Early in July, I went to the hospital for a routine prenatal blood glucose test. As I walked into the lobby, I saw Cindy sitting and talking with the hospital chaplain. I sat down to wait for my appointment, then went over to talk with Cindy when she was finished with her conversation. She told me tearfully that she had run out of options for housing for C. An intense and unsafe situation had developed at the place where C. was living and she could no longer stay there. Cindy had become very emotionally involved with C.'s situation and had reached the point where she could do no more for her. "I have to let her go," she said, her voice breaking. The chaplain had advised her to step back from the situation for her own emotional sanity. Cindy explained that she planned to drop her off at a homeless shelter in Portland--her last resort and only option. (I later discovered C. was waiting in Cindy's car and if she had not met me in the hospital that morning, she would have driven C. down to Portland that afternoon and we would most likely have never seen her again.)
I told Cindy I would go home and see if I could find a place for her to stay for the summer. When I got home, I told FarmDad about our conversation. We talked about housing C. ourselves. I was very reluctant, thinking of how hard it would be after seeing Cindy so emotionally drained. But, I remember FarmDad saying, "If we are going to save this baby, this is what we need to do."
We prayed about it that night and called Cindy the next day with our answer--we would take C. in.
The next day, the 4th of July, we moved C. up to live in a camper in our front yard. The first week was a rollercoaster of events and emotions. I started a journal at the end of the week. Here is an exerpt:
At this point, I have very little hope that she will be able to stay here all summer. We are physically and emotionally drained. This week has been a rollercoaster every day. She has not yet had a full day and night that have been good.
...meaning without a psychotic panic. These panics caused her to pace, shake, mutter and yell in rapid tirades—often for hours. We were needed 24/7 to help her through her mental breaks. She was still unmedicated. She spent nearly every night sleeping on our couch, thinking there were people trying to break into her camper and hurt her. She tried to take her life on several occasions, thinking this would be better than the tortures she was sure to experience at the hands of her unseen foes. On one occasion, we had to go find her after she ran away at night because she believed we were conspiring against her.
The following month was a blur. The calendar was full of doctor appointments and counseling visits for C. She finally was able to get on some medication and we began to see her true self--a loving, gracious, and giving person who is full of life. Her talents began to shine. She could draw amazing pictures and play the piano beautifully. She loved giving gifts even though she had no money. The change we saw in her was such a relief and we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We began to be able to think about preparations for adopting her baby, rather than being consumed with getting her through another day.
She grew to love us and we her. She was full of gratitude for all we did for her and was excited about us wanting to adopt her baby. She met many of our friends and family. She would meet random people in our community and tell them that we were adopting her baby. In the meantime, we were not telling anyone this because we knew she could simply vanish the next day and we would never see her again. Since she is one who lives completely in the moment and acts on a whim, we were convinced that only God could see this adoption through to completion.
At the end of the summer, I gave birth to Boy Blue just as an apartment opened up for C. in some low-income housing that Cindy had helped her apply for. The waiting list was long and it often took up to two years to get in, but of course God provided an opening at the exact perfect time. :) We moved C. into her apartment several days later. Again, we wondered if she would simply disappear...
Amazingly, she didn't. She was doing wonderful in her new apartment. She was so excited about fixing it up and she would call us nearly every day telling us her plans for her future. She wanted to take college classes, get a job, learn how to drive... We were so happy for her and her new life.
We expected to get a call any day saying she was in labor. Since she is a heavy smoker, we were prepared to have a small, sickly baby--most likely a preemie--to care for. God's protection was evident again as C. went nearly all the way to her duedate (only four days early) and delivered a healthy, chubby-cheeked little boy. We worried that C. would change her mind as soon as she saw him, but we were amazed again when she asked to call her lawyer and sign the relinquishment papers the next morning.
C. held Buddy, smothered him in kisses, told him she loved him and that she would see him again. She went home that afternoon. We stayed at the hospital for another two days because Buddy had to be under the biliruben lights. We took him home on November 9th--his duedate.
We had told C. she could pick Buddy's first name. She chose a name that we loved (also my brother-in-law's name) and we chose his middle name. His full name, when put together, means “healer, out of the dark waters.” We pray that will be a testimony of his life.
On Dec. 17th, 2010, he received our last name as his own and we officially received a son, even though he had already become our son in our hearts.
As I write this, I'm looking down at my beautiful dark-haired boy. He is giving me huge dimpled smiles. I am in awe of how God preserved his life and brought him to us. We can't wait to see what God has in store for this little guy's life.
My son-- born not of my body but of my heart. I love you, Buddy.