbed her other hand. As each contraction came, I tried to help her relax and breathe, but the poor girl was in pain!
I was able to stay by her side the entire day except for the few times I left to get food or, of course, coffee! While I was down in the atrium ordering my Starbucks, I got a call from upstairs. She was ready to deliver! So I raced back upstairs and upon instructions, grabbed her leg and held her hand and then had the amazing privilege of watching a new precious life enter this world. I’m still in awe.
Then they held him in front of me and asked me to cut the cord! Whoa.
He is absolutely perfect. My heart melts for him and aches for him all at the same time. She has decided to give the baby up for adoption, which I’m so thankful for. She hasn’t picked out the adoptive parents yet, but knows this is what is best for him. As I rocked him in my arms, I prayed over him that he would grow up to be a man full of integrity. A man who is a leader and loves the Lord. I told him that Jesus loves him.
You know, two years ago we started the domestic adoption process, hoping and praying for a baby to love and call our own. And yet, the Lord had such a different plan for us. We have told our agency we cannot take this baby. We don’t feel peaceful about it. We don’t believe that this is God’s will for us. We had to make that decision and yet now my heart is screaming, “I want him!” I want to bring him home with me. My heart is (and has been) invested in this little guy, but I have to choose not to trust emotions, but to trust my husband and the decision we already made.
There is an adoptive family for him. I am trusting the Lord for this. There is a family whose arms are aching, who are willing and able to call him theirs. But it’s not us. It’s bittersweet. It’s hard on me to say no, and yet I walk forward in faith.
I took a thousand pictures of him. Being an adoptive parent myself, I know how priceless the first (and any) pictures are of your child; I plan to make a small book of all his pictures and give them to the adoption agency to give to his adoptive parents. I’m incredibly excited about that.
This has been a day I will never forget. The Lord showed up supernaturally–I told Him he had to! Those of you who know me well know that I get queasy and faintish over minor things. I seriously didn’t know how I was going to make it. The first time I went with the kids’ mom to her doctor’s appointment, I nearly passed out watching the sonogram! Seriously, my ears started ringing and I had to go get water fast. So the fact that I didn’t feel queasy–not even once–is totally the Lord. He is Awesome!
I’m going back in tomorrow. I didn’t want to leave her tonight. She’s alone now. I just kept thinking, I want to be to her how my mom is to me. I want her to feel special and taken care of and loved. I want to be Jesus to her. What an honor.
Jami is the founder and Executive Director of The Forgotten Initiative. Jami and her husband, Clint, are parents to seven children: two biological daughters, two sons adopted internationally (Guatemala and Uganda) and a sibling set of three (two boys and a girl) adopted from foster care. Jami shared often on her blog, Life with a Personal God, during her family’s adoption and foster care journeys, and she is now sharing them here in hopes of being an encouragement to you!