So we’re moving right along… on to the fourth part… nineteen-point-four million words written… and just think: I wrote the skeleton of this story in less than seven HUNDRED words for our local crisis pregnancy center’s fall newsletter.
I might have left some parts out of THAT version.
I think that we left off with it being Christmas Eve Day last year. Out of the clear blue sky, my friend, Peggy, had called me to say that I needed to call our friend, Deb. Deb, the attorney. Deb, who’d just had a pregnant gal call her office the day before, in a panic to find a family for her baby before that baby arrived.
I did call Deb. I went back to our master bathroom… back to sitting on the edge of our tub… and I called Deb, who was at her parents’ farm, getting ready to celebrate Christmas herself. She answered on the first ring, and this is what she said:
“You think I’m crazy, don’t you?”
What? I certainly didn’t think she was crazy. What I thought was that I was having a hard time dealing with what was unfolding, because when was the last time y’all saw the Red Sea start to split in half, leaving dry ground behind?
It’s a bit overwhelming.
Deb went on to say, “I know that you’ve never talked to me about adopting a baby. I know that I’ve never even heard you and Hubs mention that you’re even INTERESTED in adopting a baby, so you can tell me just to hush up any time here, but I feel like I’m supposed to tell you this.”
Deb went on to say that the Holy Spirit had plagued her all night long, and told her a hundred times over to call me and Hubs, in response to the call she’d had the day before, from a little gal named B.
B, who was pregnant and due to deliver a baby the first week of March. B, who already had a two-year-old daughter, and who felt overwhelmed at the prospect of having a second, unplanned baby. B, who was ready to find a family to adopt her unborn child.
Deb told me that she occasionally does private adoptions for families. She keeps prospective adoptive families’ profiles on hand in her office, and if she has a girl contact her office, hoping to place a baby with a good family, she shows the profiles to her, so that she can choose a family for her little one.
And then she said, “You and Hubs have never made a profile for me. I don’t know if you’re even thinking about adoption, but please hear me out. I have argued all night long with Jesus, and He has convinced me that I’m supposed to talk to you this morning. I’m just being obedient here!”
And that is when Deb told us that she actually knew very little about B, because their phone conversation had been rather brief. She knew the baby was due in March… early March. She knew that the baby was going to be bi-racial. B had told her that she was white, but that the baby’s biological dad was half-black, as he had a white parent and a black parent. She knew that B had already had an adoptive family lined up for her baby, but that she’d found some things out about this family that she didn’t like, and she’d pulled out of her verbal agreement to place her baby with them. She’d told Deb that this family had ended up scaring her, and she no longer felt like they were the right ones for her to give a child to. Deb told us that B was from Rival Town, USA, which is 100 miles down the interstate from Small Town. B didn’t know what to do, so she’d driven the 100 miles to Small Town, to see a nurse at our crisis pregnancy center, because she didn’t know where to go for help in Rival Town. That nurse put B in touch with a Christian counselor, who just happens to go to church with our family and Deb’s family. That counselor (who is a friend of ours as well) put B in touch with Deb, for legal advice. Deb was prepared to show B the profiles of families that she had on hand in her office… families who had been hoping to adopt a baby for quite some time. Deb said that Jesus kept insisting that she should tell US about B.
And that is when I poured out the entire story of how the boy had prayed for a baby sister, and how he insisted that Jesus had told him YES. For the first time, I told Deb how the boy had been hounding me for all of December to fill out paperwork to adopt a baby sister for him, because Jesus was planning to give us one.
I told Deb how I had pulled the boy aside numerous times and said, “Jesus did not tell you that.”
Deb burst into tears and laughter, all at the same time. Only women can cry and giggle, sob and smile, all at once. And then she said, “Well, B didn’t tell me if she knew whether the baby was a girl or a boy, but I’m going to make a big guess here. I’m going to guess that it’s a little girl, and she’s going to end up at your house!”
And then I was crying.
And also pacing my master bathroom.
Deb went on to tell me that she couldn’t choose me and Hubs FOR B. She said that she represented the other families who had profiles on hand with her as well, so legally she just couldn’t tell B to pick us. Deb asked me to make up a profile to give to her no later than January 4th, because she was going to meet with B on that morning. She told me that she would give B four to six profiles to look at — with one being ours — because she wanted B to be comfortable knowing that she had considered several families before choosing one. She said that when it was all done and over with, she wanted B to know that she had picked the family that she thought was best for her unborn baby.
