“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good! His faithful love
endures forever…The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious thing! I
will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done.” Psalm
Our sweet Selah is two months old now. She just moved to “her
room.” She coos and smiles at us. She has the chubbiest cheeks that I could
just squeeze every second of every day. Her brown skin melts my heart and her completion
is absolutely gorgeous. I know I am biased, but she is the prettiest baby I have ever seen. I am loving every second of my maternity leave that I have with
her. At the end of every day I feel so humbled to have the opportunity to serve
her and be her mommy. She has taught me so much about myself. And so much about
the Father’s love for me. And while I am basking in this precious thing called
motherhood, there is an urging in my heart. A constant nudge.
The prodding to tell our story. Not because of anything we
have done. If you have read my blog, you know my heart has struggled to trust
God on more than one occasion. But simply to tell because the Lord is good. His
faithful love never ends. It never quits or gives up because it’s hard. Or when
I am hard to love.
So I have no choice
but to tell of what the Lord has done for us!
I have had so many people contact me about our story. People
have introduced themselves to me in the grocery store, or the mall telling me
how they are on a journey similar to ours. How they have seen “a good ending.”
If our story can encourage one barren couple to continue their pursuit of the
Lord, or one birthmom to choose life, it will all be worth it! It has already
been worth it!
My last post told the story of when we met our birthmom for
the first time. That day was definitely one of the sweetest days of our lives.
From the time we met her until her due date, we had about eight weeks. Really
six, because we prayed for Selah to come before Christmas! 🙂
So many things
happened in those six weeks. But God did two specific things during those six
weeks that I will always remember.
Every adoptive parent I know experiences these emotions
after they are matched with an expectant mom, in no particular order, and
sometimes all at one time. Sheer excitement, unbelievable fear, thankfulness, uncertainty,
SEVERE anxiety, zero appetite, rest, guilt, sadness, peace, loss,
vulnerability, and joy. I am going to be
really honest to show you the gravity of the anxiety…I got bronchitis about
four weeks before she was due. When I was at the doctor, I told him about our
situation. How I was so nervous at all times, I was very anxious about how the
hospital situation would be, and wasn’t really sleeping well. I just asked him
if it was possible for me to take some type of medicine to take the edge off
until she was born. I was hoping he would feel bad for me, and he said, “Nope.
You need to keep praying, girl. We’re adopting too and our birthmom is due next
month!” No sympathy, that man!
Needless to say, my heart constantly continued in that
emotional cycle. And I am so thankful for it! My sister said something to me
during that time that I will never forget. She told me that I didn’t want to
look back and think about the uncertainty, but that I would want
to look back and see all the opportunities God gave me to trust Him. And
although there were definitely times I was stepping into my “old self,” I do
look back at that time and see how much stronger God grew my faith. He allowed
me to trust Him. And He held my hand the entire time we were jumping in.
There was one night I was feeling particularly sad. And I know
this sounds so crazy, because you are thinking, “you were getting a baby, why
in the world would you be sad?” But the thing is, we weren’t CERTAIN we were
getting a baby. We also didn’t know our birthmom well at the time. And let me tell you, she is one strong woman. And what she says, she does. But at any time before she signs, a birthmom can change her mind
and decide to parent. It is her very understandable right. I was sad that night
because I already loved this little girl so much and really wanted her to be a
part of our family. I just got home from Whole Foods and I had prayed the
entire way home that God would allow my heart to trust Him. I prayed that He
would specifically confirm to us that this is where He wanted us. (I know it
was clear as day, but you know how your emotions cloud the sky?) Well my phone
It was our birthmom. She had an appointment that I was
unable to attend that day and she was telling me everything the doctor said.
She told me how happy she was that we met and she just knew this was the right
thing. Before she hung up the phone, she said, “Jessica, I have researched you.
I have read every one of your blog posts, looked through all of your Facebook.”
