October 22

Today, I am sharing a journal entry I wrote one year ago.  I wanted to commit my feelings and thoughts about that day to paper so that years later, I could read it to someone special.  I share it with you today. 

***

On October 22, everything in my life changed.

That morning, I felt God.  I stepped outside with Java in the morning.  It was dark and devastatingly beautiful outside.  It was colder–but not freezing.  It was clear and I could see the stars, which doesn’t happen every morning.  I looked up and really just felt awe–God was there and He wanted to bless me.

I stood on the patio in my bare feet and my pajamas looking up at the tall oak trees and the stars and feeling the chill in the air and I thought: THANK YOU.

I came inside, wanting to share my blessing with a still-sleeping David or with friends.  “His mercies are new every morning,” I would say or text, adding some commentary to share my special moment with those close to me.

But I decided instead to spend time with God, and I had a wonderful quiet time of prayer and Bible reading before heading off to get my flu shot and go to work.

Six hours later, the magical quality of my morning wasn’t matching my reality.  I was feeling sick from the flu shot and was kind of considering going home (a rarity for me.)  I met Heather for coffee from 1-2 hoping to perk myself up.  I decided I had too much to do to go home, gave myself a pep talk, and came back to the office to work on a presentation.  I almost didn’t answer my work phone when it rang.

But I did.  And everything changed.

It was our adoption agency.

“You’ve been selected,” they said.

“Selected? For what? A survey?” I asked.

They laughed, then got serious.  “No.  A birthmom selected you.”

And in that moment, my life exploded with happiness and joy, stress and joy, anxiety and worry and joy…but JOY.

And that is how I feel now.  Pure, simple JOY.

As Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed!” 

THIS girl can relate!! I am not carrying the Lord or even “carrying” a baby–but I AM overjoyed. And I am grateful and humbled that the Lord has fulfilled the things He said He would do for me.

“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord said to her will be accomplished!”

***

I didn’t know then where this would all lead.  I didn’t know our baby would be a healthy and beautiful girl, with no signs of the possible developmental delays that I was preparing for.  I didn’t know that I’d be leaving the job that I loved for a job I love just as much.  I didn’t know just how much more I could love my husband or how deeply I could love another human being.

But I knew something was beginning.

I don’t have a story of the moment I realized that I was pregnant.  I didn’t have a stick with a symbol on it, a heartbeat to listen to, or a belly that grew for 9 months that proved that something was happening.  But I have that day in all its beautiful messiness.

And even more than that, I have the 6 weeks that followed it, when a friend began pumping one extra breastmilk bottle per day for my baby, when emails with subject lines like “Prayer Request” and “Exciting News from Sarah and David” were sent and joyfully received among our closest friends and family…

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…when papers with scary and amazing truths were signed…

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…when my sister spent her own money and time to fly out from California and help put a nursery together…

IMG_0295…when friends willingly gave of their time during holiday season to help us create baby registries, assemble baby gear, notarize our forms, properly install carseats…

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IMG_0010…when friends encouraged us to use their beach condo and spend one last Thanksgiving as a couple without kids (and even though I felt totally overwhelmed and stressed out and may have cried for half of our beach weekend, I am so grateful that we have the good memories!!)…

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…when friends threw me a shower that made it feel like it was real…

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…and when friends and family members texted, called, emailed, and met with me to encourage me and tell me how much they believed that this would happen, speaking truths over the lies and fears that this wouldn’t come to fruition, that this wouldn’t work out, that I would never take my baby home.

YOU were my “belly,” the two lines, the heartbeat—the reminders that this was real, that something was happening, that this was joyful, that this was something to celebrate instead of stress over.  And I am so incredibly grateful for the support you have shown us over the last year.

And most of all, I am thankful for the God who showed me His presence that morning, the God who knew I needed a reminder of His love so that I could trust, the God who has shown me His presence every day since.  He is the God who knew that day that Zoe would ours, who knows who she’ll turn out to be someday, and who holds every day of our lives in His hands.

This morning Zoe woke up around midnight.  David fed her a bottle but she kept crying—she just wanted to be rocked.  So I went in and sat there holding my baby girl who is now spilling off the chair and thought: another holy morning.  Another October 22 starting with God’s presence.   May it be so for you as well.

“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”  -Romans 11:36

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7 thoughts on “October 22

  1. My sweet friend, Sarah. This is such a beautiful post! It brought me to tears. It doesn’t matter HOW you became a mother, just that you ARE.
    I love reading about your adventures with Zoe and your journey as a mother.
    Just for the record, I think this is a much sweeter thing to reflect on and remember than a stick with a symbol on it. 😉

  2. It was a blessing to read this Sarah. Thank you for sharing this with those who were willing to read it. Expecting myself, all the more sweeter are these thoughts and memories from another mother, her joy and hopes. I am so very happy for you and your family on this day and the ones that follow. Many more blessings on you.

    Your friend,
    Denise

  3. Sarah-
    As always your message is beautifully written. I love hearing your thoughts and fears about those early days before Zoe blessed this world. As Chuck and I get closer to Poema arriving, I too have the same worries. You and David are such wonderful parents and I know that God has such great plans for Zoe. I love you!

  4. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. Thank you for sharing your joy and a piece of your beautiful journey with us. Happy October 22nd to you and your beautiful daughter. 🙂

  5. Sarah. You may not remember me but we went to Whitworth together. I am reading yor blog post with years streaming down my face. I was adopted and have endured some judgment because of it from some meaningful people in my life. I cannot begin to tell you how meaningful your post was for me. Thank you so much for posting this–it has truly meant the world.

    God bless and keep writing.

    • Aw, thank you, Jessica! I do remember you (the last name temporarily threw me but I figured it out…congrats on getting married!!) Adoption is beautiful. I think that people who judge/criticize it just don’t fully understand what it is and what it does for children and families. I am so sorry that you have had to bear the weight of that lack of understanding. It isn’t fair. Your identity as a chosen and loved child should be celebrated. Thank you for your kind words and for speaking up, so that I know you are someone I can come to as a resource in the future if my daughter begins to face these types of comments. You are loved!

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