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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lydia's Story Part II: The Meeting

So...you all liked my cliff-hanger ending to Part I, right?? Well...here goes Part II -- I hope you enjoy it! :)

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The rest of that Sunday night was spent anxiously awaiting for another phone call from Carrie. I kept praying for a safe delivery, for strength for Heather and that things would just go well. The following morning, Monday, Jan. 17th, I went through my normal morning ritual. As I prepared for work, I expected my phone to ring at any second, but it never did. I debated on whether or not I should share the news with my co-workers, since nothing was "for sure" yet. I didn't want to tell them anything - I knew it would be difficult to have to tell them that Heather didn't choose us, or that things didn't work out, and yet, how could I hide my excitement?

I entered the bank as I normally would, greeting my co-workers and checking my normal things. Finally, about half an hour after I got there I said, "I'm going to keep my cell phone in my pocket today. We're having a bit of a "family emergency", so if you see me running to the kitchen, it's just that I got a phone call I have to answer."

Jessi, one of my co-workers looked at me with wide-eyes, "Adoption???" I couldn't prevent a smile from creeping across my face. Immediately she and Mary began pestering me with questions. I held up my hand, "Wait! I don't want to give you a lot of details right now, because nothing is for sure yet." But still, I couldn't keep from smiling. Then the questioning began:

Jessi: How soon would the baby be born?
Me: Soon.
Jessi: Like...in a month?
Me: Um...like....really soon.
Jessi: Like...now???
Me: [smile] Maybe...

And so it went. Jessi and Mary asked me as many questions as they could think of, and I answered them somewhat ambiguously, and some I chose not to answer. At 9:30, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I yanked it out, saw that it was a long distance number, and bolted for the kitchen. I answered my phone nervously, and Carrie greeted me on the other line:

Carrie: Hi, Liz...well...we have a baby!"

My heart leapt with joy.

Carrie: It's a girl...

A grin began spreading across my face.

Carrie: She's only 4 lbs, 12 oz, and has some dark fuzz for hair.

Tearing up, a laugh/sob escaped my mouth.

Carrie: I'm going in to talk with Heather in about an hour and explain to her what's happened with the other family, and to show her your portfolio and ask if she wants to meet you.

Me: Okay...you'll call me back when you're done talking with her to let me know the results?

Carrie: Yes. It shouldn't be any later than noon by the time I get back to you.

And with that, we hung up. I couldn't believe it...a girl!! And so tiny! I immediately called Joe, waking him up to tell him the news. I told him I'd call him back once I heard the news on Heather. Then I called my mom and Joe's mom, hurriedly explaining what had transpired so far, and to please pray!

I walked back to my desk. They looked at me expectedly, waiting for me to share something. Again, I had a stupid grin on my face that I just couldn't get rid of!! I told them that the baby had been born, and Jessi immediately guessed that it was a girl. They started asking more questions and again, I said they'd have to wait, as the social worker was going to talk to the birthmom and find things out.

And again, I waited...

Finally, at about 10:45 or so, my pocket buzzed again. I saw the long distance number and raced back to the kitchen area for the second time that day. "Hello?" I answered breathlessly.

Carrie: Liz? This is Carrie.

Me: Hi Carrie!

Carrie: I just got done talking with Heather, and she is comfortable with moving forward with you.

My heart stopped.

Me: Really? (I think it came out as a bit of a squeak)

Carrie: Yep. She remembered your portfolio, and would like to meet you if that's possible...

My eyes began filling with tears. Could this really be happening?? Finally?? An answer to all our prayers??

Carrie: Do you know when you'd be able to make it over here?

Me: Today! We can leave right now!

Carrie: Well....we are supposed to be having a snow storm this afternoon, so that may not be the best idea. How about tomorrow, Wed. or Thurs?

Me: Tomorrow! We can leave tomorrow morning and be there by 1pm or so.

Carrie: Okay. I'll let Heather know you'll be here around 1pm.

