If you read the post I wrote on May 7th you saw my perfectly made plans for the preparation and arrival of my long awaited baby girl... as I reread those plans today I couldn't help but laugh at myself actually thinking things would go "according to plan"! When in the last year have thing gone just the way I expected?!?
That being said, there was one thing I COULD expect according to God's Word...
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11). No matter what happened I could count on the fact God would work every bit of it out for our GOOD...
Here is the story of our sweet Ruth's BIRTHday
Wednesday, May 8th
Niles had just left for work and called me just to chat. He said that he really wished his "adoption leave" from work could start that day. He desired time at home, before all our travels began, to calmly prepare and have some time to just sit with the Lord and pray. We talked more and decided it would be best for him to finish out the week as we had planned- hoping to fit in some quite time before we left. We said our good-bye's and I went back to making the boys breakfast and planning my day. That morning my amazing small group had planned to help me deep-clean my house in preparation of our baby girl's arrival.
My phone rang and the caller ID read "Birthmom-B"! I held my breath, told the boys I'd be right back and I stepped outside to answer the phone. I said "hello" and "B" happily greeted me. I told her I had been thinking about her so much that morning. And she said "Well, the Lord must have had me on your mind because your baby girl will be born today." It took my brain what felt like hours to sort out what she said, then I responded "Umm... seriously?" She laughed at me and said "well, I wouldn't joke about that! Yes! She's coming today!" Then she filled me in on the details- she was admitted to the hospital the night before after several days of pretty strong (though inconsistent) contractions. Over night she was monitored and continued to contract. In the morning she was evaluated and the doctors decided to schedule her c-section for 5PM that day. So I excitedly said "OK! Well I'm going to call Niles and we are going to find a way to get to FL in time!" I told her I'd call her later once our plans were set and that I couldn't wait to see her!
I hung up and called Niles back. The conversation went something like this
"Hey honey. Umm... I need you to come home. "B" just called, she's in labor and they've moved her c-section to today at 5PM." If I remember correctly his response was something like "What?!?!" So I repeated the news and told him to turn around and come home :).
After I hung up with him I came inside and told the boys that today was going to be Ruthie's birthday! They were so excited! Turner started jumping up and down. Then my mind started to go 100mph... something like this:
I need to call my mom and sister.
I need to take a shower.
Must eat breakfast.
We need 2 plane tickets.
I need to take a shower.
Make plans for the boys.
Today is Ruthie's birthday!
My bible study is on their way to help me clean now.
Shower, must shower before I meet my baby!
I got a hold of my sister and she helped me unscramble my thoughts. We worked together to get my mom on the phone, she looked for flights. I called my mother in law- filled her in. She was on standby to watch the kiddos. I called my sweet friend Anna and let her know what was going on. Then I finally hopped in and out of the shower.
Niles arrives home and begins working on booking us a flight.
The beautiful women from my bible study arrive as previously planned to help me deep clean my house. They excitedly hug me and get to work like Cinderella's helpers!
I get dressed and with Danielle's help and watchful eye I wrap up the packing that I thankfully began the day before! (sidenote- Danielle is a professional traveler and EXPERT packer! I couldn't have finished without her!)
We have our plans in place and we're on the move!
|Taken just before we left our house!|
|On our way to the airport!|
We quickly unloaded at the airport and say sweet good-byes to our fellas. They were so excited that their sister was going to be born that day! We checked our bags and took our carry-ons and empty baby carseat through security in no time at all. When I was putting my shoes back on after our security check two sweet little old ladies came to ask me "Where is your baby?" referring to our empty carseat. And I excitedly told them "we are going to go get her! We are adopting a baby girl that will be born today at 5pm!" They were so kind and complimentary. A very sweet moment in the middle of a very surreal morning!
Then we made our way to our gate where we attempted to eat the lunch that our expert packer, Danielle, graciously made for us.
In what seemed like seconds it was time to get on our plane. We gate-checked the carseat (again we were asked "where's the baby?") and boarded the plane. We found our seats, second from the back of the plane and buckled up for take off.
Again, time seemed to go in fast forward and before we knew it we had landed and were unloading in Atlanta. We knew that our time to catch our connecting flight was limited so we rushed across the airport, on and off the tram and speedily made it to the gate. And they were already boarding!
Again we made our way onto the plane, this time ALL THE WAY in the back.
I won't say the flight was pleasant (it was SO loud!) nor will I say I was feeling well (stress headache and nervous butterflies make a great combination) but thankfully I can say the flight was brief. All of a sudden we were on the ground in Sarasota, just a 45 minute drive from our baby girl!
