Friday, January 30, 2009

It is All So Overwhwlming

I promised you all a better introduction to Micah when this was all over. It is not over yet, but we are feeling a little more comfortable at sharing him. The problem is that there are so many people involved and it is not my place to share their stories.I have also stated before that we have been guilty of sharing too much about Isaac. When they are little it is hard to remember that when they are older it may be embarrassing for them to have everyone know their story. I am sure I will not do it justice, but I will try and share as much as I can. It is very long. I just want a permanent record of it. I do not blame you if you do not read it all.

About a year and half ago we had a few of Bruce's online families who were in town over for dinner. In talking with them it came out that Isaac wanted a "brown brother" and we wanted to adopt again. One of the mothers sitting there had just found out the homeless teen they had taken in was pregnant. We just kind of acknowledged, "Wow, what if?" and moved on. A few months later we talked again and realized they were serious about adoption and we had to decide if we wanted to throw our names into the hat. At first we really did not know and decided to answer the long list of questions from the mother and just see what happens. We did not sell ourselves very well, as I did not think my husband was very serious. The next day, after I submitted our answers, he says something like, "If we are serious we need to look into the home study process, finances, etc." I could have killed him. I rushed through those answers thinking he was going to say no anyway! Well, she did not pick us at first. It was sad, but thankfully we believe in a sovereign God and did not blame ourselves for not taking the time to really do a good job on the questions. Fast forward a few weeks. Bruce had to speak with the father of the student about something school related and just thew in that if things did not work out with the other family, we were still interested. A couple of weeks later we received an email asking if we would be interested in taking the baby. Of course, we were! We rushed into adoption mode with not a lot of time. We spent time getting to know the birth mother through email and made plans for me to spend an unknown amount of time in Hawaii. I flew in the night before labor was induced. I met her the next day in the hospital. We hit it off at once. We shed a few tears and spent the day wishing her labor would move faster. I went back to the house I was staying in to get some rest and got a call at about 2am that he had been born. Originally the plan was for her to be alone with him for a while and then she would hand him over to me. I had already told her that I knew it would be hard for her to be right down the street from him while I was waiting for the state to say I could leave, so I did not mind if we spent time together while we were still there. So, the three of us spent 3 days in the hospital together. She did not want to be alone and I had never left a child at the hospital, so it just seemed natural to be there with him. I pulled out my cot right beside her bed and it was a little like a sleep over. I will cherish that time forever. She and I had some very emotional talks and became so comfortable with each other. She was able to feed him and take care of him. I even had her pick out is going home outfit. She never did change a diaper, though! She told me how much it meant to do those things because now she would never have to wonder what it would be like to feed him, or hold him while he slept, or any of those things we mothers take for granted everyday. Bruce joined me a few days later. We left Hawaii knowing we would see her again in a few months. Things started to unravel once we got home. We were told our adoption was going to take a few months longer than we anticipated. Things were weird since we were a continent apart. We know now the judge never wanted it to be said that the birth father did not have a fair chance because of the distance. After a few months it was a few more months and then it grew into almost a year. In the meantime the birth mother, the people who took her in as family and us were trying to move on with life. This past year has been difficult for a lot of people. But we are all rejoicing now! Her attorney was trying to call her from the courthouse on Tuesday. He looked at me and asked if I wanted to be the one to tell her. I was so excited, but got her voicemail.You may ask why would it be exciting to share this with her. Wouldn't it be sad for her that parental rights had been terminated? The great thing about her is that she never forgets who is the most important person in all of this. It is so vital to her that Micah does not experience everything she has had to experience. She has said more than once that she is so happy for the life he is going to get to have. That night I finally got her and it was so good to hear her voice and share that moment with her. Another thing that I never want to forget.

There is so much I left out. Like I said it is not only my story to tell. The thing that is so overwhelming in all of this is how close our son came to living a life that I had only experienced on movies or TV shows. You see, God chooses to take certain children out of deplorable situations and places them in Christian, covenant homes. How overwhelming is that? If I could tell you more you would know I have not exaggerated. I am going through the phase right now of realizing what could have been and it is heartbreaking and joyous at the same time. And then I wonder why God chose us to raise this child. Why did God choose Micah? I do not have the answers but I do know that when people say the price (literally and emotionally) is not worth it, I just want to scream. I know it is a calling and God does not call us all to bring these children into our homes, but to be a part of this miraculous work that God has done is an honor.

So, please let me introduce to you Micah Samuel Makana Etter. The cutest baby who never cries and has the most beautiful smile ever. Yes, I can say these things because he does not come from my gene pool.

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