I couldn’t really tell you anything else that happened on Christmas Eve Day last year; I was in a euphoric haze of being overwhelmed… of being totally stunned. I wasn’t quite ready to acknowledge that this was REAL and that this was HAPPENING; I was afraid to be joyful about it, because WHAT IF B PICKED ANOTHER FAMILY? And yet… I couldn’t quit thinking that this was looking more and more like an Old Testament miracle, and WERE THERE GOING TO BE LOCUSTS? Because I couldn’t have handled a house full of bugs. I know that I pulled Hubs into the master bathroom, shut the door so that the boy wouldn’t hear us, and gave him the skinny on my phone conversations that morning. I know that we must’ve finished baking the rum cakes. I know that I made a pot of soup for Christmas Eve dinner. I know that the boy felt better by lunchtime, and he was off the sofa, bouncing around in Christmas excitement, begging to JUST OPEN ONE PRESENT! JUST ONE! ANY ONE! I know that my parents, and Sister and her family came over for dinner. I can’t remember what pot of soup I fed them. I know we went to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church that night. I can’t remember any of the carols that we sang.
But I do remember standing in the church, singing Silent Night at the very end, and thinking, “Will we have two children for next year’s candlelight service?”
And then… on Christmas morning… because Deb told us we could… Hubs and I told the boy our possible news.
There was ripped wrapping paper all over our living room floor. The stockings were no longer hung by the chimney with care; they were empty and abandoned on the coffee table. One of the cats was dragging a decorative bow with enormous streamers around the house. And that is when Hubs and I looked at one another with the IT IS TIME look.
And then I asked the boy, “Honey, what did you want most for Christmas?”
And do you know what he shouted?
That boy of ours shouted, “I wanted these Legos! I love them!”
Yes. THAT was the answer Hubs and I were shooting for.
So I said, “But what did you REALLY want for Christmas?”
And that boy of ours hollered out, “I wanted these night vision goggles! I’m going to find the Big Foot with these suckers! Thanks for getting them for me; I can hardly wait to show them to Ben!”
I caught him by the arm, while he was skipping through our living room, touching all of his gifts, checking everything out, and I asked again, “But what have you been asking for, over and over, ever since Thanksgiving?”
The boy went stone-cold silent. His smile disappeared. He became very quiet… very sober… very still. And then he whispered, “I wanted you to tell me that we were getting my baby sister on Christmas morning.”
I smiled and said, “Well. Deb called us yesterday, and she said that she has a little pregnant gal who wants to put her baby up for adoption.”
The boy’s grin almost split his face in half, and he yelled, “I TOLD YOU JESUS SAID YES! I told you, guys! Mom, THIS IS OUR BABY, and you were supposed to tell me on Christmas morning about her! This is exactly how it was supposed to happen!”
And Debby Downer said, “But let’s not get our hopes up too high, because we’re not even sure that we’ll be able to get this baby.”
And Joe Euphoric yelled, “Mom, Jesus has already said YES! THIS IS OUR BABY!”
We picked up the wrapping paper. We picked up the empty stockings. We piled gifts nicely on the coffee table, because my OCD likes things stacked neatly. We took the ribbons away from the cat, who was thoroughly disappointed that HER Christmas presents weren’t keepers.
And then we went to my mom and dad’s house, where we met up with Sister and her family, to keep the Christmas ball rolling.
The boy walked into his grandparents’ house, began yanking his North Face coat off, and hollered, “Mam, have I got a story for you!”
The boy went on to say, “Remember how I prayed for a baby sister, and how Jesus told me YES? Well, Deb called us, Mam; she called us. And she knows a girl who is pregnant, and she’s going to have a baby, and we’re going to get her!”
Mam and Pa both went quiet and simply stared at us. And then all the color drained out of my mom’s face. She was white… white as a Christmas ghost. She put one hand on a nearby chair, as if she needed it for support. And do you know what I immediately thought? I thought my mom was mad. It made no sense.
I asked her, “Are you alright?”
And Mam asked, “Is this for real?”
And I said, “Yes. Although we don’t know if we’ll get the baby; Deb just said that it’s a possibility.”
And right there, Mam announced HER news. She said, “I have been praying for you and Hubs for quite some time to have another baby. I have been telling God that if He chose to give you a second child, He was going to have to do it in an unconventional way, because you and Hubs were so solid on not thinking you needed to adopt.”
My mom then asked, “Do you have a name picked out for this little girl? Because I have no doubts whatsoever that she’s going to end up with your family.”
Yes. Yes, we did have a name. We were going to call her Amelia, because that is the name Hubs and I were head over heels in love with. Had the boy been a girl when he was born, he would have been an Amelia.
And that’s when I began begging God to see this through, so that Amelia would end up in our lives. I was beyond nervous to get my hopes up. I wanted that baby so, SO BADLY. Hubs wanted that baby. The boy wanted that baby. But I was still afraid that this baby wasn’t going to happen.
Little did I know that we really WERE getting a baby… and that HE wasn’t going to be an Amelia.
Amelia isn’t really a great name for a baby boy.