Seconds after we landed my phone rang. It was our FL social worker, Ms. Suzanne. She said "did you get my message?" Which of course I had not. So then she said, "B's c-section was moved-up to 3:30." Not knowing in that moment what time it was I said "ok, we'll hurry!" Then I realized -WAIT! It's already 4:00! She's likely already born!" Ms. Suzanne hadn't heard from "B" since before surgery and didn't have any additional information so we said our good-bye's and hung up. In that moment I felt 2 very strong emotions- dissapointment and relief. I was disappointed that we'd missed it... "B" really wanted us there and we didn't make it. But at the same moment I felt relief. Relief that she was born and for the first time since 5:30AM I could slow down for a second and catch my breath. PLUS- my baby was probably BORN already! That's an awesome feeling.
Next we went to get our bags and said e-nee-me-nee-miney-mo and picked a car rental place to rent a car. A few minutes later we loaded up our car, prayed together, plugged the hospital into our GPS and began the drive toward Peace River Hospital in Port Charlotte.
The 45 minute drive was beautiful and surreal. There were so many emotions we were both feeling it's hard to describe. The closer we were to the hospital the more aware I was of the fact that I was about to meet both "B" and my baby girl at the same time... We were less than 10 minutes away from the hospital when my phone rang again... it was "B". I quickly answered and asked how she was. She said she was good, that everything had gone well and that she was holding my baby in her arms. My heart rate picked up to a solid 200 beats per minute and I told her we were almost to the hospital. She gave me her room number and told us to "come right in when you get here"
A few minutes later we arrived. Again we sat and prayed in our car and asked the Lord to be with us. We walked in the front door of the hospital, up the elevator and straight to the maternity nurse's station. We let them know which room number we were there to visit and we asked a nurse to check and make sure it was ok for us to go in. One of the nurses went to check with "B" and the others, realizing who we were, excitedly congratulated us. Again, a VERY surreal moment. The first nurse came out of "B's" room and gave us the all clear to go in.
Niles took these picture just before we entered the room (with our hearts in our throats!)
I entered the room and immediately made eye contact with "B." I glanced at the baby in her arms but almost felt like I shouldn't look at her too long... my heart almost couldn't take it. I remember Ruthie's eyes were open and a little of her dark hair was peeking out from under her little hat. I asked "B" how she was feeling and how everything went. She said she was groggy but everything had gone well.
Then she said "Do you want to hold her?" I had only been in the room about 45 seconds and it was already time... I smiled, took off my coat and reached out to meet my daughter.
I held her, I stared at her and exhaled for what seemed like the first time. She was perfect... beautiful...content.
Niles and I talked with "B" and her mom for at least half an hour. We talked about her delivery, about the nursing staff, about her grandfather that was ill and at another hospital... normal stuff! It was so surreal! I felt like I had countless other times visiting friends with new babies at the hospital- conversation was so natural, the room was so peaceful. "B" had mentioned to me before that she wanted to spend a little time with the baby after delivery before we went to our room. So at some point in our conversation I asked her "do you want to hold her again?" And she said, "No. I just need to see you with her." After a little while one of the nurses came in and "B" asked if our room was ready. The nurse said yes and that we could leave any time we wanted. "B" said we were welcome to stay but that she had already spent time with her and felt we could go whenever we were ready. So then Niles gave me the small gift box we brought for her and I walked over to the side of the bed again to give her our gift. It was a locket with her favorite flower, a daisy, on the front. Inside was the Psalm we have clung to for the last 2 years,
"He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are you armor and protection."
She smiled and thanked us. I hugged her and prepared to say good-bye. Then another nurse came in to check the baby. When she was done I told her we were ready to go, but Niles wanted to pray first. So I handed the baby to "B" and held her hand. Then Niles prayed over the baby, "B" and her mom and it was an incredibly beautiful time. Then "B" and her mom gave the baby a final kiss and snuggles and we put her back in her bassinet. We said goodbye and walked out the room, down a LONG hallway to our new room...
As soon as I was in the hall the tears came... my heart broke for my friend.
She just made the most beautiful and difficult sacrifice for this precious baby girl and it broke my heart. And in the same moment I was walking toward "our room" with "our baby"... such a tornado of emotions.
Once we settled into our room we called the boys and they were FINALLY able to see their baby sister! They couldn't have been more excited!!
Then I called my sister and showed her her "middle-name-sake" and of course we both cried :).
After the calls, we met the pediatrician, met our nurse (and her nursing students), got some pizza for dinner and settled in for our first night!
May 8, 2013 was one of the most surreal and beautiful days of my entire life. I am so grateful that the Lord was so near to us the entire day. He sustained us and worked every, single detail out beautifully. We are so grateful for the prayers of God's people for protection, for travel mercies and for peace.
To Be Continued...