Hope is a weird thing.
I'm late posting this, but it's been a day.
I got an email from our adoption coordinator this morning. We’ve been working with this agency for over a year now, working towards adoption for three. Wanting to have a family for ten. Lots of stops and starts for all sorts of reasons – health, family emergencies, covid. But this time, with this agency, things were moving forward. Our home study was finalized, applications completed, profiled written up, pictures taken.
The agency has had our completed profile, a five-page pdf about me and Danny, for about six weeks. Danny’s been travelling for work more than usual – power plant outage season – and we’d planned to start our grant applications and adoption fundraising when he was back from his second trip.
But this email.
We’d known there were a couple birth moms at the agency. The last handful of women considering adoption had chosen to parent, so I didn’t have high expectations. The email arrived, giving us an update – one mom choosing to parent, another being induced the following week. That second mother had chosen a family, but the family hadn’t been notified because they were waiting on the waiver from the birth father, who was currently out of state.
Probably not us. Right? We would know if we were in the running, I thought as I brushed out my hair for the morning. Should I tell Danny? He was on site at a nuclear plant, I didn’t want to burden him. And it was probably, definitely not us.
Lord, if it’s us, you’ll have to figure out the money thing.
But it probably wasn’t us.
Because the moms interview the birth parents first. Wouldn’t I want that if I were in her shoes? She would have interviewed other families. It was fine. Maybe next spring.
And then I got the call.
“Hillary? Are you home? Can you talk? Is Danny home?” The adoption coordinator asked.
So I called Danny, who was on-site, supervising…something. Told him the coordinator called and wanted to speak to both of us. I couldn’t put words, though, to what we both knew it probably meant.
Because hope is a weird thing.
We got everybody on, and the coordinator told us she also had the birth mother counselor on the line. Because that’s what they do when they tell you that your profile has been selected. Because that baby that was probably definitely not ours at all was actually our baby.
Our baby girl.
I have tears in my eyes, small ones, but I haven’t cried because it’s so strange to hear something you’ve thought about and hoped for, for so many, many, many years, is in the process of happening. That a young college student in a STEM field has plans for her life that don’t involve a baby, but she’s chosen to carry her pregnancy to term and place her baby with a family. That she doesn’t want to meet the family, doesn’t want contact, but wants to do the hard thing – giving her baby a life and a family a baby.
Hope is a weird thing.
Today has been a flurry of calls, getting logistics into place - because we have to have the funds ready to go before baby girl comes home.
Also a car seat.
Also a pediatrician.
Also a name.
Danny flies back early tomorrow. There are decisions to make. Funds to raise. I'm posting this very late so that I can perhaps relax a little and...sleep? But the Lord is bringing us a baby girl, in time for Thanksgiving, and we are so very full of thanks.
First and foremost, we would appreciate prayers for Baby Girls’ safe delivery, and for her birth mama as she transitions into her next season of life.
If you would like to contribute to the adoption fund, you may through AdoptTogether (tax-deductible, 5% fees), GoFundMe (2.9% fees + $0.30 fee per donation), or through Venmo (@hillarymantonlodge, no fees). We are working with Adoption Choices of Memphis.