This is long overdue, which puts a lot of pressure on it to be perfect, but I really want to tell the story if for no other reason, so that I remember it. It picks up from the loss of baby boy #1, because like it or not, that is part of the story.
When we heard about baby boy #1 it seemed really perfect. My adoption friends all talk about how God used little things to show them that their child was theirs. There were multiple things about that baby that made me think he was ours. He was born on my niece's birthday, we found out about him on Van's birthday and the biggest thing was that I have one cousin who is adopted who shares a name with that baby's birth mom. It just seemed perfect, which is why I think that I let myself enter it so fully without protecting my heart. When I look back on it now, I can see that I was looking for those things, trying to make it work in my heart so that I would then have a good story to tell when all along I should have been listening to the Lord. When it fell through I was crushed and really had a hard time believing it was over.
All this time I knew that God was sovereign, but it was just hard to accept that it was 'best' for us to be hurt in this way (because obviously this was all about me).
A few days after the loss of the baby I went to the bookstore to find a new book to read because every book on my to-read list at home was about adoption and I needed to just not think about adoption for a while. I randomly* got the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. From the first page God began to use her words to heal my heart and mature my faith. A quote from the third page says "How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?" God used the book to meet me in a place of hurt and brokenness and discouragement and take me to a place of thankfulness in all things and joy in the midst of pain.
Now, a little information just to give you the full picture: after the loss of the baby boy, Van and I had a few conversations about if we were emotionally in a place to accept a little girl if we were called about a girl.
On March 15, I was reading this book, the author was breaking down Luke 22:19 which is when Jesus breaks the bread and gives thanks just a few hours before He is to be beaten and crucified. The word for thanksgiving there is eucharisteo which has the word Charis, grace, and Chara, joy. Now I don't say this often, but God spoke to me very clearly and said, you will name your daughter Karis Joy. Again, I don't frequently go around saying "God told me," but that is exactly what happened. I knew it like I know that my eyes are green. I was floored because really in my head I had always thought we would have a boy, but I just said yes Lord and went to sleep. The next day we headed to the beach for what we were jokingly calling our "Babymoon," (if only we knew) and on the way there I shared with Van what God had told me. I'm not sure what he thought, but it planted the seed for him.
On Friday, March 18, we spent the day on the beach and had actually just had a conversation about how the biggest decision we had to make that day was where we we were going to eat dinner. When we got back to the condo we had both missed a call from our social worker and her voicemail said that there was a "situation" (code for baby) that she needed to run by us. We were really nervous and almost didn't want to call her back because we did not want to go through the hurt again, but we did. She told us about a little GIRL born MARCH 15 (at that point I could barely breathe) who was currently in cradle care and her birthmother had an appointment to surrender her rights. Were we interested? As soon as I heard March 15, I jumped up got my journal and began pointing to my entry on that day where I had written her name. Of course we were interested! We were ready to jump in the car and come home, but she encouraged us to stay, as they didn't want us to take the baby home until after the bmom's rights were at least surrendered. We could assume the risk until they were terminated if we wanted to. We decided to enjoy our vacation (although it was all we could think about) and keep it to ourselves until we got home. I am so thankful that we were on vacation and that it was just us. It allowed us to be in this together and not depend on other's reactions. It allowed us to be a team and was just a really sweet time of being just the two of us for a few last days. That vacation, which we had planned two months earlier was really a gift from God. His timing is perfect.
We came home on Sunday, stopping to get some baby girl clothes on the way. Her bmom's rights were terminated on Monday, and we were able to bring her home on Wednesday. It was a very scary time until her rights were terminated. In fact her bfather's rights are not officially terminated yet, but I really feel like God spoke to us in a very real way to assure us that she is ours, and even if it's not forever, that He is in this.
Another coincidence** is that on her birthday (before we knew it was her birthday) was that Van got a bonus and some sweet friends offered us their condo saving us money which when put together gave us enough to be able to pay to bring her home. We did not have the money prior to this.
I know that God is Sovereign, but this story just magnifies that. It makes me cry just thinking about how He lovingly orchestrated it all. He allowed Van and I to have one last relaxing trip together before our lives changed. He told me about our baby girl before I knew about her so that I would have a peace when we brought her into our home. He even allowed her crib to come in two days before we brought her home. She is close to the same age as many of my friends who have babies. God is good and His timing is perfect, even when (especially when) it isn't how I would have done things.
*When I use the word randomly, it is often meant to show how God was working when I wasn't looking.
**same with coincidence