As I hung up with Carrie, I was in a bit of shock. This was actually happening...we were going to be meeting with a birthmother...who'd already had her baby!! Unbelievable!! I quickly called Joe, my voice shaking as I told him "She said yes! We're leaving tomorrow to meet her!" Then I called my Mom and Joe's mom, asking them to pray, and we all shed a few tears. As I walked back out to my desk, I couldn't help but jump for joy - Jessi and Mary saw me and their eyes lit up with excitement for me. I hurriedly explained to them the details that I knew so far, and their faces beamed back at me.

The rest of the day was a blur...all I could think was, "Oh my word. This is actually happening. I can't believe it. Praise God!" I tried to make a list of the things I needed to pack, and tried to think of something to give Heather as a gift, since I knew not many people would probably be giving her much, since she was placing her daughter for adoption.

That night I picked out a gift for Heather - a coffee mug that said, "Free to be Me: 'I am fearfully and wonderfully made'", with the reference from Psalm 139. I also grabbed a travel size lotion and a bottle of shower gel, and planned to buy some chocolates to add to the mix, cuz what woman doesn't like chocolate?? :) I also wrapped a 0-3 month pink outfit with birdies on it, and a soft, fleecey blanket that my Mom had sent with me the previous weekend, hoping that our meeting would go well so that I could give that outfit to the baby girl.

As I packed my things, I tried on outfit after outfit, trying to decide what I would wear to meet Heather. I also called our social worker, who encouraged me and gave me some tips, as well as made a few phone calls to some of my closest friends, letting them know what was happening, and to please be praying for us the following day at around 1pm!! Somehow, I fell asleep that night...and woke up feeling super nervous. We managed to load up the van and left the house on time for once, and began our 4 1/2 hr journey.

And let's just say....I'm very grateful there weren't any cops along the road that day, because I was definitely doing at least 80 mph....hehehe....

Anywho.

About half an hour before we arrived, I began to feel extremely nervous. My hands started sweating and I asked Joe if we could pray, since I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my body. He prayed, and I tried to not let all the worst case scenario's run through my head. We made a quick stop at Walgreens to pick up the chocolate for Heather's gift, and then attempted to find our way to the hospital.

After only 3 wrong turns, we finally we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital. As we walked through the front doors, Carrie called Joe's cell and told us where to meet her. We sat down with her in the cafeteria area, and she explained to us what we should expect and asked if we had any questions. I inquired about the gifts, and she said that I could bring Heather's gift in with me, but to hang on to the baby gift until after we talked to her. Carrie told us that Heather wasn't very chatty, and could sometimes be hard to read, which made me even more nervous - I'm terrible with small talk, let alone with someone who holds your future in your hands!!

As we made our way up to the birthing center, my heart pounded in my ears, and I kept praying that God would give us the words to say and that His will would be done. I prayed specifically that if this was not meant to be, that Heather would turn us down so that we'd never meet her precious baby. After we arrived on the third floor, Carrie had us wait in one of the waiting rooms while she went to tell Heather we had arrived. Joe put his arm around me as we waited, and I said, "I am so scared." "Me too." He answered, and we looked at each other, knowing that day could change our lives forever.

Carrie came back to get us, and we followed her into Heather's room. As we entered, Heather was sitting on a rocking chair, looking towards us. Carried introduced us, and I gulped, told myself to smile (because it was either smile or burst into tears!), and stepped towards her, "Hi. Here's a gift for you." I said with a smile. She looked surprised. Then she opened it, commenting on how she liked the body products and the mug. *Phew!*

We sat on the couch across from Heather, with Carrie sitting on a chair kiddy-corner from us. Carrie said that she would have us talk about a few things, and then if there was anything we didn't cover, Heather could ask a few questions from her list at the end. We all agreed. Carrie asked us to begin by talking about our families. At this point, I realized I hadn't really prepped Joe at all....and though he is more than capable of having a conversation with someone, what if he froze and seemed stand-offish?? I gulped again, and offered up a quick prayer for my husband. We both shared about our siblings and parents, and I was so proud of how relaxed and confident Joe seemed. Thank you, Lord!

