Thursday, January 23, 2014

Our Christmas Blessing

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be writing my next post to announce the fact that we are parents. Kynley Hope was born on December 19th and she is ours!

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write this post.  I know many of you have been waiting patiently to hear the story of our baby girl's arrival, but with all that is going on this is literally the first time I am sitting down at a computer since before Christmas. 
It is so interesting to look at the last post that I wrote, and to read just how heartbroken we were.  We had no clue what the Lord was going to do in our lives; all we knew was that we were to trust Him.  And even in what was such a hard circumstance, I did trust the Lord.  I believed that He was who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.  The fact that God is trustworthy is what walked me through the days and weeks after our disrupt. 
Before I get to the day that Kynley was born, I must tell of what God was doing in my heart leading up to her arrival.  I was already planning out a post for this blog explaining all that God was teaching me, but I never got to sit down and type that out.  The Sunday after our last disrupt the Advent season began.  This year advent was more real to me than ever before.  As I began to read and study about Christ's first coming, I was reminded of the fact that the Israelites had been waiting for years for the Messiah.  Jesus' birth and arrival was greatly anticipated and the fulfillment of years of longing.  This year, more than ever before, I understood how it felt to long and wait for something while trusting in the Lord's timing.  In no way was our wait for a child anything similar to Christ's coming, but God was using our wait to show me how longed for Jesus' coming was.  As I began to think about the night of his birth, I began to imagine how the shepherds must have felt when they heard the announcement of his birth.  And as I pondered that, it became clear to me that Jesus' birth brought something into the world that was powerful:  HOPE.  What hope his arrival brought!  God's promises would now be fulfilled.  Death defeated.  Sin paid for.  Eternal life with the Lord now possible.  His birth ushered hope into the world like never before.  And in the midst of the waiting that I was personally walking through, hope was found. 
Many were asking me how I was doing during that time and even though it was hard, I was filled with hope.  God was meeting me in the midst of confusion and giving me secure ground that I could walk on:  He can be trusted.  He has a plan.  No matter what happened to us, my hope was found outside of this earth, in the person of Jesus.  And I realized that just as Christ's first coming was greatly anticipated and ushered in HOPE, so should I be longing for and awaiting for Jesus' coming again. 
So that is where I was on December 18th when Clay and I arrived for an already scheduled meeting with our adoption agency.  We had asked the agency for a meeting to discuss where we were at after the disrupt we had just walked through. We sat down with the owner of our agency, and caught up for a few minutes before we expressed to her that we just wanted to touch base and see where we were at in the process now.  She said that she wanted to hear where we were at to see just how we were healing and processing after the disrupt.  Clay looked at me and I nodded as he answered her, "Well, to be perfectly honest, we have prayed every day since our disrupt that we would just get a phone call to go to the hospital. We are just ready to be parents."  The owner understood and told us that while that does happen it does not happen often, but she did want to tell us about a specific situation in which she thought we might be a good match.  But she just wanted to know if we were ready for that. 
She then explained that there was a specific birth mom that the staff had been praying about in matching with us, but they had not mentioned it to us because the timing was just too close to our disrupt.  This mom was not due until February so they had time to pray and wait and give us some distance and healing from our last situation.  They had waited to match this mom because she had requested specific things that lined up perfectly with us.  However, on Tuesday (the day before our meeting), the birthmother had a scheduled doctor's visit and had asked to look at books after that.  They already knew that we were scheduled for a meeting the next day, so they showed her our book on the stipulation that we might come back and say no because we were not ready.  The birthmother looked at our book and selected us to be the parents but she understood all that we had just walked through and was willing to wait to hear what we would say. 
As she was telling us about this, I was sitting there thinking how soon February was!  Oh my goodness! I never expected to find out that there was a potential birthmother at this meeting!  As the owner of our agency was finishing telling us about this situation, her phone rang so she left the room to take the call.  This was the perfect time because Clay and I could sit and process together about what we had just heard.  After a few moments, we both knew that we were interested and wanted to hear more about this particular birthmom.  The owner came back in the room and sat down with us.  We expressed to her that we were interested in finding out more information about this mom. 
She then said, "Now you said that you were wanting a phone though.  You just wanted to go to the hospital.  Now, if that were to ever happen would you want the 10 day revocation period to be over so you wouldn't have to risk the emotion of another loss or would you want to risk it and be there at the hospital?"  We both answered that we thought we would be willing to risk the emotions of it if it meant that we could be at the hospital.  She then looked right at Clay and I and said,"Well that phone call I just received was from the caseworker with the birthmom I was just telling you about.  She is at the hospital and in labor and at a 7." 
I WAS SHOCKED.  Of course, we both said "WHAT?!"  and she answered us that it was true.  I think she said, "You could be parents today."  We immediately prayed together, and discussed a few more details before she told us we could get away for a few minutes to discuss privately what we wanted to do.  Clay looked right at me and said, "I don't need to discuss anything.  This is exactly what we have prayed for."  I was sure too.  So we looked at her and said that we were in and asked what we needed to do next.  She said, "You need to get in your car and drive to the hospital." 
We got in the car in a complete daze and headed to the hospital.  We didn't tell anyone we were headed there and just drove and talked.  As we drove I told Clay that I thought part of this baby girl's name was Hope just because of all that I had been learning in the weeks before.  We got to the hospital and met the birthmother.  I can't even describe the moments we had together as we were swapping stories and trying to get to know one another.  It was beautiful.  Within the first hour of meeting her, she quoted a passage of Scripture to us that had been a part of her decision to place for adoption.  Romans 5:3-5.  It says: 
"3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
And there it was again:  HOPE.  It was surely a part of her name.  As we decided on the first name Kynley, we asked the birthmom to help us pick her middle name.  I'll never forget her looking at me and saying, "It's Hope.  That is her name.  Because she is giving me hope and she is bringing hope to you." 
After sitting and waiting all day, Kynley Hope was born at 1:21 a.m. on December 19th.  We were able to be right outside the door and could hear everything as we waited for her to arrive.  She was born at 33 weeks so the NICU team was ready and waiting for her.  We were able to be with her right away as they were working on her.  The moments are a blur but also ones I will never forget.  There in front of me was this perfect little baby girl and she was ours.  And not even 24 hours before we were still trusting in God's perfect timing and not knowing that He was about to bless our socks off.  
After they worked on her and got her stable, they brought her back into the labor and delivery room where Clay and I were sitting with the birthmother.  They wheeled her in and let us look at her through the small isolette she was in.  The birthmother got to stick her hands through the holes and touch her for the frist time.  Then it was Clay and I's turn.  I stuck my hand through the hole and felt this tiny little hand wrap around my finger, and I melted.  The emotions in that moment are hard to describe.  I lost it.  And I turned around and looked over my shoulder and saw the brithmom in the bed and she was smiling through tears as she said, "I am so happy. Can you give me a hug?"  Such a beautiful moment that was full of opposing emotions.  A hugely hard moment for her but also one full of joy for us.  But she was still happy for us in the midst of it all.  Adoption involves so many different emotions, and that is what makes it so beautiful.  
We are so humbled at God's working on our behalf.  And we are humbled by the immense amount of support and encouragement we have received from all of you.  Kynley is doing well, but we are still in the NICU.  She is doing well in every single area except for feeding.  This is normal for preemies as they are not born knowing how to do that.  Once she improves in her eating, we will get to go home.  
Please keep praying for us as we are waiting to go home.  And please keep praying for the precious woman who gave us this precious gift out of her love for this baby. 
We are praising God for this Christmas blessing!  She is forever ours!