(This completely impressed me because I knew she was not only serious about
this decision, but she wanted to know what type of family her daughter would be
a part of.) She said, “I read in your one of your blog posts that your greatest
fear would be for you and Brandon to become close with your birthmom, have a nursery
ready, get to the hospital, and then the birthmom would decide to parent. I
want you to know that you are going home with this baby. She is your baby. She
has always been yours and you will leave the hospital with her. I would have
never picked a family if I didn’t think that I was certain about my decision. I
think it is mean to drag a family into this when they want a baby so bad, but
to have uncertainty. I am not going to do that to you. She is yours.”
After I picked my mouth off the floor, and dried my sobbing
eyes, I told her that she had no idea how precious it was for her to tell me
that. Number one, how AMAZING is she?!!!!
Loving this sweet girl enough to make one of the most difficult
decisions anyone could ever make! And number two, she did not have to calm our
fears. She did not have to always refer to Selah as our baby. She never once
had to include us in her pregnancy, doctor appointments, updates, or family. This
is just the woman she is. And we will both fight for her until the day we die
because no one except for Christ has made such a sacrifice. I NEVER want to
hear ANY ill word of a birthmom. When it comes down to it, they are choosing life,
and have “considered another better than themselves.” If you allow it, that truth will convict the deepest parts of your heart.
I think this part of an adoption is like a dance. There are
certain steps you have to follow. But the rules are different for every dance,
because every situation is different. Every family and every birthmom have a
different story. You don’t want to give too much at this point, and there are
times you have to lead and times you have to follow. Brandon and I also
compared it to dating. We seriously felt like we were dating our birthmom. When
she would call, I would get butterflies in my belly. I would be nervous to talk
to her. Did I say the right thing? Did she understand what I meant? Did I use
the right terminology so she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable? We would look forward
to every appointment, and I would squeal every time she emailed me. Seriously
people, it’s like dating!
After God unclouded my sky that night with His goodness and
comfort, there was another night that He did the same thing. One of my friends
from high school called me and left a message. We hadn’t really kept in touch
well, but I still thought of her often. In the message, she told me how she
knew we hadn’t talked in a while, but God had laid me on her heart and she had
been praying for us and our baby. She told me about a particular parent/teacher
conference that she had that day.
As she started her conference she noticed the mom was pregnant.
She asked when she was due and what she was having. Then she asked if she had a
name. Of course this was our birthmom, and she said “Selah Grace.” My friend
didn’t think anything of it and continued the conference. As they were
somehow it came up that
she was choosing an adoption plan for her baby.
My friend asked her what agency she was using and our birthmom answered
with Bethany. We immediately came to my friend’s mind and she asked if she was
allowed to tell who the family was. And our birthmom said, “yeah, the Satterfields.” My
friend started crying and told her that she had been praying for her for a long
time. How encouraged would you be if your child’s teacher told you she had been praying for you for a long time, not knowing who you were?! She told our birthmom how she grew up with me and knew that I had always
wanted to be a mommy. She was able to encourage our birthmom because she personally knew us.
Way back in May when teachers were making classes, God purposely decided to put
our birthmom’s son in her class. I know this seems so silly, but my heart was
grasping for hope and confirmation. And every time I prayed for it, God
answered my prayer.
You see, that’s the whole point of this story of ours. God
hears our prayers. Even the dumb ones. During the times where it is so obvious
and we still find it hard to trust Him. The times we need His continued
confirmation. He heard me every single time I laid on my face before in Him in
Selah’s nursery. He caught every single tear. He forgave me every single time I
was angry at Him or jealous of a pregnancy. All the nights Brandon had to give me shots in my belly and I was so hormonal I could barely function, He was writing
this precious story. He was growing a sweet little girl in a dark place just
for us. To be in our forever family. And He was orchestrating every detail of her sweet life even before she
was born. Can you grasp that? My eyes fill with tears from Him even though I’ve told
this story a hundred times. Not only because there is a beautiful little girl,
MY little girl, at the end of it, but because there is an even more beautiful
God. A God whose faithful love never ends. No matter what, it does not quit. I will live to shout
His great Love from the rooftops, and to tell of all He has done.