Let me start not on 12/12, but back a while.
I’m at work, and I get an email. When I see Heidi’s name (our social worker) come up on my email list, my heart stops and my palms sweat. Immediately. It’s a pretty amazing reaction, actually. Anyway, I quickly scanned her email as I dialed Brent’s phone number.
I told him the situation and told him we could talk about this. I said that I was open to it, even though it was a situation that we initially had said we were not open to. He said there was no use in talking, then, because he was open to this, too. I immediately emailed Heidi back and said we would love our book to be shown.
Well, a few missed meetings and a lot of prayers later…
I had a meeting over lunch. Brent knew that. He tried calling me when we were on our way back to the office. We were just about back, so I just hit the “ignore” button and figured I’d call him back when I got to my desk. No more than 10 seconds later, my phone was ringing again. We were in the parking lot, so I answered the phone as I got out of Lori’s truck.
Brent was in the parking lot, and he needed me to come sign some 401K paperwork. So, I quickly went to his truck and hopped in. Instead of paperwork, he handed me a pink little sleeper and asked how I thought that would look on our baby girl.
WE HAD BEEN CHOSEN! And a girl? A girl!
I just remember sitting there and saying, “What?” Every detail he would tell me, I would respond by saying, “What?” in complete shock and disbelief.
We had so much fun telling family and friends. But most of all… we could not wait to get home and tell the boys! They were so excited (to say the least).
Kristi came with me to pick out fabric. I made a baby blanket. I finished sewing the crib bedding that I had started earlier in the adoption process.
Brent and I tried to go in to work for a little while. This day was far too exciting, though. This was a day that I had dreamed about so many times. Not all couples that adopt get to experience this, and I felt blessed beyond words to be meeting the birthmom. Brent and I met Heidi (social worker) and Brooke (the birthmom) at a restaurant. For two hours we sat and talked to her and got to know her. We talked about our hopes and dreams, and she told us hers. We felt like we completely bonded with her.
That brings us to 12/12/12.
We had been packing our stuff for about a week. Brody and I had packed the baby’s suitcase a couple nights before. It was fun to go through all those clothes. I had bought a little outfit for Christmas day. I imagined all the people coming and wanting to see her. I had dreamed about all the Christmas pictures of her with the boys. Karter asked if I would bring her to school on the day that he had the share bag.
Anyway, back to 12/12. We were all upstairs. We were packing bags. It takes a lot of organization to be gone (and away from our boys) for up to two weeks. This was our attempt. We felt like it would be any day, and we needed to feel like we were somewhat prepared.
Then the phone rang. Now, I told you how I reacted when I got an email from Heidi. But let me tell you… when your social worker calls… you stop in your tracks.
(sigh), “Oh, Kelli.”
I just stood in shock as she told me that the baby was born earlier that day, and now Brooke was rethinking things. Heidi told us that we needed to pray. We needed to stop what we were doing and pray that God’s will be done.
And that’s what we did. As soon as we got off the phone, we sat on the floor of our bedroom, with tiny pink clothes all around us, and Brent prayed. He’s amazing. He prays passionately and honestly. We didn’t try to keep the boys still. Brody sat with his hands covering his ears, because he didn’t want to listen. Karter laid down and sobbed. I sat and struggled to breathe.
My heart was breaking. I was pretty sure of it. Heidi had told us that Brooke hadn’t made a decision yet. She thought that she would maybe make that decision on Thursday or Friday. When that decision was made, Heidi would call us.
Now what? What are we supposed to do? We did the only thing we could think of. We called our family and friends, and we asked them to join us in prayer. We knew they would, too. We snuggled with our boys. In fact, we fell asleep in their beds, and we loved every second of it.
I was hoping I would wake up today and this would all have been a terrible dream. I woke up wishing it all to go away. It didn’t. Should we be hopeful or realistic? It felt like those were my options. I wanted them to be the same thing. My wish would not come true.
Late this afternoon Heidi called back to say that she had heard from Brooke. Brooke had decided to parent this child. This baby that we had named, together with Brooke, would never fall asleep on Brent’s chest. She would never get to go to Karter’s class. She would never get to sleep in Brody’s bed, like he had been talking about for so long. And my arms, that don’t just long to hold any baby, but specifically for that baby… they would remain empty.
We are numb. We are trying to walk through this with our boys, and our families, and our prayer partners. All day long we received texts from friends and family. People that cared enough to send Bible verses and that called to just make sure we were OK.
We know that God put us on this path, and we believe that He will bring our baby home, even if it’s not the baby that we thought it would be.
We covet your prayers, for Brooke, for the baby, for Karter and Brody, and for Brent and myself. We are so thankful for an awesome social worker that gets it.
Here’s a picture that Karter drew for us. I guess it sums it up pretty well. It says, “I am sorry our little girl maybe won’t come home.”