I could hear the phone. In my deep, almost coma-like slumber, I knew I needed to answer it. It felt important. I struggled to come to and when I failed I started hitting Zach and told him to answer it.
It was a Florida number! Zach quickly said “hello” and I sat straight up in bed, heart pounding. Our adoption lawyer wouldn’t be calling us at 6:30 AM unless it was urgent. There was only one reason that would constitute an “urgent” phone call.
She called to report that our birth mom had been rushed to the hospital for an emergency c-section. Our baby was being born… right now. Not in three weeks when he was due…. Right this minute.
Earlier In the Week…
So let’s pause for just a minute and look back over the week leading up to this morning… The prior Tuesday Zach and I had worked during the day until 6:00 PM when we hit the road to head south to meet Dawson’s birth parents. Arriving at Zach’s sister’s house around 11:00 PM, we chatted and hung out till after 1:00 A.M. We slept until 6:00 the next morning before hitting the road once again and arriving at the agency right at the scheduled meeting time. The meeting with his birth parents lasted several hours and it took some searching before we found a hotel for the night. The next morning, we accompanied our birth mom to her doctor’s appointment where we were assured most emphatically that our breech baby boy would not be gracing us with his presence for at least another month.
This gave me great comfort because I still had so much to do before his arrival. I was working three jobs that greatly needed my attention before I could mentally focus on motherhood. They scheduled a c-section for a month out and we said our goodbyes before heading back to North Carolina.
We arrived home at just before midnight on Thursday utterly exhausted in every way. We slept before hitting the road (again) the next morning to drive to Virginia for a friend’s wedding that Zach was officiating and I was playing in. It was a beautiful but exhausting weekend after a painfully exhausting week and we arrived home Saturday night utterly spent. Physically spent. Emotionally spent. Mentally spent. I crawled into bed and was almost immediately comatose.
And Back To Sunday…
Sunday morning, we get “the call.” We were needed back in Florida immediately!
Panic gripped every part of my body, mind, and soul. Somehow I managed to keep from passing out. In no way, shape, or form was I ready for this! We had NOTHING… We had no energy, we had no baby stuff, and I had so much work that needed to be done before I could up and leave for 2 + weeks! How were we possibly going to make this work???
I sat on the floor with my head in my hands and hyperventilated for at least five minutes.
Zach called our pastor to fill him in and, in a panic, I called my mom. She prayed with me and told me everything was going to be ok! (Thank you, Mom! I love you!)
And that was that… It was game on. Ready or not, here he comes! We swung into action! By the grace and providence of God, our church already had a baby shower planned for us that very day after church. By the time we got to church, word had already spread like wildfire that our little boy was here. We announced his arrival in the service and people just started coming up offering to help. By the time church was over, a house sitter was arranged, our yard was going to be cut, our nursery was going to be designed and constructed, food was going to be stocked in our freezer, and our jobs were filled for the next few weeks! Wow!
At the shower, we opened mountains of gifts and they were immediately separated into what needed to go with us to Florida and what needed to go home. Thanks to Wendy and other amazing moms, I was presented with pre-packed bags at the end of the shower with everything we needed to take with us! They loaded our car, took the other gifts to our home, and helped us pack our bags and clean our house. You know someone truly loves you when they voluntarily go through your refrigerator and toss all your rotten food! Before I could blink, we were on the road to go get our baby boy! Our church family carried me through that day and for that I will be forever grateful!
On the Road Again…
We left in the evening and drove overnight. This is not something I recommend doing when you have already spent more than 26 hours in the car. My body did not react positively to the unexpected travel arrangements but nothing mattered except getting to my boy as fast as possible. It was the LONGEST DRIVE of my LIFE! Rolling into the hospital parking lot at 10 AM, we were exhausted and sickly, but safe.
We shakily made our way in to meet our lawyer who took us up to see our birth mom. We talked with her for a few minutes. Thankfully she did all the talking seeing that words would not form on my lips at this point. We heard all about her crazy experience in delivery, and then… they brought him in.
And nothing else in the world mattered.
His eyes were wide open, as though looking for us. He was absolutely beautiful in every way; every bit of his tiny 6lbs 6oz perfectly formed and miraculously stunning. I was in shock. My mind ceased to absorb anything but him. I picked him up and held him in front of me, Zach at my elbow and we just gaped in amazement.
The love was like none I had ever experienced. It felt foreign at first and honestly, I had been concerned that I wouldn’t feel the “right” thing or “bond quick enough.” But all of that worry left once I held him in my arms.
After a few moments, I slowly became aware that his birth mom was crying, which made me very self-conscious and concerned about how hard this must be for her. She requested to be present when we saw him for the first time but I cannot imagine what that must have been like for her. We quietly made our way out of the room to give her time. Dawson’s birth mother is one of the most resolutely strong women I’ve ever met. She saw him, held him, fed him but never faltered in her decision. She is my hero in every sense of the word.
First Moments As a Mom
We spent the next 4 or so hours with him. We changed our first diaper, fed him for the first time, held him gently in our arms. It was paradise until the fatigue started taking over. We dropped him off at the nursery and went to check into a hotel. That’s when the stress from the week really sunk in. I spent the next 8 hours struggling to keep anything down. My body had reached the end of its rope, my mind was fighting to process everything that had happened, but my heart was full and he was worth every bit of craziness that his unexpected entrance into the world had created.
Less than six weeks had passed since we heard of the adoption need. Talk about life change. God lead, we obeyed, and received abundant blessing. Below is the first picture we took as a family. (You see the fatigue written all over my face? But I was in heaven…)
God made me a mommy. Next to my salvation and my wonderful husband, God gave me the greatest gift. The gift for which I had been longing for years… not in my timing, but once he moves, he wastes no time at all.
I remember just a few short months before this picture was taken, the day my beautiful niece was born, just struggling over not having been blessed in the same way my brother and sister-in-law were celebrating. Little did I know that my son was already on his way. Little did I know that God was already moving on our behalf, asking me to wait in quiet expectation for His perfect timing!
His plan was better than mine… It always is… And He wasn’t done yet.
To read more about our adoption story, click the links below:
- Adoption Dreams: Part One
- Trust in the Lord: Part Two
- Our Baby: Part Three
- My Adoption Song: Part Four
- Preparation: Part Five