I've been trying to write this post for a while now but there is really no easy place to start. It has been a crazy week and a half for sure! First, the good news (which most of you already know)...Miles Joseph is here! Yes, that's Miles, as in a little boy! Even though everyone was convinced I was having a girl, God had other plans. I went into labor Wednesday night around 6pm and he was born at 2:43am Thursday, June 20th. Healthy and squealing, all 7lbs 10oz and 20inches. He deserves his own post that I will send out soon. I know lots of you want to know how my natural childbirth experience paned out and I promise to be honest!
Soon our overwhelming joy was met with overwhelming sadness when just a day later we found out that our little Mr.D was being placed with a relative the same day. Amidst all my sobbing, I packed up his belongings and sent Jordan out the door with him seemingly for the last time I would ever see him. Even though we knew that a placement was probable, I can't begin to explain what it feels like to actually let go of someone you loved for over a year as your own child. A piece of my heart surely left with him. Still, I found a lot of grace in God's timing as I spent the days following loving on my new precious gift. I prayed a lot (and still do) for D's well being and transition and whenever I am feeling especially sad that I can't hug or kiss him and know that he is OK, I picture doing just that and ask that God pass it along to him in the place I can't be.
His birth mother had given me her phone number a couple of weeks ago in case I wanted to check in. I wasn't sure how much contact she would have with him or if she would even respond, but after a week, I sent her a text to let her know we missed him and that I had a few more things for him that I had found around the house. A couple hours later she called me back and left a message. I was relieved to hear that he was doing good and that she was still getting weekly visits with him through CPS. She agreed that we could come to the next visit to see him and get to know his new guardian. In a twist of perspective, we find ourselves on the opposite side of something comparable to open adoption. I was immediately struck by how much better I felt just having a report of how he was doing and knowing that I would be able to see him again. The same a birth mother must feel when she places her child with adoptive parents and waits hopefully for them to fulfill their end of the open adoption agreement. She has no legal rights and a verbal word is what she clings to. Heart wrenching anticipation. Now I understand.
This whole event makes me so grateful for open adoption and even more sold on it's benefits for everyone involved. If there is no contact after a placement, it's easy to see how the imagination can take over. In the week after D's removal I imagined all sorts of awful scenarios. In reality, I was way off. Contact gave me reassurance of his well being and the truth regarding his transition. Even though he is young, I feel like if he sees us again (even just once or twice), it won't be so much like we abandoned him (which is the thought that weighs most heavy on my mind). I already know as the adoptive parent that contact gives you a sense of permission to parent; seeing that the birth parent is depending on you to do so and acknowledging you in that role. I hope that we can provide that kind of support to his now caregiver.
I miss our little man like crazy but I know that the big picture is much larger than I can understand and I'm thankful I have a God who I can trust with the details even when they are more than hard to swallow. I have thought a lot about a verse in Job the last week, and it has encouraged me through some rough moments when I've caught myself turning inward in self pity and doubt.
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21