Next, Carrie asked us to explain how we met. In the middle of explaining how we met in college, there was a knock on the door. Carrie looked surprised, and got up to answer. Two older ladies entered the room -- they were Heather's aunts, coming to visit her. I could tell that Carrie was not expecting visitors, and so she asked Heather if she wanted them to be in the room while we finished talking, or if she'd rather them wait outside until we were done. Heather said, "It's fine. They can be in here." I could tell that's not what Carrie was expecting...but...oh well! So the aunts came in and introduced themselves to us, then sat down to listen to the rest of our meeting.

Talk about intimidating. I was really freaked now!

We finished explaining how we met, and Carrie asked us to talk about our jobs, where we lived and a few other things that I don't remember now. :) Then it was Heather's turn. She asked what our hobbies were, what family traditions we had, what our dog was like, and then she asked about our religious beliefs. I gulped again, sent up a quick prayer and answered, "We're Bible believing Christians. We believe that Jesus died for our sins on the cross so that we would have a way to be with Him for eternity." She seemed content with that, and I didn't take the time to analyze my answer! Then she asked what the schools were like in our area. We described them briefly, and then shared that we had both been homeschooled, and that we hoped to homeschool our children in the future...at least for the first few years. Again, she seemed content with that answer.

Then, she asked us to describe our personalities. Ugh. I hate that question! And I swear that it was on every. single. adoption paper that we filled out! I sighed, and Joe and I laughed as we looked at each other. Carrie laughed too and quipped, "No pressure! It kind of feels like you're in the Miss America pageant or something....you have to have a charming and winsome personality!" We laughed, and then one of the aunts suggested that we describe each other's personality. "That's much easier!" I said, and we laughed again. Then Heather spoke up, and with a completely straight face she said, "Well....you know that your answer to this question determines whether I pick you or not."

*blink* *blink*

My heart stopped, and there was a moment of pure silence, and then Heather began to grin, and we all burst out into nervous laughter. Sheesh! Talk about a terrible time to make a joke!! ;) We described each other's personality, and then Heather asked us if we had any questions for her. I couldn't think of any, and she assured us that if there was anything we wanted to know, that now was the time to ask. I asked her to describe her family life, which she went on to do. After a bit more small talk, Carrie said she'd have us leave the room while she talked with Heather.

She escorted us out and back into the waiting room we had been in before. "I'll go talk to her and I"ll be back." She said, as she slipped back out of the room. We sat down and I just began to bawl. All of my pent up emotions and nervousness came flooding forth and I just cried. "What's the matter?!??" Joe asked nervously, to which I replied, "I don't know! I'm just crying cuz that's what I do!!" Poor guy. He has a bit of a dramatic wife. :)

We sat there for what seemed like an eternity, but was really only about 15 minutes. Carrie entered the room again, sat down and said....

To be continued...

7 comments:

Lise said...

I know the answer! ha! =)
(yay!)

Kathy said...

Oh Liz it's so hard to read this thru the tears!!!! more, more I want to read more of this lovely true birth story

Sarah Banowetz Photography said...

S.e.r.i.o.u.s.l.y....

You had me sobbing. And, I still REALLY want to know the 'end' (which is actually the beginning!)!

Will you finish part 3 before you leave this weekend?!?

Liz said...

I probably won't finish Part III before this weekend...but I will "complete" the story before she arrives home for good! I promise! :)

Charity said...

Yay for part 2!
Wow, girl, I think you need to write a book. You're good at leaving us hanging ;)
Ready for part 3!!

J-Funk said...

oh. my. gosh.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing you do this in installments...I bawl my way through each post. What a beautiful story, Liz!
-Natalie