I don’t know where to start. This story…our story…our life is too big to comprehend, right now.
How do I take a God-sized miracle, set in motion from the beginning of time, and shape it with human words? I’m not sure that I can. But I’ll try.
We’re walking down the corridor of her apartment complex. Ben looks and me and says, “This is not normal. What we’re doing here, it’s not normal.” I know. I try to avoid eye contact to keep my emotions in check. Why is it that our most emotional conversations happen in hallways? I took a deep breath, threw him a quick I-love-you-to-the-ends-of-the-earth glance, and emphatically said, “We can do this.”
He knocks on the door; she opens. Rebekah. Our baby’s mama. All these weeks of talking and emailing and loving…and there she is. I squeeze her as hard as I can and wish I never had to let go. The next 10 hours are a whirlwind of activity as we treat the kids to a day of fun (go carts, laser tag, mini golf, etc).
Love is a funny thing. In its presence, the world doesn’t exist and when your heart morphs back to reality it’s changed for the better. One of Rebekah’s daughters kept hugging me throughout the day. As we snuggled close in a double-seated go cart, she leaned her head on my shoulder and whispered, “I’m so glad you’re part of our family, now.” As I choked back tears, all I could muster was, “Me too.”
As our story continues to unfold, it becomes clear that this is not just about a baby. The Lord has connected our two families for a purpose unknown and the magnitude of that realization has had ripple effects on my heart. Our time with Rebekah was incredible. She is even more amazing in person. It wasn’t until we had said our goodbyes that I realized I hadn’t thought of the baby all day. Weird, I know. We were so enthralled in the moments, soaking in every second we had with Rebekah and her kids, that the baby never really crossed my mind. Of course, we talked about the baby. Her kids had all sorts of questions for us, some endearing, others amusing. My favorite has to be, “Do you know that your baby is going to be brown?” [smile].
The day before we left a friend asked, “Can you believe you’re going to actually be in the same room as your baby…touching her belly…feeling him kick?” It was all I could think about for days. But we got there and all I could think about was Rebekah…and her kids. She is not kidding when she says she has her hands full. I cannot begin to imagine how she does it alone. She is heroic, in more than one way.
We never intended to waltz in, take someone’s baby, and move on with life. But we also never imagined having a life long relationship with our baby’s family either….Until that is, we met Rebekah. My heart ripped out when her kids asked when they would get to see us again. I don’t know. We went back to our hotel with heavy hearts. These aren’t just cool people…they are baby boy’s family. He has brothers and sisters…aunties…an uncle…a grandma and grandpa…
We got to meet one of baby boy’s aunties and the first words out of her mouth were, “I have to hug you, you guys are my heroes…” Me? No way. I’m not a hero. I’m just one girl who desperately wants to be a mom. They are the heroes. They love this baby boy more than life and are sacrificially giving him to Ben and me. It’s not just the willingness…it’s the excitement. They are excited for us. I’ve never heard or seen anything like it. This simply cannot be explained apart from our Father.
We have to come back. How can we walk away from a 10 year old saying, “We’re really sad that we’re losing our brother…but we know how much you love him and want him…and that makes us really happy...”?
I don’t know where this story will go, but I do know that it’s not going to end with tearful goodbyes at the hospital…okay, they’ll probably be tearful, just not forever.
We ended our night at an Easter play that Rebekah’s girls were in (And by play I mean the most amazing production I’ve ever seen – comparative to Broadway!). We went to our seats and Rebekah cried out that her belly was in the way, when she knocked it on the seat in front of us. When the row attendant looked at her strange, she explained that she was pregnant. He, of course, offered up congratulations, but then she looked at me and said, “And this is my baby’s mama.” That scene played in my mind all night...Usually I'm the one saying those very words.
Jesus was on stage feeding the 5,000 and celebration broke out as someone sang, “I believe, I believe. I believe in the miracle of God.” Tears streamed down my face. I was sitting next to my baby’s mama, celebrating our Lord and Savior as it was beautifully depicted on stage, and soaking in the magnificence of the moment. All the years of pain and heartache have melted away in the beauty of this story.
I believe. I believe.
I believe in the miracle of God.
Our weekend through the eye of the lens:
While Ben shot nerf guns (at us!) with the boys.
We did go carts...
We had lunch, dinner, and late-night ice cream together...