I don't usually post on Saturdays, but some things merit breaking tradition.
We've been chosen again. In a few short weeks, Matt and I will be parents.
It sounds nice to say it like that, with all the confidence in the world, but you know that isn't how it feels. The crushing disappointment of November is still pretty fresh on my mind, so when I say "we will be parents," what I mean is that we are desperately hopeful that if all goes well, we'll have that chance. That it looks like we'll definitely be in the hospital soon, witnessing the birth of a baby...and maybe, just maybe, we'll get to be her parents forever.
We are overwhelmed with joy and hope and fear, all at once.
When we told our families, they responded with the mixture of cautionary excitement and dread that we had expected. I just...I don't know if I'm ready to go through that (and by 'that,' she means November) again, my mom tearfully admitted. And I felt and feel the same way. I can't imagine anything more excruciating than losing another baby. And yet I am willing to take the risk again, because this story could end differently. I don't know if I'm "ready," I highly doubt I'm "strong enough"...but I know that if we had said no to this opportunity, there is a 100% chance we would still be childless in August. So we kicked our fear to the curb and said yes.
And maybe we will be parents in August.
I wish I could tell you all about J, the expectant mom who chose us. We love her. We've met with her and her family several times over the past months and are overwhelmed with how positive and committed they are to supporting her and us in this situation. We look forward to being in relationship with them for the long term, a team committed to doing what is best for this baby.
Unlike last time, we kept quiet about this for a long time. Honestly, until yesterday, when I told my co-workers, almost nobody outside of our families knew. I thought it would be harder than it was. It was surprisingly freeing, though, and kind of nice. After all, most couples have the luxury of not spreading their news for a number of weeks or months...it felt almost normal to keep quiet. Because people tend to not really know how to react when we tell them anyway, it wasn't too tempting to run around sharing freely. And because no one knew, it's been easy to sort of guard my heart and emotions. I've been surprisingly un-weepy. Objective, even. We are preparing for a baby, but we know it might not happen. We knew last time, too, and tried to prepare accordingly...but this time, we really know. And somehow that's made it easier to plan and think about the next few months. We hope to bring home a forever baby in August. But if we don't, we will survive again.
I don't want to sound all doom and gloom and like I'm only preparing for the worst. That couldn't be further from the truth. The truth is that we are over the moon, we talk about her all the time, we have bought more adorable onesies than you can count, we have almost decided on her name. We text frequently with J and she lets us know that the baby likes to party all night long. We're ready. We finally got a glider, so bring on the late night parties. The baby also really likes being in the pool. Excellent. She'll fit right in here.
We are humbled and grateful for this opportunity. Choosing a family to raise your child must be the most difficult decision a person could make, and we don't take it lightly that they chose us. We hope and pray that no matter how this ends, whether with us bringing home a baby and loving her until she's old and gray, or J choosing to parent and love her herself, that this child will grow up knowing love, knowing that her life is infinitely valuable, and that this situation will be somehow redemptive for all of us involved.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lam. 3:21-23)