Almost twenty years ago, we had an incredible addition to our family. My niece Sara was born. Well, everyone is born, so what’s the big deal you may ask? The reason she was such an incredible addition was the way it came about. (Plus, well, she’s just a really incredible person!)
Twenty-some years ago, my sister and her husband were hoping to have kids, and just like it happened with Jason and me, it wasn’t going as hoped. I prayed fervently for them, for something to happen. And in time, I was certain something would come about for them, because I had a vision of sorts. It was one day when I was doing laundry and sorting things to give away because my kids had outgrown them. I was sorting onesies when the vision came. Who knew how spiritual and sanctified folding underwear could be? I picked up a pink striped onesie and a green striped onesie and something in me knew, “Keep these for Suzy. She will need them for her babies.” It was in that moment I knew, she would have two babies, but not just two. They’d be at the same time. Twins. Not unheard of with fertility help. (Didn’t I know it!)
I was a little perplexed when nothing panned out biologically, because my vision was so vivid and my faith in the knowledge unwavering. They started looking into adoption. Okay, so people adopt out twins. I figured somehow, it would come about that some young lady would entrust her twins to them. So when they were connected with a birth mother, I was sure, okay this it. There are two babies inside there. When they went for the ultrasound with the birth mother, I waited by the phone, knowing when the good news came in it would be they’d seen two babies.
The call came. “She looks healthy. Everything looks good.” Just one? Was the other one hiding? Was it a difficult ultrasound? “She’s right on schedule for dates.” Not what I expected! What about my vision? It was too strong, too clear, too real to chalk it up to my being bone-weary tired, near catatonic with exhaustion delusional. But I had to face the facts. My vision must have been a phenomenon of wishful thinking and sleep deprivation. So I tucked the hope away with the little folded infant matching onesies that I wasn’t going to get rid of regardless.
The wait continued and the pregnancy progressed. All sounded like everything was fine from the news I got through my sister. I was getting adjusted to the idea of a singleton for them, kind of. I tried to ignore it mostly.
Then another phone call! My sister was on the line, so much excitement, confusion, elation, uncertainty. An adoption agency they’d worked with a couple of years before had called. They had a baby for them. A boy! My sister was processing, “What should we do? Do we say yes? Sometimes open adoptions could fall through last minute, we may not get the girl. What if both come through? What should we do?”
I thought, it’s okay if they both come through silly. That’s only two babies. Anyone can do just two babies. “Yes, yes! Take him. Take them both if you can!” They decided to go forward, to call the agency back and say yes, they’d accept the boy.
After two weeks, they drove cross country and went and met their new son. One cool thing was the order of things. If they’d already accepted the open adoption, had custody of the girl, they wouldn’t be eligible for the boy baby. But because he was born a few weeks before her, taking him wouldn’t knock them out of the running for the open adoption baby, though they did talk to the birth mother to make sure she had a voice. She was generous and kind and said she’d like for her baby daughter to have a brother.
Six weeks later, they got the call: labor had started. So they packed up their newborn and drove cross country again to a different state and held vigil in the hospital for their future daughter to be born. I was waiting expectantly (actually I was jumping out of my skin) at home for a phone call while my kids built with blocks around my feet, while they pushed their cars around their road carpet, while they had snacks and bubble baths and naps and read and wrestled. I was going crazy waiting. And somewhere in there, I went to the back of the drawer and pulled out two matching girl and boy onesies.
When Sara was born and came into our family, we celebrated and gave thanks and delighted in the new life and addition to the family. Since then she has grown into an upstanding young woman who I love to spend time with, who is in an accelerated nursing program (because she is so smart and so disciplined) to become an RN (like me!!!), and who I would take as my bedside nurse faster than you can say bed pan. And this week, for the first time in almost 20 years, Sara went back with her mom and dad and MET HER BIRTH MOTHER. Oh oh oh I wish I could have been there! When I saw the picture of Sara and her birth mother together, I just started crying. I’m choking up again as I write this just thinking about it. What an amazing thing! What a gift she gave us in entrusting Sara to my sister and her husband, to our whole family.
When I speak to women’s groups, I talk about the importance of being grateful. Well, this whole story just has truckloads of things for me and our family to be grateful for, all the way back to the message ahead of time, of the hope to wait for, that two little babies were coming to join our family. I am grateful.
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