Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ellie Grace

“For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked.” 1 Samuel 1:27

Our miracle is here! On July 24th, we welcomed Miss Ellie Grace into the world and our hearts have gotten fuller with each passing day since.

Here is a glimpse at the story of how we came to be the lucky parents of this beautiful little girl.

On May 15th, following another difficult lonely Mother's Day, we received word that we had been chosen by an expectant mother and her husband. They wanted to meet us in a few weeks, at the agency. So on June 1st we made the drive up and stayed overnight. Bright and early the next morning we went to the agency to meet them. Our nerves were high and our excitement higher! We spent about 2 hours getting to know one another and left with all of us feeling even more thrilled and hopeful.

Over the next month we texted frequently, continuing to get to know one another. On June 30th, we attended an ultrasound and genetics appointment with the expectant mother. The feelings that we felt when we finally saw our precious baby on the screen and heard that beautiful heartbeat were incredible. And we were over the moon to learn that it was a girl!

The next few weeks passed far too slowly in our minds. Every week we grew more excited and more anxious. By the 2nd week of July we had the car seat installed and our bags mostly packed. Each day we awoke wondering and hoping that maybe this would be the day we would finally meet our angel. When she was given a date for being induced, we still insisted there was no way our little girl would wait that long. But oh, she was already in the business of proving us wrong! She waited until the day they forced her out; perfectly content in her little haven.

On July 24th, we left home very early and drove up to the hospital. We checked in regularly with the mother during her labor. As things were progressing very slowly, we ventured out for lunch expecting it to be our last meal outside of the hospital for a couple of days. The hours upon returning from lunch continued to seem like days. I couldn't concentrate to read or watch TV or play games. All I could do was sit and day dream about the moment we would finally hold her. So once again we were persuaded to go out for dinner, and the mother was going to try to take a nap after having finally received an epidural.

While we were out, she texted to say her water had broken. We quickly got back to the hospital and checked in with her once more, not knowing it would be the last time we would check in with her pre-birth. Shortly after, I received another text saying it was time to push. When I told her that I was an emotional wreck at that point and that I was crying the happiest of tears, she wrote back telling me she was so glad to be doing this for us and was certain it was meant to be. Her words to me then will forever touch my heart somewhere deep inside that I never imagined existed. As she was beginning what would be a very difficult time for her (physically during the pain and emotionally for a long time after), she was still thinking of us and saying things to encourage us.

(Side story that I feel the need to share: This woman who gave birth to my gorgeous daughter... well, she is by far the most amazing person I have met to this day. So often she tried to make the experience all about us, when it was really all about her and the baby she created. Very rarely did she show emotions of sadness, fear or anything negative. She was focused and determined, wanting nothing more than to give her baby the best life she felt she could in that time and place of her life. The love I feel for her is tremendous, and its been incredibly difficult for me to not hug her and tell her how much I love her. But it didn't take long to learn that she needed some distance from emotions that would be too deep. So I constantly kept my own emotions in check and worked hard at focusing on her.)

The time in between her saying she was getting ready to push, and a nurse coming to get us to bring us back to our baby girl passed both in the slowest way possible and all in a blur at the same time. I don't think I will ever forget them coming out to get us and opening the door to the labor and delivery area. I started down the hallway and saw a bundle in a bassinet coming towards me. With tears in my eyes, I asked if she was mine and looked down and saw the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.

I think I will let a few pictures take over in telling the rest of the story now. Clearly we are head over heels in love with this perfect, amazing and beautiful girl that God blessed us with. And, lest you ever wonder how it feels to adopt a baby... there is not a single day that I don't look into her eyes and while feeling tremendous gratitude to have her, also feeling tremendous sadness that in order for us to have her, her birth parents had to let her go. My happiness is their pain, and for that, I refuse to stop taking time every day to remember that and to pray for them. It's a gift like no other.