I was keeping some short little journal snippets leading up to moving day and then afterward. I wanted to share these on here, because they are raw and real, and now looking back at them I can see God all over it! The flashbacks will be in bold, and any additional information I add afterward will be in regular text.
These little flashbacks will give you some insight into how our move went and how our match with Sammy happened in the midst of it. I mostly want to post these for two reasons:
- Because God is so cool and it is clear he had it all figured out!
- Because I want you all to get a more accurate picture of the adoption world. I want you to see what really goes into the home inspections, but I also want you to see how many people work their butts off to help you. I want you to see how things that seem impossible (moving the same week you are matched with your son) are possible.
*I have changed names and omitted dates*
3 days until moving day
I stood among my church family for the last time as a member. Together, we lifted our voices to sing the beloved verses of my favorite Catholic hymn:
“Here I am Lord, is it I, Lord, I have heard you calling in the night. I will go Lord, where you lead me, I will hold your people in my heart.”
I remembered singing this song as a kid. Even outside of church I would sing this song, it was my favorite. And I remember learning about Samuel in the bible and how he heard God calling him in the night. As a child, I desperately wanted to hear God. Not like, “hear” God, but really hear him! But I never heard his voice, not with my ears anyway. So I thought God never wanted to call me; I thought maybe He didn’t want to choose me. It was around that time that God revealed a tiny sliver of His will for me, only I didn’t realize it was Him, because it wasn’t a voice it was a vision…
I’m about to say something that is just me being me, me being honest, me as I was in second grade. But it has a point, although…I didn’t fully understand the complexity of this statement until recently.
One day, when I was in second grade, I told my mom I was going to have a black baby. I have no idea what brought this conversation about. I have no idea what happened before or after or whether or not my ginormous crush on Terrell had anything to do with it. I didn’t know how babies were made at that point, so I doubt it…but just as I knew I was going to be a mom someday, I also knew I was going to be the mother of a black child. I just knew…and I guess, just like today, I felt the desperate need to share this good news with my mom. But as the years went on I forgot about that little snippet and when I remembered it I would think, “well, I was in second grade, I probably didn’t really see that…”
Ok, so back to me singing in church in the present…we continued to sing and I felt the Lord calling me. Calling me to our new home, calling me to follow Him, calling me to motherhood, calling me to love His people, and like I typically do in church service, I wept. Only this time it was different. I knew this church family of mine would be here for me and I could always come visit. But, Dean and I had this secret that I desperately wanted to share with all of them. We had been matched with a baby boy and there were only 9 days left in his revocation period.
(A Revocation period is the amount of time decided by the state that the biological mother has to change her mind after signing the adoption papers. Normally, our agency wouldn’t notify us of the match until that period has passed, but because we were moving they wanted to make sure we were able to get all of our inspections up to date as soon as possible.)
We stood among our church body; in a sea of believers who prayed for us when we lost hope, who prayed for us when we found hope, who prayed for us when we didn’t ask for prayer, who prayed for us when we did ask for prayer. We were surrounded by people who cried with us in our pain and delighted with us in the will of the Lord. They shared my burdens of infertility for seven years…seven years!!! And now, now I had this budding secret growing in my heart- This dare to hope greater than I have ever hoped. This little gold nugget, this blessing, this treasure, this joy, I could not contain it…and yet, I had to, I was not ready to share it because I wasn’t quite sure what it was yet. It killed me that I would not be surrounded by my church family when I found out if I was going to finally be a mother. I wanted them with me, I wanted them praying for me, Dean, and Baby Lavon. But I was terrified of letting them down. I was terrified of God’s will, because maybe this wasn’t my time to be a mom…again… and not only would I question God’s ways, but who else would question His ways on my behalf? I knew for myself that my questions always lead me running back into God’s protective arms, but I didn’t know that for everyone else. What if my burdens cause someone to walk away from our creator? Fear won out and I kept quiet. BUT!!! Dean and I went up to the alter for prayer and my friend and her husband held our hands and prayed out loud for us while others gathered around us laying hands. They prayed for me and Dean and our new home and the adoption stuff, but in my heart I kept praying for Joanna and Baby Lavon and all of a sudden my friend’s husband says, “and God, we know you have a child planned for Liz and Dean, we pray for the protection of that child and that he finds his way into their loving arms.” AMEN!!!
Moving Day, 6 Days until Revocation Ends
I woke up once again thinking about the promise of Psalm 113:9 “He settles the childless women in her home as a happy mother of children.”
“God? How is this going to work? If Lavon is our son, we will definitely not be settled in our home when you give him to us. We are leaving our home…and the new house isn’t a home yet. Plus, we still have to get everything reinspected for the agency: water, fire safety, and two house inspections (one by the county and one by our social worker).”
“Trust you? I am, but I just don’t see how this is you fulfilling your promise to me, it seems like you are slacking a little bit here…”
“What is a home? What made this house you are leaving a home?”
“It’s a place of comfort, rest, protection, and dwelling. It’s a compilation of me and Dean. It looks like us, it feels like us, it smells like us, it has memories, I know where things are, I know how they work (mostly…), and I’m comfortable. It’s where I recharge.”
“This house is not your home, I AM your home. For the past two years it has been inside these walls that you sought ME. It has been in ME that you found your comfort, rest, protection, and dwelling. I AM your home, and I have settled you in ME. You have settled in your house, but I did not promise that. I promised that I would settle you in your home…I would settle you…in your home…in your dwelling…which is me.
Settle in Me and all will be ok. Settle in Me and I will make you a HAPPY mother of children. Don’t worry about the house so much…that will happen eventually, but it won’t be what makes you a mother and it won’t be what makes you a happy mother. Settle in Me-your protection, your creator, your rock, your shelter, your anchor, your source of life…Settle in ME.”
That seemed pretty do-able at 6am before the movers showed up, before I found out our request for electricity at the new house was denied and under investigation, before I found out that our first home inspection for the adoption would be the very next day.
At one point it was just me left at the old house. Dean had gone to meet the movers at the new one. I stood outside on our deck and looked out into our yard. I thanked God for the wonderful times we had spent together in that house. I thanked God for the answered prayers, the comfort, Bulgy the cat, and my hawk. And wouldn’t you know, my hawk cried out above my head, he circled my house a couple times and flew out of site. I was sad to be leaving my hawk. Hearing his calls was always a source of comfort for me, like a reminder that even when I can’t see God I know he is there. My neighbor at my new house said he hadn’t seen any hawks in years, so I didn’t plan on having one at the new place. But that’s ok, because like God said, it is in HIM that I find my peace and comfort.
I worked tirelessly to complete stacks of paperwork for the adoption; my husband, my dad, and my mom worked tirelessly to unpack all the boxes and somehow it all started to come together. As I worked I sang praise songs, and the peace and joy filled my new house. We ran into a couple different patches of white water, but we got through!
My cousin and his fiancé stopped by with some pizza, my brother dropped by after work, and we all sat around the table eating pizza, drinking beer, and laughing. It was starting to feel like home.
1 Day After Moving Day, 5 Days until Revocation Ends
The power company was scheduled to come out today and turn off our power until their investigation was complete, but I begged the lady on the phone and told her about our adoption inspections. After a lot of begging and even more praying, she agreed to delay the appointment for 6 days, unless of course the investigation was completed by that time, in which case they wouldn’t need to shut off the power. I still didn’t understand why we were under investigation in the first place, but my emotional energy was of better use somewhere else, so I just had to let it go.
Our social worker came by to inspect the house and it went great!